News


Stanford withdraws application for campus expansion

University cites ongoing disagreements with Santa Clara County over development agreement, traffic requirements

Stanford University abruptly abandoned on Friday its contentious plan to expand its campus by 3.5 million square feet, citing ongoing disagreements with the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors over the approval process.

The university’s announcement came just before the board was scheduled to hold its fourth and potentially final meeting on Stanford’s general use permit, a development application that is often referred to as the "largest in the county’s history." If approved, the permit would have allowed Stanford to build more than 2.275 million square feet of academic space and 2,600 student beds between now and 2035. The announcement also came days after the university had agreed to build 2,172 units of staff housing, consistent with recommendations from county staff. Stanford’s application had initially proposed 550 units of workforce housing.

The biggest split between the county and the university came over a possible "development agreement," a negotiated contract that would have guaranteed Stanford development rights in exchange for a list of public benefits. The county authorized in October 2018 the use of a development agreement in approving Stanford’s expansion, but negotiations broke down in April and never resumed.

While Stanford has repeatedly stated that it would not accept approval of the general use permit (GUP) without an accompanying development agreement, supervisors have been reluctant to restart negotiations, opting instead for a traditional regulatory process that analyzes the impacts of proposed developments and imposes requirements that mitigate these impacts.

In the case of Stanford’s GUP, the requirements from county planners included additional workforce housing and more stringent traffic regulations, including new requirements that the university not significantly increase average daily trips and reverse commutes to and from campus.

In its announcement, Stanford cited the county’s proposed traffic requirements and the ongoing dispute over a development agreement as the two factors that prompted the withdrawal of its application. The university argued that the traffic requirements sought by the county would not be feasible given the additional housing mandated by the county.

Stanford has consistently argued that a development agreement is necessary so that it could have "predictability" for future growth in exchange for delivering community benefits such as housing, traffic improvements and funding for the Palo alto Unified School District.

The university also announced that it is "committing to a new phase of engagement and dialogue with neighbors and surrounding communities."

"We have taken this step with regret, but with a clear-eyed understanding of the challenges before us in achieving a successful long-term permit at this time," Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement.

"Stanford remains proud to be a citizen of this region, deeply committed to contributing to its economy, health and quality of life."

Tessier-Lavigne also said that through the new engagement process, the university hopes to "gain deeper mutual understanding of the challenges facing our region, how Stanford can best enhance its contribution to addressing those challenges, and what the implications are for our longer-term campus development."

This university’s plan has become increasingly contentious, with hundreds of people packing into Palo Alto City Hall for the Oct. 22 hearing on the general use permit to demand more contributions from the university. The meeting was preceded by protests from more than 100 undergraduate students, who argued that the Stanford should provide more housing as part of the expansion, which is expected to increase the campus population by more than 9,000 people. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers requested more financial support and child care services, while elected officials from San Mateo County demanded “full mitigation” of the expansion’s housing and traffic impacts.

The coalition of San Mateo County cities, which includes East Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City and Woodside, as well as county staff requested $196 million for an affordable-housing fund, $4.62 million for roadway improvements, $15 million for bike and pedestrian connections, $5 million for stormwater management and $6.78 million in “in-lieu property taxes” to compensate communities where Stanford owns properties and enjoys property-tax exemptions.

In a sign of the growing rift between Stanford and the surrounding communities, elected officials co-signed a letter last month accusing the university of not paying its “fair share” for things like road improvements, public safety and other services.

"Here's what every resident in San Mateo County needs to know: Stanford – with its $26.5 billion endowment — expects to reap all the rewards while leaving local taxpayers grappling with the resulting traffic gridlock, spiraling housing prices, impacted schools and environmental consequences," the letter stated.

Stanford, which has been going through the application process since 2016, was scheduled to hold its fourth hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 5. It had already won the approval of the county Planning Commission, though the commission rejected a development agreement that Stanford offered in June.

The county and the university have characterized Stanford’s offer in strikingly different ways, with the university valuing it at $4.7 billion and the county estimating the cost of actual benefits at $168 million ($30 million in traffic improvements and $130 million for the Palo Alto Unified School District). The majority of the purported benefits, county staff argued, were things that the university would be required to provide or that were part of the application.

Deputy Executive Director Sylvia Gallegos said at the Oct. 8 hearing that the university and the county remain "very far apart" on what a development agreement should entail.

"The review and processing of a development application is a regulatory process. It's not a negotiation," Gallegos told the board.

Disagreeing over the development agreement

Board of Supervisors Presidnet Joe Simitian, who was part of a two-person subcommittee charged with negotiating with Stanford (along with Supervisor Cindy Chavez), told the Weekly he felt Stanford's withdrawal of its application was surprising, given that its proposal was heading for approval.

"I thought we were headed for a win-win," Simitian told the Weekly. "The authorization of 3.5 million square feet over 15 to 20 years would've been a substantial benefit to the university. But given the requirement for full mitigation, they chose to walk away. I respect their decision, as an applicant, to walk away."

Simitian noted that a development agreement is a tool that the county has never used in its 169-year history. And while he said he was open to the notion that a development agreement was "an appropriate tool for some narrow and limited set of benefits," he was not willing to support an agreement that would have required the county to effectively abdicate its police powers and its land-use authority by pre-approving future development.

"The land-use authority and police power of public and county are not for sale, nor should they be," Simitian said.

Jean McCown, Stanford's associate vice president for government and community relations, told the Weekly that the university viewed a development agreement as a necessary tool because of the "laundry list" of requests Stanford had received from cities pertaining to issues they need help with. This includes contributions that fall outside the scope of what Santa Clara County can require in its conditions of approval.

This includes contributions to Palo Alto schools and to San Mateo cities.

"Since we've been very consistent in saying that the development-agreement piece is critically important to what we'd like to do and what the community would like us to do, we didn't see how we could move forward."

Stanford noted in its Friday announcement that it had revised its proposal and agreed to build the 2,172 housing units that the county had requested. This includes 933 units of below-market-rate housing, as recommended by the county's analysis.

Stanford's letter to the county also notes that through a development agreement, "some of this housing can be provided more quickly than through the conditions of approval."

In its prior proposal, the university was seeking credit for several developments already under construction, including the Escondido Village, a 650-unit development on campus for graduate students, and Middle Plaza, a 215-unit development in Menlo Park.

