Belmont eyes tougher resolution demanding underground HSR
- Published Saturday, September 11, 2010, by the Palo Alto Daily Post
Belmont weighs tougher rail talk
Council member backs PA proposal
By Ryan Thomas Riddle
Daily Post Staff Writer
Belmont is poised to possibly take a stand against high-speed rail with a sterner resolution than it had considered before, but one council member thinks the city needs to take a "no confidence" stance like the one Palo Alto is considering.
"I think we should have a vote of no confidence in here," said Councilwoman Coralin Feierbach. "I think that would be best."
The resolution originally written for Belmont wasn't as stern or specific, and the council sent it back for another draft. The latest draft, which the council will consider on Tuesday, is more direct.
"The city of Belmont does not support the development of high-speed rail on the existing Caltrain right-of-way," said the resolution.
The newest draft calls for a tunnel or covered trench that is paid for by the state high-speed rail authority and not the city.
It calls for "full reimbursement for economic hardship that construction will cause; these are the only options that the city of Belmont can support." The resolution noted that the authority supports tunneling in San Francisco and San Jose.
The authority has decided that the trains should zip above Belmont on an aerial skyway 30 feet in the air and 80 feet wide.
Harmful to city
The resolution also goes through the negative impacts the skyway will have on Belmont, citing diminished property values and reduced "quality of life" for hundreds of seniors and disabled and low-income residents living within a 100 feet of the right of way.
Feierbach had originally suggested the city pass an anti-high-speed rail resolution like the city of Orange in Southern California approved in July. She said the newest resolution was better but not as good as the Orange resolution.
[BATN: See also:
Belmont mayor urges Altamont Pass / East Bay HSR route
Belmont to fight HSR; official says Fox News "would really love it"
Belmont, Burlingame and Atherton may formally oppose parts of HSR
Following Orange's lead, Belmont to ponder resolution opposing HSR
Belmont eyes setting aside $30-40k per year for HSR lobbying
Belmont meeting on Peninsula HSR draws nearly 200