Khoury's Market Is Closing

Almost one year after taking over the space formerly occupied by the College Terrace Market, it appears that Khoury’s Market will meet the same fate as its predecessor. On Friday morning, the Khoury family sent the following letter to the local community:

Customers and Neighbors:

It is with sadness and regret that Khoury Market must notify you that we will be closing as of [TBD].

Since we opened for business, we have worked hard to provide our customers with a gourmet shopping experience while maintaining a family-market atmosphere that allows us to understand and best serve the wants and needs of our neighborhood. We have sought to build relationships with and understand our customers in order to provide both the daily and specialty items needed to nourish our community.

Unfortunately, there have been several obstacles that have prevented us from being the success we endeavored to be. As you know, the store has been surrounded by fencing and scaffolding for a significant period of time while construction work has been undertaken in other parts of the building. This gives the impression that the store is not open for business and also covers the windows, resulting in a lack of natural light within the store. Construction vehicles have been parked around the building constantly. We have experienced numerous difficulties with the elevator – the sole access to the store – and proper signage directing our customers to our entrance has not been installed. All of this makes it difficult for our customers to enter the market and enjoy our services.

We have tried our best to overcome these challenges but have been unable to do so. We thank you for the opportunity to be of service and hope that we can continue to be so until our closing date.

Sincerely,
Khoury Market

There’s no confirmed closing date but, in the meantime, everything in the store is 30% off.

Proposed Soil Cleanup At Merck

The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board recently posted notice of a proposed soil cleanup plan at 901 S. California Ave. (near Cornell St.), which is the current location of Merck & Co. in the Stanford Research Park.

Soil, soil vapor, and ground water sampling at the site detected tetrachloroethene (PCE) above environmental screening levels. PCE is a commonly used solvent in the electronics industry and electronic companies operated at this site (prior to Merck) in the 1960s and 1970s.

The proposed soil cleanup plan is to excavate the affected soil and use trucks to remove it for offsite disposal. The plan anticipates the cleanup will take four to six weeks, during which time several trucks per hour will be used to remove the soil and bring in clean fill.

The public is invited to provide comments on the proposed cleanup plan by emailing Regional Water Board case manager Madeleine Little at madeleine.little@waterboards.ca.gov by August 16, 2019.

(Note: there is a broken link within the water board’s notice. Instead, you can click here to reach the summary page for this case, and then select “Site Maps / Documents” in the horizontal bar above the case summary to access specific documentation.)

We encourage any residents who have questions about the cleanup to submit comments before the August 16 deadline.

CTRA Observer Reports for April

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

The big news this month is that the Development Agreement negotiations between the County and Stanford have been suspended indefinitely. This is in response to the announcement of a “school funding and mitigation agreement” arranged separately but contingent on the eventual approval of the Development Agreement.

Meanwhile, the GUP process continues to be a moving target, with meetings constantly being scheduled/cancelled/rescheduled/etc. The current County Planning Commission meeting schedule is tentatively set as:

  • May 9 – 2nd study session
  • May 23 – 1st Public Hearing (Palo Alto)
  • June 13 – 2nd Public Hearing
  • June 27 – 3rd Public Hearing

The Board of Supervisors discussions will begin after that.

With regard to the Historic Resources section of the GUP, I was unable to attend the April 10th special session of the Historic Heritage Commission due to a Caltrain meltdown. As far as I can understand, however, the staff is recommending that the GUP EIR be approved but with the inclusion of a recommended condition of approval to require ongoing evaluation of all resources over 50 years old. This would provide some protection for the buildings excluded from the Historic Resource Report as written without requiring too much finely detailed discussion at this point. They’re scheduled to vote on it Thursday evening. I can’t be there but expect that it will be a good result and I will share my thoughts on it with the County Board (including Supervisor Simitian) and with the County Planning Commission.

The San Juan neighborhood continues to be very contentious, with discussion of requiring a full historical analysis of the neighborhood and a request for legislative tools to ensure that the board can protect the character of the neighborhood. The next meeting to discuss this is the HLUET (Housing Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee) on Thursday morning. One item under discussion is the possibility of forming a special advisory committee for development of the area.

Fireworks

A reminder that Stanford has both a baseball game and a softball game scheduled for Saturday, April 27th. The games are to be followed by a fireworks show. I have not been able to verify but I anticipate that a County Fire Marshall will be on hand with the authority to cancel the fireworks if we’re experiencing high winds as we have recently.

Please note that the Stanford University noise hotline can be reached at (650) 724-4900. This hotline was implemented as a condition of approval under the 2000 GUP but unfortunately has not had much effect, largely because folks don’t know about it, can’t be bothered to report noise, or have given up. It can be used to report any annoying noises emanating from Stanford such as the never-ending sports announcements or loud music.

Stanford Development in College Terrace

I have submitted a code enforcement request to the City regarding the use of 757/739 College Ave as a storage yard. They have inspected it and have notified Stanford that it needs to be cleaned up.

–Pria Graves