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Stanford fires back at county over new housing requirements

Original post made on Jun 12, 2019

Stanford University pushed back this week against Santa Clara County's proposed housing requirements as part of Stanford's expansion application by arguing the university deserves credit for graduate housing already under construction.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 9:54 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Marcie
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:11 am

Sounds good to me. I don't understand why Stanford is required to fix all the counties housing problems. Start asking all the extremely successful businesses to do their part. Oops the cities always complain about that too.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 12, 2019 at 11:57 am

VP Palter's assertions that Stanford faculty and employees don't want to live on campus is not correct. Stanford faculty and the County are aligned on the request for more affordable housing for employees on campus. The President and Provost of Stanford University engaged in a 2-3 year long range planning process. They started this process by polling the faculty and acknowledge that the number one challenge facing Stanford now is the lack of affordable housing for Stanford employees. This is an issue hurting young faculty and the ability of Stanford to recruit new faculty. Instead of fighting the County's request that Stanford build more affordable housing for their employees, we should be talking about how to do this. We are creative people - we can do this! And the plans to do this should be discussed in public, not behind closed doors.

Posted by anonymouse
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 12, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Of course, negotiation is a two-way process, so it is okay for Stanford to ask the County to " revise its zoning code to increase permitted residential densities, reduce cost burdens associated with housing construction and create an "efficient, predictable approval process" for housing already zoned for residential development."

Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

It is time for the County negotiation team to sit down with Stanford, which has not happened yet and work this out.

All the posing going back and forth and the County changing conditions is not helping.

We need the housing built sooner rather than later, which is one benefit of Stanford's proposal.

But I am sure there will be give and take when and if they meet.

Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Stanford should quit playing these public relations games. I am constantly blasted by their ads on Facebook, as if I have any say in the negotiations. Why don't they sit down with the county officials and negotiate in good faith?

Posted by double counting at its finest
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

So, Stanford wants housing that it is building against the current GUP to count towards housing requirements for the new GUP request?

Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 12, 2019 at 1:17 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

Stanford has wanted to sit down with the County but the negotiation team for the County is has refused so far/

As far as FB i get blasts from the County and Stanford equally.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm

I just received another email message from my Stanford employer with the request: "Tell the County You Support Stanford’s Plan". Perhaps they should tell me how they plan to address "the Housing Challenges in Our Region". Then I can make an informed opinion. Asking for blind loyalty from Stanford employees is not leadership.

Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm

cmarg is a registered user.

Stanford needs to create their own little city which includes schools and housing for all their employees as well as students. It is unconscionable to pay no taxes and impact the city of Palo Alto so much - impacts school, major traffic, and adding to the unavailable housing for their non-academic employees. I am very happy that the county is pushing back.

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jun 12, 2019 at 4:40 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Please show any other San Mateo County employer that provides more housing for both its employees and customer/students than does Stanford?

When Palo Alto residents need an emergency room do they go to the Palo Alto Hospital?
No, because Palo Alto sold its interest in the Stanford Hospital decades ago:

" When the Stanford Medical School moved south from San Francisco in 1959, the Stanford Hospital was established and was co-owned with the city of Palo Alto; it was then known as Palo Alto-Stanford Hospital Center. It was purchased by the University in 1968 and renamed." Wikipedia

Posted by Chris
a resident of University South
on Jun 12, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Simitian is heading toward getting the county in a big loss in a lawsuit. When the county loses that, let’s see how many of Simitian’s acolytes here are still singing his praises.

Posted by Add a job- Add a home
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 13, 2019 at 11:51 am

Stanford and all the other huge development companies need to just shut up and get with the new reality that if they build a job then need to build a house. The days of cheap land where people could just spread out and build a home are over. The reality is that adding more high paying jobs drives out lower paid existing renters and home owners. To alleviate the problems that are caused by overbuilding there are two answers: either stop adding jobs or force rich companies that are benefiting from being allowed to develop in this area to house ALL of their workers. Tax payers should not be responsible for footing the bill to house people driven out by there huge corporations that are collectively raking in billions. It is time for them to pay the true cost that their being situated here is demanding from the community. That means housing, schools, roads, pollution control, water and quality of life. Demand more and stop letting them buy off local and state elected representatives.

