Guest Commentary: Housing Element of the City General Plan

by Kevin Wolf

On Sunday January 13 in the Vanguard, Matt Williams reviewed the state law that requires the City of Davis to respond to the Regional Housing Needs Allocation as well as the state’s General Plan requirements for housing. Matt does a good job of explaining the purposes and logistics of the General Plan/Housing Element Update Steering Committee’s work and the importance of its second public workshop scheduled for January 24.

My interest in being involved in the committee’s work and my support for the Covell Village project in 2005 comes from my commitment to our bioregion’s environment, economy, schools, affordable housing, and the enormous problems that will be caused by the pending calamity of Peak Oil, which will cause inflation, induce panic over shortages of supply, result in very high priced gas and present numerous dangers to civil society.

Throughout the greater Sacramento region, cities and towns have been growing and, in the process, prime ag land and essential habitat has been disappearing. Population growth comes predominantly from immigration into the area because of jobs, though internal birthrates also contribute.

The City of Davis contributes to the regional growth through immigration, mostly through the university’s increasing student population and associated hiring of more staff and employees. Evidence of the larger student population’s impact shows up in apartment vacancy rates, which have recently dropped to below 1%. Low vacancy rates result in higher rents, more students doubling up in rooms, increased parking problems and more students and staff commuting in and out of town. Increasing jobs and employment opportunities in town increase the number of people who commute to Davis as is evidenced in the increased inflow and outflow of people on and off I-80, Hwy 113, and Pole Line Rd and on Regional Transit and Amtrak.

A city that doesn’t grow in accordance with regional growth or with its own internal job (and university student) growth creates winners and losers. Winners include the owners of apartment complexes and people who want to sell their houses with a price premium gained because of a high demand and low supply. Losers include just about everyone else with the impacts including:

  • Poorer air quality in the region as more people drive further to get to work and go to school in Davis.
  • An aging population lowering attendance in public schools and associated financial problems.
  • More traffic on arterials coming into and out of town.
  • Increase energy use and carbon pollution that will occur both from increased driving to school and jobs in town and because housing outside of Davis traditionally uses more energy per person because Davis building cods result in more efficient energy use in homes.
Among my primary motivations to provide housing for the growing number of students and employees in town is to reduce the regional loss of habitat and prime agricultural land. When growth occurs in Davis, far less habitat and ag land is lost then if that growth is shifted to Woodland, Vacaville, Dixon or the suburbs around Sacramento. Davis has approximately twice the density compared to these areas, which means for every acre developed in Davis, two acres won’t be developed elsewhere.

In addition, Davis is the only city in the region that requires two acres of ag land be protected for every acre lost to development. (An exception to this is Lewis Homes Cannery Project which doesn’t have to mitigate any of the 98.4 acres of land it will develop as it is in the city limits and is not presently subject to this requirement of our General Plan, even though the whole northern half of the property has good ag soils and provides habitat for a number of species.) Most cities in the region do not require that a developer protect any ag land or habitat when they pave over raw land.

The Housing Element Steering Committee asked the public for feedback on what principles and goals we should use to prioritize where new growth should occur. I was pleased to see how high my priorities aligned with those who attended our first workshop.

Whether it was concerns over global warming, air pollution, Peak Oil or because people wanted less traffic and driving, the top five highest rated principles included increasing bike and walking mobility which translates into placing new housing near the downtown and university and/or close to schools and shopping.

A second highly ranked concern was the protection of ag land. I translate this to mean that Davities prefer we grow at higher densities than lower densities, or for some that we don’t grow at all. For example Lewis Homes’ Cannery Project will eat up one acre of land for every six units it develops even though its densities will average 8 – 22 units per acre. The reason for the lower average for the 98 acres is because of the land that gets taken up by streets, drainage ponds, parks and non-residential buildings. If we increase a site’s density by six units, we will have save an acre of ag land or habitat from being lost in the future.

I argue that those who say “protect ag land and habitat, don’t grow around Davis” fail to take into account that all growth in the region is on ag land or on important habitat and higher density growth in Davis results in less loss of ag land and habitat in the region, as well as provides permanent protection for endangered land that would likely otherwise be developed.

One of the most interesting debates the committee has had concerns the possible development of the Nishi Property. This is the 40 plus acres of land West of Olive Drive between the railroad and I-80. It’s ag land that is not well used because of its isolation from the rest of the farm and its shape. It is within walking distance of the downtown and the university. Over 600 units of housing could be developed on it, even more if we allowed the buildings to reach six stories high. Some members of the committee oppose this site because it will increase traffic on Richards Blvd and through the under crossing. Others oppose it because they think people shouldn’t live so close to freeways. To me, this is an example of a site where the benefits of development far outweigh the negatives.

Every major development (and probably most smaller ones) comes with a mix of positives and negatives. Infill sites take away open space in a neighborhood and add more traffic in that area. Every major new development will destroy ag land and/or habitat. Every development will cause additional traffic problems. For example, without being connected to Covell Village, all the traffic from 600 homes at the Cannery Project will dump on to Covell and/or J Street. There isn’t a site on the Committee’s list that doesn’t have some negatives.

The Steering Committee, the City Council, and ultimately, with any new major development outside of existing city limits, the citizens of Davis should prioritize those developments that do the most good in relationship to the negatives they cause. I argue that Nishi should be the top major new development because, with the huge disturbances that Peak Oil will cause and our need to reduce carbon pollution, the inconveniences of increased traffic on Richards and through the underpass will be minor in comparison to the benefits of a couple thousand people or more living within walking distance of the downtown and campus. There is also a reasonable chance that a build out of Nishi will reduce traffic through the underpass if the people who live there used to drive into town through the underpass. Almost no one who lives at Nishi would drive around through the underpass to go to campus and park when they could walk or ride a bike much more quickly, and cheaply.

The argument that people shouldn’t be allowed to live near freeways because it endangers their health needs to be put into perspective. People who live near ag land that is sprayed with chemicals are endangering their health. People whose houses have mold or who use chemicals in their homes are endangering their health. People should be allowed to make their own decisions. They may choose to live near the freeway and walk to campus and downtown versus living further away and driving, which endangers everyone’s health, our planet and our economy.

I made a request that the Steering Committee go on record telling the public how they personally rank the principles and goals that guide our housing location decisions. Unfortunately I was in the minority on that proposal and you won’t get to know, in writing, the motivations that guide each member’s decisions. I also tried to convince the committee and city staff to support producing a web based survey that would hopefully would tell us how thousands of Davisites would rank the principles and goals and then use that information to help guide us, and the City Council in our choices. If you can come to the workshop on Jan 24 you will be given a chance to review principles and goals document and prioritize them for yourself before you review the committees work on ranking the sites.

On the Nov 29 section of committee’s website, you can find the principles and goals and read each members’ ranking of the sites and try to guess. It is an interesting exercise to try to figure out how consistently some members used the principles and goals to guide their choices. If you look at mine, you should notice that I prioritized sites based on which, if developed, would result in the least amount of driving.

You may wonder why I ranked Lewis Homes Cannery Project so low. My argument to the committee is that the 98 acres developed there wouldn’t result in any additional land being protected because the site is presently exempt from this condition of the General Plan. The city has lots of other good sites it can develop, and it should wait on the Cannery site until it joins with Covell Village in a united project for that area, and Lewis Homes offers to permanently protect two acres of ag land protected for each acre it develops.

If we think out 30 years and have a 1% growth rate, which would be among the very lowest in the region, we will build out just about every one of the 37 sites presented to our committee if we build at the density proposed for Grande (39 homes on 7 acres) or Lewis Homes (6 homes per acre). In every location, we need to build wonderful, engaging, and highly energy efficient homes, townhouses, condos and apartments at higher densities than in the past to reduce the amount of driving that is needed by residents and to protect ag land and habitat in the region. I hope my work on the Housing Committee helps achieve that.

Kevin Wolf chairs the Davis General Plan Housing Element Steering Committee. The views presented above are his and should not be construed as representing those of the committee as a whole.

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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116 Comments

  1. Doug Paul Davis

    Just a quick note from the Blog Editor:

    I wanted to personally thank Kevin Wolf for agreeing to write a guest commentary. He did so knowing that his views would probably diverge from those of the majority of people who read this blog.

    I would personally ask people who post to do so respectfully and avoid personal insults. I will enforce a zero tolerance policy for any personal attacks on guest commentators. This is likely to be the first of several guest pieces on this topic in the coming week ahead of the January 24 workshop.

  2. Doug Paul Davis

    Just a quick note from the Blog Editor:

    I wanted to personally thank Kevin Wolf for agreeing to write a guest commentary. He did so knowing that his views would probably diverge from those of the majority of people who read this blog.

    I would personally ask people who post to do so respectfully and avoid personal insults. I will enforce a zero tolerance policy for any personal attacks on guest commentators. This is likely to be the first of several guest pieces on this topic in the coming week ahead of the January 24 workshop.

  3. Doug Paul Davis

    Just a quick note from the Blog Editor:

    I wanted to personally thank Kevin Wolf for agreeing to write a guest commentary. He did so knowing that his views would probably diverge from those of the majority of people who read this blog.

    I would personally ask people who post to do so respectfully and avoid personal insults. I will enforce a zero tolerance policy for any personal attacks on guest commentators. This is likely to be the first of several guest pieces on this topic in the coming week ahead of the January 24 workshop.

  4. Doug Paul Davis

    Just a quick note from the Blog Editor:

    I wanted to personally thank Kevin Wolf for agreeing to write a guest commentary. He did so knowing that his views would probably diverge from those of the majority of people who read this blog.

    I would personally ask people who post to do so respectfully and avoid personal insults. I will enforce a zero tolerance policy for any personal attacks on guest commentators. This is likely to be the first of several guest pieces on this topic in the coming week ahead of the January 24 workshop.

  5. Matt Williams

    I echo dpd’s comment. While I don’t agree with all of Kevin’s positions, he has clearly put a lot of thought into those positions . . . and shared them with us in a way that should promote some very interesting discussion.

  6. Matt Williams

    I echo dpd’s comment. While I don’t agree with all of Kevin’s positions, he has clearly put a lot of thought into those positions . . . and shared them with us in a way that should promote some very interesting discussion.

  7. Matt Williams

    I echo dpd’s comment. While I don’t agree with all of Kevin’s positions, he has clearly put a lot of thought into those positions . . . and shared them with us in a way that should promote some very interesting discussion.

  8. Matt Williams

    I echo dpd’s comment. While I don’t agree with all of Kevin’s positions, he has clearly put a lot of thought into those positions . . . and shared them with us in a way that should promote some very interesting discussion.

  9. Mike Adams

    I think that Kevin’s point about reducing driving is right on. If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose. I think that it is plausible to thoughtfully develop the land between the freeway and the train tracks. Our lives are certainly not pristine now, and will become less so in the future if we continue to spread.

  10. Mike Adams

    I think that Kevin’s point about reducing driving is right on. If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose. I think that it is plausible to thoughtfully develop the land between the freeway and the train tracks. Our lives are certainly not pristine now, and will become less so in the future if we continue to spread.

  11. Mike Adams

    I think that Kevin’s point about reducing driving is right on. If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose. I think that it is plausible to thoughtfully develop the land between the freeway and the train tracks. Our lives are certainly not pristine now, and will become less so in the future if we continue to spread.

