The Cannery, a Great Project for Davis

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Cannery-Park-Land-Plan-Sep-2013

By Eileen M. Samitz

After a decade of community input, it’s time to move forward: The Cannery project has been  in the planning process for almost a decade, with an unprecedented amount of public input.  The abandoned Hunt-Wesson Cannery site had been dormant for years and needed a new use. Residential housing had encroached on what used to be a factory on the edge of town.  The site was no longer viable for a large commercial development due to having so much nearby residential and inadequate highway access. The City business park viability studies determined that the site was “infeasible” for a tech park.  The Business and Economic Development Commission (BEDC) supported a mixed-use for the site.  Nearby neighborhoods opposed a large commercial park use,  but supported the mixed-use concept.

The Housing Element Steering Committee (HESC) strongly supported this site for housing for many reasons including: 1) it’s an infill site within the city limits, does not need a Measure J vote, and promotes compact urban design; 2) it’s close proximity to shopping, schools, and parks, and 3) it provides an opportunity  for a mix of housing types.  The HESC did not want development of the Cannery site tied to the Covell Village which is on county land outside the City boundaries and therefore subject to Measure J.

Unfortunately, the first redevelopment proposal of the site was abandoned by Lewis Homes in 2009 due to last minute controversy about a commercial use after years of planning a mixed-use.  All of the work and input by the community was almost lost.  Fortunately, a second opportunity arose in 2010 when Con Agra picked up where the previous applicant left off.  The project design improved with attractive new features like an Urban Farm working in partnership with the Center for Land Based Learning, bio swales, native drought tolerant landscaping, sustainability features such as solar panels, high performance appliances and lighting, an improved park layout, and, most importantly, incorporation of Universal Design in the houses to create a multi-generational project that allows “aging in place” – which the community has consistently asked for.

The Cannery houses would have Eskaton’s New Home Seal of approval for “Livable Space” for “aging in place.”  It would be the first project of this scale in the nation, with cutting-edge planning for Davis residents of all ages.  The Senior Commission and the Social Services Commission have strongly supported the Cannery proposal due to its innovative overall design, as well as its Universal Design features. Not only does this flexible home style work for all ages – and invite young families back to live in Davis to help provide children for our declining elementary school population – but it is inclusive so that everyone from children, to workforce, to the retired can live there.

One of the most important considerations is that Cannery would help provide the balance of our SACOG RHNA fair share housing requirements for the current 8 year cycle. Cannery’s  547 units would alleviate pressure for the City to annex agricultural land to provide housing , such as the Covell Village site which proposed 1,864 units in 2005 but was voted down by the public (Measure X). Since the Cannery site is within the city boundaries (unlike the Covell Village site) we get the added benefit of the City keeping more of the property taxes to help address our budgetary problems.

Although no project in Davis is without controversy, it is noteworthy that the Covell Village developers have been making such aggressive attempts to derail the Cannery project. They recently demanded that Cannery pay $9 million dollars for unnecessary bike paths and roads through their Covell Village agricultural land. Not only is this simply unreasonable of the Covell Village developers  to demand such infrastructure to be built on their agricultural county land, but it raises obvious concerns about their intentions to resurrect the Covell Village project should the Cannery project be denied  (as they appear to be trying to orchestrate). Another obvious question is, how could the Covell Village agricultural land be farmed with all the roads the Covell Village developers were demanding running through it?

In addition, there is clear duplicity in the actions by the Covell Village developers.  Early on in the planning process, the Cannery asked them for an easement to allow a bike path along the edge of the Cranbrook Court apartments, owned by one of the Covell Village developers, but he refused. Yet, the same Covell Village developers will grant easements on their Covell Village site, but demanding that Cannery pay $9 million dollars for infrastructure which would basically make the Covell Village site more “development ready” and increase its monetary value.

Additional opposition by the Covell Village developers has been stirred up by their hired representative Lydia Delis-Schlosser, who is an active member of the local bike organizations and was hired by the Covell Village developers to organize the Choices for Healthy Aging (CHA) group. The CHA group has continued to demand that almost half of the project be small single story units targeting senior needs.  However, the whole point of the project is to be multi-generational and inclusive of all ages, not to be focused on being a retirement community.  Recently, the Planning Commission rejected the CHA proposal and supported the Cannery’s multi-generational, aging-in-place housing plan proposal. Even though the project has an extremely diverse mix of housing, Cannery has also agreed to give local builders access to 30 lots which can be custom built.

