California Avenue Repaving This Friday

As construction on University Terrace nears its completion, Stanford is required by the City of Palo Alto to repave California Avenue along the entire frontage of the project (see map below). That work will take place starting at 7am this Friday, December 14, and will make California Avenue beyond Dartmouth Street inaccessible to vehicles until around 5pm.

Residents living on California Avenue in the affected area are encouraged to park their cars Thursday night on one of the adjacent streets so that they can be used while the paving is underway. If you’re in the affected area, please read the complete Construction Advisory for further details.


Around the Terrace: December 5, 2018

Here are some recent announcements and news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

Escondido Elementary School Community Meeting
Palo Alto Unified School District will host a meeting to review and receive input on the Schematic Plan for a new Multi-Purpose Building and plan for the Escondido Elementary School Campus. The meeting will be conducted by Gelfland Partners Architects (who worked on similar projects at Duveneck, Fairmeadow, and Ohlone) and take place this Friday, December 7, at 8:15am in the Escondido Multi-Purpose Room.

Residents Seek School Funds From Stanford’s Expansion
The Palo Alto Weekly recaps the community listening meeting on the Stanford GUP development agreement led by Santa Clara County Supervisors Joe Simitian and Cindy Chavez. Schools, housing, and traffic concerns were top discussion topics.

Palo Alto Home Repair Program
Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley is administering the City of Palo Alto’s Home Repair program.  Lower-income Palo Alto homeowners in need of assistance with a broad range of health, safety, and accessibility improvements may be eligible for $10,000 grants.  The program is especially helpful for seniors on a fixed income and those with disabilities who might need adjustments made to continue living in their home. 

SunLife Brings Açaí Bowls, Juice to Cal Ave
A new business has opened on California Ave. Sun Life Organics serves açaí bowls blended with different fruit combinations and topped with ingredients such as nuts, fruit, coconut, honey and bee pollen. They also serve juices, smoothies, coffee and tea.

Key Community Input Meetings Next Week

Two projects with potentially huge impacts on our city and neighborhood are having community input meetings in the coming week. These are excellent opportunities to share your ideas and voice your concerns.

Rail Crossing Grade Separation
Wednesday, November 28 at 6pm (Mitchell Park, El Palo Alto Room)
The city is hosting a community meeting to discuss ideas for separating the street from the railroad at Palo Alto’s four existing railroad crossings. This particular meeting will focus on the Charleston Road and Meadow Drive crossings; another meeting on January 23 will cover the Churchill Avenue and Palo Alto Avenue crossings.

For more information on the Palo Alto rail corridor, visit cityofpaloalto.org/ConnectingPaloAlto.

Stanford GUP Community Benefits
Thursday, November 29 at 6:30pm (City Hall)
Santa Clara County Supervisors Simitian and Chavez will host a Community Listening Meeting to hear from the public about community benefits the county should consider in a negotiated Development Agreement regarding Stanford’s application for a General Use Permit for its proposed 2.3 million square foot academic expansion.

For more information on the Stanford GUP Development Agreement, visit www.countystanfordda.org.

And one more thing… on the City Council’s agenda for Monday, November 26, is a series of revisions to the zoning code intended to make it easier for residential developers to get their projects approved. These revisions, which range from new density bonuses to reduced parking requirements for residential projects, are likely to generate a spirited debate. Read the proposal (or at least the Weekly’s summary) and then decide if you want to add one more meeting to your civic/social calendar.

Local News Roundup: November 5, 2018

Here are some recent news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

Guest Opinion: Stanford Is Quietly Buying Up Houses
CTRA’s Stanford observer, Pria Graves, wrote an op-ed in the Daily Post covering the issues surrounding Stanford’s recent home purchases (30, at last count) in College Terrace.

JPMorgan Chase Opening Campus at Research Park
Following its acquisition of WePay, a Redwood City startup, JPMorgan Chase announced it will build a 195,000-square-foot “fintech” campus at the Stanford Research Park that will house up to 1,000 employees.

First Hydrogen Fuel Station in Palo Alto Opening Soon
The Shell station on El Camino in Barron Park will be the first hydrogen fuel station between Mountain View and South San Francisco.

