(From Press Release) – Citing grounds of unplanned sprawling development, the Sierra Club announced its opposition to Measure L in Davis CA on the November 2018 municipal ballot. Measure L is a vote to allow the annexation of a 75 acre parcel of farmland on the northwest periphery of the City and the subsequent development of a senior housing project including 410 single-family, single-story detached homes and a 150 units of low-income senior housing.
The endorsement of the opposition to this ballot measure follows an extensive evaluation process by the local Sierra Club Yolano Group, the Sierra Club Mother Lode Chapter Political and Executive Committees, and the Sierra Club California Local Measure Review Committee.
The Sierra Club has long-standing official policies designed to minimize urban housing sprawl and maximize intensive infill development. These include planning policies which stimulate conservation of open space and preservation of natural areas and agricultural lands, The Sierra Club opposes sprawl as a pattern of increasingly inefficient and wasteful land use that is devastating environmental and social conditions.
“While the Sierra Club is highly supportive of the 4.25 acres of the project planned for 150 high-density apartments reserved for low-income senior occupancy, we do not support the adjacent development which will turn more than 60 acres of productive farm land into single-story, single-family homes on large lots”, said Alan Pryor, chair of the local Sierra Club Yolano Group. “This development is inconsistent with official Sierra Club land use and urban planning policies. Instead, it is reminiscent of sprawling development of the 1950s and 1960s with a sea of uniformly low-slung buildings laid out in a rectilinear fashion. It is the antithesis of smart urban planning”, he added.
Additionally, he noted, WDAAC does NOT meet any of the Sacramento Council of Governments’ (SACOG) Seven Blueprint Principles for Smart Growth (www.sacog.org) including:
- Compact development
- Mix of land uses
- Transportation options
- Quality design
- Use of existing assets (land or buildings)
- Housing options
- Preserving natural resources
This project clearly suffers from lack of density and needs more different and diverse building types with an integrated transportation infrastructure.
There are also concerns that this new project encroaches into the undeveloped northwest quadrant of the City. Properly planned, the northwest quadrant of Davis offers an important opportunity for meeting development needs in Davis in a manner that reflects Davis values – vibrant integrated and connected neighborhoods, affordable co-housing, community gardens and edible vegetation, appropriate commercial, and live-work buildings, all bordered by protected farmland and open space.
Working towards these goals necessitates a General Plan update or a Northwest Specific Plan. Piecemeal development, focusing on one project at a time, will preclude this important planning opportunity.
The Sierra Club is the nation’s largest and oldest environmental group and has almost 1,000 members in the City of Davis.
For more information please call Alan Pryor at 916-996-4811 or go to www.NoOnWDAAC.org