This week, Stanford indicated that it would no longer request credit for the existing projects, according to the announcement. It also requested that the county delay its upcoming hearing so that Stanford and the county could begin “substantive discussions” on a development agreement. But it received no evidence that the majority of the supervisors would endorse such a delay.

While Stanford did not rely on a development agreement for its last general use permit, which was approved in 2000, it had used development agreements for all of its major projects since then, including the new Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto and the recently completed campus in Redwood City, said Martin Shell, Stanford's vice president and chief external relations officer.

Shell told the Weekly that with the GUP application withdrawn, the university now plans to "pause to assess what the priorities are."

"We clearly heard a lot from the community over the past many weeks and months, and we want to reflect on what we heard," Shell said. "We may be needing to focus more of people and programs for a while, and a little less on facilities."

The withdrawal of the application makes moot, at least for the time being, Stanford’s pending agreement with the Palo Alto Unified School District, which called for $138 million in contributions from the university to the district. That agreement was contingent, however, on a development agreement – a condition that county supervisors rejected.

Tessier-Lavigne said in the statement that he appreciates the engagement of "so many community members throughout the process, the hard work of county planning staff in reviewing our permit and exceptional efforts of those in the university who worked to put forward a comprehensive, balanced plan for the county’s consideration."

"I also deeply appreciate our strong collaboration with the Palo Alto Unified School District," Tessier-Lavigne said in a statement. "The Palo Alto public schools are a critical partner with Stanford, and we will continue seeking ways to work together to expand educational opportunities for local students."

Don Austin, Palo Alto Unified School District superintendent, said in an emailed statement that he looks forward to a continuing relationship with the university.

"Stanford’s decision to withdraw their GUP application means no new housing and no additional students to mitigate," Austin said. "The school district loses nothing in the decision. More importantly, we have gained a strong partner through the time we spent together actively problem-solving and better understanding our shared interests. I expect great things to come from our relationship and hold Stanford University in the highest regard."

Members of the Stanford Coalition for Planning an Equitable 2035 (SCoPE2035), some of whom rallied before the county's Oct. 22 hearing, expressed dismay over Stanford's action.

"We are saddened and frustrated to learn that Stanford has decided to withdraw its general use permit application," the group stated in a post on its Facebook page.

"The goal of our activism was never to stop this project — our demand is that any development Stanford undertakes support the most impacted communities on and around our campus— namely, workers and neighboring communities like East Palo Alto. We want Stanford to be able to grow and do so in a way that benefits everyone."

Despite Shell's assertion that the university is halting its proposal so that it can reflect on the community's feedback and determine its priorities, the student group accused university administrators of simply deciding to wait out those who demanded more from the current application.

"They are waiting for student activists to graduate, for county Supervisors to term out or be up for re-election, for the community to forget. Once that happens, they will submit their application again with nothing changed," the group wrote.

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Comments

105 people like this
Posted by Simitian's folly
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Thanks, Joe. You managed to avoid an agreement that would have delivered jobs, help with grade crossings, housing, and a host of other benefits.


78 people like this
Posted by Accountability is hard
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Accountability is hard is a registered user.

“The university argued that the traffic requirements sought by the county would not be feasible given the additional housing mandated by the county.”

So Stanford’s basically saying: Our giant project will create so much new housing demand, that if we actually build the housing, the resulting traffic can’t possibly be managed. So unless, you make the tax payers and local residents bear that burden for us, we’re taking our toys and going home.

Though it got little coverage, Stanford’s analysis last year concluded that the traffic impacts of new housing are far greater than those from commercial/office/academic development - even when parking availability is tightly constrained to discourage car ownership as it is on Stanford’s campus.


104 people like this
Posted by Joe is not the hero
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Joe Simitian screwed up the negotiations with Stanford so they have decided to wait until he is termed out and then try again.

Simitian grandstanded for his ego, bullied people, and in the end walked off empty handed.

Where's the housing for SEIU workers? Where's the grad student housing and child care? Joe was ordered by the Board of Supes to negotiate a Development Agreeement and he defied the democratic will of the Board and refused. This story says that negotiations "broke down" but that is untrue. Negotiations never began, and that is a matter of public record.

Do grad students and postdocs consider this a victory? They have the same high housing costs and lack of childcare.

Do low wage union workers consider this a victory? They are still driving here from the central valley.

Joe Simitian should never hold Anna Eshoo's seat. I invite you to join me in supporting "Any Credible Person Who is Not Joe" for Congress. [Portion removed.]


58 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Would you upgrade your house and buy all the raw materials you need in advance, not knowing if your permits would be yanked partway through your project? That's what Stanford was asked to do by not getting their development agreement. The development agreement basically states that Stanford can continue their approved plans through the life of the GUP - without it, future supervisors could choose to withdraw their permissions after Stanford had already committed their housing build-out up front.


81 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2019 at 1:52 pm

The extraordinary sticking point on this was the County's insistence that Stanford build thousands of housing units on its own campus - a company town. As far as I know, no other employer has ever been required to do this - build its own housing, for only its employees, on its own job site.

There seemed to be no thought about the long-term impact of this approach other than "let's see if we can get it." No talk of other ways to mitigate, like payments into housing funds, or off-campus developments. This heavy-handed (and probably illegal) approach was driven by Simitian.

I'm not a Stanford alum or supporter, but the idea that one politician killed a potentially important project for some combination of votes and ego is disappointing. This was a bad government process.


118 people like this
Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:04 pm

ALB is a registered user.

Joe Simitian is the hero here. Stanford missed their opportunity to work with the county. Joe Simitian wants the region to be well represented in this process. Stanford's bluff was we will walk away if there is no development agreement. The county responded ok. Development agreements have never been a part of the GUP process. Thank you Joe Simitian for standing up for your constituents.


39 people like this
Posted by Fred
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:10 pm

So I'm expecting that any major development in the county going forward shall include hundreds of millions in road improvements, staff housing, school district funding and traffic mitigation as paid by the developer. Right? Right? Right.


111 people like this
Posted by Grateful Barron Park resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:16 pm

Thank you supervisor Simitian for protecting our community quality of life.

Stanford, with its $26.5 billion endowment, was not prepared/willing to fully mitigate the impacts of its GUP.

That would’ve left tax payers in the surrounding communities grappling with the resulting traffic gridlock, spiraling housing prices, impacted schools and environmental consequences.

