Residents of Binning Prepare to Fight Against Innovation Park Proposal

The back of the existing neighborhood as seen from the southeast corner of the proposed development.
The back of the existing neighborhood as seen from the southeast corner of the proposed development.

They are not residents of the city of Davis, but some have lived in this community since the 1960s. The residents of the 54-unit neighborhood of the Binning Tract, which rests just south of Road 29, west of Highway 113 and north of both the Sutter-Davis Hospital and the proposed Davis Innovation Center, believe that a proposed development of an innovation park could threaten their quality of life and are vowing to use what limited influence they have to fight against the proposal that could make a March 2016 ballot.

The Vanguard met on Thursday with four members of about an eight-person group selected to represent the neighborhood ‒ Sherrie Venezia, David Howitt, Michael Shearer, and Morrie Barr ‒ to hear their concerns. The development will come to within about 150 feet of the backyards of the southern-most residents of the development that was built way back in the late 1950s/early 1960s.

“We have lived in this neighborhood, some of us for over 45, 47 years and we have studied all of these proposals and went to the various meetings of the city council chambers and the scoping meeting at Emerson (Junior High School) and from what we see we have some grave concerns about the way this proposal is being shown to us in terms of size, its scope, and the way in which it will impact us,” Sherrie Venezia explained.

Concerns by the neighbors covered a large variety of issues, from flooding and impacts on the existing vernal pools and flood drainage system in an area that floods frequently now — even during periods of relatively low rainfall. They are concerned with the size of the project, the impact of traffic on a roadway system that is narrow and poorly designed, in their view, as it is now.

“The frontage road, 99D/John Jones is undersized already, per CalTrans,” she continued. “Concessions were made when this intersection was put in.”

The whole neighborhood is also concerned about the potential plan to put in a hotel that would rise 150 feet. Ms. Venezia explained that this hotel would look down upon the neighbors “who have lived in relative rural tranquility looking at an empty field.”

A survey was conducted by the neighbors. There are 54 properties in the neighborhood. Of those, 40 of the properties responded to the survey, with 55 responses recorded, indicating that some households had more than one response based on the adults in that household responding.

Some of the key findings included in the survey showed that 49 of the 55 respondents said they were “very concerned” about the “planned innovation park south of Binning Tract” with three saying they were “concerned” and two saying they were “somewhat concerned.”

Forty-nine of 55 respondents were opposed to the planned innovation park, with only three in support. Fifty of 55 opposed a Measure R vote to annex the land in the Binning Tract into the city.

David Howitt is a 35-year resident. “We don’t think an industrial area like this really belongs so close to a residential neighborhood,” he said. He cited problems associated with the building of the hospital years ago and noted that promises were made and were not kept by the city and developers.

“This is our home,” he said. “It’s sort of peculiar that someone wants to come within 200 feet of your home and build a thirteen story hotel and a large industrial park.”

Mr. Howitt didn’t dispute the need for an innovation park in Davis. He said, “It’s good to take advantage of the expertise of the university and some of the development seems quite sensible. It seems odd that they would want to build it here.”

He acknowledged that the soil is not that good in this area, so it is not great for farming. However, he said, “The original plan for the Binning Tract area was just to provide a little residential area within the school district, but not actually within the city.”

A big problem that several of them cited is that, because they do not live in the city, “we’re not really represented as a group,” as Mr. Howitt pointed out. “When it comes to us talking to the Davis City Council, we’re not actually within the city, so we’re not covered.”

“It’s not that we’re nimby’s,” he said. He noted that current zoning allows houses to be built on 20 acres. “I don’t think anyone has given any thought to the impact that it’s going to have on our neighborhood. Or maybe they have and they just don’t care. But we certainly care. I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood is keen on the impact that will happen from this.”

Flooding issues are a problem. The problem is not the low-lying land but the impact of runoff. The neighbors fear that, with new development, it could push the water into their homes. One concern is that, while the developers may mitigate flooding to make sure the park does not have an issue, “but if it runs off to us, what do we do?”

Mr. Howitt said, “They come up with all sorts of clever ideas (to deal with flood issues) that would seem to work,” but in their experience, a lot of these solutions haven’t worked or generate new problems. For instance, there have been drainage ponds where the water never really gets to the ponds and ends up backing up into the development.

“Perhaps these are small issues for people living around town,” David Howitt continued. “But for us this dramatically impacts our lifestyle.”

Michael Shearer has been a periodic commenter at Davis City Council meetings. He called it “an inappropriate development in a residential area. I think that innovation is fine, perhaps a good concept, it needs to be thought out carefully.”

Road 99D is a narrow two-lane road with bike lanes on both sides and the freeway to the east.
Road 99D is a narrow two-lane road with bike lanes on both sides and the freeway to the east and a drainage ditch running the length of the west side of the road.

He said he believes it would be better for such a facility to have its own on-ramp or be along the I-80 corridor.

“The flooding issue is huge, not just in our neighborhood but all over,” he said. “Even in years with little rainfall, a good storm or two can cause a lot of damage.”

He is concerned where the water from 200 acres is going to go. “Eventually there is going to be more water than they can get rid of,” he said.

He said there are vernal pools that supply habitat. The open field houses burrowing owls and Swainson’s Hawks. “It’s a sensitive habitat zone with burrowing owls and vernal pools,” Mr. Shearer stated.

There are safety concerns as well.

“A poor traffic plan already, that’s going to be very difficult to correct, and now you’re going to have far more traffic trying to get in and out of the area,” Michael Shearer said. He noted there is a bike route and it is already hazardous to kids due to the narrowness of the road combined with the high speed of traffic.

Sherrie Venezia said that they are facing at least 10,000 additional car trips a day to this location. She noted that Covell narrows right at the hospital. “You’re going to have congestion and inconvenience to everybody who lives in the West Davis corridor,” she said.

Michael Shearer also questioned the ability of the city or developers to fill the park. He argued that rents in Davis average 25-30 percent more than surrounding communities like Woodland, West Sacramento and Dixon.

“What they’re suggesting is to provide all of this commercial space, at a cost that’s 25 to 30 percent higher, so what is that going to look like down the road? Are businesses going to stay in these parks if eight miles away they can save 25 percent on rent? Who’s to say these are actually going to rent if there’s that competition and other cities are also doing the same thing?” he asked. “I’m not convinced that businesses are going to stay here.”

He thinks the Ramos innovation park may be a more viable park.

Sherrie Venezia said that she has researched Innovation Centers around the country and argued, “The ones that have been most successful have been the ones that have been closest to downtown.” These have been able to reduce the carbon footprint by enabling people to take their bicycles and go to lunch downtown. She cited Boulder, CO, as a good example.

“Innovation Parks are good idea, we need the business, we need to maintain the parks and infrastructure of Davis, there’s no question, but to have this town start looking like San Jose,” she said. She considers herself part of the community and greatly supports the city’s growth control policies. “This I see as an outlier, a business park thrust right in West Davis.”

One of the key questions the Vanguard posed to the neighbors was whether they are against the idea of any innovation park in this location, or just the specific proposal of this park.

Morrie Barr said, “You could argue that an innovation park makes sense if we didn’t have homes, now, in Binning. The fact is, Binning Tract is there, it’s been there.”

“Would some kind of an innovation park work?” he said. “I would think so if you didn’t have a large hotel, 150 feet high, setting right on (road) 99D as a main access. That doesn’t make sense to me.”

