What Lessons Do We Learn From Dixon Downs: Why are Some Development Projects Doomed to Failure?

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We have not discussed Dixon Downs Race Track much here. For one thing, there have been more than enough Davis issues that have simply kept us occupied. For another, I sense the last thing that the good folks opposing the Dixon Downs Racetrack wanted was the sense that the liberal freaks in Davis were somehow pulling the strings.

That said, we must say something about this nice victory for the little guy over the big corporation. After all, the big back race track folks who angered just about everyone down in Dixon including other folks who are often big and bad in their own right like Campbell’s Soup, spent over $500,000 to win the passage of the track. And let’s face it, $500,000 in Dixon dollars is probably more like $2 million or more Davis dollars.

Let us not forget just how this started–a 4-1 vote by the City Council approved the race track. Not deterred, the grassroots folks down in Dixon started collecting signatures and forced the issue onto the ballot. And then they defeated it by a wide margin. This is Dixon’s Covell Village vote. A great victory, as I said for the small guy.

At the end of the day, this gets me thinking about what all of this means exactly. Since November of 2005, we have seen three major votes on big development projects–two in Davis and one in Dixon. Target very narrowly passed and both Dixon Downs and Covell Village were handily defeated.

Why did Target pass and the other two get defeated? All three represented fundamental and large disruptions to life and we know it in their respective communities. The most interesting thing I have found is that even among those who supported Covell Village, there were concerns about size and infrastructure. Moreover, many of the people who opposed Covell Village were not what we might call knee-jerk zero growthers. Instead the fundamental belief is that that area could not support a massive influx of residents. Covell Blvd. had no easy access to the freeway and not easy way to expand to support another 6,000 residents and their accompanying traffic.

However, I think there is another factor at work in Covell Village, that helps us understand both the Target Vote and the Dixon Vote. The upside for Covell Village did not positively affect the average Davis resident. What does the average Davis resident gain from 2,000 or so housing units? If you live here, affordable housing is probably not a huge inducement. So for most who supported Covell Village there had to be some sort of business decision or philosophical decision that led to that support. There was no direct benefit to the average voter. So you had a calculation where most of the negatives of passing the development project–traffic congestion and other infrastructure problems outweighed any benefit.

Target passed by the skin of its teeth precisely because unlike Covell Village, a larger percentage of people could see an actual and direct benefit that could for enough of them offset the negatives. People wanted a large store where they could do a large amount of affordable shopping in town. People wanted a place (or at least enough) that they could purchase bulk amounts of cheap consumer goods. I am not saying that passage was inevitable, because I think Target could have been defeated under some circumstances, but Target at least presented a possibility of passage.

That leads us to Dixon Downs Racetrack. The people I have spoken to on this issue are of two minds. Some are strongly opposed to it because of environmental, traffic, noise, and congestion concerns (see the Covell Village arguments). Others (and these are primarily Davis people) simply do not really care. Either they moderately support it as a revenue generator or they do not care at all. I have not met a person who actually wants the track because they will attend horse races. And herein lies the point. The vast majority of people in Dixon were voting to approve or deny a project that provided a good that they would not consume and that many had no interest in consuming.

At the end of the day, the Dixon Downs vote came down to how much weight you gave economic development or how much you personally had to gain from such a project. For the average Dixon voter, like the average Covell Voter in Davis, the positives from this project without the personal appeal, just did not justify the disruption and the project failed. We are talking about a project failing in a town with many big box stores and no qualms about growth and development.

The lesson that we learn is that projects of this magnitude need to have a broader appeal to the residents other than–it is good for the economy. Because if that is all they have going for them, the measures will not pass. The easiest vote in politics is the status quo vote–embodied by a no vote on a referendum or initiative. You must convince voters to vote yes because their default is to vote no. To pass, they must entice voters with actual goods and services that the average person has a desire to consume. Dixon Downs failed much like Covell Village because the average person in Dixon probably had little desire to go to the race tracks.

The Woodland Daily Democrat is already suggesting Woodland as a location for the race track. Not sure that is as appealing a location to have it off of I-5 as it was on the I-80 corridor.

As they write:

Davis residents won’t mind the horse-racing facility going to Woodland – even through they were opposed to Dixon – because Woodland is generally out of sight and out of mind to Davisites. The Davis City Council was worried about increased traffic on I-80. They most likely won’t worry about more traffic on I-5, Highway 113, or even I-505, let alone Woodland’s Main Street.

While they are probably correct, they had better hope that Woodland residents do not try to place the issue on the ballot, but we all know what would have then.

A few weeks ago I took issue with the suggestion that Measure J was not a growth inhibitor. The data clearly show that it is. One of the outcomes of Measure J is that they will need to design projects that do one of two things. Either they need to not draw criticism and strong opposition or they need to provide a good that the majority of residents of Davis think they want to consume at some point.

The former point requires that the project not threaten to displace existing business nor threaten to jam the local streets with traffic. In other words–no major disruption to the lives of the average resident. Neither Covell Village nor Target succeeded in this respect. Target however was able to pass by the skin of its teeth because it provided just enough people with the inducement of goods they might want to consume.

In the case of Target, that was just enough inducement to outweigh concerns about a whole variety of issues. For those thinking that this is license to try to bring in another big-box, I would think again. Target was in many ways a perfect storm in Davis–it filled a niche in the economy that did not exist and Target while to many of us was anti-progressive, it was also not Wal-Mart. I am not certain that another big-box fills quite that niche and so I would think it would be difficult to bring in another–unless the council simply does not bring it for a vote in the future.

In the end, Dixon Downs was doomed to fail because once again, the average person was not excited by the prospect of convenient horse racing. All those people could see was more traffic and more growth on their border and that was not worth the trade-off. Democracy prevailed in Dixon this week, it was a victory for the little guy over the big guy.

—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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108 thoughts on “What Lessons Do We Learn From Dixon Downs: Why are Some Development Projects Doomed to Failure?”

  1. Anonymous

    . . down in Woodland . .

    Woodland City Council voted 4-1? Guess if you live here long enough, all those little towns begin to look the same . . .

  2. Anonymous

    . . down in Woodland . .

    Woodland City Council voted 4-1? Guess if you live here long enough, all those little towns begin to look the same . . .

  3. Anonymous

    . . down in Woodland . .

    Woodland City Council voted 4-1? Guess if you live here long enough, all those little towns begin to look the same . . .

  4. Anonymous

    . . down in Woodland . .

    Woodland City Council voted 4-1? Guess if you live here long enough, all those little towns begin to look the same . . .