  12. Mike Adams

    I think that Kevin’s point about reducing driving is right on. If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose. I think that it is plausible to thoughtfully develop the land between the freeway and the train tracks. Our lives are certainly not pristine now, and will become less so in the future if we continue to spread.

  13. don shor

    Very interesting commentary. Thanks, Kevin, for walking into the lion’s den!
    It would be great if other task force members would provide their perspectives as well.
    Lots I agree with, some I disagree with. But you have clearly expressed the values that are guiding your decisions.

  14. don shor

    Very interesting commentary. Thanks, Kevin, for walking into the lion’s den!
    It would be great if other task force members would provide their perspectives as well.
    Lots I agree with, some I disagree with. But you have clearly expressed the values that are guiding your decisions.

  15. don shor

    Very interesting commentary. Thanks, Kevin, for walking into the lion’s den!
    It would be great if other task force members would provide their perspectives as well.
    Lots I agree with, some I disagree with. But you have clearly expressed the values that are guiding your decisions.

  16. don shor

    Very interesting commentary. Thanks, Kevin, for walking into the lion’s den!
    It would be great if other task force members would provide their perspectives as well.
    Lots I agree with, some I disagree with. But you have clearly expressed the values that are guiding your decisions.

  17. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I attended the last General Plan/Housing Element Update Steering Committee meeting and I strongly encourage others to attend future meetings.

    I agreed with some view points and differed with others, but in the end I was impressed with how the meeting was run and how people with different view points were allowed to express those viewpoints.

    I look forward to the meeting on the 24th and encourage people to attend and participate, so their opinions and suggestions can be heard and recorded.

  18. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I attended the last General Plan/Housing Element Update Steering Committee meeting and I strongly encourage others to attend future meetings.

    I agreed with some view points and differed with others, but in the end I was impressed with how the meeting was run and how people with different view points were allowed to express those viewpoints.

    I look forward to the meeting on the 24th and encourage people to attend and participate, so their opinions and suggestions can be heard and recorded.

  19. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I attended the last General Plan/Housing Element Update Steering Committee meeting and I strongly encourage others to attend future meetings.

    I agreed with some view points and differed with others, but in the end I was impressed with how the meeting was run and how people with different view points were allowed to express those viewpoints.

    I look forward to the meeting on the 24th and encourage people to attend and participate, so their opinions and suggestions can be heard and recorded.

  20. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I attended the last General Plan/Housing Element Update Steering Committee meeting and I strongly encourage others to attend future meetings.

    I agreed with some view points and differed with others, but in the end I was impressed with how the meeting was run and how people with different view points were allowed to express those viewpoints.

    I look forward to the meeting on the 24th and encourage people to attend and participate, so their opinions and suggestions can be heard and recorded.

  21. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: Just so you know, I’m hoping for two, maybe three others. Anyone else on the commission who wants to share their thoughts is free to contact me and I will promise you space.

  22. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: Just so you know, I’m hoping for two, maybe three others. Anyone else on the commission who wants to share their thoughts is free to contact me and I will promise you space.

  23. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: Just so you know, I’m hoping for two, maybe three others. Anyone else on the commission who wants to share their thoughts is free to contact me and I will promise you space.

  24. Doug Paul Davis

    Don: Just so you know, I’m hoping for two, maybe three others. Anyone else on the commission who wants to share their thoughts is free to contact me and I will promise you space.

  25. Another view

    One major item that I think Kevin left out of the picture is the cost in services new housing will bring. Right now our city’s budget is deeply in the red. Notwithstanding Souza’s naive claim that the City of Davis can withstand any fiscal problems that may arise, more housing requires more police, firemen, parks and maintenance services, etc.

    My honest belief is that Covell Village was not necessarily defeated because of potential air pollution problems, increased traffic, losing ag lands, etc. I think more housing development is not popular because most citizens recognize housing costs the city money in the form of more city services required that the city cannot afford to provide.

    What Davis needs more than anything is development that increases the city’s tax revenue – like business, not more housing. And frankly, locating housing by a freeway is a lousy idea. Who do you think is going to be situated there? Low to low/moderate income, because anyone with half a brain and some money is not going to want to live near a freeway. However, business likes to locate near freeways, because it brings in customers if it is located conveniently near freeway access. That is one of the reasons Woodland Mall is having difficulties. It is not near a freeway.

    I think the Steering Committee is missing the bigger picture – too much new housing development is going to cause the city to go broke. Start bringing in significant business, and then talk about housing. So far, the City of Davis is viewed as anti-business, which is fiscally unhealthy, and is going to have unintended consequences.

    Example – declining enrollment in our schools. How did that happen? The city cannot afford to pay for its package of very nice services, so has to tax people up the wazoo to pay for it – because business tax revenue is just not there. Higher taxes cause moderate and low income folks to live out of town, where the tax burden is lower. As has been pointed out by many, we are becoming a “bedroom community” of wealthy older Davisites. Young families with children are not moving here, even if they work in Davis.

    Citizens are going to continue to be against housing growth as long as it looks like it will hurt their pocketbook. If there was a better mix of business and housing, a more comprehensive approach of smart growth, I don’t think there would be as much resistance to housing development.

    But instead, the city seems to create a housing plan that is more of a knee-jerk reaction to whatever developer comes up with a nice sounding plan (or contributes to someone’s political campaign). This pattern of putting in houses and not bringing in accompanying businesses has been going on for years. That is why we are in the fiscal mess we are in.

    Any comments from others?

  26. Another view

    One major item that I think Kevin left out of the picture is the cost in services new housing will bring. Right now our city’s budget is deeply in the red. Notwithstanding Souza’s naive claim that the City of Davis can withstand any fiscal problems that may arise, more housing requires more police, firemen, parks and maintenance services, etc.

    My honest belief is that Covell Village was not necessarily defeated because of potential air pollution problems, increased traffic, losing ag lands, etc. I think more housing development is not popular because most citizens recognize housing costs the city money in the form of more city services required that the city cannot afford to provide.

    What Davis needs more than anything is development that increases the city’s tax revenue – like business, not more housing. And frankly, locating housing by a freeway is a lousy idea. Who do you think is going to be situated there? Low to low/moderate income, because anyone with half a brain and some money is not going to want to live near a freeway. However, business likes to locate near freeways, because it brings in customers if it is located conveniently near freeway access. That is one of the reasons Woodland Mall is having difficulties. It is not near a freeway.

    I think the Steering Committee is missing the bigger picture – too much new housing development is going to cause the city to go broke. Start bringing in significant business, and then talk about housing. So far, the City of Davis is viewed as anti-business, which is fiscally unhealthy, and is going to have unintended consequences.

    Example – declining enrollment in our schools. How did that happen? The city cannot afford to pay for its package of very nice services, so has to tax people up the wazoo to pay for it – because business tax revenue is just not there. Higher taxes cause moderate and low income folks to live out of town, where the tax burden is lower. As has been pointed out by many, we are becoming a “bedroom community” of wealthy older Davisites. Young families with children are not moving here, even if they work in Davis.

    Citizens are going to continue to be against housing growth as long as it looks like it will hurt their pocketbook. If there was a better mix of business and housing, a more comprehensive approach of smart growth, I don’t think there would be as much resistance to housing development.

    But instead, the city seems to create a housing plan that is more of a knee-jerk reaction to whatever developer comes up with a nice sounding plan (or contributes to someone’s political campaign). This pattern of putting in houses and not bringing in accompanying businesses has been going on for years. That is why we are in the fiscal mess we are in.

    Any comments from others?

  27. Another view

    One major item that I think Kevin left out of the picture is the cost in services new housing will bring. Right now our city’s budget is deeply in the red. Notwithstanding Souza’s naive claim that the City of Davis can withstand any fiscal problems that may arise, more housing requires more police, firemen, parks and maintenance services, etc.

    My honest belief is that Covell Village was not necessarily defeated because of potential air pollution problems, increased traffic, losing ag lands, etc. I think more housing development is not popular because most citizens recognize housing costs the city money in the form of more city services required that the city cannot afford to provide.

    What Davis needs more than anything is development that increases the city’s tax revenue – like business, not more housing. And frankly, locating housing by a freeway is a lousy idea. Who do you think is going to be situated there? Low to low/moderate income, because anyone with half a brain and some money is not going to want to live near a freeway. However, business likes to locate near freeways, because it brings in customers if it is located conveniently near freeway access. That is one of the reasons Woodland Mall is having difficulties. It is not near a freeway.

    I think the Steering Committee is missing the bigger picture – too much new housing development is going to cause the city to go broke. Start bringing in significant business, and then talk about housing. So far, the City of Davis is viewed as anti-business, which is fiscally unhealthy, and is going to have unintended consequences.

    Example – declining enrollment in our schools. How did that happen? The city cannot afford to pay for its package of very nice services, so has to tax people up the wazoo to pay for it – because business tax revenue is just not there. Higher taxes cause moderate and low income folks to live out of town, where the tax burden is lower. As has been pointed out by many, we are becoming a “bedroom community” of wealthy older Davisites. Young families with children are not moving here, even if they work in Davis.

    Citizens are going to continue to be against housing growth as long as it looks like it will hurt their pocketbook. If there was a better mix of business and housing, a more comprehensive approach of smart growth, I don’t think there would be as much resistance to housing development.

    But instead, the city seems to create a housing plan that is more of a knee-jerk reaction to whatever developer comes up with a nice sounding plan (or contributes to someone’s political campaign). This pattern of putting in houses and not bringing in accompanying businesses has been going on for years. That is why we are in the fiscal mess we are in.

    Any comments from others?

  28. Another view

    One major item that I think Kevin left out of the picture is the cost in services new housing will bring. Right now our city’s budget is deeply in the red. Notwithstanding Souza’s naive claim that the City of Davis can withstand any fiscal problems that may arise, more housing requires more police, firemen, parks and maintenance services, etc.

    My honest belief is that Covell Village was not necessarily defeated because of potential air pollution problems, increased traffic, losing ag lands, etc. I think more housing development is not popular because most citizens recognize housing costs the city money in the form of more city services required that the city cannot afford to provide.

    What Davis needs more than anything is development that increases the city’s tax revenue – like business, not more housing. And frankly, locating housing by a freeway is a lousy idea. Who do you think is going to be situated there? Low to low/moderate income, because anyone with half a brain and some money is not going to want to live near a freeway. However, business likes to locate near freeways, because it brings in customers if it is located conveniently near freeway access. That is one of the reasons Woodland Mall is having difficulties. It is not near a freeway.

    I think the Steering Committee is missing the bigger picture – too much new housing development is going to cause the city to go broke. Start bringing in significant business, and then talk about housing. So far, the City of Davis is viewed as anti-business, which is fiscally unhealthy, and is going to have unintended consequences.

    Example – declining enrollment in our schools. How did that happen? The city cannot afford to pay for its package of very nice services, so has to tax people up the wazoo to pay for it – because business tax revenue is just not there. Higher taxes cause moderate and low income folks to live out of town, where the tax burden is lower. As has been pointed out by many, we are becoming a “bedroom community” of wealthy older Davisites. Young families with children are not moving here, even if they work in Davis.

    Citizens are going to continue to be against housing growth as long as it looks like it will hurt their pocketbook. If there was a better mix of business and housing, a more comprehensive approach of smart growth, I don’t think there would be as much resistance to housing development.

    But instead, the city seems to create a housing plan that is more of a knee-jerk reaction to whatever developer comes up with a nice sounding plan (or contributes to someone’s political campaign). This pattern of putting in houses and not bringing in accompanying businesses has been going on for years. That is why we are in the fiscal mess we are in.