“If you are going to have an innovation park, does it have to be 200-something acres?” he continued. “You could have a nice greenbelt buffer area more than 150 feet (buffer) that they’re suggesting.”

“From what I’ve seen now it doesn’t make sense,” he said. “Is it the best use of the land? I don’t think so.”

Michael Shearer argued that this impacts not only Binning, but the residents along Covell, in West Davis and in North Davis Meadows across the highway. “So it impacts three neighborhoods,” he said. “I think innovation parks would be more appropriate along the I-80 corridor where they have a dedicated on-ramp. It’s going to be a commuter situation with 10,000 trips a day.”

How is that going to play out? he asked. “It’s going to be a disaster,” he said, adding especially since the existing infrastructure is sub-standard to be begin with.

Sherrie Venezia said that she could see a smaller profiled park, clustered up close to the hospital with a dedicated greenbelt, loft-housing and cafes. “Something that would make it more like an innovation district which is a very powerful concept that’s sweeping the world, where people can walk to work and having community so that not everyone will be coming in at 8 am in the morning and going home at five.”

Interestingly enough, the neighbors seem to have been more comfortable with the idea of some mixed housing in the innovation center.

David Howitt acknowledged the right of the owners to develop the land in some way but simply argued, “It’s necessary that it fits in with the existing infrastructure.” He added, “Surely if someone is going to do a development in that area, they ought to do it in a way that doesn’t cause more of an inconvenience (to existing residents).”

“It would be 10,000 cars a day, that’s a lot of development for a two-lane road running near a residential area,” he added.

What they all were opposed to was the hotel and its proposed 150-foot height.

“There’s a real danger having that hotel there,” Sherrie Venezia said, not just in terms of aesthetics and zoning, “but the fact that the left turn going north into the hotel, there’s no possibility of having a dedicated left-turn lane. So cars would simply back up. It’s one narrow undersized lane going north and one narrow undersized lane going south with barriers on both sides.”

“It isn’t even a workable pragmatic concept,” Ms. Venezia concluded.

At this point, while the developers have submitted a formal application to the city, they are still running all sorts of studies – some in conjunction with the EIR that would look at environmental and neighborhood impacts as well as traffic circulation. In the coming months, we should get a clearer picture of the impacts and potential mitigation of those impacts.

Council is looking to make some determinations by the fall with the potential of a Measure R by Davis residents next spring. However, it should be pointed out that Binning residents, who reside outside of the city, would not get a say in that vote.

—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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86 Comments

  1. Barack Palin

    He is concerned where the water from 200 acres is going to go. “Eventually there is going to be more water than they can get rid of,” he said.

    How many business/innovation parks do we have across this country and they seem to all have managed to take care of any drainage problems.  Why would this one be any different?

    1. David Greenwald

      I think that’s a good point. From talking to the neighbors, they’re concern seems to be that the flooding situation has been poorly handled in the past when the hospital was put in, they have frequent problems now, and are concerned that an innovation park would exacerbate the problem.

      1. Matt Williams

        dghowitt: “Because the proposed site is in a designated flood plain.”

        This assertion is substantively incorrect. The graphic below is taken from FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map System (FIRM) which can be accessed at http://map1.msc.fema.gov/idms/IntraView.cgi?JX=1651&JY=917&ROT=0&KEY=89465355&IFIT=1

        The designated 100-year flood plain areas in the FIRM system are designated as Zone A show in grey. Zone X, shown in white, is outside the designated 100-year flood plain area. The three Binning Tract streets, Barry Road, Central Way and Sharron Avenue all are mapped by FEMA as being in the white Zone X non-flood plain area. The Binning Ranch parcel which is the northern portion of the proposed Davis Innovation Center … the part of most concern to the Binning Tract residents … is just to the south of Barry Road, and is also in the white Zone X non-flood plain area.
        .

        1. hpierce

          Matt… want to elaborate, not challenge.  There are (as you know, Matt) some issues as to the extent of the flood plain.  Obviously, the Binning Tract, based on the map, has a less than 1% chance of having flood damage in any given year.  Yet, there has been flooding there.  The FIRM “is what it is”, a snapshot in time, and doesn’t reflect anything other than a ‘30,000 foot’ estimation (better than “back of the envelope”).

          I would treat the proposed project “as if” it were in the flood plain, at least to the extent that they need to ‘account for’ any increased drainage runoff, and not impede any potential drainage flow that could adversely affect other properties, upstream or downstream.

          For the general readership… the FIRM does not reflect changes that have been made in improvements (channels, ponds, fill) since 1976, when the maps were developed.  It is part of an insurance program.  All of the properties (at least related to structures) within the City of Davis, have been “removed” from the designated flood areas based on improvements made, re-direction of flows, fill, etc.  These were done by “Letters of Map Revision”.  Please, do not look at the FIRM, and panic. Also, do not assume that the areas in white will never flood. The knowledgeable folk know they can. Standard is “likelihood”, statistically.

          Those ‘revisions’ were done after detailed engineering studies given all of the changes that occurred after 1976.

        2. Matt Williams

          In the same spirit of elaborate, not challenge, I’d like to add some additional info as well.   hpierce is correct that there was a long period of time from 1976 through the end of the 20th Century where FEMA Flood Maps were what they were, with very little or no change at all.  However, Hurricane Katrina caused FEMA to finally come out of hibernation and during a 2008/2009 timeline, FEMA undertook a major Flood mapping Update process, and the FIRM Flood Maps displayed on their website are based on the online flood mapping data that was updated as a result of that 2008/2009 process.

          The reason I know the above is that in the beginning of March 2009 over 100 El Macero homeowners received a letter from Yolo County (on behalf of FEMA) notifying them that their property which had previously been located in FEMA Zone C (see 1998 FIRM Flood Zone Map.pdf), was proposed to be located the new high-risk FEMA Flood Zone A  After talking with local officials (whom I had gotten to know right after the Hurricane Katrina disaster caused concern in El Macero that El Macero residences may be at risk if a levee failed), I called Marshall Merritt and Eric Simmons at FEMA to better understand the 90-day preliminary map review process.  After a series of telephone conversations with California and Virginia and points in between, we identified and agreed on a process path whereby all the properties in ElMacero could be and should be and were removed from the high-risk flood Zone A.

          The Binning Tract and the Binning Ranch never had to go through that process because FEMA’s assessment of the data indicated that they did not qualify for Zone A.

          hpierce is correct that flooding has historically occurred on the Binning Tract, but the reason that that flooding happened was not because of the flood plain, but rather because of a shortsighted agricultural practices decision by the people farming the land to the west of the Binning Tract.  Specifically, the agricultural fields were prepared the furrows were laid out running east/west, and when a 25-year rainstorm arrived that year,each east-west furrow in the field acted as a channel/sluiceway for the rising Dry Creek source waters to the west.   If the field had been prepared with north-south furrows then the Dry Creek source waters would have had to fill each furrow with water and then overtop each raised planting area between furrows.  So instead of hundreds of “channels” helping the water get to the edge of the Binning Tract, there would have been hundreds of “levees” impeding the water from getting to the edge of the Binning Tract.

          Bottom-line, any way you look at it, dghowitt’s assertion is “all wet.”