  5. jim

    I don’t think the Woodland City Council voted 4-1. You probably mean the Dixon City Council. Well, give Woodland time and it would also probably vote 4-1 in favor of a horse-racing facility. But then what would the supervisors do? Would the Davis-area supervisors oppose it? Would West Sacramento’s Mike McGowan be the swing vote if supervisors Duane Chamberlain and Matt Rexroad voted in favor? Interesting thoughts.
    jim smith/editor/daily democrat

  6. jim

    I don’t think the Woodland City Council voted 4-1. You probably mean the Dixon City Council. Well, give Woodland time and it would also probably vote 4-1 in favor of a horse-racing facility. But then what would the supervisors do? Would the Davis-area supervisors oppose it? Would West Sacramento’s Mike McGowan be the swing vote if supervisors Duane Chamberlain and Matt Rexroad voted in favor? Interesting thoughts.
    jim smith/editor/daily democrat

  7. jim

    I don’t think the Woodland City Council voted 4-1. You probably mean the Dixon City Council. Well, give Woodland time and it would also probably vote 4-1 in favor of a horse-racing facility. But then what would the supervisors do? Would the Davis-area supervisors oppose it? Would West Sacramento’s Mike McGowan be the swing vote if supervisors Duane Chamberlain and Matt Rexroad voted in favor? Interesting thoughts.
    jim smith/editor/daily democrat

  8. jim

    I don’t think the Woodland City Council voted 4-1. You probably mean the Dixon City Council. Well, give Woodland time and it would also probably vote 4-1 in favor of a horse-racing facility. But then what would the supervisors do? Would the Davis-area supervisors oppose it? Would West Sacramento’s Mike McGowan be the swing vote if supervisors Duane Chamberlain and Matt Rexroad voted in favor? Interesting thoughts.
    jim smith/editor/daily democrat

  9. Rich Rifkin

    “And then they defeated [Dixon Downs] by a wide margin.”

    53-47 is a wide margin?

    I only quibble with the fact that 53-47 is “a wide margin”. The difference was roughly 300 votes on each of the 4 measures. That’s pretty close.

    As I wrote on this blog 4-5 days ago, I expected DD to lose. I think your reasoning was spot on — there are few benefits to most locals from a regional race track, but a number of costs to everyone. That pushes the balance against such developments.

    One thing that is interesting that I heard from a friend in Dixon, who is a prof at UC Davis: he said that the newest residents of Dixon, many of whom are associated with UC Davis, were the strongest opponents, while the long-time Dixonites tended to be more neutral or pro-track. That is the same division I found in Davis on the Target question: except for the student vote, the newest residents tended to be the stongest opponents, while the old-timers (like me) tended to be pro-Target.

    I think the reason for that division is made plain in so many of the comments made about Target (and paralleled in Dixon on the race-track): “I moved to Davis because it’s the kind of town that doesn’t have big box stores. I like Davis the way it is: quaint, small, quiet, nice downtown, etc.”

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    I also would add that in both Dixon and Davis, the elected officials on the city councils tend to be long-time residents and hence, tend to be more accepting of change and development. Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.

    Regarding Woodland: I doubt Magna will turn to our county seat for its track. Rather, I think they will go west-soutwest in Solano County: Vacaville. When was the last time the people of Vacaville voted no on a development? Nobody ever moved to Vacaville because of its quaintness — at least not since Vacaville stopped smelling like a giant onion pit. (If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town, now covered over by houses, auto malls and shopping centers.)

  10. Rich Rifkin

    “And then they defeated [Dixon Downs] by a wide margin.”

    53-47 is a wide margin?

    I only quibble with the fact that 53-47 is “a wide margin”. The difference was roughly 300 votes on each of the 4 measures. That’s pretty close.

    As I wrote on this blog 4-5 days ago, I expected DD to lose. I think your reasoning was spot on — there are few benefits to most locals from a regional race track, but a number of costs to everyone. That pushes the balance against such developments.

    One thing that is interesting that I heard from a friend in Dixon, who is a prof at UC Davis: he said that the newest residents of Dixon, many of whom are associated with UC Davis, were the strongest opponents, while the long-time Dixonites tended to be more neutral or pro-track. That is the same division I found in Davis on the Target question: except for the student vote, the newest residents tended to be the stongest opponents, while the old-timers (like me) tended to be pro-Target.

    I think the reason for that division is made plain in so many of the comments made about Target (and paralleled in Dixon on the race-track): “I moved to Davis because it’s the kind of town that doesn’t have big box stores. I like Davis the way it is: quaint, small, quiet, nice downtown, etc.”

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    I also would add that in both Dixon and Davis, the elected officials on the city councils tend to be long-time residents and hence, tend to be more accepting of change and development. Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.

    Regarding Woodland: I doubt Magna will turn to our county seat for its track. Rather, I think they will go west-soutwest in Solano County: Vacaville. When was the last time the people of Vacaville voted no on a development? Nobody ever moved to Vacaville because of its quaintness — at least not since Vacaville stopped smelling like a giant onion pit. (If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town, now covered over by houses, auto malls and shopping centers.)

  11. Rich Rifkin

    “And then they defeated [Dixon Downs] by a wide margin.”

    53-47 is a wide margin?

    I only quibble with the fact that 53-47 is “a wide margin”. The difference was roughly 300 votes on each of the 4 measures. That’s pretty close.

    As I wrote on this blog 4-5 days ago, I expected DD to lose. I think your reasoning was spot on — there are few benefits to most locals from a regional race track, but a number of costs to everyone. That pushes the balance against such developments.

    One thing that is interesting that I heard from a friend in Dixon, who is a prof at UC Davis: he said that the newest residents of Dixon, many of whom are associated with UC Davis, were the strongest opponents, while the long-time Dixonites tended to be more neutral or pro-track. That is the same division I found in Davis on the Target question: except for the student vote, the newest residents tended to be the stongest opponents, while the old-timers (like me) tended to be pro-Target.

    I think the reason for that division is made plain in so many of the comments made about Target (and paralleled in Dixon on the race-track): “I moved to Davis because it’s the kind of town that doesn’t have big box stores. I like Davis the way it is: quaint, small, quiet, nice downtown, etc.”

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    I also would add that in both Dixon and Davis, the elected officials on the city councils tend to be long-time residents and hence, tend to be more accepting of change and development. Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.

    Regarding Woodland: I doubt Magna will turn to our county seat for its track. Rather, I think they will go west-soutwest in Solano County: Vacaville. When was the last time the people of Vacaville voted no on a development? Nobody ever moved to Vacaville because of its quaintness — at least not since Vacaville stopped smelling like a giant onion pit. (If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town, now covered over by houses, auto malls and shopping centers.)

  12. Rich Rifkin

    “And then they defeated [Dixon Downs] by a wide margin.”

    53-47 is a wide margin?

    I only quibble with the fact that 53-47 is “a wide margin”. The difference was roughly 300 votes on each of the 4 measures. That’s pretty close.

    As I wrote on this blog 4-5 days ago, I expected DD to lose. I think your reasoning was spot on — there are few benefits to most locals from a regional race track, but a number of costs to everyone. That pushes the balance against such developments.

    One thing that is interesting that I heard from a friend in Dixon, who is a prof at UC Davis: he said that the newest residents of Dixon, many of whom are associated with UC Davis, were the strongest opponents, while the long-time Dixonites tended to be more neutral or pro-track. That is the same division I found in Davis on the Target question: except for the student vote, the newest residents tended to be the stongest opponents, while the old-timers (like me) tended to be pro-Target.

    I think the reason for that division is made plain in so many of the comments made about Target (and paralleled in Dixon on the race-track): “I moved to Davis because it’s the kind of town that doesn’t have big box stores. I like Davis the way it is: quaint, small, quiet, nice downtown, etc.”

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    I also would add that in both Dixon and Davis, the elected officials on the city councils tend to be long-time residents and hence, tend to be more accepting of change and development. Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.

