Sky-high worries over senior home

Burlingame residents such as Katie Treu who live behind a proposed senior-care facility they describe as “towering” are gathering to shut down the revised plan of the building despite the city’s attempts to appease the dozens of concerned homeowners.

Treu and other residents living behind a one-story building on 755 California Drive, where a 51-foot-tall residential nursing home is proposed, are amassing for a neighborhood meeting this weekend to oppose the structure and may even picket in front of the site in a few weeks. They claim the building will block sunlight, lower their property values and increase traffic.

Only a fence and a small space separate the back of the lot for the proposed facility from the backyard of a home. Treu estimated that about 100 residents in the immediate vicinity behind the lot would be affected.

Developer Dale Meyer said in September that he was working to possibly lower the back height or increase landscaping for the $8 million project to ease residents’ worries. A revised plan submitted Oct. 18 does feature a shift in square footage away from the neighborhood on the top two floors of the four-story building, planner Ruben Hurin said.

The residents say numerous letters to planning commissioners, the City Council and Meyer have gone unreturned, and that the new plan is not any better than the old one.

“We were totally neglected —just slapped in the face,” said Treu, who lives on Neuchatel Avenue, the street behind the lot.

“A project like this should never even get this far,” added Brian McGinn, who lives behind the lot on Palm Drive. “This is outlandish — what they’re tying to put in.”

But the city is setting aside time at its Dec. 10 Planning Commission meeting to weigh the concerns of the residents as well as Meyer’s desire for the project, just as it did earlier in the year, Community Development Director Bill Meeker said.

At some point, the commission needs to approve a permit for the site, which is zoned for commercial purposes.

Businesses have also complained that street parking would fill up, although Meyer said in September that an underground parking facility for employees would be sufficient. He did not return calls for comment Wednesday.

Residents are also worried that the building’s approval would create a precedent for larger construction in the area, which contains mostly small shops.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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