Archived Castilleja School News Updates

News Update - 10/12/18

In September, the City received a letter from an attorney representing her client “Preserve Neighborhood Quality of Life” (PNQL). It is viewable as item 6 under “Public Comments and Neighbor Submittal” found on the Castilleja School Project Documents page.

 

In October, the City received a letter from the applicant regarding the September letter from PNQL’s attorney. It is viewable as item 19 under “Castilleja School Project Application Submittal Items” on the Castilleja School Project Documents page

 

At the end of August, the City received an updated target month - January 2019 - for publication of a Draft EIR for a 45-day circulation period for public comments. There are no public hearings scheduled for the project prior to publication of the Draft EIR.

 

Staff awaits the submittal of architectural plans to complete the Architectural Review Application.

 

News Update - 6/4/18

The City received several documents in May 2018:

  • On May 16th, the applicant submitted two documents to supplement the phasing and temporary construction logistics plan and describe the proposed site walls (soundwall, solid gate and retaining walls).
  • On May 24th, the applicant submitted four tree-related documents to correct dates and address previous comments from Urban Forestry.

View project documents

 

News Update - 5/1/18

The City’s consultant resumed work on the Draft Environmental Impact Report following the March 26, 2018 submittal, found on the Project Documents page under the header “Castilleja School CUP Application Submittal Items - 2018”.

City staff recently issued notices to the applicant regarding the status of the applications.  The City’s letters to the applicant regarding the applications are also uploaded to the Project Documents page under the header “City Staff and Consultant Documents for Castilleja School Project Review: 2018”.

 

News Update - 4/2/18

Castilleja School submitted several documents on March 26, 2018 - viewable since March 26th on Building Eye. The project description on Building Eye has been updated to reflect the current plans.  

 

Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report has resumed.  Below is a summary of project components


  • The Tentative Map is to merge 3 parcels greater than 19,999 sq.ft. in the R-1(10,000) zone district, requiring an exception in order to support school use. 
  • The Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is for increased enrollment beyond the current CUP’s maximum of 415 students - to 540 students - phased over several years.
  • A Variance is requested to remove and replace the existing 84,572 sq.ft. of above-grade gross floor area (GFA) on the current campus with the same GFA.
  • A Variance was also requested in April 2017 by letter for below grade setback encroachments.
  • Plans for Phase 4 to complete the ARB application are anticipated to be submitted in early June (and review by the Architectural Review Board and Historic Resources is targeted for late Summer or early Fall 2018). The ARB application is for: 
    • Retention of the historic administrative-chapel/theater building (17,781 sq.ft. above-grade GFA) and fitness/athletic center (13,944 sq.ft. above-grade GFA).
    • Phase 1 demolition and construction: 
      • Demolition of Lockey/Alumnae House and rental home (off current campus parcel) fronting Emerson, removal of those two driveways, and creation of Emerson Park, a community park.
      • Construction of a below-grade garage (encroaching underground into the Embarcadero Road special setback) to provide for 114 parking spaces and below-grade drop-offs and pick-ups, 
      • Construction of an entrance ramp from Bryant Street parking lot and an exit ramp onto Emerson Street (opposite Melville Avenue),
      • Creation of a tunnel underneath the Utility easement with elevator and pedestrian stair (to access to the tunnel) between chapel theater and fitness center, with a second garage access staircase near Emerson Street exit ramp, and
      • Reconfiguration of the 24-stall Bryant Street parking lot into a 14-stall parking lot.
    • Phase 2: Demolish fine arts building and adjacent parking lot, construct a new below-grade pool between the athletic center and Emerson Street, and create a public bike pavilion at the corner of Bryant Street and Kellogg Avenue.
    • Phase 3: Create on-site temporary school facilities (modular buildings) on Spieker Field (field activities to be located temporarily off-site for approximately one year or less).
    • Phase 4: Demolish four buildings on current campus parcel and replace the existing above-grade gross floor area, more specifically: 
      • Demolish the maintenance building, campus center building, classroom building, pool equipment building, and existing pool,
      • Replace the 15-stall parking lot at the corner of Kellogg Avenue and Emerson Street with a 13-stall parking lot (and remove one Kellogg driveway)
      • Adjust (eastwardly) Circle driveway curb cut and reduce Circle size,
      • Create ramp down to below grade trash enclosure and pool equipment, west of Circle driveway,
      • Adjust (eastwardly) two Bryant Street curb cuts, and
      • Construct one replacement ‘net-zero-ready’ building (84,572 sq.ft. above-ground GFA), with: 
        • 20-foot setbacks from Kellogg Avenue and Bryant Street,
        • A 71-foot setback from Emerson Street, and
        • Nine separate sunken gardens serving classrooms around Circle.
    • Landscaping, tree removals/replacements/relocations/other site modifications.

