Thursday Midday Briefs

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Lawsuit remains controversial

It is of great irony that all five members of the Davis City Council supported the city of Davis suing the city of Dixon over traffic problems associated with the development of the Dixon Downs Race Track. Ironic because those five members never seem to unanimously agree on anything. And ironic because they seem to be the only ones who do.

This week several more newspapers and columnists attacked the lawsuit.

The California Aggie called it: “unnecessary and selfish”

“The city of Davis unjustifiably filed suit against the city of Dixon on Nov. 21 in reaction to the Dixon City Council’s approval of the proposed racetrack, Dixon Downs.”

The Aggie seems to support the project:

“The report adequately evaluated the Dixon Downs project, and the Dixon City Council was wise to approve a development that will bring needed funds and infrastructural improvements to its city.”

Bob Dunning last night in the Davis Enterprise lampoons the notion:

“Little did the city of Davis realize when it decided to sue the proud city of Dixon for approving a horse racing track and gambling emporium that it would set off a round of litigation that would cause the entire state of California to disintegrate into a thousand competing entities.

True enough, Dixon had it coming, thinking it could decide its future all by itself without seeking Davis’ advice or consent. Dixon also didn’t ask our permission before building Wal-Mart or allowing El Charro — the best Mexican restaurant in California — to close.

Rightly or wrongly, however, Dixon was offended, and Hell hath no fury as a Dixonite scorned.”

Dick Dorf in his Davis Enterprise column last night writes:

“If Davis follows through on this lawsuit, it could cause a breakdown of communication and cooperation between cities. Also, it could cost Davis hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute.

On Nov. 21, Davis officials filed the lawsuit in Solano County Superior Court, alleging serious impacts. The lawsuit alleges the environmental impact report failed to analyze potential traffic impacts. This type of a lawsuit is difficult to prove. What about the effects of Arco Arena or an inadequate I-680 connection to I-80? What are the effects of a three-lane I-80 causeway?”

The Sacramento Bee on December 1, 2006 in an editorial suggests:

“That will be a legal decision. But then there is the court of public opinion, and whether one city is being a worse neighbor than the other. It might turn out to be a conversation that Davis regrets launching.”

Personally, I think the Sacramento Bee article sums up my viewpoint precisely–Davis might be right on this issue, they might prevail, but I think this is a conversation that Davis will regret launching in the long run.

Reassess Souza’s home!

I had to laugh last night at this letter to the editor:

Reassessment would be unfair

I read in the newspaper that Councilman Stephen Souza wants Yolo County to reassess PG&E’s property to see if it is paying its fair share of taxes.

I wonder how he would like having his property reassessed, along with other homeowners in Davis who are paying taxes on $100,000 homes that are selling for $500,000 or $600,000. Come on, Souza, don’t be a sore loser.

John Brown

I’ve said before, I think there are legitimate reasons to be upset about the SMUD outcome. I don’t think people appreciate the magnitude of an $11 million campaign. Heck there are Senate campaigns that don’t cost that much. But this letter is still funny.

Programming Alert

Tonight at 10 pm on News 10 Sacramento, Dan Adams will have an in-depth story on the Junior High School Harassment Case. For those who don’t catch it, we’ll have a link to the video on the blog tomorrow.

—Doug Paul Davis 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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12 thoughts on “Thursday Midday Briefs”

  1. davisite

    I disagree with you on this one, Doug. The concept of development being viewed on a regional basis rather than each city going on its own is a concept that makes a lot of sense. You remember Assemblyman Steinberg’s idea of working out a plan whereby each city did not develop its own strip mall but rather approached strip mall development on a regional basis.Although politically scuttled, it was a concept that made a lot of sense. Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.

  2. davisite

    I disagree with you on this one, Doug. The concept of development being viewed on a regional basis rather than each city going on its own is a concept that makes a lot of sense. You remember Assemblyman Steinberg’s idea of working out a plan whereby each city did not develop its own strip mall but rather approached strip mall development on a regional basis.Although politically scuttled, it was a concept that made a lot of sense. Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.

  3. davisite

    I disagree with you on this one, Doug. The concept of development being viewed on a regional basis rather than each city going on its own is a concept that makes a lot of sense. You remember Assemblyman Steinberg’s idea of working out a plan whereby each city did not develop its own strip mall but rather approached strip mall development on a regional basis.Although politically scuttled, it was a concept that made a lot of sense. Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.

  4. davisite

    I disagree with you on this one, Doug. The concept of development being viewed on a regional basis rather than each city going on its own is a concept that makes a lot of sense. You remember Assemblyman Steinberg’s idea of working out a plan whereby each city did not develop its own strip mall but rather approached strip mall development on a regional basis.Although politically scuttled, it was a concept that made a lot of sense. Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    Davisite: I agree with you that the concept of development needs to be viewed on a regional basis. I’m just not certain that Davis’ suit will open that discussion or make bitter enemies. I’m concerned about that possibility. Particularly when I believe Davis has done its fair share of contributing to the problems of gridlock on the Capital Corridor.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    Davisite: I agree with you that the concept of development needs to be viewed on a regional basis. I’m just not certain that Davis’ suit will open that discussion or make bitter enemies. I’m concerned about that possibility. Particularly when I believe Davis has done its fair share of contributing to the problems of gridlock on the Capital Corridor.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    Davisite: I agree with you that the concept of development needs to be viewed on a regional basis. I’m just not certain that Davis’ suit will open that discussion or make bitter enemies. I’m concerned about that possibility. Particularly when I believe Davis has done its fair share of contributing to the problems of gridlock on the Capital Corridor.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    Davisite: I agree with you that the concept of development needs to be viewed on a regional basis. I’m just not certain that Davis’ suit will open that discussion or make bitter enemies. I’m concerned about that possibility. Particularly when I believe Davis has done its fair share of contributing to the problems of gridlock on the Capital Corridor.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    “Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.”

