The attorney representing a developer engaged in a dispute over a
crosswalk closure at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport said he will
ask a judge to throw out tickets issued by airport police.
Al Augustini, who represents Zelman Development Co., owner of a
private parking lot that borders the airport, said he and five others
who have been cited -- including Thousand Oaks city officials -- plan
to go before a judge next month to get the tickets thrown out.
Augustini said he received a ticket after asking an officer on
patrol about the citations being handed out.
“He said, ‘If you want to know what kind of tickets I’m writing,
you’re going to have to step off that curb,’ ” Augustini said.
The controversy centers around Star Park, a private parking lot at
the southeast corner of airport property. Airport officials, citing
safety and liability concerns, removed a crosswalk leading directly
to terminal B shortly after the lot opened in January.
Zelman officials contend the move was deliberate and meant to
eliminate competition for airport parking.
Airport officials have since installed signs at the intersection
making it illegal to cross, and airport police have issued $90
citations to more than 150 violators, Zelman officials said.
Augustini said he will argue that the airport claimed the road was
private property when they erected the no-crossing signs, but now are
treating it as a public roadway by enforcing the vehicle code.
If the tickets are thrown out, Augustini hopes the Burbank City
Attorney’s office will no longer prosecute the disputed tickets.
City Atty. Dennis Barlow, however, said his office does not
determine whether or not tickets are enforced, and only represents
the city in cases where someone challenges a ticket. It would be up
to the airport police to continue issuing the citations, he added.
Airport Security Chief Mike Post said a judge essentially already
ruled on the issue when he allowed the crosswalk to be closed.
“If it’s legal to put up signs saying not to cross, how could it
not be legal to write citations for people who do cross?” Post asked.
Don Nelson, public works director for Thousand Oaks, was among a
delegation of city officials cited. He said it is inappropriate for
airport police to issue citations since pending litigation has not
determined whether pedestrians have legal access to the crossing.