« Fall Colors 2017 | Main | Easton Project, Yes -- Nada on El Camino »

November 28, 2017



It's a gem of a bungalow. Burlingame looks more and more like Millbrae.
Has the city council ever addressed the dangerous parked car situation at Washington middle School in the morning and at end of school? How is this potential accident waiting to happen allowed? Or is it willfully ignored?


The "monster" on California ave is an apt description. It is breathtaking. I pass it every day on the way to the train station, and I can't get over how such a thing was approved for that location. It changes everything. We've started down the slippery slope.


That monster and also the other monster being built on the old Radio Shack site...who would have imagined something that big and tall going onto that tiny lot!! Totally out of character with the surrounding old buildings! But then again maybe that's part of the ultimate plan?? Obviously money means more to the City of Burlingame than having any character in this town! These building set a precedence so get ready for more of the same same. Burlingame one of maybe the last Peninsula cities to cave into the "Kool-Aid" developers are selling.


The monster on California is Palo Alto Medical Center which means cars coming and going all day long. Yes, get ready for many more of them downtown and the surrounding areas. The corner of Bayswater and Myrtle is already under way and get ready for the corner of Oak Grove and California to be approved. It's as large as the monstrosity on California and is a combo residential/retail. It's going to be huge for that corner, with less than parking. It's all so sad to see and there doesn't seem to be a way to stop it.


And we just had a city council election, so those of you who voted for the three who won their seats, can thank them for this. A contractor’s daughter and two others, who don’t give a rat’s ass about how this city’s landscape is changing. Haven’t been around long enough to appreciate the bungalows and small town beauty that is rapidly diminishing. So so so sad.


I wish there had been more choice. I'm not sure the also ran would be any better. Time to call out the legal dogs of war.


Height limits were set in 2008 with the downtown specific plan. The buildings on California Drive and Lorton Ave didn't set the precedent/standard, they conformed to the plan enacted by the council in 2008.


Enacted in 2010, I believe.

Here is the difference: Whereas from way back even before 1969 heights were also "planned" at 55' max, and in many cases 75' (think Urban Renewal time frame), in those days, the high parking requirement kept the maximum heights in most cases from being realized (generally speaking).

Now, the parking ratios have been somewhat reduced, and, if a project is multi-parcel, it is possible to pencil out with puzzle parking (or any number of newfangled techniques) and/or with big digs.

Put it all together with a booming economy, and you have heights now being realized that were not actually feasible, before, even if they were allowed.


Oh, and I forgot the obvious-- lots of "help" via pressure from the State to maximize build-outs and minimize local input.


Thanks to the eagle-eyed reader who let me know that the original post included "California Ave." which is, of course, wrong! It has now been corrected to California Dr.

Thanks also to Jennifer for the insightful look behind the code to the real story. I'll bet even Fred was impressed with her knowledge.


You missed the BIG story, Joe, which is worth a listen. Go to last week's Council Agenda Item 10b: "Recent Developments in California Housing Law" and listen to how the broad strokes on housing development will affect Burlingame.


Here's a piece in the DJ today about Redwood City showing us how it's done:

Three Redwood City homes have been officially deemed historic and their owners have finalized agreements with the city ensuring the buildings will be preserved and regularly maintained for at least 10 years.

On Dec. 16, the City Council unanimously approved local historic designation and Mills Act contracts for the homes at 1633 Hopkins Ave., 1800 Whipple Ave. and 891 Edgewood Road.

According to city code, historic designation is for buildings that can claim at least one of the following criteria: it exemplifies or reflects special elements of the city’s cultural, aesthetic or architectural history; it’s associated with persons or events that are historically significant, it embodies distinctive characteristics of a style, period or method of construction, or was built or designed by notable people in the industry.

Mills Act contracts, widely considered one of the most effective historic preservation incentives available in the state, offer yearly property tax breaks to the owners of historic structures so they can use the savings on the long-term maintenance of the property. Homeowners can save as much as 40% to 60% of the individual assessed tax valuation of the property and must submit a 10-year schedule of proposed maintenance and improvements, according to the report.


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

About the Voice

  • The Burlingame Voice is dedicated to informing and empowering the Burlingame community. Our blog is a public forum for the discussion of issues that relate to Burlingame, California. On it you can read and comment on important city issues.

    Note: Opinions posted on the Burlingame Voice Blog are those of the poster and not necessarily the opinion of the editorial board of the Burlingame Voice. See Terms of Use

Contributing to the Voice

  • If you would like more information on the Burlingame Voice, send an email to [email protected] with your request or question. We appreciate your interest.

    Authors may login here.

    For help posting to the Voice, see our tutorial.