Now is the time for Stanford to take care of its existing housing needs. The grad students testified to living in rat infested homes.


73 people like this
Posted by Old Palo Alto Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:19 pm

I am glad to see Stanford finally recognizes the concerns of the PA residents on its expansion impacts. The traffic is already so bad now. I can't imagine what it will be like with the expansion. As a good neighbor, I hope Stanford can continue to look hard into how to improve their current traffic impact even without the expansion.

While Stanford was pushing for their expansion, I notice many of their arguments for the expansion were similar to what Castilleja has been using to justify their expansion. Now I just hope Castilleja will also come to its senses and face the fact that their expansion plan is bad of the neighborhood and PA. Therefore, they too will abandon their expansion plan!


73 people like this
Posted by SJW
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:20 pm

SJW is a registered user.

I'm with Joe!!! Congratulations on a job well done.


27 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Mary is a registered user.

I followed the process throughout; read and commented on the Draft EIR, Final EIR, Nexus Study, the two ordinances that the County passed (and Stanford filed suit over); and attended public meetings held at the County Building, in Palo Alto and in Menlo Park.

It turned into a "with them" or "against" them process from the very start with contentious comments from County Officials - which I found surprsing.

Leave out the idea that there had to a Development Agreement, or that there had to be any development at all by Stanford. Just focus on the fact that there was no discussion. An application was submitted. The County made their statements. The public all said what they wanted to say. That was it. No discussion of - anything. No focus groups. No talk of a collaborative approach to wildfire mitigation; habitat corridors or public transit. NONE.

There was no correction of misinformation or misstatements at public meetings by the public or even, I found, elected officials (at varying levels of government). There was no challenging of erroneous beliefs.

The Board of Supervisors are elected officials; not dictators. There was an enormous amount of support throughout all the different communities for the County to at least sit down and talk to Stanford. The Board voted for it.

Talking to Stanford is not tacit approval of their application. San Jose has been in talks with Google for how long now over Google's proposed development? No conversation.

This process echoed the partisan divide that is in DC. The process itself was disappointing.


34 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:29 pm

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

>> The extraordinary sticking point on this was the County's insistence that Stanford build thousands of housing units on its own campus - a company town. As far as I know, no other employer has ever been required to do this - build its own housing, for only its employees, on its own job site.

I don't agree with you. Stanford wanted to do this within the framework of a GUP. But, as part of the approval for projects, Cisco, Google, and Facebook have all agreed to develop housing. You may not like the "company town" aspect of this -- actually, I don't like it either, but, given the increasing concentration of wealth in the US, "company housing" seems to be the only giveback that we have available. Long-term, our national survival will depend on reducing the concentration of wealth we now have. Through taxes. In the meantime, company housing is one of the few tools palatable to both the super-rich and the rest of us.


16 people like this
Posted by Above my pay grade
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:31 pm

I don't get it. On the one hand, our government leaders say that if we only build housing next to jobs, then there will be no traffic. Isn't that what Stanford is doing?

Of course, it's not really true that if you build houses near jobs there's no traffic, but if ever there was a scenario, in which Stanford provides low-rent housing for Stanford workers, that's it.

I wish Google was putting its headquarters somewhere else, to be honest, and Stanford expanding.


68 people like this
Posted by janet
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Great job Joe. Many thanks. Thanks also to the surrounding jurisdictions who finally stood up for their residents


28 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Mary is a registered user.

@anon & @Fred. @Fred. No, because the County doesn't have jurisdiction over many developers. The County will not impose a county wide (by district) housing impact fee either.

@anon. Stanford submitted several proposals to provide full mitigation of housing impacts that were supported by several different housing agencies. What they said they couldn't do is agree to put them all on Stanford land. Why? Because the County's own EIR, showed that the traffic impacts couldn't be mitigated under that scenario. THAT was the sticking point. The County insisted that Stanford's ability to build academic buildings would be dependent upon Stanford's abililty to mitigate traffic impacts from the new housing the County wanted built on Stanford land. Stanford and the County both agreed that a substantial amount of Stanford traffic is "cut through" traffic - no one's going to or from Stanfod - just cutting through. Stanford would've had to make their campus "closed." AND, not allow the ees who lived in the new housing to have cars on campus in order to comply with the County's request. How does that make any sense?

People really owe it to themselves and their communities to get the facts straight.

It's not about being "for" or "against" the expansion. Just understand the data.


28 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:50 pm

@Anon - "But, as part of the approval for projects, Cisco, Google, and Facebook have all agreed to develop housing."

@Mary - "What they said they couldn't do is agree to put them all on Stanford land"

Mary has it right. The issue isn't developing housing (which Stanford was willing to do); it is that it had to be for only their employees and on their own land. This was the extraordinary and probably illegal approach that Simitian and the County insisted on.

I also agree that the fact that the County (again, Simitian personally) cut off all negotiation and discussion, was strange and very concerning.


22 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:52 pm

Mary is a registered user.

@Above My Pay Grade. This is the only area in the country that I know of that wants housing right next to one's job location. Every place else wants housing within X distance of commuter line of some sort. Why? Because people 1) switch jobs and 2) being next to your job only mitigates traffic impacts for the person who works next door. We are two income households. One person would have to drive somewhere. Also, we change jobs far more often than we change housing.

Who wants to live next to the people they work with?! Talk about an insular community!


61 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:53 pm

I too have watched this process from the outset and my perspective is that Stanford has consistently overplayed their hand, thinking they held all the cards and that their negotiators would outsmart or intimidate the county and others.
For over a year, Jean McCowen and others insisted that they would not provide any payments at all to the school district for the additional students they would generate, an irresponsible and arrogant position. Then, Tessier seemed to step in and accept a fair share of responsibility, but conditioned on Stanford getting a development agreement to their liking, which undermined the county’s ability to negotiate for other mitigations. More recently, Stanford backtracked on their promises to the district unless the got what they wanted and Simitian stated that in that case he would could not make the legally necessary findings that the project would not harm the public welfare since the new, unfounded students would reduce funding for and harm the existing students.
The county had previously agreed to negotiate on a development agreement, but they insisted those negotiations be in private. Simitian and Chavez insisted they be done transparently in public, in part because of their undermining of good faith negotiations through their attempted side deal with the schools.
More recently, Stanford reversed its position on the DA being done in private, but by then the county had already moved on after having accepted Stanford’s claim that they would only do a privately negotiated DA.
Let’s see if their stated intention to restart the process in a more inclusive manner is genuine or just a latest effort to wage a new PR campaign.


