Mace 391: The Turning Point in Business Park Discussions

Proposed Location for Mace Innovation Park
Proposed Location for Mace Innovation Park

It has been nearly 10 months since the Vanguard wrote an analysis: “Should Davis Reconsider Conservation Easement on Mace 391?” On June 11, 2013, the Davis City Council voted 3-2 to oppose a proposal for halting the process of preserving that land in a conservation easement and instead to consider a business park at that location.

The process was undone by numerous transparency and process issues, and there was never a vote on the merits of the proposal put forward by David Morris. But David Morris would not take no for an answer and in September, just three months later, he put forward a revised proposal.

At the time the Vanguard wrote: “In June, there is no way around it, the discussion on a potential land swap involving a parcel of land east of Mace, Mace 391, and the Shriner’s Property was a debacle.  There are many reasons for that, which we have discussed previously and will not go into here.  The process problems destroyed any chance to have a real conversation on the merits of the proposal – and there are, as well, some legitimate concerns.

“Earlier this week, David Morris, who proposed this arrangement, repackaged the proposal and took the unique step of putting it out to the community and vetting the project proposal on the Vanguard where the public could ask questions, scrutinize the project, and criticize it if need be.

“By offering us transparency and an open process that was lacking in June, we can now evaluate the project on its merits.”

I was wrong. It took a lot of heavy lifting from the Chamber of Commerce and the tech community to get the council to even hear the item, but once they did, it was the conservation community and the Yolo Land Trust who convinced council – some believe incorrectly – that halting the conservation easement application process would prove detrimental to future efforts to preserve land as permanent agricultural easements.

Therefore, Mace 391 was never decided on its merits. However, ironically, the failure of Mace 391 opens the door now to consider two, three, perhaps four business parks proposals.

In October of 2010, the Davis City Council approved a massive 336-page Business Park Land Strategy. That plan for the first time laid out the potential of business parks in peripheral areas such as outside of the Mace Curve and in the Northwest Quadrant.

Writes staff, “Staff recommends that the Downtown and the Nishi Property be identified as the hub for these innovation businesses in Davis. The Downtown provides restaurants, other goods/services, and a range of office spaces in an environment that fosters intellectual exchange. Nishi property, with its proximity to the downtown and campus, provides unique opportunities for an incubator, university-related research facility, and [for]high-density urban housing.”

The staff report continues, “Staff recommends that the Mace Boulevard / I-80 area or the Northwest Quadrant be considered for additional development of this type of business park space. As the first step in exploring options for additional development, staff recommends a Task Force with representatives selected by the City Council, the Planning Commission, and the Business and Economic Development Commission. The Task Force would be charged with conducting research and community outreach, and returning to the City Council with recommendations for further action.”

A few months later, the council moved toward developing Cannery as a residential and mixed-use development, despite the fact that Cannery was the only parcel of land currently within the city, zoned and large enough for a sizable business park.

The problem with the alternatives – east of Mace or in the Northwest Quadrant – is that they would require a Measure R vote to develop.

While the council would slowly proceed with Cannery, there appeared no real movement toward business parks until the discussion on Mace 391 changed the entire game.

Another huge turning point occurred last summer when suddenly the city of Davis was faced with the loss of Bayer-AgraQuest, a native Davis company that announced it was moving to West Sacramento. Quietly, it became known that Schilling Robotics, Marrone Bio Innovations, and HM Klause might face similar fates if Davis could not find a way to develop space for these fast-growing companies. We now know the most immediate of these concerns is Schilling Robotics.

At the same time, it became increasingly apparent by late June, 2013, that the city’s finances were not only not improving, but the city was slipping back into a structural deficit, even bracketing the need for roads, parks, and other infrastructure. Rising employee compensation costs and increased general fund spending needs on infrastructure and water pushed the deficit into the range of $5 to $8 million – again even without considering full costs for roads, parks and other infrastructure.

The city of Davis was faced with a huge quandary. We have choices. We can run the city on a series of five-year incremental tax increases. We can cut services or employee compensation in lean years. But in most ways, those too will cause us to lose what is great about Davis.

The third option is more long term, but it involves creating new economic development. The city, following Target, has largely ruled out peripheral retail as a way to go.

In a joint interview last summer with Chief Innovation Officer Rob White and Chamber Executive Director Kemble Pope, Rob White said that we know right now that the city of Davis does not want a regional mall.  That is a revenue source that many communities have gone to, but that Davis has opted not to do.

Kemble Pope noted that Davis has done a good job of identifying what it does not want to do, the regional mall being just one good example, and he said, “That’s fine. Davis continues to be the master of its own fate.”  But within that framework, Davis does have to decide what it is going to say yes to.

That door was partly opened by the discussion surrounding Mace 391, partly opened by the re-launch of the Innovation Parks Task Force, but opened wide in April of this year when Rob White approached the city council with the idea of putting out what he called a Request for Expressions of Interest.

Rob White would write, “In response to the growing need for commercial and research, the City of Davis released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for a Davis Innovation Center on Wednesday (May 21st). This request for information is the culmination of several years of community discussion, evaluation and assessment to identify appropriate locations and attributes for meeting this need for space.”

He would explain, “The RFEI outlines in a more formal way the City Council and community views on the attributes that world-class research and development space would provide. It also makes clear that the Council is not just searching for peripheral innovation parks, but would also like to encourage reuse, revitalization and densification of the downtown and existing commercial centers. This whole-City approach is intended to encourage a robust set of solutions that creates diverse spaces in a range of sizes and attributes that will appeal to companies across the spectrum – from startup, to research, to rapid growth, to mature.”

He would add, “The RFEI is meant to bring the discussion of new commercial and research spaces to the same point as that of the current Downtown-University Gateway District (Nishi), where the City and its partners are working together to find solutions and define opportunities.”

But the process ultimately moved forward. By late May, Rob White reported on the Vanguard that, following the May 21, 2014, release of the RFEI, “I have had proponents for the East and West Innovation Park sites (detailed in the November 2012 Innovation Park Task Force reports) state that they are actively working on their submittals.”

And so what emerged last week was three applications – Mace 200, Northwest Quadrant and Davis Ranch.

The developers however, remain a bit gun shy. They fear that they will invest millions into a process, face a Measure R and go down to defeat.

