Carrots and Sticks in Development Can be Transposed

It was last summer that Yolo County received an offer from developer Angelo Tsakopoulos in exchange for him being allowed to develop a huge swath of land west of the causeway, he would use some of that money to produce a stem cell research facility. However, the idea of the stem cell research facility, the size, the location, and the proximity to a flood plain weighed heavily against such a proposal. As did the fact that the proposed site was on the periphery of Davis and the Davis City Council had not been involved in any of the discussions.

Eventually this site was eliminated more or less as a viable option for the County General Plan update.

Now we get a similar story from El Dorado. Here the housing development was not the problem, however there were other concerns.

From yesterday’s Sacramento Bee:

“A developer’s willingness to purchase water services in advance of home construction will help the El Dorado Irrigation District weather the downturn in the housing market.

The district board Monday approved an agreement with AKT Carson Creek Investors LLC that calls for the firm to pay nearly $4.34 million in facility capacity charges for water, wastewater and recycled water service in 2008 as an advance deposit on the fees that will be levied when the residential units are built. The company owns the Carson Creek properties in the El Dorado Hills area.

District counsel Tom Cumpston said the pact is similar to contracts the district entered into in the past through assessment districts and other advance funding agreements.

“The issue is an overarching one,” Cumpston said of the impetus for the agreement. “The volatility of the regional housing market has a significant effect on the district’s budgeting.”

Without the advance payment, he said, the district would have difficulty providing the debt service coverage for its bond program in 2008. To meet the bond obligation requirements, the district’s total revenues must exceed operating expenditures, including debt payments, by 125 percent.”

The story illustrates two things. First, that Tsakopoulos is willing to do a tremendous amount in exchange for the ability to develop housing developments, even in the midst of a construction slow down that is dissuading and encumbering many. A stem cell research facility would be a nice thing to bring to Yolo County, but not at this cost. Certainly not at the cost of having to allow Tsakopoulos to sink his teeth into our local community. But by the same measure, he does get it in a way some of our local leadership do not.

For there is a second lesson for all involved here and that has to do with development agreements themselves. Imagine in the next development that Davis considers, if the developer has to pay some of the huge costs that the city would ordinarily have to eat. For example, the amount of cost in services for West Village is prohibitive. UC Davis will lose money on it regardless. The City of Davis if they annex it, loses somewhat less money. But imagine if one of the conditions upon which the developer is entitled to develop the property is that they have to find a way to mitigate some of the costs for the city?

In short, the real question is are we asking developers to do enough in the city of Davis when we approve their plans?

I am not advocating more development here. Nor am I suggesting that developers need to take a loss on their project.

What I am suggesting is that we ask our developers to do more than we presently do. If they want to develop land adjacent to Davis, and we think these are good projects for the future, maybe, just maybe, we should ask for things in return, so that these developments do not negatively impact the city as much as they presently do.

Just some food for thought.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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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88 Comments

  1. davisite

    This story illustrates an even more important lesson. When a City Council
    does not keep a tight rein on its expenditure budget, it becomes HOSTAGE to developers who can bail them out when economic times take a downward turn.

  2. davisite

    This story illustrates an even more important lesson. When a City Council
    does not keep a tight rein on its expenditure budget, it becomes HOSTAGE to developers who can bail them out when economic times take a downward turn.

  3. davisite

    This story illustrates an even more important lesson. When a City Council
    does not keep a tight rein on its expenditure budget, it becomes HOSTAGE to developers who can bail them out when economic times take a downward turn.

  4. davisite

    This story illustrates an even more important lesson. When a City Council
    does not keep a tight rein on its expenditure budget, it becomes HOSTAGE to developers who can bail them out when economic times take a downward turn.

  5. SODAite

    Also reminds me of the Oakshade apts that were built (on the “Ross” property) rented for only a few years and now have been closed since end of summer, remodeling into condos which the developer was quoted as saying would go for $500-600K. Their parking lot encroaches onto the Merryhill School property (apparently ok since both were owned by the developer)…….now what?

  6. SODAite

    Also reminds me of the Oakshade apts that were built (on the “Ross” property) rented for only a few years and now have been closed since end of summer, remodeling into condos which the developer was quoted as saying would go for $500-600K. Their parking lot encroaches onto the Merryhill School property (apparently ok since both were owned by the developer)…….now what?

  7. SODAite

    Also reminds me of the Oakshade apts that were built (on the “Ross” property) rented for only a few years and now have been closed since end of summer, remodeling into condos which the developer was quoted as saying would go for $500-600K. Their parking lot encroaches onto the Merryhill School property (apparently ok since both were owned by the developer)…….now what?

  8. SODAite

    Also reminds me of the Oakshade apts that were built (on the “Ross” property) rented for only a few years and now have been closed since end of summer, remodeling into condos which the developer was quoted as saying would go for $500-600K. Their parking lot encroaches onto the Merryhill School property (apparently ok since both were owned by the developer)…….now what?

  9. Vincente

    That’s a good point Davisite. Developers can give cities inducements that they can develop property in exchange for helping the city out of a tight financial situation.

    The problem with Davis appears to be the opposite–we give away the farm times without assurances of traffic mitigations, water, and other services. How can the city allow a Covell Village without requiring them to fix the intersection of Covell and Poleline?

    Or how can the city have a contract with a vendor without insuring that they follow through on the work–ie Covell which they had to redo because it was not properly graded, the Solar Panels at Community Park, the Computers and Cameras in Police Cars, etc.

  10. Vincente

    That’s a good point Davisite. Developers can give cities inducements that they can develop property in exchange for helping the city out of a tight financial situation.

    The problem with Davis appears to be the opposite–we give away the farm times without assurances of traffic mitigations, water, and other services. How can the city allow a Covell Village without requiring them to fix the intersection of Covell and Poleline?

