Commentary: Opponents of Nishi Should Stop Digging into Their Weird Red Herrings

There is an old adage in politics – when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.  But Colin Walsh and Matt Williams just can’t help themselves.  They start a two-part series attempting to get out of the rabbit hole, only to, by the second part, throw themselves right back in – piled higher and deeper.

Colin Walsh and Matt Williams offer a response to my column from last Wednesday, “Enough with the Weird Red Herrings.”  They argue, “The Davis Vanguard’s article of May 9, 2018  is a disservice to the Davis Community. Instead of addressing the main body of the CivEnergy Measure J Forum, the Vanguard article goes down a rabbit hole of answers given in response to audience questions.”

The problem here is that they fail to acknowledge the role that Mr. Walsh plays in taking us down the rabbit hole and then they both jump right back in during the second part of their response.

Matt Williams, as he explained at both the forums, isn’t opposed to housing at Nishi and believes the site is underutilized – he actually wants more housing at Nishi.

That means Mr. Williams doesn’t appear to buy into the air quality problems of the site.

He posted yesterday, “[M]y position on air quality has always been crystal clear … specifically, that if the health risks associated with the Nishi site are appropriately mitigated, then housing on the site needs to be maximized.”

Mr. Williams acknowledges, “We have a serious housing problem in Davis,” and he doesn’t view this as a problem for UC Davis to solve.  Instead, he argues, “The Nishi developers proposing 2,200 student beds when they could be proposing between 5,200 and 7,000 student beds (leaving 3,000 students without available housing/shelter) is a massive waste of an opportunity.”

He writes: “I have been told by CEQA experts that a technical update of the 2016 Nishi EIR to cover a 5,200 bed project would have taken no more than 6 months.  If that is true, then a Nishi project that removes over 5,000 UCD students from the mini-dorm conversion marketplace could have been on the November 2018 Ballot.”

Where I find disagreement with Mr. Williams is with the practicality of developing a 5200-bed project when previous projects were voted down.  Moreover, while I agree we need more beds, I think Matt Williams is allowing the perfect to endanger the good.

He described “5,200 less people driving to Davis.  Problem appropriately mitigated…  2,200 less people driving to Davis.  Problem sub-optimally mitigated.”

What he fails to acknowledge is the choice is between 2200 and 0.  Which is better?

My additional problem with Mr. Williams’ analysis is on the fiscal side.  He is asking the developers to double pay for infrastructure – not only paying for the cost of development but also asking them to foot the bill for life cycle.  While that may seem a fair approach, the developers have already agreed to be privately responsible for most of the infrastructure; asking them to cover the life cycle costs as well means current residents will have to pay for current buildings as well as future infrastructure replacement costs.  That’s an undue burden on them at a time when affordability concerns are already on the forefront.

My additional concern is that the Nishi opponents are adding in costs – for example, for police and fire – that frankly are not being caused by Nishi.

Matt Williams responds to my comment, “I’m skeptical that in real dollars this is going to add much cost,” by arguing that “my suggestion is that you would be much better served by reaching out to David Zehnder of EPS [Economic & Planning Systems, Inc.], and to Police Chief Pytel and Assistant Fire Chief Martinez.  They are the primary (first-person) sources of the information you are expressing frustration about.  If you have a valid argument, it is with them.  By calling me into question, all you are doing is shooting the messenger.”

But that’s like calling Bobby Weist of the Davis Fire Department to see if the expected salary hike is necessary.  What is he going to say, no we don’t really need the pay increases?  Likewise, Chief Pytel and Assistant Chief Martinez are unlikely to argue we do not need additional costs built in to Nishi.

While I may disagree with their rationale on air quality and fiscal impact as those are at least legitimate arguments, the problem is that they can’t help themselves – or more likely, Colin Walsh cannot help himself – on part three.

Colin Walsh and Matt Williams continue to double down on the site access issue.  They argue: “There is reason to believe the Nishi developers would want to trigger exactly such a crisis that could result in a connection to Olive Drive.”

Except that they can’t.  First of all, the project baselines features effectively preclude the developers from building housing until they have the issue of the connection to campus worked out.  The project baseline features require connection to campus and they preclude connection to Olive Drive.  The only way to change that would be a vote of the people.

They tried make the weird argument that the developers could build first and then take it to the voters, but Sandy Whitcombe pointed out there would be no way a bank would finance a $100 million project that has no way to get folks to and from their houses.

