Guiding Principles of Land Use - Home Page

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Design Guidelines
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The Role of Local Government & Transit First Policies
Guiding Principles of Land Use
Flexible Zoning Strategies
Street Design Implementation
Revising Transportation Analysis Practices
Transportation Demand Management
Rethinking Vehicle Parking Requirements
Parking Management
Best Practices to Attract Successful Developers
Clarifying Design Expectations
Integrating Retail into Transit Oriented Development
Community Planning for Rail Transit
Additional Resources

As the Congestion Management Agency (CMA) and transit agency for Santa Clara County, VTA plays an active role in integrating land use and transportation planning.

VTA’s Land Use and Transportation (LUTI) program seeks to strengthen coordination of land use and transportation strategies with local jurisdictions and the development community by promoting equitable and sustainable development and expanding mobility options.

As part of the LUTI Program, VTA manages a Development Review Program to engage in local near-term development projects and long-range land use and transportation policies (e.g., General Plans or Specific Plans) in order to encourage a multimodal/transit-integrative planning approach.

VTA’s guiding principles for integrating land use and transportation reflect the values of equity, partnership, sustainability, and resilience.

  • Equity: An outcome and process that enables just and fair access to opportunities so that all can participate and thrive.

  • Partnership: an ongoing process to build shared understanding and common ground with local jurisdictions, community, developers, and other institutions to achieve meaningful results.

  • Sustainability: integrating social, cultural, economic, and environmental conditions to reduce impacts on future generations.

  • Resilience: ability to account for vulnerabilities (e.g., existing inequities) and withstand the impacts of varying types of adversity (e.g., economic or climate related changes).  

The guiding principles overlap and are strengthened when implemented together. The principles represent how VTA will work closely with local jurisdictions on land use planning efforts (e.g., development projects and long-range plans) at the earliest planning stages. They can also provide a framework to expand mobility options in sustainable locations (e.g., promoting growth in close proximity to VTA’s Frequent Network), and to preserve and enhance VTA operations and the quality of service VTA provides. The principles form the foundation of a transparent, comprehensive, and streamlined process for VTA, including VTA internal procedures, development review process, and other tools to facilitate well-integrated and structurally safe development adjacent to transit facilities, and ensure early and ongoing coordination. Successful implementation of these principles will create high-quality, equitably built environments that enable multimodal access, support fast and efficient transit operations, and create transit ridership.

Build Effective Partnerships

Build shared understandings and common ground with various community development stakeholders to support equitable Transit Oriented Communities.

Support Transit Service and Increase Ridership

Expand access and incentivize choices for all riders by making it easier, safer, more comfortable, and convenient to get to and from transit services.

Support Equitable Transit-Oriented Communities

Equitable development acknowledges that the value generated by transit and TOD can increase housing and other costs and accelerate displacement.

Prioritize Multimodal and Sustainable Travel

Promote active transportation and high-capacity transit as the prioritized access strategy to increase equitable impact and support healthy, active, and engaged communities.

Case Studies

  • San José, CA, USA - Diridon Affordable Housing Implementation Plan
  • Denver, CO, USA - Denver TOD Fund
  • Oakland, CA, USA - Fruitvale Unity Village