General Plan Steering Committee Profile: Jay Gerber

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Continuing our periodic series profiling some of the members of the General Plan Housing Element, we look at Jay Gerber.

Jay Gerber owns the Cable Car Wash in Davis. He was appointed to the General Plan Housing Element steering committee by Councilmember Don Saylor. Not surprisingly he has been a strong supporter of the council majority appearing on a number of endorsement lists and financial statements.

He was also a strong supporter of bringing a Target to Davis. Along with Ruth Asmundson, Terry Whittier, Rod Rifredri, and Bonnie Barnitt, he was among five people to sign the Yes on Target ballot statement.

Gerber was a former chair to the Yolo County Planning Commission. He was a strong supporter of growth in unincorporated areas. In a 2002 Davis Enterprise he was quoted as saying, “The goal should be to cluster growth in the unincorporated cities like Esparto, Knights Landing, Dunnigan and Clarksburg rather than in the middle of ag fields.”

He said proposals come to the Planning Commission regularly if not frequently for building projects in unincorporated cities, most of which want some new housing, mostly upscale. “Esparto has been the most active with two new housing developments recently,” he said. Most of that development has been upscale or market rate housing.

Gerber was also a member of the “No on J Committee.” Measure J was an ordinance passed by Davis voters in 2000 that mandated voter approval for certain changes in land use–particularly any conversion of open space into an urban designation. The measure allows the voters to approve any future annexations for the purpose of development.

From a February 13, 2000 Davis Enterprise article:

Gerber predicts that in-fill disputes will happen more frequently, and people will buy up homes and turn them into rentals.

The community needs to respond to growth pressures on a regional level and J makes that more difficult, Gerber added.

”I think Measure J will cause us to disconnect ourselves from our region, our county and our neighboring communities,” he said. ”Responsible planning does not include planning by initiative. This is planning by initiative.”

Gerber also said he’s not sure the public will take the time to read the massive documents that accompany proposals. Proponents add that the council members must approve all documents before a project goes to a vote of the people. Opponents further say J does not protect farm land. Shoving growth off to less agriculturally sensitive communities will lead to a greater loss of farm land, they say.

Gerber as owner of the Cable Car Wash Company said in a July 30, 2006 article, that he files the reports and submits required environmental documents:

“In the 1980s and ’90s, when Gerber sold gasoline at his business and had to track daily statistics, he measured the gasoline in the tanks and tallied the numbers by hand. Today, when he submits reports or required environmental documents, he is the one working on them.

“I’m the bookkeeper, the chief purchasing agent. I’m the (person) who hires, and fires ultimately,” he said.

But, he said, he enjoys those aspects of the business. “

According to documents we found, on March 29, 2002 the Sacramento Water Regional Control Board issued a notice of violation to the Cable Car Wash for late report submittal and failure to sample in accordance with the Monitoring and Reporting Program. “Groundwater beneath the [904 Third Street in Davis] site is polluted with petroleum hydrocarbons and associated constituents.”

Councilmember Saylor has thus named a person who is a strong proponent of new development and who was a strong opponent of the seminal Measure J which has served to help preserve open space, to serve on a steering committee that will update the General Plan.

—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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92 thoughts on “General Plan Steering Committee Profile: Jay Gerber”

  1. davisite

    Vanguard exposes again the “dark underbelly of Davis politics. The list of “surrogate” steering committee members clearly shows that the powers of money,”establishment” political influence and personal financial gain are aligned against those who have no other interest than their vision(whether you fully agree or not) of what your community should be in the future. The Saylor, Asmundson, Souza contingent have an overwhelming advantage in the standard measurements of political power.They CAN be countered with a ACTIVE, INVOLVED,UNIFIED AND COMMITTED GRASSROOTS EFFORT. In the end, after all, the people’s vote neutralizes all of their advantage.

  2. davisite

    Vanguard exposes again the “dark underbelly of Davis politics. The list of “surrogate” steering committee members clearly shows that the powers of money,”establishment” political influence and personal financial gain are aligned against those who have no other interest than their vision(whether you fully agree or not) of what your community should be in the future. The Saylor, Asmundson, Souza contingent have an overwhelming advantage in the standard measurements of political power.They CAN be countered with a ACTIVE, INVOLVED,UNIFIED AND COMMITTED GRASSROOTS EFFORT. In the end, after all, the people’s vote neutralizes all of their advantage.

  3. davisite

    Vanguard exposes again the “dark underbelly of Davis politics. The list of “surrogate” steering committee members clearly shows that the powers of money,”establishment” political influence and personal financial gain are aligned against those who have no other interest than their vision(whether you fully agree or not) of what your community should be in the future. The Saylor, Asmundson, Souza contingent have an overwhelming advantage in the standard measurements of political power.They CAN be countered with a ACTIVE, INVOLVED,UNIFIED AND COMMITTED GRASSROOTS EFFORT. In the end, after all, the people’s vote neutralizes all of their advantage.

  4. davisite

    Vanguard exposes again the “dark underbelly of Davis politics. The list of “surrogate” steering committee members clearly shows that the powers of money,”establishment” political influence and personal financial gain are aligned against those who have no other interest than their vision(whether you fully agree or not) of what your community should be in the future. The Saylor, Asmundson, Souza contingent have an overwhelming advantage in the standard measurements of political power.They CAN be countered with a ACTIVE, INVOLVED,UNIFIED AND COMMITTED GRASSROOTS EFFORT. In the end, after all, the people’s vote neutralizes all of their advantage.

