City of Davis United Against County Proposals and Changes in Pass-Through Agreements

Share:
The Yolo County Board of Supervisors meeting was packed, the overflow room just outside of the board meeting room was itself overflowing with people standing in the back and standing across the open promenade listening to a TV and waiting their turn to speak. One-by-one the small rural communities spoke their peace. Perhaps the most shocking proposal was the growth of Dunnigan which some developers were requesting growth by 7500 housing units to a population of over 25,000. The recommended growth seemed high enough at 2500 housing units. Either way, Dunnigan will become a city rather than merely a small rural town.

The recommendation of the Yolo County Planning Commission was for no development along city edges with the exception of Davis where there were not one but three proposals including the 2100 senior housing units at Oeste Ranch, and perhaps as shocking a 30 acre development to the east of Mace Blvd across from the current Arco Station.

The Yolo County staff’s recommendation was to oppose the Northwest Quadrant development proposal as they did not see it as a source of revenue for the county. Instead they recommended a joint special study area with city and county for this development.

The City of Davis came and delivered a united front.

First, Mayor Sue Greenwald spoke. She strongly favored a continuation of the pass-through agreement giving Davis and Davis’ City Council control over edge development. She considered a joint study session a violation of this pass-through agreement and this trust. The joint study group was not appropriate.

Greenwald did not oppose senior housing or special needs housing, however, she believes that the best plan should be determined by the City Council. She appreciated that county had financial problems as county services outpaces development proceeds, but argued that housing is not a good source of revenue (something that the staff recommendation by the county agreed) and argued that even retail development has diminishing returns.

Davis City Staffer Katherine Hess delivered a letter from City Manager Bill Emlen. She simply stated that development on the Davis periphery should be made by the city through a city process and she asked that the Board of Supervisors would concur with that.

Councilmember Don Saylor was in full agreement with Mayor Greenwald. He said that he appreciated that the county has real issues that need to be addressed and that the destinies of the county and city are intertwined. Davis has a process for dealing with its development and will be undergoing its own general plan update. He saw that as the appropriate agency and forum to address development issues. Moreover, while Davis does have a history of peripheral development it does not have a process for the Northwest Quadrant. He believes there are issues with housing for seniors and this may not be the most appropriate location or the best use of site given the distance from the core downtown area. Moreover he suggested that commercial development at Mace and I-80 are not “obvious” for us and mentioned that there are several commercial projects already in the works and does not want a new development area outside of the Mace Curve that could be detrimental to this development.

In general, the two members of the Davis City Council and one city staffer were united on this issue that the city and not the county should be the agency involved in determining where, when, and how peripheral development occurs. There were concerns about process and also specifics in this development.

Several Davis residents and notable progressives also spoke against this proposal.

  • Rachael Livingston was concerned about congestion, traffic, air quality, and overall growth. She felt that this project was huge as it could add up to 6000 new people. While she too is a supporter of the need for senior housing, she was strongly opposed to changes in the pass through agreement and urged that there be additional meetings so that Davis residents unable to make this meeting could give their input into the process.
  • Pam Nieberg added that this was bigger than the failed Covell Village project that was defeated by a 60-40 vote. And she hoped we could count on our own supervisors, Helen Thomson and Mariko Yamada to stand up for us.
  • Norma Turner was stunned by this very proposal and very uncomfortable with the idea of a joint city-county study group which she saw as a ploy to inject the county in the process and produce the same results as those that proponents of this plan are seeking.
  • Finally David Suder did not understand why Davis was singled out for growth and had a different approach from the rest of the county development. He argued city planning should be at the city level rather than county and echoed the concern that a large number of constituents were working and could not make this daytime meeting, thus he urged an evening meeting, preferably in Davis and in a larger meeting facility.
I had to leave this meeting to attend other meetings last night. I was informed that while the Board of Supervisors took no specific actions, per their public declarations. The 2100 unit proposal seemed to be largely off the table. The pass through agreement was heavily discussed and it appeared there would be future talks and there seemed to be support for talks at least between the city and county. We will have to see what the fall out is from this discussion.

I will add having attended the Davis City Council meeting, that the Davis City Council was in a rare moment united on this issue and believed that the county needs to honor its pass-through agreements and that growth on the periphery of Davis should be determined by the Davis City Council rather than the County Board of Supervisors.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Share:

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.

