Council Pushes Nishi Forward, Concerned About Three Innovation Parks

Nishi-2015-Draft-Site-Plan

On Tuesday night, the Davis City Council unanimously moved Nishi forward and authorized the staff to move forward in preparing the environmental impact report (EIR).  While there was clear support for moving forward, three councilmembers, led by Brett Lee, expressed concern about three potential innovation park projects going forward simultaneously.

Councilmember Lee noted that this project has been around for a while and there has already been substantial amounts of public outreach on it.  He said, “I’m a little concerned about this idea that three projects will be simultaneously on the ballot.”

“I would like to see this have its own separate spot on the ballot,” he continued.  Councilmember Lee noted that the project came to council a full year before the other two innovation park proposals, and “I’d like to give it the opportunity to go first.”

Brett Lee acknowledged that there have been some comments that it may not be ready to go.  “If they’re not ready to go then they go to the back of the line,” he said.  “I don’t believe that a delay in their ability to do their project forward should impact the other proposals that we have.”

He added, “I think it should be a separate question to the voters assuming that the project is approved and the EIR.  But at this stage, I think it would be reasonable to plan to have it separate from the other proposals.”

Councilmember Lee reiterated that if they are not ready they go to the back of the line stating that he didn’t want to hold up the other proposals if Nishi was not ready to go.

“I think this idea that we have this massive, multi-project, free-for-all on the ballot,” he said,  “I think that does our community disservice.”

Brett Lee would clarify that he was not advocating on behalf of this project or against it, but rather staking this out from a process standpoint. “I’ll be frank, I think it would be a mess having three very large scale projects before the voters all at once.”  In fairness to all, he said, it would be better for all them – it would be more fair to allow the voters to decide without having all the projects jumbled together.

Councilmember Lee would a few minutes later put the question to his colleagues.

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis stated, “I definitely share Brett (Lee’s) concern about that.  It’s unknown to me at this point the realities that each one is going to face is going to lead some to slow the process down or not.  I don’t know yet.”

“But I do agree – and the sooner we can have conversation about how we make it work, the better,” he said.  “I’m extremely anxious about that.”

Mayor Pro Tem Davis expressed concern about how in a “meaningful way” we would bring three proposals to the ballot at the same time.  “These significant land use proposals, they’re Measure R,” he said.

City Attorney Harriet Steiner warned the council that, while this was an important issue, all that was before them on this evening was the Nishi project. From a Brown Act standpoint, they would need to bring the item back to have further discussion on the three projects and timing.

Mayor Pro Tem Davis acknowledged this, stating this was really about signaling concerns.  He reiterated, “I think it’s problematic and I don’t think it honors the community process to do it that way.”

Councilmember Lucas Frerichs went a step further, saying, “It’s crazy actually. Not just problematic.”

Community Development Director Mike Webb suggested that there was a whole host of issues that the council subcommittee (Rochelle Swanson and Robb Davis) might want to discuss, issues ranging from tax sharing, county negotiations, and other issues of that sort which are all “a process that is going to be common to all three of the proposals.” Therefore, he said, “from a staff standpoint, I think there could be some real advantage to having the participation of the council subcommittee as we work through those processes.”

“While we’re talking about Nishi tonight, they’re all going to be interrelated and intertwined in many ways,” Mr. Webb stated, saying that those commonalities exist irrespective of the timing.

Mayor Dan Wolk, however, believed that the need to discuss timing was premature.

“I think it’s premature at this point to discuss what we want to do in terms of what goes on the ballot,” the Mayor said.  “I think we need to let this process play out a little bit more.  See what these studies produce, see what happens to these projects as they move down the pipeline.  Then I think it’s important to have this discussion.”

“I do think that we have three strong proposals right now,” he said.  “It’s important to let the process play out a little bit.”

He understood the desire on the part of some councilmembers to make a decision soon, but “at least for me personally, I don’t feel like I have the requisite information at this point to make that decision.  I get the concern about putting all three on the ballot, don’t get me wrong, but I think we need to be very reasonable on that.”

But Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis pushed back.  “I agree that we don’t have the information,” he said.  “I think what we’re signaling is a real concern that the way these are lined up time wise, just the timelines, they’re pointing toward March 2016 – at this point they’re all pointing like an arrow and I find that daunting.”

