Downtown San Bruno: For Sure Not a Better Place

I've grown up in San Bruno as a small business owner. I love and respect the city and its people. But these are my true feelings about downtown.

This is the first time I've done this, so please bear with me. I believe I have something important to say.

My name is Mary An, and I own Carma Hair Company, located on El Camino Real in San Bruno. We have been in this location for 18 years. I have worked in San Bruno for past 25 years. I NEED to express my concern for the decline of San Mateo Avenue in downtown San Bruno.

I want to know why The Avenue is being ignored. I want to know why San Bruno's downtown is ugly—no trees, no park benches to sit and watch people and eat ice cream.

I want to know why it smells like urine at Newells or 40's or whatever that bar is called. I want to know why A LOT of businesses have left The Avenue. I want to know why after taking a survey of my clientele, of which 85% live in San Bruno, have been with me for the last 17 or so years and DO NOT shop in downtown.

I want to know why the farmers market was moved to Tanforan. Farmers markets are encouraged to be in a downtown of a city to promote business in that area. What happened there?

What happened to the Art and Wine Festival, which would encourage people from the surrounding cities to visit us and maybe spend time in our downtown. What happened to all the promises made to create a beautiful downtown comparable to Millbrae, Burligame, San Carlos and Redwood City? With a great plan, South San Francisco has improved their downtown immensely!!

I have seen with my own eyes the BIG, thick redevelopment plans for San Mateo Avenue. It was beautiful! What happened to those plans? What happened to the living quarters with storefronts that were supposed to replace the old theater?

What happened to the downtown where we once shopped? Why does it now look like a ghost town? And most of all, WHY isn't ANYONE doing anything about it?

San Bruno was a great town in which to start my career, and I'll most likely finish my career here as well. San Bruno has been VERY good to us and our small FAMILY business.

I actually get VERY emotional knowing and talking about the kindness of the people of San Bruno. Three generations of families are our new clientele. Carma Hair Company has PROUDLY grown up in San Bruno. We want the very best for the city. We are impressed with the growth of Tanforan. The Crossing is a welcoming site. City Park is one of the most beautiful places in our city. Our senior center is envied.

Please, let's not forget downtown. It deserves better. It is the core of the city.

Most of all, what can I do? Let me know. Thanks for listening. 

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Mary an Stanley November 22, 2012 at 07:36 PM
Hi John, what exactly did they say about downtown?
Robert Riechel November 22, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Mary An ---- I attended the Planning Commission meeting and the minutes were taken and should eventually show up here http://www.sanbruno.ca.gov/comdev_planningComm.html and the agenda and agenda packet is already there About 5-6 persons asked questions and Mark Sullivan and Laura Russell answered their questions. They took over an hour to discuss this subject. Since it was broadcasted live on San Bruno Cable 1, you can contact Miriam (mschalit@ci.sanbruno.ca.us ) at San Bruno Cable to find out when it will be re-broadcast. With the Planning Commission voting to confirm that the proposed project concepts meets the required state and federal requirements, it now goes to the City Council where a similar presentation will be made with another chance for the public to show up and ask more or the same questions.
Chris Kiely November 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM
This was the plan they were working off of, not sure if it has been revised. http://planbruno.org/transit-corridors-plan/overview/ This is part showing ideas for Downtown. http://planbruno.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Catalytic-Sites-Appendix-B.pdf Looks like the idea is to do specific developments at the South end (the triangle between SM Ave, ECR, & Jenevein) and the North end (Huntington from the Legion Post building up to SB Ave, as well as around the new train station. I guess the idea is that if there are new "catalytic" developments at the ends, bringing in new residents, businesses, and services to the area, it will have ripple effect throughout downtown, give landlords incentive to fix up properties, etc.
John Hanson November 22, 2012 at 09:00 PM
The City revised the plan, but did not share it with the public yet. Hopefully they will have it for the City Council meeting. How many members from the Planning Commission and City Council live on the East side of El Camino?
John Hanson November 22, 2012 at 09:04 PM
The City should show another plan in case voters, Vote No on increasing height limits in San Bruno.


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