Mixed-use Mace Ranch Innovation Center Plan Is the Better Alternative

Mixed Use Housing
Mixed-use, with housing

By Dan Ramos

Our experiences so far on the Mace Ranch Innovation Center project have been much like going on a trip to a new destination. If you’re like me, you want to have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into. But you also understand that it’s often through the unanticipated moments that perceptions are changed and you learn the most.

When we responded in 2012 to the City of Davis’ Request for Expressions of Interest to develop an innovation center on 229 acres at Mace Blvd. and Interstate 80, we were confident that we had a good plan consistent with the City’s Guiding Principles for Davis Innovation Centers and based on what we felt at the time would most benefit the community.

That proposal includes 2.65 million square feet of research, manufacturing and commercial facilities, 64 acres of open space, innovative transportation systems, and cutting-edge technology and sustainability features, all with an eye toward eventually accommodating nearly 5,900 employees.

The innovation center is envisioned as a world-class hub connecting leading-edge tech companies, research and development organizations, local start-ups, business incubators and U.C. Davis. When the city then asked us to consider adding a housing component to our project for environmental analysis purposes, we were hesitant.

But as we started doing serious homework on what made for successful innovation projects in communities such as Boulder, Palo Alto, Raleigh/Chapel Hill, Champaign/Urbana and more, what became increasingly clear was the importance of incorporating housing into the plans. To help reinforce the point, a 2014 Brookings Institution report on innovation districts around the country noted that “shifting demographic and household dynamics are fueling demand for more walkable neighborhoods where housing, work, and amenities intermix.”

We’ve also consulted with the Davis-area tech community and been told that an innovation center with housing will be much more attractive to them because their employees often are living in Sacramento, West Sacramento, Dixon, Woodland and other area communities where housing is more available and affordable.

Taking this research and feedback into consideration, we’ve concluded that a Mace Ranch Innovation Center with housing is a better project, not just because it’s more marketable but also because it’s better for Davis.

Incorporating 850 live-work lofts, higher-density apartments and units with garage work space that would be attractive to those working in the innovation center – and housing types not currently found much in Davis – provides the following significant benefits:

More efficient use of land. The mixed-use project adds housing without reducing research, manufacturing and commercial uses. This increases overall open space by 19 percent, from 64 acres to 76 acres, and helps reduce pressure to convert additional agricultural land.

Reduces auto trips, vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the city’s environmental impact report, adding housing to the project reduces vehicular trips by 35 percent during the morning commute period and 32 percent during the evening commute period, and cuts vehicle miles traveled by more than 25 percent.

Positive economic impact. According to the city’s economic analysis, the mixed-use project produces a nearly $2 million annual surplus for the city’s General Fund, providing much-needed new resources for parks, public safety, road maintenance and other city services. Countywide total annual economic output at buildout is estimated at $2.8 billion.

Eliminates the need to retrofit later. Innovation centers in places like Palo Alto have been redesigned to include high-density housing. Developing a mixed-use project from the outset eliminates the need for less efficient and costlier retrofitting, and helps to ensure near-term project success.

Most of us have heard and been a part of discussions about the lack of housing for young families, new graduates whose intellect and skills can and should play a bigger role in helping to strengthen our local economy, teachers, public safety personnel and others who’d like to call Davis home but typically can’t.

While our mixed-use project, which would be developed within current city housing limits, won’t and isn’t intended to solve those issues, it will at least help retain some of the talent Davis currently is losing to other communities.

As we’ve discussed the many advantages of the mixed-use alternative with the Natural Resources, Open Space and Habitat, Finance and Budget, and Bicycle, Transportation and Street Safety Commissions over the past several weeks, it’s been clear that most commissioners see the value of including live-work housing in our project.

Next up is the City Council, which this week is expected to weigh in on whether we should reduce our two current project options – one with housing, one without – to just one for final planning and analysis.

We want to develop the best project possible for Davis, and that’s the one that includes housing. We’ll move forward either way. But we hope council members and eventually the community in general will see the wisdom in a mixed-use plan.

Dan Ramos is vice president at Ramco Enterprises and project manager for the 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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55 thoughts on “Mixed-use Mace Ranch Innovation Center Plan Is the Better Alternative”

  1. Barack Palin

    But we hope council members and eventually the community in general will see the wisdom in a mixed-use plan.

    I believe the community in general hope the council members will see the wisdom in keeping the project innovation park only or there will be no project.

