Sunday Commentary: The Inequity of the CAAC Process

At Wednesday’s (September 13) planning commission meeting, member Darryl Rutherford raised the issue of fairness of the Core Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) group in terms of the city outreach and the fact that the council, on August 30 as many were still in the midst of their summer, not only passed the framework for the committee but added voting members after taking public comment.

The original deadline was September 18 which has since been extended to September 25.  Mr. Rutherford said that this process does “a disservice to those who aren’t as engaged (who) might be greatly impacted by decisions going one way or another.”

City staffer Ash Feeney responded that “there has been a lot of outreach.”  But he then went on to cite efforts to let traditional organizations like the neighborhood associations know about the process.

Darryl Rutherford responded, “To me I see that as much of a natural thing because a lot of what can happen will have a direct impact to those neighborhoods.”

But he continued, “This is a city issue.  It’s not the central area neighborhood issue.  This is going to affect folks who are in south Davis, west Davis, north Davis.  It’s going to affect low income renters who are looking to find a place to live here in town that’s affordable and will help meet their needs.  It’s going to affect our lower wage workers who are working the majority of the jobs downtown who are unable to live in town or if they are they’re living in substandard conditions or in places that aren’t near where they work.

“Has the city done any outreach to our affordable housing developers?  To the labor unions?  To social justice advocates?” he asked.  “This is a much larger issue than just the core area neighborhoods.  This has – we’re a small town and whatever happens here is going to affect more than just that small little group there.  I’m afraid this process (is) being… shoved down our throats.  September 18 for some folks who aren’t nearly as engaged as others are, those who might not be aware of how the processes work, who might be a very strong applicant to this process – they aren’t having an opportunity to do that and I think we’re doing a disservice to the whole community.”

It is not just Darryl Rutherford, an affordable housing advocate.  But there is a broader range of people who have approached me this week to argue for the inequity of the system and the process.

Mark West, in a piece that was submitted to the Vanguard, wrote, “As it stands, the approach before us focuses on maintaining the status quo and the interests of property owners rather than a downtown evolution that serves the common good of all.

“Where are the representatives for Davis renters, who constitute 55% of Davis residents? How about those representing labor, or the economically disadvantaged? Perhaps more importantly, why have we bestowed three votes to the downtown neighborhood organizations that have a well-documented history of moving from a mindset of scarcity/protection rather than abundance/opportunity?”

He said, “It is critical that the composition of the CAAC represent the full diversity of the Davis community. The plan presented by the City Council and City Staff, thus far, has failed to achieve this values-based community objective.”

Others pointed out that, by asking people to put their education obtained, including schools attended, date graduated and type of degree, we may be deterring those who do not have the breadth of formal education as some in the community and do not wish to compete with those with fifteen degrees after their name.

Some have defended the question by suggesting it is not intended as a screening question but to get at background, but for many they will not view it that way and it may act as a deterrent to get some constituencies who might be heavily impacted to participate.

The problem here and once again is that the city’s approach to outreach is aimed almost exclusively toward existing stakeholders.  When Darryl Rutherford pressed Ash Feeney on the outreach process, Mr. Feeney’s response was that “we have done outreach” and then he talked about the neighborhood associations.

The process set up here is self-perpetuating.  Mr. Feeney talked about the public process, the council meetings where the discussion has taken place, the process that has been endorsed by the city council.

But has that penetrated the population that is not already engaged in the process?  We have been extremely critical of the city’s efforts in the past to do effective outreach and, in this case, we wonder how deeply that outreach process has penetrated.

We have not seen mention of the CAAC on Twitter or Facebook streams – if they’ve been placed there at all, it would have seemed to have been a one-time effort.

Instead, as we pointed out in Saturday’s column, the city has taken the view of the geographical outreach.  As Darryl Rutherford points out, that is fine, this does have a direct impact on those neighborhoods – but, as we tried to make the point on Saturday, the impact here is citywide and it goes well beyond geographic or proximity impacts.

In some discussions I had at Farmer’s Market yesterday, some suggested that our planning process focus on those who are already living here and have a stake in the community.  But, as we saw last Monday, there are 21,000 people who work in the city of Davis but do not live here.  Surely some of those folks have an interest somehow in being part of that process.

