MRIC Applicant Pushes For Sole Consideration of Mixed Use Housing Proposal

Mace Ranch Innovation Center
Mace Ranch Innovation Center
Internal View of Mace Ranch Innovation Center

Last week, Dan Ramos, representing the Mace Race Innovation Center (MRIC) project applicant, requested consideration of a Mixed Use Alternative. As a result, a project update of the MRIC will include a recommendation from city staff to receive direction regarding the next steps for the project proposal and specifically “how to treat the Mixed Use Alternative throughout the remainder of the development review process.”

Staff lists three possible options for consideration. First, to direct staff “to proceed with development of a project action package for the project as proposed.” Second, to direct staff “to proceed with the development of dual project action packages (one for the project as proposed and one for the mixed use alternative). Or third, to direct staff “to return to Council in early January for a more focused discussion of how to proceed regarding the Mixed Use Alternative.”

The Mixed Use Alternative was evaluated in the Draft EIR at the suggestion of staff and at the direction of council “to ensure a robust and defensible EIR by evaluating a full range of alternatives.”

Dan Ramos, in his letter, notes that they have had the opportunity following that evaluation to more fully explore the concept of Mixed Use and have expressed interest in pursuing the concept further. Mr. Ramos goes so far as to suggest that the council solely consider the mixed use concept and discontinue pursuit of the original proposal that did not include housing.

However, the concept of mixed use has received considerable pushback from many on the Vanguard who otherwise support the innovation park concept. At the forum on Saturday, Councilmember Brett Lee indicated his opposition to a mixed use proposal at MRIC.

On the other hand, a letter from SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments) submitted to the city council concludes, “Overall the proposed plan meets the spirit of the Blueprint growth principles. However, the Mixed Use Alternative illustrates that the city could further maximize the Blueprint benefits of this unique project by planning for additional housing capacity within the city to accommodate the increased housing demand that will accompany the economic activity generated by the project.”

Staff responds, “Notwithstanding the request by the applicant noted above, as the project proceeds throughout the remainder of the development review process, staff would be developing a package of materials for consideration and action by the Planning Commission and City Council. This ‘project action package’ need be only as detailed as is necessary to meet regulatory requirements and allow for informed decision-making (by both the City and community) regarding the project.”

Staff adds, “Were the City Council to ultimately decide to reject the proposed project in favor of the Mixed Use Alternative, the Council would direct staff at that time to return with a modified project action package. As an option, however, the Council could also direct staff to prepare two project action packages for consideration: one for the project as proposed and one for the Mixed Use Alternative (which was analyzed at an equal level of detail in the project EIR). With either direction the Council would be under no obligation to take any particular action on the project or any alternative until the hearings in April 2016.”

Staff notes that “because a choice between the project and any of the alternatives is not properly before the Council until after completion of the environmental review process, analysis of the merits of the project by staff, and consideration and recommendation by the Planning Commission, we do not recommend the Council express a preference for any alternative over the project at this time or direct staff to focus on processing the Mixed Use Alternative rather than the proposed project as suggested by the applicant.”

They express concern that “any such action could adversely affect the City’s ability to substantiate findings of fact in support of rejecting the Mixed Use Alternative were that ultimately to be the desired direction of the Council. We also seek to preserve the Council’s ability to make any appropriate decision regarding the project and alternatives, including consideration of the provision of workforce housing off-site rather than onsite which could attain the same or similar benefits as the Mixed Use Alternative without the inclusion of housing within the innovation center. Therefore, staff advises that any direction the Council might chose to provide on this item should be limited to the options described above.”

The agenda item also notes that on December 16 there will be a planning commission hearing on Nishi along with the release of the Nishi Final EIR. The final MRIC EIR will be on January 13.

Full letter from Dan Ramos:

Dear Mayor Wolk and Members of the Council:

Since the release of the Draft EIR for the Mace Ranch Innovation Center, there has been a substantial amount of discussion regarding the Mixed-Use Alternative identified in the document. That alternative, which was developed by the preparers of the EIR, was intended, as we understand it, to identify an alternative project which would be less environmentally impacting, specifically with respect to traffic, air quality, VMT and greenhouse gas impacts. Yet that identified alternative, which was deemed the environmentally superior alternative, is inconsistent with the initial notion expressed by the Council that any innovation project contain no housing, a concept which was reaffirmed on December 16, 2014 when you adopted the Guiding Principles for the proposed innovation parks. These Guiding Principles do not include housing as a potential use in an innovation center, but they do encourage the concept of “work, live, play.” All of this has resulted in a somewhat confusing situation.

