Guest Commentary: Defining Davis’ Slow Growth Vision

by Eileen M. Samitz

Background

Historically, Davis has been a city proud and protective of its agricultural heritage, small town character and quality of life. In 1986, the citizens of Davis overwhelmingly passed Measure L, an advisory vote that mandated that Davis should only grow “as slow as legally possible”. Instead, developer-driven growth was allowed by pro-developer City Council majorities for over a decade. They approved one large residential development after another paving over 25% of the city in 12 years rather than the 23 years that was intended. An update of the 1987 General Plan emerged in 2001. It was drafted by the input of more than 200 citizen volunteers on 14 committees and was subjected to extensive public review. The new citizen-based 2001 General Plan reiterated the slow growth desire by Davis residents and strengthened agricultural protection language. It also reiterated that when housing is built at least 25% would be affordable housing. It also reminded the University of its promise to provide its share of housing for its students and faculty as it grew.

In 1998, tired of pro-developer Council majorities accelerating our growth, Davis voters elected Ken Wagstaff to join Julie Partansky and Stan Forbes on the city council, thereby creating a slow-growth majority. In 2000, when Sue Greenwald and Mike Harrington were elected to sustain a slow-growth council majority, Davis voters also approved the citizen-based Measure J ordinance. The Measure J ordinance empowered the citizens of Davis to decide if and when agricultural or open space land was to be developed. Measure J had strong developer opposition which poured an enormous amount of money into defeating the citizen-based measure, however Measure J passed. The new era that has evolved, enables the citizens to weigh in on the future of the city… however, developer pressure continues.

1% growth may sound slow, but is not slow growth

In more recent years, the public elected Don Saylor, Steve Souza and Ruth Asmundson, all of whom ran on “slow growth” platforms. Instead, they set out to justify a 1% housing growth rate. This seemingly innocuous 1% growth rate was based upon an impossible task assigned to city staff and the Bay Area Economics consulting firm of trying to define our “housing needs”. Since there are no standard formula’s for such a study the parameters were guided by Council. The genesis of this new 1% growth rate imposed by the current Council majority included Ruth Asmundson’s frustration expressed at Council meetings, that some of her children, and others could not afford to buy a home in Davis. Therefore, one of the goals for the “internal needs” study became that Davis should be able to build enough homes to provide a home for every child born since 18 years ago. This was deemed a “natural growth” factor. This invented factor wound up accounting for about half of the 1% growth rate. The 1% growth rate turns out to be at least 328 units per year, adding up to at least 2,300 units for every 7 year SACOG cycle. This means approximately 1 1/2 new Mace Ranch developments every 7 years. The astonishing part about this study is that no fiscal analysis was done to assess what the costs would be to the city and the citizens of Davis.

Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) is a local entity whose primary job, is to try to do traffic planning regionally. They try to do this by dividing up projected population growth into the various SACOG cities (which includes Davis). An important concept to understand is that SACOG can not force cities to grow, but requests that cities plan for the number of units assigned. Sites that are designated for development towards the assigned growth cannot legally be forced to materialize, only to be planned. The SACOG number currently assigned to Davis between 2006 and 2013 is only 498 units. However, the Council majority of Asmundson, Souza and Saylor want Davis to grow by at least 2,300 units, which is almost five times faster than what is being asked of us. The language of Measure L is included in our General Plan to grow as slow as legally possible. Yet this new Council majority growth policy is clearly in the best interest of the developers, not Davis citizens.

Not only is the 1% growth policy inconsistent with the intentions of our slow growth citizen-based General Plan, but mandating this number of units encourages SACOG to increase Davis’ fair share assignment for future years. The Council majority never asked the citizens if they wanted this new growth rate added to the citizen-based General Plan, nor did they do any analysis of the impacts or the costs to the city and the citizens. Given that SACOG has asked us for only 498 units, that the current nationwide housing financial situation is in crisis, and that Spring Lake has 4,000 units under construction only 5 minutes north of Davis on Pole Line Road, why would we want to impose a mandatory growth rate contrary to Measure L?

The Covell Village site- a history of problems

Contrary to Kevin Wolf’s enthusiasm for another iteration of Covell Village, this parcel has inherent problems, which cannot be ignored and has a history to attest to these problems. The current developers had bought the huge parcel for only $3.1 million since the previous out of town developer was unable to resolve the traffic issues due to its access and egress problems. The land, located at Covell Blvd. and Pole Line Road, is primarily prime agricultural land, which is not within city boundaries but is Yolo County land. This means that the city would not get all of the property tax if it were developed but the tax would be split with the County. In 1998 the developers offered it as Covell Center, a 386-acre parcel at Covell Blvd. and Pole Lane Road with 688 housing units and a school site. When the school district clarified that it was not interested in the site due to the location, the developers quickly substituted a sports complex hoping to harness the sports community to pull the project politically. It did not take long for the citizens to assess the infeasibility of the sports complex fiscal report. The sports community could not sustain it, and Davis residents would wind up inheriting the financial albatross as well as the traffic, noise, night lighting as well as the other impacts from day and night tournaments.

In 2005, Covell Village was their new iteration but this time 1,864 units were being proposed on the handicapped parcel which would have been the largest residential development proposed in the history of Davis. The project was strongly supported by Council members Asmundson, Saylor and Souza despite their slow growth campaign promises. The citizens review of the EIR which revealed that the traffic would double on Covell Blvd. to 39,000 cars per day and on Pole line to 26,900 cars per day. The analysis found that Level of service “F” would result on many streets defined as “conditions that are intolerable for most drivers”. Traffic would back up onto neighborhood streets and cause associated safety and pollution issues especially for children, seniors and those with respiratory conditions.

The Covell Village EIR also revealed that the majority of the soil is prime ag land and the 2002 FEMA maps demonstrated that almost half of the 386 parcel was in the 100-year flood plain. New flood control legislature this year will now force cities and counties to cover a share of damage caused by flooding so it will cost Davis citizens when there is a flood event. It is possible to engineer control of a small flood plain area but it is not “smart planning” to deliberately build homes on more than 150 acres of flood plain. The Covell Village developers advertised that their project would bring Davis citizens affordable housing, however, the EIR revealed that the average house in Covell Village would cost $683,945. Another consequence would have been that we would prematurely exhaust our waste water treatment capacity. The current estimates for expanding the waste water treatment plant is over $150 million…. a cost which would be hoisted upon Davis residents. The project would also put enormous pressure upon our water resources. Our Council majority is pursuing surface water to fuel the growth train at an estimate of another $150 million also to be paid for by Davis residents. Fire and police demands would increase significantly also at a high cost (see Rich Rifkin’s Lexicon Artist article Weds. December 26, 2008 in The Davis Enterprise). Despite over 1,000 EIR comments from citizens ( including engineers and other planning professionals) opposing the adequacy of the EIR, the Council majority approved it and the developers will try to use that same EIR for any future project. Fortunately, on November 8, 2005, Covell Village was voted down 60:40, but now only 2 years later, the developers are back with a new proposal.

The Covell Village site – the latest “carrot”

As if there had never been a vote against development on the problematic site, the Covell Village partners are back with yet another project. The partners have taken on a new name — North Davis Land Company, and have a new “carrot” – senior housing, for the entire 386 acre parcel (including more than 150 acres of flood plain). According to a letter they submitted to the General Plan Update Housing Element Committee they interviewed 75 senior community members who would like quality homes, neighborhood services, and health care delivery. The developers submitted a letter to the Housing Element Committee recently hoping to get the committee to consider only the entire 386 acres, presumably as a condition to offer the new senior housing project. For size perspective, University Retirement Center (which is a continuum) is approximately 11 acres, so asking for 386 acres is more than excessive. Considering that the 386 acres cost the developers only $3.1 million means that they could develop only a third (or less) of the land and leave the rest for agricultural mitigation, and still make an enormous profit. However, while it would be good to plan for more senior housing, clearly this is another “carrot” or lure consistent with a number of other offers in the past, all of which had many more problems than benefits. There are other site options within the city that could be used for senior housing in Davis that are not huge peripheral sites needing annexation and are not such a distance from other services. These sites will be listed for the public’s review and comment at this Thursday’s public open house workshop, Jan. 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm- 9:30 pm at Holmes Jr. High School Multi Purpose Room.

In this newest project proposal the developers are offering to have three phases of the project. The first phase would be approximately 130 acres for 800 units, the second phase of approximately 110 acres would be for 400 units, and the last phase would be approximately 140 acres for “urban reserve”. The last phase would be reserved for an undefined number of units. The developers are so enthusiastic that they bought 650 of acres to the north of the parcel to use for the required agricultural mitigation expanding the footprint of the project to 1,036 acres. Apparently, the developers must feel that the gamble is worth the potential multimillion dollar gain. Were it not for a long history of offers, promises and packaging that did not turn out to be what the public first thought, one might be attracted to this proposal without hesitation. The reality is that the developers know that the northern end 2/3’s of the 386 acre parcel should never be developed because of the enormous flood plain and the liability that comes with it. Instead of even attempting to reduce the footprint to avoid the flood plain and reduce the traffic impacts they return with simply a new design. Whether this proposal goes to the ballot for another Measure J vote will be decided by the new City Council to be elected this June which will include incumbents Sue Greenwald (who opposed Covell Village), and Don Saylor and Steve Souza (who supported Covell Village).

Hunt-Wesson/Lewis Cannery – A better site for housing

The 100-acre Hunt-Wesson Cannery site was abandoned approximately eight years ago. To expand the uses of the site the zoning was changed shortly after to allow high tech industrial. Despite political desire to redevelop it into high tech, no company was willing to invest in it presumably, because it was surrounded to the west and south by residential. Also, since Mace Ranch has more than 70 acres of vacant commercial land available closer to I-80, any high tech companies wanting to come to Davis would most likely prefer to locate there. In 2004 Lewis Planned Communities purchased the land and asked the city and residents what they would like to see redeveloped there. The desire for more housing for the workforce was a clear objective by the City Council, so the developers were encouraged to proceed with a proposal by the city. The Hunt-Wesson site is clearly a better alternative for housing than its neighboring Covell Village site, since it is within the city limits. This allows the city to get far more property tax rather than having to split the property taxes with the County as we would need to with Covell Village. It is already zoned for urban use and is an underutilized site. Also, the units proposed are far less in cost than what Covell Village was proposing to build.

The project design is not a finished product, however the developers have had a series of public meetings to get input from the public which they have utilized and integrated into the proposal. As a result the design has changed due to citizen and city staff input. Davis planning director Katherine Hess first hobbled the project by recommending that an industrial viability study be done, which the Housing Committee unanimously did not support. However, the City Council approved the study. She then wanted another access to the project than the single entrance originally proposed. The developers responded with a second access point. But then, Hess wanted access through Covell Village to Pole Line Road. Since Hess was the city planner in charge of the failed Covell Village project, it seems rather interesting that she appears to be trying to link the Hunt-Wesson site and the Measure J dependant Covell Village site. Although the historical Simmons property parcel on East Eighth Street has similar access issues, Hess does not seem to have the same concerns. The Hunt-Wesson site does not need Pole Line Road access and the project would fall into a timeline when the city would get fair share credit for the next SACOG cycle. Hopefully, there will not be an attempt to blackmail the public into a package deal of Covell Village and Hunt-Wesson because the public will clearly see through such a ploy. Finally, since this land is within the city boundaries and has urban zoning it is not obligated to provide 2:1 agriculture mitigation. Contrary to a claim in Kevin Wolf’s recent guest commentary, there was a misstatement that this project be being exempted from the General Plan agriculture mitigation policy.

UCD needs to build more on-campus student apartments

Another issue of concern that needs to be addressed is the lack of student high rise apartments on the core campus. The University of California statewide has the goal of providing 42% of student housing by 2012. So far UC has admitted that it is shy of this 42% goal and has plans for 38% UC student housing. Yet its largest campus, Davis, with over 5,000 acres has never provided the 25% of on campus student housing that it promised in its current Memorandum of Understanding to the city. The university could control the cost of rents for students and reduce traffic and travel costs but instead UCD continues to try to hoist the responsibility of its housing needs on the city as it expands its student population. Unlike the city, only UCD can legally dedicate its housing to UCD students, staff, and faculty and offer permanently affordability. UCD is willing to expand other dorms which are temporary housing for freshman, rather than helping to solve the housing problems by building subsidized on-campus student apartments. UCD is currently complaining that the city does not have enough apartments although they increase their student population one year and decrease it the next due to their budget changes. Logical planning would call for increasing their student population after UCD builds more student housing on-campus. An added benefit of more on–campus student housing is that it would free up more housing within the city for non-student Davis residents.

So what do we do now?

As a member of the General Plan Housing Element Update Committee I have felt privileged to serve and I have a great deal of regard for the 14 other members as well as staff who have been serving. I know that everyone has good intentions for our city’s future, however, we agree on some issues and disagree on others. Some members believe that if we build many housing units in Davis the cost of housing will drop. Historically, this result has not been the case in Davis when even when large numbers of units were being built, the housing prices continued to rise. This is a consequence of Davis being a desirable community to live in. If Davis is to remain a small, compact university town surrounded by agriculture as our General Plan states, then we need to acknowledge that there are limits as to how much growth Davis will have without losing our quality of life and agricultural land around us. Smart planning begins with choosing sites which make sense to build on and then makes the best use of the land that you sacrifice for that growth. We can increase our densities to a certain extent but there is a finite point when you start overpopulating an area. The goal is to have well planned densification which is a delicate balance of how much works well to have livability as well as compatibility. Otherwise you create an inner city atmosphere with more crime and stress, rather than a community which is a good place to live. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that you can’t build your way out of city fiscal problems which only becomes exacerbated by adding much more residential growth. Given that the housing market is currently undergoing a fiscal crisis, and that SACOG has assigned only 498 units for Davis, the time for us to slow our growth is now.

In summary, none of the peripheral sites should be approved now, and at best, only the Hunt-Wesson/Lewis Cannery site should be planned to start no sooner then 2011 to assure that Davis will get SACOG fair share housing credit. Given the timelines we are facing, this can happen if the citizens of Davis make clear their desire to oppose and demand the repeal of the 1% growth rate imposed by the current Council majority. Notably, the 386-acre Covell Village site should not be developed now and the northern 2/3’s of this parcel should never be developed in the future because of the huge flood plain and its risks and liability to the city and residents. If this parcel was ever to be developed in the future, the northern 2/3’s of the 386-acre parcel should instead be used to fulfill the 2:1 agricultural mitigation requirement for a use such as organic farms, which would be compatible and would endure a flood event better than a massive residential tract. The Nishi property should not be developed either, due to the access issues that can never be resolved unless the University agreed to be the only access and egress. Otherwise the development of Nishi would be a disaster for Davis because of untenable traffic problems pouring traffic into the downtown at Richards Boulevard with no where to go. Finally, the university needs to provide more on-campus housing to help accommodate its own growth.

