New Fight over Remaking the Core Landscape at 3rd and B Street

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A controversial new proposal is seeking to raze an entire block of homes in the Davis core area on the west side of B Street between 2nd and 4th and on 3rd Street between B and University (see map). It will replace the current homes, most of which are small old-time bungalows with large new buildings “in order to provide a more attractive “transition” between the downtown and the university.” Part of this change will be to push out the student renters who live in this area and replace them with owner/ occupants.

The proposal includes 3-story mixed-use buildings with office and residential or owner/ occupied townhouses along B Street. It will explicitly be designed to discourage student rentals.

This project right now is known as the B and 3rd Streets Visioning Process.

According to Sarah Worley, The Economic Development Director for the City of Davis and the primary staff person on the 3rd & B project, at the Historical Resources Management Commission (HMRC) meeting last week, this process first arose in 2004 at the behest of the Davis City Council and two B Street property owners who requested to be allowed to demolish their existing structure and build much larger buildings on their land.

Both of the proposals were in violation of the Davis Downtown and Traditional Residential Neighborhood Design Guidelines, as well as the Core Area Specific Plan and the General Plan. One of these projects was rejected by the City Council; the other plan was withdrawn.

The project’s goal is to create “an urban village” that will include higher density homes with a stronger connection with UC Davis (even though they are kicking out the students currently residing in that area.) It also again looks for owner occupancy and reinvestment in that area.

One of the concerns raised by many is that the EIR is inadequate, since the project area does not include studying the impact on areas just outside of where the zoning will be changed.

At the meeting last week, the HRMC voted on a motion:

“Is the Final EIR incomplete for the purposes of decision-making, particularly as it relates to impacts on historical resources, because it fails to adequately address the impacts and mitigations on the larger core area conservation district?”

This motion was made by member Rich Rifkin, who ultimately abstained from voting due to some uncertainties that arose from staff’s objections, however, the commission voted 3-2-2 in support of that motion.

According to an outside consultant hired by the city of Davis, the limitations on the EIR were due to the directive of the city council.

The planning commission will meet next. Staff is recommending the approval of the EIR at the May 30, 2007 meeting.

As the staff report notes, there continues to be areas of controversy.

“At present and at the time of Council action on Vision 4 there was not community consensus as to the desired form of development in the project area. The one area of consensus was a desire for more owner occupied housing. There was also a recognition that some changes were necessary to encourage reinvestment and achieve a stronger connection between the Downtown and the University.”

Some of the main objections appear to be coming from people just outside of the main project area, an area apparently not studied in the EIR. Only two of the property owners in the project area have expressed objection and their objection is based the requirement for mitigation of alley right-of-way. There are also two property owners within the area who are not interested in redevelopment who wish to see a smaller scale of development.

Here are some of the proposal that have drawn heavy concern and criticism as noted by the staff report:

  • fourth floor and maximum height of 56 feet
  • third floor and height of 45 feet
  • density bonus for construction of condo units
  • expanding existing 13 foot alley right-of-way to 20 feet
  • require alley right-of-way only from east side of alley
  • demolition of “Eligible Merit Resource and a group of structures that contribute to the historic setting of the area if suitable relocation sites are not available”
  • payments in-lieu of parking fees for non-residential uses and parking above one space per residential unit in mixed use projects.
Commentary:

Most of the people I have spoken to and many of the people speaking at the EMRC meeting have expressed very strong concerns about the project. Several people came up to me at Farmer’s Market last Saturday and expressed grave reservations both about the project and the EIR which is moving its way through the process.

The primary concern I have is the narrow EIR under the explicit direction of the City Council. That is alarming not just because of the EIR process not taking into account the impacts on the larger area, but it is also indicative of where the council stands on this issue, which is to suggest that they are in support.

Staff pressed the HMRC to approve the EIR, but there were sufficient concerns by the membership to reject it by the barest of margins despite what appeared to be heavy pressure from staff. It seems unlikely that the Planning Commission would do the same tomorrow night.

The irony of this proposal is that this area of Davis is what first attracted me to the city. It presents the feeling of a true college town, with old houses, students, and small quaint shops that service primarily a student population. The character and feel of this neighborhood would be destroyed by the large-scale development. The students would be in essence evicted, the nature of the entire area would be changed.

As one of the members of the HMRC, Valerie Vann, pointed out, this project makes a traditional neighborhood, no longer a traditional neighborhood.

I understand the need and desire for densification and redevelopment. I would support such efforts on a case-by-case basis, but in this case, it does not seem to meet the needs of this neighborhood judging from the objections that have already been underway from a variety of different sources–two of whom are former councilmembers Mike Harrington and Maynard Skinner, both of whom came the HMRC meeting to speak against the proposed project and both of whom live in that neighborhood.

Unfortunately, this project appears to be underway at the behest of council and with the support of council, which suggests to me that this is already a done deal. While I suspect this will not go down without a fight, the council majority rarely has acceded to public pressure and they have rarely allowed public animus to get in the way of their goals and visions. This is particularly troublesome in an area that is so ripe with tradition and so vital to the character of our core area and to the students who utilize it in conjunction with their university living.

—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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168 thoughts on “New Fight over Remaking the Core Landscape at 3rd and B Street”

  1. davisite

    The lack of credibility that the current Council Majority suffers from enflames these growth through densification issues. It is imperative that we elect a new council majority that has our trust.

  2. davisite

    The lack of credibility that the current Council Majority suffers from enflames these growth through densification issues. It is imperative that we elect a new council majority that has our trust.

  3. davisite

    The lack of credibility that the current Council Majority suffers from enflames these growth through densification issues. It is imperative that we elect a new council majority that has our trust.

  4. davisite

    The lack of credibility that the current Council Majority suffers from enflames these growth through densification issues. It is imperative that we elect a new council majority that has our trust.

  5. Anonymous

    It’s also interesting to note that two of the proposed “developers” of future projects along B street are on the downtown association board – the same board that got rid of their employees and got rid of any preservation program they had with the main street association. Coincidence? I think not….

  6. Anonymous

    It’s also interesting to note that two of the proposed “developers” of future projects along B street are on the downtown association board – the same board that got rid of their employees and got rid of any preservation program they had with the main street association. Coincidence? I think not….

  7. Anonymous

    It’s also interesting to note that two of the proposed “developers” of future projects along B street are on the downtown association board – the same board that got rid of their employees and got rid of any preservation program they had with the main street association. Coincidence? I think not….

  8. Anonymous

    It’s also interesting to note that two of the proposed “developers” of future projects along B street are on the downtown association board – the same board that got rid of their employees and got rid of any preservation program they had with the main street association. Coincidence? I think not….

  9. Anonymous

    Davis has only a very small number of older houses, and I hate to see them demo’d. The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.

  10. Anonymous

    Davis has only a very small number of older houses, and I hate to see them demo’d. The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.

  11. Anonymous

    Davis has only a very small number of older houses, and I hate to see them demo’d. The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.

  12. Anonymous

    Davis has only a very small number of older houses, and I hate to see them demo’d. The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.

  13. Rich Rifkin

    The city council is now scheduled to take its “final action” on the 3rd & B plan at its June 12 meeting. What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?

    If so, that would be a shame. I suspect that the others would, on the margins, defer to Sue’s expertise on the existing conditions of that neighborhood and on how the proposed changes would impact the nearby homeowners. Further, I think Sue has a good sense of what is and is not smart urban design. Insofar as the council changes the plan, Sue would do a good job of analyzing whether the changes will work.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    The city council is now scheduled to take its “final action” on the 3rd & B plan at its June 12 meeting. What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?

    If so, that would be a shame. I suspect that the others would, on the margins, defer to Sue’s expertise on the existing conditions of that neighborhood and on how the proposed changes would impact the nearby homeowners. Further, I think Sue has a good sense of what is and is not smart urban design. Insofar as the council changes the plan, Sue would do a good job of analyzing whether the changes will work.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    The city council is now scheduled to take its “final action” on the 3rd & B plan at its June 12 meeting. What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?

    If so, that would be a shame. I suspect that the others would, on the margins, defer to Sue’s expertise on the existing conditions of that neighborhood and on how the proposed changes would impact the nearby homeowners. Further, I think Sue has a good sense of what is and is not smart urban design. Insofar as the council changes the plan, Sue would do a good job of analyzing whether the changes will work.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    The city council is now scheduled to take its “final action” on the 3rd & B plan at its June 12 meeting. What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?

    If so, that would be a shame. I suspect that the others would, on the margins, defer to Sue’s expertise on the existing conditions of that neighborhood and on how the proposed changes would impact the nearby homeowners. Further, I think Sue has a good sense of what is and is not smart urban design. Insofar as the council changes the plan, Sue would do a good job of analyzing whether the changes will work.

  17. jim

    In addition to all the concerns already indicated, I have a major concern about the impact 3 – 4 story buildings, with minimal yards, across the street will have on Central Park. It will not be “doing better by the Park” as has been indicated

  18. jim

    In addition to all the concerns already indicated, I have a major concern about the impact 3 – 4 story buildings, with minimal yards, across the street will have on Central Park. It will not be “doing better by the Park” as has been indicated

  19. jim

    In addition to all the concerns already indicated, I have a major concern about the impact 3 – 4 story buildings, with minimal yards, across the street will have on Central Park. It will not be “doing better by the Park” as has been indicated

  20. jim

    In addition to all the concerns already indicated, I have a major concern about the impact 3 – 4 story buildings, with minimal yards, across the street will have on Central Park. It will not be “doing better by the Park” as has been indicated

  21. Rich Rifkin

    “The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.”

    Agreed. Further, the charm of a building like 301 B Street (Ciocolate) — which I address in my column tomorrow — can be lost if it is surrounded by a massive 38-foot tall building on its north and 56-foot tall buildings to its south and west. It is one thing for a lovely old house to be dwarfed by giant old trees — many of which will be felled for the new structures — but another to be dwarfed by giant new buildings. That kind of mix tends to make the remaining house feel crowded and out of place.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    “The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.”

    Agreed. Further, the charm of a building like 301 B Street (Ciocolate) — which I address in my column tomorrow — can be lost if it is surrounded by a massive 38-foot tall building on its north and 56-foot tall buildings to its south and west. It is one thing for a lovely old house to be dwarfed by giant old trees — many of which will be felled for the new structures — but another to be dwarfed by giant new buildings. That kind of mix tends to make the remaining house feel crowded and out of place.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    “The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.”

    Agreed. Further, the charm of a building like 301 B Street (Ciocolate) — which I address in my column tomorrow — can be lost if it is surrounded by a massive 38-foot tall building on its north and 56-foot tall buildings to its south and west. It is one thing for a lovely old house to be dwarfed by giant old trees — many of which will be felled for the new structures — but another to be dwarfed by giant new buildings. That kind of mix tends to make the remaining house feel crowded and out of place.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    “The charm of places like Ciocolat is not easily replaceable in a new development.”

    Agreed. Further, the charm of a building like 301 B Street (Ciocolate) — which I address in my column tomorrow — can be lost if it is surrounded by a massive 38-foot tall building on its north and 56-foot tall buildings to its south and west. It is one thing for a lovely old house to be dwarfed by giant old trees — many of which will be felled for the new structures — but another to be dwarfed by giant new buildings. That kind of mix tends to make the remaining house feel crowded and out of place.

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    Well let’s see, I don’t live anywhere near that neighborhood, so that’s a bogus argument.

    Second, I do like infill, that does not mean I will support every infill project.

    Third, I do like infill, that does not mean I want to take a wrecking ball to existing neighborhoods and totally change their character

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    Well let’s see, I don’t live anywhere near that neighborhood, so that’s a bogus argument.

    Second, I do like infill, that does not mean I will support every infill project.

    Third, I do like infill, that does not mean I want to take a wrecking ball to existing neighborhoods and totally change their character

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    Well let’s see, I don’t live anywhere near that neighborhood, so that’s a bogus argument.

    Second, I do like infill, that does not mean I will support every infill project.

    Third, I do like infill, that does not mean I want to take a wrecking ball to existing neighborhoods and totally change their character

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    Well let’s see, I don’t live anywhere near that neighborhood, so that’s a bogus argument.

    Second, I do like infill, that does not mean I will support every infill project.

    Third, I do like infill, that does not mean I want to take a wrecking ball to existing neighborhoods and totally change their character

  29. Anonymous

    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. This is exactly what he criticizes others for. Greenwald is unwilling to state where he does support infill. He uses the “case-by-case” excuse to cover himself and never be accountable for actually supporting infill. Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.

  30. Anonymous

    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. This is exactly what he criticizes others for. Greenwald is unwilling to state where he does support infill. He uses the “case-by-case” excuse to cover himself and never be accountable for actually supporting infill. Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.

  31. Anonymous

    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. This is exactly what he criticizes others for. Greenwald is unwilling to state where he does support infill. He uses the “case-by-case” excuse to cover himself and never be accountable for actually supporting infill. Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.

