Letter From Nine Former Councilmembers in Support of Nishi

Interior View of Nishi
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Former Councilmember Stephen Souza reads a letter from himself and eight other former Mayors and City Councilmembers at last council meeting
Former Councilmember Stephen Souza reads a letter from himself and eight other former Mayors and City Councilmembers at last council meeting

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

We write to first thank you for your careful consideration of the proposed Nishi Gateway project.

As former Davis mayors and city council members, we have a special connection to this great city, and each of us believes that the Nishi Gateway is a strong project worthy of bringing before the voters. We urge you to vote to put the Nishi Gateway on the June 2016 ballot.

All of us have observed the Nishi Gateway project as it has moved through years of close collaboration between the city, county, university, and community stakeholders. At your last meeting in November, you made it clear that University access is essential. The developer has made the commitment to fund and build a new road to the University as a condition of the project and to wait until Richards Boulevard interchange improvements are complete before finishing any connection to West Olive Drive.

The landowner and City have both committed to insuring the project provides revenue to the general fund. The project also provides 325,000 square feet of Research and Development space adjacent to campus. The ripple effects and benefits to downtown (Davis’s largest business district) is substantial. It will provide the full spectrum of jobs this community needs. The housing is designed to meet the internal needs of the City. Nishi would also create a 30-year multi-million dollar revenue stream for Davis Joint Unified School District, helping to provide needed resources for our city’s students and educators.

Most importantly, the Final EIR is ready for certification as recommended by the planning commission in a 7-0 vote. This comprehensive document is our voting guide. It contains answers to all of the issues raised by the public in great detail. You will hear from some of them that their issues are being ignored, and they will ask for delays even though their questions, answers, and opinions are now enshrined in the Final EIR, the voters’ handbook. If still unsatisfied, they will have the opportunity to cast their vote through Measure R/J – the most inclusive public participation process one can codify into law.

This is also a project that implements Davis values. It’s been ranked #1 by the California Strategic Growth Council for sustainability goals. The overwhelmingly majority of energy consumed at Nishi will be generated through onsite photo-voltaic solar systems. Because 80% of trips by student residents are expected to be through biking, walking, and transit, and because Nishi substantially expands our city’s bike path infrastructure, Nishi would be the first project ever to exceed the City of Davis’ Beyond Platinum Bicycle Action Plan.

It is clear to us that the Nishi Gateway would be a beneficial and important addition to our city. It’s time to check in with the voters in June 2016 to see if they agree, allowing us to proceed to implementation. Our collaborative partners will be grateful.

Sincerely,

Jerry Adler

Ruth Asmundson

Bob Black

Mike Corbett

Joe Krovoza

Debbie Nichols-Poulos

Ted Puntillo

Maynard Skinner

Stephen Souza

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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