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Housing, dollars, fairness and the new Stanford Med Center

Original post made on Sep 25, 2007

As the plans for expanding Stanford University Hospital slowly wind their way through an approval process at Palo Alto City Hall, one of the things the university may be asked to do is provide housing for some of the 2,000 new workers expected once the expansion is completed a decade or so from now.

Read Diana Diamond's Guest Opinion here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (7)

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Posted by Herb Borock
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 25, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Prior to founding her firm Diamond Communications & Design in 1993, Diana Diamond was head of publications for the Marketing and Strategy Department of Stanford University Hospital.

Diamond says, "Keep in mind that the two hospitals are independent and separate entities and do not receive any financial support from the university. Both hospitals have their own boards of directors and are self-sufficient."

Each of the hospitals may have its own board of directors, and the hospitals may be independent of each other, but I believe they are both subsidiaries of Stanford University, and the advocates for the hospital projects include Jean McCown, Stanford University's Director of Community Relations, and Charles Carter, Stanford University's Director of Land Use and Environmental Planning, neither of which is part of either hospital. (The University's own Internet site says, "Stanford Hospital and Clinics is a university-owned, nonprofit corporation".)


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Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 25, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Diana is on target with her concern. There is a "hand out" attitude that Palo Alto projects toward Stanford University. It poisons the well prior to, and during all development that happens as a result of Stanford activities. That our own City Council members subscribe to this (some of them), is unfortunate.

Stanford is insular; there's no duobt about that. With this as a given, we should be employing municipal development talent that know how to go right to the top with Stanford, other large enterprises, and our neighboring municipalities to make good things happen.

Right now, that isn't happening. As a result, we have an anarchy of ideas, relative to what Stanford can do for Palo Alto, as if it hasn't done almost enough, already.

And we wonder why relations between our two communities are tense? We need leadership on this issue - in policy, and in city operations.

On a related issue: any City Council candidate with ties to Stanford University sufficient to cause recusal on Stanford issues that come up before Council, should be considered a non-candidate, by default. It's absurd that we have candidates who cannot speak to issues about our most important neighbor. Let's not let this happen, again,


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Posted by Tom
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 25, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Wasn't Palo Alto established to provide housing for Stanford's University?


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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 26, 2007 at 6:54 am

Regarding one point that Ms Diamond raised:

"Should a city demand that only one employer in town, the university, provide housing? Palo Alto does not ask this of Hewlett-Packard, Google, Wilson-Sonsini or any other employer in town."

the answer is quote clear--the city knows that Stanford cannot re-locate--so it can try to extort money from Stanford at every turn. However private companies will not sit still for extortion attempts by cities whose finances are being mismanaged by it's "leaders". They will thank the city and move to another location that is more favorable to them.

Our city leaders need to make a decision--either the city is built out or it can handle more housing--this selective "we can handle more housing if Stanford foots the bill" approach is hypocritical and ridiculous.


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Posted by CJ
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2007 at 12:10 pm


Thank you Diana Diamond for calling out this issue. I am sick and tired of the double-standard that Palo Alto has for Stanford development and ANYONE else. Having Stanford as our neighbor gives us Palo Altans far more than it costs us! We have top-rate lectures, performances, athletics, the Dish, and excellent medical care facilities because of Stanford (and that's just a few of the perks). Do we get that from HP or Google? No, nor should we expect it.

And I agree with Mike about the City Council issue -- if we are going to have three people regularly have to recuse themselves from important issues than they should not be running (or at least elected) in the first place.


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Posted by Howard
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 27, 2007 at 12:33 am

The Stanford expansion is unprecedented and massive. The increase in square footage, density, height incursions, number of new commuters, etc., will have a very significant adverse environmental impact. The years-long construction will be a terrible imposition, and uproot many well established doctor and dentist offices. On the other hand, the expansion will not provide comparable benefits to Palo Alto. As a medical facility, it services the entire region. A small percentage of Palo Alto residents ever actually have any use for it at all. Why on earth should all of Palo Alto bear all these costs when most of the benfits are enjoyed by users outside Palo Alto? The bottom line is that this expansion can not happen unless Palo Alto says it can. Palo Alto is under no legal or moral obligation to approve it. The only way that Palo Alto could possibly justify approval is if it obtains significant concessions from Stanford, such as housing and other financial or in-kind payments.


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Posted by hugh treanor
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 28, 2010 at 11:40 am

To: Editor
RE: Diana Diamond's 12/27/10 Bishops Abortion Stance too Extreme
I guess Bishop Olmsted and his Christian fraternity in their haste to be prescriptive have forgotten St. Thomas' views on the subject of the law.
"An unjust law is not a law, in the full sense of the word. It retains merely the 'appearance' of law insofar as it is duly constituted and enforced in the same way a just law is, but is itself a 'perversion of law." ( St Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologicae, Q. 95, A. 2.)
Above quote from Expedia on the subject of Natural Law.
Hugh Treanor


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