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15Â Â 2.1 Introduction and Summary of Best Practices This is the first in a series of four chapters associated with the sequen- tial stages of the JD process. The recommended best practices are summarized at the right and explored in detail in the pages that follow. The discussion in this chapter focuses on the attributes, activities, and priorities of a successful JD program. It is not meant to imply that every transit agency undertaking or considering a JD project would necessarily need a JD program of this scope, or that every program component addressed here would be applicable to the circumstances of every agency. But it is clear from the transit agency survey, the literature, and the experience of the research team and project panel that, for most agencies contemplating an on-going series of projects, a JD program (tailored to the agencyâs size, type, and portfolio) is foundational. Even if an agency contemplates only a single project or two, the actions outlined in this chapter, taken at project rather than program scale, are the opening steps toward successful implementation. Once an agency has tackled one or two projects, it can circle back and turn its experience and lessons learned into a program that makes sense for them going forward. Underlying this discussion is the widely held belief among transit agencies that it is legitimate for them to be in the JD business in the first place. Historically many transit agencies saw themselves as being in the mobility business only; station area development was the job of local jurisdictions and the private sector. Some agencies presumably still hold that view. But in the survey of 32 transit agencies conducted for this guide, 31 have undertaken at least one JD project, are doing so now, or are actively preparing to do so. This includes six of the seven bus-only or bus-and-streetcar agencies surveyed. Of the 32 agencies, 26 have adopted a TOD/JD policy, are actively working on one, or view their JD activities as an on-going program. C H A P T E R 2 Creating a Joint Development Program Creating a Joint Development Program 1. Confirm that enabling act is aligned with JD requirements; if not, seek amendment. 2. Organize for success: build necessary skills and capacities through staff and consultants. 3. Organize for success: create a TOD/JD office with strong functions and reporting lines. 4. Create and maintain an inventory of potential JD sites. 5. Adopt an official TOD/JD policy commensurate with the agencyâs portfolio and program. A âmodel table of contentsâ is suggested. 6. Include TOD use, density, urban form, and parking standards in the TOD/JD policy. Chapter 3: Planning a Joint Development Project Chapter 2: Creating a Joint Development Program Chapter 4: Choosing a Developer Chapter 5: Executing a Joint Development Project
16 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies 2.2 Legal Tools Whether the goal is a comprehensive JD program or a single project, a transit agency must be confident that the roles and responsibilities it proposes to undertake are, in fact, allowed by law. In particular, the agencyâs enabling act must be aligned with the contemplated JD activities. (As used in the guide, the term enabling act includes not only the agency-specific enabling statutes typical of most transit systems, but other forms of authorizations and charters that serve an equivalent function. Examples include joint powers agreements; interstate compacts; county, city, or regional government charters; and sections of a state transportation or public utility code.) The research team asked the 32 surveyed transit agencies about their enabling acts and reviewed nearly two dozen of them. (AppendixÂ I includes a more detailed analysis as well as links to the acts that were collected and reviewed.) A few enabling acts (eight of the 32 in the survey) explicitly authorize JD, by description if not by name, as part of the agencyâs public purpose. Provisions like these are ideal, but they are the exception. In the more typical enabling act, JD is not explicitly addressed. Rather, the authority to undertake JD is implicit in the power to act in support of the transit mission and to exercise two sets of general powers: â¢ Transit agencies are typically granted broad and flexible powers to acquire and dispose of real property. The acquisition of land is usually limited to transit purposes, but land origi- nally acquired for transit purposes can subsequently be sold or leased for development. (This includes, among other things, land originally acquired for surface park & ride lots, a common JD strategy.) Some acts place limitations on the disposition of land originally acquired by eminent domain (for example, a requirement to first offer the land back to the former owner at the taking price). â¢ Agencies are also typically empowered to enter into a wide range of contractual agreements with public and private entities including, explicitly or by implication, federal and state agen- cies, local and regional jurisdictions, for-profit and non-profit developers, land-owning agen- cies, funding sources, and others who might become party to a JD transaction. FigureÂ 10 summarizes a best practice set of enabling act provisions and a parallel set of more typical provisions that most agencies find sufficient for JD purposes. While this represents a high-level checklist of threshold legal requirements, a thorough review of the act by counsel, alongside other applicable laws (such as state and federal contracting, procurement, and admin- istrative procedures statutes), is essential. Absent at least the sufficient level of these capabilities, the