Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The answers to these common questions are intended to provide our broader community with background and timely updates to our planning process and decisions for changes to our 40-acre Burlingame Campus.
Q1: Is the Mercy High School project part of the Burlingame Campus changes?
The Mercy High School has commenced the application process for their Athletic and Student Life Center and it is being treated by a City as a separate project. Further information about the high school project can be found at: https://www.mercyhsb.com/about/building-the-dream
Q2: Who is leading the planning for the Sisters of Mercy?
Several of the Sisters on the Burlingame Campus, Sisters from across the country and several other religious organizations involved in similar planning efforts with regard to historic “Motherhouse” properties are engaged in the planning process and will be responsible for making decisions about campus changes.
Q3: Why are the Sisters of Mercy considering changes to their Burlingame Campus?
The need for more age-appropriate housing for our Sisters is paramount. We have been dutiful stewards of our 40-acre Burlingame Campus for almost 100 years, creating a legacy for our ministry and protecting the grounds for future generations. We are committed to an open and inclusive process as we envision how best to meet the current and long-term needs of our ministry to achieve the following goals:
1) Create new, accessible, and age-appropriate housing to meet the current and long term-housing needs for our Sisters. This is our highest priority.
2) Protect and advance the legacy of our educational and spiritual ministries.
3) Protect and enhance the historic and woodsy character of our campus while keeping it accessible to the public. We consider the campus sacred ground and are committed to retaining its natural environment and beauty.
4) Explore the opportunity to address the housing needs of the broader Burlingame community.
Q4: What are the current City of Burlingame regulations for the existing Mercy Campus uses?
The City of Burlingame’s use permit, effective Aug. 5, 2010, for the Mercy Campus at 2300 and 2750 Adeline Drive, provides facilities for:
- Mercy High School: 540 students, 83 faculty/staff
- Morning Glory Montessori: 30 students
- Motherhouse: 50 residents; Lodge: Four residents
- Mercy Center: 97 guests
- Marian Oaks: 40 residents
Q5: How will the Sisters of Mercy keep neighbors and the Burlingame community informed?
We are mindful that our private campus is viewed by many as a community asset. We are committed to a planning process that includes consideration of how campus changes may impact neighbors and greater Burlingame community. In April 2020, we hosted a listening session and we anticipate that we will host virtual and/or in-person community meetings at major benchmarks throughout the planning process. We recommend periodically checking this website and its Frequently Asked Questions for updates, https://sistersofmercyburlingame.com/faqs/
Q6: How can I provide feedback to the Sisters?
We welcome your feedback by whichever form of communications you prefer:
- Mail: Sisters of Mercy, 2300 Adeline Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010, c/o Campus Planning.
- Phone: 650-373-4515 and leave a request for a return call.
- E-mail: Contact Jean Hastie at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.
Q7: Have the Sisters made any decisions about potential changes?
We are evaluating a number of alternatives looking for the best aging-in-place option for senior housing on the campus for the Sisters, but we have not made any final decisions. One approach possibly would integrate senior housing and care services, another integrating housing with the existing Marian Oaks retirement, and continuing to research other options. We continue to explore a range of alternatives.
Q8: What studies have been done to date and how will we learn of their findings?
In mid-2020, we completed a thorough Existing Conditions and Land Use Analysis to better understand the property and how we care for and use it. The analysis included a geological study, an arborist report and tree survey, as well as a utilities and site survey by a civil engineer. The analysis findings were shared at our June 2020 virtual community meetings and may be found in the More section of this website.
Q9: What is the schedule for this process?
There is no set schedule as no formal applications have been made. We are continuing to integrate our future needs, the findings of the Existing Conditions and Land Use Analysis, overall financial feasibility, and community and neighborhood input to create the outlines of a balanced, responsible plan that achieves our primary goals.
Q10: Can you share any specifics of your plan?
We continue to explore a range of alternatives and we have not made any final decisions or formal applications. For our current status, please see Planning for the Future on this website.
Q11: How will the Sisters’ long-term housing needs be met?
The provision of housing and care services for the Sisters of Mercy is our paramount planning goal. We are studying a program that would involve adding new, accessible apartments and associated support spaces to the campus and integrating these new structures with the existing Marian Oaks retirement complex. This approach would provide integrated senior housing and care services for the Sisters as well as provide high-quality, professionally managed housing with care services to members of the local community. The number of apartments, access points, circulation, parking, and other details are being analyzed.
Q12: What are the plans to protect the tree canopy and replace any lost trees?
We cherish all that the property offers including its trees and open space. Feedback from the community has been clear that the tree canopy and accessible open space are important amenities in the neighborhood. Our primary objective of the planning effort is to “protect and enhance the historic and woodsy character of the campus while keeping it available to the public.” At a minimum Mercy will replace protected trees in accordance with the City of Burlingame’s Tree Ordinance.
Q13: Will there be enough on-site parking?
There is not yet a proposed plan, so we do not know the specifics of the on-site parking to be provided. We are committed to providing sufficient on-site parking to meet the demands of the campus based upon a comprehensive parking assessment. Properly meeting the parking needs will also be a requirement of the City’s entitlement and environmental review process.
Q14: How will current traffic issues be addressed? Will future impacts be mitigated?
We understand that traffic is one of the primary concerns of our neighbors and it will be integral to any plan that we advance. There will be an assessment by a traffic engineer of the potential traffic impacts of all proposed future uses and a mitigation plan will be developed based on that assessment. Comprehensively addressing traffic impacts will also be a required element of the City of Burlingame’s entitlement and environmental review process.