Commentary: Measure J is in the Hands Largely of the Next Council

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While the voters will have to approve what the council does, the council will have a large say over the shape and scope of the next Measure J vote, at least according to the opinion written by Harriet Steiner first reported by the Vanguard on Saturday morning.

Harriet Steiner believes that the city council has four options.

  1. Not extend Measure J
  2. Extend Measure J as is
  3. Extend Measure J with an amendment or amendments
  4. Place two or more measures on the ballot; one to extend Measure J as is and one or more additional measures to amend Measure J. The measure or measures that would go into effect would depend on how the measures were drafted, and how many votes each received, as explained below.

In addition to the council options, “the voters have the right to proceed with an initiative measure by collecting signatures and submitting an initiative petition to the City Council.”

For clarification purposes, options 1 through 4 require a public vote–that means the council does not unilaterally get to repeal the Measure, but they could put before the voters a measure that would repeal Measure J.

Some have suggested that the public can simply organize and put the requisite number of signatures on the ballot in 2010. That is certainly true and likely what would occur should the council decide on 1 or 3. However, as I read the opinion, if there are competing measures, the one with the most votes win. The more confusion caused by competing measures, the less likely it is for Measure J to pass as currently written. One need only see the competing propositions by the auto industry on the ballot in 1990 to understand the possibilities.

The safest route for those who continue to support the citizen’s right to choose would be to elect a new majority that has pledged to support Measure J in its current form and make it a permanent measure.

What is interesting to me is that people equate Measure J as an anti-growth measure. You can see the theme in some of the more colorful comments. Perhaps part of that is that the only Measure J vote went down to horrific defeat. But that was a proposal for nearly 2000 units. The next Measure J vote is likely to be considerably smaller in size and figures to fare far better at the polls.

The question is really twofold: does a development draw organized opposition and will that opposition resonate with the public as a whole. The last two growth measures was Measure X and Measure K (Target). Both drew strong organized opposition, but Measure K while not a Measure J mandated vote, passed.

Wildhorse was also not a Measure J vote, but it was able to obtain support from the community. Why? Because the developers and promoters worked with key neighbors and members of the community and were able to forge a coalition. Yes, there was organized opposition but they were able to overcome it.

The point is, that Measure J compels a vote, but that in itself does not doom a project. Ideally it would make the project better. It would force promoters and developers to work with a broad subsection of the public to make the project better. That is really what Measure J is about and exactly what the Covell Village partners did not do. The Covell Village partners would not have been able to sell the public on that specific project, but with better outreach and communication might have been able to develop a project that would have gained majority support.

Measure J is not about putting a wall around Davis or digging a moat. It is about giving the public a choice in how, when, and how much we develop. It is about forcing the developers to work with the public to create a project that the majority will support. But it puts the ultimate say with the public. It is for that reason that we need to work so hard to protect it.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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60 thoughts on “Commentary: Measure J is in the Hands Largely of the Next Council”

  1. Mike Hart

    Essentially you are proposing a litmus test for council candidates, “Would you vote to place Measure J in its current form before the voters with no competing measures?”

    While I agree with the sentiment, that I do not want anyone being elected who would disagree with this position, this approach does create the potential of voting for candidates who violate my rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    It is better to do both- have the citizens create the replacement for measure J and ALSO vote in responsible candidates. If these clever candidates you mention in your column are bright enough to see that the replacement measure has been placed before the voters by the voters themselves, perhaps they can make Davis history and restrain themselves from placing confusing and conflicting measures out there as well. In short, I encourage the new council to take the night off- perhaps they can all have ice cream at Baskin Robbins instead…

  2. Mike Hart

    Essentially you are proposing a litmus test for council candidates, “Would you vote to place Measure J in its current form before the voters with no competing measures?”

    While I agree with the sentiment, that I do not want anyone being elected who would disagree with this position, this approach does create the potential of voting for candidates who violate my rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    It is better to do both- have the citizens create the replacement for measure J and ALSO vote in responsible candidates. If these clever candidates you mention in your column are bright enough to see that the replacement measure has been placed before the voters by the voters themselves, perhaps they can make Davis history and restrain themselves from placing confusing and conflicting measures out there as well. In short, I encourage the new council to take the night off- perhaps they can all have ice cream at Baskin Robbins instead…

  3. Mike Hart

    Essentially you are proposing a litmus test for council candidates, “Would you vote to place Measure J in its current form before the voters with no competing measures?”

    While I agree with the sentiment, that I do not want anyone being elected who would disagree with this position, this approach does create the potential of voting for candidates who violate my rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    It is better to do both- have the citizens create the replacement for measure J and ALSO vote in responsible candidates. If these clever candidates you mention in your column are bright enough to see that the replacement measure has been placed before the voters by the voters themselves, perhaps they can make Davis history and restrain themselves from placing confusing and conflicting measures out there as well. In short, I encourage the new council to take the night off- perhaps they can all have ice cream at Baskin Robbins instead…

  4. Mike Hart

    Essentially you are proposing a litmus test for council candidates, “Would you vote to place Measure J in its current form before the voters with no competing measures?”

