Stanford woke up the sleeping dragon, says county supervisor

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, inset.

Daily Post Staff Writer

If Stanford tries to bring back its proposal to expand campus by 3.5 million square feet, it should be prepared to fully mitigate the impact of that expansion throughout the region, a top official in San Mateo County said Monday.

“They’ve woken up a sleeping dragon and we are not taking it anymore,” Supervisor Don Horsley said.

Horsley said that the San Mateo County government and a number of cities formed a coalition to push Stanford to mitigate the housing and traffic impacts the expansion would have north of San Francisquito Creek.

But he said Stanford wouldn’t even meet with the coalition.

On Friday, Stanford withdrew its application for the massive expansion — just five days before it was likely going to receive a permit from Santa Clara County that would have included requirements the university wouldn’t have wanted.

Full mitigation

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian wanted to require Stanford to “fully mitigate” its impacts on housing, traffic and other areas.

Horsley thinks Stanford is taking a pause to rethink its strategy.

Horsley said he would not be surprised if Stanford is waiting for Simitian to be termed out from the board of supervisors before bringing the application back, noting that “Simitian is formidable opposition.”

However, Simitian has another five years on the board before he is termed out.

Horsley, who is termed out in three years, added that even if Stanford comes back with a new GUP proposal after either he or Simitian are off their respective boards, their successors will still push Stanford for full mitigation.

“There is so much motivation that Stanford will still have to deal with us,” Horsley said.

Improving communications between counties

Today, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is slated to discuss  creating a way to make it easier for the two counties to talk about and mitigate the impacts of large development projects.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez suggested the idea to make sure the entire region is included when mitigation is required for a large project like Stanford’s development or Facebook’s Willow Village in Menlo Park, Horsley said.