  32. Anonymous

    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. This is exactly what he criticizes others for. Greenwald is unwilling to state where he does support infill. He uses the “case-by-case” excuse to cover himself and never be accountable for actually supporting infill. Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.

  33. Anonymous

    The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. So Greenwald can say he’s for “infill” and never be held accountable. In downtown, we’re talking about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it.

  34. Anonymous

    The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. So Greenwald can say he’s for “infill” and never be held accountable. In downtown, we’re talking about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it.

  35. Anonymous

    The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. So Greenwald can say he’s for “infill” and never be held accountable. In downtown, we’re talking about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it.

  36. Anonymous

    The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. So Greenwald can say he’s for “infill” and never be held accountable. In downtown, we’re talking about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it.

  37. Doug Paul Davis

    Give me a project that I can realistically support and then you can put it to a test. I am not going to support infill at the expense of neighborhood preservation and I don’t feel that I should have to. I am also not going to support a plan that destroys the entire character the core portion of the city simply because it is infill.

    Give me reasons why I should support this specific project.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    Give me a project that I can realistically support and then you can put it to a test. I am not going to support infill at the expense of neighborhood preservation and I don’t feel that I should have to. I am also not going to support a plan that destroys the entire character the core portion of the city simply because it is infill.

    Give me reasons why I should support this specific project.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    Give me a project that I can realistically support and then you can put it to a test. I am not going to support infill at the expense of neighborhood preservation and I don’t feel that I should have to. I am also not going to support a plan that destroys the entire character the core portion of the city simply because it is infill.

    Give me reasons why I should support this specific project.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    Give me a project that I can realistically support and then you can put it to a test. I am not going to support infill at the expense of neighborhood preservation and I don’t feel that I should have to. I am also not going to support a plan that destroys the entire character the core portion of the city simply because it is infill.

    Give me reasons why I should support this specific project.

  41. Doug Paul Davis

    It is interesting to note, that the word infill is not a term I used in this article. It was brought up by anonymous and I only mentioned it in response to anonymous.

  42. Doug Paul Davis

    It is interesting to note, that the word infill is not a term I used in this article. It was brought up by anonymous and I only mentioned it in response to anonymous.

  43. Doug Paul Davis

    It is interesting to note, that the word infill is not a term I used in this article. It was brought up by anonymous and I only mentioned it in response to anonymous.

  44. Doug Paul Davis

    It is interesting to note, that the word infill is not a term I used in this article. It was brought up by anonymous and I only mentioned it in response to anonymous.

  45. Vincente

    Hey anonymous, since you want to refer to Greenwald and accuse him of things, that I don’t think are true, particularly since as he suggests, the mention of infill was made by you, not him. Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of?

  46. Vincente

    Hey anonymous, since you want to refer to Greenwald and accuse him of things, that I don’t think are true, particularly since as he suggests, the mention of infill was made by you, not him. Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of?

  47. Vincente

    Hey anonymous, since you want to refer to Greenwald and accuse him of things, that I don’t think are true, particularly since as he suggests, the mention of infill was made by you, not him. Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of?

  48. Vincente

    Hey anonymous, since you want to refer to Greenwald and accuse him of things, that I don’t think are true, particularly since as he suggests, the mention of infill was made by you, not him. Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of?

  49. Gary Reed

    This post is being considered for The Sacramento Bee’s roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

    The Blog Watch column is limited to about 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often trimmed to fit. The blog’s main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

    If you have questions (or you DON’T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at greed@sacbee.com

    Gary Reed
    Forum Editor

  50. Gary Reed

    This post is being considered for The Sacramento Bee’s roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

    The Blog Watch column is limited to about 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often trimmed to fit. The blog’s main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

    If you have questions (or you DON’T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at greed@sacbee.com

    Gary Reed
    Forum Editor

  51. Gary Reed

    This post is being considered for The Sacramento Bee’s roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

    The Blog Watch column is limited to about 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often trimmed to fit. The blog’s main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

    If you have questions (or you DON’T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at greed@sacbee.com

    Gary Reed
    Forum Editor

  52. Gary Reed

    This post is being considered for The Sacramento Bee’s roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

    The Blog Watch column is limited to about 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often trimmed to fit. The blog’s main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

    If you have questions (or you DON’T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at greed@sacbee.com

    Gary Reed
    Forum Editor

  53. Anonymous

    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. Questioning, raising issues that have been overlooked or purposefully”swept under the rug” is what is going on here and what hopefully will continue with city staff, Planning Commission and on the Council dais. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.

  54. Anonymous

    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. Questioning, raising issues that have been overlooked or purposefully”swept under the rug” is what is going on here and what hopefully will continue with city staff, Planning Commission and on the Council dais. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.

  55. Anonymous

    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. Questioning, raising issues that have been overlooked or purposefully”swept under the rug” is what is going on here and what hopefully will continue with city staff, Planning Commission and on the Council dais. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.

  56. Anonymous

    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. Questioning, raising issues that have been overlooked or purposefully”swept under the rug” is what is going on here and what hopefully will continue with city staff, Planning Commission and on the Council dais. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.

  57. Gail

    The folks who live in and nearby are not opposed to infill. In fact, they are on the record for supporting significant densification. Please don’t make the mistake of calling the neighbors NIMBYs. If you want to know more, call them, or read what they’ve written on the project.

    This project is not “infill”, it’s scrape the earth redevelopment.Huge trees will be lost without any space left to plant replacements, parking and traffic impacts are significant and unavoidable, no open space is required for the townhouse units, the few residential houses within the project area that qualify as either a Landmark (Ciocolat) or merit resources can be demolished; the list goes on. There’s no weaving old with new in a sensitive manner.

    I personally think Davis can do much better infill than this. But will they?

    I’m worried the Council will approve the project because they’ve spent an enormous amount of public money of the EIR. No property owner contribution has been required. Once the project is approved, the city will be “reimbursed” at the rate of $2000 per unit. It’s seems unlikely to me that this Council will vote against project.

    Gail

  58. Gail

    The folks who live in and nearby are not opposed to infill. In fact, they are on the record for supporting significant densification. Please don’t make the mistake of calling the neighbors NIMBYs. If you want to know more, call them, or read what they’ve written on the project.

    This project is not “infill”, it’s scrape the earth redevelopment.Huge trees will be lost without any space left to plant replacements, parking and traffic impacts are significant and unavoidable, no open space is required for the townhouse units, the few residential houses within the project area that qualify as either a Landmark (Ciocolat) or merit resources can be demolished; the list goes on. There’s no weaving old with new in a sensitive manner.

    I personally think Davis can do much better infill than this. But will they?

    I’m worried the Council will approve the project because they’ve spent an enormous amount of public money of the EIR. No property owner contribution has been required. Once the project is approved, the city will be “reimbursed” at the rate of $2000 per unit. It’s seems unlikely to me that this Council will vote against project.

    Gail

  59. Gail

    The folks who live in and nearby are not opposed to infill. In fact, they are on the record for supporting significant densification. Please don’t make the mistake of calling the neighbors NIMBYs. If you want to know more, call them, or read what they’ve written on the project.

    This project is not “infill”, it’s scrape the earth redevelopment.Huge trees will be lost without any space left to plant replacements, parking and traffic impacts are significant and unavoidable, no open space is required for the townhouse units, the few residential houses within the project area that qualify as either a Landmark (Ciocolat) or merit resources can be demolished; the list goes on. There’s no weaving old with new in a sensitive manner.

    I personally think Davis can do much better infill than this. But will they?

    I’m worried the Council will approve the project because they’ve spent an enormous amount of public money of the EIR. No property owner contribution has been required. Once the project is approved, the city will be “reimbursed” at the rate of $2000 per unit. It’s seems unlikely to me that this Council will vote against project.

    Gail

  60. Gail

    The folks who live in and nearby are not opposed to infill. In fact, they are on the record for supporting significant densification. Please don’t make the mistake of calling the neighbors NIMBYs. If you want to know more, call them, or read what they’ve written on the project.

    This project is not “infill”, it’s scrape the earth redevelopment.Huge trees will be lost without any space left to plant replacements, parking and traffic impacts are significant and unavoidable, no open space is required for the townhouse units, the few residential houses within the project area that qualify as either a Landmark (Ciocolat) or merit resources can be demolished; the list goes on. There’s no weaving old with new in a sensitive manner.

    I personally think Davis can do much better infill than this. But will they?

    I’m worried the Council will approve the project because they’ve spent an enormous amount of public money of the EIR. No property owner contribution has been required. Once the project is approved, the city will be “reimbursed” at the rate of $2000 per unit. It’s seems unlikely to me that this Council will vote against project.

    Gail

  61. Anonymous

    “the mention of infill was made by you, not him.”

    It was made by Greenwald in the second point of his first rebuttal. You know, the part that says, “I like infill”? ;>)

    “Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of? “

    Testing how much this blog community values anonymity. I thought it was about ideas and positions on issues, which is what was challenged. Maybe I misunderstood.

  62. Anonymous

    “the mention of infill was made by you, not him.”

    It was made by Greenwald in the second point of his first rebuttal. You know, the part that says, “I like infill”? ;>)

    “Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of? “

    Testing how much this blog community values anonymity. I thought it was about ideas and positions on issues, which is what was challenged. Maybe I misunderstood.

  63. Anonymous

    “the mention of infill was made by you, not him.”

    It was made by Greenwald in the second point of his first rebuttal. You know, the part that says, “I like infill”? ;>)

    “Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of? “

    Testing how much this blog community values anonymity. I thought it was about ideas and positions on issues, which is what was challenged. Maybe I misunderstood.

  64. Anonymous

    “the mention of infill was made by you, not him.”

    It was made by Greenwald in the second point of his first rebuttal. You know, the part that says, “I like infill”? ;>)

    “Why don’t you identify yourself? What are you afraid of? “

    Testing how much this blog community values anonymity. I thought it was about ideas and positions on issues, which is what was challenged. Maybe I misunderstood.

  65. Anonymous

    If they need to tear down and redevelop, how about going across the street instead to the ugly buildings on the east side of B street between 1st and 2nd? Why start with the attractive and historical buildings when there are plenty of eyesores to work with.

  66. Anonymous

    If they need to tear down and redevelop, how about going across the street instead to the ugly buildings on the east side of B street between 1st and 2nd? Why start with the attractive and historical buildings when there are plenty of eyesores to work with.

  67. Anonymous

    If they need to tear down and redevelop, how about going across the street instead to the ugly buildings on the east side of B street between 1st and 2nd? Why start with the attractive and historical buildings when there are plenty of eyesores to work with.

  68. Anonymous

    If they need to tear down and redevelop, how about going across the street instead to the ugly buildings on the east side of B street between 1st and 2nd? Why start with the attractive and historical buildings when there are plenty of eyesores to work with.

  69. Anonymous

    There is no “project” yet. It is a zoning issue right now. Each property owner will still have to design and get approval on each project.

    Also, this process has been going on since 2004 and earlier. While the proposal is controversial, it is not “new.”

    After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.

  70. Anonymous

    There is no “project” yet. It is a zoning issue right now. Each property owner will still have to design and get approval on each project.

    Also, this process has been going on since 2004 and earlier. While the proposal is controversial, it is not “new.”

    After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.

  71. Anonymous

    There is no “project” yet. It is a zoning issue right now. Each property owner will still have to design and get approval on each project.

    Also, this process has been going on since 2004 and earlier. While the proposal is controversial, it is not “new.”

    After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.

  72. Anonymous

    There is no “project” yet. It is a zoning issue right now. Each property owner will still have to design and get approval on each project.

    Also, this process has been going on since 2004 and earlier. While the proposal is controversial, it is not “new.”

    After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.

  73. Vincente

    If you are going to accuse “Greenwald” of things, then perhaps you ought to not hide behind anonymity. I’ve been very consistent on that point.

    Second, as stated earlier, the word “infill” never is mentioned in the article. He in fact does refer to it as “redevelopment.” So that criticism to me seems off based. The only time that “infill” was mentioned by DPD was when someone accused DPD of wanting to have it both ways.

    Seriously, is your argument that in order for someone to be consistent on an issue, they must accept every single proposal? That is ludicrous. I don’t see this as anyone wanting to have it both ways, I see this as everyone opposed to this proposal as seeing serious flaws in it.

    I note for the record that to this point, you have not defended the proposal. I assume that is because you cannot. But if you can, why don’t we have a debate on the merits of THIS project rather than presuming positions that are not stated.

  74. Vincente

    If you are going to accuse “Greenwald” of things, then perhaps you ought to not hide behind anonymity. I’ve been very consistent on that point.

    Second, as stated earlier, the word “infill” never is mentioned in the article. He in fact does refer to it as “redevelopment.” So that criticism to me seems off based. The only time that “infill” was mentioned by DPD was when someone accused DPD of wanting to have it both ways.

