Friday, December 29, 2006

Calling all Artists

The Fourth Annual Artists’ Evening of Sharing with Brisbane Artists is calling for entries! This year's event will be held Saturday, February 3, 2007. Artists of all varieties have an opportunity to share their talents with the Brisbane Community during an evening of inspiration and enchantment. Each artist will present a short slide show, video or performance of music, dance, theatre or spoken word. For entry forms and information about the event, contact Beth Grossman at Entry forms are also available on the City's website.

When Artists get together, anything is possible.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

City's DPW Crew Repairs Water Main Break

At 8:00am today the Department of Public Works responded to a water main break near the intersection of San Bruno and Mendocino. Water was seen to be bubbling up through the groud under the pavement, indicating the location of the leak on Mendocino. Investigations were conducted to pinpoint the exact location of the water main break so that the DPW crew could being digging. Before doing so, it was verified that no other underground utility lines would be affected by the digging equipment.

A full-circle break on a 6" cast iron pipe was discovered, which was replaced by a cut section of PVC piping. The water main was then tested by the DPW crew, after which they backfilled the hole.

Almost half of the breaks in any given year occur in December, January, and February. Increased soil pressures, caused by freezing, thawing, and shifting, affect weak spots of a water main, causing breaks. We're just glad our DPW crew was able to respond so quickly to today's break, and we thank the local residents for their patience as well.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What's Being Built at 1 San Bruno Ave.?

You may have noticed the cement foundation that has been laid down at the corner of San Bruno and San Francisco Avenues (across from the Community Park) and wondered what was going to occupy that space. Commercial businesses? Residential housing units? The answer is yes to both. A 2- to 3-story mixed-use project is being built, with commercial businesses and a parking garage on the ground floor, and 15 residential units occupying the floors above. Six one-bedroom units, ranging in size from 817 to 945 sq. ft. in floor area, will be located on the second floor, with 9 two-story units occupying the second and third floors. Four of the two-story units will have one bedroom and range from 899 to 936 sq. ft. in area, and the remaining 5 two-story units will have two bedrooms and range from 1,162 to 1,226 sq. ft. The stuccoed building’s color scheme will be similar to that of the Visitacion Gardens Senior Apartments, dark tan with bluish-green, off-white, and brownish taupe trim. The builder hopes to have the project completed by the end of year 2007.

The project was designed to be as environmentally sensitive as possible, incorporating solar power, energy-efficient appliances, and walls with high insulation value. The builder has selected materials to provide a healthy indoor environment and reduce the demand on natural resources. Because of lower utility and maintenance costs, the residential units are expected to be more affordable than those in other buildings. Of the 15 residential units, one unit will be constructed so as to be fully accessible for persons with disabilities. The sales prices for two units will be restricted in perpetuity so as to maintain their affordability for a low-income household and a moderate-income household (as set by the California Department of Housing and Community Development for San Mateo County). The other units will be subject to a right of refusal by qualified first-time homebuyers under the City’s first-time homebuyers program.

At the time of this posting, there had not been any requests for a business license, so it is still uncertain the nature of the businesses that will be occupying the first floor. Whatever the case may be, the City is excited about the positive feedback it has received from its community members expressing their opinions that the building will be a definite improvement for Brisbane.

Friday, December 08, 2006

An Exchange of Funds Allows Brisbane Residents to be Better Served

As a member of the City/County Association of Governments (C/CAG), which deals with issues that affect a city’s quality of life (in areas such as transportation, air quality, stormwater runoff, etc.), the City of Brisbane is entitled to request for the allocated federal grant funds set aside for Brisbane, given project funding needs. One of these funds is the Surface Transportation Program (STP), which is used specifically towards street improvement projects. $31,000 had been allocated by C/CAG for Brisbane’s STP Fund, but with $100,000 being the minimum grant amount a City may apply for, the City would have had to pay an additional $70,000 just to receive the $31,000 in federal grant assistance. Also, these funds would only allow for California state streets to be improved, which in Brisbane consists of only Guadalupe Canyon Pkwy and Bayshore Blvd. Because the City, including the Public Works Department in this situation, aims to serve the residents of Brisbane, the City did not apply for federal grant assistance. Rather, it is the City's intent to use its funds towards making any necessary improvements to the streets used more frequently by locals. When the City of San Bruno learned of the City’s decision, they offered Brisbane a portion of their Gas Tax Fund in exchange for Brisbane’s allocated STP Fund, which, otherwise would have been relinquished had the City not applied for them.

