On Monday, July 11, at a special meeting of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, the Airport Authority Commission voted 8-0, with one member absent, to:
1. Certify the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the replacement terminal project, adopt findings pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, adopt a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, and adopt a Statement of Overriding Considerations; and
2. Approve a Development Agreement with the City of Burbank, approve a modification to the Amended and Restated Grant of Easements, Declaration of Use Restrictions and Agreement for Adjacent Property (Easement Modification) with Burbank, and approve Burbank’s proposed conditions of approval.
One of the key provisions of the deal for a replacement terminal is that Burbank would receive protections through an amendment to the Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) that governs how the Airport Authority operates. Currently, the JPA only requires a simple majority vote to approve decisions about the Airport. New supermajority voting rules would require approval from two Commissioners from each City, giving Burbank control over certain Commission decisions involving Airport expansion and aircraft noise.
The Glendale and Pasadena City Councils will consider the JPA amendment prior to the Burbank City Council’s consideration of the calling of the Measure B election. The Burbank
City Council will hold public hearings on July 25 and 26, 2016. On August 1, the Burbank City Council will consider adoption of the ordinance and calling of the Measure B election.
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“This is a momentous day for the future of this Airport,” said Frank Quintero, Airport Authority Commission President. “We are especially appreciative of all the hard work and cooperation from the City of Burbank and its staff, along with Airport staff, lawyers and consultants.”
The Draft EIR, released for public review in late April, examined three development options to replace the existing 14-gate, 232,000-square-foot passenger terminal, which was built in 1930. The central part of the building is 86 years old, does not meet current seismic design standards, and does not provide adequate space for circulation or basic amenities. The terminal is also 250 feet from the runways, when, under current FAA standards, it should be 750 feet away. Under all three development scenarios, the existing terminal would be demolished.
The EIR forecast an increase in enplanements and operations by 2025, but it did not attribute this growth to the proposed project, since the replacement terminal would not increase the number of gates or lengthen Airport runways. The Airport currently operates well below the number of passengers it accommodated between 2006 and 2008, and the Final EIR did not project that such a level of activity would occur again within the study period, regardless of whether or not a replacement terminal is built.
Additionally, the Final EIR forecast that the impacts of each of the three development options would be generally the same or similar to the impacts that would occur under the “no project” alternative. These impacts would be related to the relocation of the terminal, not to the increase in aircraft operations or annual passengers.
The environmental review process was initiated in November 2015 after the Airport Authority Commission and the Burbank City Council endorsed a conceptual term sheet that would give the Airport Authority the right to build a 14-gate replacement terminal in exchange for new protections for Burbank.
Under the provisions of Measure B, the voters in Burbank must approve any agreement between the City of Burbank and the Airport Authority, or any other discretionary action for a replacement terminal, before that agreement can become effective. The Airport Authority seeks a November 8, 2016, Measure B election.