    Any comments from others?

  29. Rich Rifkin

    “If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose.”

    I don’t have a prejudice one way or the other on building housing near freeways. (I happen to live quite close to Highway 113.) However, I do think the city ought to have a requirement (at least for sizable developments) that developers of properties near railroads, freeways or other noisy places must include soundwall protection in their projects. (I personally would like to see rice straw, rather that concrete block walls built for this purpose.)

    If you notice the plans for Cannery Park, they include no sound barrier next to the S.P. Railroad. (It may be the case — I don’t know — that there is a practical reason for not employing a sound wall, there.)

    Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant. With information, buyers or renters could make an informed choice.

    —–

    With regard to student housing, I agree with Kevin. We should be planning for adequate apartment space in Davis. (The university itself, of course, is now planning for a lot of the new student housing.) However, I think (as a general rule), the city should prefer high density apartments (or dorms) for students as close as possible to the campus. (Insofar as all such land is already developed, that might mean allowing more redevelopment of existing low-density apartments.) If peripheral apartments are built, that would help students in that they reduce the occupancy rate (and possibly lower rents on existing units). However, it seems unwise to me to expect students to live in new peripheral apartments. They ought to be designed to meet the needs of families, working adults and seniors.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    “If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose.”

    I don’t have a prejudice one way or the other on building housing near freeways. (I happen to live quite close to Highway 113.) However, I do think the city ought to have a requirement (at least for sizable developments) that developers of properties near railroads, freeways or other noisy places must include soundwall protection in their projects. (I personally would like to see rice straw, rather that concrete block walls built for this purpose.)

    If you notice the plans for Cannery Park, they include no sound barrier next to the S.P. Railroad. (It may be the case — I don’t know — that there is a practical reason for not employing a sound wall, there.)

    Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant. With information, buyers or renters could make an informed choice.

    —–

    With regard to student housing, I agree with Kevin. We should be planning for adequate apartment space in Davis. (The university itself, of course, is now planning for a lot of the new student housing.) However, I think (as a general rule), the city should prefer high density apartments (or dorms) for students as close as possible to the campus. (Insofar as all such land is already developed, that might mean allowing more redevelopment of existing low-density apartments.) If peripheral apartments are built, that would help students in that they reduce the occupancy rate (and possibly lower rents on existing units). However, it seems unwise to me to expect students to live in new peripheral apartments. They ought to be designed to meet the needs of families, working adults and seniors.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    “If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose.”

    I don’t have a prejudice one way or the other on building housing near freeways. (I happen to live quite close to Highway 113.) However, I do think the city ought to have a requirement (at least for sizable developments) that developers of properties near railroads, freeways or other noisy places must include soundwall protection in their projects. (I personally would like to see rice straw, rather that concrete block walls built for this purpose.)

    If you notice the plans for Cannery Park, they include no sound barrier next to the S.P. Railroad. (It may be the case — I don’t know — that there is a practical reason for not employing a sound wall, there.)

    Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant. With information, buyers or renters could make an informed choice.

    —–

    With regard to student housing, I agree with Kevin. We should be planning for adequate apartment space in Davis. (The university itself, of course, is now planning for a lot of the new student housing.) However, I think (as a general rule), the city should prefer high density apartments (or dorms) for students as close as possible to the campus. (Insofar as all such land is already developed, that might mean allowing more redevelopment of existing low-density apartments.) If peripheral apartments are built, that would help students in that they reduce the occupancy rate (and possibly lower rents on existing units). However, it seems unwise to me to expect students to live in new peripheral apartments. They ought to be designed to meet the needs of families, working adults and seniors.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    “If you look at the argument that we shouldn’t develop near freeways, such as the Nishi property, you begin to realize that freeways take a huge swath of land and render it unusable for any other purpose.”

    I don’t have a prejudice one way or the other on building housing near freeways. (I happen to live quite close to Highway 113.) However, I do think the city ought to have a requirement (at least for sizable developments) that developers of properties near railroads, freeways or other noisy places must include soundwall protection in their projects. (I personally would like to see rice straw, rather that concrete block walls built for this purpose.)

    If you notice the plans for Cannery Park, they include no sound barrier next to the S.P. Railroad. (It may be the case — I don’t know — that there is a practical reason for not employing a sound wall, there.)

    Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant. With information, buyers or renters could make an informed choice.

    —–

    With regard to student housing, I agree with Kevin. We should be planning for adequate apartment space in Davis. (The university itself, of course, is now planning for a lot of the new student housing.) However, I think (as a general rule), the city should prefer high density apartments (or dorms) for students as close as possible to the campus. (Insofar as all such land is already developed, that might mean allowing more redevelopment of existing low-density apartments.) If peripheral apartments are built, that would help students in that they reduce the occupancy rate (and possibly lower rents on existing units). However, it seems unwise to me to expect students to live in new peripheral apartments. They ought to be designed to meet the needs of families, working adults and seniors.

  33. don shor

    There is nothing wrong with building housing along freeways. Apartments are being built in Vacaville right at freeway interchanges. There is a brand new development of apartments or condomiums along Highway 160 as you approach the Tower Bridge. Dixon has built right up to the freeway west of Pitt School Road.

    Rich wrote:
    “Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant.”
    Why? It is an informed choice, and the evidence is mixed. Some of the studies that show increased asthma and other risks use a threshold of 20,000 car trips per day. According to an old EIR for Covell Village, that is about the current traffic on Covell Blvd. So developers should have to disclose to anyone who buys or rents along a busy street that there is a risk?

  34. don shor

    There is nothing wrong with building housing along freeways. Apartments are being built in Vacaville right at freeway interchanges. There is a brand new development of apartments or condomiums along Highway 160 as you approach the Tower Bridge. Dixon has built right up to the freeway west of Pitt School Road.

    Rich wrote:
    “Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant.”
    Why? It is an informed choice, and the evidence is mixed. Some of the studies that show increased asthma and other risks use a threshold of 20,000 car trips per day. According to an old EIR for Covell Village, that is about the current traffic on Covell Blvd. So developers should have to disclose to anyone who buys or rents along a busy street that there is a risk?

  35. don shor

    There is nothing wrong with building housing along freeways. Apartments are being built in Vacaville right at freeway interchanges. There is a brand new development of apartments or condomiums along Highway 160 as you approach the Tower Bridge. Dixon has built right up to the freeway west of Pitt School Road.

    Rich wrote:
    “Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant.”
    Why? It is an informed choice, and the evidence is mixed. Some of the studies that show increased asthma and other risks use a threshold of 20,000 car trips per day. According to an old EIR for Covell Village, that is about the current traffic on Covell Blvd. So developers should have to disclose to anyone who buys or rents along a busy street that there is a risk?

  36. don shor

    There is nothing wrong with building housing along freeways. Apartments are being built in Vacaville right at freeway interchanges. There is a brand new development of apartments or condomiums along Highway 160 as you approach the Tower Bridge. Dixon has built right up to the freeway west of Pitt School Road.

    Rich wrote:
    “Also, if there is a nearby source of pollution, such as freeway exhaust, the developers ought to have to disclose to buyers (or renters) any known health effects from that existing pollutant.”
    Why? It is an informed choice, and the evidence is mixed. Some of the studies that show increased asthma and other risks use a threshold of 20,000 car trips per day. According to an old EIR for Covell Village, that is about the current traffic on Covell Blvd. So developers should have to disclose to anyone who buys or rents along a busy street that there is a risk?

  37. Davis Renter

    Several of the arguments given for growth are specious. Freeways will be built through and/or around Davis regardless of whether we build more houses. They won’t be kept away because we put a couple thousand extra people in here every year.

    As a University staff member I can tell you that my employer will not be hiring significant additional staff, or providing raises, in the near to forseeable future. So there really isn’t a need for new employee housing. A point that was driven home to me late last year when I was refused a seat on a focus group concerning West Village because I a) didn’t make enough money (I earn as much as an associate professor) and b) because I wasn’t willing to pay more than 400k for a house.

    It is true that I can not afford a house within the city of Davis and my income is what a new professor makes. However, building new homes will not provide me with any opportunity, as has been seen in such developments as Wild Horse, etc. Homes will be sold to speculators and high income earners who work well outside the city. This actually increases local pollution as people drive to and from Davis to their far away jobs. The University grants low and no cost loans,as well as housing allowances, to professors it wishes to hire, but not to staff. So professors will still be able to find housing within the city.

    Any increase in student population should be dealt with by the university. If the cost of housing increases enough in any city where a UC campus resides that it affects enrollment, they’ll build more housing on campus.

    There were further issues but that’s all I’ll address at this time.

    Yes, not growing creates winners and losers. But so does growth. In fact, winners and losers are the whole basis of our entire economic system.

  38. Davis Renter

    Several of the arguments given for growth are specious. Freeways will be built through and/or around Davis regardless of whether we build more houses. They won’t be kept away because we put a couple thousand extra people in here every year.

    As a University staff member I can tell you that my employer will not be hiring significant additional staff, or providing raises, in the near to forseeable future. So there really isn’t a need for new employee housing. A point that was driven home to me late last year when I was refused a seat on a focus group concerning West Village because I a) didn’t make enough money (I earn as much as an associate professor) and b) because I wasn’t willing to pay more than 400k for a house.

    It is true that I can not afford a house within the city of Davis and my income is what a new professor makes. However, building new homes will not provide me with any opportunity, as has been seen in such developments as Wild Horse, etc. Homes will be sold to speculators and high income earners who work well outside the city. This actually increases local pollution as people drive to and from Davis to their far away jobs. The University grants low and no cost loans,as well as housing allowances, to professors it wishes to hire, but not to staff. So professors will still be able to find housing within the city.

    Any increase in student population should be dealt with by the university. If the cost of housing increases enough in any city where a UC campus resides that it affects enrollment, they’ll build more housing on campus.

    There were further issues but that’s all I’ll address at this time.

    Yes, not growing creates winners and losers. But so does growth. In fact, winners and losers are the whole basis of our entire economic system.

  39. Davis Renter

    Several of the arguments given for growth are specious. Freeways will be built through and/or around Davis regardless of whether we build more houses. They won’t be kept away because we put a couple thousand extra people in here every year.

    As a University staff member I can tell you that my employer will not be hiring significant additional staff, or providing raises, in the near to forseeable future. So there really isn’t a need for new employee housing. A point that was driven home to me late last year when I was refused a seat on a focus group concerning West Village because I a) didn’t make enough money (I earn as much as an associate professor) and b) because I wasn’t willing to pay more than 400k for a house.

    It is true that I can not afford a house within the city of Davis and my income is what a new professor makes. However, building new homes will not provide me with any opportunity, as has been seen in such developments as Wild Horse, etc. Homes will be sold to speculators and high income earners who work well outside the city. This actually increases local pollution as people drive to and from Davis to their far away jobs. The University grants low and no cost loans,as well as housing allowances, to professors it wishes to hire, but not to staff. So professors will still be able to find housing within the city.

    Any increase in student population should be dealt with by the university. If the cost of housing increases enough in any city where a UC campus resides that it affects enrollment, they’ll build more housing on campus.

    There were further issues but that’s all I’ll address at this time.

    Yes, not growing creates winners and losers. But so does growth. In fact, winners and losers are the whole basis of our entire economic system.

  40. Davis Renter

    Several of the arguments given for growth are specious. Freeways will be built through and/or around Davis regardless of whether we build more houses. They won’t be kept away because we put a couple thousand extra people in here every year.