    Or how can the city have a contract with a vendor without insuring that they follow through on the work–ie Covell which they had to redo because it was not properly graded, the Solar Panels at Community Park, the Computers and Cameras in Police Cars, etc.

  11. Vincente

    That’s a good point Davisite. Developers can give cities inducements that they can develop property in exchange for helping the city out of a tight financial situation.

    The problem with Davis appears to be the opposite–we give away the farm times without assurances of traffic mitigations, water, and other services. How can the city allow a Covell Village without requiring them to fix the intersection of Covell and Poleline?

    Or how can the city have a contract with a vendor without insuring that they follow through on the work–ie Covell which they had to redo because it was not properly graded, the Solar Panels at Community Park, the Computers and Cameras in Police Cars, etc.

  12. Vincente

    That’s a good point Davisite. Developers can give cities inducements that they can develop property in exchange for helping the city out of a tight financial situation.

    The problem with Davis appears to be the opposite–we give away the farm times without assurances of traffic mitigations, water, and other services. How can the city allow a Covell Village without requiring them to fix the intersection of Covell and Poleline?

    Or how can the city have a contract with a vendor without insuring that they follow through on the work–ie Covell which they had to redo because it was not properly graded, the Solar Panels at Community Park, the Computers and Cameras in Police Cars, etc.

  13. Anonymous

    An issue that is never mentioned is the problem of Council having no independent staff and therefore having to rely almost solely on city staff data and recommendations for their decision-making. City staff has a potential conflict of interest when it comes to developer pressures as it relates to staff (read career title/status, salary and benefits and job security).

  14. Anonymous

    An issue that is never mentioned is the problem of Council having no independent staff and therefore having to rely almost solely on city staff data and recommendations for their decision-making. City staff has a potential conflict of interest when it comes to developer pressures as it relates to staff (read career title/status, salary and benefits and job security).

  15. Anonymous

    An issue that is never mentioned is the problem of Council having no independent staff and therefore having to rely almost solely on city staff data and recommendations for their decision-making. City staff has a potential conflict of interest when it comes to developer pressures as it relates to staff (read career title/status, salary and benefits and job security).

  16. Anonymous

    An issue that is never mentioned is the problem of Council having no independent staff and therefore having to rely almost solely on city staff data and recommendations for their decision-making. City staff has a potential conflict of interest when it comes to developer pressures as it relates to staff (read career title/status, salary and benefits and job security).

  17. Anonymous

    Why can’t Davis figure out some other way besides high-end residential development to build a tax base? Manufacturing, or R & D, perhaps? Warehousing. On the old Cannery site? The railroad infrastructure is already there, has been since like 1868.
    Use some imagination, City Council!

  18. Anonymous

    Why can’t Davis figure out some other way besides high-end residential development to build a tax base? Manufacturing, or R & D, perhaps? Warehousing. On the old Cannery site? The railroad infrastructure is already there, has been since like 1868.
    Use some imagination, City Council!

  19. Anonymous

    Why can’t Davis figure out some other way besides high-end residential development to build a tax base? Manufacturing, or R & D, perhaps? Warehousing. On the old Cannery site? The railroad infrastructure is already there, has been since like 1868.
    Use some imagination, City Council!

  20. Anonymous

    Why can’t Davis figure out some other way besides high-end residential development to build a tax base? Manufacturing, or R & D, perhaps? Warehousing. On the old Cannery site? The railroad infrastructure is already there, has been since like 1868.
    Use some imagination, City Council!

  21. Matt Williams

    Asking the developers for more up front is a good idea; however, it does come with its own challenges. Lets take a look at a real-life example from the long-running Housing Element Steering Committee (HESC) which has convened twenty (20) two to three hour public sessions since 2/8/2007.

    The minutes of the HESC meeting on 10/11 include the following under Public Comment, “The public had concerns regarding the consideration of sites in the northwest quadrant of the
    City. Some of the property owners of H4, H5, and H6 sites discussed planning the sites
    together in order to maximize the size of ag mitigation land to the north and west of the three
    sites. Representatives of H6 also discussed water flow in the northwest quadrant, and how
    cooperative planning could assist in rerouting water.
    Others from the community implored
    the committee to stop expanding the City’s borders in order to reduce the carbon footprint,
    and maintain compact internal development. Speakers stated that these sites have a distance
    too great from downtown, and one speaker voiced concern that there might be a shortage in
    water supply with so many additional residents with development of the sites.”

    The minutes of that meeting also include the following, “Will Marshall, Assistant City Engineer gave a brief overview of the drainage and floodplain
    issues in Davis.”

    As noted in bold above the representatives of site H6 came to the meeting with concrete evidence that they were 1) willing to help the City significantly reduce the flood risk in the western portions of the City now, 2) provide a permanent half-mile agricultural mitigation buffer to the west and north of Davis on the west side of Route 113, and 3) defer any residential construction until after 2013 if not until after 2020.

    Bottom-line #1, the representatives of H6 were willing to make substantial and meaningful, contributions the quality of life in Davis now in exchange for the knowledge that sometime after 2013 they will be able to help the City of Davis meet the existing (at that time) housing demand by building new residential units. If I understand what they have said correctly, then if there is no identifiable demand after 2013 they will simply delay any new units until such demand is identifiable.

    Bottom-line #2, Davis as a community and davis as a govenmental entity wil not be able to realize the benefits inherent in Bottom-line #1 if we don’t think on a longer-term basis and come up with a Master Plan for how we can deal with issues like flooding and permanent agricultural borders around Davis and urban limits.

  22. Matt Williams

    Asking the developers for more up front is a good idea; however, it does come with its own challenges. Lets take a look at a real-life example from the long-running Housing Element Steering Committee (HESC) which has convened twenty (20) two to three hour public sessions since 2/8/2007.

