Sustainability is group’s task

Burbank may be able to cross a few items off its checklist as it works to become a more sustainable city before the end of the month.

The Burbank Sustainability Task Force has the opportunity to weigh in on upcoming City Council agenda items that coincide with the priorities outlined by officials in July.

“The task force’s role and impact is evolving,” said Public Works Director Bonnie Teaford. “It’s a voice that hadn’t been organized before in Burbank.”

The task force, organized into six priority groups — sustainable design, urban heat island effect, transportation, energy, zero waste, strategic communications — is a city advisory group on issues relating to sustainability, as well as promoting policies, improvements and early input for projects.


The organization comprises nine members appointed by the council, including six residents and three others who do not have to be residents, but who must be involved in the business community and engaged in environmental issues, real estate or the development industry. They can also represent the faith-based or nonprofit community.

The additional six members represent a number of boards and city organizations, as well as two City Council members.

Johnny Carson Park development, implementation of the county’s own sustainability program, closing gaps in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and fostering public involvement are all priorities the task force hopes to focus on this fiscal year.

The City Council on Tuesday will hold a study session on the adoption of the 2010 California green building standards.


The standards were adopted as voluntary measures last year, but starting in 2011, the program will have mandatory requirements for energy efficiency and conservation. Within the two-tier standards, there are higher thresholds in energy efficiency, water use and conservation, construction waste diversion and “cool roof” policies.

The Sustainability Task Force subcommittees are reviewing the requirements, each representing 15% to 30% more restrictive requirements than the mandatory provisions, and will return with recommendations for adoption.

The task force plans to continue efforts to reduce the effects of vast areas of pavement and the heat they radiate, referred to as urban heat islands, including the development of a policy for cool roofs, or making sure building tops also aren’t reflecting heat.

After the task force’s monthly meeting on Sept. 20, the Zero Waste subcommittee will make a presentation to council regarding the need for businesses to take responsibility for the disposal of their own products instead of leaving the onus on the city.