Final Planning Commission Hearing on Stanford Foothills

Photo Credit: TJ Nicholson

This Thursday, June 27 will be the last scheduled Planning Commission hearing this year on Stanford’s future development plans. We asked you back in May to email the Planning Commissioners. If you didn’t send an email then, please send one now to tell the Planning Commission to protect open space in the Stanford Foothills using the form below.

What’s Happening

Currently, the Stanford Foothills (the area roughly west of Junipero Serra Boulevard) are protected from development by the Academic Growth Boundary (AGB), which was established in the year 2000 in the Stanford Community Plan. A supermajority vote (4 out of 5 Supervisors) is required to change or move the AGB, but this requirement expires in 2025.

County Staff has proposed extending the AGB and its 4/5 vote requirement for 99 years (until 2118). We’re urging the Planning Commission to adopt this recommendation, but to add even greater protection for the foothills by making the 4/5 vote requirement permanent.

This would be consistent with the findings of the County’s Sustainable Development Study Supplement, which found that Stanford could nearly triple its current density while still remaining within the AGB — and without becoming denser than other comparable universities. Thus, Stanford has no need to develop outside the AGB in order to add more campus development.

What’s At Stake?

The Stanford Foothills include over 2,000 acres of grassy hillsides and oak savannah that provide irreplaceable habitat for wildlife, including the rare California tiger salamander. Most of this habitat in the vicinity of Stanford has been developed; we need to protect what remains.

I support protecting the Stanford Foothills! I urge the Santa Clara County Planning Commission to make the supermajority vote requirement to allow any development in the Stanford Foothills a permanent requirement.

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