    The minutes of the HESC meeting on 10/11 include the following under Public Comment, “The public had concerns regarding the consideration of sites in the northwest quadrant of the
    City. Some of the property owners of H4, H5, and H6 sites discussed planning the sites
    together in order to maximize the size of ag mitigation land to the north and west of the three
    sites. Representatives of H6 also discussed water flow in the northwest quadrant, and how
    cooperative planning could assist in rerouting water.
    Others from the community implored
    the committee to stop expanding the City’s borders in order to reduce the carbon footprint,
    and maintain compact internal development. Speakers stated that these sites have a distance
    too great from downtown, and one speaker voiced concern that there might be a shortage in
    water supply with so many additional residents with development of the sites.”

    The minutes of that meeting also include the following, “Will Marshall, Assistant City Engineer gave a brief overview of the drainage and floodplain
    issues in Davis.”

    As noted in bold above the representatives of site H6 came to the meeting with concrete evidence that they were 1) willing to help the City significantly reduce the flood risk in the western portions of the City now, 2) provide a permanent half-mile agricultural mitigation buffer to the west and north of Davis on the west side of Route 113, and 3) defer any residential construction until after 2013 if not until after 2020.

    Bottom-line #1, the representatives of H6 were willing to make substantial and meaningful, contributions the quality of life in Davis now in exchange for the knowledge that sometime after 2013 they will be able to help the City of Davis meet the existing (at that time) housing demand by building new residential units. If I understand what they have said correctly, then if there is no identifiable demand after 2013 they will simply delay any new units until such demand is identifiable.

    Bottom-line #2, Davis as a community and davis as a govenmental entity wil not be able to realize the benefits inherent in Bottom-line #1 if we don’t think on a longer-term basis and come up with a Master Plan for how we can deal with issues like flooding and permanent agricultural borders around Davis and urban limits.

  23. Matt Williams

    Asking the developers for more up front is a good idea; however, it does come with its own challenges. Lets take a look at a real-life example from the long-running Housing Element Steering Committee (HESC) which has convened twenty (20) two to three hour public sessions since 2/8/2007.

    The minutes of the HESC meeting on 10/11 include the following under Public Comment, “The public had concerns regarding the consideration of sites in the northwest quadrant of the
    City. Some of the property owners of H4, H5, and H6 sites discussed planning the sites
    together in order to maximize the size of ag mitigation land to the north and west of the three
    sites. Representatives of H6 also discussed water flow in the northwest quadrant, and how
    cooperative planning could assist in rerouting water.
    Others from the community implored
    the committee to stop expanding the City’s borders in order to reduce the carbon footprint,
    and maintain compact internal development. Speakers stated that these sites have a distance
    too great from downtown, and one speaker voiced concern that there might be a shortage in
    water supply with so many additional residents with development of the sites.”

    The minutes of that meeting also include the following, “Will Marshall, Assistant City Engineer gave a brief overview of the drainage and floodplain
    issues in Davis.”

    As noted in bold above the representatives of site H6 came to the meeting with concrete evidence that they were 1) willing to help the City significantly reduce the flood risk in the western portions of the City now, 2) provide a permanent half-mile agricultural mitigation buffer to the west and north of Davis on the west side of Route 113, and 3) defer any residential construction until after 2013 if not until after 2020.

    Bottom-line #1, the representatives of H6 were willing to make substantial and meaningful, contributions the quality of life in Davis now in exchange for the knowledge that sometime after 2013 they will be able to help the City of Davis meet the existing (at that time) housing demand by building new residential units. If I understand what they have said correctly, then if there is no identifiable demand after 2013 they will simply delay any new units until such demand is identifiable.

    Bottom-line #2, Davis as a community and davis as a govenmental entity wil not be able to realize the benefits inherent in Bottom-line #1 if we don’t think on a longer-term basis and come up with a Master Plan for how we can deal with issues like flooding and permanent agricultural borders around Davis and urban limits.

  24. Matt Williams

    Asking the developers for more up front is a good idea; however, it does come with its own challenges. Lets take a look at a real-life example from the long-running Housing Element Steering Committee (HESC) which has convened twenty (20) two to three hour public sessions since 2/8/2007.

    The minutes of the HESC meeting on 10/11 include the following under Public Comment, “The public had concerns regarding the consideration of sites in the northwest quadrant of the
    City. Some of the property owners of H4, H5, and H6 sites discussed planning the sites
    together in order to maximize the size of ag mitigation land to the north and west of the three
    sites. Representatives of H6 also discussed water flow in the northwest quadrant, and how
    cooperative planning could assist in rerouting water.
    Others from the community implored
    the committee to stop expanding the City’s borders in order to reduce the carbon footprint,
    and maintain compact internal development. Speakers stated that these sites have a distance
    too great from downtown, and one speaker voiced concern that there might be a shortage in
    water supply with so many additional residents with development of the sites.”

    The minutes of that meeting also include the following, “Will Marshall, Assistant City Engineer gave a brief overview of the drainage and floodplain
    issues in Davis.”

    As noted in bold above the representatives of site H6 came to the meeting with concrete evidence that they were 1) willing to help the City significantly reduce the flood risk in the western portions of the City now, 2) provide a permanent half-mile agricultural mitigation buffer to the west and north of Davis on the west side of Route 113, and 3) defer any residential construction until after 2013 if not until after 2020.

    Bottom-line #1, the representatives of H6 were willing to make substantial and meaningful, contributions the quality of life in Davis now in exchange for the knowledge that sometime after 2013 they will be able to help the City of Davis meet the existing (at that time) housing demand by building new residential units. If I understand what they have said correctly, then if there is no identifiable demand after 2013 they will simply delay any new units until such demand is identifiable.

