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June 24, 2021

Comments

David

Sounds like a positive for neighborhoods like Lyon Hoag, where there have been numerous teardowns of Spanish-style homes built in the 1930s that have been replaced with largely vanilla designs that have nothing in common with the homes around them. I'm wondering if there is any discussion about reducing the FAR (floor area ratio). Every new home is maximum size and some streets are beginning to resemble row houses with minimal space between them and two stories built to maximum height. I understand folks have a right to build the home they want but any charm that attracted them to the neighborhood is slowly but surely being chipped away, to Joe's point.

Joe

From the DJ today:

Editor,

Burlingame’s potential penalties for historic structure demolition (SMDJ June 19 edition) sounds like window dressing to me.

Charming craftsman homes have been dropping like flies with the blessing of the Planning Commission. There are state laws that can be utilized to save historic sites, yet they never are. The Historic Society seems to be comprised of former members of the City Council and neither they nor the present council made any attempts to save the Gates House, Burlingame’s oldest residence. When all is said and done, more will be said than done.

Tim Donnelly

Joe

And the response from Russ in the DJ:

Editor,

Recently a letter by Tim Donnelly titled, “Saving our historic buildings” appeared in these pages. He has written before about the Gates House. In those letters and in this one he has repeated misinformation about the demise of the historic house.

The fact is that I, along with other members of the Burlingame Historical Society, did everything we possibly could have to persuade the owner to save the house. Mr. Donnelly’s belief that the society did not do anything is simply not based in any fact. The state laws that he mentions are designed to protect older homes are voluntary.

I would suggest that if Mr. Donnelly wants to save properties, he needs to first educate himself on the laws regarding historic properties and then get more involved in the issue; attend meetings of the Planning Commission and the City Council and participate in a more meaningful way than simply writing letters filled with fiction from the comfort of his own home.

I write this to not only defend the reputation of the society but as a former member of the City Council who was a strong advocate for preservation.

Russ Cohen

Burlingame

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