Publication Date: Wednesday Oct 22, 1997

The ballot measures

What is Measure O? Measure O represents Stanford's development proposal for the Sand Hill Road corridor. The $340 million project has been reviewed and approved by the Palo Alto City Council and put before the voters for final approval. It calls for:

Building a two-lane extension of Sand Hill Road from Arboretum Road to El Camino Real. Drivers will be allowed to turn right or left on El Camino but will not be allowed to continue through to Alma Street.

Widening Sand Hill Road to four lanes from Arboretum to the San Francisquito Creek bridge. Measure O also requires Stanford to offer to pay the estimated $7 million cost of widening the bridge and expanding Sand Hill from the bridge to Santa Cruz Avenue. The Menlo Park City Council has indicated it will not go along with that plan.

Building 628 units of rental housing on the Stanford West site, located next to the Oak Creek Apartments off of Sand Hill. The project also includes building 388 independent-living condominiums for seniors, 66 assisted living units and 47 skilled nursing rooms.

Allowing Stanford Shopping Center to expand by 80,000 square feet. Stanford currently has a cap of 49,000 square feet.

Making other road improvements including creating a new road behind Nordstrom linking Sand Hill and Quarry roads and expanding Quarry to four lanes and extending it to El Camino. The estimated $20 million cost of the road improvements will be paid for by Stanford.

Restricting development on a 139-acre parcel south of Sand Hill Road near the golf course until 2021.

Restructuring the lease of El Camino Park across from the Stanford Shopping Center to the city of Palo Alto for $1 a year until the year 2003.

What is Measure M? Measure M is a package of amendments to the city of Palo Alto's Comprehensive Plan that is being presented as an alternative to Stanford's Sand Hill project. It has not been officially studied with an environmental impact report. Measure M would:

Require Sand Hill Road to be extended to El Camino Real.

Prohibit the expansion of Sand Hill Road to four lanes but would allow the city to explore the option of a third lane for emergency and public transportation vehicles.

Direct the city to search for ways to preserve the 47-acre field as open space and get Stanford to build the housing elsewhere, preferably someplace closer to public transit and jobs. One such technique would be the use a transfer of development rights, which would allow Stanford to build in another location the same amount of housing as proposed on the Stanford West site.

Limit shopping center growth to 49,000 square feet unless the shopping center adopts a traffic demand management plan that would result in no net increase in traffic on nearby streets.

Require Palo Alto to consult on a regular basis with the two counties as well as Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Woodside and East Palo Alto to significantly reduce any adverse traffic impacts created by the Sand Hill Road extension and any projects in the Sand Hill area.

Would make these requirements a part of Palo Alto's Comprehensive Plan until the year 2015 unless this is changed by a vote of city residents.