Santa Clara County prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for Stanford’s proposed 2018 General Use Permit. The 120-day public review period for this Draft EIR began on October 6, 2017 and ended on February 2, 2018. The county is currently re-circulating portions of the report and is seeking public comment by July 26, 2018.
Recirculated Portions of the Draft EIR
The county is currently re-circulating portions of the report with two new County-initiated “Housing Alternatives” and is seeking public comment by July 26, 2018. Santa Clara County decided to study the alternatives in response to public comments on the Draft EIR. The first alternative examines the environmental impacts of adding a further 2,549 housing units and student beds on Stanford’s campus in addition to the 3,150 units Stanford proposes. The second alternative studies half of that increased amount, or 1,275 additional units and beds.
- Recirculated Portion of Draft EIR, Volume 1 - Chapter 1: Introduction; Chapter 2: Summary, Environmental Setting, Impacts and Mitigation Measures, Other CEQA Issues, Alternatives
- Recirculated Portion of Draft EIR, Volume 2 - Appendices
In addition to receiving public comment via correspondence, there will be two public meetings where local residents will have the opportunity to provide comments:
- June 27 (Wednesday), 6-8 p.m. at City of Menlo Park Council Chambers, 701 Laurel Street, Menlo Park
- July 10 (Tuesday), 6-8 p.m. at Palo Alto Arts Center Auditorium, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto
Stanford’s overview of the Draft EIR
Application and Draft EIR brochure
Draft EIR summary
2018 General Use Permit Draft EIR
What are the environmental impacts?
The Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) issued by Santa Clara County finds that air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions associated with campus operations are expected to decrease over time, despite development. Three primary areas of consideration are mentioned in the Draft EIR – construction noise, historic buildings and transportation – that cannot be completely avoided, though it recommends mitigation measures to reduce their impact.
The Draft EIR finds there could be increased noise on a temporary basis due to campus construction and there could be impacts to historic buildings. As it is not yet known where specific new buildings will be located or whether any historic buildings will be replaced, the EIR makes the conservative assumption that there will be significant and unavoidable impacts – though it identifies mitigation measures to reduce these impacts.
The Draft EIR also finds that if Stanford does not expand its transportation demand management programs, significant and unavoidable impacts to intersections and freeways could occur.
Stanford University is committed to implementing all mitigation measures identified in the Draft EIR, including implementing additional transportation demand management programs.
Mitigating environmental impacts
In addition to mitigation measures identified during the environmental review process, Stanford proposes conditions of approval to implement the Stanford Community Plan’s strategies, policies and goals including:
- Implementing additional transportation demand management programs
- Continuation of the housing linkage requirement that ensures campus housing is constructed commensurate with academic and academic support space
- Recognition that Stanford provides affordable on-campus housing that meets Santa Clara County’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment
- Continuation of payments to subsidize affordable housing, but with the modification that such subsidies would be expended for affordable housing in Santa Clara County along major transit corridors rather than limiting expenditures to areas near the Stanford campus