PALO ALTO, CA-By a unanimous vote, Santa Clara County commissioners gave their approval of Stanford University’s community plan and general use permit for its controversial development of approximately four million sf of academic space and housing on its 8,000-acre campus.

While technically the university did not need to seek the county’s approval, even though a portion of the property lies within unincorporated Santa Clara County, it did so to lessen the likelihood of future stumbling blocks in light of protests by neighboring communities. The public outcry came at the time of Stanford’s submission of plans over the development of open spaces in the hills behind the campus. As a concession, the university has agreed to a temporary hold on development of that area, though skeptics have voiced concerns about the duration of the self-imposed stay.

Now that approval has been granted, the Stanford will move forward to its constructing new laboratories, a basketball arena, and performing arts center. Plans call for approximately 3,000 residential units, with groundbreaking for 350 units of graduate student housing set for the next six months.

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