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February 2020 - Edition I

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In This Edition

City News
Community Corner
Transportation & Infrastructure Updates

Rendering of building

Expanding Affordable Housing Opportunities in San Mateo

On Feb. 3, the City Council took two important steps to increase the availability of affordable housing opportunities in San Mateo. The City is partnering with nonprofit developer MidPen Housing on a transit-oriented workforce housing project that could transform two surface parking lots in downtown into 225 homes for families earning up to 80 percent of the area median income.

While this project has been in the works for some time, a newly enacted state law now allows the City to increase the number of homes that can be built on the sites. The Council unanimously agreed to seek more community input on a project that includes a proposed 7-story apartment building, and a stand-alone parking garage with 532 spaces that would serve the downtown and another 164 spaces for the new residents.

Recognizing the need for the private market to contribute toward affordable housing needs, the Council also increased its inclusionary program and will start requiring housing developers to provide at least 15 percent below-market-rate units. Read our news release to learn more about the City’s latest efforts to expand affordable housing opportunities.

Community Workshop – Feb. 24

The community is encouraged to re-engage in the planning process for the MidPen affordable housing development by sharing their input on the architectural design during a workshop 7-8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 at the Central Park Recreation Center, 50 E. Fifth Ave. There will be additional opportunities for input as the project continues to be refined by the Planning Commission during a study session, then be reviewed for formal approvals at the commission and Council.

Woman drives by ballot box

Drive by City Hall & Cast Your Primary Election Ballot

Voting has officially begun and we’ve got a new drive-up ballot box in the City Hall visitor parking lot that makes casting your ballot easy. The San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division has begun mailing the sample ballot and voter information pamphlet to registered voters for the March 3, 2020 Primary Election. You can view your pamphlet online by visiting and clicking "My Election Info.” Once you’ve got your ballot, there are a number of ways to cast it in-person, by mail or at a drop off location.

You can vote 24/7 by using the new drive-up box at City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave., or during normal business hours by using the drop off box in the atrium. We’ll also host a Vote Center that will be open starting in early March to the 8 p.m. March 3 deadline. A full list of vote centers can be found on the Registration and Elections Division website. Voters are encouraged to avoid the lines and vote early. Stop by and participate in democracy!

Kids playing basketball

Volunteer in San Mateo

Interested in giving back to your community, making a difference in the lives of others, or enhancing your resume? If so, we have lots of volunteer opportunities for you. You can volunteer at libraries, parks, the senior center, and other places. Visit our Volunteer web page to learn  more and browse some of our current opportunities. You can also subscribe to our monthly Volunteer Source Newsletter to learn more about new volunteer opportunities.

Check out one of our latest seasonal volunteer opportunities:

Jr. Warrior Basketball League Assistant Coach Wanted
Use your talents and passion for basketball to make a difference in San Mateo by coaching community kids in the 2020 Junior Warriors Basketball League at the King Recreation Center. The league runs from Feb. 1 – March 28 every Saturday. To apply, please visit our Citywide Volunteer Online Application.

Women at a fitness class

Registration Opens Soon for Spring 2020 Activities

Our Spring 2020 Activity Guide is now available and you can register starting on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. We’ve got classes, programs, exercises and programs for the whole family from toddlers to seniors! Browse the guide to learn about upcoming events and other Parks and Recreation activities throughout the season. 

You can register online at or visit any of the following locations to register in person: Beresford Recreation Center (2720 Alameda de las Pulgas), Senior Center (2645 Alameda de las Pulgas), or the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (725 Monte Diablo Avenue).

Community Corner

(News from community stakeholders)
Construction site

That Was Then, This is Now

The San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Program is hosting Discovery Morning: That Was Then, This is Now – Adapting to a New Era of Growth & Development, on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Participants will learn about San Mateo County’s new era of growth and development brought about by changing conditions and serious challenges, and why we need a new model for growth and development.

After a thought-provoking presentation, participants will embark on a bus tour of the surrounding cities with elected representatives of San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, and Hillsborough. Deputy Mayor Eric Rodriguez will join participants to discuss the City of San Mateo’s current projects, challenges and opportunities. Upon return, participants will have an opportunity to interact with local leaders through a panel discussion about adapting our cities to the new era. Space is limited and registration is required. Tickets are $75 for general admission and $55 for Leadership Program alumni. Event runs 8:30 a.m. to noon at the San Mateo Main Library, 55 W. Third Ave.
Century Theaters in Downtown San Mateo

Century Theater Moviegoers - Leave Large Bags at Home

As a courtesy, we’re passing along this update for Cinemark movie goers. Cinemark is now enforcing a policy that doesn’t allow patrons to carry in large bags. The policy, created in 2018, is being recently enforced at Cinemark/Century Theaters throughout the Bay Area – including at our downtown San Mateo theater. You can no longer bring in bags - purses, duffel bags, backpacks, or others - that are any bigger than 12 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches. The only exceptions made are for diaper bags and medical equipment. Read more about their bag and package policy online.

Wastewater treatment plant construction site

Live Cams at New Wastewater Treatment Plan

In September 2019, we broke ground on the single largest aspect of the decade-long, $1 billion Clean Water Program, the brand new expansion of the wastewater treatment plant. Our groundbreaking ceremony was attended by U.S. Representatives Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, members of the San Mateo and Foster City councils, and many other dignitaries. The new plant will replace an aging plant that had its last major upgrade in the 1970s. Construction is expected to complete by 2024. Now you can watch the project build from the ground up. Project planners have installed two live-action cameras on the project site for all to see. Click here to witness your new treatment plant come to life

Graphic of cars on a highway

Follow What's New on Highway 101 Express Lanes 

Caltrans’ San Mateo 101 Express Lanes Project is inching its way closer to our City every week. The 22-mile countywide effort includes adding a carpool lane in each direction of Highway 101 to reduce traffic congestion. Construction started in 2019 in the southernmost part of our county and is working its way north. Stay informed as the project moves through by visiting the project page on Caltran’s website. You can also sign up for weekly or quarterly updates by emailing the subject line 'Weekly' or 'Quarterly' to Follow the project on Twitter @CaltransD4.

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