Mr. Williams and Mr. Walsh double down on their absurd argument: “Frankly we have no way of knowing if the developer intends this, but it is clearly sloppy work on the part of the city to leave this door open. This is not a ‘red herring’ as Sandy Whitcombe claimed at the forum; this is just one way the loopholes left in the ordinance could be exploited if the developers were inclined to do so.”  (This was posted on the part two on another website which is apparently different from the part two posted on this site).

In the real world, no.  But in the authors’ world, there is apparently a chance.

Likewise, Mr. Walsh and Mr. Williams double down on their affordable argument, arguing, “Once the City learned of this potential loophole, the City manager issued a statement that cites a city attorney opinion that a change to the affordable housing plan would be considered a change to the baseline features. Clearly the City saw that the language was not clear and need further clarification.”

Actually, the reason the city issued the statement is that Colin Walsh and Matt Williams raised this objection and the Vanguard sought clarification.

As Robb Davis pointed out at the forum, the city has locked itself in by making the statement that they have done this, so this is a non-issue.

Mr. Walsh and Mr. Williams ironically object that the Vanguard has not addressed the main body of the forum, but then double down on their weird red herrings.

If they want us to focus on air quality and fiscal aspects of the project, maybe they should… I don’t know, focus on air quality and fiscal aspects of the project and leave the weird red herrings at home.

—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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45 thoughts on “Commentary: Opponents of Nishi Should Stop Digging into Their Weird Red Herrings”

  1. Matt Williams

    David Greenwald said . . .“I think Matt Williams is allowing the perfect to endanger the good.”

    One of the problems with cliche’s like the one David has trotted out here is that the cliche needs to align with the facts on the ground.  What the facts tell us that David’s statement should read  “I think Matt Williams is allowing the quest for the good to endanger the mediocre.”

    The statements of the five members of City Council from the dais unanimously confirm that mediocrity.

    Brett Lee

    “For better or for worse, it’s near the railroad track which is a source of pollution absolutely, it’s also a source of a lot of noise… I think the air pollution issues are, that mitigations can be done which will reduce the risk. But I do believe that that site does have air quality challenges.”

    Rochelle Swanson

    “I was a little disappointed to see the change from 1.0 to 2.0 and some of the loss in innovation.”

    Lucas Frerichs

    “… I’m not sure that anybody is %100 totally satisfied with Nishi 2.0. I know I’m not entirely satisfied with it. For me I think still I think Nishi 1.0 was superior in many ways particularly vis-a-vis smart growth principles, higher density, mixed use, both residential commercial and R&D spaces, nearly 30,0000 square feet previously proposed, the mixture of rental and for-sale housing.”

    Will Arnold

    “This is a reduced project from the project that we had in front of us 2 years ago and like others on the council have said there was a lot of things I liked about Nishi 1.0 that I’m lamenting aren’t part of this project, in particular the innovation piece. This was seen from our Innovation Park Task Force as The. Best. Location in town for this small incubator innovation site. So the fact that’s not part of this project? Sure, that gives me a little bit of nostalgia, sadness.”

    Robb Davis

    “…that doesn’t mean [Nishi 2.0] was an optimal project. From my perspective it wasn’t.”
    (5:47:00)
    “…I liked Nishi 1.0 better because it was a broader project that met more community needs…”

      1. Matt Williams

        David, your question assumes that zero and 2,200 are the only possible end points.  I do not believe those are the only two end points.

        1. Richard McCann

          Matt, what is your proposed viable alternative given that there is a high probability that the developers will walk away from the property if they fail a second election? You need to make a real proposal that will fly with all of the restrictions implicitly imposed as a result of the rejection of Nishi 1.0.

  2. Matt Williams

    “my position on air quality has always been crystal clear … specifically, that if the health risks associated with the Nishi site are appropriately mitigated, then housing on the site needs to be maximized.”

    David chooses to ignore the bolded words above, so at the risk of repetition, I repeat those bolded words here.

    David’s article needs to remember that it is always a good idea not to build a house on a foundation of sand.

  3. Ken A

    I don’t want to bash Davis, but as a whole it is just a “mediocre” little flat city and pretty much everything ever built in town is at best “mediocre”.

