BEDC Votes Not to Consider Exemptions to Measure J At This Time

citycatCity Staff Presents Intriuging Preliminary Study of Business Park Needs for the City –

The Davis City Council a few weeks ago directed that three of the commissions look into the question of whether Measure J should have a business park exemption during their vote to place a renewal on the ballot that would sunset in 2020.

Last night, the first of those commissions, the Business and Economic Development Commission (BEDC) would take the matter into consideration.  From the onset, the commission was clearly not comfortable with the vague directive.  For the most part they seemed inclined not to grant an exemption, but they were not ready to definitively reach that verdict instead they voted by a 7 to 1 vote to recommend no exemption at this point in time.  The one dissenting vote actually wanted an qualifier removed.

The hesitation to permanently remove the exemption from consideration came from the notion that they are in the midst of receiving a staff report on the city’s business park land needs.  Depending on the outcome of that study, they might wish to revisit the issue should the study show the definitive and immediate need for a business park.

Several commissioners probably would not support such an exemption at that point either however, reasoning that if there is a clear need for a business park, there is no reason not to trust the voters.  But at the same time, there was a small but nagging distrust of the voters and giving them the final say that seemed to cause that last bit of hesitation.

However, even if the commission revisits the issue, there does not appear to be strong sentiment to create an exemption even then.  The commissioners just seemed to not want to preclude future action if the need arose.

From my standpoint, even if there was a strong and overriding need to develop a business park immediately, Measure J should not grant exemptions.  A well-thought out development would undoubtedly be approved by the voters should the need be demonstrated, but it would leave in place protections against poorly developed proposals that would encroach on agricultural land and open space.  The public would remain the final arbitthe proers not only on the need for the development, but also on the form and location of that development.  These are key issues that ought no be undermined.

One of the members of the public, Pam Nieberg, mentioned that there were key legal issues that were considered when they drafted Measure J originally.  The reason that there were no exemptions granted is that they believed any exemption could cause the initiative to be thrown out by the courts, as many of these land-use initiatives have been.  She warned that once you grant an exemption, the entire concept gets placed in danger.

The members of the commission at times seemed a bit perplexed by the task they were asked to perform and even Mayor Ruth Asmundson, the council liaison to the commission, acknowledged that the idea was formulated late at night by Councilmember Stephen Souza.  While Councilmember Stephen Souza clearly has a concept of a green business park in mind, a concept that I believe most in Davis would support, there appears to me to be no compelling need for an exemption.  Mr. Souza has generally adopted the attitude that he trust the voters, and he should do so in this case as well.

Broader Business Park Discussion

One of the more interesting aspects of the meeting last night was the staff presentation on business park needs for the city.  They are really in the early stages of the study.  Staff members Sarah Worley and Brian Abbanat optimistically suggested that this study would be complete by the end of the summer, but that seems a little optimistic at this point and there is really no need to rush it.

The city at this point is looking at long-term business park land needs  in order to understand the city’s long term business park needs and determine how they should be addressed.  One of the clear goals it appears is the desire for Davis to become a center for green-based technology business, research and development in order to take advantage of the new era of green-conscious technologies along with the proximity of the university.

Some of the key aspect that the study is looking at is the availability of land, the projected absorption rate for new development, the future vision of what Davis wants to be, and how this vision should be pursued.

Based on a 10-year historical development framework of 8.6 acres per year and a 25-year time frame, they are looking at 215 acres as a baseline for business park development. 

To this point, they have identified 140.7 acres of available land that is zoned for business park uses.  That includes the recently discussed Cannery Property.  The problem with the Cannery Property is two-fold.  First, the developers have sought more of a mixed used approach rather than a pure business park.  Moreover, there is a clear segment opposed to the use of Cannery as strictly a business park and another segment trying to push for more  housing development in the area.  Some on the council and city staff including the city manager have suggested the possibility of masterplanning Cannery with the neighboring Covell Village for housing.

Even including Cannery in this inventory, the city remains about 75 acres short of the 215 identified by staff. As a map demonstrates, Cannery is by the largest of the available properties within the city limits–all over sites are far smaller.

Inventory
Staff also assessed the strengths and weaknesses of Davis in terms of encouraging development.  The strengths include UC Davis as the largest asset.  They argue that knowledge-based, high intellectual capital business will continue to drive Davis’ private sector economy.  The strengths are in biosciences, clean/ green technology and energy sectors.  The key advantage is that there is no region that has staked a claim to this as for example the Silicon Valley has staked a huge claim on software development.  They basically argue that Davis has a large and untapped potential for business creation, growth, and development.  They is now a critical mass that can change the business growth trajectory and it has a large and highly-skilled potential workforce that is churned out by the university.

However, the city has many weaknesses as well.  Davis is considered a difficult place to market from a regional business attraction perspective where the perception is that it has nothing to sell from an inventory perspective.  Moreover, most businesses consider Davis to be business unfriendly.  There is a need for plentiful sites with a range of sizes, appropriate zoning, and most importantly a streamlined and predictable process.  There are few remaining sites that are adequate for development.  And Davis’ real estate and lease rates are comparatively expensive.

Staff clearly believes that a business park option is needed–that Davis would benefit from additional business park development.  The problem is where they will find the land to do so.  The first obvious site would be the Lewis/ Cannery property where the cannery used to reside.  However, as several mentioned last night, there are problematic elements of that and even with that, the city falls well short of the identified 215 acres.

One might begin with the question as to whether 215 is the right number–just because staff pulled it out based on a 25 year build out and a certain development rate doesn’t mean we have to pursue that number.  I think the number should be driven by other consideration including the availability of land, the need to preserve agricultural land and open space, the commercial and economic reasons for 215 acres as opposed to some other number.

Another point that was not made is the use of University land or joint ventures between city and university.  Obviously much of this discussion is based on the proximity of UC Davis and yet very little consideration was made about working with UC Davis.  In short, it was an interesting discussion but there seems to be a rush to justify the development of agricultural land without a good discussion on the economic needs to do so.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

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

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108 Comments

  1. Matt Williams

    David, it is worth mentioning that one aspect of the discussion last night was that the BEDC vote was also unanimous support of the Measure J question appearing on the June 2010 ballot in “as is” form. Despite the somewhat bizare introductory presentation of the topic by Katherine Hess, where she explained to the Commission that they were considering not the potential of a second and separate measure for Davis’ voters to vote on, but rather a revision to the “as is” language, the Commissioners sorted out what the true situation is and supported the “as is” approach.

    It isn’t clear to me why Hess merged the two separate and distinct votes of the Council. The way she persented the issue to the Commissioners, they were expected to give the Council guidance on whether Measure J should be presented on the ballot “as is” or modified to include the Business Park exception. In public comment I pointed out that the Council had approved “as is” for a 10-year period, and that Council’s consideration of the Business Park exception was only as a second free-standing ballot question. Mayor Asmundson confirmed that Katherine’s interpretationwas indeed incorrect. Perhaps the Measure J “as is” renewal has more to fear from Staff than it has to fear from the Commission “cronies” (as Mike Harrington labeled them last week . . . it would appear erroneously).

    Anyone hoping that the Business Park Lands Strategy Update (BPLSU) will generate a second vote by BEDC later in the process will almost surely be dissapointed. Chary Anthony Costello was very clear in saying that he hasn’t seen anything so far that makes him believe a Business Park is clearly a god idea. Joe Hruban said he simply didn’t see any value in making an exception. In his comments, Tobin Richardson referenced the forcefully made comments made during the Public Comment period.

    That doesn’t mean that any of us should let up on our dilligence. There were close to 20 speakers in public comment last night, and all of them supported Measure J “as is.” Bill Streng was there and could have spoken for the other side of the argument, but he chose to be silent.

    The Planning Commission meets on Wednesday and the Open Space Commission meets on Monday July 6th. Measure J is not on the Agenda for Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Even if they don’t formally discuss Measure J until their Wednesday July 8 meeting, I do not believe it is too soon to carry the Measure J “as is” and “no exceptions” messages to the Planning Commissioners.

  2. rick entrikin

    David: There are two issues embodied in your detailed & thoughtful analysis of the Measure J/business park discussion @ Monday’s B&EDC meeting: (1) Measure J itself and (2) Land needs for business “parks.”

    In my opinion, those two issues should be separated immediately, and we should should re-focus on the singular, most important issue at hand: renewal of Measure J, without exemptions of any type.

    There is simply no justification to introduce exemptions into the language of Measure J. In fact, if any exemption were included, it could spell the demise of this excellent, citizens-based measure. Therefore, all peripheral discussions of business park exemptions should be viewed for exactly what they are: an attempt by developers (and their council “plants”) to introduce a “Trojan horse” into J’s language, with the ultimate goal of circumventing it & destroying it.

    The second issue, land needed for potential business “parks,” is a totally separate issue. In fact, in our shrinking economy, and with a growing number of vacant business & office spaces throughout our City, it is absurd to even consider adding more land (let alone 215 acres!) for business “parks.”

    So, as much as I admire your detailed analyses, PLEASE keep the Measure J renewal language separate from the land-use/business park issue. The immediate need is to get Measure J on the 2010 ballot in its present form, without exemptions, and renew it for a minimum of 10 years.

  3. Fed Up W Council Majority

    “While Councilmember Stephen Souza clearly has a concept of a green business park in mind, a concept that I believe most in Davis would support, there appears to me to be no compelling need for an exemption. Mr. Souza has generally adopted the attitude that he trust the voters, and he should do so in this case as well.”

    Souza, to my mind, does not trust the voters one iota. Rather he has his own agenda to fulfill – to move on to higher political office (fat chance Souza!). In so far as the Measure J issue, Mr. Souza clearly was trying to figure a way to finesse weakening Measure J (even tho he earlier promised in campaign speeches he would support Measure J as is), just as Saylor tried to. Those two clearly are tied to developer interests. Ruth Asmundson is stupid enough to go along with these two, not knowing any better or beholden to developer interests. The arrogance of the City Council majority, and their disdain of citizen voters is palpable.

    “Based on a 10-year historical development framework of 8.6 acres per year and a 25-year time frame, they are looking at 215 acres as a baseline for business park development. To this point, they have identified 140.7 acres of available land that is zoned for business park uses. That includes the recently discussed Cannery Property.”

