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January 16, 2014

Comments

Greg

Joe is pretty savvy, but my guess is practically every town will scream about violation of preservation laws. The lawyers will be happy.

The post office is essentially a government institution. And like the rest of government, cutting is impossible. No wonder our taxes keep going up.

Bruce Dickinson

Folks, don't get me wrong, The Republic of Berkeley is a cooky town...yes, a really cooky town. Like any good record producer from the LA music scene, Bruce Dickinson is a loyal Democrat but I gotta tell ya, the guys in Berkeley seem like communists sometimes! However, I would be remiss if I didn't give credit where credit is due.. The congressional, state, and city government officials in Berkeley are doing a dynamite job representing their constituency and whether you agree or disagree, they are guided by principles and ideology when it comes to preservation and they mean what they say to the bitter end.

Compare and contrast that with our own local officials, who say they care about preservation, but allow trees to be chopped, buildings razed left and right, or get bullied by Cal-Trans and ABAG.

Folks, Burlingame has got what appears to be a City Council that makes a living around development. And guess what?!? They're doing a terrible job hiding it!! it was so obvious with the "Historical Preservation Ordinance" hearing the other day and how in typical passive-aggressive fashion they said that a couple of houses should be preserved but overall such an ordinance encroaches on homeowners rights. Ok, since we are constitutional experts talking about rights, how about some REPRESENTATIVE government?!?

The Post Office project in Burlingame is on the verge of turing into a nightmare for residents. Here's my prescription: It's time we get represented by folks who are more concerned about your views rather than selling out Burlingame to the highest bidder, once parcel at a time!

Joe

Selling off real estate, especially primo real estate like ours doesn't generally fit into the category of "cutting", Greg. It's an asset sale and doesn't fix the USPS burn rate. They would be better off taking Amazon up on it's request for Sunday delivery of Amazon orders. While they are at it, they should send a representative to Amazon and every other major e-tailer to figure out what else they can do to bolster business. Just a thought....

Bruce D, isn't it amazing that we have the opportunity to stay the jewel of the Peninsula wedged between two towns intent on looking like every other town and yet that thought seems foreign to some? Keep up the commentary, please. You make my day.

hillsider

If I read this right this is a NOT FOR SALE sign plastered on the post office door with super glue. So when does the idiotic exclusive agreement with Grossvenor expire? Did the Elders think about that?

jennifer

So, if this issue is really about whether they are violating preservation laws, this may only be an issue of 'process'.

I think this is what it gets down to (but I could be wrong, of course)- Some cities and towns, like ours, happen to have had our buildings assessed at an earlier date, as part of some other process. In our case, it was a preliminary assessment of buildings in a certain given area in conjunction with the Downtown Plan.

This building had already been earmarked as potentially significant in the 2007-8 study. But there are probably a bunch of post offices in the country that were not ever assessed, and unless it was requested (and funded), these might have been put up for sale without any review. Does anyone know if every USPO that is potentially up for sale and over 50 years old, was assessed as part of the process?

In our case, when the building was reviewed by an independent firm more thoroughly, the initial assessment was validated. The Berkeley PO building was actually listed on the Register in 1981, and like ours, it surely is being sold with covenants attached.

I'm thinking that all the USPO will need to show is that it is safeguarding the essential and significant design elements so that even with a change of ownership, these will remain. Even if the USPO retirement policies have resulted in a fire sale, I'm not sure that this will change anything, or? I'm thinking it will come down to having a uniform process for all sales, not just those eligible, or listed on a register.......

The Grosvenor contract (I think it is at least 18 months) only begins with the sale of the building goes to that party (only), by the way. If I understand it correctly, if another developer or entity buys the building, that contract is not valid.

Matt Montagne

Hey all, say the property is going to be developed. What about developing this land as public green space? What type of legacy might that leave for future residents of Burlingame? How might a decent sized park impact local businesses along the Burlingame ave? Several of my neighbhors and I have remarked how tragic it would be if that property were to be developed as high capacity condos/apartments and we were considering taking action of some form. Thoughts?

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