A lot of those are low-wage earners who work at the university or in retail and restaurants around town, but cannot afford to live here.  Do they have a stake in this process?  Do they get some sort of voice?  And even if you want to limit the discussion to current residents, surely representatives of labor unions or other worker groups could be effective advocates for those who have no voice right now due to non-residency.

But, as it stands now, this process figures to be comprised almost exclusively of the very stakeholders and individuals who have created and perpetuated the systemic injustice that remains embedded in our city plans.  The only chance to change that is to change the way this process works, but we continue to set up the same old, same old – with the same cast of stakeholders making the same arguments over and over again.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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67 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: The Inequity of the CAAC Process”

  1. Howard P

    Besides the “all-inclusivity” issue, hope someone will look at basic infrastructure needed to serve additional densification in the Core… particularly sanitary sewers… water may be an issue due to the size of the existing pipes… overall capacity for water supply should be fine.  The issue could be in the delivery system.  5-6 stories may require local booster pumps for water pressure.

    Dry utilities (electricity/gas/cabling) may be getting ‘stretched’, as well.

    These potential problems can be solved, to be sure, but may affect costs.

  2. Keith O

    we continue to set up the same old, same old – with the same cast of stakeholders making the same arguments over and over again.

    Ha, that sounds like what’s often said about our local liberal activists, it’s always the same faces that show up to city council meetings with the same old arguments over and over again.

  3. Tia Will

    “a disservice to those who aren’t as engaged (who) might be greatly impacted by decisions going one way or another.”

    The only way that those who are not engaged will be heard is by using their voice. I have attempted to make this easier for those who have expressed unease in speaking at the city council, before commissions, or even posting on the Vanguard to be their voice. I have offered to post opinions forwarded to me in the Vanguard as comments received. I frequently speak on behalf of others at city council on issues that do not affect me directly so that others will be heard.

    he talked about the neighborhood associations.”

    You can only be heard as a neighborhood if you are active in your neighborhood. I recently reached out to a prominent member of the community who lives in North Davis and was told there was currently no active neighborhood association which confirmed my experience as a 20 year resident of North Davis. Not sure about South Davis but will look into it. I would encourage each neighborhood to form such as association to represent their views. We had more than 30 members of our community at our first reconstituted OEDNA meeting and used a democratic process to elect officers and a consensus building process within the core group established by self selection simply by showing up at meetings. I am happy to talk within anyone who is interested in setting up a neighborhood association or can direct you to our leadership.

    surely representatives of labor unions or other worker groups could be effective advocates for those who have no voice right now due to non-residency.”

    I would encourage members of these groups to apply. I would encourage other members of said groups to get up before the City Council and support representatives of their groups for representation on the working group just as OEDNA did. Or if time is lacking, email your City Council members. Most are quite responsive.

    This is a public matter of consequence to the whole city. The City has been open and transparent about the application process for participation. I am now offering my assistance on or off the Vanguard to anyone who feels that their neighborhood or group is not being represented but is hesitant or does not know how to proceed.  There is still time.

    tia.will52@gmail.com

     

     

  4. Alan Miller

     . . . this process figures to be comprised almost exclusively of the very stakeholders and individuals who have created and perpetuated the systemic injustice that remains embedded in our city plans.

    That is quite a statement, and I’ve heard it expressed many times recently by the very people who are seeking to hijack a process when it’s going in a direction they don’t like.

    We as citizens are encouraged to be engaged in city politics, and then those that do are criticized because it’s implied that all those who aren’t engaged actually have some vague different majority opinion, that conveniently then allows the person saying this to imply that their own view is obviously the one held by this magic silent majority.

    Everyone:  State your opinion on issues and stop using this tired, old rhetorical tactic.

    1. David Greenwald

      No one is criticizing those who decide to participate.  The question is whether we should only hear the voices of the loudest shriekers or whether we should strive to hear those who might not speak up as often or as loudly.

      1. Tia Will

        The question is whether we should only hear the voices of the loudest shriekers or whether we should strive to hear those who might not speak up as often or as loudly.”

