Project Update

Final Environmental Impact Report and City of Palo Alto Hearings

In 2016, Castilleja submitted a Master Plan to modernize campus and increase enrollment while minimizing impacts on the neighborhood. The City of Palo Alto released a Draft Environmental Impact Report on the project in July of 2019. This April, Castilleja submitted a new Project Alternative for consideration, with a scaled down garage that conserves trees and preserves homes. It addresses impacts cited in the Draft Environmental Impact Report. The City of Palo Alto released the Final Environmental Impact Report in July. Since then, the Historic Resources Board, the Architectural Review Board, and the Planning & Transportation Commission have reviewed the project and voted to move it along in the City process. At this point, we anticipate the City Council will begins hearings in early 2021.

FEIR Findings: The Facts Speak for Themselves

The Final Environmental Impact Report, which was approved by the Planning & Transportation Committee, affirms that Castilleja’s Project Alternative with Distributed Circulation/Reduced Garage is environmentally superior to any other project - including a split campus option or a complete relocation. 

The following facts are pulled directly from the FEIR:

  • The project will not cause any significant or unavoidable impacts

  • The project Is 100% compliant with Palo Alto’s Comprehensive Plan, the City’s guiding tool for development, and is compatible with the neighborhood.

  • With mitigations, the project will not bring new traffic to the neighborhood.

  • With required transportation management mitigations, enrollment will have a
    less than significant impact on the neighborhood.

  • With required mitigations, noise from construction and events will have a less than significant impact on the neighborhood. 

  • The project will have a less than significant impact related to energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions, with no mitigations required.

  • With mitigations, the project will have a less than significant impact on trees.

  • Relocating and splitting the campus are not supported, because there are no parcels within Palo Alto that can accommodate the school, and splitting the campus would negatively impact the organizational mission.

Over the last eight years, Castilleja has responded to community feedback and transformed its proposal to meet the needs of the community. The resulting project preserves housing, protects trees, exceeds state and local sustainability standards, includes a reduced underground parking facility, does not add traffic, and is compatible with the existing neighborhood. 

And the time is now to make this educational opportunity available to more girls and young women.



Email City Leader
If you would like to write to the Architectural Review Board, the Planning and Transportation Commission, or the City Council please contact Emily McElhinney or Elke Teichmann for details.