    Seriously, is your argument that in order for someone to be consistent on an issue, they must accept every single proposal? That is ludicrous. I don’t see this as anyone wanting to have it both ways, I see this as everyone opposed to this proposal as seeing serious flaws in it.

    I note for the record that to this point, you have not defended the proposal. I assume that is because you cannot. But if you can, why don’t we have a debate on the merits of THIS project rather than presuming positions that are not stated.

  75. Vincente

    If you are going to accuse “Greenwald” of things, then perhaps you ought to not hide behind anonymity. I’ve been very consistent on that point.

    Second, as stated earlier, the word “infill” never is mentioned in the article. He in fact does refer to it as “redevelopment.” So that criticism to me seems off based. The only time that “infill” was mentioned by DPD was when someone accused DPD of wanting to have it both ways.

    Seriously, is your argument that in order for someone to be consistent on an issue, they must accept every single proposal? That is ludicrous. I don’t see this as anyone wanting to have it both ways, I see this as everyone opposed to this proposal as seeing serious flaws in it.

    I note for the record that to this point, you have not defended the proposal. I assume that is because you cannot. But if you can, why don’t we have a debate on the merits of THIS project rather than presuming positions that are not stated.

  76. Vincente

    If you are going to accuse “Greenwald” of things, then perhaps you ought to not hide behind anonymity. I’ve been very consistent on that point.

    Second, as stated earlier, the word “infill” never is mentioned in the article. He in fact does refer to it as “redevelopment.” So that criticism to me seems off based. The only time that “infill” was mentioned by DPD was when someone accused DPD of wanting to have it both ways.

    Seriously, is your argument that in order for someone to be consistent on an issue, they must accept every single proposal? That is ludicrous. I don’t see this as anyone wanting to have it both ways, I see this as everyone opposed to this proposal as seeing serious flaws in it.

    I note for the record that to this point, you have not defended the proposal. I assume that is because you cannot. But if you can, why don’t we have a debate on the merits of THIS project rather than presuming positions that are not stated.

  77. Anonymous

    I see no difference in the quality or condition between the houses on east side or west side of B Street. They are all run down and poorly kept. Some are better than others.

  78. Anonymous

    I see no difference in the quality or condition between the houses on east side or west side of B Street. They are all run down and poorly kept. Some are better than others.

  79. Anonymous

    I see no difference in the quality or condition between the houses on east side or west side of B Street. They are all run down and poorly kept. Some are better than others.

  80. Anonymous

    I see no difference in the quality or condition between the houses on east side or west side of B Street. They are all run down and poorly kept. Some are better than others.

  81. Glib Reporter

    “After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.”

    After covell village, I’m suspicious of staff reports… Seriously though, I don’t think I need to read a staff report to oppose tearing down those buildings and I certain do not need to read the staff report to know that I oppose 3 and 4 story buildings there. So thanks, but no thanks.

  82. Glib Reporter

    “After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.”

    After covell village, I’m suspicious of staff reports… Seriously though, I don’t think I need to read a staff report to oppose tearing down those buildings and I certain do not need to read the staff report to know that I oppose 3 and 4 story buildings there. So thanks, but no thanks.

  83. Glib Reporter

    “After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.”

    After covell village, I’m suspicious of staff reports… Seriously though, I don’t think I need to read a staff report to oppose tearing down those buildings and I certain do not need to read the staff report to know that I oppose 3 and 4 story buildings there. So thanks, but no thanks.

  84. Glib Reporter

    “After Covell Village, I am suspicious of “the sky is falling” reasons for or against a project. I suggest that people read the Staff Report.”

    After covell village, I’m suspicious of staff reports… Seriously though, I don’t think I need to read a staff report to oppose tearing down those buildings and I certain do not need to read the staff report to know that I oppose 3 and 4 story buildings there. So thanks, but no thanks.

  85. Anonymous

    There are already 3 story buildings on 3rd Street. The 4 stories allows for the kind of design that already exists in the neighborhood – houses with high peaked roofs and additional living space in the “attic.” I would support a better building for the businesses on the south side of 3rd street. Right now it is a square brown one story shoebox. This cannot be what people are referring to as “quaint.” Even Ciocolat is in a 2 1/2 story building (Remember you have to go up steps to get to the “ground” floor).

    I suggest that people read the staff report to know exactly what they are in disagreement with, rather than rely completely on “they are going to cut down all the trees” statements from people who haven’t taken the time or refuse to read the proposal. This stubborness tends to be a turn off.

    The best negotiators in land planning issues in Davis are people like Pam Nieberg. Her educated and measured way of responsing to proposals is something we could all learn from.

  86. Anonymous

    There are already 3 story buildings on 3rd Street. The 4 stories allows for the kind of design that already exists in the neighborhood – houses with high peaked roofs and additional living space in the “attic.” I would support a better building for the businesses on the south side of 3rd street. Right now it is a square brown one story shoebox. This cannot be what people are referring to as “quaint.” Even Ciocolat is in a 2 1/2 story building (Remember you have to go up steps to get to the “ground” floor).

    I suggest that people read the staff report to know exactly what they are in disagreement with, rather than rely completely on “they are going to cut down all the trees” statements from people who haven’t taken the time or refuse to read the proposal. This stubborness tends to be a turn off.

    The best negotiators in land planning issues in Davis are people like Pam Nieberg. Her educated and measured way of responsing to proposals is something we could all learn from.

  87. Anonymous

    There are already 3 story buildings on 3rd Street. The 4 stories allows for the kind of design that already exists in the neighborhood – houses with high peaked roofs and additional living space in the “attic.” I would support a better building for the businesses on the south side of 3rd street. Right now it is a square brown one story shoebox. This cannot be what people are referring to as “quaint.” Even Ciocolat is in a 2 1/2 story building (Remember you have to go up steps to get to the “ground” floor).

    I suggest that people read the staff report to know exactly what they are in disagreement with, rather than rely completely on “they are going to cut down all the trees” statements from people who haven’t taken the time or refuse to read the proposal. This stubborness tends to be a turn off.

    The best negotiators in land planning issues in Davis are people like Pam Nieberg. Her educated and measured way of responsing to proposals is something we could all learn from.

  88. Anonymous

    There are already 3 story buildings on 3rd Street. The 4 stories allows for the kind of design that already exists in the neighborhood – houses with high peaked roofs and additional living space in the “attic.” I would support a better building for the businesses on the south side of 3rd street. Right now it is a square brown one story shoebox. This cannot be what people are referring to as “quaint.” Even Ciocolat is in a 2 1/2 story building (Remember you have to go up steps to get to the “ground” floor).

    I suggest that people read the staff report to know exactly what they are in disagreement with, rather than rely completely on “they are going to cut down all the trees” statements from people who haven’t taken the time or refuse to read the proposal. This stubborness tends to be a turn off.

    The best negotiators in land planning issues in Davis are people like Pam Nieberg. Her educated and measured way of responsing to proposals is something we could all learn from.

  89. Gail

    I’ve read the staff report, and understand the project thoroughly. The “project” is comprised of amendments to the general plan, core area specific plan, zoning and design guidelines to allow the redevelopment to happen. Project is the right word here; one that is required for the CEQA study, but I didn’t mean to mislead anyone into thinking we actually have seen the development proposals themselves. Staff may have, but neighbors haven’t.

    I wrote that huge trees will be lost without the requiring the space to replace them. You can see that on the case study site plan which is provided in the documentation prepared by staff.

    In regard to height, the project would allow for buildings on Third Street that are almost a 12 ft. taller than the new four-story Chen building at 2nd and G. The Chen building isn’t adjacent to single family homes. The Third Street parcels are.

    In regard to the process being healthy because it will yield changes, I wish that were so. The lead staff advised the Planning Commission at a public meeting that if they need more than two sessions to review the proposal, staff will have to bring it forward to the Council without the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
    Where’s the fire?

    I agree with anyone who says to read more about the project, but please don’t stop at the staff report.
    Gail

  90. Gail

    I’ve read the staff report, and understand the project thoroughly. The “project” is comprised of amendments to the general plan, core area specific plan, zoning and design guidelines to allow the redevelopment to happen. Project is the right word here; one that is required for the CEQA study, but I didn’t mean to mislead anyone into thinking we actually have seen the development proposals themselves. Staff may have, but neighbors haven’t.

    I wrote that huge trees will be lost without the requiring the space to replace them. You can see that on the case study site plan which is provided in the documentation prepared by staff.

    In regard to height, the project would allow for buildings on Third Street that are almost a 12 ft. taller than the new four-story Chen building at 2nd and G. The Chen building isn’t adjacent to single family homes. The Third Street parcels are.

    In regard to the process being healthy because it will yield changes, I wish that were so. The lead staff advised the Planning Commission at a public meeting that if they need more than two sessions to review the proposal, staff will have to bring it forward to the Council without the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
    Where’s the fire?

    I agree with anyone who says to read more about the project, but please don’t stop at the staff report.
    Gail

  91. Gail

    I’ve read the staff report, and understand the project thoroughly. The “project” is comprised of amendments to the general plan, core area specific plan, zoning and design guidelines to allow the redevelopment to happen. Project is the right word here; one that is required for the CEQA study, but I didn’t mean to mislead anyone into thinking we actually have seen the development proposals themselves. Staff may have, but neighbors haven’t.

    I wrote that huge trees will be lost without the requiring the space to replace them. You can see that on the case study site plan which is provided in the documentation prepared by staff.

    In regard to height, the project would allow for buildings on Third Street that are almost a 12 ft. taller than the new four-story Chen building at 2nd and G. The Chen building isn’t adjacent to single family homes. The Third Street parcels are.

    In regard to the process being healthy because it will yield changes, I wish that were so. The lead staff advised the Planning Commission at a public meeting that if they need more than two sessions to review the proposal, staff will have to bring it forward to the Council without the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
    Where’s the fire?

    I agree with anyone who says to read more about the project, but please don’t stop at the staff report.
    Gail

  92. Gail

    I’ve read the staff report, and understand the project thoroughly. The “project” is comprised of amendments to the general plan, core area specific plan, zoning and design guidelines to allow the redevelopment to happen. Project is the right word here; one that is required for the CEQA study, but I didn’t mean to mislead anyone into thinking we actually have seen the development proposals themselves. Staff may have, but neighbors haven’t.

    I wrote that huge trees will be lost without the requiring the space to replace them. You can see that on the case study site plan which is provided in the documentation prepared by staff.

    In regard to height, the project would allow for buildings on Third Street that are almost a 12 ft. taller than the new four-story Chen building at 2nd and G. The Chen building isn’t adjacent to single family homes. The Third Street parcels are.

    In regard to the process being healthy because it will yield changes, I wish that were so. The lead staff advised the Planning Commission at a public meeting that if they need more than two sessions to review the proposal, staff will have to bring it forward to the Council without the Planning Commission’s recommendation.
    Where’s the fire?

    I agree with anyone who says to read more about the project, but please don’t stop at the staff report.
    Gail

  93. Bobby Harris

    Greenwald (aka Doug Paul Davis) is well serving this community by
    advancing its attention and understanding of this matter.

    Notice how he separated his news report from his commentary, within the blog entry, in the best tradition of ethical journalism.

    Greenwald is entirely correct in his view that this particular
    neighborhood is a very attractive and important (key) feature within the overall identity of Davis, providing a genuine, valuable feel and atmosphere of a small-town university, aside the mega-goliath of UCD.

    It’s a traditional but unique, semi-bohemian, low key, transition zone, between the university and downtown. In my estimation it’s crucial for relative open-space purposes. It greatly contributes to the city’s basic character and design.

    Some comments have intended to paint Greenwald as somehow hypocritical, but the fact is that these comments are logically and factually askew:

    “Anonymous said…
    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. [ ] Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.
    10:38 AM”

    The sarcasm of this, “ . . even he . . ,” swiftly shows up the real bias of Anonymous against Greenwald and his work / opinions. Then, it asserts an either/or situation, a generalized and entirely false dichotomy between “’smart growth’ [ ] and neighborhood preservation.”

    To continue with comment by Anonymous:

    “The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. [ ] In downtown, we’re talking
    about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and
    character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it. 10:49 AM”

    This is a patently unfair criticism of Greenwald, for supposedly being
    “guilty” of not making “tough choices” which he is only in the position of influencing as an involved citizen through his sheer advocacy. It’s a blatant and unfair attempt to undermine his credibility and then to project that pejorative dynamic on to the actual, civic policymakers.

    “Redevelopment,” especially in the manner suggested by this project, may be grossly misused. In the end, older neighborhoods and key community attributes may become unwisely sacrificed for sake of the old civic, “bottom line,” continually re-engineering the face of a city in order to keep up the tax take and keep influential investment and political entities in healthy and happy condition.

    One descriptive term for this dynamic is . . . “gentrification.”

