BY ALLISON LEVITSKY
Daily Post Staff Writer
The Santa Clara County leaders, who are set to decide the terms of Stanford’s 2.3 million-square-foot expansion, could end up negotiating a deal with the university behind closed doors.
County Supervisor Dave Cortese, of San Jose, has put on the Board of Supervisor’s agenda Tuesday (Sept. 25) a proposal to have the county negotiate a development agreement with the university.
At the same meeting, the board will be discussing two other ways to make sure Stanford does its part to build housing for and mitigate the traffic impacts of the 9,600 new students and workers.
Those two ordinances, if approved, would charge Stanford a developer fee based on the square footage of new buildings and require Stanford to build affordable on or near campus.
Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian said he’s “genuinely open-minded” about all the tools the county can use to get Stanford to mitigate the impacts of its expansion. A development agreement, which would spell out what things Stanford has to do in order to mitigate the impact of its expansion, is one of those tools.
But he said he has two concerns about negotiating a development agreement with Stanford.
“I want to make sure that if we use that process, it provides ample opportunity for public engagement and that it’s fully transparent to the public,” Simitian said.
And, based on some comments Simitian heard at the county’s Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation Committee meeting yesterday, he’s concerned that other board members may defer action on the two ordinances while the development agreement moves forward.
“I do not support deferring action on the two ordinances. I think those stand on their own merits and ought to look at them on Tuesday and take action,” Simitian said. “The two ordinances are relevant and important whether or not there’s an application pending. They’re really independent of that process.”
The county is set to publish the final environmental impact report of the proposed expansion in early December, with a county Planning Commission study session planned for January.