    Regarding Woodland: I doubt Magna will turn to our county seat for its track. Rather, I think they will go west-soutwest in Solano County: Vacaville. When was the last time the people of Vacaville voted no on a development? Nobody ever moved to Vacaville because of its quaintness — at least not since Vacaville stopped smelling like a giant onion pit. (If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town, now covered over by houses, auto malls and shopping centers.)

  13. Anonymous

    I think the interesting question now, is what will Magna do, (since they own the land that they bought for the racetrack) and have sunk a lot of money into this. Will they come back with a new proposal, and if so, what would that be, or sell the land? Also, the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna. Finally, it was interesting to note that although there were folks on both sides of the issue in Dixon, they appeared to have civilized campaigns without demonizing one another, and remained friendly despite different opinions, wow, Davis could use some mentoring there.

  14. Anonymous

    I think the interesting question now, is what will Magna do, (since they own the land that they bought for the racetrack) and have sunk a lot of money into this. Will they come back with a new proposal, and if so, what would that be, or sell the land? Also, the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna. Finally, it was interesting to note that although there were folks on both sides of the issue in Dixon, they appeared to have civilized campaigns without demonizing one another, and remained friendly despite different opinions, wow, Davis could use some mentoring there.

  15. Anonymous

    I think the interesting question now, is what will Magna do, (since they own the land that they bought for the racetrack) and have sunk a lot of money into this. Will they come back with a new proposal, and if so, what would that be, or sell the land? Also, the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna. Finally, it was interesting to note that although there were folks on both sides of the issue in Dixon, they appeared to have civilized campaigns without demonizing one another, and remained friendly despite different opinions, wow, Davis could use some mentoring there.

  16. Anonymous

    I think the interesting question now, is what will Magna do, (since they own the land that they bought for the racetrack) and have sunk a lot of money into this. Will they come back with a new proposal, and if so, what would that be, or sell the land? Also, the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna. Finally, it was interesting to note that although there were folks on both sides of the issue in Dixon, they appeared to have civilized campaigns without demonizing one another, and remained friendly despite different opinions, wow, Davis could use some mentoring there.

  17. Claire St. John

    David,
    A few things.
    1. I’m pretty sure Dixon only has one big box store, not several.
    2. Dixon has a policy of growing slowly, approved by voters at some point in the past. They’re not slavering for development, as you imply.
    3. Magna was offering more than just a racetrack, and many Dixon residents said they would love to have the shopping options, movie theater and event venue that Dixon Downs would offer.

  18. Claire St. John

    David,
    A few things.
    1. I’m pretty sure Dixon only has one big box store, not several.
    2. Dixon has a policy of growing slowly, approved by voters at some point in the past. They’re not slavering for development, as you imply.
    3. Magna was offering more than just a racetrack, and many Dixon residents said they would love to have the shopping options, movie theater and event venue that Dixon Downs would offer.

  19. Claire St. John

    David,
    A few things.
    1. I’m pretty sure Dixon only has one big box store, not several.
    2. Dixon has a policy of growing slowly, approved by voters at some point in the past. They’re not slavering for development, as you imply.
    3. Magna was offering more than just a racetrack, and many Dixon residents said they would love to have the shopping options, movie theater and event venue that Dixon Downs would offer.

  20. Claire St. John

    David,
    A few things.
    1. I’m pretty sure Dixon only has one big box store, not several.
    2. Dixon has a policy of growing slowly, approved by voters at some point in the past. They’re not slavering for development, as you imply.
    3. Magna was offering more than just a racetrack, and many Dixon residents said they would love to have the shopping options, movie theater and event venue that Dixon Downs would offer.

  21. Anonymous

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    Rich,

    I disagree with this paragraph.

    The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power. (Measure J has changed that, but only for peripheral development.) Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.

    Several decades ago, Davis voters passed an initiative resolution to “grow as slowly as legally possible.” Unfortunately, some of the most rapid growth in the history of Davis followed that vote due to forces beyond the control of voters. Some might consider the voters in that election who still live here to be “old-timers.” They are cetainly no longer newcomers.

    Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data. Take a look at http://www.yoloelections.org/returns/davis_k.html. The oldest neighborhoods in Davis generally opposed Target (along with the neighborhoods adjacent to the project site and some areas of west and north Davis). The strongest support for Target generally came from newer neighborhoods (except those close to the project).

    I certainly believe that the “old timers” you hang out with supported Target and Covell Village. Please don’t hang that on the rest of us.

  22. Anonymous

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    Rich,

    I disagree with this paragraph.

    The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power. (Measure J has changed that, but only for peripheral development.) Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.

    Several decades ago, Davis voters passed an initiative resolution to “grow as slowly as legally possible.” Unfortunately, some of the most rapid growth in the history of Davis followed that vote due to forces beyond the control of voters. Some might consider the voters in that election who still live here to be “old-timers.” They are cetainly no longer newcomers.

    Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data. Take a look at http://www.yoloelections.org/returns/davis_k.html. The oldest neighborhoods in Davis generally opposed Target (along with the neighborhoods adjacent to the project site and some areas of west and north Davis). The strongest support for Target generally came from newer neighborhoods (except those close to the project).

    I certainly believe that the “old timers” you hang out with supported Target and Covell Village. Please don’t hang that on the rest of us.

  23. Anonymous

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    Rich,

    I disagree with this paragraph.

    The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power. (Measure J has changed that, but only for peripheral development.) Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.

    Several decades ago, Davis voters passed an initiative resolution to “grow as slowly as legally possible.” Unfortunately, some of the most rapid growth in the history of Davis followed that vote due to forces beyond the control of voters. Some might consider the voters in that election who still live here to be “old-timers.” They are cetainly no longer newcomers.

    Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data. Take a look at http://www.yoloelections.org/returns/davis_k.html. The oldest neighborhoods in Davis generally opposed Target (along with the neighborhoods adjacent to the project site and some areas of west and north Davis). The strongest support for Target generally came from newer neighborhoods (except those close to the project).

    I certainly believe that the “old timers” you hang out with supported Target and Covell Village. Please don’t hang that on the rest of us.

  24. Anonymous

    By contrast, the old-timers, who permitted all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects that the new residents live in, same as has happened in Dixon, are used to change and accept change as part of life. They don’t see their community as frozen in time, the way so many new residents do.

    Rich,

    I disagree with this paragraph.

    The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power. (Measure J has changed that, but only for peripheral development.) Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.

    Several decades ago, Davis voters passed an initiative resolution to “grow as slowly as legally possible.” Unfortunately, some of the most rapid growth in the history of Davis followed that vote due to forces beyond the control of voters. Some might consider the voters in that election who still live here to be “old-timers.” They are cetainly no longer newcomers.

    Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data. Take a look at http://www.yoloelections.org/returns/davis_k.html. The oldest neighborhoods in Davis generally opposed Target (along with the neighborhoods adjacent to the project site and some areas of west and north Davis). The strongest support for Target generally came from newer neighborhoods (except those close to the project).

    I certainly believe that the “old timers” you hang out with supported Target and Covell Village. Please don’t hang that on the rest of us.

  25. Anonymous

    “the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna.”

    Yes, it was in the Bee that we learned of Magna’s driving through Dixon streets on election day with bullhorns supporting their project.

    I found that practice to be remarkable. Imagine if that had happened in Davis. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned in the Enterprise.

  26. Anonymous

    “the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna.”