The Mace Ranch Innovation Center applicants would accordingly like to request that the Council provide feedback to the staff and the applicants concerning how to proceed with the identified mixed use alternative. In particular, we are interested in having the Council direct the staff to employ its primary resources to the preparation of an entitlement package and development agreement which relies upon the mixed use alternative as opposed to the submitted project. This request, if granted, would involve the deployment of staff resources only. It would not constitute a project approval nor would it preclude the Council from eventually approving the project as submitted or approving no project at all after environmental review and public hearings are completed. Put simply, it would constitute only initial direction to staff regarding what the Council would like to have more thoroughly prepared and presented to it when it actually considers whether or not to approve a proposal.

Furthermore, we recognize that the Council could elect, at the public hearing on our proposal, to proceed with the originally submitted project instead of the mixed use alternative. If this occurs, there could be a processing delay while a complete entitlement package and development agreement for the original proposal are being prepared. It is understood that any such delay could, and likely would, impact our ability to be placed on the November, 2016 ballot.

Interestingly enough, as we have proceeded over the last several months, our team has become convinced that a viable innovation center should contain a housing component such as the one reflected in the mixed use alternative. This is interesting because we initially were highly opposed to the inclusion of a housing component in our project. Over time, however, our view has changed. Why? First, because we have learned that cutting edge innovation centers now almost always contain a housing component, the primary purpose of which is to provide housing for those who work at the innovation center. This proximate housing is endemic of the unique live/work relationship prevalent in the tech industry and is essential to the effective marketing of innovation centers. Second, through both the Draft EIR and our own efforts at developing a first-rate sustainability plan, we have learned that a housing component contributes the reduction of VMT and has a corresponding reduction of air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. These highly desirable environmental results are important and it is difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a high degree of sustainability without them. Altogether it is these factors which have been so convincing to us and we hope will be to the Council as well.

We look forward to appearing before you, along with others from the community, on December 15 and would appreciate receiving your feedback to our request at that time.

Very truly yours,

Daniel F Ramos
Project Manager
Mace Ranch Innovation Center


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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54 thoughts on “MRIC Applicant Pushes For Sole Consideration of Mixed Use Housing Proposal”

    1. Matt Williams

      BP, in this situation, if there is a bait and switch, it has been mandated by the rules/provisions of CEQA, and the compliance with those rules/provisions has been done by the CEQA expert consultant and staff as they prepared the EIR.

      Like you and me, the project applicant has had to wait on the sidelines while the consultant and staff prepared the EIR.

      With that said, do you think the developer feels baited and switched as much as you do?  Their project, as submitted by them, has clearly been radically changed by staff and the consultant.


      1. Barack Palin

        Matt, I as Joe Q. Public, were led to believe at the beginning that we were looking at an innovation park only at MRIC.  Now the housing element is slowly creeping in and that’s not what the public was sold on when we were discussing the need for more revenue and innovation parks.

        1. Misanthrop

          This is nonsense. The public hasn’t been sold anything yet. The final decisions haven’t been made and the citizens haven’t voted on anything. So far this  project has evolved  in a totally transparent process. At the end of that process the public will be asked to vote. Only after that vote might a large change in the proposal warrant the kind of accusations you are marking.

        2. Matt Williams

          BP, I understand your concern, but do you not agree that (1) the developer submitted an innovation park only proposal to the City for the EIR process, and (2) that City of Davis staff and the City’s CEQA expert EIR consultant were the ones who unilaterally added the additional project scenarios to the EIR analysis?

        3. Robb Davis

          Matt you are wrong about this.  A mixed use alternative fulfills CEQA requirements so it was to be part of the EIR from the start.  However, the applicant requested that the mixed use be done as an equal weight analysis and paid for additional staff time to accomplish that.

        4. Matt Williams

          Robb, thank you for that clarification.

          I have one confusion based on your clarification, did the applicant ask for that equal weight analysis at the time they submitted their proposal for EIR analysis, or did they make that request later, once the EIR process was under way?

          Barack Palin’s post below with the quoted text from the applicant’s proposal is germane to my follow-up question.

        5. Matt Williams

          So CalAg, are you saying that Robb Davis was wrong when he said, “A mixed use alternative fulfills CEQA requirements so it was to be part of the EIR from the start”?


