Airport development appealed

The Planning Board finds by 3-2 margin that a proposed airplane hanger development may violate the city's zoning codes.

November 08, 2006|By Chris Wiebe

BURBANK — The Planning Board on Monday upheld an appeal opposing the development of a parcel of land owned by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for a combined 70,000 square feet of jet hanger and office space. The board found that the project may violate city zoning codes.

The appellants, Phillip and Carolyn Berlin, argued that the proposed development on Clybourn Avenue does not conform to a Development Agreement between Burbank and the Airport Authority, which governs Bob Hope Airport expansion, because the project site is in a dual-zoned parcel, where one of the zoning designations prohibits use of the land for general aviation. Design plans show that a portion of the proposed aircraft hanger for Avjet, a private airline charter corporation, would encroach upon an M-2 zone, which disallows airport use.

Because Phillip Berlin's law practice is within 1,000 feet of the proposed project site, he became aware of it through a city Planning Department notification.


The site is completely vacant, and is bordered on the north and south by other private hangers.

"You have a bit of an issue before you because in my opinion, not only will [the project] require a zone text amendment, but it will also require an amendment to the Development Agreement," Carolyn Berlin said.

In order to address problems posed by the zoning overlap, project designers proposed the installation of a wall to separate the aircraft storage area in the hanger from the M-2 zone, senior city planner Michael Forbes said.

But questions arose over whether the barrier separating office and aviation use made the facility appropriate for use from a zoning standpoint. The board ultimately voted 3-2 that the project did appear to pose zoning discrepancies, with the majority saying that they didn't want to second-guess the terms of the City Council's Development Agreement with the Airport Authority.

"I do think that there has been a material issue raised tonight and I feel not well equipped to be the arbiter of what the council meant when it adopted the Development Agreement," board member Emily Gabel-Luddy said. "This particular case raises significant questions as to whether or not what is identified as tenant space is fully identified to serve as an accessory to the main use — which is to serve as a storage space for planes."

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