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.