Their first proposal was, for most in the community, a non-starter and so when Dan Ramos came forward on Tuesday night indicating that they had “listened carefully to the community response to our proposal to modify the Measure R voting process” and recognized that “Davis residents treasure Measure R and do not wish to entertain changing it,” they saved their own process from doom.

The council was naturally reluctant to move forward with the advisory vote, believing in the words of both Mayor Dan Wolk and Councilmember Lucas Frerichs that we had been backed into a corner.

On the other hand, Councilmember Rochelle Swanson lamented that we have talked our way, processed our way, and delayed our way into the prospect of losing a critical company. “I understand all of the different projects and we want parity and parity is important. But we don’t want to lose the forest through the trees,” she said. “We’re talking about a major employer… and if we lose, do we lose.”

“I just challenge everyone in this room… to really stop and think about the big picture here about what we’re looking at,” she said, reflecting back to Mace 391, and “here we are 13 months later with a business owner begging us to get our act back together. Now sounding like maybe, from a regulatory standpoint, we truly might be up against the wall.”

“This isn’t about picking a project,” she said. “This is about retaining a business. The number one rule in economic development is you retain the businesses you have, then you go to get more.”

On the other hand, Rochelle Swanson’s comment fails to appreciate just how far we have come. The idea of business parks on Mace and Northwest Quadrant four years ago was impossible, and Mace 391 even if it had proceeded to a discussion on the merits was doomed on a multitude of a ways.

It really needed to be now – the continued fiscal decline of the city, the loss of Bayer-Agraquest, the impending loss of Schilling Robotics, the discussion that emerged around Mace 391, and the innovative RFEI process have now put us in a position where all of this is in the realm of the possible.

Make no mistake, we have a long way to go, but we have covered so much ground in just over a year that we had to look back and see what we’ve been able to move forward.

All of that said, all of this hinges now on the ability of the developers to bring forward a good enough project that the voters will overcome their reluctance and apprehensions about peripheral development and support it. Stay tuned.

—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. TrueBlueDevil

    Does the Vanguard ever feature their own reader’s poll? It’s a feature that is easily implemented by some websites (hosts). I would find this interesting and might make the discussions a little more concrete.

    Here are some off-the-cuff examples:

    Which option below would you prefer to fund needed city services?

    Option A: $400 per year tax to fund complete rebuild of all city roads and sidewalks; rebuild 6-7 public parks; add a new 50M Community Pool and Family Recreation Swim Center (slides, cabana, tots area, etc.); rebuild Civic Pool; and ABC and XYZ. This would have the added benefit that only 2 business / innovation parks would be currently required.

    Option B: A $200 per year tax to fund the rebuilding of all critically in-need roads and sidewalks; rebuild 3 public parks; and add one 50M Pool and Family Recreation Swim Center (slides, cabanas, tots area, etc.); and XYZ. This would require a minimum of 3 new innovation parks.

    Option C: A $100 per year tax to fund a first substantial phase of road repairs to take the Davis roads out of the critical need area; no parks or pools; no frills. This would require all 4 innovation parks to be built.

    A more knowledgeable Davis Vanguard contributor should be able to update this framework, add more meat to it, and maybe even add a 4th or 5th option.

  2. TrueBlueDevil

    Does the Vanguard ever feature their own reader’s poll? It’s a feature that is easily implemented by some websites (hosts). I would find this interesting and might make the discussions a little more concrete.

    Here are some off-the-cuff examples:

    Which option below would you prefer to fund needed city services?

    Option A: $400 per year tax to fund complete rebuild of all city roads and sidewalks; rebuild 6-7 public parks; add a new 50M Community Pool and Family Recreation Swim Center (slides, cabana, tots area, etc.); rebuild Civic Pool; and ABC and XYZ. This would have the added benefit that only 2 business / innovation parks would be currently required.

    Option B: A $200 per year tax to fund the rebuilding of all critically in-need roads and sidewalks; rebuild 3 public parks; and add one 50M Pool and Family Recreation Swim Center (slides, cabanas, tots area, etc.); and XYZ. This would require a minimum of 3 new innovation parks.

    Option C: A $100 per year tax to fund a first substantial phase of road repairs to take the Davis roads out of the critical need area; no parks or pools; no frills. This would require all 4 innovation parks to be built.

    A more knowledgeable Davis Vanguard contributor should be able to update this framework, add more meat to it, and maybe even add a 4th or 5th option.

  3. Frankly

    Here is what I read:

    “I, like a few other activists in town, fought to prevent the city from considering Mace 391 for a business park and pushed them to put it into permanent ag easement, and now looking back in consideration of the giant fiscal hole and the lost opportunity to fill it with $50-$90 million dollars in revenue from turning Mace 391 into a business park, to prevent me from having to admit that I was wrong, will make up a new story that putting Mace 391 into a permanent ag easement and costing the city $50-90 million opened the door for other business parks to be developed.”

    And anyone not able to see through this pseudo logic are either ignorant of the facts, or they are land preservation extremists and they don’t care.

    The fact is that Mace 391 would have been 400 acres of business park and we would not have needed these other proposals at this point in time. It would have been 400 acres of contiguous space. That might have been enough to cause UCD to look to Davis as the World Food Center campus location instead of going to Sacramento.

    Based on simple math, Davis will need 1000-1500 acres of additional business development over the next 20 years if it wants to prevent a fiscal emergency or wants to significantly cut amenities and services to prevent it.

    Allowing Mace 391 to go to a permanent ag easement was a giant mistake.

    One more thing… it appears that the NRCS FRP transaction might have been illegal given that a government entity owned the land. That is a clear violation of federal regulations. That is being looked into.

    1. Jim Frame

      Based on simple math, Davis will need 1000-1500 acres of additional business development over the next 20 years if it wants to prevent a fiscal emergency

      You’ve made this contention many times. Will you reiterate the simple math behind it so we can evaluate it’s credibility?

      Thanks!

      1. Frankly

        Sure.

        Long-term Davis needs another $50 million per year to support the services, amenities and city pension and health care obligations.

        A 200 acre business park will return about $6 million per year in revenue to the city.

        Figure $10 million from tax increases and further surgical cuts.

        So how many acres need to be developed to bring in another $40 million per year?

        That is 6.7 200 acre parks.

        Or 1340 acres.

        Hence the 1000 – 1500 acre range.