Cannery-undercrossing

The Covell Village developer’s representative has persisted in trying to motivate the local bike groups and others to support all of the Covell Village developers’ unreasonable demands for excessive bike paths through the Covell Village site. So far the local bike groups have expressed their preference for a bike path along the edge of Cranbrook Court Apartments to the H Street tunnel. However, physical challenges and the persistent easement denial by the Covell Village developer’s remain significant problems.  A more viable grade-separated bike crossing alternative is the proposed Option 1 bike path which would go under the Covell Overpass along the east side of the railroad tracks and reconnect with the existing off-street bike path on the Covell Overpass.  Of all the grade-separated options being considered, Option 1 would be the shortest distance to go east or west by bike.  But, apparently influenced by Delis-Schlosser, the  Bike Advisory Commission made a late request for yet a second multimillion dollar grade-separated crossing “to the east” of the Cannery. There are major feasibility issues due to large amounts of new underground utility infrastructure at L Street as well as existing buildings.  In addition, a bike tunnel to vacant agricultural land in the county is an obvious “camel’s nose under the tent” regarding the development of the Covell Village site.

The Cannery project would include extensive improvements at the intersection of J Street and Covell. These improvements would make this intersection one of the most bike-friendly in the entire City.  Countless pedestrians and bike riders safely cross Covell Boulevard and all major streets throughout our community at grade intersections with traffic lights every day in our community.  Why not at J Street?

The Cannery project has been through extensive review and Commission hearings.  Thanks to the enormous amount of input from our community it has evolved to become a beautiful project with many unique features.  Most importantly, it fulfills our SACOG fair share requirements.  NOW is the time for the Cannery to move forward. There has never been a project as custom designed for Davis, as the Cannery.

Eileen Samitz is a former City of Davis Planning Commissioner and served on the General Plan Growth Management and Neighborhood Preservation Committee, and the General Plan Update Housing Element Steering Committee.

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60 thoughts on “The Cannery, a Great Project for Davis”

  1. JimmysDaughter

    I ask anyone who believes this article and the statistics in this article to just take a drive to Irvine, CA sometime. History will repeat itself in Davis. Read what was promised to the people of Orange County, and look around Irvine, CA. Is that the kind of place you want Davis to become?
    Look at other articles on this website that reference old growth trees like they are just another commodity. Walk around Davis and feel nostalgic, take a few photo’s. Buy some organic food at the farmers market or the co-op. Because Davis as you it 30, 20, even 5 years ago is disappearing, folks. I trust that the voters will determine what kind of village we want Davis to be. Dream big. Don’t fall for this. SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL.

  2. yeahmyam

    I’m sorry, but this is pathetic. For the author this is all about Covell Village not The Cannery. I agree the Covell Village proposal was a horrible project and was rejected by the community- but that fact alone does not make this a great project. Now you blame the deficiencies of The Cannery on Covell Village as well. Why is this a “last minute” problem caused by Covell Village when the author states this project has been in the planning process for 10 years?

  3. medwoman

    [quote]Residential housing had encroached on what used to be a factory on the edge of town.[/quote]

    Residential housing has “encroached”. Yes, I would agree with this choice of words. And so now this is being used as justification for putting more housing in what may or may no be a safe situation with a bottle neck onto a single very small area of a cross town artery. Yesterday Alan Miller largely, if not completely, allayed my concern about the proximity of the north-south train line to the west edge of the development, albeit only by pointing out how much more danger exists for my own Old East Davis home, downtown and the entirety of Olive Drive . However, these are long established neighborhoods. The question here is whether or not it is wise to create a new similarly bottle necked community from scratch.

  4. Frankly

    [i]I ask anyone who believes this article and the statistics in this article to just take a drive to Irvine, CA sometime. History will repeat itself in Davis. Read what was promised to the people of Orange County, and look around Irvine, CA. Is that the kind of place you want Davis to become?[/i]

    Let’s try some different, and more accurate, type of fear mongering.

    I urge everyone to read about San Bernardino and how the city had to file bankruptcy due to reasons that match what Davis is facing.

    [url]http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jul/10/local/la-me-0711-san-bernardino-20120711[/url]

    Davis will absolutely follow San Bernardino’s path if it does not develop its economy. However, there is absolutely no chance in hell that we will ever look anything live Irvine.

    JimmysDaughter should be ashamed for even making the reference.

  5. medwoman

    [quote]Unfortunately, the first redevelopment proposal of the site was abandoned by Lewis Homes in 2009 due to last minute controversy about a commercial use after years of planning a mixed-use. All of the work and input by the community was almost lost. Fortunately, a second opportunity arose in 2010 when Con Agra picked up where the previous applicant left off. The project design improved with attractive new features like an Urban Farm working in partnership with the Center for Land Based Learning, bio swales, native drought tolerant landscaping, sustainability features such as solar panels, high performance appliances and lighting, an improved park layout, and, most importantly, incorporation of Universal Design in the houses to create a multi-generational project that allows “aging in place” – which the community has consistently asked for.
    [/quote]

    Eileen,
    If the updated plan as proposed by ConAgra is better for the city, how is it in any way unfortunate that the first development proposal failed ? Perhaps there might be better ways still to approach this. I know that there has been a lot of discussion over years. I have been at a several of the community informational sessions. I also know that discussion is not synonymous with addressing issues. My two questions are examples. It took another private citizen, Alan Miller to answer a major safety concern that I had regarding the contents of container cars on the north – south line. In my opinion, this should have been a part of the EIR, but isn’t.

