Guest Commentary: Keep The Old Cannery Site Zoned High-Tech

We are Running Out of Usable Parcels for High-Tech

by Sue Greenwald

On Tuesday, the City Council will be deciding the fate of the only significant remaining parcel of land within our City limits which is large enough to accommodate new medium-sized high-tech companies. If we don’t retain the existing business park zoning of the old cannery property, we are unlikely to attract substantial new high-technology industry to Davis, and Davis is likely to lose out on the green-energy research and development funding that is central to the incoming administration’s fast-tracked fiscal stimulus program.

The old Hunt-Wesson cannery site at Covell and F street is currently zoned for a high-tech oriented business park. Shortly after the old tomato cannery closed, the land was purchased by a southern California development corporation. The company, Lewis Planned Communities, bought high-tech industrially zoned land and has been lobbying to change the zoning from high-tech oriented business park to housing ever since they acquired it.

Lewis has presented their rezoning proposal as “mixed-use”, but in fact the parcel, at only about 66 usable acres, is not large enough to include a major residential component and still be a viable high-tech business park. I’ll be blunt: “Mixed-use” is, in the case of the Lewis proposal, a euphemism for a housing subdivision. If the council is serious about promoting economic development and serious about attracting high-technology companies to Davis, the council will turn down the Lewis proposal at our meeting this week.

A number of arguments have been raised by those who wish to turn our last significant business park parcel into housing. Let me dispense with a few key questions quite briefly. “Is this parcel viable as a business park?” According to industry realtors and to our city’s hired consultant, the answer is “yes”. “Would high-tech companies find the site attractive?” Again, the answer is “yes”. And, no, high-tech industry does not need, or necessarily prefer, to be near a freeway.

So why hasn’t this parcel already become a high-tech business park? As long as the council signals that we will entertain suggestions of rezoning, it is only natural that the parcel’s owners will hold out for more profitable housing. I have talked with mayors and planners from Cupertino to Seattle, and have found that they too struggle with the pressures from developers to rezone their scarce high-tech land to housing. At some point, the city has to give developers and land speculators a clear message that we will retain our industrial zoning. Only at that point will the owners decide to work cooperatively with the city to develop a business park or to sell the land priced realistically at its true business-park land value. In today’s financial climate, developers are unlikely to choose to tie up precious capital while paying property taxes if the council stands resolute.

Some have suggested that we rezone the Hunt-Wesson for housing and annex new peripheral land for a business park. But annexation is a long and cumbersome process with an uncertain outcome, it entails less revenue for the city, and it would result in poorer land use planning.

Fiscally, any hypothetical annexation of new land for a business park would result in less revenue for the city than using the cannery site. Land like the cannery parcel which is already within our city’s boundaries has a tax formula that was set many years ago. When we annex new land today, we must negotiate a tax split with the county, and such terms are certain to be less favorable to the city than our existing formula. If we annex new county land, the city will receive a lesser share of the revenue.

In terms of timing, annexation would take too long. We have attracted some important high-tech companies recently, but we are now out of land for additional mid-sized companies.

Although the national economy and residential real-estate are currently at a stand-still (Davis has approved 160 ownership housing units which remain unbuilt, not even counting the Grande or Simmons sites), there is a likelihood that the incoming administration is going to fast-track funds for green technology research and development. President-elect Obama has already pledged $10 billion for green technology R&D, and green technology is a major component of his fiscal stimulus plan. Davis should be a beneficiary of this program, but without the land zoned and ready to go, we will have no chance of becoming a green technology center. This opportunity will come only once.

Finally, in terms of land-use planning, it is far better to have our clean, high-tech jobs within walking and biking distance of our neighborhoods, rather than further from town.

Some have suggested that we use the PG&E site between 2nd and 5th Streets at L Street near downtown for high-tech industry. From a smart-growth perspective, this would be the saddest decision of all, because the twenty-five acre P.G.&E. site is the only site available for a visionary, high-quality, transit-oriented townhouse and condominium development within walking distance to downtown and AMTRAK.

We stand at a fork in the road. It is time to break the old patterns of suburban sprawl by building our jobs near our existing housing, and our housing downtown near our existing jobs and mass transit hub. We can do conventional planning, or we can do smart growth. We can position ourselves to become a high-technology and green-technology center, or we can let the chance slip by. We have the chance of a generation to make the right planning decisions, starting Tuesday night.

Sue Greenwald has served on the Davis City Council since 2000. She was Mayor from 2006-2008.

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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140 Comments

  1. 無名 - wu ming

    i take it you aren't from davis, or weren't paying attention in the june city council race. david's middle name is "no relation to sue."

    are there any companies actually looking for this land, or is this more of an assumption of "if you zone it, they will come&quot:-? davis is woefully short on industry and tax base, so actually getting someone to locate to hunt-wesson would be a great deal.

    there remains a need for dense housing within the range of people without bay area home equity or huge salaries, but i'm not sure if hunt-wesson would make sense for that (downtown or the PG&E site would be better).

    if hunt-wesson does become a green tech center, however, there will be some logic to putting new housing adjacent to it in a redesigned covell village. not to open up that can of worms again.

    i wonder if the credit crunch that's slowing down residential real estate will retard the development of venture capital-green tech companies.

  2. 無名 - wu ming

    i take it you aren't from davis, or weren't paying attention in the june city council race. david's middle name is "no relation to sue."

    are there any companies actually looking for this land, or is this more of an assumption of "if you zone it, they will come&quot:-? davis is woefully short on industry and tax base, so actually getting someone to locate to hunt-wesson would be a great deal.

    there remains a need for dense housing within the range of people without bay area home equity or huge salaries, but i'm not sure if hunt-wesson would make sense for that (downtown or the PG&E site would be better).

    if hunt-wesson does become a green tech center, however, there will be some logic to putting new housing adjacent to it in a redesigned covell village. not to open up that can of worms again.

    i wonder if the credit crunch that's slowing down residential real estate will retard the development of venture capital-green tech companies.

  3. 無名 - wu ming

    i take it you aren't from davis, or weren't paying attention in the june city council race. david's middle name is "no relation to sue."

    are there any companies actually looking for this land, or is this more of an assumption of "if you zone it, they will come&quot:-? davis is woefully short on industry and tax base, so actually getting someone to locate to hunt-wesson would be a great deal.

    there remains a need for dense housing within the range of people without bay area home equity or huge salaries, but i'm not sure if hunt-wesson would make sense for that (downtown or the PG&E site would be better).

    if hunt-wesson does become a green tech center, however, there will be some logic to putting new housing adjacent to it in a redesigned covell village. not to open up that can of worms again.

    i wonder if the credit crunch that's slowing down residential real estate will retard the development of venture capital-green tech companies.

  4. 無名 - wu ming

    i take it you aren't from davis, or weren't paying attention in the june city council race. david's middle name is "no relation to sue."

    are there any companies actually looking for this land, or is this more of an assumption of "if you zone it, they will come&quot:-? davis is woefully short on industry and tax base, so actually getting someone to locate to hunt-wesson would be a great deal.

    there remains a need for dense housing within the range of people without bay area home equity or huge salaries, but i'm not sure if hunt-wesson would make sense for that (downtown or the PG&E site would be better).

    if hunt-wesson does become a green tech center, however, there will be some logic to putting new housing adjacent to it in a redesigned covell village. not to open up that can of worms again.

    i wonder if the credit crunch that's slowing down residential real estate will retard the development of venture capital-green tech companies.

