Time to Speak Up About The GUP

Neighbors, 

The three-year long process of responding to Stanford’s long-term development proposal – the General Use Permit (GUP) – is finally drawing to a close. Our local supervisor, Joe Simitian, has done an amazing job of working to require full mitigation of the impacts of this growth. Now it’s time for us to support him in this effort.

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will be meeting in Palo Alto on October 22 to hear from those of us who will bear the brunt of Stanford’s growth.  It is critical that we pack the City Council Chambers, so please mark your calendars.

Stanford GUP Hearing
Tuesday, October 22 at 6pm
Palo Alto City Council Chambers
250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto

There are a couple pieces of really good news in the County’s proposed conditions of approval:  

  1. The no net new commute trips requirement is being retained plus there will also be a three-hour window added to the current “peak hour” both morning and evening. In addition, the trip counts will also include delivery/rideshare trips which are currently excluded as “cut-through” trips. 
  2. The Academic Growth Boundary, that mystical line that keeps Stanford development out of the foothills, is being extended to 99 years. 

But there are other things that could be better.  So whether your issue is traffic, housing, public school funding, open space, flood protection, Caltrain grade separations, bird-friendly building design, something else, or all of the above, the Supervisors need to hear from you (or at least feel your presence).  They are likely to vote on the GUP on November 5, so now is the time to weigh in.  Please plan to attend!

The final hearing is scheduled to be held at the County Building in San Jose:

Tuesday, November 5 at 1:30pm
Board of Supervisors’ Chambers
County Government Center
70 West Hedding Street, 1st Floor, San Jose

Hope to see you there.

Pria Graves
CTRA Stanford Observer

Around the Terrace: April 10, 2019

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

2019 Best Places to Live in California
Niche.com recently published a list of the best places to live in America based on crime rates, public schools, cost of living, job opportunities, and local amenities. Their #1 neighborhood in all of California? College Terrace, of course!

Expect Delays at Page Mill Road and Junipero Serra Boulevard
From now until June 22nd, PG&E will be closing lanes intermittently for gas pipeline upgrades. This article contains the full schedule of lane closures, as well as maps of the affected areas.

Upcoming Stanford GUP Meetings
The County of Santa Clara is holding a few meetings this month related to the ongoing Stanford GUP process, including meetings of the Historical Heritage Commission on the 10th and 18th and a Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee Meeting on the 18th.

Planning for Rising Waters Event
Save Palo Alto’s Groundwater and the City of Palo Alto are hosting a talk on how cities can adapt to sea level and groundwater level rise in a seismic zone. The event is April 24th at 7pm at Mitchell Park’s El Palo Alto Room.

How Stanford’s Desire for a Booze-Free Town Gave Birth to Palo Alto
For history buffs, KQED’s “Bay Curious” answers the question of why Palo Alto has two downtown districts (University Ave and California Ave) with this short piece about the history of Palo Alto and Mayfield. College Terrace was part of Mayfield up until Mayfield’s annexation by Palo Alto in 1925.

Statewide Housing Legislation Gains Steam

While Palo Alto’s City Council grapples with ways to address the current housing crisis, legislators in Sacramento are proposing a wide range of bills aimed at spurring development, some of which restrict cities’ abilities to limit or block housing development.

Senate Bill 50 (SB-50), for example, aims to bolster housing development near major transit stops and bus routes, as well as “job-rich” areas, by exempting projects in these areas from local limits on density and parking requirements.

The Embarcadero Institute recently published an analysis of SB-50’s impacts on Palo Alto. It’s worth reviewing the potential impacts on our neighborhood, as parts of College Terrace are within a quarter mile of a “high quality bus corridor” (VTA Routes 22/522) and nearly all of Palo Alto will likely be deemed “job-rich.”

Given Governor Newsom’s aggressive goal to build 3.5 million new homes in California by 2025, it’s worth watching these bills as they progress through the Legislature. The future of Palo Alto housing may be decided in Sacramento and not City Hall.