Castilleja School

Building plan for Castilleja  

Castilleja is a private, all-girls’ school for 6th through 12th grades, located at 1310 Bryant Street at Embarcadero Road with existing vehicle access from Bryant Street, Kellogg Avenue and Emerson Street. The school has been at the current site, which is zoned Residential -- Single Family Residential (R-1) 10,000, since 1910.

In the year 2000, Castilleja received a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the City of Palo Alto for a maximum enrollment cap of 415 students. Castilleja’s student enrollment has exceeded this cap for years and upon learning this in 2013, the City began enforcement actions that included imposing a significant financial penalty and requiring the school to reduce its enrollment and apply for a new use permit to request to exceed the cap. 426 students were enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year, down from 430 students the prior year, and 422 students were enrolled in the 2021-2022 school year. On June 6, 2022, Council allowed a maximum enrollment of 540 students via incremental increases over several years. For the 2022-2023 school year, 416 students were enrolled and enrollment must remain at 416 until campus construction is completed-if students receive instruction on-site in modular buildings during construction. If students are moved off-site during construction, enrollment may increase right away to 450 students.

Approved Applications

On June 30, 2016, the Castilleja School Foundation (Applicant) submitted a new CUP request to increase enrollment to 540 students associated with phased redevelopment of the Castilleja property over a three year period. This includes construction of an underground parking structure and demolition and replacement of campus gross floor area. The CUP (File# 16PLN-00238) request seeks annual enrollment increases by no more than 27 students. The Applicant’s planning applications submitted 2016-2019 with plans and other materials, updated in 2020-2021, can be viewed in Castilleja School Project Documents. The Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) reviewed and provided recommendations on the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), the CUP and Variance applications (the incomplete Tentative Map request (17PLN-00234) did not move forward).  The Architectural Review Board (ARB) reviewed the Final EIR and Architectural Review application including proposed Project plans and the Applicant's Alternative Project(PDF, 14MB) (reduced garage footprint, retention of the two Emerson houses and more trees, and disbursed vehicle circulation). Council consideration, which occurred over the course of three meetings in March 2021, resulted in direction to staff, PTC and ARB to reconsider specific aspects of the project. During the last week of May 2021 2021 and through November 2021, the applicant submitted supplemental information (project documents #5 - #26) intended for review by the ARB, PTC and City staff. City staff reviewed these materials shared the information and additional studies prepared in late summer in public hearings with the ARB on December 2nd and PTC on December 8th, 2021. Additional supplemental information prepared in response to Council direction and staff input were uploaded as project documents and under ‘Staff Presentations and Technical Reports 2020-2022’ prior to and well in advance of applicable hearings. The PTC held continued hearings December 15, 2021 and January 19, 2022. The City Council certified the Environmental Impact Report and approved the project applications on June 6, 2022, which followed presentations and public testimony to Council on May 23, 2022. See Council Record of Land Use Action and Enrollment Exhibit. The Council received recommendations following public hearings by the ARB on March 17, 2022, and additional hearings by the PTC on March 30 and April 20.

Post-Entitlement Activities/Documents in 2023:

Public Hearing Dates 2020

News Updates

Castilleja provided the City with the verification report of the 2022-23 school year enrollment(PDF, 179KB) and the final TDM plan(PDF, 1MB) which will be transmitted to the City Council with a staff report.

Castilleja School Project Documents

Project Documents
Environmental Documents
Public Comments
Archived News Updates