  5. martin

    I agree. Keep the Cannery zoned for high-tech. I live in the neighborhood across E. Covell so I would be affected by whatever traffic any new development causes. But, the Cannery traffic would likely use Highway 113. Covell Village development would use the city streets in front of my house, so I prefer developing the Cannery site instead.

  6. martin

    I agree. Keep the Cannery zoned for high-tech. I live in the neighborhood across E. Covell so I would be affected by whatever traffic any new development causes. But, the Cannery traffic would likely use Highway 113. Covell Village development would use the city streets in front of my house, so I prefer developing the Cannery site instead.

  7. martin

    I agree. Keep the Cannery zoned for high-tech. I live in the neighborhood across E. Covell so I would be affected by whatever traffic any new development causes. But, the Cannery traffic would likely use Highway 113. Covell Village development would use the city streets in front of my house, so I prefer developing the Cannery site instead.

  8. martin

    I agree. Keep the Cannery zoned for high-tech. I live in the neighborhood across E. Covell so I would be affected by whatever traffic any new development causes. But, the Cannery traffic would likely use Highway 113. Covell Village development would use the city streets in front of my house, so I prefer developing the Cannery site instead.

  9. Mike Hart

    I feel that the City Council would be doing a tremendous disservice to the future of Davis if they allow Lewis Homes to trash this site any further. Under no circumstances agree to any rezoning of the property.

    Lewis has squatted on this property for years, driving away any serious consideration for high-tech. I was part of a group of green energy firms that presented them with a green technology business park concept that could have utilized the existing buildings and tanks in place. Before much public discussion could begin, Lewis responded by demolishing all of the buildings and tanks. This is Lewis “Homes” we are dealing with here. They build houses.

    The city should reject this proposal and encourage Lewis to sell the property to a more appropriate company, one that actually wants to work within the zoning that is in place.

    Thank goodness that at least one member of the city council sees the potential we give up with the proposed rezoning.

  10. Mike Hart

    I feel that the City Council would be doing a tremendous disservice to the future of Davis if they allow Lewis Homes to trash this site any further. Under no circumstances agree to any rezoning of the property.

    Lewis has squatted on this property for years, driving away any serious consideration for high-tech. I was part of a group of green energy firms that presented them with a green technology business park concept that could have utilized the existing buildings and tanks in place. Before much public discussion could begin, Lewis responded by demolishing all of the buildings and tanks. This is Lewis “Homes” we are dealing with here. They build houses.

    The city should reject this proposal and encourage Lewis to sell the property to a more appropriate company, one that actually wants to work within the zoning that is in place.

    Thank goodness that at least one member of the city council sees the potential we give up with the proposed rezoning.

  11. Mike Hart

    I feel that the City Council would be doing a tremendous disservice to the future of Davis if they allow Lewis Homes to trash this site any further. Under no circumstances agree to any rezoning of the property.

    Lewis has squatted on this property for years, driving away any serious consideration for high-tech. I was part of a group of green energy firms that presented them with a green technology business park concept that could have utilized the existing buildings and tanks in place. Before much public discussion could begin, Lewis responded by demolishing all of the buildings and tanks. This is Lewis “Homes” we are dealing with here. They build houses.

    The city should reject this proposal and encourage Lewis to sell the property to a more appropriate company, one that actually wants to work within the zoning that is in place.

    Thank goodness that at least one member of the city council sees the potential we give up with the proposed rezoning.

  12. Mike Hart

    I feel that the City Council would be doing a tremendous disservice to the future of Davis if they allow Lewis Homes to trash this site any further. Under no circumstances agree to any rezoning of the property.

    Lewis has squatted on this property for years, driving away any serious consideration for high-tech. I was part of a group of green energy firms that presented them with a green technology business park concept that could have utilized the existing buildings and tanks in place. Before much public discussion could begin, Lewis responded by demolishing all of the buildings and tanks. This is Lewis “Homes” we are dealing with here. They build houses.

    The city should reject this proposal and encourage Lewis to sell the property to a more appropriate company, one that actually wants to work within the zoning that is in place.

    Thank goodness that at least one member of the city council sees the potential we give up with the proposed rezoning.

  13. Barbara King

    Sue: I couldn’t agree more. How many UCD related high tech startups have we lost to nearby towns, and how many more do we want to let get away? This is one that folks should show up at the city council meeting for. Warm bodies DO influence council votes. I plan to be there.

  14. Barbara King

    Sue: I couldn’t agree more. How many UCD related high tech startups have we lost to nearby towns, and how many more do we want to let get away? This is one that folks should show up at the city council meeting for. Warm bodies DO influence council votes. I plan to be there.

  15. Barbara King

    Sue: I couldn’t agree more. How many UCD related high tech startups have we lost to nearby towns, and how many more do we want to let get away? This is one that folks should show up at the city council meeting for. Warm bodies DO influence council votes. I plan to be there.

  16. Barbara King

    Sue: I couldn’t agree more. How many UCD related high tech startups have we lost to nearby towns, and how many more do we want to let get away? This is one that folks should show up at the city council meeting for. Warm bodies DO influence council votes. I plan to be there.

  17. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, what Sue did not mention in her piece was that the commercial viability study made clear that the high tech option was NOT feasible. It makes complete sense to use this site for mixed use which would give us some residential and some commercial but not a deluge of commercial that even the study made clear is not going to happen.

  18. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, what Sue did not mention in her piece was that the commercial viability study made clear that the high tech option was NOT feasible. It makes complete sense to use this site for mixed use which would give us some residential and some commercial but not a deluge of commercial that even the study made clear is not going to happen.

  19. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, what Sue did not mention in her piece was that the commercial viability study made clear that the high tech option was NOT feasible. It makes complete sense to use this site for mixed use which would give us some residential and some commercial but not a deluge of commercial that even the study made clear is not going to happen.

  20. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, what Sue did not mention in her piece was that the commercial viability study made clear that the high tech option was NOT feasible. It makes complete sense to use this site for mixed use which would give us some residential and some commercial but not a deluge of commercial that even the study made clear is not going to happen.

  21. Anonymous

    And, no, high-tech industry does not need, or necessarily prefer, to be near a freeway.
    Is this true? It seems to me like when there is a choice to locate near a freeway or not, the high-tech company will choose to be near a freeway and that is why high-tech is choosing sites off 80, such as in Dixon and Vacaville.

    My view is that using it for high-tech would be ideal but if high-tech isn’t coming within a realistic time period, then let’s at least use it for mixed use because we need housing too.

  22. Anonymous

    And, no, high-tech industry does not need, or necessarily prefer, to be near a freeway.
    Is this true? It seems to me like when there is a choice to locate near a freeway or not, the high-tech company will choose to be near a freeway and that is why high-tech is choosing sites off 80, such as in Dixon and Vacaville.

    My view is that using it for high-tech would be ideal but if high-tech isn’t coming within a realistic time period, then let’s at least use it for mixed use because we need housing too.

  23. Anonymous

    And, no, high-tech industry does not need, or necessarily prefer, to be near a freeway.
    Is this true? It seems to me like when there is a choice to locate near a freeway or not, the high-tech company will choose to be near a freeway and that is why high-tech is choosing sites off 80, such as in Dixon and Vacaville.

    My view is that using it for high-tech would be ideal but if high-tech isn’t coming within a realistic time period, then let’s at least use it for mixed use because we need housing too.

  24. Anonymous

    And, no, high-tech industry does not need, or necessarily prefer, to be near a freeway.
    Is this true? It seems to me like when there is a choice to locate near a freeway or not, the high-tech company will choose to be near a freeway and that is why high-tech is choosing sites off 80, such as in Dixon and Vacaville.