28 people like this
Posted by SU/PA
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Many Stanford employees commute from great distances to get here every day. What Stanford refuses to consider is that most of their traffic and parking problems would be significantly reduced if Stanford took a more progressive approach and allowed its employees to work from home and only commute on certain days. Tech companies have been doing this for years. Every year this is brought up in a staff survey and is consistently ignored by the University. It is true that certain jobs require the employee to be physically present, but it makes very little sense to require an employee to spend hours commuting from the Valley or the East Bay only to sit at a computer all day. This, of course, won't solve the shortage of affordable housing in this area but it seems like a logical bandaid until a long term solution is put in place.


9 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Rez
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Crescent Park Rez is a registered user.

@ SU/PA
"Every year this is brought up in a staff survey and is consistently ignored by the University."

Why do you say this? How do you know this? I know one person who works at Stanford who kept having to move further away because of rent increases in the last ten years. Now she lives east of Oakland. They let her telecommute two or three days each week (depending on her schedule). She's an employee - not a prof, not a researcher. This single example is anecdotal, so not significant enough to draw any conclusions. But, what information can you share that would support your statement?


38 people like this
Posted by lose - lose
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:10 pm

What an unfortunate outcome!

I don't think Stanford should automatically get everything it wants. But Stanford definitely adds value to the community. And its growth on campus would have helped the community. Grad students living on campus are not taking up rental spaces elsewhere.

The County (and Simitian) were bossy, greedy and outrageous.
Because other growth that takes place within CITY jurisdictions don't fall under their thumbs, they tried to get EVERYTHING they've ever wanted from anyone directly from Stanford.

Apple in Cupertino is not providing any similar benefits.


57 people like this
Posted by Barron Park Donkey
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm

So glad to see the county stick to their guns on this. Well done. This comment from our neighbor county summed it up well:

"Here's what every resident in San Mateo County needs to know: Stanford – with its $26.5 billion endowment — expects to reap all the rewards while leaving local taxpayers grappling with the resulting traffic gridlock, spiraling housing prices, impacted schools and environmental consequences."

Hopefully Stanford will finally be the good neighbor and work with the community to mitigate the impact of their growth.


17 people like this
Posted by SU/PA
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:32 pm

@Crescent Park Rez

"Why do you say this? How do you know this? I know one person who works at Stanford who kept having to move further away because of rent increases in the last ten years. Now she lives east of Oakland. They let her telecommute two or three days each week (depending on her schedule)."

I work for the University, and I'm very happy to hear that your friend is able to telecommute. That's wonderful. Perhaps I shouldn't have spoken so broadly, but the school I work for does not allow it's staff to work from home. Professors and directors are the exception. If you work at Stanford, perhaps you can share your experience. I have been here for over 12 years and have not seen the departments at my school budge on this. I know many people who are very happy in their homes in Tracy, Morgan Hill, Oakland, Hayward, etc. and would prefer to work from home rather that uproot their families to move to affordable housing in Palo Alto or Stanford campus. So with all due respect, my example is not purely anecdotal. :)


15 people like this
Posted by Winners, Losers
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:45 pm

Politically I can see the benefit for Joe Simitian. He can tell Palo Alto NIMBYs that he STOPPED THE PROJECT! No more traffic or housing! And he can tell union and housing advocates around the County that he STOOD UP FOR HOUSING! No jobs without housing!

So Simitian is the winner - the loser is the rest of us, who would have generally benefited from Stanford's development, but now won't, at least until Simitian gets termed out.


5 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Rez
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:48 pm

Crescent Park Rez is a registered user.

@SU/PA

I liked your comment because I appreciate the acknowledgement that it was a broad statement. Many, many companies have moved away from telecommuting for a whole host of reasons one of them being that workplace community/cohesiveness declined. Yahoo, IBM and more. My friend is lucky.

And, both of our examples are anecdotal I believe.. you said, "I know many people ..." which makes your statement based on personal information - which, by definition is anecdotal. : ) The conclusions found in the County's EIR would not be considered anecdoctal since an impartial third party conducted an analysis using known and accepted study methodologies.

Though, I wouldn't be surprised if someone did a study and found that yes, most employees - not just at Stanford, but everywhere! - would like to be able to work at home at least one day a week!


63 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:50 pm

We recently moved out of Palo Alto. Pretty clear that with Stanford’s proposed developments along with all the tech company proposals that the already ridiculous traffic and high cost of housing, the degradation of every day life was on a steeper decline. Joe said to Stanford that for the County the Community came first unlike Palo Alto elected officials and even staff who kowtow to every developer who brings a fountain, cute bike racks or new hotel tax revenue to get their projects approved.

Stanford should have started this process with what President Tessier-LaVigne said they’ll do now - engage with the Community!


9 people like this
Posted by SU/PA
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm

@Crescent Park Rez

Ha! You're right. They are anecdotal. Thanks for your feedback, Crescent Park Rez.

Have a good weekend!


8 people like this
Posted by HMB
a resident of another community
on Nov 1, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Here is a link to Stanford's telecommuting policy from the university's Administrative Guide:
Web Link


58 people like this
Posted by Appreciative neighbor
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2019 at 4:37 pm

So many think that Stanford is doing such a great thing for the community but they have failed to understand that their plans are causing great stress on Palo Alto's infrastructure. Trying to offer up money to the school district was trying to please one set of constituents but not addressing the overall picture of too many jobs, not enough housing, way too much traffic and put a squeeze on the current school population. Thank you Mr Simitian for understanding the full impacts of these plans and how Stanford is not able to mitigate them. Why do we always have to say yes if in the long run it is not good for our city or for our community.


