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January 21, 2022


Dan Lyons

So sad that our city wants to raise the fees on restaurants struggling to survive. As if the rents are not high enough on top of the inflation driving up the costs of product on every business in town. I wonder if we deducted $4500 dollars on top of forcing a pay decrease (comparable to our decrease in business due to Omicron) how that would go over with the Council!…….wish the council would come work a few days in the local restaurants and go home with the pay we have been getting the last few years. Those of us that survived have been working for peanuts or for the love of the business. Probably getting below minimum wage if we were getting paid hourly. Hope someone actually reads these responses and the message gets to City Hall.


Trying to squeeze blood from a beautifully roasted turnip.....

Gonna be tough getting a reservation in town, Councilmembers....

I'm glad my restaurant days are behind me. Imagine the pain dealing with Covid, the openings, the closings, supply issues, insane cost increases, critical employees suddenly being out for two weeks or forcing the shutdown of an entire restaurant, the risk to servers, trying to convince diners it is safe to return, perhaps outside in the cold and rain. Restaurant owners/staff can just work from home, right?

We can help you - check out our menu - increased sewer fees, a new minimum wage - forget the tipping wage, a new special today - parklet fees and we won't help you with ADA lawsuits on approved parklets. Oh wait, Monday night special when your restaurant is closed - we've got a new cleaning fee. Do you want the quarterly cleaning or "regular" cleaning billed by staff making $173,000 and $155,00 a year? Doesn't matter where you are, how big your space, whether you keep it clean, you are paying. Councilmember Brownrigg was on a good track when he began to talk about a split fee. Take it a step further - no fee, unless you leave a mess. We all know those four or five restaurants. Keep your stuff clean, or you can hire a private cleaner for $100 a month....or maybe a little community service from our residents to help you out. None of that is working and need a last resort - well, that is what code enforcement is for?

Let's take a different look - restaurants bring in sales tax, keep our workers and residents fed, and keep those shoppers energized to spend in our town. Discourage the parklets, restaurants close and sales tax goes down? Shocker. What happened to good old-fashioned economic development and saving much of what makes Broadway Broadway and the Ave, the world-class experience it should be...and don't forget we've got over 100 restaurants in town. Help them all. Don't look down on the Ave, well, if you do, you'll realize that a good, thorough cleaning hasn't happened for a longggg time - perhaps that is "regular". Remove services and then charge for them - economic development for 2022. Boooo.

The response from Council?

Mayor Ortiz (also on the Economic Development subcommittee) after being told that some Broadway restaurants experienced a 50% cancellation rate from Omicron and food costs have shot through the roof - some 200-300% increases, "I was at Saltyard on New Years Eve and it was packed to the gills, so, and then when I walked around there was a few others that seemed to be doing pretty good business." Seemed to be. Restaurants always seem fine the day before they close for good. Imagine that 3% profit margin during Covid, if you are lucky. Well, time for you to sell another $100k in sides of turnips this year to cover that fee. Good luck, sucker.

Councilmember O'Brien Keighran "You can take your parklet down and you don't have to worry about that expense."

How about we take all parklets down and everyone open up a sidewalk cleaning service instead - I hear there is good money in that, especially in bad times.


That is a lot of Federal money coming in. What are they planning to do with all of it?


Why should they be charged a cleaning fee? If they can't keep their parklets clean themselves they are going to lose customers in disgust and/or have the health dept go after them. They should already be cleaning themselves without an additional fee. And if they don't, then they should face consequences. Or what am I missing?


One of the reasons given was the cost to remove graffiti from the parklets. The city has been ignoring the graffiti problem for years all over town. What's changed? How about catching the damn taggers in the first place. Or are we waiting for sea level rise to wash it all away.

Covidia the Tattoo Lady

Close the Parklets but only after all Covid restrictions are ended. And they should be ended now. Businesses have no effect on the transmission of the virus (go to a sporting event if you don't believe it). The UK has done it and Europe is following. Only hyper-hysterical pols and marxists are promoting this never ending crisis.