agency may need either to seek an enabling act amendment or to enter into a partnership with a sister public agency that has the missing legal capability and is willing to use it in partnership with the transit agency. Enabling act amendments can pose some risk, since stakeholders or legislators with other interests may seek to include further changes. Very few transit agencies have the statutory power to acquire land for the explicit purpose of JD. Of the 32 surveyed for this guide, only five are so empoweredâthe Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro), San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Austinâs Capital Metro- politan Transportation Authority (Cap Metro), and Vancouverâs Translink. So is one regional planning and development authority, Oregon Metro, whose federally-assisted TOD/JD program is allied with but separate from that of the transit agency, TriMet.1 One power almost never conferred on a U.S. transit agency is control over land use regula- tion and entitlement. In virtually all cases, development on transit agency property, like station area development in general, is subject to local zoning. This is a fundamental legal and political parameter for JD, requiring the transit agency and its development partners to operate within pre-existing zoning or to work with local authorities to pursue new zoning or zoning relief.
Creating a Joint Development Program 17Â Â There are a handful of exceptions, notably BART, whose enabling act was amended in 2018 to exempt BART lands within a half-mile of a station from many TOD-related aspects of local zoning (Assembly Bill 2923); and Miami-Dade Transit, whose charter (the Miami-Dade County Code) creates a Rapid Transit Zone within which the parent county government has TOD zoning powers that supersede normal municipal authority.2 2.3 Organizing for Success Skills and Capacities JD is a complex, multi-disciplinary business. Success requires expertise in a wide range of subjects, summarized in FigureÂ 11. The transit agency and private sector interviews conducted by the research team, as well as the literature, emphasize these capacities, many of which lie outside the traditional capabilities of U.S. transit agencies. The entire list does not necessarily apply to each agencyâs circumstances, but agencies undertaking JD will eventually need to deploy most of these capabilities. Even agencies with broad JD experience may find that, as their programs grow, it is impractical to fully staff all of these capabilities in-house. Virtually all the transit agencies surveyed for this guide or otherwise familiar to the research team use a combination of in-house staff and consultant resources. A common pattern is to build overall JD leadership, a core skill set, and control of project-related decisions within the agency staff, while outsourcing the more special- ized skills and the peak workload associated with multiple projects. Several tendencies appear with respect to outsourcing: â¢ Many agencies outsource aspects of deal analysisâmarket demand studies, appraisals, analyses of proposed financial terms, review of pro formas, and, if applicable, brokerage. These skills may be outsourced both because of their specialized nature and as a matter of policy, to establish impartiality. It is important to understand the distinction between Figure 10. Alignment of key enabling act provisions with joint development.
18 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies market demand analysis, on the one hand, and real estate transactional skills, on the other; both are essential. â¢ In the private sector survey, several developers emphasized the importance of a transit agency not only engaging specialized economic consultants but also recruiting in-house staff with a real estate background and the ability to understand developer arguments about financial feasibility, project structure, and residual land value. For a robust JD program, the guide recommends such in-house knowledgeâideally including the TOD/JD directorâas an organizational best practice. â¢ Agencies often use consultants to draft the content of solicitation documents [Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs)] and to help evaluate the resulting submittals. However, accountability for developer selection, and the resulting recommendation to the governing board, should always remain with agency staff. â¢ Project-related legal, right-of-way, and engineering work may be divided between in-house departments and specialized consultants. Those transit agencies that are departments of a city, county, or regional government may have access to deeper in-house resources in these technical areas and thus have less need for these consulting disciplines. With respect to legal matters, the skill set required for complex real estate development transactions extends well beyond the traditional enabling act, administrative law, and right-of-way issues managed by the legal department of a transit agency or its parent entity. There is no universal cookie-cutter formulation for the division of labor between staff and consultants. Where to draw this line is an agency-specific judgment, based on size, experi- ence, and culture. A small agency may not want or need an in-house office or department for just a project or two and might choose to outsource most aspects of the work. On the other hand, some agencies with emerging programs are adding staff, with an eye toward operating largely in-house. And at least one major regional transit agency with a robust and long- standing JD program (the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) has outsourced Figure 11. Joint development skills and capabilities.