    My view is that using it for high-tech would be ideal but if high-tech isn’t coming within a realistic time period, then let’s at least use it for mixed use because we need housing too.

  25. Anonymous

    We have at least four housing projects coming on line in the near future including West Village. Given the economy and housing market, I’m not sure we need more housing.

    What we really need is more commercial development and tax base. The viability study probably overestimated the length of time it would take to build out.

  26. Anonymous

    We have at least four housing projects coming on line in the near future including West Village. Given the economy and housing market, I’m not sure we need more housing.

    What we really need is more commercial development and tax base. The viability study probably overestimated the length of time it would take to build out.

  27. Anonymous

    We have at least four housing projects coming on line in the near future including West Village. Given the economy and housing market, I’m not sure we need more housing.

    What we really need is more commercial development and tax base. The viability study probably overestimated the length of time it would take to build out.

  28. Anonymous

    We have at least four housing projects coming on line in the near future including West Village. Given the economy and housing market, I’m not sure we need more housing.

    What we really need is more commercial development and tax base. The viability study probably overestimated the length of time it would take to build out.

  29. Rich Rifkin

    Are there any venture capital companies in Davis? That’s not a rhetorical question — I don’t know the answer — but it is an important question. (I just looked up SARTA, and they have a list of Sacramento VC firms, but no Davis companies.)

    If we want new high tech companies, the kind which can share R&-) with the university and exploit its proximity, to locate here, they need venture capital, and it seems to help if it is nearby.*

    To that end, maybe we should be first encouraging the development of a VC business park — on the Covell Village land? — before expecting that the old cannery site can support high tech companies. Once the VC's are here, then our best efforts can be made to site the start-up companies they fund in Davis.

    Regardless of how we zone land, my guess is that for the next 5 years it's going to be hard for any developer to finance major projects, particularly housing.

    ——-

    * Stanford University — notably Frederick Terman at SRI — spawned VC companies to finance Stanford technologies. The proximate VC's then financed the first "Silicon Valley" companies, which then attracted more VC's to locate next door in Menlo Park, permitting more high tech and computer companies to locate nearby. Without the VCs, you never get Silicon Valley in the Stanford area.

  30. Rich Rifkin

    Are there any venture capital companies in Davis? That’s not a rhetorical question — I don’t know the answer — but it is an important question. (I just looked up SARTA, and they have a list of Sacramento VC firms, but no Davis companies.)

    If we want new high tech companies, the kind which can share R&-) with the university and exploit its proximity, to locate here, they need venture capital, and it seems to help if it is nearby.*

    To that end, maybe we should be first encouraging the development of a VC business park — on the Covell Village land? — before expecting that the old cannery site can support high tech companies. Once the VC's are here, then our best efforts can be made to site the start-up companies they fund in Davis.

    Regardless of how we zone land, my guess is that for the next 5 years it's going to be hard for any developer to finance major projects, particularly housing.

    ——-

    * Stanford University — notably Frederick Terman at SRI — spawned VC companies to finance Stanford technologies. The proximate VC's then financed the first "Silicon Valley" companies, which then attracted more VC's to locate next door in Menlo Park, permitting more high tech and computer companies to locate nearby. Without the VCs, you never get Silicon Valley in the Stanford area.

  31. Rich Rifkin

    Are there any venture capital companies in Davis? That’s not a rhetorical question — I don’t know the answer — but it is an important question. (I just looked up SARTA, and they have a list of Sacramento VC firms, but no Davis companies.)

    If we want new high tech companies, the kind which can share R&-) with the university and exploit its proximity, to locate here, they need venture capital, and it seems to help if it is nearby.*

    To that end, maybe we should be first encouraging the development of a VC business park — on the Covell Village land? — before expecting that the old cannery site can support high tech companies. Once the VC's are here, then our best efforts can be made to site the start-up companies they fund in Davis.

    Regardless of how we zone land, my guess is that for the next 5 years it's going to be hard for any developer to finance major projects, particularly housing.

    ——-

    * Stanford University — notably Frederick Terman at SRI — spawned VC companies to finance Stanford technologies. The proximate VC's then financed the first "Silicon Valley" companies, which then attracted more VC's to locate next door in Menlo Park, permitting more high tech and computer companies to locate nearby. Without the VCs, you never get Silicon Valley in the Stanford area.

  32. Rich Rifkin

    Are there any venture capital companies in Davis? That’s not a rhetorical question — I don’t know the answer — but it is an important question. (I just looked up SARTA, and they have a list of Sacramento VC firms, but no Davis companies.)

    If we want new high tech companies, the kind which can share R&-) with the university and exploit its proximity, to locate here, they need venture capital, and it seems to help if it is nearby.*

    To that end, maybe we should be first encouraging the development of a VC business park — on the Covell Village land? — before expecting that the old cannery site can support high tech companies. Once the VC's are here, then our best efforts can be made to site the start-up companies they fund in Davis.

    Regardless of how we zone land, my guess is that for the next 5 years it's going to be hard for any developer to finance major projects, particularly housing.

    ——-

    * Stanford University — notably Frederick Terman at SRI — spawned VC companies to finance Stanford technologies. The proximate VC's then financed the first "Silicon Valley" companies, which then attracted more VC's to locate next door in Menlo Park, permitting more high tech and computer companies to locate nearby. Without the VCs, you never get Silicon Valley in the Stanford area.

  33. Anonymous

    Perhaps this could be the first time that two developers can actually compete for the opportunity to build a project. Whitcomb and Lewis Homes can compete to offer Davis the best deal on a 66 acre mixed use development off of Covell Blvd; the one that offers the best deal builds it and the city makes clear that the other will not get future residential zoning( to be reserved for high-tech commercial) if it is to be annexed to the city.

  34. Anonymous

    Perhaps this could be the first time that two developers can actually compete for the opportunity to build a project. Whitcomb and Lewis Homes can compete to offer Davis the best deal on a 66 acre mixed use development off of Covell Blvd; the one that offers the best deal builds it and the city makes clear that the other will not get future residential zoning( to be reserved for high-tech commercial) if it is to be annexed to the city.

  35. Anonymous

    Perhaps this could be the first time that two developers can actually compete for the opportunity to build a project. Whitcomb and Lewis Homes can compete to offer Davis the best deal on a 66 acre mixed use development off of Covell Blvd; the one that offers the best deal builds it and the city makes clear that the other will not get future residential zoning( to be reserved for high-tech commercial) if it is to be annexed to the city.

  36. Anonymous

    Perhaps this could be the first time that two developers can actually compete for the opportunity to build a project. Whitcomb and Lewis Homes can compete to offer Davis the best deal on a 66 acre mixed use development off of Covell Blvd; the one that offers the best deal builds it and the city makes clear that the other will not get future residential zoning( to be reserved for high-tech commercial) if it is to be annexed to the city.

  37. Vanguardian

    When is the city of Davis going to put forth SERIOUS effort to bring in businesses to the Hunt Wesson location? It has been vacant for many years and we cannot let this continue.

    I am not necessarily in favor of building a whole bunch of new homes when we need more business, but I want to know when the city is going to put forth serious effort to bring more businesses to town. Enough talk. We want action behind the words.

    Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway) and who knows what will happen to Target in this economy.

  38. Vanguardian

    When is the city of Davis going to put forth SERIOUS effort to bring in businesses to the Hunt Wesson location? It has been vacant for many years and we cannot let this continue.

    I am not necessarily in favor of building a whole bunch of new homes when we need more business, but I want to know when the city is going to put forth serious effort to bring more businesses to town. Enough talk. We want action behind the words.

    Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway) and who knows what will happen to Target in this economy.