    My question with regard to time necessary to evacuate has not been addressed. How is it possible that we are apparently down to the point of final approval by the city, and this very basic safety question has not been answered. To me it is not the job of private citizens to have to extract answers from other community members. This should be the job of the city staff at the direction of the city counsel. No project should move forward until basic safety issues have been addressed, regardless of who is backing or promoting the project.

  6. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Davis will absolutely follow San Bernardino’s path if it does not develop its economy. However, there is absolutely no chance in hell that we will ever look anything live Irvine.
    [/quote]

    I do believe that it was you who pointed out to me that population growth is not the same as economic growth. This thread is about the merits of the Cannery project which is largely residential. How did this become about “economic growth” ?

  7. Frankly

    medwoman, We need more business to generate tax revenue, and we will need some more housing to address the needs of the workers. It is all tied together in an economic ecosystem.

    Also, there is commercial space included in the Cannery development proposal.

    The long term payback for housing developments are negative, but the short-term payback is positive.

    We get the short-term benefit while we build business parks to provide the needed long-term revenue boost.

    You can simply consider it a call for balance.

    We have a fantastic and impressive project proposal on the table. Let’s go forward with it.

    Note that myself and others challenged that the second crossing, if agreed to by the developer, would only cause the NIMBYs to move to the next demand, and the next demand. And here we have the new cry about the valley oaks.

    We were right as usual.

  8. Don Shor

    I haven’t seen anybody saying the oaks should block the project. I have seen calls for the project developers to try to save as many of them as possible. And my question, which is not adequately answered in the Development Agreement, is whether the proposed mitigation for their removal is reasonable.

  9. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]Note that myself and others challenged that the second crossing, if agreed to by the developer, would only cause the NIMBYs to move to the next demand, and the next demand. And here we have the new cry about the valley oaks. [/quote]

    So is it your argument that improvements should not be made to a project because they may lead to other suggestions for improvement ? It really seems that this is your position since no one, no not even me, has called for nixing the project because of the trees. You also ignore comments that prove that for many of us, it is not about blocking at all cost. Alan Miller factually addressed my concern about the potential hazard from the north-south trains and I openly stated that this concern had been addressed and would no longer be a deal breaker for me. It would appear that your strategy is to ignore legitimate concerns, and deride anyone who has them as ….. pick any of the denigrating terms you chose to spew forth on the previous thread.

  10. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]The long term payback for housing developments are negative, but the short-term payback is positive.

    We get the short-term benefit while we build business parks to provide the needed long-term revenue boost.

    You can simply consider it a call for balance.
    [/quote]

    You could consider it a call for balance. Or you could consider it an argument for your preferred solution which is growth, and more growth with no definitive vision of how much is needed or at what point you would be satisfied. You demand numbers from others, but rely on “just trust me” we will solve our problems forever
    generalities. When you are willing to project numbers of companies, amount of space you want devoted to each of your proposals, and optimal population for Davis we would have something to talk about. Why do I put this burden on you ? Because you are the one advocating for change. It is incumbent upon you to demonstrate how the proposed change is the optimal choice, in numbers, not in vague generalities.

  11. Mr.Toad

    From Wikipedia: An old-growth forest (also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, or in Britain, ancient woodland) is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance, and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and in some cases may be classified as a climax community.[1] Old-growth features include diversity of tree-related structures that serve as diversified wildlife habitat that leads to higher bio-diversity of the forested ecosystem. Diversified tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, high variance of tree heights and diameters, diversity of decaying classes and sizes of woody debris, and diversity of tree species.

    I think suggestions that the trees on Cannery constitute “old Growth” exaggerate their value more so than any undervaluation that Don Shor suggests exits in the development agreement. The truth may lie somewhere in the middle but as the developers try to save more trees and with the mitigation for those removed my guess is at the end of the day the plan will be a better approximation of reality than the opponents contend.

  12. Don Shor

    Did somebody say the oaks were an old-growth forest? I would not agree with that term. But they have a value, as do the other species. Unfortunately, the development agreement isn’t clear as to how the value of the trees might have been arrived at. If the mitigation is just numbers (ten trees for every one removed), that isn’t based on the value of the trees.

  13. Frankly

    [i]Why do I put this burden on you ? Because you are the one advocating for change. It is incumbent upon you to demonstrate how the proposed change is the optimal choice, in numbers, not in vague generalities[/i]

    That is a convenient position.

    It says, “I will sit back and cast stones of challenge at you for any change you propose, and it is up to you to successfully dodge them. But if you cast stones my way in response, I will call up my victim defense and demand that the authorities remind you that it YOU that are proposing the change, not me.”