  5. Rich Rifkin

    Since Measure J passed in 2000, no new housing developments have been approved by the voters. Since that time, the median price of a single family home in Davis has gone up 300%. Demand has gone up. Supply has stagnated. No wonder Davis is now so unaffordable to so many.

    Even worse, the university has been forced to turn its prime ag land, which was acquired for ag research, into new housing, in order to supply the housing needs of its new faculty.

    The primary results of Measure J have been to make Davis unaffordable and to preserve land that is zoned for light industry (Covell Village), so that prime ag land (West Village) could be paved over.

    Great planning!

  6. Rich Rifkin

    Since Measure J passed in 2000, no new housing developments have been approved by the voters. Since that time, the median price of a single family home in Davis has gone up 300%. Demand has gone up. Supply has stagnated. No wonder Davis is now so unaffordable to so many.

    Even worse, the university has been forced to turn its prime ag land, which was acquired for ag research, into new housing, in order to supply the housing needs of its new faculty.

    The primary results of Measure J have been to make Davis unaffordable and to preserve land that is zoned for light industry (Covell Village), so that prime ag land (West Village) could be paved over.

    Great planning!

  7. Rich Rifkin

    Since Measure J passed in 2000, no new housing developments have been approved by the voters. Since that time, the median price of a single family home in Davis has gone up 300%. Demand has gone up. Supply has stagnated. No wonder Davis is now so unaffordable to so many.

    Even worse, the university has been forced to turn its prime ag land, which was acquired for ag research, into new housing, in order to supply the housing needs of its new faculty.

    The primary results of Measure J have been to make Davis unaffordable and to preserve land that is zoned for light industry (Covell Village), so that prime ag land (West Village) could be paved over.

    Great planning!

  8. Rich Rifkin

    Since Measure J passed in 2000, no new housing developments have been approved by the voters. Since that time, the median price of a single family home in Davis has gone up 300%. Demand has gone up. Supply has stagnated. No wonder Davis is now so unaffordable to so many.

    Even worse, the university has been forced to turn its prime ag land, which was acquired for ag research, into new housing, in order to supply the housing needs of its new faculty.

    The primary results of Measure J have been to make Davis unaffordable and to preserve land that is zoned for light industry (Covell Village), so that prime ag land (West Village) could be paved over.

    Great planning!

  9. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin and California doesn’t have a measure J to blame it for. So it’s not altogether clear that Measure J is the reason for that increase.

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin and California doesn’t have a measure J to blame it for. So it’s not altogether clear that Measure J is the reason for that increase.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin and California doesn’t have a measure J to blame it for. So it’s not altogether clear that Measure J is the reason for that increase.

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin and California doesn’t have a measure J to blame it for. So it’s not altogether clear that Measure J is the reason for that increase.

  13. davisite

    Measure J sunsets in 2010 and MUST be offered to the Davis voter by the city council for reenactment. We are witnessing the start of a concerted effort to “demonize” Measure J. This is serious stuff, folks,for those who stand to make many millions in developer profits if Measure J is defeated or seriously neutered, opening up Davis to an explosion of peripheral development. The political pressure, both openly and behind the scenes, will be ENORMOUS.

  14. davisite

    Measure J sunsets in 2010 and MUST be offered to the Davis voter by the city council for reenactment. We are witnessing the start of a concerted effort to “demonize” Measure J. This is serious stuff, folks,for those who stand to make many millions in developer profits if Measure J is defeated or seriously neutered, opening up Davis to an explosion of peripheral development. The political pressure, both openly and behind the scenes, will be ENORMOUS.

  15. davisite

    Measure J sunsets in 2010 and MUST be offered to the Davis voter by the city council for reenactment. We are witnessing the start of a concerted effort to “demonize” Measure J. This is serious stuff, folks,for those who stand to make many millions in developer profits if Measure J is defeated or seriously neutered, opening up Davis to an explosion of peripheral development. The political pressure, both openly and behind the scenes, will be ENORMOUS.

  16. davisite

    Measure J sunsets in 2010 and MUST be offered to the Davis voter by the city council for reenactment. We are witnessing the start of a concerted effort to “demonize” Measure J. This is serious stuff, folks,for those who stand to make many millions in developer profits if Measure J is defeated or seriously neutered, opening up Davis to an explosion of peripheral development. The political pressure, both openly and behind the scenes, will be ENORMOUS.

  17. Rich Rifkin

    “Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin…”

    No, not by as much. Not even close, I believe. I’d like to see your evidence to prove what you claim.

  18. Rich Rifkin

    “Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin…”

    No, not by as much. Not even close, I believe. I’d like to see your evidence to prove what you claim.

  19. Rich Rifkin

    “Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin…”

    No, not by as much. Not even close, I believe. I’d like to see your evidence to prove what you claim.

  20. Rich Rifkin

    “Of course in California, the median price of a home has gone up by a similar margin…”

    No, not by as much. Not even close, I believe. I’d like to see your evidence to prove what you claim.

  21. davisite

    The exponential cost of housing throughout California has been well-documented in newspaper articles in recent years. In addition, our own Mayor Greenwald has repeatedly taken the position that her research shows that,historically, there has been little of no correlation between Davis housing prices and supply. Her analysis has never been challenged with facts that refute it.

  22. davisite

    The exponential cost of housing throughout California has been well-documented in newspaper articles in recent years. In addition, our own Mayor Greenwald has repeatedly taken the position that her research shows that,historically, there has been little of no correlation between Davis housing prices and supply. Her analysis has never been challenged with facts that refute it.

