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Residents again reject Platt

Molly Shore

After twice being rebuked by residents who live near the proposed

Burbank Media Center project, developers hosted a community meeting

Thursday night to find out exactly what homeowners want built.

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What residents want, representatives of the Platt Companies

learned, is a dramatically scaled-down project that is compatible

with the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Most of this group has already told you what we don’t want,”

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Patrika Darbo said to developer Rick Platt, who sat quietly in the

audience. “Didn’t you listen to us before?”

The proposed $200-million Burbank Media Center project, which has

been in the works for three years, has undergone multiple revisions.

It originally included a 25-story building, which was reduced to 12

stories, but the downsizing didn’t sway the City Council, which

rejected the project and accompanying environmental impact report in

April.

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Speakers criticized the developer for calling the meeting and then

showing up without a revised development plan.

“Come to us with something we can touch, feel and look at,”

resident Molly Hyman said. “When you complete the project and leave,

we stay.”

In June, Platt filed an application with the city’s planning

department for several scenarios, principal planner Joy Forbes said,

adding that no final project is ready for review.

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"[Residents] recognize something is going to go on that site,”

Platt spokesman Mark Wittenberg said. “The question is, how big and

how dense should it be?”

At least one member of the audience supported development on the

site.

“The problem with the people here in Burbank is that they’re so

negative,” Larry Yaphe said. “They never get anything done.”

Yaphe said the proposed project would generate revenue for the

city. Not only does he favor developing the site, Yaphe sees no

reason to scale down the project.

Platt officials plan to conduct future meetings with smaller

groups, but will bow to community pressure and keep the meetings open

to all who want to attend.


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