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.
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.”
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
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
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.