By Samantha Benson
In a 4-1 vote, the hotly debated Talaria at Burbank project was approved on October 15. The project, by developer Michael Cusumano, will bring 241 units of luxury living space, as well as a 42,950 square-foot Whole Foods market to Burbank’s Media District.
The development area, a stretch of property between Alameda and Olive, bordering the Hollywood Way exit from the 134, has had many of the neighborhood residents concerned about an increase in traffic issues. The significant amount of comments from concerned public prompted an amendment, proposed by Councilman Gary Bric, which requires the developer to contribute $250,000 to traffic mitigation, an increase of $100,000 from the initial proposal.
“The hell these people have been put through down there, it’s about time they got something,” Bric said.
Council has also set aside $750,000 to reduce traffic impact by developing the much sought after culs-de-sac that residents had lobbied for, among other initiatives.
“The neighbors really do deserve to have their neighborhood back,” said Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy.
The lone opposition to Talaria at Burbank, Mayor David Gordon, raised several complaints about the project. Among these issues were the project’s pedestrian and wheelchair accessibility, the Environmental Impact Review, as well as the city’s deflated sale price of $1.2 million when compared with the $4 million valuation of the property.
“If there ever was a giveaway, that’s a giveaway,” said Gordon.
Gordon was also unhappy about the additional apartments, totaling 18 more than is usually allowed under the city’s general plan. However, the city required offsets for the approval of the additional units, which Gabel-Luddy felt were proportionate. Such offsets incorporated a requisite Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification declaring the development “green.”
“As this project has been laid out, I think that it is a very good mix, representing a very broad range of potential users in the future,” Gabel-Luddy said.