- Select plan sheets for the proposal.
The proposal was the subject of a Planning Commission study session on Monday, January 28, 2013. No action took place at this meeting, but the study session provided an opportunity for the Planning Commission and the public to become more familiar with the proposal and to identify potential questions and concerns. Since this meeting, the applicant has been reviewing this feedback and considering revisions to the proposal.
On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, the City Council held a regular business item to review the proposal and consider options for the project review process. The Council formed a project subcommittee, comprised of Council Members Carlton and Keith, with the primary objectives of facilitating the process and providing input on the traffic analysis. On Tuesday, August 27, 2013, the City Council accepted a final report from the subcommittee and approved proposed scopes of work for the project's traffic analysis.
Thomas Rogers, Senior Planner
Stanford University is proposing to redevelop the properties currently addressed 300-550 El Camino Real, which is an 8.43-acre site that is part of the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan area. The project parcels are part of the Specific Plan's "ECR SE" zoning district and "El Camino Real Mixed Use" land use designation. The existing buildings (current and former auto dealerships) and site features would be replaced with a new mixed-use development consisting of offices, housing, and retail.
The proposal would adhere to the Specific Plan's "Base" level standards, which were established to achieve inherent public benefits, such as the redevelopment of underutilized properties, the creation of more vitality and activity, and the promotion of healthy living and sustainability. The proposal is required to comply with the Specific Plan's detailed standards and guidelines, which include requirements to limit building mass (in particular on upper floors), encourage articulation and architectural interest, require wider sidewalks, and mandate LEED Silver compliance. This project would also be required to provide a 120-foot-wide, publicly accessible frontage break at Middle Avenue. This "Burgess Park Linkage/Open Space Plaza" would lead to a future grade-separated pedestrian/bicycle crossing of the Caltrain tracks.
The intial proposal is subject to detailed review and may change before final actions occur. The most recent comprehensive application submittal has the following characteristics:
500 El Camino Real Project
|Intensity - FAR (Floor Area Ratio)|
| Medical/Non-Medical Flex
|Housing (170 Units)
|Note: revised residential designs are still in progress, so the Housing and Total FARs are expressed as a range.
As established by the Specific Plan, the proposal requires Architectural Control review and action by the Planning Commission. The proposal is also anticipated to require approval of Heritage Tree Removal Permits and a Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing Agreement.
The proposal also requires consideration under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Some or all of the project may have been adequately considered by the program-level Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that was completed as part of the Specific Plan, although this is subject to detailed review.
The subject applicant, Stanford University, participated throughout the entire planning process for the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan, in particular by serving as a City Council-designated representative on the Oversight and Outreach Committee. In public correspondence and through remarks at meetings, the applicant repeatedly supported the community planning process and stated an intent to pursue a comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment proposal in compliance with the adopted Plan. At various points, the applicant provided detail-type critiques of some draft regulations and Draft EIR elements, but did not submit correspondence or make in-meeting remarks that committed to a particular type of future development proposal. The applicant's correspondence on the Specific Plan is provided below, for reference.
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