Discussion: Housing and the Innovation Park

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On Thursday evening, the Vanguard hosted a discussion on Innovation Parks, and over the next several days, we will have some coverage of what the panelists said. We also took in nearly 30 questions from the audience, which we will be both addressing and throwing out for discussion on the Vanguard.

At the outset here, one of the key considerations will be housing. Davis has experienced periods of rapid growth and massive slowdown in housing. Right now, since 2000’s inception of Measure J and its renewal in 2010 as Measure R, Davis has seen no new peripheral developments. Last fall, the council did vote to approve the roughly 600-unit Cannery Park. However, voters overwhelmingly voted down Covell Village and Wild Horse Ranch.

Over the summer, the Vanguard made the case that the slowdown in housing is not simply due to Measure J. We cited evidence that Covell Village was to be the last major new peripheral subdivision – even prior to Measure J. The housing market collapse added to that.

Nevertheless, the polling done by the Ramos folks suggests that Measure R is both a familiar concept (with nearly two-thirds of respondents familiar with it) and popular, with 75 percent favorable to only 15 percent unfavorable.

The questions that we need to be looking at are whether there should be housing in Davis to support the new employees who come to work at the Innovation Park, why the current proposals do not contain a live-work housing component, and what the impact of the lack of housing will be on traffic.

As several of the panelists noted, Davis is interesting because a large number of people who work in Davis commute into town. And a large number of people who live in Davis work outside of town.

This was captured in the Studio 30 report that was released two years ago.

They wrote, “There has been an increase in the number of Davis residents who leave the city for work in the last five years, according to the US Census Bureau. Not only do more people leave the city for work—an increase from 58 percent in 2002 to 62 percent in 2009— but they are also driving farther. The greatest change is those who drive more than 50 miles, increasing from approximately 13 percent in 2002 to 16 percent in 2009.”

They argue that this has some negative impacts. First, it “could result in a reduction of community investment both fiscally and emotionally, and volunteer hours could decline as residents spend less time in the city.”

“It also impacts air quality and greenhouse gas emission levels. Increasing job opportunities in town could reduce commutes and improve the environment,” the report notes.

They add, “Local jobs help maintain the high level of civic involvement for which Davis is known and greatly values. Local businesses who share the values of the community invest in the quality of a community.”

It is obvious that the developers have avoided the housing component because they believe it would, at the very least, complicate if not outright kill a potential business park project.

But will the influx of jobs necessitate new housing? That was certainly a point that Tia Will expressed concern about on Thursday. Others suggested that more people who live in Davis will be able to work in Davis, and therefore it will improve the jobs-housing balance, which they argue is currently out of whack.

Last summer, when we talked to then-Davis Chamber CEO Kemble Pope, he noted, “There is a job-housing imbalance.  We need more jobs in this community to create more revenue for the city coffers to continue to pay for the high quality community that we’ve created for ourselves.”

For Kemble Pope, the Innovation Park Task Force laid out a roadmap that is “palatable to the community.”  He added, “I don’t believe anything in that report… assumes or precludes or points to the fact that we’re going to increase the number of households.” He stated that he doesn’t see the relationship between square feet for business being related to increasing the number of houses we build.

Both Kemble Pope and the Chief Innovation Officer disputed at that time that there was a connection between bringing jobs to Davis and necessarily creating housing growth pressure. They noted the number of people who live in Davis but commute to either Sacramento or even the Bay Area, who may be able to find employment closer to home should the opportunities arise.

“There are a fair amount of people who commute out of Davis to go to higher hanging jobs because they don’t exist locally,” Rob White stated.  “We have a very intelligent and high quality workforce and they don’t have the ability to find many of the opportunities locally.”

“We don’t have enough of the jobs we need locally in order to supply the demand, so we have a lot of people out-commuting,” he said.

The other side of that are the people who are in-commuting, and those are people who are coming because of the university.  Most of the service-oriented jobs are filled by students who become essentially local residents, at least during the school year and their tenure at the university.