Creating a Joint Development Program 19Â Â all but its core TOD/JD leadership function since the 1990s. Wherever the staff/consultant line is drawn, it is critical that the agency have sufficient staffing and skills to effectively manage their consultant resources and maintain control of the program. The Organization Chart The organizational structure through which JD is promoted and managed is of real conse- quence, and senior management should be intentional in its approach. Four points stand out, and while the structure may be less elaborate in smaller agencies with flatter organizations, the questions of where the agencyâs JD leadership is located, and how empowered it is to coordi- nate with internal departments and external stakeholders, must be addressed. The relationship between JD and TOD. Based on the transit agency survey and the research teamâs experience, it is desirable that the JD effort be part and parcel of a broader TOD program. This does not imply that JD and TOD are interchangeable concepts; JD is defined by its transactional relationship to the transit agency and its ability to generate lease or sale proceeds, cost avoidance arrangements, or other forms of financial return. However, as explained in ChapterÂ 1, almost all JD is a subset of station area development, and transit agency policy should promote genuine TOD outcomes at both levels. The skill sets, external relations, and policy issues overlap, and from the perspective of regional and community stakeholders, the boundary between JD and the adjacent TOD is ideally invisible. This blended TOD/JD organizational format is common. In many agencies, the effort, while devoted mostly to JD, is known as the TOD program or TOD office. It is important to make clear, particularly through the agencyâs official policy (see Section 2.5), that JD is a core mission of this office. For consistency, the terms TOD/JD program and TOD/JD office will be used in this discussion. Organizational position and resources. The support of the governing board is critical. For the TOD/JD program to be seen as an agency priority, the board should make this effort accountable to senior management. This can be achieved by creating a dedicated TOD/JD office and constituting it as a direct report to the chief executive officer (CEO), or, in a larger, deeper organization, to a senior manager reporting to the CEO. The TOD/JD program should generally not be housed within a traditional âproceduralâ department such as procurement or legal. These departments are likely to be involved in JD but should not lead it; the TOD/JD effort is one of aspiration, policy tradeoffs, and complex stakeholder relations. For the same reasons, TOD/JD should not be subordinated to the traditional real estate department. An effective practice, however, is to restructure the real estate department as a combined and amply resourced real estate and TOD/JD operation, bringing the institutional knowledge of the agencyâs real property staff under the same roof as their JD colleagues. Several agencies have created robust operations of this type. For example, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has created a combined Office of Real Estate and Parking, led by a vice president reporting to the chief financial officer. The latter reports to the CEO/general manager. The office has staff teams responsible for JD, station planning, asset management (including traditional real estate functions), and commuter parking operations. As of 2020, the combined office had a staff of 12 (exclusive of parking operations).3 The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has created an Office of TOD and Real Estate, located within the Department of the Chief of Staff (who reports directly to the CEO). Within this office, three divisions are responsible for JD (including vertical construction as well as retail and other concessions on station property); real estate (traditional property and right-of-way activity, including administration of JD ground leases); and public art (which
20 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies is recognized as an integral part of the station grounds and environment). As of 2020, the office had a full-time staff of 12âfour dedicated to TOD/JD but with cross-over support from the real estate division of the office.4 The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has adopted an innovative variation, turning its TOD and real estate operation into a non-profit subsidiary, the RideKC Development Corporation. The development corporation board of directors has several members in common with the KCATA governing board, as well as additional members bringing focused attention to TOD/JD.5 Internal Coordination. JD programs, not to mention individual JD projects, require input and buy-in from several internal departments at multiple stages of development. In addition to legal, real estate, and procurement, the required coordination will typically extend to bus and/or rail operations, finance, public safety, risk management, engineering and construction, parking and revenue, and other offices. Intra-agency coordination, while ultimately responding to the direction of the CEO, is a key consideration in selecting a TOD/JD director. With proper senior management