In return, the city will retain the current zoning during the
seven-year span, allow the airport to extend the taxiway on its
east-west runway and approve the airport's $41.5-million purchase of
a 27-acre parking lot on the corner of Hollywood Way and Empire
The airport and the city, which have had bitter legal battles over
a new terminal since the FAA recommended building one in 1980, will
work together to develop a noise- reduction strategy.
"It's nice that there's certainty," said Charles Lombardo,
president of the Airport Authority. "There will be peace for the next
The Airport Authority began pursuing a deal last year, when the
FAA rescinded its recommendation to build a new terminal. With an
interim city ordinance that restricts development at the airport set
to expire in August, the authority wanted to make sure the city did
not adopt a permanent restriction.
The key to the deal is Star Park, the 27-acre parking lot that
opened in January 2003, transferring to the airport more than 2,000
parking spaces, which will be converted to valet parking. The
overflow of supply over demand forced the Airport Authority to lower
its long-term parking prices from $9 per day to $5 per day, and the
airport's parking revenue dropped by nearly $3 million in the past
In 2003, the airport removed a crosswalk connecting Star Park to
Terminal B, and airport police began ticketing pedestrians for
crossing the street. The authority sued Zelman Development Companies,
owner of Star Park, over vehicular and pedestrian access to the
airport from Star Park. The authority will drop the lawsuit when the
purchase closes escrow.
"We all worked together for six months to get this resolved,"
Zelman president Ben Reiling said. "We have a tremendous stake in the
city and hope to see everyone prosper."
After buying the lot, the airport will move its long-term valet
parking lot and rental car lot to the Star Park site. This will
eliminate 2,200 parking spaces, returning the parking supply to its
2002 levels, and reduce traffic on Hollywood Way and Empire Avenue,
where the long-term valet and rental car lots are located.
Earlier this month, the airport announced plans to hike rates
anywhere from 20% to 40%. Long-term rates would increase to $7 per
day if increased by 40%. When the Star Park deal goes through, rates
could go even higher.
The airport will issue bonds to pay for the lot, which Zelman
purchased from Lockheed Martin Corp. in 1999 for $20 million. Because
of a 1999 court ruling -- the result of one of 12 lawsuits between
the Airport Authority and Burbank over a potential new terminal from
1995 to 1999 -- the Airport Authority needs Burbank's approval for
any land-use changes, including property purchases. As part of the
deal, Burbank will approve the Star Park sale and the taxiway
extension, which will prevent planes from taxiing on the runway.
Reporter Jackson Bell contributed to this story.