On April 7th, Burbank City Council held a regularly scheduled meeting.
During the meeting, the council passed the consent calendar 5-0. The consent calendar is a grouping of agenda items that are all voted on at once. The consent calendar this meeting included removing gender-specific language in Burbank’s municipal code and approving a list of streets that will be repaired using state funding from Senate Bill 1.
A couple hours into the meeting, the council took up reports from city staff on on-going city developments. This week, staff reported to council about the current status of the property on 2244 N. Buena Vista Street. This address was the former location of Burbank Fire Station 13 until 1994, when the property was leased to the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of America.
Boy’s and Girl’s Club held the lease for 27 years until the youth wellness organization terminated the lease in May 2021. Since then, the property has remained unused.
City staff requested that the city council lease the property to a non-profit that would provide city services. However, the council was also given the option to lease the property to an organization other than a non-profit.
Despite unanimously supporting the leasing of the property to a non-profit, several councilmembers expressed disdain over who would pay for renovations for the unused property. As a part of the non-profit option, city taxpayers would be required to pay for a certain portion of the estimated $1.7 million renovation cost.
“I don’t think Burbank taxpayers should have to pay the cost for renovation,” said Councilmember Bob Frutos. “We have to make sure the new tenant provides the cost of maintenance.”
“Assuming we go with [the non-profit option], what does the timeline look like?” asked Councilmember Nick Schultz.
According to city staff, a new tenant could move in as soon as the end of the year.
Mayor Jess Talamantes was not impressed with the timeline of the project, commenting that it, “doesn’t seem reasonable.”
Piggybacking on the comment that Councilmember Frutos made, Mayor Talamantes asked staff how much taxpayers would pay for the renovations. Staff informed the council that the selection of a non-profit for receiving the lease is dependent on how much money a non-profit is willing to contribute to the renovation cost. The larger a percentage a non-profit is willing to contribute to that cost, the higher likelihood that they will be chosen to take up the lease.
The council voted 5-0 in order to offer the lease to a non-profit.