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January 15, 2013



If anyone is interested, take a look at a 2010 decision by Judge Weiner, finding in favor of the neighbors that the City of San Carlos failed to comply with CEQA due, in large part, to an inadequate traffic analysis. Seems BSD failed to do their homework. (Save San Carlos Parks v. City of San Carlos.)


Bravo up-the-street-neighbor!! Finally, a voice of reason.


Depressing. If the NIMBY folks really cared about the kids' safety they would have addressed this n other ways, not funding a lawsuit. Sad day for the children and taxpayers of Burlingame.


I hear if BSD lost that the San Mateo Union High School District is going to consider the site for their Peninsula School. Kids are bused in so traffic is minor.


It's not just the kids safety that's at stake, it's the safety of everyone in the neighborhood. What other ways do you suggest that would have addressed the safety issue?


I'm afraid if the SM High School district acquired the property, they'd probably run into the same issue/concerns - despite busing. A private high school (Valley Academy) looked at the property a few years ago, which involved busing, and local residents were still up in arms (as evidenced by tons of protest letters in the address file for Hoover, if one were to visit the planning dept. at City Hall). More background (see final paragraph of the article):


Don’t see how opening any school, busing or not would change the inherent environmental issues of developing the property. People have to remember that CEQA is about the environment and needs to answer the question: does a project potentially affect the environment or not and if so can it be mitigated? If traffic and safety problem were identified as being potentially affected by the environment, then guess what? They will be the next time around. Hard to see how having giant buses going down those streets wouldn’t create other traffic, noise, pollution, problems.

Also don’t understand why people think Hoover is automatically a no-go. The court ruling basically says that an EIR needs to be performed, which is what should have been the case to begin with. You have to see what the EIR concludes to determine whether there are any issues that are insurmountable.


Dear Mr. Attorney Lovacavore.
You are 100% correct.
What has happened, and will continue to happen is that School Districts are not beholden to any rules, regulations, or building permit regulations that apply to every neighborhood, and City..
Every public school belonging to the School District is autonomous-collectively.


The Hoover site was unsuitable for use as a school from the get-go. BSD failed to comply with the standards set out in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations which govern selection of proper school sites. The site itself does not conform to many of the standards such as minimum acreage, site-layout, accessibility and other factors. Probably the worst violation is that the site is constrained on one side by a private easement that restricts access to the school as well as the ability to have a drop off and pick up location that won't cause the safety and traffic problems of the current design.


The school from the '40s and '50s is unsuitable as a school site.


Just move already and leave us alone.


Actually it was built in the 1930s.


Sorry folks, but suitability of a school site or Title 5 has nothing to do with CEQA, which by the way stands for California Environmental Quality Act. That's what the lawsuit is about, CEQA compliance. Nothing less and nothing more.


You are correct - the lawsuit only deals with CEQA. Non-compliance with Title 5 is just another example of BSD's cavalier attitude that it is above the law and as long as the "interests of the children" are being promoted, its actions are justified, regardless of the impact or violation of the law. The Title 5 standards are there for a reason - to address and avoid the exact problems the Hoover school now faces. It's too bad we can't trust that BSD would comply with the law in the first place. Had it done so, there would be no need for a lawsuit. It's truly a shame that the burden falls on the community to hold the District accountable.


EPC, good point. This cavalier attitude seems to be very pervasive by sponsoring agencies on the peninsula such as BSD and the City of Burlingame who have basically operated unopposed for years on end. Now that discretionary actions have been over-extended or outright abused, unfortunately the only recourse is litigation as there is no executive enforcement of the laws as you stated. I think that CEQA litigation is something this city needs to get used to unless sponsoring agencies change behaviour, which is going to be difficult for them.


Totally agree with Holyroller. This Hoover development is only good for our community at large, even for those disgruntled Hillsborough residents.
I'd like to point out that the Hoover campus site is within the Burlingame City limits and has a long history as a school, and a good healthy school district is one of the very best things about Burlingame. Another good thing about Burlingame is our vibrant shopping district along Burlingame Ave. I've witnessed Hillsborough residents taking full advantage of using Burlingame for our excellent shops and restaurants, something your town doesn't have, but some of these same people don't want the inconvenience of a school anywhere near their precious homes.
Let's try to all see the whole forest and not just the tree directly in front of us. The county of Marin has long been known as a community of NIMBY's, let's not join them in this negative distinction.
Our glass here in this community is way more than half full, let's yet to remember that as well as what makes our community such a great place to live.

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