Seeing this to be a great opportunity to increase the City’s revenue base, Brisbane agreed to San Bruno’s offer, and under the terms of the Exchange Agreement, the City of Brisbane will transfer to San Bruno $31,000 in STP Funds in exchange for $23,250 of San Bruno’s Gas Tax Funds. The net effect is an increase in the gas tax revenue received by the City, further contributing to the City’s General Fund. This leverages the City to be in a better position financially, and able to further meet the needs of its citizens.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Correction in the Brisbane City News

The date of the 25th Anniversary Party for the Library and Community Center will be on Sunday, December 10th from 1:00-5:00pm, not December 5th. We apologize for this mistake, and hope to see you at the Community Center as we celebrate this Brisbane milestone!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Advancements in the EIR Process to Occur at Next City Council Meeting

At next Monday's City Council meeting (12/4), the Council will be asked to approve a contract with Environmental Science Associates (ESA) to conduct the environmental impact review (EIR) for the proposed Baylands Specific Plan and project alternatives. At the November 6th meeting ESA and their land-use planning sub-consultant Dyett and Bhatia made a presentation regarding a new and different approach to developing community-based project alternatives.

The City of Brisbane has decided to embark on a robust project alternative process to provide an opportunity for the community to formulate project alternatives. In January and February of 2007 we will be having a series of three community presentations on subjects that will assist all of us in formulating project alternatives. As you may recall, last summer we hosted "An Evening with James Wines", a renowned architect and author of the book 'Green Architecture'. Our upcoming workshops will be in the same vane. Subject areas will be Parks and Recreation facilities and programs- the value they add to a community; economic vitality and sustainability- how to make a project successful and durable over time; alternative energy resources- harnessing energy which may have less damaging impacts on our environment.

Beginning in February/March the City's consultant Dyett and Bhatia will be hosting a series of small meetings with community members and Community workshops to work on truly community based alternatives. From this work the City Council will adopt project alternatives to study in the EIR. It is anticipated that the EIR will take approximately a year and that public hearings on the draft EIR would commence sometime in early 2008. Of further note, the EIR would be at the expense of the applicant not the City of Brisbane.

An adopted EIR is a first step in the process to make use of and remediate this property. Further steps include adoption of one or more specific plans and the application for planned developments which will require subsequent environmental review. As the process moves forward we move from more general discussion of possible uses of this land to more specific proposals. As you can see, this is a multi-year process.

The City of Brisbane will continue to update our website, concerning the Baylands, which hosts all material to date over the past 4 years including proposed plans, staff reports, contracts, minutes, etc. The staff report with the scope of services and timeline will be available online at the City's website tomorrow in the City Council Agendas section (dated December 4, 2006). We will be using channels such as our website and this blog to update the community. We encourage participation of everyone and are available to answer any questions. Feel free to contact Clayton Holstine, City Manager ( or John Swiecki, Principal Planner ( with your questions or concerns.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


If you think about it, our country is in a similar state as it was nearly 150 years ago when Abraham Lincoln was president. But the difference is that we'll be celebrating another Thanksgiving whereas in 1863, President Lincoln had just called upon the American people to observe the first Thanksgiving ever in history. And this was at a time where there was little to be grateful for - the nation was embroiled in war and dark shadows were cast on the prospect of peace. But in the battlefield, President Lincoln delivered his famous battlefield address, where he reminded the people that although they were divided by many things, they were still united by the American ideal. There, in Gettysburg, Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving proclamation, setting aside one November day for the people in the North and the South to join together and forget their differences.