  23. davisite

    The exponential cost of housing throughout California has been well-documented in newspaper articles in recent years. In addition, our own Mayor Greenwald has repeatedly taken the position that her research shows that,historically, there has been little of no correlation between Davis housing prices and supply. Her analysis has never been challenged with facts that refute it.

  24. davisite

    The exponential cost of housing throughout California has been well-documented in newspaper articles in recent years. In addition, our own Mayor Greenwald has repeatedly taken the position that her research shows that,historically, there has been little of no correlation between Davis housing prices and supply. Her analysis has never been challenged with facts that refute it.

  25. Rich Rifkin

    “The Bay Area real estate market has grown faster than Davis’. It’s not just Davis. It’s not just the Bay Area. It’s all around California.”

    Not true. Since Measure J passed in 2000, the Davis real estate market has inflated at a much greater rate than the Bay Area market. It’s also accelerated faster than the Sacramento regional market as a whole, and faster than other Yolo County towns.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, let’s see it. Otherwise, accept the facts: the restrictions on supply here, combined with the growing demand since Measure J has made Davis more unaffordable to more people.

  26. Rich Rifkin

    “The Bay Area real estate market has grown faster than Davis’. It’s not just Davis. It’s not just the Bay Area. It’s all around California.”

    Not true. Since Measure J passed in 2000, the Davis real estate market has inflated at a much greater rate than the Bay Area market. It’s also accelerated faster than the Sacramento regional market as a whole, and faster than other Yolo County towns.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, let’s see it. Otherwise, accept the facts: the restrictions on supply here, combined with the growing demand since Measure J has made Davis more unaffordable to more people.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    “The Bay Area real estate market has grown faster than Davis’. It’s not just Davis. It’s not just the Bay Area. It’s all around California.”

    Not true. Since Measure J passed in 2000, the Davis real estate market has inflated at a much greater rate than the Bay Area market. It’s also accelerated faster than the Sacramento regional market as a whole, and faster than other Yolo County towns.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, let’s see it. Otherwise, accept the facts: the restrictions on supply here, combined with the growing demand since Measure J has made Davis more unaffordable to more people.

  28. Rich Rifkin

    “The Bay Area real estate market has grown faster than Davis’. It’s not just Davis. It’s not just the Bay Area. It’s all around California.”

    Not true. Since Measure J passed in 2000, the Davis real estate market has inflated at a much greater rate than the Bay Area market. It’s also accelerated faster than the Sacramento regional market as a whole, and faster than other Yolo County towns.

    If you have evidence to the contrary, let’s see it. Otherwise, accept the facts: the restrictions on supply here, combined with the growing demand since Measure J has made Davis more unaffordable to more people.

  29. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I did a simple google search on the median cost of housing in California and compared against the statistic that you cited–also without attribution.

    Moreover, I suggest that you theory here may be a little off. Let us suppose we developed 2000 units of housing, do you think that would reduce the cost of housing in Davis? Or do think that the market is so scarce for housing in general that there would be a much larger demand than the new development could supply? I believe that is in fact the case and that the cost of housing in California and supply is so scarce that it would not matter.

  30. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I did a simple google search on the median cost of housing in California and compared against the statistic that you cited–also without attribution.

    Moreover, I suggest that you theory here may be a little off. Let us suppose we developed 2000 units of housing, do you think that would reduce the cost of housing in Davis? Or do think that the market is so scarce for housing in general that there would be a much larger demand than the new development could supply? I believe that is in fact the case and that the cost of housing in California and supply is so scarce that it would not matter.

  31. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I did a simple google search on the median cost of housing in California and compared against the statistic that you cited–also without attribution.

    Moreover, I suggest that you theory here may be a little off. Let us suppose we developed 2000 units of housing, do you think that would reduce the cost of housing in Davis? Or do think that the market is so scarce for housing in general that there would be a much larger demand than the new development could supply? I believe that is in fact the case and that the cost of housing in California and supply is so scarce that it would not matter.

  32. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    I did a simple google search on the median cost of housing in California and compared against the statistic that you cited–also without attribution.

    Moreover, I suggest that you theory here may be a little off. Let us suppose we developed 2000 units of housing, do you think that would reduce the cost of housing in Davis? Or do think that the market is so scarce for housing in general that there would be a much larger demand than the new development could supply? I believe that is in fact the case and that the cost of housing in California and supply is so scarce that it would not matter.

  33. davisite

    Doug… this is exactly the premise that Mayor Greenwald expounded as she researched the history of housing development in Davis and its relation to housing prices. This data is very easy to obtain; she states that her research substantiates this and NO ONE has come forward to say, Sue, here are the numbers and you are wrong!

  34. davisite

    Doug… this is exactly the premise that Mayor Greenwald expounded as she researched the history of housing development in Davis and its relation to housing prices. This data is very easy to obtain; she states that her research substantiates this and NO ONE has come forward to say, Sue, here are the numbers and you are wrong!

  35. davisite

    Doug… this is exactly the premise that Mayor Greenwald expounded as she researched the history of housing development in Davis and its relation to housing prices. This data is very easy to obtain; she states that her research substantiates this and NO ONE has come forward to say, Sue, here are the numbers and you are wrong!

  36. davisite

    Doug… this is exactly the premise that Mayor Greenwald expounded as she researched the history of housing development in Davis and its relation to housing prices. This data is very easy to obtain; she states that her research substantiates this and NO ONE has come forward to say, Sue, here are the numbers and you are wrong!

