Growth Management

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 from 6-8 p.m., Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero


On June 10, 2014, about 30 community members gathered in the Palo Alto High School Library for the second of three community workshops to learn more about and discuss the City’s update of its Comprehensive Plan, Our Palo Alto 2030. The meeting, a forum on growth management, covered trends among jobs, housing, and population growth in Palo Alto, and an overview of growth management tools utilized in other cities.

This workshop identified areas of the city that might change, and areas that should be protected and preserved over the 15-year life of the updated Comprehensive Plan. Participants formed four small groups of 6 to 8 people to complete an exercise, sharing their opinions on where they believe change and preservation should or should not occur. Using land use maps and colored markers, each group circled areas or corridors they believe future growth and change could be accommodated, emphasizing the need to preserve the majority of Palo Alto as open space and single-family neighborhoods. After the small group discussions, a spokesperson from each group summarized the opportunity sites that their group identified throughout the group exercise.

The community input received at this meeting informed the “alternative futures” workshop on June 24 at the Palo Alto Elk’s Lodge. Attendees at the June 24 workshop considered “alternative futures” that would become the basis for alternatives to be studied in the Environmental Impact Report for the Comprehensive Plan Update. These alternatives were extensively analyzed and discussed in order to develop a collective vision for the policies and programs in Our Palo Alto 2030.


At each breakout group, participants marked up a map of the city to suggest areas that may be appropriate to accommodate growth and change by 2030. As shown on the maps below, a number of common areas—dubbed “opportunity sites”—emerged from the groups as they worked through the exercise. The first map presented below synthesizes the input from the four groups into a single set of potential opportunity sites. These sites are:

  • University Avenue Caltrain station
  • El Camino Real at the southwestern edge of Stanford University
  • California Avenue Caltrain station
  • Stanford Research Park
  • East Meadow Circle
  • San Antonio Road

Copies of each map from each small group are shown on the right side of this page. Opportunity sites identified by each group are:

  • Group 1: in the Downtown, at the Stanford Research Park, and adjacent to the Highway 101 corridor south of Embarcadero Way.
  • Group 2: in the Downtown, at the Stanford Research Park, at the Midtown and Charleston Shopping Centers, at the California Avenue Caltrain station, and near the East Meadow Circle area.
  • Group 3: at the Stanford Shopping Center, and at the California Avenue Caltrain station.
  • Group 4: along the El Camino Real corridor, at the University Avenue Caltrain station, and near the East Meadow Circle area.