    Who really benefits from this dynamic? Some persons in upper economic classes may well benefit, in various ways.

    And the developers may indeed stealthy in their approaches :

    “Another Anonymous said…
    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.
    11:14 AM”

    How is this remark to be understood? That we should welcome – or be skeptical of – such a “compromise?”

    Well, it depends on the utter details.

    Replacing only a few dwellings in that zone with appropriate
    “densification” or adding some granny cottages (second units) — already streamlined under recent state law — may be alright, but how is this project as proposed to be reasonably contained?

    Perhaps, on a “case-by case basis,” as Greenwald wisely suggests, which
    essentially rules out such a massive redevelopment project.

  94. Bobby Harris

    Greenwald (aka Doug Paul Davis) is well serving this community by
    advancing its attention and understanding of this matter.

    Notice how he separated his news report from his commentary, within the blog entry, in the best tradition of ethical journalism.

    Greenwald is entirely correct in his view that this particular
    neighborhood is a very attractive and important (key) feature within the overall identity of Davis, providing a genuine, valuable feel and atmosphere of a small-town university, aside the mega-goliath of UCD.

    It’s a traditional but unique, semi-bohemian, low key, transition zone, between the university and downtown. In my estimation it’s crucial for relative open-space purposes. It greatly contributes to the city’s basic character and design.

    Some comments have intended to paint Greenwald as somehow hypocritical, but the fact is that these comments are logically and factually askew:

    “Anonymous said…
    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. [ ] Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.
    10:38 AM”

    The sarcasm of this, “ . . even he . . ,” swiftly shows up the real bias of Anonymous against Greenwald and his work / opinions. Then, it asserts an either/or situation, a generalized and entirely false dichotomy between “’smart growth’ [ ] and neighborhood preservation.”

    To continue with comment by Anonymous:

    “The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. [ ] In downtown, we’re talking
    about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and
    character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it. 10:49 AM”

    This is a patently unfair criticism of Greenwald, for supposedly being
    “guilty” of not making “tough choices” which he is only in the position of influencing as an involved citizen through his sheer advocacy. It’s a blatant and unfair attempt to undermine his credibility and then to project that pejorative dynamic on to the actual, civic policymakers.

    “Redevelopment,” especially in the manner suggested by this project, may be grossly misused. In the end, older neighborhoods and key community attributes may become unwisely sacrificed for sake of the old civic, “bottom line,” continually re-engineering the face of a city in order to keep up the tax take and keep influential investment and political entities in healthy and happy condition.

    One descriptive term for this dynamic is . . . “gentrification.”

    Who really benefits from this dynamic? Some persons in upper economic classes may well benefit, in various ways.

    And the developers may indeed stealthy in their approaches :

    “Another Anonymous said…
    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.
    11:14 AM”

    How is this remark to be understood? That we should welcome – or be skeptical of – such a “compromise?”

    Well, it depends on the utter details.

    Replacing only a few dwellings in that zone with appropriate
    “densification” or adding some granny cottages (second units) — already streamlined under recent state law — may be alright, but how is this project as proposed to be reasonably contained?

    Perhaps, on a “case-by case basis,” as Greenwald wisely suggests, which
    essentially rules out such a massive redevelopment project.

  95. Bobby Harris

    Greenwald (aka Doug Paul Davis) is well serving this community by
    advancing its attention and understanding of this matter.

    Notice how he separated his news report from his commentary, within the blog entry, in the best tradition of ethical journalism.

    Greenwald is entirely correct in his view that this particular
    neighborhood is a very attractive and important (key) feature within the overall identity of Davis, providing a genuine, valuable feel and atmosphere of a small-town university, aside the mega-goliath of UCD.

    It’s a traditional but unique, semi-bohemian, low key, transition zone, between the university and downtown. In my estimation it’s crucial for relative open-space purposes. It greatly contributes to the city’s basic character and design.

    Some comments have intended to paint Greenwald as somehow hypocritical, but the fact is that these comments are logically and factually askew:

    “Anonymous said…
    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. [ ] Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.
    10:38 AM”

    The sarcasm of this, “ . . even he . . ,” swiftly shows up the real bias of Anonymous against Greenwald and his work / opinions. Then, it asserts an either/or situation, a generalized and entirely false dichotomy between “’smart growth’ [ ] and neighborhood preservation.”

    To continue with comment by Anonymous:

    “The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. [ ] In downtown, we’re talking
    about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and
    character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it. 10:49 AM”

    This is a patently unfair criticism of Greenwald, for supposedly being
    “guilty” of not making “tough choices” which he is only in the position of influencing as an involved citizen through his sheer advocacy. It’s a blatant and unfair attempt to undermine his credibility and then to project that pejorative dynamic on to the actual, civic policymakers.

    “Redevelopment,” especially in the manner suggested by this project, may be grossly misused. In the end, older neighborhoods and key community attributes may become unwisely sacrificed for sake of the old civic, “bottom line,” continually re-engineering the face of a city in order to keep up the tax take and keep influential investment and political entities in healthy and happy condition.

    One descriptive term for this dynamic is . . . “gentrification.”

    Who really benefits from this dynamic? Some persons in upper economic classes may well benefit, in various ways.

    And the developers may indeed stealthy in their approaches :

    “Another Anonymous said…
    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.
    11:14 AM”

    How is this remark to be understood? That we should welcome – or be skeptical of – such a “compromise?”

    Well, it depends on the utter details.

    Replacing only a few dwellings in that zone with appropriate
    “densification” or adding some granny cottages (second units) — already streamlined under recent state law — may be alright, but how is this project as proposed to be reasonably contained?

    Perhaps, on a “case-by case basis,” as Greenwald wisely suggests, which
    essentially rules out such a massive redevelopment project.

  96. Bobby Harris

    Greenwald (aka Doug Paul Davis) is well serving this community by
    advancing its attention and understanding of this matter.

    Notice how he separated his news report from his commentary, within the blog entry, in the best tradition of ethical journalism.

    Greenwald is entirely correct in his view that this particular
    neighborhood is a very attractive and important (key) feature within the overall identity of Davis, providing a genuine, valuable feel and atmosphere of a small-town university, aside the mega-goliath of UCD.

    It’s a traditional but unique, semi-bohemian, low key, transition zone, between the university and downtown. In my estimation it’s crucial for relative open-space purposes. It greatly contributes to the city’s basic character and design.

    Some comments have intended to paint Greenwald as somehow hypocritical, but the fact is that these comments are logically and factually askew:

    “Anonymous said…
    It’s evident Greenwald is sitting on both sides of the fence with infill. [ ] Because even he knows that there is often an inherent conflict between “smart growth” infill (a term which is meaningless in Greenwald’s context) and neighborhood preservation.
    10:38 AM”

    The sarcasm of this, “ . . even he . . ,” swiftly shows up the real bias of Anonymous against Greenwald and his work / opinions. Then, it asserts an either/or situation, a generalized and entirely false dichotomy between “’smart growth’ [ ] and neighborhood preservation.”

    To continue with comment by Anonymous:

    “The other error Greenwald and others make is in using the term “infill”. Infill implies vacant parcels. When you have an absence of vacant parcels, particularly in downtown, a more accurate term is “redevelopment”, although even that term can be misused. [ ] In downtown, we’re talking
    about redevelopment. That involves change, including the look and
    character of some neighborhoods. They’re the tough choices that nobody is willing to make and Greenwald is especially guilty of it. 10:49 AM”

    This is a patently unfair criticism of Greenwald, for supposedly being
    “guilty” of not making “tough choices” which he is only in the position of influencing as an involved citizen through his sheer advocacy. It’s a blatant and unfair attempt to undermine his credibility and then to project that pejorative dynamic on to the actual, civic policymakers.

    “Redevelopment,” especially in the manner suggested by this project, may be grossly misused. In the end, older neighborhoods and key community attributes may become unwisely sacrificed for sake of the old civic, “bottom line,” continually re-engineering the face of a city in order to keep up the tax take and keep influential investment and political entities in healthy and happy condition.

    One descriptive term for this dynamic is . . . “gentrification.”

    Who really benefits from this dynamic? Some persons in upper economic classes may well benefit, in various ways.

    And the developers may indeed stealthy in their approaches :

    “Another Anonymous said…
    This process is healthy and will yield changes in the initial proposal. You can bet that the proponents have staked out their most intrusive development plan and are ready to “compromise”.
    11:14 AM”

    How is this remark to be understood? That we should welcome – or be skeptical of – such a “compromise?”

    Well, it depends on the utter details.

    Replacing only a few dwellings in that zone with appropriate
    “densification” or adding some granny cottages (second units) — already streamlined under recent state law — may be alright, but how is this project as proposed to be reasonably contained?

    Perhaps, on a “case-by case basis,” as Greenwald wisely suggests, which
    essentially rules out such a massive redevelopment project.

  97. Gennis

    To see what this is really about the staff reports aren’t sufficient (in fact, the Historic Commission didn’t think the whole 2 volume EIR is adequate): you need to read both EIR volumes (the Final EIR volume is mostly comments comments & responses) but the Draft EIR is part of the Final, and has the real meat.
    Look at the revised Conservation District Design Guidelines, particularly the drawings showing the anticipated development. Then go read the existing Design Guidelines, which are supposed to conserve & protect the three “traditional” neighborhoods.
    Read the section “CEQA Considerations,” mitigations and the table of impacts:
    The EIR concludes that this project will have “significant unavoidable impacts” (that means impacts that result even if you do all the mitigations, or that have no feasible mitigation measures) “on air quality, parking, historic resources, intensity of land use, visual character and noise exposure.” It will result in loss of many mature trees with no realistic hope of replacements because of the density of proposed development (anyone who studies the revised Guidelines and zoning can see that places where trees would survive will be darned scarce.)
    Because of all these unmitigated impacts resulting from excessive height and density the Council has to make a finding of overriding considerations – that the project serves the public interest despite all these significant impacts .

  98. Gennis

    To see what this is really about the staff reports aren’t sufficient (in fact, the Historic Commission didn’t think the whole 2 volume EIR is adequate): you need to read both EIR volumes (the Final EIR volume is mostly comments comments & responses) but the Draft EIR is part of the Final, and has the real meat.
    Look at the revised Conservation District Design Guidelines, particularly the drawings showing the anticipated development. Then go read the existing Design Guidelines, which are supposed to conserve & protect the three “traditional” neighborhoods.
    Read the section “CEQA Considerations,” mitigations and the table of impacts:
    The EIR concludes that this project will have “significant unavoidable impacts” (that means impacts that result even if you do all the mitigations, or that have no feasible mitigation measures) “on air quality, parking, historic resources, intensity of land use, visual character and noise exposure.” It will result in loss of many mature trees with no realistic hope of replacements because of the density of proposed development (anyone who studies the revised Guidelines and zoning can see that places where trees would survive will be darned scarce.)
    Because of all these unmitigated impacts resulting from excessive height and density the Council has to make a finding of overriding considerations – that the project serves the public interest despite all these significant impacts .

  99. Gennis

    To see what this is really about the staff reports aren’t sufficient (in fact, the Historic Commission didn’t think the whole 2 volume EIR is adequate): you need to read both EIR volumes (the Final EIR volume is mostly comments comments & responses) but the Draft EIR is part of the Final, and has the real meat.
    Look at the revised Conservation District Design Guidelines, particularly the drawings showing the anticipated development. Then go read the existing Design Guidelines, which are supposed to conserve & protect the three “traditional” neighborhoods.
    Read the section “CEQA Considerations,” mitigations and the table of impacts:
    The EIR concludes that this project will have “significant unavoidable impacts” (that means impacts that result even if you do all the mitigations, or that have no feasible mitigation measures) “on air quality, parking, historic resources, intensity of land use, visual character and noise exposure.” It will result in loss of many mature trees with no realistic hope of replacements because of the density of proposed development (anyone who studies the revised Guidelines and zoning can see that places where trees would survive will be darned scarce.)
    Because of all these unmitigated impacts resulting from excessive height and density the Council has to make a finding of overriding considerations – that the project serves the public interest despite all these significant impacts .

  100. Gennis

    To see what this is really about the staff reports aren’t sufficient (in fact, the Historic Commission didn’t think the whole 2 volume EIR is adequate): you need to read both EIR volumes (the Final EIR volume is mostly comments comments & responses) but the Draft EIR is part of the Final, and has the real meat.
    Look at the revised Conservation District Design Guidelines, particularly the drawings showing the anticipated development. Then go read the existing Design Guidelines, which are supposed to conserve & protect the three “traditional” neighborhoods.
    Read the section “CEQA Considerations,” mitigations and the table of impacts:
    The EIR concludes that this project will have “significant unavoidable impacts” (that means impacts that result even if you do all the mitigations, or that have no feasible mitigation measures) “on air quality, parking, historic resources, intensity of land use, visual character and noise exposure.” It will result in loss of many mature trees with no realistic hope of replacements because of the density of proposed development (anyone who studies the revised Guidelines and zoning can see that places where trees would survive will be darned scarce.)
    Because of all these unmitigated impacts resulting from excessive height and density the Council has to make a finding of overriding considerations – that the project serves the public interest despite all these significant impacts .

