Stanford withdraws massive expansion plan after hitting impasse with county

PALO ALTO —  Stanford University on Friday dropped its
3.5-million-square-foot expansion plan — a surprise move that
further escalates tensions between the university and Santa Clara
County officials.

The plan — which would have authorized Stanford to add 2.275
million square feet of academic space plus 2,600 new students beds
through 2035 — was set to go before the Santa Clara County Board
of Supervisors for a vote in four days. But in an eleventh-hour

news release
, Stanford announced it had reached an impasse with
the county and would withdraw its application.

“We have taken this step with regret, but with a clear-eyed
understanding of the challenges before us in achieving a successful
long-term permit at this time,” Stanford President Marc
Tessier-Lavigne wrote in the release.

Stanford and the county had been at odds over the proposal —
called a general use permit — particularly over the amount of
housing it would include. The county demanded Stanford build
housing for every new employee its expansion would bring. That
would be 2,172 homes — or nearly four times as many as Stanford
had initially proposed.

Stanford agreed to up its housing production, with the caveat
that the county give Stanford partial credit for homes already in
construction on campus and in Menlo Park. That was a non-starter
for county officials. So Stanford this week acquiesced and agreed
to build or fund the full 2,172 housing units demanded.

But despite that concession, Stanford says, county officials
still appeared unwilling to resume negotiations. University leaders
had been hoping to  agree on a development agreement with the
county — an additional contract under which Stanford would
provide certain community benefits in exchange for specific
favorable conditions in the general use permit.

Stanford also balked at the county’s traffic mitigation
requirements, saying the county’s demands were not achievable
given the amount of additional housing officials required.

This story is developing. Check back for more details.

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Stanford withdraws massive expansion plan after hitting impasse with county