Letter to the Editor: Ad about petition against La Terra project concerns reader

The LaTerra Select Burbank project is slated to have 573 apartment units, 1,067 square feet of retail space and a seven-story, 307-room hotel.
(Courtesy of the city of Burbank)

The Wednesday, Jan. 8, edition of the Leader featured a full-page ad that encourages voters to not sign petitions that express opposition to the upcoming La Terra project located at 777 Front St.

Interestingly, the ad is paid for by SJ4 Burbank LLC, a Solana Beach entity who happens to have the developer of the project as one of its two principals.

The ad claims the city could lose millions of dollars in new revenue that would affect schools and the fire and police departments.

This argument is strikingly similar to the alarmist advertising that the city used to persuade voters to support what I consider to be an exorbitant sales tax increase in 2018.


Neither the ad nor the online Burbank Fact Sheet explains the source of the new revenue or how the projected total of $30-plus million in public benefits was arrived at. Also not explained are details regarding how the project is being financed.

The ad states that the project needs to be developed in order to “protect” Burbank. Protect it from what? I think that is an offensive statement.

It also references the fact that the project received a 5-0 vote from the City Council. We should not forget that, I believe, the City Council put financial interests before morals in its desperation to keep IKEA in Burbank, despite the fact that the company was founded and headed by a man who, some reports state, was a member of the Nazi party when he was younger.

I don’t think that what the City Council supports is necessarily in the city’s best interests.


Receiving no mention is the traffic nightmare that will result from this project. Can the city or the developer refute the probability that there will be intolerable increases in vehicle traffic at the Metrolink station entries, the southbound 5 Freeway exit at Front Street and Burbank Boulevard as well as Victory Place and Burbank Boulevard?

That will occur both during construction and after full occupancy. The project’s developer clearly should not attempt to usurp the democratic process by telling us not to sign petitions.

Thomas Saito


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