Peninsula community of Broadmoor seeking more power for local police 

The Peninsula hamlet of Broadmoor is pushing for state legislation to allow it to regulate taxi cabs and towing companies, but San Mateo County officials are pushing back against efforts to expand local police powers.

Residents have long complained about lax rules for taxis in the unincorporated community of 4,000, which is home to the Colma BART station.

The area is patrolled by the 63-year-old Broadmoor Police Protection District, which, as California’s only active police protection district, has no power to pass its own ordinances.

As a result, it is governed by the county’s taxi ordinance, which only requires cab drivers to have a permit from any city on the Peninsula, said Paul Davis, an attorney for the police district.

That allows “gypsy cabs” to acquire a permit from cities with the least-onerous regulations and avoid drug testing, vehicle inspections or other, much stricter safety rules for operation in the cities near Broadmoor, Davis said.

“They do all kinds of business without any kind of regulation, which is jeopardizing our ability to compete and to do the service,” said Talib Salamin, owner of Daly City-based Serra Yellow Cab, which has been operating for 20 years.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, whose district includes Broadmoor, has proposed a bill to give the town regulatory powers that would let it pass new ordinances for taxis and new fee guidelines for towing companies, among other areas.

But the county opposes what it calls Broadmoor’s “effort to secure regulatory powers beyond those related to taxicabs and tow trucks,” Supervisor Adrienne Tissier wrote in a letter to the California Assembly’s Local Government Committee chairman. 

That could result in Broadmoor laws that conflict with the county’s ordinances, Tissier said. She said the county is willing to give Broadmoor “additional regulatory authority on a case-by-case basis.”

Davis said Broadmoor wants the flexibility to pass other ordinances  — such as regulations for loud house parties and parking issues — that won’t require it to go through the county.

“The last thing we want to do is burden them with some requests that could be handled much more effectively at the local level,” Broadmoor police district Chief Gregory Love said.

Nick Hardeman, a spokesman for Ma, said the assemblywoman is “working closely with San Mateo County to ensure that the intent is actually not to overly expand their powers,” but to focus on specific situations.

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Shaun Bishop

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