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Comments on Santa Clara Alternatives A & B to Stanford’s GUP and the Objections thereto by Stanford

From: domainremoved <Janet>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2018 03:38:58 +0000 (UTC)

Below are my comments/objections to the epic opus circulated regarding Stanford's objections to Alternatives A and B.  This was too massive and complicated a document for me to individually do a thorough analysis, but it is obvious that the NO PROJECT alternative is the only logical one: as even evidenced by Stanford's overwhelming objections to the two alternatives and to the Nexus study commissioned by Santa Clara County. The numerals refer to the end notes.

 Comments on Santa Clara AlternativesA & B to Stanford’s  GUP  and the Objections thereto by Stanford[1]The 2018 Stanford GUP originally proposedbuilding 2.275 million sq. feet of academic and research structures, plus 3,150beds/housing units on the core campus. They additionally proposed funding $56 million for affordable housing atvarious locations throughout the Bay Area. Stanford’s Primary Project Objectives in the GUP:To develop the campusin a manner that reflects Stanford’s historical growth rate assumptions inStanford’s approved Sustainable Development Study[2],and to continue to attract top faculty and foster academic excellence andresearch.  To accomplish this, they statethere is a need to expand their core campus by building more academic andresearch facilities to accommodate their anticipated increase in students andfaculty.  The original GUP resulted in overwhelming objections byneighboring communities, organizations, and individuals based primarily onseveral criteria:·        The development was excessive and detrimental tosurrounding communities·        The traffic that it would generate wouldoverwhelm surrounding communities·        There needed to be a more significant amount ofon campus housing especially for lower paid workers and to deal with theexcessive commute traffic·        The amount that Stanford proposed to offercommunities to provide affordable off‑campus housing was totally inadequate·        The “No New Net Trips” metric was meaningless·        The GUP did not address impacts on San MateoCounty·        The GUP did not adequately address Air Qualityand Environmental issues Santa Clara County’sResponse to the GUP (Nexus Study):In response to the objections Santa Clara Countycommissioned a Nexus study by Keyser Marsten.[3]  Their analysis required that if housing wereto be provided in other communities rather than on campus, the cost toprovide workforce-affordable-housing to support Stanford’s planned expansion of2.3 million square feet, would be: $143.10/sq.ft. of non ‑residentialconstruction.  ($325 million versus the $20/sq.ft or $56 millionoffered by Stanford, or an additional $269 million). Santa Clara County’sRecirculated Portions of  the GUPProposal for On Campus Housing Within the Academic Boundary Consisted of:·        Alternative A:  Building all the required extra 2549 housing units/beds on campus (inaddition to the 3150 proposed under the original GUP.·        Alternative B:  Building halfthe required extra housing units/beds (or 1275 in addition to the 3150 proposedin the GUP) Stanford Objections to the Keyser Marsten Nexus Assessment:Stanford objected vehementlyto the Keyser Marsten assessment on the grounds that it would drain theirresources, limiting their ability to function, and would cause a significantlygreater negative impact both on the campus and surrounding communities.  In a press release, Catherine Palter,[4]  (Assoc. VP Land Use & EnvironmentalPlanning) argued against both (A) & (B) on the grounds that, although it wascounter-intuitive, both alternatives would actually generate moretraffic problems than what was originally proposed, i.e providing $56 millionfor remote locations within ½ mile of major transit routes or stations. (Thisoption would also, according to Stanford’s opposition, require the remote jurisdiction  rather than Stanford, to provide the necessarymitigations.) Stanford’s MainArguments Against (A) & (B) (summarized by Ms. Palter) were:(1)  That having everyone housed oncampus would generate a considerable amount of family travel intoneighborhoods to dine, recreate, do errands etc. and that these trips wouldbe outside the one hour “No New Net Trip” periods rather than thecommute travel by residents of other communities.