  101. Lisa

    Lamar has had real jobs in life. Any job is a real job to the person who holds the job. Is “anonymous” being an elitist? Do you have to be a lawyer, or a developer to be considered to have a “real” job?

    In addition to working at Safeway Lamar has also worked as a lecturer at UC Davis. Not many people have the experience or education to work as a linguistics lecturer at a university. It sounds like sour grapes from the anonymous person trying to take pot shots at Lamar.

    If you ask me, Lamar is a well rounded person with vast experience of having to work for a living and not getting handouts from mommy and daddy. This is the kind of council person that I want instead of an elitist.

  102. Lisa

    Lamar has had real jobs in life. Any job is a real job to the person who holds the job. Is “anonymous” being an elitist? Do you have to be a lawyer, or a developer to be considered to have a “real” job?

    In addition to working at Safeway Lamar has also worked as a lecturer at UC Davis. Not many people have the experience or education to work as a linguistics lecturer at a university. It sounds like sour grapes from the anonymous person trying to take pot shots at Lamar.

    If you ask me, Lamar is a well rounded person with vast experience of having to work for a living and not getting handouts from mommy and daddy. This is the kind of council person that I want instead of an elitist.

  103. Lisa

    Lamar has had real jobs in life. Any job is a real job to the person who holds the job. Is “anonymous” being an elitist? Do you have to be a lawyer, or a developer to be considered to have a “real” job?

    In addition to working at Safeway Lamar has also worked as a lecturer at UC Davis. Not many people have the experience or education to work as a linguistics lecturer at a university. It sounds like sour grapes from the anonymous person trying to take pot shots at Lamar.

    If you ask me, Lamar is a well rounded person with vast experience of having to work for a living and not getting handouts from mommy and daddy. This is the kind of council person that I want instead of an elitist.

  104. Lisa

    Lamar has had real jobs in life. Any job is a real job to the person who holds the job. Is “anonymous” being an elitist? Do you have to be a lawyer, or a developer to be considered to have a “real” job?

    In addition to working at Safeway Lamar has also worked as a lecturer at UC Davis. Not many people have the experience or education to work as a linguistics lecturer at a university. It sounds like sour grapes from the anonymous person trying to take pot shots at Lamar.

    If you ask me, Lamar is a well rounded person with vast experience of having to work for a living and not getting handouts from mommy and daddy. This is the kind of council person that I want instead of an elitist.

  105. Gennis

    What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?
    If Sue Greenwald, any council person or commissioner on one of the commissions reviewing this Project (e.g. Planning, Historic Resources) or city staff person owns any kind of property in or within 300 feet of the boundary of the project area, they must recuse and can’t take part in deliberations, vote, or work on the project.
    Under some circumstances, they could speak from the floor during the public hearing (i.e. public comments) on their own behalf as a member of public, but then they have to leave the room.

  106. Gennis

    What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?
    If Sue Greenwald, any council person or commissioner on one of the commissions reviewing this Project (e.g. Planning, Historic Resources) or city staff person owns any kind of property in or within 300 feet of the boundary of the project area, they must recuse and can’t take part in deliberations, vote, or work on the project.
    Under some circumstances, they could speak from the floor during the public hearing (i.e. public comments) on their own behalf as a member of public, but then they have to leave the room.

  107. Gennis

    What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?
    If Sue Greenwald, any council person or commissioner on one of the commissions reviewing this Project (e.g. Planning, Historic Resources) or city staff person owns any kind of property in or within 300 feet of the boundary of the project area, they must recuse and can’t take part in deliberations, vote, or work on the project.
    Under some circumstances, they could speak from the floor during the public hearing (i.e. public comments) on their own behalf as a member of public, but then they have to leave the room.

  108. Gennis

    What I wonder is if Sue Greenwald, who I believe lives in the neighborhood, will have to recuse herself from the discussion and vote?
    If Sue Greenwald, any council person or commissioner on one of the commissions reviewing this Project (e.g. Planning, Historic Resources) or city staff person owns any kind of property in or within 300 feet of the boundary of the project area, they must recuse and can’t take part in deliberations, vote, or work on the project.
    Under some circumstances, they could speak from the floor during the public hearing (i.e. public comments) on their own behalf as a member of public, but then they have to leave the room.

  109. 無名 - wu ming

    as someone who has been rather loud about supporting a much denser downtown, i am rather ambivalent about this particular project.

    for starters, any demolition and infill plan should prioritize replacing existing ugly one-story business blocks such as the one that houses orange hut/ali baba, the off-campus book store, the bo tree/downtown post office annex, blockbuster, or any number of non-brick downtown buildings. rental houses ought to be dealt with next, if ever.

    next, while i understand that higher buildings will bother some people, it really is the only way for mixed-use zoning and meaningful levels of density to be attained. it is a trade-off, to be sure, but it is not one that i side with the homeowners on. the neighborhood manages well enough with the 3-story building on 3rd and A that houses raja’s just fine, or the one that used to house the recently evicted campus roma, without being traumatized too badly by it.

    third, i agree with the general sentiment here that trees should be preserved if at all possible, and the bigger and older the tree the more important it is to preserve them. shade canopy not only looks nice, it is a major advantage in the summer, and cuts down on citywide energy use (and makes summer pedestrian culture possible).

    fourth, some of those old houses are pretty dilapidated, as davis landlords are notorious about not maintaining their rental units (and, to be fair, student renters don’t exactly have a glowing reputation there either). while ciocolat is a beautiful little house, and sam’s is also not bad, some of the other ones on 3rd are pretty faded as it is. normally i would suggest the possibility of moving the physical house, but i suspect several of them might just come apart.

    finally, any development that displaces student renters ought to have in its planning a similar or larger amount of rental apartment rooms. this city has a serious shortage of rental housing, the vacancy rate is rediculously low as it is, and development should not be allowed to follow the common gentrification pattern of evicting lower-income renters and replacing them with higher-income condo owners. the downtown in particular is an obvious place to build stuff catering to the student population, given the proximity to campus (which then would make it easier for the neighborhood to avoid traffic problems, since campus would be within walking or biking distance.

    as always, the devil is in the details. i’m not as sympathetic to the adjacent homeowners’ concerns as most here, but the manner in which the plan is carried out can make a huge difference in the end product.

  110. 無名 - wu ming

    as someone who has been rather loud about supporting a much denser downtown, i am rather ambivalent about this particular project.

    for starters, any demolition and infill plan should prioritize replacing existing ugly one-story business blocks such as the one that houses orange hut/ali baba, the off-campus book store, the bo tree/downtown post office annex, blockbuster, or any number of non-brick downtown buildings. rental houses ought to be dealt with next, if ever.

    next, while i understand that higher buildings will bother some people, it really is the only way for mixed-use zoning and meaningful levels of density to be attained. it is a trade-off, to be sure, but it is not one that i side with the homeowners on. the neighborhood manages well enough with the 3-story building on 3rd and A that houses raja’s just fine, or the one that used to house the recently evicted campus roma, without being traumatized too badly by it.

    third, i agree with the general sentiment here that trees should be preserved if at all possible, and the bigger and older the tree the more important it is to preserve them. shade canopy not only looks nice, it is a major advantage in the summer, and cuts down on citywide energy use (and makes summer pedestrian culture possible).

    fourth, some of those old houses are pretty dilapidated, as davis landlords are notorious about not maintaining their rental units (and, to be fair, student renters don’t exactly have a glowing reputation there either). while ciocolat is a beautiful little house, and sam’s is also not bad, some of the other ones on 3rd are pretty faded as it is. normally i would suggest the possibility of moving the physical house, but i suspect several of them might just come apart.

    finally, any development that displaces student renters ought to have in its planning a similar or larger amount of rental apartment rooms. this city has a serious shortage of rental housing, the vacancy rate is rediculously low as it is, and development should not be allowed to follow the common gentrification pattern of evicting lower-income renters and replacing them with higher-income condo owners. the downtown in particular is an obvious place to build stuff catering to the student population, given the proximity to campus (which then would make it easier for the neighborhood to avoid traffic problems, since campus would be within walking or biking distance.

    as always, the devil is in the details. i’m not as sympathetic to the adjacent homeowners’ concerns as most here, but the manner in which the plan is carried out can make a huge difference in the end product.

  111. 無名 - wu ming

    as someone who has been rather loud about supporting a much denser downtown, i am rather ambivalent about this particular project.

    for starters, any demolition and infill plan should prioritize replacing existing ugly one-story business blocks such as the one that houses orange hut/ali baba, the off-campus book store, the bo tree/downtown post office annex, blockbuster, or any number of non-brick downtown buildings. rental houses ought to be dealt with next, if ever.

    next, while i understand that higher buildings will bother some people, it really is the only way for mixed-use zoning and meaningful levels of density to be attained. it is a trade-off, to be sure, but it is not one that i side with the homeowners on. the neighborhood manages well enough with the 3-story building on 3rd and A that houses raja’s just fine, or the one that used to house the recently evicted campus roma, without being traumatized too badly by it.

    third, i agree with the general sentiment here that trees should be preserved if at all possible, and the bigger and older the tree the more important it is to preserve them. shade canopy not only looks nice, it is a major advantage in the summer, and cuts down on citywide energy use (and makes summer pedestrian culture possible).

    fourth, some of those old houses are pretty dilapidated, as davis landlords are notorious about not maintaining their rental units (and, to be fair, student renters don’t exactly have a glowing reputation there either). while ciocolat is a beautiful little house, and sam’s is also not bad, some of the other ones on 3rd are pretty faded as it is. normally i would suggest the possibility of moving the physical house, but i suspect several of them might just come apart.

    finally, any development that displaces student renters ought to have in its planning a similar or larger amount of rental apartment rooms. this city has a serious shortage of rental housing, the vacancy rate is rediculously low as it is, and development should not be allowed to follow the common gentrification pattern of evicting lower-income renters and replacing them with higher-income condo owners. the downtown in particular is an obvious place to build stuff catering to the student population, given the proximity to campus (which then would make it easier for the neighborhood to avoid traffic problems, since campus would be within walking or biking distance.

    as always, the devil is in the details. i’m not as sympathetic to the adjacent homeowners’ concerns as most here, but the manner in which the plan is carried out can make a huge difference in the end product.

  112. 無名 - wu ming

    as someone who has been rather loud about supporting a much denser downtown, i am rather ambivalent about this particular project.

    for starters, any demolition and infill plan should prioritize replacing existing ugly one-story business blocks such as the one that houses orange hut/ali baba, the off-campus book store, the bo tree/downtown post office annex, blockbuster, or any number of non-brick downtown buildings. rental houses ought to be dealt with next, if ever.

    next, while i understand that higher buildings will bother some people, it really is the only way for mixed-use zoning and meaningful levels of density to be attained. it is a trade-off, to be sure, but it is not one that i side with the homeowners on. the neighborhood manages well enough with the 3-story building on 3rd and A that houses raja’s just fine, or the one that used to house the recently evicted campus roma, without being traumatized too badly by it.

    third, i agree with the general sentiment here that trees should be preserved if at all possible, and the bigger and older the tree the more important it is to preserve them. shade canopy not only looks nice, it is a major advantage in the summer, and cuts down on citywide energy use (and makes summer pedestrian culture possible).

    fourth, some of those old houses are pretty dilapidated, as davis landlords are notorious about not maintaining their rental units (and, to be fair, student renters don’t exactly have a glowing reputation there either). while ciocolat is a beautiful little house, and sam’s is also not bad, some of the other ones on 3rd are pretty faded as it is. normally i would suggest the possibility of moving the physical house, but i suspect several of them might just come apart.

    finally, any development that displaces student renters ought to have in its planning a similar or larger amount of rental apartment rooms. this city has a serious shortage of rental housing, the vacancy rate is rediculously low as it is, and development should not be allowed to follow the common gentrification pattern of evicting lower-income renters and replacing them with higher-income condo owners. the downtown in particular is an obvious place to build stuff catering to the student population, given the proximity to campus (which then would make it easier for the neighborhood to avoid traffic problems, since campus would be within walking or biking distance.

    as always, the devil is in the details. i’m not as sympathetic to the adjacent homeowners’ concerns as most here, but the manner in which the plan is carried out can make a huge difference in the end product.

  113. Anonymous

    Will Davis voters just become exhausted with repeated referendums to overturn the decisions of council majorities that do not represent them? The solution is to send this Gang Of Three packing.

  114. Anonymous

    Will Davis voters just become exhausted with repeated referendums to overturn the decisions of council majorities that do not represent them? The solution is to send this Gang Of Three packing.

