Burbank City Council: Save Magnolia Park!
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Magnolia Park is a beloved neighborhood district in Burbank, California. Described by the Burbank Hospitality Association's VisitBurbank.com as “just minutes from Downtown Burbank, this hip neighborhood is truly in a world all its own. Look for quirky boutiques, vintage antiques, chic eateries, and something new around every corner.”
We are now in danger of losing what that makes Magnolia Park the charming, cool, and quirky destination it has become: those small businesses that have worked so hard to create this special community.
Sadly, Mom and Pop shops are being forced out due to astronomical rent increases – sometimes in the thousands of dollars a month. Even though they are thriving, many independent merchants cannot afford these dramatic increases.
SAVE MAGNOLIA PARK: OUR PROPOSAL
In the spirit of the General Plan that was adopted by the City of Burbank in 1998 and the Burbank2035 General Plan adopted in 2013, we ask that the Burbank City Council quickly implement the following:
- HISTORICAL DISTRICT: Designate Magnolia Park as a Historical District, ensuring that any further development must meet strict guidelines that maintain the character and charm of the neighborhood. Solutions like historical property tax incentives through the Mills Act Property Tax Abatement Program will help the property owners keep rents affordable in the area.
- PARKING: Create sufficient, conveniently located parking facilities with the goal of establishing a convenient multiple-destination shopping district as originally intended.
MAGNOLIA PARK: AT THE TIPPING POINT
The success of Magnolia Park is due to the local “Mom and Pop” shops and the Magnolia Park Merchants Association. These small businesses have worked hard to make Magnolia Park a destination to shop, eat, and play. They’ve created the popular community event “Ladies and Gents Night Out” and host the annual “Holiday in the Park” celebration. A majority of funding for these events comes from Magnolia Park Merchants Association membership dues with some assistance from the City of Burbank.
The Magnolia Park neighborhood ecosystem is truly unique and cannot be artificially duplicated. These shops have a fiercely loyal clientele that travel from all over the globe just to visit them in Magnolia Park, spending their time and money specifically in Burbank. If they are forced out due to rent increases the rare community that has been created will be lost, as will the financial benefits to the City of Burbank and their residents as a whole.
We are at a tipping point, and we must act now with haste before Magnolia Park turns into another Melrose Boulevard: vacant storefronts, inconvenient parking, and loss of character and vital foot traffic for those businesses remaining.
MAGNOLIA PARK: SPECIAL ZONING AND THE GENERAL PLAN
From the BurbankCa.gov website: “Special zoning for the Magnolia Park area was adopted in 1998 in an effort to revitalize the area by promoting a pedestrian oriented atmosphere...supported by sufficient, conveniently located parking facilities, with the goal of establishing a multiple-destination shopping district.”
Read the entire Magnolia Park General Plan statement here
From the Burbank 2035 General Plan: GOAL 3 COMMUNITY DESIGN AND CHARACTER: Burbank’s well‐designed neighborhoods and buildings and enhanced streets and public spaces contribute to a strong sense of place and “small town” feeling reflective of the past.
- Policy 3.2 Preserve unique neighborhoods and use specific plans to distinguish neighborhoods and districts by character and appearance and address physical and visual distinction, architecture, edge and entry treatment, landscape, streetscape, and other elements.
- Policy 3.10 Preserve historic resources, buildings, and sites, including those owned by private parties and government agencies, including the City of Burbank. Alter such resources only as necessary to meet contemporary needs and in a manner that does not affect the historic integrity of the resource.
- Policy 3.11 Carefully consider the evolution of community character over time. Evaluate projects with regard to their impact on historic character, their role in shaping the desired future community character, and how future generations will view today’s Burbank
Read the entire Burbank 2035 General Plan here
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