          1. Frankly

            If you analyze the budgets of cities to compare total operating budgets:

            – Chico = $82 million / $105 million total budget
            – Santa Cruz – $78 million / $193 million total budget
            – Palo Alto = $145 million / $206 million total budget
            – Davis = $42 million / $84 million total budget

            Figure with our expectations for service and amenities we need to be somewhere in the middle of Santa Cruz and Palo Alto.

          2. Frankly

            It will take 5-10 years to build and populate a business park. Assume 10 years. 200 acres brings in $12 million in 10 years… consider that the ramp-up period for sales and property tax, plus all the fees generated with new construction. Then after the park is built out, we get about $6 million per year.

            My point is that in 20 years Davis will need to have another $50 million per year in operating revenue stream. Part of that is related to the services required to support a larger economy, but most if it is to address the structure deficit we are dealing with today… but can put off with some tax increases and cuts.

            When you add up all the unfunded liabilities and unfunded maintenance costs, the trends lines are such that we are heading toward a fiscal calamity. Even with tax increases, in 10 years we will be toast unless we have at least 400-600 acres developed and populated.

            Mace 391 would have delivered a 10-year $50-90 million shot in the arm and then $22 million per year after that. Given the present value of that $50-90 million, it would have prevented the need to develop as much peripheral land as it now requires to generate the needed revenue stream.

            So, look at it this way… the land preservation extremists demanded Mace 391 and now we have to develop more of their precious open space.

        1. Jim Frame

          Long-term Davis needs another $50 million per year to support the services, amenities and city pension and health care obligations.

          This is the figure for which I’d like to see some supporting data. What does that $50M comprise? Has it been discounted to reflect revenue inflation and the decrease in pensions and OPEBs from those granted under prior contracts? We need more info in order to reality-check the number.

          1. Frankly

            Well get to work if you want to factually dispute it. I did the work to come up with this assessment, and I doubt there is much wiggle room even after pulling a rabbit from a hat.

            I will certainly admit that we can reduce the amount of additional revenue needed through more cuts. I just expect them to be de minimis… especially if we vote to tax ourselves more… that eliminates the pressure for city leadership to take a harder position in labor contract negotiations.

          2. Jim Frame

            Well get to work if you want to factually dispute it. I did the work to come up with this assessment, and I doubt there is much wiggle room even after pulling a rabbit from a hat.

            Unsupported by any data we might scrutinize, your claims ring terribly hollow. We know from a long history of posts that you favor development of surrounding ag lands at a rate vastly exceeding that of the majority, so absent the numbers and assumpitons that went into your $50M and 1,000-acre figures, common sense requires that we heavily discount their credibility.

            Chicken Little – data = “Ignore the crazy guy.” Chicken Little + spreadsheet = “Hey, this guy may be on to something.” Your choice.

          3. Frankly

            Common ploy by the lazy critic… deny the work of others demanding more data.

            Rob White has already confirmed the 200 acre $12 million figure. And the $6 million per year is derived from other studies and estimations.

            You must have been asleep and not reading other posts made that outlined the basis for the rest of the figures. Go back and read a VG article on the Giant Mistake of Mace 391. There are studies out there for research on the economic benefits of research parks through out the country.

            In terms of the financial need, you have to go back and look at all the budget figures outlined, and the projections for shortfalls. I have participated in a few city discussions where the full picture was disclosed, and also have had more information presented participating in a group that had been working on a single-page presentation to the voters. The city surprised us when it published a similar – and pretty well-done – version of this in advance of the Measure O vote. And don’t forget those unfunded pension benefits… not even including the high probability that PERS is far over-estimating returns and will require greater employer contributions.

            Lastly, we only have to look at other communities to see what it is costing them to keep their city financially well off. You can keep stomping your feet in demand that Davis does not compare, and that we are somehow exceptional enough to do it on the cheap, but then that does not jibe at all with reality as I actually go meet with and talk to the people in these other communities… and they frankly demonstrate a much higher level of management and fiscal sophistication than do the traditional “smart” leaders of this community.

          4. Jim Frame

            Common ploy by the lazy critic… deny the work of others demanding more data.

            Common ploy of the hyperbolic analyst: make sky-is-falling claims but when pressed for details say, “I’m not going to share my information, you’ll just have to trust me.” Uh, no thanks.

          5. Frankly

            Common ploy of the hyperbolic analyst: make sky-is-falling claims but when pressed for details say, “I’m not going to share my information, you’ll just have to trust me.” Uh, no thanks.

            What details? You want me to collate all that has already been published so you don’t have to go back and read it? It get’s exhausting having to bring you johnny come latelys up to speed.

            Start by reading these and then I can help you catch up from there:

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/another-giant-council-mistake/

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/reality-hammers-home-with-a-25-million-dollar-price-tag-for-road-maintenance/

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/vanguard-analysis-city-budget-and-pension-crisis-and-how-new-budget-fixes-it/

            Note that the CC voted to have staff come up with the total infrastructure maintenance cost need.

          6. Jim Frame

            I’m familiar with all of them, so please, start catching me up. Where’d the $50M figure come from?

          7. Jim Frame

            Seriously, I’m not suggesting that $50M is low, or high, or right on. The fact is that there are are many moving parts to city budget projections, and putting out a 20-year deficit number like $50M without any substantiating data isn’t going to convince anyone of anything. *Somebody* must have a spreadsheet that incorporates all the assumptions and variables for multiple scenarios of the big-ticket costs (e.g., staff compensation, retiree benefits, road maintenance, water, sewer, drainage) and revenues running out 20 or 30 years. The city is going to have to produce credible budget projections if it expects to get any business parks built or parcel taxes passed. That’s the information I want to see.

          8. Frankly

            The city is going to have to produce credible budget projections if it expects to get any business parks built or parcel taxes passed. That’s the information I want to see.

            I agree. Me too.

            A few points.

            The city budget is a complicated mess. The accounting system is ancient and feature-less. Getting management reporting out of it is impossible. Nobody seems to know the entire detailed picture… especially the full extent of our deferred infrastructure maintenance costs.

            However, the CC just voted to get staff on the job to come up with a comprehensive budget gap analysis report. And this is still going to be an estimate with assumptions because there are moving pieces. For example, we have to assume some PERS return and we have to assume some consistency in federal and state dollars. These are largely uncontrollable factors that will demand conservatism.

            But I have spent some time looking at numbers and talking to various smart people with some understanding of the pieces. I also have a lot of experience managing multimillion dollar budgets and so I have developed some ability to estimate a big picture after looking at the key factors. And I will be very surprised if we hear anything materially different from what I have written.

