Letter: New IKEA can have huge impact on city

Thanks to Sharon Springer for her piece on a better plan for the new IKEA store (“Building a better plan for a new IKEA, op-ed, Feb. 12). I am very concerned about the future of my neighborhood during and after the store is built. Those concerns were communicated to the Planning Board. Although there was an opportunity for public input, it was not well-publicized and as with many projects in Burbank, the affected residents were mostly unaware that they can voice their opinions and the result is that the public has little input into the proposed project's outcome. Because Burbank is desperate to keep IKEA within city boundaries, it didn't require an advanced degree to know that the project would be approved by the Planning Board.

Now, it behooves the City Council to carefully address all environmental impacts raised by Ms. Springer, ensure routes for safe passage of pedestrians, and deal with traffic-related issues before the project is given final approval. The Council needs to remember the traffic situations that exist at Burbank/Victory, Alameda/San Fernando, and around the current IKEA. The new IKEA store will be a huge building with commensurately huge potential environmental and logistical impacts on the community. It is the responsibility of the City Council to ensure that the new IKEA will be the best and safest possible and that it will not destroy the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood.

Thomas Saito

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