    As a University staff member I can tell you that my employer will not be hiring significant additional staff, or providing raises, in the near to forseeable future. So there really isn’t a need for new employee housing. A point that was driven home to me late last year when I was refused a seat on a focus group concerning West Village because I a) didn’t make enough money (I earn as much as an associate professor) and b) because I wasn’t willing to pay more than 400k for a house.

    It is true that I can not afford a house within the city of Davis and my income is what a new professor makes. However, building new homes will not provide me with any opportunity, as has been seen in such developments as Wild Horse, etc. Homes will be sold to speculators and high income earners who work well outside the city. This actually increases local pollution as people drive to and from Davis to their far away jobs. The University grants low and no cost loans,as well as housing allowances, to professors it wishes to hire, but not to staff. So professors will still be able to find housing within the city.

    Any increase in student population should be dealt with by the university. If the cost of housing increases enough in any city where a UC campus resides that it affects enrollment, they’ll build more housing on campus.

    There were further issues but that’s all I’ll address at this time.

    Yes, not growing creates winners and losers. But so does growth. In fact, winners and losers are the whole basis of our entire economic system.

  41. 無名 - wu ming

    another thing to keep in mind with peak oil is that the traffic on 80 may well be a lot lower than we’re assuming, in the not too distant future, as we begin to transition from the expensive gas phase to the gas shortage phase. likewise, we will likely see a whole lot more ridership on the capitol corridor. it stands to reason that the place of highest density ought to be that which is within walking distance of the train station, and then that which is within biking distance.

    from that perspective, the nishi property looks fairly good, although i agree with rich that requiring soundproofing would be a smart move. i have a friend who used to live in santa clara by the san jose airport, and his recently built townhouse had exceptionally god soundproofing, which was required to damp out the airplane noise. it can be done, although the traffic pollution is a bigger problem.

    then again, that traffic may end up pretty diminished, as the daily long distance car commute gradually becomes economically untenable.

  42. 無名 - wu ming

    another thing to keep in mind with peak oil is that the traffic on 80 may well be a lot lower than we’re assuming, in the not too distant future, as we begin to transition from the expensive gas phase to the gas shortage phase. likewise, we will likely see a whole lot more ridership on the capitol corridor. it stands to reason that the place of highest density ought to be that which is within walking distance of the train station, and then that which is within biking distance.

    from that perspective, the nishi property looks fairly good, although i agree with rich that requiring soundproofing would be a smart move. i have a friend who used to live in santa clara by the san jose airport, and his recently built townhouse had exceptionally god soundproofing, which was required to damp out the airplane noise. it can be done, although the traffic pollution is a bigger problem.

    then again, that traffic may end up pretty diminished, as the daily long distance car commute gradually becomes economically untenable.

  43. 無名 - wu ming

    another thing to keep in mind with peak oil is that the traffic on 80 may well be a lot lower than we’re assuming, in the not too distant future, as we begin to transition from the expensive gas phase to the gas shortage phase. likewise, we will likely see a whole lot more ridership on the capitol corridor. it stands to reason that the place of highest density ought to be that which is within walking distance of the train station, and then that which is within biking distance.

    from that perspective, the nishi property looks fairly good, although i agree with rich that requiring soundproofing would be a smart move. i have a friend who used to live in santa clara by the san jose airport, and his recently built townhouse had exceptionally god soundproofing, which was required to damp out the airplane noise. it can be done, although the traffic pollution is a bigger problem.

    then again, that traffic may end up pretty diminished, as the daily long distance car commute gradually becomes economically untenable.

  44. 無名 - wu ming

    another thing to keep in mind with peak oil is that the traffic on 80 may well be a lot lower than we’re assuming, in the not too distant future, as we begin to transition from the expensive gas phase to the gas shortage phase. likewise, we will likely see a whole lot more ridership on the capitol corridor. it stands to reason that the place of highest density ought to be that which is within walking distance of the train station, and then that which is within biking distance.

    from that perspective, the nishi property looks fairly good, although i agree with rich that requiring soundproofing would be a smart move. i have a friend who used to live in santa clara by the san jose airport, and his recently built townhouse had exceptionally god soundproofing, which was required to damp out the airplane noise. it can be done, although the traffic pollution is a bigger problem.

    then again, that traffic may end up pretty diminished, as the daily long distance car commute gradually becomes economically untenable.

  45. David J. Thompson

    I want to complement DPD and the Vanguard for inviting Kevin Wolf to write this guest commentary. I want to also complement Kevin Wolf for providing a well written review of the issues we face as we plan. The issue of inclusiveness is a critical one or else Davis becomes a Carmel of the Valley or Piedmont of the Plains.
    I concur strongly with Kevin’s perspective that we need to take into account the driving that takes place in our daily life given the choices we have to make. Mopre and more people who work in Davis cannot afford to live here and need to drive from somewhere else. As we become more exclusive it is the well off who want to live here but they are executives in Sacramento so need to drive there for work. More and more people who can afford to live here cannot afford to work here.

    I’ve often thought we should actually have Unitrans do our housing planning. To Unitrans its a matter of proximity, a close location makes a regular passenger. It is also density, the more people on a route the more efficient and frequent the bus service. Everyone on a Unitrans bus is one less car journey in town.
    Lastly, and this relates to yesterdays blog about Stonegate Shopping Center which should be read by all, one of our most frequent trips is to the grocery store and the shops in that center. We’ve got to be more demanding about how we retain grocery stores in all our shopping centers. In the future, more and more people will not be able to afford a car. Neighborhood shopping centers will become more active and needed community centers.

    A big thank you to all the members of the General Plan Committee for their efforts, recomendations and guidance.

  46. Richard

    the provision of affordable housing in Davis to students as well as lower middle income and middle income people will require unprecented densities, the transformation of Davis from a village to a small urban environment

    it is doubtful that the current residents of the city will support it, but the result will be an ongoing fiscal emergency related to the operation of the DJUSD, as single family homes that fetch upper middle income prices will not increase the number of students entering the district sufficiently to reverse declining enrollment

    –Richard Estes

  47. David J. Thompson

    I want to complement DPD and the Vanguard for inviting Kevin Wolf to write this guest commentary. I want to also complement Kevin Wolf for providing a well written review of the issues we face as we plan. The issue of inclusiveness is a critical one or else Davis becomes a Carmel of the Valley or Piedmont of the Plains.
    I concur strongly with Kevin’s perspective that we need to take into account the driving that takes place in our daily life given the choices we have to make. Mopre and more people who work in Davis cannot afford to live here and need to drive from somewhere else. As we become more exclusive it is the well off who want to live here but they are executives in Sacramento so need to drive there for work. More and more people who can afford to live here cannot afford to work here.

    I’ve often thought we should actually have Unitrans do our housing planning. To Unitrans its a matter of proximity, a close location makes a regular passenger. It is also density, the more people on a route the more efficient and frequent the bus service. Everyone on a Unitrans bus is one less car journey in town.
    Lastly, and this relates to yesterdays blog about Stonegate Shopping Center which should be read by all, one of our most frequent trips is to the grocery store and the shops in that center. We’ve got to be more demanding about how we retain grocery stores in all our shopping centers. In the future, more and more people will not be able to afford a car. Neighborhood shopping centers will become more active and needed community centers.

    A big thank you to all the members of the General Plan Committee for their efforts, recomendations and guidance.

  48. Richard

    the provision of affordable housing in Davis to students as well as lower middle income and middle income people will require unprecented densities, the transformation of Davis from a village to a small urban environment

    it is doubtful that the current residents of the city will support it, but the result will be an ongoing fiscal emergency related to the operation of the DJUSD, as single family homes that fetch upper middle income prices will not increase the number of students entering the district sufficiently to reverse declining enrollment

    –Richard Estes

  49. David J. Thompson

    I want to complement DPD and the Vanguard for inviting Kevin Wolf to write this guest commentary. I want to also complement Kevin Wolf for providing a well written review of the issues we face as we plan. The issue of inclusiveness is a critical one or else Davis becomes a Carmel of the Valley or Piedmont of the Plains.
    I concur strongly with Kevin’s perspective that we need to take into account the driving that takes place in our daily life given the choices we have to make. Mopre and more people who work in Davis cannot afford to live here and need to drive from somewhere else. As we become more exclusive it is the well off who want to live here but they are executives in Sacramento so need to drive there for work. More and more people who can afford to live here cannot afford to work here.

    I’ve often thought we should actually have Unitrans do our housing planning. To Unitrans its a matter of proximity, a close location makes a regular passenger. It is also density, the more people on a route the more efficient and frequent the bus service. Everyone on a Unitrans bus is one less car journey in town.
    Lastly, and this relates to yesterdays blog about Stonegate Shopping Center which should be read by all, one of our most frequent trips is to the grocery store and the shops in that center. We’ve got to be more demanding about how we retain grocery stores in all our shopping centers. In the future, more and more people will not be able to afford a car. Neighborhood shopping centers will become more active and needed community centers.

    A big thank you to all the members of the General Plan Committee for their efforts, recomendations and guidance.

  50. Richard

    the provision of affordable housing in Davis to students as well as lower middle income and middle income people will require unprecented densities, the transformation of Davis from a village to a small urban environment

    it is doubtful that the current residents of the city will support it, but the result will be an ongoing fiscal emergency related to the operation of the DJUSD, as single family homes that fetch upper middle income prices will not increase the number of students entering the district sufficiently to reverse declining enrollment

    –Richard Estes

  51. David J. Thompson

    I want to complement DPD and the Vanguard for inviting Kevin Wolf to write this guest commentary. I want to also complement Kevin Wolf for providing a well written review of the issues we face as we plan. The issue of inclusiveness is a critical one or else Davis becomes a Carmel of the Valley or Piedmont of the Plains.
    I concur strongly with Kevin’s perspective that we need to take into account the driving that takes place in our daily life given the choices we have to make. Mopre and more people who work in Davis cannot afford to live here and need to drive from somewhere else. As we become more exclusive it is the well off who want to live here but they are executives in Sacramento so need to drive there for work. More and more people who can afford to live here cannot afford to work here.

    I’ve often thought we should actually have Unitrans do our housing planning. To Unitrans its a matter of proximity, a close location makes a regular passenger. It is also density, the more people on a route the more efficient and frequent the bus service. Everyone on a Unitrans bus is one less car journey in town.
    Lastly, and this relates to yesterdays blog about Stonegate Shopping Center which should be read by all, one of our most frequent trips is to the grocery store and the shops in that center. We’ve got to be more demanding about how we retain grocery stores in all our shopping centers. In the future, more and more people will not be able to afford a car. Neighborhood shopping centers will become more active and needed community centers.

    A big thank you to all the members of the General Plan Committee for their efforts, recomendations and guidance.

  52. Richard

    the provision of affordable housing in Davis to students as well as lower middle income and middle income people will require unprecented densities, the transformation of Davis from a village to a small urban environment

    it is doubtful that the current residents of the city will support it, but the result will be an ongoing fiscal emergency related to the operation of the DJUSD, as single family homes that fetch upper middle income prices will not increase the number of students entering the district sufficiently to reverse declining enrollment

    –Richard Estes

  53. Sue Greenwald

    Richard,

    Hope you are feeling better.

    I think the issue is not really one of declining enrollment. The problem is that it is impossible to grow or maintain a population in perfect school increments. We have the same problem with fire stations.