    Yes, it was in the Bee that we learned of Magna’s driving through Dixon streets on election day with bullhorns supporting their project.

    I found that practice to be remarkable. Imagine if that had happened in Davis. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned in the Enterprise.

  27. Anonymous

    “the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna.”

    Yes, it was in the Bee that we learned of Magna’s driving through Dixon streets on election day with bullhorns supporting their project.

    I found that practice to be remarkable. Imagine if that had happened in Davis. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned in the Enterprise.

  28. Anonymous

    “the Bee wrote a good analysis in their op ed on Sunday of the mistakes made by Magna.”

    Yes, it was in the Bee that we learned of Magna’s driving through Dixon streets on election day with bullhorns supporting their project.

    I found that practice to be remarkable. Imagine if that had happened in Davis. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned in the Enterprise.

  29. Anonymous

    “Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.”

    Please define your terms, Rich.

    I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.

  30. Anonymous

    “Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.”

    Please define your terms, Rich.

    I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.

  31. Anonymous

    “Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.”

    Please define your terms, Rich.

    I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.

  32. Anonymous

    “Yet, with towns that have grown so rapidly over the last 25 years, those elected officials very well may be out of touch on development issues with much of their town’s newer residents, who tend to be terribly conservative (called “progressive” in Davis) on growth.”

    Please define your terms, Rich.

    I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.

  33. Rich Rifkin

    “I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.”

    Please tell me where you think I am conservative? And to call me “extreme” is completely misplaced. My only extremity is in fighting with the extremists. On most issues, I am for liberty, not conservativism. But I am also quite pragmatic, and hence not really a libertarian.

    “Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data.”

    I’ve seen that data. I don’t think it says too much at all. New residents live all over town. Many older residents have relocated to Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, etc.

    I just know what I think, as you suggested, based on the people I know and talk with. I also know plenty of older residents who opposed Target. The vote, after all, was close. But I sensed from the people I spoke with that the attitude — “I didn’t move to Davis to shop at a big box store” — was one that was prevalent among the newcomers, not the alter kockers.

    “The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power.”

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about that overwhelming vote of the people against Wildhorse.

  34. Rich Rifkin

    “I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.”

    Please tell me where you think I am conservative? And to call me “extreme” is completely misplaced. My only extremity is in fighting with the extremists. On most issues, I am for liberty, not conservativism. But I am also quite pragmatic, and hence not really a libertarian.

    “Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data.”

    I’ve seen that data. I don’t think it says too much at all. New residents live all over town. Many older residents have relocated to Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, etc.

    I just know what I think, as you suggested, based on the people I know and talk with. I also know plenty of older residents who opposed Target. The vote, after all, was close. But I sensed from the people I spoke with that the attitude — “I didn’t move to Davis to shop at a big box store” — was one that was prevalent among the newcomers, not the alter kockers.

    “The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power.”

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about that overwhelming vote of the people against Wildhorse.

  35. Rich Rifkin

    “I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.”

    Please tell me where you think I am conservative? And to call me “extreme” is completely misplaced. My only extremity is in fighting with the extremists. On most issues, I am for liberty, not conservativism. But I am also quite pragmatic, and hence not really a libertarian.

    “Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data.”

    I’ve seen that data. I don’t think it says too much at all. New residents live all over town. Many older residents have relocated to Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, etc.

    I just know what I think, as you suggested, based on the people I know and talk with. I also know plenty of older residents who opposed Target. The vote, after all, was close. But I sensed from the people I spoke with that the attitude — “I didn’t move to Davis to shop at a big box store” — was one that was prevalent among the newcomers, not the alter kockers.

    “The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power.”

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about that overwhelming vote of the people against Wildhorse.

  36. Rich Rifkin

    “I think most readers of your postings on this blog would consider you to be conservative in the extreme; but certainly not progressive.”

    Please tell me where you think I am conservative? And to call me “extreme” is completely misplaced. My only extremity is in fighting with the extremists. On most issues, I am for liberty, not conservativism. But I am also quite pragmatic, and hence not really a libertarian.

    “Further, the statement that “old timers” supported Target appears to be contradicted by election returns data.”

    I’ve seen that data. I don’t think it says too much at all. New residents live all over town. Many older residents have relocated to Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, etc.

    I just know what I think, as you suggested, based on the people I know and talk with. I also know plenty of older residents who opposed Target. The vote, after all, was close. But I sensed from the people I spoke with that the attitude — “I didn’t move to Davis to shop at a big box store” — was one that was prevalent among the newcomers, not the alter kockers.

    “The “old timers” (of which I am one) did not “permit all of the newcomers to live here by approving all the housing projects.” We didn’t have that power.”

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about that overwhelming vote of the people against Wildhorse.

  37. Rich Rifkin

    “Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.”

    While I agree with your general sentiment — that when you vote for Person X, rather than Person Y, you don’t necessarily endorse all of the things Person X stands for and against all things Person Y favors — I do disagree with your assessment in this particular example.

    I know that I, personally, voted for John Kerry and against GW Bush because of the Iraq War and my general feeling that Bush was incompetent when it came to issues of war and diplomacy (and a few other disagreements I have with his policies).

    Since 2004, I think a far larger percentage of Americans now view GW Bush in that same light and would not re-elect him, due to Iraq and some other issues.

    Hence, had the feelings of the American people about Iraq been the same in 2004 as they are today, Kerry would have beaten Bush.

    As far as voting in Davis goes, I think your point is basically right. However, those in town who are the most ardent opponents of growth tend to exclusively vote for the Sue Greenwald, Julie Partansky, Lamar Heystek faction, while those who are less ardent on growth questions tend to exclusively vote for the other faction. Where your point is most true, though, is that in local elections, a large percentage of voters tend to vote for people they know personally, regardless of differences on this development of that.

  38. Rich Rifkin

    “Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.”

    While I agree with your general sentiment — that when you vote for Person X, rather than Person Y, you don’t necessarily endorse all of the things Person X stands for and against all things Person Y favors — I do disagree with your assessment in this particular example.

    I know that I, personally, voted for John Kerry and against GW Bush because of the Iraq War and my general feeling that Bush was incompetent when it came to issues of war and diplomacy (and a few other disagreements I have with his policies).

    Since 2004, I think a far larger percentage of Americans now view GW Bush in that same light and would not re-elect him, due to Iraq and some other issues.

    Hence, had the feelings of the American people about Iraq been the same in 2004 as they are today, Kerry would have beaten Bush.

    As far as voting in Davis goes, I think your point is basically right. However, those in town who are the most ardent opponents of growth tend to exclusively vote for the Sue Greenwald, Julie Partansky, Lamar Heystek faction, while those who are less ardent on growth questions tend to exclusively vote for the other faction. Where your point is most true, though, is that in local elections, a large percentage of voters tend to vote for people they know personally, regardless of differences on this development of that.

  39. Rich Rifkin

    “Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.”

    While I agree with your general sentiment — that when you vote for Person X, rather than Person Y, you don’t necessarily endorse all of the things Person X stands for and against all things Person Y favors — I do disagree with your assessment in this particular example.

    I know that I, personally, voted for John Kerry and against GW Bush because of the Iraq War and my general feeling that Bush was incompetent when it came to issues of war and diplomacy (and a few other disagreements I have with his policies).