        6. Matt Williams

          For the purposes of dialoguing on this issue, the following language from the 2014 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Statute and Guidelines may be useful.


          The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the state that public agencies should not approve projects as proposed if there are feasible alternatives or feasible mitigation measures available which would substantially lessen the significant environmental effects of such projects, and that the procedures required by this division are intended to assist public agencies in systematically identifying both the significant effects of proposed projects and the feasible alternatives or feasible mitigation measures which will avoid or substantially lessen such significant effects. The Legislature further finds and declares that in the event specific economic, social, or other conditions make infeasible such project alternatives or such mitigation measures, individual projects may be approved in spite of one or more significant effects thereof.


          Pursuant to the policy stated in Sections 21002 and 21002.1, no public agency shall approve or carry out a project for which an environmental impact report has been certified which identifies one or more significant effects on the environment that would occur if the project is approved or carried out unless both of the following occur:

          (a)  The public agency makes one or more of the following findings with respect to each significant effect:

          (1)  Changes or alterations have been required in, or incorporated into, the project which mitigate or avoid the significant effects on the environment.
          (2)  Those changes or alterations are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of another public agency and have been, or can and should be, adopted by that other agency.
          (3)  Specific economic, legal, social, technological, or other considerations, including considerations for the provision of employment opportunities for highly trained workers, make infeasible the mitigation measures or alternatives identified in the environmental impact report.

          (b)  With respect to significant effects which were subject to a finding under paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), the public agency finds that specific overriding economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits of the project outweigh the significant effects on the environment.


          In making the findings required by paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 21081, the public agency shall base its findings on substantial evidence in the record.

        7. CalAg

          I’m saying exactly what I said. The statement was pretty clear.

          If you propose a commercial development in California, you are not required under CEQA to add housing.

        8. Robb Davis

          I did not say it was a requirement to have a mixed use alternative.  I said it fulfilled a requirement to include the mixed use.  It is a nuanced difference I will admit but I never intended to suggest we were required to have a mixed use alternative.  We have a variety of options that fulfill requirements and this is one of them.  It was included from the beginning and approved by the CC.

        9. CalAg

          “It [the mixed use alternative] was included from the beginning and approved by the CC.” @ Robb Davis

          “… the applicant [Ramos] requested that the mixed use be done as an equal weight analysis and paid for additional staff time to accomplish that.” @ Robb Davis

          “… we initially were highly opposed to the inclusion of a housing component in our project.”  Ramos

          Ramos was “highly opposed” but asked for an equal weight analysis. They were “highly opposed” until the field was cleared of the Northwest Quadrant and Davis Ranch. Now that Ramos believes they have the City over a barrel, they’ve had a sudden change of heart.

          I call b******t on this entire story.


        10. CalAg

          Clarification – I call b******t on the false narrative being spun by Tschudin and Ramos … not the story by Greenwald.

          Fun fact – Heidi Tschudin was also a contract planner that worked on Covell Village.

        1. Jim Frame

          Because my primary interest in business park development is generation of tax revenue to backfill the hole we’ve dug over the last 15 years.  Housing is a net drain on the long-term budget and reduces the available business park space.

      1. Mark West

        I think Kevin Wolf’s op-ed offers a good argument for why we should consider live/work spaces at the site, in the context of the City’s housing needs. I would oppose single family homes being added to the project, but high-density housing has merit and would help fill an obvious need.

        Kevin Wolf – Enterprise


        1. Mark West

          DP: “but the project would die – too many people would oppose a project with housing.”

          One aspect of this town that I find so frustrating is the refusal of smart people to listen to logical arguments, sticking instead to their initial knee-jerk reactions. I originally opposed housing at the site thinking much the same as you that it would kill the project. Kevin lays out some very sound reasons why that knee-jerk response is wrong, and when taken in context with our abysmal housing situation, I think he is right. Our long-term success as a City will only come about if we overcome the inertia of our collective fear of all growth and development on the periphery. I would strongly oppose another ‘Wildhorse’ type development of single family homes here, but high density live/work spaces in conjunction with a business development make a great deal of sense to me.  It is passed time that we start being smart rather than being scared.

