First published in the Oct. 29 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
It is never wrong to stand up for what you think is right.
Friends of the Rancho intervened for a seat at the table, and I am proud of what we achieved under the circumstances.
The Pickwick Settlement Agreement represents a constructive engagement that reached a better conclusion for all concerned. I want to acknowledge both the developer, Matt Waken, and the city for working with us to reach a settlement that will bring benefits to the entire Burbank community.
We also agreed to disagree.
While it was the developer’s decision to reduce the project to 92 units, we advocated for more affordable housing than the 10% required by Senate Bill 35. We did not succeed but resale controls for the low-income townhomes will guarantee that the units remain affordable to subsequent qualified buyers.
It is absurd that SB35 provides no enforcement for this requirement.
Because sewer pump failures were a chronic problem in the Rancho, the settlement requires the developer to pay 4%, his fair share, and the city will pay 96% or nearly $1.25 million for improvements to existing sewer lines feeding into the Mariposa Pump Station.
An important feature of the agreement includes an Equestrian Trail along Main Street and Riverside Drive. The trail will be built to the requirements of the 2020 Complete Streets Plan. During construction the warning of demolition and grading activity noise will be posted publicly along with noise attenuation measures.
Most importantly, the agreement calls for the council to consider an update to the Rancho Master Plan to ensure preservation of this unique neighborhood.
For those who argue for an audit of litigation costs, it is important to remember SB35 is an unfunded state mandate, which means that Burbank taxpayers are on the hook. The greatest harm to our city coffers comes from the state through unfunded mandates, unfunded infrastructure costs, and continuing loss of property that helps to support the general fund through its commercial uses.
2018-19 Burbank Mayor