Sunday Commentary: Should the City Allow Cannery to Pass On Development Costs to Residents?

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When the Davis City Council in November of 2013 approved the Cannery Project by a vote of 3-2, they did so with a host of agreements and commitments by the developers.

Under the development agreement, commitments previously made by the applicant to the public and Commissions included:

  • Water line easement along Covell Boulevard Frontage (subject to fee credit)
  • Well expansion property (0.39 acres) adjacent to existing well site (subject to fee credit)
  • Intersection improvements at Covell and J Street
  • Grade-separated bike/ped path at southwest corner of site
  • Implementation of sustainability plan (modified to include Zero Net Electricity on 25% of the first 100 single-family detached homes, as a modification to the previous sustainability proposal of 25 KWH extra PV in the first 100 units)
  • Implementation of affordable housing plan
  • All park, greenbelt, and drainage improvements as described (subject to fee credit)
  • Urban farm infrastructure
  • Well and back-up water supply system for park, greenbelt, and farm irrigation (subject to fee credit)
  • HOA clubhouse access available to all subscribing residents

Additional obligations by the Developer:

  • Initial contribution of $615,000 and further commitments of $6,717 per market-priced ownership unit, estimated to generate $3.725 million for transportation infrastructure and other projects, in addition to project commitments for improvements for J Street, L Street, and (if necessary) Oak Tree Plaza driveway intersection improvements
  • $2,000,000 for Community Park and community-wide improvements, with the possibility of up to an additional $1,600,000 pending the outcome of the future water connection study.
  • Operating funds of $100,000 for each of the first three years to support the urban farm.
  • $100,000 for community greenhouse gas reduction programs
  • $75,000 for civic arts programs
  • Commitment to sell 30 parcels to small builders and owner-builders (see discussion page 16)
  • Phased development reflecting City growth policies (see discussion page 16)
  • Commitment to conduct demolition, site preparation, and grading over at least fifty percent of the site within five years of the effective date of the Development Agreement, or the term of the agreement will be reduced from twenty down to fifteen years.

The original development agreement has provisions that would allow the developer to request formation of a Community Facilities District (CFD) for services or to finance infrastructure.

Under the law, “Developers and City may form a Community Facilities District… for the purpose of financing the construction and/ or acquisition of public infrastructure and facilities within the Project area or for the provision of services.”

Article II, Section 1100, continues, “If requested by Developers, City may determine whether to form one or more Project CFD(s) for the purpose of providing services or financing the acquisition or construction of some or all of the improvements and facilities eligible for CFD financing within and associated with the Project, including those improvements which will mitigate impacts of the Project upon areas inside and outside of the Project with a useful life of 5 years or longer, and will be owned, operated or maintained by the City or another public agency as authorized under Government Code 53111…”

According to City of Davis Community Development and Planning Director Mike Webb, “We anticipate that the developer will be submitting a request for the City to consider creating a CFD for the project for financing of certain infrastructure components. As of now we do not have a formal request submitted for consideration. If one is submitted staff would evaluate the request and schedule the matter for City Council consideration and direction.”

This is not a small matter. Under the development agreement, the staff calculated in November 2013 that “the Development Agreement could accommodate $4 – $4.5 million in benefits to the City under current assumptions.” They continue, “The funds from the Development Agreement, combined with the project-specific obligations and the transportation impact fees, will generate approximately $11 million for transportation and circulation improvements on and around the Covell Boulevard corridor as well as a minimum of $2,475,000 in other non-transportation related community enhancements. This will provide the resources to implement key transportation improvements that will serve The Cannery and enhance the existing network, such as improvements to the H Street tunnel and funds to implement a second grade separated crossing of Covell Boulevard.”

According to the analysis from Andrew Plescia of Plescia and Company, dated October 24, 2013, “The proposed residential ownership units (463) are estimated to generate approximately $251.4 million in net sales income or approximately an overall blended average of $543,000 per unit. The Project includes a large variety of residential ownership product / unit types with a wide range of unit sale prices from the high $300,000s to the high $700,000s with the median unit sales price (not including the affordable units) being approximately $479,500.”

