Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, September 28, 2000
Stanford, City of Palo Alto propose new plan to provide faculty housing and preserve golf course

President John Hennessy and Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss have worked out a way to relocate faculty housing and thereby save the first hole of Stanford's golf course, officials announced Thursday.

The new plan, which calls for an amendment to a 1997 contractual agreement between the City and Stanford, would allow the university to build faculty housing on an adjacent site, thus preserving the first hole of the golf course.

The original agreement restricted use of 108 acres of Stanford land along Sand Hill Road to athletic fields, academic field research, and open space until 2020. The university had proposed relocating the first hole because it sits on land that, under the 1997 agreement, could be developed for much-needed housing. Instead of moving the hole, the proposal would leave it intact, and, in exchange, designate a 13-acre parcel on Searsville Road and an adjacent 25-acre lot on Campus Drive for faculty housing.

"We feel this is a good solution to a challenging problem of housing needs," Kniss says. "This will allow us to protect the hallowed first hole and the surrounding natural habitat while providing very needed housing."

Hennessy says he is pleased that Kniss supports the new proposal. "This would be a happy outcome for all parties," he says. "We would still have the same amount of space available for faculty housing, and we would preserve a much-valued part of the Stanford golf course."

The proposal also precludes the need to reroute the first seven holes of the 18-hole golf course, a plan announced last Friday by Stanford Director of Athletics Ted Leland.

"We were hoping all along that this was a possibility," says Leland. "This is clearly a victory for all. We're thrilled that we can now accommodate the university's housing needs while at the same time maintaining the integrity and architecture of the Stanford Golf Course."

The proposal must go before the City of Palo Alto Planning Commission and the Palo Alto City Council, which would have to approve amending the Sand Hill Road Development Agreement for it to go forward.