With new deal, communities search to cement partnership on land use issues | Information


When Stanford College proposed in 2016 to develop its campus, metropolis and county officers that had not often spoken to at least one one other up to now abruptly rallied collectively over widespread issues concerning the housing, site visitors and college impacts of the deliberate developments.

Despite the fact that Stanford ended its growth bid in November, when it withdrew the challenge, officers from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are hoping to proceed their newly fashioned partnership. They, together with metropolis leaders from Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood Metropolis and East Palo Alto, are getting ready to undertake a Land Use Compact beneath which they’d meet twice a yr to debate important developments with impacts that spill over the boundaries separating them.

The brand new compact was proposed final November by Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who referred to as the county’s collaboration with its San Mateo County counterparts “some of the necessary outcomes across the Stanford GUP (common use allow).”

“What turned clear is that now we have a chance to work with our sister organizations on both facet of the county line, as a result of so many large developments occur proper alongside that alignment,” Chavez mentioned on the Nov. 5 assembly. “We do not need our must be traded off one another, however fairly have a extra complete approach to be at the least having discussions.”

On Thursday, the Santa Clara County’s Housing, Land Use, Setting and Transportation Committee obtained its first report since that November assembly about what the settlement would seem like. Underneath the proposal offered by Deputy County Govt Sylvia Gallegos, the discussion board involving the taking part jurisdictions would meet twice per yr in addition to any time any of the companions obtain a major nonresidential growth utility.

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Members would convene common conferences to debate the applying till they agree by consensus that such conferences are now not wanted. Discussions would concentrate on the event’s impacts on transportation and housing, doable mitigations and methods to fund these mitigations.

Whereas different jurisdictions have embraced the thought of regional cooperation, the trouble faces some challenges. Gallegos mentioned the county continues to be attempting to find out what thresholds the compact members ought to undertake for developments that will set off a gathering with regional companions. This might embrace elements similar to sq. footage, the variety of new workers within the new challenge or housing demand that the challenge would generate.

Thus far, there’s been little consensus or significant enter. Gallegos mentioned the county proposed 500,000 sq. toes of latest growth as a threshold of “significance” for the aim of the dialog. For some, that quantity was too excessive.

“For instance, the town of Palo Alto says that probably of their jurisdictions, a 50,000-square-foot growth would definitely be a really important growth in its neighborhood, however the truth that by our requirements, we might think about comparatively small challenge,” Gallegos mentioned.

Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who chairs the committee, prompt that the edge should not be too small both.

“Except a sure supervisor needed to go sit in on these conferences, I would not be supporting sending a few supervisors for a 20,000-square-foot challenge in Atherton,” Wasserman mentioned.

One other problem, Gallegos mentioned, is that regional planning, whereas nice in idea, might be tough in follow as a result of native jurisdictions don’t love to surrender their very own decision-making powers. Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian agreed.

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“What I heard through the years in working with colleagues within the native authorities is that everybody thinks we must always plan regionally and nobody needs to offer in native management and political sovereignty,” Simitian mentioned throughout Thursday’s dialogue.

Gallegos additionally famous in a report that there was an expression of “warning or discouragement concerning the doubtless willingness of elected officers to have interaction their counterpart elected officers in negotiation of doable neighborhood advantages related to a selected growth challenge.”

In some instances, she wrote, the first aspiration is to enhance cohesion amongst a jurisdiction’s elected physique. There was an acknowledgement, she wrote, that “interagency collaboration as a objective would comply with these efforts.”

Each Simitian and Wasserman supported the proposed discussion board, which is being arrange as a approach to share info fairly than diffuse native energy. Galllegos famous that the discussion board would have a purely advisory function.

Simitian recalled the primary time he convened representatives from the six jurisdictions that embrace Stanford land — Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Woodside, Portola Valley — to debate the potential impacts of the college’s proposed Basic Use Allow. Everybody realized that it was the primary time in everybody’s recollection that each one six jurisdictions convened for such a dialog.

“It was type of an ‘Aha!’ second,” Simitian mentioned.

Later within the course of, county officers acknowledged that there are different native gamers who needs to be within the combine, together with Redwood Metropolis and East Palo Alto, Simitian mentioned. Additionally they acknowledged that Stanford is not the one giant participant within the area. Fb and Google function out of huge campuses in Menlo Park and Mountain View, respectively, whereas Palo Alto has Stanford Buying Middle and Stanford Analysis Park, each of that are near the county’s northern border. Any main redevelopments involving these, or different, tasks are sure to have ripple results in neighboring jurisdictions.

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Gallegos mentioned the notion of the compact is to “construct upon current relationships and set up new relationships, as a result of there’s changeover in administrative workers and elected officers.”

The concept of forming the compact has broad assist on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, which voted unanimously final November to maneuver the method ahead. San Mateo County officers are additionally . Steve Monowitz, San Mateo County’s neighborhood growth director, thanked Chavez on the November board assembly for bringing the thought ahead.

“Though Stanford has withdrawn its GUP utility, our work towards making certain that impacts of college progress are totally mitigated just isn’t achieved. And the collaboration compact can present a wonderful discussion board for us to do that and to handle different tasks of regional impacts as a result of … We’re a lot stronger standing collectively on these points than going it alone.”

Simitian acknowledged Thursday that there are limitations to what people are prepared to decide to prematurely.

“However the one factor they’re prepared to decide to prematurely is to sit down down and discuss and share info and hear to at least one one other and hope that this then results in some type of dedication that’s substantive, if and when the time comes.”


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