        3. dghowitt

          Actually, although we were referring to the “proposed site”, where I don’t thing the boundary of the flood zone is really in question, rather than the Binning Tract, it is interesting that the map that appeared in the Davis General plan May 2001, the 2007 amended version of which is on-line, does have the flood zone encroaching on the tract.   Not sure about the “all wet” comment that I suppose could be interpreted in a number of ways depending upon what Matt though we were talking about.

          1. Matt Williams

            David, going to the Davis General Plan of May 2001 is an interesting choice. But given that is where you went, I too went there … specifically, Figure 35: 100 Year Flood Areas on Page 319 of Section VII: Community Safety, Chapter 19: Hazards. The descriptive information on Figure 35 says

            1. The data on this map is the best estimate of areas of possible flooding in case of a 100 year storm. This map is for planning purposes only.

            2. The data on this map was compiled from several sources including Flood Insurance Rate Map effective December 16, 1980; Flood Insurance Rate Map Preliminary August 29, 1997; Letters of map Revision to the F.I.R.M.; Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District Map by Borcalli and Associates.”

            The fact that the Flood Insurance Rate Maps were updated by FEMA in June 18, 2010 would appear to indicate that the “for planning purposes only” maps in the General Plan are approximately 30 years out of date.

            With that said, even on Figure 35, the Binning Tract and the Binning Ranch are in the white area, not the grey area. I excerpted the relevant area from Figure 35 below. Google Earth tells us that the distance from Road 29 at the top of the image to Covell Blvd at the bottom is exactly 2 miles, and the distance from the north border of the Binning Tract is exactly 1 mile from each of those terminal points … smack dab in white area, which extends south all the way to the City Limits just north of the West Water Tank north of Sutter Davis Hospital.

            http://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/General-Plan-Flood-Map.jpg

      2. hpierce

        To amplify on Matt’s comments, and dghowitt’s statements….

        The 1997 prelim Firm was known to have errors.  Even the 2010 version which corrected many of the gross errors is misleading.  FEMA has not determined the “base flood elevation” (BFE) in this area.  The extent of the ‘floodplain’ is a “guesstimate” based on old topo maps, and “accounts” of record.  Generally, when a BFE is determined/accepted by FEMA it is reported as XX feet.  Not XX.X feet.  So, +/- a half foot.  Given the flat topography, generally less than 0.2%,  (natural grade), the lines are questionable at least by 250 feet, and given the degree of study done, more like 500 feet, in areas that have not been studied in detail.  That would apply to the proposed project, and to the Binning Tract.  The fact that the Binning Tract has had several instances of minor flooding in the last 50 years, including before any City development w/113, indicates that it is reasonably likely that the Binning Tract itself should be in Zone A.

        The proposed project will have to undergo a drainage study, at a more detailed level, prior to City approvals, according to the Municipal Code.  At that time, they will have to demonstrate that the project will confine its peak discharges to no more than pre-development levels, and demonstrate that they will not adversely affect upstream, downstream and/or adjacent lands due to development.  At least two of the individuals cited by David are engineers, and am pretty darn sure at least one of those will read these words and understand exactly what I am saying.

        1. Matt Williams

          Well said hpierce, the issues that the drainage study would need to thoroughly address are capsulized in the following language from Chapter 19 of the General Plan:

          Flood hazards shown in Figure 35 generally consist of shallow sheet flooding caused by surface water runoff during large rain storms. Flooding could be caused by creeks and other waterways overflowing their banks along Putah Creek, Willow Slough, Dry Slough, and the edge of the Yolo Bypass.

          Davis is also in the path of flooding that would occur in the even t of the failure of Monticello Dam on Putah Creek (Lake Berryessa). An inundation map prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation to analyze the effects of dam failure shows that the flooding in Davis would not be significantly greater than in a 100-year flood. This is because of the 23-mile distance between the dam and Davis.

          1. Don Shor

            Tom Basinger of Davis Nursery once told me that in the flooding of 1955 (major event in Northern California) there was 2′ of water in downtown Davis. Monticello Dam was completed the next year.

  2. Gunrocik

    So let’s see, the residents of Binning Ranch want to have a say — they want an open space buffer but they don’t pay towards our open space tax, they want us to mitigate their flooding issues, yet they refuse to put in curb, gutter, sidewalks and drainage in their own neighborhood, they don’t pay towards our parks maintenance, yet they have no parks of their own, in fact none of their property taxes go to support the amenities and services adjacent to their community.  It is also very likely that one of these days the health department will determine their water supply is bad — and they will want to hook up to our water system at a low cost — and when they can’t pollute the soil with their septic tanks anymore, they will want to hook into our sewer system.

    We economist call these types of folks “free riders”.  They want all of the benefits without any of the costs.  They got to pay a lot less for their home by purchasing outside the City and not having to pay for modern infrastructure.

    We as a community don’t have any obligation to listen to these folks — and we shouldn’t listen to them until they want to pay the full freight of being part of the Davis community.

     

        1. hpierce

          Well, I can tell you now, the drainage/flooding “issue” is ill-legitimate.  The flooding they’ve experienced is not due to anything the City has nor has not done.  To say that it is is either ignorant or deceptive.  Period.

          1. Don Shor

            The soil there percolates slowly and floods quickly. There have been flooding problems in Binning Tract in high-rainfall years. 1982-3, 1995 I recall issues there. North Davis Meadows has a master drainage plan, if I recall, for those reasons. But Binning Tract predates that kind of thing.
            Flooding and drainage issues are complex. There are usually overlapping authorities, and it’s often unclear who is responsible for keeping the sloughs and ditches clear. When they had a chronic flooding problem southwest of Dixon, I seem to recall they formed a drainage district. It’s a pretty simple concept; the property owners are assessed to develop and maintain it. The problem is that there are overlapping authorities: city, county, private property owners, etc. My guess is that oversight and development of that would come from the county, but a new development would be an important part of it.
            The only thing the city might have caused would be redirecting the flow of water, and slowing it down. I don’t know if that has occurred. But there are good reasons for the owners there to want input on drainage as development occurs. Regardless of their other concerns that will likely lead Binning Tract residents to oppose this development, they have a place at the table on this issue. It seems to me this is mostly an engineering issue.

    1. dghowitt

      Well that’s just silly, we make the same contribution to the city as others do for facilities such as schools that they ask us for. The idea that we pollute the soil with our septic systems is also utter nonsense and the the only problems we encounter with our water supply are the same ones the city has which is why they have to look to alternative sources.  To call us free riders is totally inappropriate and deliberately hurtful but perhaps as an economist you can hide behind that given that the county has inadequate resources to mitigate the issues associated with the peripheral expansion of the Davis community.

      1. hpierce

        Hello… schools yes.  “Other facilities”, NO.  You folk ostensibly benefit from our City parks, greenbelts, “open space” acquisition, etc., yet do not pay parcel taxes for those, nor does ANY portion of your property tax assessments go to City facilities/amenities.  If there is a City parcel tax in the future for streets, pools, whatever, you folk will enjoy the benefits, without putting any skin in the game.  Nice try, though.

    2. zaqzaq

      Gunrocik,

      The the residents in El Macero, Willowbank and the are around Davis muni golf course are all free loaders by your definition.  Maybe the answer is for the city to annex these areas along with the Binning Tract homes when they annex the county land south of the current Binning tract.  Then the city can put in sewage, water, drainage and new roads for those areas that need it in exchange for the parcel taxes.

