"We have a limited amount of land upon which to build and, as we are substantially built out, any new project is incrementally more critical now more than ever," he said. "It is clear that some projects need to be scrutinized and we need to have some discretion. Otherwise we will lose an opportunity to make them better projects and reduce any negative impacts."
The first of the two ordinances modifies the process by which appeals can be filed against potential development projects and tightens how the city reviews potential projects. The second puts the Planning Board in charge of approving projects that are expected to produce more than 50 car trips and are 150 feet or further from residential areas.
Previously, projects in this category were approved by the community development director based strictly on compliance to city code, Herrmann said.
An intensified review process will pose significant new costs for developers, but the extent of the analysis of a project will vary on a case-by-case basis, Herrmann said.
"Whether projects would require a traffic study is based on an individual decision," he said. "So I wouldn't say that every project would have to have a traffic study if it has 50 or more trips because we look at each circumstance individually to make a determination."
But some business leaders say the new laws could hurt the city's economy.
The ordinance inflicts needless burdens on businesses that make up Burbank's robust economic climate, said Gary Olsen, executive director of the Burbank Chamber of Commerce.