Tag Archives: City of Burbank

Burbank Town Center Hosts Open House

More than 100 Burbank residents, business owners, and community stakeholders gathered last Thursday evening, Aug. 10, to attend a community open house regarding the redevelopment of the Burbank Town Center.

The two-hour open house in the former IKEA store on San Fernando Boulevard focused on the mixed-use development proposed for the sites adjacent to the Burbank Town Center shopping center.  Attendees took advantage of the opportunity to view renderings and site plans for the proposal, take a virtual reality tour depicting what the Burbank Town Center area will look like after construction is complete, hear a comprehensive presentation on the project, the planning principles underlying the proposal, the city process that lays ahead, and ask questions of development team members.

“It was gratifying to see so many community members take such an interest in the future of Downtown Burbank,” said Jim O’Neil of Crown Realty.  “In particular, I would like to thank City Council members Bob Frutos and Sharon Springer, School Board Members Steve Fritner and Roberta Reynolds, Nazafarin Hadian of Planning Board, and the senior city staff members who attended the open house.”

“The feedback we received was tremendously constructive,” added Lance W. Taylor of Arrow Retail, “and we look forward to continuing this dialogue with the community as we move through the process.”

The Burbank Town Center Project proposes to replace some of the adjacent retail structures with a new downtown neighborhood including a mix of uses, bringing new housing opportunities, neighborhood-serving retail, a boutique hotel, and open space to Downtown Burbank.  In total, 1,074 residential units, both apartments and condominiums, are proposed for the parcels currently occupied by the former IKEA, Corner Bakery and Office Depot, along with a 200-room hotel on the site now occupied by Chevy’s and California Pizza Kitchen.

In addition, a 21-900-square-foot open space plaza that will be programmed with a variety of community events such as farmers’ markets, musical performances, a holiday ice skating rink, and movie nights would be built in place of the IKEA outdoor tent area. 

The new buildings will incorporate sustainability goals in its planning and construction, infrastructure, appliances, landscape design, and building materials.  Sustainable measures will be incorporated to make the project comparable to a LEED Silver certification.  

The Burbank Town Center shopping center is currently in the midst of a multi-million-dollar renovation project.  The work, scheduled to be completed in time for this year’s holiday shopping season, includes new retail and entertainment tenants, an outdoor dining terrace, and an exterior escalator providing access from Magnolia and San Fernando Boulevards.  It is designed to create a more welcoming and seamless connection between the Town Center and Downtown Burbank.

For more details on the plan and to stay updated on the project, please visit www.iheartburbank.com.

Starlight Bowl’s Concert And Fireworks Show Spectacular To A Sell Out Crowd

This year’s Starlight Bowls opening show with The Company Men and the Spectacular Fireworks that followed pleased everyone inside the Starlight Bowl and community around.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The lawn at Starlight Bowl was filled to capacity and the seats from front to back were nearly full as well. 

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The evening started off with Grooveline and followed with the main act The Company Men. The Fireworks fired off a little past 9:00 PM and the oohs and ahhs could be heard everywhere.

In the morning many residences of West Burbank had a mini parade off of Clybourn Street, the Queen of the Parade was longtime Burbank resident Lois Bennett who celebrated her 95th Birthday. 

Here is a photo gallery of Independence Day activities.


Memorial Day Ceremony Honors Those Burbank Citizens Who Have Died in the Service of our Country

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Burbank Veterans Committee honored the Burbank Citizens who died serving our country during this years Memorial Day Service held at the McCambridge Park.

Several hundred in attendance heard speeches, music, a special presentation of the POW/MIA Table Ceremony by ROTC members from Crescenta Valley High School.  There was also a special presentation by Jimmy Waldon called “Presentation of Old Glory”.

The main guest speaker of the afternoon event was Correy Avner, with additional speeches from Congressman Adam Schiff,  Senator Anthony Portantino, Senator Robert Hertzberg and Assemblymember Laura Friedman.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The event started off with a flyover from the Condor Squadron followed by  the Armed Forces Medley. The Ceremony of the Rose was completed with the help of local Boy’s and Girl Scouts.

Photo courtesy Burbank Elks Lodge

Several in attendance attended lunches provided by the VFW on Magnolia and The Burbank’s Elk lodge following the event.





Bike, Walk to Work Day Again A Total Success

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Bike, Walk, Breathe!

Each year in May, the Burbank Transportation Management Organization (BTMO) partners with the business community to celebrate Clean Air Month. 

This year, on Thursday, May 18th, to celebrate Bike and Walk to Work Day, the BTMO hosted three Pit Stops around town where attendees could learn about healthy living and healthy environments in a fun setting. 

