Stanford tries to save approval of new building

Daily Post Staff Writer

An attorney for Stanford is pushing back against the idea that Menlo Park should yank its approval for a building the university wants on Sand Hill Road.

City Council agreed Tuesday (Nov. 7) to hold another vote on a 40,000-square-foot office building Stanford wants to build at 2131 Sand Hill Road, next to the Hewlett Foundation. Council members are miffed that Stanford didn’t tell the city that it was also planning to build a 170,000-square-foot office building for Medical School faculty on Quarry Road, a project that would likely add to traffic on Sand Hill Road.

Menlo Park only learned about Stanford’s plans on Quarry Road when councilman Ray Mueller checked an agenda for the Santa Clara County Planning Commission, which was going to review the project.

‘Significant new information’

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Stanford attorney Barbara Schussman said council should only reconsider its approval of the Sand Hill Road project if there was “significant new information,” and the Quarry Road project doesn’t meet that threshold.

“In a nutshell, continued development on the campus is not new information,” said Schussman.

Councilwoman Catherine Carlton, who asked her colleagues on council to schedule a vote next Tuesday on the Sand Hill Road project, said she wished Menlo Park had been informed of Stanford’s plans regarding Quarry Road.

“The information was missing and we need to make sure we are are reviewing all of the pertinent information,” Carlton said.


The Quarry Road project won’t add much traffic to Sand Hill, according to Schussman. This is because the project falls under the environmental impact report for Stanford’s 2000 general use permit.

But Carlton pointed out that the new project does not add more trips to Stanford’s trip total.

“That doesn’t mean (cars) aren’t moving from one area to another,” Carlton said.
Resident Hank Lawrence said that Stanford was “less than forthcoming” by not mentioning the Quarry Road project at previous meetings over the 2131 Sand Hill Road application, or notifying the city about it.

“I thought that was unprofessional on the part of Stanford and a cheap stunt,” Lawrence said.

Jean McCown, associate vice president of government and community relations for Stanford, has said that Santa Clara County was in charge of sending out notices for the project.