  39. Vanguardian

    When is the city of Davis going to put forth SERIOUS effort to bring in businesses to the Hunt Wesson location? It has been vacant for many years and we cannot let this continue.

    I am not necessarily in favor of building a whole bunch of new homes when we need more business, but I want to know when the city is going to put forth serious effort to bring more businesses to town. Enough talk. We want action behind the words.

    Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway) and who knows what will happen to Target in this economy.

  40. Vanguardian

    When is the city of Davis going to put forth SERIOUS effort to bring in businesses to the Hunt Wesson location? It has been vacant for many years and we cannot let this continue.

    I am not necessarily in favor of building a whole bunch of new homes when we need more business, but I want to know when the city is going to put forth serious effort to bring more businesses to town. Enough talk. We want action behind the words.

    Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway) and who knows what will happen to Target in this economy.

  41. Anonymous

    … "Some have suggested that we use the PG&E site between 2nd and 5th Streets at L Street near downtown for high-tech industry. From a smart-growth perspective, this would be the saddest decision of all, because the twenty-five acre P.G.&E. site is the only site available for a visionary, high-quality, transit-oriented townhouse and condominium"…. development within walking distance to downtown and AMTRAK."

    Maybe some of the residents of the core area of our fair city find the PG&E site a bit too close to downtown, and suffer from a bit of high tech NIMBYism themselves.

  42. Anonymous

    … "Some have suggested that we use the PG&E site between 2nd and 5th Streets at L Street near downtown for high-tech industry. From a smart-growth perspective, this would be the saddest decision of all, because the twenty-five acre P.G.&E. site is the only site available for a visionary, high-quality, transit-oriented townhouse and condominium"…. development within walking distance to downtown and AMTRAK."

    Maybe some of the residents of the core area of our fair city find the PG&E site a bit too close to downtown, and suffer from a bit of high tech NIMBYism themselves.

  43. Anonymous

    … "Some have suggested that we use the PG&E site between 2nd and 5th Streets at L Street near downtown for high-tech industry. From a smart-growth perspective, this would be the saddest decision of all, because the twenty-five acre P.G.&E. site is the only site available for a visionary, high-quality, transit-oriented townhouse and condominium"…. development within walking distance to downtown and AMTRAK."

    Maybe some of the residents of the core area of our fair city find the PG&E site a bit too close to downtown, and suffer from a bit of high tech NIMBYism themselves.

  44. Anonymous

    … "Some have suggested that we use the PG&E site between 2nd and 5th Streets at L Street near downtown for high-tech industry. From a smart-growth perspective, this would be the saddest decision of all, because the twenty-five acre P.G.&E. site is the only site available for a visionary, high-quality, transit-oriented townhouse and condominium"…. development within walking distance to downtown and AMTRAK."

    Maybe some of the residents of the core area of our fair city find the PG&E site a bit too close to downtown, and suffer from a bit of high tech NIMBYism themselves.

  45. Sue Greenwald

    Anon 9:24:

    The consultant’s feasibility study did NOT say that the high-tech option was infeasible.

    He said we would run out of all commercial land in five to eight years, that a business park was feasible, but that if we had very strict high-tech only zoning it could take 35 years to build it out (which is about the time frame of our next general plan (25 years plus the 4 years until it goes into effect).

    However,we don’t have very strict high-tech zoning. We have a high-tech oriented business park. Like the Mace Ranch business park, it could accomodate non-profits like explorit, private sports facilities like the in-line hockey rink, commercial places like Konditori that serve a predominantly wholesale business, some office space, churches, semi-public uses, that we don’t have room for downtown, etc. He consultant acknowledged that he wasn’t familiar with the existing zoning — he just said there should be a little flexibility in the high-tech oriented business park, which there already is.

  46. Sue Greenwald

    Anon 9:24:

    The consultant’s feasibility study did NOT say that the high-tech option was infeasible.

    He said we would run out of all commercial land in five to eight years, that a business park was feasible, but that if we had very strict high-tech only zoning it could take 35 years to build it out (which is about the time frame of our next general plan (25 years plus the 4 years until it goes into effect).

    However,we don’t have very strict high-tech zoning. We have a high-tech oriented business park. Like the Mace Ranch business park, it could accomodate non-profits like explorit, private sports facilities like the in-line hockey rink, commercial places like Konditori that serve a predominantly wholesale business, some office space, churches, semi-public uses, that we don’t have room for downtown, etc. He consultant acknowledged that he wasn’t familiar with the existing zoning — he just said there should be a little flexibility in the high-tech oriented business park, which there already is.

  47. Sue Greenwald

    Anon 9:24:

    The consultant’s feasibility study did NOT say that the high-tech option was infeasible.

    He said we would run out of all commercial land in five to eight years, that a business park was feasible, but that if we had very strict high-tech only zoning it could take 35 years to build it out (which is about the time frame of our next general plan (25 years plus the 4 years until it goes into effect).

    However,we don’t have very strict high-tech zoning. We have a high-tech oriented business park. Like the Mace Ranch business park, it could accomodate non-profits like explorit, private sports facilities like the in-line hockey rink, commercial places like Konditori that serve a predominantly wholesale business, some office space, churches, semi-public uses, that we don’t have room for downtown, etc. He consultant acknowledged that he wasn’t familiar with the existing zoning — he just said there should be a little flexibility in the high-tech oriented business park, which there already is.

  48. Sue Greenwald

    Anon 9:24:

    The consultant’s feasibility study did NOT say that the high-tech option was infeasible.

    He said we would run out of all commercial land in five to eight years, that a business park was feasible, but that if we had very strict high-tech only zoning it could take 35 years to build it out (which is about the time frame of our next general plan (25 years plus the 4 years until it goes into effect).

    However,we don’t have very strict high-tech zoning. We have a high-tech oriented business park. Like the Mace Ranch business park, it could accomodate non-profits like explorit, private sports facilities like the in-line hockey rink, commercial places like Konditori that serve a predominantly wholesale business, some office space, churches, semi-public uses, that we don’t have room for downtown, etc. He consultant acknowledged that he wasn’t familiar with the existing zoning — he just said there should be a little flexibility in the high-tech oriented business park, which there already is.

  49. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning freeway: Yes, high tech firms do NOT need, or necessarily prefer, freeway sites. The city consultant affirmed this, numerous high-tech business owners that I have talked with confirm this, and the major high-tech real estate agent that I talked with confirmed this. And all said that the Hunt-Wesson was a fine site from a locational standpoint.

  50. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning freeway: Yes, high tech firms do NOT need, or necessarily prefer, freeway sites. The city consultant affirmed this, numerous high-tech business owners that I have talked with confirm this, and the major high-tech real estate agent that I talked with confirmed this. And all said that the Hunt-Wesson was a fine site from a locational standpoint.

  51. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning freeway: Yes, high tech firms do NOT need, or necessarily prefer, freeway sites. The city consultant affirmed this, numerous high-tech business owners that I have talked with confirm this, and the major high-tech real estate agent that I talked with confirmed this. And all said that the Hunt-Wesson was a fine site from a locational standpoint.

  52. Sue Greenwald

    Concerning freeway: Yes, high tech firms do NOT need, or necessarily prefer, freeway sites. The city consultant affirmed this, numerous high-tech business owners that I have talked with confirm this, and the major high-tech real estate agent that I talked with confirmed this. And all said that the Hunt-Wesson was a fine site from a locational standpoint.

  53. Rich Rifkin

    “Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway).”

    Trader Joe’s has not (publicly) changed its position about building a store in Davis. Unless you have inside information, it’s still reasonable to think Trader Joe’s wants to come to Davis.

