planned for this development as mentioned in his letter.
The project covers just short of 4 acres (Lima Street to Cordova
Street and Olive Avenue to Alameda Avenue).
The Media District Specific Plan limits the amount of development
permitted to an office equivalent floor area ratio of 1.1. Under this
standard, the amount of development on the site would be 191,608 of
office equivalent gross square feet. This project figures out at
approximately 3.9 floor area ratio.
Their project touts a total of 925,000 square feet build out over a
60- to 66-month construction period, with an estimated completion in
Mr. Platt is also requesting approval of uses that normally require
conditional use permits, such as buildings over 35 feet in height;
restaurants with incidental alcohol within 150 feet of a residential zone
in conjunction with hotel, restaurant and health club cafe service; and a
new late-night business (health club) adjacent to a residential
Additionally, he is requesting modifications from development
requirements relating to setbacks, roof features, enhanced building
signage and locating a cocktail lounge within 200 feet of residential
zoned lots. All of this directly across Alameda Avenue from a
long-established residential neighborhood.
In 1991, when the Media District Specific Plan was adopted, a
development opportunity reserve was established to assist property owners
who cannot economically recycle obsolete properties under the floor area
ratio 1.1 limitation.
In 1991, the established development opportunity reserve was 800,000
square feet. In 10 years, 58,000 square feet has been used, leaving a
balance of 742,000 square feet -- of which this project is applying for
use of up to 499,632 feet, a whopping 67% of the pie remaining, leaving
less than half the total amount for future development.
Another feature of this project is a 125-foot-high "clear" (as in
see-through) smokestack-type tower with stairs to the top, described as
an observation tower or steeple. It is probably not high on anyone's list
to have this structure adjacent to their neighborhood if backyard privacy
is important to you.
This project is starving when it comes to compliance with Media
District Specific Plan zoning -- asking for many concessions and
variances from the code -- and is gluttonous when it comes to depleting
the development opportunity reserve for other developments, perhaps more
deserving than this one, in the future.
If you were lulled into apathy about this project by the dulcet tones
of Mr. Platt's letter, do yourself a favor. Regardless of where you live
in Burbank, go to the Burbank City Planning Department and buy the CD
titled "Burbank Media Center DEIR," revised Oct. 4 of this year, and
browse through it. You will be amazed at what you find. It will be the
best $1 you ever spent.