    2. Davis Progressive

      i join with jim in calling for the assumptions and calculations involved in that simple math.

      here’s what i see:
      mace 200
      nwq
      nishi
      hotel conference center
      downtown infill
      corporation yards
      potential pg&E
      redevelopment at interland
      build out of other potential sites
      rail relocation

      1. Frankly

        Mace 391 did not preclude us looking at any and all of these. The only net difference is the Davis Ranch opportunity… and it is telling that you left that off your list.

        1. Davis Progressive

          my point was in reference to your 1000 acres, not 391. i left davis ranch off the list because i’m skeptical it will come forward as a realistic option.

          1. Frankly

            Oh, got it. That is a reasonable point if you assume that it is easier to approve and build all these smaller parcels owned by others. I fully expect a fire storm with each because we don’t own it, and don’t control it.

          2. Davis Progressive

            we’ll see. most of those don’t require measure j votes. but three key ones will. rail relocation will be a dog fight. pg&e will happen, but not in the short term. interland less likely.

    3. Don Shor

      putting Mace 391 into a permanent ag easement … opened the door for other business parks to be developed.

      That is exactly correct. It is not pseudo logic. Nothing about business parks got agendized before the city council until Mace 391 was off the table. No RFP’s went out until Mace 391 was off the table. No other development group was going to come forward until Mace 391 was off the table. Mace 391 wasted staff time and council time and cost the city a year’s worth of possible movement on other parks.

      1. Frankly

        “No other development group was going to come forward until Mace 391 was off the table.”

        Well this sure shoots a hole in your leapfrog development argument.

        Can you please pick a position and stick with it instead of flopping all over the place like a carp out of water?

        1. Don Shor

          Another of your favorite canards. I am consistent, Frankly. And when I’m consistent, you criticize me for that. Mace 200 wasn’t going to go forward until Mace 391 was off the table. NWQ wasn’t going to go forward until Mace 391 was off the table.
          You know all that. You’re just throwing off insults again without rhyme or reason.

          1. Don Shor

            For those who are, unlike you, actually interested in urban planning: the only instance of “leapfrog development” that has been under discussion is the Davis Ranch concept of annexing land that is not contiguous with the current city limit. Mace 391 would not have been leapfrog development, it would have caused development pressure on the adjoining parcels. Frankly has stated that he believes Mace 391 and Mace 200 and all the other parcels should be developed. He also supports every other development proposal that has ever been uttered even in passing on the Vanguard, so far as I can recall. If there is a single instance of a development project anywhere that Frankly has not supported, I’d be interested to know what it was.
            And yet, he uses the term extremist to refer to those who favor developing some sites but not others.

          2. Frankly

            I support every project proposed recently, but not every residential project, because Davis is so far down the rabbit hole of commercial development. We have severely under developed. We have been selfish… building a farmland moat and failing to do our part for ourselves and for the region.

            Now we have to correct those mistakes and give up those pursuits for a while so we can get back to normal and fiscal sustainability.

            And the sky will not fall, and we will not run out of farmland and open space, and Davis will still be wonderful, and our home values will still be high.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i also don’t agree that no development was going to come forward until mace 391 was off the table, for one thing it was almost never on the table.

          1. Frankly

            Don has written his own play for this, and is acting out all the parts himself.

            We could have just held on to Mace 391 as leverage for the other land-owners to comply with our requirements or else. We still would have owned it and could have leased it to a farmer or two. We did not need to sell if for a $500,000 loss and $50-90 million in lost opportunity cost.

            But regardless, there is absolutely nothing factual about his continued claim that nothing else would have moved forward until Mace 391 was given over to the farmland moat open space extremists. The city could have issues a request for interest at any time.

          2. Don Shor

            My analysis has been confirmed to me by others. I’m sure you would discredit them, but they include officeholders, people more politically active than I am, and local developers.
            The city ‘could’ have issued a RFI at any time. But it didn’t. Ask Rob White why. I’d be curious what he says.

  4. Frankly

    Here is what I read:

    “I, like a few other activists in town, fought to prevent the city from considering Mace 391 for a business park and pushed them to put it into permanent ag easement, and now looking back in consideration of the giant fiscal hole and the lost opportunity to fill it with $50-$90 million dollars in revenue from turning Mace 391 into a business park, to prevent me from having to admit that I was wrong, will make up a new story that putting Mace 391 into a permanent ag easement and costing the city $50-90 million opened the door for other business parks to be developed.”

    And anyone not able to see through this pseudo logic are either ignorant of the facts, or they are land preservation extremists and they don’t care.

    The fact is that Mace 391 would have been 400 acres of business park and we would not have needed these other proposals at this point in time. It would have been 400 acres of contiguous space. That might have been enough to cause UCD to look to Davis as the World Food Center campus location instead of going to Sacramento.

    Based on simple math, Davis will need 1000-1500 acres of additional business development over the next 20 years if it wants to prevent a fiscal emergency or wants to significantly cut amenities and services to prevent it.

    Allowing Mace 391 to go to a permanent ag easement was a giant mistake.

    One more thing… it appears that the NRCS FRP transaction might have been illegal given that a government entity owned the land. That is a clear violation of federal regulations. That is being looked into.

    1. Jim Frame

      Based on simple math, Davis will need 1000-1500 acres of additional business development over the next 20 years if it wants to prevent a fiscal emergency

      You’ve made this contention many times. Will you reiterate the simple math behind it so we can evaluate it’s credibility?

      Thanks!

      1. Frankly

        Sure.

        Long-term Davis needs another $50 million per year to support the services, amenities and city pension and health care obligations.

        A 200 acre business park will return about $6 million per year in revenue to the city.

        Figure $10 million from tax increases and further surgical cuts.

        So how many acres need to be developed to bring in another $40 million per year?

        That is 6.7 200 acre parks.

        Or 1340 acres.

        Hence the 1000 – 1500 acre range.

          1. Frankly

            If you analyze the budgets of cities to compare total operating budgets:

            – Chico = $82 million / $105 million total budget
            – Santa Cruz – $78 million / $193 million total budget
            – Palo Alto = $145 million / $206 million total budget
            – Davis = $42 million / $84 million total budget

            Figure with our expectations for service and amenities we need to be somewhere in the middle of Santa Cruz and Palo Alto.

