UPDATED with some corrections below.
No guns, gangs or drugs allowed within a thousand feet of the school but noxious fumes? No problem! This week I’ve connected with a group of neighbors on Lincoln Street near Edison Elementary who are experiencing a true nightmare unfolding on their quiet little block. Recently an automotive repair shop at the end of the block changed hands and has been transformed into a auto body shop complete with a brand new paint booth that requires a specific permit for operation. This type of painting generates noxious fumes that spread out through the neighborhood. There are reports that the business has been spraying paint and using solvents even before getting approval for a paint booth from the city, and the impending paint booth is not designed to stop fumes. Trucks are blocking traffic almost “every day.”
The group has circulated a petition signed by 118 residents in the neighborhood and have started a Facebook page to inform residents. They are asking their Burbank neighbors, no matter where you live, to come out and support them at the next City Council Meeting on February 7th. Here are some details on their plight:
- The business is situated less than 50 feet from the nearest resident who is an elderly senior
- Aside from school kids walking by and attending Edison and Montessori, there are 21 children living near the facility and 9 seniors
- It’s roughly 650 feet from Edison Elementary and less than 275 feet from a Montessori Preschool
- Trucks dropping off cars are regularly double parking and blocking the street
- Residents have witnessed dumping of chemicals into the street
- At least two people I have spoken to are unwilling to come forward to speak out in public for fear of reprisals
- Residents have called the Air Quality Management District a number of times but with little results – because the business must be repeatedly “caught in the act” and fumes tend to dissipate before the long wait for the inspector is over.
Remember, these folks bought their house when that business was simply a repair shop. This type of permit should never have been allowed so close to residential neighborhood. I honestly think the City Staff has lost their minds on this. This type of thing is going to happen more and more, especially on Burbank Blvd and from what I hear there are other neighborhoods in town experiencing the same problem. If you can make it to the City Council meeting Tuesday at 6pm these people could use your support.