Now is the time to make it clear that it is the citizens of Davis, not the developers, who will plan future of their city.

Thank you for your time and please come to the General Plan Housing Element Update this Thursday to give your input at the open house workshop at 7pm at Holmes Junior High School at 1220 Drexel Drive in the Multi Purpose Room. This is such an important meeting and we need your input to help guide the future of Davis.

-Eileen M. Samitz, General Plan Housing Element Update Committee member

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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172 Comments

  1. NEWZHOUND

    Regarding the stateemtns contained in “Guest Commentary; Defining Davis’ Slow Growth VIsion;” there is much ot be said -perhaps- in support of a population block of Davis residents who seek to preserve the “agricultural flavor” of this university-dominated little town.
    On the other hand, there is even more discussion that needs to be brought about concerning the many wealthy land owners locally who historically have sought to protect their own monied intrrests at the perpetual expense of the many hundreds of poor and otherwise disenfranchised “little people” who live here.

    Steve Jerome-Wyatt,
    H.A.G.S. Group of Davi

  2. NEWZHOUND

    Regarding the stateemtns contained in “Guest Commentary; Defining Davis’ Slow Growth VIsion;” there is much ot be said -perhaps- in support of a population block of Davis residents who seek to preserve the “agricultural flavor” of this university-dominated little town.
    On the other hand, there is even more discussion that needs to be brought about concerning the many wealthy land owners locally who historically have sought to protect their own monied intrrests at the perpetual expense of the many hundreds of poor and otherwise disenfranchised “little people” who live here.

    Steve Jerome-Wyatt,
    H.A.G.S. Group of Davi

  3. NEWZHOUND

    Regarding the stateemtns contained in “Guest Commentary; Defining Davis’ Slow Growth VIsion;” there is much ot be said -perhaps- in support of a population block of Davis residents who seek to preserve the “agricultural flavor” of this university-dominated little town.
    On the other hand, there is even more discussion that needs to be brought about concerning the many wealthy land owners locally who historically have sought to protect their own monied intrrests at the perpetual expense of the many hundreds of poor and otherwise disenfranchised “little people” who live here.

    Steve Jerome-Wyatt,
    H.A.G.S. Group of Davi

  4. NEWZHOUND

    Regarding the stateemtns contained in “Guest Commentary; Defining Davis’ Slow Growth VIsion;” there is much ot be said -perhaps- in support of a population block of Davis residents who seek to preserve the “agricultural flavor” of this university-dominated little town.
    On the other hand, there is even more discussion that needs to be brought about concerning the many wealthy land owners locally who historically have sought to protect their own monied intrrests at the perpetual expense of the many hundreds of poor and otherwise disenfranchised “little people” who live here.

    Steve Jerome-Wyatt,
    H.A.G.S. Group of Davi

  5. Davisite

    The mindless and frenzied drive to accumulate goods and money is grinding to a halt under the weight of the (now global) economic meltdown. This special time offers us the opportunity to stop, think, reorder our priorities and strike out on a new path rather than more of the same that has brought us to where we find ourselves today.

  6. Davisite

    The mindless and frenzied drive to accumulate goods and money is grinding to a halt under the weight of the (now global) economic meltdown. This special time offers us the opportunity to stop, think, reorder our priorities and strike out on a new path rather than more of the same that has brought us to where we find ourselves today.

  7. Davisite

    The mindless and frenzied drive to accumulate goods and money is grinding to a halt under the weight of the (now global) economic meltdown. This special time offers us the opportunity to stop, think, reorder our priorities and strike out on a new path rather than more of the same that has brought us to where we find ourselves today.

  8. Davisite

    The mindless and frenzied drive to accumulate goods and money is grinding to a halt under the weight of the (now global) economic meltdown. This special time offers us the opportunity to stop, think, reorder our priorities and strike out on a new path rather than more of the same that has brought us to where we find ourselves today.

  9. Richard

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous. There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    –Richard Estes

  10. Richard

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous. There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    –Richard Estes

  11. Richard

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous. There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    –Richard Estes

  12. Richard

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous. There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    –Richard Estes

  13. Anonymous

    Please invite your friends and neighbors to the January 24th meeting to take a better look at Cannery Park which is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Let’s face it everyone, Lewis purchased the property to avoid an election because there are basically no other properties available within the city limits. Their VP admitted at a council meeting that Lewis purchased the property with the full intent to have the property rezoned.

    In reviewing the county records, one can probably determine how much Lewis purchased the property for from ConAgra (double-digit millions I am sure), so they have plenty riding on this plan.

    Their VP also said the property is not marketable as an industrial business park. I do not recall the property being on the market under that scenario. The fact is this, they can make more money with a rezone rather than an industrial park.

    I invite more discussion on this issue and encourage all of the citizens of Davis to look behind the wool.

  14. Anonymous

    Please invite your friends and neighbors to the January 24th meeting to take a better look at Cannery Park which is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Let’s face it everyone, Lewis purchased the property to avoid an election because there are basically no other properties available within the city limits. Their VP admitted at a council meeting that Lewis purchased the property with the full intent to have the property rezoned.

    In reviewing the county records, one can probably determine how much Lewis purchased the property for from ConAgra (double-digit millions I am sure), so they have plenty riding on this plan.

    Their VP also said the property is not marketable as an industrial business park. I do not recall the property being on the market under that scenario. The fact is this, they can make more money with a rezone rather than an industrial park.

    I invite more discussion on this issue and encourage all of the citizens of Davis to look behind the wool.

  15. Anonymous

    Please invite your friends and neighbors to the January 24th meeting to take a better look at Cannery Park which is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Let’s face it everyone, Lewis purchased the property to avoid an election because there are basically no other properties available within the city limits. Their VP admitted at a council meeting that Lewis purchased the property with the full intent to have the property rezoned.

    In reviewing the county records, one can probably determine how much Lewis purchased the property for from ConAgra (double-digit millions I am sure), so they have plenty riding on this plan.

    Their VP also said the property is not marketable as an industrial business park. I do not recall the property being on the market under that scenario. The fact is this, they can make more money with a rezone rather than an industrial park.

    I invite more discussion on this issue and encourage all of the citizens of Davis to look behind the wool.

  16. Anonymous

    Please invite your friends and neighbors to the January 24th meeting to take a better look at Cannery Park which is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Let’s face it everyone, Lewis purchased the property to avoid an election because there are basically no other properties available within the city limits. Their VP admitted at a council meeting that Lewis purchased the property with the full intent to have the property rezoned.

    In reviewing the county records, one can probably determine how much Lewis purchased the property for from ConAgra (double-digit millions I am sure), so they have plenty riding on this plan.

    Their VP also said the property is not marketable as an industrial business park. I do not recall the property being on the market under that scenario. The fact is this, they can make more money with a rezone rather than an industrial park.

    I invite more discussion on this issue and encourage all of the citizens of Davis to look behind the wool.

  17. Anonymous

    There is unquestionably no need to rezone the Hunt-Wessen property any time in the near future as we do not need(or should want)it developed for housing any time before 2015.
    City staff should devote this time to VIGOROUSLY pursuing high-tech possibilities, even with some “incentives” from the city.

  18. Anonymous

    There is unquestionably no need to rezone the Hunt-Wessen property any time in the near future as we do not need(or should want)it developed for housing any time before 2015.
    City staff should devote this time to VIGOROUSLY pursuing high-tech possibilities, even with some “incentives” from the city.

  19. Anonymous

    There is unquestionably no need to rezone the Hunt-Wessen property any time in the near future as we do not need(or should want)it developed for housing any time before 2015.
    City staff should devote this time to VIGOROUSLY pursuing high-tech possibilities, even with some “incentives” from the city.

  20. Anonymous

    There is unquestionably no need to rezone the Hunt-Wessen property any time in the near future as we do not need(or should want)it developed for housing any time before 2015.
    City staff should devote this time to VIGOROUSLY pursuing high-tech possibilities, even with some “incentives” from the city.

  21. anonymous 11:49

    Vincente…. not the same poster as the wolf in sheeps clothing statement. The new developer/owners of the property took a risk that it would be rezoned for residential. Risk is the claim they make for the fairness of their profit margins.. so be it.

  22. anonymous 11:49

    Vincente…. not the same poster as the wolf in sheeps clothing statement. The new developer/owners of the property took a risk that it would be rezoned for residential. Risk is the claim they make for the fairness of their profit margins.. so be it.

  23. anonymous 11:49

    Vincente…. not the same poster as the wolf in sheeps clothing statement. The new developer/owners of the property took a risk that it would be rezoned for residential. Risk is the claim they make for the fairness of their profit margins.. so be it.

  24. anonymous 11:49

    Vincente…. not the same poster as the wolf in sheeps clothing statement. The new developer/owners of the property took a risk that it would be rezoned for residential. Risk is the claim they make for the fairness of their profit margins.. so be it.

  25. Elaine Roberts Musser

    I have been very deeply concerned about the trend lately of developers suddenly “discovering” a need for more senior housing – as a way of gaining a toe-hold to developing a particular parcel. The more important question that must be asked is who is making the decisions as to what sort of housing we need; how much; and where? Too often these decisions are developer driven, rather than being decided on the basis of what is best for the city in general.

    Secondly, the city is in the middle of a fiscal crisis. To add more housing will add additional costs to the city for more services. Whenever new housing is built, it has to be accompanied by extra fire, police, parks and maintenance services, and the like. Where is that money going to come from? Higher taxes? We are already facing a library tax increase, a school tax increase, a new public safety tax, and huge increases in our water and sewer rates.

    More tax revenue is needed to pay for our existing services. Before the city builds new homes, it needs to attract appropriate business that can increase the city’s tax revenues. From what I have seen, the city of Davis has been perceived as rather anti-business. A much better approach would be what I would like to call “smart growth”. Any new housing must be linked with inviting more business, but business should come prior to any discussion of more housing.

  26. Elaine Roberts Musser

    I have been very deeply concerned about the trend lately of developers suddenly “discovering” a need for more senior housing – as a way of gaining a toe-hold to developing a particular parcel. The more important question that must be asked is who is making the decisions as to what sort of housing we need; how much; and where? Too often these decisions are developer driven, rather than being decided on the basis of what is best for the city in general.

    Secondly, the city is in the middle of a fiscal crisis. To add more housing will add additional costs to the city for more services. Whenever new housing is built, it has to be accompanied by extra fire, police, parks and maintenance services, and the like. Where is that money going to come from? Higher taxes? We are already facing a library tax increase, a school tax increase, a new public safety tax, and huge increases in our water and sewer rates.

    More tax revenue is needed to pay for our existing services. Before the city builds new homes, it needs to attract appropriate business that can increase the city’s tax revenues. From what I have seen, the city of Davis has been perceived as rather anti-business. A much better approach would be what I would like to call “smart growth”. Any new housing must be linked with inviting more business, but business should come prior to any discussion of more housing.

  27. Elaine Roberts Musser

    I have been very deeply concerned about the trend lately of developers suddenly “discovering” a need for more senior housing – as a way of gaining a toe-hold to developing a particular parcel. The more important question that must be asked is who is making the decisions as to what sort of housing we need; how much; and where? Too often these decisions are developer driven, rather than being decided on the basis of what is best for the city in general.

    Secondly, the city is in the middle of a fiscal crisis. To add more housing will add additional costs to the city for more services. Whenever new housing is built, it has to be accompanied by extra fire, police, parks and maintenance services, and the like. Where is that money going to come from? Higher taxes? We are already facing a library tax increase, a school tax increase, a new public safety tax, and huge increases in our water and sewer rates.

    More tax revenue is needed to pay for our existing services. Before the city builds new homes, it needs to attract appropriate business that can increase the city’s tax revenues. From what I have seen, the city of Davis has been perceived as rather anti-business. A much better approach would be what I would like to call “smart growth”. Any new housing must be linked with inviting more business, but business should come prior to any discussion of more housing.

  28. Elaine Roberts Musser

    I have been very deeply concerned about the trend lately of developers suddenly “discovering” a need for more senior housing – as a way of gaining a toe-hold to developing a particular parcel. The more important question that must be asked is who is making the decisions as to what sort of housing we need; how much; and where? Too often these decisions are developer driven, rather than being decided on the basis of what is best for the city in general.

    Secondly, the city is in the middle of a fiscal crisis. To add more housing will add additional costs to the city for more services. Whenever new housing is built, it has to be accompanied by extra fire, police, parks and maintenance services, and the like. Where is that money going to come from? Higher taxes? We are already facing a library tax increase, a school tax increase, a new public safety tax, and huge increases in our water and sewer rates.

    More tax revenue is needed to pay for our existing services. Before the city builds new homes, it needs to attract appropriate business that can increase the city’s tax revenues. From what I have seen, the city of Davis has been perceived as rather anti-business. A much better approach would be what I would like to call “smart growth”. Any new housing must be linked with inviting more business, but business should come prior to any discussion of more housing.

  29. 無名 - wu ming

    anyone want to explain to me the unstated middle step whereby housing densities higher than middle-20th century suburban sprawl magically create “inner city crime and stress”?

    as if the mere suburbanity of low density leads to low crime and happy lives, just as a f(x) of the number of people in a given spot. as if crime is unrelated to economic hardship and/or income disparity.

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

  30. 無名 - wu ming

    anyone want to explain to me the unstated middle step whereby housing densities higher than middle-20th century suburban sprawl magically create “inner city crime and stress”?

    as if the mere suburbanity of low density leads to low crime and happy lives, just as a f(x) of the number of people in a given spot. as if crime is unrelated to economic hardship and/or income disparity.

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

  31. 無名 - wu ming

    anyone want to explain to me the unstated middle step whereby housing densities higher than middle-20th century suburban sprawl magically create “inner city crime and stress”?

    as if the mere suburbanity of low density leads to low crime and happy lives, just as a f(x) of the number of people in a given spot. as if crime is unrelated to economic hardship and/or income disparity.

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

  32. 無名 - wu ming

    anyone want to explain to me the unstated middle step whereby housing densities higher than middle-20th century suburban sprawl magically create “inner city crime and stress”?

    as if the mere suburbanity of low density leads to low crime and happy lives, just as a f(x) of the number of people in a given spot. as if crime is unrelated to economic hardship and/or income disparity.

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

  33. Sue Greenwald

    Some random thoughts:

    1) I would really like to provide housing affordable, entry level housing for people who live or have roots in Davis. But the peripheral subdivision sprawl that we have had recently is attracting, understandably, people from throughout the region and state who are looking for better schools, and hence driving the prices up and out of reach for our local middle-class population, who tend to have relatively modest University and research salaries.