          2. Frankly

            It will take 5-10 years to build and populate a business park. Assume 10 years. 200 acres brings in $12 million in 10 years… consider that the ramp-up period for sales and property tax, plus all the fees generated with new construction. Then after the park is built out, we get about $6 million per year.

            My point is that in 20 years Davis will need to have another $50 million per year in operating revenue stream. Part of that is related to the services required to support a larger economy, but most if it is to address the structure deficit we are dealing with today… but can put off with some tax increases and cuts.

            When you add up all the unfunded liabilities and unfunded maintenance costs, the trends lines are such that we are heading toward a fiscal calamity. Even with tax increases, in 10 years we will be toast unless we have at least 400-600 acres developed and populated.

            Mace 391 would have delivered a 10-year $50-90 million shot in the arm and then $22 million per year after that. Given the present value of that $50-90 million, it would have prevented the need to develop as much peripheral land as it now requires to generate the needed revenue stream.

            So, look at it this way… the land preservation extremists demanded Mace 391 and now we have to develop more of their precious open space.

        1. Jim Frame

          Long-term Davis needs another $50 million per year to support the services, amenities and city pension and health care obligations.

          This is the figure for which I’d like to see some supporting data. What does that $50M comprise? Has it been discounted to reflect revenue inflation and the decrease in pensions and OPEBs from those granted under prior contracts? We need more info in order to reality-check the number.

          1. Frankly

            Well get to work if you want to factually dispute it. I did the work to come up with this assessment, and I doubt there is much wiggle room even after pulling a rabbit from a hat.

            I will certainly admit that we can reduce the amount of additional revenue needed through more cuts. I just expect them to be de minimis… especially if we vote to tax ourselves more… that eliminates the pressure for city leadership to take a harder position in labor contract negotiations.

          2. Jim Frame

            Well get to work if you want to factually dispute it. I did the work to come up with this assessment, and I doubt there is much wiggle room even after pulling a rabbit from a hat.

            Unsupported by any data we might scrutinize, your claims ring terribly hollow. We know from a long history of posts that you favor development of surrounding ag lands at a rate vastly exceeding that of the majority, so absent the numbers and assumpitons that went into your $50M and 1,000-acre figures, common sense requires that we heavily discount their credibility.

            Chicken Little – data = “Ignore the crazy guy.” Chicken Little + spreadsheet = “Hey, this guy may be on to something.” Your choice.

          3. Frankly

            Common ploy by the lazy critic… deny the work of others demanding more data.

            Rob White has already confirmed the 200 acre $12 million figure. And the $6 million per year is derived from other studies and estimations.

            You must have been asleep and not reading other posts made that outlined the basis for the rest of the figures. Go back and read a VG article on the Giant Mistake of Mace 391. There are studies out there for research on the economic benefits of research parks through out the country.

            In terms of the financial need, you have to go back and look at all the budget figures outlined, and the projections for shortfalls. I have participated in a few city discussions where the full picture was disclosed, and also have had more information presented participating in a group that had been working on a single-page presentation to the voters. The city surprised us when it published a similar – and pretty well-done – version of this in advance of the Measure O vote. And don’t forget those unfunded pension benefits… not even including the high probability that PERS is far over-estimating returns and will require greater employer contributions.

            Lastly, we only have to look at other communities to see what it is costing them to keep their city financially well off. You can keep stomping your feet in demand that Davis does not compare, and that we are somehow exceptional enough to do it on the cheap, but then that does not jibe at all with reality as I actually go meet with and talk to the people in these other communities… and they frankly demonstrate a much higher level of management and fiscal sophistication than do the traditional “smart” leaders of this community.

          4. Jim Frame

            Common ploy by the lazy critic… deny the work of others demanding more data.

            Common ploy of the hyperbolic analyst: make sky-is-falling claims but when pressed for details say, “I’m not going to share my information, you’ll just have to trust me.” Uh, no thanks.

          5. Frankly

            Common ploy of the hyperbolic analyst: make sky-is-falling claims but when pressed for details say, “I’m not going to share my information, you’ll just have to trust me.” Uh, no thanks.

            What details? You want me to collate all that has already been published so you don’t have to go back and read it? It get’s exhausting having to bring you johnny come latelys up to speed.

            Start by reading these and then I can help you catch up from there:

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/another-giant-council-mistake/

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/reality-hammers-home-with-a-25-million-dollar-price-tag-for-road-maintenance/

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/vanguard-analysis-city-budget-and-pension-crisis-and-how-new-budget-fixes-it/

            Note that the CC voted to have staff come up with the total infrastructure maintenance cost need.

          6. Jim Frame

            I’m familiar with all of them, so please, start catching me up. Where’d the $50M figure come from?

          7. Jim Frame

            Seriously, I’m not suggesting that $50M is low, or high, or right on. The fact is that there are are many moving parts to city budget projections, and putting out a 20-year deficit number like $50M without any substantiating data isn’t going to convince anyone of anything. *Somebody* must have a spreadsheet that incorporates all the assumptions and variables for multiple scenarios of the big-ticket costs (e.g., staff compensation, retiree benefits, road maintenance, water, sewer, drainage) and revenues running out 20 or 30 years. The city is going to have to produce credible budget projections if it expects to get any business parks built or parcel taxes passed. That’s the information I want to see.

          8. Frankly

            The city is going to have to produce credible budget projections if it expects to get any business parks built or parcel taxes passed. That’s the information I want to see.

            I agree. Me too.

            A few points.

            The city budget is a complicated mess. The accounting system is ancient and feature-less. Getting management reporting out of it is impossible. Nobody seems to know the entire detailed picture… especially the full extent of our deferred infrastructure maintenance costs.

            However, the CC just voted to get staff on the job to come up with a comprehensive budget gap analysis report. And this is still going to be an estimate with assumptions because there are moving pieces. For example, we have to assume some PERS return and we have to assume some consistency in federal and state dollars. These are largely uncontrollable factors that will demand conservatism.

            But I have spent some time looking at numbers and talking to various smart people with some understanding of the pieces. I also have a lot of experience managing multimillion dollar budgets and so I have developed some ability to estimate a big picture after looking at the key factors. And I will be very surprised if we hear anything materially different from what I have written.

