Castilleja School

News Update - 3/14/17

On March 8, 2017, the Planning and Transportation Commission conducted a public “scoping” meeting to obtain comments on the scope of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will be prepared to evaluate Castilleja’s request for an expansion in enrollment and three-phase redevelopment of their existing campus. The public comment period has been extended to allow all interested parties to submit written comments on the EIR’s scope until the close of business on April 15, 2017, after which staff will prepare and publish an explanatory “scoping report” regarding comments received.

News Update - 2/13/17

On February 8, 2017, the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) continued the Castilleja School project scoping meeting to March 8, 2017 at 6 pm. PTC agendas and staff reports are available here. From that link, readers may ‘click’ on the PTC agendas, then ‘click’ on the item to see the staff report. The report for February 8, 2017 included a ‘primer’ on the CEQA process; the report can be found here

News Update - 2/6/17

City staff will recommend that the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) continue its previously noticed Scoping Meeting for the Castilleja School project to March 8, 2017 at 6 pm. The delay will prevent a meeting conflict with the Mayor’s State of the City address, to be held at 7 pm at Hana Haus on 456 University Avenue. For those who are unable to attend on the new date of March 8th, please note that the Revised Notice of Preparation states that written public comments on the scope of the Draft Environmental Impact Report may be submitted until March 15, 2017.

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Castilleja School, 1310 Bryant Street, Palo Alto

Castilleja is a private, all-girls’ school for 6th through 12th grades, located at 1310 Bryant Street at Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto. The school has been at the current site, which is zoned Residential -- Single Family Residential (R-1) 10,000, since 1907, and is surrounded by single family homes. 

In the year 2000, Castilleja received a use permit from the City of Palo Alto for an enrollment of 415 students. 13 years later, the City discovered that Castilleja’s enrollment exceeded this allowance and initiated code enforcement actions including a significant financial penalty, a requirement that the school begin to reduce its enrolment, and a requirement that the school apply for a new use permit to request any increase above the permitted amount. 

Pending Application

Castilleja’s student enrollment is currently 438, and on June 30, 2016, the school submitted requests for a new conditional use permit to increase student enrollment and to allow for phased redevelopment of their campus, including construction of an underground parking structure in phase one. The use permit application seeks approval to increase the total number of students from the current enrollment level of 438 students to 540 students over a 4-5 year period, with the addition of no more than 27 students per year. The application (File# 16PLN-00238) and other materials provided by the applicant can be accessed to the right of this page.

EIR Required

Upon review of the application, the City has determined that an environmental impact report (EIR) will be required, and has requested additional information from the applicant.  See the City’s ‘Notice of Incomplete’ letter found here.

Preparation of an EIR means there will be several opportunities for public input on Castilleja’s proposal, starting with an EIR “scoping” process, where the City will seek input on potential impacts of the project, the scope of the environmental analysis, and alternatives that should be considered.  See below for a tentative schedule of the EIR process:

  • Project Initiation = June-October 2016 (includes receipt of application & hiring a consultant to assist with EIR preparation)
  • EIR Scoping = Early 2017 (includes dissemination of an initial study and Notice of Preparation for review and comment, a preliminary meeting at the Architectural Review Board, and a public scoping meeting at the Planning & Transportation Commission)
  • Draft EIR = Spring 2017 (includes dissemination of a Draft EIR for public review and comment, a meeting at the Architectural Review Board, the Planning & Transportation Commission, and possibly the City Council.)
  • Final EIR = Summer 2017 (includes preparation of the Final EIR and hearings at the Architectural Review Board and Planning & Transportation Commission, leading to publication of the Final EIR and final recommendations from both bodies)
  • City Council Decision = Fall 2017 (includes certification of the EIR as well as a decision on the project).

Stay Informed

This webpage will be updated when there are changes in the schedule or opportunities to provide input.  Please subscribe by filling out the form below with your name and email address and you will receive notification of changes or events. You may also email comments and questions to and Amy French, the City’s project manager, will respond as time permits. 

Background & Other Correspondence

The Castilleja application derived from a code enforcement action and related correspondence can be found to the right of this page. Consistent with City practice, no further code enforcement action will be taken while there is an active application pending to abate the violation.


Castilleja School Project Documents

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News Updates

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For the most up to date application status, please visit this link: Building Eye      

Last Updated: Mar 14, 2017
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