    I think the only solution for this problem is a regional, full-steam drive to improve the school districts and the city planning in all the towns in the region. One city cannot accomodate everyone.

    2. I would like to see some densification, but I think that we need to be thinking about new approaches, such as taller, beautifully designed condominiums on contained, underused parcels near downtown. I have looked at the high density housing in Natomas and Springlake, and I don’t think that cramming peripheral subdivisions full of extremely high density single family houses with no yards is going to be a successful long-term approach.

    Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term. I think that some approaches are exciting and can work and enhance our town, and others will lead us down to road to mediocrity. Apt cliche: the devil is in the details.

    3) I really think we have to honestly examine how much growth this region should accommodate. I haven’t analyzed this myself, but I think it needs analysis. I have read projections that, with global warming, the Sacramento region will be unlivable. You can google Sacramento News and Review, Ralph Brave, and hot futures for an interesting discussion on this topic.

    5)Eileen and I have a friendly disagreement on the Hunt-Wesson. I think that good city planning suggests having our clean, high quality jobs near our housing to avoid becoming a bedroom suburb. The Hunt-Wesson is the only significant piece of industrially zoned land within our city boundaries.

  34. Sue Greenwald

    Some random thoughts:

    1) I would really like to provide housing affordable, entry level housing for people who live or have roots in Davis. But the peripheral subdivision sprawl that we have had recently is attracting, understandably, people from throughout the region and state who are looking for better schools, and hence driving the prices up and out of reach for our local middle-class population, who tend to have relatively modest University and research salaries.

    I think the only solution for this problem is a regional, full-steam drive to improve the school districts and the city planning in all the towns in the region. One city cannot accomodate everyone.

    2. I would like to see some densification, but I think that we need to be thinking about new approaches, such as taller, beautifully designed condominiums on contained, underused parcels near downtown. I have looked at the high density housing in Natomas and Springlake, and I don’t think that cramming peripheral subdivisions full of extremely high density single family houses with no yards is going to be a successful long-term approach.

    Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term. I think that some approaches are exciting and can work and enhance our town, and others will lead us down to road to mediocrity. Apt cliche: the devil is in the details.

    3) I really think we have to honestly examine how much growth this region should accommodate. I haven’t analyzed this myself, but I think it needs analysis. I have read projections that, with global warming, the Sacramento region will be unlivable. You can google Sacramento News and Review, Ralph Brave, and hot futures for an interesting discussion on this topic.

    5)Eileen and I have a friendly disagreement on the Hunt-Wesson. I think that good city planning suggests having our clean, high quality jobs near our housing to avoid becoming a bedroom suburb. The Hunt-Wesson is the only significant piece of industrially zoned land within our city boundaries.

  35. Sue Greenwald

    Some random thoughts:

    1) I would really like to provide housing affordable, entry level housing for people who live or have roots in Davis. But the peripheral subdivision sprawl that we have had recently is attracting, understandably, people from throughout the region and state who are looking for better schools, and hence driving the prices up and out of reach for our local middle-class population, who tend to have relatively modest University and research salaries.

    I think the only solution for this problem is a regional, full-steam drive to improve the school districts and the city planning in all the towns in the region. One city cannot accomodate everyone.

    2. I would like to see some densification, but I think that we need to be thinking about new approaches, such as taller, beautifully designed condominiums on contained, underused parcels near downtown. I have looked at the high density housing in Natomas and Springlake, and I don’t think that cramming peripheral subdivisions full of extremely high density single family houses with no yards is going to be a successful long-term approach.

    Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term. I think that some approaches are exciting and can work and enhance our town, and others will lead us down to road to mediocrity. Apt cliche: the devil is in the details.

    3) I really think we have to honestly examine how much growth this region should accommodate. I haven’t analyzed this myself, but I think it needs analysis. I have read projections that, with global warming, the Sacramento region will be unlivable. You can google Sacramento News and Review, Ralph Brave, and hot futures for an interesting discussion on this topic.

    5)Eileen and I have a friendly disagreement on the Hunt-Wesson. I think that good city planning suggests having our clean, high quality jobs near our housing to avoid becoming a bedroom suburb. The Hunt-Wesson is the only significant piece of industrially zoned land within our city boundaries.

  36. Sue Greenwald

    Some random thoughts:

    1) I would really like to provide housing affordable, entry level housing for people who live or have roots in Davis. But the peripheral subdivision sprawl that we have had recently is attracting, understandably, people from throughout the region and state who are looking for better schools, and hence driving the prices up and out of reach for our local middle-class population, who tend to have relatively modest University and research salaries.

    I think the only solution for this problem is a regional, full-steam drive to improve the school districts and the city planning in all the towns in the region. One city cannot accomodate everyone.

    2. I would like to see some densification, but I think that we need to be thinking about new approaches, such as taller, beautifully designed condominiums on contained, underused parcels near downtown. I have looked at the high density housing in Natomas and Springlake, and I don’t think that cramming peripheral subdivisions full of extremely high density single family houses with no yards is going to be a successful long-term approach.

    Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term. I think that some approaches are exciting and can work and enhance our town, and others will lead us down to road to mediocrity. Apt cliche: the devil is in the details.

    3) I really think we have to honestly examine how much growth this region should accommodate. I haven’t analyzed this myself, but I think it needs analysis. I have read projections that, with global warming, the Sacramento region will be unlivable. You can google Sacramento News and Review, Ralph Brave, and hot futures for an interesting discussion on this topic.

    5)Eileen and I have a friendly disagreement on the Hunt-Wesson. I think that good city planning suggests having our clean, high quality jobs near our housing to avoid becoming a bedroom suburb. The Hunt-Wesson is the only significant piece of industrially zoned land within our city boundaries.

  37. Anonymous

    To all (and Vicinte):

    If the City grants Lewis a rezone, you can just bet that any sliver of a “business – office” component Lewis promises in their plan will disappear over time. Residential land is valuable, especially in Davis. Lewis knows that, you know that. Why do you think they are here. They do not develop industrial or office job centers.

    We the people, have been expecting an economic engine and employment center out of this property for quite some time and should stick to the plan set in place years ago. The Hunt-Wesson property needs to be marketed as an industrial office park and any developer needs to simply appreciate that.

    I strongly encourage all interested in this project and its future, to attend the workshop and support an employment center for this property.

    If we do not show up in force to these workshops and meetings, we will lose our opportunity to let the city council know why a rezone should not be an option. Trust this, with the money Lewis has invested in this project, I am sure they are behind the scenes lobbying the council.

  38. Anonymous

    To all (and Vicinte):

    If the City grants Lewis a rezone, you can just bet that any sliver of a “business – office” component Lewis promises in their plan will disappear over time. Residential land is valuable, especially in Davis. Lewis knows that, you know that. Why do you think they are here. They do not develop industrial or office job centers.

    We the people, have been expecting an economic engine and employment center out of this property for quite some time and should stick to the plan set in place years ago. The Hunt-Wesson property needs to be marketed as an industrial office park and any developer needs to simply appreciate that.

    I strongly encourage all interested in this project and its future, to attend the workshop and support an employment center for this property.

    If we do not show up in force to these workshops and meetings, we will lose our opportunity to let the city council know why a rezone should not be an option. Trust this, with the money Lewis has invested in this project, I am sure they are behind the scenes lobbying the council.

  39. Anonymous

    To all (and Vicinte):

    If the City grants Lewis a rezone, you can just bet that any sliver of a “business – office” component Lewis promises in their plan will disappear over time. Residential land is valuable, especially in Davis. Lewis knows that, you know that. Why do you think they are here. They do not develop industrial or office job centers.

    We the people, have been expecting an economic engine and employment center out of this property for quite some time and should stick to the plan set in place years ago. The Hunt-Wesson property needs to be marketed as an industrial office park and any developer needs to simply appreciate that.

    I strongly encourage all interested in this project and its future, to attend the workshop and support an employment center for this property.

    If we do not show up in force to these workshops and meetings, we will lose our opportunity to let the city council know why a rezone should not be an option. Trust this, with the money Lewis has invested in this project, I am sure they are behind the scenes lobbying the council.

  40. Anonymous

    To all (and Vicinte):

    If the City grants Lewis a rezone, you can just bet that any sliver of a “business – office” component Lewis promises in their plan will disappear over time. Residential land is valuable, especially in Davis. Lewis knows that, you know that. Why do you think they are here. They do not develop industrial or office job centers.

    We the people, have been expecting an economic engine and employment center out of this property for quite some time and should stick to the plan set in place years ago. The Hunt-Wesson property needs to be marketed as an industrial office park and any developer needs to simply appreciate that.

    I strongly encourage all interested in this project and its future, to attend the workshop and support an employment center for this property.

    If we do not show up in force to these workshops and meetings, we will lose our opportunity to let the city council know why a rezone should not be an option. Trust this, with the money Lewis has invested in this project, I am sure they are behind the scenes lobbying the council.

  41. don shor

    “Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term.”

    La Buena Vida and Green Meadows are good examples of higher density housing, right across the street from the Covell Village site.

    Thanks for the very comprehensive article, Eileen. It’s good to know what the task force members are thinking. Here’s hoping for more of your fellow members on the Vanguard….

  42. don shor

    “Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term.”

    La Buena Vida and Green Meadows are good examples of higher density housing, right across the street from the Covell Village site.

    Thanks for the very comprehensive article, Eileen. It’s good to know what the task force members are thinking. Here’s hoping for more of your fellow members on the Vanguard….

  43. don shor

    “Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term.”

    La Buena Vida and Green Meadows are good examples of higher density housing, right across the street from the Covell Village site.

    Thanks for the very comprehensive article, Eileen. It’s good to know what the task force members are thinking. Here’s hoping for more of your fellow members on the Vanguard….

  44. don shor

    “Higher density housing is going to have to be appealing, or it won’t work. Densification is a broad term.”

    La Buena Vida and Green Meadows are good examples of higher density housing, right across the street from the Covell Village site.

    Thanks for the very comprehensive article, Eileen. It’s good to know what the task force members are thinking. Here’s hoping for more of your fellow members on the Vanguard….

  45. don shor

    “,,,by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”?”

    Depends on where you came here from, I guess. Being from San Diego, I’d say yes.

  46. don shor

    “,,,by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”?”

    Depends on where you came here from, I guess. Being from San Diego, I’d say yes.

  47. don shor

    “,,,by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”?”

    Depends on where you came here from, I guess. Being from San Diego, I’d say yes.

  48. don shor

    “,,,by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”?”

    Depends on where you came here from, I guess. Being from San Diego, I’d say yes.

  49. Matt Williams

    Richard said…

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    Richard, your point is well taken; however, it ignores the basic tenet of supply/demand in a free market. Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    If we let microeconomics determine hosing costs and what kind of new housing gets built, the gentrification you refer to will continue. The only alternative to arrest the issue you’ve identified is to modify the free market.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    Richard, what are the environmental and social consequences you refer to? I’m not insensitive to the issue you raise, but that sounds like rhetoric to me. Help me understand the genesis of your comment.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    I think you are reading too much between the lines of Eileen’s comments. In fact she specifically takes the $683,945 average price of a Covell Village home to task, as well as devoting a whole paragraph to the problems UCD is creating in the Davis housing market by failing to provide adequate on-campus student housing. If UCD built its “fair share” of dorms, the resulting vacancies in Davis rental housing would provide the workforce housing you desire.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.

    See my supply/demand comments above.

    There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    You appear to be saying that wealthy people are detriments to social and economic sustainability. Is that really what you believe? Perhaps you could help me understand, by expanding on your comment?

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    All school districts go through cyclical changes in enrollment. Why do you expect Davis to be any different?

    In their “Housing Needs Assessment
    Background Report, http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20071011/Davis_Housing_Needs_Final_10-3-2007.pdf, Bay Area Economics indicates that the proportion of people over 55 living in Davis in 2000 was only 12%, while the same proportion in the Sacramento CMSA is almost 20%. In 2006 those proportions had risen to 15% and 21% respectively. Even when you back out the effect of the UCD student population living in the City, Davis is still below the rest of the CMSA in its proportion of residents over 55. Help me understand the problem.

  50. Matt Williams

    Richard said…

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    Richard, your point is well taken; however, it ignores the basic tenet of supply/demand in a free market. Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    If we let microeconomics determine hosing costs and what kind of new housing gets built, the gentrification you refer to will continue. The only alternative to arrest the issue you’ve identified is to modify the free market.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    Richard, what are the environmental and social consequences you refer to? I’m not insensitive to the issue you raise, but that sounds like rhetoric to me. Help me understand the genesis of your comment.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    I think you are reading too much between the lines of Eileen’s comments. In fact she specifically takes the $683,945 average price of a Covell Village home to task, as well as devoting a whole paragraph to the problems UCD is creating in the Davis housing market by failing to provide adequate on-campus student housing. If UCD built its “fair share” of dorms, the resulting vacancies in Davis rental housing would provide the workforce housing you desire.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.

    See my supply/demand comments above.

    There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    You appear to be saying that wealthy people are detriments to social and economic sustainability. Is that really what you believe? Perhaps you could help me understand, by expanding on your comment?

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    All school districts go through cyclical changes in enrollment. Why do you expect Davis to be any different?

    In their “Housing Needs Assessment
    Background Report, http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20071011/Davis_Housing_Needs_Final_10-3-2007.pdf, Bay Area Economics indicates that the proportion of people over 55 living in Davis in 2000 was only 12%, while the same proportion in the Sacramento CMSA is almost 20%. In 2006 those proportions had risen to 15% and 21% respectively. Even when you back out the effect of the UCD student population living in the City, Davis is still below the rest of the CMSA in its proportion of residents over 55. Help me understand the problem.

  51. Matt Williams

    Richard said…

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    Richard, your point is well taken; however, it ignores the basic tenet of supply/demand in a free market. Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    If we let microeconomics determine hosing costs and what kind of new housing gets built, the gentrification you refer to will continue. The only alternative to arrest the issue you’ve identified is to modify the free market.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    Richard, what are the environmental and social consequences you refer to? I’m not insensitive to the issue you raise, but that sounds like rhetoric to me. Help me understand the genesis of your comment.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    I think you are reading too much between the lines of Eileen’s comments. In fact she specifically takes the $683,945 average price of a Covell Village home to task, as well as devoting a whole paragraph to the problems UCD is creating in the Davis housing market by failing to provide adequate on-campus student housing. If UCD built its “fair share” of dorms, the resulting vacancies in Davis rental housing would provide the workforce housing you desire.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.

    See my supply/demand comments above.

    There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    You appear to be saying that wealthy people are detriments to social and economic sustainability. Is that really what you believe? Perhaps you could help me understand, by expanding on your comment?

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    All school districts go through cyclical changes in enrollment. Why do you expect Davis to be any different?

