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January 15, 2013



I'll report Lorne's comment about the suit here now that I have posted it:

Now this issue has turned into a lawsuit. So, does this mean the District may be paying interest on their legal fees (assuming they allocate funds from either of the two bond measures to pay for them)??

Lincoln Mom

Great. Just what the BSD needs, to use precious dollars to pay lawyers to defend a lawsuit over traffic. Hill People, if you bought a house near a school, you knew exactly what you were getting yourself into.

Account Deleted

I saw this posted on the Burlingame Hills Community Improvement Associations' website. Looks like it might be an entertaining evening (more drama than even "Homeland") :)



Lincoln Mom,
Not if you bought your house near a school that hadn't been a school for way more than a decade!

Account Deleted

Just for keeping track of the Hoover lawsuit case in the San Mateo County Court:



Thanks, Lorne. This looks to be a very, very handy website. I see the case number in the link, but there is no field to search by case number. Searching on "Burlingame" leads to some interesting results, but I don't see this Hoover case in the list. There are several different names for the School District and multiple different suits current and past, but I don't see this one. Any suggestions on locating it?


Nevermind--it worked fine with another try. But it was fun rooting around for other things. Thanks again!


Now I've wasted almost an hour looking at lawsuit cases. This is worse than Angry Birds!

Account Deleted

Sorry the link above didn't take you directly to the case. In case you didn't figure it out already, as an alternative,you can always go to the court's case search page (URL link below) and select "CIV-Unlimited" from the Case Type pull down menu, and then enter 519075 for the Court Case #



Roosevelt School was closed for close to 20 years. There was a similar uproar, but no lawsuit, back in the 1990's when Roosevelt was re-opened. Hoover, like Roosevelt, a school with a much smaller campus than Hoover, never had the school zoning changed. There is no other location in Bulingame zoned for a school. Did Roosevelt neighbors not realize they bought their home near a building zoned for a school?

And it is false to say kids do not walk to school anymore. The advantage to neighborhood schools is that children/parents can walk to school, and many currently do. Many children walked to Hoover from the "flatlands" and still can on a sidewalk right up to a crosswalk to the school.


Have you ever experienced the traffic debacle @BHS.
I am really surprized there have not been any serious accidents.
Not only are parents and students attempting to get to school on time, the Trains, the Crosswalking Guard, the crosswalk at the Donut Shop, the intersection at Oak Grove and Carolyn, Heavy Equipment is coming in and out of the Park Dept(behind the Washington Park Baseball Park) have to drive through a maze of parents under stress, 16 year old new drivers, with text/cell phones that "absolutley need to be answered." Parents too.
The only children that walk to school are the children whose parents have to leave the house to get to work at 6-7:00AM
Please be honest Mike, what time to you have to be at work?
In your opinion, how long would it take a 12 year old(Boy/girl)with backpacks(for books) to walk from Broadway/Rollins road to Hoover School?
How long?
I dare you to answer..
That is the point I bring up when I talk about the economic, racial, cultural divide in the City of Burlingame.
So Mike,
How long will it take a 12 year old to go to Hoover School from Rollins/Broadway?
How long will it take the child to get back home.
Lets hear it Mike.


Hoover school is mainly going to service children who live in the Burlingame Hills, ie, those who live behind Hoover and to the north to Hillside Drive. Most of the kids who live in the flatlands will still attend Roosevelt, where there are sidewalks and streets laid out in a grid pattern. I can't imagine that any parent would allow their child to walk down Canyon or through Hillside Circle or even on Easton Drive past the pillars when there are tons of cars driving on those streets to drop off or pick up their kids. Times have changed. Traffic studies show that there are a greater number of kids being driven to school. In the US, 3/4 of all children are driven to school. This is largely due to concerns regarding safety and security as well as elimination of school busing programs, like Burlingame. Many existing schools were designed in the 50's, 60's and 70's (Hoover actually was built in the 30's) when most children were expected to walk or bike or take a school funded bus to school. The drop off/pick up zones at these older schools, if any existed, are not adequately designed to serve current demand. This is compounded by the fact that available land to create or expand drop off zones is frequently constrained, the Hoover site being a perfect example. There are more cars, bigger cars, 2 parent working households with grandparents charged with the duty of transporting kids to and from school. Also, most kids have off campus activities and sports after school that require driving because, unlike when Hoover was operational 40 years ago, schools can't afford to offer after school programs or buses for that matter, which was the prime mode of vehicle transportation when Hoover was open. There is a larger discrepancy between the currently experienced traffic volumes (that can been seen at all Burlingame schools) and those estimated at the time Hoover was constructed.This is a nightmare in the making. It is absolutely accurate to say that most kids don't walk to school anymore.