    What has changed is that the owner of University Mall announced it cannot afford the deal to move RAS from its current location to one near the hospital. That means, for the time being, TJs won’t be built at that mall.

    My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot. But for now, new business invesment is a dicey proposition — including Target, as you suggest.

  54. Rich Rifkin

    “Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway).”

    Trader Joe’s has not (publicly) changed its position about building a store in Davis. Unless you have inside information, it’s still reasonable to think Trader Joe’s wants to come to Davis.

    What has changed is that the owner of University Mall announced it cannot afford the deal to move RAS from its current location to one near the hospital. That means, for the time being, TJs won’t be built at that mall.

    My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot. But for now, new business invesment is a dicey proposition — including Target, as you suggest.

  55. Rich Rifkin

    “Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway).”

    Trader Joe’s has not (publicly) changed its position about building a store in Davis. Unless you have inside information, it’s still reasonable to think Trader Joe’s wants to come to Davis.

    What has changed is that the owner of University Mall announced it cannot afford the deal to move RAS from its current location to one near the hospital. That means, for the time being, TJs won’t be built at that mall.

    My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot. But for now, new business invesment is a dicey proposition — including Target, as you suggest.

  56. Rich Rifkin

    “Trader Joe’s isn’t coming to town (thank goodness it should be in a different location anyway).”

    Trader Joe’s has not (publicly) changed its position about building a store in Davis. Unless you have inside information, it’s still reasonable to think Trader Joe’s wants to come to Davis.

    What has changed is that the owner of University Mall announced it cannot afford the deal to move RAS from its current location to one near the hospital. That means, for the time being, TJs won’t be built at that mall.

    My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot. But for now, new business invesment is a dicey proposition — including Target, as you suggest.

  57. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 12:16:

    Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.

    In addition, a decade ago I personally strongly supported a high-tech business park at the Nishi, which is only a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, the profits from a high-tech business park were not sufficient to finance the unusually expensive undercrossing that is needed to access that small parcel. (Also, Nishi is not within the city limits, so we would have had to deal with the tax-sharing issue).

  58. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 12:16:

    Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.

    In addition, a decade ago I personally strongly supported a high-tech business park at the Nishi, which is only a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, the profits from a high-tech business park were not sufficient to finance the unusually expensive undercrossing that is needed to access that small parcel. (Also, Nishi is not within the city limits, so we would have had to deal with the tax-sharing issue).

  59. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 12:16:

    Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.

    In addition, a decade ago I personally strongly supported a high-tech business park at the Nishi, which is only a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, the profits from a high-tech business park were not sufficient to finance the unusually expensive undercrossing that is needed to access that small parcel. (Also, Nishi is not within the city limits, so we would have had to deal with the tax-sharing issue).

  60. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 12:16:

    Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.

    In addition, a decade ago I personally strongly supported a high-tech business park at the Nishi, which is only a few blocks from my house. Unfortunately, the profits from a high-tech business park were not sufficient to finance the unusually expensive undercrossing that is needed to access that small parcel. (Also, Nishi is not within the city limits, so we would have had to deal with the tax-sharing issue).

  61. Sue Greenwald

    Rich,

    Concerning venture capital,

    Sacramento IS “close by” in terms of proximity of venture capital firms.

    We recently attracted a very important high-tech company to Davis. Their real-estate agent told me that they struggled to find a large enough parcel for their medium-sized company, which will employ about 100 people, and will probably want to expand a bit someday.

    He told me that although they were strongly motivated to locate in Davis, they only found one really suitable parcel on the market, and even with that parcel, they had concerns that it was too close to the freeway and traffic. They were looking for a quiet, serene atmosphere.

    He said that if that one last remaining site had been unavailable, they probably would have had to go to West Sac. I asked him if they would have been interested in locating at the Hunt-Wesson had it been available (and seriously marketed), and he said “most definitely”.

    According to a high-tech patent attorney that I talked with, it is the medium-sized branches and subsidiaries of the major companies that you need to attract as anchors, and that they spawn new start-ups. He felt that Davis should be intrinsically attractive to these companies. However, we need both the zoned land and the will and commitment of the council, which we just haven’t had.

  62. Sue Greenwald

    Rich,

    Concerning venture capital,

    Sacramento IS “close by” in terms of proximity of venture capital firms.

    We recently attracted a very important high-tech company to Davis. Their real-estate agent told me that they struggled to find a large enough parcel for their medium-sized company, which will employ about 100 people, and will probably want to expand a bit someday.

    He told me that although they were strongly motivated to locate in Davis, they only found one really suitable parcel on the market, and even with that parcel, they had concerns that it was too close to the freeway and traffic. They were looking for a quiet, serene atmosphere.

    He said that if that one last remaining site had been unavailable, they probably would have had to go to West Sac. I asked him if they would have been interested in locating at the Hunt-Wesson had it been available (and seriously marketed), and he said “most definitely”.

    According to a high-tech patent attorney that I talked with, it is the medium-sized branches and subsidiaries of the major companies that you need to attract as anchors, and that they spawn new start-ups. He felt that Davis should be intrinsically attractive to these companies. However, we need both the zoned land and the will and commitment of the council, which we just haven’t had.

  63. Sue Greenwald

    Rich,

    Concerning venture capital,

    Sacramento IS “close by” in terms of proximity of venture capital firms.

    We recently attracted a very important high-tech company to Davis. Their real-estate agent told me that they struggled to find a large enough parcel for their medium-sized company, which will employ about 100 people, and will probably want to expand a bit someday.

    He told me that although they were strongly motivated to locate in Davis, they only found one really suitable parcel on the market, and even with that parcel, they had concerns that it was too close to the freeway and traffic. They were looking for a quiet, serene atmosphere.

    He said that if that one last remaining site had been unavailable, they probably would have had to go to West Sac. I asked him if they would have been interested in locating at the Hunt-Wesson had it been available (and seriously marketed), and he said “most definitely”.

    According to a high-tech patent attorney that I talked with, it is the medium-sized branches and subsidiaries of the major companies that you need to attract as anchors, and that they spawn new start-ups. He felt that Davis should be intrinsically attractive to these companies. However, we need both the zoned land and the will and commitment of the council, which we just haven’t had.

  64. Sue Greenwald

    Rich,

    Concerning venture capital,

    Sacramento IS “close by” in terms of proximity of venture capital firms.

    We recently attracted a very important high-tech company to Davis. Their real-estate agent told me that they struggled to find a large enough parcel for their medium-sized company, which will employ about 100 people, and will probably want to expand a bit someday.

    He told me that although they were strongly motivated to locate in Davis, they only found one really suitable parcel on the market, and even with that parcel, they had concerns that it was too close to the freeway and traffic. They were looking for a quiet, serene atmosphere.

    He said that if that one last remaining site had been unavailable, they probably would have had to go to West Sac. I asked him if they would have been interested in locating at the Hunt-Wesson had it been available (and seriously marketed), and he said “most definitely”.

    According to a high-tech patent attorney that I talked with, it is the medium-sized branches and subsidiaries of the major companies that you need to attract as anchors, and that they spawn new start-ups. He felt that Davis should be intrinsically attractive to these companies. However, we need both the zoned land and the will and commitment of the council, which we just haven’t had.

  65. CC didnt get 60-40

    Emlen is pushing for Covell Village in today’s Enterprise.

    It states and he says, “Emlen also would like the City Council to consider the cannery’s neighboring property, an 800-acre parcel that is technically outside of city limits. The parcel was proposed as a large housing development, Covell Village, but Davis voters rejected it in 2005.