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Joining forces with community groups including Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Burbank Community YMCA, Burbank Police Department, Burbank Bike Angels, Walk Bike Burbank, LA Metro, American Lung Association, Velofix, The Burbank Studios Café and Sunrise Tortilla, the morning event was filled with music, prizes, giveaways and educational information for all in attendance.

BTMO Board of Director and Event Committee Chair, Adam Gilbert of The Walt Disney Company said, “The goal of bike and walk to work week is to motivate employees and residents in Burbank to leave their car at home and ride or walk to work; cleaning the air and relieving traffic congestion in the process. 

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The BTMO and its member companies want people to know there are alternatives to the single-occupancy vehicle in promoting transit and vanpools.  Thursday’s events hopefully spark interest in biking and walking to work while rewarding those that already do.”

To learn more about the BTMO, go to www.btmo.org.

Rogers Voted in as Mayor, Gabel-Luddy New Vice Mayor

Burbank City Council Members elected their colleague Will Rogers as the new Mayor of Burbank during City Council’s annual Reorganization meeting Monday morning, May 1, in a ceremony that also featured the swearing in of first time Council Member Sharon Springer.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Rogers, who is serving as Mayor for the first time, replaces Council Member Jess Talamantes who will continue his role as a City Council Member after serving as Mayor for the past twelve months. Council also elected Council Member Emily Gabel-Luddy to serve as Vice Mayor. Both votes were 5-0.

Talamantes presented different staff members with small gifts while City Manager Ron Davis presented the former Mayor with a scrap book filled with his year as the City’s Mayor.

Rogers, elected to the Council in 2015, spent decades as an award winning free-lance writer, with a specialty in investigative journalism, whose work has been featured in numerous newspapers and magazines.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Reorganization ceremony also included the swearing in of incumbent Council Members Jess Talamantes and Bob Frutos and new member Sharon Springer, the top three vote-getters in the recent Burbank Municipal Election. Council Member Springer replaces outgoing Council Member Dr. David Gordon who lost his bid for a fourth term after serving approximately eleven years as a City Council Member.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Members of the city staff arranged for a video retrospect of his years on both the Planning Board and the City Council.  He thanked staff and the public for all of the work they accomplished with him over the years and congratulated Springer with some advice to use her own judgement and not just believe everything that is told to her.

Burbank Mayor and Vice Mayor serve for one year and are chosen from among the five Burbank City Council Members.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Besides the council members, City Treasurer Debbie Kukta and City Clerk Zizette Mullins were also sworn in to new terms after having run unopposed.

Re-elected School Board member Char Tabet along with newly elected Steve Frintner were also sworn in for their new four years terms on the school board.   Outgoing member Larry Applebaum thanked the assembled crowd for their support over the years.

Spring EGG-Stravaganza Attracts Kids Young and Old

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The City of Burbank’s Spring EGG-Stravaganza held Saturday at McCambridge Park attracted the largest number of attendees than in past years according to Vickie Cusumano of the City of Burbank Parks & Recreation Department.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The egg hunts were the most popular event with scheduled egg hunts for parents and young four year old kids, then kids 5 to 10 years old.

Burbank Animal Control Officers donning their rabbit ears John McCullough & Jessica Kusher attempt to get TANK the cat adopted with it’s rabbit costume on. ( He’s still available) (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The day included Mascots from different City departments, a Golf Driving Range events from DeBell, plenty of Bounce Houses and more.

Burbank Animal Control was on hand trying to get some animals adopted, and answer questions. 

The event was free with registration.  

Frutos, Springer Elected to City Council

(Photo y © Ross A. Benson)

Sharon Springer and Bob Frutos have been elected to the Burbank City Council after election results have been finalized by Burbank City Clerk Zizette Mullins Friday. Mullins had to wait until all ballots that were postmarked by election day were delivered and counted.

Current Mayor Jess Talamantes was reelected in the primary election held in February as he received over 50% of the vote.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The results can be seen as an upset after the primary election which saw Gordon receive 4,799 votes compared to 3,914 votes for Springer.

Mullins released the results that showed Frutos on top with 6,300 votes, Springer picked up the final seat with 5,666 votes. Gordon came in third with 5,287. The results held about the same margins that were first announced on Tuesday.

Juan Guillen was also one of the finalists and placed fourth with 3,783 votes.

City Treasurer Debbie Kutka along with School Board members Steve Frintner and Char Tabet were also elected outright during the primary election.

The newly elected officials for all seats will be sworn in during the annual May 1 meeting in the council chambers where a new Mayor for the year will be selected. The newly elected members will serve four year terms.

