Parks, Open Space, and Recreation
Parks and recreation facilities provide places where people can be physically active, gather as a community, recreate, learn, and participate in the greater community. Active park spaces include sports fields, game courts, and playgrounds. Open spaces and natural areas support biodiversity, allow for the management of water and other natural resources, and offer opportunities for residents to be in and connect with nature. Burlingame has a diversity of open spaces, with most neighborhoods having relatively easy access to a neighborhood park or playground or the Mills Canyon Wildlife Area. Along the Bayfront, the Bayside fields, community garden, Bayside Dog Exercise Park, golf driving range, and Bay Trail offer places that attract not just Burlingame residents but visitors from other communities. And while the Bayfront amenities are separated from the rest of Burlingame by Highway 101, the policies in the Mobility Element include initiatives to improve pedestrian and bicycle access across the freeway.
Figure HP-1 identifies neighborhoods where residents are not within one-quarter or one-half mile of a park, distances considered to be walkable and bikeable. The Easton Addition neighborhood lacks ready access to park space, with the exception of fields at Roosevelt Elementary School. Open space in Downtown, where land use policy will allow for construction of up to1,200 new units (from baseline year 2016), is limited to a small playground on Primrose Road within Downtown itself; otherwise, the nearest park is Washington Park to the east. With the addition of residences at the north end of town—on El Camino Real and Rollins Road—additional open space amenities will be needed to create complete communities and respond to new residents’ desires for gathering and recreation spaces. Because Burlingame has virtually no vacant land, creating new public park and recreation facilities will be a challenge.
The private sector has responded to active residents’ desires by establishing indoor recreation facilities in industrial spaces within the Rollins Road district. While these businesses offer tennis, indoor soccer, gymnastics, and other activities, participants must pay a fee. The City sees the value that private recreation facilities bring to the community, but also is committed to providing public recreation places that meet the needs of residents of all ages and income levels. This commitment includes planning creatively to establish public space in Downtown—which could consist of plazas and outdoor performance spaces—and requiring that new residential development in north Burlingame incorporate publicly accessible green space and gathering spots. The overarching goal is to ensure that every Burlingame resident can easily walk or bike to a public open space. Figure HP-2 illustrates a conceptual parks, recreation, and open space master plan.
Provide a diversity of City-owned parks, recreation facilities, natural open spaces, and public gathering places citywide, and ensure that every Burlingame residents lives within one-half mile of such a resource.
Conduct a study to identify the level of use for each park, trail, and open space in Burlingame, and ensure that existing open spaces meet residents’ and visitors’ evolving needs, providing unique recreation experiences in parks, open spaces, trails, and public plazas. Consider incorporating education with recreation opportunities in the renovation of existing parks.
Continue to pursue plans for development of a new Burlingame Community Center that provides a multi-functional, flexible, and complementary space that allows for a variety of community services, recreational activities, and cultural amenities that are accessible to and benefit all ages and abilities of the community. Continue to engage residents and other stakeholders in planning and developing the new center.
Provide a range of quality recreational and multi-purpose facilities that are suited to community needs. Provide space for fitness classes, sports leagues, continuing education opportunities, community events, and other functions. Ensure facilities are well maintained and have adequate lighting, signage, and hours of operations.
Establish and maintain an integrated recreational corridor system that connects regional and local trails to creeks, open spaces, hillside areas, and City parks. Identify potential recreational linkage opportunities to better connect Burlingame’s existing trails, and retain publicly owned corridors for future use.
Work with Metro, the Coastal Conservancy, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and private property owners to close gaps in the San Francisco Bay Trail along Burlingame’s Bayfront. Improve public access and connectivity to the shoreline, and enhance recreation opportunities in the Bayfront area.
Improve access to large-scale natural areas along Burlingame’s Bayfront and in Mills Canyon Park. Identify areas for limited or restricted recreational use where natural habitat is particularly sensitive. Pursue opportunities for environmental education to encourage habitat conservation for residents, schools and visitors.
Provide parks, recreation, and trail access for people with disabilities. Identify spaces with limited disability access, and implement plans to incorporate accessible features, including appropriately graded paths and trails, firm and stable paving materials, edge protection on trails, gates and doorways of appropriate widths, accessible drinking fountains and restrooms, and accessible benches and tables.
Pursue funding for parks, recreation, and trail enhancement, development, and maintenance through a variety of mechanisms, including developer fees, the general fund, parking funds, special service districts, user fees, and grants. Include funds in the City’s Capital Improvement Program for timely community facility and park improvements.