Margo Davis, Roxanne Nilan. The Stanford album: a photographic history, 1885-1945

Margo Davis, Roxanne Nilan. The Stanford album: a photographic history, 1885-1945


In 2000, Stanford University was granted a General Use Permit by the County of Santa Clara to provide a framework for how the University would grow its academic and housing facilities over the long term. Stanford is nearing completion of more than two million square feet of academic facilities and more than 4,000 housing units/beds authorized by the 2000 General Use Permit. Stanford now seeks approval for a new General Use Permit.

The University’s application for the 2018 General Use Permit seeks to address future development needs through the year 2035 including:

  • 2,275,000 square feet of academic and academic support facilities

  • 40,000 net new square feet of childcare centers and trip-reducing facilities

  • 2,600 new student beds

  • 550 new faculty/staff housing units

This additional development requires amendments to the Community Plan and approval of the 2018 General Use Permit application, which must be approved by the County Board of Supervisors.


Stanford University Community Plan

The Stanford Community Plan builds upon strategies and policy framework for each element of the General Plan, tailoring the treatment of each subject to those aspects of an element most applicable and pertinent to Stanford University. This is a legislative document.


Stanford General Use Permit (GUP)

The Stanford General Use Permit authorizes specified amounts of facility and housing development and regulates how that development takes place through Conditions of Approval. This is a regulatory document.


Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is a review conducted under state law – the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR identifies environmental impacts of the actions of state and local agencies (in this case, the Stanford GUP), and further requires methods to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible. These methods are known as Mitigation Measures.


Development Agreement (DA)

A Development Agreement is a voluntary contract between two parties detailing the commitments of both parties and specifying the standards that will direct the development. In this case, the two parties are the County of Santa Clara and Stanford University. They have agreed to enter into discussion and if the two parties reach agreement, there could be a Development Agreement. Because it’s a voluntary contract, it’s possible the negotiations may not result in a mutually agreeable outcome in which case there will not be a DA. The DA can provide community benefits beyond the mitigations allowed under CEQA.


At the University’s request, Stanford and the County of Santa Clara are entering into discussions to negotiate a Development Agreement. The potential community benefits in the form of amenities and improvements that Stanford may be able to provide to the surrounding communities and neighborhoods will be discussed. The County Board of Supervisors wants this to be a public and transparent process.

If the County and University cannot reach agreements, or one/both parties decide to withdraw from the negotiations, the development agreement will not be executed.  The 2018 General Use Permit, however, will still be considered by the Board of Supervisors.

Community and jurisdictional input on a range of community interests and benefits will be considered during the Development Agreement community outreach process, taking place from November 2018 through February 2019. The County wants to hear your ideas and suggestions on the community benefits that could be considered for inclusion in the Development Agreement.

Community benefits categories may include:

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Sylvia Gallegos | Deputy County Executive

Kavitha Kumar | Stanford University Planning Program Manager

Geoff Bradley | Stanford GUP Project Manager

Jacqueline Onciano | Director of Planning and Development

Rob Eastwood | Planning Manager



Supervisor Joe Simitian, District 5 | Board President

Supervisor Cindy Chavez, District 2 | Board Vice President