Creating a CFD would create a Mello-Roos that would pass the costs of construction and city services onto the residents, increasing the overall cost for those residents to purchase a home.

Right now the estimated development cost is $218.4 million with net sale proceeds of $251.4 million. That generates an estimated return on investment of $28.9 million. If the city were to implement the Mello-Roos, somewhere around $14 million will transfer from the developers to the new residents, which could produce about a 50% increase in profit for the developers.

While Mr. Webb told the Vanguard that the possibility of CFD was contained in the developer’s agreement, from our search of the November 12, 2013 agenda item, the issue does not appear to have arisen at that time.

One of the critical issues that the city will have to weigh is this balancing between the profit margin for the developers and affordability for the new residents.

—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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67 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: Should the City Allow Cannery to Pass On Development Costs to Residents?”

  1. SODA

    “One of the critical issues that the city will have to weigh in this is balancing between the profit margin for the developers and affordability for the new residents.”

    It seems another impact is that some if the improvements you state as agreed upon items will be delayed until houses are built and funds can be collected?
    And won’t this impact the amount of monies the city was expecting to gain from the development?

  2. South of Davis

    David wrote:

    > One of the critical issues that the city will have to weigh in this is balancing

    > between the profit margin for the developers and affordability for the new residents.

    Should the city also “weigh in” on:

    Forcing the blog owner to pay for free ads for bike groups?

    Requiring all blogs set aside 30 percent of ad space for those that make below the median income in the region?

    Require that the electricity in blog owners homes come from solar power?

    and

    Balancing blog owners profits with the affordability of blog advertising?

      1. Tia Will

        South of Davis and Frankly

        Agree that it was funny and totally disagree that it makes any point at all. The residents of the city are in no way affected by a local blog which they can ignore or not as they choose. I do not believe that any of the citizens, especially those who live near the Cannery, or whose travel routes pass the Cannery will be unaffected by the decisions made with regard to this development.

        1. Frankly

          Those that choose to use the blog are affected.  Those that don’t are not.

          Those that choose to live or work in the new development are affected.

          Those that choose to drive by the new development are not effected except maybe some in their own mind… and that might just be evidence of need for meditation or counseling.

          In all cases, being affected is a choice one would make.

        2. South of Davis

          Tia wrote:

          > whose travel routes pass the Cannery will be unaffected

          > by the decisions made with regard to this development.

          Just like no one in Davis needs to ever look at this blog non one in Davis ever needs to drive (or ride)  by the Cannery…

        3. Dave Hart

          Is this the same Frankly that was concerned about the traffic impacts of an Innovation Center by the Sutter Hospital on the neighborhood he lives in nearby?  Oh, maybe he personally isn’t concerned, but his neighbors are and they just need counseling.

           

  3. Jim Frame

    After the Mace Ranch Mello-Roos debacle, I’m stunned that the city would entertain another go at this.  I remember Susie Boyd saying from the dais that the city would never do another Mello-Roos again.

    Absent a verified danger of developer bankruptcy without a CFD, why on earth would the city agree to it?  One might even make the argument that doing so would be an illegal gift of public funds.

    What am I not seeing here?

    1. hpierce

      What you are not seeing, is the fact that the key staff members would have fought tooth and nail to avoid a developer’s CFD (based on experience with the Mace Ranch one) were excluded from the discussions to consider it for Cannery.  Duh.

      On the potentially brighter side, the original home buyers in Mace Ranch spent ~ $50/sf less for their houses than those new houses in Covell Park Northstar, etc.  It was pointed out at the time, by a pretty sharp finance guy, that if you factored in taxes/mortgage costs, etc., it was ~ a push for the new buyers.  But the market was more “competitive” then… in this market, it may just be a windfall for the developer.

      1. Gunrocik

        If you read the text above in the article, it only requires the City to “consider” a CFD.  There was no commitment.  And just because staff didn’t like it in Mace Ranch doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done this time in a way that may be of benefit to the City.

        As one who has assisted cities in the past, there are plenty of instances where cities have come up with quid pro quos to ensure that both the pubic and private benefit are improved with the formation of a CFD.