    What difference does it make to decide precisely how much land to set aside for business parks? It will depend on a lot of factors, and is not determinative of anything at the moment. We have the Cannery Property already “paved over”, so no ag land would be developed on. The Cannery site is zoned commercial. It has been a commercial property, and should stay a commercial property. I think you will find the majority of Davis citizens would approve a tech park for the Cannery site as a good use, despite a bit of noise from A FEW neighbors. A mixed use is just inviting trouble – it invites more residential building, talk of joining it with Covell Village IV, blah, blah, blah.

    The City Council and appropriate commissions should be pushing for a business park on the Cannery site. We need the tax revenue, it will be a moneymaker for the city rather than a liability, unlike more residential housing. We don’t need more residential housing there – there are enough infill sites in the works to serve workforce housing needs.

  4. Sue Greenwald

    The old Hunt-Wesson “Cannery Park” site should be our business park site for the foreseeable future for one overriding reason. Because it is already within our current city boundaries, we do not have to create a new tax-sharing agreement with the county. We are virtually guaranteed to receive more tax or equivalent exactions from a high-tech park located there than from a high-tech park in a peripheral, annexed site. While not all businesses located at such a park bring significant revenue, some can bring a huge amount of revenue.

    High-tech business parks are very quiet, low impact and make good neighbors. They don’t create significant truck traffic as some fear and the traffic is usually about the same as the traffic from a housing development.

    To me, it is also very important that it represents smart growth to locate jobs closer to existing housing, rather than outside of town where people would have to drive or walk to work.

    Pam Nieberg told me that she attends meetings at a high-tech business park in the region, and that it is serene, park-like and pretty. There is nice landscaping, etc. We already have standards in place to assure only neighborhood-compatible companies at the site. We would have design review for any business park to assure attractive design.

    The 70 useable acres at Hunt-Wesson would be a small business park by business park standards, but could accommodate a necessary critical mass of companies.

    I think it is much more innovative and Davis-like to have modest-sized high-tech business parks scattered around the city — the mixed-use one at Mace Ranch, a true high-tech park at Hunt-Wesson, maybe one at Nishi some day — where people can ride their bikes and walk to work. I think it would be a pity to follow the old bedroom-suburb/commuter model.

  5. Anon

    [quote]High-tech business parks are very quiet, low impact and make good neighbors. They don’t create significant truck traffic as some fear and the traffic is usually about the same as the traffic from a housing development. [/quote]Long-term (and for the City of Davis’s fiscal health), this is probably the right approach. However, it is worth noting that the vacancy rates for industrial properties in our area are very high now.

    According to this report ([url]http://www.grubb-ellis.com/PDF/metro_ind_mkttrnd/Sacramento1Q09.pdf[/url]) from Grubb & Ellis, Woodland alone has 2,038,018 vacant square feet! That’s a vacancy rate of 15.4% and rising. In the Sacramento area, there are 2,266,921 square feet of unleased industrial spaces designed specifically for “R&D/Flex” (which is high tech). That segment of the market is the softest of all segments of industrial properties. Grubb & Ellis notes that a net of 731,416 sq. feet of R&D/Flex became vacant in the last three months.

    In the meantime, Davis has a 0.8% vacancy rate for apartments.

    I realize that there may be important external factors over the next few years which change both of these situations — a better economy will shrink the industrial vacancies; and West Village will add apartment units — but as a matter of planning, we should really be thinking more about apartments, now, and less about R&D space.

  6. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]However, it is worth noting that the vacancy rates for industrial properties in our area are very high now.[/i]

    Hey, if they’re vacant, they’re even quieter and lower impact.

    [i]We should really be thinking more about apartments, now, and less about R&D space.[/i]

    I totally agree. It comes across as crocodile tears to criticize student fee hikes, and then turn around and do so little about apartments. The rock-bottom apartment vacancy rate really suggests that students are being zoned out of town.

  7. Matt Williams

    [quote]I totally agree. It comes across as crocodile tears to criticize student fee hikes, and then turn around and do so little about apartments. The rock-bottom apartment vacancy rate really suggests that students are being zoned out of town.[/quote]
    The problem isn’t that students are being zoned out of town. The problem is that UCD has not stepped up and fulfilled its pledge to the UC Office of the President in the November 2002 ,em>UC Housing for the 21st Century report to provide housing for 38% of its students on campus by 2012. Which simply isn’t going to happen. Specifically the report says the following:

    [quote]The Plan for New Housing at Davis

    The University of California, Davis expects to see a substantial growth in enrollment over the next decade. Davis recognizes the need to provide a higher percentage of its students with housing opportunities and has plans to
    build an additional 5,500 beds by 2011-12, bringing the projected percent of students housed to 38 percent.[/quote]

    Elsewhere in the report specific UC system-wide goals by class are laid out as follows:

    [quote]FIGURE 5

    UC STUDENT HOUSING, SYSTEMWIDE AVERAGE
    GOALS BY CLASS
    2001-02 2006-07 2011-12
    1st year new 85% 85% 85%
    2nd year continuing 48% 48% 55%
    New transfer 39% 40% 41%
    All other undergraduates 20% 26% 27%
    Graduate and professional 30% 32% 33%
    TOTAL 39% 41% 42%[/quote]
    So please place the blame at the feet of the proper governmental authority.

  8. earoberts

    “I realize that there may be important external factors over the next few years which change both of these situations — a better economy will shrink the industrial vacancies; and West Village will add apartment units — but as a matter of planning, we should really be thinking more about apartments, now, and less about R&D space.”

    We need business for the tax revenue. The need for student housing is a separate issue.

  9. Cecilia Escamilla-Greenwald

    I support renewing Measure J as is with no exemptions. It should be on the 2010 ballot to be renewed for a minimum of 10 years. Measure J was a citizens-based measure that represents the will of the voters and that needs to be honored and not overlooked. I appreciate Councilmember Heystek’s attempt to make it permanent and I’m hoping that it will happen in the future.

  10. Yolo Watcher

    I completely agree with Sue Greenwald and “Fed up with Council majority”. The Hunt Wesson site makes perfect sense for a business park. It is already paved over, so we don’t have to pave over more ag land, it is within the city, so it doesn’t have to go through that terrible Measure J vote that scares Steve Souza so much, it is well located for easy access.

    I was appalled that some of the speakers last night were advocating for a business park closer to the freeway amounting to paving over ag land. I was also apalled to hear them refer to the death of a young woman years ago under the wheels of a tomato truck in arguing against a business park at Hunt Wesson. Using this tragic death in this manner is really disgusting.

    I don’t know who is fueling this fire and depicting business parks as huge industrial sites with monster trucks moving in and out daily, but they are completely wrong. One speaker referred to the plan as a behemoth. A 60 acre business park is not large by any stretch of the imagination. Busness parks do not generate large amounts of truck traffic. We are not talking about another cannery or industrial use. We are talking about offices, labs, high tech business. The business parks I have visited are very quiet and almost truly park-like. They are actually quieter than many residential areas, as the traffic is mostly morning in and evening out and sound is shielded by the buildings and trees.

    There was also another attack on staff last night re constantly bringing back the Hunt WEsson site as a potential business park site, as though staff has any control at this time over the current zoning of the site. It is zoned for commercial uses, not mixed use and not housing. Lewis Properties has walked away from their proposal, and, though they may come back, currently, the site is still a commercial site and rightfully included in the mix of lands suitable for a business park.

    Hats off to the Business and Economic Development Commission for their position and vote on exemptions to Measure J. That is actually the most important thing that happened last night.

  11. Matt Williams

    [quote]We need business for the tax revenue. The need for student housing is a separate issue.[/quote]
    True, true. That was one of the very interesting discussion items during the Business Park report. Commissioner Michael Faust and Staffer Brian Abbanat briefly touched on the fact that some of the new businesses that have spun out of UCDavis generate virtually no sales tax revenue. One has to wonder whether those are businesses we should be working hard to attract to Davis. Their employees do generate added consumer business for Davis’ retail and service establishments, but does that really do anything to help the City balance its budget? Is the ideal new busines a sales tax engine? What services is the City going to have to provide for that kind of business? Bottom-line the Business Park study is in such an infant state that there really aren’t answers to those important questions yet. Hopefully, they will be forthcoming as the summer progresses.

  12. No Business Park at the Cannery!

    David,

    As mentioned above, first, the two issues of Measure J and land needs for business parks should remain separate and Measure J should have no exemptions. Second, just because the former Hunt Wesson cannery site is zoned “commercial” does not mean that in present day Davis it automatically is the “best site” for a business park. In fact, I would argue that virtually all residents of that sector of town do not want a business park there but instead something like the mixed site development proposed by the Lewis group. It makes much more sense for all kinds of reasons to have business park development occur primarily along the I 80 corridor.

  13. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]The problem isn’t that students are being zoned out of town. The problem is that UCD has not stepped up and fulfilled its pledge to the UC Office of the President in the November 2002, UC Housing for the 21st Century report to provide housing for 38% of its students on campus by 2012.[/i]

    It was not quite a pledge, it was a goal, although I certainly agree that it is an admirable goal. The centerpiece of Davis’ promises to UCOP at the time was West Village, which would provide 2,000 of the roughly 5,000 beds that UC Davis hasn’t built.

    But consider how Davis residents responded to West Village. They sued to stop the project. When that interesting UCOP report was written in 2002, West Village was viewed as a coup d’etat against zoning in the city of Davis. And there was some truth to that, since the university the city manager at the same time.

    I haven’t seen West Village get started yet; it may be facing new trouble from the state budget crisis. I haven’t seen city leaders express regret over its delays. Again, even if it were built, it would only be less than half of the projected expansion. And even if UC Davis did build all of this 38% that it half-promised by 2012, would all of the other 62% find the housing that they want? UC Davis counted only 8,500 city apartments — many have more than one bed but they are not all rented by students. That does not look like enough for the university’s needs.

    No, laying all of the blame for the student housing shortage at the feet of UC Davis is yet another square peg, round hole mandate for the campus. UC Davis should provide housing for thousands more students, but not by building subdivisions that the city won’t build.