    While I agree with the sentiment, that I do not want anyone being elected who would disagree with this position, this approach does create the potential of voting for candidates who violate my rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    It is better to do both- have the citizens create the replacement for measure J and ALSO vote in responsible candidates. If these clever candidates you mention in your column are bright enough to see that the replacement measure has been placed before the voters by the voters themselves, perhaps they can make Davis history and restrain themselves from placing confusing and conflicting measures out there as well. In short, I encourage the new council to take the night off- perhaps they can all have ice cream at Baskin Robbins instead…

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    I am not opposed to citizens creating the new Measure J, but I don’t want that to become a fallback to electing candidates who would have a vested interest and inclination to weaken the measure.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    I am not opposed to citizens creating the new Measure J, but I don’t want that to become a fallback to electing candidates who would have a vested interest and inclination to weaken the measure.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    I am not opposed to citizens creating the new Measure J, but I don’t want that to become a fallback to electing candidates who would have a vested interest and inclination to weaken the measure.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    Mike:

    I am not opposed to citizens creating the new Measure J, but I don’t want that to become a fallback to electing candidates who would have a vested interest and inclination to weaken the measure.

  9. davisite

    Measure J means that developers must offer to the Davis voter both a project and cash/perks to the city’s general revenue,infrastructure that make it an offer that is very hard to resist. This kind of hard-nosed development agreement does not occur when the Council majority relies on support by these same developer interests. Measure J was created to help neutralize this problem.

  10. davisite

    Measure J means that developers must offer to the Davis voter both a project and cash/perks to the city’s general revenue,infrastructure that make it an offer that is very hard to resist. This kind of hard-nosed development agreement does not occur when the Council majority relies on support by these same developer interests. Measure J was created to help neutralize this problem.

  11. davisite

    Measure J means that developers must offer to the Davis voter both a project and cash/perks to the city’s general revenue,infrastructure that make it an offer that is very hard to resist. This kind of hard-nosed development agreement does not occur when the Council majority relies on support by these same developer interests. Measure J was created to help neutralize this problem.

  12. davisite

    Measure J means that developers must offer to the Davis voter both a project and cash/perks to the city’s general revenue,infrastructure that make it an offer that is very hard to resist. This kind of hard-nosed development agreement does not occur when the Council majority relies on support by these same developer interests. Measure J was created to help neutralize this problem.

  13. Anonymous

    “rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    Mike Hart… am I missing the meaning of this and its relevance to the discussion? Please explain.

  14. Anonymous

    “rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    Mike Hart… am I missing the meaning of this and its relevance to the discussion? Please explain.

  15. Anonymous

    “rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    Mike Hart… am I missing the meaning of this and its relevance to the discussion? Please explain.

  16. Anonymous

    “rule #1: People who labor under the belief that the UN Security Council is waiting for the outcome of Davis City Council meetings…

    Mike Hart… am I missing the meaning of this and its relevance to the discussion? Please explain.

  17. Mike Hart

    I agree that we should elect council members are not looking to turn Davis into a suburb of Woodland. I think that the DPD does a great job of providing the voting records on the current council members so we can make an informed decision. My personal opinion is that the council majority who voted for Measure X made a grave error. The project would have been a disaster for Davis. BTW Anonymous, I know it was a typo, but it was wonderful one, a “lamb-duck” majority sounds so passive aggressive!

  18. Mike Hart

    I agree that we should elect council members are not looking to turn Davis into a suburb of Woodland. I think that the DPD does a great job of providing the voting records on the current council members so we can make an informed decision. My personal opinion is that the council majority who voted for Measure X made a grave error. The project would have been a disaster for Davis. BTW Anonymous, I know it was a typo, but it was wonderful one, a “lamb-duck” majority sounds so passive aggressive!

  19. Mike Hart

    I agree that we should elect council members are not looking to turn Davis into a suburb of Woodland. I think that the DPD does a great job of providing the voting records on the current council members so we can make an informed decision. My personal opinion is that the council majority who voted for Measure X made a grave error. The project would have been a disaster for Davis. BTW Anonymous, I know it was a typo, but it was wonderful one, a “lamb-duck” majority sounds so passive aggressive!

  20. Mike Hart

    I agree that we should elect council members are not looking to turn Davis into a suburb of Woodland. I think that the DPD does a great job of providing the voting records on the current council members so we can make an informed decision. My personal opinion is that the council majority who voted for Measure X made a grave error. The project would have been a disaster for Davis. BTW Anonymous, I know it was a typo, but it was wonderful one, a “lamb-duck” majority sounds so passive aggressive!

  21. Mike Hart

    Sorry- I don’t mean to post so often, but I just read the question about the UN Security comment… Just because many people in Davis agree on the issue of slow growth does not mean that we agree on everything. There are many so-called “Progressives” who advocate slow-growth, but also have the unfortunate habit of seeing the Davis City Council as some bully-pulpit for advocating issues unrelated to the operation of the City of Davis. This includes taking positions on national and international policy that seem to generate a lot of heat, but fail to produce any real light on the subject. No one cares what the city council of Davis thinks on this issues and its just silly.

  22. Mike Hart

    Sorry- I don’t mean to post so often, but I just read the question about the UN Security comment… Just because many people in Davis agree on the issue of slow growth does not mean that we agree on everything. There are many so-called “Progressives” who advocate slow-growth, but also have the unfortunate habit of seeing the Davis City Council as some bully-pulpit for advocating issues unrelated to the operation of the City of Davis. This includes taking positions on national and international policy that seem to generate a lot of heat, but fail to produce any real light on the subject. No one cares what the city council of Davis thinks on this issues and its just silly.

  23. Mike Hart

    Sorry- I don’t mean to post so often, but I just read the question about the UN Security comment… Just because many people in Davis agree on the issue of slow growth does not mean that we agree on everything. There are many so-called “Progressives” who advocate slow-growth, but also have the unfortunate habit of seeing the Davis City Council as some bully-pulpit for advocating issues unrelated to the operation of the City of Davis. This includes taking positions on national and international policy that seem to generate a lot of heat, but fail to produce any real light on the subject. No one cares what the city council of Davis thinks on this issues and its just silly.