    Since 2004, I think a far larger percentage of Americans now view GW Bush in that same light and would not re-elect him, due to Iraq and some other issues.

    Hence, had the feelings of the American people about Iraq been the same in 2004 as they are today, Kerry would have beaten Bush.

    As far as voting in Davis goes, I think your point is basically right. However, those in town who are the most ardent opponents of growth tend to exclusively vote for the Sue Greenwald, Julie Partansky, Lamar Heystek faction, while those who are less ardent on growth questions tend to exclusively vote for the other faction. Where your point is most true, though, is that in local elections, a large percentage of voters tend to vote for people they know personally, regardless of differences on this development of that.

  40. Rich Rifkin

    “Electing City Council members who subsequently approved those projects is not at all the same thing as “approving all the housing projects.” To equate the two is analogous to stating that because Americans (narrowly) re-elected George Bush, we therefore “approved” the Iraq war, the torture of prisoners, and warrantless domestic wiretapping.”

    While I agree with your general sentiment — that when you vote for Person X, rather than Person Y, you don’t necessarily endorse all of the things Person X stands for and against all things Person Y favors — I do disagree with your assessment in this particular example.

    I know that I, personally, voted for John Kerry and against GW Bush because of the Iraq War and my general feeling that Bush was incompetent when it came to issues of war and diplomacy (and a few other disagreements I have with his policies).

    Since 2004, I think a far larger percentage of Americans now view GW Bush in that same light and would not re-elect him, due to Iraq and some other issues.

    Hence, had the feelings of the American people about Iraq been the same in 2004 as they are today, Kerry would have beaten Bush.

    As far as voting in Davis goes, I think your point is basically right. However, those in town who are the most ardent opponents of growth tend to exclusively vote for the Sue Greenwald, Julie Partansky, Lamar Heystek faction, while those who are less ardent on growth questions tend to exclusively vote for the other faction. Where your point is most true, though, is that in local elections, a large percentage of voters tend to vote for people they know personally, regardless of differences on this development of that.

  41. Brian in Davis

    I disagree with both DPD’s and Rifkin’s assessment of the situation.

    Regarding DPD’s analysis, everything I read in the Bee, both from columnists, guest editors, and letters to the editor is that it had very little to do with “what’s in it for me” and everything to do with “What do we want to be Dixon’s identity to be?” In other words, many didn’t want to be known as “the Racetrack town.” Dixon is well known for other things and the Magna development would have fundamentally changed the character and identity of Dixon, and not necessarily for the better. Herein lies another criticism of DPD’s analysis. Covell Village would not have had the same comparative impact in terms of identity and character than Dixon Downs would have had on Dixon. In fact, it could have contributed to it. I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.

    I also believe people look beyond the “what’s in it for me?” viewpoint. That really is an embarrassingly simplistic analysis. I give Davis voters more credit for the amount of energy and thought they put into their votes, even when I disagree with it.

    I also disagree with Rifkin’s assessment regarding who tended to favor or oppose Target. It really depends on who is within your personal social/professional sphere so there is no way to accurately generalize what kind of person supported or opposed Target. To be more succinct, my observations directly conflict with his.

  42. Brian in Davis

    I disagree with both DPD’s and Rifkin’s assessment of the situation.

    Regarding DPD’s analysis, everything I read in the Bee, both from columnists, guest editors, and letters to the editor is that it had very little to do with “what’s in it for me” and everything to do with “What do we want to be Dixon’s identity to be?” In other words, many didn’t want to be known as “the Racetrack town.” Dixon is well known for other things and the Magna development would have fundamentally changed the character and identity of Dixon, and not necessarily for the better. Herein lies another criticism of DPD’s analysis. Covell Village would not have had the same comparative impact in terms of identity and character than Dixon Downs would have had on Dixon. In fact, it could have contributed to it. I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.

    I also believe people look beyond the “what’s in it for me?” viewpoint. That really is an embarrassingly simplistic analysis. I give Davis voters more credit for the amount of energy and thought they put into their votes, even when I disagree with it.

    I also disagree with Rifkin’s assessment regarding who tended to favor or oppose Target. It really depends on who is within your personal social/professional sphere so there is no way to accurately generalize what kind of person supported or opposed Target. To be more succinct, my observations directly conflict with his.

  43. Brian in Davis

    I disagree with both DPD’s and Rifkin’s assessment of the situation.

    Regarding DPD’s analysis, everything I read in the Bee, both from columnists, guest editors, and letters to the editor is that it had very little to do with “what’s in it for me” and everything to do with “What do we want to be Dixon’s identity to be?” In other words, many didn’t want to be known as “the Racetrack town.” Dixon is well known for other things and the Magna development would have fundamentally changed the character and identity of Dixon, and not necessarily for the better. Herein lies another criticism of DPD’s analysis. Covell Village would not have had the same comparative impact in terms of identity and character than Dixon Downs would have had on Dixon. In fact, it could have contributed to it. I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.

    I also believe people look beyond the “what’s in it for me?” viewpoint. That really is an embarrassingly simplistic analysis. I give Davis voters more credit for the amount of energy and thought they put into their votes, even when I disagree with it.

    I also disagree with Rifkin’s assessment regarding who tended to favor or oppose Target. It really depends on who is within your personal social/professional sphere so there is no way to accurately generalize what kind of person supported or opposed Target. To be more succinct, my observations directly conflict with his.

  44. Brian in Davis

    I disagree with both DPD’s and Rifkin’s assessment of the situation.

    Regarding DPD’s analysis, everything I read in the Bee, both from columnists, guest editors, and letters to the editor is that it had very little to do with “what’s in it for me” and everything to do with “What do we want to be Dixon’s identity to be?” In other words, many didn’t want to be known as “the Racetrack town.” Dixon is well known for other things and the Magna development would have fundamentally changed the character and identity of Dixon, and not necessarily for the better. Herein lies another criticism of DPD’s analysis. Covell Village would not have had the same comparative impact in terms of identity and character than Dixon Downs would have had on Dixon. In fact, it could have contributed to it. I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.

    I also believe people look beyond the “what’s in it for me?” viewpoint. That really is an embarrassingly simplistic analysis. I give Davis voters more credit for the amount of energy and thought they put into their votes, even when I disagree with it.

    I also disagree with Rifkin’s assessment regarding who tended to favor or oppose Target. It really depends on who is within your personal social/professional sphere so there is no way to accurately generalize what kind of person supported or opposed Target. To be more succinct, my observations directly conflict with his.

  45. Brian in Davis

    Let me correct myself: It is possible to accurately generalize what kind of person supported Target through a random or total survey. That didn’t happen. It is impossible to do it through anecdotal observation.

  46. Brian in Davis

    Let me correct myself: It is possible to accurately generalize what kind of person supported Target through a random or total survey. That didn’t happen. It is impossible to do it through anecdotal observation.

  47. Brian in Davis

    Let me correct myself: It is possible to accurately generalize what kind of person supported Target through a random or total survey. That didn’t happen. It is impossible to do it through anecdotal observation.

  48. Brian in Davis

    Let me correct myself: It is possible to accurately generalize what kind of person supported Target through a random or total survey. That didn’t happen. It is impossible to do it through anecdotal observation.

  49. Don Shor

    Rich: “If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town…”

    Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….

