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La Terra: 777 N. Front Street, Burbank Fact Sheet

Post Date:01/07/2020 8:40 AM

Recently, it has come to the attention of the City that person(s) and/or an entity not affiliated with the City of Burbank has been requesting that Burbank residents sign a petition that would support a referendum ballot measure to repeal the City Council’s approval of land use entitlements for the La Terra or 777 Front Street Project.  For this reason, the City has received questions regarding entitlement approval and referendum processes.  This fact sheet provides an overview. At the bottom of this sheet, links are included for more information.

What is the project?

La Terra, located at 777 Front Street, is a mixed-use project designed to integrate into the Burbank community and contributing more than $30M in community benefits along with public improvements that will be maintained by the developer for the life of the project.  The approximately 7-acre parcel will consist of 573 apartments, 69 of these will be held for 55 years for moderate-income households along with a 307-room hotel. 

The existing site consists of underutilized land and is a former brownfield site that has sat empty and undeveloped during the past three decades.

Public Outreach

Prior to the City Council approval of the La Terra Project considerable public input was sought through both community meetings and presentations.  This included a scoping and a community meeting through the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) process along with presentations to the Downtown Burbank Property Based Business Improvement District, Burbank Tourism Business Improvement District, Burbank Chamber of Commerce, City Boards and Commissions as well as Planning Board and City Council public hearings.   As a result of these meetings, changes suggested by the public and staff were incorporated into the final project. Additionally, during City Council and Planning Board review, people were invited to attend and voice their opinions during public comment as well as providing public testimony during the public hearings and through the submittal of written comments.  

City Council Approval

On December 10 and 17, 2019, the Burbank City Council considered entitlements for the La Terra project also known as 777 N. Front Street.  On December 17, 2019, the City Council unanimously approved the project and adopted a Development Agreement ordinance. Subsequent to the approval, a referendum petition is being circulated to reverse the unanimous City Council’s approval through the referendum process described below.

Why Did City Council Approve the Project?

The Project meets the City Council’s requirements concerning responsible development.  Additionally, it moves us toward meeting the City Council’s goal to build 12,000 dwelling units during the next 15 years.  This project is located away from existing single-family residents and along our transportation corridors.  The project provides and will maintain many of the adjacent public amenities for 55 years. Without the developer’s investment, the City could not afford to make these improvements without raising additional revenue.

What are the Community Benefits of the Project?

Outdoor and Event Space

  • Creates approximately 28,000 square feet of currently city-owned undeveloped land as publicly accessible, privately maintained open space.The open space will include new trees, be fully landscaped and provide a new pedestrian connection to the Magnolia Boulevard Bridge via two new elevators and a stairway.While this property will be operated by La Terra, it will be available to the City for special events 12 times per year.
  • Provides for all adjacent offsite improvements (sidewalks, bike path, etc.) to be maintained for 55 years and paid for by the developer.
  • Includes 1,076 square feet of private gallery/event space that is needed in the Burbank community.

Public Improvements

  • The buildout of public right-of-way infrastructure including new sidewalk, raised protected bike lanes, a new bike and pedestrian crossing at Magnolia Blvd. that extends to the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station.
  • Design, construct, and maintain a minimum 10-foot high sound wall that spans the entire length of the property, approximately 1,500 feet.
  • Implement the City’s Green Street Policy building landscape features along the building frontage that provides shade and water filtration.
  • Provide bicycle parking areas within and adjacent to the Project site.
  • Construct and maintain a 21-foot wide parkway along the entire property frontage that consists of pedestrian sidewalks, two-way raised Class IV bicycle lanes, 36” boxed street trees, high-visibility crosswalks with a pedestrian-activated flashing crosswalk connecting North Front Street to Burbank Boulevard and the Downtown Burbank Metrolink Station.

Public Transportation Contributions

One Time Contributions

  • $142,857 towards the maintenance of Downtown Metrolink Station.
  • $250,000 towards pedestrian safety that could facilitate the construction of quiet zone at Downtown Metrolink Station.
  • $95,238 towards operation of BurbankBus.
  • $300,000 towards future pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements from the project site/Downtown Metrolink Station to Downtown Burbank via E. Verdugo Avenue/First Street. 

Annual Contributions

  • $6,700 monthly in transit subsidy for employees and residents to buy transit passes for 55 years.
  • Joining and participating in the Burbank Transportation Management Organization (TMO).

Public Services

  • $22,000 towards Library technology upgrades.
  • $77,000 towards future fire equipment purchases.

Landscaping and Green Building

  • More than 80 new trees including all 36” box trees.
  • Drought tolerant landscaping using recycled water irrigation.
  • LEED Gold certification for all buildings.
  • Up to 10% of the Project energy will be produced from renewable resources or purchasing of green power.
  • Compliance with new 2019 California Building and Energy Codes including CALGreen code requirements.
  • Providing prewired EV charging stations.
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Onsite storm water treatment and bio-filtration.
  • Use of LED lighting in all common areas.
  • Apartment construction to include MERV 13 filtering system.

Additional Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT)

  • The proposed hotel would generate an estimated $1.3M each year in unrestricted General Fund revenue that can be used by the City to fund City Services.

What is a referendum and how does it work?

The referendum process in California is similar to an initiative process regarding ordinances. Citizen(s) may circulate a petition protesting adoption of an ordinance.  The petition should have attached a copy of the ordinance that is being objected to by the petitioners. The petition must be signed by not less than 10 percent of the registered voters, (approximately 68,000 people are registered within Burbank) and submitted to the City Clerk within 30 days of the date the adopted ordinance is attested to by the City Clerk.  Once submitted the petition must meet the Elections Code standards and signatures must be verified as being registered voters of the City of Burbank.  If a valid petition containing the requisite number of signatures is timely submitted, then the City Council shall reconsider the ordinance at a public meeting.  The City Council may repeal the ordinance or submit the ordinance to the voters of the City.    

Additional Links

November 4 Planning Board Meeting - https://burbank.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=47&clip_id=8853

December 10 City Council Meeting - https://burbank.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=45&clip_id=8891

December 17 City Council Meeting - https://burbank.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=45&clip_id=8896

Developer Website - http://laterradev.com/     

 

 

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