    No, it’s not valuable “regardless of the outcome.”

    If the lawsuit ends up costing the city of Davis $1,000,000, it’s not valuable. Yolo County spent $2.2 million on lawyers before they settled the Conaway Ranch lawsuit. I certainly don’t want to see my city wasting that kind of money.

    If the Davis lawsuit results in Dixon suing Davis over Target or over Cannery Park or perhaps over Sue Greenwald’s development of the PG&E property at 5th and L, then it’s not valuable.

    Same thing if this lawsuit sets a precedent where every local municipality ends up suing every other municipality over every possible project that impacts traffic on a freeway.

    If the lawsuit results in Dixon deciding that Davis is not a good partner and will therefore no longer participate in deals to preserve the greenbelt corridor, it’s not valuable.

    The fact of the matter is that there are about* 50,000 cars per day that drive through 1-80 in the Davis-Dixon corridor. If Davis can win a lawsuit over another 1,000 or so cars, then there ought to be lawsuits over the first 50,000 cars that are now causing traffic delays.

    * This figure is my estimate. I based it on what I read in this source: http://www.greenbelt.org/resources/press/clippings/archives/2001-2005/clip_2004Aug15.html

  10. Rich Rifkin

    “Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.”

    No, it’s not valuable “regardless of the outcome.”

    If the lawsuit ends up costing the city of Davis $1,000,000, it’s not valuable. Yolo County spent $2.2 million on lawyers before they settled the Conaway Ranch lawsuit. I certainly don’t want to see my city wasting that kind of money.

    If the Davis lawsuit results in Dixon suing Davis over Target or over Cannery Park or perhaps over Sue Greenwald’s development of the PG&E property at 5th and L, then it’s not valuable.

    Same thing if this lawsuit sets a precedent where every local municipality ends up suing every other municipality over every possible project that impacts traffic on a freeway.

    If the lawsuit results in Dixon deciding that Davis is not a good partner and will therefore no longer participate in deals to preserve the greenbelt corridor, it’s not valuable.

    The fact of the matter is that there are about* 50,000 cars per day that drive through 1-80 in the Davis-Dixon corridor. If Davis can win a lawsuit over another 1,000 or so cars, then there ought to be lawsuits over the first 50,000 cars that are now causing traffic delays.

    * This figure is my estimate. I based it on what I read in this source: http://www.greenbelt.org/resources/press/clippings/archives/2001-2005/clip_2004Aug15.html

  11. Rich Rifkin

    “Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.”

    No, it’s not valuable “regardless of the outcome.”

    If the lawsuit ends up costing the city of Davis $1,000,000, it’s not valuable. Yolo County spent $2.2 million on lawyers before they settled the Conaway Ranch lawsuit. I certainly don’t want to see my city wasting that kind of money.

    If the Davis lawsuit results in Dixon suing Davis over Target or over Cannery Park or perhaps over Sue Greenwald’s development of the PG&E property at 5th and L, then it’s not valuable.

    Same thing if this lawsuit sets a precedent where every local municipality ends up suing every other municipality over every possible project that impacts traffic on a freeway.

    If the lawsuit results in Dixon deciding that Davis is not a good partner and will therefore no longer participate in deals to preserve the greenbelt corridor, it’s not valuable.

    The fact of the matter is that there are about* 50,000 cars per day that drive through 1-80 in the Davis-Dixon corridor. If Davis can win a lawsuit over another 1,000 or so cars, then there ought to be lawsuits over the first 50,000 cars that are now causing traffic delays.

    * This figure is my estimate. I based it on what I read in this source: http://www.greenbelt.org/resources/press/clippings/archives/2001-2005/clip_2004Aug15.html

  12. Rich Rifkin

    “Davis’ suit against Dixon reopens discussion of this concept in a somewhat different context and is valuable regardless of the outcome.”

    No, it’s not valuable “regardless of the outcome.”

    If the lawsuit ends up costing the city of Davis $1,000,000, it’s not valuable. Yolo County spent $2.2 million on lawyers before they settled the Conaway Ranch lawsuit. I certainly don’t want to see my city wasting that kind of money.

    If the Davis lawsuit results in Dixon suing Davis over Target or over Cannery Park or perhaps over Sue Greenwald’s development of the PG&E property at 5th and L, then it’s not valuable.

    Same thing if this lawsuit sets a precedent where every local municipality ends up suing every other municipality over every possible project that impacts traffic on a freeway.

    If the lawsuit results in Dixon deciding that Davis is not a good partner and will therefore no longer participate in deals to preserve the greenbelt corridor, it’s not valuable.

    The fact of the matter is that there are about* 50,000 cars per day that drive through 1-80 in the Davis-Dixon corridor. If Davis can win a lawsuit over another 1,000 or so cars, then there ought to be lawsuits over the first 50,000 cars that are now causing traffic delays.

    * This figure is my estimate. I based it on what I read in this source: http://www.greenbelt.org/resources/press/clippings/archives/2001-2005/clip_2004Aug15.html

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