As BART continues to make its way to the South Bay, it is critical that high-density housing and affordable housing is prioritized at every station area. The need for housing at these areas is heightened by the job expansion underway in Downtown San José. Employees filling the many new office buildings that are now in the planning and construction process will need homes. Locating these new homes near transit ensures increased ridership for our public transportation system, lower impact on our already overcrowded freeways, and convenience for the new workers.
In June 2021, the San José City Council unanimously approved the Berryessa BART Urban Village Plan. The Plan, which envisions housing-rich, transit-oriented development at the current Silicon Valley BART extension terminus, creates the capacity for over 5,000 new homes. In keeping with the City’s Urban Village goals, the Plan targets 25% of these new homes as deed-restricted affordable. SV@Home was instrumental in working with city staff to advance a housing-rich vision for Berryessa and significantly increase the Plan’s overall housing capacity.
The Council also approved a related re-zoning application from one of the largest landowners in the Plan Area, which is a major step in realizing the City’s vision. While we are still at an early stage of the implementation process, we are pleased that the engaged developers and landowners are already laying out a housing-rich zoning plan that would create the transit-oriented development the city desires. Additionally, the involved developers have already prioritized developing clear plans for meeting the affordable housing requirements on-site within the Urban Village for any development proposal that they bring forward. SV@Home is looking forward to continuing to collaborate with the landowners and the city to ensure that the housing and affordable housing planned for the area are able to move towards implementation and construction.
Underlying both of these decisions has been the fate of the Berryessa Flea Market and its vendors. They have been put in a difficult situation where the land use planning process has advanced without a true resolution to the Flea Market’s status. We are pleased that a negotiated solution was reached, with the vendors fighting to secure $5m to support the transition as well as a commitment to incorporating elements of the existing market into the proposed new development. We recognize that this issue will continue to be discussed and evolve over the course of the Berryessa BART Urban Village Plan’s implementation and hope that the agreement reached in late June of 2021 will help vendors keep their businesses going.
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