    We did have a lot of hippies getting excited about Village Homes ~40 years ago with the bike paths and gardens, but today most people (with the exception of some aging hippies) would call the development “mediocre” (I read something a while back where Mike Corbett gave a list of things he would have done differently including adding a garage to each home)…

    It is nice that Matt wants “more” for the project and I’m excited to see what he does after he buys some land and puts together a developer group to build something amazing.

  4. Tia Will

    I don’t mind “mediocre”. Exceptionalism is always a myth based on people seeing what they want to see according to their own preferences. What I see is a truly exceptional university with a lovely small city adjacent.

    I am happy to accept “mediocre” if it gets 2000 plus students into housing near the university. That is 2000+ less people regularly driving long distances, or sleeping in cars or on couches. I preferred Nishi 1 to 2, but that doesn’t mean that those 2000+ will not as one council member put it speaking of a different project, enjoy living there.

    1. Matt Williams

      Tia, if you follow your argument to its logical application to the Trackside project, then you should be willing to accept mediocre there too.  Thoughts?

      I agree that 2,200 students will enjoy living there, but that has never been the real issue, which is the 3,000 students per year who won’t get the chance to enjoy living there … and will as a result add to the demand for mini-dorm conversions in Davis SFR neighborhoods.

       

      1. Tia Will

        Matt

        I don’t believe there is a “logical application of my argument to the Trackside project”.

        I think there is a substantive difference between providing for the needs of 2000+ students vs the wants of a relative handful of wealthy luxury apartment dwellers. The former is a true service to the community. The latter is an exception specifically provided to those who need no help to live in or profit from housing others in our town but still received it from the city council.

        I also would like to see more housing on the site. But I am with David on the 2000+ is better than 0 side of this discussion.

        1. Matt Williams

          Tia, if that is your logic, which makes sense on its face, is there a substantive difference between providing for the needs of 2000+ students vs providing for the needs of 5000+ students? What do you say to the 3,000 students who are being denied housing in the 2,000+ scenario?

          Arguably the former is a “reduced” (Will’s word) and/or “suboptimal” (my word).

          I also feel (using an argument you put into play last week) that the Manichean 2000+ versus zero choice is political hyperbole.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            ” 2000+ versus zero choice is political hyperbole.”

            It’s not. First of all, who is to say that the developers will come back with a project in the future. And second, who is to say it will be larger. And third, even if they do, if this project goes down, who is to say a larger one would pass.

            I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that if this project doesn’t pass there is a very good chance that there will be zero houses on that project in ten years and probably 20 years.

        2. Ken A

          This year the choice “is” between housing for ~2,000 or nothing.  My friend recently gave his son the “mediocre” choice between driving his wife’s old minivan or taking the bus.

          His son is free to wait for a “better” choice but the odds of his dad offering an expensive BMW are even less likely than the Nishi site getting developed any time soon with expensive high rise steel frame elevator buildings.

        3. Mark West

          With Measure R the community gets its up or down vote. That means that the only options we have available are the proposed project or no project. If a project is voted down, there is no guarantee that there will ever be another option later, let alone a ‘better’ one. Any claim to the contrary is nonsense.

          If we want better projects, we will need the City to negotiate with the developers to create them. Unfortunately, as long as Measure R is present, the City Council and Staff will lack the authority to negotiate on behalf of the community because they will lack the ultimate authority to approve the projects. Developers will not be focused on creating the ‘best’ options in discussions with the City, but instead, the ones that will get them 50%+1 of the vote.

          Name one great project anywhere that was designed by consensus?

           

        4. Matt Williams

          David Greenwald said . . . “First of all, who is to say that the developers will come back with a project in the future. And second, who is to say it will be larger. And third, even if they do, if this project goes down, who is to say a larger one would pass.

          I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that if this project doesn’t pass there is a very good chance that there will be zero houses on that project in ten years and probably 20 years.”

          David, have you been taking “red herring” lessons in your spare time?  Your first paragraph is a fisherman’s dream.  All wild speculation.

          As I noted in my response to Jeff, Nishi is less than half the walking distance from the UCD Quad as The Hub at West Village is. It is also a neighborhood well insulated from Davis residential neighborhoods. Getting 3,000 additional UCD students out of the mini-dorm conversion marketplace is a positive message for all the current davis SFR residents who are wrestling with mini-dorm conversions in their neighborhoods. The What’s In It For Me (WIFM) factor associated with greater density at Nishi is huge. WIFM drives votes.

