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Group unveils website to promote historic preservation in Burbank

Group unveils website to promote historic preservation in Burbank
(Times Community News)

Information about how to designate a home as a historic landmark is now just a click away.

The new website outlines what the city offers regarding historic preservation, said Greg Rehner, founder of Preserve Burbank, a grassroots organization set up to share potential preservation opportunities with local property owners.

The site features links to applications to begin the historic designation process for individual homes, or to sign up to possibly receive a property tax deduction through the Mills Act, which provides tax abatements for historic properties.

City Council members recently approved guidelines for establishing historic districts — an application for which will be on the website once the paperwork is finalized, Rehner said.


There is also a link to take a visual tour around the city that features homes that have been designated as historic, are in the designation process, or have the potential to be considered historically significant.

“One of the things we often hear from residents in Burbank — and some longtime residents, actually — [is that] they feel there is nothing left in Burbank to preserve,” Rehner said. “If people look at what Burbank still has left, they’d see a lot. There are still properties worth preserving.”

The site also outlines the top-10 myths about historical preservation, including a big one: that a homeowner cannot change a house in any way after it’s listed as a landmark.

Interior changes and renovations to exterior parts of a house that can’t be seen from the street are actually permitted, mirroring historic preservation rules in other cities, such as Glendale.


On the homepage, there is a link to a section dedicated to the Burbank Central Library, located at Glenoaks Boulevard and Olive Avenue. Completed in 1963, the library features a unique architectural design.

“It’s a rare example of Mid-Century Modernist New Formalism,” Rehner said, adding that the building has not been listed as historically significant, but Preserve Burbank members have been talking to city officials about making it a landmark.

Rehner said the organization, which started about two years ago, has grown its membership to more than 400 and the website is already generating new members.

Just three homes in Burbank have received historic designations, but eight property owners have submitted applications to be considered for the landmark process.


Follow Mark Kellam on Twitter: @LAMarkKellam