Follow-Up Story: Magnolia Park Businesses Respond to Proposed Street Closure for Family Pride Event

Uprise Community Group Surveys Magnolia Park Businesses

In a new development surrounding the controversial “Family Pride in the Park” event, volunteers from the local community group, Uprise, took it upon themselves to survey businesses in Magnolia Park. Their findings seem to echo the sentiments of the residents—concern and opposition towards the proposed closure of Magnolia Boulevard on September 23, 2023.

Voices from the Ground

Kent Skov of LA Connection Comedy was among the many who expressed concern, stating he was not notified about the permit application to close the section of Magnolia Boulevard where his business is located. “We have classes and shows on that day,” Skov said.

Sheila Baghjian, the Magnolia Park branch manager for Bank of America, and Cory from Yes Baby! Vintage both also expressed that they were unaware of the planned event. Shauna McDonell, who owns The Crystal Shrine, was likewise uninformed about the proposed closure.

The list of merchants who oppose this proposed shutdown is extensive. Of all the Magnolia Park businesses surveyed by Uprise volunteers, all but one objected to the planned road closure.

The Struggle for Consensus

As of now, the application to close Magnolia Boulevard is still under review by Public Works Director Ken Berkman and Police Chief Michael Albanese; the only two people who are required, according to the City’s ordinance, to approve the shutdown. The community is divided, and numerous leaders are demanding public hearings and surveys to measure the majority opinion on the proposed shutdown area. The overarching sentiment is that any event resulting in a street closure should be subject to public scrutiny and approval by those affected in the immediate area.

Christopher Spencer, a resident in the closure area, encapsulated the feelings of many when he said, “This is not just about one event. This is about democratic participation and community decisions. The permit applicant hasn’t paid a dime, and yet the City is spending resources on this controversial proposal without public hearings or consent from affected parties.”

What’s Next?

As the date for the proposed event nears, the tension is palpable. Will the city officials heed the voice of the majority as indicated by Uprise’s survey? Or will they go ahead and approve the event, setting a precedent that could have long-term implications for democratic participation in community decisions?

With time running out, all eyes are now on Berkman and Albanese. Their decision could either quell the rising tide of public discontent or ignite an even larger controversy surrounding public events in Burbank.

For those looking to make their voices heard, Uprise continues to circulate a petition calling for public input on all non-emergency street closures. Community members are also urged to contact Berkman and Albanese directly to express their views.

Email addresses for public comments:

This is a developing story, and updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

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