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Stanford neighbors get peek at housing plans

Original post made on Apr 12, 2008

The first public viewing of two proposed developments bordering the College Terrace neighborhood took place on Wednesday night. Stanford proposes building 22 staff-housing rental units at Olmsted Road and 39 faculty homes adjacent to Stanford Avenue.

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Posted by Need good reporting
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

There were dozens of residents at Wednesday's meeting, and lots of different concerns being answered. So why does Sue Dremann keep quoting uninformed residents who bring up the red herring about how they want Stanford to "block off some of the side streets into Stanford Avenue from the development"?

Maybe she is unaware that both the County Planning Dept (which has jurisdiction over this land) and the city of Palo Alto (which has jurisdiction over Stanford Avenue from El Camino to Amherst) have strong policies against closing streets. But surely she knows that new developments are not required to mitigate existing traffic!

Furthermore, the additional trips generated by 61 homes is trivial compared to what would have been allowed under the County's zoning for these two parcels -- 75 units along Stanford Avenue and 250 for the Olmsted/El Camino site. When Stanford University got the County's approval for the 2000 General Use Permit, it certified that all the traffic that would be generated by the maximum number of units on this land would be mitigated by a series of conditions related to congestion at nearby major intersections. Why don't readers learn this from reading Sue's second article on this topic?

Just to be clear, the only review required for these two projects is for the County's Architecture and Site Approval Committee (which looks at building design, setbacks and other zoning requirements. The County Planning Commission will verify that the proposed housing fits within the rest of the GUP conditions.

Bottom line: Closing the streets leading to Olmsted Road across from Oberlin, Wellesley and Yale ain't going to happen. There is no legal leverage for such a drastic action, and it would also have negative impacts on College Terrace and local businesses. So if Sue is going to quote a resident about what he "wants", why fan the flames of ignorance by not reporting the rest of the story?

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