Wednesday, October 27, 2004 Airport offers no terminal in a decade. If city agrees, accord will end recent facilities battle
By Naush Boghossian
The Los Angeles (CA) Daily News
BURBANK — The Bob Hope Airport officially extended an olive branch Wednesday to the city of Burbank, unanimously approving an agreement that would halt construction or even planning of a new terminal for a decade. If approved by the Burbank City Council, the agreement would mean a cease-fire in litigation over airport expansion that has cost the airport at least $13 million and the city about $12 million.
Airport Commissioner Chris Holden called the accord “bittersweet,” saying that it would bring peace to the community but at a cost of needed expansion.
“We’ve given up a lot: our ability to plan for the air transportation needs of this region,” Holden said.
In addition to blocking a new terminal for a decade, the agreement would also keep the airport from adding gates to the existing terminal for seven years.
In exchange, the airport for 10 years would not be required to sell about 60 acres of disputed land on which it could build a new terminal. Another term of the proposed agreement is the city must approve the $41.5 million purchase by the airport of an adjacent Star Park parking lot.
Other commissioners echoed Holden’s hope that the 10-year moratorium would allow the community’s trust in airport officials to grow.
“I think we could have a tremendous economic benefit to have 10 years of peace and constructive negotiation,” Commissioner Joyce Streator said.
Burbank City Council members said Wednesday they hoped to cultivate a more cooperative relationship with the airport authority.
The City Council could vote on the agreement as early as November.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Airport Authority in a coordinated effort that will stabilize future growth,” Mayor Marsha Ramos said. “There’s certainly more work to be done. This is a draft agreement, and as a draft, it gives us room to identify areas that need further negotiation and to address areas of concern.”
City Councilman Jef Vander Borght said Wednesday the agreement still requires work.
“I can’t imagine we will take the agreement as written, but who knows?” he said. “We’re hopeful the spirit in which it was issued will be continued and we’ll be able to come up with a mutually satisfactory solution.”
Councilman Todd Campbell said he hopes both agencies can agree on a development plan that addresses the community’s concerns about noise and pollution impacts.
“This outcome certainly would benefit not only the surrounding region, but trying to figure out what the future is for the airport jointly,” he said. “That’s the idea, but whether we can reach that accord remains to be seen.”