He did say that he is not ready to make a decision on that next week.  “That’s not the point, the point is that we need to state that that’s troubling.  That poses problems.  If that arrow keeps pointing in that direction, it’s kind of insane…  There’s something that’s going to have to give.”

Council unanimously voted to approve the staff recommendations which included two equal-weight alternatives as the primary project to be analyzed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR): “The preferred project alternative with full ped/bike/vehicle access from both west Olive Drive and the UC Davis campus; and an alternative with access from west Olive Drive only.”

Staff and the CEQA consultant are proposing the following CEQA alternatives:

  • A “no-project” alternative, as required by statute.
  • A office/research only alternative, which has the potential of reducing impacts from placing housing near the freeway and the railroad tracks;
  • A reduced-intensity alternative, which has the potential to reduce traffic and agricultural impacts of the proposal; and
  • An off-site alternative on the 5th Street Corridor (PG&E, City, and DJUSD corporation yards), as assessed in the Studio 30 Innovation Center Study.

The current schedule sees the public review of the scope of the EIR in February 2015. The draft EIR would be issued for public review in July, along with the draft sustainability plans. Staff writes, “This will allow Planning Commission and City Council the capability of holding public hearings and making a decision by the end of the calendar year, thereby allowing the possibility of a Measure R election as soon as March of 2016.”

As noted previously, the timeline for the Mace Innovation Center and the Davis Innovation Center ending up on the ballot currently also project to March 2016.

—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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30 Comments

  1. Frankly

    An off-site alternative on the 5th Street Corridor (PG&E, City, and DJUSD corporation yards), as assessed in the Studio 30 Innovation Center Study.

    Is that even an alternative?  Has PG&E decided to vacate?  I have not heard that.

    1. David Greenwald

      This is just like the EIR for the innovation parks having a housing component – they study it for the purpose of an alternative impact not because it’s part of the proposal or event plausible.

    2. hpierce

      Frankly, even if PG&E were interested in selling the site, the potential toxics from many years of storing transformers (old style, that had methyl-ethyl-bad stuff) might be a real challenge for remediation/subsequent use.  It is an interesting concept though, given proximity to downtown and arterial streets/transit routes.

      Not a “pipe dream” but not likely in the next 10 years of probability.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        Pierce, I realize you stated “potential toxics” on the site, not certain. However, I wonder if you have ever seen a document which implies there is a real toxic waste problem on the Davis PG&E site? Or, if you have not, do you know of other similar PG&E sites have been found to have toxic waste problems?

        I Googled this just now and I cannot find anything like that for storage yards like the one in Davis. That said, there have been a number of cases with PG&E toxins causing health problems, etc. The most famous is the Erin Brockovitch case. There have been a number of others, including a recent one in San Francisco. But as far as I can tell, the PG&E sites where there were toxic waste disposal issues were all very different from the PG&E yard in Davis. (Then again, I am ignorant of all the things PG&E has done on its Davis property over the years.)

        1. Alan Miller

          RR, I worked as an environmental consultant for seven years, including managing the sampling at dozens of Superfund (and other) sites including a PG&E site.  I would be shocked if there were no toxics issues at the PG&E site. That said, a full sampling program would have to be initiated at great expense to define the extent of toxics, if any, in soil and groundwater, and that is unlikely to happen unless PG&E is readying to relocate.

    3. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      Frankly, this is a description of what CEQA requires when it comes to EIR alternative proposals to the one under consideration:

      Alternatives to the Proposed Project

      One of the primary issues to consider when preparing an EIR is the nature and number of project alternatives to be included in the environmental document and technical studies. The CEQA statutes, guidelines, and court cases do not give concrete rules for determining the nature and scope of alternatives. Rather, the CEQA Guidelines state that an EIR must describe a range of reasonable alternatives to the project, or to the location of the project, which would feasibly attain most of the basic objectives of the project but would avoid or substantially lessen any of the significant effects of the project. The courts have stated that an EIR need not consider every conceivable alternative to a project, but rather the determination of the range of alternatives should be governed by the rule of reason.

      See: http://www.dot.ca.gov/ser/vol1/sec5/ch36eir/chap36.htm

  2. Davis Progressive

    so apparently the council now has similar concerns to those expressed here in terms of a collision course, but i still want to hear more about the circulation issues, we’re trying to jam this thing through in 15 months – that’s faster than cannery.

