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March 21, 2012


Ron Jensen

My old time memories of returning (in my car) to my Burlingame from San Mateo or Millbrae--i.e. roaming into the deep, shady, beautiful El Camino Real of my town!! Wahoo, what a great memory


So very, very cool. Thanks to whomever was behind this one. Maybe some of the wonderful things about Burlingame will be protected, unlike the beautiful post office.


Our little section of El Camino is truly unique. I love it!


Kudos to Burlingame Historical Society president, Jennifer Pfaff for all her hard work making this stretch of ECR recognized by more than those who travel on it.


Tune into the Council meeting tomorrow night (April 16th) to hear more details on this fabulous designation!


It's too bad the SF Comical missed the most significant news on El Camino in years when they wrote about its history!



Did anyone see this letter in the Times

Although I agree that West Oakland might benefit from a few more trees, the residents could be stuck with a really bad situation 20 or 30 years down the line if they are not careful. I live in Saratoga and work in Burlingame, two cities that have advanced tree preservation into the realm of the absurd. While I was serving on the Saratoga City Council in 2003, the council proposed an ordinance that would have made it a misdemeanor for a property owner to trim more than 25 percent of a tree's canopy. This meant possible jail time and a criminal record. Fortunately, public outcry forced the council to scale it back to an infraction.

A California live oak planted by a squirrel 40 years ago shades 75 percent of our vegetable garden. We could never get a permit from the city to remove it and could face serious fines if we remove it without a permit. Try driving El Camino through the city limits of Burlingame. The eucalyptus roots have buckled the pavement to the extent that if you are driving a lightweight vehicle, you can be tossed into the lane beside you or, worse, into oncoming traffic. Before we write a prescription for West Oakland, let's consider the end result.

Stan Bogosian


pat giorni

Drive slower Mr. Bogosian, over Mother Nature's speed bumps. Roll down your windows to catch a whiff of that aromatic eucalyptus aroma which is probably in the cough drops you buy when the air quality suffers from too many tailpipes. If you're in a hurry, use the freeway.

local motion

Exactly. The little bumps from the trees can't compare to the giant ones designed into the road at the Monte Diablo and Santa Inez intersections in San Mateo. Time to get real.

pat giorni

There is a proposed condominium project going through the Planning Commission right now that involves the removal of the grove of protected trees on 1509 El Camino Real. You all know the location, at Adeline and ECR. The project is in early stages so now is the time to rally opposition to the grove's removal and stop the already approved but not yet issued permit to cut these trees.

Believe me, you are going to miss them when they're gone. Their absence will create a noticable hole in our Tunnel of Trees, replaced with an imposing building along that entire frontage. There are story poles now, at the back of the property to indicate the proposed height of the structure. What those story poles do not demonstrate is what the property will look like without those trees because the poles do not extend along the sides or front. Drive or walk by the site and imagine NO TREES softening the structure.

What is equally disturbing will be the precedent set if the City allows the removal of this old growth that sits less than 50 feet from our Historically recognized Eucs. How does the City continue to maintain a strong defense against Caltrans if it cavalierely allows commercial development to trump aesthetics and environmental concerns?

In the effort to save the grove of protected heritage trees behind the Adeline Market property, slated to removed for the currently proposed condominium project at 1509 El Camino Real, our neighborhood needs your help.

Please copy and paste the letter below in a new email, and send it with the attachment to: [email protected] with a cc to: [email protected] , and city council [email protected] .

Dear Beautification Commissioners,

I am writing to nominate the Bunya Bunya tree that is contained within a grove at 1509 El Camino Real for "protected tree status" under Section 11.06.020(f)(2) of the municipal code. It meets the municipal code requirement listed in Section 11.06.020(f)(1).

Although it has never been documented as having been a part of the historic Mills Estate plantings, the tree is at least as old as the documented El Camino Real Historic Register recognized Eucalyptus plantings, and stands within 50 feet of El Camino Real.

In his arboreal report of February 22, 2011, former Planning Commissioner Ralph Osterling opined, "[t]he bunya-bunya was observed to be in over-all good condition."

This tree is truly a unique and magnificent biological wonder. To ever lose such a specimen from our City of Trees would be a heinous shame. I request that you place my request on your next agenda and notify me of that meeting date. I want to be present to give comment and listen to your deliberation.

Thank you for your consideration.


Your name
street address
phone and/or email

Section 11.06.030 Nomination and listing of protected trees.
Nomination for protected tree status under Section 11.06.020(f)(2) may be made by any citizen. The commission shall review such nominations and present its recommendations to the city council for designation.
A listing of trees so designated, including the specific locations thereof, shall be kept by the department and shall be available for distribution to interested citizens.
The city council may remove a designated tree from the list upon its own motion or upon request. Requests for such action may originate in the same manner as nominations for protected tree status. (Ord. 1057 § 1 (part), (1975); Ord. 1470 § 1, (1992); Ord. 1598 § 1 (part), (1998))

11.06.020 Definitions.
Terms used in this chapter shall be defined as follows:
(a) “Commission” means the Beautification Commission of the city of Burlingame.
(b) “Department” means the parks and recreation department of the city of Burlingame.
(c) “Development or redevelopment” means any work upon any property in the city of Burlingame which requires a subdivision, variance, use permit, building permit or other approval or which involves excavation, landscaping, or construction in the vicinity of a protected tree.
(d) “Director” means the director of parks and recreation of the city of Burlingame.
(e) “Landscape tree” means a generally recognized ornamental tree and shall exclude fruit, citrus, or nut-bearing trees.
(f) “Protected tree” means:
(1) Any tree with a circumference of forty-eight (48) inches or more when measured fifty-four (54) inches above natural grade; or
(2) A tree or stand of trees so designated by the city council based upon findings that it is unique and of importance to the public due to its unusual appearance, location, historical significance or other factor;

In the event that you cannot copy the letter from this site, email me at:
[email protected]
and I'll send you the letter and an attached picture.



Thanks, Pat. I copied and pasted and sent, per your instructions. The city of trees is rapidly becoming the city of few trees. I have nowhere to build my nest!

pat giorni

Spread the word...we need a groundswell if we are going to save Bunya...This is even bigger than TOM the Tree.



Keep Burlingame Parks & Rec away from Bunya! They do NOT love Burlingame's trees!

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