Category Archives: Membership

A word please…

As BHNA moves into 2017 this organization is faced with the reality that our pool of volunteers is drying up, this coupled with the challenge of retaining those currently serving, has left us we some difficult choices in reducing the general meetings and modifying our charter to accommodate this reduction of support and ultimately face the question of how do we keep BHNA viable going forward?  

I know that you by the fact you have taken the time to read this believe like I do that organizations like BHNA serve a critical role in keeping questionable government values and commercial predators in check.  It strikes me as very odd or just a sign of the times that when our organization resources are its lowest the need is at its highest.  This is the time when our community is at risk of being taken advantage by bad actors and is the reason that I am appealing to you to consider your level of participation.   

Over the coming months our neighborhood will be faced with a wide array of commercial entities pushing of higher density development, reduced parking, reduced impact assessments, un-checked eminent domain, raising of building heights, and re-routing of commuting traffic through traditionally quite residential streets to name just a few.  

Our governmental representatives base their decisions on what they hear – BHNA is seen as a primary leader and a voice of reason who takes the representation of our Neighbors seriously.  Without that important voice of BHNA many decisions will be passed without community representation and will adversely impact the future viability and livability of San Mateo.  

I know that each of us have busy lives and BHNA is competing for your time…  but realize that if do nothing than you have made a choice in the formation of this community.  

As the current President of BHNA, I know I speak for the current and past members of BHNA volunteers who have sacrificed their time and resources by saying that what we do is important and without the over 25 years of efforts, we would be looking at a completely different San Mateo!  

In closing, I would like to appeal to you as a fellow civic minded neighbor by requesting that you consider how you can make a difference and get involved with this important organization.  

In ten years from now when you look over San Mateo – what will look like (will it have your unique fingerprints upon it?) or will you like what you see or will you regret your lack of involvement?

Now is a pivotal time – don’t discount the impact you can have! We welcome all those willing to participate – this is your association and is waiting for you to define what is will be in the future… please feel free to reach out to me or any of the other board members to discuss how you might get involved. 

Your neighbor, 

Robert Sellers

Retention of Recreational & Open Space – Position Paper

December 3, 2015

  • Mayor Maureen Freschet
  • Deputy Mayor Jack Matthews
  • Council Member Joe Goethals
  • Council Member David Lim
  • Council Member Rick Bonilla

Re: Retention of Recreational & Open Space

Dear Mayor and City Council Members:

We, the Board of Directors of Beresford Hillsdale Neighborhood Association (BHNA), would like to voice our concern on behalf of the thousands of residents we represent in the southwestern portion of the City of San Mateo, for the preservation of and commitment to recreational and open space within our city boundaries.

We spotlight these concerns to you, our elected official representatives, regarding changes which have resulted in continued and sustained impacts on the quality of life aspects which originally brought your constituents to this community.

In the recent past, we have seen the following open or recreational spaces either threatened or redeveloped in our city or region:

  • Bridgepointe Ice Rink
  • Central Park Baseball Field
  • Central Park Tennis Courts
  • Malibu Castle Golf & Games
  • Malibu Grand Prix

The regional losses, to date, have not been replaced with other recreational space, which is a loss to San Mateo residents and the surrounding community. Additionally, funds from the sale of recreational or open space used to improve already existing recreational or open space, rather than to procure or create new recreational or open space, is insufficient and still considered a loss.

The Board of Directors of BHNA would like to officially ask you, our city leaders, to always approach your decisions regarding open space and recreational space with an all-encompassing view of the current and future needs of city residents. In growing our City, open and recreational space is at a premium, and any given away or converted without full replacement is irretrievable. As our population increases, so does our need to have these spaces available for San Mateo residents and their families. We urge you to ensure that the quality of life in our community does not erode due to lost recreational or open space.

We further urge you, as representatives of our City, to ensure that this priceless space never be allowed to be negotiated away. It is our opinion that it is not an acceptable practice for the City to negotiate with developers or other entities when the desired result of that developer or other entity is the elimination of a current or proposed open space or recreational commitment.

Finally, we urge you to weigh any and all decisions carefully in regard to open and recreational space, and its impact on the quality of life of San Mateo residents. Its value to the community is incalculable.


Lisa Taner


Beresford Hillsdale Neighborhood Association


cc: City of San Mateo Planning Commission Members

September General Meeting Recap

The speakers at the September Meeting were Audrey Ng, Ed Coady and Dr. Joan Rosas, who discussed Measure X, and Maureen Freschet and Larry Patterson, who presented the City’s views on Measure S.

Dr. Rosas informed us that SMFCSD now supports 12,500 student and is projected to add 200 students per year; existing facilities cannot accommodate these numbers. If approved, Measure X would generate $148 million in locally controlled funds to address the needs of the schools. It will levy a tax equal to approximately $14 per $100,000 of assessed property value (not market value) and will last for as long as the bonds are outstanding, i.e., 30 years. Measure X requires 55% approval.

To determine how best to meet the expected capacity needs, the Next Steps Advisory Committee was formed 18 months ago. Audrey and Ed reviewed the committee’s outreach to the community and the results of their efforts. The committee conducted 121 different group meetings with a large variety of stakeholders. It found consensus to build new capacity where the student growth is expected. In our area, gyms and classrooms are needed at Abbott and Borel. There was discussion about selling district properties not presently being used, including the “Knolls” campus, as well as alternative uses, such as building housing for teachers. Members inquired why new developments do not include new schools. Dr. Rosas explained that the required environmental impact reports do include impact on schools, and that developer fees are assessed. However, the fees are set by the state and not by the city, and they are inadequate to finance the needed additional capacity.

Mayor Freschet discussed the history of Measure S, which is a continuation of Measure L, passed in 2009 to help San Mateo recover its financial strength. That was successful, and the City now has a three month budget reserve. However, Measure L sunsets in 2017. The proposed Measure S will replace it.

City Manager Larry Patterson explained that we need this dedicated funding source because we don’t have enough dollars to cover what needs to be done, and delays will result in increased costs down the road. Measure S funds mainly will be used for: (1) Failed Street Program: $1.5 M per mile is the current cost for failed street reconstruction. 19 miles of streets currently are classified as failed in San Mateo, but the available budget is only $4.5 million; (2) Flood map: San Mateo needs to implement improvements in flood zones at a current cost of $23.5 million; and (3) Public Safety such as dealing with gangs, homelessness and property crimes. A Citizens Advisory Committee will be created to oversee this 30 year measure.