24 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2019 at 4:46 pm

It’s clear about several points -
...that Stanford
1) has building developments happening, we see huge double dump trucks at various sites, 2) wanted a complicated agreement to their benefit with the County of Santa Clara (HQ way down in San Jose) - - for a huge, epic agreement spanning many years), 3) Palo Alto and local region: neighboring cities and Southern San Mateo County ARE and WILL BE impacted by Stanford traffic, burden of their children in PAUSD public schools, competition for our local housing, 4) Stanford has one of the highest university endowments in the world, 5) Stanford is well known for hiring elaborate PR reps who lobby for them and run their “news” service.
We are local residents, workers who wish to maintain a good quality of life (which we pay dearly for in our income and property taxes) and I can co-exist with Stanford U, but they need to remediate the effects of their major developments, see: all the schoolchildren we pay for in our local public schools via our property taxes.
Stanford related traffic is undeniable: I’d like big road and bike lane improvements. Running Little Marguerite busses for Stanford people and (rarely, really) the public is not enough.
Plus: keep your hands off the hills, which I understood were donated to you by benefactors long ago to be maintained as open space.



3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 5:25 pm

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

>> @Anon - "But, as part of the approval for projects, Cisco, Google, and Facebook have all agreed to develop housing."

>> @Mary - "What they said they couldn't do is agree to put them all on Stanford land"

>> Mary has it right. The issue isn't developing housing (which Stanford was willing to do); it is that it had to be for only their employees and on their own land. This was the extraordinary and probably illegal approach that Simitian and the County insisted on.

Since the GUP approach is a voluntary agreement whose purpose is approve a coordinated approach, I fail to see how it would be illegal for Stanford to voluntarily agree to build housing on its property if the County approved.

BTW, as a result of this process, has anyone seen a full accounting of exactly how many people work at Stanford Medicine on the main campus?


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 1, 2019 at 5:40 pm

@anon,the County required the housing on campus as a mandatory condition of approval. Nothing voluntary there, no on site housing, no project. Never been done before, likely not allowed under Ceqa.


10 people like this
Posted by Already taken
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Already taken is a registered user.

@anon. The County was also requiring Stanford to build market rate housing - also never been done before under CEQA. The county determined housing impacts, came up with a number via their nexus study, then Stanford agreed to that. Then the county put out its conditions of approval which increased the housing requirement even more. I’m not saying that the GUP should’ve been approved, I just think the County created a moving target. As far as I can tell, the only thing that came out of this was some really bad feelings...


15 people like this
Posted by Ceqa
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 1, 2019 at 5:58 pm

My understanding is that Stanford proposed so much development that even were they willing it can't be mitigated as required by Ceqa report. That was the problem. Which was why they wanted a private behind doors agreement rather than abide by the County's process.


7 people like this
Posted by already taken
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 1, 2019 at 6:09 pm

already taken is a registered user.

@ceqa. Not that I read in the FEIR. What couldn’t be mitigated were the impacts from the additional housing that the County was demanding... more than four times what Stanford proposed.


48 people like this
Posted by Joe is not the hero
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 1, 2019 at 6:26 pm

This is a reality check for those who do not understand what has actually happened, which I think includes the staff and editorial board of this newspaper, which has functioned as a xerox machine for whatever Joe Simitian wanted to say.

Stanford has limits on building. Stanford does not have limits on hiring or admitting students or accepting post docs and hiring faculty and staff. They don't need Joe Simitian's permission to do that and if you think Stanford will stop doing those things, you are not paying attention.

The limits on development in the academic reserve inside the academic growth boundary (AKA the foothills) expires in 2024. Until that time it requires a supermajority of the Supes to allow development. After that, it requires only an ordinary majority. The only way to extend that requirement to protect the foothills from development was in a Development Agreement. So all you ladies who think you are entitled to hike the dish in your yoga pants with your giant strollers and who take up all the parking all along Stanford ave because you feel entitled to create traffic and parking problems while demanding that no one else drive or park there, ever, or build on their own private property, take your entitled attitude and enjoy the whirlwind you are going to reap.

The fact that Simitian through sheer arrogance or incompetence or both (and does it matter which?) personally blocked any negotiations that would have benefitted the community will now be realized in the form of more competition for housing, more traffic, less childcare, and developed foothills -- in a few years once Joe is termed out.

I am no fan of Stanford. I think that they often behave terribly. This didn't stop that. It made it worse. Stanford is like the Catholic Church. It is eternal, and patient. All it has to do is wait and it will get what it wants and without all this drama being stirred up by Simitian for political purposes. I am not even sure he understands the politics of this. This is very likely already backfiring on him because he acted out of emotion and ego rather than community interest.


24 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Nov 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Simitian is the one who overplayed his hand, not Stanford. He is termed out in a year and Stanford can easily wait him out.

Stanford will come back when the political winds (and the economy) change. The county will end up with a worse deal than they could have gotten know, but the Simitian fanboys will continue to be devoted to him.

In the meantime, if Stanford needs projects approved, they will come in one by one.
The total mitigations required for individual projects will never add up to what could have been negotiated in the GUP with a development agreement.

I would never pay to subscribe to the Weekly, which blindly supports Simitian, who may be the densest politician ever.

The Weekly wants to put Stanford to put thousands of housing units on its land, but it just stands idly by while Palo Alto builds almost no housing.




19 people like this
Posted by Don't do anything extra
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2019 at 8:48 pm

This is like Amazon withdrawing it's plan to locate in Long island City, with AOC and her band of union backed politicians blowing the deal and losing 25 k jobs for the local low income population. Same here w Joe Simitian and his band of merry union backed henchmen and women, piling on, gouging and villifying Stanford w their lies and misinformation, including the wonderful teachers'union and their schills, the school board, the PTA and PTAC.

Glad Stanford said no. Good. Now you all get nothing.


11 people like this
Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm

I tend to vote for Democrats, but if the result of a government-heavy give-us-all-we-ask approach is that nothing gets done, and the innovation engine of this valley is starved for what it needs to do to keep our edge as a region, I am tempted to look much more closely at the next free-market de-regulation candidate for the Board of Supervisors who comes along, and we can let this all play out in a more conservative governing framework. I don’t think it takes as much to swing Silicon Valley politically as some people think...


8 people like this
Posted by meyer
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 1, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Agree with the previous post. This is like Amazon withdrawing it's plan to locate in Long island City. Now, Stanford doesn't get to expand and we don't get anything in return.


7 people like this
Posted by SCC short sighted
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 1, 2019 at 10:30 pm

We are fortunate that local unicorns find growth businesses and they scale up their infrastructure to handle the growth. Our county has squanders and argues against growth opportunities rather than finding infrastructure solutions. This is fundamentally a good problem and solvable. Perhaps our county leadership should move to the rust belt where they won't have to deal with the horrible fate of so much opportunity


14 people like this
Posted by Cover up culture
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 1, 2019 at 10:38 pm

Had enough of joe simitian and two faced Todd collins and their lying and smearing of anyone who doesn't please their union overlords.


