Menlo Park official taken by surprise by proposed 115,000-square-foot Stanford building that may worsen Sand Hill Road traffic

Daily Post Editor

Menlo Park City Council member Ray Mueller is calling for a special council meeting this week about a new building Stanford wants to add near the Medical Center that could increase traffic on Sand Hill Road, part of which is in Menlo Park.

Mueller is concerned about a request Stanford is making to the Santa Clara County Planning Commission on Thursday that would pave the way for the 115,000-square-foot, four-story building to provide offices for the Stanford Medical School’s faculty and staff. The proposal for the Center for Academic Medicine on Quarry Road, across the street from The Container Store and Stanford Barn, includes 830 parking spaces underground.



Stanford, whose building activities are regulated to some extent by Santa Clara County, wants permission to re-allocate square footage from one part of campus to the medical center area where the new building would go up.

Sand Hill Road traffic

Increasing traffic on Sand Hill Road is a touchy issue in Menlo Park. During the Menlo Park approval process for a 40,000-square-foot building Stanford is proposing for 2131 Sand Hill Road, residents told council that traffic had been increasing since the road was extended to El Camino Real in 2000 and Stanford expanded its shopping center and hospital.

Residents of the Sharon Oaks neighborhood, located roughly at the northwest corner of Santa Cruz Avenue and Sand Hill Road, asked Stanford to help pay for an improved sound wall to buffer the noise. But Stanford real estate executive Steve Elliott shot down the idea, declaring at an Aug. 29 council meeting, “It’s purely a money grab and we’re not going to do it.”

Sand Hill Road connects the Stanford campus with Interstate 280.

City wasn’t told about project

Mueller said in an email yesterday to Mayor Kirsten Keith and City Manager Alex McIntyre that Stanford didn’t disclose the proposed academic medicine building during discussions of the 2131 Sand Hill Road project or the larger Stanford housing, retail and office project at 500 El Camino Real.



Mueller also noted that while Stanford informed Palo Alto of the proposed Center for Academic Medicine building, it apparently didn’t provide any notice to Menlo Park.

“Notice to the city of Menlo Park could not be confirmed, although I was informed an investigation would take place whether such notice had occurred,” Mueller wrote. “An inquiry with Menlo Park City Manager (Alex McIntyre) confirmed he was also unaware of the project, although he would conduct a further investigation regarding whether any notice had occurred.

Mueller is asking that the council hold a special meeting either tomorrow or Wednesday to decide whether to send a city representative to the Santa Clara County Planning Commission meeting.