support, is the TOD/JD leader equipped to proactively and effectively coordinate with this array of colleagues, each charged with safeguarding their own parts of the system? Can the TOD/JD director get the agency to speak with one voice on both policies and projects? External Relations. In addition to internal coordination, the TOD/JD director should be empowered by senior management to deal directly with five key external stakeholder groups: â¢ Other transit agencies (in regions with multiple providers)âespecially where those sister transit agencies share stations with the agency in question; â¢ FTA and, if applicable, other federal agencies that may have a funding or regulatory role in a specific JD project; â¢ Local, state, and regional government agencies, from land use jurisdictions to economic development authorities; from metropolitan planning organizations to state DOTs and any other state agencies with a funding or regulatory role (such as in affordable housing, infra- structure, or brownfield remediation); â¢ The development community; and â¢ Neighborhood associations and other community stakeholders. The TOD/JD staff must know how to conceptualize and implement transactions involving the issues, disciplines, and skills outlined above. Led by the TOD/JD director, they must be able to identify and resolve issues both internal and external, negotiate complex terms, manage and support specialized consultants, and maintain momentum. FigureÂ 12 illustrates the role of the TOD/JD director, commanding a network of internal agency departments and external stakeholders. Central to this role is the ability to be a translatorâbuilding a shared understanding among actors who may not speak each otherâs political, professional, or economic languages. A successful TOD/JD leader must understand real estate development and station access, transit capital and transit operations, public policy and public financeâhelping the agency, the developer, and the community coalesce around the inevitable tradeoffs. Communication is a core competency. While the agency CEO would typically be involved in discussions with his or her public agency counterparts (such as the mayor of the host city or the FTA regional administrator), it is important that the TOD/JD director be skilled at managing day-to-day communications across this nexus of people and activities. These discussions should begin at an early stage of program development, when FTA, the host municipalities, the develop- ment community, and others have a chance to embrace (and help shape) the big picture. Departments Typically Involved in JD TOD/JD Office Real Estate Legal Finance Risk Management Procurement Parking & Revenue Community Affairs Bus and Rail Ops Public Safety Engineering Accessibility
Creating a Joint Development Program 21Â Â 2.4 Inventory of Potential Joint Development Sites Virtually all transit agencies own developable property. Even those that operate only street- running bus or trolley services may own potential JD sites, particularly at transit hubs or parking lots. Complex multi-site portfolios are more characteristic of agencies that provide rail services in dedicated or grade-separated off-street alignments. It is along such corridors, and particularly at their stations, that the transit system meshes with the surrounding real estate fabric. Potential JD sites could include several property types: â¢ Land parcels, either stand-alone or contiguous to a transit facility, that are not needed for current or future system needs; â¢ Parking lots, busways, and other operating facilities that remain in demand from a functional standpoint but could potentially be relocated, reconfigured, reduced, or consolidated to free up land for development; â¢ Air rights over rail or bus alignments or station facilities; â¢ Leasable commercial premises within an existing or planned station; and â¢ Non-revenue facilities, such as operation and maintenance centers, police stations, or even the agency headquarters, that are due to be constructed, replaced, or upgraded and could become part of a JD project. To create a JD program, an agency must know what it owns. Which sites does it own out- right, and where does it hold easement rights that could facilitate a development? Which of its properties are encumbered by easements held by others, or by environmental restrictions, or by limits on disposition under state or federal law? Which properties, while vacant or underutilized today, should be preserved for future system improvements? An agency with numerous real property holdings does not need perfect information about every conceivable JD site on day one, but it will need basic information about many of them, and more advanced information about some, in order to begin advancing a thoughtful program. Proper asset management normally requires an inventory of all real property. The subset of the inventory related to potential JD serves several practical purposes. Most important, it provides * Other federal agencies where applicable (e.g., U.S. DOT, FHWA, FAA). ** Includes municipal and county governments, regional entities, metropolitan planning organizations, state DOTs. Figure 12. Director of transit-oriented development/joint development as coordinator, communicator, and translator.