      Any resident of Davis would be opposed to the insertion of a 150 foot high hotel in their residential neighborhood.  Please identify where the buildings in Davis are located that are 150 feet tall.

      1. Matt Williams

        There appears to be a disconnect in the information provided by the article, specifically …

        David Greenwald:  “The development will come to within about 150 feet of the backyards of the southern-most residents of the development that was built way back in the late 1950s/early 1960s.” 

        Sherry Venezia:  “The whole neighborhood is also concerned about the potential plan to put in a hotel that would rise 150 feet. Ms. Venezia explained that this hotel would look down upon the neighbors “who have lived in relative rural tranquility looking at an empty field.”

        It is interesting to ponder those two comments when looking at the plan drawing from the Davis Innovation Center website (see http://davisinnovationcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Interior-shot.jpg ).  If the 150 foot distance from the Binning Tract backyards is the distance from those backyards in the drawing, across the two alees of trees, across the open space between those two allees and then  across the open space to the northernmost building in the drawing, then imagine standing that 150 foot distance on its end and comparing it to any of the buildings closest to the Binning Tract.  None of them are even half as tall as that 150 foot distance.  Further, to the best of my knowledge, the hotel/conference center is the five-story building at the top right of the drawing just to the left of the soccer field.  A typical hotel building has approximately 15 feet for each story, so a 5 story hotel building will be much closer to 75 feet, which appears to be just about half of the combined width of the two tree alees and the open space between them.

        So, I agree with zaqzaq that Davis residents would be concerned (opposed may be too strong) about a 150 foot (10 stories at 15 feet per story), but it doesn’t appear that the hotel will be 150 feet.  Ms. Venezia may have been confusing one measurement with another.

        .

  3. SODA

    I didn’t realize the neighborhood was the Bining Tract.. Thought that was the road and gate to ? Nowhere. Is that Bining Ranch and what do those landowners think?  Won’t this be closer to them?

      1. hpierce

        I think you’ll find that there is a separate parcel (Binning, part deux) between the occupied Binning Tract, and the proposed development.  I’d have to see the proposal again to be sure, though.

  4. Davis Progressive

    HPierce, I would like to hear more about your concerns about the flooding issue. I think the more legitimate issues from my standpoint are the neighborhood impacts and traffic. My own senses that the traffic and the roads are not well set up. And I question whether 99D as it currently exists is sufficient for 10000 additional car. trips a day.

    1. hpierce

      A two lane road can handle ~ 12,000 trips per day, as a general “rule of thumb”.  Turn movements factor in to this.  12,000 trips a day, as a general rule of thumb = 1,200 trips per peak hour (or, about 20 trips per minute/1 trip every 3 seconds.  One alligator, two alligator, three alligator. But that’s the peak hour(s), generally occurring twice a day.

  5. hpierce

    Drainage IS NOT a “real” issue (related to effects on the Binning Tract – drainage/floodplain issues with the project itself ARE significant, but can easily be dealt with by sound engineering).  Traffic is “an issue”, to an extent.  At least one of the residents cited, and/or a family member, argued that traffic was the main reason why the City should not approve the hospital nor the development of the “Northwest Triangle” (Lyndell Terrace).  It’s a long story, but the ‘apocalypse’ they predicted never occurred.

    Just because they were wrong then, regarding traffic, doesn’t mean they’re wrong now.  It also indicates they might not be right, either.  A lot more information is needed to judge.  That information would be available from the EIR that would be required if the project moves forward.

  6. ryankelly

    I see this as no different than the people in Wildhorse who didn’t want to lose their open space behind their homes.  They are used to their views and, understandingly, don’t want to change this.  They acknowledge that they wanted a rural lifestyle, but within the Davis School District – not in the City, but access to all of the benefits of being part of Davis.  They need to now understand the City’s need for economic development.

    However, their concerns about flooding, the adequacy of the road leading to the site, etc. are all valid.  Rather than stop the project, the developers would have to address these concerns.   Bike riders use this road to connect to the official bike route going North to Woodland and Binning tract.  It would be good to better accommodate bike and pedestrian safety on that road, if the development goes forward.

    1. Davis Progressive

      this would be my preference.  the one thing i think they don’t need is the hotel.  we are already planning one on richards, i don’t see the need for more than one hotel conference center.

  7. Barbara King

    Some time in the early 1980’s I saw photos of water damage taken by a photographer hired by at least on Binning homeowner for a legal action.

    That was not too long after 113 was changed from a two lane road to the freeway it is now.  Even with the mitigation put into that freeway construction, the  113 still disrupted the previous west/east drainage pattern enough to cause water to come into at least one Binning home.  If memory serves, a berm or berms were built to try to mitigate that drainage problem.

    I can understand why folks in Binning are concerned about yet more construction that could adversely affect their drainage again, and I can also understand how they may be concerned about how well efforts to mitigate drainage effects will actually work.

    1. Matt Williams

      Barbara, the photographs you are referring to chronicle what happened in the 25-year rain event described in an earlier comment.

      It is my understanding that the reason for the flooding  that happened then had virtually nothing to do with either the flood plain or construction at Sutter Davis Hospital, but rather because of a shortsighted agricultural practices decision by the people farming the land to the west of the Binning Tract.

      It is important to note that water flows in that portion of Yolo County flow from west to east, with their origins being the Dry Creek water sources well to the west of Davis.  Sutter Davis is significantly “downstream” of the Binning Tract.  It is counterintuitive to think that water would have flowed “uphill” from Sutter Davis Hospital to the Binning Tract.

      The agricultural practices shortsightedness happened when the agricultural fields to the west of Binning Tract were prepared with the furrows laid out running east/west.  When a 25-year rainstorm arrived that year, each east-west furrow in the field acted as a channel/sluiceway for the rising Dry Creek source waters to the west.   If the field had been prepared with north-south furrows then the Dry Creek source waters would have had to fill each furrow with water and then overtop each raised planting area between furrows.  So instead of hundreds of “channels” helping the water get to the edge of the Binning Tract, there would have been hundreds of “levees” impeding the water from getting to the edge of the Binning Tract.

      1. Don Shor

        I assume that it actually flows from northwest to southeast.

        My property drains very well. But in very wet storms when the soil is saturated, we used to have a problem with water backing up to cover 4 – 5 acres to a depth of several inches to a foot or more — when CalTrans wasn’t keeping their drain culverts cleared out. On some of the back roads that I drive to get home, water floods regularly during storms because of how the land has been graded, how the roads were built, how the orchards are managed, and how well or how poorly the drainage ditches are maintained.

        I don’t think water is going to flow toward Binning Tract from areas to the south. But it is possible the flow could be impeded and water could back up near or around Binning Tract due to poorly planned drainage and poor maintenance of the drainage system. Really, this is something that could be answered by soils and grading engineers.

  8. Anon

    Have the Binning Tract folks ever attempted to talk to the developer about their concerns?  Did they attend the visioning sessions of this developer?  I went to several of the public meetings held by the developers, and I don’t remember any Binning Tract owners being there expressing concerns.

    1. Matt Williams

      Anon, there were Binning Tract residents at the meeting I attended at the Davis High School Library. Those issues were discussed by those in attendance with both the developer and the members of City Staff in attendance.

      1. David Greenwald

        the residents have talked to the developers and vice versa.

        It’s still early in the process, but I thought it would be helpful to lay some cards on the table early on.

