News

Planning Commission backs Stanford's campus expansion

County officials reject university's offer for a development agreement but permit close to 3.5 million square feet of growth

Stanford University's bid to massively expand its campus received the Santa Clara County Planning Commission's unanimous endorsement Thursday with a 7-0 recommendation of a new general use permit that will govern Stanford's growth for the next two decades.

But the victory came with one catch: a requirement that Stanford construct roughly four times as many housing units as it proposed in its application.

The commission concluded a marathon meeting with a series of votes that effectively endorse Stanford's proposal with some key caveats, particularly on housing. The vote followed three public hearings and more than 300 comments from members of the public, which ranged from full-throated support for Stanford's plans to deep skepticism and requests for additional measures to curb the impacts of the university's growth.

In making its decision, the commission weighed Stanford's offer to negotiate a development agreement, which includes a menu of community benefits that it asserted are worth $4.7 billion, against county planners' proposed conditions of approval, which require far more housing and more stringent traffic regulations than Stanford has been willing to provide.

Much like at prior meetings, Stanford staff spoke in favor of reaching a deal through negotiations, while county staff insisted that its job is to require full mitigations for the problems that the university's growth will create.

"This isn't a negotiation process. This is a regulatory process," Deputy County Executive Sylvia Gallegos told the Planning Commission. "This is a permit application, and we don't negotiate away conditions of approval."

Gallegos underscored that the county is recommending approving all the academic growth that Stanford has sought, which includes 2.275 million square feet of academic space, 2,600 student beds and 40,000 square feet of child care facilities and transportation hubs. But the growth plan, she added, can only be considered "reasonable and sustainable" because the county put in protections to ensure that the impacts of Stanford's growth would be minimized.

Stanford's package of offerings, by contrast, falls far short of the county's goal, planning staff said.

While the university touted its development-agreement package as an unprecedented offer with substantial community benefits — including $3.4 billion for housing alone — county staff have vehemently rejected these figures and argued that most of the "benefits" are in fact legally required mitigations or, in some cases, part of the proposed campus development itself.

Gallegos pointed to the 2,600 student beds, which Stanford is counting as benefits and which comprise a $1.4 billion investment.

"Those aren't community benefits; that's the project application. It's what they're proposing to develop," Gallegos said.

The real value of Stanford's community benefits is $166 million, Gallegos said, which includes more than $130 million that the university is planning to provide to the Palo Alto Unified School District over the next 40 years and about $30 million that the university offered to Palo Alto and to various San Mateo County cities for bike projects and other transportation improvements.

But while county planners maintained that their proposed conditions constitute critical community protections, Stanford staff characterized some of these conditions as counterproductive and, in some cases, impossible to meet.

After the long discussion, the commission unanimously approved the final Environmental Impact Report for the proposed expansion. It also unanimously approved the water-supply assessment for Stanford's growth, a change to the zoning ordinance to allow the expansion and changes to the Stanford Community Plan, a broad land-use document that is part of the county's general plan.

How much housing?

The biggest bone of contention surrounded housing. The county's planning staff had recommended that Stanford be required to build 2,172 units of housing to accommodate the new employees associated with the campus expansion. In its initial application, Stanford had proposed 550 units of "workforce" housing. In the new development agreement offer, it upped that figure to 1,307.

"We cannot deliver the amount of housing that the administration proposes and also make a (below-market rate) requirement that is unprecedented in magnitude," Catherine Palter, a university associate vice president, told the commission Thursday.

As part of the new proposal, Stanford had also sought credit from the county for housing already under construction, including the Escondido Village development for graduate students and the 215-unit development known as Middle Plaza in Menlo Park.

By housing Stanford's existing graduate students on campus, Stanford "will open up hundreds of rental units in the community for future workers," Palter said.

"The current base of graduate students is occupying off-campus workforce housing units today, and 75% are living within 6 miles of campus," Palter said. "When they move onto campus in 2020, their vacated off-campus units will be available to serve future growth in the workforce population."

