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Council gives city’s heritage a boost

The City Council voted unanimously to make it easier for residents to protect Burbank’s architectural heritage last week, approving an updated historic resource management ordinance.

The updated ordinance now contains four measures to determine whether a property qualifies for historic designation, compared to a list of 10 eligibility criteria that staff deemed to be “confusing and redundant.”

Given that just one homeowner has gone through the process in the 17 years since the original rules were put into place, Assistant Planner Amanda Klotzsche said, the ordinance was “not effective in its goal of achieving historic preservation.”

Changes to the ordinance, which was recommended by the Heritage Commission, city officials and Los Angeles Conservancy, are expected to streamline the local landmark registration process and make it easier to understand and administer.


They also make it easier to start researching the possible historical significance of a property.

“I think it leaves in place the requirement of the owner’s consent prior to the designation of a particular property, but provides a little more flexibility up front to do the research and do some of the work in advance of that,” said Councilman Dave Golonski. “I think it makes sense.”

Even if a property is listed by Burbank as eligible for designation, no restrictions would be put in place, officials said.

Greg Rehner, the co-owner of the only residential property to have gone through the designation process since its inception in 1994, championed the update and said he hoped more homeowners would apply to designate their homes.


“The city now has an updated historic preservation ordinance that is more in line with state guidelines, which will allow easier access for owners who want to protect their resources,” Rehner said in an email.