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Trade school will have adverse effect on neighborhood

This letter is in support of the article, “Residents fighting trade

school (Aug. 30).” As a Burbank homeowner just a few doors down from

the Magnolia Boulevard construction site, I am opposed to the zoning

variance that will allow the Los Angeles Recording Workshop trade


school to operate, 16 hours per day in two shifts, seven days per

week, which is currently prohibited by Los Angeles code. The property

is in Los Angeles, but bordered on two sides by the city of Burbank.

I am also opposed to any “scaled-down” version the developer may


try to sneak by to mitigate parking concerns. No plans for a

scaled-down version have been submitted to the community.

Developer Christopher Knight’s history is to mislead the community

to gain support for his variance requests. He told residents in July

that his trade school will have 60 students per shift, but documents

filed with the Planning Commission indicated there will be a total of

155-160 per shift. He submitted building plans for a

36,000-square-foot building with a seating capacity of over 450 per


shift, as determined by independent construction experts and

recording studio managers.

The section of the zoning code that prohibits trade schools also

prohibits high schools, elementary schools, museums, hotels, motels

and other businesses with high density and “transient occupancy”

characteristics that are inappropriate for a residential

neighborhood. Granting a variance for any size trade school will set

a precedent that will make it easier for subsequent variances to be


granted, as written into the L.A. city charter. Just look at the area

of Magnolia west of Cahuenga for an example of what a zoning variance

can do. The current zoning code protects our neighborhood, and it

should not be changed.

The increased traffic density, lack of parking, late night

operating hours, loitering and increase in crime will be detrimental

to the property values, lifestyle and welfare of our residential

community. The Burbank City Council has stated its opposition, as has

Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, the Greater Toluca Lake

Neighborhood Council and Assemblyman Dario Frommer (D-Burbank).

The decision is in the hands of Los Angeles Associate Zoning

Administrator Jon S. Perica, who is expected to make his decision on

the variances requested by Knight soon. I urge Burbank and Los

Angeles residents and business owners in the impacted area to contact

Mr. Perica and Los Angeles council member LaBonge with their

opposition to the zoning variances.