This Week’s City Council Roundup: 3/16/2021

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The Burbank City Council opened up their virtual City Council meeting on March 16, 2021 with the adjournment of Pete Roses who passed away in January of 2021. Roses coached football and basketball at numerous schools, worked as a one-on-one aid in Burbank middle schools, high school, and the Burbank Adult School, and was also a campus security guard for Burbank High School.

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Mayor Bob Frutos announced that a second round of loans from the Small Business Assistance Program is opening up for applications beginning March 22nd at 8:00am and ending April 5th at 5:00pm. Mayor Frutos also announced that the City Council will be holding a community meeting with Assemblymember Laura Friedman on Thursday, March 18th.

Two proclamations were presented at the meeting, the first being a proclamation declaring March 21, 2021 as the first day of the Persian New Year and celebrating Nowruz in the City of Burbank in an effort to recognize and appreciate the culture of the city’s Iranian American residents. The proclamation was accepted by Nazafarian Hadian. The second proclamation declared March 2021 as Women’s History Month in the City of Burbank and was accepted by member and past president of the Zonta Club of Burbank, Nicki Bonner.

During the City Manager’s report, BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill spoke to give a brief update that all BUSD employees have had the opportunity to get vaccinated and that they are on their way to moving into the orange tier.  Re-opening of schools is in the planning phases and an update will be sent out later this week with their progress.

The Council met and addressed two closed session items before the public meeting, one of which was on labor negotiations and the other being on behalf of the City of Burbank vs. Barfly Inc. in regards to Tinhorn Flats. A press release will be coming out about Tinhorn Flats with the measures and dates of actions taken on the restaurant due to their lack of compliance. On Saturday, March 13th the power was turned off at the location but the restaurant continued to operate while using a generator. In order to operate legally they will need to renew all permits that have been revoked.

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A large Consent Calendar was presented with nine items listed below. 

  1. Adopt of an ordinance of the council of the city of burbank approving the fourth amendment to development agreement for the Bob Hope Office Center Project extending the expiration date to april 30, 2022 related to planned development 2001-2. (project no. 18-0002676).
  2. Approve the City Council Minutes of the joint meetings of February 9 and February 23, 2021, the dark meeting of February 16, 2021, the special meeting of February 22, 2021, and the regular meeting of March 2, 2021.
  3. Approval of the City of Burbank Tournament of Roses 2022 Float Rendering
  4. Approve and authorize the Public Works Director, as designee of the City Manager, to execute the Second Amendment to the Agreement for Contract Operation and Maintenance of the City of Burbank Reclamation Plant, Industrial Waste Management Program, and Illicit Stormwater Program with Suez Water Environmental Services, Inc.
  5. Adopt a resolution of the Council of the City of Burbank approving a project list for the Road Repair and Accountability Act (sb 1) for fiscal year 2021-22.
  6. Adopt a resolution of the Council of the City of Burbank authorizing the city manager to execute a design-build contract with pacific play systems, inc. and delegating authority to approve plans and specifications for the replacement of play equipment and shade structures at Robert Gross, George Izay, and Miller parks.
  7. Adopt a resolution recognizing the independence of the Republic of Artsakh.
  8. Adopt a Resolution approving an On-Call Services Professional Services Agreement Template and Amending Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Citywide Fee Schedule for On-Call Planning, Transportation Planning, Building & Safety, Parks, and Public Works Consulting Services.
  9. Introduce an uncodified ordinance of the council of the city of burbank to cap commission rates for food delivery and non-delivery related service fees, to assist in the reopening of businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus (covid-19).

Vice Mayor Talamantes asked for a staff update on #5 in which staff shared that the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) is a scale of 0-100 where 70 and above is good pavement and 55 and below is poor.  The City of Burbank is currently at a PCI of 59 and the goal is to increase to a PCI of 65 which is the state wide average. The city is broken into 20 regions and four regions are being worked on at a time which are being chosen by a scale of worst to best pavement.

The consent calendar was then voted upon in one motion. Councilmember Konstantine Anthony abstained from #9 while Councilmember Sharon Springer and Mayor Frutos voted no on #9.  All other items on the consent calendar were unanimously passed. The motion for #9 would then die because it needed a majority vote to pass but Councilmember Anthony asked later into the meeting if could still participate in the vote even though he had abstained from all voting and discussions on this topic over the past few meetings. A 10 minute recess was held so that Councilmember Anthony could read the ordinance. 

When back in session Mayor Frutos expressed that because Anthony had recused himself prior and the item had died, and now he was expressing interest in voting on it that it became an ethical dilemma and would be a manipulation of the outcome of the election. Councilmember Anthony returned by saying that he recused himself in the case that he were to ever return to work for a food delivery company. He then vowed to never work for any of the companies so that he could have a voice in the vote. During the vote, Springer asked to pull the item for discussion since Anthony had missed all the previous discussions at the Council meetings. The item was pulled for further discussion until the end of the meeting in which it was discussed and voted on once more. The ordinance passed 3-2.

A Public Hearing was started in consideration of an AT&T appeal for a wireless telecommunication facility in the public right of way. Staff recommended to adopt a Resolution of the Council of the City of Burbank denying the appeal and affirming the Public Works Director’s decision to deny the application. Public Works presented on behalf of their recommendations stating that the MICRO facility to be installed in front of 3031 1/5 N Keystone St. did not meet size requirements, and that they are not prohibiting the installation just regulating the size based on aesthetics.

Representatives from AT&T noted that Burbank’s size limitations are much more strict than neighboring cities of Pasadena, Glendale and Los Angeles and that the advantage for the MICRO design versus the PICO design is that it requires fewer sites to provide coverage, allowing an opportunity to limit the number of small cells in the area. Councilmember Nick Schultz made a motion to support staff recommendations and it passed unanimously. 

A report was brought to Council on the issue of commercial cannabis. Staff provided an update including Federal guidelines, State laws, Burbank’s current ordinances, the location of nearby licensed cannabis retailers, cannabis tax and revenue, and the number of licensed cannabis activities in the State vs Los Angeles. Currently all commercial cannabis activities are prohibited in the City except activities allowed by the State. After discussion the Council agreed that this wasn’t an urgent item and that they need to keep staff focused on their top five priorities, therefore the report was noted and filed for direction at a later date. 

Lastly, an appointment was filled for the Board of Library Trustees for the unexpired term ending July 31, 2022. Nine applications were received and the Council voted 5-0 to appoint Carmenita Helliger. Council adjourned and the next meeting will be the Community Meeting with Assemblymember Laura Friedman on Thursday, March 18th.

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