        No that is not the question. Your use of the “loudest shriekers” clearly establishes your bias. I have offered an alternative route including my email for anyone who wants to be heard but is reticent. You heard me encouraging students and other new arrivals to get involved yesterday. No one is attempting to silence other voices except those who want to name call and tell others to “sit down and shut up”.

  5. Don Shor

    the systemic injustice that remains embedded in our city plans.

    Please tell us what “systemic injustice” is “embedded in our city plans.” I would appreciate specifics.

    1. David Greenwald

      As though you deny there is some?  Where is the voice of low income people or those who work in Davis but can’t afford to live here or find housing here?  Is this point even in question?

      1. Keith O

        We’ve visited this many times.  Just because I decide I want to live in Menlo-Atherton or Hillsborough CA (some of the most expensive real estate in the world) does that mean that they have to supply me with affordable housing so I can move there?

        1. David Greenwald

          There are several pieces to this.

          First, there is the fact that people are working in a given community should have an opportunity to live there.  That’s basic VMT/ GHG 101.

          Second, the interchangeable use of affordable housing is detrimental to the conversation.  Do I believe that the city should have big A affordable for everyone?  No.  Do I believe that the city should look at developing affordable by design housing for those who work here and wish to work here?  Yes.

        2. Ron

          David:  “But, as we saw last Monday, there are 21,000 people who work in the city of Davis but do not live here.”

          Wow – you spoke with 21,000 people last Monday?  Did you also speak with the people who live in Davis, but commute to work elsewhere?  (Per your earlier article, I understand there’s almost as many doing traveling out of town, for work.)

        3. Ron

          David:  “A lot of those are low-wage earners who work at the university or in retail and restaurants around town, but cannot afford to live here.”

          Notwithstanding those who work at the University, you’re stating that retail and restaurant jobs only exist in Davis?

          Also, might those low-wage earners already live in Affordable (or affordable) housing (e.g., outside of Davis) and are unwilling to move to a market-rate development in Davis?

          In all honesty, you’re not going to make it in the long run (anywhere in the region) by relying solely upon a very low-wage job.  (At least, not without subsidized housing and/or other programs.)

          Regarding the 21,000 – just poking fun as the wording of your quote. (“. . . as we saw last Monday, . . .”) Again, though – there’s apparently (almost) as many commuting to jobs/business OUTSIDE of Davis – per your own article.

           

        4. David Greenwald

          “might those low-wage earners already live in Affordable (or affordable) housing (e.g., outside of Davis) and are unwilling to move to a market-rate development?”

          I did stipulate at some point it was a matter of whether people wanted to live here.

          I’d also caution you once again that actual Big A affordable is not what I’m talking about here.

          1. Don Shor

            Much of the affordable housing in Davis is near 5th and L streets, along Pole Line, in the older parts of east Davis, and in the mobile home parks. Any redevelopment is likely to remove that housing, not increase it, and certainly won’t replace it with anything affordable. If you really want to provide affordable housing, you’ll need to provide direct housing vouchers, adopt rent control, or annex some new land to build a new subdivision and mandate high densities.

        5. David Greenwald

          “you’re not going to make it in the long run (anywhere in the region) by relying solely upon a very low-wage job. ”

          So they don’t count? We don’t have to worry about them? That’s really a disgraceful, insensitive, and arrogant comment.  Millions of people have those kinds of jobs and rely on them.  You’re better than that.

        6. Keith O

          First, there is the fact that people are working in a given community should have an opportunity to live there.  

          They do have an opportunity to live there as long as they can afford it.  There’s no inherent right to live anywhere.  You sound like it’s some kind of a basic human right to live wherever one desires.

          Secondly, nobody is forcing anyone to work in Davis, just like the people who live in Davis and chose to work elsewhere.  Should we also say that it’s a basic human right that Davis must supply jobs for people that live in town and chose/must work elsewhere?

        7. Ron

          David:  “So they don’t count? We don’t have to worry about them? That’s really a disgraceful, insensitive, and arrogant comment.”

          Never said that (or even implied it).  But again, I don’t think you can “make it” anywhere in the region, by relying solely upon a very-low wage job.  (Not without some kind of subsidy.)  That’s a statement regarding numbers, not people.  In fact, it might be arrogant to suggest that anyone should “stay” in a low-wage job, as a permanent career.

