Letter to the Editor:
The following is in response to questions regarding my Tuesday night City Council vote. I was opposed to the 34 lot proposed development on Mariposa because I believed it to be too dense and incompatible with the surrounding residential area in the Rancho. Actually, an appropriate density might be about half that, if residential use were to ever be approved. Of this I am sure: each member of City Council wants what’s best for the Rancho and all our neighborhoods. I believe each City Council member believed their vote was for an acceptable resolution and outcome.
Before I reviewed our City Council packet, I thought we would be voting on a 34 lot subdivision, when in fact, the following is what City Council was considering: “whether an application can be submitted to study changing the General Plan land use for 814 S. Mariposa from commercial to residential.” The following provides further clarification: “The authorization to proceed does not suggest Council supports the proposed Planned Development, the number of units or the layout of the project. The number of units and layout could change as the project proceeds through the entitlement process as required by the Burbank Municipal Code.” We were not voting on a certain zoning change; in the end, the zoning could have been unchanged from M1. Nor were we voting on a 34 lot development, although that’s what the developer would like to have had approved. These facts were confirmed multiple times during and after the City Council meeting with Patrick Prescott, Community Development Director and City Manager, Ron Davis.
Although there are many in the Rancho who want the zoning to remain M1; there are also residents who support very low density R1H horse keeping residential, consistent with what’s on Morningside and Dincara. They believe large lot R1H residential use to be more stable, safer for equestrians using Mariposa, and that residential use would preserve property values and is value enhancing, versus the potential negative impacts to existing homes proximate and adjacent to commercial or industrial uses. It’s daunting for many residents to speak publicly, especially when they face jeering and heckling at Rancho Review Board and City Council meetings. I applaud the courage of the brave young soul who spoke up affirmatively on Tuesday night. The R1H zone, with appropriate lot size requirements, could be approved to run with the land, whether or not this developer stayed in the game. I felt the proposed application process to study changing the General Plan land use would be fair to everybody and in the end, the Rancho Review Board and City Council would vote on any proposed land use change. The site would remain M1, or be very low density residential.
Just like all of our neighborhoods, I believe the Rancho is a treasure and should be protected. Not many cities in the world have a Rancho and I feel like it should be protected from being “chipped away.”
Burbank City Council