County planners had previously rejected that proposal, noting that these units are associated with growth that has already occurred. By seeking to count those previously approved projects as part of the new GUP application, Stanford is in fact proposing to build 40% fewer housing units than the county has recommended and the planners believe is needed to meet the demand for housing created by faculty and staff working in new academic space, Gallegos said.

The commission generally agreed with its staff's proposal to require 2,172 units, though there was some debate over whether Stanford should get some credit for ongoing projects. Vice Chair Marc Rauser said the more housing the county can approve for Stanford, the better. Yet he said he was "torn" over the credits Stanford was seeking for Escondido Village and Middle Plaza.

"I'd like to give some credit because they're very nice units and there's a lot of them," Rauser said, referring to Escondido Village.

His colleagues firmly disagreed. Bob Levy and Vicki Moore both rejected the notion of using existing housing to compensate for future growth. The county planners' proposed housing requirement, Moore said, is clearly intended to be "above and beyond what's already been approved."

"I don't believe any credit should be given to projects existing that do not relate to the growth (under the new GUP)," Moore said.

The commission also supported a proposal from county planners to require at least 70% of the new units to be on the Stanford campus, with the remainder being provided within 6 miles of campus.

What to do about traffic?

Traffic also remained a subject of dispute between Stanford and county planners. But unlike with housing, the planning commission offered the university a significant concession.

Stanford favored retaining the existing "no net new commute trips" standard, which measures traffic impacts during the busiest commute hour in the morning and the afternoon. The county had proposed more stringent regulations, which would consider three-hour "peak periods" and that also require Stanford to limit reverse commutes and average daily vehicle trips.

The county's proposed conditions would require Stanford to limit the growth in reverse commutes to 2% from the base year and to keep average daily traffic within a 3% threshold. Exceeding these limits in consecutive years would suspend the university's right to expand.

Palter argued that the conditions are impossible to meet, particularly with the higher number of housing units the county is recommending. The university's traffic consultants, she said, concluded that to meet the thresholds proposed by staff, Stanford would need to generate trips at a rate lower than that of Manhattan.

"This is simply impossible on the San Francisco Peninsula where Stanford is located," Palter said.

The argument found some support on the commission, with Levy and Rauser each suggesting that county planners may be demanding too much from Stanford when it comes to reverse commutes and average daily traffic counts. Levy noted that the county's requirement that 70% of the new workforce housing get built on campus would make it easier for staff and faculty to avoid driving, but their spouses would still need to find ways to get to work, which could be in other parts of the county.

"My concern is that we'll have people doing that reverse commute – as Stanford has correctly said – who will be the spouses and roommates taking their kids to school and going back," Levy said. "It isn't really Stanford driven. It's the other people living in the house doing that."

Geoff Bradley, the county's consulting project planner, acknowledged that meeting the reverse-commute threshold would require Stanford to provide services so large numbers of would-be drivers use other modes of transportation, such as having children walk to schools and other residents walk to transit, restaurants and stores. This, he argued, is not impossible.

"This is one of the few places in the county where you can do this, where all these pieces come together. The goal really is to create a dense, compact comfortable environment and not repeat the auto-centric environment where everyone does have to get into their car," Bradley said.

The commission members didn't resolve the traffic issue but ultimately coalesced around the idea of requiring Stanford to initially use fees to mitigate its traffic impacts. At some point in the future, whether in 10 years or when Stanford builds a certain amount of housing, the county can consider new requirements for the university for traffic reduction.

The commission referred the issue to planning staff for more analysis with the understanding that additional options will ultimately be presented to the Board of Supervisors.

Protecting the foothills

The topic of development in the foothills also elicited a range of opinions, with Moore strongly urging the county to pursue a conservation easement for the foothills area to secure permanent protection for the open-space preserve.

But Commissioner Erin Gil and Rauser both pushed back. Rauser said he would prefer to see the topic resolved as part of a development agreement. He and Gil also both noted that the foothills aren't in danger of getting developed any time soon. The Stanford application doesn't propose any construction in the foothills. Doing so would, in any event, require approval from four out of five board supervisors under a policy that expires in 2025. As part of the general use plan application, staff had recommended expanding that requirement by 99 years – an approach the commission generally favored.