    ‘While not in the city, it is designated industrial in the county and clearly has future development potential,’ Emlen wrote. ‘It seems a lost planning opportunity to not address both properties in a master plan concept.’ [Emlen said].

  66. CC didnt get 60-40

    Emlen is pushing for Covell Village in today’s Enterprise.

    It states and he says, “Emlen also would like the City Council to consider the cannery’s neighboring property, an 800-acre parcel that is technically outside of city limits. The parcel was proposed as a large housing development, Covell Village, but Davis voters rejected it in 2005.

    ‘While not in the city, it is designated industrial in the county and clearly has future development potential,’ Emlen wrote. ‘It seems a lost planning opportunity to not address both properties in a master plan concept.’ [Emlen said].

  67. CC didnt get 60-40

    Emlen is pushing for Covell Village in today’s Enterprise.

    It states and he says, “Emlen also would like the City Council to consider the cannery’s neighboring property, an 800-acre parcel that is technically outside of city limits. The parcel was proposed as a large housing development, Covell Village, but Davis voters rejected it in 2005.

    ‘While not in the city, it is designated industrial in the county and clearly has future development potential,’ Emlen wrote. ‘It seems a lost planning opportunity to not address both properties in a master plan concept.’ [Emlen said].

  68. CC didnt get 60-40

    Emlen is pushing for Covell Village in today’s Enterprise.

    It states and he says, “Emlen also would like the City Council to consider the cannery’s neighboring property, an 800-acre parcel that is technically outside of city limits. The parcel was proposed as a large housing development, Covell Village, but Davis voters rejected it in 2005.

    ‘While not in the city, it is designated industrial in the county and clearly has future development potential,’ Emlen wrote. ‘It seems a lost planning opportunity to not address both properties in a master plan concept.’ [Emlen said].

  69. Not happy with Council

    I read the Enterprise today and I am not happy.

    Do we hear “RECALL” for those that try to go against what the voters want??? 60/40 was loud and clear.

  70. Not happy with Council

    I read the Enterprise today and I am not happy.

    Do we hear “RECALL” for those that try to go against what the voters want??? 60/40 was loud and clear.

  71. Not happy with Council

    I read the Enterprise today and I am not happy.

    Do we hear “RECALL” for those that try to go against what the voters want??? 60/40 was loud and clear.

  72. Not happy with Council

    I read the Enterprise today and I am not happy.

    Do we hear “RECALL” for those that try to go against what the voters want??? 60/40 was loud and clear.

  73. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 4:47

    1) Sue loves children very much.

    2) Toxic studies have been done on P.G.&E. Preliminary studies do not show serious problems. Great infill projects have been done on other similar P.G.&E. sites.

    3) Clean-up laws were enacted to require clean-up, not to stop development.

  74. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 4:47

    1) Sue loves children very much.

    2) Toxic studies have been done on P.G.&E. Preliminary studies do not show serious problems. Great infill projects have been done on other similar P.G.&E. sites.

    3) Clean-up laws were enacted to require clean-up, not to stop development.

  75. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 4:47

    1) Sue loves children very much.

    2) Toxic studies have been done on P.G.&E. Preliminary studies do not show serious problems. Great infill projects have been done on other similar P.G.&E. sites.

    3) Clean-up laws were enacted to require clean-up, not to stop development.

  76. Sue Greenwald

    Anonymous 4:47

    1) Sue loves children very much.

    2) Toxic studies have been done on P.G.&E. Preliminary studies do not show serious problems. Great infill projects have been done on other similar P.G.&E. sites.

    3) Clean-up laws were enacted to require clean-up, not to stop development.

  77. Anonymous

    Sue since you stated:
    “Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.” then it would make far more sense to put the high tech at the P,G and E site. The P,G and E site is surrounded by commercial for the most part and has good access to Fifth St. Also not everyone wants to live in a condo or townhouse, which is what you are advocating that P,G and E would only be able to provide as a housing option. What about young families with small kids who need more space than a condo? Don’t they deserve a chance for a home with a yard? And yes, what about the probable toxics at P,G and E. At least you can still do commercial on sites with some toxics issues.

  78. Anonymous

    Sue since you stated:
    “Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.” then it would make far more sense to put the high tech at the P,G and E site. The P,G and E site is surrounded by commercial for the most part and has good access to Fifth St. Also not everyone wants to live in a condo or townhouse, which is what you are advocating that P,G and E would only be able to provide as a housing option. What about young families with small kids who need more space than a condo? Don’t they deserve a chance for a home with a yard? And yes, what about the probable toxics at P,G and E. At least you can still do commercial on sites with some toxics issues.

  79. Anonymous

    Sue since you stated:
    “Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.” then it would make far more sense to put the high tech at the P,G and E site. The P,G and E site is surrounded by commercial for the most part and has good access to Fifth St. Also not everyone wants to live in a condo or townhouse, which is what you are advocating that P,G and E would only be able to provide as a housing option. What about young families with small kids who need more space than a condo? Don’t they deserve a chance for a home with a yard? And yes, what about the probable toxics at P,G and E. At least you can still do commercial on sites with some toxics issues.

  80. Anonymous

    Sue since you stated:
    “Residents of the core area live adjacent to the University, which is filled with high-technology jobs. This helps, not hurts, or neighborhoods.” then it would make far more sense to put the high tech at the P,G and E site. The P,G and E site is surrounded by commercial for the most part and has good access to Fifth St. Also not everyone wants to live in a condo or townhouse, which is what you are advocating that P,G and E would only be able to provide as a housing option. What about young families with small kids who need more space than a condo? Don’t they deserve a chance for a home with a yard? And yes, what about the probable toxics at P,G and E. At least you can still do commercial on sites with some toxics issues.

  81. Anonymous

    Ms. Greenwald keeps advocating for development in Davis that would encourage people to live here but commute to jobs elsewhere. I.e., the PG & E site is close to the railroad station. And putting hi-tech at the old tomato plant would be close to the freeway.
    Why not promote development that would benefit people who live in the town? Like warehousing at the old tomato plant which could employ Davis youth? And leaving PG & E alone, thus preventing more out-of-towners coming in and competing for scarce jobs already here or that could be developed.

  82. Anonymous

    Ms. Greenwald keeps advocating for development in Davis that would encourage people to live here but commute to jobs elsewhere. I.e., the PG & E site is close to the railroad station. And putting hi-tech at the old tomato plant would be close to the freeway.
    Why not promote development that would benefit people who live in the town? Like warehousing at the old tomato plant which could employ Davis youth? And leaving PG & E alone, thus preventing more out-of-towners coming in and competing for scarce jobs already here or that could be developed.

  83. Anonymous

    Ms. Greenwald keeps advocating for development in Davis that would encourage people to live here but commute to jobs elsewhere. I.e., the PG & E site is close to the railroad station. And putting hi-tech at the old tomato plant would be close to the freeway.
    Why not promote development that would benefit people who live in the town? Like warehousing at the old tomato plant which could employ Davis youth? And leaving PG & E alone, thus preventing more out-of-towners coming in and competing for scarce jobs already here or that could be developed.

  84. Anonymous

    Ms. Greenwald keeps advocating for development in Davis that would encourage people to live here but commute to jobs elsewhere. I.e., the PG & E site is close to the railroad station. And putting hi-tech at the old tomato plant would be close to the freeway.
    Why not promote development that would benefit people who live in the town? Like warehousing at the old tomato plant which could employ Davis youth? And leaving PG & E alone, thus preventing more out-of-towners coming in and competing for scarce jobs already here or that could be developed.

  85. Brooks

    “My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot.”

    Mr. Rifkin,

    Great article in last week’s Enterprise on closed door deal making. Probably your best article yet.

