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).

Stanford Alert Test on October 18

On Thursday, October 18th, between noon-12:30 pm, Stanford will conduct its annual test of the campus AlertSU system. Alert messages will be sent via text message and email to the Stanford community.

The test will also include activation of the outdoor warning system, which will sound an audible tone for approximately 30 seconds followed by a verbal message from each of the 7 sirens at various campus locations. The sirens will be audible throughout the campus and may also be heard in parts of the surrounding communities including College Terrace.

For more information about the AlertSU system, visit the AlertSU FAQ.

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.

What’s Up with the Stanford GUP?

One of the topics at last week’s CTRA board meeting was an update on the Stanford General Use Permit (GUP) approval process. The GUP is intended to guide the growth and development of the university’s central campus through the year 2035. Stanford has asked for approval of 2,275,000 net new square feet of facilities and up to 3,150 units of housing, which is estimated to generate an additional 9,610 people on campus.

Journalists at the Palo Alto Weekly recently discussed the proposed campus expansion and the debate over how much housing the university should provide as part of its growth plan. If you haven’t been closely following the GUP process, the video is a good way to catch up.

The period for providing comments on the recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report (including the two alternative housing options proposed by the county) recently ended. Once the Environmental Impact Report is final, the project will go before the Santa Clara County Planning Commission for consideration and then to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. Here’s the current schedule for those workshops and hearings:

Planning Commission
Workshop, September 27
Hearing #1, October 11
Hearing #2, October 25
Hearing #3, November 1 (if needed)

Board of Supervisors
Hearing/Workshop, November 6
Hearing #1, November 13
Hearing #2, December 4
Hearing #3, December 18
Final Meeting #4, January 8, 2019

Check the county’s website for further information, including locations when they’re announced.

The outcome of the GUP approval process will have a profound impact on the surrounding area, and our neighborhood in particular, for years to come. (The majority of new on-campus housing forecast will be adjacent to College Terrace in Escondido Village.) So take time to read up on the issues (via the Weekly’s coverage, the county’s website, Stanford’s own GUP site, or elsewhere) and consider attending one or more of the above meetings to make sure your concerns are addressed.

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.

Dish Closed: July 28 – August 11

Update (July 16): This post has been updated to include the new dates.

A special note for our local walkers and hikers: the Stanford Dish will be closed from Saturday, July 28 to Saturday, August 11 for maintenance. All Dish access gates will be closed during this time. These dates may also shift; if they do, we’ll update this notice.

Community members are encouraged to send any Dish-related questions, comments or concerns to CommunityRelations@stanford.edu.