    Schools and fire stations don’t support themselves unless they are service an entire a school’s worth of children or a fire station’s worth of houses. Ten percent over or under and we have a “problem”.

    When we build new subdivisions, young families tend to move in with lots of children. Then the children go off the college, but the parents stay, and schools close.

    The same thing happened in the neighborhood where I grew up on the East Coast in the 60’s. Building new subdivisions doesn’t change the underlying problem.

  54. Sue Greenwald

    Richard,

    Hope you are feeling better.

    I think the issue is not really one of declining enrollment. The problem is that it is impossible to grow or maintain a population in perfect school increments. We have the same problem with fire stations.

    Schools and fire stations don’t support themselves unless they are service an entire a school’s worth of children or a fire station’s worth of houses. Ten percent over or under and we have a “problem”.

    When we build new subdivisions, young families tend to move in with lots of children. Then the children go off the college, but the parents stay, and schools close.

    The same thing happened in the neighborhood where I grew up on the East Coast in the 60’s. Building new subdivisions doesn’t change the underlying problem.

  55. Sue Greenwald

    Richard,

    Hope you are feeling better.

    I think the issue is not really one of declining enrollment. The problem is that it is impossible to grow or maintain a population in perfect school increments. We have the same problem with fire stations.

    Schools and fire stations don’t support themselves unless they are service an entire a school’s worth of children or a fire station’s worth of houses. Ten percent over or under and we have a “problem”.

    When we build new subdivisions, young families tend to move in with lots of children. Then the children go off the college, but the parents stay, and schools close.

    The same thing happened in the neighborhood where I grew up on the East Coast in the 60’s. Building new subdivisions doesn’t change the underlying problem.

  56. Sue Greenwald

    Richard,

    Hope you are feeling better.

    I think the issue is not really one of declining enrollment. The problem is that it is impossible to grow or maintain a population in perfect school increments. We have the same problem with fire stations.

    Schools and fire stations don’t support themselves unless they are service an entire a school’s worth of children or a fire station’s worth of houses. Ten percent over or under and we have a “problem”.

    When we build new subdivisions, young families tend to move in with lots of children. Then the children go off the college, but the parents stay, and schools close.

    The same thing happened in the neighborhood where I grew up on the East Coast in the 60’s. Building new subdivisions doesn’t change the underlying problem.

  57. Kevin Wolf

    Richard
    Good to hear your voice on this. Younger families with kids or couples soon to be procreating usually don’t make enough money to buy a house in Davis so they either stay as renters or buy a home where it is cheaper, and commute to Davis. More driving and more impacts to our schools,which transcribes to a lowering in the value of owning a home in Davis.

    We need to find ways to allow homes to be build at $170,000 – $400,000 range. We need more permanently affordable housing too. The developer and the city can craft agreements that can achieve these goals. The Covell Village project was going to set up a foundation that would help local workers and renters be able to buy their first house. The higher priced housing helps allow for the subsidy of others. There are ways in which we can gain more affordable housing for people who live and work here already, but it requires that we grow to do it.

    I would like to see denisty levels at least at that of Muir Commons Cohousing and with its sense of community and style. It is 10 units per acre. It could be higher and they would still live in a beautiful community compared to most. Higher density with smaller units saves energy as well as land, and are more affordable.

    The committee talked about the value of new senior housing that was designed to allow Davis seniors to sell or rent their usually big homes often in areas closer to central Davis. It is often a family that buys these homes. When they do, the property tax increases significantly, often being many times higher. And seniors living together in a community can have reduced demands on fire and safty personnel. I especially liked the proposal for higher density senior housing at the Civic Center fields north of city hall. Right next the senior center, the farmers market, Toomey field (an ideally walking track for seniors) the downtown, the Co-op, and the university. How about four to six story buildings with a lot of garden spaces and other attributes there? Now that would be smart growth.

    lower priced units will likely be like those in Muir

  58. Kevin Wolf

    Richard
    Good to hear your voice on this. Younger families with kids or couples soon to be procreating usually don’t make enough money to buy a house in Davis so they either stay as renters or buy a home where it is cheaper, and commute to Davis. More driving and more impacts to our schools,which transcribes to a lowering in the value of owning a home in Davis.

    We need to find ways to allow homes to be build at $170,000 – $400,000 range. We need more permanently affordable housing too. The developer and the city can craft agreements that can achieve these goals. The Covell Village project was going to set up a foundation that would help local workers and renters be able to buy their first house. The higher priced housing helps allow for the subsidy of others. There are ways in which we can gain more affordable housing for people who live and work here already, but it requires that we grow to do it.

    I would like to see denisty levels at least at that of Muir Commons Cohousing and with its sense of community and style. It is 10 units per acre. It could be higher and they would still live in a beautiful community compared to most. Higher density with smaller units saves energy as well as land, and are more affordable.

    The committee talked about the value of new senior housing that was designed to allow Davis seniors to sell or rent their usually big homes often in areas closer to central Davis. It is often a family that buys these homes. When they do, the property tax increases significantly, often being many times higher. And seniors living together in a community can have reduced demands on fire and safty personnel. I especially liked the proposal for higher density senior housing at the Civic Center fields north of city hall. Right next the senior center, the farmers market, Toomey field (an ideally walking track for seniors) the downtown, the Co-op, and the university. How about four to six story buildings with a lot of garden spaces and other attributes there? Now that would be smart growth.

    lower priced units will likely be like those in Muir

  59. Kevin Wolf

    Richard
    Good to hear your voice on this. Younger families with kids or couples soon to be procreating usually don’t make enough money to buy a house in Davis so they either stay as renters or buy a home where it is cheaper, and commute to Davis. More driving and more impacts to our schools,which transcribes to a lowering in the value of owning a home in Davis.

    We need to find ways to allow homes to be build at $170,000 – $400,000 range. We need more permanently affordable housing too. The developer and the city can craft agreements that can achieve these goals. The Covell Village project was going to set up a foundation that would help local workers and renters be able to buy their first house. The higher priced housing helps allow for the subsidy of others. There are ways in which we can gain more affordable housing for people who live and work here already, but it requires that we grow to do it.

    I would like to see denisty levels at least at that of Muir Commons Cohousing and with its sense of community and style. It is 10 units per acre. It could be higher and they would still live in a beautiful community compared to most. Higher density with smaller units saves energy as well as land, and are more affordable.

    The committee talked about the value of new senior housing that was designed to allow Davis seniors to sell or rent their usually big homes often in areas closer to central Davis. It is often a family that buys these homes. When they do, the property tax increases significantly, often being many times higher. And seniors living together in a community can have reduced demands on fire and safty personnel. I especially liked the proposal for higher density senior housing at the Civic Center fields north of city hall. Right next the senior center, the farmers market, Toomey field (an ideally walking track for seniors) the downtown, the Co-op, and the university. How about four to six story buildings with a lot of garden spaces and other attributes there? Now that would be smart growth.

    lower priced units will likely be like those in Muir

  60. Kevin Wolf

    Richard
    Good to hear your voice on this. Younger families with kids or couples soon to be procreating usually don’t make enough money to buy a house in Davis so they either stay as renters or buy a home where it is cheaper, and commute to Davis. More driving and more impacts to our schools,which transcribes to a lowering in the value of owning a home in Davis.

    We need to find ways to allow homes to be build at $170,000 – $400,000 range. We need more permanently affordable housing too. The developer and the city can craft agreements that can achieve these goals. The Covell Village project was going to set up a foundation that would help local workers and renters be able to buy their first house. The higher priced housing helps allow for the subsidy of others. There are ways in which we can gain more affordable housing for people who live and work here already, but it requires that we grow to do it.

    I would like to see denisty levels at least at that of Muir Commons Cohousing and with its sense of community and style. It is 10 units per acre. It could be higher and they would still live in a beautiful community compared to most. Higher density with smaller units saves energy as well as land, and are more affordable.

    The committee talked about the value of new senior housing that was designed to allow Davis seniors to sell or rent their usually big homes often in areas closer to central Davis. It is often a family that buys these homes. When they do, the property tax increases significantly, often being many times higher. And seniors living together in a community can have reduced demands on fire and safty personnel. I especially liked the proposal for higher density senior housing at the Civic Center fields north of city hall. Right next the senior center, the farmers market, Toomey field (an ideally walking track for seniors) the downtown, the Co-op, and the university. How about four to six story buildings with a lot of garden spaces and other attributes there? Now that would be smart growth.

    lower priced units will likely be like those in Muir

  61. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning Nishi,

    The access problems with Nishi are probably prohibitive for housing. If the access problem didn’t exist, it would have been built out long ago.

    Richards is already at capacity. To build at Nishi would require blocking off the access to Richards, and building a tunnel under the railroad tracks to provide auto access to Old Davis Road and the University-I-80 interchange.

    This would require both University permission and, I would guess, 15 or 20 million dollars.

    I think it is unlikely that both the University would agree and that the developer would be able to spend 15 or 20 million dollars on this small and oddly shaped parcel. Both conditions would have to be met.

    Also, there actually is increasing data that it is quite unhealthy to build housing close to freeways. Finally, Union Pacific is planning to run its freight trains at night in order to make room for the passenger trains, and freight train traffic is projected to increase.

    According the developers, housing at this site would have to be crammed right up to the tracks. The roar of those freight trains would be deafening.

    I think there is better use for that land. We lost Genentech to Vacaville because we didn’t have any large parcels of land zoned and ready to go. I think that keeping this land available for a potential high-tech user such as Genentech is the most sensible approach.

    This type of user needs a lot of land, has very, very expensive capital equipment (which can bring literally millions of dollars and property tax), and employs relatively few workers.

    They tend to operate 24/7, and we could work out an agreement whereby they change shifts at off-peak hours.

    Not everything has to be built out immediately. I think it is better to plan wisely, even if it takes awhile to recruit the right use.

  62. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning Nishi,

    The access problems with Nishi are probably prohibitive for housing. If the access problem didn’t exist, it would have been built out long ago.

    Richards is already at capacity. To build at Nishi would require blocking off the access to Richards, and building a tunnel under the railroad tracks to provide auto access to Old Davis Road and the University-I-80 interchange.

    This would require both University permission and, I would guess, 15 or 20 million dollars.

    I think it is unlikely that both the University would agree and that the developer would be able to spend 15 or 20 million dollars on this small and oddly shaped parcel. Both conditions would have to be met.

    Also, there actually is increasing data that it is quite unhealthy to build housing close to freeways. Finally, Union Pacific is planning to run its freight trains at night in order to make room for the passenger trains, and freight train traffic is projected to increase.

    According the developers, housing at this site would have to be crammed right up to the tracks. The roar of those freight trains would be deafening.

    I think there is better use for that land. We lost Genentech to Vacaville because we didn’t have any large parcels of land zoned and ready to go. I think that keeping this land available for a potential high-tech user such as Genentech is the most sensible approach.

    This type of user needs a lot of land, has very, very expensive capital equipment (which can bring literally millions of dollars and property tax), and employs relatively few workers.

    They tend to operate 24/7, and we could work out an agreement whereby they change shifts at off-peak hours.

    Not everything has to be built out immediately. I think it is better to plan wisely, even if it takes awhile to recruit the right use.

  63. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning Nishi,

    The access problems with Nishi are probably prohibitive for housing. If the access problem didn’t exist, it would have been built out long ago.

    Richards is already at capacity. To build at Nishi would require blocking off the access to Richards, and building a tunnel under the railroad tracks to provide auto access to Old Davis Road and the University-I-80 interchange.