        While it is important to get feedback from the staff engineers, upper management and legal counsel have to weigh all of the factors involved, not just the provision of public improvements.

        Here is the entire development agreement link:

        http://city-council.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/20131112/06-Cannery.pdf

         

  4. Barack Palin

    Sunday Commentary: Should the City Allow Cannery to Pass On Development Costs to Residents?
    No.  Should the rest of the Davis taxpayers forgo on fees for this project just so incoming home buyers can buy in at a cheaper price when our city is already hurting for revenue?

     

  5. Alan Miller

    We speak of affordable housing, make agreements with developers, then pass the costs of the agreements on to those buying the housing, making it unaffordable to more people at “market” rates (already skewed by so-called “affordable” housing).

    I don’t know a Mello-Roos from a stoned male chicken, but with such a glaring impact on profits, couldn’t it be anticipated that the developer had planned this all along?  Why would they not?  Also, if surprises like this come down the pike after the fact with large developments, why should the public trust either the city or the developer that mitigation agreements are what they appear to be?

    I’m more throwing the questions out there to be answered in discussion than making accusations, as development agreements are outside my range of full understanding (after everyone gets home from church). I will certainly be pissed if this ends up delaying the planned transportation improvements.

    One thing I keep pointing out is that there doesn’t appear to be any agreement for a land set aside across from Faro, or anywhere, as it requires planning in advance, for a landing site for the Faro, or other, overcrossing for a ped-bike crossing of the railroad tracks to North Davis.  Once housing is built, removing a house for such is next to impossible.  The Dutch firm highly suggested this be built now, and I have advocated that at least a set-aside of land be kept for a West-East crossing from about Faro on the West to Moore on the east for a ped-bike access from NE area to North Davis without Covell.  It may not be reasonable to built it now due to cost, but the land should (“must”) be set aside, or the possibility is lost.

  6. Gunrocik

    “Creating a CFD would create a Mello-Roos that would pass the costs of construction and city services onto the residents, increasing the overall cost for those residents to purchase a home.”

    Not likely.  The Mello Roos payment is factored into your ability to qualify for a loan.  If the CFD payment is $60 per month, your purchasing power for that house is reduced by $10,000 to $15,000 depending on mortgage rates.

    “One of the critical issues that the city will have to weigh in this is balancing between the profit margin for the developers and affordability for the new residents.”

    In most cases, it is just cost shifting.  You are paying $60 per month more on your tax bill instead of your mortgage. The Developer likes the CFD because it reduces his cash outlay up front, but does reduce his sales proceeds.  It is all about cash flow.

    The biggest issue for the community when it comes to a CFD is for ballot measures.  Even though the purchaser likely has a lower mortgage payment and a higher tax payment  – and his overall cost isn’t really any higher due to the CFD– when it comes time to vote for parcel taxes and bond measures — there is a perception to the voter that they are over taxed–even though as noted above it is just cost shifting.  If you look at our recent ballot measures, there has been a tendency for Mace Ranch voters to be less likely to vote for the parcel taxes.  Thus, the real threat from a CFD is to the City coffers and the School District.  I don’t think a CFD is a big windfall for the Developer, but it could be a real problem for the School District in particular due to their propensity for parcel taxes..and by the way, I believe Cannery buyers will already be burdened with a CFD from the Schools — so adding a City CFD makes these folks even more likely to be “No” voters.

     

      1. Tia Will

        Alan

        Just because the “sky isn’t falling” doesn’t mean that it would not be prudent to carry an umbrella when there are rain clouds overhead. Like you I have no knowledge at all in this area. I would prefer direct answers to a couple of very simple questions. Does this make the housing more expensive than it was portrayed by the developer in the pre vote negotiations ? What portions of our community will this cost more than was portrayed and by how much ?  Unless and until there are straight forward answers, I do not see why the city would even consider this.

         

    1. hpierce

      The CFD payments in Mace Ranch are more like $120/mo, and that is in 1994 dollars.  A similar CFD for Cannery would be significantly more.  Gunroick is right about cost-shifting.  It might be a zero-sum game, or might not be.  You’d need to have specific costs, interest rates, and other assumptions to “crunch the numbers”.