          One might also argue that providing taxpayer subsidies essentially subsidizes businesses who won’t (or can’t) pay their local employees a living wage.  (But, that starts drifting off into another subject.) I recall that there was a related issue regarding this, with Walmart.

    2. Michael Bisch

      What David said. Is this point even in question? After all the public comments at city council meetings, Central Park vigils, protests, letters to the DV, is it still necessary to cite specifics and to make the case that we have systemic injustice embedded in our city plans? Or can we spare the time and energy instead and move on to systematically correcting our systems and processes?

  6. Don Shor

    DG: As though you deny there is some?  Where is the voice of low income people or those who work in Davis but can’t afford to live here or find housing here?  Is this point even in question?

    MB: Is this point even in question?

    This article is about the downtown core area planning process. Please tell us how the current downtown city plans embed economic injustice. And next time you could just answer the question instead of echoing it.

    Trackside isn’t going to reduce economic injustice. Sterling isn’t in the planning area.

    Is there a current plan to house low income people who work in Davis in the downtown core area? As far as I can see, it’s likely to be high-end condos and fancy apartments. And maybe some ten story buildings.

    Folks: any redevelopment downtown is not going to be for the purpose of providing low income housing or enhancing income equality. That’s a canard. But it’s been used repeatedly now, so evidently somebody thinks it’s a good selling point.

    Increasing commerce and enhancing city tax revenues are admirable goals, but please don’t try to sell them with dubious marketing.

        1. David Greenwald

          Don: Redeveloping the downtown areas can add businesses and office space that provide jobs and mixed use developments can add housing.  And btw, I spoke with someone who lives over in the lofts, and he told me that it serves a good range of different people with different income levels.

          1. Don Shor

            I spoke with someone who lives over in the lofts, and he told me that it serves a good range of different people with different income levels.

            The rent is $1595/mo. ($1475-$1640 in 2013)
            https://localwiki.org/davis/The_Lofts
            What’s it at now?
            Look, redevelop the downtown. It’s great for commerce and tax revenues. But don’t pretend that it’s going to address income inequality.

        2. David Greenwald

          $1600 isn’t bad especially for two or three people.  And you can always go smaller.  That’s one of the things the project on Chiles is going to do – affordability by design.

          1. Don Shor

            $1600 is average rent in Davis right now. How does providing loft apartments increase affordability?
            https://www.rentcafe.com/average-rent-market-trends/us/ca/yolo-county/davis/
            Please, this is just nonsense. Adding loft apartments on commercial development is sound urban planning. It provides housing for young professionals who want the ambience, etc. But it does not address housing affordability, and it does not pertain to social injustice. This is hijacking a principle for marketing on behalf of redevelopment.

    1. Keith O

      But it’s been used repeatedly now, so evidently somebody thinks it’s a good selling point.

      That’s how it’s done, harp about social injustice and inequities.  Then when anyone has a different opinion they’re told “You’re better than that.”

        1. Ron

          David:  I realize your question wasn’t directed to me, but I’ll take a shot at it.

          Sure – any housing can theoretically “serve workers”, even low-wage workers.  The question is, would they be able to afford it?  Mixed-use is exempt from Affordable housing requirements.  (In addition, it’s exempt from being counted in the city’s “1%” growth cap.)

          Anything built downtown is not going to be cheap. Redevelopment in such areas never is. (Look at who’s buying into the Mission Residence, for example.)

        2. David Greenwald

          Don’t take a shot at a question I have for someone else and then completely distort what I said.  Obviously if I said “served” that means they can “afford” it.

        3. Ron

          David:  “Don’t take a shot at a question I have for someone else and then completely distort what I said.  Obviously if I said “served” that means they can “afford” it.”

          Ooh – “somebody’s” angry.  (I didn’t intend that, actually.)  🙂

          But again, look at the price range for UNITS at Mission Villas, above. (” . . . from the low $700,000s to the mid $800,000s.”)