  9. Alan Miller

    I went to the meeting on Binning at the Mace Curve school.  The developers were there with their consultants, as were the Binning folks.  The Binning folks were quite upset with the proposal.  The developers, to their credit, allowed an open-meeting format where everyone could have their say and take shots.  (This as opposed to the sterile “let’s break up into groups and look at meaningless bullet points and diagrams on easels” tactic that is employed by most developers.) 

    There was a good exchange, and I thought the developers did their best to ensure drainage and traffic problems would be addressed to alleviate concerns.  The Binning folks also demanded a buffer.  Drawings I have seen show a buffer, and apparently now they want a wider buffer.  I am sure they just don’t want this in their backyard, and I can understand that.  When you are on the periphery of a City, it shouldn’t be a surprise when the City one day comes to your border.  I understand their concerns and also that they don’t want a change of view and lifestyle.  I also believe the business park could be of benefit to Davis.  I will have to agree to disagree with myself.

    1. Tia Will

      Alan

       I understand their concerns and also that they don’t want a change of view and lifestyle.  I also believe the business park could be of benefit to Davis.  I will have to agree to disagree with myself.”

      What a nicely nuanced view of the situation. As someone who lost my entire lifestyle with the conversion of my hometown from a fishing/farming community to a tourist trap and bedroom community for those wealthy enough to build a mini mansion on a view lot, my sympathies tend to be with the Binning residents.

      What we are asking of these folks is to take a major lifestyle hit for the economic well being of the developers, company owners, university researchers and entrepreneurs while themselves receiving essentially no benefit. There are real values and real lives at stake here. This is not all about how much money one can make by the sale of a house. This is about one’s entire  life.

      This is frequently done in the name of progress ( by which the promoters mean financial gain for specific groups). What is missing from this equation is the costs, financial, environmental, social and personal from these changes. I, for one, do not consider the impacts of more traffic, an overlooking hotel, and acres of parking which will doubtless be needed to be “progress” especially when a great deal of these business interactions can now be accomplished electronically. I know because over the past 5 years our very large medical group has moved more and more to Webinars and other forms of on line communication thus reducing the need to get in one’s car and drive to every meeting.

      Progress for me at this point in time is to find ways to connect people that do not involve extensive travel to and from a central location. Progress is now minimizing our carbon footprint and maximizing the amount of farming land and open space, not build and pave over as much as possible. This approach is what would now be innovative while the concept that an open area is “wasted space” is actually the old model and is precisely what we should be leaving behind.

  10. Tia Will

    He cited problems associated with the building of the hospital years ago and noted that promises were made and were not kept by the city and developers.”

    Does anyone know the facts behind this assertion. It would seem that if this is true, it would certainly be worth investigating and ensuring that this is not repeated.

    1. Matt Williams

      Tia, it is my understanding that the reason for the flooding  that happened then had virtually nothing to do with the construction at Sutter Davis Hospital, but rather because of a shortsighted agricultural practices decision by the people farming the land to the west of the Binning Tract.

      It is important to note that water flows in that portion of Yolo County flow from west to east, with their origins being the Dry Creek water sources well to the west of Davis.  Sutter Davis is significantly “downstream” of the Binning Tract.  It is counterintuitive to think that water would have flowed “uphill” from Sutter Davis Hospital to the Binning Tract.

      The person who would know the answer to your question is Fran Borcalli, who works for Wood Rogers.  Fran is an amazing font of knowledge about water and flooding in Yolo County.

  11. Gunrocik

    dghowit stated:  Well that’s just silly, we make the same contribution to the city as others do for facilities such as schools that they ask us for. The idea that we pollute the soil with our septic systems is also utter nonsense and the the only problems we encounter with our water supply are the same ones the city has which is why they have to look to alternative sources.  To call us free riders is totally inappropriate and deliberately hurtful but perhaps as an economist you can hide behind that given that the county has inadequate resources to mitigate the issues associated with the peripheral expansion of the Davis community.

    Wrong dghowit.  You do pay school fees, but you don’t pay one penny towards our open space tax or our parks maintenance fee, and not one penny of your general property tax comes to the City of Davis.

    And you moved into a neighborhood with obviously inferior infrastructure — and paid far less for your house than if you had been within the City limits.  Now you want others to pay to mitigate your pre-existing conditions.

    All of that equates to a free rider.  You want all the advantages of the City and you don’t want to pay for them–and when your wells don’t work anymore for drinking or fireflow, you will want the City to bail you out — and I am sure all of you will whine to your County Supervisor when you complain about buying into the system at $5,000 to $10,000 per hookup –which is way cheaper than creating your own water system.

    Adjacent development will be the best thing to ever happen to your neighborhood — I am certain that as squeaky wheels that you will get mitigations far and above what is legally required — and when the thousands of jobs show up — you will be able to sell your home for a huge windfall.

     

    1. Don Shor

      [moderator] Wow, what a lot of extremely hostile and derogatory comments. The residents of Binning Tract have every right to express their concerns about the impact of this development on their neighborhood. Free rider? Whining? Maybe you and others here could take this down a notch, and focus on the issues.

      1. hpierce

        Believe Mr Howit opened that door.  djhowit made a post/statement that implied “they” pay ‘full freight’ and “deserve” an ‘equal seat at the table’.  Responding to that would appear to be fair, when, in fact, they pay freight, but not “full” freight.

        Will respect your “call” on that, Don.

    2. hpierce

      Or if they don’t get what they demand, some of them (Howitt/Maeda? [Sutter]) will either sue, or threaten to sue, as they did with the Sutter Hospital project.

    3. DSW

      “sell your home for a huge windfall” ???? How does this thought mesh with the fact that many of the BT residents have been living here for over 40 years?  Perhaps some Davisites just hang out in their city homes until the price is right and uproot to other neighborhoods, but not us…..we have a rural lifestyle, backyard chickens, room for pets and children, star-filled nights and the sounds of coyotes and pheasants in the surrounding fields…  It is not about “love it or leave it”…it is about “love it and fight for it”. The tone here will serve to only harden our resolve to organize to defeat this project at the polls, if and when the city council decides to place this project on a Measure R ballot.  What do election watchers think about a Measure R vote with three potential new innovation parks up for grabs?  How have the last two Measure J/R votes gone?  Not well for development interests……

  12. Gunrocik

    I find the tone appropriate.  No growthers rarely depend on facts in their statements – and they need to be called out on their fallacious arguments early and often.

    As I’ve noted before, the future of our community is at hand — and those of us who understand the consequences of allowing Davis politics as usual need to make sure the adults in the room control the dialogue.

    1. Don Shor

      [moderator]
      http://www.davisvanguard.org/about-us/comment-policy/

      The Editorial Board asks commenters to understand that general insults discourage the participation of others. They contribute to a negative tone and strongly suggest disrespect for the views of others. In some cases, general insults oversimplify the positions of others, which is detrimental to informed and respectful debate. General insults that are provocative are especially discouraged.

      1. hpierce

        Sorry Don, I don’t think statements of “facts” or direct challenges to others’ ‘statement of facts’, particularly if those ‘statements’ are misleading,  rise to the level of “general insults”.  Re:  this thread, you should note “them”, in my post, was in quotes, as I honestly don’t believe that certain BT folk are truly speaking for that community.