        2. Davis Progressive

          one aspect of this town that i find so frustrating is that everyone believes they are right and everyone else is wrong.  i don’t have a fear of all growth and development on the periphery.  i was willing to put aside my reservations in order to support a tech park.  however, what you don’t understand is that it’s not about fear for me.  i chose to live in davis for a specific reason and i stuck with that reason when there were many reasons why i could have and perhaps should have left.  i didn’t live here anymore, my daughter had a hard time in high school, but in the end, i lived here because i like living in a small, college community.  so if you want to bring business and innovation centers to davis, you have an ally.  you want to bring more housing project and you have an adversary.  the line in the sand is drawn – this far, no farther.  the more you pull arguments like smart v. safe, the more you lose people like me.  your choice.

        3. Mark West

          DP: ” the more you pull arguments like smart v. safe, the more you lose people like me.”

          I’m glad you are happy with your choice, but the City won’t remain a nice place to live if we don’t address our housing needs. Your choice.


        4. Davis Progressive

          that’s your opinion, however, there are a lot of nice places to live that have remained small and have limited growth.  i would go as far as to argue that the opposite is true – most places that experience rapid growth have seen a decline in the quality of living, not an increase.  look at places like natomas, vacaville, fairfield, and elk grove as good examples.

        5. Mark West

          DP:  “most places that experience rapid growth have seen a decline in the quality of living,”

          Your response is a perfect example of a brain dead knee-jerk reaction. I mention the need to address our housing issues and advocate for more high-density housing, and you respond with your fear of the impact of ‘rapid growth.’  Where, in my comment did I advocate for “rapid growth?”  Where in the article that I linked did the author advocate for “rapid growth” (did you even read it)? The choice is not between ‘no growth’ and ‘rapid growth’ because frankly neither one of those options is a good choice.

          1. Don Shor

            Kevin Wolf from the Enterprise:

            Mace Ranch Innovation Center

            The Mace Ranch Innovation Center is not as able [as the other projects] to meet our community’s goals for densification and housing near downtown. Without the inclusion of a high-density housing development on-site, it would be a disaster for our housing supply and for renters in Davis.

            More than 5,800 jobs are eventually expected from the project, resulting in demand for more than 3,000 housing units. However, a mixed-use alternative could include live/work housing units on-site. Even if the new employees weren’t the ones occupying these units, their location near the bus lines to Sacramento and UCD and within walking distance to schools and shopping would help reduce the project’s GHG emissions.

            The 850 units proposed, at densities of 20 to 40 units per acre, would not offset all of the housing demand created by the new jobs, but are enormously better than if the project came without any.

            The immediate question I have is what it would do to the project’s revenue projections, and to the projections of ongoing costs to the city — especially in view of the recent MOU’s.

        6. Davis Progressive

          i think you might want to consult your copy of how to win friends and influence people, referring to their response as “brain dead” is not a good start.

          i just finished reading kevin’s column, i felt like i was reading the arguments of covell village, re-hashed into 2015.  the stunning part is the suggestion that the housing would end up being 850 units.

          in terms of the rapid growth argument, if davis is at 65,000, as we move upwards – 70, 75, 80, etc, we end up moving out of a range of fairly manageable and nice communities and into a range of communities that are less nice.  that’s the point i was trying to make, perhaps less artfully as i had hoped.

          if you want davis to add housing, what does your model community begin to look like?

  1. Barack Palin


    The applicant proposes the Mace Ranch Innovation Center to achieve the following objectives:

    Expeditiously provide a suitable space in which to retain existing local businesses, such as Schilling Robotics, and to attract and grow innovative high-value added, technology oriented companies.
    Provide sufficient land to meet the demand in Davis for innovation centers over a 25 year time horizon.
    Create an integrated, high-quality campus-like project offering a variety of lot sizes that will respond to the current and future needs of technology start-ups, industry leaders, research and development, and products manufacturing firms; allowing for a full range of research to market uses.
    Develop a critical mass of users at a given location sufficient to render economically feasible the delivery of infrastructure necessary for development to occur.
    Contribute to both job creation and tax base enhancement while supporting the University of California, Davis as a research institution.
    Maintain the City’s slow growth policy by prohibiting residential uses within the site, thereby emphasizing the sole objective to rapidly achieve economic growth and financial stability.
    Preserve and protect agriculture through the planning and development of property which will result in a distinct permanent urban edge.
    Utilize land immediately adjacent to the City boundary with adequate and easily- extended infrastructure, including but not limited to fiber optics for high-speed internet.