          You double down on speculation in your second paragraph.  The day after the 2016 Nishi election day a huge proportion of Davis voters felt they had sent a message about Nishi.  Many of those same people have expressed dismay that the 2016 crystal ball they thought they understood would mean Nishi was off the table for the forseeable future was so wrong.

        5. David Greenwald

          “David, have you been taking “red herring” lessons in your spare time?”

          I learned from the best.

          ”Your first paragraph is a fisherman’s dream.  All wild speculation.”

          That said I believe my assessment is fairly accurate.  You can’t count on another turn and especially at greater density.

        6. Howard P

          In all fairness, and to beat a dead horse (call it ecpr), Nishi 1 was actually approved, in large extent, in the 1990’s [the real Nishi 1.0]… same owners it did take ~ 20 years for what I call Nishi 2.0, although all seem to call it Nishi 1.0 [newbies]…

          I disagree with David’s estimate of when something comes back if Nishi fails this time… he says 10-20 years, I say 5-10… so we sorta overlap on the extremes of our projections… and that’s all it is, informed guesses…

          Kinda’ like the projections for fiscal implications… ranges, and informed guesses…

      2. Richard McCann

        Matt

        Until you get a developer to say on the record that they are willing to come back with a 5,000 bed project in July if Nishi 2.0 is voted down, you’re the one speculating. No one has come back with a new Covell Village proposal since it was rejected. There is NO track record in Davis (or maybe anywhere else) to demonstrate or support the basis of your speculation about future alternatives. The market comes forward with the proposals that developers think that they can finance and build. That’s what we’ve gotten here.

  5. Jeff M

    I think Matt Williams is either ignoring the Measure R challenge, or he is attempting to exploit it to kill the development.  His support of Beeman for CC is a sign that the second might be that latter.

    Increase the density of student housing on this land adjacent to the downtown beyond what is being proposed, and it will increase the no votes and increase the risk that it will be voted down.

    Ironic that that NISHI will go to the voters as Measure J.  We have come full circle in trying to recover from that initial stupidity.

    1. Matt Williams

      Jeff, your imagination is working overtime when you state, “his support of Beeman for CC.”  You are the first and only person to fantasize that assertion.  Have you been raiding your stash of magic mushrooms?

      I think you are 100% wrong about increased density producing increased opposition. Nishi is less than half the walking distance from the UCD Quad as The Hub at West Village is. It is also a neighborhood well insulated from Davis residential neighborhoods. Getting 3,000 additiona UCD students out of the mini-dorm conversion marketplace is a positive message for all the current davis SFR residents who are wrestling with mini-dorm conversions in their neighborhoods. The What’s In It For Me (WIFM) factor associated with greater density at Nishi is huge. WIFM drives votes.

      1. Jeff M

        Ok Matt.  My apologies getting that wrong.  I sure thought I remembered seeing your endorsement of Mr. Bee Man.

        I disagree with you that increased density will result in more votes.  NIMBYs talk about density but then really don’t like it being built.  And they make the second disingenuous claim that they only oppose “luxury” units… even though any unit in Davis is a luxury to acquire given the zero vacancy rate… and the fact that they demand it be two stories high or less.

        1. Matt Williams

          Jeff, I have endorsed none of the candidates.  I am providing voluntary Treasurer number-crunching for one candidate with the clear (up-front) understanding that my voluntary activities do not include endorsement.

          If the density were in, or adjacent to, a residential neighborhood, I would agree with you, but Nishi is well insulated from any residential neighborhood.  All the alternatives for housing the 1,000 additional students per year UCD is adding to its enrollment are more impactful to Davis residential voters than Nishi is.  Unless someone convinces the University of California to stop adding students, Davis will be dealing with ever increasing impacts.  The reality is that Nishi is less impactful than virtually all the other possible housing sites.  Many on-campus sites (like Orchard Park) are more impactful on Davis residents than Nishi is.

        2. Jeff M

          Haven’t all the defeated peripheral development projects… including the freaking out over housing being proposed for the Ramos innovation park at the Mace location… taught you anything about the tendencies of the Davis voters armed with Measure R?

          Has something changed?  I don’t think so.

          People talk a big talk about density, but nobody really likes it.  They are willing to accept something that can be called high-density without really being progressively high density.

          Look at the outcry over the Sterling project.  And no that is not really adjacent to residential no more than Nishi is.