    Is it any surprise that it is near impossible to get anything done in a town having a population of people believing this is a useful and practical approach for public vetting of project proposals?

    I have said it over and over again, and it always holds true. Critics are a dime a dozen. What we need is for people to lead, follow or be silent and let people in the first two groups get something done. What that means for you medwoman, is to either propose your solutions to our fiscal problems and our regional and local problems for not having housing and not enough good employment opportunities, or I start to question the value of debate with you on the topic.

    If you are just debating or criticizing specific design elements like the crossing, I would think you should be responsible for proposing your alternative solution. If you have a problem with the proposed crossing because of some danger that someone will wander onto the train tracks (A de minimis concern in my opinion. have you ever visited the little league fields at F and Covell?… but nonetheless, your concern), then there must be ideas you have for mitigating those concerns. What are they?

    If you don’t have any ideas, or you don’t know enough to contribute to alternatives, then I start to have a problem with blind criticism.

    As the article states, the second crossing is fraught with many problems including the need to secure easements and potentially relocated utility infrastructure. I don’t know enough to challenge that. If you want to challenge it, I suggest you start doing the work to learn about it… and then work to suggest improvements.

    Otherwise it is just a casting of stones at the project.

  14. Herman

    I know that this is late in the day for me to inject my anachronistic views, but is ANYONE CONCERNED ABOUT AN ADDITIONAL 10,000 CAR TRIPS ON COVELL A DAY, and the impact on downtown parking of this development. This is to say nothing of other indirect infrastructure costs that will not be covered by mitigation fees.

    As someone pointed out earlier, some of Eileen’s arguments are self serving. Above all she hopes that this will pre-empt a Covell Village in her backyard. To be sure the scale of this project is not the same as the original Covell Village one, but it will still have significant to serious environmental impacts in terms of the general quality of life in Davis.

    In leading the defeat of Covell Village, Eileen skillfully made this arguments. But Eileen’s concern, and that of most other contributors to this debate, that we not become another Vacaville seem to have gone out of the window.

    Whenever somebody favors a large growth project they invoke SACOG. But as Eileen and her co-leaders (and I was one of them) on the No on Covell Village campaign showed or proved no community has ever been sanctioned or punished for not meeting its SACOG targets.

    Finally to suggest that this project will generate revenues that will help us to avoid San Bernardino style bankrupt is absurd. To begin with there will be wider infrastructural costs not factored in by the EIR (as was the case with Covell Village where the report was deeply floored on this score anyway).

    Conceivably if we abolish Measure J and built all over the place we might get significant revenue enhancements, but is this what most Davisites really want to happen to their community? Is this what former environmentalists, liberals et al. are now calling the new “economic ecosystem?”

    Call me a no growth NIMBY who wants to preserve what’s left of the character of Davis as that to me this is a compliment.

  15. medwoman

    [quote]The long term payback for housing developments are negative, but the short-term payback is positive.

    We get the short-term benefit while we build business parks to provide the needed long-term revenue boost. [/quote]

    So let’s look at this seeming call for “balanced growth” from another point of view. You and I agree that business cycles come and go. There will be times of prosperity and times of recession and rarely outright depression. I seem to hear you saying that the [u]only[/u] solution to our current financial difficulties is more growth, population and economic. If the only way out of economic difficulties is more growth, what solution will be left for our children / grand children to deal with their economic difficulties once maximal growth has occurred ? Please note that I am not saying we are at that point, or even near it. What I am suggesting is to not view the problem so narrowly as “growth or no growth” but to try to find innovative solutions, not just to repeat the same old view that more of the same is going to necessarily be better. For someone who frequently talks about innovation, growth and change, you seem remarkably wedded to concepts that stem from a
    1950s model of “improvement”, long after it has been shown to have remarkably destructive unintended consequences.

  16. JimmysDaughter

    *trees that are growing old*
    As I typed the words “old growth*, I suspected someone would research the exact definition. Sorry for any confusion in my phrase.
    My point was that any older tree is precious.

  17. B. Nice

    [quote]The Cannery project would include extensive improvements at the intersection of J Street and Covell. These improvements would make this intersection one of the most bike-friendly in the entire City. Countless pedestrians and bike riders safely cross Covell Boulevard and all major streets throughout our community at grade intersections with traffic lights every day in our community. Why not at J Street?[/quote]

    This are just thought off the top of my head…

    the increased congestion another surface crossing would cause, especially in the mornings and afternoon when kids are coming and going to school. Pedestrian lights allow a lot of time for a someone cross and Covell already has heavy traffic congestion at these times.

    Tunnel would allow safer crossing for kids on their way to school. Speaking for myself I would much willing to allow my kids to bike to school if they didn’t have to cross a street like Covell. This could translate into fewer cars driving to schools in the morning.

  18. JimmysDaughter

    Frankly stated:
    “I have said it over and over again, and it always holds true. Critics are a dime a dozen. What we need is for people to lead, follow or be silent and let people in the first two groups get something done.”