    Bottom-line #2, Davis as a community and davis as a govenmental entity wil not be able to realize the benefits inherent in Bottom-line #1 if we don’t think on a longer-term basis and come up with a Master Plan for how we can deal with issues like flooding and permanent agricultural borders around Davis and urban limits.

  25. Doug Paul Davis

    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

  26. Doug Paul Davis

    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

  27. Doug Paul Davis

    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

  28. Doug Paul Davis

    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

  29. Anonymous

    DPD: thanks for the links to your articles relating to the city-manager model. I was taking this a little further and suggesting that Davis would be better served if Council had more access to independent expert opinion AND a “climate” that supports Council members challenging staff assumptions. This is particularly relevent to the abuse that Mayor Greenwald is subjected to by the Council Majority for her “grilling” of staff.

  30. Anonymous

    DPD: thanks for the links to your articles relating to the city-manager model. I was taking this a little further and suggesting that Davis would be better served if Council had more access to independent expert opinion AND a “climate” that supports Council members challenging staff assumptions. This is particularly relevent to the abuse that Mayor Greenwald is subjected to by the Council Majority for her “grilling” of staff.

  31. Anonymous

    DPD: thanks for the links to your articles relating to the city-manager model. I was taking this a little further and suggesting that Davis would be better served if Council had more access to independent expert opinion AND a “climate” that supports Council members challenging staff assumptions. This is particularly relevent to the abuse that Mayor Greenwald is subjected to by the Council Majority for her “grilling” of staff.

  32. Anonymous

    DPD: thanks for the links to your articles relating to the city-manager model. I was taking this a little further and suggesting that Davis would be better served if Council had more access to independent expert opinion AND a “climate” that supports Council members challenging staff assumptions. This is particularly relevent to the abuse that Mayor Greenwald is subjected to by the Council Majority for her “grilling” of staff.

  33. Doug Paul Davis

    I completely agree with you, I thought that I had made suggestions of that sort. It’s a real problem for minority members on the council. Sue has been forced to grill staff and Lamar has sought to do some of his own research.

  34. Doug Paul Davis

    I completely agree with you, I thought that I had made suggestions of that sort. It’s a real problem for minority members on the council. Sue has been forced to grill staff and Lamar has sought to do some of his own research.

  35. Doug Paul Davis

    I completely agree with you, I thought that I had made suggestions of that sort. It’s a real problem for minority members on the council. Sue has been forced to grill staff and Lamar has sought to do some of his own research.

  36. Doug Paul Davis

    I completely agree with you, I thought that I had made suggestions of that sort. It’s a real problem for minority members on the council. Sue has been forced to grill staff and Lamar has sought to do some of his own research.

  37. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…
    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

    Your position stated above is the position of a very large number of Davis residents. The challenge that position faces is the City Council’s Resolution Regarding Annual Growth Parameter oherwise known as the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. The text of that Resolution can be viewed at http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20070308/housing_need_reso_re_growth_param_cc_mar_08_05.pdf

    If (and I realize that is a huge If) the City does grow at a rate consistent with that Guideline, where are the additional residential units going to go? That is one of the key questions the HESC has been wrestling with in its 20 meetings.

    It is important to note that the HESC will be holding its second Community Workshop on Thursday evening, January 24, 2008 in the Teen Center Basement, 303 Third Street, Davis. The HESC has done a truly superb job in looking at and prioritizing the possible housing sites in and around Davis. I strongly encourage all Davis residents to attend.

    One of the key feedback items that the HESC will be looking for input on is what Davis residents think about the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. I encourage everyone who cares about the future of Davis to come and participate.

  38. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…
    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

    Your position stated above is the position of a very large number of Davis residents. The challenge that position faces is the City Council’s Resolution Regarding Annual Growth Parameter oherwise known as the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. The text of that Resolution can be viewed at http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20070308/housing_need_reso_re_growth_param_cc_mar_08_05.pdf

    If (and I realize that is a huge If) the City does grow at a rate consistent with that Guideline, where are the additional residential units going to go? That is one of the key questions the HESC has been wrestling with in its 20 meetings.

    It is important to note that the HESC will be holding its second Community Workshop on Thursday evening, January 24, 2008 in the Teen Center Basement, 303 Third Street, Davis. The HESC has done a truly superb job in looking at and prioritizing the possible housing sites in and around Davis. I strongly encourage all Davis residents to attend.

    One of the key feedback items that the HESC will be looking for input on is what Davis residents think about the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. I encourage everyone who cares about the future of Davis to come and participate.

  39. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…
    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

    Your position stated above is the position of a very large number of Davis residents. The challenge that position faces is the City Council’s Resolution Regarding Annual Growth Parameter oherwise known as the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. The text of that Resolution can be viewed at http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20070308/housing_need_reso_re_growth_param_cc_mar_08_05.pdf

    If (and I realize that is a huge If) the City does grow at a rate consistent with that Guideline, where are the additional residential units going to go? That is one of the key questions the HESC has been wrestling with in its 20 meetings.

    It is important to note that the HESC will be holding its second Community Workshop on Thursday evening, January 24, 2008 in the Teen Center Basement, 303 Third Street, Davis. The HESC has done a truly superb job in looking at and prioritizing the possible housing sites in and around Davis. I strongly encourage all Davis residents to attend.

    One of the key feedback items that the HESC will be looking for input on is what Davis residents think about the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. I encourage everyone who cares about the future of Davis to come and participate.

  40. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…
    That is interesting, but I am not sure exactly what you are suggesting that we do. I don’t consider the NW a viable area for development in the next 30 to 40 years, let alone the next 6 to 13 years.

    Your position stated above is the position of a very large number of Davis residents. The challenge that position faces is the City Council’s Resolution Regarding Annual Growth Parameter oherwise known as the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. The text of that Resolution can be viewed at http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20070308/housing_need_reso_re_growth_param_cc_mar_08_05.pdf

    If (and I realize that is a huge If) the City does grow at a rate consistent with that Guideline, where are the additional residential units going to go? That is one of the key questions the HESC has been wrestling with in its 20 meetings.