22 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies the basis for the agencyâs JD site assessment and prioritization process (described in ChapterÂ 3). Some agencies publish their property information, to invite expressions of market interest that can help inform that process. [See, for example, the on-line site inventory maintained by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), or the interactive map of all publicly-owned station area properties maintained by Metro Transitâs parent agency.6] In the event of an unsolicited proposal, an accurate and up-to-date real property inventory can help frame the agency response. In deciding how elaborate a site inventory to prepare and which elements to emphasize, several points should be noted: â¢ FTAâs award management procedures require an annual inventory of property in which there is an FTA interest. This exercise helps the transit agency compile its overall inven- tory, while flagging FTA-affected sites. An FTA property interest, where applicable, will be reflected in the subsequent JD process and potentially in the structure of any transaction. The significance of an FTA real property interest is addressed at length in ChapterÂ 6. â¢ There may be other circumstances involving a propertyâs original acquisition that restrict its potential reuse or disposition, or at least need to be addressed and accounted for. These limitations may reside in the funding source that enabled the acquisition or in state law. â¢ Park & ride lots represent a key JD resource, as discussed at length in Section 7.4. In maintaining a JD site inventory, it is advisable not only to identify the ownership, nominal parking capacity, and current utilization of each lot, but to track utilization changes over time and to note any future system improvements that could impact site availability. â¢ A property inventory is especially important in older, legacy rail corridors. Property owner- ship is often idiosyncratic, with multiple parties, public and private, owning fragments of what were once unified railroad company holdings. Railroad environments are also prone to complex easements and vertically mixed ownership. Todayâs station, parking lot, and track configurations may reflect historic ownership boundaries and leave little margin for error. A good example is Caltrainâs Rail Corridor Use Policy, adopted in 2020, which evaluates the compatibility of potential development or other non-rail use of its property against current operations and the need to preserve future service expansion options. All Caltrain-owned prop- erties are mapped and sorted into four property use zones, each with a set of allowable uses. These uses are further restricted in the case of properties needed for future capital improvements.7 2.5 Transit-Oriented Development/ Joint Development Policy The remaining programmatic step is for the transit agency to adopt and publish an official policy that tells staff, developers, local officials, and other stakeholders, in a single agency voice, how it will approach and implement JD. In the survey conducted for this guide, most of the 32 transit agencies had adopted an official JD policy or were actively working on developing one. The research team collected and reviewed the official JD policies of 10 U.S. transit agencies. This review, with web links to on-line policy documents, is available as an in-depth resource in AppendixÂ G. It is clear in examining the agency policies that there is no universal structure or framework. A policy can consist of a single document; a summary document with linked appendices addressing specific policy topics in greater detail (for example, the BART TOD Policy); or a series of related documents that together cover the major policy topics.8 The single- document and summary-document formats are more user-friendly and are recommended. Nor is there a standard nomenclature. Some agencies, such as LA Metro or WMATA, call their document a JD policy. Most, however, use the term TOD policy or TOD guidelines, even if JD is a principal focus or the principal focus. For consistency, the term TOD/JD policy will be used here.
