Council should think of safety of residents

I came across an article in the Burbank Leader that both concerns and infuriates me. (“Split council OKs transitional living homes,” April 27).

I was under the impression the Burbank City Council worked for the betterment of our community and our residents. Imagine my surprise when the council voted to change the zoning code in Burbank, thereby allowing transitional and sober-living facilities in residential areas of our city. Isn’t this something the residents of Burbank should have voted on, or at the very least had a say in?

Three council members decided the possibility of future grant funds was more important than the safety of residents and the ambience of our still beautiful city. This is unfortunate and completely unacceptable.

Would council members Emily Gabel-Luddy, Gary Bric and Jess Talamantes like it if such a facility was across the street from where they live? It’s far too easy to make decisions like this when you aren’t affected by the results.

There happens to be a sober-living facility one street over from where I live. My brother and I have walked past this house countless times over the last eight years. As time progresses, the house continues its long slide into degradation, and there’s a constantly changing cast of off-kilter-looking people.

Also, allowing drug- and alcohol-rehabilitation facilities to be included under the umbrella term “disabled” is a mistake. I’m a disabled person and I can tell you without equivocation, drug and alcohol addiction isn’t a disability. It’s an illness. There’s a difference, and the two shouldn’t be lumped together.

The Burbank City Council needs to reconsider this change to the zoning code and place the safety of Burbank residents above the quest for future grant funds.

Pamela Lang

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