      I’d say it needs to be demonstrably in the best interests of both the City AND the future buyers before such a CFD is considered.  City of Woodland also tried this approach.  It is fraught with peril for the local agency.

  7. DavisBurns

    When a homeowner has a higher mortgage payment, it means he is financing a larger loan.  The extra interest paid over thirty years is substantial.  Better to pay the tax bill as you go rather than add it too your mortgage.  The developer should have addressed this up front.  Why I have serious doubts about any developers promises…bait and switch.

  8. Nancy Price

    And, the new city manager was hired to “push through,” as I read in an earlier article, the so-called “innovation” parks….who coined the work “park” anyway?  Is it where you park your car all all day?  Just how green are these buildings and suroudings gong to be?

    If these question are now arising on The Cannery,  what significant financial, design and environmental issues will come up ex post facto after City Council approval that the public will have to deal with and costs they will have to shoulder? Can we learn anything from the past.

    1. Alan Miller

      “who coined the work “park” anyway?”

      Who coined the word “innovation” anyway?

      With all the green hue in the initial renderings of the parks, they could be nominated for national park status.

  9. Frankly

    Developers must see a certain return on investment that covers the significant financial risks undertaken.  Demands for amenities that exceed the financial feasibility of a project including profit margins must be funded from sources other than the developer’s pocket.  The city cannot afford it, so it is logical that the new residents be required to pay for the amenities they enjoy and which will have a positive impact on their property values.  The key here is to demand that the city never absorb those costs.

    But if the city believes the developer is simply reversing early commitments to increase profit margin, the city needs to do a better job crafting the developer agreement.   This is not rocket science… large development projects of all types require specification of design and deliverables that comprise the development agreement.  In addition, developers should be required to provide a security deposit keyed to committed project milestones.  If the developer fails to deliver on commitments, then the developer forfeits security deposit dollars that the city can use to help mitigate the resulting loss of expected amenities.  However, the idea is that the security deposit would be significant enough to provide incentives that the developer stick to commitments.

    However, also needed in the agreement is a method to arbitrate conflict.   Despite the efforts of the most qualified planners and designers, there will be unexpected issues that can impact the plan-vs.-actual costs.  And it should not be 100% the developers responsibility to absorb all of those unexpected cost increases unless there are offsetting costs savings to be realized.   The key is to have full disclosure of project accounting and a partnership to work through compromise for each and every major expense issue that occurs.

    Note that all of this process works much better when the city is the land owner and hires the developer.

    Think Mace 391 when you have a chance.

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      Developers must see a certain return on investment that covers the significant financial risks undertaken.”

      I am going to question your basic premise. Why do you feel that developers are any more entitled to a “certain return on investment” to cover significant financial risks than anyone else ? Doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers by the time they are in practice will have spent many thousands of dollars on their training with no certainty that they will have a financially successful career. The same is true for people starting up essentially any kind of business. So why is it that you feel that developers should have special dispensation to change the rules of the game affecting the entire city especially since the land in question was already rezoned for their benefit ?

      1. Don Shor

        It’s not a matter of entitlement, it’s just that they won’t invest if there’s no return or if they could get a better return on their investment elsewhere.

        1. hpierce

          What it is truly about is letting the developer have a “do-over” if they misjudged their original due diligence.  As all new buyers will be subject to it, they would need to do their own “due diligence” to see if it pencils out.  Unfortunately, most SF homebuyers don’t look at cost/benefit or ROI.

        2. Tia Will

          Don

          I see your point. But still do not see how that differs from us still having doctors ( and all the other groups I mentioned) despite there being potentially more money in high finance or some other business. We all take chances. I do not see everyone being essentially being guaranteed financial success for taking chances. Financial success for most is based on success, not just risk taking.

    2. Michelle Millet

      But if the city believes the developer is simply reversing early commitments to increase profit margin, the city needs to do a better job crafting the developer agreement

      What are you saying?  That the city should have done a better job crafting the developer agreement BEFORE they voted to approve the project? Hmm, interesting idea.