    It is important to note that the HESC will be holding its second Community Workshop on Thursday evening, January 24, 2008 in the Teen Center Basement, 303 Third Street, Davis. The HESC has done a truly superb job in looking at and prioritizing the possible housing sites in and around Davis. I strongly encourage all Davis residents to attend.

    One of the key feedback items that the HESC will be looking for input on is what Davis residents think about the 1% Annual Growth Guideline. I encourage everyone who cares about the future of Davis to come and participate.

  41. Doug Paul Davis

    Thanks for the heads up there.

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

  42. Doug Paul Davis

    Thanks for the heads up there.

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

  43. Doug Paul Davis

    Thanks for the heads up there.

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

  44. Doug Paul Davis

    Thanks for the heads up there.

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

  45. jack sparrow

    “…1% Annual Growth Guideline.”

    …reminds me of the exchange in “Pirates of the Carribean”, where being exhorted to uphold the pirate’s code, the cursed pirate captain replies,” it’s more like a…… guideline!”

  46. jack sparrow

    “…1% Annual Growth Guideline.”

    …reminds me of the exchange in “Pirates of the Carribean”, where being exhorted to uphold the pirate’s code, the cursed pirate captain replies,” it’s more like a…… guideline!”

  47. jack sparrow

    “…1% Annual Growth Guideline.”

    …reminds me of the exchange in “Pirates of the Carribean”, where being exhorted to uphold the pirate’s code, the cursed pirate captain replies,” it’s more like a…… guideline!”

  48. jack sparrow

    “…1% Annual Growth Guideline.”

    …reminds me of the exchange in “Pirates of the Carribean”, where being exhorted to uphold the pirate’s code, the cursed pirate captain replies,” it’s more like a…… guideline!”

  49. Anonymous

    DPD is exactly right. Developers must be made to pay for mitigation – and probably would if given the chance and it was made clear they have to do their fair share of paying for services. What often happens is there is a hardening of positions on both sides – pro-growth and those no growth/slow growth folks, which isn’t helpful.

    Example: Covell Village – the developers wanted it their way, without taking into consideration what the citizens were saying. City Council wasn’t listening either. That’s why both sides failed in the endeavor.

    Had the developers and City Council majority listened more, and talked less (one realtor involved in project said he didn’t see any reason the city couldn’t subsidize the rich as well as the poor!), the developers might have gotten a lot farther. And the city needs to demand more of developers so the city takes on its responsibility in its role as a governing body.

    The reasons positions harden is because the developer figures they bought and paid for the council majority. But not anymore will that work – because of Measure J, thank goodness. But give developers a while and they will come up with ways around Measure J.

    We have to be ever vigilant, and demand more of developers and our City Council. When the City Council looks like they are selling out to developers, its time for a reality check or recall for our politicians and hold them accountable for their actions, just as was threatened at the county level recently on the subject of peripheral development.

  50. Anonymous

    DPD is exactly right. Developers must be made to pay for mitigation – and probably would if given the chance and it was made clear they have to do their fair share of paying for services. What often happens is there is a hardening of positions on both sides – pro-growth and those no growth/slow growth folks, which isn’t helpful.

    Example: Covell Village – the developers wanted it their way, without taking into consideration what the citizens were saying. City Council wasn’t listening either. That’s why both sides failed in the endeavor.

    Had the developers and City Council majority listened more, and talked less (one realtor involved in project said he didn’t see any reason the city couldn’t subsidize the rich as well as the poor!), the developers might have gotten a lot farther. And the city needs to demand more of developers so the city takes on its responsibility in its role as a governing body.

    The reasons positions harden is because the developer figures they bought and paid for the council majority. But not anymore will that work – because of Measure J, thank goodness. But give developers a while and they will come up with ways around Measure J.

    We have to be ever vigilant, and demand more of developers and our City Council. When the City Council looks like they are selling out to developers, its time for a reality check or recall for our politicians and hold them accountable for their actions, just as was threatened at the county level recently on the subject of peripheral development.

  51. Anonymous

    DPD is exactly right. Developers must be made to pay for mitigation – and probably would if given the chance and it was made clear they have to do their fair share of paying for services. What often happens is there is a hardening of positions on both sides – pro-growth and those no growth/slow growth folks, which isn’t helpful.

    Example: Covell Village – the developers wanted it their way, without taking into consideration what the citizens were saying. City Council wasn’t listening either. That’s why both sides failed in the endeavor.

    Had the developers and City Council majority listened more, and talked less (one realtor involved in project said he didn’t see any reason the city couldn’t subsidize the rich as well as the poor!), the developers might have gotten a lot farther. And the city needs to demand more of developers so the city takes on its responsibility in its role as a governing body.

    The reasons positions harden is because the developer figures they bought and paid for the council majority. But not anymore will that work – because of Measure J, thank goodness. But give developers a while and they will come up with ways around Measure J.

    We have to be ever vigilant, and demand more of developers and our City Council. When the City Council looks like they are selling out to developers, its time for a reality check or recall for our politicians and hold them accountable for their actions, just as was threatened at the county level recently on the subject of peripheral development.

  52. Anonymous

    DPD is exactly right. Developers must be made to pay for mitigation – and probably would if given the chance and it was made clear they have to do their fair share of paying for services. What often happens is there is a hardening of positions on both sides – pro-growth and those no growth/slow growth folks, which isn’t helpful.

    Example: Covell Village – the developers wanted it their way, without taking into consideration what the citizens were saying. City Council wasn’t listening either. That’s why both sides failed in the endeavor.

