Bob Hope Airport Airport Saga Lives On

Saturday, January 29, 2005
Development agreement back in airport’s court
Airport commissioners will need to approve changes made to development agreement passed by council.
By Mark R. Madler
The Burbank (CA) Leader

AIRPORT DISTRICT – Now that the City Council has approved a development plan for Bob Hope Airport, it’s up to the Burbank-Glendale Pasadena Airport Authority to ratify it. The council Tuesday night approved a document different from what the authority commission voted on in October, so the agency must OK the changes.

The council wants 56 acres held in trust near the airport to be sold at the end of the 10-year agreement.

The commission could meet as early as Monday for a special session if enough members are available to make a quorum. A vote is not expected at that meeting.

“To me, personally, there is no deal breaker in the changes the council made,” Airport Authority Commission President Charlie Lombardo said.

Commissioner Bill Wiggins, a former City Council member, supports the agreement because it gives city residents certainty over what happens at the airport, he said.

“From my standpoint as a commissioner, I don’t see [the changes] as a roadblock,” Wiggins said.

The council voted 4 to 1 to adopt the agreement. Councilman Jef Vander Borght cast the sole dissenting vote because he preferred that the airport sell off land in exchange for being allowed to purchase an adjacent parking lot.

“I can’t get past that,” Vander Borght said. “If the airport desires gaining land it should be able to get rid of land.”

The seven-year agreement is meant to end clashes between the city and airport authority on land-use and zoning issues so that officials can concentrate on a long-term airport plan.

The changes the council made to the agreement include requiring a plan for how the trust property will be developed if the Burbank- Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority decides to sell it. It also allows the city to petition for changes in federal law as long as it is not related to or conflicts with the development agreement.

The council members voting in favor of the agreement stressed that it gives the city protection against a new or expanded terminal for 10 years and calls for cooperation between the city and authority.

“The airport’s future is dependent on the ability to work with the city and the commission,” Councilman Todd Campbell said.