  50. Don Shor

    Rich: “If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town…”

    Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….

  51. Don Shor

    Rich: “If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town…”

    Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….

  52. Don Shor

    Rich: “If you are new to this area, you may not know that Vacaville used to reak horribly of onions, which were grown everywhere around that town…”

    Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….

  53. Don Shor

    Dixon Downs was too big, too much change too quickly. As with the ill-fated Manzanita project (near Winters), it was just too much for the relatively slow-growth Solano County voters.

    As Jim said, it was approved by a 4 – 1 vote of the City Council, who didn’t even see fit to put it on the ballot — forcing the opponents to circulate petitions for the referendum. That was probably very helpful, actually, as the opponents were slow to get going and Magna had carefully cultivated many local citizens from the start (hired the outgoing mayor, for example).
    The project was supported by lots of oldtimers, but was opposed by many as well. Many of the downtown businesses (what few remain in Dixon) supported it, as did the Chamber of Commerce and their downtown business association. Magna promised playfields and sports facilities and all kinds of other goodies. And it isn’t even as though the land in question is of great value to wildlife or has aesthetic value.

    In spite of all that, and being outspent very heavily, the opposition eked out a narrow victory.

    My only question is what on earth Magna spent a half million dollars on? Consultants? Lawn signs? Ad costs in the area are negligible: two local weekly papers. It almost makes the tens of thousands Target paid to Studio 66 and a local political consultant look like chump change.

  54. Don Shor

    Dixon Downs was too big, too much change too quickly. As with the ill-fated Manzanita project (near Winters), it was just too much for the relatively slow-growth Solano County voters.

    As Jim said, it was approved by a 4 – 1 vote of the City Council, who didn’t even see fit to put it on the ballot — forcing the opponents to circulate petitions for the referendum. That was probably very helpful, actually, as the opponents were slow to get going and Magna had carefully cultivated many local citizens from the start (hired the outgoing mayor, for example).
    The project was supported by lots of oldtimers, but was opposed by many as well. Many of the downtown businesses (what few remain in Dixon) supported it, as did the Chamber of Commerce and their downtown business association. Magna promised playfields and sports facilities and all kinds of other goodies. And it isn’t even as though the land in question is of great value to wildlife or has aesthetic value.

    In spite of all that, and being outspent very heavily, the opposition eked out a narrow victory.

    My only question is what on earth Magna spent a half million dollars on? Consultants? Lawn signs? Ad costs in the area are negligible: two local weekly papers. It almost makes the tens of thousands Target paid to Studio 66 and a local political consultant look like chump change.

  55. Don Shor

    Dixon Downs was too big, too much change too quickly. As with the ill-fated Manzanita project (near Winters), it was just too much for the relatively slow-growth Solano County voters.

    As Jim said, it was approved by a 4 – 1 vote of the City Council, who didn’t even see fit to put it on the ballot — forcing the opponents to circulate petitions for the referendum. That was probably very helpful, actually, as the opponents were slow to get going and Magna had carefully cultivated many local citizens from the start (hired the outgoing mayor, for example).
    The project was supported by lots of oldtimers, but was opposed by many as well. Many of the downtown businesses (what few remain in Dixon) supported it, as did the Chamber of Commerce and their downtown business association. Magna promised playfields and sports facilities and all kinds of other goodies. And it isn’t even as though the land in question is of great value to wildlife or has aesthetic value.

    In spite of all that, and being outspent very heavily, the opposition eked out a narrow victory.

    My only question is what on earth Magna spent a half million dollars on? Consultants? Lawn signs? Ad costs in the area are negligible: two local weekly papers. It almost makes the tens of thousands Target paid to Studio 66 and a local political consultant look like chump change.

  56. Don Shor

    Dixon Downs was too big, too much change too quickly. As with the ill-fated Manzanita project (near Winters), it was just too much for the relatively slow-growth Solano County voters.

    As Jim said, it was approved by a 4 – 1 vote of the City Council, who didn’t even see fit to put it on the ballot — forcing the opponents to circulate petitions for the referendum. That was probably very helpful, actually, as the opponents were slow to get going and Magna had carefully cultivated many local citizens from the start (hired the outgoing mayor, for example).
    The project was supported by lots of oldtimers, but was opposed by many as well. Many of the downtown businesses (what few remain in Dixon) supported it, as did the Chamber of Commerce and their downtown business association. Magna promised playfields and sports facilities and all kinds of other goodies. And it isn’t even as though the land in question is of great value to wildlife or has aesthetic value.

    In spite of all that, and being outspent very heavily, the opposition eked out a narrow victory.

    My only question is what on earth Magna spent a half million dollars on? Consultants? Lawn signs? Ad costs in the area are negligible: two local weekly papers. It almost makes the tens of thousands Target paid to Studio 66 and a local political consultant look like chump change.

  57. Rich Rifkin

    “I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.”

    Brian,

    1,864 housing units were to have been built at Covell Village. As well, there was a 58-room hotel planned; and a 50-room hospice planned.

    I think the EIR estimated around 2.5 people per unit. However, 3.0 does not seem unreasonable to me. And if it would have been 3.0/unit, then we would have been looking at 5,592 plus the people staying at the hotel and at the hospice.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    “I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.”

    Brian,

    1,864 housing units were to have been built at Covell Village. As well, there was a 58-room hotel planned; and a 50-room hospice planned.

    I think the EIR estimated around 2.5 people per unit. However, 3.0 does not seem unreasonable to me. And if it would have been 3.0/unit, then we would have been looking at 5,592 plus the people staying at the hotel and at the hospice.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    “I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.”

    Brian,

    1,864 housing units were to have been built at Covell Village. As well, there was a 58-room hotel planned; and a 50-room hospice planned.

    I think the EIR estimated around 2.5 people per unit. However, 3.0 does not seem unreasonable to me. And if it would have been 3.0/unit, then we would have been looking at 5,592 plus the people staying at the hotel and at the hospice.

  60. Rich Rifkin

    “I don’t know where DPD got the 6,000 people figure, I think the total development was around 1400-1600 units max and the avg household occupancy multiplier is usually around 2.5.”

    Brian,

    1,864 housing units were to have been built at Covell Village. As well, there was a 58-room hotel planned; and a 50-room hospice planned.

    I think the EIR estimated around 2.5 people per unit. However, 3.0 does not seem unreasonable to me. And if it would have been 3.0/unit, then we would have been looking at 5,592 plus the people staying at the hotel and at the hospice.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    “Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….”

    Don,

    All I know is that when I was a kid, every time we drove to San Francisco, we closed our windows when passing through onion-stinky Vacaville. Otherwise, we children wanted the windows open, as my dad’s car reaked of cigarettes. Ah, what a dilemma for little kids to deal with…. Also, it used to smell of onions out in Elmira, where our Davis neighbors had a very large sheep ranch that we used to go to all the time. I know that quite a few Elmira farmers were growing onions, there…. I wonder if, now that I’m an adult and my smeller is not so sensitive, Vacaville’s old smell would be pleasant to me.

  62. Rich Rifkin

    “Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….”