    In their “Housing Needs Assessment
    Background Report, http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20071011/Davis_Housing_Needs_Final_10-3-2007.pdf, Bay Area Economics indicates that the proportion of people over 55 living in Davis in 2000 was only 12%, while the same proportion in the Sacramento CMSA is almost 20%. In 2006 those proportions had risen to 15% and 21% respectively. Even when you back out the effect of the UCD student population living in the City, Davis is still below the rest of the CMSA in its proportion of residents over 55. Help me understand the problem.

  52. Matt Williams

    Richard said…

    I see nothing in this article that addresses the gentrification of Davis, and the inability of anyone who makes less than an upper middle income salary to purchase a home to live within the city. It is basically an antiquated 1990s perspective about city planning and zoning with no acknowledgement of what has transpired in the last 10 years.

    Richard, your point is well taken; however, it ignores the basic tenet of supply/demand in a free market. Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    If we let microeconomics determine hosing costs and what kind of new housing gets built, the gentrification you refer to will continue. The only alternative to arrest the issue you’ve identified is to modify the free market.

    The author is either unaware, or disinterested, in the environmental and social consequences of such a restricted growth policy. While I do not share the views of Kevin Wolf or Matt Williams, they at least make an attempt to engage these issues, an attempt to address these consequences within the historic identity of the city.

    Richard, what are the environmental and social consequences you refer to? I’m not insensitive to the issue you raise, but that sounds like rhetoric to me. Help me understand the genesis of your comment.

    If progressives are to retain any contemporary relevance, they must participate in this effort. If they are not inclined to do so, they should be honest. If they consider a less populated Davis as more important to them than the environmental and social consequences that will result, they should say so.

    I think you are reading too much between the lines of Eileen’s comments. In fact she specifically takes the $683,945 average price of a Covell Village home to task, as well as devoting a whole paragraph to the problems UCD is creating in the Davis housing market by failing to provide adequate on-campus student housing. If UCD built its “fair share” of dorms, the resulting vacancies in Davis rental housing would provide the workforce housing you desire.

    Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.

    See my supply/demand comments above.

    There has been no attempt to make the city socially and economically sustainable, merely a substitution of wealthier people for the lower middle income and middle income people who used to have a place within it.

    You appear to be saying that wealthy people are detriments to social and economic sustainability. Is that really what you believe? Perhaps you could help me understand, by expanding on your comment?

    Adopting the perspective presented in this article will just make it even more so. As I have said elsewhere (to the extent that most of you find it very tiresome), the school district will be most high profile victim.

    All school districts go through cyclical changes in enrollment. Why do you expect Davis to be any different?

    In their “Housing Needs Assessment
    Background Report, http://www.city.davis.ca.us/cdd/GPUpdate/pdfs/20071011/Davis_Housing_Needs_Final_10-3-2007.pdf, Bay Area Economics indicates that the proportion of people over 55 living in Davis in 2000 was only 12%, while the same proportion in the Sacramento CMSA is almost 20%. In 2006 those proportions had risen to 15% and 21% respectively. Even when you back out the effect of the UCD student population living in the City, Davis is still below the rest of the CMSA in its proportion of residents over 55. Help me understand the problem.

  53. Rich Rifkin

    RICHARD ESTES: “Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.”

    I don’t have any facts to back this up. But my observation is that the Davis I grew up in, in the 1960s and ’70s was far less economically diverse (as well as less racially and ethnically diverse) than the Davis of today.

    My sense is that beginning in the mid-1980s, we built a large amount of housing (mostly rental housing) which has been occupied by non-transient lower-income families. Before that time, we had a much smaller number of lower-income non-student, non-transient population.* (I think this could be confirmed by checking the larger number of students who qualify for free lunches.)

    At the other end of the spectrum, almost all of the housing developments built since 1990 have included a large percentage of very large homes. Other than in El Macero and Willowbank — both outside of Davis — and Stonegate, there were very few McMansions in Davis before the 1990s. Today, when I walk around South Davis and North Davis farms and the bird streets and parts of Mace Ranch, I am agog at the large and expensive houses which were all built in the last 15-20 years.

    I think these houses reflect the fact that, much more than 30 years ago, Davis is a bedroom community for a lot of wealthy Sacramento attorneys, who work directly or indirectly for the state government or corporations which do business with the state or its regulators.

    The Davis of 1978 was much whiter and more uniformly middle class than the diverse Davis of 2008 is. That is my observation, at least.

    * It should be noted that back in the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, rural Davis had a larger migrant farmworker population than we’ve had since then. The main reason for this is twofold: 1) the mechanization of the tomato harvest; and 2) the replacement of some more labor intensive crops in our area with other crops which require less labor input.

  54. Rich Rifkin

    RICHARD ESTES: “Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.”

    I don’t have any facts to back this up. But my observation is that the Davis I grew up in, in the 1960s and ’70s was far less economically diverse (as well as less racially and ethnically diverse) than the Davis of today.

    My sense is that beginning in the mid-1980s, we built a large amount of housing (mostly rental housing) which has been occupied by non-transient lower-income families. Before that time, we had a much smaller number of lower-income non-student, non-transient population.* (I think this could be confirmed by checking the larger number of students who qualify for free lunches.)

    At the other end of the spectrum, almost all of the housing developments built since 1990 have included a large percentage of very large homes. Other than in El Macero and Willowbank — both outside of Davis — and Stonegate, there were very few McMansions in Davis before the 1990s. Today, when I walk around South Davis and North Davis farms and the bird streets and parts of Mace Ranch, I am agog at the large and expensive houses which were all built in the last 15-20 years.

    I think these houses reflect the fact that, much more than 30 years ago, Davis is a bedroom community for a lot of wealthy Sacramento attorneys, who work directly or indirectly for the state government or corporations which do business with the state or its regulators.

    The Davis of 1978 was much whiter and more uniformly middle class than the diverse Davis of 2008 is. That is my observation, at least.

    * It should be noted that back in the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, rural Davis had a larger migrant farmworker population than we’ve had since then. The main reason for this is twofold: 1) the mechanization of the tomato harvest; and 2) the replacement of some more labor intensive crops in our area with other crops which require less labor input.

  55. Rich Rifkin

    RICHARD ESTES: “Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.”

    I don’t have any facts to back this up. But my observation is that the Davis I grew up in, in the 1960s and ’70s was far less economically diverse (as well as less racially and ethnically diverse) than the Davis of today.

    My sense is that beginning in the mid-1980s, we built a large amount of housing (mostly rental housing) which has been occupied by non-transient lower-income families. Before that time, we had a much smaller number of lower-income non-student, non-transient population.* (I think this could be confirmed by checking the larger number of students who qualify for free lunches.)

    At the other end of the spectrum, almost all of the housing developments built since 1990 have included a large percentage of very large homes. Other than in El Macero and Willowbank — both outside of Davis — and Stonegate, there were very few McMansions in Davis before the 1990s. Today, when I walk around South Davis and North Davis farms and the bird streets and parts of Mace Ranch, I am agog at the large and expensive houses which were all built in the last 15-20 years.

    I think these houses reflect the fact that, much more than 30 years ago, Davis is a bedroom community for a lot of wealthy Sacramento attorneys, who work directly or indirectly for the state government or corporations which do business with the state or its regulators.

    The Davis of 1978 was much whiter and more uniformly middle class than the diverse Davis of 2008 is. That is my observation, at least.

    * It should be noted that back in the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, rural Davis had a larger migrant farmworker population than we’ve had since then. The main reason for this is twofold: 1) the mechanization of the tomato harvest; and 2) the replacement of some more labor intensive crops in our area with other crops which require less labor input.

  56. Rich Rifkin

    RICHARD ESTES: “Over the course of my life in Davis (for over 20 years), I watched it it become, rather paradoxically, more racially diverse, but more economically homogeneous.”

    I don’t have any facts to back this up. But my observation is that the Davis I grew up in, in the 1960s and ’70s was far less economically diverse (as well as less racially and ethnically diverse) than the Davis of today.

    My sense is that beginning in the mid-1980s, we built a large amount of housing (mostly rental housing) which has been occupied by non-transient lower-income families. Before that time, we had a much smaller number of lower-income non-student, non-transient population.* (I think this could be confirmed by checking the larger number of students who qualify for free lunches.)

    At the other end of the spectrum, almost all of the housing developments built since 1990 have included a large percentage of very large homes. Other than in El Macero and Willowbank — both outside of Davis — and Stonegate, there were very few McMansions in Davis before the 1990s. Today, when I walk around South Davis and North Davis farms and the bird streets and parts of Mace Ranch, I am agog at the large and expensive houses which were all built in the last 15-20 years.

    I think these houses reflect the fact that, much more than 30 years ago, Davis is a bedroom community for a lot of wealthy Sacramento attorneys, who work directly or indirectly for the state government or corporations which do business with the state or its regulators.

    The Davis of 1978 was much whiter and more uniformly middle class than the diverse Davis of 2008 is. That is my observation, at least.

    * It should be noted that back in the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, rural Davis had a larger migrant farmworker population than we’ve had since then. The main reason for this is twofold: 1) the mechanization of the tomato harvest; and 2) the replacement of some more labor intensive crops in our area with other crops which require less labor input.

  57. Matt Williams

    無名 – wu ming said…

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

    wu ming, I usually agree with most of what you say, but your comment above is not sustained by the numbers. The City of Davis population in 2006 was 64,606 as you noted, but the population of students living on campus is only 5,797. The rest of UCD’s 27,602 lives off campus. 5,520 live in residences outside the Davis area, while 16,285 live in Davis . . . and are therefore counted in the 64,606.

    Bottomline your equasion should read 65,000 + 5,000. And yes that is a large town, but a town none the less Reminds me of my beloved Ithaca, New York.

  58. Matt Williams

    無名 – wu ming said…

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

    wu ming, I usually agree with most of what you say, but your comment above is not sustained by the numbers. The City of Davis population in 2006 was 64,606 as you noted, but the population of students living on campus is only 5,797. The rest of UCD’s 27,602 lives off campus. 5,520 live in residences outside the Davis area, while 16,285 live in Davis . . . and are therefore counted in the 64,606.

    Bottomline your equasion should read 65,000 + 5,000. And yes that is a large town, but a town none the less Reminds me of my beloved Ithaca, New York.

  59. Matt Williams

    無名 – wu ming said…

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

    wu ming, I usually agree with most of what you say, but your comment above is not sustained by the numbers. The City of Davis population in 2006 was 64,606 as you noted, but the population of students living on campus is only 5,797. The rest of UCD’s 27,602 lives off campus. 5,520 live in residences outside the Davis area, while 16,285 live in Davis . . . and are therefore counted in the 64,606.

    Bottomline your equasion should read 65,000 + 5,000. And yes that is a large town, but a town none the less Reminds me of my beloved Ithaca, New York.

  60. Matt Williams

    無名 – wu ming said…

    by the way, are people serious about a city of 60,000 + 30,000 students being a “small town” with an “agricultural heritage”? perhaps in contrast to the big cities where they moved in to town from over the past couple decades, but far from a small town anymore. it’s a gentrified commuter suburb, increasingly.

    wu ming, I usually agree with most of what you say, but your comment above is not sustained by the numbers. The City of Davis population in 2006 was 64,606 as you noted, but the population of students living on campus is only 5,797. The rest of UCD’s 27,602 lives off campus. 5,520 live in residences outside the Davis area, while 16,285 live in Davis . . . and are therefore counted in the 64,606.

    Bottomline your equasion should read 65,000 + 5,000. And yes that is a large town, but a town none the less Reminds me of my beloved Ithaca, New York.

  61. Richard

    Rich: two responses: first, my formative years in Davis were the mid-1980s, so your observations may well be correct as I may have tended to take the existence of that housing as a given, and they strongly influenced my perception of the city

    second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s

    –Richard Estes

  62. Richard

    Rich: two responses: first, my formative years in Davis were the mid-1980s, so your observations may well be correct as I may have tended to take the existence of that housing as a given, and they strongly influenced my perception of the city

    second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s

    –Richard Estes

  63. Richard

    Rich: two responses: first, my formative years in Davis were the mid-1980s, so your observations may well be correct as I may have tended to take the existence of that housing as a given, and they strongly influenced my perception of the city

    second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s

    –Richard Estes

  64. Richard

    Rich: two responses: first, my formative years in Davis were the mid-1980s, so your observations may well be correct as I may have tended to take the existence of that housing as a given, and they strongly influenced my perception of the city

    second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s

    –Richard Estes

  65. Mike Harrington

    Sue Greenwald’s comments that the Hunt Wesson site should not become yet another 100 acres of valley sprawl are right on the money. The City needs more higher paying jobs. That site is the last large contiguous commercial parcel we have available. To the best of my knowledge, there has been NO serious effort by anyone (city or the owner) to market it as R&D, commercial, or light industrial. We need such a project there to provide complementary jobs to UCD. (A jobs center there would make the nearby neighborhoods ideal places for the workforce to live in.) The Davis Chamber of Commerce should be hopping mad about this “theft” of a valuable commercial and light industrial resource.

    Additionally, the project applicant refuses to provide mitigation land and ignores the spirit and intent of Measure J. I think the applicant should provide at least 2/1 on-site adjacent mitigation land for permanent ag, open space, or habitat. Why should 100 acres of land that is legally within the city borders, but effectively “out in the country” get a pass on the mitigation requirement?

    Third, my understanding is that the applicant is quietly working with staff and the Covell Village partners to join forces, jointly plan both, and try to get both projects in with NO on-site mitigation. Both should be stopped, dead in their tracks. We don’t need either of them, and they refuse to provide the public benefit envisioned by city policy in the 2/1 mitigation land ordinance and General Plan policy.

    Fourth, the local housing market is in terrible shape. Why is this applicant trying to ram through 100 acres of additional urban sprawl, adding 600+ homes, to a highly unstable local housing market when our city streets are already lined with “For Sale” signs that beckon without answer by buyers?

    Fifth, the project applicant bought the land under its current zoning. They knew they did not have legal zoning for residential, and they bought it on spec. Everyone knows that up-zoning to residential provides a huge financial windfall to the applicatn. If the City gives them that discretionary approval for the up-zoning, then the least we should do is require them to provide the public with the benefit that other large border parcels must provide as a trade off: the 2/1 mitigation land that is on-site, and adjacent to the parcel or city border. They should give the City the top 2/3 of the land, and the City gives them homes on the bottom 1/3. They will still make a killing from that plan, while the city gets a benefit for its discretionary approval of the up-zoning to residential. The outboard on-site mitigation land “seals off” the development, and stops dead cold any further outward expansion. Such a public benefit land completely removes any speculative value of the land owned outside of the project, thereby quieting down and ending the development fights in that area of the city’s borders.

    Fifth, allowing this project to get away with building 100 acres of sprawling homes without the 2/1 onsite adjacent mitigation to the City sets a terrible precedent for Covell Village or other project applicants with these larger border parcels.

