Though a community newspaper, the Burbank Leader chose to align itself with big developers in its Feb. 11 editorial “Rancho and its knee-jerk response.” This editorial is so misleading and self-serving, one can only wonder if it wasn’t written by New Urban West, current developer of the former GM site.
At the suggestion of Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy, the City Council and Rancho community came together to discuss moving forward with an updated Rancho Master Plan.
Within context of that discussion, New Urban West’s current project was mentioned because it requires rezoning.
New Urban West is requesting a planned development, which allows a developer his own zoning standard. The developer can circumvent zoning laws that define plot size, building height, green space, etc.
The rezoning of the GM site could conceivably precipitate a landslide of rezoning requests in other areas of the Rancho. In preserving the Rancho, it is of utmost importance to evaluate all rezoning in context of the whole and not in a piecemeal manner.
Defining the community’s concerns about New Urban West’s current proposal as “knee jerk” is journalistic hyperbole. The simple truth is, that jamming 50 single-family homes onto plots much smaller than normally required in Burbank and forgoing zoning regulations that curtail over-building is neither sensitive to this equestrian neighborhood nor “accommodating” to anyone other than New Urban West’s bank account.
The Leader’s editorial does a great disservice to a community committed to preserving and protecting its quality of life.