  13. DSW

    Hpierce states: “I honestly don’t believe that certain BT folk are truly speaking for that community”….I have been a Binning resident for the past 42 years, on Barry Road.  Members of our neighborhood have attended every public meeting of the Innovation Park LLC, the EIR scoping meeting, and have listened to the developers in meetings held in our neighborhood.  We are thoughtful people, who love where we live.  Over 90% of our residents out here oppose the Innovation Park development as it is proposed, in the location it is proposed.  The people interviewed by The Peoples’ Vanguard were elected by our residents to be spokespeople for our concerns.  They absolutely speak for us!  The dialogue from many on this site appears hateful, hurtful and unproductive.  To denounce people who live in unincorporated Yolo County as somehow “freeriders” is urban-centric and narrow minded.  Go ahead and hide behind your title as “economist”…I would prefer the title as “environmentalist”.  I suggest we elevate the level of discourse here, and walk a mile in our shoes…just don’t walk this mile down the frontage road 99D, as you are apt to be run over by cement trucks paving over 200 acres of open space……dsw

    1. hpierce

      ” I suggest we elevate the level of discourse here, and walk a mile in our shoes…”   Let’s see…

      “Go ahead and hide behind your title as “economist””  Never said I was an “economist”, your words, not mine.  I also never used or implied the term “free-loader”.  I did try to debunk an assertion made by one of your “thoughtful” folk who wanted to imply (my read) that y’all contribute as much financially to the City as those who live within City limits.  I did NOT throw the first punch.  Guess you just wanted us “hateful, hurtful, unproductive [discourse]” folk (your words, not mine) to accept what was said at face value.  

      You cite your 42 years as a resident of Binning, as if that lends more credence to your view.  Ok, you’re tied with me, as a City resident, within a year.  So what?

      I pretty much stuck to questioning statements (not people), yet you have put words in my mouth [which I did not say] and ascribed to me attitudes which I do not hold.  Go back and read the first quote of yours in this comment.  Aloud.  In front of a mirror.

      “just don’t walk this mile down the frontage road 99D, as you are apt to be run over by cement trucks paving over 200 acres of open space…” Nice “elevation of level of discourse”. You left out “how many children must die?”.

       

       

  14. Tia Will

    DSW

    I speak only as one person seeking information as previously I had no knowledge of the controversies that have come up with regard to your neighborhood. As assertion has been made that there were promises made by the City of Davis and the developers in the past that were broken.

    I am currently of the opinion, that a similar although more nuanced case of making one statement in a contract and then interpreting that statement differently later is currently in play with regard to the Cannery development as opposed to “breaking promises”.

    However, I am firmly of the opinion that whether a development is subject to CC approval, or to a vote of the citizens, all issues should be clearly specified and not subject to subsequent change before the vote is held. What I am trying to ascertain here is specifically what promises do the residents of Binning feel were made and then broken in the past. I would like to see this as a cautionary and preventative measure so that neither the developer or the city makes similar missteps in the future. If this were a CC only consideration, I would not be making such a point of this in this venue, but as this will come to a community vote, I believe that assertions should be backed by specific information.

    Can you clarify what promises you feel were made and broken ?

  15. Anon

    It is not about “love it or leave it”…it is about “love it and fight for it”. The tone here will serve to only harden our resolve to organize to defeat this project at the polls, if and when the city council decides to place this project on a Measure R ballot.”

    Over 90% of our residents out here oppose the Innovation Park development as it is proposed, in the location it is proposed.

    These two statements make pretty clear the agenda of the Binning Tract folks.  It is against building anything on that tract of land.  They want the land to stay the way it is – open space for them. They are certainly entitled to that opinion, but 1) they do not own the land, so cannot determine what the owner will decide to do with it; 2) they do not live in the city, so have no direct say in whether the innovation park is approved; 3) are coming up with whatever arguments they can think of to discourage development, which are mostly red herrings.

    For example, flooding issue is a nonissue.

    From http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/neighbor-disputes-over-water-damage-29724.html

    The “civil law” rule: Upper landowners beware. A number of states follow a rule which is, in theory, the opposite of the common enemy rule. The civil law rule holds that if a person alters the natural flow of surface waters in any way that harms the use and enjoyment of another property, that person will be liable for that harm. Unlike the common enemy rule, which requires lower landowners to fend for themselves, the civil law rule holds upper landowners liable for any detrimental changes in runoff patterns.

    Like the common enemy rule, however, states no longer apply this rule in its strictest form. States have developed modifications and exceptions and now often judge the behavior of both parties before saddling the upper landowner with the bill. California, for example, expects that both parties will act reasonably, which includes the duty of the lower landowner to take protective steps.
    The buffer issue is a nonissue.  A buffer is already agreed to by the developer.  Let’s face it, the Binning tract folks want a buffer so wide that it would disallow development on that tract of land altogether.

    Traffic impacts.  This is certainly an issue for even Davis residents.  However, there are questions about how # of car trips are being overcounted.  I cannot find the source at the moment, but it was a report forwarded to me by a member of city staff.

    1. David Greenwald

      DSW: “The tone here will serve to only harden our resolve to organize to defeat this project at the polls, if and when the city council decides to place this project on a Measure R ballot.”

      Anon: “These two statements make pretty clear the agenda of the Binning Tract folks. ”

      I think both of you are making the same mistake in opposite directions. DSW, you have taken a very few pointed criticisms of the folks in Binning as representative of a broader mindset that I don’t think exists.

      Anon, you have taken the heated response as embodying the view of those in the neighborhood.

      This is going to be a process. I met with the folks and I think they are good people who want what is best for their neighborhood but also the community. We may not agree on everything, but that’s fine. I do think there is space for some negotiations and I do think they have legitimate concerns. I don’t think we should decide that they are against building anything and I really think we should not think of them as being a monolith. Just within the few people I spoke to there was a diversity of opinions.

      My goal was to present their concerns and allow them a space to air them before this process really gets underway. Now lets see where this heads.

      So Anon, I respectfully believe that your post will have the result of locking people into their views rather than leaving them open to further discussion.

      1. hpierce

        “I do think there is space for some negotiations…”  I abhor thinking of land use decisions being made on the grounds of “negotiation”.  I would prefer that there is honest dialog, expressions of self interest, and rational action.  Too often, it has been “pay-offs”, “bribery”, “what’s in it for me?” interactions.  For example, where would the Binning Tract folk be, if in the early 60’s, there was strong opposition to “leap-frog development”, development outside established urban boundaries, etc.  The answer is likely, under today’s “rules” there would be no Binning Tract.

        1. Gunrocik

          hpierce is 100% correct, sprawling leap frog development not attached to public utilities could not happen pretty much anywhere in California nowadays.

          And there is a reason that they aren’t allowed.   They create environmental issues due to their poorly drilled wells and polluting septic systems, they force purchasers into car-centric lives which further impact our road system and air quality, they create barriers to efficient farming, disproportionately impact wildlife habitat since they are put in the middle of an existing ecosystem and they are more expensive to police and protect from fire since they aren’t adjacent to other urbanized areas.

          For the purchasers, they are able to enjoy a less urban lifestyle, but at a great cost to the rest of society.

  16. Tia Will

    Anon

    They want the land to stay the way it is – open space for them. They are certainly entitled to that opinion, but 1) they do not own the land, so cannot determine what the owner will decide to do with it; 2) they do not live in the city, so have no direct say in whether the innovation park is approved; 3) are coming up with whatever arguments they can think of to discourage development, which are mostly red herrings.”