51 people like this
Posted by Don R
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:14 am

Gotta appreciate the simple correctness and reasonableness of Simitian's statement, even though it causes some people to simply lose their minds and/or become land use attorneys all of a sudden. Cities have done us a disservice by constantly ceding their land use authority in their desperation to lure companies to town. You get a baseball field, photo op with the city council, then its grinding traffic and car camping ad infinitum. Developers have grown accustomed to working that way and apparently it took a few years for it to finally sink in what stanford was repeatedly told: you are going to mitigate your impacts. The county doesn't need to kowtow to stanford.


11 people like this
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2019 at 6:14 am

If Stanford doesn't like dealing with the county, they could get annexed to a neighboring city (Palo ALto, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills), or they should incorporate themselves into a city.


15 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 9:02 am

No massive housing project. No thanks.


16 people like this
Posted by Independent
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 9:04 am

Cities want to attract companies and retail for the tax base so they can pay their rapacious public employees and their rich pension benefits, all of which comes ultimately comes at our expense. The city is run for them, not us.


37 people like this
Posted by I read the data.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:01 pm

I read the data. is a registered user.

It seems like most of the writers here did not read the DEIR or the Draft Conditions of Approval which were inadequate to mitigate the projected impacts of the project. I DID read the data. Stanford bit off much more than they could chew and they stonewalled efforts to engage re: needed mitigations.

The project scale needs adjustment because we simply do not have the capacity to absorb unmitigated impacts that we had when the last GUP was contemplated. I don't understand why Stanford believes they are entitled to maintain or increase that pace of growth with this GUP--especially when their environmental review docs clearly show they can't mitigate the impacts of that level of growth.

One example: The DEIR said that with the original 2.3 mill sf, the Middlefield/Embarcadero intersection would fail (with no feasible mitigation).

Another example: A letter attached to the DEIR clearly stated that Stanford was excused by the state from having to contribute to grade separation--even though the DEIR clearly pointed to increased train capacity as a primary transportation mitigation. (Increase in the number of trains that will come with electrification is the REASON we need grade separation). Stanford NEEDS grade separation to support their growth, but they don't have to pay for it. This is what economists call externalizing costs. They are externalizing their transportation mitigation costs to taxpayers. I could go on ad nauseum. The original 2.3 million sf project would have caused many other impacts that Stanford would not have mitigated. They expected us to absorb the exorbitant cost of mitigation for them.

It is also not correct to say that there was no discussion. There was a lot of discussion, and this is also well documented in the public record. The City of Palo Alto submitted mitigation requests in writing--as did PAUSD along with many other government agencies and citizens. There was a lot of discussion in public meetings and community meetings and smaller meetings that led to the creation of the Conditions of Approval (which was a less-than-perfect document)--also public record. This is why the Supervisors and county staff thought they were close to agreement.

Stanford has not been negotiating in good faith with the community this round. They have behaved badly toward their own employees and their students. Many alums are upset. They are stubbornly ignoring the FACTS in their environmental review docs. I'm not sure why we should have to mitigate their mess because they were overly ambitious in their planning process. I hope they are sincere about reconsidering their project.


25 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Posted by chris, a resident of University South

>> Simitian is the one who overplayed his hand, not Stanford. He is termed out in a year and Stanford can easily wait him out.

You may be correct about that, but, I hope that Stanford is more principled, and rational, than that. Everything I've seen from Simitian looks rational. Simitian is able to do arithmetic. Stanford, on the other hand, wants to develop space for more jobs, and add more people, than can be housed either on campus, or, housed in Tracy and able to commute to Stanford. Stanford's various proposals just haven't added up.

Simitian has done Stanford a service by trying to get Stanford to consider where employees are going to live and how they are going to get to work. Stanford seemed to be wound up for a period of massive overbuilding, without considering how Stanford employees could get into Stanford to work.

In reply to those claiming that if Stanford and SCC agree on a GUP that effectively plans for a lot of "company housing" it would be "illegal"-- please explain (without invective directed towards Simitian and SCC), exactly what you are talking about. Seriously, I would like to understand the issue.

The ad hominems directed against Simitian are getting really repetitive in many of the above posts. That makes me suspect that Simitians concerns are well-founded.


29 people like this
Posted by Complete mitigation
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:43 pm

I hope this stands as an example for managing every office development going forward, in every city and county. COMPLETE MITIGATION - provide for all needed housing and add appropriate infrastructure before you can develop.

This isn't the open wild west anymore. We are stuffed to the gills with too many people and all future development needs to be balanced or it needs to stop.


19 people like this
Posted by Leland Scaresme
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:50 pm

Lets have done with The Winchester Mystery University “we’ve gotta grow or we’re gonna die” nonsense!

Stanford pays no taxes and administrators bike around campus and eat lunch. Meanwhile the rest of us sit in traffic toiling way like serfs and pay fortunes to live in our small hovels.

Stop the craziness!


16 people like this
Posted by Graduate
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 12:55 pm

I think Stanford should consider their next campus in Fresno, or Salt Lake City or somewhere like that. Clearly, Santa Clara residents don't want/deserve a world-class university in their region thanks to their super-active professional (not meant in a good way:)) politicians!


30 people like this
Posted by citizen
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Anybody who lives in the areas surrounding Stanford knows that the area is simply maxed out (traffic, housing, water, infrastructure, etc.). Adding one more person to the equation would be a step in the wrong direction. Instead of further contributing to the insanity that is life in the SF Bay Area in 2019, Stanford should use all that genius collected on campus to try to contribute to solutions for the huge local, state, and global problems that we are facing.
I hope that Stanford will take a long step back and think about ways in which it can be a leader in solving our problems.

Part of the problem of Stanford seeming so entirely out-of-touch is that the it provides cushy highly-subsidized housing for its faculty and senior management on campus. The people educating the next generation literally live in la-la land that has very little resemblance to the real world. (I spent several years on campus as a grad student and know how far removed from reality life on campus is...).