        1. hpierce

          Funny, Frankly… many experienced staff members used the expression “shoot, ready, aim” to describe St Pinkerton, within months after he came on board.  Many examples of it in the major remodels of CH he governed, and moving of parts of Departments around before investigating the benefits/costs.

    3. DavisBurns

      Because the developer has to have a guaranteed return on investment but the city has to take the risk that their costs will exceed the revenue from the project? Sounds like socialism for the capitalist and capitalism for the public entity.

      AND the city should do a better job on the upfront agreement? The developer learns his tricks by practice, the city doesn’t have that kind of experience–no one on the council now has experience as a council member approving a project.  Really, it’s a stacked deck in favor of developer hi-jinks. This is why an innovation park won’t fly. Voters will read about this and figure every time we get screwed by developers because that’s their business.

      1. Gunrocik

        “Yeah… this city has a tendency to shoot-ready-aim on a lot of things….”

        And if there is one thing that Vanguard posters are experts in, it is “ready, shoot, aim.”

        1. Tia Will

          Gunrocik

          And if there is one thing that Vanguard posters are experts in, it is “ready, shoot, aim.”

          This may be true, but there is one critical difference. When a Vanguard poster does it, absolutely no harm done. When city staff or the City Council does it, we all pay in one way or another.

  10. Frankly

    Note to VG… there is some keyboard shortcut active that causes the Browser to go backwards and lose anything typed.  This has happened a few times to me and there is nothing more aggravating.

    Please add some code to check the contents of the reply box to prompt “Are you sure you want to discard your comments before posting?”  Yes/No…. or something similar… or otherwise disable the keyboard shortcuts that cause the browser to go backwards.   I don’t even know what those keyboard shortcuts might be.  I type fast and periodically hit a wrong key and see my comment just vanish.

    1. Matt Williams

      Frankly, I began the process of looking into that issue a week ago. The answer that I was given is that the situation you describe is browser specific and that the browser command that the keyboard shortcut is activating would override any site specific code, and therefore the code for the popup box would never activate.

      Do me a favor, and the next time it happens to you please note the page that the inadvertent keyboard shortcut takes you to. You have my phone number, and give me a call as well.

      1. Miwok

        Make sure the browser is up to date and even then sometimes it glitches. As a web developer it happens to me too. Easiest way: I close the browser and restart, or use a different browser. Sometimes I have to restart the computer. It usually depends on where the mouse might be at the time, as odd as it sounds.

        Clicking ten times in frustration does you no good. Sometime it is just slower than you would like.

    2. Frankly

      Figured it out. It is Firefox. Mozilla engineer dummies. Not a surprise given the type of employees that company has hired: http://www.tpnn.com/2014/03/28/liberal-tolerance-mozilla-employees-demand-ceo-step-down-over-his-support-of-traditional-marriage/

      The Backspace key and pressing both Alt and will cause the browser to go forward to the next page.

      How stupid is that?

      I found a work-around solution.

      1. Go here and download an Add-On to allow customization of shortcuts: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/customizable-shortcuts/

      2. Go to Tools=>Options and click on the Shortcuts icon on the top-right.

      3. Change the “page back” keyboard shortcut to something less stupid than the Backspace and Alt < keys.

      For a more permanent solution…

      1. Type “about:config” in the address bar.

      2. Click the [I'll Be Careful, I Promise] stupid button.

      3. Scroll down to “browser.backspace_action”, right-click and click “Modify”. Enter “2” and click [OK]ion", right-click and click "Modify".  Enter "2" and click [OK]

  11. Mark West

    Let me see if I have this right.  The development agreement produced and agreed to by the City allows for the developer to request the formation of a CFD to pay for some of the infrastructure improvements.  So if such a request is submitted, it cannot be considered a surprise.  Yet, to date, the developer has not requested that the City form a CFD.

    So why the hue and cry now?

    If the request for the CFD is forthcoming, write your hit piece analysis then. At this point all the Vanguard is doing is ginning up controversy so that the resident rabble has something to rouse about, on what is apparently a slow news day.