  24. Mike Hart

    Sorry- I don’t mean to post so often, but I just read the question about the UN Security comment… Just because many people in Davis agree on the issue of slow growth does not mean that we agree on everything. There are many so-called “Progressives” who advocate slow-growth, but also have the unfortunate habit of seeing the Davis City Council as some bully-pulpit for advocating issues unrelated to the operation of the City of Davis. This includes taking positions on national and international policy that seem to generate a lot of heat, but fail to produce any real light on the subject. No one cares what the city council of Davis thinks on this issues and its just silly.

  25. anon10:06

    Oh… I get it now… so this has nothing to do with the “litmus test” concerning measure J (with which you agree) but rather that some candidates often are the same people who posture about Davis’ international standing? This may be true but it certainly should not sway your choice as Measure J is a real Davis issue that has real consequences if it is neutered.

  26. anon10:06

    Oh… I get it now… so this has nothing to do with the “litmus test” concerning measure J (with which you agree) but rather that some candidates often are the same people who posture about Davis’ international standing? This may be true but it certainly should not sway your choice as Measure J is a real Davis issue that has real consequences if it is neutered.

  27. anon10:06

    Oh… I get it now… so this has nothing to do with the “litmus test” concerning measure J (with which you agree) but rather that some candidates often are the same people who posture about Davis’ international standing? This may be true but it certainly should not sway your choice as Measure J is a real Davis issue that has real consequences if it is neutered.

  28. anon10:06

    Oh… I get it now… so this has nothing to do with the “litmus test” concerning measure J (with which you agree) but rather that some candidates often are the same people who posture about Davis’ international standing? This may be true but it certainly should not sway your choice as Measure J is a real Davis issue that has real consequences if it is neutered.

  29. Elaine Roberts Musser

    We need Measure J to remain intact, period. It gives voters the final say in development, not a majority of out of touch City Council members. Determining what housing is needed should not be developer driven, which is what has been happening too often in the past. And it is also how we ended up with too many schools for too few students. Developers overpromised what the school district could not deliver. Developers are in it for the money, which is perfectly OK. What is not OK is a City Council that pays too much attention to whomever lines their campaign coffers rather than what is good for the city. And by the way, I am not for no growth, but rather for smart growth. What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

  30. Elaine Roberts Musser

    We need Measure J to remain intact, period. It gives voters the final say in development, not a majority of out of touch City Council members. Determining what housing is needed should not be developer driven, which is what has been happening too often in the past. And it is also how we ended up with too many schools for too few students. Developers overpromised what the school district could not deliver. Developers are in it for the money, which is perfectly OK. What is not OK is a City Council that pays too much attention to whomever lines their campaign coffers rather than what is good for the city. And by the way, I am not for no growth, but rather for smart growth. What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

  31. Elaine Roberts Musser

    We need Measure J to remain intact, period. It gives voters the final say in development, not a majority of out of touch City Council members. Determining what housing is needed should not be developer driven, which is what has been happening too often in the past. And it is also how we ended up with too many schools for too few students. Developers overpromised what the school district could not deliver. Developers are in it for the money, which is perfectly OK. What is not OK is a City Council that pays too much attention to whomever lines their campaign coffers rather than what is good for the city. And by the way, I am not for no growth, but rather for smart growth. What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

  32. Elaine Roberts Musser

    We need Measure J to remain intact, period. It gives voters the final say in development, not a majority of out of touch City Council members. Determining what housing is needed should not be developer driven, which is what has been happening too often in the past. And it is also how we ended up with too many schools for too few students. Developers overpromised what the school district could not deliver. Developers are in it for the money, which is perfectly OK. What is not OK is a City Council that pays too much attention to whomever lines their campaign coffers rather than what is good for the city. And by the way, I am not for no growth, but rather for smart growth. What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

  33. Richard

    What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

    Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!

    Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development. I don’t find Wildhorse very appealing at all, and I wonder about the extent that current Davis residents do. If they don’t, then it’s not a very good endorsement of the Measure J process.

    –Richard Estes

  34. Richard

    What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

    Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!

    Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development. I don’t find Wildhorse very appealing at all, and I wonder about the extent that current Davis residents do. If they don’t, then it’s not a very good endorsement of the Measure J process.

    –Richard Estes

  35. Richard

    What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

    Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!

    Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development. I don’t find Wildhorse very appealing at all, and I wonder about the extent that current Davis residents do. If they don’t, then it’s not a very good endorsement of the Measure J process.

    –Richard Estes

  36. Richard

    What is smart growth??? Growth the city and schools can afford to pay for!!!

    Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!

    Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development. I don’t find Wildhorse very appealing at all, and I wonder about the extent that current Davis residents do. If they don’t, then it’s not a very good endorsement of the Measure J process.

    –Richard Estes

  37. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!”

    No, the developers promised schools that the school district did not have money to run. There is a very interesting relationship that occurs between the City Council and school district, if you think about it. If the City Council approves a housing development, more often than not a school is approved to go along with it, as happened with Marguerite Montgomery and Karamatsu. There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them. In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections. Not a good idea, as we are seeing now, to our cost. The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

  38. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!”

    No, the developers promised schools that the school district did not have money to run. There is a very interesting relationship that occurs between the City Council and school district, if you think about it. If the City Council approves a housing development, more often than not a school is approved to go along with it, as happened with Marguerite Montgomery and Karamatsu. There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them. In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections. Not a good idea, as we are seeing now, to our cost. The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

  39. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!”

