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SJ TAMIEN STATION AREA PLAN BACK ONLINE WITH OUTREACH MEETINGS; QUESTIONS REMAIN

AFTER MANY OFF-AND-ON AGAIN SCENARIOS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS, SANTA CLARA VALLEY TRANSIT AUTHORITY (VTA) IS RETURNING WITH PUBLIC OUTREACH MEETINGS THAT REGARD ITS TAMIEN STATION AREA PLAN, A TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT THAT IS SITUATED BETWEEN GUADALUPE HIGHWAY-87 AND LICK AVENUE IN SAN JOSE.

Notices will be mailed out to residents within ½ mile of Tamien Light Rail/Caltrain Station, in regards to a parking structure project. This will be the preliminary matter with regards to the Tamien Area Plan, as VTA recommences outreach meetings that lead into actual development.

tamien_parking_FINAL

This upcoming meeting will include information regarding the new parking structure; but, also relates to its significant impact on the area, such as to residents that live nearby, as well as persons that regularly use the Tamien Station “Park-and-Ride Lots,” CalTrain, VTA Light Rail and busses.  When the projects begins, current parking needs will be relocated elsewhere nearby, aside from that there will be ongoing construction and possible detours.  Many residents have expressed concern about ample parking being made available during the construction of the new structure.

Jennifer Rocci, a Senior Planner at the Property Development & Management division of the VTA, has expressed intentions to schedule public outreach meetings soon. She has reached out to Torie O’Reilly regarding holding the City community meeting at the Willow Glen Community Center, although that final date and location has yet to be confirmed.  (Look for an update by de·Anza Post).

For some time now, plans have been stalled with regards to the Tamien Area Plan; whereas it will now be starting-up again with a planned 400 car parking facility. That will be a multi-story structure, particularly situated at Lelong Street at Alma Street, whereabouts the south-east corner.   (See a Google Map, here)

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Following these more immediate concerns, area residents will also have the opportunity to get questions and answers on some matters, as for example:

  • Changes for development plans, since Rocketship School abandoned its adjacent site.
  • Plans for the recreation park(s) or “green space” areas, including acreage, design, access, infrastructural features, security, shared use, etc.   Barry Swenson, developer, has been said to be putting up front the money for such parks that will be part of future plans.
  • Public trail continuity from Lelong and Willow Street, along the opposite side of the rail line to Alma Avenue
  • Plans for any under or overpass infrastructure (e.g., pedestrian tunnels, bridge or paths)
  • Direct access to the Tamian Station from the residential development and park areas.
  • Share of automobile parking needs for both adjacent live-in residents and other commuters

Revisiting issues that have involved the Tamien Station Plan, some political regards have also been made in regards to this development in the last year; whereas that is still on topic.  The current direction of the city could be led by either two mayoral candidates: Councilmember Sam Liccardo or Supervisor Dave Cortese.   Last year, there was particular regard towards the interests expressed by San Jose City Councilmember and VTA Board Member, Sam Liccardo, who eventually abstained himself from discussions at the Council Chambers when official Agenda action items occurred at City Hall.  Liccardo was once a domestic partner with Jessica Garcia-Kohl, once noted as Rocketship School’s Director of Community Development.  Liccardo and Garcia-Khol since married as of May 2013.  Although the Rocketship school plan has seemingly been abandoned, allocation of that land use is still at question.  The current mayoral election for the City of  San Jose is only months away, whereas development is beginning again at the Tamien Station Area Plan and some questions still remain un-answered.   At the time of this writing, certain aspects of the development project appear to be indefinite as the election carries out, as well as that the city’s Planning department remains in transition with key staff.

Attached are the preliminary site plans for the VTA project as they have been presented over the last year or more.   Indeed, looking at past land use history, its significant to note that the Tamien Specific Plan and Tamien Station area was designated as a public park (east) and open space/quasi-public (west) as early as May 1995; but, of which, those plans have yet to come fruition, some nearly 20 years   later.  Its been ten years since Barry Swenson Builders got its first permit to build residential units here.  Land use for the east side of Tamien Station was only changed to that of Transit Corridor Residential (aka TOD, or Transit Oriented Development), as of autumn 2011.

 

Tamien Specific Plan

General Plan for Tamien Area, Land Use Designation

Tamien.VTA.Ex.A

Tamien Area Plan, an exhibit by the VTA shows the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project site

Tamien.VTA.Ex.B

Tamien Area Plan, an exhibit by the VTA shows the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project site

Tamien.VTA.Ex.C

Tamien Area Plan, an exhibit by the VTA shows the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) project site

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