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      we’re trying to jam this thing through in 15 months

      In a different world, the City of Davis took about 5 months in 1938 to build its City Hall. That January, the Davis City Council discussed the plan and voted to take it to the residents. They had a special election a month later, which asked for approval for a property tax increase to buy the land and fund the new building at 3rd and F which would house city offices, and the police and the fire departments, and it included a jail in the basement. The voters said yes and the project went out to bid soon thereafter. By April, construction had begun and by early May, Davis had its new City Hall. I think that building, which we now call Old City Hall or Bistro 33, was the first permanent city hall in Davis history. (Keep in mind that Davis did not incorporate until 1917. So the City was just 21 years old in 1938.) Before that, I think the facilities were rented and dispersed.

      1. Frankly

        Interesting Rich.  My business requires me to directly interface with an agency of the Federal government.  The reason my industry exists is because previously the agency did not do a good enough job providing end-user services.  And it is our constant challenge to be responsive to the timeliness needs of our end-user customer having to rely on the agency to make decisions in a timely enough fashion.

        It seems to me that at the very time private business has had to increase customer responsiveness because of greater competition for performance in a global market, government has gone the exact opposite direction.  The timeline for getting things done with government and within government has grown and continues to expand.

        The IRS has come out to warn the 150 million taxpayers that they only have a 50% chance of getting their questions answered because of the expected flood of confusion caused by Obamacare.   For those that do manage to not get a busy-signal, the average hold time is expected to be more than 30 minutes…. meaning many will be on hold for hours.

        The incentives are generally just not there for government “business” to develop the needed sense of urgency and customer-responsiveness.  And I think this point is illustrated by your example because the new City Hall was a direct benefit to those holding the keys to the decision.   Government can and will push an agenda forward if politicians and/or staff have a direct vested interest.  And this too explains why government service levels fall in a period of cost-cutting…. the vested interest is to punish the end user so he opens his wallet again and again and again.

        Listening to some of the public commentary about Nishi last it is also clear that Davis is stuck in a “perfection is the enemy of the good” conundrum with so many activist citizens.  Parking, housing, traffic, tax revenue, students, retail, sequencing of proposals/projects, Measure R, environmental concerns… the list goes on.

        Question… do you think today a similar project for a new city hall could be fast-tracked like in 1938?

        1. Miwok

          The IRS has come out to warn the 150 million taxpayers that they only have a 50% chance of getting their questions answered because of the expected flood of confusion caused by Obamacare.   For those that do manage to not get a busy-signal, the average hold time is expected to be more than 30 minutes…. meaning many will be on hold for hours.

          And you know these people have to call during work hours, if they work. The lines will not be open for the convenience of the citizens, only the  IRS.

        2. Davis Progressive

          “Listening to some of the public commentary about Nishi last it is also clear that Davis is stuck in a “perfection is the enemy of the good” conundrum with so many activist citizens.  Parking, housing, traffic, tax revenue, students, retail, sequencing of proposals/projects, Measure R, environmental concerns… the list goes on.”

          i have a different take, drive around town to the newer subdivisions and my view is that we have settled for a lot of mediocrity in this town.  we have a chance to do some really great things but we’re not willing to push for them.

        3. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          Question… do you think today a similar project for a new city hall could be fast-tracked like in 1938?

          No. For some good and for some not good reasons we live in a different world. Yet it is notable that that 77.5 year old building as held up very well over the years, even though it eventually became functionally obsolete and had to be adapted to a new use, which now suits it very well in my opinion.

          I would think that if Davis wanted to acquire purchase rights for some land, authorize a public vote for a tax increase (fitting the confines of Prop 13) to pay for the new property, go through the entire draft EIR and EIR process, possibly held up by lawsuits, hold public debates and a campaign over the tax proposition, pass the proposition, put the plan out to bid and decide upon a final design and its architecture, choose a qualified contractor, have the site prepped and have all subterranean infrastructure installed, have the building built (to a higher standard of construction, including better insulation and safety systems and so on) and have the building opened for use, it would take at least 4 years, and if lawsuits slowed everything down it might be twice that.

        4. Frankly

          i have a different take, drive around town to the newer subdivisions and my view is that we have settled for a lot of mediocrity in this town.  we have a chance to do some really great things but we’re not willing to push for them.

          While I agree that is some mediocrity, I would venture a guess that your opinion would be different than my opinion.  Talk to realtors about what is desired and it won’t likely line up with many of the demands from our activist community.   Parking is a prime example.  Activists want to constrain parking for environmental, ideological and basic social reasons… but many potential business buyers or tenants of the commercial parcels would reject the property without adequate parking.  The same is true for high density housing.  We hear from certain posters on this blog that we need more high-density housing, yet they type this from their single-family homes on acreage and large lots.

