On Tuesday, February 15th, Burbank City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting.
At the meeting, the predominant topic of discussion was the introduction of a zone-text amendment that would streamline the permitting process for single-family homeowners trying to renovate their homes. This item was discussed last week by the council but was shelved for deliberation due to Councilmember Bob Frutos being absent.
With Frutos absent last week, he was given the chance to speak on the topic. “Based upon a lot of the input of residents, I’d like to make a motion to re-calendar this for 30 days to allow staff to do community outreach,” said councilmember Frutos. “I think it’s important to move forward, but after reviewing the last council meeting…I feel that the public should weigh in on this.”
However, Mayor Jess Talamantes disagreed with councilmember Frutos. “[The 30 day timeline proposed by Frutos] might not be realistic,” said the Mayor. “It took longer than 30 days to go through public hearings…when we took action in 2017.”
Mayor Talamantes was referring to the update of Burbank’s municipal code in 2017 and the time it took to conduct public hearings on the matter.
To Councilmember Frutos, however, the public hearings are integral to this process. Public hearings, “allow the stakeholders, the voters, to voice their concerns,” said Frutos.
Mayor Talamantes, while sharing Councilmember Frutos’ belief that the public should be able to voice their concerns about this item, pointed out that there are many community members who are awaiting the passage of this amendment so that they can get their projects passed. “[We have to take into account those] who are going through the pipeline, who are spending months and months trying to do something to their homes,” said the Mayor.
Additionally, Mayor Talamantes made the point that the public had been given several months to make comments regarding the project.
Attempting to bridge the gap between the positions held by both Councilmember Frutos and Mayor Talamantes, Councilmember Nick Schultz suggested an alternative motion to the one presented by Frutos. “[This motion] would…introduce but not adopt the [amendment] tonight and… as Councilmember Frutos originally stated, [we would] have a community outreach meeting with a report back to [council],” said Schultz. The amendment would then be deliberated on March 15th.
The motion by Councilmember Schultz was largely met with agreement. Four of the five councilmembers voted to go through with it, with Councilmember Frutos voting in dissent. However, Councilmember Frutos decided to alter his vote after it’s passage to indicate support for the motion.
A community meeting regarding the possible changes to Burbank’s municipal code presented by this amendment is set to be held on February 28th. The council is set to deliberate and vote on the proposed changes on March 15th.
A copy of this meeting’s agenda and a video recording can be found here.