(2)  Thatit would disrupt the university’s core mission of attracting top notch facultyand staff and also provide a block to the ability of students and faculty fromfreely moving from one academic facility to another because of theinterspersing of housing units.in the midst of academic buildings(3)  Thatthe concentration of construction on campus would present additional environmentalissues (4)  Thatthere were many additional environmental issues that would be generated byAlternatives A & B, over and above those presented in the original GUP. (5)  CatherinePalter stated, that 91 of the 111 impacts noted in the GUP would be worse undereither of the two alternatives.(6)  That(to avoid blocking free flow/communication between academic facilities) housingdevelopment would have to be located on the extreme edges of the academicboundary and that should some of these facilities be occupied by non‑Stanford“affiliates” (not defined) it  might result in annexation to the City of PaloAlto.  The particular “edge” locations suggestedwould be:a.     Quarry Road where the building heightcould be 150 ft. and the traffic impact would be along Sand Hill and El Caminoin Menlo Park.  Since this would bewithin ½ mile of major transit, no mitigation would be required since nonegative impact would be counted as significant.  This would entail 200,000 sq.ft. of developmentwith 1100 units/bedsb.    TheRed Barn (Junipero Serra/Campus Drive West) This would generate trafficthrough incorporated and unincorporated Menlo Park in San Mateo County.  This would entail 20,000 sq. ft .ofconstruction  comprising 800 beds/unitsthat could be 135 ft. highc.    TheWest Campus along Sand Hill Road. This construction would entail 35,000 sq. ft. of construction comprising666 beds/housing units at a density of 80 units/acred.    AlongEl Camino Real in Palo alto MY GENERAL COMMENTSIN RESPONSE TO STANFORD’s ARGUMENTS:Other Available Options/FacilitiesExist:1.    Stanfordis building a 35 acre campus in Redwood City to accommodate all the non‑academicfunctions of the main campus.  This wouldfree up a multitude of on‑campus structures that, even under the 2000 GUP couldbe demolished/retrofitted for academic/research or even residential uses e.g.Encina Hall.2.    Stanfordhas a massive research facility at 1070 Arastradero Road[5],Los Altos3.    :Thereis a brand new biomedical research building being built adjacent to thehospital4.    ThePhysics Dept. has expansive use of the facilities at SLAC which they rent tothe Federal Govt. for $1/year and which also eliminates the need for CEQAconsiderations for additional building since it is a Federal Facility.5.    Manyof the firms in the vast Stanford Industrial parks (around Page Mill, FoothillExpressway, Coyote Hill/Hillview) have connections with Stanford andcooperative research facilities 6.    Thereis no list of Stanford’s actual water rights or details of their proposedground water use.  Also, the university’sincreased demands for water, energy and sewer facilities might deprive other nonStanford development of access to these facilities.7.    TheResponse to the Recirculated Portions A and B Ignore the Cumulative Impact ofStanford’s Development throughout the jurisdictions adjacent to campus. MY SPECIFICOBJECTIONS TO STANFORD’S RESPONSE TO THE RECIRCULATED PROPOSALS (A)  AND (B) I focus on proposed locations (a) (b) and (c) that woulddrastically impact  Menlo Park.1.    “Pigin a Poke” Responses to Alternatives A and/or B There is absolutely no indicationas to exactly what Stanford wants to build, or where it wants to build,despite the fact that the administration issued a White Paper listing theuniversity’s  long term plans.2.    Constructiontraffic:
 There is no discussion of how this would be handled, other thanthat it would go on previously approved truck routes.  One of those would probably be Alpine roadwhich mysteriously, and totally improperly, became a truck route courtesy ofthe last GUP.  This has caused massivetraffic problems on Alpine and during the last major construction event, doubledump trucks and concrete trucks were clocked at 1 every 17 seconds for a considerabletime.3.    Theimpact on Menlo Park Traffic is virtually ignored4.    Thereis no certainty in “final” plans as was recently evidenced by thelocation-switch of a facility from the east side of campus to Quarry Road5.    Faculty/StaffParking would not count towards on campus parking limit6.    “NoNew Net Commute” Trips:  
