General Use Permit or GUP
Stanford’s General Use Permit (GUP) is an agreement between the University and Santa Clara County that allows Stanford to build specified amounts of academic buildings and housing units. It also establishes conditions of approval for those projects, such as affordable housing or traffic reduction requirements. The last GUP agreement, which was created in 2000, expires in 2018. Now, the University is seeking approval for a new GUP covering 2018 through 2035. The draft of this 2018 GUP has proposed 2.3 million square feet of academic building space, 40,000 square feet of childcare facilities, and up to 3,150 units of housing. The University must have its plans approved by the County.
The California Environmental Quality Act or CEQA
The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, requires state and local agencies to identify the environmental impacts of their actions and take measures to avoid or mitigate those impacts. This means that developers applying for building permits from the county must follow CEQA provisions in order to have their projects approved. If there is evidence that the project will have a significant effect on the environment, the state must prepare an Environmental Impact Report, or EIR.
Environmental Impact Report or EIR
An Environmental Impact Report, or EIR, is created when a project is expected to have a significant environmental impact. The report is meant to provide the public and decision-makers with in-depth information regarding a project’s environmental effects (e.g. number of cars added to the road, increase in emissions, etc.), ways to mitigate the project’s impacts, and alternatives to the proposal. Currently the County of Santa Clara is preparing an EIR for Stanford’s GUP. Once released, the public will have the opportunity to provide comments about the project in light of the information discovered in the EIR.
SEIU Local 2007
A local labor union within the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that represents directly employed Stanford workers. SEIU is an organization of more than one million members dedicated to improving the lives of workers through dignity and worth.
The Muwekma Ohlone Tribe is comprised of all of the known surviving American Indian lineages aboriginal to the San Francisco Bay Region. Santa Clara County, including the Stanford campus, lies on land that is rightfully Muwekma Ohlone land.
“Anchor institutions are nonprofit institutions that once established tend not to move location. Emerging trends related to globalization—such as the decline of manufacturing, the rise of the service sector, and a mounting government fiscal crisis—suggest the growing importance of anchor institutions to local economies.” (community-wealth.org)
Below Market Rate (BMR) Fee
The BMR Fee is a fee that developers must pay per square foot of commercial development and market-rate residential development in order to mitigate the impact that the building has on housing pressures. The fee is collected by the local government and used to finance affordable housing projects. Developers are able to build below-market-rate units instead of paying the fee, but most (including Stanford) choose to pay the fee.
The supervisor for District 5 on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Stanford land is within Joe Simitian’s district, so he is the supervisor that engages most in the General Use Permit Process. Ultimately, all of the supervisors will need to approve the Stanford General Use Permit.