    It sounds like you are trying to change the quality of life in our village by being aggressive. What are your proposed “leaders” leading us towards? A village like Natomas or Irvine? The village of Davis is unique.
    Keep what remains unique. SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL.

  19. B. Nice

    [quote]The Covell Village developer’s representative has persisted in trying to motivate the local bike groups and others to support all of the Covell Village developers’ unreasonable demands for excessive bike paths through the Covell Village site. [/quote]

    [quote]But, apparently influenced by Delis-Schlosser, the Bike Advisory Commission made a late request for yet a second multimillion dollar grade-separated crossing “to the east” of the Cannery.[/quote]

  20. Frankly

    JimmysDaughter. You are a hoot!

    The university is not agreeing with you.

    And a small bankrupt city from living well beyond it means is absolutely not beautiful.

    You do get one point right. I am trying to change the quality of life in our village. Trying to make it better… much better. And it just so happens that change agents have to drag NIMBY-statists kicking and screaming to change that we know will be better for them even as they continue to fear any and all change they cannot control.

  21. B. Nice

    [quote]The Covell Village developer’s representative has persisted in trying to motivate the local bike groups and others to support all of the Covell Village developers’ unreasonable demands for excessive bike paths through the Covell Village site.[/quote]

    [quote]But, apparently influenced by Delis-Schlosser, the Bike Advisory Commission made a late request for yet a second multimillion dollar grade-separated crossing “to the east” of the Cannery.[/quote]

    Are you claiming that local bike club is doing Covell Village’s dirty work?

  22. B. Nice

    [quote] And it just so happens that change agents have to drag NIMBY-statists kicking and screaming to change that we know will be better for them even as they continue to fear any and all change they cannot control.[/quote]

    How we develop land needs to change. Without these “NIMBYS” (I don’t even know what this phrase means), we would have the same old yucky track development being proposed at this site. GO NIMBYS (whatever you are!).

  23. JimmysDaughter

    Frankly stated:
    “The university is not agreeing with you.”
    oooh, the university is not agreeing with me. Gee, I better change my opinion.
    I’m so scared.

  24. B. Nice

    [quote]A NYMBY is someone that blocks change and development because of concerns of impacts… however minute.[/quote]

    Again I see them as encouraging change. Developers, in general, seem to be the ones resistant to changing how they operate. Dealing with these NIMBY’s and their “demand for goodies” is the cost of doing business in Davis. Developers want to build in Davis, “they have to pay to play” (wise words I once read on this blog).

  25. Frankly

    [i]How is President Romney these days? I haven’t heard much about him lately.[/i]

    Thanks for asking Jim. I understand that he is doing great. Still irons his own dress shirts, but wears polo shirts more often these days.

    Although he is certainly concerned about the fact that he was proven right and American Idol Teflon Messiah Affirmative Action President that was elected has destroyed the economy with his crappy economic policy… and Obamacare is a train wreck.

  26. B. Nice

    “Thanks for asking Jim. I understand that he is doing great. Still irons his own dress shirts, but wears polo shirts more often these days.”

    He is such a man of the people, I always likes that about him.

  27. Eileen Samitz

    I wanted to start by thanking everyone for taking the time to read my article. Looks like I am a bit late to the conversation but let me start with responding to Herman (although I don’t remember a co-leader or anyone named Herman in the No on Measure X campaign group).

    On your comment being anyone being concerned about more traffic on Covell, due to the project having fewer housing units and less commercial square footage than was originally studied in the EIR, the actual updated number is 8,541 car trips a day. Since original industrial commercial use which would have been 15,884 car trips a day, the current mixed-use is a much lower impact (about 50% less) and a better use for many reasons which I covered in my article.

    On your insensitive “self-serving” comment, anyone who knows me knows that I have worked on many issues that affect the entire City such as Measure J, Measure O, and Measure R renewing Measure J.

    On your comment dismissing any consequences from not addressing our SACOG RHNA fair share requirement, the reality is that there are consequences, although I think some wish not to believe it. The Staff report addresses this and the bottom line is not only would the city lose access to public funding for things like roads and other circulation infrastructure but affordable housing as well. Since our City roads are needing repairs in many areas of the city is has major fiscal problem as it is, it is critical that we do not lose access to this type of public funding.

    In addition, the bigger concern is if the City does not address its fair share SACOG RHNA fair share requirement it would open the opportunity for any other project (i.e. Covell Village) to present a proposal that they could push thorough to get an approval though the court system . Since the City would have basically not fulfilled its fair share requirement, the City and the community would not have a say in what the new project would be. The Covell Village developers are well aware of this as a potential opportunity to reintroduce Covell Village.

  28. JimmysDaughter

    Important, late breaking news update:
    The cannery project has moved location to Mitch Romney’s spare garage, conveniently located with parking, and a vehicle elevator, near the beautiful community of La Jolla, CA.

