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THE818NOW
By Gregory S. Krikorian | December 17, 2013
As president and chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance, I have the opportunity to speak with many people about the challenges the Valley faces and what can be done to make it a better place to do business and live in. Late last year, IKEA announced plans to build their largest store in the United States in the heart of Burbank. That same month, a Walmart opened in Irvine on the site of a former Great Indoors store soon after it was first announced, to the cheers of elected officials and the community.
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NEWS
By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com | November 9, 2013
A ruling that slammed the brakes on efforts to bring a Walmart to the city will not be appealed by city officials. But Walmart officials said Friday they do plan to file an appeal. The ruling handed down by Judge Allan J. Goodman in September rescinded the building permits issued for the former Great Indoors store adjacent to the Empire Center, in which Walmart planned to open a store. During closed session on Tuesday, Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, Vice-Mayor Dave Gordon and Councilman Bob Frutos voted not to appeal Goodman's ruling, while council members Jess Talamantes and Gary Bric voted to file an appeal.
NEWS
October 31, 2013
On Tuesday, the Burbank City Council will vote on whether to appeal a court ruling that rescinded Walmart's building permits and prohibits the city from allowing Walmart to move into the former Great Indoors store at the Empire Center until a number of issues are addressed. The judge's ruling came down to this: The City Council and its staff failed in their duty to protect the interests of the public. This is the essence of why the city should not appeal; it would just be another mistake in a string of doozies.
NEWS
October 22, 2013
With all of the pending development in the city (the proposed hotels downtown, the expansion of the airport terminal, Talaria at Burbank, the vacant Osh store), I encourage every interested resident to read the L.A. Superior Court's final ruling on Ingalsbee, etc. v. City of Burbank and Walmart Stores, Inc. It can be found online. Whether you were for or against a Walmart at the former location of the Great Indoors , it is worth noting that the judge found that “the City has proceeded in a manner not authorized by law, failed to conduct any environmental assessment when the facts and circumstances clearly require at least an initial inquiry, and failed to exercise its discretion when clearly required to do so as to specific elements of the proposed development.” The ruling also states that “The failure to carry out the specified roadway improvements [at the Empire Center development]
NEWS
October 11, 2013
I'm sure that I was not the only Burbank citizen disappointed by Judge Allan J. Goodman's final decision ordering Burbank to rescind Walmart's permits to renovate the former Great Indoors building. I'm sure there are many, many more. The benefits to the city from a Walmart store would more than out-weigh any negative aspects that opponents claim. Gideon Krackov, the attorney for the three women, Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo, who are suing the city , has referred to the Great Indoors as a “furniture store.” It was not a furniture store.
NEWS
October 2, 2013
A tentative ruling that halted Walmart's plans - at least temporarily - for a store near the Empire Center was finalized Friday. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman's final judgment confirms that Burbank officials must rescind building permits issued to Walmart to open a store adjacent to the Empire Center, and set aside the California Environmental Quality Act exemption made for the project in 2012. The lawsuit was filed by three Burbank residents - Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo - in an effort to block the opening of the store until street improvements outlined in an ordinance approved by the Burbank City Council a dozen years ago are completed and another environmental impact review is conducted.
NEWS
By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com | September 17, 2013
The recent court ruling that put a freeze on efforts to bring a Walmart to town until Burbank officials solve traffic issues around the Empire Center is unlikely to cause problems for other nearby businesses. Jonathan Zasloff, a professor of law at UCLA and an expert in land use and environmental law, said the ruling, brought under the California Environmental Quality Act, wouldn't apply retroactively to already operational businesses.  Though still classified as a tentative ruling, both city officials and plaintiffs say this is a formality and the final decision, set to handed down in the coming weeks, is not expected to change.  “As far as I know, there isn't a provision of CEQA that mandates if mitigation isn't done, the city has to pull [permits]
NEWS
September 10, 2013
I have read numerous articles and have seen on television how little Walmart employees are paid. Burbank did not suffer a loss, but may have gained if Walmart does not open in Burbank. I have seen numerous articles with regard to the many jobs that this store would bring to Burbank. I have not seen anything about the base pay that these employees would be paid. As is often the case wherever a Walmart store is located, most of their employees would not earn enough to survive in the immediate area.
NEWS
September 10, 2013
Stopping the new Walmart from coming to the Empire Center is a defeat dealt to the economic development of our community. There is already a retail center with an empty building just waiting for a tenant. An empty building is doing nothing for our city or our sales tax revenue. The 300 jobs Walmart will bring to the community - in addition to the tax revenue - make this a great economic opportunity for Burbank residents. I currently leave Burbank to do my Walmart shopping, which is inconvenient for me and causes my tax money to go to another city.
THE818NOW
By Daniel Siegal and Mark Kellam | September 7, 2013
Citing street improvements more than a dozen years overdue and a flawed environmental impact report, a judge said Wednesday that Burbank officials must rescind building permits issued to Walmart to open a store in the Empire Center. “The city has proceeded in a manner not authorized by law, failed to conduct any environmental assessment when the facts and circumstances clearly require at least an initial inquiry,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman stated in his tentative ruling.
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