    1. Tia Will

      I believe the community in general hope the council members will see the wisdom in keeping the project innovation park only or there will be no project.”

      I believe that the majority of folks who post here see this as you do. I see it differently. As a fairly strong opponent of the MRIC previously, this was one of the sticking points for me. From the first public presentation that I attended on the MRIC, one major sticking point was….”and where are all of these new workers going to live” ?  Mr. Ramos had no answer to this question which was far from comforting to me. Innovation centers in the cities that Mr. Ramos cited include a housing component. Since we used these as models for what would benefit Davis, perhaps we should be taking a closer look at this model rather than rejecting it out of hand.


      1. David Greenwald Post author

        Good point Tia. In my column this morning I made the point that there is some evidence that housing would reduce vehicle miles traveled. There is no evidence that I’ve seen that housing would make it worse.    Moreover everybody who is assuming that housing would do in the project, where is the evidence for that?   We are all claiming to favor evidence-based approaches and yet I don’t see any evidence guiding the opposition to housing here.

        1. Barack Palin

          In my column this morning I made the point that there is some evidence that housing would reduce vehicle miles traveled.

          If vehicle miles driven are going to be the determining factor on whether we should build developments then MRIC shouldn’t be built at all because that would result in the least vmt’s of any option.

        2. The Pugilist

          “If vehicle miles driven are going to be the determining factor on whether we should build developments then MRIC shouldn’t be built at all because that would result in the least vmt’s of any option.”

          I see.  So if a project encroaches on farmland, you would argue that we should attempt to mitigate the farmland since we shouldn’t build it in the first place because that approach would result on the least encroachment.

          By extension, we shouldn’t mitigate any environmental impact because the least intrusive approach is no project.

          So according to your logic we either have zero mitigation measures or zero projects.  Correct?

        3. Matt Williams

          BP said . . . “If vehicle miles driven are going to be the determining factor on whether we should build developments then MRIC shouldn’t be built at all because that would result in the least vmt’s of any option.”

          Actually BP, your bolded statement has no evidence to back it up.  Whether the actual VMTs go up or down will depend on what alternative location each innovation company chooses.  AgraQuest is a case in point.  Are the VMTs greater or lesser from AgraQuest in its new West Sacramento location than they were in their old Davis location?

  2. Don Shor

    The Request for Proposals that led to MRIC was the culmination of a long public process. The Innovation Park Task Force, originally the Peripheral Park Task Force, developed a strategy for dispersed economic development. It involved many hours of public hearings over several years. Meanwhile, the review of housing sites and options took place via the housing task force several years ago in which dozens of citizens worked for hundreds of hours to identify and rank sites for potential housing around Davis.

    Neither of those processes, to my knowledge, identified the properties east of Mace Blvd. as sites for housing. The two proposals that came forth were based on public input and clearly identified the east and north Davis sites, along with Nishi (which was in the housing discussions), for business.

    The proposal for housing at Mace Ranch circumvents the public process, dilutes the effectiveness of the dispersed economic development strategy, wastes potential revenue-generating business space, and threatens the electoral success of not only MRIC but any future business park plans. If the north Davis plan revives, the public would be very justified in considering it a likely site for housing as well — flouting the process that led to the site consideration in the first place

    Once again the public process is being derailed. And the likely outcome is that the park itself would fail, and future parks would fail, at the ballot box.

    1. Matt Williams

      Don, having personally attended 21 of the 25 Housing Element Steering Committee (HESC) meetings, I can say with considerable certainty that none of the discussions of any of the housing sites gave any consideration to whether Davis’ economy had sustainability issues.  The topic at hand was all housing, all the time.  The HESC process was driven by the desire for a measured response to SACOG’s recently delivered RHNA housing allocation.  You need go no further than Recommendation #5 in the HESC’s final report to know that process is not being circumvented.   Here is the text of that recommendation:

      Recommendation #5: Initiate a Long-Range, Comprehensive General Plan Update In Approximately 2009, and Use Steering Committee Recommendations As a Guide Through The Year 2013

      The Steering Committee has been required to focus on housing strategies largely in isolation from many other important long-range community planning issues. This has been difficult and limited.

      A truly comprehensive General Plan update should be initiated to address: a long range community vision to year 2040 or 2050; and a General Plan period or “horizon” to 2030.

