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BURBANK : Nov. 16 Start Date OKd for Arts Fee

September 09, 1993|ED BOND

An ordinance requiring city developers to donate 1% of their project costs to the arts--which passed last year but has not been implemented--will go into effect Nov. 16.

The Burbank City Council rejected a proposal to delay the effective date of the ordinance, which was originally approved in April, 1992.

Councilwoman Susan Spanos, the swing vote on the issue, hesitated as roll was called, but in the end voted against the proposal, which lost 3 to 2.

Mayor George Battey Jr. and Councilman Bob Bowne voted unsuccessfully to postpone the implementation of the ordinance.

The new levy was put on hold originally in hopes that the economy in Burbank would improve, lessening the impact of the 1% fee on developers.

The Burbank Chamber of Commerce, which had been involved in drawing up the ordinance, had favored seeing the effective date pushed back yet again because the economy had not yet recovered, Chamber President David Nos said.

"We do support the ordinance and do believe that art is a viable part of the community and the culture," Nos said. "Just because of the state the economy is in we felt it might behoove us to wait a little bit longer."

The council vote also amended the ordinance, giving the city only 30 days--instead of 45--to approve art projects suggested by developers.

"I would not have wanted to hold it indefinitely," Nos said.

Spanos said her hesitation in voting was because of "philosophical and pragmatic concerns," that the law would give government a say in what is art. The art projects funded with the levy will be approved by a special committee, whose decisions could be appealed to the City Council.

"For me the question was, 'Who in government is allowed to make the judgment call and ought we be making these decisions,' " Spanos said.

The ordinance does not affect residential development under $1.5 million or commercial development of under $500,000.

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