A plan to preserve Burbank's Rancho neighborhood with zoning controls, split-rail fences and equestrian street crossings has finally been approved by the City Council.
The council made one last change in the plan Tuesday night, bowing to neighborhood concerns to require hearings for any major future tenant of a former food store on Alameda Avenue. The provision triggered the only no vote.
"It seems to me this is one more attempt to grossly over-regulate this entire area," said Councilman Robert Bowne, who was outvoted 4 to 1.
Last week, at the urging of owners of adjacent property, and with Councilwoman Susan Spanos taking the lead, the council voted to list a department store as one of the uses for the site that could be approved without public input. But that had raised concerns from a citizens advisory committee about the potential increase in traffic.
The Rancho Master Plan, which the citizens committee has been working on two years, is meant to protect southern Burbank's Rancho neighborhood, is noted for properties with horses.
"I've done research on this I should have had a week ago," said Spanos, a new member of the council who reversed herself Tuesday.
Anyone planning to use the building for a department store would be required to obtain a conditional-use permit, issued by the city planning board. The process can take 2 1/2 months to complete, involves establishing requirements that a property must meet, and can be appealed to the City Council.
"This violates some very basic ideas I have about property rights," Bowne said.