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2131 Sand Hill ND Objection re: Housing Imnbalance

From: domainremoved <Janet>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2017 03:24:39 +0000 (UTC)

OBJECTION TO STANFORD’S NEGATIVE DECLARATIONRE: 2131 SAND HILL ROADON THE BASIS THAT IT EXACERBATES THE HOUSING/JOBS IMBALANCE: Because of the flourishing economy,San Mateo County has a monumental gap between jobs and housing.  This creates traffic problems since manyworkers have to commute long distances in order to find an affordable home.  According to the county’s report of the“Closing the Gap” Task Force, since 2010, 54,000 new jobs have been created butonly 2,148 housing units have been built. See: “Closing the Housing gap 2016” http://bos.smcgov.org/sites/bos.smcgov.org/files/San%20Mateo%20County%20Jobs%20Housing%20Balance%20Memo%20Jan%2025_2016%20-%2021%20Elements.pdf At recent public meetings withrespect to Stanford’s 2018 GUP, attendees were vocal  in seeking more local housing for lower paidemployees of the University and SLAC.   The following article authored byLawrence McGuire appeared in the on line version of Stanford News today, August17, 2017 in which Stanford management decried the lack of housing for facultyand staff in the vicinity.  In factcompetition for Stanford Housing is so great that the university holds alottery: “The first group of faculty members to purchase homes in University Terracehas begun to close escrow and move into the new neighborhood, whereconstruction began two years ago.To be opened in several phases over the next 18 months, the 180-home facultycommunity will include 58 detached single-family homes, 10 attachedsingle-family residences and 112 condominiums when complete. University Terraceis a critical part of Stanford’s efforts to expand housing options amid achallenging local market.The first nine faculty homes at University Terrace arecomplete and ready for occupancy. (Image credit: L.A.Cicero)Located near campus on 17 acres at the edge of the Stanford Research Park, University Terraceis bordered by the College Terrace neighborhood to the west, Stanford’s PeterCoutts townhouses to the south and Stanford Research Park commercial buildingsto the east and north.Anticipation of the first completed homes has been running high. “We arevery happy to begin delivering the first phase of nine homes in this newcommunity to waiting faculty members and their families,” said Chris Wuthmann,director for design and construction in real estate operations. “Withplenty of work to do still ahead, our schedule calls for all of the homes atUniversity Terrace to be complete and occupied by early 2019.”Eric Appel,an assistant professor of material science and engineering, is among the firstresidents to move into University Terrace with his wife and three children.They were fortunate to draw a low number in the lottery that was used to offer space to eligible faculty membersinterested in living at University Terrace.“When I initially considered moving my family from the East Coast to work atStanford, our first concern was the availability and cost of housing,” Appelsaid. “We feel extremely lucky to have been able to live at Stanford West forthe past year and a half. And now, owning a home is a dream come true. We planto stay here until our kids grow up.”With thelottery now closed and most of the units at University Terrace spoken for, upto 19 families will move into the first completed single-family homes by theend of August. Occupancy of the first 58 condominium homes is set to begin inOctober.The 51 condominium homes that remain unreserved will be made available forsale through a normal list-for-sale process rather than a lottery. An on-sitesales office and model condominium for interested faculty members to tour willbe located in the first condominium building beginning in October. Moreinformation will be available before then on the Faculty Staff Housing website.“Housing is a critical need on campus and in the wider region,”said Jan Thomson, director of Faculty StaffHousing. “The completion of University Terrace creates new opportunities forfaculty members, who along with many in the region face an increasinglychallenging local housing market.”Since its founding, Stanford has focused on supporting a residentialacademic environment to enhance learning and research, as well as foster collaborationand community. Stanford houses the vast majority of its undergraduate students,more than 50 percent of its graduate students and 37 percent of faculty memberson campus. Providing more housing is a priority in Stanford’s ongoingplanning process.”*******************Granted Stanford has built and intends tobuild, more housing for its students, faculty and upper level staff, but thepeople lower on the staff levels at the University, the hospitals and SLAC,cannot afford the local cost of housing and have to commute long distances.  This creates a traffic nightmare in thevicinity of the university.  This isparticularly critical in West Menlo Park since the main access routes are SandHill road and Alpine road.  The site at 2131 was targeted by the City forrezoning from R-1S to affordable housing during the recent Housing Elementexercise following a lawsuit that challenged the location of all affordablehousing in Belle Haven.  Stanford refusedto consider this and there was some local opposition to having “affordablehousing” in that vicinity (although many current Menlo Park residents would perhapsqualify for such housing.)  If it were tobe faculty/Staff housing that might allay the objections of neighbors inUniversity Heights.  If this site were to be used by Stanford formore housing for members of their own community, instead of rezoning it to Commercial/Officethis might alleviate some of the  housingneeds, and allow those residents to forsake their vehicles in lieu of biking orwalking to work/study which would ease some of the traffic problems on SandHill road, and increase the quality of life for nearby residents.   
Received on Thu Aug 17 2017 - 20:27:46 PDT

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