    In summary, Sue is exactly correct. Keep this valuable parcel zoned as it is, for long term future R&D, light industrial and commercial for a jobs center that complements the UCD jobs center. If the parcel is up-zoned, ensure that the City gets the public benefit it is due: 2/1, outboard mitigation land that seals the “wound” of new development and ends the political fight over sprawl in that section of the city.

    Anything less gives these nationwide land specultors an unearned windfall, sets a terrible example for its “900 pound gorilla” neighbor, Covell Village in lack of onsite mitigation, jams nearby roads with yet more polluting traffic, and destroys any hope by the City to gain a jobs center that supports and complements the good work by our city’s economic engine, UCD. Anything less should result in a citywide vote to see if the voters approve of this give-away.

    Thank you,

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis City Council 2000-04

  66. Mike Harrington

    Sue Greenwald’s comments that the Hunt Wesson site should not become yet another 100 acres of valley sprawl are right on the money. The City needs more higher paying jobs. That site is the last large contiguous commercial parcel we have available. To the best of my knowledge, there has been NO serious effort by anyone (city or the owner) to market it as R&D, commercial, or light industrial. We need such a project there to provide complementary jobs to UCD. (A jobs center there would make the nearby neighborhoods ideal places for the workforce to live in.) The Davis Chamber of Commerce should be hopping mad about this “theft” of a valuable commercial and light industrial resource.

    Additionally, the project applicant refuses to provide mitigation land and ignores the spirit and intent of Measure J. I think the applicant should provide at least 2/1 on-site adjacent mitigation land for permanent ag, open space, or habitat. Why should 100 acres of land that is legally within the city borders, but effectively “out in the country” get a pass on the mitigation requirement?

    Third, my understanding is that the applicant is quietly working with staff and the Covell Village partners to join forces, jointly plan both, and try to get both projects in with NO on-site mitigation. Both should be stopped, dead in their tracks. We don’t need either of them, and they refuse to provide the public benefit envisioned by city policy in the 2/1 mitigation land ordinance and General Plan policy.

    Fourth, the local housing market is in terrible shape. Why is this applicant trying to ram through 100 acres of additional urban sprawl, adding 600+ homes, to a highly unstable local housing market when our city streets are already lined with “For Sale” signs that beckon without answer by buyers?

    Fifth, the project applicant bought the land under its current zoning. They knew they did not have legal zoning for residential, and they bought it on spec. Everyone knows that up-zoning to residential provides a huge financial windfall to the applicatn. If the City gives them that discretionary approval for the up-zoning, then the least we should do is require them to provide the public with the benefit that other large border parcels must provide as a trade off: the 2/1 mitigation land that is on-site, and adjacent to the parcel or city border. They should give the City the top 2/3 of the land, and the City gives them homes on the bottom 1/3. They will still make a killing from that plan, while the city gets a benefit for its discretionary approval of the up-zoning to residential. The outboard on-site mitigation land “seals off” the development, and stops dead cold any further outward expansion. Such a public benefit land completely removes any speculative value of the land owned outside of the project, thereby quieting down and ending the development fights in that area of the city’s borders.

    Fifth, allowing this project to get away with building 100 acres of sprawling homes without the 2/1 onsite adjacent mitigation to the City sets a terrible precedent for Covell Village or other project applicants with these larger border parcels.

    In summary, Sue is exactly correct. Keep this valuable parcel zoned as it is, for long term future R&D, light industrial and commercial for a jobs center that complements the UCD jobs center. If the parcel is up-zoned, ensure that the City gets the public benefit it is due: 2/1, outboard mitigation land that seals the “wound” of new development and ends the political fight over sprawl in that section of the city.

    Anything less gives these nationwide land specultors an unearned windfall, sets a terrible example for its “900 pound gorilla” neighbor, Covell Village in lack of onsite mitigation, jams nearby roads with yet more polluting traffic, and destroys any hope by the City to gain a jobs center that supports and complements the good work by our city’s economic engine, UCD. Anything less should result in a citywide vote to see if the voters approve of this give-away.

    Thank you,

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis City Council 2000-04

  67. Mike Harrington

    Sue Greenwald’s comments that the Hunt Wesson site should not become yet another 100 acres of valley sprawl are right on the money. The City needs more higher paying jobs. That site is the last large contiguous commercial parcel we have available. To the best of my knowledge, there has been NO serious effort by anyone (city or the owner) to market it as R&D, commercial, or light industrial. We need such a project there to provide complementary jobs to UCD. (A jobs center there would make the nearby neighborhoods ideal places for the workforce to live in.) The Davis Chamber of Commerce should be hopping mad about this “theft” of a valuable commercial and light industrial resource.

    Additionally, the project applicant refuses to provide mitigation land and ignores the spirit and intent of Measure J. I think the applicant should provide at least 2/1 on-site adjacent mitigation land for permanent ag, open space, or habitat. Why should 100 acres of land that is legally within the city borders, but effectively “out in the country” get a pass on the mitigation requirement?

    Third, my understanding is that the applicant is quietly working with staff and the Covell Village partners to join forces, jointly plan both, and try to get both projects in with NO on-site mitigation. Both should be stopped, dead in their tracks. We don’t need either of them, and they refuse to provide the public benefit envisioned by city policy in the 2/1 mitigation land ordinance and General Plan policy.

    Fourth, the local housing market is in terrible shape. Why is this applicant trying to ram through 100 acres of additional urban sprawl, adding 600+ homes, to a highly unstable local housing market when our city streets are already lined with “For Sale” signs that beckon without answer by buyers?

    Fifth, the project applicant bought the land under its current zoning. They knew they did not have legal zoning for residential, and they bought it on spec. Everyone knows that up-zoning to residential provides a huge financial windfall to the applicatn. If the City gives them that discretionary approval for the up-zoning, then the least we should do is require them to provide the public with the benefit that other large border parcels must provide as a trade off: the 2/1 mitigation land that is on-site, and adjacent to the parcel or city border. They should give the City the top 2/3 of the land, and the City gives them homes on the bottom 1/3. They will still make a killing from that plan, while the city gets a benefit for its discretionary approval of the up-zoning to residential. The outboard on-site mitigation land “seals off” the development, and stops dead cold any further outward expansion. Such a public benefit land completely removes any speculative value of the land owned outside of the project, thereby quieting down and ending the development fights in that area of the city’s borders.

    Fifth, allowing this project to get away with building 100 acres of sprawling homes without the 2/1 onsite adjacent mitigation to the City sets a terrible precedent for Covell Village or other project applicants with these larger border parcels.

    In summary, Sue is exactly correct. Keep this valuable parcel zoned as it is, for long term future R&D, light industrial and commercial for a jobs center that complements the UCD jobs center. If the parcel is up-zoned, ensure that the City gets the public benefit it is due: 2/1, outboard mitigation land that seals the “wound” of new development and ends the political fight over sprawl in that section of the city.

    Anything less gives these nationwide land specultors an unearned windfall, sets a terrible example for its “900 pound gorilla” neighbor, Covell Village in lack of onsite mitigation, jams nearby roads with yet more polluting traffic, and destroys any hope by the City to gain a jobs center that supports and complements the good work by our city’s economic engine, UCD. Anything less should result in a citywide vote to see if the voters approve of this give-away.

    Thank you,

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis City Council 2000-04

  68. Mike Harrington

    Sue Greenwald’s comments that the Hunt Wesson site should not become yet another 100 acres of valley sprawl are right on the money. The City needs more higher paying jobs. That site is the last large contiguous commercial parcel we have available. To the best of my knowledge, there has been NO serious effort by anyone (city or the owner) to market it as R&D, commercial, or light industrial. We need such a project there to provide complementary jobs to UCD. (A jobs center there would make the nearby neighborhoods ideal places for the workforce to live in.) The Davis Chamber of Commerce should be hopping mad about this “theft” of a valuable commercial and light industrial resource.

    Additionally, the project applicant refuses to provide mitigation land and ignores the spirit and intent of Measure J. I think the applicant should provide at least 2/1 on-site adjacent mitigation land for permanent ag, open space, or habitat. Why should 100 acres of land that is legally within the city borders, but effectively “out in the country” get a pass on the mitigation requirement?

    Third, my understanding is that the applicant is quietly working with staff and the Covell Village partners to join forces, jointly plan both, and try to get both projects in with NO on-site mitigation. Both should be stopped, dead in their tracks. We don’t need either of them, and they refuse to provide the public benefit envisioned by city policy in the 2/1 mitigation land ordinance and General Plan policy.

    Fourth, the local housing market is in terrible shape. Why is this applicant trying to ram through 100 acres of additional urban sprawl, adding 600+ homes, to a highly unstable local housing market when our city streets are already lined with “For Sale” signs that beckon without answer by buyers?

    Fifth, the project applicant bought the land under its current zoning. They knew they did not have legal zoning for residential, and they bought it on spec. Everyone knows that up-zoning to residential provides a huge financial windfall to the applicatn. If the City gives them that discretionary approval for the up-zoning, then the least we should do is require them to provide the public with the benefit that other large border parcels must provide as a trade off: the 2/1 mitigation land that is on-site, and adjacent to the parcel or city border. They should give the City the top 2/3 of the land, and the City gives them homes on the bottom 1/3. They will still make a killing from that plan, while the city gets a benefit for its discretionary approval of the up-zoning to residential. The outboard on-site mitigation land “seals off” the development, and stops dead cold any further outward expansion. Such a public benefit land completely removes any speculative value of the land owned outside of the project, thereby quieting down and ending the development fights in that area of the city’s borders.

    Fifth, allowing this project to get away with building 100 acres of sprawling homes without the 2/1 onsite adjacent mitigation to the City sets a terrible precedent for Covell Village or other project applicants with these larger border parcels.

    In summary, Sue is exactly correct. Keep this valuable parcel zoned as it is, for long term future R&D, light industrial and commercial for a jobs center that complements the UCD jobs center. If the parcel is up-zoned, ensure that the City gets the public benefit it is due: 2/1, outboard mitigation land that seals the “wound” of new development and ends the political fight over sprawl in that section of the city.

    Anything less gives these nationwide land specultors an unearned windfall, sets a terrible example for its “900 pound gorilla” neighbor, Covell Village in lack of onsite mitigation, jams nearby roads with yet more polluting traffic, and destroys any hope by the City to gain a jobs center that supports and complements the good work by our city’s economic engine, UCD. Anything less should result in a citywide vote to see if the voters approve of this give-away.

    Thank you,

    Mike Harrington
    Member, Davis City Council 2000-04

  69. Mike Harrington

    One more thing:

    Eileen, why are you pushing more sprawl without any public benefit? We owe these land speculators nothing but a fair public process. I think a city wide vote would be appropriate unless they give the City the 2/1 onsite outboard mitigation that you are demanding from every other large border parcel applicant.

    You keep going back to the No on X campaign, more than 2 years ago. Two years is a lifetime, and everything, and I mean everything, is different now with residential real estate. The value of Davis residential is down at least 20% since Measure X. Why are you trying to add 100 acres of sprawl while asking NOTHING in return?

    In today’s crazy meltdown in residential real estate, NONE of these parcels will successfully withstand a citywide vote unless there is a large public benefit, as represented by the 2/1 or better onsite outboard mitigation land to the city or public nonprofit in fee simple as owner, in perpetuity.

    Don’t sell the farm for nothing, Eileen! Stand united for the environment!

    Mike Harrington

  70. Mike Harrington

    One more thing:

    Eileen, why are you pushing more sprawl without any public benefit? We owe these land speculators nothing but a fair public process. I think a city wide vote would be appropriate unless they give the City the 2/1 onsite outboard mitigation that you are demanding from every other large border parcel applicant.

    You keep going back to the No on X campaign, more than 2 years ago. Two years is a lifetime, and everything, and I mean everything, is different now with residential real estate. The value of Davis residential is down at least 20% since Measure X. Why are you trying to add 100 acres of sprawl while asking NOTHING in return?

    In today’s crazy meltdown in residential real estate, NONE of these parcels will successfully withstand a citywide vote unless there is a large public benefit, as represented by the 2/1 or better onsite outboard mitigation land to the city or public nonprofit in fee simple as owner, in perpetuity.

    Don’t sell the farm for nothing, Eileen! Stand united for the environment!

    Mike Harrington

  71. Mike Harrington

    One more thing:

    Eileen, why are you pushing more sprawl without any public benefit? We owe these land speculators nothing but a fair public process. I think a city wide vote would be appropriate unless they give the City the 2/1 onsite outboard mitigation that you are demanding from every other large border parcel applicant.

    You keep going back to the No on X campaign, more than 2 years ago. Two years is a lifetime, and everything, and I mean everything, is different now with residential real estate. The value of Davis residential is down at least 20% since Measure X. Why are you trying to add 100 acres of sprawl while asking NOTHING in return?

    In today’s crazy meltdown in residential real estate, NONE of these parcels will successfully withstand a citywide vote unless there is a large public benefit, as represented by the 2/1 or better onsite outboard mitigation land to the city or public nonprofit in fee simple as owner, in perpetuity.

    Don’t sell the farm for nothing, Eileen! Stand united for the environment!

    Mike Harrington

  72. Mike Harrington

    One more thing:

    Eileen, why are you pushing more sprawl without any public benefit? We owe these land speculators nothing but a fair public process. I think a city wide vote would be appropriate unless they give the City the 2/1 onsite outboard mitigation that you are demanding from every other large border parcel applicant.

    You keep going back to the No on X campaign, more than 2 years ago. Two years is a lifetime, and everything, and I mean everything, is different now with residential real estate. The value of Davis residential is down at least 20% since Measure X. Why are you trying to add 100 acres of sprawl while asking NOTHING in return?

    In today’s crazy meltdown in residential real estate, NONE of these parcels will successfully withstand a citywide vote unless there is a large public benefit, as represented by the 2/1 or better onsite outboard mitigation land to the city or public nonprofit in fee simple as owner, in perpetuity.

    Don’t sell the farm for nothing, Eileen! Stand united for the environment!

    Mike Harrington

  73. Rich Rifkin

    “second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s”

    I remember The Club, but concede I never patronized it. (I was too young to go into a bar, back then.)

    I think the permanent Hispanic population in Davis (10.1%) is higher today than it was when I was a kid. Perhaps some of these Davisites descend from people who came to this area as migrant farmworkers many years ago.

    When I was in school, as I noted above, we had a significant number of farmworker children, but they were not permanent residents. They would often enroll in the fall, but leave before Thanksgiving (to go back to Mexico when the crops were all picked) and return in the spring.

    Compared to today, these migrants were a larger presence in Davis, though most lived in a migrant housing compound south of town.

    There were also some permanent Hispanic families (though fewer than today). Their backgrounds were, I believe, roughly the same as everyone else’s: middle income, mostly associated with the university in one way or another.