    Don,

    All I know is that when I was a kid, every time we drove to San Francisco, we closed our windows when passing through onion-stinky Vacaville. Otherwise, we children wanted the windows open, as my dad’s car reaked of cigarettes. Ah, what a dilemma for little kids to deal with…. Also, it used to smell of onions out in Elmira, where our Davis neighbors had a very large sheep ranch that we used to go to all the time. I know that quite a few Elmira farmers were growing onions, there…. I wonder if, now that I’m an adult and my smeller is not so sensitive, Vacaville’s old smell would be pleasant to me.

  63. Rich Rifkin

    “Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….”

    Don,

    All I know is that when I was a kid, every time we drove to San Francisco, we closed our windows when passing through onion-stinky Vacaville. Otherwise, we children wanted the windows open, as my dad’s car reaked of cigarettes. Ah, what a dilemma for little kids to deal with…. Also, it used to smell of onions out in Elmira, where our Davis neighbors had a very large sheep ranch that we used to go to all the time. I know that quite a few Elmira farmers were growing onions, there…. I wonder if, now that I’m an adult and my smeller is not so sensitive, Vacaville’s old smell would be pleasant to me.

  64. Rich Rifkin

    “Actually, they were dried there at the Basic Vegetable plant. I believe the smell was an improvement over the ones emanating from the auction yard near Dixon….”

    Don,

    All I know is that when I was a kid, every time we drove to San Francisco, we closed our windows when passing through onion-stinky Vacaville. Otherwise, we children wanted the windows open, as my dad’s car reaked of cigarettes. Ah, what a dilemma for little kids to deal with…. Also, it used to smell of onions out in Elmira, where our Davis neighbors had a very large sheep ranch that we used to go to all the time. I know that quite a few Elmira farmers were growing onions, there…. I wonder if, now that I’m an adult and my smeller is not so sensitive, Vacaville’s old smell would be pleasant to me.

  65. Brian in Davis

    Thanks for the correction. I didn’t have the specific figures handy and was going off memory. A point that is often overlooked is that buildout of CV would have occurred over 10 years.

    To keep us completely off topic, while you may complain about the smell of onions, in Woodland I lived downwind from a beet processing plant. Such is life in an agricultural area. The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.

  66. Brian in Davis

    Thanks for the correction. I didn’t have the specific figures handy and was going off memory. A point that is often overlooked is that buildout of CV would have occurred over 10 years.

    To keep us completely off topic, while you may complain about the smell of onions, in Woodland I lived downwind from a beet processing plant. Such is life in an agricultural area. The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.

  67. Brian in Davis

    Thanks for the correction. I didn’t have the specific figures handy and was going off memory. A point that is often overlooked is that buildout of CV would have occurred over 10 years.

    To keep us completely off topic, while you may complain about the smell of onions, in Woodland I lived downwind from a beet processing plant. Such is life in an agricultural area. The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.

  68. Brian in Davis

    Thanks for the correction. I didn’t have the specific figures handy and was going off memory. A point that is often overlooked is that buildout of CV would have occurred over 10 years.

    To keep us completely off topic, while you may complain about the smell of onions, in Woodland I lived downwind from a beet processing plant. Such is life in an agricultural area. The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.

  69. Rich Rifkin

    “The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.”

    Are you talking about the Spreckles sugar-beet plant? If so, yes, that was really a horrible smell. However, I used to work in the fishing industry in Petersburg, Alaska. And you have not smelled bad smells until you experience ‘rendering’ at a fish factory. Rendering is when they cook up (in order to dehydrate) all of the blood, guts and fish heads, in order to make dog and cat-food ‘byproducts’ and organic fertilizers.

  70. Rich Rifkin

    “The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.”

    Are you talking about the Spreckles sugar-beet plant? If so, yes, that was really a horrible smell. However, I used to work in the fishing industry in Petersburg, Alaska. And you have not smelled bad smells until you experience ‘rendering’ at a fish factory. Rendering is when they cook up (in order to dehydrate) all of the blood, guts and fish heads, in order to make dog and cat-food ‘byproducts’ and organic fertilizers.

  71. Rich Rifkin

    “The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.”

    Are you talking about the Spreckles sugar-beet plant? If so, yes, that was really a horrible smell. However, I used to work in the fishing industry in Petersburg, Alaska. And you have not smelled bad smells until you experience ‘rendering’ at a fish factory. Rendering is when they cook up (in order to dehydrate) all of the blood, guts and fish heads, in order to make dog and cat-food ‘byproducts’ and organic fertilizers.

  72. Rich Rifkin

    “The beet plant has since closed down, but that smell rivals just about any.”

    Are you talking about the Spreckles sugar-beet plant? If so, yes, that was really a horrible smell. However, I used to work in the fishing industry in Petersburg, Alaska. And you have not smelled bad smells until you experience ‘rendering’ at a fish factory. Rendering is when they cook up (in order to dehydrate) all of the blood, guts and fish heads, in order to make dog and cat-food ‘byproducts’ and organic fertilizers.

  73. davisite

    Claire… one Enterprise employee “apologist” is quite enough for Vanguard. Rifkin’s excuse is that he writes commentary for the Enterprise but you are a reporter. Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.

  74. davisite

    Claire… one Enterprise employee “apologist” is quite enough for Vanguard. Rifkin’s excuse is that he writes commentary for the Enterprise but you are a reporter. Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.

  75. davisite

    Claire… one Enterprise employee “apologist” is quite enough for Vanguard. Rifkin’s excuse is that he writes commentary for the Enterprise but you are a reporter. Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.

  76. davisite

    Claire… one Enterprise employee “apologist” is quite enough for Vanguard. Rifkin’s excuse is that he writes commentary for the Enterprise but you are a reporter. Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.

  77. Don Shor

    No, the only one whose credibility has been damaged here, davisite, is yours. Claire is not an apologist for the Enterprise, and neither is Rich Rifkin. They speak here only for themselves, I assume. I would hope that blog members here would not make an effort to discourage other community members from posting. Particularly a blog member with admin powers.
    Yes, Dixon only has one big box store: WalMart. Dixon is not actively pursuing development of big box retail.

  78. Don Shor

    No, the only one whose credibility has been damaged here, davisite, is yours. Claire is not an apologist for the Enterprise, and neither is Rich Rifkin. They speak here only for themselves, I assume. I would hope that blog members here would not make an effort to discourage other community members from posting. Particularly a blog member with admin powers.
    Yes, Dixon only has one big box store: WalMart. Dixon is not actively pursuing development of big box retail.

  79. Don Shor

    No, the only one whose credibility has been damaged here, davisite, is yours. Claire is not an apologist for the Enterprise, and neither is Rich Rifkin. They speak here only for themselves, I assume. I would hope that blog members here would not make an effort to discourage other community members from posting. Particularly a blog member with admin powers.
    Yes, Dixon only has one big box store: WalMart. Dixon is not actively pursuing development of big box retail.

  80. Don Shor

    No, the only one whose credibility has been damaged here, davisite, is yours. Claire is not an apologist for the Enterprise, and neither is Rich Rifkin. They speak here only for themselves, I assume. I would hope that blog members here would not make an effort to discourage other community members from posting. Particularly a blog member with admin powers.
    Yes, Dixon only has one big box store: WalMart. Dixon is not actively pursuing development of big box retail.

