Santa Clara County is facing unprecedented growth, which has impacted the quality of life for County residents in both positive and negative ways.  While we continue to encourage positive growth, we must ensure development projects do not further exacerbate the environmental and quality of life issues we are facing.

The County values the contribution Stanford University makes to our community and looks forward to continuing a successful relationship that allows the school to thrive while protecting the surrounding neighborhoods and community.  We understand Stanford University’s need to continue to provide high quality academics and research.

However, Stanford must be a good neighbor and ensure this large-scale development does not hurt the surrounding community by increasing traffic congestion, escalating demand on housing – particularly affordable housing, or endangering our open spaces.  In fact, protecting the surrounding community will help Stanford continue to thrive as a world class university in Santa Clara County.  With the development's impacts fully addressed, this can be a win-win for Stanford and the County..

Project Background

In 2000, the County of Santa Clara granted Stanford University a General Use Permit that allowed it to build more than 2 million square feet of academic facilities and more than 3,000 housing units/student beds, while passing measures that attempted to protect surrounding open space and alleviating housing, traffic and environmental impacts on the County.

Currently nearing completion, Stanford is proposing to expand significantly under a new General Use Permit. If approved, the new development would add than 3.5 million square feet of new development and 9,600 people to its campus. 

Project Overview

Stanford University is proposing a total of more than 3.5 million square feet of development.  This includes: 2,275,000 square feet of academic and academic support facilities, 2,600 new student beds, and 550 new faculty/staff housing units.  In total, the project would increase the size of the Stanford campus by 20% and add 9,610 new people to the campus.

This proposal is being made by Stanford University as part of its application for a new General Use Permit (GUP).  The County of Santa Clara is currently reviewing this proposal under its land use authority and working to address the following issues:

  • Housing: The County’s Housing Nexus Study concluded that the proposed project will create the need for an additional 2,172 housing units for faculty and staff. The proposal only includes 550 new units, creating a housing deficit of 1,622 units.
  • Traffic Congestion: The Environmental Impact Report concluded the proposed development would have significant impacts on traffic on local roads and highways.
  • Open Space: As part of its General Use Permit application, the University has made no commitment to ongoing protections for the foothills in excess of the current General Use Permit designation and zoning district.

County Administration is committed to exercising its full authority to ensure these impacts are fully addressed, so the project does not hurt County residents.  Instead, Stanford University’s future development plans should be a positive contribution to our community.

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