    You have illustrated my point beautifully. We live in a society in which if you have power, namely ownership and or enough money or influence to persuade others to back you, then you have a free pass to essentially do what ever you want regardless of the impacts on those who have less money or power. This has indeed become “the American way”.

    I would prefer a society that takes the well being of all into account. You have summarized how we avoid taking the well being of others into account when you correctly say “they do not own the land” and “they do not live in the city”. This however does not mean that they will not have their quality of life severely eroded for the financial benefit of those who will never have to deal with the negative consequences of their choices.

    are coming up with whatever arguments they can think of to discourage development, which are mostly red herrings.”

    They may be “red herrings” for you, since you favor the development and obviously do not care about the lifestyle changes that this will impose since it will not affect you. I would posit that for those who are living there, these arguments are anything but “red herrings”.

    This is the essence of their lifestyle that they are fighting for, not some “red herring”.

     

    1. hpierce

      Please listen to yourself, Tia.  And I offer this sincerely.  With a few word changes, the “entitled” landowners in Binning are seeking to impose their “quality of life” on others.  The sword has two edges.  There are, in my view, no ‘heroes’, ‘victims’, nor ‘villains’ in this.  Competing interests, for sure.  And ironically, I am very concerned about the proposed development for practical reasons, not philosophical.  Yet, am getting ‘branded’ by some who are, understandably, wanting to protect their “it’s all about me” world view.

  17. Tia Will

    hpierce

    You recently addressed a post to me in which you said that I sounded “preachy”.

    “Please listen to yourself, Tia. ”

    And yet you posted this. Perhaps we should both consider whether or not we are sounding “preachy” or “condescending” in our posts.

    You seem to think that I do not appreciate the positions of both sides. I certainly do.  I am well aware that this is a “two edged sword”. Please bear in mind that my comments were directed to a post by Anon painting only one side of the picture. I believe that there are valid points to be made on both sides. I was quick to point out my own bias and why I see the situation the way I do. I am not pretending to speak for anyone else, or cast aspersions on anyone else’s point of view. However, it is my belief that in our society we have gone way too far in tipping the balance in favor of the powerful and I have no problem expressing that opinion even though I know it is not popular.

    1. hpierce

      Understood… but, look at who seeks to exert power, and why.  You and I agree, it’s a two-edged sword.

      And, as I’ve posted before, although I may not agree with you on something, I like to see ends of the spectrum, although I’m generally not comfortable on those edges. I genuinely meant my comment to check (as in “check in”, or “check up”) yourself, not to stifle you, but to increase the probability that your views aren’t dismissed ‘out of hand’. Apparently, I failed, and you have construed it as a “criticism”, vs. a “critique”. I apologize.

  18. Gunrocik

    In Doc Will’s world, when you buy a piece of property that is adjacent to vacant land, there is an implicit understanding that the adjacent land will remain vacant into perpetuity.

    Future generations would have to live and work in a place where they get the permission from the adjacent owners — adjacent owners who never purchased the property, never maintained the property and never paid taxes on the property.  And in the case of Binning Tract, never paid any taxes or assessments towards any of the amenities that may be nearby their property either.

    I find this a very selfish approach to land use and economic development and one that is inherently unfair to anyone attempting to enter the housing market and the workforce nowadays.  They are crippled by a generation that has folks resistant to changing in a way that helps to accommodate the next generation of workers — the workers we will need to pay the taxes to pay for our city services and the workers who will create products and services consumed by everyone — and most importantly — the workers who will generate the social security taxes to support  the older generation attempting to exclude them from our community.

    The residents of Binning Tract have never had the authority to dictate the surrounding uses — and in fact, by choosing to remain in an unincorporated area, they have deliberately reduced their voice in the process just to save a couple bucks on their tax bill.

  19. Davis Progressive

    yes folks, do let’s antagonize the neighbors and convince them to dig in their heels.  is that really a wise strategy?

    neighbors: would you accept – a wider buffer, road mitigations, removal of the hotel, and the creating of a greenbelt to the south as your buffer from the innovation park?

    one thing i don’t really understand, why it’s bad for people to look after their own best interests – if they don’t, no one else will.

    1. Matt Williams

      “neighbors: would you accept – a wider buffer, road mitigations, removal of the hotel, and the creating of a greenbelt to the south as your buffer from the innovation park?”

      DP, when you look at the plan drawing below, the currently proposed buffer contains two alees of trees the entire length of Binning Tract with the two alees separated with an open promenade. Wider buffer?   Using Google Earth as my measuring device, the 600 foot combined width of the space between the southern Binning Tract property line and the foundation of the northernmost building in the Innovation Park appears to be 50% as wide as the entire Binning Tract itself.

      Road mitigations?  Absolutely!!!

      Removal of the hotel?  I’m unsure about that one.  If UC Davis is going to continue to leverage its position as the finest Agricultural University in the World, my suspicion is that the numbers of people coming to UCD for conferences, etc. is going to grow substantially.  With that said, a well done economic study regarding the viability of the hotel/convention center is absolutely warranted/necessary. Also using Google Earth to approximate measurements it appears that the northernmost edge of the hotel/conference center building will be in excess of 900 feet from the southern border of the Binning Tract.

      Greenbelt to the south?  See my first comment above.
      .

      1. Gunrocik

        How could any adjacent neighbor be objecting to such a beautiful project?

        Binning Tract residents will no longer be trapped in their neighborhood.  Instead of needing a car to escape their neighborhood, they will be able to walk to services, have nice bike paths and recreational amenities all within a short walk or bike from their neighborhood.  As Matt points out, there is a huge buffer between the neighborhood and the nearest building.  I’m guessing the project will allow them to get back to civilization by bike in a much more pleasing way than the current frontage road.

        And they still have plenty of open space to the north.  Will they still be able to hear the crickets at night?  Actually, their adjacency to 113 probably drowned out much of the rural atmosphere anyway.  And the vast majority of the business park will be silent on nights and weekends — when most of the owners are at home.

        And when it comes to time to sell their home, there are thousands of employees ready to bid up the price of housing within walking distance to their high paying job.  I’m sure the seller at 39788 Sharon (http://www.metrolistpro.com/homes/6/2/39788-SHARON-AVE-DAVIS-CA-95616/15011100)  who is asking at least $150,000 over market value for their home wishes the business park was already approved!

         

         

  20. Frankly

    I have a big problem when opposition is not reasonable.

    My first house purchase was in a new North Davis development.  We researched the plans for the adjacent empty lot owned by Elmer McNece.  The plans included an apartment complex and the Covell Gardens senior center.  For the senior center, there was a 40 ft setback with a tree buffer and single story units planned for the side adjacent my residential neighbors’ lots and 2-story units behind that.  Then one of the neighbors learned that McNece submitted modifications to reduce the setback to 20 ft. and add another story.

    For me this was a circumstance that justified opposition.  All the homeowners purchased their lots based on the expectation that the adjacent property would be developed as per the plans.  In the end there was a compromise that all could live with.

    But the Binning property opposition is different.  What did they expect… that that land would never be developed?

    When you purchase a home where there is undeveloped adjacent land and that land is not already in ag easement or Williamson Act… or with approved plans… then you are taking a risk that you will have some future impacts from adjacent development.

