PART 1 of ?: Stop Work Ordered by City Council
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Stop Work Ordered For "Addition and Interior Remodeling Project" at 1071 E. Angeleno Ave.

Last Tuesday night, Jim Casey and Sue Cleereman, on behalf of Preserve Burbank, spoke during the Public Comment segment of the City Council meeting.  After repeated visits to the Building Department desk at City Hall the week before and requests to have inspectors revisit this project, Jim and Sue presented photographs and detailed descriptions of what we believe are code violations as it pertains to this "Addition."  You may not recall, but this was the first "Pipeline Appeal" that was heard by City Council after the Interim Development Construction Ordinance (IDCO) was enacted last year.  Even in the absence of actual blueprints at the City Council meeting, this project was exempted from the IDCO because it was claimed the homeowner had "substantially complete plans" prior to the IDCO enactment. 

This project was submitted as an "Addition" which allows the applicant to reduce the fees ordinarily required for whole house tear downs and may allow the project to keep some non-conforming features such as reduced front or side setbacks, and avoids the additional requirements such as a survey and compatibility considerations.  An "Addition" requires 50% of the original structure to remain.  Over the past weeks, members of Preserve Burbank were growing concerned that after the removal of the entire roof (which is allowed), ALL of the walls and ALL of the floors had also been removed.  Even after requests for additional inspections were made (the building inspector assigned to this project was on vacation) the building department insisted that "all work was being done according to approved plans."  We were shocked to see that not only were all the walls and floor removed, it appeared the builder was putting up old pieces of the original wall studs to create the illusion that original walls remained.  Here is a photo of one of the mocked up walls...

We are not sure exactly where this project is headed, but we will keep you posted in case we need your voice to remind City Council and Staff that all the money being poured into developing new, meaningful Design Guidelines for new construction in our city, is wasted if the building department fails to enforce them!

If you would like to watch Jim and Sue's public comment, click on this link to be directed to the archived City Council meeting video: 

Our segment starts at 2:34:36.  If you watch for another ten minutes you will see Council's response to public comments and the motion to direct staff to investigate.

Planning Department Reports to City Council on Results of Community Outreach for New Design Guidelines...
In a one hour, open to the public, Work Session immediately proceeding last week's City Council meeting, Carol Barrett reported on the results of months of community outreach, Walk Shops and even a public forum where over 80 members of the community got to participate in live poling to see what residents would like to see as part of our new Design Guidelines. 

Essentially, residents believe that good design can go a long way toward retaining the character and scale of our neighborhoods, but they do NOT want to move toward a Design Review Board that would add another layer in the approval process.  Many believe that possible "Design Overlay Areas" could be established in Burbank to reflect the different neighborhood character of areas like The Hillside, Rancho and Magnolia Park.  At the same time, more concise Design Guidelines and examples would help owners and builders across Burbank to build new homes that don't look drastically out of place in size and character in the context of the street they are being built on. 

Members of Preserve Burbank spoke in support of the public outreach efforts and thanked Carol and her Staff for their efforts thus far.  Now that the public has had a chance to weigh in on the efforts we look forward to seeing what the architectural firm recommends.  We expect a proposal by Fall and as always, we will keep you posted!

As always, please direct questions or comments to
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