This Thanksgiving, as American families celebrate life's bounty, may we remember the men and women on the fields of battle who are eating meals under enemy fire. As we sit on sofas swapping stories, they sit in humvees, patrolling streets. While we gather around televisions watching football, they huddle under cover watching snipers. In the face of these great challenges, may we, like Lincoln, put gratitude first.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Gearing Up for Month 2

We started this blog nearly a month ago, and have been quite pleased with the amount of viewership we’ve had with it (if you haven’t already noticed, there’s a tracker on the bottom of the page). The blog has been averaging around 150 page loads a week, with half of those being first-time visitors. So, to ensure that we continue to blog on the things our readers are most interested in hearing about, we invite you to forward any suggestions for blog topics to Caroline at Thanks, and here’s to making this blog a timely news resource provided to you from the Staff at City Hall!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Vote "By the People"

The word Democracy means literally "by the people." This is the basis of our government and society. It is what this country was founded upon and what makes us American. It is not just our "right" but also our duty to speak out and voice our thoughts and opinions. Participating in the electoral process, electing responsible leaders, and making your voice heard are probably the greatest fulfillments of one’s civic duty in America.

Yesterday, Brisbane residents came out to cast their votes and allowed their voice to be heard. 73.28% voted No on Measure B, and 26.72% voted Yes. The result of that vote is that no housing will be built in the Quarry.

We thank you for taking the time to exercise your civic duty and coming out to vote yesterday. We will update this entry with the number of Brisbane residents who voted when that information becomes available. (EDIT: of the 2,395 registered voters in Brisbane, 1,522 total ballots were cast, resulting in a 63.5% voter turnout).

But in the meantime, click here to see the rest of the voting results.

Friday, November 03, 2006

City Council to hear from preferred EIR Consultant

On Monday November 6, 2006 at about 7:30 pm the City Council will hear a presentation from Rajeev Bhatia of the firm Dyett and Bhatia regarding the process for the community to develop project alternatives at the Baylands. Dyett and Bhatia is the firm that will probably be recommended to City Council to conduct the alternatives development portion of the Environmental Impact Review for the Baylands Specific Plan. Prior to presenting the contract to Council for approval, the Council will hear about the process that will be used to develop project alternatives. This is one of the most extensive alternative development processes ever used. It will include in excess of 30 meetings including meetings with City Council, Planning Commission, a Community Issues and Visioning Workshop, Interviews with individual stakeholders, a Community Workshop on preliminary alternatives, Neighborhood/key group briefings, and a Community “Open House.”

Please attend Monday’s Council meeting or watch it on Channel 27 to find out more about this important process. The citizens of Brisbane have an opportunity to help shape the future of our community. Please take the time to participate.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

To Set the Record Straight

You may have received a postcard a day or two ago that looked like it came from City Hall, complete with the City’s logo and phone number to call with questions. This mailer was actually put out by proponents of Measure B and not the City.

We at City Hall understand the importance of providing only accurate and objective information to the Brisbane citizenry, and therefore felt the need to address the disservice this postcard posed to our community. Not only did it take information out of context, it was formatted to appear as if it was sent from City Hall, and even attempted to enlist staff in the campaign by providing the City’s general phone number to call with any questions. Because mailers like these are public domain information, we do not have control over them. We wanted to take the time now to make sure that those who received the postcard were aware of that fact.

To read up on Measure B, and the arguments both in favor and against it, visit the City’s website. City Elections take place next Tuesday, November 7th.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A New Adventure

We started this blog because we feel it is an effective way to communicate timely information. The Internet has provided a powerful new way for us to communicate important information to you on a more timely basis. This Blog site, in conjunction with our monthly newsletter, quarterly Star mailings, and announcements on Channel 27, will keep you informed on the issues that impact you in Brisbane. We hope you will be able to reference this site often (expect weekly updates) as a means to hear about City happenings, news, and events! So with that…feel free to browse around, and we hope you visit again soon.