    Had the developers and City Council majority listened more, and talked less (one realtor involved in project said he didn’t see any reason the city couldn’t subsidize the rich as well as the poor!), the developers might have gotten a lot farther. And the city needs to demand more of developers so the city takes on its responsibility in its role as a governing body.

    The reasons positions harden is because the developer figures they bought and paid for the council majority. But not anymore will that work – because of Measure J, thank goodness. But give developers a while and they will come up with ways around Measure J.

    We have to be ever vigilant, and demand more of developers and our City Council. When the City Council looks like they are selling out to developers, its time for a reality check or recall for our politicians and hold them accountable for their actions, just as was threatened at the county level recently on the subject of peripheral development.

  53. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

    I agree with you, but the reality of the situation is that the City Council has made the 1% “official.” Unless we as citizens of Davis (or the Davis Planning Area in my case) let HESC and thereby the Council know that we don’t want the 1% Guideline, then we will be giving this Council, and future Councils, tacit permission to grow at 1%. If we don’t want that then we need to speak up!!

    To put the difference in perspective between now and the end of 2013 the RHNA number is 498, almost half of which are already built or being built. That means for the remaining 6 years of RHNA we have approximately 240-300 units, or 40 to 50 per year. The 1% Guideline equates to approximately 300+ units per year.

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to. The OPen House on January 24th is a great place to exercise your voice.

  54. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

    I agree with you, but the reality of the situation is that the City Council has made the 1% “official.” Unless we as citizens of Davis (or the Davis Planning Area in my case) let HESC and thereby the Council know that we don’t want the 1% Guideline, then we will be giving this Council, and future Councils, tacit permission to grow at 1%. If we don’t want that then we need to speak up!!

    To put the difference in perspective between now and the end of 2013 the RHNA number is 498, almost half of which are already built or being built. That means for the remaining 6 years of RHNA we have approximately 240-300 units, or 40 to 50 per year. The 1% Guideline equates to approximately 300+ units per year.

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to. The OPen House on January 24th is a great place to exercise your voice.

  55. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

    I agree with you, but the reality of the situation is that the City Council has made the 1% “official.” Unless we as citizens of Davis (or the Davis Planning Area in my case) let HESC and thereby the Council know that we don’t want the 1% Guideline, then we will be giving this Council, and future Councils, tacit permission to grow at 1%. If we don’t want that then we need to speak up!!

    To put the difference in perspective between now and the end of 2013 the RHNA number is 498, almost half of which are already built or being built. That means for the remaining 6 years of RHNA we have approximately 240-300 units, or 40 to 50 per year. The 1% Guideline equates to approximately 300+ units per year.

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to. The OPen House on January 24th is a great place to exercise your voice.

  56. Matt Williams

    Doug Paul Davis said…

    From my perspective, we ought to stick with the RHNA guidelines at this time, I don’t think 1% growth given the housing market and other concerns is realistic at this time.

    I agree with you, but the reality of the situation is that the City Council has made the 1% “official.” Unless we as citizens of Davis (or the Davis Planning Area in my case) let HESC and thereby the Council know that we don’t want the 1% Guideline, then we will be giving this Council, and future Councils, tacit permission to grow at 1%. If we don’t want that then we need to speak up!!

    To put the difference in perspective between now and the end of 2013 the RHNA number is 498, almost half of which are already built or being built. That means for the remaining 6 years of RHNA we have approximately 240-300 units, or 40 to 50 per year. The 1% Guideline equates to approximately 300+ units per year.

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to. The OPen House on January 24th is a great place to exercise your voice.

  57. Anonymous

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to.

    …and the RHA will use this 6X number in their formula for Davis’ next housing allocation, dramatically INCREASING Davis’ number.

  58. Anonymous

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to.

    …and the RHA will use this 6X number in their formula for Davis’ next housing allocation, dramatically INCREASING Davis’ number.

  59. Anonymous

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to.

    …and the RHA will use this 6X number in their formula for Davis’ next housing allocation, dramatically INCREASING Davis’ number.

  60. Anonymous

    Bottom-line, unless we speak up loudly and often, the Council has it in its discretion to have Davis grow six (6) times as fast as RHNA is asking us to.

    …and the RHA will use this 6X number in their formula for Davis’ next housing allocation, dramatically INCREASING Davis’ number.

  61. Rich Rifkin

    DPD: “If they want to develop land adjacent to Davis, and we think these are good projects for the future, maybe, just maybe, we should ask for things in return, so that these developments do not negatively impact the city as much as they presently do.”

    There may be a legal problem with that. Under state law — AB 1600 — there are limits as to what cities can exact from developers. This quote comes from an article on this subject on cacities.org:

    “An exaction imposed on a specific development, whether in the form of dedication of property or payment of fees in an ad hoc way rather than via legislation, is subject to the Nollan/Dolan “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” standards. To meet this test, the government must show that (1) the exaction is directly related to the impacts of the development giving rise to the exaction, and (2) the nature of the exaction is roughly proportional to the impacts of the project.”

    The problem in Davis is not that development fees or other exactions do not cover the direct impacts of projects on our infrastructure. The problem is that the money that taxpayers are shelling out in property taxes is disproportionately leaving the city, so that we cannot afford to pay for the high salaries and benefits and retirements we give to our fire and police personnel.

    The solution, on a state level, would be to allow local governments to keep more of the property tax revenues which pay for these services; and on a local level, to be more niggardly with our city emergency services employees.

  62. Rich Rifkin

    DPD: “If they want to develop land adjacent to Davis, and we think these are good projects for the future, maybe, just maybe, we should ask for things in return, so that these developments do not negatively impact the city as much as they presently do.”