          You know me.  I am all over building more housing, but if you try to cram too much into a small space next to the downtown I will vote no on it.  Packing them in like sardines just because we want to save the brown fields around the city isn’t gonna fly with me.

        3. Ron

          Personally, I’d rather see all of the “growth people” focus on the Nishi site, vs. looking outward and beyond.  Put all of your development hopes and dreams in Nishi – it’s big enough and isolated enough, to handle them. And then call it a day, at least for awhile.

          Ironically, though – the only “need” that the current Nishi proposal is addressing could be fulfilled by the organization that’s creating it (UCD).  (And, as Matt pointed out – it’s not even fulfilling that need in an optimal manner.  While simultaneously forcing the costs, upon the city.)

          The first step is to actually perform the recommended on-site air quality study.

        4. Ron

          David:  Seems like you didn’t read my comment. If anything, even the growth people have criticized the latest proposal. You’ve also stated that it’s not optimal.

          There aren’t any other sites, like Nishi.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            No project is going to be optimal, especially one that has to get a majority vote in Davis. For all the people who argue that Measure R leads to better projects, here’s the proof that it doesn’t.

        5. Matt Williams

          Jeff said . . . “People talk a big talk about density, but nobody really likes it.  Look at the outcry over the Sterling project.  And no that is not really adjacent to residential no more than Nishi is.”

          We need to sit down over a beer and catch up.  Your comparison of Sterling’s adjacency to Nishi’s falls somewhere between interesting and strange.  Every day the residents of Sterling are going to pass through the 2.5 mile corridor between the site and the UCD campus.  That is (for me at least) a hell of a lot of adjacency.  Compare that to the 0.5 mile commute the Nishi students will have between their abode and their classes on campus.  That is virtually no adjacency.  If staff and the Council listened to their transportation and parking consultants (currently actively involved in the Downtown Plan Update process), parking maximums would have been imposed on Nishi rather than parking minimums.  We have upwards of 10,000 existing apartment units in Davis, all with an abundance of available parking.  If a UCD student really wants to have his/her car in Davis, there are tons of alternatives.  Nishi should be as close to “car-free” as possible.  Compare that to the transportation activity on the 5th Street corridor that the residents of Sterling commute down.  One 5th the distance and less than one 100th of the traffic.  As I said above, that is a hell of a lot of adjacency.

  6. Don Shor

    For the people living there, this version of Nishi will be more attractive and pleasant. It will have less traffic and less density. They will be able to walk to the arboretum for exercise, walk to campus, and even walk downtown. Eliminating the commercial component will make a much more habitable environment. The only sense in which it is ‘inferior’ is that the tax revenues that the commercial part would create are lost.

    It was clear from the previous election and the way the precincts went that the salient issue was traffic. The 2016 project lost by a very narrow margin. The developers have removed the part that was politically problematic and have created a residential development that will have lots of greenery, reasonable density, and many benefits.

    What we know is that all freeway-frontage, and roadway-frontage, housing is affected by air quality issues from nearby traffic. This project includes more mitigation via the urban forest and other landscape features than any other such development. A typical tree barrier consists of a single row of trees. This project will have several rows of shrubs and trees at mixed heights. In other residential developments near I-80, you can see apartment windows as you drive by — and that includes properties in Davis just a mile or so down the road. Drivers along I-80 will see a wall of foliage. The developers here have committed to a vegetative buffer that is 4 – 5 times deeper than normal freeway frontage. The plantings will provide extensive air quality improvement.

    All estimates of the fiscal impact are educated guesses. They are neither provable nor falsifiable. Need evidence? Please tell me whether the neighborhood you live in costs the city or nets the city revenues, and how that ratio has gone over the 10, 15, or 20 year time period of your neighborhood’s existence. The guesses involve significant assumptions that seem arbitrary, whether you are favoring the net-positive or the net-negative projections. Quibbling about those assumptions is rather pointless since they are unprovable.

    The reality is that we need housing in town as well as on campus. This is a classic site for infill housing aka smart growth. It has no near-neighbor impacts. Every effort is being made to mitigate the air quality issue. The finances are probably a wash. With the previous projects approved by the council, the commitment by the university to 48% housing, and Nishi, we have a chance to start bumping up the apartment vacancy rate. Without any of those three, we don’t have that chance. Waiting for yet another version of Nishi to go before the voters simply delays the housing without any greater prospect of passage.

