Council Moves Forward on Housing Projects Despite HESC Process

One of the points that came up over and over again during the discussion of the Wildhorse Horse Ranch project last night was why this project was being discussed and pushed forward at this time, given that the Housing Element Steering Committee was in the process of determining rank order of the best sites in which to have future growth.

In fact, it is not alone. Last week the City Council heard proposals about the Simmons Property and the Lewis Property has been going forward as well.

And yet at the same time, it would appear that at least according to the steering committee members prior to their meeting next week, none of these locations are ideal for growth in the next general plan cycle.

10 – Simmons, E. Eighth Street
21 – Lewis Cannery
27 – Wildhorse Horse Ranch Mix of Housing Types

This is not to suggest that I think these particular projects are good or bad. Only to question the process by which this is all occurring. And while, as I heard last night, I understand that for instance the Horse Ranch has been under proposal since Covell Village was voted down, I still have to wonder about the timing of things.

This came up during multiple points in time last night. Councilmember Stephen Souza made it a point to suggest that this is not meant to undermine the work done by the HESC. He saw the role of the council as being different than that of the HESC anyway, since the HESC is looking at sites and the council at specific project proposals. But I cannot help wondering how the council can go forward looking to develop a site that is in the bottom third of site priorities.

Thus from a procedural standpoint, not weighing on the merits of any of these three projects, I would argue that the council should not be moving forward with these projects at this time. Councilmember Don Saylor made it a point to say that he feels that we are in need of housing and projects are not going forward at this time. Part of that of course is due to the front-loading of projects from the last General Plan toward the beginning of the period rather than spreading them more evenly.

The fact remains that the housing situation has turn, RHNA numbers are down, and the need to grow is not nearly as apparent as it might have been even two years ago when Covell was first brought up.

Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Asmundson made a more basic appeal of our need for additional housing and particularly affordable housing. But again, ignored the broader implications of the current housing market.

The more surprising development last night was an assessment of where this project actually stands both in the minds of the council as well as the broader community.

For one thing, I think the council was led to believe as I was that there was broad buy-in by the neighborhood adjacent to the Horse Ranch for this development. As impassioned and articulated appeals made clear this is not the case. The neighbors like the Horse Ranch next to their street, particularly now that it is well run. There remains a bit of irony that you may be more likely to get what you want if you run your property poorly than if you run it well.

They have concerns with the density difference in the new proposal. They have concerns about the height of the proposed condos. And there are concerns that the new neighborhood would stand out some from the existing neighborhood.

While the council majority was willing to push the process forward for an EIR paid for at the developer’s expense, even they had a degree of reluctance and hesitation with the project as it stands now. As it this requires a Measure J vote, both Councilmembers Souza and Saylor kept pointing to a “wow factor” to use Councilmember Souza’s term, although Mr. Saylor had similar language and reservations. In other words, we need to be sold on the idea that this project is needed. There has to be a reason for the people of Davis to vote for it and they do not see that reason right now.

During the course of this meeting I went from believing that this was merely a formality to believing that this project is in really serious trouble.

At one point Mayor Pro Asmundson asked City Manager Bill Emlen for an honest assessment. One of the goals is to have this for a Measure J vote by November of this year, but Mr. Emlen seemed very concerned about that ability to get the project to that point by that time. And he quite bluntly suggested that that timeline was in deep jeopardy based on what he had heard now.

There were a number of council machinations about what to do. Mayor Sue Greenwald first pushed for a vote to agendize a hearing that would kill the project altogether, but despite a second from Councilmember Lamar Heystek, that did not have the support of the Council Majority.

Clearly the council seemed disturbed–and all of them–that the neighborhood had not bought into this process at this time as they had previously believed. To me that is a key first step.

Having this level of density on the periphery is another concern. I am reluctant to expand the periphery of Davis to begin with. Frankly I like the smaller units on this project and the affordability of the units on this project, but the sustainability model, the model of smart growth is that you put this level of density in the core and that reduces the carbon footprint by reducing the amount of car trips. Putting this level of density on the perimeter obviously does not do that.

The big problem for me is again a timing issue. If the council is putting their trust in the HESC process, and clearly the members of the HESC have put in considerable work to determine where to grow, then the council should allow that to go forward.

The distinct impression I get is that the council would like to jump the HESC process by approving Simmons and Wildhorse in particular before the HESC wraps up. Lewis is more complicated with its vicinity to COvell Village. Once they have these properties in the actual approval stage then they would would consider the HESC’ proposals.

The debate over growth rate is coming. Another debate over Measure J will be coming as well. Given concerns about the housing market, given concerns about carbon footprints and global warming, I am less than certain any of this is responsible. Mayor Sue Greenwald made a number of general points about growth that need to weighed heavily both on a local basis and a regional basis. It does not seem like anyone really wants to take on the tough questions.

I find it difficult to reconcile the concern that some on the council majority have about carbon footprint with the continuation of sprawl and urban development. And more importantly the lack of process based planning and development.

All of these considerations have probably been tossed aside by the reality on the ground so to speak that at this time, this project is not ready to go forward. They will take out an EIR and essentially push the decision into the future, but the tough work lays ahead on this. In the meantime, the HESC will come out with their recommendations for good areas to grow and none of the current proposals are going to make even the top 5 that place them into the likely category for development in the next six years given current growth guidelines and housing markets. It would seem then that the council ought to slow down and allow the HESC process to finish before moving forward on these projects.

—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. Matt Williams

    dpd, As I watched the meeting on streaming video, I couldn’t help but wrestle with most, if not all of the issues you discuss in your article. Then, my wife and I woke up this morning by talking about it for the half hour before our radio alarm went off.

    Souza’s explanation has some merit, but I’m not sure it is enough merit. Massoud’s answer to the question, “Why now?” added some useful insight as well.

    In the end it boils down to three words, “Where?” “How?” and “When?” The HESC process appears to be mostly focused on “Where?” Souza’s and Massoud’s statements make the case for a Council process that is focused on “How?”

    The question of “When?” is the elephant that wasn’t really in the room last night, although there were plenty of feferences to a Measure J vote.

    In the end, I felt the decision to continue the process was probably the right one, but only by a slim margin, and only because of Measure J.

  2. Matt Williams

    dpd, As I watched the meeting on streaming video, I couldn’t help but wrestle with most, if not all of the issues you discuss in your article. Then, my wife and I woke up this morning by talking about it for the half hour before our radio alarm went off.

    Souza’s explanation has some merit, but I’m not sure it is enough merit. Massoud’s answer to the question, “Why now?” added some useful insight as well.

    In the end it boils down to three words, “Where?” “How?” and “When?” The HESC process appears to be mostly focused on “Where?” Souza’s and Massoud’s statements make the case for a Council process that is focused on “How?”

    The question of “When?” is the elephant that wasn’t really in the room last night, although there were plenty of feferences to a Measure J vote.

    In the end, I felt the decision to continue the process was probably the right one, but only by a slim margin, and only because of Measure J.

  3. Matt Williams

    dpd, As I watched the meeting on streaming video, I couldn’t help but wrestle with most, if not all of the issues you discuss in your article. Then, my wife and I woke up this morning by talking about it for the half hour before our radio alarm went off.

    Souza’s explanation has some merit, but I’m not sure it is enough merit. Massoud’s answer to the question, “Why now?” added some useful insight as well.

    In the end it boils down to three words, “Where?” “How?” and “When?” The HESC process appears to be mostly focused on “Where?” Souza’s and Massoud’s statements make the case for a Council process that is focused on “How?”

    The question of “When?” is the elephant that wasn’t really in the room last night, although there were plenty of feferences to a Measure J vote.

    In the end, I felt the decision to continue the process was probably the right one, but only by a slim margin, and only because of Measure J.

  4. Matt Williams

    dpd, As I watched the meeting on streaming video, I couldn’t help but wrestle with most, if not all of the issues you discuss in your article. Then, my wife and I woke up this morning by talking about it for the half hour before our radio alarm went off.

    Souza’s explanation has some merit, but I’m not sure it is enough merit. Massoud’s answer to the question, “Why now?” added some useful insight as well.

    In the end it boils down to three words, “Where?” “How?” and “When?” The HESC process appears to be mostly focused on “Where?” Souza’s and Massoud’s statements make the case for a Council process that is focused on “How?”

    The question of “When?” is the elephant that wasn’t really in the room last night, although there were plenty of feferences to a Measure J vote.

    In the end, I felt the decision to continue the process was probably the right one, but only by a slim margin, and only because of Measure J.