Posted by Mary O
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 13, 2019 at 5:01 pm

Mary O is a registered user.

@anonymous at Stanford. “VP Palter’s assertions that Stanford faculty and employees don’t want to live on campus is false.” How do you know that “anonymous?” My own anecdotal information tells me that her statement is true. I (like you I’m sure) know Stanford faculty and employees and they don’t want their housing tied to their jobs. But why are we speculating? Housing and Land group conducted an extensive survey- let’s just go with the data! And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say, “I feel confident that Ms. Palter and her group are well-informed regarding the Provost’s and the President’s planning efforts” since Ms. Palter’s group engages in long-term planning.

Posted by former staff
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm

If a few staff want to live elsewhere, no one is forcing them to live on campus.

V.P.Palter is the new public face for V.P.McCown, development lawyer.

Double counting the housing construction sounds familiar, development lawyer-talk.

Posted by Mary O
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Mary O is a registered user.

@former staff. Staff don't want to live on campus because instead of renting, they'd like to buy something super far away and commute (one of my friends lived in Palo Alto, then Menlo Park, then bought a place east of Oakland - she comes in three days a week now). And, if they take a job elsewhere, they'll have to move. Fine for young people, but once people have kids that are in school, they don't like having to move them around. And, no security for spouses of faculty. If they separate or divorce, the unaffiliated spouse is out.

Posted by not everyone wants to live on campus
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 14, 2019 at 9:25 pm

We are a Stanford faculty family. And we agree with Palter "Not every Stanford affiliate wants to live on campus." We were eligible for and looked at the available on campus housing (15 years ago) and deliberately decided we wanted to live in a different community. We love Stanford but we already get enough of it. We wanted our children to grow up in a neighborhood with a more diverse set of jobs. And we wanted to make friends with others not attached to Stanford.

How many of you would want to live in a neighborhood entirely made up of your co-workers?

When Stanford builds graduate student housing on campus this provides a benefit to the outlying communities. Now those grad students are no longer looking for rentals elsewhere. And they don't mind living on campus because it is a temporary gig. More STUDENT HOUSING on-campus is essential.

For Employees, Stanford finding ways to support the building of more housing beyond the confines of campus will be a good thing.

I don't see the County making the same requirements for Apple or for the 49ers or for ANY other employers. That's because then some CITY would have to agree to the new housing. This is such hypocrasy.

I don't think Stanford is perfect. And they should certainly hold themselves to a high standard of being a good neighbor. BUT this area's problems were not created by them (other than by creating desirability) we should not expect them to be a sole savior.

Posted by Common sense
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 15, 2019 at 3:33 pm

This article was already obsolete by yesterday morning (June 14). At Thursday (June 13th)'s hearing, the County sharply refuted the Stanford claim mentioned in the headline here.

The County's response was in Friday's (June-14) printed Daily Post, where I read it on the front page. Here's a link to the online version of that story, until the Weekly produces its own: Web Link

Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on Jun 15, 2019 at 4:52 pm

stephen levy is a registered user.

And at the meeting as noted in the Post, the county took full responsibility for the fact that there are no development agreement talks the with collaborative (ha ha) statement from the CEO office that the County would never enter development agreement talks (breaking their own agreement from February) unless it was advantageous to them.

Translation-- we prefer extortion to collaboration.

Posted by Leonardo Leal Guerrero
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 18, 2019 at 2:45 pm

[Post removed.]

Posted by Kim Suz
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 17, 2019 at 4:37 pm

Stanford is being asked to meet EXISTING, unmet commitments. They are also being required to not add to the housing shortage and traffic gridlock throughout all of Palo Alto. That’s smart development, not a punishment. No public benefit of cultural events makes up for contributing to this area’s largest problems. They are not offering enough $ to improve transit in any effective way. They are also buying up existing housing in Palo Alto thereby taking that off the market forever and pushing the problems they have created into the community. The housing they have built has NO restrictions on the amount of cars residents own so that doesn’t help mitigate anything.

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