    1. hpierce

      Mark… think you’re basically correct, depending on whether the specific, legally binding language in the DA binds the City to “consider” the formation (which ALWAYS could have been requested, even absent the DA), or whether it OBLIGATES the City to form such a district, upon request.  Would need to see the pertinent text(s) before I could opine further.

    2. Davis Progressive

      “So why the hue and cry now?
      If the request for the CFD is forthcoming, write your hit piece analysis then.”
      where is the hit piece portion of this article.
      here’s the conclusion of the piece: “While Mr. Webb told the Vanguard that the possibility of CFD was contained in the developer’s agreement, from our search of the November 12, 2013 agenda item, the issue does not appear to have arisen at that time.  One of the critical issues that the city will have to weigh is this balancing between the profit margin for the developers and affordability for the new residents.”
      that’s hardly a hit piece.

      1. Mark West

        DP:  “that’s hardly a hit piece.”

        Urban Dictionary:  Hit Piece:  an attempt to turn public opinion against someone/something through the appearance of objective reporting or editorializing.

        Publishing this piece after the request for a CFD has been made and the City is considering it, would be considered reasonable analysis.  Writing it before the request has been made. with no certainty that it will ever be made, has no legitimate purpose other than to bring negative attention on the developer in an attempt to turn or reinforce public opinion against him.

  12. Michael Harrington

    The CC voted 5-0 for this valley sprawl project, and didn’t discuss and decide the CFD first?   Amazing.  But after the two water rate packages (passed 5-0 each)  that we had to knock down, I am not surprised at anything anymore.

    1. Gunrocik

      Wrong, Counselor.  The Council voted 3-2 with Lee and Krovoza dissenting on the most advanced new subdivision we may ever see in the Valley.  Ask the sprawl experts over at SACOG who came and spoke in support of the project.

  13. Michael Harrington

    Their no votes were not about much besides bicycles and access, if memory serves.

     

    and they should have put this project on the ballot but did not. So it was basically 5-0 on the project

     

    if you vote NO then better make those votes stick and they did not.

    1. Michelle Millet

      Their no votes were not about much besides bicycles and access, if memory serves.

       

      If Korvoza and Lee’s NO votes don’t stick out then maybe it is a problem with your memory. I remember them very clearly, and regardless of how you would like to rewrite history, they were about more then bikes and access.

    1. Michelle Millet

      Okay. But I don’t consider what Joe and Brett were arguing for should a). be considered “goodies” or b). have to be “extracted” from a developer.

  14. Anon

    To Michael Harrington: The Cannery is “urban sprawl”?  LOL  What is your definition of “sprawl”?  Are you saying that The Cannery should have been kept as is in perpetuity?

    1. Tia Will

      Anon

      Not wanting the Cannery turned into (definitely not affordable to many families) housing units is not synonymous with wanting it kept “as is in perpetuity”. I think that it would have made a very good space for the smaller kinds of “incubator” or “start up” businesses generated by the university. It would also have provided a nice spot for a city park or other open gathering space. It could also have been the site for a higher proportion of apartments or other more “affordable housing” spaces.

      There is a big, big difference in “do what the developer wants to ensure his profit” and not doing anything at all. Not rezoning the property for the accommodation of the developer,not the city,might have been a good first step.

      1. South of Davis

        Tia wrote:

        > It could also have been the site for a higher proportion of

        > apartments or other more “affordable housing” spaces.

        I don’t see why anyone cares “how” the developer pays to build out the site.  In Davis the city won’t let you put the water bill in a tenants name and some people (like me) just increase the rent by $100 to cover the cost while others scan and e-mail the bill to the tenants every month and ask for an extra $100.

        P.S. Nice to see Tia (like most people on the far left) want the (evil) developers to provide “affordable” housing to the poor while they are allowed to get “top dollar” from their real estate portfolio.  I’m betting the tenants in Tia’s North Davis rental are not a poor immigrant family paying “affordable” rent…

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          “I don’t see why anyone cares “how” the developer pays to build out the site.”

          You don’t see why anyone cares?

          You’ve been sited the history about the abuse of Mello-Roos in Davis. People have noted the concerns about the affordability. And then there’s the basic fairness issue. You may disagree with those or downplay them, but there seems to be plenty of reason why people would care.