    There may be a legal problem with that. Under state law — AB 1600 — there are limits as to what cities can exact from developers. This quote comes from an article on this subject on cacities.org:

    “An exaction imposed on a specific development, whether in the form of dedication of property or payment of fees in an ad hoc way rather than via legislation, is subject to the Nollan/Dolan “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” standards. To meet this test, the government must show that (1) the exaction is directly related to the impacts of the development giving rise to the exaction, and (2) the nature of the exaction is roughly proportional to the impacts of the project.”

    The problem in Davis is not that development fees or other exactions do not cover the direct impacts of projects on our infrastructure. The problem is that the money that taxpayers are shelling out in property taxes is disproportionately leaving the city, so that we cannot afford to pay for the high salaries and benefits and retirements we give to our fire and police personnel.

    The solution, on a state level, would be to allow local governments to keep more of the property tax revenues which pay for these services; and on a local level, to be more niggardly with our city emergency services employees.

  63. Rich Rifkin

    DPD: “If they want to develop land adjacent to Davis, and we think these are good projects for the future, maybe, just maybe, we should ask for things in return, so that these developments do not negatively impact the city as much as they presently do.”

    There may be a legal problem with that. Under state law — AB 1600 — there are limits as to what cities can exact from developers. This quote comes from an article on this subject on cacities.org:

    “An exaction imposed on a specific development, whether in the form of dedication of property or payment of fees in an ad hoc way rather than via legislation, is subject to the Nollan/Dolan “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” standards. To meet this test, the government must show that (1) the exaction is directly related to the impacts of the development giving rise to the exaction, and (2) the nature of the exaction is roughly proportional to the impacts of the project.”

    The problem in Davis is not that development fees or other exactions do not cover the direct impacts of projects on our infrastructure. The problem is that the money that taxpayers are shelling out in property taxes is disproportionately leaving the city, so that we cannot afford to pay for the high salaries and benefits and retirements we give to our fire and police personnel.

    The solution, on a state level, would be to allow local governments to keep more of the property tax revenues which pay for these services; and on a local level, to be more niggardly with our city emergency services employees.

  64. Rich Rifkin

    DPD: “If they want to develop land adjacent to Davis, and we think these are good projects for the future, maybe, just maybe, we should ask for things in return, so that these developments do not negatively impact the city as much as they presently do.”

    There may be a legal problem with that. Under state law — AB 1600 — there are limits as to what cities can exact from developers. This quote comes from an article on this subject on cacities.org:

    “An exaction imposed on a specific development, whether in the form of dedication of property or payment of fees in an ad hoc way rather than via legislation, is subject to the Nollan/Dolan “essential nexus” and “rough proportionality” standards. To meet this test, the government must show that (1) the exaction is directly related to the impacts of the development giving rise to the exaction, and (2) the nature of the exaction is roughly proportional to the impacts of the project.”

    The problem in Davis is not that development fees or other exactions do not cover the direct impacts of projects on our infrastructure. The problem is that the money that taxpayers are shelling out in property taxes is disproportionately leaving the city, so that we cannot afford to pay for the high salaries and benefits and retirements we give to our fire and police personnel.

    The solution, on a state level, would be to allow local governments to keep more of the property tax revenues which pay for these services; and on a local level, to be more niggardly with our city emergency services employees.

  65. Rich Rifkin

    Here’s another interesting quote from that same article on developer fees:

    “Fees should be designed to collect sufficient funds to provide public facilities and infrastructure at a certain level of service. The general plan may specify the size and level of service at which certain types of public infrastructure must be maintained. While a city cannot require new development to pay for existing deficiencies, it can require new development to provide an acceptable level of service.”

    It’s possible that I was wrong in my previous post. (I’m not all that familiar with the technicalities of this subject.) This quote seems to suggest that, as long as the city makes it its policy in advance and uniform, we (in Davis) could charge developer fees which would fully pay for the complete impact of development.

    In other words, in a case like Target, where the development will result in the need for more police services, the city could have (if it had the law in place ahead of time) required the developer to pay an impact fee which fully covers the costs of the new police officers and related costs.

    I am not sure that is the case. It is just my reading of it, here.

    “When considering new fees, the city should decide whether it wants to raise the current level of service for public facilities. If so, the city could raise the level of service for existing development through expenditures
    from the general fund, while requiring new development to pay for a level of service above what is currently in place.”

    I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?

  66. Rich Rifkin

    Here’s another interesting quote from that same article on developer fees:

    “Fees should be designed to collect sufficient funds to provide public facilities and infrastructure at a certain level of service. The general plan may specify the size and level of service at which certain types of public infrastructure must be maintained. While a city cannot require new development to pay for existing deficiencies, it can require new development to provide an acceptable level of service.”

    It’s possible that I was wrong in my previous post. (I’m not all that familiar with the technicalities of this subject.) This quote seems to suggest that, as long as the city makes it its policy in advance and uniform, we (in Davis) could charge developer fees which would fully pay for the complete impact of development.

    In other words, in a case like Target, where the development will result in the need for more police services, the city could have (if it had the law in place ahead of time) required the developer to pay an impact fee which fully covers the costs of the new police officers and related costs.

    I am not sure that is the case. It is just my reading of it, here.

    “When considering new fees, the city should decide whether it wants to raise the current level of service for public facilities. If so, the city could raise the level of service for existing development through expenditures
    from the general fund, while requiring new development to pay for a level of service above what is currently in place.”

    I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?

  67. Rich Rifkin

    Here’s another interesting quote from that same article on developer fees:

    “Fees should be designed to collect sufficient funds to provide public facilities and infrastructure at a certain level of service. The general plan may specify the size and level of service at which certain types of public infrastructure must be maintained. While a city cannot require new development to pay for existing deficiencies, it can require new development to provide an acceptable level of service.”

    It’s possible that I was wrong in my previous post. (I’m not all that familiar with the technicalities of this subject.) This quote seems to suggest that, as long as the city makes it its policy in advance and uniform, we (in Davis) could charge developer fees which would fully pay for the complete impact of development.