    This would require both University permission and, I would guess, 15 or 20 million dollars.

    I think it is unlikely that both the University would agree and that the developer would be able to spend 15 or 20 million dollars on this small and oddly shaped parcel. Both conditions would have to be met.

    Also, there actually is increasing data that it is quite unhealthy to build housing close to freeways. Finally, Union Pacific is planning to run its freight trains at night in order to make room for the passenger trains, and freight train traffic is projected to increase.

    According the developers, housing at this site would have to be crammed right up to the tracks. The roar of those freight trains would be deafening.

    I think there is better use for that land. We lost Genentech to Vacaville because we didn’t have any large parcels of land zoned and ready to go. I think that keeping this land available for a potential high-tech user such as Genentech is the most sensible approach.

    This type of user needs a lot of land, has very, very expensive capital equipment (which can bring literally millions of dollars and property tax), and employs relatively few workers.

    They tend to operate 24/7, and we could work out an agreement whereby they change shifts at off-peak hours.

    Not everything has to be built out immediately. I think it is better to plan wisely, even if it takes awhile to recruit the right use.

  64. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning Nishi,

    The access problems with Nishi are probably prohibitive for housing. If the access problem didn’t exist, it would have been built out long ago.

    Richards is already at capacity. To build at Nishi would require blocking off the access to Richards, and building a tunnel under the railroad tracks to provide auto access to Old Davis Road and the University-I-80 interchange.

    This would require both University permission and, I would guess, 15 or 20 million dollars.

    I think it is unlikely that both the University would agree and that the developer would be able to spend 15 or 20 million dollars on this small and oddly shaped parcel. Both conditions would have to be met.

    Also, there actually is increasing data that it is quite unhealthy to build housing close to freeways. Finally, Union Pacific is planning to run its freight trains at night in order to make room for the passenger trains, and freight train traffic is projected to increase.

    According the developers, housing at this site would have to be crammed right up to the tracks. The roar of those freight trains would be deafening.

    I think there is better use for that land. We lost Genentech to Vacaville because we didn’t have any large parcels of land zoned and ready to go. I think that keeping this land available for a potential high-tech user such as Genentech is the most sensible approach.

    This type of user needs a lot of land, has very, very expensive capital equipment (which can bring literally millions of dollars and property tax), and employs relatively few workers.

    They tend to operate 24/7, and we could work out an agreement whereby they change shifts at off-peak hours.

    Not everything has to be built out immediately. I think it is better to plan wisely, even if it takes awhile to recruit the right use.

  65. Voted No On X

    Kevin,

    I voted against X because of the McMansions, traffic congestion and infrastructure. There was not enough affordable housing. We need more housing that is affordable, but we dont’t want it to hurt our open space and cause congestion.

  66. Voted No On X

    Kevin,

    I voted against X because of the McMansions, traffic congestion and infrastructure. There was not enough affordable housing. We need more housing that is affordable, but we dont’t want it to hurt our open space and cause congestion.

  67. Voted No On X

    Kevin,

    I voted against X because of the McMansions, traffic congestion and infrastructure. There was not enough affordable housing. We need more housing that is affordable, but we dont’t want it to hurt our open space and cause congestion.

  68. Voted No On X

    Kevin,

    I voted against X because of the McMansions, traffic congestion and infrastructure. There was not enough affordable housing. We need more housing that is affordable, but we dont’t want it to hurt our open space and cause congestion.

  69. Rich Rifkin

    VOTED NO: “There was not enough affordable housing.

    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

  70. Rich Rifkin

    VOTED NO: “There was not enough affordable housing.

    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

  71. Rich Rifkin

    VOTED NO: “There was not enough affordable housing.

    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

  72. Rich Rifkin

    VOTED NO: “There was not enough affordable housing.

    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

  73. Kevin Wolf

    I have two responses. One to Sue on Nishi. Sue you sound too sure of your facts on housing on Nishi causing “incapacity” on Richards and through the undercrossing. Options should be evaluated before negating so definitively such an important resource for housing in favor of another I-80 business that will attract drivers from all over the region. Increased inconvenience is something we are all going to have to face a lot more in our future because of how we treated the planet and misused our natural resources. Inconvenience at Richards may be a small and temporary price to pay if mu wing is right about Peak Oil reducing future driving overall.

    A $12-$20M cost to build an undercrossing from Nishi to the university would come to around $10-15,000 per unit if we allowed 1000-1200 units or more there. I think you should not dismiss these options and consequences on such an important property without a more fact and option based analysis. That cost might be affordable with a high enough density on the site.

    Regarding “anonymous”‘s comment about not wanting more McMansions. I agree. It is tough though to make affordable housing in Davis given all the additional costs associated with development. Protecting two acres for each developed is expensive, but I wouldn’t want to stop that requirement. We should set criteria, like the existing 25% affordable housing requirement, for middle and low middle income housing and then let the developer propose how they will meet it. We should give them more leeway in how dense they can make the units to allow for more affordability and less land use.

    By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.

  74. Kevin Wolf

    I have two responses. One to Sue on Nishi. Sue you sound too sure of your facts on housing on Nishi causing “incapacity” on Richards and through the undercrossing. Options should be evaluated before negating so definitively such an important resource for housing in favor of another I-80 business that will attract drivers from all over the region. Increased inconvenience is something we are all going to have to face a lot more in our future because of how we treated the planet and misused our natural resources. Inconvenience at Richards may be a small and temporary price to pay if mu wing is right about Peak Oil reducing future driving overall.

    A $12-$20M cost to build an undercrossing from Nishi to the university would come to around $10-15,000 per unit if we allowed 1000-1200 units or more there. I think you should not dismiss these options and consequences on such an important property without a more fact and option based analysis. That cost might be affordable with a high enough density on the site.

    Regarding “anonymous”‘s comment about not wanting more McMansions. I agree. It is tough though to make affordable housing in Davis given all the additional costs associated with development. Protecting two acres for each developed is expensive, but I wouldn’t want to stop that requirement. We should set criteria, like the existing 25% affordable housing requirement, for middle and low middle income housing and then let the developer propose how they will meet it. We should give them more leeway in how dense they can make the units to allow for more affordability and less land use.

    By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.

  75. Kevin Wolf

    I have two responses. One to Sue on Nishi. Sue you sound too sure of your facts on housing on Nishi causing “incapacity” on Richards and through the undercrossing. Options should be evaluated before negating so definitively such an important resource for housing in favor of another I-80 business that will attract drivers from all over the region. Increased inconvenience is something we are all going to have to face a lot more in our future because of how we treated the planet and misused our natural resources. Inconvenience at Richards may be a small and temporary price to pay if mu wing is right about Peak Oil reducing future driving overall.

    A $12-$20M cost to build an undercrossing from Nishi to the university would come to around $10-15,000 per unit if we allowed 1000-1200 units or more there. I think you should not dismiss these options and consequences on such an important property without a more fact and option based analysis. That cost might be affordable with a high enough density on the site.

    Regarding “anonymous”‘s comment about not wanting more McMansions. I agree. It is tough though to make affordable housing in Davis given all the additional costs associated with development. Protecting two acres for each developed is expensive, but I wouldn’t want to stop that requirement. We should set criteria, like the existing 25% affordable housing requirement, for middle and low middle income housing and then let the developer propose how they will meet it. We should give them more leeway in how dense they can make the units to allow for more affordability and less land use.

    By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.

  76. Kevin Wolf

    I have two responses. One to Sue on Nishi. Sue you sound too sure of your facts on housing on Nishi causing “incapacity” on Richards and through the undercrossing. Options should be evaluated before negating so definitively such an important resource for housing in favor of another I-80 business that will attract drivers from all over the region. Increased inconvenience is something we are all going to have to face a lot more in our future because of how we treated the planet and misused our natural resources. Inconvenience at Richards may be a small and temporary price to pay if mu wing is right about Peak Oil reducing future driving overall.

    A $12-$20M cost to build an undercrossing from Nishi to the university would come to around $10-15,000 per unit if we allowed 1000-1200 units or more there. I think you should not dismiss these options and consequences on such an important property without a more fact and option based analysis. That cost might be affordable with a high enough density on the site.

    Regarding “anonymous”‘s comment about not wanting more McMansions. I agree. It is tough though to make affordable housing in Davis given all the additional costs associated with development. Protecting two acres for each developed is expensive, but I wouldn’t want to stop that requirement. We should set criteria, like the existing 25% affordable housing requirement, for middle and low middle income housing and then let the developer propose how they will meet it. We should give them more leeway in how dense they can make the units to allow for more affordability and less land use.

    By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.

  77. Anonymous

    Kevin Wolf said:
    “By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.”

    Actually Kevin, anonymity allows the reader to evaluate a posting on its merits without taking into account the poster’s known bias. Your history as one of the most aggressive “soldiers” for Whitcomb’s CV Yes on Measure X campaign is a good example.

  78. Anonymous

    Kevin Wolf said:
    “By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.”

    Actually Kevin, anonymity allows the reader to evaluate a posting on its merits without taking into account the poster’s known bias. Your history as one of the most aggressive “soldiers” for Whitcomb’s CV Yes on Measure X campaign is a good example.

  79. Anonymous

    Kevin Wolf said:
    “By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.”

    Actually Kevin, anonymity allows the reader to evaluate a posting on its merits without taking into account the poster’s known bias. Your history as one of the most aggressive “soldiers” for Whitcomb’s CV Yes on Measure X campaign is a good example.

  80. Anonymous

    Kevin Wolf said:
    “By they way, I understand why “davis renter” might want to be anonymous. I don’t understand why others don’t put their name to their comments.”

    Actually Kevin, anonymity allows the reader to evaluate a posting on its merits without taking into account the poster’s known bias. Your history as one of the most aggressive “soldiers” for Whitcomb’s CV Yes on Measure X campaign is a good example.

  81. No on Xer

    Rich Rifkin said:
    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

    The Yes on X campaign argument deceptively lumped together the already-General Plan mandated low and very low income affordable housing % with the moderate affordable housing that the project was supposed to create. Additionally, the city coffers rather than the developers would take the risk of maintaining the fund to support the limited(10 units/yr.) moderate affordable housing plan. As we are witnessing the housing “melt-down”, one can only imagine what a hole the city would find itself in if it had bought into THAT “pig in a poke”.

  82. No on Xer

    Rich Rifkin said:
    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

    The Yes on X campaign argument deceptively lumped together the already-General Plan mandated low and very low income affordable housing % with the moderate affordable housing that the project was supposed to create. Additionally, the city coffers rather than the developers would take the risk of maintaining the fund to support the limited(10 units/yr.) moderate affordable housing plan. As we are witnessing the housing “melt-down”, one can only imagine what a hole the city would find itself in if it had bought into THAT “pig in a poke”.

  83. No on Xer

    Rich Rifkin said:
    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

    The Yes on X campaign argument deceptively lumped together the already-General Plan mandated low and very low income affordable housing % with the moderate affordable housing that the project was supposed to create. Additionally, the city coffers rather than the developers would take the risk of maintaining the fund to support the limited(10 units/yr.) moderate affordable housing plan. As we are witnessing the housing “melt-down”, one can only imagine what a hole the city would find itself in if it had bought into THAT “pig in a poke”.

  84. No on Xer

    Rich Rifkin said:
    How much affordable (as a percentage) do you believe there was in CV? And how much do you think would be enough?

