The City of San Mateo’s Hillsdale Station Area Plan held its second Community Workshop on June 30 at the San Mateo Senior Center. About 43 community members, elected and appointed officials, stakeholders, and community based organization members attended the workshop that allowed small groups to form their own ideas and visions for the area. This second of three workshops held in 2010 was primarily a hands-on interactive workshop with attendees working in small groups to determine their preferred alternative by ‘mixing and matching’ from two alternatives presented for review.
The workshop sought to gain community input on the different approaches the City could take to guiding future development in the Plan Area. The two Alternatives that will be presented are titled the “El Camino Real Focus” and “East-West Connections.” The El Camino Real alternative focuses mixed-use development on El Camino Real and aims to improve the pedestrian experience on El Camino Real. This is accomplished through streetscape improvements and new development that is designed to open onto the street and make it more pedestrian-friendly. The East-West Connections alternative focuses new development and streetscape improvements on 25th, 28th, and 31st avenues which are planned as new underpasses under the railway.
Some ideas that were brought up included:
- Median landscaping on El Camino Real rather than street parking
- Pedestrian bridge on El Camino Real on the northern leg of 31st Avenue rather than the original plan for it on the south leg.
- Retail fronting El Camino Real and 31st Avenue.
- Plaza in front of the train station to create a sense of place and arrival rather than a parking garage.
- Creek improvements.
- Additional bicycle access throughout.
A City Council- Planning Commission study session is scheduled for Monday, July 12 at City Hall where feedback from these community meetings will be presented. The third and final Community Workshop will be held later this year on the Draft Station Area Plan.