    2. Davis Progressive

      i join with jim in calling for the assumptions and calculations involved in that simple math.

      here’s what i see:
      mace 200
      nwq
      nishi
      hotel conference center
      downtown infill
      corporation yards
      potential pg&E
      redevelopment at interland
      build out of other potential sites
      rail relocation

      1. Frankly

        Mace 391 did not preclude us looking at any and all of these. The only net difference is the Davis Ranch opportunity… and it is telling that you left that off your list.

        1. Davis Progressive

          my point was in reference to your 1000 acres, not 391. i left davis ranch off the list because i’m skeptical it will come forward as a realistic option.

          1. Frankly

            Oh, got it. That is a reasonable point if you assume that it is easier to approve and build all these smaller parcels owned by others. I fully expect a fire storm with each because we don’t own it, and don’t control it.

          2. Davis Progressive

            we’ll see. most of those don’t require measure j votes. but three key ones will. rail relocation will be a dog fight. pg&e will happen, but not in the short term. interland less likely.

    3. Don Shor

      putting Mace 391 into a permanent ag easement … opened the door for other business parks to be developed.

      That is exactly correct. It is not pseudo logic. Nothing about business parks got agendized before the city council until Mace 391 was off the table. No RFP’s went out until Mace 391 was off the table. No other development group was going to come forward until Mace 391 was off the table. Mace 391 wasted staff time and council time and cost the city a year’s worth of possible movement on other parks.

      1. Frankly

        “No other development group was going to come forward until Mace 391 was off the table.”

        Well this sure shoots a hole in your leapfrog development argument.

        Can you please pick a position and stick with it instead of flopping all over the place like a carp out of water?

        1. Don Shor

          Another of your favorite canards. I am consistent, Frankly. And when I’m consistent, you criticize me for that. Mace 200 wasn’t going to go forward until Mace 391 was off the table. NWQ wasn’t going to go forward until Mace 391 was off the table.
          You know all that. You’re just throwing off insults again without rhyme or reason.

          1. Don Shor

            For those who are, unlike you, actually interested in urban planning: the only instance of “leapfrog development” that has been under discussion is the Davis Ranch concept of annexing land that is not contiguous with the current city limit. Mace 391 would not have been leapfrog development, it would have caused development pressure on the adjoining parcels. Frankly has stated that he believes Mace 391 and Mace 200 and all the other parcels should be developed. He also supports every other development proposal that has ever been uttered even in passing on the Vanguard, so far as I can recall. If there is a single instance of a development project anywhere that Frankly has not supported, I’d be interested to know what it was.
            And yet, he uses the term extremist to refer to those who favor developing some sites but not others.

          2. Frankly

            I support every project proposed recently, but not every residential project, because Davis is so far down the rabbit hole of commercial development. We have severely under developed. We have been selfish… building a farmland moat and failing to do our part for ourselves and for the region.

            Now we have to correct those mistakes and give up those pursuits for a while so we can get back to normal and fiscal sustainability.

            And the sky will not fall, and we will not run out of farmland and open space, and Davis will still be wonderful, and our home values will still be high.

        1. Davis Progressive

          i also don’t agree that no development was going to come forward until mace 391 was off the table, for one thing it was almost never on the table.

          1. Frankly

            Don has written his own play for this, and is acting out all the parts himself.

            We could have just held on to Mace 391 as leverage for the other land-owners to comply with our requirements or else. We still would have owned it and could have leased it to a farmer or two. We did not need to sell if for a $500,000 loss and $50-90 million in lost opportunity cost.

            But regardless, there is absolutely nothing factual about his continued claim that nothing else would have moved forward until Mace 391 was given over to the farmland moat open space extremists. The city could have issues a request for interest at any time.

          2. Don Shor

            My analysis has been confirmed to me by others. I’m sure you would discredit them, but they include officeholders, people more politically active than I am, and local developers.
            The city ‘could’ have issued a RFI at any time. But it didn’t. Ask Rob White why. I’d be curious what he says.

  5. TrueBlueDevil

    Frankly, in one post you say that the 400 acres of the Mace development would go a long way to getting us back on track, yet elsewhere you say we need 1,000-1,500 acres of business parks. Did I miss something?

    I had an interesting thought, which is merely an intellectual discussion. But I read that the average Costco does $100M per year in sales. Could it be that one Coscto would have solved a significant portion of Davis’ revenue problems, and thus saved the need for multiple business parks? Sorry, I mean cool-green-trendy innovation centers?

    Question: do retail sales have the same impact (revenues) as an “innovation center”?

    Frankly, good job with presenting us with some actual numbers instead of just wheel spinning to get us to another “this isn’t perfect” scenario.

  6. TrueBlueDevil

    Frankly, in one post you say that the 400 acres of the Mace development would go a long way to getting us back on track, yet elsewhere you say we need 1,000-1,500 acres of business parks. Did I miss something?

    I had an interesting thought, which is merely an intellectual discussion. But I read that the average Costco does $100M per year in sales. Could it be that one Coscto would have solved a significant portion of Davis’ revenue problems, and thus saved the need for multiple business parks? Sorry, I mean cool-green-trendy innovation centers?

    Question: do retail sales have the same impact (revenues) as an “innovation center”?

    Frankly, good job with presenting us with some actual numbers instead of just wheel spinning to get us to another “this isn’t perfect” scenario.

  7. Tia Will

    Another couple of questions about Costco and the likely generation of revenue.
    Does Costco build as many stores in close proximity to one another as does Target which I believe did not bring in the amount of revenue originally projected ?
    In Costco’s model, what is the surrounding population that generates this $100 M ?

    1. Frankly

      I think the Woodland Costco would be considered too close to support having one in Davis, but I might be wrong about that.

      My favorite Northern California city other than Davis is Danville. I would live there if I didn’t work in Davis and I thought I could afford the higher cost of property there. Besides it being the most Republican Bay Area city, it is also has the kind of vibe, climate, environment and geography that I like.

      Danville people are almost as fussy as Davis people when it comes to development. They like their town small and they like their property values high.

      The different is that the average Danville resident works in the private sector and understands that money to fund government does not really grow on trees, and that economic activity is a necessity to maintain a vibrant town with a sustainable budget.

      Danville has a 100,000 sq ft Costco within a couple of miles from the old town area. It also has a Target close by. Besides the fact that the Danville downtown did not crash and burn meeting the predictions of the Davis NIMBY gloom and doom… the reports back where that the development of this peripheral shopping actually helped to keep more Danville residents’ total shopping dollars in town.