  5. SODAite

    Isn’t it true that projects that do require Measure J approval by the voters MUST be voted as worthy to be built by the Council to put them on the ballot…in other words they are a gatekeeper and not every project that comes up should be pushed to the voters for a vote. That was the impression I got from Covell Village. If the majority of the CC had voted no, it would not have been put on the ballot. There were so many negatives given to this project last night that I cannot believe Ruth kept saying, Nov ’08 for a vote. I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.
    Agree completely with the HESC comments. I would feel discounted if I had worked hard on this process for the last year while the CC passes projects to go forward. And it seems the way city staff passes along projects to say: You will see this again, this is not a final ok. It is unfair to developers to make them believe we are serious, to spend more and more money in the approval process….and the CC in the end usually feels sorry for them, how far we have come in the process and passes them…..I think we need to remember also that city planners are city planners and it is somewhat job security to keep building going…..just a cynical comment after a painful night of CC watching!

  6. SODAite

    Isn’t it true that projects that do require Measure J approval by the voters MUST be voted as worthy to be built by the Council to put them on the ballot…in other words they are a gatekeeper and not every project that comes up should be pushed to the voters for a vote. That was the impression I got from Covell Village. If the majority of the CC had voted no, it would not have been put on the ballot. There were so many negatives given to this project last night that I cannot believe Ruth kept saying, Nov ’08 for a vote. I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.
    Agree completely with the HESC comments. I would feel discounted if I had worked hard on this process for the last year while the CC passes projects to go forward. And it seems the way city staff passes along projects to say: You will see this again, this is not a final ok. It is unfair to developers to make them believe we are serious, to spend more and more money in the approval process….and the CC in the end usually feels sorry for them, how far we have come in the process and passes them…..I think we need to remember also that city planners are city planners and it is somewhat job security to keep building going…..just a cynical comment after a painful night of CC watching!

  7. SODAite

    Isn’t it true that projects that do require Measure J approval by the voters MUST be voted as worthy to be built by the Council to put them on the ballot…in other words they are a gatekeeper and not every project that comes up should be pushed to the voters for a vote. That was the impression I got from Covell Village. If the majority of the CC had voted no, it would not have been put on the ballot. There were so many negatives given to this project last night that I cannot believe Ruth kept saying, Nov ’08 for a vote. I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.
    Agree completely with the HESC comments. I would feel discounted if I had worked hard on this process for the last year while the CC passes projects to go forward. And it seems the way city staff passes along projects to say: You will see this again, this is not a final ok. It is unfair to developers to make them believe we are serious, to spend more and more money in the approval process….and the CC in the end usually feels sorry for them, how far we have come in the process and passes them…..I think we need to remember also that city planners are city planners and it is somewhat job security to keep building going…..just a cynical comment after a painful night of CC watching!

  8. SODAite

    Isn’t it true that projects that do require Measure J approval by the voters MUST be voted as worthy to be built by the Council to put them on the ballot…in other words they are a gatekeeper and not every project that comes up should be pushed to the voters for a vote. That was the impression I got from Covell Village. If the majority of the CC had voted no, it would not have been put on the ballot. There were so many negatives given to this project last night that I cannot believe Ruth kept saying, Nov ’08 for a vote. I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.
    Agree completely with the HESC comments. I would feel discounted if I had worked hard on this process for the last year while the CC passes projects to go forward. And it seems the way city staff passes along projects to say: You will see this again, this is not a final ok. It is unfair to developers to make them believe we are serious, to spend more and more money in the approval process….and the CC in the end usually feels sorry for them, how far we have come in the process and passes them…..I think we need to remember also that city planners are city planners and it is somewhat job security to keep building going…..just a cynical comment after a painful night of CC watching!

  9. stick a fork in it

    Once again, Matt Williams has no problem with the continued examination of a unwanted development that is NOT adjacent to El Macero. What a surprise.

    Matt’s guest editorial on last week’s HESC workshop failed to even mention the egregious behavior of the Covell Village partners’ Lydia Delis-Schlosser, sending out instructions to their followers that would have them voting against high-density infill projects (which would minimize travel demand) and favoring the Village people’s lastest profit model. But then, the Covell property is nowhere near Matt’s ‘hood, so no problem, right?

    A while back, Matt patiently explained to us how reasonable it was that the HESC retained the west Davis peripheral candidate sites (after rejecting the east Davis peripheral sites) because “they owed it to [the developers] since they were in the room.” But then, west Davis is miles from El Macero.

    I can’t recall Matt having ever questioned the ethics of having developers’ agents (e.g., Maynard Skinner) on the HESC.

    Now he’s OK with continued consideration by the Council of a high-density project on the periphery of Davis. Hey, it won’t affect him.

    As long as the HESC and City Council plan no developments near El Macero, it would seem, Matt is happy. This kind of thinking and tolerance of unneeded and unpopular developments in other parts of town is exactly what the developers count on.

  10. stick a fork in it

    Once again, Matt Williams has no problem with the continued examination of a unwanted development that is NOT adjacent to El Macero. What a surprise.

    Matt’s guest editorial on last week’s HESC workshop failed to even mention the egregious behavior of the Covell Village partners’ Lydia Delis-Schlosser, sending out instructions to their followers that would have them voting against high-density infill projects (which would minimize travel demand) and favoring the Village people’s lastest profit model. But then, the Covell property is nowhere near Matt’s ‘hood, so no problem, right?

    A while back, Matt patiently explained to us how reasonable it was that the HESC retained the west Davis peripheral candidate sites (after rejecting the east Davis peripheral sites) because “they owed it to [the developers] since they were in the room.” But then, west Davis is miles from El Macero.

    I can’t recall Matt having ever questioned the ethics of having developers’ agents (e.g., Maynard Skinner) on the HESC.

    Now he’s OK with continued consideration by the Council of a high-density project on the periphery of Davis. Hey, it won’t affect him.

    As long as the HESC and City Council plan no developments near El Macero, it would seem, Matt is happy. This kind of thinking and tolerance of unneeded and unpopular developments in other parts of town is exactly what the developers count on.

  11. stick a fork in it

    Once again, Matt Williams has no problem with the continued examination of a unwanted development that is NOT adjacent to El Macero. What a surprise.

    Matt’s guest editorial on last week’s HESC workshop failed to even mention the egregious behavior of the Covell Village partners’ Lydia Delis-Schlosser, sending out instructions to their followers that would have them voting against high-density infill projects (which would minimize travel demand) and favoring the Village people’s lastest profit model. But then, the Covell property is nowhere near Matt’s ‘hood, so no problem, right?

    A while back, Matt patiently explained to us how reasonable it was that the HESC retained the west Davis peripheral candidate sites (after rejecting the east Davis peripheral sites) because “they owed it to [the developers] since they were in the room.” But then, west Davis is miles from El Macero.

    I can’t recall Matt having ever questioned the ethics of having developers’ agents (e.g., Maynard Skinner) on the HESC.

    Now he’s OK with continued consideration by the Council of a high-density project on the periphery of Davis. Hey, it won’t affect him.

    As long as the HESC and City Council plan no developments near El Macero, it would seem, Matt is happy. This kind of thinking and tolerance of unneeded and unpopular developments in other parts of town is exactly what the developers count on.

  12. stick a fork in it

    Once again, Matt Williams has no problem with the continued examination of a unwanted development that is NOT adjacent to El Macero. What a surprise.

    Matt’s guest editorial on last week’s HESC workshop failed to even mention the egregious behavior of the Covell Village partners’ Lydia Delis-Schlosser, sending out instructions to their followers that would have them voting against high-density infill projects (which would minimize travel demand) and favoring the Village people’s lastest profit model. But then, the Covell property is nowhere near Matt’s ‘hood, so no problem, right?

    A while back, Matt patiently explained to us how reasonable it was that the HESC retained the west Davis peripheral candidate sites (after rejecting the east Davis peripheral sites) because “they owed it to [the developers] since they were in the room.” But then, west Davis is miles from El Macero.

    I can’t recall Matt having ever questioned the ethics of having developers’ agents (e.g., Maynard Skinner) on the HESC.

    Now he’s OK with continued consideration by the Council of a high-density project on the periphery of Davis. Hey, it won’t affect him.

    As long as the HESC and City Council plan no developments near El Macero, it would seem, Matt is happy. This kind of thinking and tolerance of unneeded and unpopular developments in other parts of town is exactly what the developers count on.

  13. Anonymous

    Ruth Asmundson will take the Mayor’s seat in the next Council. Her volunteer work over the years has been commendable and appreciated by the citizens of Davis. Like our current Supervisor Helen Thomson, it is fair to say that she will be retiring from electoral politics when the next Council cycle is completed and will not be putting herself before the Davis voters again. Her past remarks on the Measure J rejection of Whitcomb’s Covell Village project, her open displeasure at the(for her)unacceptably low “fair share” numbers and her remarks last evening should give everyone pause who does not want to see Measure J gutted and believes that our council members should represent the will of those who elected them. The future of Measure J hinges on changing the council majority in our upcoming Council election by denying Souza and/or Saylor reelection to the Council.