  14. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]Commissioner Michael Faust and Staffer Brian Abbanat briefly touched on the fact that some of the new businesses that have spun out of UCDavis generate virtually no sales tax revenue.[/i]

    That’s no surprise if you look at the offices of some of these businesses. Some of them look like five rooms, two employees, and one laptop. And the business model in some cases does not go beyond SBIR grants. Which is not to knock SBIR grants, but no, they don’t generate sales tax.

    Besides, there is really no hiding the empty office and retail space in Davis right now. Regardless of what kind of business you would like to attract, vacancies do not generate taxes. At least if students could live there, they would shop.

  15. Yolo Watcher

    To “No business park at the cannery site”. In my humble opinion, the Hunt Wesson site is the best site for a business park. It is already in the city, already paved over, and is easily accessible. It is far better than any other proposed sites we saw last night, other than the PG&E and Mace Ranch sites that are also within the city and already paved over. All the other sites are on agricultural land outside the city and some add to the potential for opening up a lot of land beyond them for development. This is something we have been fighting for years. And why would we want a business park next to I80 which just forces us to use our cars to get there?

    As to none of the neighbors near Hunt Wesson wanting a business park near them, please present a list of all of the neighbors who do not want a business park there. If you are going to claim none of them want a business park there, you should be willing to let us know just how many three actually are who do not. As far as I can tell, from the council meetings and this meeting where people were there to protest a business park at the Hunt Wesson site, there are only about 6 people opposed, and it is always the same 6 or fewer, showing up.

    The Hunt Wesson site is pretty well insulated from the surrounding neighborhoods. North is farm land; east is farm land; south is Covell Blvd.; immediately west is F Street and then mostly apartments with students who are not home much in the day, and probably would not care about a business park there.

    But, to find out for sure, we need to survey them and the other neighbors to the west and south. I make a suggestion that the city actually do that. Send out a survey to residents who live to the south and west near enough to be impacted by a business park at the Hunt Wesson site. Make this part of the business park study. Then we can put this to rest.

    My impression is that there is a handful of people opposed because they are being misled as to what a business park is and because some just cannot let go of the idea of putting housing there. It is so obvious that the city and landowners are trying to plan the Hunt Wesson and Covell Village sites together, and here are these people, most of whom fought Covell Village and don’t want it developed into a big housing sprawl, advocating for something that will do just that.

  16. Matt Williams

    [quote]UC Davis counted only 8,500 city apartments — many have more than one bed but they are not all rented by students. That does not look like enough for the university’s needs.

    No, laying all of the blame for the student housing shortage at the feet of UC Davis is yet another square peg, round hole mandate for the campus. UC Davis should provide housing for thousands more students, but not by building subdivisions that the city won’t build. [/quote]

    The UC Davis Office of Resource Management and Planning 2006-2007 On-Campus Population Estimates say you are about 2,000 apartments too high, but given that over 16,000 students live in those 6,500 living units , the average beds per living unit is almost 2.5. UCD’s specific numbers are provided below.

    [quote]Table 24: UC Davis Off-Campus Households, 2006-2007
    2006-2007 Campus Population
    UCD 2006-2007 Student Population (a) 27,602
    Less Students Living Outside the Davis Area (b) (5,520)
    Less Students Housed On-Campus (5,797)
    UCD Students Living in the City of Davis 16,285
    Subtotal: UCD Student Households in Davis (c) 6,514
    UCD 2006-2007 Faculty and Staff (d) 11,483
    Less Faculty and Staff Living Outside the Davis Area (e) (5,627)
    UCD Faculty and Staff Living in the City of in Davis 5,856
    Subtotal: UCD Faculty and Staff Households in Davis (f) 4,505
    Total UC Davis Households in the City of Davis 11,019

    Notes:
    (a) Annual average for students representing Fall-Winter-Spring quarter averages (or in the case of Law students,
    Fall-Spring semester averages)
    (b) Approximately 80 percent of UCD students live in the Davis Area, including the UC Davis Campus.
    (c) Assumes 2.5 students per student household.
    (d) Does not include student employees.
    (e) Approximately 51 percent of UCD faculty and staff households live in the City of Davis.
    (f) Assumes 1.31 faculty and staff per household.
    Sources: UCD Office of Resource Management and Planning 2006-2007 On-Campus Population Estimates, 2007;

    UC Davis 2003 Long Range Development Plan Final EIR; City of Davis Internal Housing Needs Analysis, February 2003;
    BAE, 2007.[/quote]

    You are absolutely right that subdivisions are not the answer. Dormitories are.

  17. Fed up with Yolo Watcher

    I have seen your mean spirited postings before and you clearly are at it again when you over reach on trying to make your point. It makes no sense to even consider a huge business park at the Cannery Park site. It is ridiculous to think that the truck traffic would not be a safety concern to the city, no less to the area. I find your condescending remarks trying to discount a tragedy that I remember hearing about at the Covell and Pole Line site as pretty insensitive and in denial of what is likely to happen again if a huge commercial park is put at the Hunt Wesson site. I guess it is not appalling to you to invite such an accident to happen again but it is certainly appalling to me.

    Also, it is absurd to assume that a 100 acre business is going to be “park like” and not have the large truck and traffic and air quality impacts. It is common sense that such a business park should be located along the freeway and not in the middle of neighborhoods.

  18. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]You are absolutely right that subdivisions are not the answer. Dormitories are.[/i]

    Fine, then, dormitories. It’s really a non-distinction, because the dormitories have to be somewhere.

    Your numbers are more relevant than the ones that I used, which were a survey of apartment buildings, whether or not students lived in them. What your numbers show is that UC Davis has a huge shortage of housing at all levels: students, staff, faculty.

    You’re right that UC Davis is 5,000 beds short of its student housing goal, and I even agree with you that that goal counts as a half-promise. But given the way that both the city and state have behaved, where is the land or the money for that many dorm rooms?

  19. P,G and E is great for business park

    A good point that P, G and E is paved over so that clearly would be a good site for a business park. It is in the city limits, zoned commercial in a great location on Fifth street also and is surrounded by mostly commercial. I have heard about the toxics on the site so it would not be any good for residential. P,G and E is a great site for business park.

  20. Matt Williams

    [quote]But given the way that both the city and state have behaved, where is the land or the money for that many dorm rooms? [/quote]
    Right on the core campus would be my first thought. The Nishi site would be another possibility if an overpass near the new campus South Gateway proves to be affordable. Nishi is out if the only ingress and egress is via Olive Drive.

  21. Lets get real

    Wow. Where to start?

    How about with the tax issue? Sue Greenwald has an excellent point … the Cannery site is within the City limits and we would not need to negotiate a revenue sharing agreement with the county for a business park on that site. However, this is only relevant if you assume that the Cannery site would have the same adsorption rate as a site along the I-80 corridor. This assumption is simply not correct. A business park on I-80 with good visibility and access to an interchange would (1) have a much higher adsorption rate and (2) be a much stronger attractor of revenue generating tenants.

    Bottom line … part of something big is much better than all of something small.

    Also, the prediction that Davis will somehow be taken advantage of by the county in a revenue sharing negotiation with the county is unsupported by fact.

    And, as long as we’re on the subject, what’s wrong with sharing with the county??!! One of their major responsibilities is providing a social services safety net for the disadvantaged people. Isn’t this one of our progressive values?

  22. no 100 acre hitech business park at Huht WESSON SITE

    I FIND IT VERY INTERESTING THAT SOME POSTINGS SEEM TO ASSUME that there is
    little opposition to a 100 acre hitech business park at the Hunt WESSON SITE.QUITE THE CONTRARY, I KNOW MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING NEIGHBORS LIKE MYSELF WHO STRONGLY OPPOSE A LARGE BUSINESS PARK AT THIS LOCATION.The large truck traffic and impacts would be disterous. A large commercial business park like this belongs on I-80. Please help protect the safety of our neighborhood.

  23. Lets get real

    Matt … re: Nishi

    It is my understanding that Whitcombe’s “Plan A” for Nishi is student housing with access from UCD only. I don’t know how he plans to get across the tracks, but he is clearly working on some solution.

    Accordingly, one might question the inclusion of Nishi in the inventory. Sarah Worley talked to Whitcombe (or his representative), and I would suggest she has an obligation to disclose his position on the future development of his property.

    Along the same theme, there are several parcels in the inventory that just don’t make any sense.

  24. Stop dumping on other neighborhoods

    Why would anyone want to put a 100 acre high tech/ business park on the Hunt Wesson site? Common sense needs to prevail here. Putting “high tech research” and laboratories in neighborhoods??? Yolo Watcher seems to have some vested interest in dumping such an enormous commercial development on that location. My guess is that Yolo Watcher lives far from this site. Well so much for neighborly care or concern by some.

    On another note, Yolo Watcher, please stop denigrating other residents concerns, especially the neighbors. I would not wish such a terrible project on your neighborhood so please stop advocating to dump it on my neighborhood. Also, my neighbors and I oppose this incompatible of this what makes you think you know what you are talking about this site since you clearly do not live anywhere near it? And I am sickened to see Sue Greenwald trying to destroy my neighborhood by pushing for this ridiculous idea. Thanks for selling out North Davis Sue. You are a phony when it comes to neighborhood preservation.

  25. Dont see it

    I don’t see anyone assuming there is no opposition. In fact, in the main article Greenwald presented it as a pitfall.

    The question is do you believe we need a business park and if so, where do you suggest we put it?

  26. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]The question is do you believe we need a business park and if so, where do you suggest we put it?[/i]

    A “business park” is just glorified office space. Davis already has empty offices all over town. No, it doesn’t need even more.

    Indeed, Covell Avenue already has Covell Business Park next to the hospital. Who is using it?

    Actually, at the end of the day, I don’t much care whether the city zones in more office space or not. It’s just sad to see “progressive” politics come to this, to go begging for business tenants and turn away students.

  27. Lets get real

    [quote]… where do you suggest we put it?[/quote]

    The best option in Yolo County (by a very wide margin) is at the NE corner of the Mace interchange. This site has easy I-80 accessibility and visibility — and room to accommodate whatever size development the city decides is appropriate. In addition, there is adjacent retail and highway service commercial in Mace Ranch and South Davis (either built-out or entitled); as well as contiguous high tech along 2nd Street.

    The 21st century will proceed with or without the City of Davis. If we want to make a serious effort to promote and facilitate local private sector activity in the high tech space, then this is our best shot. Strategies that are centered around the Cannery site, in-fill, and/or a dispersed model will fail. If we decide that (1) we need to expand our economic base, and (2) high tech is the preferred strategy … then we urgently need a site along the I-80 corridor where we can build a concentrated presence.