    No, the developers promised schools that the school district did not have money to run. There is a very interesting relationship that occurs between the City Council and school district, if you think about it. If the City Council approves a housing development, more often than not a school is approved to go along with it, as happened with Marguerite Montgomery and Karamatsu. There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them. In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections. Not a good idea, as we are seeing now, to our cost. The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

  40. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Actually, the school district seems to be in trouble partially because it built facilities for growth that didn’t occur, or at least, increased numbers of students that didn’t materialize. So, in fact, if this standard is the one for smart growth, then the growth approved by previous councils was very smart indeed, it was the school district that failed to recognize the brilliance of it!”

    No, the developers promised schools that the school district did not have money to run. There is a very interesting relationship that occurs between the City Council and school district, if you think about it. If the City Council approves a housing development, more often than not a school is approved to go along with it, as happened with Marguerite Montgomery and Karamatsu. There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them. In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections. Not a good idea, as we are seeing now, to our cost. The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

  41. Richard

    In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections.

    Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.

    There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them.

    My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.

    But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

    Accordingly, the notion that developments can be approved or rejected besed upon their financial impact on school district operations is an indirect way for a community to abandon this obligation, and for this reason, as well as the racial and class bias that tends to be associated with this practice (for example, refusing to approve developments for lower middle income and lower income people, sometimes with a distinct racial profile), it is illegal for a city or county to consider it, at least that’s my recollection. Legal Services of Yolo County would know best, as I believe that they have educated local officials on this subject in the past.

    The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

    You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.

    But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria. In other words, someone from Sacramento or Reno or even Denver, must be allowed to submit an application and live there if they satisfy the standards, otherwise, there are serious statutory and constitutional issues.

    I was always troubled by people who emphasized the notion that affordable housing projects in Davis should be focused upon helping Davis residents first and foremost. I heard it periodically over the years when I lived there, and it seemed to carry with it an alarming subtext, basically that, don’t worry, we aren’t going to build anything that’s going to attract anyone from Sacramento, or, heaven forbid, Oakland or Los Angeles. Can’t have any lower income people with a darker skin complexion frightening the long time residents.

    From what I heard, this was a major theme emphasized by the opposition to Suntree back in the 1970s.

    The odd thing here is, historically, communities emphasized senior housing to satisfy affordable housing goals, because they tended to reinforce the pre-existing racial and class demographics of a community, thus alleviating this anxiety, and there were even lawsuits over this practice in the 1970s, but now, from what you are saying, even senior housing presents too many challenges for the existing residents to deal with in the absence of some kind of pass law.

    –Richard Estes

  42. Richard

    In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections.

    Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.

    There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them.

    My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.

    But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

    Accordingly, the notion that developments can be approved or rejected besed upon their financial impact on school district operations is an indirect way for a community to abandon this obligation, and for this reason, as well as the racial and class bias that tends to be associated with this practice (for example, refusing to approve developments for lower middle income and lower income people, sometimes with a distinct racial profile), it is illegal for a city or county to consider it, at least that’s my recollection. Legal Services of Yolo County would know best, as I believe that they have educated local officials on this subject in the past.

    The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

    You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.

    But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria. In other words, someone from Sacramento or Reno or even Denver, must be allowed to submit an application and live there if they satisfy the standards, otherwise, there are serious statutory and constitutional issues.

    I was always troubled by people who emphasized the notion that affordable housing projects in Davis should be focused upon helping Davis residents first and foremost. I heard it periodically over the years when I lived there, and it seemed to carry with it an alarming subtext, basically that, don’t worry, we aren’t going to build anything that’s going to attract anyone from Sacramento, or, heaven forbid, Oakland or Los Angeles. Can’t have any lower income people with a darker skin complexion frightening the long time residents.

    From what I heard, this was a major theme emphasized by the opposition to Suntree back in the 1970s.

    The odd thing here is, historically, communities emphasized senior housing to satisfy affordable housing goals, because they tended to reinforce the pre-existing racial and class demographics of a community, thus alleviating this anxiety, and there were even lawsuits over this practice in the 1970s, but now, from what you are saying, even senior housing presents too many challenges for the existing residents to deal with in the absence of some kind of pass law.

    –Richard Estes

  43. Richard

    In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections.

    Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.

    There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them.

    My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.

    But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

    Accordingly, the notion that developments can be approved or rejected besed upon their financial impact on school district operations is an indirect way for a community to abandon this obligation, and for this reason, as well as the racial and class bias that tends to be associated with this practice (for example, refusing to approve developments for lower middle income and lower income people, sometimes with a distinct racial profile), it is illegal for a city or county to consider it, at least that’s my recollection. Legal Services of Yolo County would know best, as I believe that they have educated local officials on this subject in the past.

    The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

    You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.

    But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria. In other words, someone from Sacramento or Reno or even Denver, must be allowed to submit an application and live there if they satisfy the standards, otherwise, there are serious statutory and constitutional issues.

    I was always troubled by people who emphasized the notion that affordable housing projects in Davis should be focused upon helping Davis residents first and foremost. I heard it periodically over the years when I lived there, and it seemed to carry with it an alarming subtext, basically that, don’t worry, we aren’t going to build anything that’s going to attract anyone from Sacramento, or, heaven forbid, Oakland or Los Angeles. Can’t have any lower income people with a darker skin complexion frightening the long time residents.

    From what I heard, this was a major theme emphasized by the opposition to Suntree back in the 1970s.

