Council Gives Preliminary OK to Landmark Ordinance

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The City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday to an ordinance that would for the first time enable Burbank to designate its own historical landmarks.


Presently, places such as the downtown Burbank post office and the Bob’s Big Boy restaurant on Riverside Drive are recognized as historically significant by state and federal agencies, City Planner Rick Pruetz said.

“The process, right now, is out of the city’s control” because the city has never had an agency authorized to make such designations, Pruetz said. “The designation process is something the city plays no role in.”


If given final approval next week, the proposed law would go into effect as early as July. The ordinance would allow the city to form a five-member commission to deal with preservation issues, and to establish procedures and criteria for the process of selecting landmarks. Prospectives sites include Burbank City Hall and Bellarmine-Jefferson High School.

Property owners would need approval from the commission before demolishing or altering the appearance of a landmark, but no site could be designated a landmark without the property owner’s permission.

The council approved the ordinance 4 to 0, with some hesitation from Councilwoman Susan Spanos.

Spanos objected to two elements of the proposed law, one of which is a requirement that the commission be made up of two nominees selected by the Burbank Historical Society, two by the Burbank Chamber of Commerce and one by the community at large.

“I support the ordinance,” she said. “I just don’t support what I consider to be overburdensome clauses in the ordinance.”