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Sand Hill 2131 - Housing vs Commercial


On November 14th, at 7pm, the Menlo Park City Council reviewed their prior decision to allow the annexation of the property at 2131 Sand Hill Rd (across from Sharon Heights Shopping center).  The City Council identified that it appeared Stanford had withheld critical information on other construction projects.  As a result the City revoked their approval.

This is probably more of a delay as it is expected that Stanford will continue to take steps to re-zone the property and build the property as commercial developement.   Many would rather that Stanford build housing for the local area so that employees of Stanford and local business.  The property is zoned for housing. 


Stanford University is seeking to re-zone the Sand Hill property across from Sharon Heights Shopping Center from residential to commercial so that their plans for a new commercial 40,000 sq ft building can be built instead of any kind of housing.    This property, the Buck Estate, was gifted to Stanford and is the home of the Stanford Provost and, through a special agreement with San Mateo County, the philthropic and non-profit Hewlett Foundation has a building there too.  Part of that agreement with the County is that the rest of the property was zoned for residential.

Stanford is spending millions in the process of annexing this property from the county to the city of Menlo Park and their proposed new commercial development there.  The annexing allows the current residential zoning of the county to be changed to commercial under Menlo Park and thus allow the commercial development rather than keeping the property a much lower traffic use from residential or philinthropic use.

Stanford's goal of making this a commercial property should not be allowed due to a many issues.

  • It violates the understanding and agreement that allowed Hewlett Foundation to build on the property
  • The annexation appears to be a ruse to skirt around county zoning of residential
  • This area of West Menlo is in dire need of more housing so local workers have a chance to live local
  • The supporting documents provided by Stanford have gross errors and promote false data regarding impact on traffic and quality of life for surrounding community
  • The proposed commercial building will potentially add 800+ daily vehicle trips to Sand Hill and the connectin roads of Alpine Rd, Junipero, Santa Cruz Ave,  Alamdea de las Pulgas, and Sharon Park Rd.

Stanford University's, David J. Powers & assoc, states in their Inital Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration, that "Construction of a new office building on the proposed project site could result in significant impacts to air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, geology and soils, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, and noise and vibration."  They might have added that the completed project will add a significant and unacceptable number of vehicle trips in and out of that property.

They plan to put in a two story, below ground, parking structure and many outside parking slots.  When considering that such a commercial enterprise will have a substantial number of support vehicles, including maintenance, delivery, catering, janitorial, supply trucks, utility trucks, and combined with the number of visitors and customers of the commercial building, one easily can perdict 800+ daily vehicle trips being generated by that development.  Overloading an already overloaded and maxed out roadway and with significant negative impact on the surrounding road corridors of Santa Cruz Ave, Alameda de las Pulgas, and Alpine Rd.