      The average Costo is 143,000 sq ft. They go as small as 73,000.

      I would put one in east Davis on the Mace property. In fact, I think that 25 acres the city owns would be a perfect spot for it.

      Now try to get that passed by the Davis NIMBYs and Don Shor.

        1. Frankly

          Except for the students. I can never leave Costco without spending well over $100. It is the bulk buying problem.

          But other than that, I agree. Costco is a remedy for Internet shopping taking sales tax revenue. Especially for electronics.

          1. Davis Progressive

            that’s a good point, although the main student need is for clothing rather than bulk foods. however, my kids have membership cards and will pick up certain bulk foods on their own.

      1. Frankly

        By the way. Danville is 42,000 people and 18 square miles of area for a population density of about 2300 per square mile.

        Davis is 66,000 people and 10 square miles of area. for a population density of 6600 per square mile.

        Berkeley is 113,000 people and 18 square miles of area for a population density of 6390 people per square mile.

        That is right folks, we in Davis… surrounded by open land on three sides, and in a county that is filled with open space and likely to never be developed north or south to anything close to Bay Area or LA sprawl… are more population dense than Berkeley.

        Sometimes it is clear that we are just freaks of normal. Maybe it is the well water and once we start drinking the river water our heads will clear.

          1. Frankly

            People live in the boats, so yes.

            But if you only want to count only the land we get to about a 10,000 people per square mile population density for Berkeley. And then Davis is much closer to that than it is for a community like Danville.

            So, what is wrong with us?

          2. Don Shor

            “What is wrong with us?” Why is high density a problem when you have a university? It is typical. There are lots of students living in high-density dorms and apartments. In fact, we need more of that. A lot more of it. Based on our housing needs in the young-adult demographic, Davis should be even higher-density.
            Danville, of course, has none of that. It is a very high-priced community with a lot of very wealthy people. I’m not aware of any college there.
            We have a lot of college students in a small-footprint city. I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with this or think it’s a bad thing somehow.
            I remember very well the growth battles Danville went through in the 1980’s, and especially the incorporation battle. Since 1980 Danville has grown by 59% while Davis has grown by 79%.

          3. Frankly

            Come on Don. Go research every comparable college town in the country and come back and tell me which has a population density close to Davis.

            The point about Danville is that is has a much higher sale and business property tax revenue per capita. The point is about commercial development. The point is also land use.

            You cannot escape this land preservation extremism that you are deeply embedded in. Danville is strongly no-growth, yet they are about 1/3 the population density of Davis. Palo Alto is about 1/5 the population density. Santa Cruz is about 40% the population density of Davis.

            Should I go on?

            What is wrong with us?

          4. Don Shor

            So what, Frankly? Why does the density matter to you? Why is it bad to have students living in dorms and apartments? Is that somehow unusual? Does the “density” of Davis bother you? Do you find it congested with traffic? Does it seem like Berkeley or Santa Cruz here?
            Why is this a problem?

          5. Don Shor

            land preservation extremism that you are deeply embedded in.

            Since I support development of certain peripheral business and housing sites that are before us, I obviously am not a “land preservation extremist.”

          6. Frankly

            It is a problem when folks like you block peripheral development and use false inflammatory terms like sprawl and rampant development and cry false alarms of vanishing open space.

            Density is generally a consequence of not having peripheral land to develop on, not a fake limitation brought on by land preservation extremism.

            By the way Don, how many acres do you live on?

          7. Don Shor

            But clearly I am not blocking peripheral development, Frankly. And so I am obviously not a land preservation extremist.
            Why is density a problem, Frankly? What is it about having high-density student housing that bothers you?

          8. Frankly

            High density student housing is not a problem.

            Building a farmland moat. Blocking peripheral development for reasons of concerns about vanishing open space, vanishing farmland, and sprawl… all arguments you have made for demanding we put Mace 391 into permanent ag easement, absolute blocks on peripheral retail, the lack of adequate business tax revenue because we have not allowed peripheral development… these things are the problem.

            Business requires land. Economic development does not happen unless land is opened up for development.

            Don, how many acres do you live on?

            I think many of the people that block peripheral development and keep up this liberal new world order canard that people should live in small and dense communities… live large properties or own multiple properties. So Don, if you live on acres because you value some land, then why not develop so more people can do the same? Or is it you telling the rest of us how to live… more do as I say not as I do?

          9. Don Shor

            Building a farmland moat. Blocking peripheral development for reasons of concerns about vanishing open space, vanishing farmland, and sprawl… all arguments you have made for demanding we put Mace 391 into permanent ag easement, absolute blocks on peripheral retail, the lack of adequate business tax revenue because we have not allowed peripheral development… these things are the problem.

            I support building on some peripheral sites. I opposed building on Mace 391.

          10. TrueBlueDevil

            I’m all for mid-rise student housing, which is what we have.

            I’d also be for limiting first-year students to having a restriction on having a car, or a complete ban, as long as they had a spot in the dorms. Some of the new student housing was actually a reduction in density.

            Do Woodland & Dixon have our revenue problems?

          11. Frankly

            TBD, I think first years are already restricted from having a car. Somebody correct me if I am wrong.

            From Dixon FY2013-14 budget:

            “The General Fund has revenues exceeding anticipated expenditures for the 2013-14 budget year.”

            But they show a similar move to the red in 2018 as a result of city worker retiree benefits. No doubt Dixon would take a new business park of two if they could get it.

            From the Woodland budget:

            The budget reflects an approved balancing plan that includes a total of $522,000 in General Fund expenditure reductions in fiscal year 2013/14, avoids use of one-time cost saving measures, and maintains adequate reserves required by the City Council’s adopted reserve policy.

            Not sure about the trend for Woodland. It appears they have a balanced budget.

  8. Tia Will

    Another couple of questions about Costco and the likely generation of revenue.
    Does Costco build as many stores in close proximity to one another as does Target which I believe did not bring in the amount of revenue originally projected ?
    In Costco’s model, what is the surrounding population that generates this $100 M ?

    1. Frankly

      I think the Woodland Costco would be considered too close to support having one in Davis, but I might be wrong about that.

      My favorite Northern California city other than Davis is Danville. I would live there if I didn’t work in Davis and I thought I could afford the higher cost of property there. Besides it being the most Republican Bay Area city, it is also has the kind of vibe, climate, environment and geography that I like.