  37. Don Shor

    It would be really useful to have some actual figures about Davis’ growth rate over the last 10 – 15 years. I have a recollection that after the General Plan update in the 1980’s, the projects that were approved just before and after nearly filled the entire housing allotment of the entire 10 year period of that plan. I also seem to recall that Davis at that time had the highest rate of housing growth in Yolo County. If that is when Mace Ranch, the South Davis subdivisions, and Wildhorse were started, it would be a LOT of housing approved and built all at once. So it isn’t as though Davis has been a slouch in meeting housing demand.
    Again, I don’t have sources for these figures. I just remember comments about how ironic it was that ‘slow-growth’ Davis had such a high rate of housing growth at the time.

  38. Don Shor

    It would be really useful to have some actual figures about Davis’ growth rate over the last 10 – 15 years. I have a recollection that after the General Plan update in the 1980’s, the projects that were approved just before and after nearly filled the entire housing allotment of the entire 10 year period of that plan. I also seem to recall that Davis at that time had the highest rate of housing growth in Yolo County. If that is when Mace Ranch, the South Davis subdivisions, and Wildhorse were started, it would be a LOT of housing approved and built all at once. So it isn’t as though Davis has been a slouch in meeting housing demand.
    Again, I don’t have sources for these figures. I just remember comments about how ironic it was that ‘slow-growth’ Davis had such a high rate of housing growth at the time.

  39. Don Shor

    It would be really useful to have some actual figures about Davis’ growth rate over the last 10 – 15 years. I have a recollection that after the General Plan update in the 1980’s, the projects that were approved just before and after nearly filled the entire housing allotment of the entire 10 year period of that plan. I also seem to recall that Davis at that time had the highest rate of housing growth in Yolo County. If that is when Mace Ranch, the South Davis subdivisions, and Wildhorse were started, it would be a LOT of housing approved and built all at once. So it isn’t as though Davis has been a slouch in meeting housing demand.
    Again, I don’t have sources for these figures. I just remember comments about how ironic it was that ‘slow-growth’ Davis had such a high rate of housing growth at the time.

  40. Don Shor

    It would be really useful to have some actual figures about Davis’ growth rate over the last 10 – 15 years. I have a recollection that after the General Plan update in the 1980’s, the projects that were approved just before and after nearly filled the entire housing allotment of the entire 10 year period of that plan. I also seem to recall that Davis at that time had the highest rate of housing growth in Yolo County. If that is when Mace Ranch, the South Davis subdivisions, and Wildhorse were started, it would be a LOT of housing approved and built all at once. So it isn’t as though Davis has been a slouch in meeting housing demand.
    Again, I don’t have sources for these figures. I just remember comments about how ironic it was that ‘slow-growth’ Davis had such a high rate of housing growth at the time.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    When Mace Ranch was built, home prices in Davis fell or stagnated. When Wild Horse was built, same thing. Since Measure J, home prices have escalated in Davis 300%. Those are the facts.

    And I would be willing to place a friendly wager that Bay Area home prices have not gone up nearly as much since Measure J passed.

    I am not saying that Measure J accounts for all of the inflation in home prices, here. Not even close. But it has retarded the supply side of the equation; and the result has been a loss of affordability for many.

  42. Rich Rifkin

    When Mace Ranch was built, home prices in Davis fell or stagnated. When Wild Horse was built, same thing. Since Measure J, home prices have escalated in Davis 300%. Those are the facts.

    And I would be willing to place a friendly wager that Bay Area home prices have not gone up nearly as much since Measure J passed.

    I am not saying that Measure J accounts for all of the inflation in home prices, here. Not even close. But it has retarded the supply side of the equation; and the result has been a loss of affordability for many.

  43. Rich Rifkin

    When Mace Ranch was built, home prices in Davis fell or stagnated. When Wild Horse was built, same thing. Since Measure J, home prices have escalated in Davis 300%. Those are the facts.

    And I would be willing to place a friendly wager that Bay Area home prices have not gone up nearly as much since Measure J passed.

    I am not saying that Measure J accounts for all of the inflation in home prices, here. Not even close. But it has retarded the supply side of the equation; and the result has been a loss of affordability for many.

  44. Rich Rifkin

    When Mace Ranch was built, home prices in Davis fell or stagnated. When Wild Horse was built, same thing. Since Measure J, home prices have escalated in Davis 300%. Those are the facts.

    And I would be willing to place a friendly wager that Bay Area home prices have not gone up nearly as much since Measure J passed.

    I am not saying that Measure J accounts for all of the inflation in home prices, here. Not even close. But it has retarded the supply side of the equation; and the result has been a loss of affordability for many.

  45. Anonymous

    Bay Area prices have steadily been moving upward, which could be a reason for housing price growth. In the late 1990s, families could sell their $380,000 two bedroom, one bath house in the Bay Area, and buy a huge house in Davis for the same price or lower. The housing prices zoomed upward even though houses were still being built in Mace Ranch and Wildhorse. Investors were snapping up houses around town and also driving the prices up. So it is much more complicated than just slow growth.

  46. Anonymous

    Bay Area prices have steadily been moving upward, which could be a reason for housing price growth. In the late 1990s, families could sell their $380,000 two bedroom, one bath house in the Bay Area, and buy a huge house in Davis for the same price or lower. The housing prices zoomed upward even though houses were still being built in Mace Ranch and Wildhorse. Investors were snapping up houses around town and also driving the prices up. So it is much more complicated than just slow growth.

