Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Specific Plan?
A specific plan is a tool that implements the City’s general plan by establishing a link between general plan policies and individual development proposals in a defined area, in this case the Golden State District. A specific plan may be as general as setting forth broad policy concepts, or as detailed as providing direction to every facet of development from the type, location and intensity of uses to the design and capacity of infrastructure; from the resources used to finance public improvements to architectural design guidelines.
This Specific Plan will provide a community-based vision, easy to understand development and design standards, an implementation framework for funding and building any necessary public infrastructure improvements needed to support the new development, and strategies for introducing community benefits such as public open space and pedestrian and streetscape improvements.
What is a General Plan?
The State of California requires all cities to develop a General Plan. General Plans are comprehensive policy documents that inform future land use decisions. Cities adopt and update their General Plan to guide the current and long-term growth and land development of their community. The General Plan is a foundation for establishing goals, purposes, zoning, and activities permitted on each property to provide compatibility and continuity within a city as a whole and each individual neighborhood. Burbank2035 (adopted in 2013) is the City of Burbank’s General Plan, a long-term blueprint with policies that guide the City’s development and long-term vision.
Why is a Specific Plan being prepared?
To plan for the responsible development of housing. The City of Burbank ranks high in terms of cost of housing and has one of the lowest vacancy rates in Los Angeles County, making it difficult for Burbank’s workforce and individuals and families of low and moderate-income levels to find affordable housing in the City. There are approximately three times as many available jobs in Burbank as housing units, which means most Burbank workers are commuting into Burbank. The shortage of affordable housing is also an issue of statewide concern. The State of California has accordingly mandated that more housing be produced locally, requiring Burbank to introduce 8,700 new residential units over the next 8 years.
To reverse this shortage, the City Council has adopted a bold and visionary goal to introduce 12,000 new dwelling units citywide by the year 2035. This Specific Plan will provide a framework for introducing new housing at all levels of affordability and in a manner that reflects community aspirations for beautiful, safe, thriving, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods, while protecting existing neighborhoods from pass-through traffic, overflow parking, and incompatible development.
To plan for enhanced pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicle connections. This Specific Plan will provide a strategy for improving the pedestrian network through the introduction of street trees, street furniture, and other streetscape elements and the implementation of pedestrian, bus stop, bikeway and street improvements, green infrastructure treatments, and priority projects described in the City’s Complete Streets Plan.
Outdated Policy and Zoning Documents. The Golden Sate District currently does not have a specific plan that includes policy and zoning regulations that are tailored to this specific neighborhood. Therefore, the policy and zoning that currently governs development within the Golden State District are general and apply Citywide. Many of the regulations were designed with industrial uses in mind, and can be contradictory, complicated, and ineffective in addressing current City goals. The specific plan will create tailored objective standards that establish clear expectations from future development and infrastructure improvements.
Who will use the Specific Plan?
The Specific Plan will be a guiding document in conjunction with the General Plan that focuses on future development within the Golden State District and provides additional clarity on topics such as land use, development, transportation, and infrastructure. It will be used by a wide range of individuals including City staff, Planning Commission, City Council, developers, business owners, and homeowners to learn about the standards guiding development within the Golden State District.
Will the Specific Plan encourage more affordable housing?
One of the goals of the Specific Plan is to encourage or incentivize new housing that meets the applicable development standards, including affordable housing. The State of California is facing an ongoing housing shortage, and a variety of housing types, in a variety of price ranges are needed to house local residents. Part of this includes having affordable housing options in the Golden State District.
Will Traffic be considered as part of the Specific Plan?
Yes, traffic will be considered as part of the specific plan. One of the goals of the Golden State Specific Plan is to include strategies to reduce the drive time for residents and workers, through a variety of methods such as providing suitable housing closer to job centers, and providing alternate methods of transportation such as transit, bicycle and pedestrian access.
Additionally, the plan will include policy requiring the preparation of a Neighborhood Protection Plan. Neighborhood Protection Plans (NPP) are recommended in the Burbank2035 General Plan as a method to protect neighborhoods and preserve quality of life by managing traffic patterns in a specific geographic area. The purpose of an NPP is to protect residential neighborhoods from impacts caused by cut-through vehicle traffic that utilizes local streets to travel through a neighborhood to a destination outside the area. This is achieved through a series of strategic street improvements that discourage cut-through traffic. Examples of measures previously implemented in other parts of the City include street closures, cul-de-sacs, traffic diverters, speed humps, traffic circles/roundabouts, speed limit reductions, and curb bulb-outs.
How can I participate in the process?
To participate in this process please sign up to join our mailing list and receive updates of all opportunities to engage. You will be invited to attend public workshops and to interact with our online engagement tools.
I do not live in the Golden State District, can I still participate?
Yes, anyone can participate in this process. In addition to residents of Burbank we also want to hear from anyone who works, shops, or spends time within the Golden State District. All members of the public are welcome to participate.