        4. Ron

          Regarding Robb Davis (and others on the council, I’d suggest that they look into this (repeated from above):

          “Mixed-use is exempt from Affordable housing requirements.  (In addition, it’s exempt from being counted in the city’s “1%” growth cap.)”

          Ever wonder why Nishi chose that model?

          Also – rentals downtown are not going to be cheap (especially if somewhat comparable “units” are selling from the low 700,000 to the mid-$800,000 range, as noted above).

        5. Matt Williams

          David Greenwald said . . . “Which is why I think people like Robb Davis think that a lot of the affordability is going to have to be in rentals”

          The other “affordability” advantage that rentals have, especially for young single working people is the ability to split the monthly cost of housing between multiple people.  More than once when I was young and single and working, I shared a room with a roommate.  My ex-wife’s early jobs in Manhattan all were supported by housing that she shared with roommates.  “Fifth Floor Walk-up” is a term that still resonates for her, and makes her calfs and thighs ache a little from all the stairs she climbed.

          If you look at all the jobs in Downtown Davis, what proportion of them do you think are filled by young single adults (who often are also UCD students)?

          One of the “entitlements” that the current generation expects is one person to a bedroom. That entitlement comes with a significant monthly rental cost.

        6. Ron

          Good point, Matt.

          Of course, developments with planned double-occupancy bedrooms also increases the importance of re-examining development fees, to ensure that increased costs to the city (resulting from new residents) are paid for.  (I understand that hasn’t happened, yet.)

          That is, unless one believes that the city should incur/subsidize these costs.

        7. David Greenwald

          I’ve participated in those previous conversations and had further subsequent conversations with the city and others, and I’m not swayed by those arguments. In fact, as I recall, you’ve never really answered my questions in the past here.

        8. Ron

          David:

          You’re apparently alone, regarding that.  (In any case, it’s not my “argument”.)

          Again, this was a conversation between Mark and Howard, referencing a document regarding the purpose of development impact fees.  (Apparently, your “disagreement” is with that document itself.) Here’s the applicable wording from that document:

          “Development Impact Fees are one time charges applied to new developments. Their goal is to raise revenue for the construction or expansion of capital facilities located outside the boundaries of the new development that benefit the contributing development (Nicholas, et al., 1991). Impact fees are assessed and dedicated principally for the provision of additional water and sewer systems, roads, schools, libraries and parks and recreation facilities made necessary by the presence of new residents in the area.” http://www.impactfees.com/publications%20pdf/dif.pdf

  7. Michael Bisch

    Hmm. I can seen where there may be difficulty in connecting the dots. Mark actually did a pretty good job in his article Friday, but it appears not to have taken hold. I will recruit someone more knowledgeable than I about this stuff to write an article that holistically addresses the wide range of injustice in our community systems, plans and processes.

     

    Observing the dialogue these past couple of days has been insightful. I recommend the city hire Bill Habicht to form a multi-disciplinary team to systematically identify, one-by-one our systems, plans and processes that lead to disparate treatment and outcomes across the whole spectrum of community needs. The law enforcement and criminal justice system reviews have been underway for some time and are accelerating, but that only represents a small slice of the spectrum.

    1. Don Shor

      I’ll just go ahead and repeat that this article is about a commission that is going to review the planning for the downtown/Core area of Davis.
      Everything you’re talking about has little or nothing to do with that topic. You all can keep dancing around with generalities like

      holistically addresses the wide range of injustice in our community systems, plans and processes

      but that has nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of the zoning and planning processes.
      Is the CAAC going to be reviewing the law enforcement and criminal justice system? Seems like a tall order, and not really in their job description.
      Services and sites for the homeless would be a reasonable topic for this commission. Is that what you have in mind? Please remember that I asked David to be specific.

      1. Michael Bisch

        It is not off topic, it is the topic. And nobody is dancing around with generalities. As I previously stated, Mark West did a reasonable job of connecting the dots, but it has not taken hold for some reason, so I will have someone else take a crack at connecting the dots using different language.  The dots that Mark connected are:

        He showed how the CASP is not a standalone plan; it is an integral part of the General Plan.

        “The Core Area Specific Plan is an extension of the General Plan and is focused primarily on the downtown core, offering up the specifics for how we implement the General Plan.”