  81. Don Shor

    In 1996 voters in Dixon renewed a growth measure which caps growth at 3%. It had previously been a 10-year measure, and the ’96 vote renewed it indefinitely. At the same time the City Council fired the city manager, who had been perceived as pro-growth. But councilmembers and voters there tend to look at projects on a case-by-case basis. There have been some fairly large housing projects approved (without going to a vote). Nevertheless, housing prices in Dixon have risen slowly but steadily, and are now closer to Davis prices than they used to be. Housing prices in Woodland, Davis, and Dixon are all higher than anything most of us would define as ‘affordable’.

  82. Don Shor

    In 1996 voters in Dixon renewed a growth measure which caps growth at 3%. It had previously been a 10-year measure, and the ’96 vote renewed it indefinitely. At the same time the City Council fired the city manager, who had been perceived as pro-growth. But councilmembers and voters there tend to look at projects on a case-by-case basis. There have been some fairly large housing projects approved (without going to a vote). Nevertheless, housing prices in Dixon have risen slowly but steadily, and are now closer to Davis prices than they used to be. Housing prices in Woodland, Davis, and Dixon are all higher than anything most of us would define as ‘affordable’.

  83. Don Shor

    In 1996 voters in Dixon renewed a growth measure which caps growth at 3%. It had previously been a 10-year measure, and the ’96 vote renewed it indefinitely. At the same time the City Council fired the city manager, who had been perceived as pro-growth. But councilmembers and voters there tend to look at projects on a case-by-case basis. There have been some fairly large housing projects approved (without going to a vote). Nevertheless, housing prices in Dixon have risen slowly but steadily, and are now closer to Davis prices than they used to be. Housing prices in Woodland, Davis, and Dixon are all higher than anything most of us would define as ‘affordable’.

  84. Don Shor

    In 1996 voters in Dixon renewed a growth measure which caps growth at 3%. It had previously been a 10-year measure, and the ’96 vote renewed it indefinitely. At the same time the City Council fired the city manager, who had been perceived as pro-growth. But councilmembers and voters there tend to look at projects on a case-by-case basis. There have been some fairly large housing projects approved (without going to a vote). Nevertheless, housing prices in Dixon have risen slowly but steadily, and are now closer to Davis prices than they used to be. Housing prices in Woodland, Davis, and Dixon are all higher than anything most of us would define as ‘affordable’.

  85. Doug Paul Davis

    I’m in agreement with Don here, I don’t have a problem with Claire correcting my errors–if I point out the errors that others make, it is only fair and right to be held to the same standard.

    I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.

    Claire St. John, Jim Smith, and others are more than welcome to post here. Their insight is invaluable to this blog and their presence gives it credibility.

    I fully appreciate everyone’s contributions to this growing community forum.

  86. Doug Paul Davis

    I’m in agreement with Don here, I don’t have a problem with Claire correcting my errors–if I point out the errors that others make, it is only fair and right to be held to the same standard.

    I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.

    Claire St. John, Jim Smith, and others are more than welcome to post here. Their insight is invaluable to this blog and their presence gives it credibility.

    I fully appreciate everyone’s contributions to this growing community forum.

  87. Doug Paul Davis

    I’m in agreement with Don here, I don’t have a problem with Claire correcting my errors–if I point out the errors that others make, it is only fair and right to be held to the same standard.

    I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.

    Claire St. John, Jim Smith, and others are more than welcome to post here. Their insight is invaluable to this blog and their presence gives it credibility.

    I fully appreciate everyone’s contributions to this growing community forum.

  88. Doug Paul Davis

    I’m in agreement with Don here, I don’t have a problem with Claire correcting my errors–if I point out the errors that others make, it is only fair and right to be held to the same standard.

    I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.

    Claire St. John, Jim Smith, and others are more than welcome to post here. Their insight is invaluable to this blog and their presence gives it credibility.

    I fully appreciate everyone’s contributions to this growing community forum.

  89. davisite

    Don..I disagree. Claire’s comment about the slow growth policies of Dixon are as relevant to the “facts on the ground” as Davis’ voter-passed Measure L that instructed Davis to grow at the slowest possible legal means. My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.

  90. davisite

    Don..I disagree. Claire’s comment about the slow growth policies of Dixon are as relevant to the “facts on the ground” as Davis’ voter-passed Measure L that instructed Davis to grow at the slowest possible legal means. My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.

  91. davisite

    Don..I disagree. Claire’s comment about the slow growth policies of Dixon are as relevant to the “facts on the ground” as Davis’ voter-passed Measure L that instructed Davis to grow at the slowest possible legal means. My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.

  92. davisite

    Don..I disagree. Claire’s comment about the slow growth policies of Dixon are as relevant to the “facts on the ground” as Davis’ voter-passed Measure L that instructed Davis to grow at the slowest possible legal means. My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.

  93. Rich Rifkin

    “My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.”

    Professional caution? I’m not sure what you are cautioning Ms. St. John for? You seem to think that what she wrote was not credible:

    “Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.”

    What did she write that was not credible? I’m entirely befuddled by your viscious attack on Ms. St. John’s professionalism.

  94. Rich Rifkin

    “My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.”

    Professional caution? I’m not sure what you are cautioning Ms. St. John for? You seem to think that what she wrote was not credible:

    “Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.”

    What did she write that was not credible? I’m entirely befuddled by your viscious attack on Ms. St. John’s professionalism.

  95. Rich Rifkin

    “My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.”

    Professional caution? I’m not sure what you are cautioning Ms. St. John for? You seem to think that what she wrote was not credible:

    “Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.”

    What did she write that was not credible? I’m entirely befuddled by your viscious attack on Ms. St. John’s professionalism.

  96. Rich Rifkin

    “My posting was more a personal suggestion of professional caution rather than any attempt at censorship.”

    Professional caution? I’m not sure what you are cautioning Ms. St. John for? You seem to think that what she wrote was not credible:

    “Although you may like to be able to separate your personal from professional writings, your posting here unfortunatly has damaged your credibility.”

    What did she write that was not credible? I’m entirely befuddled by your viscious attack on Ms. St. John’s professionalism.

  97. Don Shor

    Doug, re: “I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.”

    What Dixon has done is fill in all the land toward the freeway with highway commercial development, including nearly every chain restaurant you can think of, and that has been very visible growth. The housing growth along Pitt School Rd. is also visible from the freeway. There is another fairly large development near the cemetery (south of the Dixon May Fair).

  98. Don Shor

    Doug, re: “I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.”

    What Dixon has done is fill in all the land toward the freeway with highway commercial development, including nearly every chain restaurant you can think of, and that has been very visible growth. The housing growth along Pitt School Rd. is also visible from the freeway. There is another fairly large development near the cemetery (south of the Dixon May Fair).

  99. Don Shor

    Doug, re: “I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.”

    What Dixon has done is fill in all the land toward the freeway with highway commercial development, including nearly every chain restaurant you can think of, and that has been very visible growth. The housing growth along Pitt School Rd. is also visible from the freeway. There is another fairly large development near the cemetery (south of the Dixon May Fair).

  100. Don Shor

    Doug, re: “I don’t know why I thought Dixon had more than Wal-Mart, although it has seemed to grow very rapidly in the last 10 years.”

    What Dixon has done is fill in all the land toward the freeway with highway commercial development, including nearly every chain restaurant you can think of, and that has been very visible growth. The housing growth along Pitt School Rd. is also visible from the freeway. There is another fairly large development near the cemetery (south of the Dixon May Fair).

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