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Officials enlist public's help on city plans

Online town hall offers a forum for suggestions on how to improve Burbank.

July 19, 2011|By Maria Hsin,

As a prelude to what will be the most extensive update to Burbank’s plans in more than four decades, officials are staging a major public outreach campaign to get as much feedback as they can on how to mold the city over the next 20 years.

Officials have already set up a Facebook page, an online town hall and made CDs available as part of the outreach for Burbank2035, the nickname for the city’s state-mandated General Plan update. The plan sets priorities for transportation, land use, housing and other infrastructure needs while taking into account how residents want to see their city grow.

“This is the most comprehensive update since the 1960s,” Senior Planner Tracy Steinkruger said. “A lot has happened on the ground, and we want to make sure technical information is updated, such as the location of parks, and that it reflects what the community wants to see in the future.”


City officials want to receive as much input throughout the initial draft phase of the plan. Two more community meetings are planned before the initial review period ends next month.

Just two residents attended the first outreach meeting earlier this month, but activity on has steadily increased since the site went live, Streinkruger said.

She said city officials are receiving good input from the site as well as from boards and commissions, and the online forum allows residents to share and comment on ideas by “supporting” or improving on them. A point system and a chart allow users to see whose ideas receive the most support and comments.

The ideas include a possible ban on plastic bags at grocery and other retail stores, and a walkway to the downtown Metrolink station from Magnolia Boulevard.

One of the “latest ideas,” which appear on the top right of the site and change as people share and comment on posted information, suggests creating community gardens where empty lots now sit.

Resident Ryan D. noted that one empty lot, between Alameda and Olive across from NBC, would be an ideal location.

“Invest in soil and planter boxes, then rent/give plots to members of the community to grow their own flowers, vegetables, or whatever they want,” he wrote.

The idea of a community garden was also suggested for DeBell Golf Club.

“Use the $1-million loan to convert the course into a major natural attraction,” Al in SoCal wrote. “Part park, part community garden, and community center.”

Kay F. envisioned yet another use for DeBell.

“Rip out the acres of sod and replace it with native plants, and then make it an enormous dog park (fenced to keep out coyotes and bobcats),” she wrote.

The next community outreach meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. July 27 and 9:30 a.m. Aug. 13 at the Community Services Building, Room 104, 150 N. Third St.

Aug. 26 is the last day for residents to provide input during the current phase of drafting. The City Council could adopt the General Plan by spring 2012.

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