        1. Barack Palin

          DP, look at the planned development in the above picture associated with the article.  Where’s the residential?  That’s right, there is none because initially we were led to believe that it was going to be all innovation park businesses, not housing.

  2. Tia Will

    Over time, however, our view has changed. Why? “

    First, because we have learned that cutting edge innovation centers now almost always contain a housing component, “

    Second, through both the Draft EIR and our own efforts at developing a first-rate sustainability plan, we have learned that a housing component contributes the reduction of VMT and has a corresponding reduction of air quality and greenhouse gas emissions”

    This series of comments concerns me with regard to the willingness of the project manager to be honest and forthcoming in his communications. The reason for my concern is that I take strong exception to the idea that the presence and value of a housing component are something that the developers “became aware of ” only after their submission of the proposal although he does not state exactly when this awareness was gained.

    I know that they were aware of these trends as early as the first public outreach session because he and I discussed these issues in person at that session. Now it may be that there are many valid reasons for changing the proposal to include housing…..however, newly gained knowledge on the part of the developer is not one of them. This leads me to at least wonder whether or not there might be other inaccuracies or misrepresentations to be dealt with further down the road.



  3. Paul Thober

    As I understand it new housing is a no net gain in revenue for the city as the increase in city services equals or outweighs tax and fee income. Further, any inclusion of housing takes away from space available for the net revenue producing business park infrastructure. Not to ascribe ulterior motives to the developers (Oh, sure I will.), but I think they jumped at the inclusion of housing as it can be built and sold immediately generating immediate profit. I wouldn’t be surprised if the commercial development was left to languish and they came back sooner or later with a proposal for more housing. Call me a cynic.

  4. Paul Thober

    From wikipedia:

    “A stalking horse is a figure that tests a concept with someone or mounts a challenge against someone on behalf of an anonymous third party. If the idea proves viable or popular, the anonymous figure can then declare its interest and advance the concept with little risk of failure. If the concept fails, the anonymous party will not be tainted by association with the failed concept and can either drop the idea completely or bide its time and wait until a better moment for launching an attack.

    1. Paul Thober

      I was wrong. However, there is something odd about the developer’s sudden interest in housing. I am quite sure it is not because of their concern for air quality. This is hunch material, not fact based.

  5. Alan Miller

    I liked the team assembled and the plan and the approach of the NW business park by 113, which has gone dormant.  The approach of Ramos on housing is odd, and I am not nearly so impressed with their plan.  To me, Ramos’ actions demonstrate that he doesn’t believe he’ll make a sufficient of fast enough profit on a business park without housing, so he is willing to move ahead on mixed-use even though it is less likely to pass because business-park only isn’t worth building.  I would be OK with a housing element at the site if the business element wasn’t allowed to languish.  I doubt Davis voters would approve the project with housing as many others have stated; hell, I’m not sure they’ll approve anything by a J/R vote, ever.  Whether I would vote on the East business park (MRIC) depends on how it flushes out.  I wish the NW business park was still on the table; they obviously felt it wasn’t worth buidling at this time.

    1. hpierce

      Be cautious about what you wish for… the NW quadrant site has more substantive/expensive issues (primarily flood plain/drainage, and sanitary sewer) than the Mace Ranch site.  Talk about “flushing out”.

      That said, yes there was/is much merit in the NW quadrant project that was withdrawn/put on the back burner by the applicant.  As there is in the topic project.

  6. CalAg

    If the City Council is going to change the rules mid-stream then they need to re-issue the RFEI.

    Both the Northwest Quadrant and Davis Ranch efforts would almost certainly still be ongoing if the RFEI had allowed on-site housing in the proposals.

    It now appears to me that this whole process has been disingenuous from the start.

  7. Miwok

    Don’t know if anyone has thought of this, but you do realize the City is growing… TOWARD the environmentally sensitive areas, and the LANDFILL?

    When I saw the one on the west of 113 designated as one of the areas for these “Innovation” parks, I was looking at intelligent growth, not overbalancing one side of Davis, not the Freeway, Not the Landfill side, instead, we get competition and possibly subterfuge, that denigrates the other projects at the expense of its own?

    That site and Nishi has the proximity to the University you think you all need, and instead winnow out to the third one, the furthermost away?

    gee. I bet “staff” recommends it..

    1. Jim Frame

      That site and Nishi has the proximity to the University you think you all need, and instead winnow out to the third one, the furthermost away?

