News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 05/19/2010
Subject :

Stanford University Medical Center Facilities Renewal and Replacement Project Draft EIR Available for Public Review
Contact : Steve Emslie, Deputy City Manager    650-329-2354
Curtis Williams, Director , Planning and Community Environment    650-329-2321
Palo Alto, CA – Today, the City of Palo Alto released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for the Stanford University Medical Center Facilities Renewal and Replacement Project (SUMC Project) for a public review period beginning on May 20, 2010 and concluding on July 27, 2010.

"The release of the Draft EIR is a major milestone for the hospital renewal program. Reaching a final decision this year is a high Council priority and the release of the Draft EIR is a big step in reaching this goal," said Mayor Pat Burt. “The project has evolved significantly over the last year and the City has shown its flexibility and commitment to moving forward by relaxing its earlier position on housing.”

The hospital renewal project, a 1.3 million square foot expansion of the existing medical center, is the largest single development project in Palo Alto in a generation. The Draft EIR, required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), enables the City to clearly delineate conditions to offset project impacts.

The Draft EIR was delayed last year when Stanford withdrew the shopping center expansion from the project. Much of the environmental analysis, especially sophisticated traffic modeling, had to be redone to accurately reflect the revised project.

“We're glad we are here now,” City Manager James Keene said. “Our staff team has worked closely with the hospitals to bring this project forward to the Council and community. There will still be significant work to do to reach agreement on the right package of mitigations and other offsets, along with terms for a development agreement,” Keene said. “But we’re committed to getting the job done.”

Environmental Impact Reports are required by the State to show decision makers the consequences of proposed development. Impacts are identified and mitigation measures are required so impacts are reduced to less-than-significant levels. State law requires the City to impose reasonable mitigations to ensure all impacts are mitigated. Stanford is also requesting a Development Agreement that confers long-term land use development rights to Stanford. In exchange, the City receives citywide benefits. These community benefits are distinct from standard conditions of approval and are subject to the mutual agreement of both Stanford and the City.

To download and review the Draft EIR, visit the SUMC Project home page at

The Draft EIR will be available on the City’s website, at the Palo Alto Main Library (1213 Newell Road) and at the City of Palo Alto’s Development Center (285 Hamilton Avenue, First Floor). Copies of the Draft EIR will be made available on loan from the Department of Planning and Community Environment (250 Hamilton Avenue, 5th Floor) during normal business hours.

Members of the public may submit written comments on the Draft EIR during the public review period and no later than July 27, 2010 to the following contact:

Steven Turner
Department of Planning and Community Environment
250 Hamilton Avenue, 5th Floor,
Palo Alto, CA  94301
Email to

During the public review period for the Draft EIR, the City Council and Planning and Transportation Commission (Commission) will hold public hearings to take public comment on the document. A City Council meeting to introduce the Draft EIR will be held on May 24, 2010 at 7 PM. The first Commission hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 2, 2010 at 7 PM in the Council Chambers, Palo Alto City Hall. The first City Council hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 7, 2010. Subsequent hearings with the Commission to accept Draft EIR comments are tentatively scheduled to occur each Wednesday at 7 PM through July 7, 2010. Subsequent hearings with the City Council to accept Draft EIR comments are tentatively scheduled to occur on June 14, July 12, July 19, and July 26 at 7 PM. Please note these public hearings are only to accept comments on the Draft EIR; no decision on the Project itself will be made. All persons may appear and be heard at these hearings. Responses to the Draft EIR comments will be included in a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) to be presented in the fall, concurrent with consideration of the Project.