There were 11,555 total ballots cast out of 66,481 eligible voters which marked a 17.4 percent return rate in the all-mail election

Burbank City Budgets Now Available for Easy Viewing

The City of Burbank has entered a partnership with OpenGov, to offer the public a transparency portal that provides enhanced access to City financial information via the City’s website burbankca.gov.

OpenGov is the world’s first integrated cloud solution for public sector budgeting, reporting, and open data. The online portal will make important financial information easily accessible to residents, elected officials, and the media. The platform, which is now live, opens data to the public which enables greater understanding of city budgets while fostering more transparent governance and informed decision-making.

“We encourage our citizens to try this new tool and learn more about how their government works for them,” said Financial Services Director, Cindy Giraldo. “They will likely discover the OpenGov portal and its modern graphics to be quite intuitive. Understanding city budgets can be difficult. We hope that will change once people go online and start exploring and learning at their own pace.”

The new platform will help inform citizens with easy to understand reporting on financial trends and spending patterns of the city. Citizens can quickly explore the data to uncover insights and create easy-to-use visualizations that clearly depict the budget breakdown, allowing taxpayers to see where their money is going.

“Burbank is taking progressive and proactive steps to ensure its citizens can easily access and understand how their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” said OpenGov CEO Zac Bookman. “This new, easy-to-use transparency platform will enhance civic engagement, build trust, and bolster government accountability.”

Burbank’s OpenGov platform can be viewed at burbankca.opengov.com.

Burbank Celebrates 40th Year as a Tree City USA

For the 40th consecutive year, Burbank has been named a Tree City USA city joining Sacramento as the only other Tree City USA in California.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The National Arbor Day Foundation gives this national honor out in recognition to Burbank’s commitment to its community forest. Larinda Pontes, Deputy Forester, L.A. County Fire Forestry Division made the presentation to Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes and Burbank Park & Recreation Director Judie Wilke during Arbor Day festivities held inside McCambridge Park’s Gym due to outside drizzle.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

After the presentations, the group went outside where, for the 62nd year, a tree ceremonial tree was planted in McCambridge Park.

The Civic Pride Committee has  now headed up the project for the past 20 years,

City Clerk’s Office Still Working for Final Vote Count

As of Wednesday afternoon, there is still a question as to the re-election of two Burbank City Council members.

Because it is an all-mail vote conducted by the City of Burbank, results can not be posted yet because ballots that have postmarks up until election day have still not been received or counted.

Jess Talamantes and Bob Frutos congratulate each other after early numbers show that both have been re-elected to their City Council seats (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

With only 9,903 total ballots counted that were submitted by Burbank’s electorate and processed as of Tuesday night at 10:35 pm, all of the open seats may have been decided except for one.

Burbank’s City Council had three seats up for grab with all three incumbents, Dr. David Gordon, Bob Frutos and Jess Talamantes, running to retain their places on the council for the next four years.

Talamantes is currently ahead with 5,042 votes (51.5%) while Frutos placed a close second with 4,911 votes (50.1%). Both may be elected without facing a runoff due to the formula of a candidate receiving 50% of the votes cast plus one vote to avoid a runoff.

On the other hand Gordon, who ran on an anti-development platform, only received 4,393 votes (44.9%) and could possibly face fourth place finisher Sharon Springer who captured 3,490 votes (35.6%) who worked the community through a grassroots effort.  If either Frutos or Talamantes do not capture over 50% with the final tally, they will also face the runoff.

Finishing fifth was Juan Guillen, who made the General Election two years ago with 2,870 votes (29.3%), followed by Greg  Sousa with 2,240 (22.9%), Konstantine Anthony with 1,821 (18.6%) and Richard Carr who secured 1,304 votes (13.3%).

On the School Board, both incumbents, Charlene Tabet and Larry Applebaum were up for re-election along with longtime PTA activist  Steve Frintner for the two open seats. Because there were two seats open with only three candidates, the top two vote getters were automatically elected with no runoff needed.

Members of the City Clerk’s office worked on results most of the night (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Frintner has the lead in the closely fought contest with 5,185 votes (59.2%) while Tabet is in second with 5,009 votes (57.2%) to claim the two seats.  Applebaum is a close third with 4,898 votes (55.9%).

Both City Clerk Zizette Mullins 7,205 votes and City Treasurer  Debbie Kukta, 7,230 votes both ran unopposed as incumbents.

If the current vote holds and results do not change, Gordon and Springer will now face off in the General Election which is scheduled for April 11. It will also be an all-mail election. 

The winning candidates will assume their new positions May 1.