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Progress threatens tranquillity of neighborhood

The adage goes, “You can’t stop progress.” Poppycock. Why should

progress be defined as bringing more noise, traffic and parking

congestion to a quiet family-oriented neighborhood?

When will the time come when local City Council members define


progress as maintaining the peace and quiet of our neighborhoods, as

opposed to growing the city to unrecognizable proportions? We choose

to buy and live in Burbank for what it is, not what it will become.

What Burbank might become worries many of us. Each resident,


especially those of us who have been previously silent, needs to

voice our opinion immediately and oppose inappropriate development.

If not, Burbank will become another Glendale. Those of us who live in

the neighborhood where Magnolia Boulevard and Clybourn Avenue

intersect recently received a proposal for a zone variance. A trade

school is seeking to operate on Magnolia seven days a week from 7

a.m. to 11 p.m. It would operate in an area where the current zoning

code specifically prohibits “educational institutions and schools of


any type.” This current code exists to protect our neighborhood. So

the trade school is seeking a zoning variance. Many concerned

residents in the neighborhood met with the trade school owner Friday

to discuss the impact this will have in our neighborhood.

The owner stated he was in the business of making “dreams come

true” for his students. But does he not realize that our dream --

which is a current reality -- of living in a safe, quiet and friendly

neighborhood would be adversely affected? The owner further stated he


“made a mistake” not understanding the variance before buying the

property. He states he will “do his best” to minimize the impact of

the trade school in our neighborhood, yet has offered no realistic

game plan for addressing our concerns, nor does he seem at all

willing to modify his project in any major way.

If this project is allowed to move forward as planned, our quiet

evenings with low-level traffic will disappear. Our peaceful and

quiet weekends with our families will be disrupted with increased

traffic and noise. Parking will overflow into spaces currently used

by residents, family and friends. The potential for an increase in

crime in residential neighborhoods from a nonresident population is

obvious, and can’t be wished away.

This trade school would be located in North Hollywood, but is

directly bordered by Burbank. It will impact the Burbank residents

just as much, if not more, than the North Hollywood residents,

because of the physical layout and location of the site. This trade

school is currently located in an industrial and commercial area near

the Metrolink station in North Hollywood, which is an area better

suited for this type of operation. It seems their strategy is to hope

we homeowners will decrease the value our property to make up for

their mistakes. That is not how capitalism works.

At what point, when it comes to the neighborhoods we call home, do

we redefine progress as maintaining the status quo? While this

potential zoning variance on Magnolia Boulevard might only affect

those of us in the neighborhood surrounding the proposed trade school

site, the principle of inappropriate development affects us all.

Especially those who seek to maintain the quality of our

neighborhoods and the values of our property. Now is the time to

stand up and be heard before a zoning variance proposal arrives in

your little sleepy hollow.

The Los Angeles city zoning administrator will conduct a public

hearing at 8 a.m. Friday, at the Marvin Braude San Fernando Valley

Constituent Service Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys. Public

comments and the number of concerned residents who attend this

meeting will largely determine the outcome.

When is the last time a home buyer asked a Realtor to find them a

$400,000 house near a trade school that operates almost nonstop seven

days a week? Exactly. I’ll take “sappy” over “progress” any day of

the week when it adversely affects the quality of my neighborhood,

neighbors and property values.