      Danville people are almost as fussy as Davis people when it comes to development. They like their town small and they like their property values high.

      The different is that the average Danville resident works in the private sector and understands that money to fund government does not really grow on trees, and that economic activity is a necessity to maintain a vibrant town with a sustainable budget.

      Danville has a 100,000 sq ft Costco within a couple of miles from the old town area. It also has a Target close by. Besides the fact that the Danville downtown did not crash and burn meeting the predictions of the Davis NIMBY gloom and doom… the reports back where that the development of this peripheral shopping actually helped to keep more Danville residents’ total shopping dollars in town.

      The average Costo is 143,000 sq ft. They go as small as 73,000.

      I would put one in east Davis on the Mace property. In fact, I think that 25 acres the city owns would be a perfect spot for it.

      Now try to get that passed by the Davis NIMBYs and Don Shor.

        1. Frankly

          Except for the students. I can never leave Costco without spending well over $100. It is the bulk buying problem.

          But other than that, I agree. Costco is a remedy for Internet shopping taking sales tax revenue. Especially for electronics.

          1. Davis Progressive

            that’s a good point, although the main student need is for clothing rather than bulk foods. however, my kids have membership cards and will pick up certain bulk foods on their own.

      1. Frankly

        By the way. Danville is 42,000 people and 18 square miles of area for a population density of about 2300 per square mile.

        Davis is 66,000 people and 10 square miles of area. for a population density of 6600 per square mile.

        Berkeley is 113,000 people and 18 square miles of area for a population density of 6390 people per square mile.

        That is right folks, we in Davis… surrounded by open land on three sides, and in a county that is filled with open space and likely to never be developed north or south to anything close to Bay Area or LA sprawl… are more population dense than Berkeley.

        Sometimes it is clear that we are just freaks of normal. Maybe it is the well water and once we start drinking the river water our heads will clear.

          1. Frankly

            People live in the boats, so yes.

            But if you only want to count only the land we get to about a 10,000 people per square mile population density for Berkeley. And then Davis is much closer to that than it is for a community like Danville.

            So, what is wrong with us?

          2. Don Shor

            “What is wrong with us?” Why is high density a problem when you have a university? It is typical. There are lots of students living in high-density dorms and apartments. In fact, we need more of that. A lot more of it. Based on our housing needs in the young-adult demographic, Davis should be even higher-density.
            Danville, of course, has none of that. It is a very high-priced community with a lot of very wealthy people. I’m not aware of any college there.
            We have a lot of college students in a small-footprint city. I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with this or think it’s a bad thing somehow.
            I remember very well the growth battles Danville went through in the 1980’s, and especially the incorporation battle. Since 1980 Danville has grown by 59% while Davis has grown by 79%.

          3. Frankly

            Come on Don. Go research every comparable college town in the country and come back and tell me which has a population density close to Davis.

            The point about Danville is that is has a much higher sale and business property tax revenue per capita. The point is about commercial development. The point is also land use.

            You cannot escape this land preservation extremism that you are deeply embedded in. Danville is strongly no-growth, yet they are about 1/3 the population density of Davis. Palo Alto is about 1/5 the population density. Santa Cruz is about 40% the population density of Davis.

            Should I go on?

            What is wrong with us?

          4. Don Shor

            So what, Frankly? Why does the density matter to you? Why is it bad to have students living in dorms and apartments? Is that somehow unusual? Does the “density” of Davis bother you? Do you find it congested with traffic? Does it seem like Berkeley or Santa Cruz here?
            Why is this a problem?

          5. Don Shor

            land preservation extremism that you are deeply embedded in.

            Since I support development of certain peripheral business and housing sites that are before us, I obviously am not a “land preservation extremist.”

          6. Frankly

            It is a problem when folks like you block peripheral development and use false inflammatory terms like sprawl and rampant development and cry false alarms of vanishing open space.

            Density is generally a consequence of not having peripheral land to develop on, not a fake limitation brought on by land preservation extremism.

            By the way Don, how many acres do you live on?

          7. Don Shor

            But clearly I am not blocking peripheral development, Frankly. And so I am obviously not a land preservation extremist.
            Why is density a problem, Frankly? What is it about having high-density student housing that bothers you?

          8. Frankly

            High density student housing is not a problem.

            Building a farmland moat. Blocking peripheral development for reasons of concerns about vanishing open space, vanishing farmland, and sprawl… all arguments you have made for demanding we put Mace 391 into permanent ag easement, absolute blocks on peripheral retail, the lack of adequate business tax revenue because we have not allowed peripheral development… these things are the problem.

            Business requires land. Economic development does not happen unless land is opened up for development.

            Don, how many acres do you live on?

            I think many of the people that block peripheral development and keep up this liberal new world order canard that people should live in small and dense communities… live large properties or own multiple properties. So Don, if you live on acres because you value some land, then why not develop so more people can do the same? Or is it you telling the rest of us how to live… more do as I say not as I do?

          9. Don Shor

            Building a farmland moat. Blocking peripheral development for reasons of concerns about vanishing open space, vanishing farmland, and sprawl… all arguments you have made for demanding we put Mace 391 into permanent ag easement, absolute blocks on peripheral retail, the lack of adequate business tax revenue because we have not allowed peripheral development… these things are the problem.

            I support building on some peripheral sites. I opposed building on Mace 391.

          10. TrueBlueDevil

            I’m all for mid-rise student housing, which is what we have.

            I’d also be for limiting first-year students to having a restriction on having a car, or a complete ban, as long as they had a spot in the dorms. Some of the new student housing was actually a reduction in density.

            Do Woodland & Dixon have our revenue problems?

          11. Frankly

            TBD, I think first years are already restricted from having a car. Somebody correct me if I am wrong.

            From Dixon FY2013-14 budget:

            “The General Fund has revenues exceeding anticipated expenditures for the 2013-14 budget year.”

            But they show a similar move to the red in 2018 as a result of city worker retiree benefits. No doubt Dixon would take a new business park of two if they could get it.

            From the Woodland budget:

            The budget reflects an approved balancing plan that includes a total of $522,000 in General Fund expenditure reductions in fiscal year 2013/14, avoids use of one-time cost saving measures, and maintains adequate reserves required by the City Council’s adopted reserve policy.

            Not sure about the trend for Woodland. It appears they have a balanced budget.

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