 This concept is pure fantasy. Cordon counts are taken at “cordon points” twice a year for 2 hours inthe morning and 2 hours in the evening but only in the commute direction andonly by commuters.  Only 1 hour of the 2hours is counted and then it is averaged. License plates are photographed entering and exiting and any vehiclethat is on the core campus for 15 mins. or less is not counted and dismissed as“through traffic.”  This would eliminate mostdrop-offs and deliveries.  All hospitaldestined traffic is also deducted from those amounts. Then there are “credits”for “reduced trips” i.e. for those who use the train, bike, bus, or step on aMarguerite shuttle (wherever it is destined to go and even if the traveler isnot a Stanford affiliate.) . Only after the base line figure is exceeded for 2 consecutive years outof 3, mitigation is required but only for certain specified intersections.  Even then this is computed at Stanford’spurported “fair share” of that mitigation. This is then further divided by 17 to annualize the purported mitigationamount, and then further divided by the total number of peak hour, peakdirection vehicle trips anticipated in the EIR without “no new net commutetrips”.  Finally, any money that isarrived at after all the deductions, goes to Santa Clara County, notto San Mateo where much  of thecommuter traffic occurs now, and will occur in significantly greater amountsshould this development take place CONCLUSION:Stanford’s responseto Santa Clara’s Proposed and Recirculated Alternatives A and B is abrilliantly written work of total deception. There are several perfectly feasible alternatives to the original GUP.  The most desirable would be the NOPROJECT  alternative, whereby each majorconstruction project would go through its independent CEQA process.  It is totally foolhardy to plan massiveconstruction 17 years into the future. Redwood City required detailed plans right down to the landscaping andthe Architecturalfinishes to each building, and the mitigations, prior to approving any part of that campus.  The various cities within Santa Clara Countyhave been just as conscientious with respect to Google, Facebook etc.  There is no reason that Santa Clara Countyshould be dismissive as to the consequences to other jurisdictions.   Of especial concernis the deviousness with which Stanford has behaved with respect to this filing,in that they have not incorporated the cumulative impact of their constant developmentoutside the boundaries of the Academic Core (which itself has recently beenexpanded.) The only acceptablealternative is have NO PROJECT and to evaluate each development as it isproposed, with careful consideration of the specific mitigations required bythat particular development.
[1] The Recirculated Portions (45 day period torespond expires 7/26/18) are posted at:RecirculatedPortions of Draft EIR - Vol 1                                                      RecirculatedPortions of Draft EIR - Vol 2 (Appendices)[2] The Sustainable Development Study is postedat: (https://www.sccgov.org/sites/dpd/DocsForms/Documents/SU_SDS_web.pdfThat historical growth rate waslisted in the above at Executive Summary Ch. 1, p.3 was: (low)            115,000 sq.ft./year(moderate)   200,000 sq.ft/year(Aggressive) 300,000 sq.ft./yearThe path chosen was the moderaterate from 2018-2035 [3] The Keyser Marsten Nexus study is postedat:https://www.sccgov.org/sites/osh/HousingandCommunityDevelopment/Documents/County%20of%20Santa%20Clara%20Affordable%20Housing%20Nexus%20Studies%20Public%20Review%20Draft.%2004-04-2018.pdfSanta Clara County’s Nexus studyperformed by Keyser Marsten required the cost to provide workforce affordablehousing to support Stanford’s planned expansion of 2.3 million square feet, tobe $143.10/sq.ft. ($325 million versus. the $20/sq.ft or $56 million offered byStanford).  [4] https://news.stanford.edu/2018/06/15/pursuing-housing-solutions-campus-land-use-planning[5] https://news.stanford.edu/2017/12/12/redwood-city-campus-moves-ahead

Received on Thu Jun 21 2018 - 20:39:35 PDT

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