Stanford Application for update to General Use Permit

Latest webpage update : April 9, 2019 (see below)

On November 21, 2016 Stanford University submitted an application to Santa Clara County to update its General Use Permit, outlining the next phase of needs for the campus beginning in 2018.

The planning process involves both internal examination of the university's academic and space needs as well as consultation with neighbors and community partners. Three public open houses were held in early June, 2016 to solicit input from residents of campus and neighboring communities, including Los Altos Hills. The 2018 General Use Permit updates the current GUP adopted in 2000, which allowed construction of academic buildings and housing, governed by specific conditions to address areas of environmental and community concerns. County-adopted policies as stated in the Stanford University Community Plan established in 2000, will continue to provide the policy framework for the 2018 General Use Permit. The Community Plan and GUP have proven successful, providing predictability and flexibility for Stanford and accountability to the county and the community.
The proposal for an updated General Use Permit for 2018 to 2035 will allow Stanford to provide more on-campus housing and to continue evolving its academic facilities to meet modern research and teaching needs. In doing so, Stanford will continue to follow a compact infill development strategy that preserves the existing campus footprint, protects natural resources and produces no net increase in automobile commute trips to the campus.
The application process with Santa Clara County is expected to take approximately two years. Stanford will conduct extensive community engagement as the process unfolds.

A community forum was held on January 25, 2017 in Palo Alto to present information about the land use application and planning process for the Stanford Master Use Permit application:

A second meeting was held on February 8, 2017 at the Palo Alto Arts Center, to accept comments on  the scope of the Environmental Impact Report being prepared in association with the project.

*UPDATE* (10/26/2017)
The Stanford 2018 General Use Permit Draft EIR is now available, there will be a 60-day public review and comment period, which ends on December 4, 2017.  

Public Meeting - January 23, 2018 *NEW*
Complete schedule of DEIR community meetings October - December, 2017

The Draft EIR has identified significant and unavoidable impacts in the areas of Cultural Resources, Noise and Vibration, and Transportation-Traffic.  This notice is required to disclose whether the program area contains any sites lists as a hazardous waste site.  The program area contains no such sites.      

The Draft EIR and referenced documents are available for review at the following locations:

County Planning webpage for Stanford 2018 General use Permit: 


*UPDATE* (9/19/2018)

Two proposed ordinances concerning affordable housing on the Stanford University campus are headed to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for consideration this week and next. We wanted to make sure that you were aware of the ordinances and the upcoming opportunities to provide feedback.


One of the ordinances creates a housing impact fee. It would require that for each square foot of academic space that Stanford develops, a fee be paid into a fund by the University, and those funds would be used to support affordable housing development.  The other ordinance is an inclusionary zoning ordinance. It would require that when market rate housing units for rent or for sale are built on campus, a specified percentage need to be affordable.


If you're interested in more background information, Palo Alto Online provides a concise summary of the ordinances in this article from when they were first considered back in May. You may also be interested in reading the staff report regarding the most recent version of the ordinances. Please see attachments under item #8.


On Thursday, September 20th after 10:00am in the Board Chambers (70 W. Hedding Street, San Jose), the Housing, Land Use, Environment, and Transportation (HLUET) Committee of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider both ordinances. 


The ordinances will then come before the Board of Supervisors on the following Tuesday, September 25th after 9:30am in the Board Chambers. At this meeting, the Board is expected to vote on whether or not to approve the ordinances. Both meetings provide an important opportunity for your voice to be heard.


Supervisor Simitian encourages interested members of the public to share their thoughts and feedback about the ordinances with the Board. Both meetings will provide the opportunity for you to share your opinions verbally when the ordinances are under consideration. You may also submit written comments for the meeting on the 25th by email to and they will be made part of the official record for that meeting.

*UPDATE 9/21/18*

Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors Agenda has an item related to the Stanford General Use Permit. It is a referral from County Supervisor Cortese and the subject is: Stanford – Negotiated Development Agreement. If you would like to submit written comment, you can do so by emailing the Board Clerk at If you would like to attend the Board meeting and provide verbal testimony, the meeting is at 70 West Hedding Street in San Jose and begins at 9:30 a.m.  There is limited free public parking in the lot by the County building, as well as a pay by the hour parking garage about a block away at 171 W Hedding St. You can see the entire agenda by following this link:; the referral in question is item # 15.

​*UPDATE 10/11/18*

The Board of Supervisors would be considering a process and timeline for having a conversation with Stanford University about a Development Agreement associated with its General Use Permit application. The staff report that will frame that conversation has been released and is available for your review (it’s attached along with the many attachments that support the staff report). Later today the materials will be posted to Supervisor Simitian’s webpage ( and to the Board of Supervisor’s Agenda webpage (


If you would like to submit written comments, please email them to: Be sure to reference Agenda Item #9.


If you would like to attend the meeting and speak directly to the Supervisors, the item has been scheduled for time certain 10:00 a.m. That means the item cannot be heard earlier than the stated time, and will be taken as soon as is feasible after the appointed time has come.


Board of Supervisors meetings are held on the first floor of the County Government Center located at 70 W. Hedding Street in San Jose. There is some free, marked 2-hour public parking on the side of the building parallel to San Pedro Street; there are parking meters in the general area; and there is a lot where parking can be purchased at 171 W. Hedding that is also open to the public.