In response to a previous comment to the "Hill People" who bought their homes near Hoover, please educate yourself. Hoover closed it doors in 1979 and the school district sold the property to a buddhist church in 1989. For those Hill People who purchased their homes during that time period, whoda thunk the school district would re-purchase the property in 2010? Kind of stretches the imagination. What makes it worse is the amount of money being spent to purchase and rebuild the school (close to $25 million). Isn't there some available land owned by Peninsula Hospital that could accommodate a brand spanking new school? Surely the price tag would have been much less - can't imagine any land stability or traffic issues there ...


Cannot speak for BHS. It is part of the High School District, NOT the Elementary District.

A 12 year old would attend BIS, the only middle school in Burlingame, not Hoover. No child near Rollins/Broadway would likely attend Hoover. The few children in that area currently attend other schools and would continue to do so. Hoover school is intended to relieve the pressure from the areas creating the most student growth (around Lincoln and Franklin schools and to some extent Roosevelt school). These schools have doubled in enrollment in the last several years and are already overcrowded for their size.

Most children within several blocks of Burlingame schools do walk or ride bikes to school. Two large SamTrans buses service BIS for drop-off and pickup.

Peninsula Hospital is BUYING up every piece of land they can get their hands on. They are not going to sell any land to anyone, let alone land large enough for a school.

Conservative Burlingame school district enrollment projections (which have been consistently low for the last few years)(As of May 28 report):
2013-14 = 3058
2014-15 = 3280
2015-16 = 3290

Projected shortage of classrooms in 2014-15 without Hoover = 11 classrooms.

Inter-district transfers are primarily from school district staff and city employees (same policy as Hillsborough and most schools). There are a few remaining "grandfathered" transfers (mostly at BIS now), since inter-district transfers were stopped several years ago (parents can appeal to the County Office of Ed., which often approves inter-district transfers by over-ruling the district).


I have no facts-public records, (they are out there if anyone has the time to look/ask for) to base this thought on..
However, I remeber some years ago, the Easton Libray was scheldued to close due to City of Burlingame "Budget Issues."
Low and be hold, The Catholic Church parents(Private school-very expensive/exclusive membership,right next door.) Came up with Private Donations to rebuild and Maintain this Botique- Publc libray that doubles as an " Catholic after school" program for children to gather until their are able to retrieve their children.

Now a Boutique Public School is being built, just up the street from the Easton Libray.
Little or a lot of thought was involved in "Green Lighting" the project.
I am looking forward to a Grand Jury Investagation.
I am glad to see that an injunction was imposed today to stop all construction until 07/29/2013.
Where there is Smoke, there is Fire.

Burlingame Betty

Hollyroller -

I take issue with your continuing comments about the Easton Branch library and the nearby catholic church (which, by the way is not exclusive- all are welcome, and it is not very expensive). You obviously don't have any facts or you would know that the church community came together to help the library out with a donation, as did many other individuals and groups. The bulk of the money donated was from a private source, I believe it was left to the library for the betterment of the community - we are so lucky to have had that gift!

As a person who lives in close proximity to said institution, I'm very happy that all kids have a safe place to do homework after school. How lucky we are! The library provides more service than "after school care"- for instance the toddler reading night is very well attended - kids come with their parents for story time and it is a great program.

Climb down off your pedestal and join the community. As for Hoover - it will be interesting to see where the cards fall.

Burlingame is very lucky to have so many families and kids - that is what makes it a great place to live.


Here, here!


Where Where?


An injunction--really? Where have I been?

Actually I live in very close proximity to the school and there has definitely been work going on over at the school in the last 2 weeks.

