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Architecture board boosts Castilleja School's redevelopment plan

Original post made on Mar 18, 2022

Castilleja School eked out a victory Thursday for its contentious proposal to redevelop its Bryant Street campus when Palo Alto's Architectural Review Board once again voted to support the project.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, March 17, 2022, 4:42 PM

Comments (11)

Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 18, 2022 at 11:43 am

cmarg is a registered user.

Sad day!


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 18, 2022 at 11:43 am

Online Name is a registered user.

How special that Casti's teaching its girls that breaking the law for years has no consequences. Just the type of future leaders we need. Now I'm patiently waiting for a single Casti parent to condemn sexism and discrimination at their own workplaces. Tick tock tick tock.

Seriously this is a very sad day. I want a comparison of the fines Casti has paid over the years for violating their enrollment caps vs what this process has cost the city in terms of staff time when they should have just said no to the lawbreaker years ago.


Posted by PST
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2022 at 11:59 am

PST is a registered user.

Hooray! It’s time to green light this entire remodel and student increase. A few vocal and persistent obstructionists that represent themselves rather than community sentiment are misguided and tiresome. There are no new valid reasons to delay further. Let’s all move on to much more important matters.


Posted by Lorraine Brown
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 18, 2022 at 1:01 pm

Lorraine Brown is a registered user.

I so appreciate the ARB recognizing the great benefits of underground parking, the elegance of the building design, and the need to advance this project after so many hearings, revisions, and compromises. And beyond that, thank you to the commissioners for compromising for the sake of the greater good. Kudos to the ARB!


Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 18, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

The elegance of the cars backed up om Embarcadero should win some award. Maybe the Arts Commission can commission proposals for a nice statue? Or paint the underside of the tunnel. Possibilities for community beautification abound.


Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 21, 2022 at 9:11 pm

Annette is a registered user.

So, b/c the approval process has been protracted, this project should be approved? That's an approval criterion that rewards applicants with deep pockets. Wealthy applicants like Castilleja can submit a plan that is far over-reaching and non-compliant and wait out the approval process, eventually claiming that the project should be approved BECAUSE it has taken so long! Marissa Mayer: take note. You can probably eventually get exactly what you want, too.

Should this project be approved as is with the underground garage, the City will be sending this clear message: the City's S-CAP goals are irrelevant. Garages, concrete, cement, removing trees, cars, and driving are a-ok; in fact, the City endorses all those things. That consequence might be unintended, but it will be out there all the same.


Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 22, 2022 at 8:28 am

S. Underwood is a registered user.

This is fairly non-consequential, whichever "side" you are on. The nature of this debacle has been traffic, enrollment cap, and broad impact, none of which are under the purview of the ARB....

Nothing against the ARB, they are doing their job and serving the public, but talking about facades, design, windows, roofs and trellises just isn't where it's at here.


Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 23, 2022 at 6:07 pm

rita vrhel is a registered user.

I wonder if the ARB was able to receive all the documents related to the Melville Public Utility easement as requested by Castilleja in order to build their underground garage?

Would be, to my knowledge, the first time the City has granted an easement has been granted to a private non-profit. Without the easement; no garage is possible.

I requested these documents in 6/21 via a Freedom of Information Request; I did not receive all the documents. Emails in 6/2108 had documents attached, but those documents were NOT included in the papers sent to me. I know they exist but where?

After some blatant misinformation was provided by Senior Planning staff to the PTC, I asked Ms. French for them. While she indicated they were part of the public record, I have not received them .....several months after my 2nd request.

The Head of Public Works tried to help me locate the documents but was unsuccessful. Still waiting for a response for these missing and vital documents from our City Manager.

Seems like only Mr Price of the Daily Post can eventually located public rerecords!

If anyone on the ARB has the complete set of the Melville Public Utility Easement documents, please let me know thru an email comment on this site.

Otherwise, if you do not; how can a decision be made without all the pertinent information available for review?

As a Castilleja parent, I am quite concerned about the SPECIAL treatment Castilleja has received during this lengthy process.

Yes, ONLINE NAME is quite correct on their comments. Thank you


Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 23, 2022 at 6:11 pm

rita vrhel is a registered user.

Ms. Chandrasekar lives in Crescent Park. How does she know if this is a huge win for a neighborhood she does not inhabit?


Posted by S. Underwood
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 24, 2022 at 12:30 pm

S. Underwood is a registered user.

Rita, there are people that specialize in CPRA violations. If you have proof the documents exist, the matter is pretty open and shut. The "we can't find it" nonsense needs to be held to account.


Posted by rita vrhel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 24, 2022 at 5:15 pm

rita vrhel is a registered user.

S. Underwood... can you elaborate on your last post, please.

thank you

somehow it seems making a request, then asking Amy French and then our City Manager should be enough to receive a public document. Apparently it is not.

My concern was increased following Mr. Shikada's comment in the 3/18/22 Daily Post that "he has been emailing the CC weekly briefings without the public's knowledge since he became CM in 2019. He indicated (per the Post article) that these briefings were not private because they could be obtained through the California Public Records Act".

Not a very transparent process. Should the public really need to submit Public Record Requests each week to find out what is happening at City Hall?

I think it would be a failure given my inability to obtain "public documents" on the Melville Public Utility Easement.

It has become a game.. find me if you can.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.


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