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The Quiet Before the Storm

You’ve heard the phrase the “quiet before the storm.” That’s what you are experiencing at the moment. For example, dire communitywide effects have been set in motion with the Council’s approval for vast, massive development in the city’s famed Equestrian District.

Construction of those 100+ expensive townhomes will take at least a year — if the project ever commences because of impending economic downturn and financial problems for the developer. The wealthy folks living there subsequently may not become patrons of the Rancho Shopping Center on nearby Alameda. The stores there, including Pavilions market, are not flourishing and it is possible that the mall will fail financially. In other words, the dominos are toppling, one by one, and rather quietly so far.

Yet, people who have paid their rent faithfully, throughout the COVID-19 years, are being summarily evicted by cagey property developers — mostly outsider LLCs seeking to flip the “renovated” rental properties ASAP — are abusing decent people on a gigantic scale, in the hundreds. Our experience is that these renovators are, in fact, not rental property management experts with long histories of success. Instead, they are real-estate flippers. They know nothing about the city of Burbank, only their bank accounts.

Why does the Council not act to halt this injustice being done to Burbankers? Why does the Council acquiesce to a future city of Burbank made into a disreputable town? Why does the Council not care about its loyal and honest long-term citizenry, the Council members seemingly beguiled by the LLC monsters made shrewd by their experiences with foolish governments in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, among other California cities?

Richard B. Cathcart


First published in the September 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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