I'm a grandmother and will not have children or grandchildren who will ever attend this awesome 'proposed' school. But why in the world this big controversy over re-opening this beautiful historic property that has been awasting for several decades now. It's an asset to the neighborhood and the Burlingame community. We've been looking at this abandoned building for years now. Would it be better to divide the 7 acres and build more 'Tuscan villas?'

Re-opening this school makes perfect sense. I hope the court decides accordingly.


the Hoover opposition always seems to over dramatize the situation. The injunction, if I read the documents correctly, is regarding the work on the pickup-drop off area, which is the highly contested base of the suit. It is not for all construction activity.

I agree with Susan. I also hope the court decides in favor for opening the school as proposed.

Thomas J. Payne

Today, I walked by a sign proclaiming the Burlingame School District Centennial. Ironically, the two heritage ok trees they cut at their school site on Summit Drive were a bit older than that according to the rings on the healthy stumps that are visible from the street. They were not sentimental at all concerning these wonderful "centennial" trees.
Surrounding the BSD Centennial sign are reminders of this tragedy. The same incumbent members of the City Council who voted to allow the district to cut the tree are now asking for re-election.
Your City Council and mayor were told by the school district that the trees needed to be cut immediately to ensure the opening of the school. They voted to cut the trees and hours later the BSD had a crew butchering the hillside.
One day later at the court hearing, which concerned the proposed drop off zone, BSD had to explain this behavior to the judge, who commented..."this looks very bad...
BSD claimed it was urgently necessary to open the school, then their the judge reminded them that their own timeline showed the construction of the proposed drop off was scheduled more than a year away!
BSD was asked to document potential losses if the law suit did not prevail. They claimed that the delay of the construction would cause erosion on the hillside. The judge reminded them that BSD caused this situation by cutting the trees.
I do not live in your city, but would encourage you to take this opportunity to ask the incumbents...Why?


Thank you, Mr. Payne. By the way, the candidate's debate on Thursday, Sept 19th at 6:30pm in City Hall is open to all including Hillsborough residents..........

Account Deleted

Here is the judge's tentative ruling on this case, per the San Mateo County court's website:

Upon due consideration of the evidence presented at trial via the Administrative
Record, the oral argument of counsel, the briefs on the law, and having taken the matter
under submission,
IT IS TENTA11VELY DECIDED as the Court's Tentative Ruling, as follows:
1. The Petition for Writ under the first "cause of action" on the basis of
violation of CEQA, in that Respondents did not obtain an Environmental Impact Report, but rather adopted an Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration and approved the
Project on that basis, is GRANTED. Under the "fair argument" test, an Environmental
Impact Report is required under CEQA, at least as to traffic and parking impacts of the
proposed Project.
2. The Petition for Writ under the second "cause of action" on the basis of
violation of CEQA for failure to recirculate the Mitigated Negative Declaration is
3. The Petition for Writ under the third "cause of action" on the basis of
violation of CEQA for failure to adequately response to comments is DENIED.
4. The Complaint's fourth cause of action for declaratory relief is MOOT
and/or DENIED on the basis that relief is provided under the granting of the Petition for
Writ to require an Environmental Impact Report.
The Court will be issuing a subsequent Proposed statement of Decision.

DATED: October 9, 2013


Can you describe what the ramifications of #1 being granted might be? Will it stop the opening of the school?


This was not just a slap on the hand for BSD. A judge studied the evidence carefully and ruled that the district had violated the law in not performing state-mandated environmental studies. Specific requirements are set for this, and the BSD and its paid consultants and administrators should have known this and complied from the start. They are at fault for any and all delays. They do not seem to have a plan. This ruling is no surprise to BSD, and they have done nothing to solve the problem other than play on the emotions of the school parents and spread bad will with the neighbors. The upcoming ruling will be very interesting and I hope that the community will read every word and see how poorly their interests have been served by their paid employees at the school district and consultants. If you want a preview into what is in store, do a search on the recently settled Hoover High School lawsuit in San Diego. This was the long-awaited decision that BSD's legal team had used as precedence for a school district fighting a neighborhood uprising over construction without an EIR. Well the neighbors in SD won and now the discussion is whether the district will have to remove illegally constructed facilities and compensation for damages caused. School districts are entrusted to look out after the children and are given a lot of legal privileges. When they abuse these privileges, the law comes down hard.

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