Rec center BY CHARLIE CHAPMAN
BY ALLIE KENNEDY
The Burlingame City Council recently decided on a design of the new recreation center after years of deliberation and the consideration of various ideas. The council members decided on a contemporary look for the new building, which will be built in the same location as the existing recreation center by Washington Park. The project’s budget and schematic design were approved by the council in November, as well. Current plans for the building include classrooms, child and teenage areas, workshops and a large community room which can be used for various events. Additionally, the Washington Park playground will be rebuilt and relocated to another part of the park to make space for the new recreation center. Although construction has not yet begun, early estimates from the city have placed the opening of the new center to occur in 2021.
After finding critical flaws in the current pool structure, the school district has decided to completely demolish the pool and build a new one in its place. Although negotiations between the city of Burlingame and the district are still taking place to obtain clearance for construction and to negotiate price allocation, Superintendent Kevin Skelly told the Burlingame B in writing that “[t]hings are moving forward in good ways.” Updates about pool construction will be posted online at theburlingameb.org as they develop.
Caltrain BY HUBERT CHEN
Over the past few years, Caltrain has undergone a renovation named Calmod in order to create a safer, faster and cleaner public transportation system for Bay Area residents. Calmod calls for many new improvements to Caltrain, including the electrification of trains and the modernization of stations. Since its unveiling in the summer of 2017, sections of Caltrain lines have seen the construction of new electricity poles in preparation for the new electric trains, most notably the section of track directly in front of Burlingame. Read more about this in our next issue as the story develops.
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by l Al
General Plan Senior Reporter
The Burlingame City Council voted unanimously on Jan. 7 to approve an update to the city’s general plan, which was last revised nearly 50 years ago. The multiyear effort to adopt a revised general plan was spearheaded by a group of residents and city officials and was focused on providing guidance on issues surrounding development and growth. According to the city, the entire plan was focused around the question, “How do we want Burlingame to look, function and feel 25 years from now?” During the meeting, Mayor Donna Colson said the vote constituted “the single most important piece of legislation [the] council will produce or has produced in the last five years,” describing the plan as an “absolute road map for how we will address many, many concerns and many, many issues going forward into the future of Burlingame.” The vote represented a culmina-
tion of a process to revise the General Plan, which began in 2015. The city’s effort to draft a plan was known as “Envision Burlingame” and was described as a “robust community-driven process.” Envision Burlingame included the formation of a Community Advisory Committee that met 18 times over the course of two years and included a variety of community members including residents, renters, business owners and students. The group’s discussions led to agreement on a set of guiding principles around which the specifics of the plan were based . According to the adopted plan, these points included balanced and smarter growth, community character and economic vitality, among others. The plan includes both overarching sentiments about the future of the city, which the plan referred to as “goals,” and “policies” that were intended to be more specific in nature and are to
be used by the various city commissions. The plan is largely focused on the perennial questions surrounding the balance of development with the preservation of the town’s characteristics. The proposals outlined in the plan include a variety of ideas on how to confront this issue. Policy prescriptions include altering restrictions on residential development near the Millbrae border and offering ideas on the incorporation of livework spaces near Rollins Road. The plan also offers ideas on how to limit the impact of development on the community, specifically proposing for residential development to be focused in areas not in the vicinity of existing neighborhoods. Instead, the plan proposes that new developments “occur in targeted areas near transit,” which could help limit the effect on traffic levels and neighborhoods throughout the city.
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BY CHARLIE CHAPMAN
Facebook BY ALLIE KENNEDY
Facebook will open new office space at 300 Airport Blvd. in Burlingame in 2020. The 18.13-acre location by the bay will be home to four new office buildings, according to GlobeSt News. This project is only part of Facebook’s recent expansion across the Peninsula, with Facebook also building or renting new office spaces in Fremont, Mountain View, San Francisco and Sunnyvale. The Burlingame location will hold Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality division. Facebook’s move to Burlingame has been met with mixed reactions. Some Burlingame residents hope to see Facebook stimulate economic growth in Burlingame. Additionally, Facebook has already agreed to renovate the Bay Trail, as well as improve the nearby Fisherman’s Park. Other residents, however, are wary of the increased traffic and additional demand for housing that Oculus may bring.