Balanced community or camp of houses? |

Balanced community or camp of houses?

Dear Editor:Regarding your piece on Burlingame, you are responding to an idea proposed by your own reporter, not ours. Eben Harrell mentioned Wild Oats and Whole Foods. We did not. That seemed to be his wish to which you are reacting to in your editorial comments.We have not heard of any interest from those stores and envision a new center with a store less than 10,000 square feet. You undoubtedly know the chain stores dont want a store that little and in fact look for market areas with at least 150,000 people within a five-mile radius of the store site. So it is doubtful that Wild Oats or Whole Foods would ever consider our valley.But while you are trying to find fudge, do you remember endorsing your friend John Bennetts string of pearls idea? That idea, first put forth by Peter Calthorpe and endorsed by the city explained that cities can grow one of three ways: by expanding in concentric circles, by building up and infilling, or with self-sufficient pods along transportation corridors places where people can live, work, shop and play.Burlingame may be able to put itself on a new transportation corridor, but does it have enough land to become balanced, with basic retail, day care, post office and recreation fields, or will all 1,000 or so residents have to drive three miles to Aspen or one and a quarter miles to the Aspen Business Center?The Aspen Business Center began 36 years ago as a monoculture-service/industrial. This was a mistake and represented antiquated zoning. Gradually through the years it has evolved into a more balanced community with limited retail services (80 square feet per residence) and a residence-to-business ratio of approximately 1-to-1.Wouldnt good planning endorse this change or evolution? Isnt it preferable to a monoculture? The question in my mind: Is there enough land at Burlingame for it to evolve into a balanced community as well? Or will it be confined by the amount of land they have to remain only a camp of houses?John McBrideAspen

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