Recession Forces Burbank To Revisit Ban On Fire-Prone Roofs

BURBANK (CBS) — Should a city change its laws if it adds a dubious financial burden on its residents?

That’s the question facing members of the City Council in Burbank, where a deadline to require all wood shake roofs to be replaced is set to elapse.

Firefighters maintain that the old wood shake roofs constitute a fire hazard no matter where the home is located, with one fire official going so far as to call it “a pile of kindling” on your roof.

But now at least one council member questions whether the 20-year-old deadline should still be enforced in these tough economic times.

City Councilman David Gordon told KNX 1070 that in many instances the upgrades may not even be necessary.

“Often the roofs that are in place have 30-to-40 year expected useful lives, and so of them are perfectly functional,” said Gordon. “There’s some significant expense and issues for people who are now on a drop-dead date basis being required to replace their roofs.”

Other roofs have also been covered with fire-retardant shingles that would still need to be replaced under the ordinance, according to Gordon.

In addition, roofs in the fire-prone areas have already been converted under a separate deadline, leaving only those in the flat lands — which are well away from the hillside brush, the councilman said.

“There doesn’t appear to be imminent fire danger in the non-hillside areas,” said Gordon. “It makes more sense to me to have some sort of phasing in that when homeowners replace the roofs normally, that a fire-resistant roof be put on.”

Gordon has reportedly asked for a full council review of the existing law and perhaps lifting the deadline altogether.

  • PV

    I don’t go to Burbank any more and spend my money over there…coz I can’t light a cigarette in Burbank…There u go!

  • Matt Bishop

    Bravo to Burbank if smokers aren’t welcome to smoke there! Smoking, even outdoors in a breeze, is an aggravated assault with bodily harm to those who have breathing problems, which is now estimated at around 10% of the population. Not to mention the incredible damage the smoker is doing to his own health and longevity.

    I finally summoned up the will-power to quit the vile tobacco habit after over 40 years of killing my heart and lungs with that POISON. I can still hear my father’s voice back in 1968, telling me, “Son, it you take up the smoking habit, the day will come in America, when the majority of people will look upon the cigarette smoker as a socially undesirable boorish moron. And they’ll be right!”

  • Tim

    hey firefighters, shut up and do your job that you are paid very well for!!! This is the other side of firefighters where they harrass businesses and home owners to fine us or change city ordinances so we have to spend money on upgardes. I say if we have to change our roofs to reduce the chance of fire, lets cut back your pension benefits and lay off more of your useless firefighters who sit around all day and hang out at starbucks and harrass people all day long…just do your job and shut up!!!

  • Stubby

    Smokers aren’t welcome anywhere are they?

    • PB

      Burbank sure welcomes the smokers tax money from the sale of cigarettes. Cigarettes are sold everyplace in Burbank. I would call that very funny they love the cash but hate the smoke such insincere people that run Burbank.

  • PV

    o’k…then just run out of money and die from being hungry…if smokers not welcome…that will kill ya much faster than harmless cigarette smoke outdoors…

  • Recession Forces Burbank To Revisit Ban On Fire-Prone Roofs | Los Angeles for Me

    […] Firefighters maintain that the old wood shake roofs constitute a fire hazard, but at least one council member questions whether the ban should still be enforced in these tough economic times. More from:… […]

  • TT

    the town itself used to be people friendly – not so much anymore….

    • TT

      if you were a long time resident, born n raised there – it gave you some credability … i cant say that holds true anymore….apparently – just not the same town it was 30 years ago – in that regard…..

  • tJ

    People are barely able to hold on to their homes now making them replace a prefectly good roof is a waste of money and just adds trash to the landfill. Councilman Gordon is correct on this it’s time for Burbank to cut the struggiling residents a break.

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