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The missing link

Paul Clinton

MAGNOLIA PARK -- Carolyn Carter couldn’t keep the developers off her

property forever.

Carter’s resistance to the 243-unit Parc Pointe Apartment Complex


officially ended Tuesday, when the City Council approved the construction

of 12 more units on theland where her small house now stands.

Surrounded on three sides by the sprawling, three-story Parc Pointe,

Carter lived in the house at 632 N. Hollywood Way until her death in


February 1998. Shortly afterward, her nephew, John Carter, agreed to sell

his aunt’s property to Multi-Family Partners, who built the complex more

than a decade ago.

Carter said his aunt wouldn’t have minded the sale because her

opposition to the development was based only her desire to live in the

home. In her last years, before her death at age 92, Multi-Family took

care of the gardening and even painted Carter’s house.

“They were really good to her,” John Carter said. “She said she always


felt a little guilty for not selling to them.”

Carter said his aunt bought the pre-war home in 1941 for $3,500. At the time, she fretted about her $31 monthly mortgage payments, he said.

Neither Carter nor Multi-Family would disclose the purchase price of the


By approving the $1.2 million addition to the complex Tuesday, the

current council finished what an earlier one started.

“It’s like a missing piece of the puzzle,” Councilman Bob Kramer said.

But Burbank has changed since the late 1980s, when the project was


approved by Mayor Michael Hastings and others.

With the passage of 1989’s measure one, a proposition that capped the

number of new apartment units that can be built in the city, large

complexes like Parc Pointe have become a thing of the past in the city.

“That was one of the last major complexes,” former Councilman Ted

McConkey said. “But it was always an anomaly because of that woman’s


Councilman Dave Golonski, who cast the lone dissenting vote Tuesday,

said he could not justify approving 12 more units for the complex.

“I’m not going to support this tonight,” Golonski said. “I think the

density we’re looking at here is bordering on scandalous.”

Parc Pointe has never been short on tenants. Developer Steve Botsford

said the complex has consistently registered a 98% occupancy rate since

its 1989 opening. Botsford said he would have little difficulty renting

the additional apartments.

“We were very pleased that the council saw fit to complete the

project,” Botsford said.

Carolyn Carter’s house will be torn down but her last stand is likely

to be remembered. Wedged in and dwarfed by the apartment complex, the

home became a neighborhood curiosity. A former ballet dancer who worked

as a bookkeeper for Safeway until her 1972 retirement, Carter lived in

the house for more than 50 years.

When the developers came to her door, she stubbornly turned them down.

“She was in her 80s,” John Carter said."She wasn’t going to move.”