Rob White said we need to look at data to determine what it is that we need to do to meet our workforce demands and “we need to figure out what are the matches to the resources we have locally.”

The question, of course, that the voters will have to assess is whether we are dancing around the head of the pin to avoid the obvious implication of developing innovation parks or whether there are other ways to meet the housing needs.

If we look at a more regional approach, it may be that if we have the transportation to support it, Davis may be an ideal place for high-tech job growth but a less ideal place for workforce housing. Needless to say, these are discussions that need to take place early and often.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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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36 thoughts on “Discussion: Housing and the Innovation Park”

  1. Jim Frame

    First, I think the idea of spending one’s entire career with a single employer is outdated.  People change employers in order to advance or to survive a downturn, and Davis isn’t big enough — and isn’t likely to become big enough in many decades — to solidly connect employer location with home location for most residents.

    Second, the appeal of an innovation park in Davis — for me, anyway — is to generate tax revenue that will help backfill the structural deficit built up over the last couple of decades.  I’m not interested in turning Davis into the next Silicon Valley, and if a creating a hip, vibrant, happening center for high-tech business development means adding a bunch of new peripheral housing projects, then thanks, but I’ll pass.

    Third, getting an innovation park over the Measure R hump is going to be challenging, and tying approval to additional peripheral housing, even in concept, is only going to complicate matters.

    1. Barack Palin

      Third, getting an innovation park over the Measure R hump is going to be challenging, and tying approval to additional peripheral housing, even in concept, is only going to complicate matters.

      Exactly, give them an inch and they’ll try to take a mile.  If the new jobs create a great need for new housing it will happen down the road, no need to be pushing it now.

  2. Frankly

    The housing shortage in this city relates to the student population… the growing student population.  Other than that, Davis is not currently out-of-balance with respect to just housing per se.  Our out of balance situation is the ratio of jobs-to-housing.  More specifically, we have 50-75% (compared to other comparable cities) too few jobs for the amount of non-student housing within the city.  By increasing the supply of jobs that imbalance will begin to equalize as local residents find local jobs and local workers find local housing.  It will not happen overnight, but it will over time.

    This issue/debate is killed by a simple comparison metric.  What is a healthy job-housing ratio?  Determine that and then make it part of the development plan for Davis.   My general sense is that we can build at least one, and maybe two, innovation parks and not be short on housing as the alarmists claim… except for the shortage of student housing which is already a problem and a separate issue from the innovation parks… no matter how hard the enemies of change want it to be connected.

    Note that Palo Alto has 3-times the number of jobs as does Davis and the same population.  Not that Palo Alto is in balance, but it should at least be a reference point for how far out-of-whack Davis is.

  3. DavisBurns

    Frankly, how big do you think Davis should be?  Where do you think our borders should be?  This is a serious question.  Should we annex land to the north so we meet Woodland’s borders?  Should we grow to merge with Winters and Dixon?  All the praise for Palo Alto makes me think that is what we are aiming for–mini silicon valley.  This is one vision of our future and we should take the long view.  Instead of talking about adding 200 acres here and there, maybe we should update the city plan.  Lets talk about it. Please share your vision.

    1. hpierce

      Seems you have two numbers in mind… zero or infinity.  Black or white.  Nothing or all.  Grew up in the Bay Area when cities were distinct.  Left the Bay Area long after they weren’t.  I believe there is a middle ground, which neither the no-growth at any cost, nor the “manifest destiny” crowd will stomach.

  4. Tia Will

    Both Kemble Pope and the Chief Innovation Officer disputed at that time that there was a connection between bringing jobs to Davis and necessarily creating housing growth pressure.”

    I think it is quite interesting that this view expressed by Kemble Pope and Rob White was directly contradicted by Mr. Ramos at his presentation at the Bike Museum. While it is true that he did not express his belief that there was a direct connection between his proposal and increased population growth, when I asked him directly about it, he did state that he believed that it would necessarily provide pressure for more homes for the employees. We did not address the issue of student housing.

