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November 2019 - Edition I

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HOLIDAY CLOSURES: In observance of Veterans Day, City Hall and respective offices will be closed. 

In This Edition

City News
Enhancing Our Community
Transportation and Infrastructure Updates

City of San Mateo logo

San Mateo Enacts Tenant Protection Measures 

The City Council unanimously approved an urgency ordinance to provide many San Mateo renters just cause eviction protections until new statewide tenant protection laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. San Mateo’s local urgency ordinance prohibits evictions without cause, and retroactively applies starting Oct. 1, 2019. Certain limits apply based on building type and term of occupancy.

The Council adopted the ordinance during a Nov. 4 public meeting after hearing from tenants who indicated they received eviction notices following the passage of Assembly Bill 1482. That statewide law goes into effect next year and includes rent caps as well as just cause protections. Other San Mateo County cities – including Daly City and Redwood City – have also adopted rules to address the gap between when the law was signed and when it goes into effect. The San Mateo City Council did not adopt rent caps, however noted the governor’s current emergency protections stemming from the wildfires, limit rent increase to no more than 10 percent. Review the nonprofit San Mateo County Legal Aid Society’s informational brochure for more information
Strive San Mateo logo and pictures of people talking

Help Plan Our Future - General Plan Workshop Nov. 16

Join the next General Plan 2040 workshop Saturday, Nov. 16. The community is invited to discuss and share ideas on the kinds of change they'd like to see, such as what kinds of housing, jobs and circulation improvements are needed over the next 20 years.

Join one of the most important conversations we can have about San Mateo’s future. It starts with the community’s ideas about how the City should change or stay the same over the next 20 years. We’ve heard from the community on the Vision for our future and the ten study areas to analyze first for possible change. This upcoming meeting is the second step in a process to craft and analyze a range of alternative future scenarios.

Join us on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019 from 10-11:45 a.m. at the Martin L. King Jr. Community Center, 725 Monte Diablo Ave, San Mateo. Please RSVP. Light breakfast refreshments and kid-friendly activities will be available. To learn more about the General Plan Update, check out:

Six Applicants Seek City Council Seat 

You can now review online the City's applicants who have applied to fill the interim City Council position. The term of this temporary Council position is from Nov. 18, 2019 through Dec. 7, 2020. The City Council will review all applicants and are looking for an individual who has a thorough understanding of the issues facing the City, and who can demonstrate a history of active civic leadership, community service and engagement in San Mateo. This applicant will also need to be available to actively participate as a Council liaison at numerous external agencies and organizations as well as San Mateo Commissions.

Six applicants will appear at a Special Council Meeting staring 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 12, 2019 in the Main Library Oak Room, 55 W. Third Ave. Council will ask clarifying questions on responses to the application and supplemental questions. Applicants will be asked to make a timed closing statement. City Council will then make an appointment by ballot at this meeting.  
We Stand United Against Hate graphic

San Mateo Stands United

We're proud to be participating in the 2019 United Against Hate Week, and have taken the pledge to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Find out how you can participate, get your own free “San Mateo United Against Hate” poster, join our photo contest, and check out our library’s reading lists!
Started in 2017 in Berkeley, this year’s event runs Nov. 17-23 as a call for local civic action from Bay Area communities to stop hate and implicit biases that threaten the safety and civility of our neighborhoods and cities.

Get your free copy of the San Mateo poster at City Hall during normal business hours.

Photo Contest:   

Submit a photo of you with your United Against Hate poster, or a picture highlighting how you stand against hate, along with a caption to You’ll have  a chance to win a free eco-kit! You'll be featured on our social media channels too!  
Rules: photo must have been taken in the City of San Mateo and be submitted by Nov. 30.

Reading List:

Our Library Department has also curated special United Against Hate book lists for pre-readers, K- 3rd grade, adults non-fiction, and adults fiction. We’ll also have a special display on the second and third floors throughout November, and staff will be conducting outreach with stickers and pledges to share on Monday, Nov. 18 from 3-5 p.m. 

Winter Wonderland bear next to lighted tree

'Tis the Season - Ice Rink Returns to Central Park

The San Mateo on Ice outdoor rink has returned to Central Park and will begin operating Saturday, Nov. 9. Mark your calendars for our Winter Wonderland celebration and tree lighting ceremony Saturday, Dec. 7! There will be food trucks, rides, and more during our Parks and Recreation Department’s fourth annual event. Families can enjoy free activities including arts and crafts, cookie decorating, snow, music and more! The annual tree lighting ceremony is from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and includes performances and the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department will be giving Santa a lift to the event!

Leveraging Federal Funds to Support San Mateo

Come share your thoughts on how we can use federal funds to address needs in our community. The Community Relations Commission will hold its annual Community Needs Assessment on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave.