Creating a Joint Development Program 23Â Â The model table of contents shown in FigureÂ 13 includes nine topics, some broad and some quite specific. All nine will not necessarily apply to a given agency. However, as a menu of poten- tial topics, this table of contents represents a composite best practice. The first four topics, which relate to the definition and structure of the policy itself, are dis- cussed in some detail below. For the others, which involve specific procedures (such as developer selection) or policy choices (such as affordable housing), a brief discussion is provided here, with cross-references to the corresponding sections of the guide where the substance of each topic is more fully explored. 1. Philosophy, definition, and goals. The policy should establish what the agency hopes to achieve through its JD work. As noted previously, transit agencies commonly point to three over-arching goals: deriving revenue from an asset (or âmonetizingâ it), increasing ridership, and promoting TOD, smart growth, equitable development, and sustainability. The official TOD/JD policy is where these JD goals can be refined and prioritized in a way that makes sense for a particular agency, its senior management, and its governing board. Potential policy priorities are listed in FigureÂ 14. This listing is a menu of JD policy goals, not a prescriptive hierarchy. Many agencies prio- ritize asset monetization, but others would place expanding ridership and farebox revenue first. Others would place TOD placemaking or social equity at the top of their list. The best practice is to determine what is important to the agency as a public institution and to articulate its own hierarchy of goals in a way that is clear to developers and other stakeholders. The goals expressed in the TOD/JD policy can then be translated into specific evaluation criteria for indi- vidual projects, as discussed in ChapterÂ 4, and negotiating parameters, as discussed in ChapterÂ 5. The goals articulated in the policy should reflect not only the values embraced by the governing board, but any pertinent guidance in the enabling act or other applicable lawâ for example, a mandate to obtain fair market value (FMV) for agency property, or to forego fair market value in favor of a competing goal, such as the Sound Transit enabling act now requires with respect to affordable housing. A statement of agency JD goals can be a simple listing or a more elaborate formulation. Among the most interesting examples are the set of tiered evaluation guidelines adopted by the Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD); BARTâs discussion of program goals and Figure 13. Agency transit-oriented development/joint development policy.
24 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies philosophies in âWhat BART Expectsâ and its accompanying set of specific performance targets; and the Equitable TOD Policy adopted by Sound Transit to reflect the shift in its enabling act toward affordable housing as a top-tier goal.9 2. The distinction between JD and TOD. The substantive and organizational overlap between JD and a transit agencyâs broader TOD agenda has been noted previously. A key function of an official TOD/JD policy is to explain both the overlap and the distinctionâdefining JD, identi- fying it as a distinct component of the agencyâs TOD agenda, and clarifying the different roles that the agency plays in each sphere of activity. For JD, the transit agency is a sponsor, partici- pant, and in many cases a landlord. For TOD in general, it is a stakeholder and an advocate. This framework is expressed with particular clarity in the TOD/JD policies of MARTA, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), LA Metro, and Sound Transit.10 Sound Transitâs TOD Strategic Plan introduces a unique vocabularyâAgency TOD (in essence, JD) and Community TOD (TOD in general)âand explains the distinct agency roles in each.11 LA Metro has adopted the term transit-oriented communities (TOCs) to describe the countyâs broader TOD agenda and Metroâs role in it, with JD expressly understood as one building block.12 3. TOD land use, density, urban design, and parking standards. It is a best practice recom- mendation that the official TOD/JD policy include high-level standards embodying the core ingredients of TOD. These standards have a two-fold purpose, which should be clearly stated: â For JD, where the transit agency is a direct participant with a degree of control over the development program, these TOD standards should be tailored to each project and included in developer solicitation documents. Because JD (with a handful of exceptions across the country) is subject to local zoning, transit agencies cannot impose their own land use regu- lations. But they can articulate a set of standards that, to the degree consistent with zoning, will be required in their own JD projects. These standards also define what types of zoning modifications or relief the agency would support with respect to a JD project. â For station area TOD in general, the standards signal the types of outcomes that the transit agency would support in zoning discussions, comment letters, and other forums in which it acts as a TOD stakeholder and advocate. Figure 14. Potential joint development policy goals. It is a foundational principle of this guide that station area development should be not merely transit-adjacent, but truly transit-oriented.