    Also at the this weeks Vanguard forum it would seem that Michael Bisch also sees the two growth issues as inter related. He made the comment that he wanted there to be good paying jobs in Davis so that his own children would be earning enough to live here. If that is a commonly held desire, and I believe that it is, then one would have to assume that those who adopt this attitude would also want the same for their children……all of their children. Now I suppose that this is fine if your ideal for Davis is that it continues to grow until we merge with Woodland on the north and Vacaville to the west. It is not what I would like to see.

    If the majority of residents in Davis share this “grow as much as we can value” then that is what will eventually occur. I applaud Mr. Ramos for his honesty in not trying to dodge what I see as a given. Growth in the form of huge new business parks will inevitably lead to demand for more housing in Davis. If this is the deliberate choice of the majority, I can only accept that as the will of my peers. However, what I cannot accept is false assurances that this projects will not be drivers for more population growth only to have the need rear its head in five to ten years and then have the same pro growth group saying, well of course we have to add more housing. Where will all these workers live…..and just look at the traffic !

     

    1. Don Shor

      It will increase demand. It will not increase housing stock. So it will not increase population. The cost of existing housing will go up.

      That kind of increased demand without concomitant increase in housing stock has already occurred over the last decade+ with respect to rental housing. Thus, rental housing in Davis is more expensive than in surrounding communities, and the rental vacancy rate is very low.

      But to make the leap that increased business activity and increased jobs will lead to more houses is not true. If developers could build more houses here, they already would do that. There is plenty of incentive. There just isn’t plenty of available land.

      We would be annexing land and building business parks to provide revenues for the city budget, to provide sites for local businesses to expand into (Schilling, Marrone, and others). To provide sites for new small startups. To provide some jobs for current residents. And we would be providing jobs for residents of nearby communities as well.

      Any housing proposal that involves annexing land will go before the voters via Measure R. I am not aware of any site that is even under consideration for that. The track record of the voters with respect to housing projects on land outside the city limits is very clear.

      1. Tia Will

        Don

        “It will increase demand. It will not increase housing stock.”

        I wish I agreed with you, but I do not.  And apparently neither does Mr. Ramos or the representatives of the project on the east side of town who also acknowledged that there would likely need to be more housing at their presentation. I am not clear about the positions of the other candidates at the Vanguard forum on this specific issue although no one came right out and said that this would not occur.

         

        I can foresee that with increased jobs of the magnitude that are being anticipated the chances are that with different city leadership the philosophy may again change in favor of changing existing regulations in order to increase population growth. City policies can be changed on a 3-2 vote as ultimately happened with the Cannery which was not initially zoned for housing, but which has ended up with over 500 housing units. Now I would not mind so much if the Cannery was providing much needed affordable housing, but unfortunately most of it is not.  I also do not see Measure R as immutable if there were enough pressure to change it.

        So while I share your belief that there is no site that is being considered for a Measure R vote for housing at the current time, we are looking at a long time line and that does not mean that there will not be in 5 to 10 to 15 years from now.

         

        1. Don Shor

          You can disagree with my analysis, but there are facts that are not in dispute. The council cannot change, by any vote whatsoever, Measure R. Cannery was not subject to Measure R. That was why the owners of the property just waited until they had a council majority. Measure R is immutable unless the voters mutate it.
          What sites do you think might be under consideration for a Measure R vote in 5 years? 10 years? I doubt that even the Covell Village site will be before the voters in that time frame.

          Mr. Ramos or the representatives of the project on the east side of town who also acknowledged that there would likely need to be more housing at their presentation.

          It doesn’t make a whit of difference what Mr. Ramos thinks would be ‘needed’. He isn’t going to be developing any housing there, or anywhere else, any time soon. If anybody could, they’d already be doing it.
          I think I’ve been pretty clear about my position about annexing farmland for housing. I seriously don’t see where that is going to happen.
          Think about this. The demand you’re describing would be coming from potential homebuyers who work here but don’t live here. Therefore, they don’t vote here. It makes no difference in terms of likelihood of a Measure R vote as to how much they want houses here. What matters is how much you and other local voters want houses here. The record on that could not be more clear.