The City receives Community Development Block Grant funding each year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds are used to assist low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods through community development, housing and public service programs.  In the past, San Mateo has used these funds for many programs and projects including, fair housing and legal assistance, public services for families, children and seniors, home repairs, accessibility improvements, and capital improvements to public facilities including parks, streets and sidewalks. The upcoming meeting will help identify priority needs for programs and projects for funding which will be included in its CDBG Annual Action Plan for program year 2020-21.

We're Improving Laurie Meadows Dog Park

Our Parks Department is renovating the off-leash dog park at 111 Laurie Meadows Drive. Construction begins Tuesday, Nov. 12 and the park will be closed through Nov. 26, pending inclement weather. The improvements include sod replacement, extending irrigation into the park to provide much-needed water to existing willow trees, and installing small decomposed granite areas. Questions can be directed to or (650) 522-7420.

Recycling Event Was a Success!

We asked for sustainable habits and the community showed up in force! Over 1,000 cars of San Mateo residents carrying e-waste, paper or clothing for recycling arrived at Beresford Park on Saturday, Oct. 19. In all, just over 1,700 pounds of e-waste, including 72 flat-screen TVs and 21 TV/monitors, went to recycling instead of landfills. Both paper shredding trucks and the Goodwill truck reached their capacity by the end of the morning event. Looking for your own solutions for lowering your trash reduction? Find some ideas on our litter/trash reduction page. 

Picture of parked cars

Renew Your Residential Parking Permit Today

Residential Parking Permit Program (RPPP) permit renewals began on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Applications will now be submitted online, including required supplemental documents. A How-To Guide will be posted online to assist customers with completing the online application. Permit stickers will be mailed to applicants.
There will be a 30-day grace period at the beginning of the two-year permit cycle to allow residents to obtain a new permit sticker. Those who do not have an email address and/or internet access, or who prefer assistance, can apply in-person at the Public Works Department Counter at City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo. Visit the Residential Parking Permit page to apply and view the Residential Parking Permit Program Policy and Procedures document.

A crane lifting a metal beam for a new grade separation

Grade Separation Project & Caltrain Station Updates

There’s big news on the 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project with the rescheduling of the Hillsdale Caltrain Station closure and the final rail bridge installation. In late October, Caltrain announced the temporary Hillsdale Station closure would move to spring 2020, instead of this December. The length of the closure is still six months, but the station closure will be when the days are a little longer and the rains are a little less. This new timeline also shifts the project completion dates now to spring 2021. The agency is still compiling its results from the July 2019 ridership survey to determine the shuttle and bus solutions during the temporary closure, and will release that information in the coming months.

Also, as October came to a close so too did the rail bridge installations for the project as crews carefully positioned steel beams into place over 31st Avenue. The rail bridge was the last of three to be installed, a vital step in the creation of new through roads for our City. Since July, 25th Avenue, the pedestrian bridge to the new Hillsdale Station, and the rail bridge over the 28th Avenue have been installed. Both 31st and 28th avenues will become through roads in 2021, part of the project’s enhancement of east-west connectivity in San Mateo.

Curious about the history of the project? Check out some of these links that tell the tale of how this infrastructure improvement project got rolling: Construction began in 2017 with an official groundbreaking, The 25th Avenue Grade Separation Project aligns with the San Mateo Rail Corridor Transit Oriented Development Plan, adopted in 2005. You can always find all the project news on our 25th Avenue Grade Separation page.

CalWater Work Near City Hall

You might have noticed CalWater’s water main construction is still active around City Hall. The agency has extended its schedule for another four weeks. Residents near the construction zone will have received a notice from Cal Water explaining, “As of today, October 30, 2019, construction is estimated to take another four weeks until completion. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this may cause. The delay is partly due out of consideration of our impact on traffic and the drop off and pick up times of Serra High School and Carey School.  With those considerations and traffic restrictions in mind, some of our tie ins and other installations will be conducted during two days instead of one day.” On Friday, Nov. 8 and Monday, Nov. 11 crews will be working at W. 20th Avenue and O’Farrell Street during regular business hours. Please expect delays, and thank you for minding the safety crew's instructions. Questions about the project? Contact Rod Zavala, Cal Water’s Bayshore Superintendent at 650-558-7859 or email

Feedback Wanted on County Transportation Authority's Strategic Plan

Interested in sharing your opinions on the San Mateo County Transportation Authority’s Strategic Plan? It’s not too late to provide your feedback. An updated version of the TA’s Draft Strategic Plan 2020-2024 is now available online. This draft replaces an earlier version that was released Oct. 14, 2019.  The deadline to share your comments with the county’s transportation authority has been extended to Nov. 15, 2019. 

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