  115. Anonymous

    Will Davis voters just become exhausted with repeated referendums to overturn the decisions of council majorities that do not represent them? The solution is to send this Gang Of Three packing.

  116. Anonymous

    Will Davis voters just become exhausted with repeated referendums to overturn the decisions of council majorities that do not represent them? The solution is to send this Gang Of Three packing.

  117. Karl

    Like some of the other commenters in this article, I’m generally sympathetic to infill projects, and I particularly would argue that Davis should, in theory, pursue them because of the constraints on outward growth. That being said, as a once and future Davisite, I have several real reservations about this particular project.

    Many valid complaints have been raised, but one I haven’t seen mentioned is that this exact area under discussion, along with the other comparable area on the east side of downtown, (from the railroad tracks to L street) is the heart of a very vibrant area where a lot of people who AREN’T students live. If there is one thing Davis has never been good about, it is encouraging people in their 20s who aren’t students to live in town. The area in question is home to a lot of folks who make Davis a more interesting place. Some of them are my friends, but naturally I don’t know most. Most of these people are perfectly fine stewards of the houses they happen to be renting. Yes, there are some places on 3rd St which are run down, but I challenge anyone to go along B St, between 3rd and 4th, and look at the houses there, or the nice open back yard, and say that people living there “don’t care”.

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live; this neighborhood in some degree provides an antidote. I don’t know if it can be described as affordable, but it is certainly home to many people who can’t buy a house in town, who nevertheless are long term residents (5 or more years) and who contribute to a vibrancy not provided by families. Proximity to downtown and the university is a positive for many of them. They are much more likely to go out in the evenings, and being able to walk to your destination is something we’re trying to promote, right? Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative. How do you think the area came to be dominated by rentals in the first place?

    Of course, rental properties are always low-hanging fruit when it comes to redevelopment because the perceived cost of displacement is lower than kicking people out of houses they own. (The logic being that someone can just go rent somewhere else.) However, I don’t see a replacement for the assets this area possesses in terms of affordability and location. Finally, if one is concerned about densification, the problem in Davis isn’t in the core area, which is mostly small, closely set one- and two-story houses. But the potential retail opportunity here is also excellent, I can see that.

  118. Karl

    Like some of the other commenters in this article, I’m generally sympathetic to infill projects, and I particularly would argue that Davis should, in theory, pursue them because of the constraints on outward growth. That being said, as a once and future Davisite, I have several real reservations about this particular project.

    Many valid complaints have been raised, but one I haven’t seen mentioned is that this exact area under discussion, along with the other comparable area on the east side of downtown, (from the railroad tracks to L street) is the heart of a very vibrant area where a lot of people who AREN’T students live. If there is one thing Davis has never been good about, it is encouraging people in their 20s who aren’t students to live in town. The area in question is home to a lot of folks who make Davis a more interesting place. Some of them are my friends, but naturally I don’t know most. Most of these people are perfectly fine stewards of the houses they happen to be renting. Yes, there are some places on 3rd St which are run down, but I challenge anyone to go along B St, between 3rd and 4th, and look at the houses there, or the nice open back yard, and say that people living there “don’t care”.

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live; this neighborhood in some degree provides an antidote. I don’t know if it can be described as affordable, but it is certainly home to many people who can’t buy a house in town, who nevertheless are long term residents (5 or more years) and who contribute to a vibrancy not provided by families. Proximity to downtown and the university is a positive for many of them. They are much more likely to go out in the evenings, and being able to walk to your destination is something we’re trying to promote, right? Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative. How do you think the area came to be dominated by rentals in the first place?

    Of course, rental properties are always low-hanging fruit when it comes to redevelopment because the perceived cost of displacement is lower than kicking people out of houses they own. (The logic being that someone can just go rent somewhere else.) However, I don’t see a replacement for the assets this area possesses in terms of affordability and location. Finally, if one is concerned about densification, the problem in Davis isn’t in the core area, which is mostly small, closely set one- and two-story houses. But the potential retail opportunity here is also excellent, I can see that.

  119. Karl

    Like some of the other commenters in this article, I’m generally sympathetic to infill projects, and I particularly would argue that Davis should, in theory, pursue them because of the constraints on outward growth. That being said, as a once and future Davisite, I have several real reservations about this particular project.

    Many valid complaints have been raised, but one I haven’t seen mentioned is that this exact area under discussion, along with the other comparable area on the east side of downtown, (from the railroad tracks to L street) is the heart of a very vibrant area where a lot of people who AREN’T students live. If there is one thing Davis has never been good about, it is encouraging people in their 20s who aren’t students to live in town. The area in question is home to a lot of folks who make Davis a more interesting place. Some of them are my friends, but naturally I don’t know most. Most of these people are perfectly fine stewards of the houses they happen to be renting. Yes, there are some places on 3rd St which are run down, but I challenge anyone to go along B St, between 3rd and 4th, and look at the houses there, or the nice open back yard, and say that people living there “don’t care”.

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live; this neighborhood in some degree provides an antidote. I don’t know if it can be described as affordable, but it is certainly home to many people who can’t buy a house in town, who nevertheless are long term residents (5 or more years) and who contribute to a vibrancy not provided by families. Proximity to downtown and the university is a positive for many of them. They are much more likely to go out in the evenings, and being able to walk to your destination is something we’re trying to promote, right? Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative. How do you think the area came to be dominated by rentals in the first place?

    Of course, rental properties are always low-hanging fruit when it comes to redevelopment because the perceived cost of displacement is lower than kicking people out of houses they own. (The logic being that someone can just go rent somewhere else.) However, I don’t see a replacement for the assets this area possesses in terms of affordability and location. Finally, if one is concerned about densification, the problem in Davis isn’t in the core area, which is mostly small, closely set one- and two-story houses. But the potential retail opportunity here is also excellent, I can see that.

  120. Karl

    Like some of the other commenters in this article, I’m generally sympathetic to infill projects, and I particularly would argue that Davis should, in theory, pursue them because of the constraints on outward growth. That being said, as a once and future Davisite, I have several real reservations about this particular project.

    Many valid complaints have been raised, but one I haven’t seen mentioned is that this exact area under discussion, along with the other comparable area on the east side of downtown, (from the railroad tracks to L street) is the heart of a very vibrant area where a lot of people who AREN’T students live. If there is one thing Davis has never been good about, it is encouraging people in their 20s who aren’t students to live in town. The area in question is home to a lot of folks who make Davis a more interesting place. Some of them are my friends, but naturally I don’t know most. Most of these people are perfectly fine stewards of the houses they happen to be renting. Yes, there are some places on 3rd St which are run down, but I challenge anyone to go along B St, between 3rd and 4th, and look at the houses there, or the nice open back yard, and say that people living there “don’t care”.

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live; this neighborhood in some degree provides an antidote. I don’t know if it can be described as affordable, but it is certainly home to many people who can’t buy a house in town, who nevertheless are long term residents (5 or more years) and who contribute to a vibrancy not provided by families. Proximity to downtown and the university is a positive for many of them. They are much more likely to go out in the evenings, and being able to walk to your destination is something we’re trying to promote, right? Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative. How do you think the area came to be dominated by rentals in the first place?

    Of course, rental properties are always low-hanging fruit when it comes to redevelopment because the perceived cost of displacement is lower than kicking people out of houses they own. (The logic being that someone can just go rent somewhere else.) However, I don’t see a replacement for the assets this area possesses in terms of affordability and location. Finally, if one is concerned about densification, the problem in Davis isn’t in the core area, which is mostly small, closely set one- and two-story houses. But the potential retail opportunity here is also excellent, I can see that.

  121. Vincente

    Good post Karl. Driving around Davis today, I saw a lot of places where I think a four story building would fit and not ruin the character of the area. The problem of course is that some of those areas are fairly new. The character of that part of town has to remain intact, as far as I’m concerned.

  122. Vincente

    Good post Karl. Driving around Davis today, I saw a lot of places where I think a four story building would fit and not ruin the character of the area. The problem of course is that some of those areas are fairly new. The character of that part of town has to remain intact, as far as I’m concerned.

  123. Vincente

    Good post Karl. Driving around Davis today, I saw a lot of places where I think a four story building would fit and not ruin the character of the area. The problem of course is that some of those areas are fairly new. The character of that part of town has to remain intact, as far as I’m concerned.

  124. Vincente

    Good post Karl. Driving around Davis today, I saw a lot of places where I think a four story building would fit and not ruin the character of the area. The problem of course is that some of those areas are fairly new. The character of that part of town has to remain intact, as far as I’m concerned.

  125. Rich Rifkin

    Some minor corrections to Karl’s post:

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live;

    Davis has not always been an expensive place to live. Back in the 1960s you could buy a 3/2 house on a large lot for $25,000 or less. Most people at that time — with only one adult working — were making between $10-15,000 per year. I would guess that in today’s dollars, that would be the equivalent of having 3/2 houses cost about $75-100,000.

    While that was — in the big picture of this — an exceptional period, Davis was also not terribly expensive in the 1990s, either. A very well kept house in a good neighborhood could be had for under $200,000 for all of that decade. But for a variety of reasons, prices in Davis have exploeded since 2000, making this a terribly expensive town, especially relative to incomes.

    “Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative.”

    The new football field on La Rue is just about completed. I don’t know what UCD is going to do with Toomey Field, but no more Aggie football games will ever be played there again.

  126. Rich Rifkin

    Some minor corrections to Karl’s post:

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live;

    Davis has not always been an expensive place to live. Back in the 1960s you could buy a 3/2 house on a large lot for $25,000 or less. Most people at that time — with only one adult working — were making between $10-15,000 per year. I would guess that in today’s dollars, that would be the equivalent of having 3/2 houses cost about $75-100,000.

    While that was — in the big picture of this — an exceptional period, Davis was also not terribly expensive in the 1990s, either. A very well kept house in a good neighborhood could be had for under $200,000 for all of that decade. But for a variety of reasons, prices in Davis have exploeded since 2000, making this a terribly expensive town, especially relative to incomes.

    “Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative.”

    The new football field on La Rue is just about completed. I don’t know what UCD is going to do with Toomey Field, but no more Aggie football games will ever be played there again.

  127. Rich Rifkin

    Some minor corrections to Karl’s post:

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live;

    Davis has not always been an expensive place to live. Back in the 1960s you could buy a 3/2 house on a large lot for $25,000 or less. Most people at that time — with only one adult working — were making between $10-15,000 per year. I would guess that in today’s dollars, that would be the equivalent of having 3/2 houses cost about $75-100,000.

    While that was — in the big picture of this — an exceptional period, Davis was also not terribly expensive in the 1990s, either. A very well kept house in a good neighborhood could be had for under $200,000 for all of that decade. But for a variety of reasons, prices in Davis have exploeded since 2000, making this a terribly expensive town, especially relative to incomes.

    “Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative.”

    The new football field on La Rue is just about completed. I don’t know what UCD is going to do with Toomey Field, but no more Aggie football games will ever be played there again.

  128. Rich Rifkin

    Some minor corrections to Karl’s post:

    Davis has always been an expensive place to live, but its not a terribly exciting place to live;

    Davis has not always been an expensive place to live. Back in the 1960s you could buy a 3/2 house on a large lot for $25,000 or less. Most people at that time — with only one adult working — were making between $10-15,000 per year. I would guess that in today’s dollars, that would be the equivalent of having 3/2 houses cost about $75-100,000.

    While that was — in the big picture of this — an exceptional period, Davis was also not terribly expensive in the 1990s, either. A very well kept house in a good neighborhood could be had for under $200,000 for all of that decade. But for a variety of reasons, prices in Davis have exploeded since 2000, making this a terribly expensive town, especially relative to incomes.

    “Conversely, for many would-be home-owners, being adjacent to the university for football games, not to mention the heavy, late-night foot traffic that passes through these streets, is a strong negative.”

    The new football field on La Rue is just about completed. I don’t know what UCD is going to do with Toomey Field, but no more Aggie football games will ever be played there again.

  129. Karl

    Rich, both good points, let me just offer additional (non-contradictory) thoughts:

    As far as pricing, your point is well taken that Davis hasn’t always been an expensive place to live. I’ll correct myself and observe that it is currently a very expensive place to purchase a house. While we can expect at some point that the housing bubble will contract, there seems to be good reason to suspect the Davis, compared to other parts of the Sacramento area and along the I-80 corridor, will continue to be relatively expensive. I base this assumption on the perceived benefits of living in Davis (good schools, strong community, safe, etc.) compared to the relative lack of new housing construction. Hence the need for densification…

    But that simply renews my concerns about taking an area of mostly rental properties and turning it into admittedly high density “owner/occupant” housing. I think the proposal would price out a lot of people who are currently in the area, and they would either be forced into apartments on the periphery of town, or just out of town entirely. And as I alluded in my earlier post, I think that would be a loss for the town.