        “The purpose of the Core Area Specific Plan is to provide a comprehensive set of policies, guidelines and implementation strategies for promoting, guiding and regulating growth in the Core Area. Adopting and implementing the Core Area Specific Plan will allow the area to continue to function as the City’s social, cultural, retail center, and professional and administrative office district… The Core Area Specific Plan establishes the strategies which are required for the systematic execution of the City’s General Plan for the area covered by the Core Area Specific Plan”

        By the way, the CASP and GP updates are being treated by the CC, city staff and the consultants in exactly the same fashion. The GP is being updated with the CASP update being the first step in the overall process.

        Mark also connected the dots on how the CASP and GP updates impact social justice.

        “Given this context, it is with considerable concern that I view the manner in which the City of Davis has launched the long overdue process for updating our General Plan and our Core Area Specific Plan. Combined, these plans represent the goals and aspirations for how our community will evolve in the decades to come. It is critical that these new plans address the systemic socio-economic disparities in our community that have been perpetuated for far too long. As stated in the introduction to our current General Plan:

        “A general plan articulates a community’s vision of its long-term physical form and development. The general plan is comprehensive in scope and represents the city’s expression of quality of life and community values; it should include social and economic concerns, as well.” “The general plan serves as a basis for decision-making. The plan directs decision makers, who must balance competing community objectives, which sometimes present trade-offs.”

        The underlined text are CASP and GP citations from Mark’s article.

        Then Mark’s article spends some time reinforcing these dot connections. Mark’s article is pretty clear to me, but apparently not to you.

        1. Don Shor

          Then Mark’s article spends some time reinforcing these dot connections. Mark’s article is pretty clear to me, but apparently not to you.

          I read Mark’s article. Actually my reading comprehension skills are pretty high. Like your comments and David’s, there are lots of generalities, many of which I consider irrelevant to the downtown . That’s why I said ‘specifics’.

          The General Plan: yes, that is where “systemic socio-economic disparities” can be addressed. I don’t see any affordable housing being proposed for downtown. I don’t see any likely redevelopment in the adjoining neighborhoods that will lead to a net increase in affordable housing. So while the CAAC may well deal with zoning and density issues in our residential neighborhoods east and north of downtown, I don’t see how they will do so in a manner that improves affordability or enhances social justice concerns.

          Evidently I can say it over and over again, but it is not clear to you or David what I am saying. I’ll try again:
          any attempt at linking downtown planning and redevelopment to social justice issues is pretty bogus.

          Nobody’s going to be proposing low-income housing there.

          Yes, new buildings have the possibility of more office space, but unless they somehow increase the ground floor footprint they aren’t going to increase the number or type of retail stores. You’ll add office space and some lofts, which is fine but doesn’t enhance affordability or social equity.

          None of that means I oppose higher buildings, loft apartments, or any other of the urban planning principles the community might wish to embrace.

        2. Cindy Pickett

          Don,
          Out of curiosity, I did a little Googling and saw that Oakland is also going through the planning process for their downtown. After numerous complaints, they relaunched their Downtown planning process to include social equity goals. Their goal is to “weave social equity strategies into all areas of the Downtown Specific Plan.” Regardless of whether people have ulterior motives (and I personally don’t assume they do), why would we not want to take a similar approach with Davis’ downtown plan?  I understand your points about low-income housing but equity involves much more than that. Why do you see ” linking downtown planning and redevelopment to social justice” as bogus when other cities consider it to be a legitimate and, indeed integral, part of the planning process?
           

          1. Don Shor

            I assume you are referring to this.
            http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/07/31/oakland-downtown-plan-include-social-equity/

            But city officials said they paused the planning process last year in response to community requests that the plan address racial disparities and the displacement of residents, services and culture.

            Redevelopment often displaces lower-income people and adversely impacts people of color, and I would have concerns about that if the planning area is expanded as proposed to include neighborhoods closer to L and 8th. As I noted earlier, those blocks are where a high proportion of the lower-cost housing in Davis is. There’s a long history of adverse redevelopment using RDA’s in the past in this regard.
            I am not sure how Davis would address racial disparities or culture in the downtown. Those are the sorts of specifics I was requesting from David and Michael Bisch. I don’t see any real similarities between Davis and Oakland with respect to demographics especially.