  47. Anonymous

    Bay Area prices have steadily been moving upward, which could be a reason for housing price growth. In the late 1990s, families could sell their $380,000 two bedroom, one bath house in the Bay Area, and buy a huge house in Davis for the same price or lower. The housing prices zoomed upward even though houses were still being built in Mace Ranch and Wildhorse. Investors were snapping up houses around town and also driving the prices up. So it is much more complicated than just slow growth.

  48. Anonymous

    Bay Area prices have steadily been moving upward, which could be a reason for housing price growth. In the late 1990s, families could sell their $380,000 two bedroom, one bath house in the Bay Area, and buy a huge house in Davis for the same price or lower. The housing prices zoomed upward even though houses were still being built in Mace Ranch and Wildhorse. Investors were snapping up houses around town and also driving the prices up. So it is much more complicated than just slow growth.

  49. 無名 - wu ming

    the housing bubble has been ludicrous all across california, and at one level there is little that we could have done to avoid seeing our housing prices skyrocket in junction with the statewide housing bubble. limiting housing in a shortage can’t have helped things, however, and building mostly higher-end luxury mcmansions instead of modest high to medium-high density stuff like what was built in most of the 70s subdivisions (better yet, we could bring it back to the 40s level of density) has served to throw oil on the fire of the housing market.

    on top of the home ownership mess, there has been a renting shortage crisis for close to a decade now, both in terms of rediculous rents and a severe shortage in housing, to the point where students have to commute in from dixon and woodland just to afford housing (heck, just to find vacant housing, some years).

    the fact that the university finally started building housing for students and faculty in the aggie west village is a decade too late, but a welcome sign IMO. if the city will not take up the slack of an insane market and an ever-increasing student body, the university is going to have to step up and provide what the city and the market can or will not.

    refusing to build housing to match population increase (and perhaps more importantly, in the price range of regular incomes) might keep the population size of the town intact, but it will not keep the town as it was, and much has and will be lost. in the past decade or two, i have watched davis become a gated community, where kids who grew up here and students who go to college here have little hope of staying here, and only out of towners with serious equity can pop in and buy into the current market. the lack of affordable housing has basically turned davis from a college town to a commuter town with a college stuck on the side, and it’s a lot less interesting and close-knit of a community as a result.

    for those of us who don’t already own a home (and who see little hope of ever being able to afford one in davis), the appeals by relative newcomers to “preserve davis” by shutting down development don’t sound all that progressive.

    the solution is hard to come by, since the problem ultimately has national roots, but simply restricting all new housing in town isn’t making things easier. building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.

  50. 無名 - wu ming

    the housing bubble has been ludicrous all across california, and at one level there is little that we could have done to avoid seeing our housing prices skyrocket in junction with the statewide housing bubble. limiting housing in a shortage can’t have helped things, however, and building mostly higher-end luxury mcmansions instead of modest high to medium-high density stuff like what was built in most of the 70s subdivisions (better yet, we could bring it back to the 40s level of density) has served to throw oil on the fire of the housing market.

    on top of the home ownership mess, there has been a renting shortage crisis for close to a decade now, both in terms of rediculous rents and a severe shortage in housing, to the point where students have to commute in from dixon and woodland just to afford housing (heck, just to find vacant housing, some years).

    the fact that the university finally started building housing for students and faculty in the aggie west village is a decade too late, but a welcome sign IMO. if the city will not take up the slack of an insane market and an ever-increasing student body, the university is going to have to step up and provide what the city and the market can or will not.

    refusing to build housing to match population increase (and perhaps more importantly, in the price range of regular incomes) might keep the population size of the town intact, but it will not keep the town as it was, and much has and will be lost. in the past decade or two, i have watched davis become a gated community, where kids who grew up here and students who go to college here have little hope of staying here, and only out of towners with serious equity can pop in and buy into the current market. the lack of affordable housing has basically turned davis from a college town to a commuter town with a college stuck on the side, and it’s a lot less interesting and close-knit of a community as a result.

    for those of us who don’t already own a home (and who see little hope of ever being able to afford one in davis), the appeals by relative newcomers to “preserve davis” by shutting down development don’t sound all that progressive.

    the solution is hard to come by, since the problem ultimately has national roots, but simply restricting all new housing in town isn’t making things easier. building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.

  51. 無名 - wu ming

    the housing bubble has been ludicrous all across california, and at one level there is little that we could have done to avoid seeing our housing prices skyrocket in junction with the statewide housing bubble. limiting housing in a shortage can’t have helped things, however, and building mostly higher-end luxury mcmansions instead of modest high to medium-high density stuff like what was built in most of the 70s subdivisions (better yet, we could bring it back to the 40s level of density) has served to throw oil on the fire of the housing market.

    on top of the home ownership mess, there has been a renting shortage crisis for close to a decade now, both in terms of rediculous rents and a severe shortage in housing, to the point where students have to commute in from dixon and woodland just to afford housing (heck, just to find vacant housing, some years).

    the fact that the university finally started building housing for students and faculty in the aggie west village is a decade too late, but a welcome sign IMO. if the city will not take up the slack of an insane market and an ever-increasing student body, the university is going to have to step up and provide what the city and the market can or will not.

    refusing to build housing to match population increase (and perhaps more importantly, in the price range of regular incomes) might keep the population size of the town intact, but it will not keep the town as it was, and much has and will be lost. in the past decade or two, i have watched davis become a gated community, where kids who grew up here and students who go to college here have little hope of staying here, and only out of towners with serious equity can pop in and buy into the current market. the lack of affordable housing has basically turned davis from a college town to a commuter town with a college stuck on the side, and it’s a lot less interesting and close-knit of a community as a result.

    for those of us who don’t already own a home (and who see little hope of ever being able to afford one in davis), the appeals by relative newcomers to “preserve davis” by shutting down development don’t sound all that progressive.

    the solution is hard to come by, since the problem ultimately has national roots, but simply restricting all new housing in town isn’t making things easier. building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.