      1. Tia Will

        Don

        I obviously agree with your assessment that the City Council cannot  unilaterally over rule a Measure R vote. Where we disagree is that there would not be a time in the foreseeable future that the citizens might decide to over turn that. I am aware that this is not traditionally not been the case. I do not think that means it could not be the case in the future. We have not always been in slow growth mode. 23 years ago when I moved back to Davis the second phase of the three phase build out of North Star had just gotten started so I am keenly aware of how people’s perception of  what amount of housing is desirable can change over time.

         

        1. Don Shor

          Measure J was initiated and approved by the voters in response to the pro-growth policies of the city’s elected officials. Officials who, I might add, the voters happily returned to various offices. The public of Davis has always been MUCH more slow-growth than its elected officials. The 3%+ growth rate of the 1980’s and into the 1990’s prompted opposition which culminated in Measure J. Measure J passed 53.6% to 46.3%.
          Given the opportunity a decade later to weaken or remove it via Measure R, the voters passed Measure R by 76.7% to 23.3%!!! What on earth leads you to think there would be such a sea change in the attitudes of Davis voters that they would ever countenance a reversal of that measure? What sane council member would run on such a platform, when the demand for new housing is not going to be internally driven?
          Seriously. Where — from what demographic — do you see this massive change in the electorate arising?

    2. Don Shor

      if your ideal for Davis is that it continues to grow until we merge with Woodland on the north and Vacaville to the west. It is not what I would like to see.

      Davis cannot expand into Solano County. Nor can anybody build homes in Solano County adjacent to Davis. That line is very firm. As to Woodland, I would be more concerned about Woodland growing rapidly south than about Davis growing rapidly north.

      1. hpierce

        Don… reality check… it is easier (proceedurally) to annex land from one county to another than it is to annex from Yolo County to Davis.  Remember, the Nishi property was in Solano County until relatively recently (’90’s?).

        1. Don Shor

          What likelihood do you see that there will be any annexation of land from Solano to Yolo County for the purpose of housing? I’d call reality check right back at you. Unless you know something that the Hamel family has in mind, and have some enormous optimism about the Yolo County and Solano County supervisors going along with a land swap — in a part of Solano County that is top priority for ag conservation — I’d say chances are nearly zero.

          1. Don Shor

            There was a boundary change for the county that brought that part of Nishi into Yolo County in 1992. http://www.sustainability.ucdavis.edu/local_resources/docs/onlinedocs/misc/lrdp_deir_2.pdf

            The Nishi property, located adjacent to the Campus between I-80 and the Southern Pacific Railroad
            line, is currently in unincorporated Yolo County and is being studied by the City as part of the Gateway
            Specific Plan, described above.22 Ultimately this area, which was the subject of a boundary change
            from Solano County to Yolo County in 1992, may be annexed to the City of Davis.23

            Please note the next paragraph:

            Solano County
            The South and West Campuses and Russell Ranch are bordered on the south and east by agricultural
            land located in Solano County. All of this land is designated for Intensive Agriculture and is currently
            governed by Proposition A. Proposition A states that no urban development can take place outside
            existing city sphere of influence limits. The intent of the Solano County General Plan and Proposition A
            is to preserve these lands exclusively for agricultural purposes and to protect them from intrusion by
            non-agricultural uses. The County does not anticipate future development that would change current
            agricultural land uses.24

  5. Alan Miller

    Clear at the meeting was that no one knew anything about transportation.  The fact is, transportation improvements are costly, mostly involve the automobile, for alternatives are virtually impossible to implement realistically outside a dense area, and the true costs are usually tried to be avoided by most developers.  As example, look at how hard the Cannery peeps have tried to justify their “up to the hump” alternative to connecting to the H-Street bike tunnel under the railroad.

    Having in interior transit stop is a two-edged sword.  Great for those who use the service, adding a couple of minutes for everyone else, the kind of detour that, when you add them up, kills patronage because no one wants to take all the loops.  If there is sufficient employment to justify a commute-hour shuttle to the Amtrak Station and back, that is a feasible scenario for such a transit stop, if the employers are willing to fund that.