    The Yes on X campaign argument deceptively lumped together the already-General Plan mandated low and very low income affordable housing % with the moderate affordable housing that the project was supposed to create. Additionally, the city coffers rather than the developers would take the risk of maintaining the fund to support the limited(10 units/yr.) moderate affordable housing plan. As we are witnessing the housing “melt-down”, one can only imagine what a hole the city would find itself in if it had bought into THAT “pig in a poke”.

  85. Anonymous

    I would like to address some of the comments in the column written by Kevin Wolf. I agree with some statements, and disagree with others. I would just like to offer my two cents on growth.

    First off, I am a long-time home owner in Davis and have also been a strong advocate for well-planned development as opposed to the sprawl we most often see. As a result, I have worked against some of the big sprawl projects proposed for Davis, including Covell Village. I would like to address the statement “A city that doesn’t grow in accordance with regional growth or with its own internal job (and university student) growth creates winners and losers.” Actually, Davis has always grown according to regional needs, and that is the only requirement any community really needs to attempt to meet. Davis has also done a great job of growing to meet the demands of the growing university, something the university itself has not always done. But beyond that, lets talk about winners and losers. “Winners include the owners of apartment complexes and people who want to sell their houses with a price premium gained because of a high demand and low supply.” To assume that all those who fight sprawl do so because they want to make a profit is ludicrous. Davis housing prices are and have been high, because Davis is a very desirable place to live, partly because we have been able to keep Davis from going down the road to sprawl and malls. We grew at nearly 5% at one point in the 90’s, yet our housing prices continued to spiral upwards. Supply and demand is not the only cause for high housing prices, so lets not oversimplify a complex issue.

    “Losers include just about everyone else iwth the impacts including:—–” Actually, I believe that creating a community that can house all socio-economic groups and offers a broad option of jobs (the direction some of us try to encourage Davis to take) is the smartest form of growth and creates mostly winners. The type of housing development that we have seen in Davis and much of that being proposed for our periphery at the housing committee meetings is just more sprawl with big, expensive McMansions (just like Covell Village), affordable to few in Davis, bringing in commuters from the Bay area and beyond, adding to the air pollution and traffic nightmares. If we actually built housing that the middle income groups in Davis–university staff, nurses, teachers, fire and police personnel, etc.–could afford, so that these people could live and work in the same community instead of commuting, we would positively address problems of air quality, aging population, traffic, and energy use, among others. Building more big, expensive housing does not accomplish this.

    I am puzzled by the contention that if we build in Davis, far less habitat and ag land is lost than if growth occurs elsewhere. Last time I checked, 5-6 units per acre on 100 acres on the periphery of Davis eats up just as much habitat and ag land as it would if built in Woodland, or Dixon or anywhere else for that matter. And the fact that we require protection of 2 acres of ag land to each 1 developed on our perphery still results in the permanent loss of prime ag land and wildlife habitat.

    The only way we are going to permanently protect ag land and habitat is to grow much more densely in already developed areas to the extent possible, and this includes growing up. We also need to consider just how much more growth this region can handle, given changes that will inevitably occur with global warming and climate change, the energy crisis, and other problems that will have severe impacts on how we live in the future. We need to be looking at the big picture and taking a long view. Continuing to grow as we have been, eating up our ag land, draining our surface and ground water supplies, polluting our air, and diminishing the quality of life for everyone–and lining the pockets of a few rich developers–is short-sighted to say the least, and the wrong road to take, if we care at all about the quality of life of those who follow us.

    One last word about the 1% growth rate? That resolution adopted by our previous council is not a legal requirement, has no teeth, was pulled out of the air with no justification what so ever (except to possible accommodate Covell Village), and Davis does not have to consider it in any way, shape or form. If, as suggested, we grew at that rate for the next 30 years, we would add roughly 6 Mace Ranches and eat up 100s of acres of farmland and open space. Is that what we want?

    I did appreciate reading this guest column, and hope the DPD intends to ask others on the Housing Committee to write also.

  86. Anonymous

    I would like to address some of the comments in the column written by Kevin Wolf. I agree with some statements, and disagree with others. I would just like to offer my two cents on growth.

    First off, I am a long-time home owner in Davis and have also been a strong advocate for well-planned development as opposed to the sprawl we most often see. As a result, I have worked against some of the big sprawl projects proposed for Davis, including Covell Village. I would like to address the statement “A city that doesn’t grow in accordance with regional growth or with its own internal job (and university student) growth creates winners and losers.” Actually, Davis has always grown according to regional needs, and that is the only requirement any community really needs to attempt to meet. Davis has also done a great job of growing to meet the demands of the growing university, something the university itself has not always done. But beyond that, lets talk about winners and losers. “Winners include the owners of apartment complexes and people who want to sell their houses with a price premium gained because of a high demand and low supply.” To assume that all those who fight sprawl do so because they want to make a profit is ludicrous. Davis housing prices are and have been high, because Davis is a very desirable place to live, partly because we have been able to keep Davis from going down the road to sprawl and malls. We grew at nearly 5% at one point in the 90’s, yet our housing prices continued to spiral upwards. Supply and demand is not the only cause for high housing prices, so lets not oversimplify a complex issue.

    “Losers include just about everyone else iwth the impacts including:—–” Actually, I believe that creating a community that can house all socio-economic groups and offers a broad option of jobs (the direction some of us try to encourage Davis to take) is the smartest form of growth and creates mostly winners. The type of housing development that we have seen in Davis and much of that being proposed for our periphery at the housing committee meetings is just more sprawl with big, expensive McMansions (just like Covell Village), affordable to few in Davis, bringing in commuters from the Bay area and beyond, adding to the air pollution and traffic nightmares. If we actually built housing that the middle income groups in Davis–university staff, nurses, teachers, fire and police personnel, etc.–could afford, so that these people could live and work in the same community instead of commuting, we would positively address problems of air quality, aging population, traffic, and energy use, among others. Building more big, expensive housing does not accomplish this.

    I am puzzled by the contention that if we build in Davis, far less habitat and ag land is lost than if growth occurs elsewhere. Last time I checked, 5-6 units per acre on 100 acres on the periphery of Davis eats up just as much habitat and ag land as it would if built in Woodland, or Dixon or anywhere else for that matter. And the fact that we require protection of 2 acres of ag land to each 1 developed on our perphery still results in the permanent loss of prime ag land and wildlife habitat.

    The only way we are going to permanently protect ag land and habitat is to grow much more densely in already developed areas to the extent possible, and this includes growing up. We also need to consider just how much more growth this region can handle, given changes that will inevitably occur with global warming and climate change, the energy crisis, and other problems that will have severe impacts on how we live in the future. We need to be looking at the big picture and taking a long view. Continuing to grow as we have been, eating up our ag land, draining our surface and ground water supplies, polluting our air, and diminishing the quality of life for everyone–and lining the pockets of a few rich developers–is short-sighted to say the least, and the wrong road to take, if we care at all about the quality of life of those who follow us.

    One last word about the 1% growth rate? That resolution adopted by our previous council is not a legal requirement, has no teeth, was pulled out of the air with no justification what so ever (except to possible accommodate Covell Village), and Davis does not have to consider it in any way, shape or form. If, as suggested, we grew at that rate for the next 30 years, we would add roughly 6 Mace Ranches and eat up 100s of acres of farmland and open space. Is that what we want?

    I did appreciate reading this guest column, and hope the DPD intends to ask others on the Housing Committee to write also.

  87. Anonymous

    I would like to address some of the comments in the column written by Kevin Wolf. I agree with some statements, and disagree with others. I would just like to offer my two cents on growth.

    First off, I am a long-time home owner in Davis and have also been a strong advocate for well-planned development as opposed to the sprawl we most often see. As a result, I have worked against some of the big sprawl projects proposed for Davis, including Covell Village. I would like to address the statement “A city that doesn’t grow in accordance with regional growth or with its own internal job (and university student) growth creates winners and losers.” Actually, Davis has always grown according to regional needs, and that is the only requirement any community really needs to attempt to meet. Davis has also done a great job of growing to meet the demands of the growing university, something the university itself has not always done. But beyond that, lets talk about winners and losers. “Winners include the owners of apartment complexes and people who want to sell their houses with a price premium gained because of a high demand and low supply.” To assume that all those who fight sprawl do so because they want to make a profit is ludicrous. Davis housing prices are and have been high, because Davis is a very desirable place to live, partly because we have been able to keep Davis from going down the road to sprawl and malls. We grew at nearly 5% at one point in the 90’s, yet our housing prices continued to spiral upwards. Supply and demand is not the only cause for high housing prices, so lets not oversimplify a complex issue.

    “Losers include just about everyone else iwth the impacts including:—–” Actually, I believe that creating a community that can house all socio-economic groups and offers a broad option of jobs (the direction some of us try to encourage Davis to take) is the smartest form of growth and creates mostly winners. The type of housing development that we have seen in Davis and much of that being proposed for our periphery at the housing committee meetings is just more sprawl with big, expensive McMansions (just like Covell Village), affordable to few in Davis, bringing in commuters from the Bay area and beyond, adding to the air pollution and traffic nightmares. If we actually built housing that the middle income groups in Davis–university staff, nurses, teachers, fire and police personnel, etc.–could afford, so that these people could live and work in the same community instead of commuting, we would positively address problems of air quality, aging population, traffic, and energy use, among others. Building more big, expensive housing does not accomplish this.

    I am puzzled by the contention that if we build in Davis, far less habitat and ag land is lost than if growth occurs elsewhere. Last time I checked, 5-6 units per acre on 100 acres on the periphery of Davis eats up just as much habitat and ag land as it would if built in Woodland, or Dixon or anywhere else for that matter. And the fact that we require protection of 2 acres of ag land to each 1 developed on our perphery still results in the permanent loss of prime ag land and wildlife habitat.

    The only way we are going to permanently protect ag land and habitat is to grow much more densely in already developed areas to the extent possible, and this includes growing up. We also need to consider just how much more growth this region can handle, given changes that will inevitably occur with global warming and climate change, the energy crisis, and other problems that will have severe impacts on how we live in the future. We need to be looking at the big picture and taking a long view. Continuing to grow as we have been, eating up our ag land, draining our surface and ground water supplies, polluting our air, and diminishing the quality of life for everyone–and lining the pockets of a few rich developers–is short-sighted to say the least, and the wrong road to take, if we care at all about the quality of life of those who follow us.

    One last word about the 1% growth rate? That resolution adopted by our previous council is not a legal requirement, has no teeth, was pulled out of the air with no justification what so ever (except to possible accommodate Covell Village), and Davis does not have to consider it in any way, shape or form. If, as suggested, we grew at that rate for the next 30 years, we would add roughly 6 Mace Ranches and eat up 100s of acres of farmland and open space. Is that what we want?

    I did appreciate reading this guest column, and hope the DPD intends to ask others on the Housing Committee to write also.

  88. Anonymous

    I would like to address some of the comments in the column written by Kevin Wolf. I agree with some statements, and disagree with others. I would just like to offer my two cents on growth.