Castilleja School

   Previous rendering of Phase 4 building (from June 2016 plan set)

 

News Update - 1/10/18

Castilleja School submitted several documents on January 8, 2018 (now uploaded on the Castilleja School Project Documents page). The applicant intends to submit updated project plans at the end of February 2018. After the plans are submitted, a link to the updated plans and any other submitted materials will be provided on this webpage. Preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact (DEIR) will resume shortly, since technical documents providing source information are nearly completed, and the applicant has committed to completing the application materials in early 2018. Once the DEIR has been prepared, notice of availability will be disseminated to allow public comment on the DEIR.

 

News Update - 8/30/17

The Architectural Review Board will NOT conduct the preliminary review of the concept plan for phased campus development on September 7, 2017. The applicant has requested postponement of the meeting. Applicant-submitted letters dated August 21 and 28, 2017 are viewable via web-links on the listed Applicant Submittal Documents in 2017, found on this Castilleja Project webpage. The August 21st letter clarifies that the map request is for a Tentative Map with Exception and not a “Vesting” map. The August 28th letter is the request for postponement of the September 7th meeting. The applications for CUP, ARB and Tentative Map are still incomplete and the applicant is working on completing the applications. There is no date yet for publication of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR); technical documents that will provide source information for the DEIR are still being prepared.

 

News Update - 7/11/17

On June 29, 2017, Castilleja submitted a Request for a Preliminary Parcel Map for a 6.58-Acre site to merge two R-1 parcels (1235 and 1263 Emerson Street) with the Castilleja School Campus parcel (1310 Bryant Street). The process for this request is the Tentative Map Process involving review by the Planning and Transportation Commission and action by City Council. The map may be reviewed at the Planning and Community Environment Office on the 5th floor of City Hall. To view the proposed map submittal online, please enter the address 1310 Bryant Street and look for file 17PLN-00234 at our Building Eye page or download visit our ACA page to download plans.

 

News Update - 4/28/17

Castilleja submitted several documents on April 28, 2017. They have not yet been reviewed and distributed but may be viewed at the Planning and Community Environment Office on the 5th floor of City Hall. Among the documents is a revised plan set.

View: April 28, 2017 Revised Plans Submittal

Additional documents will be uploaded in the coming week.

 

News Update - 1/10/18

Castilleja School submitted several documents on January 8, 2018 (now uploaded on the Castilleja School Project Documents page). The applicant intends to submit updated project plans at the end of February 2018. After the plans are submitted, a link to the updated plans and any other submitted materials will be provided on this webpage. Preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact (DEIR) will resume shortly, since technical documents providing source information are nearly completed, and the applicant has committed to completing the application materials in early 2018. Once the DEIR has been prepared, notice of availability will be disseminated to allow public comment on the DEIR.

News Update - 8/30/17

The Architectural Review Board will NOT conduct the preliminary review of the concept plan for phased campus development on September 7, 2017. The applicant has requested postponement of the meeting. Applicant-submitted letters dated August 21 and 28, 2017 are viewable via web-links on the listed Applicant Submittal Documents in 2017, found on this Castilleja Project webpage. The August 21st letter clarifies that the map request is for a Tentative Map with Exception and not a “Vesting” map. The August 28th letter is the request for postponement of the September 7th meeting. The applications for CUP, ARB and Tentative Map are still incomplete and the applicant is working on completing the applications. There is no date yet for publication of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR); technical documents that will provide source information for the DEIR are still being prepared.

News Update - 7/11/17

On June 29, 2017, Castilleja submitted a Request for a Preliminary Parcel Map for a 6.58-Acre site to merge two R-1 parcels (1235 and 1263 Emerson Street) with the Castilleja School Campus parcel (1310 Bryant Street). The process for this request is the Tentative Map Process involving review by the Planning and Transportation Commission and action by City Council. The map may be reviewed at the Planning and Community Environment Office on the 5th floor of City Hall. To view the proposed map submittal online, please enter the address 1310 Bryant Street and look for file 17PLN-00234 on our Buildingeye page (or this link: ACA to Download Plans).

News Update - 4/28/17

Castilleja submitted several documents on April 28, 2017. They have not yet been reviewed and distributed but may be viewed at the Planning and Community Environment Office on the 5th floor of City Hall. Among the documents is a revised plan set. View the April 28, 2017 Revised Plans Submittal. Additional documents will be uploaded in the coming week.