    With the mitigation already included, I think the Binning group is being unreasonable.  If you want wide open spaces, move away from the periphery.  Otherwise your demand for unreasonable mitigation is damaging to other residents that would otherwise benefit from the use of space.

    1. hpierce

      For the record, that would be Elmer McNece.  He provided funding for the ‘commercial grade’ kitchen facilities at the Davis Senior Center.  And, to my knowledge, as a charitable donation to the community, not as part of a “negotiation”.

      For the record, Williamson Act properties are a ‘contract’ from which the property owner can withdraw from.  There are time and tax implications, but not a “forever” thing.

      For the record, Ag easements can be vacated/relinquished by those who have been given the easement.  They are not “forever”, but less likely to disappear than a Williamson Act contract.

    2. Jim Frame

      If you want wide open spaces, move away from the periphery.  Otherwise your demand for unreasonable mitigation is damaging to other residents that would otherwise benefit from the use of space.

      How do you define “periphery”?
      http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract%20(Annotated).jpg

      When the Binning Tract was developed, it was almost a mile and a half outside of town.  To my way of thinking, and particularly given the rate of growth of the city up to that point, that’s nowhere near the periphery.

      (That’s supposed to show an image. I don’t know why I have such a hard time posting images on this site. Some of the other places I frequent online make it so easy!)
      [moderator]: edited. You need to use “img src” not “a href”.

      1. hpierce

        “…given the rate of growth of the city up to that point, that’s nowhere near the periphery.”  

        Depends on years of comparison.  Comparing the developed area of the City in 1933, to 1949 (16 years), it would appear to be logical that in an additional 32 years (1981) that all that would be separating the Binning Tract from the developed City was basically Road 99W (now, SR 113).  Now, when the Binnings decided to create their lots, (outside the Government Code, at that time), it would be pure speculation to know what their intent was.  Clearly, 42 years ago, as one of the “long-time” residents used as when they bought there (1972) the City extended to (and past, east of Anderson) Covell Boulevard on the North, and  past 99W (past Lake Boulevard, in fact) to the west.  Not rocket science to see where things were heading.  Depends on “perspective”.

      2. Jim Frame

        [moderator]: edited. You need to use “img src” not “a href”.

        The code I originally used was copied from an example Matt sent me in January when I had the same problem.  His example began with the hyperlink tags and subsequently included the img and src tags.

        I’m wondering if there might be some kind of character mapping problem, because when I edit a post, my original html tags are shown as modified by what appear to be escape characters.

        In any case, there has got to be an easier way than requiring the user to work directly with html.

        1. Jim Frame

          Testing another image link, this time using the moderator’s format:

          <img class=”disappear appear” src=”http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract.jpg” alt=”http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract.jpg”>

          Edit: Argh! Enough for tonight…
          [moderator] Here you go:
          http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract.jpg
          I’ve emailed you the code.

          1. Matt Williams

            wdf1, I’ve posted it with instructions for how to work around how WordPress handles pasted left and right carets.

        2. Matt Williams

          Jim, Don’s example is actually better (simpler) than the one I e-mailed you. Both will work if you type them in; however, when you copy and paste the code into WordPress the left and right caret characters are being replaced with a code equivalent of the respective left and/or right caret. So what I suggest is that you copy and paste the information without the left and right caret characters, and then add those characters manually. So for example, you would paste …

          img src=”http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract.jpg” alt=”http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract.jpg” /

          … and then type a left caret at the beginning and a right caret at the end

          http://members.dcn.org/jhframe/Binning%20Tract.jpg

  21. Anon

    DG: “My goal was to present their concerns and allow them a space to air them before this process really gets underway. Now lets see where this heads.

    So Anon, I respectfully believe that your post will have the result of locking people into their views rather than leaving them open to further discussion.

    I very much doubt that any post on the Vanguard will have much effect on the position of the Binning Tract folks.  It is pretty clear from their explicit language and groundless complaints, e.g. flooding, larger buffer, they would prefer the innovation park not be built.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with them voicing their opinion they don’t want development near them.  But as others have pointed out, such demands are not reasonable in light of the fact they do not own the land, are not part of the city, and would have no say in a Measure R vote.

    They may be “red herrings” for you, since you favor the development and obviously do not care about the lifestyle changes that this will impose since it will not affect you. I would posit that for those who are living there, these arguments are anything but “red herrings”.”

    Much of the complaints are red herrings.  For instance, flooding.  If the developer caused more flooding to the Binning Tract folks than what they are already experiencing, the developer would be responsible for the damage.  Matt pointed out beautifully why the buffer issue is ridiculous.  And frankly (no relation to commenter Frankly), how is traffic that much of an issue for the Binning Tract folks, since they are north of the proposed development?  I suppose they could argue more traffic on Covell, if they are headed towards town.  But they can bypass most of the traffic from where they are located.
    And by the way, I do not necessarily favor this development.  I don’t know yet, because it will depend on a lot of factors for me: sufficiency of tax revenue generation, sufficiency of traffic mitigation, aesthetics, connectivity to the community, etc.

  22. Tia Will

    Anon

     If the developer caused more flooding to the Binning Tract folks than what they are already experiencing, the developer would be responsible for the damage.”

    Perhaps it is because of my profession with the emphasis on primary prevention as superior to repair after damage has occurred, however, I cannot imagine anyone thinking that it is ok for my house to flood since someone else will be responsible for the damages. Do you really believe that the potential destruction of one’s personal possessions is “OK” as long as someone else will be paying for the replacements of those items which are replaceable…..to say nothing of those which are not.

    such demands are not reasonable in light of the fact they do not own the land, are not part of the city, and would have no say in a Measure R vote.”

    This is precisely where hpierce and I came to agreement that this is a two edged sword. You may not feel that it is “reasonable” for them to have preferences ( what you call making demands) and expressing them. Others do not feel that it is “reasonable” for city dwellers and those who stand to profit to be disregarding their concerns simply because they live outside a city line, or because they would not have say in the Measure R vote. To me, this is even more reason to listen to their concerns carefully since they are disadvantaged because of their lack of a vote. I think that this comes down to a matter of consideration for the position of others who are at a power disadvantage in a situation largely beyond their control.

    1. Anon

      So you think this developer is going to ignore any potential damage their improvements may do to the Binning Tract in regard to flooding?  Remember the developer would be responsible for ALL THE DAMAGE – meaning every day paying $$$ until the flooding is fixed.  The Binning Tract folks could sue for an injunction to force the developer to repair the problem, an award punitive damages, an order for specific mitigation measures, etc.  So potential flooding is essentially a non-issue, as is the buffer issue.

      I REPEAT, I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE BINNING TRACT FOLKS EXPRESSING THEIR OPINIONS.  I don’t know how many times I have to say it.  And if I thought flooding were a REAL issue, I WOULD NOT IGNORE THE OPINIONS OF THE BINNING TRACT FOLKS.  However, if their opinions are based merely on aesthetics and the desire to keep that parcel undeveloped, I do not believe in my own mind that is a reasonable position to take in light of the totality of the circumstances.  Much the same thing was tried where Carlton Plaza Davis is located currently.  Both the Police Dept and Davis Waste Removal wanted to keep that parcel undeveloped in case they ever wanted to expand, and did so for a number of years – but they didn’t want to purchase the tract of land.  That was an extremely unreasonable position and could not stand against the owner of the property and a potential buyer in light of surrounding change in circumstances – the city had grown out to the periphery.

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