    Concerning the football stadium, you are of course correct and I had completely forgotten that they were moving. Last I recall the plan was to retain Toomey for other uses, like track events, intramural sports, and so on, but obviously nothing as loud as football. However, I still think the substantial nighttime traffic through the area of people going to and from the downtown and campus will remain, and even grow as Davis continues to allow development in the downtown area. This trend would even be increased if a substantial commercial development took place in the area proposed and followed the popular model of bar-restaurant businesses which seem to be taking off (and which I incidentally fully support).

    I think all of this will be a disincentive for people who might have the money to purchase and live in the townhouses, but might not necessarily want to deal with the reality of living in the middle of what remains, in some places, a college town. Of course, townhouses aren’t going to be the first choice for the stereotyped young families who I imagine are drawn to Davis for the reasons discussed. So, I could be wrong, and this might be the first step in developing a younger, professional demographic in Davis (one which I might choose to join in a few years) who live closer to the center of town, in less traditional residences. However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.

  130. Karl

    Rich, both good points, let me just offer additional (non-contradictory) thoughts:

    As far as pricing, your point is well taken that Davis hasn’t always been an expensive place to live. I’ll correct myself and observe that it is currently a very expensive place to purchase a house. While we can expect at some point that the housing bubble will contract, there seems to be good reason to suspect the Davis, compared to other parts of the Sacramento area and along the I-80 corridor, will continue to be relatively expensive. I base this assumption on the perceived benefits of living in Davis (good schools, strong community, safe, etc.) compared to the relative lack of new housing construction. Hence the need for densification…

    But that simply renews my concerns about taking an area of mostly rental properties and turning it into admittedly high density “owner/occupant” housing. I think the proposal would price out a lot of people who are currently in the area, and they would either be forced into apartments on the periphery of town, or just out of town entirely. And as I alluded in my earlier post, I think that would be a loss for the town.

    Concerning the football stadium, you are of course correct and I had completely forgotten that they were moving. Last I recall the plan was to retain Toomey for other uses, like track events, intramural sports, and so on, but obviously nothing as loud as football. However, I still think the substantial nighttime traffic through the area of people going to and from the downtown and campus will remain, and even grow as Davis continues to allow development in the downtown area. This trend would even be increased if a substantial commercial development took place in the area proposed and followed the popular model of bar-restaurant businesses which seem to be taking off (and which I incidentally fully support).

    I think all of this will be a disincentive for people who might have the money to purchase and live in the townhouses, but might not necessarily want to deal with the reality of living in the middle of what remains, in some places, a college town. Of course, townhouses aren’t going to be the first choice for the stereotyped young families who I imagine are drawn to Davis for the reasons discussed. So, I could be wrong, and this might be the first step in developing a younger, professional demographic in Davis (one which I might choose to join in a few years) who live closer to the center of town, in less traditional residences. However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.

  131. Karl

    Rich, both good points, let me just offer additional (non-contradictory) thoughts:

    As far as pricing, your point is well taken that Davis hasn’t always been an expensive place to live. I’ll correct myself and observe that it is currently a very expensive place to purchase a house. While we can expect at some point that the housing bubble will contract, there seems to be good reason to suspect the Davis, compared to other parts of the Sacramento area and along the I-80 corridor, will continue to be relatively expensive. I base this assumption on the perceived benefits of living in Davis (good schools, strong community, safe, etc.) compared to the relative lack of new housing construction. Hence the need for densification…

    But that simply renews my concerns about taking an area of mostly rental properties and turning it into admittedly high density “owner/occupant” housing. I think the proposal would price out a lot of people who are currently in the area, and they would either be forced into apartments on the periphery of town, or just out of town entirely. And as I alluded in my earlier post, I think that would be a loss for the town.

    Concerning the football stadium, you are of course correct and I had completely forgotten that they were moving. Last I recall the plan was to retain Toomey for other uses, like track events, intramural sports, and so on, but obviously nothing as loud as football. However, I still think the substantial nighttime traffic through the area of people going to and from the downtown and campus will remain, and even grow as Davis continues to allow development in the downtown area. This trend would even be increased if a substantial commercial development took place in the area proposed and followed the popular model of bar-restaurant businesses which seem to be taking off (and which I incidentally fully support).

    I think all of this will be a disincentive for people who might have the money to purchase and live in the townhouses, but might not necessarily want to deal with the reality of living in the middle of what remains, in some places, a college town. Of course, townhouses aren’t going to be the first choice for the stereotyped young families who I imagine are drawn to Davis for the reasons discussed. So, I could be wrong, and this might be the first step in developing a younger, professional demographic in Davis (one which I might choose to join in a few years) who live closer to the center of town, in less traditional residences. However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.

  132. Karl

    Rich, both good points, let me just offer additional (non-contradictory) thoughts:

    As far as pricing, your point is well taken that Davis hasn’t always been an expensive place to live. I’ll correct myself and observe that it is currently a very expensive place to purchase a house. While we can expect at some point that the housing bubble will contract, there seems to be good reason to suspect the Davis, compared to other parts of the Sacramento area and along the I-80 corridor, will continue to be relatively expensive. I base this assumption on the perceived benefits of living in Davis (good schools, strong community, safe, etc.) compared to the relative lack of new housing construction. Hence the need for densification…

    But that simply renews my concerns about taking an area of mostly rental properties and turning it into admittedly high density “owner/occupant” housing. I think the proposal would price out a lot of people who are currently in the area, and they would either be forced into apartments on the periphery of town, or just out of town entirely. And as I alluded in my earlier post, I think that would be a loss for the town.

    Concerning the football stadium, you are of course correct and I had completely forgotten that they were moving. Last I recall the plan was to retain Toomey for other uses, like track events, intramural sports, and so on, but obviously nothing as loud as football. However, I still think the substantial nighttime traffic through the area of people going to and from the downtown and campus will remain, and even grow as Davis continues to allow development in the downtown area. This trend would even be increased if a substantial commercial development took place in the area proposed and followed the popular model of bar-restaurant businesses which seem to be taking off (and which I incidentally fully support).

    I think all of this will be a disincentive for people who might have the money to purchase and live in the townhouses, but might not necessarily want to deal with the reality of living in the middle of what remains, in some places, a college town. Of course, townhouses aren’t going to be the first choice for the stereotyped young families who I imagine are drawn to Davis for the reasons discussed. So, I could be wrong, and this might be the first step in developing a younger, professional demographic in Davis (one which I might choose to join in a few years) who live closer to the center of town, in less traditional residences. However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.

  133. Rich Rifkin

    “However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.”

    If that happened, I personally would not consider that a negative. My feeling is that we ought to be encouraging more student housing in the areas most proximate to campus.

    I don’t know if there is any precedent for this idea of mine or how likely it would be to succeed, but I would like to see some high-density student housing to be built — say at the school district headquarters site on B Street — which had almost no parking spaces, but included a provision in each lease in which the renter promised that he/she would get around on foot, bike or bus and would not bring a car to Davis.

    I agree that there is a need for more affordable student housing, especially close to the campus. But one thing that makes off-campus student housing more expensive is the parking requirement. Land is just very expensive, and so the more of it you need for parking, the fewer bedrooms you can construct. If spaces were built exclusively for students who did not have cars, far more kids could be packed in, at a far lower price.

    (On campus, this is pretty much what has happened with the dorms, since they took out the parking lots on Russell, that used to serve the dorms, and built new dorms over them. However, I don’t think the University required the students to sign a pledge, saying that they would not bring a car to Davis.)

  134. Rich Rifkin

    “However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.”

    If that happened, I personally would not consider that a negative. My feeling is that we ought to be encouraging more student housing in the areas most proximate to campus.

    I don’t know if there is any precedent for this idea of mine or how likely it would be to succeed, but I would like to see some high-density student housing to be built — say at the school district headquarters site on B Street — which had almost no parking spaces, but included a provision in each lease in which the renter promised that he/she would get around on foot, bike or bus and would not bring a car to Davis.

    I agree that there is a need for more affordable student housing, especially close to the campus. But one thing that makes off-campus student housing more expensive is the parking requirement. Land is just very expensive, and so the more of it you need for parking, the fewer bedrooms you can construct. If spaces were built exclusively for students who did not have cars, far more kids could be packed in, at a far lower price.

    (On campus, this is pretty much what has happened with the dorms, since they took out the parking lots on Russell, that used to serve the dorms, and built new dorms over them. However, I don’t think the University required the students to sign a pledge, saying that they would not bring a car to Davis.)

  135. Rich Rifkin

    “However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.”

    If that happened, I personally would not consider that a negative. My feeling is that we ought to be encouraging more student housing in the areas most proximate to campus.

    I don’t know if there is any precedent for this idea of mine or how likely it would be to succeed, but I would like to see some high-density student housing to be built — say at the school district headquarters site on B Street — which had almost no parking spaces, but included a provision in each lease in which the renter promised that he/she would get around on foot, bike or bus and would not bring a car to Davis.

    I agree that there is a need for more affordable student housing, especially close to the campus. But one thing that makes off-campus student housing more expensive is the parking requirement. Land is just very expensive, and so the more of it you need for parking, the fewer bedrooms you can construct. If spaces were built exclusively for students who did not have cars, far more kids could be packed in, at a far lower price.

    (On campus, this is pretty much what has happened with the dorms, since they took out the parking lots on Russell, that used to serve the dorms, and built new dorms over them. However, I don’t think the University required the students to sign a pledge, saying that they would not bring a car to Davis.)

  136. Rich Rifkin

    “However, I remain skeptical that, were this proposal to move forward, you wouldn’t simply see people purchase the condos, and then rent them out to wealthier students, half defeating the purpose of the original proposal.”

    If that happened, I personally would not consider that a negative. My feeling is that we ought to be encouraging more student housing in the areas most proximate to campus.

    I don’t know if there is any precedent for this idea of mine or how likely it would be to succeed, but I would like to see some high-density student housing to be built — say at the school district headquarters site on B Street — which had almost no parking spaces, but included a provision in each lease in which the renter promised that he/she would get around on foot, bike or bus and would not bring a car to Davis.

    I agree that there is a need for more affordable student housing, especially close to the campus. But one thing that makes off-campus student housing more expensive is the parking requirement. Land is just very expensive, and so the more of it you need for parking, the fewer bedrooms you can construct. If spaces were built exclusively for students who did not have cars, far more kids could be packed in, at a far lower price.

    (On campus, this is pretty much what has happened with the dorms, since they took out the parking lots on Russell, that used to serve the dorms, and built new dorms over them. However, I don’t think the University required the students to sign a pledge, saying that they would not bring a car to Davis.)

  137. Anonymous

    “Packing more kids” into a high density student apartment development on the school district site is not a great idea from the standpoint of the Old North neighborhood or the city in general.
    Most college towns have moved away from student ghettos because of the problems they have invariably presented.
    The city has already taken measures to deal with the party & noise problems that have occurred in apartment complexes with high concentrations of students (fining both occupants and landlords.)
    And students already store cars all week (so they can use them on weekends) in Old North, adding to the parking problems. It would be hard to enforce a pledge not to bring a car to Davis and leave it somewhere else.
    Sooner or later – preferably sooner – students need to learn the realities of home ownership and/or maintenance, good neighbor relations, and how people with job & family responsibilities live (and as more students need to work, we’re getting an increase in single parent students, married students, etc.) Dispersing students in multi-generational neighborhoods is better for everyone than student ghettos.

    Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark, because Scott was a major figure in Davis history, on a par with J.B. Anderson who built the Anderson Bank Building (changed name from Davisville to Davis, newspaper editor, principal town booster, justice of peace, etc). Two others of the “little old houses” are also designated resources. This means that alterations to these 3 houses required a special design review.

  138. Anonymous

    “Packing more kids” into a high density student apartment development on the school district site is not a great idea from the standpoint of the Old North neighborhood or the city in general.
    Most college towns have moved away from student ghettos because of the problems they have invariably presented.
    The city has already taken measures to deal with the party & noise problems that have occurred in apartment complexes with high concentrations of students (fining both occupants and landlords.)
    And students already store cars all week (so they can use them on weekends) in Old North, adding to the parking problems. It would be hard to enforce a pledge not to bring a car to Davis and leave it somewhere else.
    Sooner or later – preferably sooner – students need to learn the realities of home ownership and/or maintenance, good neighbor relations, and how people with job & family responsibilities live (and as more students need to work, we’re getting an increase in single parent students, married students, etc.) Dispersing students in multi-generational neighborhoods is better for everyone than student ghettos.

    Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark, because Scott was a major figure in Davis history, on a par with J.B. Anderson who built the Anderson Bank Building (changed name from Davisville to Davis, newspaper editor, principal town booster, justice of peace, etc). Two others of the “little old houses” are also designated resources. This means that alterations to these 3 houses required a special design review.

