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Report: How the Stanford Wedge project will impact Portola Valley

Original post made on Apr 4, 2022

A long-awaited environmental review of Stanford's proposed housing development found the project would not result in significant impacts to the town, provided the right mitigation measures are in place.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 4, 2022, 11:37 AM

Comments (12)

Posted by Liz Babb
a resident of Portola Valley: Woodside Highlands
on Apr 4, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Liz Babb is a registered user.

Thank you for this accurate summary of Stanford's own summary of their draft EIR. While consultants paid for by Stanford indicate that "the project would not result in any significant impacts on the town or site", the 300+ page document still needs review by independent third party consultants with 45 days to do so. Let's hope some are willing to spend time doing this.

In addition, residents need to read the document and respond/comment using their own knowledge, data and facts. I hope that Almanac will be interviewing independent consultants and experts in different areas including San Mateo county fire experts, wild land Peninsula experts, and evacuation experts, to name a few. That way, the Almanac can actually report on the meat of the document / story.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 4, 2022 at 1:35 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Liz is correct! Really, Surprise Surprise! Stanford's hand picked "shill"determines that "The project would not result in any significant impacts on the town or site with proper mitigation measures in place". Just like none of Stanford's projects in & around MenloPark have any effect on traffic, the aging utility structure or public school system!

I look forward to an actual real neutral analysis!

Posted by been there
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 4, 2022 at 2:04 pm

been there is a registered user.

For those who think land-use zoning should be decided by cities and counties, not the State, remember we elected them. We should vote for candidates who want to balance development with the quality of life of their voters.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 4, 2022 at 7:04 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Been There - I agree, but it is often hard to know what bills are coming up for votes and you find out too late! I'd like the Almanac to have a section that provides a "Window" on what is going on in Sacramento that will effect our area. Perhaps if more people really knew about AB-9 it would not have passed!

Posted by LadyHawk
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Apr 5, 2022 at 1:00 pm

LadyHawk is a registered user.

Stanford proposal has 177 trees to be removed, over half of them heritage oaks not 114. There would be a devastating impact on local wildlife and the remaining trees connected together in the oak woodlands there. Please read Secrets of the Oak Woodlands by Kate Marianchild.

Posted by been there
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 5, 2022 at 1:22 pm

been there is a registered user.

This new law was passed by the Senate this past fall. Scott Weiner has been trying to pass a version of this bill for 2 years. SB9 will definitely impact your quality of life, if not due to traffic or major construction next door or behind you. Six residences where there was once one. Maybe next year or several years from now, but it is coming to your neighborhood.

Posted by PVisBeautiful
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 5, 2022 at 5:41 pm

PVisBeautiful is a registered user.

Is the Almanac in the pockets of developers or just really negligent and happy to parrot whatever partisans and paid consultants preach as gospel?

Posted by Matt
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Apr 5, 2022 at 8:59 pm

Matt is a registered user.

I gotta say the comments, as expected, are sensationalist. Look, EVERY environmental impact report is paid for by the developing entity. Would you prefer they be taxpayer funded? That doesn't mean the company is a shill, as one commenter put it.

This has been zoned as residential for 60 years! Who expects it's owners to never use it as zoned? Um, it should be NO ONE!

A trade of partial development for an enforceable open space covenant plus fire risk mitigation sounds like a pretty sweet deal. But if course the screaming NIMBYs come out en force.

How about this, all those that hate the idea of development in any form pony up, buy the land, and donate it to POST.

And as far as saying the Almanac is in anyone's pocket, this story doesn't seem to be an advocacy piece. It is simply a reporting of a summary of the prepared impact report. Seems that's what a newspaper is supposed to do.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 6, 2022 at 9:49 am

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Matt: I actually expect more of a REAL "News"paper! Instead of merely REPEATING what is said, I expect some real investigative REPORTING. That is, ask the next question & then the next question. Stop being "NewsBots" and dig further!

In addition, if Exxon wanted to drill a fracking well in Portola Valley & showed a "Clean Environmental Report" no one in the area would believe it without a neutral review. What makes you think that Stanford's management is any more "pure" than Exxon, or others?

Posted by Dave Boyce
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 9, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

CyberVoter, if you want investigative reporting, you should consider how it’s paid for. Only large, well-funded media can afford investigative reporting. The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Intercept, they all have deep pockets.

Most newspapers, the Almanac included, face daunting financial realities thanks to the naked theft (over decades now) of their advertising revenue by Craig’s List, Facebook, Google and other remorseless, amoral, democracy-undermining corporate “persons!” Add to that the raiding of vulnerable papers by the likes of Alden Capital and you have the hellscape that is the media’s world today.

This place is LUCKY to have the Almanac. Would you rather depend on the Mercury News or the Chronicle or the Palo Alto Daily News?

Are you a subscriber? Are you a generous subscriber? You live in Atherton, after all. Surely, you can afford $60 a year, the minimum, if not considerably more.

Have ever tried reporting and faced deadline pressure; finding knowledgeable sources who will speak on the record; putting what you find into coherent sentences to fit in news columns with strict limits on space because of competing stories from other reporters; writing without putting the paper in legal jeopardy; writing quickly, turning out at least one story per day; and having a life anyway? Try it. Then you may have something worthwhile to say.

Posted by Dave Boyce
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 9, 2022 at 5:07 pm

Dave Boyce is a registered user.

And another thing: the reporter for this story is simultaneously also responsible for reporting on news from Woodside, Atherton, the elementary school districts in Woodside, Portola Valley and Menlo Park, and the high school district. Not to mention the county and scalawags, now in legal jeopardy, who ran the community college district … and whatever else comes up for a staff of, I think, two reporters.

As I said, you’re lucky to have a local paper.

Posted by PV Resident
a resident of Portola Valley: Portola Valley Ranch
on Apr 10, 2022 at 7:20 pm

PV Resident is a registered user.

I'm thankful to have the Almanac reporters cover this. I'm disappointed by the hysterical theater that sometimes attends any such developments.

- Stanford University founded with this land 137 years ago
- Does nothing on the land for over a century
- In the last 20-50 years, numerous residents move to town, building homes, carving streets and driveways, typically developing 30-70% of their land.
- Stanford decides it'd like to develop 10% of the land it owns
- Town agree to accommodate, with a vocal minority (c.f., PVNU losing last election) resisting, with mostly (not always) disingenuous arguments about traffic, fire & geological safety.
- Stanford is compelled to hire professionals to offer opinions on said concerns.
- Vocal minority criticizes Stanford for following those rules, paying for the compelled services.
- Also criticize professionals for doing their jobs.
- Also criticize reporters for doing their jobs.
- Also criticize volunteers for fulfilling their duties.
- Also threaten lawsuits.
- Also undertake hostile election tactics.

I get a point of view that's opposed to more housing, or housing that looks like that, or housing that occupies what used to be undeveloped land in your view corridor.

But there are also property rights that Stanford has had all along - before you or Bill Lane were born, and their delay in exercising them makes them no less valid than yours and your neighbors.

And the volunteers and staff of the town are just doing their jobs. So please, let's have forthright conversations and recognize that we're not all going to get what we want.

Part of a democracy is losing. Not getting everything you want is a feature, not a bug of civic society. How you react in such circumstances defines our community. Do we want to be lawyer-packing bullies, or can we work collaboratively to solve hard problems?

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