    I read this blog frequently and notice thousands of words are written about things like the cannery zoning which has almost no effect on the city’s budget, but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.

    I agree with you and Lamar Heysteck that the contracts should be discussed publicly and not in secret meetings. It irks me that members of the council never talk publicly about the labor contracts, they never say what changes they think need to be made. In other cities I’ve read about recently their city council members have publicly discussed getting rid of retiree medical costs for all new employees. Why don’t our city council members go on the record at the next meeting and discuss this. It’s frankly much more important to all of us than a zoning issue.

    Thanks, Mr. Rifkin. I enjoy the courage you show in your column every time.

  86. Brooks

    “My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot.”

    Mr. Rifkin,

    Great article in last week’s Enterprise on closed door deal making. Probably your best article yet.

    I read this blog frequently and notice thousands of words are written about things like the cannery zoning which has almost no effect on the city’s budget, but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.

    I agree with you and Lamar Heysteck that the contracts should be discussed publicly and not in secret meetings. It irks me that members of the council never talk publicly about the labor contracts, they never say what changes they think need to be made. In other cities I’ve read about recently their city council members have publicly discussed getting rid of retiree medical costs for all new employees. Why don’t our city council members go on the record at the next meeting and discuss this. It’s frankly much more important to all of us than a zoning issue.

    Thanks, Mr. Rifkin. I enjoy the courage you show in your column every time.

  87. Brooks

    “My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot.”

    Mr. Rifkin,

    Great article in last week’s Enterprise on closed door deal making. Probably your best article yet.

    I read this blog frequently and notice thousands of words are written about things like the cannery zoning which has almost no effect on the city’s budget, but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.

    I agree with you and Lamar Heysteck that the contracts should be discussed publicly and not in secret meetings. It irks me that members of the council never talk publicly about the labor contracts, they never say what changes they think need to be made. In other cities I’ve read about recently their city council members have publicly discussed getting rid of retiree medical costs for all new employees. Why don’t our city council members go on the record at the next meeting and discuss this. It’s frankly much more important to all of us than a zoning issue.

    Thanks, Mr. Rifkin. I enjoy the courage you show in your column every time.

  88. Brooks

    “My guess is five years down the road, the economy will recover, RAS will move and TJs will be built in that spot.”

    Mr. Rifkin,

    Great article in last week’s Enterprise on closed door deal making. Probably your best article yet.

    I read this blog frequently and notice thousands of words are written about things like the cannery zoning which has almost no effect on the city’s budget, but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.

    I agree with you and Lamar Heysteck that the contracts should be discussed publicly and not in secret meetings. It irks me that members of the council never talk publicly about the labor contracts, they never say what changes they think need to be made. In other cities I’ve read about recently their city council members have publicly discussed getting rid of retiree medical costs for all new employees. Why don’t our city council members go on the record at the next meeting and discuss this. It’s frankly much more important to all of us than a zoning issue.

    Thanks, Mr. Rifkin. I enjoy the courage you show in your column every time.

  89. Anonymous

    “but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.”

    David has done numerous stories on city employees salaries and their contracts. Where have you been? Check out the side of the blog…

  90. Anonymous

    “but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.”

    David has done numerous stories on city employees salaries and their contracts. Where have you been? Check out the side of the blog…

  91. Anonymous

    “but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.”

    David has done numerous stories on city employees salaries and their contracts. Where have you been? Check out the side of the blog…

  92. Anonymous

    “but so little is written about the labor contracts you wrote about. That is where the real money is, folks. If those don’t get fixed soon our whole city is going broke and it won’t be pretty.”

    David has done numerous stories on city employees salaries and their contracts. Where have you been? Check out the side of the blog…

  93. BF Skinner

    So if we build a post-industrial business park where will all the workers live? Sue says there are 150 units approved but not built in Davis would this be enough housing to support a new business park?

    West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated unless the university stops growing. If the campus stops growing then West Village too will be stopped.

    As for PGE is that land for people to live and commute to work by train, bike, bus or foot? How would that be the fix for housing to support a new business park?

    Sue’s position is absurd. A business park but not the housing to support it. Once again the landed gentry of Davis favors a myopic solution that only benefits those that have already established territory in rat city.

  94. BF Skinner

    So if we build a post-industrial business park where will all the workers live? Sue says there are 150 units approved but not built in Davis would this be enough housing to support a new business park?

    West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated unless the university stops growing. If the campus stops growing then West Village too will be stopped.

    As for PGE is that land for people to live and commute to work by train, bike, bus or foot? How would that be the fix for housing to support a new business park?

    Sue’s position is absurd. A business park but not the housing to support it. Once again the landed gentry of Davis favors a myopic solution that only benefits those that have already established territory in rat city.

  95. BF Skinner

    So if we build a post-industrial business park where will all the workers live? Sue says there are 150 units approved but not built in Davis would this be enough housing to support a new business park?

    West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated unless the university stops growing. If the campus stops growing then West Village too will be stopped.

    As for PGE is that land for people to live and commute to work by train, bike, bus or foot? How would that be the fix for housing to support a new business park?

    Sue’s position is absurd. A business park but not the housing to support it. Once again the landed gentry of Davis favors a myopic solution that only benefits those that have already established territory in rat city.

  96. BF Skinner

    So if we build a post-industrial business park where will all the workers live? Sue says there are 150 units approved but not built in Davis would this be enough housing to support a new business park?

    West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated unless the university stops growing. If the campus stops growing then West Village too will be stopped.

    As for PGE is that land for people to live and commute to work by train, bike, bus or foot? How would that be the fix for housing to support a new business park?

    Sue’s position is absurd. A business park but not the housing to support it. Once again the landed gentry of Davis favors a myopic solution that only benefits those that have already established territory in rat city.

  97. Rich Rifkin

    Walden Two: “West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated”

    Is it not the case that most of the internal pressure for housing growth in Davis is due to job expansion at the university? Do you not think the university is the engine for growth in Davis?

    I realize that not everyone who lives here works at the university. Some work in businesses (or local public employment jobs, including the schools and city and county) in Davis which rise or fall over time with the university.

    But cannot it be said of the rest — mostly recently arrived retirees and commuters — they are a part of the external pressure for growth? And if that is the case, then it would seem reasonable to ask whether Davis is obliged to provide housing to keep up with externally generated demand?

  98. Rich Rifkin

    Walden Two: “West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated”

    Is it not the case that most of the internal pressure for housing growth in Davis is due to job expansion at the university? Do you not think the university is the engine for growth in Davis?

    I realize that not everyone who lives here works at the university. Some work in businesses (or local public employment jobs, including the schools and city and county) in Davis which rise or fall over time with the university.

    But cannot it be said of the rest — mostly recently arrived retirees and commuters — they are a part of the external pressure for growth? And if that is the case, then it would seem reasonable to ask whether Davis is obliged to provide housing to keep up with externally generated demand?

  99. Rich Rifkin

    Walden Two: “West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated”

    Is it not the case that most of the internal pressure for housing growth in Davis is due to job expansion at the university? Do you not think the university is the engine for growth in Davis?

    I realize that not everyone who lives here works at the university. Some work in businesses (or local public employment jobs, including the schools and city and county) in Davis which rise or fall over time with the university.

    But cannot it be said of the rest — mostly recently arrived retirees and commuters — they are a part of the external pressure for growth? And if that is the case, then it would seem reasonable to ask whether Davis is obliged to provide housing to keep up with externally generated demand?

