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October 2, 2001

For More Information, Contact:
Jamille Moens at (916) 651-4011


SACRAMENTO - Assemblymember Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today that the Stanford University Community Plan and General Use Permit (GUP) have been awarded the Outstanding Planning Project award by the Northern Section of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA).  The annual award singled out the Stanford Community Plan and GUP for recognition from among all such planning efforts in Northern California.

Simitian, a former Santa Clara County Supervisor who saw the planning effort through from inception to adoption, said he was “gratified” by the recognition of the County’s efforts.  “So many people worked so hard and so well for so long to produce a good result.  I’m tremendously pleased that the final product has received this kind of recognition.”

The Community Plan and GUP were the product of nearly two years of intense and sometimes controversial public debate.  Simitian noted that, “The Community Plan and GUP were my principal preoccupation during my last two years on the Board.  And despite the fact that the process was sometimes contentious, I think the final product was a good one – a Community Plan and GUP that allow Stanford to continue its pursuit of excellence while providing substantial land use protections for the surrounding communities.”

Simitian credited County staff with “a Herculean effort” and praised an “almost unprecedented degree of community involvement” in producing a quality plan.  “In the final analysis,” Simitian observed, “the process matters.  The product is only as good as the process.”

Sarah Jones, the County’s Principal Planner on the project, said she was delighted at the recognition and described the Community Plan and GUP as, “probably my greatest professional challenge to date.”  She noted that, “The constant involvement and interaction of County staff, community members, Stanford University, former Supervisor Simitian and his staff, as well as surrounding communities, meant that everyone’s legitimate interests were considered and incorporated into the Plan and the GUP.”

The APA’s Northern California annual winner is selected by a team of professional city planners active in the American Planning Association.  The APA represents over 4,000 professional planners in California and 30,000 professional planners from throughout the nation.




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