  14. Anonymous

    Ruth Asmundson will take the Mayor’s seat in the next Council. Her volunteer work over the years has been commendable and appreciated by the citizens of Davis. Like our current Supervisor Helen Thomson, it is fair to say that she will be retiring from electoral politics when the next Council cycle is completed and will not be putting herself before the Davis voters again. Her past remarks on the Measure J rejection of Whitcomb’s Covell Village project, her open displeasure at the(for her)unacceptably low “fair share” numbers and her remarks last evening should give everyone pause who does not want to see Measure J gutted and believes that our council members should represent the will of those who elected them. The future of Measure J hinges on changing the council majority in our upcoming Council election by denying Souza and/or Saylor reelection to the Council.

  15. Anonymous

    Ruth Asmundson will take the Mayor’s seat in the next Council. Her volunteer work over the years has been commendable and appreciated by the citizens of Davis. Like our current Supervisor Helen Thomson, it is fair to say that she will be retiring from electoral politics when the next Council cycle is completed and will not be putting herself before the Davis voters again. Her past remarks on the Measure J rejection of Whitcomb’s Covell Village project, her open displeasure at the(for her)unacceptably low “fair share” numbers and her remarks last evening should give everyone pause who does not want to see Measure J gutted and believes that our council members should represent the will of those who elected them. The future of Measure J hinges on changing the council majority in our upcoming Council election by denying Souza and/or Saylor reelection to the Council.

  16. Anonymous

    Ruth Asmundson will take the Mayor’s seat in the next Council. Her volunteer work over the years has been commendable and appreciated by the citizens of Davis. Like our current Supervisor Helen Thomson, it is fair to say that she will be retiring from electoral politics when the next Council cycle is completed and will not be putting herself before the Davis voters again. Her past remarks on the Measure J rejection of Whitcomb’s Covell Village project, her open displeasure at the(for her)unacceptably low “fair share” numbers and her remarks last evening should give everyone pause who does not want to see Measure J gutted and believes that our council members should represent the will of those who elected them. The future of Measure J hinges on changing the council majority in our upcoming Council election by denying Souza and/or Saylor reelection to the Council.

  17. don shor

    The council did not put a moratorium no consideration of projects at the time they established the HESC. Thus, projects continue to work their way through the current process even as the HESC develops recommendations. That does not mean they are approved or guaranteed, and developers in Davis certainly know that.

    Anon 8:14’s comments are spurious and unfounded. But of course, it’s easy to lob insults when you hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

  18. don shor

    The council did not put a moratorium no consideration of projects at the time they established the HESC. Thus, projects continue to work their way through the current process even as the HESC develops recommendations. That does not mean they are approved or guaranteed, and developers in Davis certainly know that.

    Anon 8:14’s comments are spurious and unfounded. But of course, it’s easy to lob insults when you hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

  19. don shor

    The council did not put a moratorium no consideration of projects at the time they established the HESC. Thus, projects continue to work their way through the current process even as the HESC develops recommendations. That does not mean they are approved or guaranteed, and developers in Davis certainly know that.

    Anon 8:14’s comments are spurious and unfounded. But of course, it’s easy to lob insults when you hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

  20. don shor

    The council did not put a moratorium no consideration of projects at the time they established the HESC. Thus, projects continue to work their way through the current process even as the HESC develops recommendations. That does not mean they are approved or guaranteed, and developers in Davis certainly know that.

    Anon 8:14’s comments are spurious and unfounded. But of course, it’s easy to lob insults when you hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

  21. Richard

    this is not my fight, but there is nothing that could be construed as an “insult” in the anonymous post about Ruth Asmundson at 9:14, indeed, it is remarkably fact based, to such an extent that if all anonymous posts were of this nature, there would be no controversy about permitting them at this site, so, if there is something erroneously stated in it, I’d be curious to know what it is

    –Richard Estes

  22. Richard

    this is not my fight, but there is nothing that could be construed as an “insult” in the anonymous post about Ruth Asmundson at 9:14, indeed, it is remarkably fact based, to such an extent that if all anonymous posts were of this nature, there would be no controversy about permitting them at this site, so, if there is something erroneously stated in it, I’d be curious to know what it is

    –Richard Estes

  23. Richard

    this is not my fight, but there is nothing that could be construed as an “insult” in the anonymous post about Ruth Asmundson at 9:14, indeed, it is remarkably fact based, to such an extent that if all anonymous posts were of this nature, there would be no controversy about permitting them at this site, so, if there is something erroneously stated in it, I’d be curious to know what it is

    –Richard Estes

  24. Richard

    this is not my fight, but there is nothing that could be construed as an “insult” in the anonymous post about Ruth Asmundson at 9:14, indeed, it is remarkably fact based, to such an extent that if all anonymous posts were of this nature, there would be no controversy about permitting them at this site, so, if there is something erroneously stated in it, I’d be curious to know what it is

    –Richard Estes

  25. Anonymous

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

  26. Anonymous

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

  27. Anonymous

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

  28. Anonymous

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

  29. Rich Rifkin

    “I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.”

    Just for the record: Wildhorse Ranch is inside city limits.

    I have no strong opinion one way or the other about this proposal. However, I do strongly recommend that everyone, before the horse ranch is paved over, take a walk on the public path on its east side. The path begins at Covell Blvd, travels north and wraps to the west around the Wild Horse golf course. This time of year, on a sunny day, it’s a beautiful walk (and great for dogs).

  30. Rich Rifkin

    “I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.”

    Just for the record: Wildhorse Ranch is inside city limits.

    I have no strong opinion one way or the other about this proposal. However, I do strongly recommend that everyone, before the horse ranch is paved over, take a walk on the public path on its east side. The path begins at Covell Blvd, travels north and wraps to the west around the Wild Horse golf course. This time of year, on a sunny day, it’s a beautiful walk (and great for dogs).

  31. Rich Rifkin

    “I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.”

    Just for the record: Wildhorse Ranch is inside city limits.

    I have no strong opinion one way or the other about this proposal. However, I do strongly recommend that everyone, before the horse ranch is paved over, take a walk on the public path on its east side. The path begins at Covell Blvd, travels north and wraps to the west around the Wild Horse golf course. This time of year, on a sunny day, it’s a beautiful walk (and great for dogs).

  32. Rich Rifkin

    “I think when we passed Measure J, we voters were saying WE want final say about building outside the city limits, but only projects CC feels are good.”

    Just for the record: Wildhorse Ranch is inside city limits.

    I have no strong opinion one way or the other about this proposal. However, I do strongly recommend that everyone, before the horse ranch is paved over, take a walk on the public path on its east side. The path begins at Covell Blvd, travels north and wraps to the west around the Wild Horse golf course. This time of year, on a sunny day, it’s a beautiful walk (and great for dogs).

  33. don shor

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    This HESC process is setting a precedent for how future growth decisions may be made (though of course the makeup of the City Council is even more important). The validity of your participation isn’t based on your proximity to the projects.

  34. don shor

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    This HESC process is setting a precedent for how future growth decisions may be made (though of course the makeup of the City Council is even more important). The validity of your participation isn’t based on your proximity to the projects.

  35. don shor

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    This HESC process is setting a precedent for how future growth decisions may be made (though of course the makeup of the City Council is even more important). The validity of your participation isn’t based on your proximity to the projects.

  36. don shor

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    This HESC process is setting a precedent for how future growth decisions may be made (though of course the makeup of the City Council is even more important). The validity of your participation isn’t based on your proximity to the projects.

  37. don shor

    “Measure J, the “Citizen’s Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space
    and Agricultural Lands Ordinance,” requires voter approval for General Plan map changes that
    re-designate property from agriculture to urban uses.”
    It’s zoned ag right now.

  38. don shor

    “Measure J, the “Citizen’s Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space
    and Agricultural Lands Ordinance,” requires voter approval for General Plan map changes that
    re-designate property from agriculture to urban uses.”
    It’s zoned ag right now.

  39. don shor

    “Measure J, the “Citizen’s Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space
    and Agricultural Lands Ordinance,” requires voter approval for General Plan map changes that
    re-designate property from agriculture to urban uses.”
    It’s zoned ag right now.

  40. don shor

    “Measure J, the “Citizen’s Right to Vote on Future Use of Open Space
    and Agricultural Lands Ordinance,” requires voter approval for General Plan map changes that
    re-designate property from agriculture to urban uses.”
    It’s zoned ag right now.

  41. Matt Williams

    I sign my posts with my real name for a number of reasons, but one of them is that it is easy to perform an audit of what I have said, and in fact most of what I have said since I bean posting here has stayed away from editorial comment. More often than not, the facts speak for themselves, and don’t need emphasis. Lydia Delis-Schlosser’s e-mail falls into that category. It speaks for itself, and did her more damage than any words I might say can do. In addition, I saw no reason to mention it beacause there were more than enough people expressing appropriate outrage. I generally don’t talk just to hear myself speak.

    Regarding potential development sites other than in the Southeast Quadrant, you need only speak to any one of the 15 HESC members, or the numerous Staff supporting the HESC, or Pam Nieberg, or dpd to verify that I haven’t supported a single other development site. I have supported an open process, and I have reported the events as they have transpired. I am sorry that those events are so upsetting to some people, and if it feels good to kill the messenger, then I will be glad to be your scapegoat.