  28. To Greg

    Why do you see it as a zero-sum choosing a business park over student housing? Before you came onto this site, some of the people here were advocating for student housing as well.

  29. Lets get real

    I should also add …

    Yolo County has approximately 600,000 acres of agricultural land. Roughly 40% (240,000 acres) of this has been designated as prime. Accordingly, placing the proposed green high tech business park along the I-80 corridor would consume about 0.04% of our inventory of prime ag land (assuming that the land along the freeway is considered prime).

    I would argue that the loss of 0.04% would be a reasonable tradeoff for high tech economic development in Yolo County. Moreover, this loss could potentially be more than adequately mitigated by positive contributions of the green tech/biotech companies within the business park to such issues as global warming, reducing pesticide and herbicide use, increasing the efficiency of agricultural productivity, energy efficiency, biofuels, etc.

  30. Anon

    No one is going to build a business park in Davis for the next 10 years. In cities far more receptive to business (i.e., cities without a no-growth mob), they can’t get new business parks built in this economy. One planned for Benicia was recently put on ice ([url]http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20090320/ai_n31473850/[/url]) by the developer due to the bad business climate.

    It’s nice to say Davis needs the tax revenue from a business park. But if you were running an industrial business and you had a choice to locate in Woodland, Davis, Vacaville, Dixon or West Sacramento, all within 15-20 minutes of UCD, would you choose Davis? Would you want the hassle of community groups which hate business people, local lawyers who love to litigate, neighbors who hate your traffic and noise, a city council which loves raising taxes and environmental activists who want to stop everything from anthropic flatus to zymotic fermentation? Why bother with all that when you could more cheaply set up shop in Dixon and be done with it? You can get all the space you need now here ([url]http://www.loopnet.com/property/16131550/900-Business-Park-Drive/[/url]), here ([url]http://www.loopnet.com/property/15647444/800-Business-Park-Drive/[/url]), here ([url]http://www.loopnet.com/property/15556457/6940-Tremont-Road/[/url]) or here ([url]http://www.loopnet.com/property/16279672/704-no-adams-st/[/url]).

  31. To Lets get real

    I disagree. I am not in favor of paving over ag land at this time–especially on the periphery of Davis. Hard to believe the same people opposed to paving over the horse farm, have no problem recommend the paving over of other sites that are not in their own backyard.

  32. Come on Dont See it........

    Come on… There are numerous postings by “Yolo Watcher” dismissing the significant opposition.

    Regarding the Vanguard article: “Staff clearly believes that a business park option is needed–that Davis would benefit from additional business park development. The problem is where they will find the land to do so. The first obvious site would be the Lewis/ Cannery property where the cannery used to reside.”

    Why doesn’t the article go into the numerous problems instead of glazing over these issues? Clearly traffic safety is coming up on these postings as a SERIOUS issue. Significantly higher traffic anytime is an issue. Having laboratories in a neighborhood doing research across the street IS a concern. Let’s have a balanced article on this with the pertinent information. I have seen posted before that the city study said that a high tech park was infeasible at the Hunt Wesson site. Yet NO mention of these relevant issues in the article. Let’s face it, a gigantic commercial park simply does not belong in a neighborhood.

    I am also rather tired of seeing the whitewashing by some posters like Sue Greenwald and “Yolo Watcher” who have an arrogant and dismissive attitude to the many concerns posted here about dropping a huge business park in the middle of neighborhoods. They also seem to think they know better than anyone else on this issue. The Vanguard needs to have a policy of “Don’t post if you can’t be civil” and “Yolo Watcher” should be the first posting to be taken down now, and in the future.

  33. To Anon

    “But if you were running an industrial business and you had a choice to locate in Woodland, Davis, Vacaville, Dixon or West Sacramento, all within 15-20 minutes of UCD, would you choose Davis?”

    Part of the reason for the study is to answer that question and figure out a way to make that answer be yes.

  34. Mike Harrington

    I support Sue Greenwald’s measured and thoughtful comments based on her years of public service on the CC. She specializes in land use planning, and has nailed all the right points.

    My read of the anti-park comments suggest that they come from one or more of the paid consultants to Lewis Homes. Same style, points, as we have seen over and over.

    However, I want to add that I think the City needs to get involved with using its public tax-benefit powers to facilitate funding mechanisms for the infrastructure at Hunt Wesson’s 100 acres. I hope that the Business development staff and commissions work on funding the basic infrastructure, so various companies can buy lots ready to go for their own buildings. I think this is the only way that the 100 acres is going to be developed, as it’s not large enough for one company to do it all alone, without the tax breaks for investors.

  35. To Come On

    “Why doesn’t the article go into the numerous problems instead of glazing over these issues?”

    Maybe because the Vanguard ALREADY stated some of the problems.

    Vanguard:

    [quote]The problem with the Cannery Property is two-fold. First, the developers have sought more of a mixed used approach rather than a pure business park. Moreover, there is a clear segment opposed to the use of Cannery as strictly a business park and another segment trying to push for more housing development in the area. Some on the council and city staff including the city manager have suggested the possibility of masterplanning Cannery with the neighboring Covell Village for housing.[/quote]

    I didn’t view the Vanguard as advocating for the Cannery, only suggesting that numbers suggest a dilemma. And you need to decide: business park, ag land, or what?

  36. Lets get real

    To “To Let’s get real” …

    If your insinuation is that I oppose the horse farm proposal, then you are incorrect. I know very little about this specific proposal — and have not weighed in.

    Regarding your general accusation of hypocrisy (with a little NIMBY thrown in), trying to use ag preservation as wedge issue is a red herring that adds nothing substantive to the debate.

    BTW … The Mace site is in nobody’s back yard; and all traffic will be concentrated at our new and underutilized $17M Mace interchange.

  37. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]Why do you see it as a zero-sum choosing a business park over student housing? Before you came onto this site, some of the people here were advocating for student housing as well.[/i]

    It’s not a zero-sum game. But the fact is that Davis has many empty offices and not nearly enough student housing. What is the city doing about it? More power to you if you advocate student housing in a blog; that makes you the same as me. But as far as the city’s reputation goes, it’s just lip service.

  38. To Lets Get Real

    One of the pitfalls of not giving out your true name is that it’s easy to get lumped in with others.

    As for I-80, we had to fight back the AKT proposal back in 2007 on the corridor, this would create the opening, no way.

  39. Matt Williams

    [quote]Greg Kuperberg said . . .

    It’s not a zero-sum game. But the fact is that Davis has many empty offices and not nearly enough student housing. What is the city doing about it? More power to you if you advocate student housing in a blog; that makes you the same as me. But as far as the city’s reputation goes, it’s just lip service. [/quote]
    Greg, what makes you say that there is not nearly enough student housing? Are there students who are homeless? It seems to me that the students all get housed each year. The Davis rental community is very student-centric.

    Now if you said, “. . . and not nearly enough workforce housing” I would completely agree with you. There may not be any students who are “frozen out” of Davis, but there are lots of workers in Davis businesses and UCD who definitely are.

    Until I hear stories of students studying in their cardboard boxes by flashlight, I prefer to see this shortage from a different comapss point.

  40. Lets get real

    The AKT proposal was for 2400 acres of (mostly) residential and was DOA. It got no serious traction and was relatively easy to defeat (compared to say Covell Village).

    Conflating a 100 acre high tech business with the AKT proposal is misleading. There is no valid comparison.

    The Davis domino theory (that if we let one project go, then we’ll all be living in Elk Grove) has no factual support. Measure J and the pass-through agreement have effectively placed control of growth in the hands of the electorate. That is very unlikely to change, despite all the recent histrionics.

  41. Greg Kuperberg

    [i]Greg, what makes you say that there is not nearly enough student housing?[/i]

    There was the student in my class who has a one-hour commute from Stockton.

    There was the student in my class who uses a skateboard because a bicycle doesn’t fit in her car.

    I have learned not to press students too hard to form study groups, because a good fraction of them don’t live in Davis.

    This is not what a college education is supposed to be, and the students well know it. It’s one reason that the apartment vacancy rate is at rock bottom.

    And as you say, it just points in the same direction that many UC Davis workers can’t afford Davis either. Not long ago a postdoc was killed bicycling home to Winters. This is someone who had to move to the area to take his job; it was certainly not someone who liked Winters better than Davis.

  42. To Mike Harrington

    Is that the best you got? If someone disagrees with you then they must be a paid shill for Lewis Homes? That’s about as lame as it gets.

  43. Don Shor

    “Greg, what makes you say that there is not nearly enough student housing?”

    The fact that the rental vacancy rate has been below 1% (sometimes well below it) for more than a decade.

  44. Lets get real

    To Anon

    [quote]if you were running an industrial business and you had a choice to locate in Woodland, Davis, Vacaville, Dixon or West Sacramento, all within 15-20 minutes of UCD, would you choose Davis? Would you want the hassle of community groups which hate business people, local lawyers who love to litigate, neighbors who hate your traffic and noise, a city council which loves raising taxes and environmental activists who want to stop everything from anthropic flatus to zymotic fermentation? Why bother with all that when you could more cheaply set up shop in Dixon and be done with it?[/quote]
    Nobody said it would be easy!

    But seriously, would you concede that the electorate as a whole is moderate; and that they may be getting tired of being routinely led over a cliff by the more extreme elements of the progressive community?

  45. Dont See it ....Give me a break

    I read the article but none of the problems I posted were mentioned in the article which are HUGE issues. Please try a little harder to give the relevant information so we can get the whole story and make our own conclusions.

  46. Sense the Opposite

    “But seriously, would you concede that the electorate as a whole is moderate; and that they may be getting tired of being routinely led over a cliff by the more extreme elements of the progressive community?”

    That the electorate has been led over the cliff by the council majority in terms of the budget and lack of sustainable planning. The council majority likes to complain about the lack of housing stock, but it took three years before realistic projects emerged to be approved after the failure of Covell. They had no planning for failure and put all of their eggs into one basket. That’s not the fault of progressives.

  47. Did you consider

    “I read the article but none of the problems I posted were mentioned in the article which are HUGE issues.”

