Beall Authors High-Speed Rail Bill To Spur Jobs And Economic Development

December 06, 2010
Contact: Rodney Foo @ (408) 282-8920

Assemblymember Jim Beall, Jr. introduced legislation Monday to revitalize districts surrounding high-speed rail areas by promoting residential and retail development that generate jobs and discourage urban sprawl.

Assembly Bill 31 provides incentives for cities with proposed high-speed rail stations to obtain greenhouse gas emission credits, institute and expand enterprise zones around the stations, and help them qualify for federal matching funds to plan for transportation-oriented development.

“With AB 31, we have the opportunity to revitalize areas around the train stations by incorporating a mix of residential, commercial, and retail development that can make those districts the centers of their cities,’’ said Beall, a former Metropolitan Transportation Commission chairman who proposed the creation of the Diridon Joint Policy Advisory Board to help guide the development of San Jose’s future high-speed rail station.

“By ensuring housing and businesses near the high-speed rail stations,’’ said Beall, who worked as an urban planner and served on the city of San Jose’s Planning Commission, “We can cut down on urban sprawl, preserve open space and farm land, and encourage green building development.

“The bill also will help get people back to work, and the new tax revenue generated in these areas can benefit their home communities.’’

Work on the first section of the high-speed rail project, slated for the Central Valley, is scheduled to break ground in 2012. Passenger service could begin in 2017.