    First off, I am a long-time home owner in Davis and have also been a strong advocate for well-planned development as opposed to the sprawl we most often see. As a result, I have worked against some of the big sprawl projects proposed for Davis, including Covell Village. I would like to address the statement “A city that doesn’t grow in accordance with regional growth or with its own internal job (and university student) growth creates winners and losers.” Actually, Davis has always grown according to regional needs, and that is the only requirement any community really needs to attempt to meet. Davis has also done a great job of growing to meet the demands of the growing university, something the university itself has not always done. But beyond that, lets talk about winners and losers. “Winners include the owners of apartment complexes and people who want to sell their houses with a price premium gained because of a high demand and low supply.” To assume that all those who fight sprawl do so because they want to make a profit is ludicrous. Davis housing prices are and have been high, because Davis is a very desirable place to live, partly because we have been able to keep Davis from going down the road to sprawl and malls. We grew at nearly 5% at one point in the 90’s, yet our housing prices continued to spiral upwards. Supply and demand is not the only cause for high housing prices, so lets not oversimplify a complex issue.

    “Losers include just about everyone else iwth the impacts including:—–” Actually, I believe that creating a community that can house all socio-economic groups and offers a broad option of jobs (the direction some of us try to encourage Davis to take) is the smartest form of growth and creates mostly winners. The type of housing development that we have seen in Davis and much of that being proposed for our periphery at the housing committee meetings is just more sprawl with big, expensive McMansions (just like Covell Village), affordable to few in Davis, bringing in commuters from the Bay area and beyond, adding to the air pollution and traffic nightmares. If we actually built housing that the middle income groups in Davis–university staff, nurses, teachers, fire and police personnel, etc.–could afford, so that these people could live and work in the same community instead of commuting, we would positively address problems of air quality, aging population, traffic, and energy use, among others. Building more big, expensive housing does not accomplish this.

    I am puzzled by the contention that if we build in Davis, far less habitat and ag land is lost than if growth occurs elsewhere. Last time I checked, 5-6 units per acre on 100 acres on the periphery of Davis eats up just as much habitat and ag land as it would if built in Woodland, or Dixon or anywhere else for that matter. And the fact that we require protection of 2 acres of ag land to each 1 developed on our perphery still results in the permanent loss of prime ag land and wildlife habitat.

    The only way we are going to permanently protect ag land and habitat is to grow much more densely in already developed areas to the extent possible, and this includes growing up. We also need to consider just how much more growth this region can handle, given changes that will inevitably occur with global warming and climate change, the energy crisis, and other problems that will have severe impacts on how we live in the future. We need to be looking at the big picture and taking a long view. Continuing to grow as we have been, eating up our ag land, draining our surface and ground water supplies, polluting our air, and diminishing the quality of life for everyone–and lining the pockets of a few rich developers–is short-sighted to say the least, and the wrong road to take, if we care at all about the quality of life of those who follow us.

    One last word about the 1% growth rate? That resolution adopted by our previous council is not a legal requirement, has no teeth, was pulled out of the air with no justification what so ever (except to possible accommodate Covell Village), and Davis does not have to consider it in any way, shape or form. If, as suggested, we grew at that rate for the next 30 years, we would add roughly 6 Mace Ranches and eat up 100s of acres of farmland and open space. Is that what we want?

    I did appreciate reading this guest column, and hope the DPD intends to ask others on the Housing Committee to write also.

  89. Anonymous

    There are some good thoughts on here. Frankly, as a collection there is a great deal more honesty and forthrightness than in general we see or hear around Davis growth debates. The one issue I wish we could move beyond however is the notion that “ag” land is undeveloped. To the contrary “ag” land IS developed land. It may not have houses on it but its very condition is that of developed land. People seem to forget that the land around us, with all the farms and ranches is not the way it was in its native state. With those alterations have come changes in water use, flood patterns, elimination of wild flora and fauna and a host of other changes including the elimination of topography.

  90. Anonymous

    There are some good thoughts on here. Frankly, as a collection there is a great deal more honesty and forthrightness than in general we see or hear around Davis growth debates. The one issue I wish we could move beyond however is the notion that “ag” land is undeveloped. To the contrary “ag” land IS developed land. It may not have houses on it but its very condition is that of developed land. People seem to forget that the land around us, with all the farms and ranches is not the way it was in its native state. With those alterations have come changes in water use, flood patterns, elimination of wild flora and fauna and a host of other changes including the elimination of topography.

  91. Anonymous

    There are some good thoughts on here. Frankly, as a collection there is a great deal more honesty and forthrightness than in general we see or hear around Davis growth debates. The one issue I wish we could move beyond however is the notion that “ag” land is undeveloped. To the contrary “ag” land IS developed land. It may not have houses on it but its very condition is that of developed land. People seem to forget that the land around us, with all the farms and ranches is not the way it was in its native state. With those alterations have come changes in water use, flood patterns, elimination of wild flora and fauna and a host of other changes including the elimination of topography.

  92. Anonymous

    There are some good thoughts on here. Frankly, as a collection there is a great deal more honesty and forthrightness than in general we see or hear around Davis growth debates. The one issue I wish we could move beyond however is the notion that “ag” land is undeveloped. To the contrary “ag” land IS developed land. It may not have houses on it but its very condition is that of developed land. People seem to forget that the land around us, with all the farms and ranches is not the way it was in its native state. With those alterations have come changes in water use, flood patterns, elimination of wild flora and fauna and a host of other changes including the elimination of topography.

  93. Anonymous

    sue’s areument against Nishi is just as valid against the PGE property on second street more freight and air pollution from UP and I-80 so where should we build Sue?

  94. Anonymous

    sue’s areument against Nishi is just as valid against the PGE property on second street more freight and air pollution from UP and I-80 so where should we build Sue?

  95. Anonymous

    sue’s areument against Nishi is just as valid against the PGE property on second street more freight and air pollution from UP and I-80 so where should we build Sue?

  96. Anonymous

    sue’s areument against Nishi is just as valid against the PGE property on second street more freight and air pollution from UP and I-80 so where should we build Sue?

  97. Anonymous

    To All,
    No one owns anything. You only have temporary custody of it, this includes your life. Do what is right for now and in the future. This may be my last comment.

  98. Anonymous

    To All,
    No one owns anything. You only have temporary custody of it, this includes your life. Do what is right for now and in the future. This may be my last comment.

  99. Anonymous

    To All,
    No one owns anything. You only have temporary custody of it, this includes your life. Do what is right for now and in the future. This may be my last comment.

  100. Anonymous

    To All,
    No one owns anything. You only have temporary custody of it, this includes your life. Do what is right for now and in the future. This may be my last comment.

  101. Mike Adams

    Just to look at another side of the coin, we also may want to make sure that the workers providing services in Davis are paid a livable wage, and encourage large employers to allow union organizing without retribution and aggressive anti-union campaigning. In some ways this accomplishes more than trying to force down the price of housing.

  102. Mike Adams

    Just to look at another side of the coin, we also may want to make sure that the workers providing services in Davis are paid a livable wage, and encourage large employers to allow union organizing without retribution and aggressive anti-union campaigning. In some ways this accomplishes more than trying to force down the price of housing.

  103. Mike Adams

    Just to look at another side of the coin, we also may want to make sure that the workers providing services in Davis are paid a livable wage, and encourage large employers to allow union organizing without retribution and aggressive anti-union campaigning. In some ways this accomplishes more than trying to force down the price of housing.

  104. Mike Adams

    Just to look at another side of the coin, we also may want to make sure that the workers providing services in Davis are paid a livable wage, and encourage large employers to allow union organizing without retribution and aggressive anti-union campaigning. In some ways this accomplishes more than trying to force down the price of housing.

  105. Anonymous

    This may get removed but I hope someone reads it first. What is a livable wage? Unions don’t provide that figure. Unions also live off the backs of a lot of hard working people while telling them that unions benefit them.
    I have belonged to unions and always found them to run things for the benefit of union management whenever possible. ie; an important vote comes up suddenly.

    The majority of membership is not told of the need to meet and vote. An issue passes with the union management and their lackey’s voting on it. That was a favorite trick of the RCIA,(Retail Clerks International Association).

    How about the clerk getting ready to retire at 30 years with the RCIA. The employee is written up for not having a properly tied tie or a time clock card punch in 1 minute ahead or failure to clock out exactly on time. Thats three write ups,(union agreed to rules), and you are fired. Saw it twice in 3 years with 30 year employee’s.

    Where was the union? They were looking the other way for pay. If you have any doubts that this is not still happening go check with rank and file and/or management at ANY unionized food store.

    I did not retire belonging to a union because I did’nt want them negotiating away benefits I worked hard for. The hardworking taxpayers do not deserve unionization in the publice sector.

  106. Anonymous

    This may get removed but I hope someone reads it first. What is a livable wage? Unions don’t provide that figure. Unions also live off the backs of a lot of hard working people while telling them that unions benefit them.
    I have belonged to unions and always found them to run things for the benefit of union management whenever possible. ie; an important vote comes up suddenly.

    The majority of membership is not told of the need to meet and vote. An issue passes with the union management and their lackey’s voting on it. That was a favorite trick of the RCIA,(Retail Clerks International Association).

    How about the clerk getting ready to retire at 30 years with the RCIA. The employee is written up for not having a properly tied tie or a time clock card punch in 1 minute ahead or failure to clock out exactly on time. Thats three write ups,(union agreed to rules), and you are fired. Saw it twice in 3 years with 30 year employee’s.

    Where was the union? They were looking the other way for pay. If you have any doubts that this is not still happening go check with rank and file and/or management at ANY unionized food store.

    I did not retire belonging to a union because I did’nt want them negotiating away benefits I worked hard for. The hardworking taxpayers do not deserve unionization in the publice sector.

  107. Anonymous

    This may get removed but I hope someone reads it first. What is a livable wage? Unions don’t provide that figure. Unions also live off the backs of a lot of hard working people while telling them that unions benefit them.
    I have belonged to unions and always found them to run things for the benefit of union management whenever possible. ie; an important vote comes up suddenly.

    The majority of membership is not told of the need to meet and vote. An issue passes with the union management and their lackey’s voting on it. That was a favorite trick of the RCIA,(Retail Clerks International Association).

    How about the clerk getting ready to retire at 30 years with the RCIA. The employee is written up for not having a properly tied tie or a time clock card punch in 1 minute ahead or failure to clock out exactly on time. Thats three write ups,(union agreed to rules), and you are fired. Saw it twice in 3 years with 30 year employee’s.

    Where was the union? They were looking the other way for pay. If you have any doubts that this is not still happening go check with rank and file and/or management at ANY unionized food store.

    I did not retire belonging to a union because I did’nt want them negotiating away benefits I worked hard for. The hardworking taxpayers do not deserve unionization in the publice sector.

  108. Anonymous

    This may get removed but I hope someone reads it first. What is a livable wage? Unions don’t provide that figure. Unions also live off the backs of a lot of hard working people while telling them that unions benefit them.
    I have belonged to unions and always found them to run things for the benefit of union management whenever possible. ie; an important vote comes up suddenly.

    The majority of membership is not told of the need to meet and vote. An issue passes with the union management and their lackey’s voting on it. That was a favorite trick of the RCIA,(Retail Clerks International Association).

    How about the clerk getting ready to retire at 30 years with the RCIA. The employee is written up for not having a properly tied tie or a time clock card punch in 1 minute ahead or failure to clock out exactly on time. Thats three write ups,(union agreed to rules), and you are fired. Saw it twice in 3 years with 30 year employee’s.

    Where was the union? They were looking the other way for pay. If you have any doubts that this is not still happening go check with rank and file and/or management at ANY unionized food store.

    I did not retire belonging to a union because I did’nt want them negotiating away benefits I worked hard for. The hardworking taxpayers do not deserve unionization in the publice sector.

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