    That the reason for that is that it wasn’t an article about Cannery other than posing it within the framework of a broader discussion of the issue of business parks. He deemed it problematic, that would seem sufficient for the needs of this article.

    “Please try a little harder to give the relevant information so we can get the whole story and make our own conclusions.”

    It seems that most here have had little problem with it. No need to re-hash the arguments, the new information was far more important than past and lingering debates.

  48. Lets get real

    To Sense the Opposite …

    I’m not blaming the progressive community for the housing problem. The issue is economic development and to what extent extreme viewpoints have compromised our ability to expand the economic base if we choose to proceed down this path.

  49. Re: Did you consider

    Quite the contrary the article tends to rehash the pro-business park at Cannery Park aspect but does not give an objective view of the relevant facts about the no-business park at Cannery Park aspect (i.e. pro-mixed use at Cannery Park).

  50. black bart

    Of course the most sensible approach is precluded by measure J. A business park at the Cannery and workforce housing at Covell Village. It is also precluded by the interests of the developers who are not interested in building what the community needs instead of what maximizes their profits. Then there is the laughable city council that either wants to let the developers do whatever they want or opposes every project that comes forward. Davis is hopeless. At least the schools are well run.

  51. People that live in glass houses

    Mike Harrington said
    [quote]My read of the anti-park comments suggest that they come from one or more of the paid consultants to Lewis Homes. Same style, points, as we have seen over and over.[/quote]
    He appears to be trying to discredit and marginalize dissenting voices that do not agree with his. Sadly, this is not the first time that Mike has resorted to this tactic.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so why don’t we apply this same litmus test to him. The following link shows a picture of the directory of Harrington’s 430 D Street office complex.

    [url]http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?dbf71151d5.jpg[/url]

    Parlin Development Company is the developer of the horse ranch project. Bill Ritter is allegedly a paid consultant of Parlin and an anonymous poster on this blog. The outcome of the Lewis, Covell, and business park debates will all have a material impact on the likelihood that the horse ranch project will be approved.

    How’s that for insinuation and innuendo? There are many other dots that could have been connected, but this should be enough to make the point.

  52. WestSac_grrl

    ‘And as you say, it just points in the same direction that many UC Davis workers can’t afford Davis either. Not long ago a postdoc was killed bicycling home to Winters. This is someone who had to move to the area to take his job; it was certainly not someone who liked Winters better than Davis.’

    I have to agree eith Greg, very few live locally. But I have to disagree with Matt W. – unless what he meant by ‘Davis rental community is very student-centric’ is that their sole concern is bleeding the students dry and taking severe advantage of them. I’ve never met a greedier group of parasites.

    I moved to West Sac from Davis after having enough of the local politics and housing problems. In my short culdesac where I live now, 4 of the 9 homes are occuied by UCD employees and 1 is rented by a group of students. After living here for 9 months, I’d say this pattern is pretty common throughout the southport area.

    CRE rates are falling fast, look at how New York prime RE is fairing. Even the Bay Area is having problems keeping existing commerical and industrial buildings filled. Why in the world would anyone come to Davis when there is ample CRE in other much business friendly locations with reasonable and closely located housing options?

  53. Lets get real

    To Sense the Opposite …

    In answer to your question, Anon is arguing that economic development (i.e. attracting new companies to Davis in order to generate local jobs, property tax revenue, sales tax revenue, etc.) is pointless, in part, because the private sector is being driven away by:
    (1) community groups that hate business people
    (2) local lawyers who love to litigate
    (3) neighbours who hate the traffic and noise
    (4) a city council that loves raising taxes
    (5) environmental activists who want to stop everything
    Setting aside #4, which is a different topic, the remaining issues certainly have at least some of their roots within elements of the progressive community.

    The question is, do individuals at the extreme end of the progressive spectrum (particularly the ones that agitate, organize, and pejoratively frame many issues that come down the pike) really have the power to stop the city from proceeding with an economic development agenda that they oppose?

    I’m suggesting that Anon’s point of view is too negative, and overstates the economic development challenge. I’m also questioning whether the apolitical majority of the city will allow a small group of hyperpolarized progressives to drive the agenda on this issue in this economy with our budget problems.

  54. Matt Williams

    [quote]WestSac_grrl said . . .

    I have to agree eith Greg, very few live locally. But I have to disagree with Matt W. – unless what he meant by ‘Davis rental community is very student-centric’ is that their sole concern is bleeding the students dry and taking severe advantage of them. I’ve never met a greedier group of parasites.
    [/quote]
    You misinterpret my comment. By “student-centric” I mean that the supply channels of rental housing are very attuned to making sure that every student has a rich flow of information about the available supply of rentals. Is the same done for Davis workers? Not as far as I can tell. My direct experience with this issue I realize is only a sample of one, but I think it is representative of what a person who works in Davis experiences. My wife and I arrived in town in July 1998 looking for rentals. We walked into the local real estate offices. Were they helpful? Marginally . . . They had virtually nothing to show and even less interest in showing it to us. They pointed us to some of the rental agencies. When we arrived there after pushing through the gaggles of students hanging around the front entrances, we were told more than once, “You don’t want to rent from us. Our units are full of students. You would be out of place old man and old woman. Please take your Cocker Spaniel and try somewhere else.”

    That is what I mean when I say “student-centric.” Does that translate into lower rental fees? Not on your life.

  55. Ken Topper

    I just wanted to clarify for everyone once and for all that Lewis Planned Communities (It is not Lewis Homes) and Cannery Park “DO NOT” have any paid consultants, individuals, or groups commenting on this blog.

  56. Re: Black Bart

    Black Bart’s senario illustrates precisely why placing a 100 acre high tech business park at the Hunt Wesson/Cannery Park site would be disasterous. A large business park at the Hunt Wesson site INVITES Covell Village to become a behemouth residential project but NOT SO if the Hunt Wesson site has the mixed use Cannery Park project on it which the public supported. In fact, placing the mixed use housing at the Hunt Wesson site discourages housing at the Covell Village site as was implied by all of the No on Measure X literature.

    Since Sue Greenwald has abandoned and gone adversarial with the north Davis neighborhoods by demanding a 100 acre high tech business park at the Hunt Wesson site (which neighbors oppose). It is she who has created the dangerous potential outcome of Covell Village coming back. Sounds like Sue wants Covell Village back to provide housing for her proposed high tech business park monstrosity at the Hunt Wesson/Cannery Park site. Sue has been creating a mess for us by bringing on Covell Village and also for NOT supporting a permanent Measure J last week. Inexcusable!

  57. Slow Growth

    And placing a 600 unit housing project on Cannery doesn’t invite a behemoth project there–given that’s precisely what Souza and Saylor want, I find your reasoning problematic at best and disingenuous at worst.

  58. Dont bash No on Measure X

    Sorry “Slow Growth” but it is you who is disingenuous. Putting housing at the Hunt Wesson site was supported by the No on Measure X campaign and it was allot of slow growther’s who agree that it would discourage growth at the Covell Village site. It was in all the literature.

  59. Slow Growth

    Unfortunately you both are completely blind to what is happening.

    First, Souza and Saylor have joined forced with Emlen to bring back Cannery masterplanned with Covell Village.

    Second, this Business Park proposal is using the need for business parks as the impetus to build on ag land outside of the city.

    Let’s look at the facts:

    1. The map shows where the business park places are, if you exclude Cannery there is almost nothing in the city limits

    2. 215 acres requires an additional 75 acres on top of Cannery, and well over 100 if Cannery is exclude

    3. Souza proposed an exemption for Business Parks

    Put those together it is obvious they are using this Business Park issue as justification to expand beyond the periphery of Davis because they know the people will not accept large new housing projects.

    This will open up development along I80 by the big boys–Ramos and AKT.

    Wake up and smell what is happening and you are playing the dupe here. You are falling right into their hands because they know that you are opposed to Cannery and can just add to the need to build outside of Davis. They can’t wait to put Cannery into housing so they can justify another 200 acre business park along I80.

    This is the threat that we face and progressives like you are going to make it happen!

  60. Chill out

    To Slow Growth …

    What Steve Souza proposed is that we study the possibility of exempting a specific to-be-determined site for a green high tech business park. It was staff that suggested the alternative of a more sweeping general exemption. The staff’s proposal was unanimously rejected by the council.

    The reason Steve proposed the exemption is that Measure J places a huge economic burden on industrial development. Unlike residential, the profit margins for industrial are much smaller. This means that the risk/reward ratios are very unfavorable and developers are strongly disincentivized from bringing industrial projects forward. This is why you only see it attached to mixed use.

    A broad cross section of the community feels that we urgently need to expand our economic base. Unfortunately, this sets up a Catch-22; we need it and developers are in an untenable situation with respect to delivering it. Ergo’s Steve site-specific exemption idea.

    The notion that this is part of some nefarious conspiracy to open up the I-80 corridor is unsupported by any evidence whatsoever. From a strategic perspective, it is not a very smart tactic to keep accusing the council of malfeasance (particularly Steve, since he is the swing vote on many issues important to progressives).

  61. Slow Growth

    You’re being EXTREMELY naive. Ruth said on Tuesday she had an area in mind for a business park NE of Mace. Souza at the council meeting didn’t specify the location, but that’s basically what he was getting at as well. You know Ruth didn’t come up with that location on her own.

    Who owns that site, Ramos owns it. If you don’t understand what is happening here, then you need to take a deep breath and think about it.

  62. Slow Growth

    Not to mention Souza just happens to proposing a business park exemption at the same time staff is working on a business park report that recommends we develop 215 acres–I suppose that’s just a coincidence.

  63. Yolo Watcher

    One of the very worst places for a business park is the NE corner of the Mace interchange. This opens all that land up on the other side of Mace for development. We have fought anything on the other side of Mace for years. This is the Ramos family back again.

    I do live very near the Hunt Wesson site, and still support a business park there. Business parks, as opposed to industrial parks, do not generate truck traffic. I was just at a meeting at a business park in Sac today, and there were absolutely no trucks. I was there from 9 til 2:30. It was very quiet. I know very much about the Hunt Wesson site and its history. It is in my neighborhood, though I do not live right next to it, and I support a business park there, just as I supported the cannery there for the jobs it created.

