As with any major transportation project in an urbanized area, some relocations of residential and non-residential occupants are unavoidable for the Project to be completed. However, the Project team seeks to minimize the number of potential acquisitions and resulting relocations as part of its planning efforts.
Federal and state laws require a public agency to prepare a program to appropriately address impacts to property occupants that may arise as a result of the agency’s acquisition of the property. California law requires the program to be documented in a Relocation Plan that is formally adopted by the agency.
A Draft Relocation Plan was prepared and made available for public review and comment (August 17 through September 17, 2018) in accordance with California law.
VTA also held four public forums to present the Draft Relocation Plan and receive comments throughout the month of September.
A Final Relocation Plan has been prepared to respond to the public comments received and will be submitted to VTA’s Board of Directors for its review, consideration, and adoption at its December 6, 2018 meeting. The adoption of the Final Relocation Plan is a critical milestone in the Project schedule and will allow the Project to enter into negotiations for the first phase of property acquisitions.
Progress to Date
VTA retained Associated Right of Way Services, Inc. (ARWS) to support VTA in relocation activities. ARWS assisted in preparing the Draft Relocation Plan, which describes the Project, anticipated impact, available replacement site information, and a summary of VTA’s Relocation Assistance Program.
In June, VTA sent General Information Notices to all property owners and potentially impacted occupants that were identified in the final environmental document for the Project. The General Information Notice introduced the ARWS team and invited property owners and occupants to meet with ARWS throughout the months of July and August to better understand the Project, schedule, how the Project may impact them, and what assistance could be available under the Relocation Assistance Program.
The public review and comment period was held between August 17 and September 17, 2018. During this time, ARWS collected feedback to inform the Final Relocation Plan which includes: the project description, description of potential impacts, a summary of relocation resources for impacted occupants, the description of VTA’s Relocation Assistance Program, and responses to comments received on the Draft Relocation Plan.