Final Message from Preserve Burbank Founder, Greg Rehner...

In 2009 the Burbank City Council approved the city's first residential landmark, The Rock House at 902 E. Olive Avenue, after navigating through an untouched, cumbersome, confusing and nearly-prohibitive 17-year-old preservation ordinance designed to discourage any preservation efforts. As a result, with the assistance of Amanda Landry, Michael Forbes, Joy Forbes, Patrick Prescott and key staff in the Planning Department, the landmarking process was streamlined down to a simple one-page application. But if conscientious residents wanted to preserve the look and feel of the historical design integrity of their neighborhoods, they needed a process to create historic districts as well. This would take a grassroots campaign of over 200 residents to become Preserve Burbank in order to convince the city council that the Burbank residents would support such an ordinance. Again, with the help of Amanda, Michael, Joy and the Planning Department, a historic district application process was approved but not without dissent from the Planning Board who set out to make the process as prohibitive as possible. Within one week of the Planning Board's adverse decision, Preserve Burbank doubled in size to over 400 members to stand behind the Planning Department's original recommendation to keep the process in step with the rest of Los Angeles County allowing the City Council to overturn the Planning Board's decision. And with the support of the City Council, The Mills Act was adopted to provide a tax incentive to assist homeowners who wanted to take those steps to protect and maintain the historical character of their homes and neighborhoods. Preserve Burbank understood not only the importance of preservation but also to encourage new design which would reflect and support the history of the city's architecture. In 2011 the city council supported our request to create meaningful residential design guidelines that would give residents a means to design within the context of their long-established neighborhoods. With the help of Preserve Burbank's Design Working Group, the Planning Department is preparing an initial proposal to be presented to the city council this spring.

With your dedication attending meetings, making phone calls, taking surveys and sending letters and emails, we have accomplished much in the past five years with the support of the Heritage Commission, City Planning Staff and City Council. Preserve Burbank plans to continue to build a relationship with the Planning Board. But now the rest is up to you to continue your support and to landmark your homes, neighborhoods and other buildings which define our city's design heritage. To date, we have six homes landmarked with six applications pending. One home is receiving Mills Act abatement with more incentives available to homeowners. The city is still anxiously waiting to receive a first historic district application from its residents.

As Preserve Burbank moves forward, I have taken the opportunity to pass the leadership role to Jim Casey, a member of the Heritage Commission. Mr. Casey has been a strong supporting member of Preserve Burbank for the past five years and is a conscientious realtor serving the Burbank community. Jim can be reached at 818-641-9050 or by email at
Continue to watch for future communications from Jim Casey and Preserve Burbank regarding the Design Guideline proposal and other preservation issues.

It has been a pleasure to serve Preserve Burbank as its founder and I look forward to continuing in the ranks of this important organization in supporting our city's preservation programs.

Greg Rehner /