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Scenic Resources

The dramatic landscape of Burlingame’s hills and the sweeping open Bayfront create scenic views that merit protection and enhancement. Burlingame also has several scenic roadways—and El Camino Real in particular—that may qualify for protection under the California Streets and Highways Code, Section 260 (see Figure CX-3). These roadways are considered scenic because they provide visual access to natural features like bodies of water, mountains, and trees, as well as built features like historic landmarks, historic districts, and architecturally significant buildings. Scenic corridors can provide an enjoyable travel experience, link urban and open space areas, and provide access to recreational areas. The following goal and policies work to preserve and enhance Burlingame’s scenic resources, including sightlines of natural features and views along notable roads.

Goal: HP-7

Protect local scenic resources, and preserve views of the natural amenities in the city.

Continue to require a Hillside Area Construction Permit for all new residences or accessory structures, as well as additions to existing residences or accessory structures, to protect residential viewsheds. Consider establishing specific development standards for hillside residential projects to ensure view preservation in the area.

Development Review

Protect officially designated California State Scenic Interstate 280 by maintaining open space and low-density residential land uses along the highway corridor, ensuring roadway signage does not detract from scenic views, and screening unattractive structures with appropriate landscaping. Consider establishing tailored protection regulations for El Camino Real (State Route 82) and portions of the Bayshore Freeway (U.S. 101). 

Development Review Services and Operations

Protect local scenic roadways by preserving mature trees wherever possible, maintaining landscaping along roadways, and ensuring that development and land uses do not detract from the aesthetics of the corridor. Consider establishing specific design guidelines for residential development, commercial development, and roadway signage along scenic corridors. 

Scenic roadways to be considered for such treatment are:

  • Airport Boulevard
  • California Drive between North Lane and Morrell Avenue
  • Easton Drive between El Camino Real and Summit Drive
  • Hillside Drive
  • Skyline Boulevard from the city limit north of Kip Lane to Trousdale Drive
  • Ralston Avenue
  • Trousdale Drive
Development Review

Identify locations for gateway treatments along scenic roadways at key intersections, and establish a cohesive signage aesthetic that enhances scenic views. 

Master Plans Development Review

Coordinate and identify connectivity opportunities between scenic routes and adjacent public recreation areas such as parks, scenic outlooks, and biking and hiking trails. Prioritize the development of separated bicycle lanes along scenic routes to connect with recreational trails. 

Master Plans Services and Operations

Take steps to underground utility lines wherever possible, particularly along scenic roadways to minimize obstruction of views. Prioritize areas slated for undergrounding of utilities, recognizing the associated costs as well as funding options such as Pacific Gas & Electric Rule 20 funds. 

Agency Coordination Services and Operations

Protect views to the Bay shoreline by identifying viewsheds to the Bay from key locations and restricting the height of buildings within these viewsheds. Ensure that new Bayfront development does not detract from the scenic qualities of the area, and consider adopting commercial and hotel design guidelines specific to the Bayfront. 

Development Review