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L.A. Moves to Resolve Fight With Burbank Over Terminal : Airports: The council authorizes city attorneys to file a lawsuit to block construction. But it also agrees to try to settle the issue without a legal fight.


With one hand, the Los Angeles City Council is warming up to sue Burbank Airport to block construction of a bigger terminal, and with the other the council is trying to resolve differences without a court fight.

By a 12-O vote, the council Tuesday adopted a motion by Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky authorizing city attorneys to file a lawsuit arguing that the environmental impact report prepared for the expansion is inadequate. Yaroslavsky represents a large portion of the eastern San Fernando Valley area where residents complain about noise from jetliners taking off from Burbank.

In a separate motion, introduced by Council President John Ferraro, the council also agreed Tuesday to appoint a team of city officials to meet with the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to see if a resolution can be reached without a legal fight.

On March 23, the Burbank Airport authority voted unanimously to build a 670,000-square-foot terminal with 12,300 parking spaces--four times the size of the existing one. Under state law, Los Angeles has only two weeks in which to file a challenge.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday April 8, 1993 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 4 Column 6 Metro Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Burbank Airport--A story Wednesday about the Los Angeles City Council decision to challenge the proposed Burbank Airport expansion gave an incorrect vote total. The council approved the challenge on a 10-0 vote, the city clerk said Wednesday.

The proposed new facility is to be situated on 110 acres owned by Lockheed Corp. and the first phase of construction is to be completed by 1998.

Los Angeles council members from the East Valley have been fighting with the airport for more than a decade, seeking to modify flight patterns into the facility so a greater share of takeoffs occur over Burbank instead of the East Valley. The airport has countered that under federal law, the choice of a takeoff direction rests with pilots, who choose the East Valley routes because prevailing winds, mountains to the west, the Burbank runway layout and Los Angeles International Airport air traffic patterns make it safer to do so.

Meanwhile, Victor Gill, spokesman for the Burbank Airport authority, said the airport "anticipated the probability of challenge" and feels confident that its environmental impact report will withstand one. "They're going to be frustrated in this, as they have been in the past," Gill predicted.

A city lawsuit in the mid-1980s to control flight patterns and jet noise met with defeat, Gill noted.

"What's suspect is why the council is ready to spend $200,000 to $400,000 on a lawsuit when the city is having such financial problems," Gill said.

"Also, every one of the mayoral candidates is talking about the need for jobs, and our expansion plan will produce about 3,000 construction jobs. They're talking out of both sides of their mouth."

Councilman Joel Wachs, who seconded the Yaroslavsky motion, is a mayoral candidate who has been a tough critic of the airport for years.

Councilman Ernani Bernardi said he personally knows what it's like to live under the flight patterns of Burbank Airport. "It's nice to hear you all talking about the airport, but I guess I'm the only who lives under it," Bernardi said.

Said Yaroslavsky: "All we're trying to do is to get Burbank to share the noise. That's not too much to ask."

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