  15. Tia Will

    South of Davis

    I’m betting the tenants in Tia’s North Davis rental are not a poor immigrant family paying “affordable” rent…”

    And I am betting that you know absolutely nothing about my rental policies. You tell me if you feel that $1000 per month is “affordable” for a four bedroom, 2.5 bath house in NorthStar or if not charging a family in need no rent for over six months fits your definition of a money grubbing landlord.  You accuse me of “vilifying” developers as “evil” which I have never done, while trying to type cast me as some kind of hypocrite. Some people actually put their money where their mouth is. This is not because I am any more or less virtuous than anyone else. It is simply that money is not my highest priority in life. There are things in life that I value much, much more highly than money such as compassion and basic human caring.

    1. South of Davis

      Tia:

      Is one of your kids living in your North Davis home?

      If you really cared about “families in need” you could sell your north Davis home for over $900K and help a lot of “families in need”…

      When a person that owns more than a MILLION dollars worth of investment real estate (plus their own home)  and makes “top 1% income” says “It is simply that money is not my highest priority in life” they are lying (sorry but the truth hurts)

      Nothing wrong with making good money or owning millions of real estate (PLUS the home you live in) but the reality is that people who make a lot money and have a lot of money and don’t give it away they are showing that money IS  a HIGH PRIORITY in their life.

      1. Gunrocik

        I grew up in a era where we referred to the folks you reference as “Limousine Liberals.”  I see from Wikipedia that those who can afford a nice SUV, but no limo are often referred to as “Lexus Liberals”…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limousine_liberal

        I think that here in Davis we have our “Prius Liberals” who commute in their Prius but still take their SUV to the mountains, and then we have our “Central Park Liberals” who preach sustainability and compact growth while they live in their large lot homes and fight any density increases in the Central Core and any growth at the edge of town.

  16. Tia Will

    SOD

    Because you have chosen to pick a public and very personal fight, I will respond personally.

    There is a principle that conservatives are found of espousing, that if we gave away everything, we would only have created another pauper. So I will share with you a bit of my philosophy. I believe that I have an obligation to care for myself, and anyone who is dependent upon me for the duration of my life, and in the case of others until they are self supporting.  This is my first obligation. Then I can branch out from there.  I am not sure where you got the idea that I have multiple millions in real estate, but this is erroneous although none of your business. My real estate properties are part of my long term self care strategy. I have managed to accumulate enough to live without being dependent upon others for the rest of my life assuming that I live into my nineties which is my familial pattern.

    I have not accumulated enough to leave my children a substantial inheritance unless I die at a relatively young age largely because I have had large numbers of people to support throughout my career. My son does live in the house. His share of the rent is covered by his acting as landlord and property manager. This leaves the remaining three room mates with an average rental of $333.00 monthly ( I pay the utilities ).

    I am in no pain. And your truth is not mine. So unless you have access to direct knowledge of my personal charitable giving and the extent to which I donate my time, I would suggest that we stop this very unpleasant exchange that I feel says far more about you, your biases, and your willingness to defame based on a complete lack of knowledge,  armed only with your ignorance and hubris than it says about me. Of course if you wish to continue, I would be happy to as long as you provide me with your real name and your financial statements.

    Don please feel free to remove any of this you see fit ( once my post has been up for the same amount of time as that of SOD).

    1. South of Davis

      Tia:

      You seem like a nice person and I find it interesting that you have no problem saying (in this thread):

      “Not rezoning the property for the accommodation of the developer,not the city,might have been a good first step.”

      but call it “a public and very personal fight” when I mention some things that YOU have made “public” by posting on this BLOG and YOU have made “personal” by posting under your own “personal” name rather than “Medwoman”.

      I know you don’t “feel” rich, but if you make even close to the median salary of a MD in America you make more than I do and also make WAY more than the “50 percent of all American workers made less than $28,031″ (according to the Social Security Administration wage statistics for 2013 released last week).

      I’m in the minority of Davis adults that don’t have an advanced degree and I know a lot of people that would love to move to Davis, but can’t afford it.

