More than 40 local residents and business owners tuned in to VTA’s first public meeting soliciting feedback on possible new housing near the Winchester Light Rail Station. The January 19th virtual gathering informed attendees about the potential project, including the process of creating a transit-oriented development, which offers housing conveniently located near transit.
Participants expressed several key interests, including a desire for more affordable housing in the community, safe routes for bicyclists and pedestrians, and landscaping elements to create safe streets.
Attendees took part in activities to help VTA staff identify community values that participants would like to have considered in a new development at this location. Following an initial live poll to get a read on attendees (demographics, renters vs. homeowners, travel behavior, etc.), participants used virtual digital boards to indicate their desired priorities for the project, such as:
- More affordable housing
- Safe routes for bicyclists and pedestrians
- Landscaping elements to create safe streets
Next, attendees identified areas for improvement to be considered in the design of a future transit-oriented development at the Station. These included concerns over current congestion around Winchester Station and insufficient existing bike trail connections.
Following the presentation and participant activities, representatives from VTA, the County Office of Supportive Housing, and the City of Campbell answered questions about the potential development. Community questions included:
- How many units would be built?
- Why is this intended to be an affordable housing project rather than a mix of incomes?
- Is VTA looking to do a similar project along the Hamilton or Campbell Stations?
Answers to these questions, and more, will become clearer if/when proposals are brought before the VTA Board, and a developer is chosen.
VTA staff explained the process for moving this project forward (selecting a developer, environmental studies, City approval, etc.) and the benefits of Transit Oriented Development, including:
- Better train station/bus stop access, including for residents of potential new housing
- With greater transit access comes more transit ridership and less drivers on the road (less roadway traffic congestion, reduced greenhouse gas emissions)
- More environmentally sustainable land use
- Greater housing equity, empowering people to live in the communities where they work
- Additional long-term revenue to support VTA transit operations and capital investments
- New transportation infrastructure that prioritizes bike/pedestrian safety
As the County’s mobility manager, VTA’s Transit-Oriented Communities program supports efforts to pair housing density with smartly designed safe access near bus stops and train stations to help move travel behavior toward public transit, biking, and walking.
This spring, VTA staff will go to VTA's Board of Directors for project review and approval to release a Request for Offering (RFO) to the developer community. An RFO essentially invites potential developers to submit proposals to build the project, based on what VTA staff learned about community priorities/concerns from outreach efforts like this.
To learn more, please request a presentation to your neighborhood community group or send your questions to the project team by contacting VTA Community Outreach at (408) 321-7575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.