GGS Letter to CA High Speed Rail Supporting Downtown Station

California High Speed Rail Authority Board
770 L Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Gilroy Downtown Station/Viaduct Alignment 

Dear CHSR Board Members,
We are writing you to express our support for the downtown viaduct alignment for the Gilroy High Speed Rail Station.  We are an active citizens group that put a successful Initiative on the November 2016 ballot to draw an Urban Growth Boundary around Gilroy.  Our purpose was to preserve prime agricultural land, focus development inward and promote the revitalization of our historic downtown core.  We strongly feel that compact development will benefit the City of Gilroy in many ways and that having the High Speed Rail station downtown (adjacent to our historic Caltrain depot and multi-modal transportation hub) will stimulate economic development in Gilroy through Transit Oriented Development.

Since our 67% victory in 2016 we have an active Core Group that has attended most City Council and Planning Commission meetings and spoken on similar issues.  We have an e-newsletter that reaches over 300 community members bringing them up to date on the issues. And we have taken an official position in favor of the aerial downtown alignment.

In 2012, after many months of community workshops paid for by CHSR, our then City Council upheld the consensus of the citizens who voted at the end of the workshops, for the Downtown alignment. But now, after two years of a more in depth study of the Downtown Station alignment, the current City Council is reluctant to take a position.  Many downtown business owners are afraid of the effects of the construction period on their businesses. The Gilroy City Council, to date, has still not taken a position on the alignment. Thus we are writing to you as we understand you will soon be making the final decision.

The County of Santa Clara has also taken a position in favor of the downtown Gilroy alignment because they want CHSR to avoid their 15,000 acre agricultural preserve east of Gilroy south to the County line.

We urge you to choose the Gilroy Downtown Station Viaduct Alignment when you make your final decision. We also ask that you implement measures to protect our downtown merchants and community from construction impacts, and compensate them for properties or businesses that are taken or lose business during the construction period. Thank you for considering this request.

Connie Rogers, Chair
Gilroy Growing Smarter