    Also, after 1973, Davis had an influx of Chileans, who fled the Pinochet cabal in their country. I think all of the Chileans were professors (and their families).

  74. Rich Rifkin

    “second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s”

    I remember The Club, but concede I never patronized it. (I was too young to go into a bar, back then.)

    I think the permanent Hispanic population in Davis (10.1%) is higher today than it was when I was a kid. Perhaps some of these Davisites descend from people who came to this area as migrant farmworkers many years ago.

    When I was in school, as I noted above, we had a significant number of farmworker children, but they were not permanent residents. They would often enroll in the fall, but leave before Thanksgiving (to go back to Mexico when the crops were all picked) and return in the spring.

    Compared to today, these migrants were a larger presence in Davis, though most lived in a migrant housing compound south of town.

    There were also some permanent Hispanic families (though fewer than today). Their backgrounds were, I believe, roughly the same as everyone else’s: middle income, mostly associated with the university in one way or another.

    Also, after 1973, Davis had an influx of Chileans, who fled the Pinochet cabal in their country. I think all of the Chileans were professors (and their families).

  75. Rich Rifkin

    “second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s”

    I remember The Club, but concede I never patronized it. (I was too young to go into a bar, back then.)

    I think the permanent Hispanic population in Davis (10.1%) is higher today than it was when I was a kid. Perhaps some of these Davisites descend from people who came to this area as migrant farmworkers many years ago.

    When I was in school, as I noted above, we had a significant number of farmworker children, but they were not permanent residents. They would often enroll in the fall, but leave before Thanksgiving (to go back to Mexico when the crops were all picked) and return in the spring.

    Compared to today, these migrants were a larger presence in Davis, though most lived in a migrant housing compound south of town.

    There were also some permanent Hispanic families (though fewer than today). Their backgrounds were, I believe, roughly the same as everyone else’s: middle income, mostly associated with the university in one way or another.

    Also, after 1973, Davis had an influx of Chileans, who fled the Pinochet cabal in their country. I think all of the Chileans were professors (and their families).

  76. Rich Rifkin

    “second, your remark about the presence of farmworkers is an interesting one, you may recall the old bar, the Club, which existed in Davis from around 1910 through the early 1980s, it was a very eclectic social gathering place, farmworkers, grad students, native Americans, contractors, even in the late 1970s”

    I remember The Club, but concede I never patronized it. (I was too young to go into a bar, back then.)

    I think the permanent Hispanic population in Davis (10.1%) is higher today than it was when I was a kid. Perhaps some of these Davisites descend from people who came to this area as migrant farmworkers many years ago.

    When I was in school, as I noted above, we had a significant number of farmworker children, but they were not permanent residents. They would often enroll in the fall, but leave before Thanksgiving (to go back to Mexico when the crops were all picked) and return in the spring.

    Compared to today, these migrants were a larger presence in Davis, though most lived in a migrant housing compound south of town.

    There were also some permanent Hispanic families (though fewer than today). Their backgrounds were, I believe, roughly the same as everyone else’s: middle income, mostly associated with the university in one way or another.

    Also, after 1973, Davis had an influx of Chileans, who fled the Pinochet cabal in their country. I think all of the Chileans were professors (and their families).

  77. Anonymous

    Any Council member who would vote to change the zoning of the Hunt-Wessen site WITHOUT demanding that the city get something approaching 2/1 mitigation plus a healthy share of the windfall profits that residential development would give Lewis Homes should be and would be in danger of being recalled for selling out their constituents.

  78. Anonymous

    Any Council member who would vote to change the zoning of the Hunt-Wessen site WITHOUT demanding that the city get something approaching 2/1 mitigation plus a healthy share of the windfall profits that residential development would give Lewis Homes should be and would be in danger of being recalled for selling out their constituents.

  79. Anonymous

    Any Council member who would vote to change the zoning of the Hunt-Wessen site WITHOUT demanding that the city get something approaching 2/1 mitigation plus a healthy share of the windfall profits that residential development would give Lewis Homes should be and would be in danger of being recalled for selling out their constituents.

  80. Anonymous

    Any Council member who would vote to change the zoning of the Hunt-Wessen site WITHOUT demanding that the city get something approaching 2/1 mitigation plus a healthy share of the windfall profits that residential development would give Lewis Homes should be and would be in danger of being recalled for selling out their constituents.

  81. Eileen Samitz

    I wish to thank everyone who took the time to read my commentary article and to take the time to comment. I wanted to clarify that I am in support of densification but simply wanted to make the point out that there is a tipping point where if densification is overdone then it makes the housing a less livable and less desirable place to live. I was trying to point out that the objective of densification is to make better use of the land that we do sacrifice for development to house more people but to be sure to design it well to keep it a desirable place to live or people will desire to move elsewhere.

    On Mike’s commentary, I believe he is may be confused on the ag land policy which is not intended for land already designated and urban use urban. If we followed his logic of having ag mitigation for urban zoned land than even his own infill project (which was a great example of infill) on his property in the downtown would have been subject to a 2:1 ag mitigation in which case he would not have had enough land to build his infill project. The idea is to encourage infill on urban zoned land in order to spare ag land on the periphery. I sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units. The consequence of Mike’s suggestion would have the unintended consequence of causing sprawl rather then preventing sprawl. Also, since the proposal includes office and mixed use, it will produce clean jobs within the city. I know that Mike has been advocating for the Parlin project in the North-west quadrant but surely, that would be sprawl even if it offered a 2:1 ag mitigation, rather then developing an abandoned industrial site like Hunt Wesson. Furthermore, I would venture to guess that you asked the neighbors of the Hunt-Wesson site if they would prefer a high tech park or residential, I think they would prefer the residential. So just to clarify, I do care deeply about our environment including our open space and ag and I have made this clear on many occasions since I was on the front line on the Measure O, Measure J, and Measure X campaigns and other environmental campaigns. I don’t appreciate condescension to infer anything other.

    I do think the important thing we all need to keep in mind is that I believe that we all want what is best for the city, but we may not all agree on what that is. However, we should try to put present our ideas in a constructive way rather than a condescending and accusatory fashion. Everyone will get a chance to give their input this Thursday the workshop, in a positive way, including Mike.

    -Eileen

    P.S. Mike since we all understand the point you are trying to make it is not necessary to do more anonymous postings.

  82. SODAITE

    Interesting discussion by all…l am particularly struck by the comments re: city planning staff and their motives in general and specifically regarding Hunt Wesson/Lewis and homes VS light industrial. Could it be job security? ls it more to their benefit to push for homes?

  83. Eileen Samitz

    I wish to thank everyone who took the time to read my commentary article and to take the time to comment. I wanted to clarify that I am in support of densification but simply wanted to make the point out that there is a tipping point where if densification is overdone then it makes the housing a less livable and less desirable place to live. I was trying to point out that the objective of densification is to make better use of the land that we do sacrifice for development to house more people but to be sure to design it well to keep it a desirable place to live or people will desire to move elsewhere.

    On Mike’s commentary, I believe he is may be confused on the ag land policy which is not intended for land already designated and urban use urban. If we followed his logic of having ag mitigation for urban zoned land than even his own infill project (which was a great example of infill) on his property in the downtown would have been subject to a 2:1 ag mitigation in which case he would not have had enough land to build his infill project. The idea is to encourage infill on urban zoned land in order to spare ag land on the periphery. I sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units. The consequence of Mike’s suggestion would have the unintended consequence of causing sprawl rather then preventing sprawl. Also, since the proposal includes office and mixed use, it will produce clean jobs within the city. I know that Mike has been advocating for the Parlin project in the North-west quadrant but surely, that would be sprawl even if it offered a 2:1 ag mitigation, rather then developing an abandoned industrial site like Hunt Wesson. Furthermore, I would venture to guess that you asked the neighbors of the Hunt-Wesson site if they would prefer a high tech park or residential, I think they would prefer the residential. So just to clarify, I do care deeply about our environment including our open space and ag and I have made this clear on many occasions since I was on the front line on the Measure O, Measure J, and Measure X campaigns and other environmental campaigns. I don’t appreciate condescension to infer anything other.

    I do think the important thing we all need to keep in mind is that I believe that we all want what is best for the city, but we may not all agree on what that is. However, we should try to put present our ideas in a constructive way rather than a condescending and accusatory fashion. Everyone will get a chance to give their input this Thursday the workshop, in a positive way, including Mike.

    -Eileen

    P.S. Mike since we all understand the point you are trying to make it is not necessary to do more anonymous postings.

  84. SODAITE

    Interesting discussion by all…l am particularly struck by the comments re: city planning staff and their motives in general and specifically regarding Hunt Wesson/Lewis and homes VS light industrial. Could it be job security? ls it more to their benefit to push for homes?

  85. Eileen Samitz

    I wish to thank everyone who took the time to read my commentary article and to take the time to comment. I wanted to clarify that I am in support of densification but simply wanted to make the point out that there is a tipping point where if densification is overdone then it makes the housing a less livable and less desirable place to live. I was trying to point out that the objective of densification is to make better use of the land that we do sacrifice for development to house more people but to be sure to design it well to keep it a desirable place to live or people will desire to move elsewhere.

    On Mike’s commentary, I believe he is may be confused on the ag land policy which is not intended for land already designated and urban use urban. If we followed his logic of having ag mitigation for urban zoned land than even his own infill project (which was a great example of infill) on his property in the downtown would have been subject to a 2:1 ag mitigation in which case he would not have had enough land to build his infill project. The idea is to encourage infill on urban zoned land in order to spare ag land on the periphery. I sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units. The consequence of Mike’s suggestion would have the unintended consequence of causing sprawl rather then preventing sprawl. Also, since the proposal includes office and mixed use, it will produce clean jobs within the city. I know that Mike has been advocating for the Parlin project in the North-west quadrant but surely, that would be sprawl even if it offered a 2:1 ag mitigation, rather then developing an abandoned industrial site like Hunt Wesson. Furthermore, I would venture to guess that you asked the neighbors of the Hunt-Wesson site if they would prefer a high tech park or residential, I think they would prefer the residential. So just to clarify, I do care deeply about our environment including our open space and ag and I have made this clear on many occasions since I was on the front line on the Measure O, Measure J, and Measure X campaigns and other environmental campaigns. I don’t appreciate condescension to infer anything other.

    I do think the important thing we all need to keep in mind is that I believe that we all want what is best for the city, but we may not all agree on what that is. However, we should try to put present our ideas in a constructive way rather than a condescending and accusatory fashion. Everyone will get a chance to give their input this Thursday the workshop, in a positive way, including Mike.

    -Eileen

    P.S. Mike since we all understand the point you are trying to make it is not necessary to do more anonymous postings.

  86. SODAITE

    Interesting discussion by all…l am particularly struck by the comments re: city planning staff and their motives in general and specifically regarding Hunt Wesson/Lewis and homes VS light industrial. Could it be job security? ls it more to their benefit to push for homes?

  87. Eileen Samitz

    I wish to thank everyone who took the time to read my commentary article and to take the time to comment. I wanted to clarify that I am in support of densification but simply wanted to make the point out that there is a tipping point where if densification is overdone then it makes the housing a less livable and less desirable place to live. I was trying to point out that the objective of densification is to make better use of the land that we do sacrifice for development to house more people but to be sure to design it well to keep it a desirable place to live or people will desire to move elsewhere.

    On Mike’s commentary, I believe he is may be confused on the ag land policy which is not intended for land already designated and urban use urban. If we followed his logic of having ag mitigation for urban zoned land than even his own infill project (which was a great example of infill) on his property in the downtown would have been subject to a 2:1 ag mitigation in which case he would not have had enough land to build his infill project. The idea is to encourage infill on urban zoned land in order to spare ag land on the periphery. I sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units. The consequence of Mike’s suggestion would have the unintended consequence of causing sprawl rather then preventing sprawl. Also, since the proposal includes office and mixed use, it will produce clean jobs within the city. I know that Mike has been advocating for the Parlin project in the North-west quadrant but surely, that would be sprawl even if it offered a 2:1 ag mitigation, rather then developing an abandoned industrial site like Hunt Wesson. Furthermore, I would venture to guess that you asked the neighbors of the Hunt-Wesson site if they would prefer a high tech park or residential, I think they would prefer the residential. So just to clarify, I do care deeply about our environment including our open space and ag and I have made this clear on many occasions since I was on the front line on the Measure O, Measure J, and Measure X campaigns and other environmental campaigns. I don’t appreciate condescension to infer anything other.

    I do think the important thing we all need to keep in mind is that I believe that we all want what is best for the city, but we may not all agree on what that is. However, we should try to put present our ideas in a constructive way rather than a condescending and accusatory fashion. Everyone will get a chance to give their input this Thursday the workshop, in a positive way, including Mike.

    -Eileen

    P.S. Mike since we all understand the point you are trying to make it is not necessary to do more anonymous postings.

  88. SODAITE

    Interesting discussion by all…l am particularly struck by the comments re: city planning staff and their motives in general and specifically regarding Hunt Wesson/Lewis and homes VS light industrial. Could it be job security? ls it more to their benefit to push for homes?

  89. Matt Williams

    Eileen Samitz said …

    I’m sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units.

    Eileen, when I read Mike’s whole post, I clearly get the feeling that he believes less units on the Lewis site is extremely desireable. He appears to be saying the number of units should be zero until Lewis brings one or more major high-tech employers to the site.

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

  90. Matt Williams

    Eileen Samitz said …

    I’m sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units.

    Eileen, when I read Mike’s whole post, I clearly get the feeling that he believes less units on the Lewis site is extremely desireable. He appears to be saying the number of units should be zero until Lewis brings one or more major high-tech employers to the site.

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

  91. Matt Williams

    Eileen Samitz said …

    I’m sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units.

    Eileen, when I read Mike’s whole post, I clearly get the feeling that he believes less units on the Lewis site is extremely desireable. He appears to be saying the number of units should be zero until Lewis brings one or more major high-tech employers to the site.

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

  92. Matt Williams

    Eileen Samitz said …

    I’m sure Mike’s intentions are good however, his demand would result in decreasing the number of units that we could produce on the Hunt Wesson site and increase the cost of those units.

    Eileen, when I read Mike’s whole post, I clearly get the feeling that he believes less units on the Lewis site is extremely desireable. He appears to be saying the number of units should be zero until Lewis brings one or more major high-tech employers to the site.

