Monday, February 02, 2009

Burbank building permits are not good until the end of time

Much to the dismay of local developers, Burbank City Council recently voted to stop extending the expiration dates of building permits. This means that a project that was permitted, oh, say, during the Reagan administration, but was never built, will now have to go through the permitting review process again. Read the Burbank Leader story here. Most of the developers who are affected by the vote had approved plans from two to three years ago (the permits are good for at least a year) but could not get the necessary financing to begin construction.
I say, good. (And yes, I'm a NIMBY: I'm delighted that a planned huge apartment complex will now not be built behind my house.) I know of several previously-approved projects that would not have been in keeping with the neighborhood character, would have added additional traffic to the surrounding streets, and are of questionable need anyway. Times change and communities do, too -- and I think it's worthwhile to reexamine permitted, unbuilt projects to make sure they will be a good fit in the future.
Also, as my friend Ellen Dimler stated so succinctly in the Leader article: "The power of one council must not extend indefinitely.”

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