Here is the latest FAQ sheet on the proposed West Davis Active Adult Community. The proposed West Davis Active Adult Community project includes 332 for-sale units along with 150 affordable senior apartments on a 75-acre parcel north of Covell Boulevard and west of Sutter Davis Hospital.
Approval of the project would require a General Plan Amendment, and voter approval under Measure R. Eighty percent of the units, including the affordable apartments, are proposed to be entitled as a senior citizen housing development. The remaining 20 percent of the units (approximately 76 units) would not have age restrictions.
The developers are identifying a 4.25-acre portion of the site that would be designated as senior affordable housing. According to staff, “The 150 units that could be accommodated on the site would likely be built in two phases, depending on financing.”
- What is the essence of the West Davis Active Adult Neighborhood?
Taking care of older adults. We think it is important. No more important than other worthy endeavors but part of how a community should plan for its future.
- Why have you chosen to concentrate on older adults rather than university students or young families?
We have had a long-standing desire to focus a new neighborhood toward older adults. It is a personal focus that is not better or worse than concentrating on other segments of the population.
- Why are you only allowing 20 percent of the homes for families?
We want to prioritize seniors. Young families can access many other homes in Davis because they don’t shy away from two-story homes or older homes with steps. Our plan incorporates 20 percent non-
restricted single-family homes to add a younger segment, which we believe adds vibrancy. Community feedback is that a 100 percent senior neighborhood would not match what Davis seniors want.
- Are you following a different process than what other neighborhoods have gone through?
We believe the spirit of “The Citizens Right to Vote,” also known as Measure J and R, is that the voters should be at the center of the approval process. Therefore, we are asking the citizens to provide their input to define the Baseline Features, Requirements and major Development Agreement deal points. This is a shift from previous Measure J/R proposals that concentrated solely on the city process.
- Why are you proposing 150 affordable senior apartments when you are only required to build 68 by the City Code?
The waiting lists at the Eleanor Roosevelt affordable senior apartments is several years long. The need is great and our goal is to serve seniors in many different manners, as soon as possible. Providing far more than required is the right thing to do and remains in balance with size and scale of the neighborhood. This greater number of affordable units also allows for the scale needed to provide social services and programming.
- Is this a low-density neighborhood?
This is a combination of high-density and medium-density housing. The affordable apartments are high density, the University Retirement Community area will be medium density, the single-family detached homes will be medium density and the attached/condos/stacked flat areas will be medium density.
- Will you build a walking/biking overpass over Covell Boulevard?
We are focusing on providing robust at-grade crossing at Risling and Covell, and John Jones and Covell, to accommodate walkers and bikers. We propose updating the intersection using high-visibility ladder crosswalk markings and green-striped bike lanes and an enhanced median strip. We also will be eliminating one of the “free right turns” so walkers, especially from the corner where URC is, have one fewer vehicle path to cross. We do not believe an overcrossing will be well utilized because those who are unable to cross a street safely, mostly because of mobility challenges, will be even more unlikely to walk a distance to the overcrossing, climb a hill, walk down a hill, and then walk to the neighborhood. We believe that investing in the activity and wellness center and providing walking paths, rather than just streets, are better investments for the community. We will provide a landing area for a future overcrossing of Highway 113 northeast of our neighborhood. (See answer 28 for greater detail on 113 over-crossing.)
- Will you restrict the homes to only those who currently live in Davis?
Our goal is to provide housing for the larger Davis community. We know from many conversations that a lot of us have aging parents who we’d like to bring to Davis but there are limited options to do so, which is part of the current community need. However, we all recognize that the legality of discriminating based upon ZIP code is questionable. Nevertheless, we think there is a large number of current Davis residents who will be interested in right-sizing to a single-level home with solar, universal design and energy efficiency, without doing an intensive out-of-community marketing effort. The need for this neighborhood is homegrown.
- Why would you propose single story homes?
There is a large number of people in Davis who own older and large homes who would like a new, smaller and energy-efficient home. Our personal experience with potential buyers of our past developments and the dozens of meetings we have held corroborates this belief. Single-story homes are ideal for aging in place.
- Why are there no backyard fences?
Isolation is a problem as one gets older — especially when one is in their 80s and without a spouse. The lack of backyard fences, and the walking paths instead of fences, add the opportunity for unplanned and impromptu meetings for those people, seeing activity, talking with neighbors, getting a simple wave and a smile makes a difference.
- Why are you not proposing to build stacked flats and market rate apartments to increase the density of the neighborhood?
We have updated our plan based on feedback and are planning to provide a mix of 174 attached homes that will include apartments, condos and flats in various forms. There will be for-sale and rental options in these 174 homes.
- Are you avoiding entering into a development agreement?
No. We have heard from the community that they wanted to participate in the development agreement deal points. Development agreements are mostly boilerplate language mitigating risks, defining payment options and a few specific deal points. We expect all the significant deal points that are normally in a development agreement to be in the baseline features and requirements so they are evident to the voters. The citizens then have a direct contract with the developer that is only changeable with a new vote.
- Will there be an environment impact report?
Yes. The report is controlled by the city and performed by an outside consultant. We pay for it. It will include investigations of animals and insects plus traffic and economics and all of the other normal items included in such a report. We expect the draft to be completed and ready for public comment this fall.
- Will all of the single-family detached homes be single story?
With the exception of the “small builder lots” on the exterior of the neighborhood, the other homes will be restricted to single-level living. However, the garages will all have an option to have a second story that could be for a caregiver, play room, office or guest quarters. One of the principles of universal design is that one provides as much flexibility for as many property owners as is possible over time.