      Use the Recommendations through 2013 to Generally Match the Period of the Housing Element to be Certified by the State. The Steering Committee recommends, that the City Council consider using the Committee’s evaluations, site rankings and other recommendations beyond 2013 and in the next General Plan update.

      Initiate a long-Range, Comprehensive General Plan Update in Approximately 2009. Planning issues to be addressed should include but not be limited to:

      (1)  Sustainability.
      (2)  Ultimate urban growth and ag preservation boundaries.
      (3)  Open space / greenways system.
      (4)  Growth and balance of housing, employment, retail and services.
      (5)  Multi-property planning on the edges of the
      City where coordinated planning would better address issues that may cross parcel boundaries.
      (6)  Fiscal impacts of alternatives.
      (7)  Planning for the 2011-2018 RHNA and the next Housing Element planning period.

      Unfortunately the City has not undertaken the recommended General Plan Update, so we have no holistic or comprehensive approach in place to guide us through these post 2013 realities.

  3. Barack Palin

    The Vanguard seems to be all over the place on the MRIC housing and VMT issues:

    Our reading of the full EIR suggests that there are better strategies for dealing with VMT (vehicle miles traveled) and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions as well as traffic and circulation problems. The development of a transportation plan that can help people commute more efficiently to the park is a way to reduce the impact of VMT and GHG, while avoiding the thorny issue of onsite housing.


    Housing is indeed a problem – but we believe it can be better addressed regionally, with better transportation to the site that can avoid people hopping on the freeway and the traffic congestion of I-80.
    In the meantime, the council and developers should quickly take this issue off the table and remove another point of contention that could threaten to derail the project.
    —David M. Greenwald reporting


  4. Roberta Millstein

    This piece by Dan Ramos also appeared in the local newspaper; here is a letter to the editor that I submitted in response:

    In Dan Ramos’s recent op-ed, “A mixed-use Mace Ranch Innovation Center plan is the better alternative,” he states that “As we’ve discussed the many advantages of the mixed-use alternative with several city advisory commissions — Natural Resources, Open Space and Habitat, Finance and Budget, and Bicycle, Transportation and Street Safety — over the past several weeks, it’s been clear that most commissioners see the value of including live-work housing in our project.”

    Dan Ramos did indeed visit the Open Space and Habitat Commission (OSHC) at its most recent meeting on February 1.  But, as Mr. Ramos should recall, the OSHC only discussed the mixed-use  alternative briefly and, importantly, did not vote on it.  Only five commissioners were present.  One or two may have expressed support, but others had questions.  For example, why is it that the mixed-use alternative is able to fit more buildings in a smaller amount of space than the business-park-only alternative?  The answer, as I understood it, was that the business-park-only alternative contained numerous space-consuming surface parking areas that would become parking garages in the mixed-use alternative.  Why no parking garages in the business-park-only alternative, then?  The answer (again, as I understood it) was that it would not “pencil out.”

    It was because of these and other questions that the OSHC decided to defer the vote on the mixed-use alternative until its March 7 meeting.  It may in the end favor the mixed-use alternative, but it may not.  In the meantime, I would ask Mr. Ramos not to state the OSHC’s views for it.  Mr. Ramos should let the process play out.  The OSHC will state its opinion clearly when it is ready to do so.

    (I am a commissioner on the OSHC; however the views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the rest of the OSHC).

    1. Matt Williams

      I was at the OSHC meeting and what Roberta says happened is accurate. As a process, what the OSHC did, deferring any decisions on MRIC until their next meeting to give due consideration to the evidence, was outstanding representative government in action.

      Further, in the 2/8 meeting of the FBC, the MRIC item was time limited to 60 minutes and the comparison of the mixed-use and non-mixed-use alternatives was the second question of the Questions that staff provided the FBC commissioners.  The time limit expired without ever leaving the discussion of the first question.  Therefore, the FBC has had no formal discussion of the comparison of the two alternatives to date, either positive or negative.  The FBC’s first such discussion will take place on March 14th in Council Chambers.  I encourage all interested resident to attend.  I expect the MRIC discussions by the FBC to be lively and productive, just like the FBC’s Nishi discussions.

      With respect to the Natural Resources Commission and and Bicycle, Transportation and Street Safety Commission meetings, I would encourage one or more members of those commissions to post here on the Vanguard a clarification of Dan Ramos’ statement.


