Burlingame’s City Council will vote late on Monday evening, July 3, whether to accept the terms in an agreement with Topgolf, an entertainment facility that is planned to be built on Bayfront property. The site is public land — former landfill and unsuitable for housing. By state law, if it were suitable, the land would have to be offered to affordable housing developers. We assert that the revenue from renting the land should by all rights be put into an affordable housing fund.
Recently, Housing for All Burlingame ran a brief survey and provided 200 signatures of residents in favor of using all of the Topgolf revenue for affordable housing, as Burlingame has zero affordable units. We are prepared to gather many more signatures if need be. This new revenue was not anticipated by the city, and it has the potential to make a significant difference to working people who rent. The recommendation by city staff is that the entire expected revenue ($1.5 million per year, plus additional fees) will go into the general fund, and the affordable housing fund will only glean a one-time commercial linkage fee.
This is another outrage from a city that has never agendized renters’ issues, and has actively worked against the interests of over half of its residents. We strongly urge the City Council to direct all rent revenue from Topgolf into the city’s new affordable housing fund.
The letter writer is a represenative of Housing for All Burlingame.