June 30, 22010
Chairman Pringle and M Members of t the Board
California High Speed R Rail Authorityy
925 L Streeet, Suite 142 25
Sacramen nto, CA 95814 4
Subject: Requeest for Funding for High Speed Rail Deve elopment Imp pacts
Dear Chai irman Pringle e and Members of the Board:
This correespondence is s sent by the cities of Gilro
oy and Morga an Hill (hereinnafter “City/Cities” or
separately y “Gilroy” or “Morgan Hill” ”) as a reques st for fundingg in order to a adequately ad ddress the immpacts
of the Higgh Speed Rail (“HSR”) proje be imposed upon the Cities
ect that will b f its travel
s by virtue of
alignment t and planned d station location. As you and the Boar rd are aware, Gilroy is a planned station n
location aalong the trav vel route fromm Merced to S San Jose. Thee impact of a station in Gilroy will be
significantt in terms of passenger tra affic and the llocation of facilities. To addequately eva aluate the
implicatioons of HSR’s p project on our r communitie es, both Morg gan Hill and G Gilroy require the financial
assistance e of the HSR A Authority (“HSRA”).
As with an ny developme ent project thhat impacts o our communit ties, we look tto the projectt proponent f for
funding to o cover our co osts in evaluaating such pro oposals. While we are awa is a project of
are that this i f the
state of California, non netheless, you ur project’s broad impact t to our Cities oof 52,000 and d 42,000,
respective ely, is extreme by any mea asure. Clearlyy, cities of our size do not possess the r resources to
independently fund the required ev valuation and d planning efforts for your project. Whi ile Gilroy andd
Morgan H Hill are genera ve of the HSR project, we r
ally supportiv require projec om the HSRA to
ct funding fro
adequately ensure our r citizens are represented t through prop per evaluation n and coordinnation with th he
HSR team m of the many y complex issu ues and details of the HSR plan.
According gly and throug , the Cities request funding for the follo
gh this letter, owing evaluat tive measures
reasonably necessary t at coordinatin
to our effort a ng the HSR pr roject with yo ou:
1. Revie ew and Evalua ate the HSR A Alternative A Alignment Stu udy and the P Project EIR – GGilroy.
Two pprimary rail alignments hav ve been identified for Gilroy, the ‘Downtown’ alignm ment and an
‘Easts nt. The propoosed construc ction of HSR ttracks throug gh Gilroy pressents many
comp plicated and te echnical issuees that City sttaff cannot itsself address. TThere are que estions about t
transpportation and d community development planning, gr rade separations, construc ction staging,
Maint tenance of W Way facilities, High Speed Train (“HST”) s station locatioons, parking ffacilities and rail‐
transi HST, Caltrain, Greyhound b
it interface (H bus, Santa Cla ara Valley Transportation A Authority (“VT TA”)
mass transit). The HSR Alternative Alignmen nt Study will bbe identifying at a minimum m two (2) HST T
on locations and a minimum m of six (6) hoorizontal and alignments th
d vertical rail a hrough the Cit ty of
Gilroy. More options are expected to surface once the environmental document starts to analyze
the major issues. In addition, roadway grade separations will play a large part of the project as the
HSR tracks cross through the City. The design of the grade separations will have major impacts on
properties, land use and traffic circulation that will need to be well understood by the community.
Finally, the construction of the HSR tracks is to be a design‐build project. This process has a value of
time and money for the HSRA, but adds a level of uncertainty to the City. The traditional design‐bid‐
build process allows the City to understand the complete project before construction starts.
Impacts on neighborhoods, businesses and circulation will not be fully known until construction is
underway. It is important that the City, through these study tasks, understands, to the greatest
extent possible, all construction impacts so that options can be developed.
2. Review and Evaluate the HSR Alternative Alignment Study and the Project EIR – Morgan Hill.
The alternative alignment study proposes two rail alignments for Morgan Hill, both of them offering
different sets of challenges. The two rail alignments are the ‘East of Union Pacific Railroad (“UPRR”)
to Downtown Gilroy’ alignment which traverses through Morgan Hill’s downtown area and the ‘US
101 to Downtown Gilroy’ alignment. These would be identified as the City preferred options that
can be presented to the High Speed Rail Board.