    Amtrak stop?  Forgetaboutit.

    What was disturbing about the panel discussion was the answers given centered around electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells.  Those aren’t answers for transportation, those a green-washing buzz terms.  Hydrogen fuel cells are . . . well, do any of you have a friend with one?  They’ve been on the table for years.  Next thing you know, someone will be proposing a personal rapid transit system, probably saying that such a company as “innovates” these vehicles could build such a system for Davis.  Oh, PULEEEEEEEZ.

    Here’s the thing:  electric vehicles don’t decrease traffic, because it’s still 1.X people in cars, and they also aren’t non-polluting, they just move the pollution (equal to the share on the power grid of ‘polluting’ sources) somewhere else, out of our back yard.  Sill need the parking lots.  Green washing?  For an example, see the Target parking lot, right across the street.  Lots of open electric vehicle and handicapped spaces.  As if spaces create a solution.  Actually, they do cause everyone else to walk slightly farther.

    So you say I don’t have any solutions?  Well, neither did they.  The fact is, these are all non-dense developments on the periphery of a non-dense town.  That is not ripe for public transit.  And so, no matter what you do, most of the people are coming by car, and we have to make accommodations for that.  That costs money.  Either the developer pays for it, the public pays for it, or no one pays for it and traffic increases.

    Let me be clear, I am in favor of building at least one business park, and I will vote yes if 1) There is a proven market for one; 2) Reasonable accommodations are made for alternative transit and a traffic increased; 3) it is shown the City is likely to monetarily benefit overall; and 4) The name Angelo Tsakopoulos isn’t on the menu.

    Let’s be real:  there are costs, and traffic will increase.  Whitewash or greenwash me, and I vote no.

    1. Frankly

      Non-dense?   What do you consider dense?  75,000 people using city services in a 9.8 square mile area… that is pretty damn dense.

      But let’s say that you prevail in this point and we agree that Davis is not dense enough.

      You are talking high-hise buildings.

      So now we have another debate about Davis DNA and its small-town charm.

      With respect to the innovation parks, while I agree that the discussion about transportation has been lacking in real and creative solutions, I don’t agree that we lack real and creative solutions.

      If you have ever stayed at a nice hotel property away from the city and/or transportation center, they have suttles that run round the clock.  The Langham in Pasadena is an example.  They also provide bikes for their guests.

      D.C. has eBike racks throughout the city.  They are always well picked over… people are using them.

      But we also need to be honest here that Davis’s demand to have one and only one primry downtown retail center is a source of traffic planning difficulty.

      1. Alan Miller

        You are missing the point while making it.  Pasadena IS the kind of population and density that allows for shuttles, to a few main points.  This isn’t Pasadena.  Having shuttles that need drivers to drive a few people for an hour in commute in morning and then again in evening is an expensive proposition.  Those drivers will want full pay, those shuttles are huge capital expense.  The point is just that supporting non-auto transit in a town the size of Davis especially on a single-story peripheral business park is just what it is — mostly dependent on auto.  I’m not “talking about” high-rises, just pointing out what is real for this town.  My concern is in an attempt to sound like we are doing something “innovative” we will just get a smack greenwashing, and I won’t allow that.

      2. Alan Miller

        You are missing the point while making it.  Pasadena IS the kind of population and density that allows for shuttles, to a few main points.  This isn’t Pasadena.  Having shuttles that need drivers to drive a few people for an hour in commute in morning and then again in evening is an expensive proposition.  Those drivers will want full pay, those shuttles are huge capital expense.  The point is just that supporting non-auto transit in a town the size of Davis especially on a single-story peripheral business park is just what it is — mostly dependent on auto.  I’m not “talking about” high-rises, just pointing out what is real for this town.  My concern is in an attempt to sound like we are doing something “innovative” we will just get a smack greenwashing.

  6. Edgar Wai

    For the topic on whether having a business park would reduce the number of Davis residents working outside Davis, is there any study/survey/community input indicating there is any business that are ready to move to Davis if a park is open.