          Certainly there are some common interests… for example, alternative green energy can help reduce energy bills and business also can leverage green certifications in marketing and other pursuits to help improve their brand.

          But face it… the demands of this city are extreme and often at odds with the real world.  Utopia is impossible and we just waste a lot of time typing to make it happen.  Sometimes good is good enough.

          1. Don Shor

            Talk to realtors about what is desired and it won’t likely line up with many of the demands from our activist community. …. We hear from certain posters on this blog that we need more high-density housing, yet they type this from their single-family homes on acreage and large lots.

            We need more high-density housing for a particular demographic that always gets short shrift in the planning process here. I was once in that demographic, and likely you were too. You’re right that realtors wouldn’t have much interest in it. But that doesn’t mean the demand and the need aren’t there.

        5. South of Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          > do you think today a similar project for a new

          > city hall could be fast-tracked like in 1938?

          Just a few years earlier in 1933 construction of a bridge across the SF Bay was started and despite a big strike that stopped work for a while in 1934 President Hoover and Governor Merriam were able to cut the chains and send cars over the two new bridges and through a new tunnel in an island in 1936 after spending $77 million ($1.3 Billion in 2014 Dollars) on construction

          In 1989 we started working to replace HALF of the SF Bay bridge (using the same tunnel through the island) and in 2013 the new HALF of the bridge opened after spending $6.5 Billion ($383 Million in 1936 Dollars).

          If things were not bad enough for CA with the Public Union Pension Ponzi we still have to deal with replacing much of the aging infrastructure in the state knowing that it will cost 5-10x more than is should and take 5-10x longer than it should due to BOTH Republicans giving payoff to their Private sector friends Democrats giving payoffs to their Public Sector friends…

        6. Frankly

          We need more high-density housing for a particular demographic that always gets short shrift in the planning process here. I was once in that demographic, and likely you were too. You’re right that realtors wouldn’t have much interest in it. But that doesn’t mean the demand and the need aren’t there.

          Either I wasn’t clear enough or you are missing my point or both.

          I agree that we have a student housing supply shortage and that there is demand for high density housing for students.  I was talking about the more general demand that we ONLY build high-density housing… or even that we build MOSTLY high density housing.

          If we are only working to satisfy the student need, then it makes sense.  Otherwise people are advocating to develop housing that many people really don’t want.

          That was my point… when activists push for a planning/development agenda lacking knowledge of or concern about market considerations… we will first end up with a conflict with the developer who is generally ALWAYS focused on market considerations… and second the potential buyers of the properties because they don’t check enough of the needs/wants boxes.   And many of the people pushing for this parking-constrained tiny house world do so from a typical single-family home with a yard or lots of acreage around them.

          There are more than students that need housing in Davis.  There are UCD employees.  There are Davis business owners.  There are families and seniors and young professionals.  And you are correct that when I was young I lived in Davis apartment complexes, but I certainly don’t want to do that again.  And I certainly don’t want any neighbors so close to me that we might as well live in a commune together.

          Last night at the CC meeting there were plenty of people up complaining about the amount of parking being proposed at Nishi and how this would somehow “influence” car travel and then this would ensure that we all perish in a anthropogenic global warming ball-o-fire.  And so we should make parking more difficult so we can satisfy the environmental-ideological-social activist agenda.  My point is that constraining parking would damage the marketability of the property to business.

          1. Don Shor

            My point is that constraining parking would damage the marketability of the property to business.

            I agree. I think traffic engineers could address this issue. I’m pretty sure there are well-established formulas for how much parking is reasonable to provide for the types of business and residential units that are planned for Nishi.

        7. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          My point is that constraining parking would damage the marketability of the property to business.

          Frankly: If a residential property is relatively near the main campus–say a half mile or less as the crow flies–and it is designed for students or it mostly has student residents, would you favor a reduced on-site parking requirement?

          Presently, for such apartment buildings, a landlord is required to provide 3 parking spaces for each 3-bedroom apartment. To me, that seems too much. It creates low-density student housing.

          What I would like to see for student-oriented apartments is one on-site parking space for every 3 bedrooms in an entire complex. So if the complex has 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units, and the total is 90 bedrooms, the landlord would have to provide only 30 parking spaces.

