San Bruno hopes to rush permits for rebuilding homes

San Bruno officials are hoping to expedite the bureaucratic process and get people back in their homes five weeks after a 30-inch pipeline exploded in the Glenview neighborhood.

Residents, however, are hesitant to move forward until PG&E agrees to relocate the deadly pipeline.

“Living with shoes next to your bed, anticipating it will happen again is not the way to live,” said Tina Pellegrini, who lived at 1701 Claremont Drive. “A bomb went off in our neighborhood. I won’t be able to rest knowing there’s another one right down the street.”

Pellegrini, her husband, Bob, and their English bulldog Gus made it out of their home safely the night of Sept. 9 when the pipeline exploded. Their house and 33 others have been completely demolished since then.

The couple has rented a house in San Bruno. It isn’t exactly home, said Pellegrini, but it is a place to go away from the blast zone.

On Tuesday, the San Bruno city council reviewed measures to help speed up the city’s permitting process and drop fees for building to help the 34 homeowners affected by the blast return to some kind of normalcy.

“The city is assisting in any way we can,” City Manager Connie Jackson said. “Some homeowners have already been to the planning office to start this process.”

According to Jackson, it can take up to six months for permits and approvals from planning commissions. She hopes residents of Glenview and Claremont — the main streets affected by the blast — will be able to start construction within three months.

Resident Bill Magoolaghen, however, is skeptical.

Magoolaghen said he has one year to decide whether to salvage his one-story home. The walls were spared during the fire, but the house will need to be gutted because of water, fire and smoke damage.

Like Pellegrini, however, Magoolaghen said he and his family of four will move if PG&E does not move the line. In addition to the pipeline, he is also concerned about the air quality near the blast site.

“Every one of these homes had asbestos in it,” he said. “My 5-year-old has asthma. I don’t want to bring her back into this.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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