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City Council denies Platt project

Laura Sturza

City Council members Tuesday night unanimously denied the Platt

Companies’ plans for a four-acre development in the Media District,

as well as the $300,000 environmental impact study required for it.

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Developer Rick Platt, whose company paid for the study, said it

was too early to specify how his firm will respond to the decision.

“I need to think about what they’ve said,” Platt said. “We have a

large board who likes to review these things.”

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The $200-million Burbank Media Center has been in the works for

three years, and has undergone multiple revisions and reductions in

size based on community, city and Planning Board input.

The City Council considered denying the project while accepting

the environmental study, with the idea that the study could be used

for a future proposal. The environmental study is a document required

by law to list effects on the environment and the means to alleviate

them.

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Council members’ concerns about traffic not being adequately

addressed in the study meant that it was voted down 3-2, with Vice

Mayor Stacey Murphy and council members Jef Vander Borght and Marsha

Ramos opposing the study, and Mayor David Laurell and Councilman Dave

Golonski approving it.

“I feel that the environmental impact report does not adequately

address [traffic in] the area north of Alameda [Avenue],” Vander

Borght said.

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At last week’s council meeting, residents opposing the project

cited concerns about increased traffic, pollution and the overall

size of the project. Council members continued the meeting, which

ended at 1 a.m., so they could vote on the environmental report and

the project at the same time.

The project, which was proposed as a 12-story building, had been

reduced from initial plans that included a 25-story building. By

comparison, the Disney Channel building across the freeway from the

project is 20 stories.

The center was designed to include offices, housing, retail

businesses, a church, a health club and a child-care center on a

triangle-shaped lot near the Ventura (134) Freeway along Alameda

Street, Lima Street and Olive Avenue.

Work already completed on the environmental project could be used

on a future study, which Principal Planner Joy Forbes said could take

about four months to complete and cost a developer another $100,000.

But like the study reviewed Tuesday, a new report would not address

some of the traffic concerns cited by the council.

The City Council asked staff to come back with a proposal for

conducting its own traffic study of the area.


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