    For people who live in Davis but work outside Davis, what jobs do they have? Do they know if those jobs can be moved to Davis? Is the development plan aligned to cover those type of jobs?

    It is better to know what the demand is now than to build a park and hope that there is a demand.

  7. Anon

    Tia Will: “Now I would not mind so much if the Cannery was providing much needed affordable housing, but unfortunately most of it is not.  I also do not see Measure R as immutable if there were enough pressure to change it.”

    The Cannery is providing affordable housing, including their required allotment in the form of apartments or ADUs, and in the form of universal design, so that folks who move in can age in place, without spending a fortune remodeling to accommodate infirmities as they age or having to move out and downsize.  And Don Shor explained why Measure R will keep in check any new housing development – it would have to pass muster with voters.  Those who work in the innovation parks may have to live in Springlake in Woodland, for instance, and commute to Davis.

    Alan Miller: “The fact is, these are all non-dense developments on the periphery of a non-dense town.  That is not ripe for public transit.  And so, no matter what you do, most of the people are coming by car, and we have to make accommodations for that.  That costs money.  Either the developer pays for it, the public pays for it, or no one pays for it and traffic increases.”

    I agree that the impact of increased transportation via car is going to have to be addressed in the scheme of any business park.  However, if the innovation park generates enough tax revenue for the city, that should go a long way to addressing more than just the problem of increased impacts on transportation infrastructure.

    1. Tia Will

      Anon

      1. Only a small portion of the Cannery could be considered affordable housing. Especially since I am not counting “affordable housing” to include ADUs since we have no guarantee that they will indeed by used as affordable housing. I also do not consider universal design, no matter how desirable it may be, as adding to the “affordable housing” stock of the community just because it allows its owners to age in place. If a billionaire installs an elevator in a two story mansion so that he will be able to access the second floor when in his eighties, would that qualify the mansion as “affordable housing” ?

      2. Your point about generation of revenue is very optimistic ( which I like ) and very non specific ( which I don’t like so much). What would constitute “enough tax revenue” in order to address “more than just the problem of increased impacts on transportation infrastructure. It would appear to me that if it were to generate “just enough to address the increased impacts” we would have sold ourselves very, very far short of the goal.

      This is part of why I feel that we need to continue to question  and ask for more specific projected numbers of anticipated revenue generation and increased cost to the city for the anticipated support services required as opposed to merely serving as cheer leaders for these developments because we cannot see other possibilities for revenue generation.

       

       

      1. Anon

        To Tia:

        1. Actually universal design is very important to everyone eventually, when it comes to affordability.  Too often seniors end up on fixed incomes, large medical bills hit them as they age, their savings invested in stocks/money markets are left to the vagaries of the economy at the time, and they can afford less and less on a fixed income and have no way of recouping losses.  Major renovations to make their homes accessible often causes them to have to take out reverse mortgages on the equity in their homes, etc., just to be able to remain in their homes and barely make it financially.  So I cannot agree that universal design does not play a part in providing affordable housing.  Secondly, with the elimination of redevelopment funds (which I was strongly opposed to), the state took away much of the city’s ability to fund affordable housing.  In return, a drop in the bucket of those dollars is returned to our schools (as I remember it about $200,000 for schools as opposed to $4-5 million in redevelopment funds).  It was a very bad bargain, but that is a separate issue, but one not of the city’s making.  So how do you propose the city increase the affordable housing stock in light of current realities, when large affordable housing components generally do not pencil out financially for developers?  Or is that the idea, stop development if there is not “enough” affordable housing provided by the developer, regardless of whether it pencils out for them, which in effect results in no growth?

        2.  “Enough tax revenue generation” for me would have to be a steady annual stream of millions of dollars.  How many millions?  I’m not sure.  Robb White has given the estimate that a 200 acre innovation park with an assessment district would conservatively generate about $12 million dollars per year.  Factored in has to be how much of that the county will take and how much would go into the Davis city general fund.  I’m looking for somewhere between $5-10 million a year for Davis, but that is just me personally.  Additionally, I would assume there will be other revenue generators less tangible, such as the creation of jobs/employees that will spend their dollars in Davis, and more customers for goods sold in Davis.  For me, that is what would make an innovation park very much worth considering.

