In 1990, residents began to get upset about the kind of development going on in our city. Two ladies stepped up and joined forces to create a small group called San Mateans for Responsive Government (SMRG). SMRG created a ballot measure to limit new development heights and the number of units, all while outlining a plan for affordable units, too. Voters liked it so much, they passed it, and then voted again to renew it with Measure P.   But Measure P is getting ready to expire? WHAT NOW? The original height heroes are back on the scene, with SMRG, working hard to ensure voters once again have a voice. Come learn about this interesting story steeped in BHNA’s history, its important role in San Mateo, and what the next chapter may be.

NOTE: To be on SMRG’s email list, write to limitheights2018@gmail.com.


With rising rents in our region, a huge concern is housing for our aging parents, returning college kids, or perhaps even just renting out space to off-set mortgage costs. Imagine a separate dwelling on your property. Are the livable sheds seen on the home improvement shows possible in your future? Each city has its own rules for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). A speaker from San Mateo’s Planning Department will talk about the latest changes in land use policies in the planning process for new construction, zoning, codes and permits. Find out if you can add a “mini” residence on your property, and what it might do for your property’s value. As we are encouraged to provide more residences in San Mateo, this is one of many new solutions.


At our upcoming meeting, we will introduce some new folks for a Member vote.   But, we must take a moment to acknowledge those remaining on from last year, including Vice President Jeffrey Wang, Newsletter Editor (and former President) Lisa Taner, Andrea McCutchin in a new Membership role, and Director Don Leydig.   Kurt Ricci was voted in by Members at our November meeting, and we look forward to his serving in a Director position this year.

With that said, we are excited to introduce a group of fresh faces, who are interested in Board & Director positions. Tammie Barbero is seeking the President position, Frances Boscacci wishes to step in to work in a joint role on Membership, and Tom Lease, Genel Morgan, Marlene Tam, & Cindy Hui would like to be considered for Director positions.   Come learn more about these terrific volunteers and why they wish to represent you!

SPECIAL MENTION: Repeating our warm thanks again to departing Board members & supporters who served us well in 2017: Thank you Anne Wilson, Belinda Chlouber, Rod Linhares, Diana Harris, Ellen Wang, Robert Sellers, Michael McCutchin and Cary Chen!! BHNA would not be what it is today without your contributions.

STILL SEEKING….YOU?  99% of you are qualified and it only takes one YES! BHNA truly needs someone (or two someones?) to take notes at their 4 Board meetings, and 4 Member meetings throughout the year. Both are evening meetings, with Board meetings on the first Wednesday of May, September & November, and Member meetings on the third Tuesday of February, May, September & November.   The time commitment is minimal, but this is such an important way to serve your community, and enable the BHNA to continue to focus on working hard for our residents! If you are interested, or perhaps know a student who is interested, please contact Lisa at lisabhna@gmail.com or 650-504-8181.

 WHAT’S A G.P. AND WHY DOES IT MATTER TO ME?  You don’t want to miss the birth of your city’s General Plan because it dictates every single thing your city will be able to do, or NOT do, until the next General Plan rolls around. Road designations, development, traffic, speed limits, are all just a tiny handful of things which fall under the GP. Your Planning Commission and City Council have just begun the new GP process (which will take at least 2 years), and stated that they want to hear from you to understand what your vision of San Mateo’s future should look like. It’s your turn to be heard, so contact them today!

Eric Rodriguez – erodriguez@cityofsanmateo.org, Maureen Freschet – mfreschet@cityofsanmateo.org, Joe Goethals – jgoethals@cityofsanmateo.org,
Diane Papan – dpapan@cityofsanmateo.org, Rick Bonilla -rbonilla@cityofsanmateo.org



By now you’ve noticed the closure of 31st Avenue by Hillsdale Shopping Center. They told us last year it would be open for the holidays, and then closed again.   Your re-route will likely last until June, 2019. (This item corrected since mailed version.)


A four hour meeting was held in late January to kick off the first meeting workshop of the Council & City to begin discussing their ‘global vision,’ including goal-setting/budgeting process which shall be set the first quarter of 2018 for the 2018-19 period.  The workshop successfully allowed an initial list to be created, including input via letters from the community, and that information is set for review at the February 5th City Council meeting.

BHNA provided a two-page list to Council, including priorities for traffic mitigation funds, getting an extension of our current building heights/density limit measure on the November 2018 ballot, beautification of our southern shopping/commercial district and more. These recommendations will be posted on our website. The City and Council will finalize their goals on March 19th. If you’d like to provide YOUR input, just send an email to council members.


50th ANNIVERSARY – OUR ADOPTED SCREAMING EAGLES Mark your calendars! March 23 – 25th commemorates the 50th anniversary of San Mateo’s adoption of the 101st Airborne Division (US Army). Activities & special events including a parade, Central Park festival & more! For more info, go to www.cityofsanmateo.org/101st.


The room swelled on January 24th as about 80 concerned residents met at the Concar strip mall to discuss the 935 residences and commercial buildings proposed for that space. Without the full impacts of the new Station Park Green development (which replaced KMart), and the AAA building of 60+ units yet to be started, there are grave worries over impacts, not only to three adjacent neighborhoods, but to Highway 92 as well.

Barb Niss, a Sunnybrae resident, held the meeting to galvanize the community, and has also created a Facebook page called Concerned Citizens of San Mateo so folks could stay abreast of details and future meetings. NOTE: To be on the Concerned Citizen’s email list, write to ccosm2018@gmail.com.

 In attendance were are least 5 leaders from various   neighborhood associations around the city, including BHNA’s Lisa Taner, who spoke about San Mateo’s expiring heights and density measure (whose extension is hoped to be put in front of voters again on the November 2018 ballot), new California laws which may impact our city’s ability to weigh-in on new developments, and Plan Bay Area, the parent plan driving development all around the Bay Area.

With a new San Mateo General Plan in the works, which will cement decisions on developments like this one, coupled with the upcoming expiration of Measure P for building heights/density limits, it is a crucial time for residents to get involved and speak out about what they want.