25 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 2, 2019 at 1:18 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Stanford is in reality a hedge fund that also happens to own a world class university. Their default message is always that they would crumble and die without a major expansion. 'Bigger is better' seems to be the Stanford way. They have bullied everybody for generations and had gotten away with it, now they stumbled into local politicians who for a change stood up to them and they are shocked. For a long time now, Stanford has sucked out of the community much more than it contributed to it, just like the tech companies who are leeching off what residents have built.

Hopefully the same politicians would tell the tech sector and the real estate development sector that they are not getting their way anymore and that leeching off the public is over and done with.


7 people like this
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 2, 2019 at 2:18 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the new history book that came out that called the husband of the founder "Stealin' Landlord"? It's actually an Ambrose Bierce line quoted in the Wall Street Journal review of the new book, that says Leland Stanford was the laziest of the Big Four but was a good figurehead.
All three Stanfords, Leland JR, Jane and Leland died young.
But thanks, especially Jane for what you've left us.
And too much of a good thing is...


3 people like this
Posted by SB50
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 2:45 pm

SB50 is a registered user.

I wonder how all the communities are going to feel when SB50 passes next year? Will people want Stanford to develop within their city limits, or will people want other developers to build the housing units?

I sincerely doubt that it won't pass... putting it on hold for another year was just about building support for it. It really targets the Bay Area and parts of Southern CA. And, everyone I know from outside this area is quite happy about the bill.


6 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 2, 2019 at 5:13 pm

Mary is a registered user.

@I read the data.

1. Public Comments aren't discussions. They are comments. A discussion is a back and forth dialogue. A question. An answer. Another question. A clarification. The public made comments – at time outrageous comments - and no one corrected or clarified their misstatements. The County Board Meetings were not discussions, either. They were similar to public meetings with the public making unchecked claims, and then, the Supervisors "Cross-examined" the County employees, County's consultant and then Stanford. No dialogue. No discussion.

2. "A letter attached to the DEIR clearly stated that Stanford was excused by the state from having to contribute to grade separation--..."
I believe what you're referring to here is the state's policy that additional demands on public transit that could result in increased ridership is not a cost that is assigned to any one project or developer. Rationale is that public transit is a public good/benefit to all. See any of the numerous publications by CA Office of Planning and Research.

3. I'd have to go back and look at the DEIR, but I'm referencing only FEIR (Final EIR) at this point. And, the County requested additional housing created much greater impacts.

But, it's all a moot point since the application has been withdrawn.


31 people like this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 3, 2019 at 1:49 pm

@SB50 - what a joke. No one wants SB 50 to pass. Does everyone want a 10 story condo building built next to their single family home? I don't think so. People want to live in single family homes. 64% of Americans do and they chose to do so; they did not choose to live in condos or apartments. SB 50 doesn't propose any affordable housing and is a big scam to line the pockets of developers, unions, realtors and the politicians they support.


14 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 11:44 am

The day I see Stanford turn Junipero Serra Boulevard into a street designed for the huge volume of traffic that needs to use it every day-- instead of the ridiculous obstacle course/maze they just recently built-- is the day I believe Stanford really cares about the community. The days when Stanford was a bucolic farm ended decades ago, so I wish they would have a more civic-minded philosophy about addressing the impact their fiefdom has on the surrounding area.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Article today 11/04 in SJM about land owned by SU. It did not include the land that is now under construction in Redwood City and Menlo Park. That says that SU is negotiating with San Mateo County, getting results, and is proceeding with additions to it's campus in MP and RWC. Someone needs to review all of the land owned by SU so that we can see how San Mateo County is handling growth. Growth is happening and someone else is getting all of the goodies.


12 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2019 at 12:45 pm

A search on the web. As of 9/2019:
- SU has a total enrollment of 17,184 students, of which 16,080 are full time.
- SU's staff totals 13,028 for teaching, learning and research. This appears to include managerial, professional, clerical, technical, service and maintenance employees. SLAC has 1,513 employees.

FYI. This is over 31,000 people commuting to Stanford. Palo Alto's population is approximately 67,000.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident 2
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:07 pm

@Jeff - I'm pretty sure J Serra is a county road, and the dubious improvements there were a project driven and executed by the County. I don't think Stanford had any say in the matter.

@Neighbor - a lot of people do commute to Stanford. On the other hand, they house a fair number (soon to increase) on campus, with everything from undergrad and graduate dorms to Stanford West, to hundreds of single family homes. Per the last GUP I believe their commute levels have been frozen for the last 15 years (please correct me if I have that wrong).


7 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:07 pm

I imagine most students don't commute, but, on the other hand, the Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital have very large staffs on-site (not to mention their growing staff at other sites, but, that isn't a Palo Alto requirement). One web page stated the regular hospital staff at around 5500, while LPCH appears to be around 5200.
Difficult to say how many work on-campus vs the growing presence in Menlo Park.


15 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2019 at 1:09 pm

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow

>> Growth is happening and someone else is getting all of the goodies.

I'm very glad growth is happening somewhere else. We can't handle any more "goodies" here-- we are too fat already.


10 people like this
Posted by Too Big
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 4, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Too Big is a registered user.

This proposal was too big for 15 years of growth so of course they could not fully mitigate the impacts because it was too costly. They should cut the size of expansion in half for the next 15 years.


2 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 4, 2019 at 6:03 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I have a dog in this dog fight;

Both parents were involved at SU.

Someone suggested that Stanford build out somewhere else. I have to agree to that.

Other firms have had the sane problems. Here is another place to consider: MAINLAND RED CHINA!! They Don't have insane housing demands, inside city issues and ungrateful residents ready to bite the hand that fed them....

On a less extreme choice: Boulder which I call Palo Alto East, to differentiate from East Palo Alto ( a classic study about RED-LINING ". )


Hey, they can follow in the footsteps of Google. They can just move to a city that Nationalized their power grid and confiscated all the property including a power plant. That has a celebration every May Day and has a flag
( red ) to display on that day.

I would find that an easy way to handling this problem!


19 people like this
Posted by Scamford
a resident of Woodside
on Nov 4, 2019 at 10:24 pm

Check out the story from today's San Jose Mercury on Stanford's vast land holdings. I'm curious to know which consulting firm Stanford will now hire to create a positive/progressive spin on Stanford's overbearing and tax avoiding presence in our community. I'm glad the County held firm.


