On June 4, 2018, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project (Phase II Project) a Record of Decision for its federal environmental document. With this action, and VTA’s Board of Directors’ certification of the state environmental document, VTA received the authority to acquire property for the Phase II Project.
As with any major transportation project in an urbanized area, some relocations of residential and non-residential occupants are unavoidable for the Phase II Project to be completed. However, the Project team seeks to minimize the number of potential acquisitions and resulting relocations as part of the design and 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. The Final Relocation Plan can be downloaded here.
Real Estate Process To Date
VTA retained Associated Right of Way Services, Inc. (ARWS) to support VTA in relocation activities. ARWS assisted in preparing the Final Relocation Plan, which describes the Phase II Project, anticipated impact, available replacement site information, and a summary of VTA’s Relocation Assistance Program.
All property owners and potentially impacted occupants that were identified in the final environmental document for the Phase II Project received General Information Notices from VTA in June 2018.
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.
The 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 2018.
The Final Relocation Plan was adopted on December 6, 2018 meeting. The adoption of the Final Relocation Plan is a critical milestone in the Project schedule and will allow the Phase II Project to enter into negotiations for the first phase of property acquisitions.