  139. Anonymous

    “Packing more kids” into a high density student apartment development on the school district site is not a great idea from the standpoint of the Old North neighborhood or the city in general.
    Most college towns have moved away from student ghettos because of the problems they have invariably presented.
    The city has already taken measures to deal with the party & noise problems that have occurred in apartment complexes with high concentrations of students (fining both occupants and landlords.)
    And students already store cars all week (so they can use them on weekends) in Old North, adding to the parking problems. It would be hard to enforce a pledge not to bring a car to Davis and leave it somewhere else.
    Sooner or later – preferably sooner – students need to learn the realities of home ownership and/or maintenance, good neighbor relations, and how people with job & family responsibilities live (and as more students need to work, we’re getting an increase in single parent students, married students, etc.) Dispersing students in multi-generational neighborhoods is better for everyone than student ghettos.

    Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark, because Scott was a major figure in Davis history, on a par with J.B. Anderson who built the Anderson Bank Building (changed name from Davisville to Davis, newspaper editor, principal town booster, justice of peace, etc). Two others of the “little old houses” are also designated resources. This means that alterations to these 3 houses required a special design review.

  140. Anonymous

    “Packing more kids” into a high density student apartment development on the school district site is not a great idea from the standpoint of the Old North neighborhood or the city in general.
    Most college towns have moved away from student ghettos because of the problems they have invariably presented.
    The city has already taken measures to deal with the party & noise problems that have occurred in apartment complexes with high concentrations of students (fining both occupants and landlords.)
    And students already store cars all week (so they can use them on weekends) in Old North, adding to the parking problems. It would be hard to enforce a pledge not to bring a car to Davis and leave it somewhere else.
    Sooner or later – preferably sooner – students need to learn the realities of home ownership and/or maintenance, good neighbor relations, and how people with job & family responsibilities live (and as more students need to work, we’re getting an increase in single parent students, married students, etc.) Dispersing students in multi-generational neighborhoods is better for everyone than student ghettos.

    Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark, because Scott was a major figure in Davis history, on a par with J.B. Anderson who built the Anderson Bank Building (changed name from Davisville to Davis, newspaper editor, principal town booster, justice of peace, etc). Two others of the “little old houses” are also designated resources. This means that alterations to these 3 houses required a special design review.

  141. 無名 - wu ming

    i find it amusing how predominantly middle aged homeowner neighborhoods aren’t considered “ghettoes,” but providing housing for students adjacent to the campus that they attend is somehow a recipe for disaster.

    people who don’t like living near students shouldn’t move to a college town.

    the real trick with denser development and parking pressure is in getting more of the places that residents want to go to sited within walking distance. flexcar is one way to go, but trying to make sure that everyday retail for things like groceries and such are within a reasonable walk from the apartments would reduce car pressure significantly. as long as we persiust in this low-density subirban model, however, parking pressure will continue to be a headache.

  142. 無名 - wu ming

    i find it amusing how predominantly middle aged homeowner neighborhoods aren’t considered “ghettoes,” but providing housing for students adjacent to the campus that they attend is somehow a recipe for disaster.

    people who don’t like living near students shouldn’t move to a college town.

    the real trick with denser development and parking pressure is in getting more of the places that residents want to go to sited within walking distance. flexcar is one way to go, but trying to make sure that everyday retail for things like groceries and such are within a reasonable walk from the apartments would reduce car pressure significantly. as long as we persiust in this low-density subirban model, however, parking pressure will continue to be a headache.

  143. 無名 - wu ming

    i find it amusing how predominantly middle aged homeowner neighborhoods aren’t considered “ghettoes,” but providing housing for students adjacent to the campus that they attend is somehow a recipe for disaster.

    people who don’t like living near students shouldn’t move to a college town.

    the real trick with denser development and parking pressure is in getting more of the places that residents want to go to sited within walking distance. flexcar is one way to go, but trying to make sure that everyday retail for things like groceries and such are within a reasonable walk from the apartments would reduce car pressure significantly. as long as we persiust in this low-density subirban model, however, parking pressure will continue to be a headache.

  144. 無名 - wu ming

    i find it amusing how predominantly middle aged homeowner neighborhoods aren’t considered “ghettoes,” but providing housing for students adjacent to the campus that they attend is somehow a recipe for disaster.

    people who don’t like living near students shouldn’t move to a college town.

    the real trick with denser development and parking pressure is in getting more of the places that residents want to go to sited within walking distance. flexcar is one way to go, but trying to make sure that everyday retail for things like groceries and such are within a reasonable walk from the apartments would reduce car pressure significantly. as long as we persiust in this low-density subirban model, however, parking pressure will continue to be a headache.

  145. Gail

    Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc. Please don’t stereotype us as wanting to keep students out. That’s far from the case. If we didn’t like being here, we could easily move. We like the neighborhood balance, and we’d like to keep it.

  146. Gail

    Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc. Please don’t stereotype us as wanting to keep students out. That’s far from the case. If we didn’t like being here, we could easily move. We like the neighborhood balance, and we’d like to keep it.

  147. Gail

    Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc. Please don’t stereotype us as wanting to keep students out. That’s far from the case. If we didn’t like being here, we could easily move. We like the neighborhood balance, and we’d like to keep it.

  148. Gail

    Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc. Please don’t stereotype us as wanting to keep students out. That’s far from the case. If we didn’t like being here, we could easily move. We like the neighborhood balance, and we’d like to keep it.

  149. Rich Rifkin

    “Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark…”

    Anonymous 11:23,

    Unfortunately, you are mistaken. 301 B Street is eligible to be designated as a landmark resource; however, it is not now listed as either a merit resource or a landmark. If the owner opposes designation, it is unlikely that it will be. I don’t know how the owner of 301 B feels about getting designated.

    Regardless of its designation, I would hope that the city council will modify the plans so that a) 301 is kept in place and b) the new buildings around 301 B are no higher than 38 feet and set back a reasonable distance.

    In the 3rd & B project area, there are two designated merit resources — 337 B Street (the McDonald house), which will be retained; and 232-3rd St, which will be moved around the corner onto University Ave.

    311 B Street is listed as an eligible merit resource. However, its owner does not want it listed, and therefore (I believe) it will not be. My hope is that 311 B is moved to a city owned lot of J Street.

  150. Rich Rifkin

    “Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark…”

    Anonymous 11:23,

    Unfortunately, you are mistaken. 301 B Street is eligible to be designated as a landmark resource; however, it is not now listed as either a merit resource or a landmark. If the owner opposes designation, it is unlikely that it will be. I don’t know how the owner of 301 B feels about getting designated.

    Regardless of its designation, I would hope that the city council will modify the plans so that a) 301 is kept in place and b) the new buildings around 301 B are no higher than 38 feet and set back a reasonable distance.

    In the 3rd & B project area, there are two designated merit resources — 337 B Street (the McDonald house), which will be retained; and 232-3rd St, which will be moved around the corner onto University Ave.

    311 B Street is listed as an eligible merit resource. However, its owner does not want it listed, and therefore (I believe) it will not be. My hope is that 311 B is moved to a city owned lot of J Street.

  151. Rich Rifkin

    “Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark…”

    Anonymous 11:23,

    Unfortunately, you are mistaken. 301 B Street is eligible to be designated as a landmark resource; however, it is not now listed as either a merit resource or a landmark. If the owner opposes designation, it is unlikely that it will be. I don’t know how the owner of 301 B feels about getting designated.

    Regardless of its designation, I would hope that the city council will modify the plans so that a) 301 is kept in place and b) the new buildings around 301 B are no higher than 38 feet and set back a reasonable distance.

    In the 3rd & B project area, there are two designated merit resources — 337 B Street (the McDonald house), which will be retained; and 232-3rd St, which will be moved around the corner onto University Ave.

    311 B Street is listed as an eligible merit resource. However, its owner does not want it listed, and therefore (I believe) it will not be. My hope is that 311 B is moved to a city owned lot of J Street.

  152. Rich Rifkin

    “Ciocolat (301 B St, the Scott house) by the way is a city designated historic resource (a “Merit Resource”) and is eligible to be upgraded to a Landmark…”

    Anonymous 11:23,

    Unfortunately, you are mistaken. 301 B Street is eligible to be designated as a landmark resource; however, it is not now listed as either a merit resource or a landmark. If the owner opposes designation, it is unlikely that it will be. I don’t know how the owner of 301 B feels about getting designated.

    Regardless of its designation, I would hope that the city council will modify the plans so that a) 301 is kept in place and b) the new buildings around 301 B are no higher than 38 feet and set back a reasonable distance.

    In the 3rd & B project area, there are two designated merit resources — 337 B Street (the McDonald house), which will be retained; and 232-3rd St, which will be moved around the corner onto University Ave.

    311 B Street is listed as an eligible merit resource. However, its owner does not want it listed, and therefore (I believe) it will not be. My hope is that 311 B is moved to a city owned lot of J Street.

  153. Rich Rifkin

    “Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc.”

    If the school board does decide to sell off its 526 B Street headquarters’ property, I think the surrounding homes of Olde North have to be considered. To that end, I think it would make sense to build single family homes along the 6th Street frontage that are similar in size, sq footage and open space to the existing homes in that neighborhood.

    However, on the rest of the block, I think a dormitory-like project (with very limited parking) is a good idea). It could be higher on the south side of the property and lower on the north. And if a parking lot is not included, open space with appropriate trees should be a part of the project, especially along 5th Street, as a buffer between the dorms and the busy street.

    As far as noise goes, you make a good point. There would have to be rules to try to make sure that the kids didn’t disrupt the peace of their neighbors — which is the same type of thing that goes on in all neighborhoods that have students mixed in.

    (We have no noise problems with the student renters in my Sycamore Lane area neighborhood. Our only problems with those homes is with the owners, who often don’t take care of their landscaping. The kids behave quite well — much better than the kids behaved when I was a student.)

  154. Rich Rifkin

    “Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc.”

    If the school board does decide to sell off its 526 B Street headquarters’ property, I think the surrounding homes of Olde North have to be considered. To that end, I think it would make sense to build single family homes along the 6th Street frontage that are similar in size, sq footage and open space to the existing homes in that neighborhood.

    However, on the rest of the block, I think a dormitory-like project (with very limited parking) is a good idea). It could be higher on the south side of the property and lower on the north. And if a parking lot is not included, open space with appropriate trees should be a part of the project, especially along 5th Street, as a buffer between the dorms and the busy street.

    As far as noise goes, you make a good point. There would have to be rules to try to make sure that the kids didn’t disrupt the peace of their neighbors — which is the same type of thing that goes on in all neighborhoods that have students mixed in.

    (We have no noise problems with the student renters in my Sycamore Lane area neighborhood. Our only problems with those homes is with the owners, who often don’t take care of their landscaping. The kids behave quite well — much better than the kids behaved when I was a student.)

  155. Rich Rifkin

    “Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc.”

    If the school board does decide to sell off its 526 B Street headquarters’ property, I think the surrounding homes of Olde North have to be considered. To that end, I think it would make sense to build single family homes along the 6th Street frontage that are similar in size, sq footage and open space to the existing homes in that neighborhood.

    However, on the rest of the block, I think a dormitory-like project (with very limited parking) is a good idea). It could be higher on the south side of the property and lower on the north. And if a parking lot is not included, open space with appropriate trees should be a part of the project, especially along 5th Street, as a buffer between the dorms and the busy street.

    As far as noise goes, you make a good point. There would have to be rules to try to make sure that the kids didn’t disrupt the peace of their neighbors — which is the same type of thing that goes on in all neighborhoods that have students mixed in.

    (We have no noise problems with the student renters in my Sycamore Lane area neighborhood. Our only problems with those homes is with the owners, who often don’t take care of their landscaping. The kids behave quite well — much better than the kids behaved when I was a student.)

  156. Rich Rifkin

    “Just a brief note: those of us who live in the neighborhood we’ve been discussing live here because we love living in a neighborhood with students, with young professionals, with young families, older adults,with restaurants, close to campus and downtown, etc.”

    If the school board does decide to sell off its 526 B Street headquarters’ property, I think the surrounding homes of Olde North have to be considered. To that end, I think it would make sense to build single family homes along the 6th Street frontage that are similar in size, sq footage and open space to the existing homes in that neighborhood.

    However, on the rest of the block, I think a dormitory-like project (with very limited parking) is a good idea). It could be higher on the south side of the property and lower on the north. And if a parking lot is not included, open space with appropriate trees should be a part of the project, especially along 5th Street, as a buffer between the dorms and the busy street.

    As far as noise goes, you make a good point. There would have to be rules to try to make sure that the kids didn’t disrupt the peace of their neighbors — which is the same type of thing that goes on in all neighborhoods that have students mixed in.

    (We have no noise problems with the student renters in my Sycamore Lane area neighborhood. Our only problems with those homes is with the owners, who often don’t take care of their landscaping. The kids behave quite well — much better than the kids behaved when I was a student.)

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