Creating a Joint Development Program 25Â Â Consistent with local conditions, the TOD standards should address the foundational subjects of density, mixed uses, the public realm, and parkingâthe topics summarized in FigureÂ 15. While normative in nature, the standards should be flexible and adaptable. They should align with any TOD overlay district enacted or contemplated by local zoning authorities. Numeric standards should be expressed in ranges, reflecting the wide variety of local conditions. A number of transit agencies have included normative TOD standards as part of their TOD/JD policies. Among the many examples are BART, MARTA, the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAAC), the MBTA, and Capital Metro.13 4. A stepÂbyÂstep procedural framework. With respect to JD projects, the policy should provide an overview of the agencyâs public process, from deciding to advance a site through devel- oper selection, project refinement, negotiation, and construction. Steps requiring approval by the agency board should be clearly identified, as should the various stages of community outreach and consultation with local officials. A summary diagram, like the one published by LA Metro and shown in FigureÂ 16, conveys consistent information to internal and external stakeholders. An on-line approach is used by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), whose TOD/JD Standard Operating Procedures are available in a user-friendly, multi-tiered web page that enables the reader to overview the process or to drill down for substantial detail about a given step.14 5. Developer selection process and unsolicited proposal policy. The TOD/JD policy should describe explicitly the process that the agency will use to solicit and select JD partners. If the agency uses a menu of different solicitation formats, it should describe them in the policy and reserve the flexibility to choose the most appropriate for a given project. The policy should state explicitly the ethical standards governing competitive selection. It is strongly recommended that the policy include specific provisions regarding unsolicited proposals. An agency may encourage such proposals or discourage them, and if it finds an unsolicited proposal to be of interest, it may choose among several ways to proceed. Figure 15. Transit-oriented development standards for joint development.
26 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Â© Figure 16. Sample joint development process diagram.
Creating a Joint Development Program 27Â Â But because unsolicited proposals can be unexpected and potentially disruptive, and because the parties submitting them may have expectations about the process going forward, it is important to publish a legally grounded policy that reflects the views of senior management and the governing board. ChapterÂ 4 provides a detailed discussion of developer selection and unsolicited proposals. 6. Explicit preference for longÂterm lease over sale. As discussed in ChapterÂ 3, it is considered best practice, in structuring JD projects on transit property, to convey the development rights by long-term lease rather than outright sale. Because this issue is consequential and a com- mon source of tension between transit agencies and developers, it is recommended that this preference be stated up-front in the TOD/JD policy.15 7. Station access and replacement parking policies. Parkingâa core JD issue affecting finances, ridership, and equityâis discussed at length in ChapterÂ 7. Parking for residential, commer- cial, and other JD uses should be addressed as part of the TOD standards discussed above. But an equally important issue, especially when an agency seeks to repurpose existing park & ride lots, is deciding how much of that parking to replace at whose cost. The best practice is to evaluate replacement parking on a case-by-case basis, based on overall net ridership and revenue impacts, rather than assuming 1:1 replacement. This set of issues should be addressed as part of the TOD/JD policy, as BART, WMATA, and other agencies have done.16 Parking is part of the larger jigsaw puzzle of station access, which is evolving as alternatives to driving and parking gain traction. One family of alternatives is increased pedestrian and bicycle access from nearby TOD. Another is the growth of shared mobility services, such as transportation network companies (TNCs), district and employer shuttles, and other first-mile/ last-mile services. Micromobility services like bus and scooter sharing can extend the foot- print of traditional ped-bike access. Feeder bus lines and other transit services remain critical not only in accessing the station, but in serving people commuting to or from the JD. Transit agencies with off-street stations should develop an access plan that informs park & ride deci- sions and other aspects of predevelopment site planning. 