    The odd thing here is, historically, communities emphasized senior housing to satisfy affordable housing goals, because they tended to reinforce the pre-existing racial and class demographics of a community, thus alleviating this anxiety, and there were even lawsuits over this practice in the 1970s, but now, from what you are saying, even senior housing presents too many challenges for the existing residents to deal with in the absence of some kind of pass law.

    –Richard Estes

  44. Richard

    In consequence, we have developers driving how many schools to build, instead of enrollment projections.

    Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.

    There may have been the construction money to build these elementary schools, but not the dollars to run them.

    My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.

    But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

    Accordingly, the notion that developments can be approved or rejected besed upon their financial impact on school district operations is an indirect way for a community to abandon this obligation, and for this reason, as well as the racial and class bias that tends to be associated with this practice (for example, refusing to approve developments for lower middle income and lower income people, sometimes with a distinct racial profile), it is illegal for a city or county to consider it, at least that’s my recollection. Legal Services of Yolo County would know best, as I believe that they have educated local officials on this subject in the past.

    The same thing is beginning to happen with senior housing. Developers are trying to use the need for senior housing to gain a toehold where previously they could not build. We end up with senior housing unsuitable for the elderly here in Davis, which should be our primary concern first and foremost.

    You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.

    But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria. In other words, someone from Sacramento or Reno or even Denver, must be allowed to submit an application and live there if they satisfy the standards, otherwise, there are serious statutory and constitutional issues.

    I was always troubled by people who emphasized the notion that affordable housing projects in Davis should be focused upon helping Davis residents first and foremost. I heard it periodically over the years when I lived there, and it seemed to carry with it an alarming subtext, basically that, don’t worry, we aren’t going to build anything that’s going to attract anyone from Sacramento, or, heaven forbid, Oakland or Los Angeles. Can’t have any lower income people with a darker skin complexion frightening the long time residents.

    From what I heard, this was a major theme emphasized by the opposition to Suntree back in the 1970s.

    The odd thing here is, historically, communities emphasized senior housing to satisfy affordable housing goals, because they tended to reinforce the pre-existing racial and class demographics of a community, thus alleviating this anxiety, and there were even lawsuits over this practice in the 1970s, but now, from what you are saying, even senior housing presents too many challenges for the existing residents to deal with in the absence of some kind of pass law.

    –Richard Estes

  45. No on Xer

    “Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development…”

    The Wildhorse development agreement was challenged by a citizen referendum. Then Mayor Wolk falsely claimed that if the voters rejected her Council’s Wildhorse development agreement, the developer would then be free to build whatever he wanted to without ANY control by the city. It was a pure terror-tactic that worked as it was dumped on the voters just days before the election with no time to be challenged. Interestingly, the same Sacramento public relations firm that ran the developer’s Covell Village campaign with its Helen Thomsen’s scare-tactic demon Gidaro letter also ran the Wildhorse anti-referendum campaign some years before.

  46. No on Xer

    “Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development…”

    The Wildhorse development agreement was challenged by a citizen referendum. Then Mayor Wolk falsely claimed that if the voters rejected her Council’s Wildhorse development agreement, the developer would then be free to build whatever he wanted to without ANY control by the city. It was a pure terror-tactic that worked as it was dumped on the voters just days before the election with no time to be challenged. Interestingly, the same Sacramento public relations firm that ran the developer’s Covell Village campaign with its Helen Thomsen’s scare-tactic demon Gidaro letter also ran the Wildhorse anti-referendum campaign some years before.

  47. No on Xer

    “Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development…”

    The Wildhorse development agreement was challenged by a citizen referendum. Then Mayor Wolk falsely claimed that if the voters rejected her Council’s Wildhorse development agreement, the developer would then be free to build whatever he wanted to without ANY control by the city. It was a pure terror-tactic that worked as it was dumped on the voters just days before the election with no time to be challenged. Interestingly, the same Sacramento public relations firm that ran the developer’s Covell Village campaign with its Helen Thomsen’s scare-tactic demon Gidaro letter also ran the Wildhorse anti-referendum campaign some years before.

  48. No on Xer

    “Interesting that DPD cites Wildhorse as a positive example of public approval of development…”

    The Wildhorse development agreement was challenged by a citizen referendum. Then Mayor Wolk falsely claimed that if the voters rejected her Council’s Wildhorse development agreement, the developer would then be free to build whatever he wanted to without ANY control by the city. It was a pure terror-tactic that worked as it was dumped on the voters just days before the election with no time to be challenged. Interestingly, the same Sacramento public relations firm that ran the developer’s Covell Village campaign with its Helen Thomsen’s scare-tactic demon Gidaro letter also ran the Wildhorse anti-referendum campaign some years before.

  49. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.”

    Enrollment projects, according to Don Shor’s investigations, show that enrollment was not falling, but flat. The only thing that happened was students in secondary schools increased somewhat, while students in elementary schools decreased. Yet the school district tried to justify closing Emerson because of “declining enrollment”. I honestly don’t know what to think about enrollment projections, other than to say I don’t believe a word the school district/board says right now. Too many versions of the “truth” have been forthcoming from them.

    “My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.”

    I am not quite sure what is meant here. All I was trying to say is that developers tend to promise that a new school will be built in the development they are proposing, without consulting the school district to see if there will be sufficient funding to run the school, wherever that operational money comes from. One too many schools can lead to an unmitigated disaster, as we are seeing to our cost now.

    “But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

    Actually, a failure to analyze the fiscal appropriateness of a new school being built resulted in the closing of Valley Oak, a neighborhood school that served the lowest socioeconomic group of kids in Davis. Instead, it was decided it was more important to save the two new elementary schools, rather than worry about an old school serving minority children. I believe I heard Richard Harris callously say that the minority children at Valley Oak would assimilate just fine at some other school. I also heard the student on the school board who is an ethnic minority (I apoligize, but her name escapes me at the moment!) tell him otherwise.

