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
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 @latimes.com;
mail them to the Burbank Leader, 111 W. Wilson Ave., Glendale, CA
91203. Please spell your name and include your address and phone
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