Even though most of Moore’s colleagues balked at pursuing a conservation easement, commission Chair Kathryn Schmidt and Gil both said they support foothills protection, which Gil said potentially could be accomplished by other means.

"That needs to be addressed in terms of the whole Bay Area," Gil said. "I'm in favor but I don't see it as an imminent threat at this point. It needs to be a community conversation."

Rauser suggested that open-space protections could be part of a future development agreement between the county and Stanford. But the commission majority agreed that the development agreement process is defunct at this time and voted 6-1, with Rauser dissenting, to formally deny Stanford's application for the negotiated agreement.

Prior to its deliberations, the commission heard from dozens of speakers, with business leaders, union workers and various members of the Stanford community urging the commission to back Stanford's proposal and elected officials from neighboring communities voicing support for the county’s conditions.

Olivia Navarro was one of about two dozen union workers who attended the meeting to urge support for Stanford's proposal. They lauded the university for agreeing to provide housing immediately, with all 575 below-market-rate units of workforce housing all scheduled to get built (or funded) before the first quarter of the academic expansion is completed.

"The need is now," Navarro said. "If we want to build more housing that means there are residents now who hopefully will have roofs over their heads. And for us, it will provide jobs now so that our members, who are currently in Santa Clara County, can keep their living situation."

But many others urged the commission to follow the advice of planning staff. Palo Alto City Councilman Tom DuBois pointed to a new analysis from Palo Alto's transportation consultants indicating that Stanford would need to provide about $260 million in "fair share" contributions for transportation, far more than Stanford has proposed.

The conditions of approval proposed by staff are "a critical baseline to which any further agreements should be based."

"It's important to establish that baseline," he said.

East Palo Alto City Councilman Larry Moody similarly favored the county planners' position and suggested that Stanford should have done more to engage with his city, which already suffers from heavy traffic jams and which remains vulnerable to gentrification from the proposed influx of students and faculty.

Stanford's development "will significantly exacerbate the housing crisis associated with the traffic gridlock," Moody said.

"For them to believe they can move forward with the project without having consultation with East Palo Alto is something that they shouldn't be proud of," Moody said.

Menlo Park City Council members Betsy Nash and Cecelia Taylor urged the commission to require Stanford "fully mitigate" its growth impacts. Taylor said this means requiring full mitigation for housing demand, environmental impacts, traffic and public education. Nash pointed to the two giant problems that her community — as well as neighboring jurisdictions — are already facing: housing affordability and traffic congestion.

"Menlo Park residents, like others in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, cope with these issues every single day," Nash said. "Stanford's proposal to expand under the 2018 general use permit will obviously aggravate these already very serious problems, and I think it's hard to overstate the potential harm."

Weekly journalists discuss this issue on an episode of "Behind the Headlines," now available on our YouTube channel and podcast page.

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Comments

25 people like this
Posted by Mostly Good
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2019 at 11:29 pm

Thank you County Planning Commissioners. Your marathon meeting produced a mostly good result. You hung in there on the housing, refusing to fall for Stanford's ruse that it was magnanimously offering to spend big on housing.
I was disappointed by the lack of resolve for greater long term protection of the foothills now.
Next stop - Board of Supervisors!
Maybe now we can be relieved of Stanford's daily propaganda bombardments - or is it only going to get worse until the Board of Super has its say?


7 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 28, 2019 at 9:07 am

Stand fast Stanford. With vast land banks not being developed in Santa Clara county there should be no problem building more housing. The San Jose Planning commission by the way was for rent control the biggest no no in the science of economics. Stanford has no moral or rational reason to change it's position.

Geroge Drysdale land economist


Like this comment
Posted by Leonardo Leal-Guerrero
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 28, 2019 at 11:14 am

Thank you Stanford and Santa Clara for working together to make sure that our community benefits from Stanford's development, while also adding checks and balances to the proposal. While I tend to dislike unnecessary red tape for development, given that housing development in the Bay Area moves at a glacial pace, this time I feel that the ZOPA (Zone of Possible Aggreement) expanded due to the collaboration of both communities. Of course, there will continue to be dissenting voices in the background disliking the development. But these opinions will continue to be insular and eventually move to the margin, while the development will continue to blaze through.

