Bob Hope Airport-City Council Failed to Reach Agreement

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Burbank, Calif., council to try again for airport pact
The Los Angeles (CA) Daily News

BURBANK, Calif. — After meeting seven hours on a proposal to govern future development at Bob Hope Airport, the City Council failed to reach agreement early Wednesday and will try again next week. The council finally adjourned at 2 a.m. Wednesday after failing to agree on which provisions of the plan it could support.

“We worked on this so long that finalizing it at 2 a.m. was probably not the right thing to do. If it takes us another week that’s really not a big deal,” said City Councilman Dave Golonski. “There are a lot of pieces and … it is a complicated agreement and we’ll hopefully be able to reach something that works for everybody,” Golonski said.

The agreement would prevent the Airport Authority from building a new passenger terminal for 10 years.

It also would allow the authority to retain nearly 60 acres, which could eventually be used for a new terminal, although the city could force the sale of that property at the end of the 10 years.

The agreement would also allow the airport to buy the 26-acre Star Park lot, which is next to the airport’s own parking facility, for $41.5 million. City Councilman Jef Vander Borght also wants the airport to give up an equivalent amount of land to prevent airport expansion.

“It’s landlocked and all of a sudden it’s acquiring 26 very crucial acres,” Vander Borght said. “This for me is the deal breaker.”

Victor Gill, spokesman for the airport authority, said the airport hopes to continue its dialogue with the city.

“Once they have something solid to communicate, then the ball is back in the authority’s court to see how it reacts,” Gill said.

The proposed agreement was first announced in June. The council will discuss the agreement again at its meeting next Tuesday.