News on Campus
STANFORDS SAND HILL PROPOSAL WINS VOTE
decades-long dispute over a Stanford
University proposal for development and extension
Hill Road was
finally settled by Palo Alto voters. After months of the highest profile
campaign in local elections, the plan backed by Stanford and the Palo
Alto City Council won in November with 55 percent of the vote over a
competing citizens' initiative that called for a smaller version of the
The $342 million initiative will extend Sand Hill Road from its current
dead end in the parking lot of Stanford Shopping Center to El Camino
Real and widen most of it from two to four lanes. It will also build a
628-unit rental apartment complex for faculty and employees and 388
units of market-rate senior housing along that road, and will expand the
Stanford Shopping Center by 80,000 square feet.
The controversial Stanford project, one of the largest developments in
the city's history, is expected to ease Palo Alto's housing crunch and
improve Sand Hill Road's bottle-necked traffic, including emergency
trips to Stanford medical facilities.
"The public did trust Stanford and the city council and the process the
project went through," said Larry Horton, director of government and
community relations for Stanford.
Historically, the struggle over the Sand Hill corridor has divided the
mid-Peninsula for decades. Since the 1950s, Stanford has sought to
extend the road. In 1971, Palo Alto voters rejected a plan to connect
Sand Hill Road to Alma Street. In 1984, a Menlo Park citizens' group
blocked a Sand Hill project by contending that the environmental reviews
for it were inadequate.
After months of an intense and costly campaign (Stanford reported it had
expended about $272,000), the voters' decision was a relief to many.
"Thank God it's over. Let's move on," Joe Huber, Palo Alto's mayor,