School board to discuss Stanford expansion

Public can provide feedback during review period

The Palo Alto school board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss Stanford University's proposed General Use Permit, which spells out how the campus will grow over the next 17 years.

The Santa Clara County Planning Department will present a draft environmental impact report on the permit and take questions and feedback from the board and public. The release of the report last month started a review period that will run through Dec. 4.

Stanford is requesting permission from the county to add more than 2 million square feet of academic space and more than 3,000 housing units on its campus by 2035. The proposed general-use permit would update one the university secured in 2000.

The county's draft environmental impact report notes this level of expansion will create "significant and unavoidable" traffic impacts along already heavily congested roads in the area surrounding Stanford.

Issues "of particular interest" to the school district include potential impacts on population, housing and traffic in the area, a staff report states. The environmental impact report states that the proposed project "would increase enrollment in public schools but would not result in an adverse physical impact from the construction of additional school facilities in order to maintain acceptable enrollment standards."

The Palo Alto City Council expressed some concerns about the expansion plan last month -- particularly its potential traffic impacts, loss of recreational space due to construction and a desire to see the university chip in for grade separation along the Caltrain corridor -- but has not yet taken a formal stance on the project. The city's Planning and Transportation Commission is set to discuss it this Wednesday.

The school board meeting will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. at the district office, 25 Churchill Ave. View the agenda here.


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Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2017 at 4:17 pm

What routes are Stanford employees and students taking that would see an increase in congestion? How about increasing public transit or shuttle busses along these routes?

3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2017 at 9:43 am

As part of the plan, Stanford should be required to start studying how to transport people in and out more efficiently. Stanford is banking on Caltrain, for example, but, to get into the central campus requires a time consuming rush hour bus trip. If there existed a light rail or other system that passed over or under El Camino and Campus Drive and moved people quickly to the campus center, employees would have a real incentive to take public transportation. Perhaps a subway system would make sense. The billion dollars or so (back of the envelope, not a real estimate) it would take would be well worth it to solve this part of Stanford's ingress/egress problem.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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