    I completely agree with dpd’s Monday article that the real battle is the 1% Growth Guideline. Noone else was at the Council meeting a couple of weeks back pusshing the Council to bring back the Resolution for wording clarification. No one else has stood up in front of Council and said, “City Council members, you Don and you Sue, and lots of Davis residents came out in force in March 2007 to strongly oppose Yolo County’s recommendation to consider 2,100 additional residential units in the HESC planning area in the 23 years between now and 2030. Given that, why is the City Council and HESC now considering even more units over 6 years?”

    I don’t plan on stopping there. I plan to fight for making sure the wording clearly is a cap (with no banking provisions). As I have said in this Blog and to specific Council members, the Resolution needs “teeth” so there are consequences if anyone chooses to ignore it. I will be there on February 12th. Will you be?

    But feel free to disregard the realities if a fork and some fantasy will serve you better.

  42. Matt Williams

    I sign my posts with my real name for a number of reasons, but one of them is that it is easy to perform an audit of what I have said, and in fact most of what I have said since I bean posting here has stayed away from editorial comment. More often than not, the facts speak for themselves, and don’t need emphasis. Lydia Delis-Schlosser’s e-mail falls into that category. It speaks for itself, and did her more damage than any words I might say can do. In addition, I saw no reason to mention it beacause there were more than enough people expressing appropriate outrage. I generally don’t talk just to hear myself speak.

    Regarding potential development sites other than in the Southeast Quadrant, you need only speak to any one of the 15 HESC members, or the numerous Staff supporting the HESC, or Pam Nieberg, or dpd to verify that I haven’t supported a single other development site. I have supported an open process, and I have reported the events as they have transpired. I am sorry that those events are so upsetting to some people, and if it feels good to kill the messenger, then I will be glad to be your scapegoat.

    I completely agree with dpd’s Monday article that the real battle is the 1% Growth Guideline. Noone else was at the Council meeting a couple of weeks back pusshing the Council to bring back the Resolution for wording clarification. No one else has stood up in front of Council and said, “City Council members, you Don and you Sue, and lots of Davis residents came out in force in March 2007 to strongly oppose Yolo County’s recommendation to consider 2,100 additional residential units in the HESC planning area in the 23 years between now and 2030. Given that, why is the City Council and HESC now considering even more units over 6 years?”

    I don’t plan on stopping there. I plan to fight for making sure the wording clearly is a cap (with no banking provisions). As I have said in this Blog and to specific Council members, the Resolution needs “teeth” so there are consequences if anyone chooses to ignore it. I will be there on February 12th. Will you be?

    But feel free to disregard the realities if a fork and some fantasy will serve you better.

  43. Matt Williams

    I sign my posts with my real name for a number of reasons, but one of them is that it is easy to perform an audit of what I have said, and in fact most of what I have said since I bean posting here has stayed away from editorial comment. More often than not, the facts speak for themselves, and don’t need emphasis. Lydia Delis-Schlosser’s e-mail falls into that category. It speaks for itself, and did her more damage than any words I might say can do. In addition, I saw no reason to mention it beacause there were more than enough people expressing appropriate outrage. I generally don’t talk just to hear myself speak.

    Regarding potential development sites other than in the Southeast Quadrant, you need only speak to any one of the 15 HESC members, or the numerous Staff supporting the HESC, or Pam Nieberg, or dpd to verify that I haven’t supported a single other development site. I have supported an open process, and I have reported the events as they have transpired. I am sorry that those events are so upsetting to some people, and if it feels good to kill the messenger, then I will be glad to be your scapegoat.

    I completely agree with dpd’s Monday article that the real battle is the 1% Growth Guideline. Noone else was at the Council meeting a couple of weeks back pusshing the Council to bring back the Resolution for wording clarification. No one else has stood up in front of Council and said, “City Council members, you Don and you Sue, and lots of Davis residents came out in force in March 2007 to strongly oppose Yolo County’s recommendation to consider 2,100 additional residential units in the HESC planning area in the 23 years between now and 2030. Given that, why is the City Council and HESC now considering even more units over 6 years?”

    I don’t plan on stopping there. I plan to fight for making sure the wording clearly is a cap (with no banking provisions). As I have said in this Blog and to specific Council members, the Resolution needs “teeth” so there are consequences if anyone chooses to ignore it. I will be there on February 12th. Will you be?

    But feel free to disregard the realities if a fork and some fantasy will serve you better.

  44. Matt Williams

    I sign my posts with my real name for a number of reasons, but one of them is that it is easy to perform an audit of what I have said, and in fact most of what I have said since I bean posting here has stayed away from editorial comment. More often than not, the facts speak for themselves, and don’t need emphasis. Lydia Delis-Schlosser’s e-mail falls into that category. It speaks for itself, and did her more damage than any words I might say can do. In addition, I saw no reason to mention it beacause there were more than enough people expressing appropriate outrage. I generally don’t talk just to hear myself speak.

    Regarding potential development sites other than in the Southeast Quadrant, you need only speak to any one of the 15 HESC members, or the numerous Staff supporting the HESC, or Pam Nieberg, or dpd to verify that I haven’t supported a single other development site. I have supported an open process, and I have reported the events as they have transpired. I am sorry that those events are so upsetting to some people, and if it feels good to kill the messenger, then I will be glad to be your scapegoat.

    I completely agree with dpd’s Monday article that the real battle is the 1% Growth Guideline. Noone else was at the Council meeting a couple of weeks back pusshing the Council to bring back the Resolution for wording clarification. No one else has stood up in front of Council and said, “City Council members, you Don and you Sue, and lots of Davis residents came out in force in March 2007 to strongly oppose Yolo County’s recommendation to consider 2,100 additional residential units in the HESC planning area in the 23 years between now and 2030. Given that, why is the City Council and HESC now considering even more units over 6 years?”

    I don’t plan on stopping there. I plan to fight for making sure the wording clearly is a cap (with no banking provisions). As I have said in this Blog and to specific Council members, the Resolution needs “teeth” so there are consequences if anyone chooses to ignore it. I will be there on February 12th. Will you be?

    But feel free to disregard the realities if a fork and some fantasy will serve you better.

  45. Matt Williams

    Anonymous said…

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

    Anonymous, you are right on one point, I have learned a huge amount since the December 10, 2006 Yolo County Planning Commission meeting. Your other point bewilders me though. Can you point to a single development I have supported in the last two years? I can’t think of any, but I’m getting pretty old, and I may be having a neuron skip.

  46. Matt Williams

    Anonymous said…

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

    Anonymous, you are right on one point, I have learned a huge amount since the December 10, 2006 Yolo County Planning Commission meeting. Your other point bewilders me though. Can you point to a single development I have supported in the last two years? I can’t think of any, but I’m getting pretty old, and I may be having a neuron skip.

  47. Matt Williams

    Anonymous said…

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

    Anonymous, you are right on one point, I have learned a huge amount since the December 10, 2006 Yolo County Planning Commission meeting. Your other point bewilders me though. Can you point to a single development I have supported in the last two years? I can’t think of any, but I’m getting pretty old, and I may be having a neuron skip.

  48. Matt Williams

    Anonymous said…

    Actually, “Stick a fork in it” is exactly right. Matt has supported development elsewhere to keep it away from the El Macero area. However, I do think that as Matt has become more involved with growth issues, he has come around to looking more at the bigger picture.

    Anonymous, you are right on one point, I have learned a huge amount since the December 10, 2006 Yolo County Planning Commission meeting. Your other point bewilders me though. Can you point to a single development I have supported in the last two years? I can’t think of any, but I’m getting pretty old, and I may be having a neuron skip.

  49. Richard

    don shor said…
    Sorry, Richard, I was referring to “stick a fork in it” at 8:14.

    1/30/08 12:18 PM

    thanks, I get it, guess I can’t read clocks too well these days

    –Richard

  50. Richard

    don shor said…
    Sorry, Richard, I was referring to “stick a fork in it” at 8:14.

    1/30/08 12:18 PM

    thanks, I get it, guess I can’t read clocks too well these days

    –Richard

  51. Richard

    don shor said…
    Sorry, Richard, I was referring to “stick a fork in it” at 8:14.

    1/30/08 12:18 PM

    thanks, I get it, guess I can’t read clocks too well these days

    –Richard

  52. Richard

    don shor said…
    Sorry, Richard, I was referring to “stick a fork in it” at 8:14.