        3.  I always believe in holding any developers’ feet to the fire, and demand an accounting of what pluses they will bring to the city’s general fund; and what costs as well.  It all has to pencil out financially in favor of the city, and in the case of an innovation park it has to go much farther than just “breaking even”.  Hope that is specific enough for you to better understand my thinking.

    2. Alan Miller

      “I agree that the impact of increased transportation via car is going to have to be addressed in the scheme of any business park.  However, if the innovation park generates enough tax revenue for the city, that should go a long way to addressing more than just the problem of increased impacts on transportation infrastructure.”

      IF it is set up that way in advance.  Otherwise the developer won’t pay and the city will use it to backfill the city debt.  There is no free lunch.

  8. Tia Will

    Don

    The demographic that I see with the potential to change the measure R are the folks now in their 40s and younger. Just because there has been heavy skew in the attitudes towards slower population growth in the past doesn’t mean that this will hold going forward. While you see Measure J/R as inevitably protective, I see it as a temporary protection subject to change by the voters. One societal characteristic that I have observed is that individuals tend to have more time for community awareness and involvement after their own careers and families are established. I do not believe that Michael is alone in hoping that his children will be able to live in Davis. I think that this is likely to be a growing trend. I also agree that many of the students that are now undergrads and grads at UCD will also want to stay.

    Matt Yancy made a point at the forum that pressure for growth and growth itself will occur with or without these projects. I believe that he is correct. I alsot feel that it is important to consider that that perhaps these two types of growth which you see as forever separated by Measure R are in reality more closely aligned than we might like to think and that Measure R is subject to future votes.

    1. Mark West

      Dr. Will:  “The demographic that I see with the potential to change the measure R are the folks now in their 40s and younger. Just because there has been heavy skew in the attitudes towards slower population growth in the past doesn’t mean that this will hold going forward.”

       

      Each generation should have the freedom to decide for themselves how they want the City and region to change or evolve to fit their needs and goals. It is the absolute height of arrogance to believe that we should make those decisions for them, or somehow lock them into our chosen path in perpetuity. The reason for making measure R (and similar) sunset in a defined time is to allow for adjustments in the future since we cannot foresee all the challenges that our children will face in their time.

       

  9. Tia Will

    I am in full agreement that each generation should not make decisions which will lock future generations into a certain path.

    I see that as a major reason for not jumping into the development of multiple large new projects. Every bit of land that we commit to these developments will no longer be available for our children to choose what they see as the best use.

    1. Mark West

      Dr. Will:  “I am in full agreement that each generation should not make decisions which will lock future generations into a certain path.”

      Which of course is why you opposed locking Mace 391 into an agricultural easement in perpetuity, right?  Oh wait…I guess you are in full agreement except when the path you are locking them into is the one of your choosing.

      This generation needs to find a way to make the City of Davis fiscally sustainable.  While making those decisions, we should also be attempting to maximize the flexibility for future generations.

      Creating the good jobs that are necessary for the next generation to succeed and flourish will help with both concerns.  Whining that someone down the road might have the temerity to change Measure R, does neither.

       

       

       

      1. Anon

        Again, well said!  Locking Mace 391 into an agricultural easement was IMO a mistake.  It took away any flexibility for the use of that land despite the possibility of changing needs in the future.

      2. South of Davis

        Mark wrote:

        > While making those decisions, we should also be attempting to

        > maximize the flexibility for future generations.

        You can’t maximize the value of your home (or homes) in Davis without reducing the ability of future generations to build more homes in Davis.  Most boomers (even most MDs) that don’t have $100K+ government pensions will need use home equity to supplement Social Security and other retirement savings so it is important to reduce the ability of future generations build new homes in Davis and reduce the value of boomer owned homes…

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