The City cannot legally prohibit specific chain-type businesses (i.e., corporate entities that have a larger presence within the region, state or nation) from locating within downtown Burlingame as long as the particular business “type” (e.g., retail, service, or other type of commercial use) complies with the applicable zoning standards for the downtown district. The City is required to uniformly apply the zoning standards for the area to all uses irrespective of the ownership of the business entity.
Within downtown Burlingame, it has been observed that as the rental rate for commercial tenant spaces has increased, the presence of chain stores has increased as well. This is likely attributable to the deeper pockets of corporate entities that are better funded and can afford the higher rental rates within downtown Burlingame since that cost can be subsumed within the overall corporate operating costs, as opposed to small, independent business operators who cannot do the same. Unfortunately, these transactions are beyond the control of city government. The City of Burlingame cannot legally regulate the rental charges asked by property owners within its commercial districts. Therefore, as the area has become more expensive from a rental standpoint, corporate presence has increased.
Additionally, re-development of the former “Chevron” site with the new store resulted in the creation of three new metered public parking spaces on the Burlingame Avenue frontage of the site, due to the elimination of driveways associated with the former service station.
As background, the City of Burlingame’s Zoning Regulations do not require on-site parking for ground floor retail uses on Burlingame Avenue; hence, no parking was required for the ground level of the new Walgreen’s store. However, construction of the mezzanine level of the store (used for administrative offices and storage) would normally require additional parking. It was the conscious decision of the developer of the project to seek approval of a variance from the requirement to provide parking for the mezzanine area given its limited usage.
Additionally, the developer paid in excess of $200,000 into the City’s parking fund to mitigate the lack of parking on the site. The City’s parking fund is a source of funding for parking improvements within the Downtown district, including the provision of additional parking facilities when enough funds are aggregated.
No person shall erect (including excavation and grading), demolish, alter or repair any building or structure other than between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays, except in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with written approval from the building official, which approval shall be granted for a period not to exceed three (3) days for projects including structures with a gross floor area of less than 40,000 square feet; and when reasonable to accomplish the erection, demolition, alteration or repair, not to exceed twenty (20) days for projects including structures with a gross floor area of 40,000 square feet or greater. No person shall erect (including excavation and grading), demolish, alter or repair any building or structure on Sundays or on holidays. For the purpose of this section, holidays are the days set forth in Section 13.04.100 of the Burlingame Municipal Code and are defined as:
- January 1
- The third Monday in January
- The third Monday in February
- The last Monday in May
- July 4
- The first Monday in September
- The second Monday in October
- November 11
- The fourth Thursday in November
- December 25
The restrictions stated in this section shall not apply to work that does not require a permit under any applicable law or regulation.
Sandblasting or similar external building cleaning shall be limited to 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and prohibited on holidays on such days.
The Planning Division cannot provide you with the locations of your property lines, nor can we settle property line disputes between neighbors. Property line disputes are considered a private matter and must be settled by the property owners through a private surveyor or in a court of law.
In residential districts, the maximum fence height allowed is 7'-0" tall on the sides and rear of your lot (6'-0" solid material + 1'-0" of open material such as lattice). Within the front yard, that maximum allowed fence height is 3'-0" if it is of a solid design, or 4'-0" if it is of an open design freely allowing light and air to pass through (e.g., picket fence or wrought iron railing).
For corner lots, a clear sight triangle must be maintained to allow visibility around the corner. Within this area, a fence may only be 3'-0" tall for 15'-0" in either direction of the external corner of the lot (the corner where the two streets intersect).
The first measurement is Lot Coverage. The maximum allowed lot coverage is 40% of the lot. Lot coverage is the footprint of your house and any accessory structures.
The second measurement is Floor Area Ratio (FAR). This calculation takes into account the total living area. This measurement is taken from outside wall to outside wall and includes garages. The maximum allowed floor area is determined by one of the following formulas:
- Interior lot with attached garage: 0.32 x lot area + 1,100 SF
- Interior lot with detached garage: 0.32 x lot area + 1,100 SF plus up to an additional 400 SF for detached garage and other accessory structures
- Corner lot with attached garage: 0.32 x lot area + 900 SF
- Corner lot with detached garage: 0.32 x lot area plus up to an additional 350 SF for detached garage and other accessory structures