Humane Society’s move catches firm in crossfire

Origen’s presence barred by effort to block PHS relocation

BURLINGAME — In an effort to block the Peninsula Humane Society from relocating to a facility on Rollins Road, a handful of businesses have inadvertently made it so an existing business on the site no longer complies with area guidelines.

The Peninsula Humane Society is suing those property owners, including Aerobay Office Center, Rilco Edwards and Albert Guibara, for changing local conditions, covenants and restrictions for the office park at the corner of Rollins Road and Edwards Court, according to PHS/SPCA Director Ken White.

“We believe they illegally amended the CCNRs,” White said. “If those are upheld, not only could the PHS not build its new facility, but the landlord would have to evict the existing tenant.”

The CCNRs were changed approximately three months ago to forbid any business from keeping animals on-site, according to Herman Christensen, owner of Aerobay.

“We feel it’s not a suitable place for the Humane Society,” Christensen said. “The hope for the Rollins Road corridor is that it would be upgraded to be more like an office park rather than miscellaneoususes.” He said he was not aware that Origen was keeping animals on the property.

Origen Therapeutics, which operates a biotechnology center at 1450 Rollins Road — where PHS hopes to relocate — performs experiments on chickens and keeps a number of animals in a facility on the site, according to Origen President Robert Kay. His neighbors have not approached him about the change in guidelines, Kay said.

Christensen, Edwards and Guibara sued the city of Burlingame in August, alleging that the city broke the law when it amended regional zoning to allow PHS’ project to move forward without also amending the area’s specific plan, according to Christensen.

Burlingame has since rejected that claim and is amassing documentation regarding the facility’s planning process, according to Burlingame City Attorney Larry Anderson.

Meanwhile, Burlingame is accepting public comment through Oct. 20 on an environmental review of the PHS relocation plan, according to Planning Director Meg Monroe. That review found that the Humane Society’s new site would not pose any unavoidable problems, such as undue traffic, noise or odor, as long as it’s built as proposed, Monroe said.

The Humane Society leases land on Airport Boulevard from the county, but that lease runs out June 30, 2008. White expects to ask the county for a three-year extension but said it’s most practical to find a new home in the next two years.

bwinegarner@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocalneighborhoods

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

An empty space where a Shared Spaces parklet once stood outside Aquitaine Wine Bistro on Church Street on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. The parklet was recently destroyed in a car crash. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Cars and parklets don’t mix: SF searches for solutions in wake of accidents

Andrew Fidelman got the call in the middle of the night from… Continue reading

Supervisor Dean Preston speaks about rent relief at a meeting of Faith in Action, a nonprofit serving low-income residents. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How to apply for post-pandemic rent relief in San Francisco and California

Reyna Aguilar has amassed $20,000 in rent debt since losing her restaurant… Continue reading

Transit-only lanes on Mission Street have reduced travel times by 20 percent during the pandemic, transit officials say. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Pandemic experiments morph into long-term solutions for SF transit agency

The streets of San Francisco became real-time laboratories for The City’s public… Continue reading

NO CONNECTION TO SERVER:
Unable to connect to GPS server ‘blackpress.newsengin.com’
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Owners of Levi’s Plaza on The Embarcadero say gas boilers on the property will be replaced by electric and solar sources in the next few years. (Shutterstock)
Big plans for clean power at Levi’s Plaza

Transition to net zero carbon in step with S.F.’s environmental goals

Most Read