County Planning Commission Meeting on Stanford GUP Thursday

The Santa Clara County Planning Commission will hold its first of three hearings on the Stanford University’s development proposal and General Use Permit (GUP) application in Palo Alto this Thursday at 6pm in the City Council Chambers.  This proposal, which will add more than 3.5 million square feet of new development and 9,600 people to Stanford’s campus, is the largest project ever reviewed by the County in its 169-year history. 

Thursday’s meeting is the only one of the three hearings that will be held in Palo Alto (the other two are in San Jose), making it the perfect opportunity for College Terrace residents to learn about the issues involved and voice their opinions. The proposed development will have a significant impact on local traffic, housing, open space, and quality of life for years to come, so now’s the time to speak up!

To read up on the issues before Thursday’s hearing, check out:

  • CountyStanford.info
    Santa Clara County’s website dedicated to informing residents about its process to review Stanford University’s development proposal and General Use Permit (GUP) application.
  • gup.stanford.edu
    Stanford’s website detailing its General Use Permit (GUP) application and its plans for addressing issues around housing, transportation, sustainability and more.

Hope to see some of you at Thursday’s hearing!

CTRA Observer Reports for May

The College Terrace Residents Association has a group of board members known as “observers” who monitor relevant public meetings and news in their assigned area and then report back to the entire board on pertinent local actions and issues of interest to College Terrace. This month, we have an update from our Stanford observer.


Stanford

GUP/Development Agreement

On goes the continuing saga!

At the May 9 Planning Commission study session, Stanford submitted a letter requesting that the upcoming Planning Commission hearings be postponed until after the development agreement has been negotiated. It appears that they would rather negotiate everything behind closed doors rather than in public and feel that the summary of proposed Conditions of Approval released in March are heading in a direction that is “unworkable and infeasible.”

The full Conditions of Approval have just been released and are available on the County’s new website covering the GUP: CountyStanford.info. The site also has lots more good information about the process.

Last fall when the Board agreed that the Development Agreement discussion could begin concurrently with the GUP process, they were very clear that it would not take precedence over the GUP itself. The conditions of approval are things that the County can require by law. Anything negotiated in the development agreement would be an addition to that.

The current County Planning Commission meeting schedule is set as:

  • May 23 – Conditions of Approval Released
  • May 30 – 1st Public Hearing, 6:00 p.m. Palo Alto City Council Chambers
  • June 13 – 2nd Public Hearing, 1:30 p.m., County Building, San Jose
  • June 27 – 3rd Public Hearing, 1:30 p.m., County Building, San Jose

It is crucial that as many of us as possible attend the May 30th meeting. Supervisor Simitian is pushing for full mitigation of all impacts and it seems likely that Stanford will not be pleased by that. Since most of the Commissioners are from other areas of the county, it’s important that we have a good attendance so they understand that we care about this issue. If we aren’t there, they may be swayed by whatever Stanford says.

There will be “full mitigation” stickers for folks to wear at the meeting. Please be there, and pick up a sticker, even if you don’t wish to speak.

The Board of Supervisors discussions are expected to begin in September.

As I anticipated last month, the Historic Heritage Commission did take action to advise that the Environmental Impact Report be certified (with respect to protections of historic structures) with the inclusion of the recommended condition of approval to require ongoing evaluations of resources over 50 years old.

As regards the San Juan neighborhood, the HLUET (Housing Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee) requested that the County Staff report back in June with next steps, a timeline, and a public input process for conducting a zoning study and historic review study of the faculty subdivision. The committee concluded that the CRG was not the appropriate way to provide public input but perhaps that a limited-term group of residents could serve that need.

Stanford Development in College Terrace

It appears that the code enforcement request to the City regarding the use of 757/739 College Ave as a storage yard (mentioned last month) has had some effect… There is some progress being made: excavation and forms for the foundations have been done.

–Pria Graves

Local Park Improvements Planned

One of College Terrace’s best features is that we have not one but four delightful parks in our neighborhood. Two of these parks will be receiving improvements in the near future.

Cameron Park, on Wellesley Street between College and Stanford Avenues, is slated for upgraded safety and accessibility features with a primary focus the park’s playground. These improvements are currently scheduled to happen this summer.

At Werry Park, on Dartmouth Street between College and Stanford Avenues, the playground will be replaced and receive ADA upgrades while the benches, tables, bicycle rack, and drinking fountain will be replaced as well. This project is tentatively scheduled to happen in Fall 2021.

There are also a pair of El Camino landscape improvement projects on tap near our neighborhood: one for general median improvements all along El Camino, and another focusing on pedestrian safety and landscaping between Stanford and Sheridan Avenues. These projects could begin as soon as this summer.