  29. Nora Oldwin

    A NIMBY is not necessarily a bad thing. Those with a personal interest in something are sometimes the most likely and the most able to uncover facts, problems, issues that others who are not so immediately impacted, also want to/should know before making any decision. Also, too, the way I see it, Davis is EVERYONE’S back yard. Honestly- whatever impacts folks in one quadrant seems to end up impacting everyone.
    When we first moved here, our oldest (now 31) was five. We rented a house in North Davis and Nick rode his bike across Covell to school each weekday morning. It scared the hell out of us– busy street. Not much has changed there. Underground bike tunnels much safer.

  30. Frankly

    Nora Oldwin,

    NIMBY is meant to be a derogatory term, and it is not a label to be proud of in my opinion. The difference between someone that is against some development/change and a NIMBY is really a level of hypocrisy. A NIMBY would only protect his backyard from the change… even if it meant that other people would be damaged or the change would just have to move to someone else’s backyard.

    For someone to not be labeled with NIMBYism, that person would at least have to acknowledge the negative consequences and impacts of their opposition to the development/change and offer up ideas to address those negative consequences and impacts. That would then move them into the category of being an objective participant in a solution to a problem, instead only being a protector of their own selfish interests.

    So, I have to disagree here. A NIMBY is a bad thing.

  31. Frankly

    [quote]Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was far more generous to charities than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden last year, both in dollar terms and as a percentage of income, tax return data Romney’s campaign released Friday indicate.

    Romney and his wife, Ann, gave 29.4 percent of their income to charity in 2011, donating $4,020,772 out of the $13,696,951 they took in.
    Obama and first lady Michelle Obama gave 21.8 percent of their income to charitable organizations last year, donating $172,130 out of the $789,674 they made.

    Biden and his wife, Jill, gave 1.5 percent of their income away in 2011, with charitable donations totaling $5,540 out of $379,035.[/quote]
    Now brining this back to the topic at hand we have the obvious ideological difference with the altruism of employment opportunities. Romney ran on it, and Obama obviously lied about caring about it. And the very young people that came out with all their typical idealistic fervor to vote Obama in for a second term, now are being screwed with the jobless “recovery” and the worst economic prospects for young people in 40 years. Meanwhile they are being penalized for having the audacity to be healthy and either not purchase, or purchase inexpensive, healthcare insurance. So, on top of not having a good job, they are having to find ways to pay more for their health insurance… both thanks to that man they elected on wings of hope and change.

    Seeing the same echo is alive in Davis. The vote for the feel good people and policies while they screw up the chances for average young people to have anything close to the opportunities for a good life that their baby-booming parents got to enjoy.

    Is there a learning moment there. I think so.

  32. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]If you don’t have any ideas, or you don’t know enough to contribute to alternatives, then I start to have a problem with blind criticism.
    [/quote]

    I suspect you might modify that statement if you were a patient of mine with a serious neurologic problem. I could study the problem for years while you deteriorated…..or I could point out your symptoms, provide any relevant information from my own specialty and refer you to a neurologist. I do not claim that I have expertise in city planning, any more than I claim expertise in neurology, but if I see a potential problem, I have a duty to point it out regardless of what field it is in.

  33. Herman

    In response to Eileen’s response: As you must surely know Eileen, many people, including yourself, write on this blog under pseudonyms–and for very good reasons. I am amazed, Eileen, that someone with your excellent environmental track record (which I greatly respect) can be so sanguine about the prospect of circa an additional 8,500 trips DAILY on Covell Blvd. This is not the Eileen of old, or I should say, of young. And here I am singling out just one of the most obvious environmental impacts “conceded” in the EIR and by most supporters of the project in all its forms. There are many more that are less self-evident and as deleterious.

    Eileen, you have extensive experience on the Planning Commission and on growth issues going back at least two decades and many contacts in the field. Can you provide me with just one example of when SACOG has invoked the sanctions you say that they will invoke if we do not meet their targets?

  34. B. Nice

    [quote]NIMBY = Not In MY Back Yard

    A NYMBY is someone that blocks change and development because of concerns of impacts… however minute.[/quote]

    I’ve been thinking about this term and this definition doesn’t seem accurate. I think of a NIMBY as someone who wants to reap the benefits of a situation , without having to deal with negative aspects the are associated with it. That different from someone who wants to block something for concerns about impact.

  35. Mr.Toad

    Where does 8500 car trips a day come from? 8500 trips a day/550 homes= 15.45 car trips per home daily. I knew Davis was rich but I didn’t realize we were going to have 4 cars in every garage each going out twice a day or two cars going out 8 times. I thought it was a Prius and 4 bikes in every garage. Of course with two bike crossings there will be even fewer car trips.

