Residents face alley closure

Mark R. Madler

The City Council will move ahead with plans to close off an alley

beside an old library building after having assured residents they

would still have access to the street.


The city wants to close the alley behind the old Buena Vista

branch library to build a playground for a proposed child care center

and family resource center on the site.

The City Council set an Aug. 23 hearing date on the alley closure.


While residents whose garages face the alley that used to run from

Verdugo Avenue to Clark Avenue will not be able to exit onto Verdugo

anymore, they will be able to exit on Clark and Frederic Street.

“There is still going to be access,” senior redevelopment project

manager Maribel Leland said. “They won’t be blocked off or restricted

to the site.”

The 7,900-square-foot child care center and family resource center

would accommodate up to 88 children. The family resource center would


provide information on city services and offer classes in parenting,

child development, financial planning and other topics.

Leland and three other city officials met Thursday morning with

residents whose homes back onto the alley near the northwest corner

of Buena Vista Street and Verdugo Avenue.

A playground is planned for the vacated alley adjacent to the old

library building, vacated in 2002 after the new branch library opened

across the street.


One resident requested a meeting with the city but more than 20

people turned out, Leland said.

“Instead of a one-on-one it turned into a group meeting,” Leland

said. “That was good for me because we were able to get out correct


If the 15-foot wide alley that goes out onto Verdugo Avenue is

closed, residents would have to use another alley to exit onto

Frederic Street, which requires a 90-degree turn behind the


To accommodate larger vehicles, the city is increasing alley so

the turn radius would be 28 feet, Leland said.

Armond Schiff, a resident in the 500 block of Frederic Street who

attended the meeting, didn’t want the alley to close but felt better

that the alley size would be increased for a large truck he owns.

“I don’t like making that turn,” Schiff said. “I like it how it is

now straight through. I’d vote against it but I am not the one making

the decision.”

Contractor bids that came in over budget have delayed approval by

the City Council of who will do the remodeling work.

City staff originally estimated $2 million for the work but when

the project went out to bid in the spring, contractor estimates on

the work came back in the $2.3 million to $2.4 million range, Leland


That led staff to refine the scope of the work to get another set

of bids closer to the estimate, Leland said.

The City Council is expected to choose a contractor for the

project at the Aug. 23 meeting.


Should the City Council close off the alley behind the old Buena

Vista library? E-mail your responses to burbankleader;

mail them to the Burbank Leader, 111 W. Wilson Ave., Glendale, CA

91203. Please spell your name and include your address and phone

number for verification purposes only.