"If we didn't have the debris basin, then the water would overflow the
storm pipe," Feng said. "Once the pipe was full, water would go in the
streets, flood homes, flood buildings."
In addition, the debris-basin property is adjacent to two water tanks
that provide water to homes on the hillside.
Burbank Water and Power has an agreement with property owner Socaland
Corp. that grants access to the water tanks. Though BWP could maintain
that access even if the property is sold to a new owner, BWP General
Manager Ron Davis said Burbank would like to own the property itself.
"What if I need another tank or a different configuration up there?"
Davis said. "To provide for the future of the city, it would just be nice
to make sure we have a nice neighbor to those water tanks."
The property is up for auction Monday and Tuesday because Socaland
Corp. has failed to pay property taxes of about $3,000.
Burbank missed the deadline to bid in the auction, but is attempting
to buy the property directly from Socaland Corp.
"We're trying to see if we can acquire it, because it is a hole within
our open space," Community Development Director Sue Georgino reported to
the council Tuesday.
The property is surrounded by Burbank's hillside reserve, an area of
city land along the hill that is to be preserved as open space, but is
zoned for residential.
City officials suspect that the property might fail to go to auction
if Socaland Corp. steps in during the eleventh hour to pay the taxes it
"They're notorious for waiting to the last minute to pay their
delinquent taxes," City Manager Bud Ovrom said.