At its May 18, 2015, meeting, the Planning Commission
unanimously approved the use permit, architectural control, and sign review allowing the German-American International School
, a local private school, to operate at 475 Pope Street. The GAIS has operated at the former O’Connor School site at 275 Elliott Drive for over 20 years, and will be relocating to 475 Pope Street due to the Menlo Park City School District’s decision to re-occupy the O’Connor School site with a new public elementary school. The proposed educational program would include preschool through 12th grade, where the high school program would be phased in over a four-year period. An enrollment of up to 400 students will be phased in over a multiyear period. The proposed site improvements include six new portable buildings, new play areas, storage sheds and a new freestanding sign. Although several neighbors expressed concerns regarding potential traffic impacts, the Planning Commission felt that GAIS has been a good neighbor in the past, and since the site would continue to operate as a school, a private school would enable the City to exert more control over its operation as compared to a public school. Additionally, the conditions of approval pertaining to traffic would help minimize traffic impacts to the surrounding neighborhood. The Planning Commission's action is final unless appealed to the City Council.