As a pro-development voter and an economist, I think we need to wake up and realize that if we stop any institutions/companies from building (Stanford, Google, etc) we will do a severe disservice to the communities that cannot afford living in this area. I feel very blessed for having a tech job that allows me to live in Palo Alto, but I continue to think about the restaurant/hotel/cleaning people that struggle to even pay their months's rent. A little extra housing should liberate part of the housing pressure in the area, and allow some room for those people that get priced out as a result of rising demand.

(Moderator's note: This post has been restored to view; it was initially hidden automatically because it was posted from an IP address, possibly the public library, from which numerous inappropriate posts have been made on Town Square in the past. We apologize for any confusion caused.)


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of St. Claire Gardens

on Jun 28, 2019 at 11:15 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Jun 28, 2019 at 11:20 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Midtown

on Jun 28, 2019 at 11:22 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


18 people like this
Posted by Wishful thinking
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm

Just say no Stanford. Building more housing on campus will add more traffic, and negatively impact our schools.


1 person likes this
Posted by Eileen Wright
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 28, 2019 at 12:40 pm

"With vast land banks not being developed in Santa Clara county there should be no problem building more housing."

Truer words were never written. There are huge tracts of land being underused and frankly wasted as parks and open space that could be built up very profitably by savvy developers.


17 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm

Posted by Eileen Wright, a resident of Crescent Park

>> >> "With vast land banks not being developed in Santa Clara county there should be no problem building more housing."

>> Truer words were never written. There are huge tracts of land being underused and frankly wasted as parks and open space that could be built up very profitably by savvy developers.

Funny you should say that. I've been thinking that Crescent Park is long overdue for redevelopment. Let's just condemn all those wasteful giant lots, some of the ginormous ones recently created out of 3-5 adjacent giant lots, and build RM-40-density condos. Not the apartment types. Really nice 4-story townhouses. And all that space wasted at Eleanor Pardee Park-- that whole thing could be RM-100 mid-rise. All told, Crescent Park could be, what-- 15,000 units easily. Who cares what the people who live there think! Helping savvy developers make money is what life is all about, isn't it?


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 28, 2019 at 1:46 pm

"Who cares what the people who live there think! Helping savvy developers make money is what life is all about, isn't it?"

@Anon - is that an imitation of Scott Weiner or Adrian Fine? Or maybe this IS Adrian Fine!


5 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Posted by Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis

>> @Anon - is that an imitation of Scott Weiner or Adrian Fine? Or maybe this IS Adrian Fine!

Would you believe that there are people who think The Onion is not a real news source?


12 people like this
Posted by Bg
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jun 28, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Simitian is a disaster - can we please get rid of him?


2 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 29, 2019 at 10:30 am

Silicon Valley is perhaps the greatest concentration of math minded economics types every assembled in history. This will be enjoyable. Stand fast Stanford. Now for you people wanting subsidized housing, how many actually win the lottery. Full disclosure. Those who don't win the lottery must pay for the handful of people who win the lottery. Because of the baby boomer tsunami funds for housing are increasingly being diverted to the truly stressed out: the caretakers (Boston). Do we favor economic refugees over the truly needy? Pay more to the low income workers or use an alternative. People need to exercise more should perform their own tasks as only 20% of Americans get enough exercise.


12 people like this
Posted by You are allowed to say that
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 29, 2019 at 2:05 pm

This pro-development posting from the public library is pushing the notion that restaurant/hotel/cleaning people will be able to afford to live in Palo Alto if only we develop more here.

This is not only absurd, it is immoral because it is dishonest and attempts to leverage healthy human human sympathy for profit at the cost of severe damage to the city’s future.

We already have too much development for our infrastructure. We already are asked to cut back on water use and car use. We already have too many students per class and too many students per school based on our own decisions. Too much crime for the police to handle.

And attempting to leverage sympathy and empathy for more development adds to sympathy fatigue. It is attacking and weakening normal processes for humanitarian instincts, by pitting natural concerns against common sense.