  7. Ken A

    I’m hoping that more people will learn that Don is correct when he says that “quibbling about assumptions is rather pointless since they are unprovable”.

    Matt and others seem like they really want to make Davis a better city but I laugh every time I read something projecting that a project will have negative cash flow of $1,473,345.07 in year ten since no one has any idea what city employees will be paid, how often they will interact with the project or the cost of any of the (literally) over a million items that will impact the cash flow from a project a decade from now…

    1. David Greenwald

      That’s not why you should laugh.  Employee compensation is probably the most predictable element here.  Plus you have the fact that no additional employees will be hired in building this project.

      1. Matt Williams

        So David, are you telling your readers that you are smarter than David Zehnder and his peers at EPS?  Why should those readers trust your fiscal analysis more than the EPS fiscal analysis?

        Bottom-line, your statement is political spin.  Nothing more, nothing less.

    2. Matt Williams

      Ken, your point is very valid.  In non-political discussions people pay attention to significant digits.  Unfortunately, in polarized political discussions, all too often the combatants are looking for ways to discredit the opposition.  One of the quick ways to do so is to point out the absence of a “source” for the information being shared.  A variation on that attack method is to point out that the person citing the source has misquoted the information.  In today’s world of spreadsheets the concept of significant digits gets lost, and as a result the City’s model for Nishi provises the very specific number $143,863.  If you don’t want to be susceptible to attack variation two, you share the number as it appears in the source.

      With that said, I completely agree with your point … as did City staff when they produced the 2016 Staff report that said:

      That the Nishi project is a net fiscal positive for the City of Davis. The Commissioners did not agree on the amount of benefit the City would receive. The final motion to conclude $1,400,000 of annual benefit passed on a 5-1-1 vote; dissenters agreed that the benefits would be positive, but suggested numbers in the $500,000 range.  

      Providing a range was not only wise, it was consistent with the point you are making in your comment.  Compare that to Mayor Davis’ statement in the CivEnergy Forum:

      “The Finance and Budget Commission gave to us one motion, and that is that the project is net fiscally positive.  Matt is talking about things that he had hoped that the commission would vote on, but they did not, because they did not see the value in the method that Matt is putting forward.”

      Perhaps you should talk to the Mayor and ask him to tell you why hanging his hat on that $143,863 number was so important.

      Bottom-line, you and I are on the same page … even if our respective non-votes (I think I am correct in my belief that you live just outside the City Limits like I do) are different on Nishi.  Reasonable people can agree to disagree reasonably.

       

  8. Mark West

    “Please tell me whether the neighborhood you live in costs the city or nets the city revenues, and how that ratio has gone over the 10, 15, or 20 year time period of your neighborhood’s existence.”

    “Quibbling about those assumptions is rather pointless since they are unprovable.”

    Actually, the assumptions regarding existing neighborhoods are entirely provable. The City has a Graphical Information System (GIS) that covers the entire city, including a layer for all the individual property parcels. They also have the information that would allow them to distribute the costs of operating the City on a parcel by parcel basis, including making adjustments for the type of entity (retail, commercial, residential, bare land) represented by each parcel. Finally, the County reports Property Tax, and the State, Sales Tax, revenues on a per parcel basis so it is trivial to create a map showing every parcel in town and indicating by color its net revenue/expense. Since the sales tax data is private by law, that detailed map cannot be directly shared with the community, but it is readily available to the Planning and Senior Staff. A modified version that generalizes Sales Tax data may also be made available to the public.

  9. Tia Will

    Matt

    Tia, if that is your logic, which makes sense on its face, is there a substantive difference between providing for the needs of 2000+ students vs providing for the needs of 5000+ students?

    Sure. But that is not the choice that recent past and current processes have provided. We can argue that it should be, but that is pointless since in reality, it is not. We are faced with a binary choice next month. Are we going to house the 2000+ students as soon as the project can be built or are we going to say no, some of us hoping for more housing at some time in the future, and some of us hoping for none ever.

    Given that I live in the real world and have a time line for my choice, I am going to vote “yes” on Nishi 2. I understand the feelings of some who will vote “no” and will not hold it against them.

    1. Howard P

      BTW, Tia, Measure R/J dictates that there will always be a “binary choice” if it remains in place… but you seem perfectly fine with that… surprised you added that term in your post… as if there was a problem with that…

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