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Supervisors decline to restart negotiations with Stanford on campus expansion

Original post made on Oct 8, 2019

Frustrated by its inability to negotiate a deal with Santa Clara County for a significant campus expansion, Stanford University requested Tuesday that the county pause its review of the growth plan and return to the negotiating table.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 6:23 PM

Comments (11)

13 people like this
Posted by Simitian's End Game?
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

What is Simitian's end-game here? Is he trying to extract more $$$ from Stanford to build high-density housing for Palo Alto residents? Clearly his interest is NOT supporting Stanford (which already contributes to PA) and PAUSD (which will be impacted by the many new students who will reside in any newly built Stanford housing).

18 people like this
Posted by DebbieMytels
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 9, 2019 at 1:15 pm

DebbieMytels is a registered user.

Bravo to Joe Simitian, Cindy Chavez, and the other Santa Clara County Supervisors for holding strong in this situation with Stanford. With this "biggest development in the County's history," the decision-making process needs to be fully open to public input and scrutiny. A development agreement process is behind closed doors. It's not the right way to go -- and Stanford should stop pushing for such special treatment.

As PA Mayor Eric Filseth is quoted as saying, "If our region is going to continue to thrive,... we need to embrace full mitigation... public transparency and other principles embodied in the county's process."

8 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Oct 9, 2019 at 4:20 pm

Simiitian is a typical Palo Alto Whiner and an elected official with very little real power. Alphabet, Apple, and hundreds of other comnpanies are developing away with impunity in Santa Clara County.

Since Stanford is one of the few significant entities over which the county has influence, Simitian is exercising his Emperor complex to try to make Stanford do his bidding while nobody else in the county is held to the same standards.

Eric Filseth is a Simitian trainee who is a mouthpiece for a ventriloquist.

6 people like this
Posted by Apple, Alphabet, etc.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 9, 2019 at 5:06 pm

Apple, Alphabet, etc. is a registered user.

Chris is right. Nothing is asked of any of the 100 billion to trillion dollar companies that continue to develop. Not a dime in housing impact fees was paid by Apple during their last expansion and not one housing unit was built. The county doesn’t weigh in on development that happens within a city. Stanford is in unincorporated county land. And that’s what makes it the “largest” in the County. It’s the largest project overseen by County staff.

12 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 9, 2019 at 5:57 pm

"Nothing is asked of any of the 100 billion to trillion dollar companies..."

You mean besides the income taxes, payroll taxes, sales taxes and property taxes they and their employees generate?

5 people like this
Posted by Apple, Alphabet, etc.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 9, 2019 at 8:26 pm

Apple, Alphabet, etc. is a registered user.

@ musical. Stanford and their employees pay all of the taxes you named except that some of Stanford's buildings and land - just like PAMF & our government buildings including our libraries, etc. - are property tax exempt. Not all of their holdings are. The Stanford Mall generates an enormous amount of tax revenue.

4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 9, 2019 at 10:23 pm

Stanford's disadvantage is the difficulty of credibly threatening to take business elsewhere.

9 people like this
Posted by densely
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Oct 10, 2019 at 12:43 pm

I talked to Joe Simitian about this last year. He said that since Stanford is exempt from most taxes the only way the county can make sure they accept their responsibility for costs they impose on the county is to negotiate mitigation when they ask for planning approval.

The county staff's observation, reported in this article, that Stanford is trying to count the same actions as mitigation for both the 2000 development cycle and the one they propose now shows why the supervisors have to be careful and firm.

2 people like this
Posted by Buffed
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 10, 2019 at 1:38 pm

[Post removed.]

9 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Rez
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 10, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Crescent Park Rez is a registered user.


"that Stanford is trying to count the same actions as mitigation for both the 2000 development cycle and the one they propose now."

I was at the meeting and have been following the process and I don't think that's a proper characterization. My understanding is that when the housing crisis hit 10+ years ago, Stanford altered its plans and started to build housing that wasn't planned for by them or requested by the County. They had the foresight to figure out where things were going and try to get on top of it. The idea was to increase the amount of housing available in adjacent communities by moving Stanford affiliates on-campus. They invested over $1billion in this housing effort. It is to be available in the spring I believe. They are the only entity that I know that has been aggressively building housing to address the housing crisis. (Palo Alto has approved our RNHA overlay - so we've said, yes, we've got enough space for housing but we haven't built any yet).

They asked the County to give them "credit" for that housing after the County came out with their conditions of approval that would require that Stanford build 4 times more housing than Stanford requested, and to build that housing on campus.

I think they have a strong argument to have those units count because, otherwise, the County is creating a real disincentive for any entity to pro-actively address an issue. City's can follow their lead and we all end up in the quagmire of nobody doing anything until they are forced to do so because they won't get any credit for anything they do voluntarily. Just a very, very large bill.

9 people like this
Posted by LSJU79
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:17 pm

Lets just make this simple and take away "stanford's" tax exempt status and make them pay taxes just like all of the other corporations operating in Santa Clara County.

Under the guidance of self-serving MBA group-think deeply embedded in its administrative bureaucracy, the educational institution once known as Leland Stanford Junior University has grown into the corporate conglomerate now more commonly known by the "stanford" corporate branding.

"stanford" is no longer the same institution it was when it was granted tax exempt status so many years ago. "stanford" is just another corporation like UnitedHealth, ESPN, Sabrato, University of Phoenix, etc.

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