Apr 6 2018
Exploring Stanford's 2018 General Use Permit
By Caleb Smith, BA, '17, MA, '18
Our Public Policy graduate students were glad to welcome a special selection of guests to their final colloquium meeting of winter quarter on March 13th to discuss Stanford's future development. Stanford is currently in the process of applying to Santa Clara County for a General Use Permit (GUP) that will outline future campus development from now until 2035. Considering the high stakes for housing, transportation, and academic opportunities these development choices represent, the GUP already excited great interest from Public Policy students.
Public Policy was therefore delighted that Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, Supervisorial aide Kristina Loquist, Stanford Associate Vice President for Government and Community Relations Jean McCown, and Associate Vice President for Land Use and Environmental Planning Catherine Palter, could join us. Supervisor Simitian enthralled the class with his description of how the County's government sometimes acts like a legislature but at other times like a court when it came to land use. Supervisor Simitian also heartened many students by declaring that he intended to push for a full mitigation of Stanford's impacts on nearby communities. Loquist described her career as a local government aide, a calling which several Public Policy students are potentially interested in following. Stanford's representatives described the process of securing County approval for the GUP, and also the different factors they accounted for in preparing the application.
Following their respective presentations, a lively Q+A and student conversation took place. While all of Public Policy's students were glad that our guests took the time to visit, some of Public Policy's students have concerns about Stanford's development plans and brought these concerns into the dialogue. While the class session sadly did not quite finish hashing out Stanford's best possible development plans for the next 17 years before time expired, a good and highly educational time was had by all. No doubt, Stanford Public Policy will be making valuable contributions to the GUP process as the permit awaits final consideration in fall 2018.