    I am not trying to discount the tragedy of the young woman who was killed by a tomato truck. On the contrary, I feel it was a terrible tragedy and that the young woman’s death should not be used in this fashion.I find it really uncaring.

  64. Covell Village

    Putting a 60 acre business park at the Hunt Wesson site would actually discourage the development of a housing development at the CV site, if you use the same arguments the opponents of the business park use: that it should not be next to homes. If there were a business park at Hunt’s, it would be hard to get alot of support for homes right next to it. That is probably why at the BEDC meeting, the map for a business park at the Hunt’s site showed the adjoining CV site as business park too.

    If you put housing on the Hunt’s site, CV is sure to be developed. They are being planned together.

    Steve Souza’s plan is so transparent. He has been working behind the scenes with Ramos to get that business park on Ramos land, and open all that land up to development. Ramos owns land all the way to the causeway,a and he wants to develop it. He has been trying for years. If Steve is not complicit in the plan to get a toe in the development door with his proposal to exempt that project from a Measure J vote and to open up all that land to development, Ramos certainly is.

  65. Chill out

    To Slow Growth …

    Trying to patronize me with the “naive” label isn’t going to work (even with a capitalized adverb). I’ve read your posts, and see no evidence that you have any special insight that qualifies you to pass judgment.

    Now to the substantive discussion … over the last several years many people have looked at the map and independently come to the conclusion that the best site for a high tech business park is at the northeast corner of the Mace interchange. When you objectively analyze and weigh all the issues (adsorption rates, ag conversion, city vs county, expandability, freeway accessibility, growth concerns, land availability, peripheral vs internal, proximity to the I-80 corridor, residential impacts, revenue generating potential, revenue sharing, tenant recruitment/quality, UCD, visibility, etc.), the conclusion is fairly self-evident. The Mace site is the only viable option.

    Your representation that Steve and Ruth have the site on their radar is good news, not a sign of some conspiracy to create sprawl from Mace Blvd to the causeway (I did indeed take a deep breath and think about it).

    What I don’t view as a legitimate issue is who the particular land owner(s) might be. It would be monumentally bad planning for the city to reject the site because a small group of vocal progressives doesn’t like and/or doesn’t trust Ramos. Measure J and the pass-through agreement preclude any development not supported by the electorate.

  66. WestSac_grrl

    Thanks for replying Matt, please accept my apology. My experiences in Davis were very similar.

    Now here is something interesting about a very similar situation to what is happening in Davis
    ‘Brown to Pleasanton: build more houses or else’
    http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/real_estate/archives/2009/06/brown-to-pleasa.html

    If you want more jobs, you need to develop housing for the employees instead of pushing them off on your neighbors. Hmmmmm I think I have a letter to write…

  67. Chill out

    To Slow Growth / Yolo Watcher / Covell Village …

    Trying to gin up support for a business park at the Cannery site using Ramos as the bogeyman is such an old-school tactic. I’m guessing that, in this economic and fiscal climate, the electorate is going to have very little patience for this type of manipulative canard.

    We need to take a serious, measured, and thoughtful look at our options; which should involve an open and substantive discussion of the specific advantages and disadvantages of the various alternatives.

    While these conspiracy theories provide nice inflammatory rhetoric, they are not backed up by a shred of legitimate evidence. They are little more than paranoid speculation that is being served up to promote a political agenda that cannot stand on its own merits.

  68. Chill out

    Covell Village wrote…

    [quote]Steve Souza’s plan is so transparent. He has been working behind the scenes with Ramos to get that business park on Ramos land, and open all that land up to development. Ramos owns land all the way to the causeway, and he wants to develop it. He has been trying for years. If Steve is not complicit in the plan to get a toe in the development door with his proposal to exempt that project from a Measure J vote and to open up all that land to development, Ramos certainly is.[/quote]
    I’m calling out this specific passage because it is a good example of the unsubstantiated accusations that are being used to try and squelch any discussion of an alternative to the misguided proposal to build a high tech park at the Cannery site.

    The core accusation in this particular post is that Souza is secretly conspiring with Ramos (but, thankfully, the progressive cognoscenti are on to the plot). This is the fourth poster in this thread that has accused Steve of malfeasance — all without a single shred of credible evidence.

    What’s perhaps more troubling is this progressive meme that breaching Mace Blvd will inevitably lead to developer-driven urban sprawl extending to the causeway. This is ridiculous on so many levels. First, the city owns a big chunk of the land. Second, Ramos only owns the 100 acre parcel at the intersection of 2nd and Mace (so Steve will presumably need to conspire with the other land owners as well). Third, a major portion of the land is in the flood plan. Fourth, Measure J and the pass-through agreement have proven to be very effective at controling growth. Unfortunately, these inconvenient facts don’t make for a good conspiracy theory.

  69. Seriously

    “I’m calling out this specific passage because it is a good example of the unsubstantiated accusations”

    How do you know if it’s unsubstantiated–just because you are not party to that knowledge, doesn’t mean that anyone isn’t.

    It’s pretty obvious to many of us that Souza and Asmundson were eying this site. You may recall Souza referenced it back in December when Cannery first came up. He mentioned it again two weeks ago with Measure J. Asmundson mentioned it on Tuesday.

    I cannot think of a worse possible place for development that would open up the I80 Corridor to new development.

  70. Chill out

    Of course they are eying the site. That’s the whole point!!! We need to expand our economic base, and this is the only rational option.

    And regardless of how many times you repeat the meme, development on the Mace site will not open up the I-80 corridor for development. Likewise, constantly repeating unsubstantiated accusations will not make them true.

    Since the allegations are unsubstantiated, do I really “know” they are not true? Of course not. But I prefer to deal with facts and not paranoid supposition.

  71. Slow Growth

    We don’t need to do it by paving over farm land when we have land in the city that can still be utilized. That’s the whole point in response that you don’t seem to get.

  72. Chill out

    You seem to be confusing “not getting it” with my refusal to embrace your incorrect and EXTREMELY naive (how do you like it?) premise that we have land in the city that can still be utilized. The Cannery site is nonviable.

  73. Chill out

    Location, location, location

    Other obvious issues include …
    Traffic circulation constraints (esp at lunch and rush hours)
    Adjacent residential not compatible with R&D (esp radioisotopes, toxics)

    The Cannery high tech industrial park is a bad idea.

  74. Covell Village

    Interesting how chill out and other opponents of Hunt Wesson and supporters of Ramos are switching their scare tactics. First the bogey man was big trucks going in and out of the business park. Now that that myth has been essentially dispelled, they are using radioisotopes, toxics, etc.

    The statement about Steve Souza conspiring with Ramos is not unfounded. He acknowledges it himself. So, the information is straight from the horses mouth.

    If you all don’t think that allowing any type of development on the other side of Mace will open all that land up, you need a reality check. We, and not just the wacko progressives, all of us, except for developers and their supporters, have opposed development to the east of Mace for many years. Even some of those now supporting a business park on the northeast corner of the Mace interchange in order to keep a business park out of Hunts were opposed to ever developing on the other side of Mace. Ramos owns a lot of that land between DAvis and the causeway and wants to develop it. That is the bottom line here.

  75. Just curious

    Who exactly are the “wacko progressives” (your words)? And, respectfully, I’m just curious why you don’t place yourself in that category. Seriously.

  76. Covell Village

    I do place myself in that category–progressive that it. I used the term “wacko” as that is how many developers and their supporters refer to us.

  77. Just curious too

    Progressive taxonomy. You gotta love it!

    According to the folks that post here, we can be subdivided into

    – wacko progressives (still not sure if is this is all progressives, or just the nut jobs)
    – developer dupes (tools that don’t agree with the really cool progressives)
    – sellout progressives (they oppose all development except by developers that pay them)
    – landlord progressives (they just rent to developers)
    – progressives that are in bed with developers (they must just “like” developers)
    – trucker progressives (they’re experts on truck traffic in and around business parks)
    – stupid progressives (the one’s that don’t get it)
    – smart progressives (the one’s that are clued in to the plots of Steve, Don, Ruth, and their zombified cronies)
    – compulsive progressives (they repeat talking points over and over and over again – Ramos bad, don’t pave farm land – Ramos bad, don’t pave farm land – Ra………)
    – investigative progressives (they apparently have blogs)
    – cynical progressives (I guess that’s me, although most people think I’m stupid)

  78. Matt Williams

    The most notable thing about this thread is the serious fracturing of the progressives that Cannery causes. Very little “reasonable people agreeing to reasonably disagree” is in evidence. Lots of rhetoric though.

    There is merit to both sides of the argument. Perhaps we should get the Northwest Quadrant people involved, and make it a tringular disagreement by proposing that the Parlin tract next to the Hospital be considered instead of either the Cannery site or the I-80/Mace corner.

    The key question in my mind is, “What aspects of this issue can we all agree on?”

  79. To: Covell Village

    You assert “We can all agree that we do not need a business park at this time” but there are many postings who do not agree with you. The main issue I see being debated here is where it should be located. There is clear opposition to it being located at the cannery site with very good reasons. There is also clear support for a mixed use there which would be residential with some business park. I happen to agree that it makes no sense to locate it at the cannery site and that mixed use belongs there with a small amount of business park.

    Regarding Matt’s comments. Good points. Lot’s of debate since there seems to be a proactive campaign by some to try to marginalize the people most affected. Hard to stomach after the same people who claim to be for “neighbor preservation” like Sue Greenwald who are now selling out north Davis. The Nimby approach being attempted is DOA because there is widespread support for mixed use at the cannery site, not just “not anything” at that site.

  80. Matt Williams

    I disagree with both of you. Whether we need a business park . . . and more importantly, if we need one what does it need to be in order to not be “just another business park” . . . is something that there is no broad based consensus on either way.

    Further, the pro-Cannery and anti-Cannery views also fit into the “no clear consensus” category. There clearly are a substantial number of opponents, but the number falls far short of consensus IMHO. There are plenty of people like myself who see 1) merit to the “no business park in the Cannery” arguments, 2) don’t want the agricultural land east of Mace to be converted to urban use, and 3) feel that there isn’t enough meaningful data to know what course makes tha most sense.

    I for one applaud BEDC for embarking on the Business Park study. It has a long way to go IMHO, but it is clearly a step in the right direction. It has the ring of “thoughtful planning” rather than “knee jerk reating.” Especially when the planning doesn’t have a pre-determined outcome.

  81. RE: Matt Williams

    I see that your response seems to be neutral on this issue. However, it seems a bit naive to expect a fair and objective result out of staff after you have made clear yourself that Planning Director Katherine Hess totally misrepresented the motion that Steve Souza had made at City Council. Hess has a notorious history of twisting and outright lying to to the Council and Commissions and also advocating against the wishes of the citizens and backing the “local boy” developers.

    Apparently Hess did it again at the BEDC according to your posting. So please, do not expect a fair and objective business park report from staff to be given to the BEDC. They have not done that historically and they have no intention on doing it now. Hess and Business and Economic Development Coordinator Sarah Worley are already trying to reinvent the results from the last business park viability study on the cannery site which clarified that a high tech park was “infeasible” at the cannery site. Why are we paying Catherine Hess $126,000 to give the public DIS-information and to manipulate the process? Heaven knows how much Worley makes. Does anyone know?

    One other fact to recall is that Hess was the staff person who railroaded through the almost 400 acre Covell Village proposal in only one year. It is interesting that the Vanguard mentioned that Hess’s son now works for Whitcombe. Looks like the pressure is really on now for her to get Covell Village passed this time.

  82. Matt Williams

    I wouldn’t characterize my position as neutral. Under-informed would be a better description. What I do know is that there appear to be at least five possibilities, and each one of them seems to have significant challenges.

    1) Go with the Cannery site and potentially do a significant disservice to the north-central Davis neighborhoods

    2) Go with the Ramos site northeast of the I-80/Mace intersection and potentially open up all the productive (dare I say prime) agricultural land east of Mace to urbanization.

    3) Go with the Parlin site west of Sutter Davis Hospital

    4) Do nothing about a business park and continue to see green technology companies that spin out of UCDavis go to other cities because Davis can’t accomodate their needs.

    5) Do a better job of marketing Davis’ existing space on 2nd Street and in South Davis so that A) the UC Davis spin out companies better understand what already exists here and B) Davis better understands what the specific needs of those budding companies are . . . even before they are companies.

    But they are the choices we have. We need to make the best of them, flawed as they might be. That is where my under-informedness comes into play (at least for me). I would prefer to try and become more informed if possible. Is the Hess/Worley study the ideal mechanism? Possibly not, but it is the one we have.

    There were serious detractors of the HESC when it was formed, and some people despaired that any balanced decisions would come from it. In the end those pessimists were wrong. The HESC did superb work. Recently Mike Harrington called the BEDC members han-picked “cronies” unable to make a decent business park decision. Mike dines with Edgar Alan Poe . . . and I bet he is glad to do so. So lets not pre-judge the business park report. Lets shine the same bright lights on it that were shown on the HESC, so that there isn’t any choice but to produce a report that serves all of the citizens of Davis, not just a select few.

  83. To Matt

    Since I am sorry to say that I can not agree that all of the decisions that came of the Housing Element Steering Committee. I heard about the last minute railroading by Kevin Wolf (friend to local developers) who was on that committee to over-densify the infill sites. The citizens hate the over-densifying and the city hopes to push growth to the periphery as the city basically tries to ram over-densification down our throats.

    The densities had already been decided for the sites by the committee. At the very end of the process excuse used by Wolf as he resurrected the density issue and he was said to be “save ag land”. The reality is that the ultra high densities are for the benefit of the developers and the city to cash in. The city makes around $80,000 for every unit it gets approved. This is short term money that the city clearly blows recklessly on things like high administrative salaries (for example Hess at $126,000/year) to over-densify. It sounds to me like the Housing Element Steering Committee was a group including 1) a portion of folks with a clear agenda for pro-development, 2) a portion of folks trying to keep growth slow, and 3) a portion of folks trying to make the best of a bad situation by making the best decisions they could. With the exception of the pro-growthers, it must have been a painful decision making process. Kind of like deciding who gets thrown out of a lifeboat.

    In short, I am sorry to say Matt that you are overly-optimistic but I appreciate that you admit that you are under-informed. Saying that, it may be wiser not to try to summarize what you think are the choices for now until we all have more information. We will have to see what new “conclusions” that Hess and Worley try to sell the BEDC and the public now.

  84. Matt Williams

    [quote]I heard about the last minute railroading by Kevin Wolf (friend to local developers) who was on that committee to over-densify the infill sites. The citizens hate the over-densifying and the city hopes to push growth to the periphery as the city basically tries to ram over-densification down our throats.[/quote]
    I’m having a hard time understanding what you are saying. In the same sentence you have said the city “hopes to push growth to the periphery

  85. Matt Williams

    Well who knows what happened to the rest of my post above. I will try again.

    Continuing . . .

    ” [u]and[/u] “tries to ram over-densification down our throats” Which is it? Densification of infill will mean less growth on the periphery not more. You appear to be unhappy with any course of action the City takes. Is that a fair statement?

    City Finance Director Paul Navasio made a presentation to the HESC that showed in numbers that any new house that sells for less than $450,000 generates less revenues than it generates costs for the City. Densification of infill means more homes will sell at more affordable prices under $450,000, so the City’s finances are actually negatively affected by denser infill. The developers have to sell the denser units for lower prices, but still pay the higher per-unit fees to the City, so they make less not more on denser projects.

    When you denigrate the HESC and its process and attack Kevin Wolf for fighting for denser infill in response to Global Warming and the current Housing Collapse, perhaps you would be standing on firmer ground if you had actually attended their 24+ meetings, reather than relying on whispering down the lane. I missed only 2 or 3 of the HESC meetings, so my eyes saw what went on. Your gross oversimplification of the HESC and their process is an insult. They worked very very hard to establish consensus criteria to apply to all the sites they reviewed, and then applied those criteria with integrity. Did any of the sources who put you in the position to say “,em>I heard about . . .” attend the meetings themselves, or are you relying on third-hand opinions?

    In your final paragraph you appear to be saying that you personally are not under-informed about the core issues of the business park situation in Davis. If that is true, since virtually all of us are under-informed perhaps you will be gracious enough to share the wealth of your knowledge. I for one am all ears.

  86. To Matt

    I am in no way denigrating the Housing Element Steering Committee or their work so please do not make such an unwarranted accusation. I am simply pointing out that I do not agree with the extremely high densities that came out of the committee at the last minute. Since you live in El Macero where the densities are only 2-3 units per acre Matt, I find it interesting that you lobby so hard for high densities in other neighborhoods.

    In explanation of the peripheral growth issue, what I am saying is that as the city makes the public hate densification by pushing the limits too far. The public will become resentful and fight densification and start to lobby for growth on the periphery. The point is this densification is not that we should not do it, is an issue of magnitude. Higher densities is ok but the city is pushing the magnitude of the densities too high in some situations like the Chiles Ranch situation.

    In my last paragraph, again you misinterpret. I am not claiming any expertise on this issue. However, I notice that while you enumerate a list of only five options. Actually there are more including the Forestry site by El Macero. I am not saying that this is a better site but I am merely pointing out your acknowledgement that you are under-informed and that you only listed five potential options. I added that we all need to get more information (including me). My concern is the source of more information will be city staff who have been biased in their presentation of information often in the past. Given that experience, I expect more of the same. The example I pointed out is staff trying to reinvent the results of the previous business park viability study already done on the cannery.

    Understand that, like you, I am trying to express my opinion and concerns. We don’t need to argue but having a dialog explaining our thoughts on the issue is more productive.

  87. Matt Williams

    But you accused one member of the Committee for those densities, rather than recognizing that those densities were a consensus of the Committee as a whole.

    Given your strong opposition to denser infill, what exactly is your proposal for addressing the dearth of affordable workforce housing in Davis. In effect the last 15 years of home building in Davis have systematically ignored the peope who work in Davis but don’t earn a six-figure salary, and therefore can’t afford a home with a price tag over say $250,000. You appear to be willing to leave those people out of the housing equation. Am I hearing you right?

  88. Matt Williams

    [quote]n short, I am sorry to say Matt that you are overly-optimistic but I appreciate that you admit that you are under-informed. Saying that, it may be wiser not to try to summarize what you think are the choices for now until we all have more information.[/quote]
    In effect you said “stop the dialogue” The list I provided was prefaced by the words,”What I do know is that there appear to be at least five possibilities . . .” What was it about the words “at least” that you didn’t undestand? Why stifle open discussion, especially when the alternative appears to be to wait for a report that you have already pre-judged as being both biased and deficient.

    I think the CDF site is an excellent addition to the list. I am sure there are more. That is exactly why I added the site adjacent to the Hospital in a prior post. I don’t pretend to be the authority, but rather thought the name calling that this thread had descended to was non-productive and was trying to get us back to more constructive turf.

  89. To Matt

    The committee did not vote to support all of these densities by consensus. The reconstituted densities for each site was determined by majority vote and there was lots of debate. Not everyone agreed with the higher densities. Again, it was one committee member to led the charge on this issue at the very end of the process after the densities had already been decided previously by the committee.

    On addressing the density issue, I think the answer to providing workforce housing is by not building more exceptionally large homes like those in El Macero at 2-3 units per acre. On this topic, again, you make the unwarranted assumption that I would want to deny other lower income folks a home. As I said before the density issue is an issue of magnitude. I feel that the over densification will have detrimental effects and diminish quality of life. Having higher densities is ok (as I said) but magnifying it out to high density is not ok.

    In regard to the discussion, I am not sure how you arrive at the “stop the discussion” concept because frankly, I think I helped to open up the discussion rather than end the discussion on the “five possibilities” that you mentioned. Thank you for clarifying that you were not limiting the possibilities to the five you mentioned. And on the name calling comment, I see no name calling in my posting. So rather than getting into unwarranted assumptions and accusations, please, let’s try to have a positive dialog.

  90. Matt Williams

    Again, the fact that you were not at the meetings causes you to misspeak. The first and second round discussions created ranges of densities. In some cases those ranges were very broad, encompassing more than one of the “standard” density ranges. The multi-step process that the Committee agreed to (with Jeff’s and Bob’s and Danielle’s help) in the very early meetings clearly included a revisiting of the information about each site in the subsequent steps. That made sense because the early sites were evaluated in a relative vacuum, and the decisions made about those sites when put in the whole cloth context of all the sites was likely to change.

    While Kevin clearly argued for the “greater good” over “individual desires” when he advocated for greater densities, there wasn’t (to the best of my recollection) a single site where the final density had an upside density number that was higher than the upside number from the first pass. What happened when the final density ranges were agreed to was that a narrower range was frequently chosen.

    Every one of those final ranges was voted on and passed. The votes were non unanimous (which appears to be your definition of consensus) but they were majority votes that represented the consensus of the Committee. If there was any significant dissent from those numbers I am sure that none of the Committee members would have been bashful . . . and their concerns would have been publicly presented front and center at the Planning Commission meetings and the Council meetings. The fact that that didn’t happen is a pretty clear indicatior of the strength of the consensus.

    However, there was one issue in which there was major dissagreement . . . the 1% Growth Cap. Numerous Committee members and lots of non-Committee members like me battled hard to make sure the Cap was clearly stated as a “not to exceed” rather than as a “target.”

    Your middle paragraph is long on rhetoric, but short on specifics. You may want to address what density is acceptable to you, and how many workforce houses will housing at that density provide? You and I agree that more homes like those in El Macero should not be built. They are from another era, having been built from 1970 to 1985 (with some individual lots having been built later). Would you like to see those houses torn down and replaced with multiple houses. You specifically mentioned El Macero for a reason. Care to share that reason?

    Finally, I will let your own words speak for themselves. “Saying that, it may be wiser not to try to summarize what you think are the choices for now until we all have more information. What were you trying to tell me when you said those words?

  91. Matt Williams

    [quote]And on the name calling comment, I see no name calling in my posting. So rather than getting into unwarranted assumptions and accusations, please, let’s try to have a positive dialog.[/quote]
    I never said you were name calling, but you will have to agree that there has been plenty of name calling throughout this thread. You have in fact been very constructive. I apologize if you took my comment personally. It was not directed at you even a smidgen.

  92. save ag land

    Matt is correct in his summary about what happened at the Housing Update Committee meetings with the density discussions. Those votes did represent a consensus of the committee. The anonymous poster arguing otherwise was either not at the meetings or is re-writing history to suit his/her own agenda.

    We are, unfortunately, going to have to face the fact that if we are to control paving over farmland and open spaces, we are going to have to densify. This does not mean just moderate densities, but higher densities. I am not sure why some are so opposed to this. If we are not to grow out, we need to densify and grow up. Of course, existing neighborhoods need to be considered and listened to, but there also needs to be some compromise. What I have been seeing lately with some of the proposed infill sites, is neighborhood opposition with no intention of giving any ground as far as densities and building heights.

    Re the previous study on business parks, that study concluded that a business park at the cannery site was infeasible based on length of time for build out, not for any other reason as I recall. I have no idea how that conclusion was reached and how it obviously differs with the buildout time presented at the BEDC meeting. Who commissioned that study? How did they conclude it would take 40 some years to build out the 60 developable acres at the cannery site? And why does that make it infeasible?

  93. To Matt

    I think the problem here is the issue of the definition of consensus since there seems to be two interpretations. Per Wikipedia: “Consensus in the English language is defined firstly as unanimous or general agreement; and secondly group solidarity of belief or sentiment.” My take on consensus is more the unanimous aspect. So I think we can say that reasonable people can agree to disagree on the interpretation but the committee decisions on density were not unanimous. Also, the lower end of the ranges were significantly raised in a number of cases, particularly Signature, Lewis, Nugget Fields, Wildhorse, Covell Village and all the north-west quadrant sites. Incidentally, aren’t you working on city committee to help develop the Nugget Fields for the school district for residential?

    I will restate that is that staff is over-densifying. I will not restate my concerns why since they are stated in my previous posting. In short, more density is one thing, over-densifying is another. On the more information issue I was simply saying that the more information we get on the subject the better as you seemed to be saying. My only concern is that staff has historically “spun” information and I expect that again.

    Why I mentioned El Macero is because you are known to live there since it was in the newspaper that you successfully warded off growth via the County a year or so ago for the General Plan Update. I remember that (then) Supervisor Mariko Yamata advocated for your position at the County when she was running for Assembly. You also were in the Enterprise recently when you were successful in getting FEMA to remove the flood plain designation for your neighborhood. Since you acknowledge that you live in a very, very low density area, it might seem unusual to others that you are advocating for high density in other neighborhoods. I guess the question to you Matt is if you firmly believe in higher density would you advocate for putting secondary units in your area?

  94. Matt Williams

    [quote]Incidentally, aren’t you working on city committee to help develop the Nugget Fields for the school district for residential?[/quote]
    As they say, everything’s up to date in Kansas City. They’ve gone about as far as they can go.

    Yes, I was on that DJUSD committee and we submitted our report to the school board on June 11, 2008. Our recommendation read as follows:
    [quote]Recommended Disposition of Wildhorse Site

    At the March 18 Committee meeting, the following motion was passed unanimously by a vote of 9 ayes, 0 noes, and 2 absent:

    After consideration of the prior 7-11 Committee report, enrollment projections, school facility capacity, and future development projects, the Committee believes that there is no need for use of the Wildhorse property in the foreseeable future for educational purposes. Therefore, we recommend to the Board of Education that they declare the Wildhorse property as surplus.

    At the May 27 Committee meeting, the Committee passed the following motions unanimously by a vote of 6 ayes, 0 noes, and 5 absent.

    1.Ask staff to explore the feasibility of possibly leasing the land in order to generate revenue for operational purposes in lieu of selling the property, and;

    2.Consider the sale or lease of the property for the following possible uses and options:
    Possible Use A – Continue as Soccer Fields.
    Options under Possible Use A
    •Transfer the property to a new public or private entity with a benefactor as a one-time sale or lease,
    •Allow the purchase or long-term lease of the property by neighbors,
    •Retain the property as DJUSD property.
    Possible Use B – If Possible Use A is not possible, please prioritize uses that are consistent with the attached existing City Zoning Ordinance #1772, as well as consider other land uses that are compatible with the immediate neighborhood, but do not specifically comply with Ordinance #1772.
    Options under Possible Use B
    •Prepare for residential development-oriented use using a community input process,
    •Use the land for a residential healthcare/social services provider,
    •Explore Co-op housing possibilities,
    •Use land for a day care home and/or day care center,
    •When housing is considered, focus on housing for teachers/DJUSD employees,
    •Any combination of the above.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Robert Schelen
    Committee Chair[/quote]
    Bottom-line = Not City. Not “help develop.” Not residential.

  95. Matt Williams

    Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and a self submitted encyclopedia at that, I usually go to Merriam-Webster for definitions
    [quote]
    Main Entry:
    con·sen·sus Listen to the pronunciation of consensus
    Pronunciation:
    kən-ˈsen(t)-səs
    Function:
    noun
    Usage:
    often attributive
    Etymology:
    Latin, from consentire
    Date:
    1843

    1 a: general agreement : unanimity b: the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned [/quote]

  96. Matt Williams

    Now lets get to the meat of the matter. In elections 60-40 is considered to be a landslide. The HESC was a creation of a political process. To expect the secondary definition of consensus to be the one used in such a situation is folly. As I watched from the HESC visitors gallery there wasn’t a single “final” vote that didn’t represent general consensus. The decision to remove the second option for the Covell Village site wasn’t unanimous, but Eileen Samitz very gladly accepted that very good consensus decision. Perhaps you should talk to Eileen about whether the consensus was “general” and “balanced” in the series of final votes. Quite a few HESC members did not agree with Eileen’s wording about UC Davis’ responsibilities regarding student housing. Eileen and I have lobbyed long and hard for that one to this day. Check with her to see if that concept had consensus.

    Regarding density in my neighborhood, 1) you only need to go to Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting’s streaming video to hear me advocate for much more density on an infill site right across Mace from El Macero. So I walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I would strongly advocate for second units in El Macero. They are a superb idea. However, they are explicitly forbidden as a deed restriction in every El Macero deed, so the chances of them happening is more a legal question rather than a policy question.

    Hope that helps.

  97. To Matt

    As I have already posted, reasonable people can agree to disagree. You embrace your Merriam-Webster definition and I will embrace the Wikipedia definition. I have always thought of consensus as being unanimous and I think many others probably do. So having beaten this subject to death. On to the other subject of the HESC.

    I will just clarify, again, that I did not agree with every decision that the committee made. You have acknowledged that all committee members did not agree on every subject. By the way I think that if you and Eileen Samitz are advocating for more student housing at UCD, I agree with you both on that. This is huge problem that has been ignored for too long by both UCD and the city.

    Coming back to my main point, it is that the densities on many of the sites was overly expanded at the very last minute of the process.

    On your idea about secondary units. You are clearly very active and effective on so many issues lately in El Macero. What about proposing amending the CC and R’s at El Macero to include secondary units?

  98. Matt Williams

    [quote]Coming back to my main point, it is that the densities on many of the sites was overly expanded at the very last minute of the process.[/quote]
    Simply saying the above does not make it so. I could be wrong in one instance out of the just short of 40 sites, but I can not remember a single site where the upper end of the range was increased in the last review by the HESC. So how can you say densities were “expanded” if none of them went up?

    Some of the ranges were indeed tightened, but I will be surprised if you can name any where the upper range limit was increased. I stand ready to be proven wrong. If I am I’ll be glad to dine with EAP.

  99. Matt Williams

    [quote]On your idea about secondary units. You are clearly very active and effective on so many issues lately in El Macero. What about proposing amending the CC and R’s at El Macero to include secondary units?[/quote]
    Already have, and was shot down in flames. I am on the CC&R Revision Committee as we speak. We have been meeting for over two years. Granny Flats was just about as popular as Viagra.

  100. To Matt

    The issue is that it is that significantly lower end is as bad, if not worse than raising the upper end of the density range. In one case the lower end was raise 200 units. So that means over 200 units would need to be shoehorned in on a site as a MINIMUM. So please do not try to underestimate that this is a significant issue.

    On allowing the secondary units in El Macero. Did you advocate for a secondary unit on your lot? Please continue to keep us posted on any progress by you on this issue with the El Macero CC and R revision committee.

  101. Matt Williams

    No I did not specifically advocate for a second unit on my lot, rather an elimination of the global prohibition of secondary units within El Macero.

    200 units in how many acres?

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