8. Affordable housing policy. Affordable housing has also emerged as a core JD issue. While lying outside the traditional comfort zone of most transit agencies, affordable housing can affect equity, ridership, project finances, and community perceptions. Best practice recom- mendations for the content of affordable housing policy are addressed in ChapterÂ 7, where this issue is discussed in depth. The threshold recommendation, for JD programs in regions with significant housing cost issues, is to develop an affordable housing policy appropriate to local conditions and priorities, and include it in the official TOD/JD policy, as several transit agencies have now done. 9. New corridor planning and multiÂagency partnerships. Where relevant, it is recommended that a transit agencyâs TOD/JD policy address strategies for expanding the JD horizon. Two such strategies involve how to address station location, alignment, and right-of-way assembly when planning new or extended transit corridors; and a readiness to collaborate with other land-owning agencies in identifying and assembling JD sites. LA Metro, Sound Transit, and Miami-Dade Transit (through its parent, Miami-Dade County) are agencies whose TOD/JD policies identify TOD in general, and JD in particular, as day one strategic objectives in new corridor planning.17 The project engineering team should understand that TOD/JD is an integral part of the project concept. Endnotes 1. Based on agency interviews and review of enabling acts. See enabling act links in Appendix I. 2. BART: https://bart.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=6808667&GUID=69E99772-9051-42AF-9066- 7E522AAE25BA. Miami-Dade: http://miamidade.fl.elaws.us/code/coor_ptiii_ch33c. In 2019, the County began the process of establishing an expanded TOD overlay district.
28 Guide to Joint Development for Public Transportation Agencies 3. Information provided by WMATA, May 25, 2020. 4. MARTA interview; https://www.itsmarta.com/real-estate.aspx; https://itsmarta.com/uploadedFiles/More/ About_MARTA/FY20%20Adopted%20Operating%20Budget(1).pdf. 5. https://www.kcata.org/about_kcata/entries/board_of_commissioners. 6. DART: https://www.dart.org/economicdevelopment/2018TODPropertyInventory.pdf; Metro Council: https:// metrocouncil.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=923f81cb9e5d4dd5ba3ad2742f4dceb4. The Metro Council map shows all public properties (including Metro Councilâs), with transit guideways and half-mile station âbuffersâ delineated. 7. See https://www.caltrain.com/projectsplans/Plans/RCUP.html. 8. https://www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/BART_TODGuidelinesFinal2017_compressed_0.pdf 9. RTD: http://www.rtd-denver.com/documents/tod-evaluation-guidelines-2018.pdf; BART: https://www. bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/BART_TODGuidelinesFinal2017_compressed_0.pdf, Part 2; Sound Transit: https://www.soundtransit.org/st_sharepoint/download/sites/PRDA/FinalRecords/Resolution%20 R2018-10.pdf. 10. MBTA/MassDOT: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/10/17/TOD_Policy.pdf; MARTA: https:// www.itsmarta.com/uploadedFiles/More/Transit_Oriented_Development/TOD%20Guidelines%202010-11.pdf; VTA: https://www.vta.org/sites/default/files/2020-01/Transit-Oriented%20Development%20Policy%20%20- %20VTA%20Board%20Adopted%2012.05.2019%20Accessible.pdf. 11. https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/20140423_RPT_TOD.pdf. 12. See LA Metroâs 2019 report on the emerging TOC strategy and its relationship to the JD program: https:// media.metro.net/projects_studies/joint_development/images/reportTOClessonsLearned.pdf. 13. For MARTA and MBTA, see Endnotes 4 and 10, respectively. For BART, see Endnote 8. 14. https://www.rideuta.com/Doing-Business/Transit-Oriented-Development/Standard-Operating-Procedures. 15. An alternative to long-term lease is for the transit agency to contribute its property as equity and maintain an ownership stake in the JD project. See the UTA discussion in Chapter 4. 16. BART Station Access Policy (https://www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/E-%20BART%20Access%20 Policy%20-%20Adopted%206-9-16_0.pdf). 17. LA Metro: https://media.metro.net/projects_studies/joint_development/images/jdpolicy_2016-1201.pdf; Sound Transit: https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/20140423_RPT_TOD.pdf.