Related posts

24 thoughts on “City of Davis United Against County Proposals and Changes in Pass-Through Agreements”

  1. Davisite

    It was interesting moment on the city council dais last evening when Don Saylor broke into the discussion to insist that he was being “disrespected” by Mayor Greenwald when she publicly ruminated about the political inevitability of the Steering Committee’s conclusions and this council’s decision to resurrecting the CV proposal.. perhaps even larger with the addition of the Hunt-Wessen site.
    As her statement did not appear to be directed to any councilmember,
    “Me thinks that he doth protest too much”

  2. Davisite

    It was interesting moment on the city council dais last evening when Don Saylor broke into the discussion to insist that he was being “disrespected” by Mayor Greenwald when she publicly ruminated about the political inevitability of the Steering Committee’s conclusions and this council’s decision to resurrecting the CV proposal.. perhaps even larger with the addition of the Hunt-Wessen site.
    As her statement did not appear to be directed to any councilmember,
    “Me thinks that he doth protest too much”

  3. Davisite

    It was interesting moment on the city council dais last evening when Don Saylor broke into the discussion to insist that he was being “disrespected” by Mayor Greenwald when she publicly ruminated about the political inevitability of the Steering Committee’s conclusions and this council’s decision to resurrecting the CV proposal.. perhaps even larger with the addition of the Hunt-Wessen site.
    As her statement did not appear to be directed to any councilmember,
    “Me thinks that he doth protest too much”

  4. Davisite

    It was interesting moment on the city council dais last evening when Don Saylor broke into the discussion to insist that he was being “disrespected” by Mayor Greenwald when she publicly ruminated about the political inevitability of the Steering Committee’s conclusions and this council’s decision to resurrecting the CV proposal.. perhaps even larger with the addition of the Hunt-Wessen site.
    As her statement did not appear to be directed to any councilmember,
    “Me thinks that he doth protest too much”

  5. Davisite

    The above “interesting moment” was further clarified when Bill Elmen himself had to interject and suggest that the motion being roundly discussed had to have some wording that the Steering Committee MIGHT conclude that pursuing residential development on these two sites was not their preferred plan.

  6. Davisite

    The above “interesting moment” was further clarified when Bill Elmen himself had to interject and suggest that the motion being roundly discussed had to have some wording that the Steering Committee MIGHT conclude that pursuing residential development on these two sites was not their preferred plan.

  7. Davisite

    The above “interesting moment” was further clarified when Bill Elmen himself had to interject and suggest that the motion being roundly discussed had to have some wording that the Steering Committee MIGHT conclude that pursuing residential development on these two sites was not their preferred plan.

  8. Davisite

    The above “interesting moment” was further clarified when Bill Elmen himself had to interject and suggest that the motion being roundly discussed had to have some wording that the Steering Committee MIGHT conclude that pursuing residential development on these two sites was not their preferred plan.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    “She appreciated that county had financial problems as county services outpaces development proceeds…”

    It is my understanding that in the last few years, the income stream to the county (from property taxes, especially) has risen dramatically. Perhaps you know something I don’t. But it is my understanding that, at the present time at least, there is no fiscal crisis with the county.

    Now, if they raise the pay of Supervisors so that they each make 40% of a starting left-fielder for the Giants…

  10. Rich Rifkin

    “She appreciated that county had financial problems as county services outpaces development proceeds…”

    It is my understanding that in the last few years, the income stream to the county (from property taxes, especially) has risen dramatically. Perhaps you know something I don’t. But it is my understanding that, at the present time at least, there is no fiscal crisis with the county.

    Now, if they raise the pay of Supervisors so that they each make 40% of a starting left-fielder for the Giants…

  11. Rich Rifkin

    “She appreciated that county had financial problems as county services outpaces development proceeds…”

    It is my understanding that in the last few years, the income stream to the county (from property taxes, especially) has risen dramatically. Perhaps you know something I don’t. But it is my understanding that, at the present time at least, there is no fiscal crisis with the county.

    Now, if they raise the pay of Supervisors so that they each make 40% of a starting left-fielder for the Giants…

  12. Rich Rifkin

    “She appreciated that county had financial problems as county services outpaces development proceeds…”

    It is my understanding that in the last few years, the income stream to the county (from property taxes, especially) has risen dramatically. Perhaps you know something I don’t. But it is my understanding that, at the present time at least, there is no fiscal crisis with the county.

    Now, if they raise the pay of Supervisors so that they each make 40% of a starting left-fielder for the Giants…

  13. Rich Rifkin

    “…county services are outstripping any revenue increase.”

    Insofar as that is true, the problem would not be due the county lacking revenues. It is my understanding that their revenues have grown dramatically since 2003. The problem is apparently that they are just spending too much.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    “…county services are outstripping any revenue increase.”

    Insofar as that is true, the problem would not be due the county lacking revenues. It is my understanding that their revenues have grown dramatically since 2003. The problem is apparently that they are just spending too much.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    “…county services are outstripping any revenue increase.”

    Insofar as that is true, the problem would not be due the county lacking revenues. It is my understanding that their revenues have grown dramatically since 2003. The problem is apparently that they are just spending too much.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    “…county services are outstripping any revenue increase.”

    Insofar as that is true, the problem would not be due the county lacking revenues. It is my understanding that their revenues have grown dramatically since 2003. The problem is apparently that they are just spending too much.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for