7 people like this
Posted by Mary O
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 29, 2019 at 11:31 pm

Mary O is a registered user.

@you are allowed to say that. Hotel, restaurant employees will be able to live in Palo Alto if the city requires these employers to do what the county is requiring Stanford to do: house employees on site. For example, to allow the 36 room motel on El Camino to expand to a 99 room hotel, the city should have mandated that the hotel set aside space in the hotel to house the additional employees they will hire when they expand to 99 rooms. No, not allowed to pay housing mitigation fee, they must house employees on site. If people aren’t okay with that being the new way things are to be done in the county, then you really can’t be okay with what the county is requiring Stanford to do.


2 people like this
Posted by You are allowed to say thati
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jun 30, 2019 at 1:47 pm

I’m not OK with a requirement that Employers house their employees. But i’m OK with the city enforcing its zoning per its well-considered plan, and not allowing employers to build beyond that zoning or pay for ad how changes.

Stanford is a special case in many dimensions. It’s not in Palo Alto, it’s the key driver of the valley’s economic success, it’s not-for-profit, it has an employee count that dwarves other employers, it’s a school, it’s a tourist and sports fan destination, it includes a museum, a hospital, retail.


1 person likes this
Posted by George
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 30, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Real cities have juggled these growth issues for at least a century. City hall should not be deciding where the workers are to live. The peninsula, and especially PA still thinks of itself as a village so it keeps asking village questions to city problems - like, maintaining suburban homes as extraordinary growth presses in from all sides.
Transportation is a really big need and no longer a matter of local design. Missing is a solid grand plan that enables growth for the next one or two decades. Transit should be foundational to additional business growth and housing. How people will move around should be in place before, not after the fact. Housing vision should include height, go tall, not wide. There is a lot of bold new, tall, mixed use housing going up around the world that have supermarkets, schools, meeting spaces, living spaces, workspaces, etc included to reduce the need for so many short trips in too many cars. Stanford should think bigger. Stanford has a legitimate urge to grow but the county and city should not be further burdened as a result - expansion should be limited to Stanford land and not - not - include consumption of more green space. Likewise, PA, should begin building up like other cities do.


4 people like this
Posted by Mary O
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Mary O is a registered user.

@ George. All of Stanford’s development is, and will be, on the core campus. There is no proposed development outside of the academic growth boundary which doesn’t extend beyond Sandhill Road to the north; Stanford Avenue to the south; El Camino to the east; Juniper Serra to the West.


4 people like this
Posted by Mary O
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 30, 2019 at 3:12 pm

Mary O is a registered user.

@ You are allowed to say that! The Research Park, hospital and mall all lie within the City of Palo - they are separate from the University. The City oversees and controls all development on those lands. The lands were annexed. In the early 1950’s, Stanford and the City worked together to create the Research Park. The land was annexed to the City and then the City received (and continues to receive) the property, wage and sales taxes associated with everything that lies within it’s boundaries. The academic growth is limited to the core campus.

Every entity is a “special case” in some way. The foundation of good law and policy is that it is specific in its application, but broad and flexible enough to apply to all similar entities. The state’s school lunch meal mandate applies to all schools - not just “special cases”

I have enormous concerns that the County is over reaching their authority. I want confirmation from them - in the form of statute, case law, another example, etc. - that they are not. I don’t think there’s one taxpayer in the County who wants to pay to find out if it is, or isn’t.


3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm

It would be great to see Santa Clara County become a less car-centric place, but the quote from Geoff Bradley in the article sums up the hypocrisy of the restrictions imposed on Stanford: "This is one of the few places in the county where you can do this, where all these pieces come together. The goal really is to create a dense, compact comfortable environment and not repeat the auto-centric environment where everyone does have to get into their car."