News Update - 4/24/17

The public comment period on the scope of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will be prepared to evaluate Castilleja’s request has been extended until the close of business on Friday, May 12, 2017. View the revised Notice of Preparation (NOP)

News Update - 4/14/17

The public comment period on the scope of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will be prepared to evaluate Castilleja’s request has been extended until the close of business on Friday, April 28, 2017.

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 to view. 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. 

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.

Project Scoping News Update - 12/21/16

A Request by the Castilleja School Foundation to amend an existing Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Castilleja School to provide for increased student enrollment and a series of phased site improvements. The Castilleja School has been located at its current site in a single family (R-1) zoning district for over 106 years and a CUP is required for schools in this zone. The proposal requests an increase in student enrollment from the current enrollment of 438 and the previously authorized enrollment of 415 to a maximum of 540 students over the course of a phased implementation plan. Castilleja has proposed increasing enrollment by 27 students each year and making the increases contingent on strict transportation demand measures such as a “cap” on student trips by automobile, as well as specific physical improvements to the site. There will be no change to the amount of above-grade floor area that exists on the site (currently 105,710 square feet), and building coverage is proposed to be reduced on the site by nearly 1,200 square feet. The proposal is subject to Environmental Review and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared.

Additional City approvals requested in association with the CUP amendment will include Architectural Review (AR) and a lot merger which is likely to manifest as a request for a Parcel Map with Exception, so that the R-1 zoned lot supporting the school may be increased in size. The Architectural Review (AR) process will focus on a first phase to remove two residential buildings at 1235 and 1263 Emerson Street (alumnae house and head's house) and construct a below-grade garage of approximately 50,500 square feet for 130 parking spaces underneath the existing school site and the two Emerson Street properties that are requested to be merged, in order to increase on-site parking by 133%, and re-route circulation, and enable an associated enrollment cap of 490 students. Requested student enrollment caps of 520 and 540 would be contingent on Architectural Review of future phases, including relocation of the swimming pool to below-grade, installation of a bike pavilion on Bryant, removal of the fine arts center on Emerson, lowering the school's central circle (and including bus circulation), replacing buildings on the southerly half of the site with new buildings fronting Kellogg Avenue, and Bryant and Emerson Streets, and implementation of other proposed site changes.

A scoping meeting in a public hearing with the Planning and Transportation Commission has been tentatively scheduled for February 8, 2017, at 6 pm. The City’s consultant is preparing a draft initial study that will identify potential impacts in several topic areas. Early in the new year, staff will post additional information about the scoping session goals, as well as target dates for publication of reports for public review prior to the scoping session.

News Update - 10/25/16

On Friday, October 28th, Castilleja School will be removing the 120 foot tall Redwood Tree #112 located at 1235 Emerson Street, for which the City recently issued an emergency tree removal permit. 

Beginning October 25th, the adjacent fence and shrubs will be removed to allow for set up of the operation. On Wednesday October 26th, the tree will be ‘de-limbed’. Since rain is anticipated on Thursday October 27th, the next step is scheduled for Friday, when a large crane will be set up for the removal. Once the wood is removed from the site the following day, the site will be cleaned up and the fence will be restored.

The need for removal of the entire tree was recently confirmed by a second consulting arborist, Deborah Ellis, whom nearby neighbors retained following a meeting about the emergency tree removal held at Castilleja School on October 18th. The intent of the additional opinion obtained from arborist Deborah Ellis was to satisfy the neighbors’ concerns regarding the tree. This independent evaluation, which provided a “neutral”, third party determination, will be documented in writing for the City to upload onto this webpage; however, it will not be available to upload until after the tree removal.

The City did not need any written second evaluation to confirm Castilleja’s arborist’s findings; however, Castilleja consented in response to neighbors. The City does not plan to amend the previously issued emergency permit. Castilleja is approved to proceed as permitted.

News Update - 10/14/16

The City of Palo Alto and Castilleja School are hosting a neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, October 18 at 4 p.m. at Castilleja’s Lockey House, 1263 Emerson Street, to discuss neighbor concerns about one of the school’s redwood trees that has been determined to be unsafe and must be removed. The tree is located at 1237 Emerson and its removal has been permitted by the City following verification of its condition by a City arborist and posting by the School. The removal of the tree is unrelated to the school’s proposed expansion plans. Given the tree’s current condition and the beginning of winter storm season, Castilleja has arranged for the unsafe tree to be removed as soon as possible. The City’s Chief Building Official Amy French and Urban Forester Walter Passmore will attend and answer any community questions about the tree’s removal.