    “You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.”

    Actually, I like Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (ERC) for a number of reasons, but my objection is that it did not serve the constituency is was designed to help. ERC has a lot going for it, in that a Social Services Director is on site 5 days a week, to assist the disabled residents there. That piece was, IMHO, a stroke of genius and is so needed at independent senior facilities. However, ERC was originally designed to serve middle income seniors, but because of the funding developed for it (pardon the pun), ended up serving low income seniors, many of whom came from outside Davis. This left many middle income Davisites up the creek without a paddle. Why should the city put all its energy towards supporting a housing complex designed to address a specific Davis problem, when it did not end up addressing that problem? Even the developer of ERC admitted the mixed income aspect of ERC did not work the way it was supposed to and was a mistake. The city did the best it could to rectify the problem by opening it up to more low income, rather than have the facility sit vacant. But none of this had anything to do with elitism, but rather trying to give middle income seniors some affordable housing choices. I very much doubt a mixed income senior facility will be tried again.

    “But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria.”

    I don’t disagree with that statement. In this country, folks have a right to move to wherever they want. But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like? The reason I am on the Davis Senior Citizens Commission is because it is my duty to make the life of the citizens of Davis a little bit better – not the citizens of Woodland or Fairfield.

    That being said, I wear two hats – city and county. So actually I want to make life better for seniors throughout Yolo County. I think we should work with developers, but not rely on developers to make our land use planning decisions for us. Hope this clarifies my position. And you are certainly free to disagree!

  50. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.”

    Enrollment projects, according to Don Shor’s investigations, show that enrollment was not falling, but flat. The only thing that happened was students in secondary schools increased somewhat, while students in elementary schools decreased. Yet the school district tried to justify closing Emerson because of “declining enrollment”. I honestly don’t know what to think about enrollment projections, other than to say I don’t believe a word the school district/board says right now. Too many versions of the “truth” have been forthcoming from them.

    “My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.”

    I am not quite sure what is meant here. All I was trying to say is that developers tend to promise that a new school will be built in the development they are proposing, without consulting the school district to see if there will be sufficient funding to run the school, wherever that operational money comes from. One too many schools can lead to an unmitigated disaster, as we are seeing to our cost now.

    “But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

    Actually, a failure to analyze the fiscal appropriateness of a new school being built resulted in the closing of Valley Oak, a neighborhood school that served the lowest socioeconomic group of kids in Davis. Instead, it was decided it was more important to save the two new elementary schools, rather than worry about an old school serving minority children. I believe I heard Richard Harris callously say that the minority children at Valley Oak would assimilate just fine at some other school. I also heard the student on the school board who is an ethnic minority (I apoligize, but her name escapes me at the moment!) tell him otherwise.

    “You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.”

    Actually, I like Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (ERC) for a number of reasons, but my objection is that it did not serve the constituency is was designed to help. ERC has a lot going for it, in that a Social Services Director is on site 5 days a week, to assist the disabled residents there. That piece was, IMHO, a stroke of genius and is so needed at independent senior facilities. However, ERC was originally designed to serve middle income seniors, but because of the funding developed for it (pardon the pun), ended up serving low income seniors, many of whom came from outside Davis. This left many middle income Davisites up the creek without a paddle. Why should the city put all its energy towards supporting a housing complex designed to address a specific Davis problem, when it did not end up addressing that problem? Even the developer of ERC admitted the mixed income aspect of ERC did not work the way it was supposed to and was a mistake. The city did the best it could to rectify the problem by opening it up to more low income, rather than have the facility sit vacant. But none of this had anything to do with elitism, but rather trying to give middle income seniors some affordable housing choices. I very much doubt a mixed income senior facility will be tried again.

    “But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria.”

    I don’t disagree with that statement. In this country, folks have a right to move to wherever they want. But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like? The reason I am on the Davis Senior Citizens Commission is because it is my duty to make the life of the citizens of Davis a little bit better – not the citizens of Woodland or Fairfield.

    That being said, I wear two hats – city and county. So actually I want to make life better for seniors throughout Yolo County. I think we should work with developers, but not rely on developers to make our land use planning decisions for us. Hope this clarifies my position. And you are certainly free to disagree!

  51. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.”

    Enrollment projects, according to Don Shor’s investigations, show that enrollment was not falling, but flat. The only thing that happened was students in secondary schools increased somewhat, while students in elementary schools decreased. Yet the school district tried to justify closing Emerson because of “declining enrollment”. I honestly don’t know what to think about enrollment projections, other than to say I don’t believe a word the school district/board says right now. Too many versions of the “truth” have been forthcoming from them.

    “My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.”

    I am not quite sure what is meant here. All I was trying to say is that developers tend to promise that a new school will be built in the development they are proposing, without consulting the school district to see if there will be sufficient funding to run the school, wherever that operational money comes from. One too many schools can lead to an unmitigated disaster, as we are seeing to our cost now.

    “But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

    Actually, a failure to analyze the fiscal appropriateness of a new school being built resulted in the closing of Valley Oak, a neighborhood school that served the lowest socioeconomic group of kids in Davis. Instead, it was decided it was more important to save the two new elementary schools, rather than worry about an old school serving minority children. I believe I heard Richard Harris callously say that the minority children at Valley Oak would assimilate just fine at some other school. I also heard the student on the school board who is an ethnic minority (I apoligize, but her name escapes me at the moment!) tell him otherwise.