And, finally, don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! If you’re still figuring out your ballot, check out the Palo Alto Weekly’s voter guide (including interviews with all city council and school board candidates), Palo Alto Neighborhood’s City Council Candidates Questionnaire and the League of Women Voters of Palo Alto’s election guide (including pros/cons for all of the state propositions).

Local News Roundup: September 10, 2018

Here are some recent news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

California Ave Public Safety Building and Garage Meetings
A community meeting will be held Wednesday, September 12, to discuss the project and upcoming street and parking changes to the area during the construction. The Public Safety Building will also be presented to the City Council and Architectural Review Board in the coming weeks.

Study: Stanford Can Triple Its Density (September 5)
How big can Stanford truly become? According to a study commissioned by Santa Clara County planners, Stanford can roughly triple its density and expand to 44 million square feet without infringing on the foothills.

Caltrain Launches Construction in Palo Alto (August 29)
After a year of work in other parts of the line, work on the electrification of Caltrain has finally started in Palo Alto. Local impacts include work performed at night (between 7pm and 7am), some weekend service disruptions, and the removal and pruning of trees.

Local News Roundup: July 9, 2018

Here are some recent news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

Local Developer Buys College Terrace Center (July 3)
The College Terrace Center has a new owner, Blox Ventures, who will continue the search for a tenant to replace the failed College Terrace Market. In related news, the $2,000 per day fine for the market being vacant (per the original agreement with the city) is set to begin on July 10.

Sun of Wolf Opens on California Ave (July 2)
Combining “Old World Mexican roots and modern Bay Area flavors,” three cousins whose parents own Palo Alto Sol next door have opened a new restaurant on California Avenue.

More Stanford Housing, But Worse Traffic? (June 29)
The Palo Alto City Council discussed the draft environmental analysis of Stanford’s expansion plans and the potential impact of new on-campus housing on the surrounding community.

Stanford Housing Construction in College Terrace

Representatives from Stanford attended the May 16 CTRA board meeting to give an update on the homes Stanford owns in College Terrace.

While most of the homes Stanford owns in our neighborhood are in the process of being sold or rented to faculty as-is (or with minor renovations), there are nine that Stanford is going to tear down and rebuild entirely. (Only seven will actually be torn down as two of the lots are currently vacant.)

These nine homes are located at:

  • 2040 Columbia St
  • 2070 Columbia St
  • 2100 Cornell St
  • 2035 Oberlin St
  • 2255 Oberlin St
  • 2320 Princeton St
  • 1015 Stanford Ave
  • 739 College Ave (vacant lot)
  • 757 College Ave (vacant lot)

Construction will be staggered and start between May and September 2018, with projected completion dates between June and October 2019.  Construction hours will be 8am to 6pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays (no work on Sundays or holidays).

Questions or comments should be directed to the project manager, David Kirk at (650) 721-5794 or dgkirk@stanford.edu.

Local News Roundup: May 7, 2018

Here are some recent news stories of interest to College Terrace and the surrounding area.

City to Narrow Down Redesign Options for Rail (April 25)
The Palo Alto City Council is hoping to reduce the current list of design options for Palo Alto’s rail crossings from 34 down to about 10 at its May 14 meeting. This includes deciding whether to officially abandon one of the most popular options: an underground tunnel through Palo Alto.

Palo Alto Approves Permanent Office Cap (May 1)
The Palo Alto City Council agreed to make permanent the 50,000-square-foot limit on office and research-and-development projects in downtown, around California Avenue and along El Camino Real. However, there is a separate citizen initiative underway to limit commercial growth citywide and make sure it remains at or below the city’s historical average.

Agilent, HP Companies Strike Back at Stanford Lawsuit (May 4)
Back in February, Stanford filed a lawsuit against HP and Agilent, claiming that the companies  contaminated the property now used for Stanford’s University Terrace development (1601 S. California Ave) with hazardous PCBs and TCE for over 30 years. Now, Agilent and HP have filed a response and counterclaim, claiming that Stanford knew about a chemical spill but did nothing about it.