BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors banned flamethrowers yesterday while also approving a senior housing facility in North Fair Oaks and an immigration legal defense fund. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had been selling the flamethrowers through his Boring Company’s website earlier this year for $500 each.
That led to a request from supervisors Don Horsley and Warren Slocum to ban them.
At their meeting yesterday (Sept. 4), both expressed concern about flamethrowers being used to start wildfires.
“Rather than find out later that these are a problem, we figure to prohibit them now,” Horsley said.
The ban, which the board approved unanimously, will prohibit the possession, sale and use of flamethrowers within unincorporated San Mateo County.
A flamethrower is defined by the county as “any nonstationary and transportable device designed or intended to emit, or capable of emitting or propelling fire or a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of 22 inches or greater.”
The ban will not affect welding tools, fireplace torches or devices used in agriculture.
The board also unanimously approved a proposal from Sunrise Senior Living to build 90 apartments for seniors at the former John Bentley’s restaurant at 2915 El Camino Real in North Fair Oaks.
Sunrise operates assisted living complexes in Belmont, Palo Alto and 318 other locations in the country.
The project will house about 127 elderly residents, including some who suffer from memory loss issues.
There will be 63 parking spaces built underneath the complex. Sunrise has also said it will install sidewalk bulb-outs on East Selby Lane and Glendale Avenue between Columbia and Fifth avenues.
Additionally, the board approved spending $764,750 on a “Deportation Defense Fund,” which will provide legal representation to residents facing deportation proceedings in immigration court. The county estimates it would help about 150 people.