Two official internet videos, “2023 City of Burbank Developments” and the “Closed Session of 10/17/23,” both available on YouTube, offer starkly contrasting visions of the city’s near-term future to Burbankers and others.
In the city’s slick advertisement something between 163 and 600 or 763 “affordable housing units” will become available if all continues as Burbank planners and politicians expect. However, in the Council meeting, homeowners pled for these bureaucrats to stop the execution of 120 stable and healthy mature trees lining the streets of their beloved neighborhoods.
Artifacts, including well-kept urban trees, do embody political properties. Housing and street-trees in Burbank have become a way of settling issues in our community and, as well, have affected and will continue to affect the power and authority in our community’s social associations.
Dubious tree cutters among the city’s “experts” want the trees gone. Dastardly LLCs want to wrest control of housing planning policy from our City Council! Burbankers: Don’t follow the spatial “footprint,” find and expose the social “fingerprints” that slip specious documents before the glazed eyes of the hard-working, not wooden personality, City Council members.
Can it be that bureaucrats, perhaps even the city attorney, desire to expose tree-shaded homes to faster decay under the summertime sun? Homeowner climate sensitivities will be stressed to the limit, and they could soon feel excluded by fast development and modernization proponents. Possibly these official makers and shakers intend a property-developers joy, a land clearing, for the very iffy housing projects touted by the “2023 City of Burbank Development” video?
And why are so-called “affordable housing units” mandated by politicians and their entirely all-too-comfy staffers? “Units” connote “prison cells,” “segregated living residences” [based on income] and the identification in public of persons far less secure in their income than others living in such ghastly complexes misidentified. Are these “units” — apartments, condominiums or closets — set aside for “outed” poor Burbankers? In other words, in a worst case scenario, people will be labeled and lashed to a revealing contract just to have a roof above their noggins.
Richard B. Cathcart
First published in the October 21 print issue of the Burbank Leader.