  52. 無名 - wu ming

    the housing bubble has been ludicrous all across california, and at one level there is little that we could have done to avoid seeing our housing prices skyrocket in junction with the statewide housing bubble. limiting housing in a shortage can’t have helped things, however, and building mostly higher-end luxury mcmansions instead of modest high to medium-high density stuff like what was built in most of the 70s subdivisions (better yet, we could bring it back to the 40s level of density) has served to throw oil on the fire of the housing market.

    on top of the home ownership mess, there has been a renting shortage crisis for close to a decade now, both in terms of rediculous rents and a severe shortage in housing, to the point where students have to commute in from dixon and woodland just to afford housing (heck, just to find vacant housing, some years).

    the fact that the university finally started building housing for students and faculty in the aggie west village is a decade too late, but a welcome sign IMO. if the city will not take up the slack of an insane market and an ever-increasing student body, the university is going to have to step up and provide what the city and the market can or will not.

    refusing to build housing to match population increase (and perhaps more importantly, in the price range of regular incomes) might keep the population size of the town intact, but it will not keep the town as it was, and much has and will be lost. in the past decade or two, i have watched davis become a gated community, where kids who grew up here and students who go to college here have little hope of staying here, and only out of towners with serious equity can pop in and buy into the current market. the lack of affordable housing has basically turned davis from a college town to a commuter town with a college stuck on the side, and it’s a lot less interesting and close-knit of a community as a result.

    for those of us who don’t already own a home (and who see little hope of ever being able to afford one in davis), the appeals by relative newcomers to “preserve davis” by shutting down development don’t sound all that progressive.

    the solution is hard to come by, since the problem ultimately has national roots, but simply restricting all new housing in town isn’t making things easier. building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.

  53. davisite

    ‘………building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.”

    This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site. As you remember, this was the plan that the Covell Village opponents publically supported in their NO on X campaign. Of course, they were labelled CAVES(Citizens Against Virtually Everything) by the likes of Dunning et al.

  54. davisite

    ‘………building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.”

    This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site. As you remember, this was the plan that the Covell Village opponents publically supported in their NO on X campaign. Of course, they were labelled CAVES(Citizens Against Virtually Everything) by the likes of Dunning et al.

  55. davisite

    ‘………building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.”

    This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site. As you remember, this was the plan that the Covell Village opponents publically supported in their NO on X campaign. Of course, they were labelled CAVES(Citizens Against Virtually Everything) by the likes of Dunning et al.

  56. davisite

    ‘………building lots of affordable, higher-density housing would at least help to accomodate the pressure of people who want to live here but can’t afford to, and might even help to depress the unreasonable renter’s market.”

    This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site. As you remember, this was the plan that the Covell Village opponents publically supported in their NO on X campaign. Of course, they were labelled CAVES(Citizens Against Virtually Everything) by the likes of Dunning et al.

  57. Doug Paul Davis

    And I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t. I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I think they would probably support the eventual WH development if it is done well.

    Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project. That was a foolish endeavor that probably did more to set back development and the housing market.

    And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.

  58. Doug Paul Davis

    And I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t. I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I think they would probably support the eventual WH development if it is done well.

    Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project. That was a foolish endeavor that probably did more to set back development and the housing market.

    And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.

  59. Doug Paul Davis

    And I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t. I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I think they would probably support the eventual WH development if it is done well.

    Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project. That was a foolish endeavor that probably did more to set back development and the housing market.

    And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.

  60. Doug Paul Davis

    And I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t. I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I think they would probably support the eventual WH development if it is done well.

    Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project. That was a foolish endeavor that probably did more to set back development and the housing market.

    And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    “This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site.”

    The so-called affordable element in Cannery Park will be the same as with Covell Village. It’s a city mandate.

    As far as density goes, I would guess — just looking at the drawings — that the housing in the urbanized portion of Covell Village was much denser than Cannery Park will be. A significant portion of Cannery Park is going to be office space, not housing.

  62. Rich Rifkin

    “This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site.”

    The so-called affordable element in Cannery Park will be the same as with Covell Village. It’s a city mandate.

    As far as density goes, I would guess — just looking at the drawings — that the housing in the urbanized portion of Covell Village was much denser than Cannery Park will be. A significant portion of Cannery Park is going to be office space, not housing.

  63. Rich Rifkin

    “This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site.”

    The so-called affordable element in Cannery Park will be the same as with Covell Village. It’s a city mandate.

    As far as density goes, I would guess — just looking at the drawings — that the housing in the urbanized portion of Covell Village was much denser than Cannery Park will be. A significant portion of Cannery Park is going to be office space, not housing.

  64. Rich Rifkin

    “This is the direction that the city is now taking with the proposals for Cannery Park at the old Hunt-Wessen site.”

    The so-called affordable element in Cannery Park will be the same as with Covell Village. It’s a city mandate.