  100. Rich Rifkin

    Walden Two: “West Village is being built to support the growth of the university so the notion that it would relieve the pressure for housing is overstated”

    Is it not the case that most of the internal pressure for housing growth in Davis is due to job expansion at the university? Do you not think the university is the engine for growth in Davis?

    I realize that not everyone who lives here works at the university. Some work in businesses (or local public employment jobs, including the schools and city and county) in Davis which rise or fall over time with the university.

    But cannot it be said of the rest — mostly recently arrived retirees and commuters — they are a part of the external pressure for growth? And if that is the case, then it would seem reasonable to ask whether Davis is obliged to provide housing to keep up with externally generated demand?

  101. keep it zoned high tech

    sue, good luck. try and stay very composed and don’t take things so personally. you are a citizen representative first up on the dais, and a person with a singular opinion second. represent the citizens when you speak and your words will have more power.

  102. keep it zoned high tech

    sue, good luck. try and stay very composed and don’t take things so personally. you are a citizen representative first up on the dais, and a person with a singular opinion second. represent the citizens when you speak and your words will have more power.

  103. keep it zoned high tech

    sue, good luck. try and stay very composed and don’t take things so personally. you are a citizen representative first up on the dais, and a person with a singular opinion second. represent the citizens when you speak and your words will have more power.

  104. keep it zoned high tech

    sue, good luck. try and stay very composed and don’t take things so personally. you are a citizen representative first up on the dais, and a person with a singular opinion second. represent the citizens when you speak and your words will have more power.

  105. Rich Rifkin

    Insofar as we do have companies like Calgene, Zoogen and other like firms, they would also be internal demand generators. But compared with UCD, they represent a very small percentage of that demand.

  106. Rich Rifkin

    Insofar as we do have companies like Calgene, Zoogen and other like firms, they would also be internal demand generators. But compared with UCD, they represent a very small percentage of that demand.

  107. Rich Rifkin

    Insofar as we do have companies like Calgene, Zoogen and other like firms, they would also be internal demand generators. But compared with UCD, they represent a very small percentage of that demand.

  108. Rich Rifkin

    Insofar as we do have companies like Calgene, Zoogen and other like firms, they would also be internal demand generators. But compared with UCD, they represent a very small percentage of that demand.

  109. Sue Greenwald

    When we build new housing, many, perhaps most, of those who buy them do not work in Davis.

    As Rich pointed out, we have many, many retired people moving in. We also attract State employees, Sac State employees, many who move here for the schools, and many who just choose Davis because they work at home and have the means to choose where they live, etc.

    One house out of every seven is sold every year, so if we build our jobs near our existing houses, eventually many people will migrate closer to their work.

    I think that the number of new houses that we build is quite a separate issue and a separate discussion from whether we need to retain the high-tech zoned land within our city limits.

  110. Sue Greenwald

    When we build new housing, many, perhaps most, of those who buy them do not work in Davis.

    As Rich pointed out, we have many, many retired people moving in. We also attract State employees, Sac State employees, many who move here for the schools, and many who just choose Davis because they work at home and have the means to choose where they live, etc.

    One house out of every seven is sold every year, so if we build our jobs near our existing houses, eventually many people will migrate closer to their work.

    I think that the number of new houses that we build is quite a separate issue and a separate discussion from whether we need to retain the high-tech zoned land within our city limits.

  111. Sue Greenwald

    When we build new housing, many, perhaps most, of those who buy them do not work in Davis.

    As Rich pointed out, we have many, many retired people moving in. We also attract State employees, Sac State employees, many who move here for the schools, and many who just choose Davis because they work at home and have the means to choose where they live, etc.

    One house out of every seven is sold every year, so if we build our jobs near our existing houses, eventually many people will migrate closer to their work.

    I think that the number of new houses that we build is quite a separate issue and a separate discussion from whether we need to retain the high-tech zoned land within our city limits.

  112. Sue Greenwald

    When we build new housing, many, perhaps most, of those who buy them do not work in Davis.

    As Rich pointed out, we have many, many retired people moving in. We also attract State employees, Sac State employees, many who move here for the schools, and many who just choose Davis because they work at home and have the means to choose where they live, etc.

    One house out of every seven is sold every year, so if we build our jobs near our existing houses, eventually many people will migrate closer to their work.

    I think that the number of new houses that we build is quite a separate issue and a separate discussion from whether we need to retain the high-tech zoned land within our city limits.

  113. Anonymous

    To David Greenwald,
    It is interesting that you state that no slanderous attacks are allowed on this blog. Yet you let allow a comment from someone, who is obviously suffering mental irregularity, comment that, “Sue G. hates children”, remain on your site. Is this politically motivated? Why are you allowing this?

  114. Anonymous

    To David Greenwald,
    It is interesting that you state that no slanderous attacks are allowed on this blog. Yet you let allow a comment from someone, who is obviously suffering mental irregularity, comment that, “Sue G. hates children”, remain on your site. Is this politically motivated? Why are you allowing this?

  115. Anonymous

    To David Greenwald,
    It is interesting that you state that no slanderous attacks are allowed on this blog. Yet you let allow a comment from someone, who is obviously suffering mental irregularity, comment that, “Sue G. hates children”, remain on your site. Is this politically motivated? Why are you allowing this?

  116. Anonymous

    To David Greenwald,
    It is interesting that you state that no slanderous attacks are allowed on this blog. Yet you let allow a comment from someone, who is obviously suffering mental irregularity, comment that, “Sue G. hates children”, remain on your site. Is this politically motivated? Why are you allowing this?

  117. David M. Greenwald

    What would be my political motivation, I agree with Sue. Are you volunteering to become a moderator? Because I cannot always catch stuff and I am not always able to delete. Sue did a good job of responding and I left it up based on that.

  118. David M. Greenwald

    What would be my political motivation, I agree with Sue. Are you volunteering to become a moderator? Because I cannot always catch stuff and I am not always able to delete. Sue did a good job of responding and I left it up based on that.

  119. David M. Greenwald

    What would be my political motivation, I agree with Sue. Are you volunteering to become a moderator? Because I cannot always catch stuff and I am not always able to delete. Sue did a good job of responding and I left it up based on that.

  120. David M. Greenwald

    What would be my political motivation, I agree with Sue. Are you volunteering to become a moderator? Because I cannot always catch stuff and I am not always able to delete. Sue did a good job of responding and I left it up based on that.

  121. David M. Greenwald

    BTW, anonymous, as you probably know Sue as an elected official is much more difficult to slander or libel. My policy has generally been to give people a lot more leeway in comments about public officials as opposed to either private individuals or fellows posters on this blog (who are not elected officials). But again, if you are that concerned about it, I’d be glad to talk to you about being a moderator.

  122. David M. Greenwald

    BTW, anonymous, as you probably know Sue as an elected official is much more difficult to slander or libel. My policy has generally been to give people a lot more leeway in comments about public officials as opposed to either private individuals or fellows posters on this blog (who are not elected officials). But again, if you are that concerned about it, I’d be glad to talk to you about being a moderator.

  123. David M. Greenwald

    BTW, anonymous, as you probably know Sue as an elected official is much more difficult to slander or libel. My policy has generally been to give people a lot more leeway in comments about public officials as opposed to either private individuals or fellows posters on this blog (who are not elected officials). But again, if you are that concerned about it, I’d be glad to talk to you about being a moderator.

  124. David M. Greenwald

    BTW, anonymous, as you probably know Sue as an elected official is much more difficult to slander or libel. My policy has generally been to give people a lot more leeway in comments about public officials as opposed to either private individuals or fellows posters on this blog (who are not elected officials). But again, if you are that concerned about it, I’d be glad to talk to you about being a moderator.

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