    1/30/08 12:18 PM

    thanks, I get it, guess I can’t read clocks too well these days

    –Richard

  53. anonymous 9:14 AM

    Thank you Richard for your kind words. To continue this thread of analysis, we need to remember that Steve Souza publicly proclaimed(either from the dais or in print) some months ago that if he was reelected to the Council, it would be his last foray in elected office. If you take him at his word, we would then have TWO of the three current Council Majority(Asmundson and Souza) out of the reach of the Davis voter. Councilman Saylor is laying low and aggressively working to reshape his political persona for his council reelection bid in the face of a well-documented political history. His recent attempt to get his name considered for a run for Assembly clearly shows that his current political ambition reaches quite beyond representing the Davis voter. If this Council Majority is returned to office, a problematic recall election will be the only way to break their potentially unrepresentative control of our future.

  54. anonymous 9:14 AM

    Thank you Richard for your kind words. To continue this thread of analysis, we need to remember that Steve Souza publicly proclaimed(either from the dais or in print) some months ago that if he was reelected to the Council, it would be his last foray in elected office. If you take him at his word, we would then have TWO of the three current Council Majority(Asmundson and Souza) out of the reach of the Davis voter. Councilman Saylor is laying low and aggressively working to reshape his political persona for his council reelection bid in the face of a well-documented political history. His recent attempt to get his name considered for a run for Assembly clearly shows that his current political ambition reaches quite beyond representing the Davis voter. If this Council Majority is returned to office, a problematic recall election will be the only way to break their potentially unrepresentative control of our future.

  55. anonymous 9:14 AM

    Thank you Richard for your kind words. To continue this thread of analysis, we need to remember that Steve Souza publicly proclaimed(either from the dais or in print) some months ago that if he was reelected to the Council, it would be his last foray in elected office. If you take him at his word, we would then have TWO of the three current Council Majority(Asmundson and Souza) out of the reach of the Davis voter. Councilman Saylor is laying low and aggressively working to reshape his political persona for his council reelection bid in the face of a well-documented political history. His recent attempt to get his name considered for a run for Assembly clearly shows that his current political ambition reaches quite beyond representing the Davis voter. If this Council Majority is returned to office, a problematic recall election will be the only way to break their potentially unrepresentative control of our future.

  56. anonymous 9:14 AM

    Thank you Richard for your kind words. To continue this thread of analysis, we need to remember that Steve Souza publicly proclaimed(either from the dais or in print) some months ago that if he was reelected to the Council, it would be his last foray in elected office. If you take him at his word, we would then have TWO of the three current Council Majority(Asmundson and Souza) out of the reach of the Davis voter. Councilman Saylor is laying low and aggressively working to reshape his political persona for his council reelection bid in the face of a well-documented political history. His recent attempt to get his name considered for a run for Assembly clearly shows that his current political ambition reaches quite beyond representing the Davis voter. If this Council Majority is returned to office, a problematic recall election will be the only way to break their potentially unrepresentative control of our future.

  57. Rich Rifkin

    “Are you sure it is within the city limits? Because a Measure J vote is required for the Horse Ranch to be developed.”

    I’m pretty sure. I have two maps published by the city — one called “Parks and Greenbelts Work Areas” map and another called “City of Davis Zoning Districts and Corresponding Planned Developments” map — with each showing the city’s borders. On both, the Wildhorse Ranch property is within the city’s borders.

    So why does it need a Measure J vote?

    This answer comes from the impartial analysis written by the city attorney in 2000, when we voted on Measure J:

    “The Ordinance will require voter approval of changes in the land use designations of any real property designated as Agricultural or Urban Reserve on the 1987 General Plan Land Use Map to an urban use.”

    Wildhorse Ranch was designated as agricultural/horse ranch in 1985, when Joe and Bill Duffel (the original Wildhorse developers) owned that property. The Duffels sold out before Wildhorse was actually built. They were the ones who paid off Rodney Robinson from WHOA, triggering the lawsuit to find out where all the WHOA money went.

  58. Rich Rifkin

    “Are you sure it is within the city limits? Because a Measure J vote is required for the Horse Ranch to be developed.”

    I’m pretty sure. I have two maps published by the city — one called “Parks and Greenbelts Work Areas” map and another called “City of Davis Zoning Districts and Corresponding Planned Developments” map — with each showing the city’s borders. On both, the Wildhorse Ranch property is within the city’s borders.

    So why does it need a Measure J vote?

    This answer comes from the impartial analysis written by the city attorney in 2000, when we voted on Measure J:

    “The Ordinance will require voter approval of changes in the land use designations of any real property designated as Agricultural or Urban Reserve on the 1987 General Plan Land Use Map to an urban use.”

    Wildhorse Ranch was designated as agricultural/horse ranch in 1985, when Joe and Bill Duffel (the original Wildhorse developers) owned that property. The Duffels sold out before Wildhorse was actually built. They were the ones who paid off Rodney Robinson from WHOA, triggering the lawsuit to find out where all the WHOA money went.

  59. Rich Rifkin

    “Are you sure it is within the city limits? Because a Measure J vote is required for the Horse Ranch to be developed.”

    I’m pretty sure. I have two maps published by the city — one called “Parks and Greenbelts Work Areas” map and another called “City of Davis Zoning Districts and Corresponding Planned Developments” map — with each showing the city’s borders. On both, the Wildhorse Ranch property is within the city’s borders.

    So why does it need a Measure J vote?

    This answer comes from the impartial analysis written by the city attorney in 2000, when we voted on Measure J:

    “The Ordinance will require voter approval of changes in the land use designations of any real property designated as Agricultural or Urban Reserve on the 1987 General Plan Land Use Map to an urban use.”

    Wildhorse Ranch was designated as agricultural/horse ranch in 1985, when Joe and Bill Duffel (the original Wildhorse developers) owned that property. The Duffels sold out before Wildhorse was actually built. They were the ones who paid off Rodney Robinson from WHOA, triggering the lawsuit to find out where all the WHOA money went.

  60. Rich Rifkin

    “Are you sure it is within the city limits? Because a Measure J vote is required for the Horse Ranch to be developed.”

    I’m pretty sure. I have two maps published by the city — one called “Parks and Greenbelts Work Areas” map and another called “City of Davis Zoning Districts and Corresponding Planned Developments” map — with each showing the city’s borders. On both, the Wildhorse Ranch property is within the city’s borders.

    So why does it need a Measure J vote?

    This answer comes from the impartial analysis written by the city attorney in 2000, when we voted on Measure J:

    “The Ordinance will require voter approval of changes in the land use designations of any real property designated as Agricultural or Urban Reserve on the 1987 General Plan Land Use Map to an urban use.”

    Wildhorse Ranch was designated as agricultural/horse ranch in 1985, when Joe and Bill Duffel (the original Wildhorse developers) owned that property. The Duffels sold out before Wildhorse was actually built. They were the ones who paid off Rodney Robinson from WHOA, triggering the lawsuit to find out where all the WHOA money went.

  61. Matt Williams

    don shor said…

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    Don, it became evident early on in the HESC process that the parcels south of Montgomery on the SouthEast side of town were not being included in the list. Selfish motives would suggest that laying low was in order. However, I thought that their exclusion was either wrong or unfair to the other Davis neighborhoods which did have identified potential sites on their periphery. I lobbied hard with Bob Wolcott and Danielle Foster before, during and after the first Community Workshop to have those parcels added, as well as the entire Ramos parcel south of El Macero. One HESC member confronted me and asked whether I was crazy. I replied that fairness dictated that all the potential parcels should be measured against the same criteria. When confronted with that answer, the member paused and then smiled, saying, “Now I understand.”

    The HESC has conducted a thoroughly transparent process. They have put on the record their decisions about each site. For the people who opposed the Oeste Ranch site, there is a great deal of comfort to be derived from the fact that that site was ranked dead-last, and its nearst neighbors (as the bottom four ranked sites)were the other NW Quadrant parcels. That is a powerful message, and part of its power is that it is there for all to see, from now until forever.

    So getting back to your point that, “It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to ________, but there surely will be one day.” That is true for every peripheral part of Davis. Driving the developers underground or behind closed doors only invites perversion of the decision-making process. Giving them a fair hearing, and then making a decision that is both thorough and supportable is far the wiser tactic.

    As I have said before, there does not appear to be a compelling high-level Supply/Demand curve reason to grow Davis households by any number higher than the RHNA Allocation of 498 additional residences between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013. When you look at specific Supply/Demand relationships in specific segments of the Davis housing market, such as affordable Workforce housing, then a bit more discussion may be warranted.

  62. Matt Williams

    don shor said…

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    Don, it became evident early on in the HESC process that the parcels south of Montgomery on the SouthEast side of town were not being included in the list. Selfish motives would suggest that laying low was in order. However, I thought that their exclusion was either wrong or unfair to the other Davis neighborhoods which did have identified potential sites on their periphery. I lobbied hard with Bob Wolcott and Danielle Foster before, during and after the first Community Workshop to have those parcels added, as well as the entire Ramos parcel south of El Macero. One HESC member confronted me and asked whether I was crazy. I replied that fairness dictated that all the potential parcels should be measured against the same criteria. When confronted with that answer, the member paused and then smiled, saying, “Now I understand.”

