PALO ALTO, CA-Stanford University, the largest landowner on the San Francisco Peninsula, has come under fire from neighbors who say it is encroaching on open space.

Last fall, the school submitted a development plan for future growth to Santa Clara County officials — for the first time in a century. In that plan, Stanford said the 2,000 acres of foothills surrounding its campus would remain untouched for the next decade. County officials say the land should stay undeveloped for 25 years.

At a public hearing last week, members of the Stanford Open Space Alliance and other organizations argued that neither plan goes far enough, and that Stanford should commit to permanent preservation.

Stanford is proposing to increase density on its 8,000-acre campus by a third, building 4 million sf of academic space and housing during the next 10 years.

Stanford Open Space Alliance director Peter Drekmeier and other dissenters are skeptical that the 25-year preservation limit will hold out. The university’s accelerated growth plan might mean it will ask for more land in 15 years, they say.

Stanford’s plan comes before the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors in October.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.