    “You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.”

    Actually, I like Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (ERC) for a number of reasons, but my objection is that it did not serve the constituency is was designed to help. ERC has a lot going for it, in that a Social Services Director is on site 5 days a week, to assist the disabled residents there. That piece was, IMHO, a stroke of genius and is so needed at independent senior facilities. However, ERC was originally designed to serve middle income seniors, but because of the funding developed for it (pardon the pun), ended up serving low income seniors, many of whom came from outside Davis. This left many middle income Davisites up the creek without a paddle. Why should the city put all its energy towards supporting a housing complex designed to address a specific Davis problem, when it did not end up addressing that problem? Even the developer of ERC admitted the mixed income aspect of ERC did not work the way it was supposed to and was a mistake. The city did the best it could to rectify the problem by opening it up to more low income, rather than have the facility sit vacant. But none of this had anything to do with elitism, but rather trying to give middle income seniors some affordable housing choices. I very much doubt a mixed income senior facility will be tried again.

    “But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria.”

    I don’t disagree with that statement. In this country, folks have a right to move to wherever they want. But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like? The reason I am on the Davis Senior Citizens Commission is because it is my duty to make the life of the citizens of Davis a little bit better – not the citizens of Woodland or Fairfield.

    That being said, I wear two hats – city and county. So actually I want to make life better for seniors throughout Yolo County. I think we should work with developers, but not rely on developers to make our land use planning decisions for us. Hope this clarifies my position. And you are certainly free to disagree!

  52. Elaine Roberts Musser

    “Indeed, this is not a good thing, except as is becoming obvious, the enrollment projections were erroneous on the high side.”

    Enrollment projects, according to Don Shor’s investigations, show that enrollment was not falling, but flat. The only thing that happened was students in secondary schools increased somewhat, while students in elementary schools decreased. Yet the school district tried to justify closing Emerson because of “declining enrollment”. I honestly don’t know what to think about enrollment projections, other than to say I don’t believe a word the school district/board says right now. Too many versions of the “truth” have been forthcoming from them.

    “My understanding is that it is illegal to make developers responsible for operational costs, that’s the obligation of the property owners of the city, in this instance, the people who purchase the homes built by the developers. And, I don’t think that they can be required to pay for anything more than their incremental impact on the district, in other words, they can’t be assessed at rates that subsidize pre-existing residents. Perhaps, one of Davis’ self-educated planning and zoning authorities can clarify and correct my understanding as required.”

    I am not quite sure what is meant here. All I was trying to say is that developers tend to promise that a new school will be built in the development they are proposing, without consulting the school district to see if there will be sufficient funding to run the school, wherever that operational money comes from. One too many schools can lead to an unmitigated disaster, as we are seeing to our cost now.

    “But there is a more disturbing implication in this sort of analysis, which is the failure to acknowledge that government has an obligation to provide universal education to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status.”

    Actually, a failure to analyze the fiscal appropriateness of a new school being built resulted in the closing of Valley Oak, a neighborhood school that served the lowest socioeconomic group of kids in Davis. Instead, it was decided it was more important to save the two new elementary schools, rather than worry about an old school serving minority children. I believe I heard Richard Harris callously say that the minority children at Valley Oak would assimilate just fine at some other school. I also heard the student on the school board who is an ethnic minority (I apoligize, but her name escapes me at the moment!) tell him otherwise.

    “You don’t like the Eleanor Roosevelt project, and I’m not going to defend that particular development.”

    Actually, I like Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (ERC) for a number of reasons, but my objection is that it did not serve the constituency is was designed to help. ERC has a lot going for it, in that a Social Services Director is on site 5 days a week, to assist the disabled residents there. That piece was, IMHO, a stroke of genius and is so needed at independent senior facilities. However, ERC was originally designed to serve middle income seniors, but because of the funding developed for it (pardon the pun), ended up serving low income seniors, many of whom came from outside Davis. This left many middle income Davisites up the creek without a paddle. Why should the city put all its energy towards supporting a housing complex designed to address a specific Davis problem, when it did not end up addressing that problem? Even the developer of ERC admitted the mixed income aspect of ERC did not work the way it was supposed to and was a mistake. The city did the best it could to rectify the problem by opening it up to more low income, rather than have the facility sit vacant. But none of this had anything to do with elitism, but rather trying to give middle income seniors some affordable housing choices. I very much doubt a mixed income senior facility will be tried again.

    “But, to the extent that state and federal funds and tax credits are being utilized to subsidize such projects, they cannot impose residency requirements, they must be open to everyone on the basis of objective criteria.”

    I don’t disagree with that statement. In this country, folks have a right to move to wherever they want. But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like? The reason I am on the Davis Senior Citizens Commission is because it is my duty to make the life of the citizens of Davis a little bit better – not the citizens of Woodland or Fairfield.

    That being said, I wear two hats – city and county. So actually I want to make life better for seniors throughout Yolo County. I think we should work with developers, but not rely on developers to make our land use planning decisions for us. Hope this clarifies my position. And you are certainly free to disagree!

  53. Richard

    But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like?

    Yes, this certainly makes sense, as long as there was no prohibition against people from outside the city from applying and qualifying for some of the housing.

    Of course, the mere fact that the housing had been designed to meet a community need would result in much of it being available to local city residents, while others from elsewhere who learned of it could certainly qualify as well.

    But I doubt that we are in disagreement here.

    Also, by way of background, after talking with someone today, I understand that the city is receiving dubious development proposals in the guise of providing senior housing. I guess that that is the only thing that pencils out these days, and I can see why you would vehemently object to developers seeking to exploit the need for senior housing as a way to make profits without really addressing the needs of Davis seniors.