      It must be nice to have enough to have your kid living nearby in a $900K+ (according to Zillow) Davis house while “publicly” speaking out against (almost) all development in Davis that will allow the children of other Davis residents to move to a home (even half as nice) in town.

      1. Frankly

        I am guessing that Tia is the top 2% of wage earners in this country, and probably the top 5% in assets if we include the value of her pension which we should.

        To make it into the much demonized 1%ers elite group, you need to make $343,927 per year.

        Now Obama has done a good job reducing the earnings gap since in 2007 that number was $424,413.

        The top 5% today starts at $167,728.

        1. South of Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          > To make it into the much demonized 1%ers elite group,

          > you need to make $343,927 per year.

          Most people count ALL the “household” income when calculating if someone is in the “top 1%”.  I read recently that Ralph Lauren made $66.7 million last year (I remember the number because I wondered if he asked for a little more so he didn’t make $66.6 million) and most people would consider his partner the “top 1% (even if she made less than $343K on the entertaining book she wrote).  Tia has mentioned a “partner” on this blog many times and since every female MD I know (and have heard of) has a high earning partner I assumed Tia’s household is in the “top 1%”…

    2. Frankly

      This is a silly argument between SOD and Tia.

      There are two motivations for why we pursue money.

      We first pursue money so that we can meet all of our lower level needs of security and safety.  Some might even take it up to the love need… thinking they can buy love.   But once those needs are satisfied, the first motivation goes away.

      Then beyond that we all head toward the pursuit of peer-acknowledgement and self-actualization.  In Tia’s case the money she earns is incidental to her pursuit of higher level needs.   I fully believe that she would claim very much the same life satisfaction doing what she does for a living even it paid significantly less… as long as she could satisfy all the lower level needs.

      But for some people money earned is a more direct result for their pursuit of their higher-level needs.  For example, if you work in investment banking, greater earnings is the primary accomplishment you are pursuing.

      What I detest is the “holier than thou” position coming from some people.  They demonize certain professions while holding others (usually their own) in higher regard.  They demonize people making more money and having a lot while they themselves make a lot of money and have a lot too.

      A billionaire pursues greater billions for pretty much the same reason that a doctor pursues greater health cures.  They are both seeking acknowledgement from their peers and self.   And the vast majority of people in this country have had some experience striving to fulfill their lover level needs at some point in their lives.

      Class divisiveness is a well-known strategy that weak leaders use to gain and retain power.  We significantly err joining in.  There is much less that separates us than makes us the same.  And, with one exception, the money we make and have isn’t worth any discussion in our dialog to make the world a better place.  That exception is when the money we make and have comes from political connections.

  17. ryankelly

    To get back to the initial question – my gut answer would be “No.”  The developers of North Davis (far north – I don’t know what its official name) didn’t do this and sold the houses and made a nice profit.  The Cannery folks could do the same.  If there is a CFD, then I think it should be very limited.  The so-called perks were negotiated so the rest of the community didn’t have to pay for improvements and infrastructure required to make the development happen.  I do not believe that the future homeowners should then be burdened with paying for those elements of the project.  If the development couldn’t afford the improvements and elements of the design, then it shouldn’t have agreed to them or designed them.  Already the homeowners will have to pay the current taxes that are in place.  In the near future, we will be asking them to also vote for and pay an additional tax to pay for infrastructure improvements for the broader community.

    1. South of Davis

      Ryan wrote:

      > I do not believe that the future homeowners should then be burdened

      > with paying for those elements of the project. 

      Why not let the “future homeowners” decide?

      The people that don’t have a problem “paying for those elements of the project” will buy a new home in the Cannery and the people that don’t want to pay can buy in another neighborhood.

      1. ryankelly

        Parts of the agreement have nothing to do with the actual development, but its impact on neighboring communities, i.e. improvements to Community Park, etc.  I don’t think that those things should be included in the CFD.  These were agreements that the developer made that have nothing to do with the ownership of one house.  Consider the possibility that the improvements to Community Park are included in the CFD and then we vote to include improvements to Community Park (aka the pool) in a future parcel tax.

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