    As far as density goes, I would guess — just looking at the drawings — that the housing in the urbanized portion of Covell Village was much denser than Cannery Park will be. A significant portion of Cannery Park is going to be office space, not housing.

  65. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t.”

    That’s possibly true. But it does not change the basic laws of economics. You constrain supply when demand is high, the price will rise.

    “I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery.”

    The test will come if we have a vote on Wild Horse Ranch. In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.

    “Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project.”

    The size was misleading, as it was going to be built up so slowly. CV was less than 200 new housing units a year for 10 years. (Not 200 houses a year, as the total included apartment units, too.)

    But the absolute size was very large, when added together. And that was necessary in order to afford all of the side benefits CV would have brought to town.

    “And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.”

    Disaster? Millions? For what?

    The biggest problem of CV would have been the traffic nightmares along Covell Boulevard and perhaps Pole Line. They tried to mitigate that with some re-engineering of Covell, but it still would have been a mess. I don’t know how that could be avoided in any plan, there, short of leaving the land, which is zoned for light industry, fallow. And if you think that property will stay fallow for long, you are ignorant.

  66. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t.”

    That’s possibly true. But it does not change the basic laws of economics. You constrain supply when demand is high, the price will rise.

    “I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery.”

    The test will come if we have a vote on Wild Horse Ranch. In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.

    “Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project.”

    The size was misleading, as it was going to be built up so slowly. CV was less than 200 new housing units a year for 10 years. (Not 200 houses a year, as the total included apartment units, too.)

    But the absolute size was very large, when added together. And that was necessary in order to afford all of the side benefits CV would have brought to town.

    “And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.”

    Disaster? Millions? For what?

    The biggest problem of CV would have been the traffic nightmares along Covell Boulevard and perhaps Pole Line. They tried to mitigate that with some re-engineering of Covell, but it still would have been a mess. I don’t know how that could be avoided in any plan, there, short of leaving the land, which is zoned for light industry, fallow. And if you think that property will stay fallow for long, you are ignorant.

  67. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t.”

    That’s possibly true. But it does not change the basic laws of economics. You constrain supply when demand is high, the price will rise.

    “I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery.”

    The test will come if we have a vote on Wild Horse Ranch. In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.

    “Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project.”

    The size was misleading, as it was going to be built up so slowly. CV was less than 200 new housing units a year for 10 years. (Not 200 houses a year, as the total included apartment units, too.)

    But the absolute size was very large, when added together. And that was necessary in order to afford all of the side benefits CV would have brought to town.

    “And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.”

    Disaster? Millions? For what?

    The biggest problem of CV would have been the traffic nightmares along Covell Boulevard and perhaps Pole Line. They tried to mitigate that with some re-engineering of Covell, but it still would have been a mess. I don’t know how that could be avoided in any plan, there, short of leaving the land, which is zoned for light industry, fallow. And if you think that property will stay fallow for long, you are ignorant.

  68. Rich Rifkin

    “I’m not convinced that you can ever accommodate the number of people who want to live here but who can’t.”

    That’s possibly true. But it does not change the basic laws of economics. You constrain supply when demand is high, the price will rise.

    “I think the voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery.”

    The test will come if we have a vote on Wild Horse Ranch. In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.

    “Even a lot of people who ended up supporting Covell Village were uncomfortable with the size of the project.”

    The size was misleading, as it was going to be built up so slowly. CV was less than 200 new housing units a year for 10 years. (Not 200 houses a year, as the total included apartment units, too.)

    But the absolute size was very large, when added together. And that was necessary in order to afford all of the side benefits CV would have brought to town.

    “And yet without Measure J it would have gone right in and it would be a disaster that we would have to spend millions on over the next decade to fix.”

    Disaster? Millions? For what?

    The biggest problem of CV would have been the traffic nightmares along Covell Boulevard and perhaps Pole Line. They tried to mitigate that with some re-engineering of Covell, but it still would have been a mess. I don’t know how that could be avoided in any plan, there, short of leaving the land, which is zoned for light industry, fallow. And if you think that property will stay fallow for long, you are ignorant.

  69. davisite

    Rich.. I am not talking about the mandated affordable housing portion which we all know is obligatory for every development project but rather the midrange $300,000 range housing that first-time homebuyers have a difficult time finding in Davis. A small mix of business on this site reduces the traffic impacts which are a serious consideration. I know that you are well-aware of the planning efforts to address the midrange housing deficits by the Cannery Park proposal so I am disappointed at what sounds like a tangential weak counter-argument for argument’s sake.

  70. davisite

    Rich.. I am not talking about the mandated affordable housing portion which we all know is obligatory for every development project but rather the midrange $300,000 range housing that first-time homebuyers have a difficult time finding in Davis. A small mix of business on this site reduces the traffic impacts which are a serious consideration. I know that you are well-aware of the planning efforts to address the midrange housing deficits by the Cannery Park proposal so I am disappointed at what sounds like a tangential weak counter-argument for argument’s sake.

  71. davisite

    Rich.. I am not talking about the mandated affordable housing portion which we all know is obligatory for every development project but rather the midrange $300,000 range housing that first-time homebuyers have a difficult time finding in Davis. A small mix of business on this site reduces the traffic impacts which are a serious consideration. I know that you are well-aware of the planning efforts to address the midrange housing deficits by the Cannery Park proposal so I am disappointed at what sounds like a tangential weak counter-argument for argument’s sake.

