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Residents fighting trade school

Ryan Carter

Despite plans by a developer to scale down a proposed trade school,

Burbank residents who oppose the North Hollywood project say it makes

little difference.


The project, on the former Kaiser Permanente site at 10407

Magnolia Blvd., calls for a school for recording engineers near the

corner of Clybourn Avenue on the Burbank border.

Residents, some who live within a block of where Christopher


Knight wants to open the Los Angeles Recording Workshop, argue the

school will only increase traffic and parking problems while lowering

property values.

In response to resident concerns, Knight has decided to forgo a

parking variance that would allow him to reduce the number of parking

spaces on the existing site from 180 to 90 in order to erect two

additional buildings. By doing so, he would reduce the size of the

project from about 36,000 square feet to 22,000 square feet. He is


also seeking a zoning variance for the trade school.

“I think the neighbors have really valid concerns,” Knight said.

“We’re really just scaling down from what would have been three

buildings to one building.”

But the proposed revisions apparently aren’t good enough for some

Burbank residents, including Gregory Zedlar, who lives in the 900

block of Ford Street.

Zedlar and others who oppose the project say parking is secondary


to concerns about plummeting property values and the potential for

the area to become a hub for similar businesses.

“If that variance is granted, it sets a precedent ... for other

businesses of that type to come in,” Zedlar said. “We haven’t seen

anything on [the revised] proposal in writing.”

A zoning administrator for the city of Los Angeles is expected to

rule on the variances next month.

According to Roger Baker, deputy city planner for Burbank, the

city is also against the plan.

“We did write a letter opposing the project,” Baker said, adding

that the letter was addressed to the zoning investigator. “We listed

impacts [of the facility] such as parking, noise and encroachment

into the surrounding area.”

Knight, who owns a similar trade school on Lankershim Boulevard,

must move from that location by December to make way for

redevelopment. He said he is optimistic he will be able to open a new


“I know we can be a good neighbor [on Magnolia], and I hope the

zoning administrator will agree that we have a good argument to be

there,” he said.

Meanwhile, dozens of residents continue to organize against the

project. Block captains have been appointed, and opposition leaders

-- Zedlar among them -- continue to canvass surrounding

neighborhoods. A neighborhood meeting for those who oppose the

project is scheduled for 9 a.m. today at Zedlar’s home, 909 Ford