  36. jrberg

    I’m a little late to the parade here, but I wanted to address and rebut the following allegations:

    [quote]

    11/10/13 – 12:18 PM

    The Covell Village developer’s representative has persisted in trying to motivate the local bike groups and others to support all of the Covell Village developers’ unreasonable demands for excessive bike paths through the Covell Village site.

    But, apparently influenced by Delis-Schlosser, the Bike Advisory Commission made a late request for yet a second multimillion dollar grade-separated crossing “to the east” of the Cannery.

    Are you claiming that local bike club is doing Covell Village’s dirty work? [/quote]

    First, the Bicycle Advisory Commission is not a local bike club. The Davis Bike Club is a local bike club, and as far as I know, has taken no position on this issue. Davis Bicycles is an advocacy group of cyclists, and has taken a position, but that position was in no way influenced, as far as I know, by Covell Village advocates.

    I am a member of the BAC, but I am not speaking for the Commission in this comment. The accusations by Ms. Samitz are wildly off the mark. Individual members of the BAC have, for years, had concerns about the bicycle routes to and from the Cannery project, and have expressed those concerns at multiple venues, only to see the project plans unchanged over the years. None of us, in my opinion, have considered advantages to a possible Covell Village project in our conclusions, but have focused entirely on the project at the Cannery that has been presented. And none of this was a “late request.” We have been focusing, publicly, on transportation accessibility for years. I will also point out that we are not happy with the lack of bus routes within the project, but that does not fall under our official purview.

    If Ms. Samitz has attended our meetings, and has evidence that we were indeed influenced by some nefarious group pushing Covell Village, I would be happy to see it and address it. I would also like to invite Ms. Samitz to present information at our regular monthly meetings, if that would be valuable for understanding this issue.

  37. B. Nice

    [quote]The accusations by Ms. Samitz are wildly off the mark.[/quote]

    I’m completely removed from this situation, but they appeared that way to me when reading this article. Honestly it sounds like some convoluted conspiracy theory.

  38. Eileen Samitz

    Well “Herman”, since we both served on the No on Measure X campaign, then we both know that all of our campaign literature supported placing housing on the Hunt-Wesson site rather then on the Covell Village ag land. In addition, since the car trips are half of what they would have been with the commercial zoning, the Cannery mixed-use is a much better use and far lower impacts. So I support the No on Measure X group position of putting housing on Cannery since it an infill urban-zoned site within the city, rather than Covell Village site which ag land in the County.

    On your SACOG question, I don’t have a specific example off hand but I have a pretty good understanding on how the rules work. In practical terms, I don’t need to break the law to know that there will be consequences. It is not hard to understand how SACOG would enforce with financial sanctions since they delegate the funds. It is not hard to understand what is in the Staff report which clarifies that if we don’t fulfill our fair share requirement (which fortunately is a smaller number compared to previous cycles) that other projects can come forward through the court system.

    With Cannery we would be done with housing for the next 8 years and that makes complete sense to me since Cannery has so many features like “Universal design” and the urban farm.

  39. SODA

    I was surprised to see the same editorial op ed in the Enterprise when I just read it; somehow it seems disingenuous when we don’t know these articles are also published elsewhere. Suggest that be posted along with the author’s ‘credentials’ as you do.
    Somehow Eileen’s points seem to fall somewhat flat because of what others have said earlier. Is she at all representing the developer? I was surprised to read in the paper that New Homes is now the developer, not ConAgra. When did that happen?

  40. Eileen Samitz

    Jrberg,

    I think you miss the point of that portion of my article. My concern is that the Covell Village developer’s representative, Lydia Delis-Schlosser has influenced the Bike Advisory Commission since the second grade crossing at L St. is also part of what the Covell Village developers have been demanding on the Coivell Village site. I guess it begs the question, has Lydia Delis-Schlosser has any conversations with the Bike Advisory Commission or any of the Bike Commissioners regarding this second grade crossing at L St. or any of the bike paths that the Covell Village developers were demanding through the Covell Village site? The issue is not is the Bike Advisory Commission “doing dirty work” (that term was not posted by me), but are they being used?

    On the “late request” this refers to the second grade separate crossing not being requested by the Bike Commission or anyone during the Cannery EIR Scoping period, but more than a year later.

  41. jrberg

    [quote]On the “late request” this refers to the second grade separate crossing not being requested by the Bike Commission or anyone during the Cannery EIR Scoping period, but more than a year later. [/quote]

    We originally strongly recommended a connection under or over the railroad tracks to F Street and Anderson, for people who wanted to ride to West Davis and, for example, the Marketplace. After this was summarily rejected, we focused on other possible mitigation. We have been in favor of the most possible connectivity for the whole project scoping. The developers have never changed their meager proposals.

    As for Ms. Delis-Schlosser, she appeared at one meeting of the BAC, and presented at public comment. I doubt that she influenced anyone. And she certainly hasn’t offered to buy me dinner, or lunch, or even a trip to Reno. I can’t speak for the other Commissioners, though. You’ll have to track them down yourself.