          I think some of those spaces must be reserved for individuals with severe mobility issues; and the rest could be auctioned to the highest bidders among residents.

          Everywhere in Davis near the main campus, street parking is already restricted by residential permit or by time limits. I think that largely solves the problem where students who cannot park on-site would take up limited street parking. The key, I think, is that the police not give out/sell too many residential street parking permits for the given supply. If this pushes the over-demand out to neighborhoods where street-parking is not restricted, we likely would have to restrict those spaces to residents, too.

          If we changed the parking space requirement as I suggest, I would hope that over time–probably it would take decades–many of the low-density, low-rise apartment buildings would be replaced by new, taller, denser buildings, and the students who live in them will ride bikes or walk in Davis, and maybe they could have a Google-car come pick them up as needed.

           

        8. Miwok

          What I would like to see for student-oriented apartments is one on-site parking space for every 3 bedrooms in an entire complex.

          You do realize the students are stacking themselves three to a room in a lot of cases? One kid per bedroom, like one parking space per bedroom is a fantasy.

        9. Frankly

          So if the complex has 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom units, and the total is 90 bedrooms, the landlord would have to provide only 30 parking spaces.

          Why do this?

          First, this is not a campus development so we cannot control that every renter will be a student.

          Second, won’t a student that needs a car just have to reject the location and go elsewhere?

          I’m not a believer in artificial scarcity as a way to engineer human behavior.  I think it just creates a mess.

        10. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          FRANK LEEE: I’m not a believer in artificial scarcity as a way to engineer human behavior.  I think it just creates a mess.

          You do realize that you are the one who is advocating a way to engineer human behavior. That is, you are (seemingly) in favor of the regulatory scheme now in place, which FORCES landlords to provide essentially one parking space per bedroom. That is not a market response to the demand for on-site parking. That is a government imposed scheme which does not allow the market to operate.

          By contrast, what I suggest is to simply ease up on this excessively strict regulatory scheme by reducing the minimum parking standard to 1 per 3 from 1 per 1. Yes, that is regulatory, but it lets the market work more fluidly. If a landlord believed that prospective tenants in apartments near campus wanted more onsite parking, the landlord would be free to provide more parking up to the point where he decided his complex would attract tenants.

          You ask: Why do this?

          Aside from just letting the market function, my thought is to create (over time) more opportunity for UCD students to live close to campus. Our city is short of apartments (as the low vacancy rate shows). More units for rent close to campus would allow Davis to expand its total supply of apartments without having all of its new units miles from UCD. That eventuality would not only benefit student renters, but it also would (hopefully) reduce the demand for the conversion of single family homes into student rentals; and that would provide more opportunities for young families to live in those houses which are now occupied by students. … A street near mine (Acacia Lane) is now about 75% student rentals. All properties there are single family houses. I remember not too long ago when every house on Acacia was occupied by a young family with young children. Now there are only a few of those left.

        11. South of Davis

          Rich wrote:

          > So if the complex has 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom

          > units, and the total is 90 bedrooms, the landlord would have to

          > provide only 30 parking spaces.

          At an average of 1.5 kids per bedroom you will have 135 people for the 30 parking spaces.  If you figure 100 cars for 135 kids you will have 70 cars parking on the street making it impossible for home owners and other renters in the area to invite over more people than they can park in their driveway.  The minimum parking requirements are not to benefit the new apartment renters they are for the rest of us.  Apartment developers only care about profit and if they could build 20 more units to rent on a parking lot they would do it and not care if finding a parking space in Davis for the rest of us becomes as hard as finding a parking space in North Beach on a Friday night…

        12. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          If you figure 100 cars for 135 kids you will have 70 cars parking on the street …

          I don’t figure they would have that many cars because they CANNOT park on the street without a permit. And the city can control how many permits they sell.

          finding a parking space in Davis for the rest of us becomes as hard as finding a parking space in North Beach on a Friday night…

          This would not happen for two reasons: One, if you own your home, you can park on your driveway or in your garage. And two, you would be granted a street parking permit, which is the case now for all street parking in these areas, but apartment dwellers would not necessarily be granted street parking privileges.

          With nowhere to park, able-bodied student renters in apartments near campus would not bring cars to Davis, just like most cannot bring cars to the dorms their Freshman year. Students who insist on having a car would either have to pay more for one in their apartment complex or live further from campus.

