BURLINGAME (KPIX 5) — Nine acres of undeveloped bay front property surrounded by development in Burlingame and the discussion of what to do with it is just getting started. More than a thousand neighbors said they want the nine acres left as open space.

Overgrown with weeds, stretching across the shoreline for more than a hundred yards, a rare property owned by the State of California is coveted by both developers and environmentalists.

“Under the ‘Public Trust Doctrine,’ we need to ensure that every single person, whether you’re pink, polka dot or purple, has true access to the bay,” said Helen Wolter, Legislative Advocate for the Committee for Green Foothills.

The land is currently managed by the California Lands Commission, which will decide the fate of the property, turning it into either parkland or a new hotel. A new hotel would bring additional taxes to Burlingame.

Retired dentist David Rucker says he has been fishing at the shoreline for decades. He remembers it before any hotels were built.

“There used to be nothing out here! I used to come out here with my shotgun and shoot rabbits. Now days, you can’t come out here with a sling shot,” said Rucker. He and his friends believe building a hotel or any other development is a bad idea.

“I get it that it’s a political and money thing and all that but, the reality is, once you put it in, it’s never coming back,” said Rucker.

Construction is already happening up to the property’s edge. The California Lands Commission is scheduled to consider the matter in September.

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