San Jose City Council to vote on VTA transit land for more affordable housing in Bay Area

ByDavid Louie and Lena Howland KGO logo
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
SJ city council to vote on VTA transit land for more housing
The San Jose City Council is expected to vote on a new VTA affordable housing plan at a meeting on Tuesday.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Every city in the Bay Area is under pressure to build more affordable housing, and on Tuesday, the San Jose City Council is expected to vote on a new VTA plan during its meeting.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is thinking of using extra land from some of its light rail stations as new mixed-use housing.

If approved, the affordable housing project would not only help San Jose with its housing need by building 328 apartments, but it would allow VTA to raise some much-needed additional operating funds.

It would take up seven and a half acres at VTA's Blossom Hill Light Rail Station.

In addition to the 328 apartments, it will also build commercial space and community room, as part of a vision to put housing and jobs where people would have easy access to transit.

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VTA says it could raise 30 million dollars by leasing 140 acres of surplus land it owns in seven cities.

With ridership down on both the VTA bus service and light rail, it's revenue critical to staying afloat.

"It can pay for improvements, connections, better connections to the stations, some capital improvements that can provide for some basic maintenance and operations for the system," said Carolyn Gonot, VTA general manager.

"It's always the right time to build transit-oriented development, certainly in silicon valley, it is absolutely always the right time to be building housing," said Alex Shoor, Catalyze SV executive director, who supports the project. "We need so much of it, the housing crisis has only unfortunately gotten worse in the last couple of years, it's been magnified because of the pandemic so every single housing unit we can get in our community is important."

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The first step is city approval of the Environmental Impact Report and Zoning, so the developer can proceed.

San Jose City Council is expected to vote on this on Tuesday during its meeting at 1:30p.m.

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