    The HESC has conducted a thoroughly transparent process. They have put on the record their decisions about each site. For the people who opposed the Oeste Ranch site, there is a great deal of comfort to be derived from the fact that that site was ranked dead-last, and its nearst neighbors (as the bottom four ranked sites)were the other NW Quadrant parcels. That is a powerful message, and part of its power is that it is there for all to see, from now until forever.

    So getting back to your point that, “It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to ________, but there surely will be one day.” That is true for every peripheral part of Davis. Driving the developers underground or behind closed doors only invites perversion of the decision-making process. Giving them a fair hearing, and then making a decision that is both thorough and supportable is far the wiser tactic.

    As I have said before, there does not appear to be a compelling high-level Supply/Demand curve reason to grow Davis households by any number higher than the RHNA Allocation of 498 additional residences between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013. When you look at specific Supply/Demand relationships in specific segments of the Davis housing market, such as affordable Workforce housing, then a bit more discussion may be warranted.

  63. Matt Williams

    don shor said…

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    Don, it became evident early on in the HESC process that the parcels south of Montgomery on the SouthEast side of town were not being included in the list. Selfish motives would suggest that laying low was in order. However, I thought that their exclusion was either wrong or unfair to the other Davis neighborhoods which did have identified potential sites on their periphery. I lobbied hard with Bob Wolcott and Danielle Foster before, during and after the first Community Workshop to have those parcels added, as well as the entire Ramos parcel south of El Macero. One HESC member confronted me and asked whether I was crazy. I replied that fairness dictated that all the potential parcels should be measured against the same criteria. When confronted with that answer, the member paused and then smiled, saying, “Now I understand.”

    The HESC has conducted a thoroughly transparent process. They have put on the record their decisions about each site. For the people who opposed the Oeste Ranch site, there is a great deal of comfort to be derived from the fact that that site was ranked dead-last, and its nearst neighbors (as the bottom four ranked sites)were the other NW Quadrant parcels. That is a powerful message, and part of its power is that it is there for all to see, from now until forever.

    So getting back to your point that, “It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to ________, but there surely will be one day.” That is true for every peripheral part of Davis. Driving the developers underground or behind closed doors only invites perversion of the decision-making process. Giving them a fair hearing, and then making a decision that is both thorough and supportable is far the wiser tactic.

    As I have said before, there does not appear to be a compelling high-level Supply/Demand curve reason to grow Davis households by any number higher than the RHNA Allocation of 498 additional residences between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013. When you look at specific Supply/Demand relationships in specific segments of the Davis housing market, such as affordable Workforce housing, then a bit more discussion may be warranted.

  64. Matt Williams

    don shor said…

    Actually, this isn’t a matter of “supporting development elsewhere.” The HESC process is ranking 37 sites. Do you oppose building anything anywhere, or oppose building on all of those sites? If not, then I suppose you could be construed as “supporting development” somewhere. Rather, it is a process of setting priorities.

    South Davis has grown dramatically, and I don’t think the growth there has been particularly well thought out. There has been a threat of development near El Macero, and there likely will be more proposals in South Davis. It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to El Macero, but there surely will be one day.

    Don, it became evident early on in the HESC process that the parcels south of Montgomery on the SouthEast side of town were not being included in the list. Selfish motives would suggest that laying low was in order. However, I thought that their exclusion was either wrong or unfair to the other Davis neighborhoods which did have identified potential sites on their periphery. I lobbied hard with Bob Wolcott and Danielle Foster before, during and after the first Community Workshop to have those parcels added, as well as the entire Ramos parcel south of El Macero. One HESC member confronted me and asked whether I was crazy. I replied that fairness dictated that all the potential parcels should be measured against the same criteria. When confronted with that answer, the member paused and then smiled, saying, “Now I understand.”

    The HESC has conducted a thoroughly transparent process. They have put on the record their decisions about each site. For the people who opposed the Oeste Ranch site, there is a great deal of comfort to be derived from the fact that that site was ranked dead-last, and its nearst neighbors (as the bottom four ranked sites)were the other NW Quadrant parcels. That is a powerful message, and part of its power is that it is there for all to see, from now until forever.

    So getting back to your point that, “It happens that there aren’t any in this go around that are close to ________, but there surely will be one day.” That is true for every peripheral part of Davis. Driving the developers underground or behind closed doors only invites perversion of the decision-making process. Giving them a fair hearing, and then making a decision that is both thorough and supportable is far the wiser tactic.

    As I have said before, there does not appear to be a compelling high-level Supply/Demand curve reason to grow Davis households by any number higher than the RHNA Allocation of 498 additional residences between January 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013. When you look at specific Supply/Demand relationships in specific segments of the Davis housing market, such as affordable Workforce housing, then a bit more discussion may be warranted.

  65. Mike Harrington

    Everyone, I just wanted to comment on Matt Williams’ attendance and comments at the last +1 year of HESC meetings.

    Matt is almost always present.

    By his frequent public comments, it’s clear to me that he has read the packets and prepared for the meetings.

    In the early stages, he was clearly interested in knocking down the proposal to develop a strip along the southern border of El Macero. So where most of his neighbors, and the project applicant withdrew the proposal.

    Since then, he seems to be looking at the big picture: the REHA numbers of less than 500 new units is much better than the 1% “requirement” (presented that way when I was on the losing end of that 3/2 vote on the CC), where ever the growth might be. He clearly has matured in his urban growth-related comments as he has learned more.

    My hat is off to him for sticking with it after the “emergency” passed in his particular neighborhood, and for continuing to take the time away from his family and personal matters to come to meetings and fully and actively participate in these important regional issues.

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis CC 2000-04
    Member, HESC, 2007-08

  66. Mike Harrington

    Everyone, I just wanted to comment on Matt Williams’ attendance and comments at the last +1 year of HESC meetings.

    Matt is almost always present.

    By his frequent public comments, it’s clear to me that he has read the packets and prepared for the meetings.

    In the early stages, he was clearly interested in knocking down the proposal to develop a strip along the southern border of El Macero. So where most of his neighbors, and the project applicant withdrew the proposal.

    Since then, he seems to be looking at the big picture: the REHA numbers of less than 500 new units is much better than the 1% “requirement” (presented that way when I was on the losing end of that 3/2 vote on the CC), where ever the growth might be. He clearly has matured in his urban growth-related comments as he has learned more.

    My hat is off to him for sticking with it after the “emergency” passed in his particular neighborhood, and for continuing to take the time away from his family and personal matters to come to meetings and fully and actively participate in these important regional issues.

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis CC 2000-04
    Member, HESC, 2007-08

  67. Mike Harrington

    Everyone, I just wanted to comment on Matt Williams’ attendance and comments at the last +1 year of HESC meetings.

    Matt is almost always present.

    By his frequent public comments, it’s clear to me that he has read the packets and prepared for the meetings.

    In the early stages, he was clearly interested in knocking down the proposal to develop a strip along the southern border of El Macero. So where most of his neighbors, and the project applicant withdrew the proposal.

    Since then, he seems to be looking at the big picture: the REHA numbers of less than 500 new units is much better than the 1% “requirement” (presented that way when I was on the losing end of that 3/2 vote on the CC), where ever the growth might be. He clearly has matured in his urban growth-related comments as he has learned more.

    My hat is off to him for sticking with it after the “emergency” passed in his particular neighborhood, and for continuing to take the time away from his family and personal matters to come to meetings and fully and actively participate in these important regional issues.

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis CC 2000-04
    Member, HESC, 2007-08

  68. Mike Harrington

    Everyone, I just wanted to comment on Matt Williams’ attendance and comments at the last +1 year of HESC meetings.

    Matt is almost always present.

    By his frequent public comments, it’s clear to me that he has read the packets and prepared for the meetings.

    In the early stages, he was clearly interested in knocking down the proposal to develop a strip along the southern border of El Macero. So where most of his neighbors, and the project applicant withdrew the proposal.

    Since then, he seems to be looking at the big picture: the REHA numbers of less than 500 new units is much better than the 1% “requirement” (presented that way when I was on the losing end of that 3/2 vote on the CC), where ever the growth might be. He clearly has matured in his urban growth-related comments as he has learned more.

    My hat is off to him for sticking with it after the “emergency” passed in his particular neighborhood, and for continuing to take the time away from his family and personal matters to come to meetings and fully and actively participate in these important regional issues.

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis CC 2000-04
    Member, HESC, 2007-08

  69. Mike Harrington

    Everyone: there is a pattern from the Covell Village applicants that I want to call to your attention. It’s subtle, and you have to be around the city planning process for some time to catch it.

    At every turn, they work hard to knock down and defeat every single other project that might be competitive to CV.

    It’s their right to lobby and work the public process, but it is a consisent pattern that I want all of you to know about, based on my 8 years being immersed in the process of border control of urban development.

    Their 1% “required” growth policy was formulated to ensure that there was a legal requirement to grow that fast, creating the need for a large parcel like CV’s 450+ acres to be developed.