9 people like this
Posted by lili li
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 5, 2019 at 6:02 am

Stanford just mights start playing hardball just like the County does. What might that mean? Close the Dish to all outsiders. Close the internal roads not maintained by the County or State to outsiders without passes. Kick the two PAUSD schools off campus. Etc. Beware awakening the old Cardinal.


11 people like this
Posted by Oldster
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:11 am

Picked up a copy of De Wolk's new book "American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford" to see the variety of hardball tactics he and his university have used such as the trustees fighting in courts til the 1950's Jane Stanford's will leaving lots of cash to her relatives with the trustees with endless lawyers working decades to try to stiff those heirs.

Pages 192-3 on some of the curious legal history of the Stanford trust and those pages' footnotes #s 36-39 are good reading, too. The trust initially got its special taxfree trust status in return for its agreement to give free tuition to all Californian students, a pledge quietly dropped in the 1920's.

Hardballs tactics cut two ways. Close the Dish trail? Fine, then truly set loose the San Mateo and Santa Clara counties' tax assesssors on all trust owned property including the ghost houses it is accumulating in College Terrace. (Still scratching my head wondering why it took Santa Clara County so long to tax the trust's ground residential leaseholders.) If needed, have Sacramento revisit the trust's enabling statutes.


12 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

Posted by lili li, a resident of Barron Park

>> Stanford just mights start playing hardball just like the County does. What might that mean? Close the Dish to all outsiders. Close the internal roads not maintained by the County or State to outsiders without passes. Kick the two PAUSD schools off campus. Etc. Beware awakening the old Cardinal.

They already tried closing the dish and discouraging locals from sports events back in the 90's, as well as discouraging local's participation in certain campus-based recreation activities. My memory is dim regarding the exact sequence, but, I believe most of it happened under Gerhard Casper. I'm not saying he was personally responsible-- all that may have been delegated to someone else. Sure, Stanford can do whatever it wants with its private property. But, it turned out to be the reverse of, "How to make friends and influence people", and created a lot of extra hostility. More recently, Stanford has somewhat reversed course, although it certainly could do much better. But, all that is a distraction from the fundamental issue here.

The real question is whether Stanford actually understands what is good for Stanford. The County has done Stanford a favor by giving Stanford the opportunity to reconsider where its future employees will live and how they will get to work. This process revealed that Stanford really hadn't done its homework.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 7, 2019 at 8:15 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Comments regarding SU's expansion in RWC - the site for new expansion is where older commercial buildings were marginal - abandoned and of no use. There is now a new SU Medical Center - hospital next to 101.

The train tracks coming up from the bayshore are getting fixed up so that transportation from the Bayshore Business Center at the end of the bay will be within train transportation up to the Woodside - 101 location and then the Caltrain tracks.

SU is also helping to fund - long with FB - the great events at downtown RWC during the summer. The SU band appears at events during the summer to enhance participation in the downtown events.

This is well planned, positive growth that enhances the whole region from somewhat marginal to great use and success. Add to that RWC has been working on a ferry service from the bay port up to SF.

Congratulations to FB and SU who are adding many amenities which support the whole city and region.

Meanwhile Santa Clara County can point to San Jose kicking out residences and residents so Google can implode their company agenda, along with MV.

Also note that RWC used to be the headquarters for the 49ers so there is a general feeling of the ambiance surrounding events which call to mind Candlestick Park. It is a safe environment where everyone can come and enjoy the events which are very dog friendly - everyone brings their dogs at events where there must be 20000 people and it all works. Every type person is there and all having a good time.


2 people like this
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 7, 2019 at 9:41 am

Anon, anon. "Affordable housing" is unaffordable in a place like Palo. Your assignment on the internet: "rent (price) control". I actually fear for Stanford's position. If you had the brains to work elsewhere would you like to be a company man for Apple and never have a chance to buy a house? Now, for all you high school forgetful: Senioritis I understand, but would you please stop showing up for class stoned. Vaping cannabis affects your memory.

George Drysdale initiator and educator


1 person likes this
Posted by Other
a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2019 at 10:05 am

Get rid of prop 13. Then these big fat Palo Alto will open their eyes and appreciate what they got


Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2019 at 2:28 pm

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> Anon, anon. "Affordable housing" is unaffordable in a place like Palo. Your assignment on the internet: "rent (price) control".

George, -your- assignment is to study "cross-price elasticity of demand" (XED). Building a small amount of high-end housing is, for my purposes, useless. Perhaps you and I have different goals.


Like this comment
Posted by george drysdale
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 8, 2019 at 10:19 am

Anon, I want you to study more about the development of cities. If you want more housing you must go high density. Putting less density housing in defeats the purpose of land economy. The ancient Romans knew this, virtually all their housing was multi-story housing. There were only like a dozen houses in Rome in a city that exceeded a million people. The worse case of land mismanagement around is your Buena Vista boondoggle. People with only a little bit of knowledge are a great danger.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Posted by george drysdale, a resident of Professorville

>> Anon, I want you to study more about the development of cities

Been learning since Jane Jacobs, and, still learning. BTW, did you do your internet homework assignment?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 10, 2019 at 6:49 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We actually have a poster who calls himself SB50. Note location is Crescent Park. Must be a relative of originator or cohorts who are currently assembly people. So is Crescent Park now going to be disassembled with a duplex on every corner? Problem with this city is that it is getting divided up into sections in which one area will be free of RV's and people sleeping in their cars while other areas will have the residue of meeting some goal which is politically correct in this day.

Problem is that Palo Alto is not that big. If you figure out SU owns a great deal of property which all are welcome to enjoy then the actual livable space is the city is limited. And it is not appreciated that someone who will not be effected by the end result of a legislative effort can gleefully push that onto the other part of this small city. What that faction will bring is the money to support unbridled disassembly of the city.

I have noted in driving through the city because road work pushes people off the natural commuter lanes that there are many "for sale" signs in the "golden" part of the city. There is a limit to how much political correctness any one can tolerate and taking the money and running sometimes seems the best approach.

Or the alternative is to push back against the disassembly of the small city we live in. And make sure that the legislative activist who propose such activity do not get any further support in their political careers. We are not going to have duplexes on every corner of the southern part of the city. And we are not going to have RV's and people sleeping in their cars in the southern part of the city.

SU has a housing problem that it needs to support. Disassembly of a part of PA is not going to happen s a response to that problem. Other opportunities are there and they are actively pursuing those opportunities in other cities and their own land.


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