The proposed construction of the HSR tracks through Morgan Hill presents complicated and
technical issues that City staff cannot thoroughly and adequately address. There are questions about
transportation and community development planning, grade separations, construction staging, and
rail‐transit interface (HST, Caltrain, Greyhound bus, VTA mass transit). In addition, the presence of
the new tracks could have adverse impacts to the local economy that must be reviewed and
understood. As with the City of Gilroy, the design of the grade separations will have major impacts
on properties, land use and traffic circulation that will need to be clearly articulated to the
The ‘East of UPRR’ alignment poses two primary concerns for the residents of Morgan Hill. First, it
will visually and physically bisect the City right through the downtown area and will directly impact
the City’s highest density housing now in place and as planned for in the future. The HSR project
must be evaluated against the recently completed General Plan Circulation Element and Downtown
Specific Plan. Secondly, the construction of the HSR tracks adjacent to the UPRR right‐of‐way
requires the relocation of Monterey Road through the City’s historic Madrone area. Our citizens will
expect that these impacts are properly reviewed and mitigated.
As proposed, the ‘Hwy 101’ alternative would potentially create a physical barrier between the US
Hwy 101 and the City’s prime commercial corridor east of the freeway. This corridor is where such
economically critical businesses as auto dealerships are located and its success is dependent on
good visibility from the freeway
The design‐build aspect of the project does make a thorough local review all the more important.
Impacts on neighborhoods, businesses and circulation will not be fully known until construction is
underway. It is important that the City, through these study tasks, understand to the greatest
extent possible all construction impacts so that options can be developed.
3. Review and Evaluate the HSR two (2) Potential High Speed Train Stations (Downtown Station and
Eastside Station) – Gilroy.
There are two (2) alternative HST station locations proposed for the City of Gilroy. The final location
will be determined by the rail alignment chosen for the area. Within those two HST station options
there will be a few different options.
For the Downtown location, there are questions about use of UPRR surplus right‐of‐way for a station
or the use of the existing Caltrain station. Questions such as where 6300 parking spaces will be
located and the proximity of the HST station to the existing Caltrain station must be thoughtfully
evaluated and answered.
On the East Side, how the HST station will be accommodated in the existing 100 year flood plain
needs to be thoroughly studied and evaluated by the City. Questions such as whether the station is
better located close to the SR 152 corridor or more central to the Gilroy Premium Outlet Malls on
Leavesley Road require evaluation from a planning agency standpoint. The parking for the HST
station at this location will also require review and evaluation from a planning agency perspective
including issues such as weighing the alternatives of a surface parking lot versus a parking structure
that provides shorter walking distance.
It is vitally important that the City understands how the pieces of the project come together both
from the HSRA standpoint (presumably getting the project constructed) and the City’s standpoint so
that informed choices can be made that best preserve the integrity of the Gilroy community.
4. Review and Analyze Traffic Circulation Impacts for HSR Alternative Alignment Study and the
Project EIR and HST Stations – Gilroy.
The future of Gilroy is dependent on its circulation system. This includes not only the HST and the
associated HST station and attendant parking areas, but also the roadway network for cars, trucks,
buses, bicycles, pedestrians, Caltrain service and UP freight service.
Gilroy has developed a Circulation Master Plan utilizing a roadway grid network that is customer‐
friendly to all modes of transportation. The UPRR tracks were constructed many years ago and
Gilroy has developed around this existing infrastructure. Gilroy has many at‐grade railroad crossings
which facilitate the movement of goods and people across the tracks for the betterment of the
community. The US Hwy 101 was built in the 1970’s and its construction severed many east/west
streets in the City. Ever since, the City has been working to remedy the street severance problem
and relieve circulation issues for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The City will need to
thoroughly analyze the HSR project including the project’s cumulative development build out on
traffic congestion and circulation to ensure that HSR does not create a situation in which irreparable
damage is done to the area. This is both a practical circulation matter as well as an environmental
5. Design Specific Plans for two (2) HST Station Alternatives and Accompanying Parking Structures ‐
Major tasks include all the attendant studies and work to:
a. Modify Downtown Specific Plan for a HST station and 6300 space parking structure
b. Design East Side Specific Plan for a HST station, 6300 space parking structure and mixed use
development similar to Downtown Specific Plan.
One of the goals of the HST is to promote and establish a transit‐oriented development around the
HST station locations. Gilroy is well positioned to assist HSR with that goal as it has already adopted
a mixed use Downtown Specific Plan that is transit and pedestrian oriented. The challenge for the
Downtown HST station will be to integrate a trenched HST train design adjacent to the UPRR tracks.
Doing so will displace many existing businesses and affect many residents as well as potentially
divide the City. The allocation of approximately 6300 parking spaces will be a challenge to integrate
into the current Downtown Specific Plan. In‐depth discussions with downtown businesses, residents
and property owners will be necessary to develop an acceptable plan.