John Kevranian's last point about ADA lawsuits highlights something that is a disgrace. Some ambulance chaser is driving honest businesses into the ground all over the state. That lawyer needs to be stopped. Where is Ricardo Ortiz and our wannabe Congresswoman on this? What about our wannabe state senator? Why are they sitting around while highway robberies take place all over town? Well?

For Sale Cheap

For Sale One nice parklet real cheap. Bring your own muscle to move it. Must be out by April 1. Call 650-558-7200


Sad but True.
Broadway Business.
If you folks feel this assessment is unfair, there are @ 100 people that will take your shops/place the minute you "sell".
The Days of "Family Friendly"-Norman Rockwell esq. are long gone. Way long gone.
Take what you can get and retire.
Once Earthbeam "Sold Out" you should have had a "Fire Sale."

East Side Pride

When I first read this I, unfortunately, wasn't surprised. But before I go further, I must admit guilt in not being involved in local politics (except voting). I first moved to Burlingame in 1987 (until 1989), then returned in 1994. I am in year 29 in the house I love. Burlingame has been a wonderful place to live. That being said, the reality is that the city leadership does not appear to have local businesses or current residents as a priority. State Government and Development are the focus. Unless I am totally blind, there has been no push back (other than design changes) to anything new or big or mandated. I realize we are hamstrung regarding state policy/law, but not even a little pushback on redistricting, expanded housing or massive projects? The editor of The Voice has covered all the major projects, including the impact on infrastructure, water, etc. yet they continue. The office buildings are mostly empty, but keep building. New ways of working mean not everyone has to live here, but keep building. Looking into my crystal ball (half tongue in cheek), San Mateo/Burlingame/Millbrae will become the mega-city called San Millgame, while Hillsborough will find a way to designate itself as a "Tesla Habitat". And as Holy Roller and the Amityville Horror movie said, "get out!".


It's good to hear from some Old Timers. Here is another from yesterday's DJ:

I tend to agree with Mr. Kevranian’s position on repealing the recently passed parklet fee charge as well as the idea that residents should contact councilmembers and let them know that they are also in favor of repealing the parklet fee (letter to the editor, “Burlingame parklets,” in the Jan. 29-30 edition of the Daily Journal).

The councilmembers do not have a “stake” in their decision or have to deal with the monitory ramifications the merchants will have to deal with to keep their doors open. We cannot forget it wasn’t the merchants, who restricted the number of patrons in a given business establishment or the plethora of other regulations placed upon the merchants; it was the politicians. In my letter to the council I asked them: If you are not willing to resend the parklet fee, as an act of solidarity for the merchants, would they reduce their own salary/expense account by the same amount merchants will be subjected to for their respective parklet?

Rich Grogan



Paloma Ave

East Side Pride - Your contribution was right on target.


As far as we see in our neighborhood eating establishments on Broadway, we see nobody using them anyway so remove them.

Our family drives up and down Broadway numerous times per day and have not yet seen more than two or three people eating at a Parklet in the last year.

So what is the big deal?


Here is the latest pushback from a local establishment that went out to customers:

So, I've been fielding a lot of questions about the parklet lately and the future of it since the city has now imposed a rather hefty fee associated with keeping it. If you haven't heard, on January 3rd the City Council voted to adopt a $1500/year rent for parklets as a way to make up for lost meter revenue. That's $125/month which seemed reasonable, given the additional outdoor seating it allows us.

Then on January 18th, they voted to adopt an additional $250/month cleaning fee...! They claimed that the parklets cost that much in sidewalk and barrier cleaning. This is where they lost me - our parklet does not dirty the sidewalk in any way (I'm looking at you coffee/boba tea/ice cream places) and for the cleaning fee to be TWICE the rent seems absurd. So, when folks ask me about the future of the parklet, my honest answer is...

I'm not sure.

It already costs us in additional labor, supplies, maintenance, etc. So, the $375/month might be the straw. When I called to ask about it (and register a complaint) someone took my name and number and said the supervisor would call me back. Never got that call. The pandemic has been a struggle (putting it mildly) and now it seems like a slap in the face by our own city.

If you feel inspired to let them know how you feel (and maybe save your favorite outdoor wine destination), here's the number:

Burlingame Public Works Dept.
[email protected]

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