Essentially, the County expects Stanford to create a city on the edge of Palo Alto's suburbia, with all the facilities (and jobs!) needed for students, faculty, staff, their spouses and their children to almost never have to leave campus or its immediate vicinity. Meanwhile, the people making these decisions can continue to drive their SUVs everywhere, indulge in the epic sprawl and NIMBYism of their neighborhoods, with their house prices and quality of life still benefiting from the proximity of Stanford.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2019 at 6:45 pm

Posted by Mary O, a resident of Crescent Park

>>Hotel, restaurant employees will be able to live in Palo Alto if the city requires these employers to do what the county is requiring Stanford to do: house employees on site. [...] If people aren’t okay with that being the new way things are to be done in the county, then you really can’t be okay with what the county is requiring Stanford to do.

I think the next step you outline above will probably will happen. Company towns were a couple of steps beyond Medieval serfdom, and, we are sliding back in that direction. It makes sense for the lords to provide "downstairs" housing for the servants. After the Great Depression and WWII, a great leveling had taken place, and things stayed much more equal than they are now until ca. 1980. I won't bore you with all the graphs and charts. But, housing was still affordable in Palo Alto, I can assure you from personal experience, in the late 1970's. Something happened, here and nationwide, ca. 1980. Some people -like- the massive inequality that we have today, but, unaffordable housing for the working class is one of the outcomes, like it or not.

What to do? In the short run, it makes sense for cash-rich entities, who want to expand right here right now, to provision much of their own housing. I'm not sure why that is so offensive to you. They've got the money, and, their employees don't.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 30, 2019 at 6:46 pm

Oops. Apologies for the mis-attribution in the last post.


6 people like this
Posted by yasukono
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm

yasukono is a registered user.

Thank you Supervisor Simitian for making sure that we are all informed, and that all negotiations and discussions take place in public. The fact that different groups and individuals are able to express their views is helpful and will hopefully lead to a better outcome than if this negotiation had been done in private. The issues are complex and there are many different interests groups. There is no villain here ... just people trying to come up with a solution for the growing need for housing, better traffic options, and education. Compromise will be required, but we have all benefitted from the transparency in the process and the expression of different points of view.


2 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 2, 2019 at 9:27 am

The math of building housing: the cost of rents must be the same or greater than the cost of new construction. Think of it, nobody is going to build a new apartment house unless the local rents are at least the same of the cost of new production. This is the same for the production of bananas or rentals. Subsidies to be had: few and fewer. Government already on paper is bankrupt. The crushing national debt and California state government with at least a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. The Santa Clara county planning commission does not get this or they seek to ignore the issue (third world thinking). The Santa Clara county planning commission is a political body not an actual planning commission. Remember the San Jose planning commission is all for rent control thereby flunking themselves out the high school economics classes a required subject. "Affordable housing" is unaffordable as outgoing governor Brown recognizes.


3 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 2, 2019 at 9:30 am

The math of building housing: the cost of rents must be the same or greater than the cost of new construction. Think of it, nobody is going to build a new apartment house unless the local rents are at least the same of the cost of new production. This is the same for the production of bananas or rentals. Subsidies to be had: few and fewer. Government already on paper is bankrupt. The crushing national debt and California state government with at least a trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities. The Santa Clara county planning commission does not get this or they seek to ignore the issue (third world thinking). The Santa Clara county planning commission is a political body not an actual planning commission. Remember the San Jose planning commission is all for rent control thereby flunking themselves out the high school economics classes a required subject. "Affordable housing" in high priced areas is unaffordable as outgoing governor Brown recognizes.


3 people like this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 4, 2019 at 12:56 am

One correction for "George" - the foothills may be green space now, but they are Stanford lands, not public ones. The reason they are still open is unlike the people who owned the land in the rest of the hills (e.g. Los Altos Hills), Stanford did not develop its hills. Some may even recall, that Stanford stirred up much conservative ire when it decided not to off land in the foothills for the Reagan Library.


1 person likes this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 4, 2019 at 12:56 am

One correction for "George" - the foothills may be green space now, but they are Stanford lands, not public ones. The reason they are still open is unlike the people who owned the land in the rest of the hills (e.g. Los Altos Hills), Stanford did not develop its hills. Some may even recall, that Stanford stirred up much conservative ire when it decided not to offer land in the foothills for the Reagan Library.


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