  72. davisite

    Rich.. I am not talking about the mandated affordable housing portion which we all know is obligatory for every development project but rather the midrange $300,000 range housing that first-time homebuyers have a difficult time finding in Davis. A small mix of business on this site reduces the traffic impacts which are a serious consideration. I know that you are well-aware of the planning efforts to address the midrange housing deficits by the Cannery Park proposal so I am disappointed at what sounds like a tangential weak counter-argument for argument’s sake.

  73. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The problem is that the housing market is always going to be a market of constrained supply. In other markets, if you have a demand for goods and services, you can continue to raise the supply. The housing market is different, you do not have a constant flow of new supplies on the market. You have a period where a bunch of new housing comes on the market and then a period of contraction.

    Theoretically you could open the door to a steady supply of new housing and eventually you would change the nature of the town enough that the housing costs would drop and Davis would look less like Davis and more like Modesto or Merced or some of the other huge growth central valley towns.

    It is misleading to suggest that I have a preference for sprawl based on my statement that voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I merely was suggesting I think it would pass rather than advocating its passage.

    Bottom line on Measure J and Measure X. If people share Rich’s prediliction for projects like Measure X, they should oppose extension of Measure J and support the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber.

    If people oppose massive projects like Measure X they need to work to preserve Measure J and its protections and share concern about the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber on the Housing Element.

  74. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The problem is that the housing market is always going to be a market of constrained supply. In other markets, if you have a demand for goods and services, you can continue to raise the supply. The housing market is different, you do not have a constant flow of new supplies on the market. You have a period where a bunch of new housing comes on the market and then a period of contraction.

    Theoretically you could open the door to a steady supply of new housing and eventually you would change the nature of the town enough that the housing costs would drop and Davis would look less like Davis and more like Modesto or Merced or some of the other huge growth central valley towns.

    It is misleading to suggest that I have a preference for sprawl based on my statement that voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I merely was suggesting I think it would pass rather than advocating its passage.

    Bottom line on Measure J and Measure X. If people share Rich’s prediliction for projects like Measure X, they should oppose extension of Measure J and support the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber.

    If people oppose massive projects like Measure X they need to work to preserve Measure J and its protections and share concern about the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber on the Housing Element.

  75. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The problem is that the housing market is always going to be a market of constrained supply. In other markets, if you have a demand for goods and services, you can continue to raise the supply. The housing market is different, you do not have a constant flow of new supplies on the market. You have a period where a bunch of new housing comes on the market and then a period of contraction.

    Theoretically you could open the door to a steady supply of new housing and eventually you would change the nature of the town enough that the housing costs would drop and Davis would look less like Davis and more like Modesto or Merced or some of the other huge growth central valley towns.

    It is misleading to suggest that I have a preference for sprawl based on my statement that voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I merely was suggesting I think it would pass rather than advocating its passage.

    Bottom line on Measure J and Measure X. If people share Rich’s prediliction for projects like Measure X, they should oppose extension of Measure J and support the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber.

    If people oppose massive projects like Measure X they need to work to preserve Measure J and its protections and share concern about the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber on the Housing Element.

  76. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    The problem is that the housing market is always going to be a market of constrained supply. In other markets, if you have a demand for goods and services, you can continue to raise the supply. The housing market is different, you do not have a constant flow of new supplies on the market. You have a period where a bunch of new housing comes on the market and then a period of contraction.

    Theoretically you could open the door to a steady supply of new housing and eventually you would change the nature of the town enough that the housing costs would drop and Davis would look less like Davis and more like Modesto or Merced or some of the other huge growth central valley towns.

    It is misleading to suggest that I have a preference for sprawl based on my statement that voters would be willing to support small-scale affordable housing on the periphery. I merely was suggesting I think it would pass rather than advocating its passage.

    Bottom line on Measure J and Measure X. If people share Rich’s prediliction for projects like Measure X, they should oppose extension of Measure J and support the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber.

    If people oppose massive projects like Measure X they need to work to preserve Measure J and its protections and share concern about the inclusion of people like Jay Gerber on the Housing Element.

  77. deb w

    Rich Rifkin said… “In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.”

    So 92 houses total in WHR is sprawl but up to 200 houses per year for 10 years is not sprawl. Interesting definition you have.

    Getting back to the origial posting, I too am uncomfortable with Jay’s planning. Covell Village was a huge development with no solution to the traffic problems and the overtaxing of the water treatment plant.

  78. deb w

    Rich Rifkin said… “In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.”

    So 92 houses total in WHR is sprawl but up to 200 houses per year for 10 years is not sprawl. Interesting definition you have.

    Getting back to the origial posting, I too am uncomfortable with Jay’s planning. Covell Village was a huge development with no solution to the traffic problems and the overtaxing of the water treatment plant.

  79. deb w

    Rich Rifkin said… “In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.”

    So 92 houses total in WHR is sprawl but up to 200 houses per year for 10 years is not sprawl. Interesting definition you have.

    Getting back to the origial posting, I too am uncomfortable with Jay’s planning. Covell Village was a huge development with no solution to the traffic problems and the overtaxing of the water treatment plant.

  80. deb w

    Rich Rifkin said… “In my opinion, the location of WHR makes it a bad candidate. We’ll have to see if the voters share your preference for sprawl in the far northeast of town.”

    So 92 houses total in WHR is sprawl but up to 200 houses per year for 10 years is not sprawl. Interesting definition you have.

    Getting back to the origial posting, I too am uncomfortable with Jay’s planning. Covell Village was a huge development with no solution to the traffic problems and the overtaxing of the water treatment plant.

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