Attachment 1 - Application for Development Agreement for the 2018 General Use Permit
Attachment 2 - Stanford University Clarification Response Letter
Attachment 3 - Estimated Net Present Value of Academic Space Fee Revenue
Attachment 4 - Estimated Net Present Value of Inclusionary Housing Subsidy Payments
Attachment 5 - Estimated Net Present Value of Stanford DA Proposal
Attachment 6 – Ordinance No. NS-1200.367 – Development Agreement
Final DA Negotiation Process Leg File.Oct. 16, 2018 Board.Leg File No. 93643

​*UPDATE 10/15/18*

Dear Interested Parties for the Stanford Dolores/Cabrillo Faculty Housing Project:


Planning Commission hearing has been scheduled for October 25, 2018 


Item #5:

Public hearing to consider a proposed amendment to the Stanford Community Plan land use designation from Academic Campus to Campus Residential-Low Density; a County Zoning Ordinance zoning map change from A1 General Use to R1S Low Density Campus Residential; redistribution of five housing units from Campus Center to San Juan Hills under the 2000 Stanford General Use Permit; a proposed tentative map for a ten-lot subdivision; a grading approval application; and an architecture and site approval application. Property of Stanford University. CEQA Determination: Addendum to the 2000 Stanford Community Plan/General Use Permit Environmental Impact Report. Location: Cabrillo/Dolores Street, Stanford. Assessor's Parcel Nos. 142-08-022, 142-08-023, and 142-08-024. File No.: 11069-17S-17G-18A M1-17GP-17Z. Supervisorial District: 5. 



See full agenda at below weblink:


Staff report will be posted online at same weblink 1 week prior to the meeting.  

*UPDATE 1/16/2019*

The Final EIR for the Stanford University General Use Permit project had been released.  

You can find copies of the documents here:

The Final EIR comes in two parts. Part II includes the individual comments submitted by agencies, organizations and individuals. It has both master responses for commonly posed comments and specific responses to all comments made. You will also find the changes to the Draft EIR in Part II. These changes are either staff initiated or in response to comments raised by the public.  Part I is known as the Consolidated FEIR and it is basically the Draft EIR, but with the edits from the FEIR incorporated (no strikeouts and underlines, just a clean document).

Unlike the Draft EIR, there is not a comment period for the Final EIR. The public hearings by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will be the opportunity for the public to share concerns that persist. These hearings are expected no earlier than this spring. 

Hard copies of the Final EIR (Parts 1 and 2) are available for review at the following libraries:

  • Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
  • Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd, Palo Alto
  • College Terrace, 2300 Wellesley St, Palo Alto
  • East Palo Alto Library, 2415 University Avenue East Palo Alto
  • Menlo Park Library, 800 Alma St., Menlo Park

*UPDATE 2/26/19*

Study Sessions are scheduled for February 28 and March 14, 2019.  See Stanford 2018 GUP Study Sessions for more detail. 

*UPDATE 3/1/19*

The below supplemental information has been added to the 2/28/19 Planning Commission Agenda and can now be viewed online at:

Item No. 8:  Study session relating to Stanford General Use Permit – Public Comments added

*UPDATE 4/9/19*

Below is a list of upcoming meetings where items related to Stanford University’s General Use Permit application will be discussed:

  • 4/18 @ 10:00 a.m. in Board of Supervisors Chambers - Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee Meeting:  Report relating to land development standards for Stanford University's residential subdivision districts (continued from the 3/15/19 HLUET meeting). Receive monthly report relating to development agreement negotiations with Stanford University regarding 2018 General Use Permit. For more information:
  • 4/18 @ 6:30 p.m. in Board of Supervisors Chambers – Historical Heritage Committee Meeting (if needed): Receive report relating to Stanford University Historic Resources Survey methodology and findings.  For more information:

Recently released information related to Stanford University’s General Use Permit is listed below:

If you have questions or comments, please contact Kristina Loquist of Supervisor Simitian’s staff at or by phone at 408-299-5050.

Staff has attended the following meetings re: the Stanford GUP update:

 - Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting September 25, 2018

   (County Council Chambers, 70 W. Hedding)

 - Stanford 2018 GUP – Development Agreement Community Listening Meeting November 29,            2019 (City of Palo Alto Council Chambers)

 - County of Santa Clara Planning Commission Study Session #1 February 28, 2019

    (Isaac Newton Senter Auditorium, 70 W. Hedding)

 - Stanford General Use Permit Application Town Hall March 14, 2019

    (City of Palo Alto Council Chambers)

Related Documents/Links

Supervisor Simitian's letter regarding Stanford's DEIR - October 6, 2017

Stanford  Transportation Strategy

Stanford Bicycle Commuter Access Study

Stanford 2018 General Use Permit 2018 Application to the Santa Clara County Department of Planing and Development - August 14, 2017
Notice of Preparation for the Environmental Import Report

Planning for the future of Stanford's physical campus - June 15, 2017

The Stanford announcement can be read here:

The full application and summary and overview of its contents are available on Stanford’s website: