Conservation Easement on Shriners A Win-Win For Open Space Preservation And Economic Development

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Open_SpaceBy David Morris

The City of Davis is preparing to place a permanent 391 acre conservation easement on City-owned lands between Mace Blvd and Howatt Ranch (the “Mace 391” property – see Figure 1).  The purpose of this article is to better inform our community dialog about the benefits of reconsidering this plan.  The most important take-home messages are:

  • A conservation easement on Mace 391 will have a significant negative impact on the City’s economic development potential.
  • Shriners is a much better conservation opportunity for our community than Mace 391.
  • The public deserves a right to vote on whether or not we permanently remove Mace 391 from consideration as a portion of a peripheral innovation park as envisioned in the City’s economic development strategy.
  • The City should forego the planned conservation easement on Mace 391 and work towards a win-win solution that maximizes both open space conservation and economic development opportunities.

Our Best Economic Development Opportunity

Davis is in the grips of a fiscal crisis, and part of the solution is economic development focused on the technology sector.  Our community is becoming increasingly aware that UC Davis represents an economic development opportunity that will have to be more effectively leveraged if we are going to sustainably maintain the quality of life that we have historically enjoyed.  Technology sector economic development synergizes well with UC Davis, and is a better economic driver than our past reliance on residential development or the prospect of a large retail power center on the periphery.

The benefits of economic development focused on building a robust technology sector include more jobs, more tax revenue to the City’s general fund, and increased quality-of-life.

Critical to this effort is our ability to retain successful home-grown companies as well as attract outside companies that want a footprint in Davis.  It’s all part of building critical mass and establishing an ecosystem where technology company executives, investors, entrepreneurs, business services providers, and a highly-skilled workforce can all see that Davis has a vibrant innovation economy that they want to participate in – and is not a dead-end street where relatively small companies are forced to leave because we can’t accommodate their expansion.

To build this innovation economy, a key part of the mix is a large technology park.

The 493 acres of land bounded by Mace Blvd, County Road 30B, County Road 105, and I-80 is the best location for a technology park in the entire Sacramento region.  This equates to approximately 400 net developable acres.    Some of the key drivers for this specific location include:

  • Close proximity to a world-class research university with significant unrealized potential
  • Adjacent to a very high quality-of-life college town
  • On a major transportation corridor served by two freeway interchanges
  • Easy access to existing infrastructure (water, sewer, gas, electricity, data)
  • Separated from residential development
  • Support from the technology and financial sectors
  • Verifiable interest from prospective end users and tenants
  • Outside the FEMA flood plain
  • Contiguous with the existing technology corridor on 2nd Street (Marrone Bio Innovations, Expression Systems, Arcadia Biosciences, FMC Technologies Schilling Robotics, HM Clause, Mori Seiki/Digital Technology Laboratory)
  • Sufficient acreage to create a world-class technology park with a critical mass of companies

A technology park at this location repMorris-1resents an economic development opportunity for the City of Davis as large as $1.5-2.0B, with the potential to yield $5-10M in annual revenue to the City’s general fund.  In addition, there will be a significant multiplier effect from the economic activities of the technology park that will benefit the entire City.  Davis has serious fiscal challenges that cannot be solved by taxes and budget cuts.  A technology park will help address these financial problems.

As our community debates its economic future, the Davis voters deserve a right to weigh in on this opportunity and decide the ultimate fate of this special piece of land.

A Call to Action

The prospective 493 acre technology park site includes 306 acres of the Mace 391 property.  If the planned conservation easement is placed on Mace 391, our community permanently loses its best economic development and conservation opportunities.  The residual 187 acres is too small to meet the long term needs of the City.

Rejecting the 493 acre option would send a clear signal to the technology and financial sectors that Davis is not prepared to move forward with a credible effort to build a world-class technology park.  At least three technology companies that were taking a serious look at the City of Davis have crossed us off their short list as a consequence of the negative outcome of the last public hearing on this issue.

The Mace 391 conservation easement may have made sense when it was initially planned in 2010.  At that time the economy was still in the grips of the Great Recession, and it was less clear how important UC Davis is likely to become in the coming years as capital flows into the ag tech sector accelerate.  The easement no longer makes sense in 2013.

It is important to stress that placing a conservation easement on Mace 391 is permanent.  It can’t be undone – ever – even if we really regret the decision at some point down the road and want to change our minds. As a consequence, our community is at an important inflection point.

The Mace 391 issue will be a test of whether we can balance competing interests to maximize the outcomes for the City as a whole, or whether we get stuck in a zero sum game mentality where, in this particular case, open space preservation and economic development are at odds.

Let’s work collaboratively to find a path that respects our ethos of open space preservation while balancing our imperative, as host to UC Davis, to support a vibrant technology ecosystem.

The Win-Win Solution

From my perspective, if our community is going to be asked to give up the planned Mace 391 conservation easement for technology sector economic development, then a conservation easement on better acreage has to be offered in return.  If one’s overriding goals are agricultural land preservation and the creation of an urban limit, the best conservation acreage in the entire Davis sphere of influence is the 234 acre Shriners property immediately north of Covell Boulevard and east of Wildhorse.

Accordingly, I worked for well over a year to acquire an option on this property.  On May 23rd, my company, Capitol Corridor Ventures (CCV), finally succeeded in executing a purchase agreement with the property owners.  That same day, CCV submitted a proposal to the Davis City Attorney.  The basic idea was to exchange the planned conservation easement on 234 acres of the Mace 391 property for a conservation easement on the entire 234 acre Shriners property.

The value of a conservation easement on Shriners far outweighs that of a conservation easement on Mace 391 adjacent to I-80.  Shriners has better soils, better water, riparian habitat in the north, and is directly in the path of residential development.  In addition, the property has an ideal location for a community farm in the southwest corner – served by the under-utilized $2M Covell Bike undercrossing and a signalized intersection at Alhambra Drive.

Process Failure

On June 11th, the City Council was asked by Staff to press the pause button and reevaluate placing an easement on Mace 391.  The process of rolling out the Shriners alternative was exceedingly poor and the policy discussion became politicized.  There was plenty of blame to go around on all sides.  As a consequence of this process failure, the community as a whole, the Open Space and Habitat Commission, the various local and regional business organizations, and the stakeholders in the Mace 391 conservation easement did not have a fair opportunity to vet the Shriners alternative.  This was no way to make a policy decision that has such sweeping implications for the future of the City.

The Grant Issue

Mace 391 was purchased in 2010 for $3.8M with the following funds:

  • $1.325M from Measure O (taxpayer money from our Open Space Initiative)
  • $2.475M from the City’s Roadway Impact Fees (as an internal loan)

Subsequent to the purchase, the City received a $1.125M grant from the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm and Ranch Protection Program to help offset the cost of placing a conservation easement on the land.  These funds are not dispersed unless the City sells the property to a private party with an overlying conservation easement.  The Yolo Land Trust would administer this easement.

By a complex financial transaction between the City, the Yolo Land Trust, and a prospective buyer, the NRCS funds would be used to partially pay down the internal loan from our Roadway Impact Fees.  These funds would not go to new open space conservation.  It should also be noted that the internal loan came from development impact fees, and the City has no near-term plans to use these funds (for example, they are not funds that would otherwise go to the current road repair effort).

The NRCS grant is at the center of a controversy related to whether accepting $1.125M of open space money from the Federal government has a higher value than maintaining the community’s opportunities for $1.5-2.0B of technology sector economic development (with it’s significant general fund revenue and multiplier effects) at the Mace site and conservation of the Shriners acreage in the path of residential development.

Community Farm Issue

Public comment at the June 11th hearing indicated that there was an expectation among some members of the open space community that 27 acres of the Mace 391 property would be improved at taxpayer expense and turned into a community farm.  This plan has not been vetted by the City Council, and is speculative at best.

In its current form (Dec 2012), the plan envisions approximately $450K in acquisition and improvement costs borne by the City.  A major problem with this proposal is bike access for the public, particularly kids and riders that are uncomfortable riding on the shoulder of the Mace Blvd curve.  The expense to Morris-2the City of providing safe bike infrastructure to this land in the County would be prohibitive.

One of the objections to setting aside the NRCS grant was the loss of this community farm site.  As discussed above, there is an outstanding site for a community farm on Shriners.  Unfortunately, on June 11th the focus was more on process than on optimizing opportunities, so there is currently very little community awareness of the Shriners community farm alternative.

The preliminary conceptual diagram for the Shriners acreage is presented in Figure 2.  In addition to the community farm site (which would include ample land for community gardens, farm/farmer education/training organizations, etc.), we envision a 40 acre grasslands park with restored riparian habitat on the north end of the property and 160 acres of organic farmland leased to local farmers in small plots (5-20 acres).  CCV will immediately grant the land to the City and provide access to ag water if a deal is agreed upon.  The remainder of the improvements to the property will be contingent on the successful entitlement of the proposed technology park (which will generate the financial resources to make these improvements).

Option to Reconsider

The City owns Mace 391 free and clear.  We still have the ability to do what is in the best interest of the community.

On 07/27/2010, this language was included in a Staff Report from Ken Hiatt and Mitch Sears discussing a previous NRCS grant:

“As a practical matter, if an acquisition that is identified in the agreement cannot be completed, the NRCS will enter into negotiations with the City to apply them to another City acquisition that meets NRCS criteria. If no City acquisition projects meet the criteria, NRCS will accept a return of the funds and apply them to their next highest ranked acquisition project. In the past the City has been a recipient of additional NRCS funds from acquisition projects that could not be completed by other entities.”

From this language, it is clear that the City is not obligated to move forward with the NRCS grant.  This flexibility has not been apparent in the current debate.  This is extremely unfortunate.  Our community’s optimal economic development and conservation options currently appear to be hostage to concerns about perceived adverse outcomes if Davis doesn’t agree to the rote implementation of the obsolete 2010 conservation plan.

A Better Plan

CCV is now in the process of socializing a new proposed alternative for the Mace 391 conservation easement.  An overview of the main deal points of the proposal are as follows:

  • CCV will give approximately 30 acres at the southwest corner of the Shriners property to the City for the purpose of establishing a community farm (this has a value to the City in excess of $1.125M in land and avoided infrastructure costs).
  • As a condition of receiving the community farm site, the City will agree to grant CCV a no-cost option to purchase the Mace 391 property at the City’s purchase price of $3.8M and forego the planned conservation easement on the property.
  • CCV will place an initiative on the ballot so that the Davis voters can decide on whether or not a technology park will be annexed and entitled on the proposed 493 acre Mace site.
  • If the initiative passes:
    • CCV will place the remainder of the Shriners property into a conservation easement.
    • 752 additional acres necessary to satisfy the 2:1 ag mitigation requirement will be put into conservation easements.
    • CCV will purchase the Mace 391 property for $3.8M, effectively repaying the internal loan from the Roadway Impact Fees and restoring $1.325M to the Measure O fund for new open space conservation efforts.
  • If the initiative fails:
    • The City retains the 30 acre community farm parcel on Shriners.
    • CCV abandons the Mace 391 purchase option and the City places the property into a permanent conservation easement.

In foregoing the conservation easement on Mace 391 and optioning the property to CCV, Davis obtains the community farm site on Shriners regardless of the outcome of the initiative vote.  One crucial difference between this proposal and the current Mace 391 plan is that the voters get to weigh in on the merits of the planned conservation easement, which until recently has been quietly moving through the system with very little public awareness.

The Technology Park Decision

A decision to forego a conservation easement on Mace 391 is not a decision to build a technology park.  This is about maintaining our community’s best economic development and conservation opportunities.

Under the CCV proposal the voters will make the technology park decision in 2014 after the project has been planned and fully-vetted by the public.  The guiding principles of this proposal will be as follows:

  • The project will be submitted to the Davis voters for approval via the initiative process.
  • No residential.
  • Minimal project-serving retail.
  • Urban limit to stop future sprawl.
  • No rezoning after entitlement.

Conclusion

I’m a community member who has lived most of my adult life in Davis – close to 34 years now.  I’ve married and raised my family here.  I received a PhD from UC Davis in genetics, served on the faculty of the Medical School, spun out a biotechnology company named Sagres Discovery that grew to about 70 employees before being acquired by a large bay area Biopharmaceutical Company, and started several smaller ventures including CCV; a new local venture capital company with the core mission of funding seed-stage startups in Davis and the surrounding region.  I also cofounded techDAVIS, a new business association for senior technology executives from large venture capital-backed companies who have ties to Davis and/or UC Davis.  I’ve been a committed and engaged neighborhood activist on both the opponent and proponent sides.

I’m not a developer.  I’m a biotech guy with an academic background in cancer molecular biology.  More specifically, I’m now a biotech guy trying to help solve some major structural problems that have stymied our community’s leadership for decades.

Davis has a critical unmet need for a technology park.  We recently lost Bayer CropScience to West Sacramento.  Other successful home-grown companies are also at risk of leaving in the near-term because they are having trouble identifying acceptable move-up opportunities.  To make matters worse, companies that want to be in Davis are going elsewhere.

It’s time to call the question.  Are we going to take action and move forward with technology sector economic development, or are we going to just continue talking about it while the current business cycle ticks away?

My goal in writing this article is to start a broader dialog about the Mace 391 issue and propose win-win solutions going forward.  I put a plan on the table in May and now another in September.  These are not the only possible plans, but they both have merit.

Let’s move forward and create a world-class technology park that is worthy of our community’s aspirations.

I can be contacted at davistechpark@capitolcorridorventures.com if you’d like to discuss this with me personally.

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28 thoughts on “Conservation Easement on Shriners A Win-Win For Open Space Preservation And Economic Development”

  1. medwoman

    Dr. Morris

    Since I have no business experience of any kind, I am unclear on some of the terms and concepts you are using and what they mean to you as a business man and as a citizen of Davis.

    1. [quote]The benefits of economic development focused on building a robust technology sector include more jobs, more tax revenue to the City’s general fund, and increased quality-of-life.
    [quote]
    On other threads it has been noted that “increased quality of life” has markedly different meanings to different posters. On the one hand are those who perceive increasing population to 100,000 or so as leading to an increased quality of life, while others see this as detrimental to our quality of life. I am interested in your
    perspective on what constitutes quality.

    2.[quote]It’s all part of building critical mass and establishing an ecosystem where technology company executives, investors, entrepreneurs, business services providers, and a highly-skilled workforce can all see that Davis has a vibrant innovation economy that they want to participate in – and is not a dead-end street where relatively small companies are forced to leave because we can’t accommodate their expansion.[/quote]

    I am not sure what you perceive as “critical mass”. From your own story of having built a company which you then sold, and starting several other smaller companies, and from your own examples of Marrrone Bio Inovations, Express Systems, Arcadia Biosciences, FMC Technologies Schilling Robotics, HM Clause, and
    Mori Seiki/Digital Technology Laboratory, it would seem to me that there has been and is a great deal of successful business development that has gone on all with the Mace 391 and Shriners maintained as open space. So while you seem to be saying that we have rapidly developed, you seem to feel that we have not developed enough. My question is “what would you consider “enough” or the optimal amount of development for a city of our size ?

    I am also puzzled by your use of the term “dead end street” with regard to opportunity to grow one’s business.
    From my rudimentary understanding of what happens with many start ups, including the first company of yours that you sold, is that if they are promising enough, they are eventually bought by larger companies. This would leave me to characterize the start up nature of Davis as a “launching pad” rather than as a “dead end street”. And this would seem to me to be a highly appropriate role for a small city affiliated with a university. I do not see a company moving to West Sac so much as a loss for Davis as an ongoing asset for the region. I am not sure what the advantage is of necessarily grow bigger locally. And where is the end point. What is the maximal tech company size that you see as desirable ?

    3. [quote]The residual 187 acres is too small to meet the long term needs of the City.
    [/quote]

    What do you see as the minimal amount of acres that would be adequate to meet the “long term needs of the City”. What do you perceive as “the long term needs of the city? “

    4. [quote]It is important to stress that placing a conservation easement on Mace 391 is permanent. It can’t be undone – ever – even if we really regret the decision at some point down the road and want to change our minds. As a consequence, our community is at an important inflection point.
    [/quote]

    Would it not be equally important to stress that once a parcel of land is developed and built upon either for residential or business, it will not be going back to its original state? Take the Cannery as a prime example here in town, it started out as ag land, was used for many years as an ag based company site, and is now being proposed as “mixed use” ( read primarily residential). There is no guarantee that when something is built that it will in fact be occupied and or be financially advantageous to the city. My example would be the adjacent pads to the Target. Another example might be the vacancies at some of our local shopping centers.

    Finally, you specifically state that you are not a developer. However, it would seem to me from your article that you personally have quite a financial interest in the proposal that you are making. Do you think that this may be coloring your view of what is advantageous to the entire community ? Please correct me if I have misread your
    personal interest in this swap.

  2. Davis Progressive

    this is a very interesting proposal that needs to have some thorough discussion. i’m glad mr. morris acknowledged the problems with that process in june. now we should be able to have a real discussion here.

    that’s a huge chunk of ag land off of mace – what do people think about that?

  3. Davis Progressive

    Some questions…

    1. why the necessity to go from 391 to 493?

    2. didn’t the city already take out the grant to put mace 391 into conservation easement, so how does that work?

  4. Frankly

    Fantastic proposal. Let’s do this people!

    I like the Shriners property concept almost as much as I like the technology park.

    Think of all that great organic produce and people with good jobs that can afford to purchase it.

  5. Frankly

    [b]Q: Is UCD a world-class bio-tech and agriculture research university? [/b]

    A: Of course it is.

    [b]Q: Are students of the university – both undergraduate and graduate – better served having a good supply of companies in the area that provide internships and post-graduation employment opportunities? [/b]

    A: Of course they are.

    [b]Q: Does the city of Davis do enough in the economic development area to support the university and the students? [/b]

    A: Absolutely not.

    Some will argue this last point, but Davis is clearly lagging.

    For example, from 2007 US Census data, we see how Davis compares to two like-sized California cities owning a world class research university.

    [b]Davis[/b]
    -Population – 65,993
    -Number of firms – 5,263
    -Sales tax revenue per capita – $7,752

    [b]Santa Cruz[/b]
    -Population – 62,041
    -Number of firms – 7,116
    -Sales tax revenue per capita – $15,188

    [b]Palo Alto[/b]
    -Population – 66,393
    -Number of firms – 10,175
    -Sales tax revenue per capita – $26,751

    Clearly Davis is an outlier here. We are economic development chumps by comparison.

    If and when this tech park and ag park land swap projects comes up for initiative, I hope young people, and others that care about jobs and helping the university extend its value proposition as providing the highest quality education, get out to vote. Otherwise, those grumpy, old, change-misers will get their way again for keeping Davis stuck in some irrational minimalist-enterprise state.

  6. Frankly

    [i]”We are a university town and we like it that way… We are not “Silicon Valley East” and never will be”[/i]

    We are not unique in that respect. Both Santa Cruz and Palo Alto were or are primarily university towns.

    Santa Cruz is Silicon Valley?

    Come on now, at least try to respond to all of the point instead of cherry picking your favorite comparison.

    We don’t have to be “Silicon Valley of the East”. We just need to come closer to other comparable communities.

    Frankly, there is not one community near the size of Davis that has comparable low economic numbers. We are so far down the list that we appear troubled and odd.

  7. Davis Progressive

    i’m betwixt and between.

    so i hear frankly’s point and think that davis can be an ideal landing spot.

    but i am uncomfortable with going east of the mace curve. why not nishi? interland redeveloped? cannery?

  8. Robb Davis

    Many questions here (honest ones). Here are a few.

    1. Is Mr Morris proposing a ballot initiative that is NOT a Measure R vote? If so, how does the timing of that initiative fit with decisions that have already been made? Is this even in the realm of the possible?

    2. Mr Morris writes that the soils and water situation at Shriners is better than the 391 property. How so? The soil types are not identical but, if I am reading the Yolo Soil maps correctly [url]http://casoilresource.lawr.ucdavis.edu/soilweb_gmap/[/url] I do not see anything but “prime farmland if irrigated” across all these properties. Perhaps someone can correct me (please do, I am a soil novice).

    3. Where is this land? re: [quote]752 additional acres necessary to satisfy the 2:1 ag mitigation requirement will be put into conservation easements.[/quote]

    4. Is 493 acres considered a “minimum”, an “ideal”? Why is a smaller site not possible? What is the smallest size that is still practical for such a park? What are the assumptions about size of structures “required” to attract new businesses to Davis?

    5. I am struggling to understand the real “bite” of the guiding principles. What will stop anyone who acquires the rights from requesting a zoning change (see Cannery). We “know” housing is more lucrative than tech parks (or don’t we?)

    I am interested in learning more about all of this–but especially the “logistics” of getting this on a ballot in any kind of realistic timetable given the CC recent decision about the swap. This all seems rather unreal to me unless Mr Morris is suggesting that the NRCS and the Yolo Land Trust are willing to offer a pause. If so, who is negotiating this pause? Has not the CC told staff to move ahead? Who is driving this process just now?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  9. JustSaying

    [quote]“Frankly, there is not one community near the size of Davis that has comparable low economic numbers. We are so far down the list that we appear troubled and odd.”[/quote]Keep Davis Quaint!

  10. Frankly

    Robb: Good questions.

    1. I think that is the plan. An initiative would seem a good choice given the failure of the city to adequately handle the land swap transaction. I don’t know what you mean about the timing of the decision already made… are you talking about the Cannery, or the prior land-swap failure?

    2. I understand that there are more soil issues with the Mace 391 property, and these don’t exist on the Shiners property. But I don’t have the details.

    3. I too was confused about that.

    4. A tech business park is going to require costly infrastructure. And there is a need to both leverage some economies of scale, while also providing enough acreage to support various business types-needs. But, I don’t know the exact answer to that question. I guess another related questions is why does it matter?

    5. I agree. However, my thinking here is that once any industrial development takes place, it automatically makes it much less desirable as residential land.

    I think this is a very exciting idea that appears to be a win-win proposition. The Shriners property has future residential written all over it. I would think the Wild Horse residents and the Mace Ranch residents would love the idea of that piece of property being left open and undeveloped. Those that want to preserve farm land and natural habitat get their candy. Those that want more community garden space get the same. As for the business park, there is not much in the way of adjacent residential neighbors to start whining about impacts. The traffic to and from this business park location from the freeway would cause minimal traffic impacts to greater Davis.

    It all just makes a lot of sense… unless you are against everything.

  11. Frankly

    [i]Keep Davis Quaint![/i]

    Which definition?

    a – marked by skillful design.

    b – marked by beauty or elegance.

    c – unusual or different in character or appearance.

    d – pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar.

    Because, maybe with the exception of d, we can do all and grow.

  12. David Morris

    Robb/Frankly: It’s premature to identify the specific location of mitigation acreage at this time. This typically happens much later in the process. That being said, CCV is committing up front to put the entire 234 acre Shriners property under a permanent conservation easement if the technology park is entitled.

  13. Don Shor

    Who are the owners, shareholders, and directors of Capitol Corridor Ventures?

    Overall I see nothing in this essay that changes the situation from what it was in June, and urge the city to continue with the conservation agreement as planned and as vetted by the relevant commissions. I oppose bringing this to a vote for the reasons that I stated on the previous thread.

    Not relevant to this, but: which “senior technology executives from large venture capital-backed companies who have ties to Davis and/or UC Davis” are members of techDavis? Have any of them contributed to the funds that are being donated to the city, or is that still just the (non-tech) businesses listed before Rob separated his salary from that?
    I ask because it would be good to have more full disclosure about the groups you are involved in. It was the overlap between principals that led to issues earlier. So enlightening us as to who you represent would help us assess your proposals in the future.

  14. Linden

    I found this article very interesting since I am, like many other residents, concerned about the City’s fiscal situation. I think this proposal sounds like something that Davis residents should be able to participate in discussing before any final decisions are made.

    As a tax payer (and Measure O is a tax that all of us Davis residents pay for) I would like to have some input about how Measure O monies are spent, particularly if such a significant amount of those funds are being spent as in this case. Why not bring this whole issue to a vote? Why shouldn’t the public have a say on this since it is our taxes are being spent?

  15. Matt Williams

    Don, I am not David, but if I were, my reply to your first question would be, [b][i]”asked and answered.”[/i][/b] Below you will see an index I created back in June of all the key components of the June 11th Council meeting. I refer you to the 2 hour and 44 minute location of the video (see [url]http://archive.cityofdavis.org/media/council-2013-06-11.ram[/url]) where David Morris very clearly and directly answers the sum and substance of your question as it was posed to him by Bob Schneider during Public Comment and then reasked by Joe Krovoza. [i]”Right now I am the only officer. When we get capitalized we will bring in other officers. We have a Board [of two members]. I am the Chair and my attorney is the secretary”[/i]

    Don, there is one thing about your post that bewilders me. Do you have any reason to believe that that information shared by David Morris on June 11th was not accurate? There is a faint odor of innuendo in your question, as well as a health dose of an ad hominem fallacy. Why do you not engage the details of the proposal the way medwoman and Robb Davis and Davis Progressive have? There is plenty of message here to talk about. Why spend your time attacking the messenger?

    Council Video for June 11, 2013

    1:17:00 (8:09 pm) – Beginning of Special Meeting Agenda

    1:18:00 – 1:20:40 – Pinkerton apology and explanation of process and report amendment

    1:20:40 – 1:26:30 – Pinkerton “competing public goals” comments

    1:26:30 – 1:52:00 – Staff Report presentation

    1:52:00 – 1:54:30 – Further Pinkerton comments (relationship with Yolo Land Trust)

    1:54:30 – 2:44:00 – Public Comment

    2:44:00 – 2:49:30 – Dave Morris comment and reply to Bob Schneider question

    2:49:30 – 3:00:00 – Brett Lee questions (two different closed session Council discussions of “swap” and discussions with NCRS about swap possibilities – Harriet explained why sessions were closed – Pinkerton explained when staff “knew” about the swap possibilities)

    3:00:00 – 3:02:30 – Joe Krovoza Innovation Task Force comments

    3:02:30 – 3:04:30 – Lucas Frerichs Innovation Task Force and Community Engagement comments

    3:04:30 – 3:07:30 – Rochelle Swanson Innovation Task Force comments (“been in front of us for three years”)

    3:07:30 – 3:11:30 – Brett Lee comments about details of proposed swap proposal (“going back and forth, arguing with myself”)

    3:11:30 – 3:16:30 – Lucas Frerichs comments about open space and the challenges of City’s Budget and its major cuts

    3:16:30 – 3:26:30 – Joe Krovoza questions about easement sizes in swap options (red vs. combined blue/yellow areas), then description of the decision that Council has before it

    3:26:30 – 3:36:00 – Rochelle Swanson comments

    3:36:00 – 3:39:20 – Dan Wolk comments (“I wasn’t on the Cap-To-Cap trip” and need a real clear sense of the NRCS issues/position)

    3:39:20 – 3:41:30 – Rochelle Swanson description of NRCS meeting in Washington about swap. Shriners wasn’t a specific option on the table at that time, only a conceptual option

    3:41:30 – 3:43:30 – Lucas description of local NRCS meeting (“I didn’t participate in any in Washington DC meeting”) about how much changing of the parcel configuration is allowed

    3:43:30 – 3:57:20 – Brett Lee motion parameters (“I’m finished arguing with myself”), Lucas moves and Brett seconds followed by discussion

    3:51:00 – 3:51:15 – Rochelle Swanson proposes substitute motion that gets no second

    3:57:20 – 3:57:30 – Motion called and passed 3-2

  16. Frankly

    Linden – As I understand this proposal, no measure O funds would need be spent. There would be a land exchange… and if I understand correctly investment from the business park developers to improve the Shriners property as proposed. That sounds like a great deal to me.

    Maybe David Morris can confirm or correct my understanding on this.

  17. Mark West

    Frankly: “[i]As I understand this proposal, no measure O funds would need be spent.[/i]”

    The Measure O funds were already spent to purchase the property, along with a hefty internal loan from the road fund. This proposal if fully implemented would restore both the Measure O funds and repay the loan.

  18. Linden

    The most important issue at hand is what happens from here to get this option brought forward to the public?

    It sounds like the initial decision at was make is not permanent and can be reconsidered and that clearly needs to happen.The public has a right to weigh on this issue since it affects the whole City and our fiscal future.

  19. Pingback: My View: Speaking to All of Davis on Business Park Development | .:Davis Vanguard:.

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