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

  93. Anonymous

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

  94. Anonymous

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

  95. Anonymous

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

  96. Anonymous

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

  97. Anonymous

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

  98. Anonymous

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

  99. Anonymous

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

  100. Anonymous

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

  101. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 10:13 AM said…

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

    Anonymous 10:16 AM replied …

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

    Based on my memory (sometimes faulty) from having attended virtually all the HESC meetings, I agree with Anonymous 10:16 AM on this point. Mike’s comments in support of the Parlin group was much more general, and reflected on the quality of the work they have previously done in Davis. IIRC, he did preface his remarks with, “If housing is put on this particular parcel, my fellings about Parlin are …” As I heard him, he definitely was not saying, “Approve this one over others …”

  102. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 10:13 AM said…

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

    Anonymous 10:16 AM replied …

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

    Based on my memory (sometimes faulty) from having attended virtually all the HESC meetings, I agree with Anonymous 10:16 AM on this point. Mike’s comments in support of the Parlin group was much more general, and reflected on the quality of the work they have previously done in Davis. IIRC, he did preface his remarks with, “If housing is put on this particular parcel, my fellings about Parlin are …” As I heard him, he definitely was not saying, “Approve this one over others …”

  103. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 10:13 AM said…

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

    Anonymous 10:16 AM replied …

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

    Based on my memory (sometimes faulty) from having attended virtually all the HESC meetings, I agree with Anonymous 10:16 AM on this point. Mike’s comments in support of the Parlin group was much more general, and reflected on the quality of the work they have previously done in Davis. IIRC, he did preface his remarks with, “If housing is put on this particular parcel, my fellings about Parlin are …” As I heard him, he definitely was not saying, “Approve this one over others …”

  104. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 10:13 AM said…

    as a regular attendee of the Housing Committee meetings, it is interesting to note that Mike H. has, on numerous occasions, supported the proposals brought forth by the developer of both Wildhorse Ranch and the large tracts adjacent to Sutter Hospital (to the west and North of the hosp.)
    maybe his opposition toward the Lewis Cannery project stems from his competing interests?

    Anonymous 10:16 AM replied …

    My recollection was that Mike suggested that Parlin would do a good job with their development but now was probably not the time to develop there. I happen to agree with him on that.

    Based on my memory (sometimes faulty) from having attended virtually all the HESC meetings, I agree with Anonymous 10:16 AM on this point. Mike’s comments in support of the Parlin group was much more general, and reflected on the quality of the work they have previously done in Davis. IIRC, he did preface his remarks with, “If housing is put on this particular parcel, my fellings about Parlin are …” As I heard him, he definitely was not saying, “Approve this one over others …”

  105. Anonymous

    Eileen.. I believe that requiring Lewis Homes to do land mitigation(although legally not required) and making it “worth the city’s while” to change the zoning is NOT the same as asking this from infill sites that are already zoned residential. Your response to poster challenges appears a bit “thin-skinned”. In my case, Mike Harrington is NOT this anonymous poster.

  106. Anonymous

    Eileen.. I believe that requiring Lewis Homes to do land mitigation(although legally not required) and making it “worth the city’s while” to change the zoning is NOT the same as asking this from infill sites that are already zoned residential. Your response to poster challenges appears a bit “thin-skinned”. In my case, Mike Harrington is NOT this anonymous poster.

  107. Anonymous

    Eileen.. I believe that requiring Lewis Homes to do land mitigation(although legally not required) and making it “worth the city’s while” to change the zoning is NOT the same as asking this from infill sites that are already zoned residential. Your response to poster challenges appears a bit “thin-skinned”. In my case, Mike Harrington is NOT this anonymous poster.

  108. Anonymous

    Eileen.. I believe that requiring Lewis Homes to do land mitigation(although legally not required) and making it “worth the city’s while” to change the zoning is NOT the same as asking this from infill sites that are already zoned residential. Your response to poster challenges appears a bit “thin-skinned”. In my case, Mike Harrington is NOT this anonymous poster.

  109. realist

    Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

  110. realist

    Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

  111. realist

    Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

  112. realist

    Housing prices in Davis have escalated due to two key demand factors, 1) virtually all housing in California has outpaced price rises in the rest of the country because our economy is better than anyone else’s and our quality of life is better than virtually every other state’s, and 2) because the quality of life characteristics of Davis are even better than those of other California cities. Therefore we have significant “external” demand to supplement the “internal” demand generated by our current residents and employees.

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

  113. Anonymous

    Why do people think peripheral development is automatically sprawl. If people live in woodland and work in Davis, as many University employees do,than living on the edge of Davis moves them closer to their work and reduces their carbon footprint. So in certain cases peripheral growth would be an environmental improvement. So when you call peripheral growth sprawl please make the case that it is indeed an environmental negative.

  114. Anonymous

    Why do people think peripheral development is automatically sprawl. If people live in woodland and work in Davis, as many University employees do,than living on the edge of Davis moves them closer to their work and reduces their carbon footprint. So in certain cases peripheral growth would be an environmental improvement. So when you call peripheral growth sprawl please make the case that it is indeed an environmental negative.

  115. Anonymous

    Why do people think peripheral development is automatically sprawl. If people live in woodland and work in Davis, as many University employees do,than living on the edge of Davis moves them closer to their work and reduces their carbon footprint. So in certain cases peripheral growth would be an environmental improvement. So when you call peripheral growth sprawl please make the case that it is indeed an environmental negative.

  116. Anonymous

    Why do people think peripheral development is automatically sprawl. If people live in woodland and work in Davis, as many University employees do,than living on the edge of Davis moves them closer to their work and reduces their carbon footprint. So in certain cases peripheral growth would be an environmental improvement. So when you call peripheral growth sprawl please make the case that it is indeed an environmental negative.

  117. Matt Williams

    realist said…

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

    realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Regarding factor 1), at either Lewis or Simmons (or both), we could address the issues Richard Estes raised in his first post in this thread by restricting both the home size and the lot size, to say for example an all-condominium community. The relative desirability of condominiums is less than single-family detached residences, and therefore a market price for individual units would be both lower and more affordable.

    Regarding factor 2), the City has an affordable housing program that permanently controls the resale price appreciation that can be realized by the owner(s) of any of the residences in that program. The market for such houses is no longer “free,” and terefore substantially imune to the location, location, location effect you have described.

    In both those scenarios Davis does not become any less desireable. Nor is the relative desirability of the surrounding communities a factor.

  118. Matt Williams

    realist said…

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

    realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Regarding factor 1), at either Lewis or Simmons (or both), we could address the issues Richard Estes raised in his first post in this thread by restricting both the home size and the lot size, to say for example an all-condominium community. The relative desirability of condominiums is less than single-family detached residences, and therefore a market price for individual units would be both lower and more affordable.

    Regarding factor 2), the City has an affordable housing program that permanently controls the resale price appreciation that can be realized by the owner(s) of any of the residences in that program. The market for such houses is no longer “free,” and terefore substantially imune to the location, location, location effect you have described.

    In both those scenarios Davis does not become any less desireable. Nor is the relative desirability of the surrounding communities a factor.

  119. Matt Williams

    realist said…

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

    realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Regarding factor 1), at either Lewis or Simmons (or both), we could address the issues Richard Estes raised in his first post in this thread by restricting both the home size and the lot size, to say for example an all-condominium community. The relative desirability of condominiums is less than single-family detached residences, and therefore a market price for individual units would be both lower and more affordable.

    Regarding factor 2), the City has an affordable housing program that permanently controls the resale price appreciation that can be realized by the owner(s) of any of the residences in that program. The market for such houses is no longer “free,” and terefore substantially imune to the location, location, location effect you have described.

    In both those scenarios Davis does not become any less desireable. Nor is the relative desirability of the surrounding communities a factor.

  120. Matt Williams

    realist said…

    Homebuyers always have, and always will, pay a premium for a more desirable community. (Location, location, location.)

    There are only two ways to make Davis housing prices (comparing like types) equal to those of surrounding communities. Either make the surroundingn communities more desirable……or make Davis less desirable.

    Whether the regional housing market is up or down, Davis housing will always cost more unless one of the above occurs.

    I don’t think we can really expect to make the surrounding communities more desirable. Who wants to make Davis less desirable?

    realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Regarding factor 1), at either Lewis or Simmons (or both), we could address the issues Richard Estes raised in his first post in this thread by restricting both the home size and the lot size, to say for example an all-condominium community. The relative desirability of condominiums is less than single-family detached residences, and therefore a market price for individual units would be both lower and more affordable.

    Regarding factor 2), the City has an affordable housing program that permanently controls the resale price appreciation that can be realized by the owner(s) of any of the residences in that program. The market for such houses is no longer “free,” and terefore substantially imune to the location, location, location effect you have described.

    In both those scenarios Davis does not become any less desireable. Nor is the relative desirability of the surrounding communities a factor.

  121. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 2:28 PM said…

    The Lewis property is far closer to downtown than say… the Simmons property.

    The site information sheets provided by Staff to each HESC member list Simmons as 1.35 miles from the Core Area (3rd and E) and Lewis as 1.41 miles from the Core Area (again 3rd and E).

    My math teacher always told me that 1.35 was less than 1.41.

  122. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 2:28 PM said…

    The Lewis property is far closer to downtown than say… the Simmons property.

    The site information sheets provided by Staff to each HESC member list Simmons as 1.35 miles from the Core Area (3rd and E) and Lewis as 1.41 miles from the Core Area (again 3rd and E).

    My math teacher always told me that 1.35 was less than 1.41.

  123. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 2:28 PM said…

    The Lewis property is far closer to downtown than say… the Simmons property.

    The site information sheets provided by Staff to each HESC member list Simmons as 1.35 miles from the Core Area (3rd and E) and Lewis as 1.41 miles from the Core Area (again 3rd and E).

    My math teacher always told me that 1.35 was less than 1.41.

  124. Matt Williams

    Anonymous 2:28 PM said…

    The Lewis property is far closer to downtown than say… the Simmons property.

    The site information sheets provided by Staff to each HESC member list Simmons as 1.35 miles from the Core Area (3rd and E) and Lewis as 1.41 miles from the Core Area (again 3rd and E).

    My math teacher always told me that 1.35 was less than 1.41.

  125. Anonymous

    Just a couple of comments on Eileen’s response to Mike Harrington:

    Eileen misread Mike’s comments. Mike is definitely not confused by the ag land mitigation policy. He is simply saying that since this is a peripheral parcel, not a parcel such as his in the town, that the developers should have to do the 2 to 1 mitigation and that it should be on site to to form a buffer on the edge that would prevent development beyond (unless some future council got into leap-frog development). I agree with this 100%. I also agree with Mike that we should leave this parcel alone until the next housing cycle. We don’t need any big peripheral developments now. There is more than enough land in the city already without this parcel to provide the housing recommended by SACOG and to satisy our RHNA numbers.

    We should especially not be encouraging its development as residential, as that plays right into the scenario of planning this site and the CV site together.

    Mike’s suggestion would indeed decrease the number of units on the parcel, but that does not necessarily transate into more expensive housing. Small houses on small lots, or condos, or town houses are not more expensive and we could do more of them than the big homes that are generally built. And they would be affordable! I am not sure how Mike’s suggestion would produces more sprawl, as Eileen states. It limits development to the lower 1/3 and keeps the upper 2/3s as open space. How is that sprawl?

  126. Anonymous

    Just a couple of comments on Eileen’s response to Mike Harrington:

    Eileen misread Mike’s comments. Mike is definitely not confused by the ag land mitigation policy. He is simply saying that since this is a peripheral parcel, not a parcel such as his in the town, that the developers should have to do the 2 to 1 mitigation and that it should be on site to to form a buffer on the edge that would prevent development beyond (unless some future council got into leap-frog development). I agree with this 100%. I also agree with Mike that we should leave this parcel alone until the next housing cycle. We don’t need any big peripheral developments now. There is more than enough land in the city already without this parcel to provide the housing recommended by SACOG and to satisy our RHNA numbers.

    We should especially not be encouraging its development as residential, as that plays right into the scenario of planning this site and the CV site together.

    Mike’s suggestion would indeed decrease the number of units on the parcel, but that does not necessarily transate into more expensive housing. Small houses on small lots, or condos, or town houses are not more expensive and we could do more of them than the big homes that are generally built. And they would be affordable! I am not sure how Mike’s suggestion would produces more sprawl, as Eileen states. It limits development to the lower 1/3 and keeps the upper 2/3s as open space. How is that sprawl?

  127. Anonymous

    Just a couple of comments on Eileen’s response to Mike Harrington:

    Eileen misread Mike’s comments. Mike is definitely not confused by the ag land mitigation policy. He is simply saying that since this is a peripheral parcel, not a parcel such as his in the town, that the developers should have to do the 2 to 1 mitigation and that it should be on site to to form a buffer on the edge that would prevent development beyond (unless some future council got into leap-frog development). I agree with this 100%. I also agree with Mike that we should leave this parcel alone until the next housing cycle. We don’t need any big peripheral developments now. There is more than enough land in the city already without this parcel to provide the housing recommended by SACOG and to satisy our RHNA numbers.

    We should especially not be encouraging its development as residential, as that plays right into the scenario of planning this site and the CV site together.

    Mike’s suggestion would indeed decrease the number of units on the parcel, but that does not necessarily transate into more expensive housing. Small houses on small lots, or condos, or town houses are not more expensive and we could do more of them than the big homes that are generally built. And they would be affordable! I am not sure how Mike’s suggestion would produces more sprawl, as Eileen states. It limits development to the lower 1/3 and keeps the upper 2/3s as open space. How is that sprawl?

  128. Anonymous

    Just a couple of comments on Eileen’s response to Mike Harrington:

    Eileen misread Mike’s comments. Mike is definitely not confused by the ag land mitigation policy. He is simply saying that since this is a peripheral parcel, not a parcel such as his in the town, that the developers should have to do the 2 to 1 mitigation and that it should be on site to to form a buffer on the edge that would prevent development beyond (unless some future council got into leap-frog development). I agree with this 100%. I also agree with Mike that we should leave this parcel alone until the next housing cycle. We don’t need any big peripheral developments now. There is more than enough land in the city already without this parcel to provide the housing recommended by SACOG and to satisy our RHNA numbers.

    We should especially not be encouraging its development as residential, as that plays right into the scenario of planning this site and the CV site together.

    Mike’s suggestion would indeed decrease the number of units on the parcel, but that does not necessarily transate into more expensive housing. Small houses on small lots, or condos, or town houses are not more expensive and we could do more of them than the big homes that are generally built. And they would be affordable! I am not sure how Mike’s suggestion would produces more sprawl, as Eileen states. It limits development to the lower 1/3 and keeps the upper 2/3s as open space. How is that sprawl?

  129. Mike Harrington

    I have not posted anonymously on this article.

    I think the pro-Hunt Wesson views (“we need to give them 100 acres now so it’s a safety valve against the development pressures and prevents Covell Village from gaining ground”) are way out of date. I would have seriously considered going with that viewpoint the first 5 years of this decade, but Eileen and other supporters on development NOW on the Hunt Wesson site ignore that the residental housing market is a virtual wasteland across California, even Davis. Davis is down a solid 20% since November 2005, and we have not hit bottom yet. There is NO pressure to development ANY exterior border parcel. Not one, including the large one, and the smaller ones such as the 45 acres inside the Mace Curve, the 25 acres of the Wildhorse horse ranch, etc.