    Next, they worked hard to defeat any consideration by the CC of the Barry Binning tract between the north end of the Sutter Davis Hospital parcel and the bottom of the housing development to the north, no matter that Binning offered 3/1 outboard mitigation land and a huge amount of extra land for truly affordable homes, all for less than 60 new homes. Barry’s proposal would have completed sealed off nearly any further development in a large part of the NW Quadrant. There were some serious process issues with the timing of his desire to move the project along, but CV did not want ANY discussion whatsoever of Barry’s project.

    I watched the CV partners shut down any consideration of this significant competition to CV: there was an majority on the CC to study it on a time frame that worked with Barry’s need to act, and within weeks, when word got around, the CV partners had gotten their majority to flip, and suddenly oppose it. Barry pulled the project at the CC, immediately before the vote, when he saw the writing was on the wall.

    I think that one of the things that most terrified our friends at CV was the idea that anyone could give the city a project with such a high ratio of mitigation to developed land, and Barry’s 3/1 was ONSITE, OUTBAORD, IN FEE SIMPLE, and would have served to hugely end the political fight in that area. In other words, Barry would have set the bar much higher than what CV was offering s to the public benefit. CV worked hard to defeat the exemplar, and they won.

    Another time I saw them do it was with the property outside the Mace Ranch Curve. Steve Gidaro (whom Souza is now working with closely, according to his own comments as reported the Davis Enterprise), offered a potential project with far more than 3/1, outboard, fee simple, on-site mitigation for nearly that entire area, plus another 100 acres sealed off near the Mace and Second St corner. Desiring that there be good old fashioned American competition with CV (so far there had been none), Sue and I voted to tell staff to look at Steve G’s plans, snce they were hell-bent to move CV along to the voters. We lost that vote, 3/2, as the CV political powerhouse knocked down any potential project that would force CV into a competition.

    Now, we see the CV influence on the HESC and attempts to deprive the Committee from any consideration of other sites or land mitigation that might become competition to CV. One member of the committee has frequently carried that CV water bucket at meetings and tried over and over to stop the Committee from taking evidence on mitigation and other critical issues that determine the basic suitability of the exterior sites in terms of ranking them. The basic question the Committee asks is: “is the site good for housing”? There are many, many variables that go into answering that question, and some members of the Committee have fought to eliminate any mention of the big-ticket factors that could swing the Committee’s interest from CV, to other sites. The one that terrifies CV and its representatives the most is the public benefits: where is the mitigation, and how many acres?

    CV’s mitigation is sssssssoooooo bad (the “Fantasy Rooster Tail to Woodland”) that anyone with true onsite mitigation in their project, outboard of the new development so it is sealed off, ending development forever in that direction, must be STOPPED, at all cost, or CV would have to match or exceed the competitive project in order to have a bat’s chance in heck of prevailing before the voters in a Measure J election.

    I believe that the Committee must, in fact is legally obligated pursuant to numerous public laws and due process protections, to consider all material that the public chooses to submit as important to the subjects at hand. The CV’s pressure must be resisted, and all sites must be fully and equally considered pursuant to law, up to and including the final vote of the Committee to send its recommendations to the CC.

    The most recent example of CV’s blantant manipulation of the public process to gain their hundreds of millions of dollars of unearned windfall occurred with the email sent to hundreds of local seniors telling them how to fill out the comment cards so that CV would advance up the rankings to the CC. I have been watching this type of manipulative conduct from CV for years. Nothing new.

    Mike Harrington

  70. Mike Harrington

    Everyone: there is a pattern from the Covell Village applicants that I want to call to your attention. It’s subtle, and you have to be around the city planning process for some time to catch it.

    At every turn, they work hard to knock down and defeat every single other project that might be competitive to CV.

    It’s their right to lobby and work the public process, but it is a consisent pattern that I want all of you to know about, based on my 8 years being immersed in the process of border control of urban development.

    Their 1% “required” growth policy was formulated to ensure that there was a legal requirement to grow that fast, creating the need for a large parcel like CV’s 450+ acres to be developed.

    Next, they worked hard to defeat any consideration by the CC of the Barry Binning tract between the north end of the Sutter Davis Hospital parcel and the bottom of the housing development to the north, no matter that Binning offered 3/1 outboard mitigation land and a huge amount of extra land for truly affordable homes, all for less than 60 new homes. Barry’s proposal would have completed sealed off nearly any further development in a large part of the NW Quadrant. There were some serious process issues with the timing of his desire to move the project along, but CV did not want ANY discussion whatsoever of Barry’s project.

    I watched the CV partners shut down any consideration of this significant competition to CV: there was an majority on the CC to study it on a time frame that worked with Barry’s need to act, and within weeks, when word got around, the CV partners had gotten their majority to flip, and suddenly oppose it. Barry pulled the project at the CC, immediately before the vote, when he saw the writing was on the wall.

    I think that one of the things that most terrified our friends at CV was the idea that anyone could give the city a project with such a high ratio of mitigation to developed land, and Barry’s 3/1 was ONSITE, OUTBAORD, IN FEE SIMPLE, and would have served to hugely end the political fight in that area. In other words, Barry would have set the bar much higher than what CV was offering s to the public benefit. CV worked hard to defeat the exemplar, and they won.

    Another time I saw them do it was with the property outside the Mace Ranch Curve. Steve Gidaro (whom Souza is now working with closely, according to his own comments as reported the Davis Enterprise), offered a potential project with far more than 3/1, outboard, fee simple, on-site mitigation for nearly that entire area, plus another 100 acres sealed off near the Mace and Second St corner. Desiring that there be good old fashioned American competition with CV (so far there had been none), Sue and I voted to tell staff to look at Steve G’s plans, snce they were hell-bent to move CV along to the voters. We lost that vote, 3/2, as the CV political powerhouse knocked down any potential project that would force CV into a competition.

    Now, we see the CV influence on the HESC and attempts to deprive the Committee from any consideration of other sites or land mitigation that might become competition to CV. One member of the committee has frequently carried that CV water bucket at meetings and tried over and over to stop the Committee from taking evidence on mitigation and other critical issues that determine the basic suitability of the exterior sites in terms of ranking them. The basic question the Committee asks is: “is the site good for housing”? There are many, many variables that go into answering that question, and some members of the Committee have fought to eliminate any mention of the big-ticket factors that could swing the Committee’s interest from CV, to other sites. The one that terrifies CV and its representatives the most is the public benefits: where is the mitigation, and how many acres?

    CV’s mitigation is sssssssoooooo bad (the “Fantasy Rooster Tail to Woodland”) that anyone with true onsite mitigation in their project, outboard of the new development so it is sealed off, ending development forever in that direction, must be STOPPED, at all cost, or CV would have to match or exceed the competitive project in order to have a bat’s chance in heck of prevailing before the voters in a Measure J election.

    I believe that the Committee must, in fact is legally obligated pursuant to numerous public laws and due process protections, to consider all material that the public chooses to submit as important to the subjects at hand. The CV’s pressure must be resisted, and all sites must be fully and equally considered pursuant to law, up to and including the final vote of the Committee to send its recommendations to the CC.

    The most recent example of CV’s blantant manipulation of the public process to gain their hundreds of millions of dollars of unearned windfall occurred with the email sent to hundreds of local seniors telling them how to fill out the comment cards so that CV would advance up the rankings to the CC. I have been watching this type of manipulative conduct from CV for years. Nothing new.

    Mike Harrington

  71. Mike Harrington

    Everyone: there is a pattern from the Covell Village applicants that I want to call to your attention. It’s subtle, and you have to be around the city planning process for some time to catch it.

    At every turn, they work hard to knock down and defeat every single other project that might be competitive to CV.

    It’s their right to lobby and work the public process, but it is a consisent pattern that I want all of you to know about, based on my 8 years being immersed in the process of border control of urban development.

    Their 1% “required” growth policy was formulated to ensure that there was a legal requirement to grow that fast, creating the need for a large parcel like CV’s 450+ acres to be developed.

    Next, they worked hard to defeat any consideration by the CC of the Barry Binning tract between the north end of the Sutter Davis Hospital parcel and the bottom of the housing development to the north, no matter that Binning offered 3/1 outboard mitigation land and a huge amount of extra land for truly affordable homes, all for less than 60 new homes. Barry’s proposal would have completed sealed off nearly any further development in a large part of the NW Quadrant. There were some serious process issues with the timing of his desire to move the project along, but CV did not want ANY discussion whatsoever of Barry’s project.

    I watched the CV partners shut down any consideration of this significant competition to CV: there was an majority on the CC to study it on a time frame that worked with Barry’s need to act, and within weeks, when word got around, the CV partners had gotten their majority to flip, and suddenly oppose it. Barry pulled the project at the CC, immediately before the vote, when he saw the writing was on the wall.