          The fact is there is little reason for most students at UCD who live near campus to have a car. And with taxis and services like Uber and Zipcar, there is even less reason to have a car here, if they cannot park conveniently.

          I realize that in some off campus apartment complexes there is a mix of students and non-students, and it is likely the non-students prefer to have a car to get to work (say in Sacramento). So if we relaxed the parking regulations to 1 per 3 in proximate complexes, non-students would likely not choose to live in those places. That would do even more to free up apartments close to UCD for students, and it would make it more likely that new, peripheral apartment complexes would be home to working, non-student residents. (Part-time students who also work and need a car would probably choose to live a bit further from campus, if they could not easily park their cars.)

        13. South of Davis

          Rich wrote:

          > This would not happen for two reasons:

          > One, if you own your home, you can park on

          > your driveway or in your garage.

          Most people use their garage for storage of bikes and/or junk they will never use (and around UCD they convert them in to bedrooms) so if you have your own cars in the driveway there will not be anywhere for friends who visit to park.

          > And two, you would be granted a street parking permit,

          > which is the case now for all street parking in these areas,

          > but apartment dwellers would not necessarily be granted

          > street parking privileges.

          All the apartment renters can also get a street parking permit (under current laws) and that was my point if you build new apartments without parking the people will just get permits and park in the street (like the 8 kids living in the Streng homes with converted garages already do)…

        14. Frankly

          Mr. Rifkin: You do realize that you are the one who is advocating a way to engineer human behavior. That is, you are (seemingly) in favor of the regulatory scheme now in place, which FORCES landlords to provide essentially one parking space per bedroom.

          No, I am not advocating that.  But I get your point.

          I don’t know what the optimum number of parking spaced per bedroom is.  I suspect it is closer to 1 space per bedroom than it is 1 space per 3 bedrooms; but in any case I would prefer we side on abundance rather than scarcity because land is not scarce around our little hamlet like it is in Berkeley.

          Economics and necessity are the drivers (no pun intended) for car ownership and use.   In fact, we should consider that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour will cause a greater increase in the number of cars than would artificially constraining the number of parking spaces reduce the number of cars.

  3. Miwok

    Once again about the train tracks: The vibration from them will upset delicate instruments, limiting their use to people who can stand it, like the Highway will create noise.

    A few years back, the “Architects” at UCDMC “forgot” to put isolators for the HVAC units on three buildings on 2nd street in Sacramento . Digital scales and other equipment/people had to be moved back out then back in while these “mistakes” were corrected. Since Nishi and the other Parks are on good Davis farmland, maybe they are just counting on the natural soft stuff being compliant enough?

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      Miwok, I have heard this “vibration” problem before. Do you know if it is possible to overcome that with architecture which somehow counteracts the vibrations from the rail road?

      After Googling “vibration control engineering,” I found there are various civil engineering firms which seem to specialize in this technology. Here is one of them:

      http://esi-engineering.com/services/vibration-control/

      … Speaking of vibration from railroads, this is pretty interesting.

      1. Miwok

        I will offer some links to explain what they say, except they do not agree on the final cost, which from official press releases starts ay $53 Mil to the campus memos that run it up to over $82Mil, last I read about it.

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

        http://mondaviarts.org/press/mc_fact_sheet.cfm

        http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/uc-davis-7-million-leak/content?oid=4506139
        Many buildings on campus and elsewhere have this problem, including some of the first buildings built with native rock as far away as Paradise and Chico.

        And the last :
        The Mondavi Center, which was set to open this month, may be beautiful, but as an auditorium site, it presented a difficult acoustic situation. In addition to the Amtrak trains and whistles, the fast freights roil the air and shake the ground with low-pitched acoustic energy. Registering 85 dB at 125 Hz, this noisy energy also travels underground as vibrations and can turn earth-supported concrete floors into drumheads. More noise comes from one of California’s most heavily traveled corridors nearby, Interstate 80, which hisses and hums with honking traffic around the clock.
        http://svconline.com/mag/avinstall_peace_valley/

        Ciao, Rich!

  4. DavisBurns

    I remember there was concern about New Harmony mutual housing being built so close to the Freeway.  UCD professor, Thomas Cahill,  studied the air quality and determined the prevailing winds blew the pollutants away from the housing project. This project is between a freeway and railroad tracks.  I hope we look at air quality for this project as carefully as we did for New Harmony.

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