    I repeat: for at least the next ten years, the only reason whatsover to give entitlements to those parcels for residential is what is the BENEFIT to the public that they will provide? After living and breathing this subject since my joining the City Council in 2000, I firmly believe that these developers will give 2.5/1 acres or even better mitigation land to the public, forever open space for sustainable local organic farming, habitat, open space. The homes can be net-zero energy usage. The developers can be required to fund and operate “fast, frequent and free” downtown shopping and UCD electric shuttles that produce ZERO tailpipe emissions and gets people out of their cars. The exterior mitigation land can seal off FOREVER the smaller 1/3 or 1/4 burble of urban development on that parcel.

    Do you folks know that a small corporation can install, maintain, and own the solar collectors on the new homes, and lead to much lower PGE electric bills that are stable for the entire neighborhood? It would be a solar utility … but no one is demanding that Hunt Wesson or other developments do this. Why not? Don’t role over!

    Further, I know for a fact that even if required to give 2/3 of the upper north land to the City, the Hunt Wesson developers will still make a financial KILLING building homes in the bottom 1/3. Homes that are affordable. Homes that are mostly for low to moderate income local folks. There is a huge amount of cash flowing out of these projects, even in today’s depressed markets. Don’t role over on old economic analysis and data!

    So, please, don’t give away the city’s discretionary approval of these development rights to land speculators without requiring a full measure of public benefits and good environmental planning.

    With all due respects to the applicant, I see nothing but more typical valley sprawl in the current proposal for Hunt Wesson site.

    Keep it zoned as is. If the applicant ups the public benefit to where it is irristable, consider it. But don’t give it away!

    Eileen, don’t role over! We need you!

    Mike Harrington
    C.C. member, 2000-04
    Housing Committee Member, 06-08

  130. Mike Harrington

    I have not posted anonymously on this article.

    I think the pro-Hunt Wesson views (“we need to give them 100 acres now so it’s a safety valve against the development pressures and prevents Covell Village from gaining ground”) are way out of date. I would have seriously considered going with that viewpoint the first 5 years of this decade, but Eileen and other supporters on development NOW on the Hunt Wesson site ignore that the residental housing market is a virtual wasteland across California, even Davis. Davis is down a solid 20% since November 2005, and we have not hit bottom yet. There is NO pressure to development ANY exterior border parcel. Not one, including the large one, and the smaller ones such as the 45 acres inside the Mace Curve, the 25 acres of the Wildhorse horse ranch, etc.

    I repeat: for at least the next ten years, the only reason whatsover to give entitlements to those parcels for residential is what is the BENEFIT to the public that they will provide? After living and breathing this subject since my joining the City Council in 2000, I firmly believe that these developers will give 2.5/1 acres or even better mitigation land to the public, forever open space for sustainable local organic farming, habitat, open space. The homes can be net-zero energy usage. The developers can be required to fund and operate “fast, frequent and free” downtown shopping and UCD electric shuttles that produce ZERO tailpipe emissions and gets people out of their cars. The exterior mitigation land can seal off FOREVER the smaller 1/3 or 1/4 burble of urban development on that parcel.

    Do you folks know that a small corporation can install, maintain, and own the solar collectors on the new homes, and lead to much lower PGE electric bills that are stable for the entire neighborhood? It would be a solar utility … but no one is demanding that Hunt Wesson or other developments do this. Why not? Don’t role over!

    Further, I know for a fact that even if required to give 2/3 of the upper north land to the City, the Hunt Wesson developers will still make a financial KILLING building homes in the bottom 1/3. Homes that are affordable. Homes that are mostly for low to moderate income local folks. There is a huge amount of cash flowing out of these projects, even in today’s depressed markets. Don’t role over on old economic analysis and data!

    So, please, don’t give away the city’s discretionary approval of these development rights to land speculators without requiring a full measure of public benefits and good environmental planning.

    With all due respects to the applicant, I see nothing but more typical valley sprawl in the current proposal for Hunt Wesson site.

    Keep it zoned as is. If the applicant ups the public benefit to where it is irristable, consider it. But don’t give it away!

    Eileen, don’t role over! We need you!

    Mike Harrington
    C.C. member, 2000-04
    Housing Committee Member, 06-08

  131. Mike Harrington

    I have not posted anonymously on this article.

    I think the pro-Hunt Wesson views (“we need to give them 100 acres now so it’s a safety valve against the development pressures and prevents Covell Village from gaining ground”) are way out of date. I would have seriously considered going with that viewpoint the first 5 years of this decade, but Eileen and other supporters on development NOW on the Hunt Wesson site ignore that the residental housing market is a virtual wasteland across California, even Davis. Davis is down a solid 20% since November 2005, and we have not hit bottom yet. There is NO pressure to development ANY exterior border parcel. Not one, including the large one, and the smaller ones such as the 45 acres inside the Mace Curve, the 25 acres of the Wildhorse horse ranch, etc.

    I repeat: for at least the next ten years, the only reason whatsover to give entitlements to those parcels for residential is what is the BENEFIT to the public that they will provide? After living and breathing this subject since my joining the City Council in 2000, I firmly believe that these developers will give 2.5/1 acres or even better mitigation land to the public, forever open space for sustainable local organic farming, habitat, open space. The homes can be net-zero energy usage. The developers can be required to fund and operate “fast, frequent and free” downtown shopping and UCD electric shuttles that produce ZERO tailpipe emissions and gets people out of their cars. The exterior mitigation land can seal off FOREVER the smaller 1/3 or 1/4 burble of urban development on that parcel.

    Do you folks know that a small corporation can install, maintain, and own the solar collectors on the new homes, and lead to much lower PGE electric bills that are stable for the entire neighborhood? It would be a solar utility … but no one is demanding that Hunt Wesson or other developments do this. Why not? Don’t role over!

    Further, I know for a fact that even if required to give 2/3 of the upper north land to the City, the Hunt Wesson developers will still make a financial KILLING building homes in the bottom 1/3. Homes that are affordable. Homes that are mostly for low to moderate income local folks. There is a huge amount of cash flowing out of these projects, even in today’s depressed markets. Don’t role over on old economic analysis and data!

    So, please, don’t give away the city’s discretionary approval of these development rights to land speculators without requiring a full measure of public benefits and good environmental planning.

    With all due respects to the applicant, I see nothing but more typical valley sprawl in the current proposal for Hunt Wesson site.

    Keep it zoned as is. If the applicant ups the public benefit to where it is irristable, consider it. But don’t give it away!

    Eileen, don’t role over! We need you!

    Mike Harrington
    C.C. member, 2000-04
    Housing Committee Member, 06-08

  132. Mike Harrington

    I have not posted anonymously on this article.

    I think the pro-Hunt Wesson views (“we need to give them 100 acres now so it’s a safety valve against the development pressures and prevents Covell Village from gaining ground”) are way out of date. I would have seriously considered going with that viewpoint the first 5 years of this decade, but Eileen and other supporters on development NOW on the Hunt Wesson site ignore that the residental housing market is a virtual wasteland across California, even Davis. Davis is down a solid 20% since November 2005, and we have not hit bottom yet. There is NO pressure to development ANY exterior border parcel. Not one, including the large one, and the smaller ones such as the 45 acres inside the Mace Curve, the 25 acres of the Wildhorse horse ranch, etc.

    I repeat: for at least the next ten years, the only reason whatsover to give entitlements to those parcels for residential is what is the BENEFIT to the public that they will provide? After living and breathing this subject since my joining the City Council in 2000, I firmly believe that these developers will give 2.5/1 acres or even better mitigation land to the public, forever open space for sustainable local organic farming, habitat, open space. The homes can be net-zero energy usage. The developers can be required to fund and operate “fast, frequent and free” downtown shopping and UCD electric shuttles that produce ZERO tailpipe emissions and gets people out of their cars. The exterior mitigation land can seal off FOREVER the smaller 1/3 or 1/4 burble of urban development on that parcel.

    Do you folks know that a small corporation can install, maintain, and own the solar collectors on the new homes, and lead to much lower PGE electric bills that are stable for the entire neighborhood? It would be a solar utility … but no one is demanding that Hunt Wesson or other developments do this. Why not? Don’t role over!

    Further, I know for a fact that even if required to give 2/3 of the upper north land to the City, the Hunt Wesson developers will still make a financial KILLING building homes in the bottom 1/3. Homes that are affordable. Homes that are mostly for low to moderate income local folks. There is a huge amount of cash flowing out of these projects, even in today’s depressed markets. Don’t role over on old economic analysis and data!

    So, please, don’t give away the city’s discretionary approval of these development rights to land speculators without requiring a full measure of public benefits and good environmental planning.

    With all due respects to the applicant, I see nothing but more typical valley sprawl in the current proposal for Hunt Wesson site.

    Keep it zoned as is. If the applicant ups the public benefit to where it is irristable, consider it. But don’t give it away!

    Eileen, don’t role over! We need you!

    Mike Harrington
    C.C. member, 2000-04
    Housing Committee Member, 06-08

  133. Richard

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

    Yes, this is correct.

    I have previously posted here at length about the need to integrate the city’s economic development policy with future housing construction, specifically through Hunt Wesson and Covell Center

    some creativity is necessary, private entities such as non-profits and labor unions have more discretion over the selection of homebuyers and tenants than public institutions, and, hence, the city should consider seeking investment from them as a means of ensuring that future homes and apartments serve the purpose intended

    –Richard Estes

  134. Richard

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

    Yes, this is correct.

    I have previously posted here at length about the need to integrate the city’s economic development policy with future housing construction, specifically through Hunt Wesson and Covell Center

    some creativity is necessary, private entities such as non-profits and labor unions have more discretion over the selection of homebuyers and tenants than public institutions, and, hence, the city should consider seeking investment from them as a means of ensuring that future homes and apartments serve the purpose intended

    –Richard Estes

  135. Richard

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

    Yes, this is correct.

    I have previously posted here at length about the need to integrate the city’s economic development policy with future housing construction, specifically through Hunt Wesson and Covell Center

    some creativity is necessary, private entities such as non-profits and labor unions have more discretion over the selection of homebuyers and tenants than public institutions, and, hence, the city should consider seeking investment from them as a means of ensuring that future homes and apartments serve the purpose intended

    –Richard Estes

  136. Richard

    In addition, Richard Estes appears to be saying that Davis should consider the need for non-workforce housing for the Lewis site to be zero as well. How would you (and everyone) feel if nothing but high density workforce housing were built on the site? Perhaps a condominium community on the land not occupied by the high tech businesses.

    Yes, this is correct.

    I have previously posted here at length about the need to integrate the city’s economic development policy with future housing construction, specifically through Hunt Wesson and Covell Center

    some creativity is necessary, private entities such as non-profits and labor unions have more discretion over the selection of homebuyers and tenants than public institutions, and, hence, the city should consider seeking investment from them as a means of ensuring that future homes and apartments serve the purpose intended

    –Richard Estes

  137. realist

    Matt Williams said:

    “realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Matt, that’s why I included the condition “comparing like types.” Housing that is built under a different set of rules (e.g. required affordable housing that is subject to equity-gain caps) is a special category that can only be appropriately compared to that similar programs elsewhere.

    You are correct that my comments were addressed to free-market housing. There is an apparent and wide-spread fallacy that building new housing (whether or not in these special programs) will significantly change the value premium placed on existing free-market homes in Davis (which are the vast majority of the real estate).

    I find it hard to believe that ANY of the proposed developments will increase the overall desirability of Davis (although the projects, themselves, will be desirable to some). However, the increase of the overall size of Davis, increased traffic, etc. may decrease the desirability of Davis. In other words, making Davis bigger and more congested will make it more similar to surrounding communities.

    In that perverse sense, I suppose the proposed new developments could have a permanent effect on the housing price differential.

  138. realist

    Matt Williams said:

    “realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Matt, that’s why I included the condition “comparing like types.” Housing that is built under a different set of rules (e.g. required affordable housing that is subject to equity-gain caps) is a special category that can only be appropriately compared to that similar programs elsewhere.

    You are correct that my comments were addressed to free-market housing. There is an apparent and wide-spread fallacy that building new housing (whether or not in these special programs) will significantly change the value premium placed on existing free-market homes in Davis (which are the vast majority of the real estate).

    I find it hard to believe that ANY of the proposed developments will increase the overall desirability of Davis (although the projects, themselves, will be desirable to some). However, the increase of the overall size of Davis, increased traffic, etc. may decrease the desirability of Davis. In other words, making Davis bigger and more congested will make it more similar to surrounding communities.

    In that perverse sense, I suppose the proposed new developments could have a permanent effect on the housing price differential.

  139. realist

    Matt Williams said:

    “realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Matt, that’s why I included the condition “comparing like types.” Housing that is built under a different set of rules (e.g. required affordable housing that is subject to equity-gain caps) is a special category that can only be appropriately compared to that similar programs elsewhere.

    You are correct that my comments were addressed to free-market housing. There is an apparent and wide-spread fallacy that building new housing (whether or not in these special programs) will significantly change the value premium placed on existing free-market homes in Davis (which are the vast majority of the real estate).

    I find it hard to believe that ANY of the proposed developments will increase the overall desirability of Davis (although the projects, themselves, will be desirable to some). However, the increase of the overall size of Davis, increased traffic, etc. may decrease the desirability of Davis. In other words, making Davis bigger and more congested will make it more similar to surrounding communities.

    In that perverse sense, I suppose the proposed new developments could have a permanent effect on the housing price differential.

  140. realist

    Matt Williams said:

    “realist, your post is right on the mark, as far as it goes; howver, you are ignoring two important factors. 1) the size of the house and the size of the lot are going to affect price, and 2) you are restricting yourself to a free market perspective.

    Matt, that’s why I included the condition “comparing like types.” Housing that is built under a different set of rules (e.g. required affordable housing that is subject to equity-gain caps) is a special category that can only be appropriately compared to that similar programs elsewhere.

    You are correct that my comments were addressed to free-market housing. There is an apparent and wide-spread fallacy that building new housing (whether or not in these special programs) will significantly change the value premium placed on existing free-market homes in Davis (which are the vast majority of the real estate).

    I find it hard to believe that ANY of the proposed developments will increase the overall desirability of Davis (although the projects, themselves, will be desirable to some). However, the increase of the overall size of Davis, increased traffic, etc. may decrease the desirability of Davis. In other words, making Davis bigger and more congested will make it more similar to surrounding communities.

    In that perverse sense, I suppose the proposed new developments could have a permanent effect on the housing price differential.

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