    I think that one of the things that most terrified our friends at CV was the idea that anyone could give the city a project with such a high ratio of mitigation to developed land, and Barry’s 3/1 was ONSITE, OUTBAORD, IN FEE SIMPLE, and would have served to hugely end the political fight in that area. In other words, Barry would have set the bar much higher than what CV was offering s to the public benefit. CV worked hard to defeat the exemplar, and they won.

    Another time I saw them do it was with the property outside the Mace Ranch Curve. Steve Gidaro (whom Souza is now working with closely, according to his own comments as reported the Davis Enterprise), offered a potential project with far more than 3/1, outboard, fee simple, on-site mitigation for nearly that entire area, plus another 100 acres sealed off near the Mace and Second St corner. Desiring that there be good old fashioned American competition with CV (so far there had been none), Sue and I voted to tell staff to look at Steve G’s plans, snce they were hell-bent to move CV along to the voters. We lost that vote, 3/2, as the CV political powerhouse knocked down any potential project that would force CV into a competition.

    Now, we see the CV influence on the HESC and attempts to deprive the Committee from any consideration of other sites or land mitigation that might become competition to CV. One member of the committee has frequently carried that CV water bucket at meetings and tried over and over to stop the Committee from taking evidence on mitigation and other critical issues that determine the basic suitability of the exterior sites in terms of ranking them. The basic question the Committee asks is: “is the site good for housing”? There are many, many variables that go into answering that question, and some members of the Committee have fought to eliminate any mention of the big-ticket factors that could swing the Committee’s interest from CV, to other sites. The one that terrifies CV and its representatives the most is the public benefits: where is the mitigation, and how many acres?

    CV’s mitigation is sssssssoooooo bad (the “Fantasy Rooster Tail to Woodland”) that anyone with true onsite mitigation in their project, outboard of the new development so it is sealed off, ending development forever in that direction, must be STOPPED, at all cost, or CV would have to match or exceed the competitive project in order to have a bat’s chance in heck of prevailing before the voters in a Measure J election.

    I believe that the Committee must, in fact is legally obligated pursuant to numerous public laws and due process protections, to consider all material that the public chooses to submit as important to the subjects at hand. The CV’s pressure must be resisted, and all sites must be fully and equally considered pursuant to law, up to and including the final vote of the Committee to send its recommendations to the CC.

    The most recent example of CV’s blantant manipulation of the public process to gain their hundreds of millions of dollars of unearned windfall occurred with the email sent to hundreds of local seniors telling them how to fill out the comment cards so that CV would advance up the rankings to the CC. I have been watching this type of manipulative conduct from CV for years. Nothing new.

    Mike Harrington

  72. Mike Harrington

    Everyone: there is a pattern from the Covell Village applicants that I want to call to your attention. It’s subtle, and you have to be around the city planning process for some time to catch it.

    At every turn, they work hard to knock down and defeat every single other project that might be competitive to CV.

    It’s their right to lobby and work the public process, but it is a consisent pattern that I want all of you to know about, based on my 8 years being immersed in the process of border control of urban development.

    Their 1% “required” growth policy was formulated to ensure that there was a legal requirement to grow that fast, creating the need for a large parcel like CV’s 450+ acres to be developed.

    Next, they worked hard to defeat any consideration by the CC of the Barry Binning tract between the north end of the Sutter Davis Hospital parcel and the bottom of the housing development to the north, no matter that Binning offered 3/1 outboard mitigation land and a huge amount of extra land for truly affordable homes, all for less than 60 new homes. Barry’s proposal would have completed sealed off nearly any further development in a large part of the NW Quadrant. There were some serious process issues with the timing of his desire to move the project along, but CV did not want ANY discussion whatsoever of Barry’s project.

    I watched the CV partners shut down any consideration of this significant competition to CV: there was an majority on the CC to study it on a time frame that worked with Barry’s need to act, and within weeks, when word got around, the CV partners had gotten their majority to flip, and suddenly oppose it. Barry pulled the project at the CC, immediately before the vote, when he saw the writing was on the wall.

    I think that one of the things that most terrified our friends at CV was the idea that anyone could give the city a project with such a high ratio of mitigation to developed land, and Barry’s 3/1 was ONSITE, OUTBAORD, IN FEE SIMPLE, and would have served to hugely end the political fight in that area. In other words, Barry would have set the bar much higher than what CV was offering s to the public benefit. CV worked hard to defeat the exemplar, and they won.

    Another time I saw them do it was with the property outside the Mace Ranch Curve. Steve Gidaro (whom Souza is now working with closely, according to his own comments as reported the Davis Enterprise), offered a potential project with far more than 3/1, outboard, fee simple, on-site mitigation for nearly that entire area, plus another 100 acres sealed off near the Mace and Second St corner. Desiring that there be good old fashioned American competition with CV (so far there had been none), Sue and I voted to tell staff to look at Steve G’s plans, snce they were hell-bent to move CV along to the voters. We lost that vote, 3/2, as the CV political powerhouse knocked down any potential project that would force CV into a competition.

    Now, we see the CV influence on the HESC and attempts to deprive the Committee from any consideration of other sites or land mitigation that might become competition to CV. One member of the committee has frequently carried that CV water bucket at meetings and tried over and over to stop the Committee from taking evidence on mitigation and other critical issues that determine the basic suitability of the exterior sites in terms of ranking them. The basic question the Committee asks is: “is the site good for housing”? There are many, many variables that go into answering that question, and some members of the Committee have fought to eliminate any mention of the big-ticket factors that could swing the Committee’s interest from CV, to other sites. The one that terrifies CV and its representatives the most is the public benefits: where is the mitigation, and how many acres?

    CV’s mitigation is sssssssoooooo bad (the “Fantasy Rooster Tail to Woodland”) that anyone with true onsite mitigation in their project, outboard of the new development so it is sealed off, ending development forever in that direction, must be STOPPED, at all cost, or CV would have to match or exceed the competitive project in order to have a bat’s chance in heck of prevailing before the voters in a Measure J election.

    I believe that the Committee must, in fact is legally obligated pursuant to numerous public laws and due process protections, to consider all material that the public chooses to submit as important to the subjects at hand. The CV’s pressure must be resisted, and all sites must be fully and equally considered pursuant to law, up to and including the final vote of the Committee to send its recommendations to the CC.

    The most recent example of CV’s blantant manipulation of the public process to gain their hundreds of millions of dollars of unearned windfall occurred with the email sent to hundreds of local seniors telling them how to fill out the comment cards so that CV would advance up the rankings to the CC. I have been watching this type of manipulative conduct from CV for years. Nothing new.

    Mike Harrington

  73. Old-Timer

    Mike’s description of Davis local developer politics is well-known to those of us who have been around for a while. The true dark underbelly of Davis politics is that,in the absence of voter interest and participation, developers RULE. Each developer who has speculated on Davis peripheral property is working full-time to get and keep an advocate on the Council who will push his property for the next sprawling residential development. This is not confined only to CV property;Whitcomb has been just the most arrogant and heavy-handed. Add to this, a Davis city-staff-managed administrative structure with its inherent conflicts of interest with regard to city residential growth,budgets, salaries and department staffing requirements and the need for close oversight by voters is clear.

  74. Old-Timer

    Mike’s description of Davis local developer politics is well-known to those of us who have been around for a while. The true dark underbelly of Davis politics is that,in the absence of voter interest and participation, developers RULE. Each developer who has speculated on Davis peripheral property is working full-time to get and keep an advocate on the Council who will push his property for the next sprawling residential development. This is not confined only to CV property;Whitcomb has been just the most arrogant and heavy-handed. Add to this, a Davis city-staff-managed administrative structure with its inherent conflicts of interest with regard to city residential growth,budgets, salaries and department staffing requirements and the need for close oversight by voters is clear.

  75. Old-Timer

    Mike’s description of Davis local developer politics is well-known to those of us who have been around for a while. The true dark underbelly of Davis politics is that,in the absence of voter interest and participation, developers RULE. Each developer who has speculated on Davis peripheral property is working full-time to get and keep an advocate on the Council who will push his property for the next sprawling residential development. This is not confined only to CV property;Whitcomb has been just the most arrogant and heavy-handed. Add to this, a Davis city-staff-managed administrative structure with its inherent conflicts of interest with regard to city residential growth,budgets, salaries and department staffing requirements and the need for close oversight by voters is clear.

  76. Old-Timer

    Mike’s description of Davis local developer politics is well-known to those of us who have been around for a while. The true dark underbelly of Davis politics is that,in the absence of voter interest and participation, developers RULE. Each developer who has speculated on Davis peripheral property is working full-time to get and keep an advocate on the Council who will push his property for the next sprawling residential development. This is not confined only to CV property;Whitcomb has been just the most arrogant and heavy-handed. Add to this, a Davis city-staff-managed administrative structure with its inherent conflicts of interest with regard to city residential growth,budgets, salaries and department staffing requirements and the need for close oversight by voters is clear.

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