    Please re-read Robb Davis’ reply to you on your misrepresentation of his comments at the BAC meeting where we reiterated our support of effective bicycle connectivity for this project. No one involved with Covell Village has had any influence on our decisions.

  42. Eileen Samitz

    SODA:

    I guess I am not understanding why you think it is “disingenuous” to have the same Op-ed in the Vanguard and the Enterprise. Are authors supposed to publish exclusively to one or the other? My apologies to anyone who may have had this same concern.

    I am sorry that you may not agree with me, but to answer your questions:

    1) No, I am not representing the developers. And I was hoping it was clear in my article the many reasons I am supporting the project.
    2) New Homes is the home builder and developer, not Con Agra. Con Agra is still the land owner at this point.

  43. SODA

    Thanks Eileen. No, I think it is just accurate to post that the same article is being published in another venue….pretty generally accepted. Not your fault.
    How long has New Homes been involved? Why it is always referred to as ConAgra’s project. Who does Geo Phillips work for?
    Thanks for clarifying it is your opinion and not that you are representing the developer. I appreciate that.

  44. Eileen Samitz

    jrberg

    At your BAC meeting did Delis-Schlosser advocate for the Covell Village bike paths including the grade-separated L St. undercrossing that would connect with the Covelll Village land?

  45. Jim Frame

    [quote] I support the No on Measure X group position of putting housing on Cannery since it an infill urban-zoned site within the city[/quote]

    For clarity of discussion, note that “urban-zoned site” has no legal meaning of which I’m aware. The Cannery parcel is zoned Industrial, and the developer is seeking a discretionary zoning change.

  46. jrberg

    [quote]
    At your BAC meeting did Delis-Schlosser advocate for the Covell Village bike paths including the grade-separated L St. undercrossing that would connect with the Covelll Village land? [/quote]

    I don’t remember – I think not, but I can’t find any minutes posted that would say one way or the other. Even if she did, why would that matter? Anyone can advocate for anything.

  47. Eileen Samitz

    SODA:
    No problem. Next time I can ask for that clarification to be posted.

    My recollection is that New Homes became the developer and homebuilder around last spring. The project is probably referred to as Con Agra’s because they are still the land owner and I believe George Phillips represents both Con Agra and New Homes.

  48. Ryan Kelly

    It is not clear to me if opponents are still pushing for a bike path going West over or under the railroad tracks, but if a crossing is possible, then a higher priority is a crossing for Olive Drive.

  49. B. Nice

    [quote]Early on in the planning process, the Cannery asked them for an easement to allow a bike path along the edge of the Cranbrook Court apartments, owned by one of the Covell Village developers, but he refused. Yet, the same Covell Village developers will grant easements on their Covell Village site, but demanding that Cannery pay $9 million dollars for infrastructure which would basically make the Covell Village site more “development ready” and increase its monetary value.[/quote]

    [quote]But, apparently influenced by Delis-Schlosser, the Bike Advisory Commission made a late request for yet a second multimillion dollar grade-separated crossing “to the east” of the Cannery. [/quote]

    I’m not following this logic, they granted easement on their Covell Village site so that Cannery would pay for infrastructure making the site “development ready”, which I assume would only occur if the Cannery site is actually developed. Then they encouraged the Bike Advisory Commission to make a “late request” without which the commission would fail to support, and thus jeopardize, the project.

    If Covell Village developers want the Cannery to build infrastructure on their site, why are they not allowing easement on the Cranbrook Court Apartments so that the Cannery project can get a green light from the Bike Advisory Commission. I feel like i’m missing something.

  50. jrberg

    [quote]If Covell Village developers want the Cannery to build infrastructure on their site, why are they not allowing easement on the Cranbrook Court Apartments so that the Cannery project can get a green light from the Bike Advisory Commission. I feel like i’m missing something. [/quote]

    Yes.

    And, incidentally, the planning commission agrees.

  51. David M. Greenwald

    Hey everyone:

    I’m largely taking this week off, other than early morning publishing.

    But I do want to address two points.

    One is from SODA, “I was surprised to see the same editorial op ed in the Enterprise when I just read it; somehow it seems disingenuous when we don’t know these articles are also published elsewhere.”

    The Enterprise and the Vanguard I think has reached a mutual understanding that articles that are community generated, can be submitted to both publications. In this case, Eileen appears to have submitted simultaneous for publication. That’s fine, but just as the Enterprise isn’t going to note that this was published in the Vanguard, I’m not going to note it was published elsewhere either.

    We have asked that submitters correspond and respond to comments and Eileen has done that.

  52. David M. Greenwald

    My second point is the term NIMBY.

    I think Frankly gets the definition half right, NIMBY does mean “No in my back yard” – but he forgets a key portion of the implication which is hypocrisy. The idea of a NIMBY is that something is okay somewhere else but not in their backyard. And people in this community, really aren’t NIMBY’s in that respect.

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