    In other words, in a case like Target, where the development will result in the need for more police services, the city could have (if it had the law in place ahead of time) required the developer to pay an impact fee which fully covers the costs of the new police officers and related costs.

    I am not sure that is the case. It is just my reading of it, here.

    “When considering new fees, the city should decide whether it wants to raise the current level of service for public facilities. If so, the city could raise the level of service for existing development through expenditures
    from the general fund, while requiring new development to pay for a level of service above what is currently in place.”

    I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?

  68. Rich Rifkin

    Here’s another interesting quote from that same article on developer fees:

    “Fees should be designed to collect sufficient funds to provide public facilities and infrastructure at a certain level of service. The general plan may specify the size and level of service at which certain types of public infrastructure must be maintained. While a city cannot require new development to pay for existing deficiencies, it can require new development to provide an acceptable level of service.”

    It’s possible that I was wrong in my previous post. (I’m not all that familiar with the technicalities of this subject.) This quote seems to suggest that, as long as the city makes it its policy in advance and uniform, we (in Davis) could charge developer fees which would fully pay for the complete impact of development.

    In other words, in a case like Target, where the development will result in the need for more police services, the city could have (if it had the law in place ahead of time) required the developer to pay an impact fee which fully covers the costs of the new police officers and related costs.

    I am not sure that is the case. It is just my reading of it, here.

    “When considering new fees, the city should decide whether it wants to raise the current level of service for public facilities. If so, the city could raise the level of service for existing development through expenditures
    from the general fund, while requiring new development to pay for a level of service above what is currently in place.”

    I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?

  69. opposed target store...favor smaller stores

    “I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?”

    Probably not, since the council majority seemed to be the cheering squad for a new, greener (yeah, right.) Target.

    It was a joke, and Target is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Thank you council majority.

  70. opposed target store...favor s

    “I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?”

    Probably not, since the council majority seemed to be the cheering squad for a new, greener (yeah, right.) Target.

    It was a joke, and Target is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Thank you council majority.

  71. opposed target store...favor s

    “I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?”

    Probably not, since the council majority seemed to be the cheering squad for a new, greener (yeah, right.) Target.

    It was a joke, and Target is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Thank you council majority.

  72. opposed target store...favor s

    “I wonder if, with Target for example, the City of Davis charged any development fee to cover the costs of the added police services?”

    Probably not, since the council majority seemed to be the cheering squad for a new, greener (yeah, right.) Target.

    It was a joke, and Target is laughing all the way to the bank.

    Thank you council majority.

  73. opposed target store...favor smaller stores

    I know the voters approved it Target, but council majority was “pimping” for a Target, because they are so environmentally conscious, right?

    If they had not been pushing for a Target and spinning the truth I honestly do not believe it would have been approved.

    Just my humble opinion.

  74. opposed target store...favor s

    I know the voters approved it Target, but council majority was “pimping” for a Target, because they are so environmentally conscious, right?

    If they had not been pushing for a Target and spinning the truth I honestly do not believe it would have been approved.

    Just my humble opinion.

  75. opposed target store...favor s

    I know the voters approved it Target, but council majority was “pimping” for a Target, because they are so environmentally conscious, right?

    If they had not been pushing for a Target and spinning the truth I honestly do not believe it would have been approved.

    Just my humble opinion.

  76. opposed target store...favor s

    I know the voters approved it Target, but council majority was “pimping” for a Target, because they are so environmentally conscious, right?

    If they had not been pushing for a Target and spinning the truth I honestly do not believe it would have been approved.

    Just my humble opinion.

  77. Anonymous

    Many of you have commented extensively about the need for affordable housing….yet you also demand “more” from our developers in the form of mitigation, fixing other problems that Davis has, etc. I think the developers can provide mitigations, but every cost that we force on them, causes housing costs to increase. In fact, the cost of getting land entitlements in CA (as well as other locations) is a major contributor to the increasing cost of new housing developments.

  78. Anonymous

    Many of you have commented extensively about the need for affordable housing….yet you also demand “more” from our developers in the form of mitigation, fixing other problems that Davis has, etc. I think the developers can provide mitigations, but every cost that we force on them, causes housing costs to increase. In fact, the cost of getting land entitlements in CA (as well as other locations) is a major contributor to the increasing cost of new housing developments.

  79. Anonymous

    Many of you have commented extensively about the need for affordable housing….yet you also demand “more” from our developers in the form of mitigation, fixing other problems that Davis has, etc. I think the developers can provide mitigations, but every cost that we force on them, causes housing costs to increase. In fact, the cost of getting land entitlements in CA (as well as other locations) is a major contributor to the increasing cost of new housing developments.

  80. Anonymous

    Many of you have commented extensively about the need for affordable housing….yet you also demand “more” from our developers in the form of mitigation, fixing other problems that Davis has, etc. I think the developers can provide mitigations, but every cost that we force on them, causes housing costs to increase. In fact, the cost of getting land entitlements in CA (as well as other locations) is a major contributor to the increasing cost of new housing developments.

  81. Vanguardian

    I disagree with that statement. Costs are determined by how much someone is willing to pay for the home, not the costs to build the home. I assure you, the developers will still make a killing on their projects.

  82. Vanguardian

    I disagree with that statement. Costs are determined by how much someone is willing to pay for the home, not the costs to build the home. I assure you, the developers will still make a killing on their projects.

  83. Vanguardian

    I disagree with that statement. Costs are determined by how much someone is willing to pay for the home, not the costs to build the home. I assure you, the developers will still make a killing on their projects.

  84. Vanguardian

    I disagree with that statement. Costs are determined by how much someone is willing to pay for the home, not the costs to build the home. I assure you, the developers will still make a killing on their projects.

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