The Hollywood Burbank Airport will be getting a new terminal in the future as Measure B in Burbank soared to victory by a large margin, according to election results Tuesday night.
The Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office tallied 20,121 votes, or roughly 69%, in favor of the ballot measure, which allows the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to build a replacement 14-gate terminal at the airport. There were 8,978 votes, or about 31%, against the measure.
Tuesday night as early election results came in, Burbank resident Linda Walmsley, co-chair of the Yes on Measure B Committee and an advocate of a new terminal since 1987, said that though it was hard to definitively tell if the ballot measure would pass, she was happy to see that many of her fellow residents agreed with her.
“It’s about the future of Burbank,” she said during a campaign party at the Coast Anabelle Hotel Tuesday night. “Hopefully, this will spawn a lot of other special things for the future of our city.”
During her 29-year effort to have a new terminal constructed at Hollywood Burbank Airport, Walmsley has seen proposals come and go, and the relationship between the city and the airport authority sour. However, she said she thinks that the two are finally cooperating with one another and have come up with what Walmsley thinks is a solid plan.
“Things change. Change is part of everything,” she said. “Change happens, and so does the future. And to remain stagnant is not viable for the city. I think this is really good change.”
On the other end of the issue, resident Frank Macchia gathered with fellow neighbors who have been fighting the measure for months. Macchia and some residents said they have feared that residents would lose their rights to vote on the airport issue in the future and believe that the airport authority will build more than the promised 14 gates.
“I’m really disappointed in the Burbank City Council,” he said. “I feel that there was some collusion between the airport authority and the City Council in rushing this to a vote, because I feel that most people weren’t getting the full story on what this ballot measure was about. It’s about a land grab by the airport authority.”
Macchia said he will continue to press the City Council during the months leading up to the April municipal election, questioning them on why Measure B had to be on the November ballot.
“I truly don’t believe Burbank voters understand what they’ve signed on for, which is giving up our rights to vote on the airport and the land rights that we were in charge of,” he said.
Now that the measure is approved, airport authority members will decide whether they want to build the replacement terminal on the so-called B-6 parcel on the northeast portion of the airfield or on the southwest quadrant.
Hollywood Burbank officials have been leaning toward constructing the new terminal on the B-6 parcel. Under the environmental impact report that reviewed the project, the airport authority could build a 355,000-square-foot, 14-gate terminal on that location.
However, if airport authority members choose the southwest quadrant as their area of preference, the ballot measure allows them to build either a 355,000-square-foot or 232,000-square-foot terminal, both with 14 gates, on that location.
Both options on the southwest corner were also reviewed in the environmental impact report.
The measure includes a development agreement between the airport authority and the city that will into effect. One of the biggest components in the agreement is that the airport authority will create a super-majority voting requirement among its nine commissioners on major topics, such as expanding the terminal, increasing the number of gates and long-term contracts.
Two of the three representatives from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena — the cities that make up the commission — would need to approve such issues. Previously, only a simple majority was needed to make those decisions.
Airport officials have said that numerous community meetings will be held to gain input from residents about the new terminal.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has been looking to replace the terminal, which was built in 1930, since the agency’s inception in 1978.
Anthony Clark Carpio, firstname.lastname@example.org