Better Options for Housing and Transportation

Upcoming events:

Stanford General Use Permit - Thursday, May 18


The League of Women Voters of Palo Alto and Palo Alto Forward are co-hosting a salon to learn more about the Stanford University General Use Permit (GUP). In November 2016, Stanford University submitted an application to Santa Clara County for an updated General Use Permit to authorize the next phase of campus land use in the coming years within unincorporated Santa Clara County. This effort requires Stanford to ensure that their physical spaces serve the needs of their students and faculty and facilitate the groundbreaking research that has contributed so importantly to the world around us.  The process also involves consultation with neighbors and community partners.

This event is free to League of Women Voters Palo Alto or Palo Alto Forward members and $5 for non-members.  All members of the public are welcome to attend!


Jean McCown

Associate Vice President, Office of Government and Community Relations

Jean McCown focuses on Stanford’s government and community relations efforts and initiatives at the city, county and state level. She maintains relationships with community-based organizations, government officials, local businesses and citizens to support effective communication and dialogue within the Stanford community and between Stanford and its neighbors.

McCown was a member of the Palo Alto City Council from 1990 to 1998 and served as mayor in 1993. She previously served on the Palo Alto Planning Commission and on regional transportation committees including the CalTrain Joint Powers Board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Before coming to Stanford in 2004, McCown was a partner at the law firm of Ritchey Fisher Whitman & Klein, where she focused on land use, environmental and real estate matters.

McCown serves on the boards of the Greenbelt Alliance and the Palo Alto Housing Corporation. She received the John Gardner Leadership Award in 1994 and the Athena Award in 2004. McCown received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Michigan, a Masters degree in History from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Boalt Hall.

Whitney McNair, AICP
Director, Land Use Planning, Stanford University 

Whitney McNair, AICP, leads the Office of Land Use and Environmental Planning (LUEP) for Stanford University to support the senior administration and the Board of Trustees with recommendations for long-term land uses and the protection of land-based resources.  LUEP strives to balance the stewardship of lands for future University needs and protection of the local environment. McNair provides advice on securing land entitlements for University development and actively works with the local agencies to communicate Stanford's priorities for its lands and maintain compliance with regulations. 

McNair has a background in city planning, with a particular emphasis on policy development and implementation. She has worked throughout the Bay Area on large, complex, high-profile projects. She has been instrumental in the preparation of award-winning planning documents, ranging from design guidelines, specific plans and precise plans. 



We are a group of residents interested in crafting a vision for the future of Palo Alto that expands choice, opportunity and quality of life. We believe in approaching challenges like traffic and parking with a "can-do" attitude and believe there are positive outcomes and opportunities when we plan for future growth holistically and in strategic locations.

We are a coalition of all ages: some who are younger energetic, and optimistic that creative thinking can solve challenges many find impossible; others who are older, experienced, and keen to pass on a legacy of innovation, opportunity, great schools and amenities to future generations. We live in South Palo Alto, North Palo Alto, and the midtown neighborhoods. We own and rent. We have young children and children who have left the nest. We walk and bike and drive but we all wish we had better options.

We have one year to shape Palo Alto's new Comprehensive Plan, which will set housing and transportation policy until 2030. We invite you to join us as we engage with City Council members and city staff to champion better options for housing and transportation.  We need your help to make this vision a reality!

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