Before Burlingame was thoroughly urbanized, the Baylands and hillside environments supported a rich abundance of wildlife in wetland, mixed forest, and evergreen forest habitats. Although the City is almost completely urbanized today, remnants of these original environments remain. Along the Bayfront, marine and estuarine habitats are home to many common fish, bird, and reptile species, as well as special status species (meaning those that may be protected by State or federal law) such as the Ridgeway’s rail and longfin smelt. Coastal wetlands also support protected plant species. In Mills Canyon and along the creeks that flow to the Bay, you can find many reptiles, mammals, birds, and insects, including several species classified as rare, threatened, or endangered.
These natural habitats and the species they contain contribute to the overall environmental, ecological, and educational health of the community and region. The City recognizes the importance of preserving and protecting the areas shown on Figure HP-3 for the long term.
Protect, maintain, and improve biological resources in Burlingame, including hillside habitats, trees and plants, shoreline areas, and creeks.
Preserve critical habitat areas and sensitive species within riparian corridors, hillsides, canyon areas, tree canopies, and wetlands that are within the City’s control. Consult with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to identify and map significant habitat areas, and focus protection measures on habitats with special status species. Protect declining or vulnerable habitat areas from disturbance during design and construction of new development.
Identify and protect habitats that contribute to the healthy propagation of migratory birds, including trees and natural corridors that serve as stopovers and nesting places. Avoid construction activities that involve tree removal between March and June unless a bird survey has been conducted to determine that the tree is unused during breeding season by avian species protected under California Fish and Game Codes 3503, 3503.5 and 3511.
Encourage the restoration and daylighting of Burlingame’s urban creeks where they have been undergrounded, and where such daylighting is appropriate for surrounding conditions. Coordinate with property owners and local interest groups in restoration efforts. Remove culverts and hardened creek channels where appropriate, and avoid future culverting or channelization of creeks.
Continue to preserve and protect valuable native trees, and introduce species that contribute to the urban forest, but allow for the gradual replacement of trees for on-going natural renewal. Consider replacement with native species. Use zoning and building requirements to ensure that existing trees are integrated into new developments.
Continue to update and use the Burlingame Urban Forest Management Plan, which integrates the environmental, economic, political, historical and social values for the community, for guidance on best management practices related to tree planting, removal, and maintenance, including onsite protection of extant trees and street trees during projects.
Discourage the use of invasive plant species in environmentally-sensitve areas. Where species have already invaded and have been shown to be detrimental, establish plans for removal where appropriate. Ensure that new development obtains appropriate permits and approvals related to invasive species from the Army Corps of Engineers and other relevant agencies.
Preserve permanent, year-round wetland habitat and associated species in compliance with the federal “no net loss” policy. Where jurisdiction allows, establish buffer zones at the edge of wetland habitats, and restrict development in these zones. If development occurs adjacent to a wetlands area, ensure a qualified biologist has conducted a wetlands delineation in accordance with federal and State guidelines.