It's 11:30pm on a Monday and I have just returned from a Burlingame Planning Commission meeting. Before attending the meeting I was generally pleased with the scrutiny most of the commission members were giving the projects that came before them, until tonight, it seemed to me they were throwing in the towel on the notion of neighborhood consistency.
I made some comments that I was concerned about second story additions being approved in neighborhoods where none existed. My contention is that there isn't anyway a monster house can fit into the consistency of a street where no monster houses exist. The answer was kind of a shrug of the collective shoulders by the commission. Paraphrasing here, "Well everyone has a right to build what they want as long as they are doing it within the rules." Well isn't one of the rules "neighborhood consistency?"
To be clear, I am not against growth or building second stories. I am against poor design. The photo attached is an example of a home that was approved tonight, one block from my house. Nothing really wrong with it, but nothing really right with it either. Same old, same old. Does it add value to the hood? Some might say it actually deters from the hood. I would be amongst the "some."
I have much more to say on the subject, but this post is rambling as it is.
Simply out, the debate will continue. As one commissioner said tonight, paraphrasing again, "Until we reduce the FAR, we're going to be approving these second story additions throughout town, no matter what the neighborhood looks or feels like.
So much for neighborhood consistency.