      One of the things that Rob White noted early in his tenure is that one of the highest priority items  on the corporate site selection checklist is freeway visibility.  They not only want excellent transportation access, they also want their facilities to be seen from a major transportation corridor.  MRIC has it, sitting a stone’s throw from I-80 at a large interchange, while the NW site sits alongside a minor state route with a short stretch of freeway ending in — wait for it — Woodland.

  8. Frankly

    I’m sure that the MRIC developers want housing because it results in more revenue per acre.

    I disagree that we should include housing in MRIC.  Yes Davis has rental housing supply problems, but that is because UCD is way under-performing building enough student housing on campus.

    Conceivably, if UCD had built or was building enough student housing, then Davis would have adequate rental housing supplies to support an innovation park or two.

    Ironically UCD will benefit from the technology transfer opportunities that innovation parks bring.    So UCD needs to contribute to effort to build innovation parks by helping to shoulder more housing development for students that are otherwise using up the supply that would be available for workers.

    Also consider that it will take 20 years to populate the innovation park.  Today Davis has a high percentage of residents that commute to and from work.  Over 20 years that number will come down as more Davis workers buy and rent the homes that turn over, and more local residents will find work locally.

    Davis has way under-built commercial space as it has added several large housing developments over the last 40 years.  It is time to play catch-up and grow our commercial space to a level that a growing city of 72,000 requires.  We need to stop the hand-wringing over housing because it will undermine our ability to do so.

    1. CalAg

      What the general public doesn’t understand is that technology companies – unlike prospective homeowners and renters – are not lining up to set up shop in Davis. There is empty commercial space all over town as well as buildable land. In fact, the Ramos industrial zone is still not built-out after more than 25 years (even though they were allowed to up-zone a big chunk of it to accommodate Target).

      The reason to have large amounts of entitled land is so that Davis can accommodate technology companies when opportunities materialize. It doesn’t matter how many acres are entitled, most of the acreage will remain in agriculture for decades. The important thing is that the acreage is available and that companies looking at Davis can see that there will be future growth of the technology sector without having to repeat the land use debate.

  9. CalAg

    An interesting observation for all you conspiracy theory enthusiasts.

    I wanted to review the history of RAMCO in the City of Davis, and went online twice in the last couple of months to try and re-read Mike Fitch’s chapter on Mace Ranch.

    While I’m sure the links will be fixed first thing in the morning, they don’t work as of this posting.

  10. CalAg

    This is important and was not clear (at least to me) from Greenwald’s reporting.  From the Staff Report:

    Absent direction otherwise, staff’s intent has been to prepare this package only for the project as proposed, and not, for example, for any of the CEQA alternatives such as the Mixed Use Alternative.

    There are several reasons for this: 1) There is no application before the City for any project except the MRIC as proposed. 2) The City’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) expressly discouraged residential uses.

    It appears to me that staff is trying to do the right thing. Kudo’s to Mike Webb.

    This tampering with the process is not without precedent. Ramos also tried to subvert the Measure R process early in the process.

    Same MO – they submitted a letter to the CC and set off a big fire storm. In the previous “incident” they had to back down. Hopefully this bait-and-switch will play out the same way, or else this much needed tech park is DOA.

    If I was on the City Council, I would be very annoyed that this applicant keeps putting the Council in the middle of these firestorms by trying to meddle with the process.

  11. CalAg

    Another observation – and this bit is pretty hard to believe.

    Furthermore, we recognize that the Council could elect, at the public hearing on our proposal, to proceed with the originally submitted project instead of the mixed use alternative. If this occurs, there could be a processing delay while a complete entitlement package and development agreement for the original proposal are being prepared. It is understood that any such delay could, and likely would, impact our ability to be placed on the November, 2016 ballot.  Dan Ramos

    This is a pretty thinly veiled threat. Wow. RAMCO thinks they’ve got the City over a barrel and they can now intimidate the Council?

    So ……. there will be a delay if the Council doesn’t capitulate on housing, but everything stays on track if they do?? I have to call b******t again.

    Here’s a reality check. I’m almost certain that the City can’t certify the EIR and process the “mixed use alternative” because they haven’t done sufficient CEQA analysis to approve a project with on-site housing. To go down this track, they would need to analyze additional project alternatives that include off-site housing. As a consequence, this would require a revision and recirculation of the current DEIR or generation of an entirely new DEIR. This translates into major delays and/or a CEQA document that is not legally defensible.

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