Residents, some who live within a block of where Christopher
Knight wants to open the Los Angeles Recording Workshop, argue the
school will only increase traffic and parking problems while lowering
In response to resident concerns, Knight has decided to forgo a
parking variance that would allow him to reduce the number of parking
spaces on the existing site from 180 to 90 in order to erect two
additional buildings. By doing so, he would reduce the size of the
project from about 36,000 square feet to 22,000 square feet. He is
also seeking a zoning variance for the trade school.
"I think the neighbors have really valid concerns," Knight said.
"We're really just scaling down from what would have been three
buildings to one building."
But the proposed revisions apparently aren't good enough for some
Burbank residents, including Gregory Zedlar, who lives in the 900
block of Ford Street.
Zedlar and others who oppose the project say parking is secondary
to concerns about plummeting property values and the potential for
the area to become a hub for similar businesses.
"If that variance is granted, it sets a precedent ... for other
businesses of that type to come in," Zedlar said. "We haven't seen
anything on [the revised] proposal in writing."
A zoning administrator for the city of Los Angeles is expected to
rule on the variances next month.
According to Roger Baker, deputy city planner for Burbank, the
city is also against the plan.
"We did write a letter opposing the project," Baker said, adding
that the letter was addressed to the zoning investigator. "We listed
impacts [of the facility] such as parking, noise and encroachment
into the surrounding area."
Knight, who owns a similar trade school on Lankershim Boulevard,
must move from that location by December to make way for
redevelopment. He said he is optimistic he will be able to open a new
"I know we can be a good neighbor [on Magnolia], and I hope the
zoning administrator will agree that we have a good argument to be
there," he said.
Meanwhile, dozens of residents continue to organize against the
project. Block captains have been appointed, and opposition leaders
-- Zedlar among them -- continue to canvass surrounding
neighborhoods. A neighborhood meeting for those who oppose the
project is scheduled for 9 a.m. today at Zedlar's home, 909 Ford