Castilleja Listens and Responds


Scaled-down Garage: 28% Less Square Footage, Conserves More Trees, Preserves Homes


In July 2019, The City of Palo Alto released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for Castilleja’s modernization project, and while the DEIR attested to many strengths—including the plan’s sustainability goals, reduced noise impacts in the neighborhood, and enhancement to the visual character of the neighborhood—it also pointed to areas for improvement. The school closely reviewed the DEIR’s findings, public comments, and feedback from our neighbors to devise a project alternative to mitigate impacts. In addition, the new California Green Building Code allows additional improvements.

Responding to community input and the DEIR findings, Castilleja has: 

  • Reduced the size of our garage from our original submittal by 12,850 square feet, or 28 percent

  • Reduced our underground parking by 35 spaces, or 30 percent 

  • Conserved 16 more trees than our original preservation plan 

  • Preserved two homes on Emerson Street to provide much-needed housing and protect the neighborhood feel 

  • Distributed drop-off to avoid traffic impacts 

  • Eliminated the underground encroachment into the setback along Embarcadero Road 

  • Moved food deliveries and garbage pick-up off-street and below-grade 

  • Redesigned pool to be below-grade and behind a sound wall 

  • Designed the buildings to blend with neighborhood aesthetic 

  • Reduced the number of events held on campus

Scaled-down Garage: 28% less square footage and 30% fewer spaces