On the Eastside, the HST station is proposed for agricultural land. As highlighted in the HSR goals,
the Authority seeks to have transit‐oriented development around the HST stations. Accommodating
this along the Eastside alignment will require a major effort to work with property owners to
establish a Specific Plan to address this need. This vision is similar to the existing Downtown Specific
Plan and would incorporate a mixed use of housing, retail and office space, accommodated by a grid
network of roadways, pedestrian and bicycle facilities that encapsulate the HST station. If the East
Side HST station is chosen then transit and Caltrain rail connection will be a challenge that needs to
be addressed so that riders on the Eastside HST station can transit to and from the Caltrain hub
located in the Downtown.
6. Review and Evaluate the HSR Project EIR for Rail Alignment and HST Station ‐ Gilroy.
The HST project will have a variety of environmental review requirements given the numerous
alignment options and the significantly different HST station locations. For the City to grasp the
magnitude of these environmental changes, both during construction and long term, it will be
necessary for the City to fully understand the environmental impacts, including environmental
justice impacts. While we respect that the HSRA will be undertaking the completion of these
environmental reviews, the City must be able to independently evaluate the environmental
An economic impact study is also critical for the City to review and evaluate. Many businesses or
prime farming lands will be lost or severed by the proposed HST project. Many new businesses will
be established by this new transportation mode and its connection to the region and the State. The
City needs to review and understand the advantages and disadvantages of the project options.
7. Coordinate internal City staff meetings (Fire, Police, Planning, Engineering etc.) and neighborhood
outreach meetings for HSR Alternative Alignment Study and the Project EIR – Gilroy.
The development of the HST plan will put an extreme stress on City staff to be able to analyze the
technical elements of the documents, understand the implications of the impacts and community
changes, communicate the magnitude of changes to City Council, community residents, businesses,
and property owners, and coordinate discussions with City departments concerning issues during
the construction and operational stages of the project. Issues include, but are not limited to,
emergency response, police patrols, engineering, construction, inspection and coordination, traffic
parking issues, neighborhood issues and land use issues for Planning.
Cost Anal lysis and Fund ding Request t
1. Review and Evalua ate the HSR A Alternative Alignment Study and the Pro oject EIR ‐ $125,000
y (Cost estim
Gilroy mate included in #2 below)
2. Review and Evalua ate the HSR A Alternative Alignment Study and the Pro oject EIR – $250,000
Morg gan Hill
3. Review and Evalua ate the HSR tw wo (2) Potent tial High Spee ons for Gilroy
ed Train Statio y $125,000
(Downtown Station and Eastsid de Station ‐ Gi ilroy (Cost estimate includ des both itemms
1 and 2)
4. Review and Analyz ulation impac
ze traffic circu cts for HSR Alt gnment Study
ternative Alig y $300,000
and thhe Project EIRR and HST sta ations – Gilroy y
5. Design Specific Pla ans for two (2) HST station alternatives and accompa anying parking $120,000
structtures – Gilroyy
6. Review and Evalua ate the HSR Project EIR Env vironmental r review for rai il alignment $60,000
and HHST station ‐ GGilroy
7. Coord dinate interna al City staff m
meetings (Fire, , Police, Plannning, Engineeering etc.) andd $3000,0001
neighborhood outreach meetin ngs for HSR Al lternative Aliggnment Study y and the
Projecct EIR – Gilroyy
Total Fundinng Required a and Requeste ed $1,280,000
Chairman Pringle, the Great Recession has devas stated our Cit ties’ budgets and service levels. Gilroy lost
71 employ yees to the reecession alon ng with appro oximately $8 m million in reveenue. Morga an Hill has faced
continued evenues. As m
d loss of its re mayors, we w were forced to o make the co orresponding expenditure
reduction ns to achieve e equilibrium. As you can im magine, we do o not have thhe financial reesources to
undertake e the above‐h highlighted ta asks. The task represent only an absolute
ks identified in this letter r ely
necessary y minimum level of review w on the part o of our Cities. We recogniz ze your Autho ority’s
responsib bilities to the citizens of thiis state to bring about a pr roject pursuaant to the authorities you h have
been give en. Yet, Gilroyy and Morgan n Hill are key parts of your r plan and thee residents an nd businessess of
our Cities deserve the funding nece essary to complete our obligation to rev view and analyze this proje ect
According gly, and for all the reasons expressed he erein, we form mally request gh Speed Rail
t that the Hig
Authority provide the f funding ident corresponden
tified in this c nce so that the Cities can pperform the
necessary y due diligenc ce on behalf o of the citizens s of our comm munities.
Very trulyy yours,
Al Pinheiro ate
Mayor of f Gilroy Mayor oof Morgan Hiill
7351 Ros t
sanna Street 1755 Peaak Avenue
Gilroy, CA 037
Morgan Hill, CA 950
408‐846‐ ‐0202 408‐779‐7271
nts a multi‐year cost spanning
Represen 0‐11 and FY 2011‐12.
g both FY 2010