    –Richard Estes

  54. Richard

    But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like?

    Yes, this certainly makes sense, as long as there was no prohibition against people from outside the city from applying and qualifying for some of the housing.

    Of course, the mere fact that the housing had been designed to meet a community need would result in much of it being available to local city residents, while others from elsewhere who learned of it could certainly qualify as well.

    But I doubt that we are in disagreement here.

    Also, by way of background, after talking with someone today, I understand that the city is receiving dubious development proposals in the guise of providing senior housing. I guess that that is the only thing that pencils out these days, and I can see why you would vehemently object to developers seeking to exploit the need for senior housing as a way to make profits without really addressing the needs of Davis seniors.

    –Richard Estes

  55. Richard

    But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like?

    Yes, this certainly makes sense, as long as there was no prohibition against people from outside the city from applying and qualifying for some of the housing.

    Of course, the mere fact that the housing had been designed to meet a community need would result in much of it being available to local city residents, while others from elsewhere who learned of it could certainly qualify as well.

    But I doubt that we are in disagreement here.

    Also, by way of background, after talking with someone today, I understand that the city is receiving dubious development proposals in the guise of providing senior housing. I guess that that is the only thing that pencils out these days, and I can see why you would vehemently object to developers seeking to exploit the need for senior housing as a way to make profits without really addressing the needs of Davis seniors.

    –Richard Estes

  56. Richard

    But a city has the right to develop housing to suit the needs of its citizens, especially if it has identified a particular need that is not being addressed. If developers want to build senior housing, it would be better if what was built served the needs of citizens in Davis who need a specific type of housing – such as some competition for assisted living which will discourage high rent hikes as happened at Atria Covell Gardens. It has happened that seniors must move away from Davis and family because they cannot afford to live at URC or Atria Covell Gardens, but need some help but do not qualify for low income housing. Why is it not appropriate to want to try and encourage development that will assist this constituency, without being called elitist, racist, and the like?

    Yes, this certainly makes sense, as long as there was no prohibition against people from outside the city from applying and qualifying for some of the housing.

    Of course, the mere fact that the housing had been designed to meet a community need would result in much of it being available to local city residents, while others from elsewhere who learned of it could certainly qualify as well.

    But I doubt that we are in disagreement here.

    Also, by way of background, after talking with someone today, I understand that the city is receiving dubious development proposals in the guise of providing senior housing. I guess that that is the only thing that pencils out these days, and I can see why you would vehemently object to developers seeking to exploit the need for senior housing as a way to make profits without really addressing the needs of Davis seniors.

    –Richard Estes

  57. Matt Williams

    At tonight’s Council meeting Steve Souza made a rather unambiguous promise that in the coming weeks the voters of Davis will explicitly know where he stands on Measure J.

    I for one look forward to hearing where he stands. I am hopeful that he will support renewing Measure J as it is. If he unambiguously comes out with that position, I for one will endorse his candidacy and work hard for his election.

    If he comes out clearly for Measure J as it is currently written, it will be clear evidence that he has listened to the voters on Measure X. We all make mistakes. Lord knows I have made plenty myself. It takes a good person to publicly admit a mistake, and unequivocal support of Measure J will be a clear admission on his part that his support of Measure X was a mistake.

    Time will tell if I am a happy man, or simply a cock-eyed optimist.

  58. Matt Williams

    At tonight’s Council meeting Steve Souza made a rather unambiguous promise that in the coming weeks the voters of Davis will explicitly know where he stands on Measure J.

    I for one look forward to hearing where he stands. I am hopeful that he will support renewing Measure J as it is. If he unambiguously comes out with that position, I for one will endorse his candidacy and work hard for his election.

    If he comes out clearly for Measure J as it is currently written, it will be clear evidence that he has listened to the voters on Measure X. We all make mistakes. Lord knows I have made plenty myself. It takes a good person to publicly admit a mistake, and unequivocal support of Measure J will be a clear admission on his part that his support of Measure X was a mistake.

    Time will tell if I am a happy man, or simply a cock-eyed optimist.

  59. Matt Williams

    At tonight’s Council meeting Steve Souza made a rather unambiguous promise that in the coming weeks the voters of Davis will explicitly know where he stands on Measure J.

    I for one look forward to hearing where he stands. I am hopeful that he will support renewing Measure J as it is. If he unambiguously comes out with that position, I for one will endorse his candidacy and work hard for his election.

    If he comes out clearly for Measure J as it is currently written, it will be clear evidence that he has listened to the voters on Measure X. We all make mistakes. Lord knows I have made plenty myself. It takes a good person to publicly admit a mistake, and unequivocal support of Measure J will be a clear admission on his part that his support of Measure X was a mistake.

    Time will tell if I am a happy man, or simply a cock-eyed optimist.

  60. Matt Williams

    At tonight’s Council meeting Steve Souza made a rather unambiguous promise that in the coming weeks the voters of Davis will explicitly know where he stands on Measure J.

    I for one look forward to hearing where he stands. I am hopeful that he will support renewing Measure J as it is. If he unambiguously comes out with that position, I for one will endorse his candidacy and work hard for his election.

    If he comes out clearly for Measure J as it is currently written, it will be clear evidence that he has listened to the voters on Measure X. We all make mistakes. Lord knows I have made plenty myself. It takes a good person to publicly admit a mistake, and unequivocal support of Measure J will be a clear admission on his part that his support of Measure X was a mistake.

    Time will tell if I am a happy man, or simply a cock-eyed optimist.

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