Burbank City Council Presented with Amendment Streamlining Standards for Single-Family Developments


On February 8th, Burbank City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting.

The main topic of discussion during the meeting was the possible adoption of an amendment that would amend single-family development standards. The current standards that exist have been criticized by some who see them as too restrictive and bureaucratic.

In 2017, the city updated the municipal code in order to create new standards for single-family developments. The reason for the update in standards was issues related to mass and bulk. Mass and bulk refer to the actual surface area of a dwelling (mass) and the exterior design of the dwelling (bulk).

“The 2017 regulations have been in effect for the past five years now,” said Associate City Planner Shipra Rajesh, laying out the background to the proposed amendment. “While most of these regulations have the intent of reducing the overall mass and bulk of single-family dwellings, revisions to certain sections of the code are needed to address several complaints and concerns regarding the current regulations.”

In order to alter the existing regulations, the city council need to pass a zone text amendment.

“The proposed zone text amendment maintains development standards from the existing design guidelines that have worked well in the past to address the concerns regarding mass and bulk,” said Rajesh. “…[the amendment] replaces subjective design standards with objective standards.”

In essence, what the amendment proposes is a streamlining of the development process in order to facilitate better customer service. The amendment predominantly does this by eliminating the single-family special development permit process and by establishing objective design standards.

The city council decided to delay action on this item due to Councilmember Bob Frutos being absent from the meeting. The city council will decide whether or not to go forward with the amendment next meeting, February 15th.

The agenda for the meeting and a video recording can be found here.

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