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Planning Context

The Rollins Road industrial corridor is a major employment base in Burlingame. Dating to the middle of the last century, the area largely has supported light manufacturing businesses, warehousing, auto repair shops, and wholesale sales activities. In the early 2000s, new uses setting up business in the district included commercial recreation businesses such as tennis clubs and indoor soccer facilities. Given the presence of the Millbrae multimodal transit station less than one-half mile from the north end of Rollins Road, the district presents opportunities for further evolution and particularly, to support housing development. However, with the diminishing availability of well-situated industrial properties in the Bay Area, balancing the need to preserve industrial land and businesses with the ability to accommodate emerging and desirable new uses will be a key challenge.

Rollins Road itself is a wide, four-lane thoroughfare with parking on both sides. Service and delivery trucks utilize the parking (and sometimes traffic) lanes during certain hours, and traffic on the street is relatively light. Currently, the corridor is not pedestrian friendly, as sidewalks are relatively narrow, buildings are set far back, and few pedestrian crossings are provided. Over time, the northern portion of Rollins Road in the Live/Work area should be enhanced to support pedestrian activity, balanced with continuing to accommodate truck traffic accessing the Innovation Industrial area to the south (see Rollins Area Context Diagram).

Rollins Road Vision

Rollins Road will primarily be an industrial district, particularly along the southern portion of the street within the Innovation/Industrial district. Traditional light industrial uses and auto service businesses will continue to represent key land uses since these provide vital services and jobs within the community, but allowing a cluster of creative and design industry activities to flourish will create synergies and a regional destination for wholesalers and consumers.

The northern portion of the corridor, within easy walking distance to the Millbrae multimodal transit station, presents an opportunity for establishment of a new neighborhood of medium- and high-density creative live/work units and support uses. The City envisions creation of a complete new neighborhood, where residents and creative businesses have ready access to transit, supportive commercial businesses, and public and private open space amenities. Such housing will include workforce housing, thus meeting the needs of all income levels in Burlingame. Streetscape improvements within the new neighborhood will emphasize a pedestrian focus, while still accommodating industrial-related traffic through to Millbrae Avenue.

Rollins Road Diagram

Goal: CC-12

Recreate Rollins Road as two distinct but complementary districts, with the southern two-thirds of the corridor supporting industrial and creative business enterprises and the northern one-third of the corridor reimagined as a live/work complete residential neighborhood—with parks, tree-lined streets, and a pedestrian orientation—that connects to the Millbrae multimodal transit station.

Continue to support and accommodate the industrial and commercial uses throughout the Innovation/Industrial and Live/Work districts. 

Development Review Master Plans

Support emerging businesses by establishing flexible zoning regulations that allow creative art and design-oriented and green-tech commercial and industrial uses. 

Development Review Partnerships with the Private Sector

Establish a creative Live/Work district at the north end of the Rollins Road corridor within approximately one-half mile of the Millbrae multimodal transit station; accommodate medium- and high-density residential uses either as stand-alone development or as integrated live/work environments. 

Development Review

Require new residential development in the Live/Work district to support alternative modes of transportation, including high-quality bicycle facilities and public transit incentives. Establish reduced parking requirements for residential buildings in this area, and study options for protected bike lanes along Rollins Road and improved connections from the Millbrae multimodal transit station. 

Master Plans Studies and Reports Development Review

Promote reuse of the existing building stock for creative commercial and industrial uses—and where feasible and desired, as residential and live/work places. Require aesthetic and façade improvements as part of redevelopment projects and property improvements. 

Development Review

Require development along the Highway 101 frontage to include attractive design elements, landscaping, and signage that create a positive aesthetic condition, as viewed from the highway corridor. 

Master Plans Development Review

Establish an eclectic but cohesive design aesthetic for the Live/Work district, and require new development to utilize contemporary architectural treatments and materials that are compatible with the industrial nature of the area. Ground-floor workspaces should use transparent materials to activate sidewalks and support work functions. 

Development Review

Develop a vibrant public realm with attractive public spaces along the Rollins Road corridor by requiring new development to include publicly accessible plazas and pocket parks in appropriate locations. 

Development Review Partnerships with the Private Sector

Promote a pedestrian-friendly environment, particularly in the Live/Work district. Require new development to create active street frontages, with workspaces or commercial uses on the ground floor, attractive landscaping and street trees, and other streetscape enhancements as appropriate.

Development Review Partnerships with the Private Sector

Study opportunities for signalized pedestrian crossings along Rollins Road, and identify pedestrian connectivity improvements between the Live/Work district and the Millbrae Multimodal BART station. 

Studies and Reports Agency Coordination