          1. Don Shor

            Not sure about the others, but I’d be curious what was done in Burlington VT. There’s some similarities there.

  8. Michael Bisch

    KO, everyone has a right to systems that provide for equal opportunity. Perpetuating systems that produce disparate treatment and denies some populations from opportunity while reserving those opportunities for only certain populations is the very definition of systemic injustice in my view. Perhaps I hold a minority view in this. We shall see.

    1. Howard P

      To be clear… are you talking “equal opportunity” or “equal results“?  I have a real problem with the latter, but that just might be my bias…

      Two kids getting an equal inheritance… one saves and invests it… the other squanders it… 25 years later, one is rich, the other a pauper… is it ‘social equity’ that the rich one gives 50% of what they have to the one who had the same chance, but failed?

      I strongly believe in equal opportunity.. I also recognize that there is a need to balance for those who do not inherently have an equal opportunity.

  9. Howard P

    Sidebar… David’s 4:48 post…  take a look David… because of the ‘pagination’ of the comments… completely unclear who you were responding to… the most logical did not seem to fit… (the one above and to the left)… this is not meant just for David… given the errors on “where” we reply as far as ‘nested comments’, and the limits of the ‘nesting’, I suggest it would be helpful to identify name/persona and time stamp, when asking for a clarification, asking a question, responding TO AN INDIVIDUAL (as opposed to “general”).

    NOT suggesting that would be a ‘rule’, only a suggestion…

  10. Rhonda Reed

    The original article does not mention that the staff report for creating the  CAAC proposed that the Chamber of Commerce and the Davis Downtown Business Association each have a self-selected, voting representative to the 16 member CAAC.  The 16 members would have included 4 non-voting members from 4 City commissions (e.g. Planning, transportation, etc), and the remaining 10 would have been selected, 2 each, by the Council members., so business interest were guaranteed almost 20% of the voting representation.  Although, according to some City staff,  the actual planning area has not been determined, at the January City Council meeting when the Council voted to proceed with the update of the Core Area Specific Plan Rochelle Swanson opined that the Core Area was ” from A Street to L Street and from First to Fifth street.”  If the planning area indeed is determined to fit Councilmember Swanson’s definition, then the three neighborhoods of University Avenue/Rice Lane, Old North Davis, and Old East Davis would represent about 75% of the planning area.  This is why the three neighborhoods jointly sent a letter to the Council requesting representation on the CAAC, followed by my public comment to the same point.  We appreciate that the Council members recognize that there is value in including those with a direct interest in the process.   They chose to add seats at the table, which means they are still free to select 2 representatives each to represent the broadest, or narrowest if they so choose, interests in the City.

    Does this give the neighborhoods too much power?  Well, last time I checked 20% doesn’t carry a vote.  But it does give the neighborhoods an opportunity to learn from others and to share our perspectives.

    One last thought with respect to affordable housing:  Current City policies exempt Mixed-use projects from any affordable housing obligations.  It is my impression that these policies were put in place to incentivize mixed-use redevelopment like the Roe Building at 5th & G or the McCormick building at 4th and F.  Apparently these incentives haven’t been enough to encourage the larger-scale densification in the proper Downtown Core so we should ask ourselves, and the landowners of the Downtown Core, Why not? We need to understand these motivations better before we can incorporate social equity in an effective way.  Market rate apartments in the Core will have an impact on the currently more affordable apartments on K and L streets that presently house many downtown workers and students.

    Stacked Mixed-use (if I get the term right) also does not count to meeting  our regional growth obligations.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      It is important to emphasis that there is a difference between “affordable housing” and “Affordable Housing.” “Affordable Housing” is official, subsidy driven or limited equity housing that is restricted to certain income categories. “affordable housing” is housing that is market rate housing that is simply affordable by design and size. In this case, we are talking about “affordable housing” (small “a”) not official affordable housing.

    2. Alan Miller

      ” from A Street to L Street and from First to Fifth street.”

      A correction, the quote should read:  “Rochelle Swanson opined that the Core Area was “from A Street to L Street and from First to 8th street.””

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