  5. Eileen Samitz


    I served on the HESC and attended all the meetings and I am not sure what your point is.  I think everyone wants new projects to be green and sustainable. MRIC will be green and sustainable without housing. Now the ridiculous assumption like one MRIC worker would need to live in each of the 850 housing units is where it becomes pretty apparent that this is a far reaching attempt to “green wash” the project. The developers cannot mandate any workers to be residents if there were vertical high density housing, so reducing the vehicle trips is nothing but theoretical. Besides not many people want to live in apartment-sized units long term, particularity after they have families.

    The intention of this research and development innovation center is to focus on just that, research and development to help with generating revenue for the City. This is what was promised from the beginning and the only reason many people like myself were willing to consider supporting it. Trying to add high density housing at the MRIC at this point is a nothing more than a “bait and switch” stunt by the developer and the public is onto it. It is a research and development park, not a business park, they are not the same.

    Also, let’s not forget that one issue brought up early was that the MRIC  site would not be big enough for what Davis needed for an innovation ark. This is all the more reason why all ALL the available space needs to focus on  building as much commercial on the site that it can to bring more revenue for the City.


    1. The Pugilist

      “The developers cannot mandate any workers to be residents if there were vertical high density housing, so reducing the vehicle trips is nothing but theoretical. ”

      I think you should do a little math.  If this creates 5800 jobs and has 850 units, you don’t need everyone to live on site, in fact, the 850 units only accommodate 15% of the employees.  Obviously these wouldn’t be units for young families, they’d be for young, single, employees who needed a place to stay and would otherwise be living in Elk Grove or Natomas.

      1. Frankly

        Try Woodland, Dixon or West Sac. Or even downtown Sac.  15-20 minutes away max.  It can take that long to get from one side of Davis to the other.  Any innovation park employee in any other part of the nation would thing they had died and gone to heaven with housing and commute choices like those.

      2. Frankly

        Here is another point to consider.  Five years ago I managed to hire a S.F. single young professional talent to work at my office in Davis.  She was here for a few months and told me she hated Davis… as she put it… a bunch of old people and kids.  Then she moved to midtown  Sac.  She liked it there better, but still not enough young professional action… and she moved back to S.F. after selling her house in midtown Sac and commuted for two years from S.F. to the office in Davis.

        The young professionals working at the innovation park are more likely to want to live in midtown Sac than Davis.   That will change over time as Davis demographics change and Davis developed more retail and entertainment venues that attract young professionals.

        But don’t fool yourself that this town will appeal to young professionals.  They will consider it Podunk to a large degree.

        1. Miwok

          I hear that from the students at UCD for decades, they live with their families in Oakland, on Paper, yet spend a few days here is town on friend’s couches, then back home on weekends. the  “uncounted” among renters.

          I liked the idea of live-work places, when they were introduced, finally, to some new buildings among Downtown rebuilds. Old firetraps on G  Street were replaced with nice new buildings, and these lofts were described as live-work. I thought I had the best opportunity to finally live where I worked, but I found that the owners were the same slumlords that had acquired many apartment buildings in town, known for their rentals which are substandard on many levels.

          I found that they STARTED at $2700 a month, Could not buy one, and this was their “affordable” rentals. These will be more of the same.

        2. CalAg

          Frankly: With respect to young professionals, Davis’ main competitive advantage is with those that are starting (or plan to start) families. This is great for the Davis School District if there is appropriate housing stock to keep them in our community. Agree with all your points as they apply to singles.

        3. CalAg

          Frankly: That was my point. MRIC does not have – and can not have because of it’s small footprint – “appropriate housing stock to keep them in our community.”

          The brain-drain of workforce to more hospitable communities is a big problem. You can’t build a robust technology sector in Davis with UCD interns, entry level employees that are just happy to have a job, and senior employees that have the financial resources to compete in the local housing market.

        1. Matt Williams

          I disagree Frankly.  As you argued to me in our shared personal e-mail conversation, the executives of the innovation companies will be able to purchase SFRs in the existing Davis neighborhoods … and they will also be able to afford to make those home purchases.  However, the workers at their companies will not be advanced enough in their careers to have built up the capital for a home purchase.  Many will still be paying off their student loans.  Any housing at MRIC would needs to meet the needs of the rank and file workers rather than the executives you have described.

        2. Frankly

          Matt – young professionals as a demographic are generally single.  When they get married their lifestyle pursuits change.  Their housing wants and needs also tend to change.

          Some of the married employees with kids are going to want to settle in Davis because of the schools.  And those employees with kids will want single-family housing.   And some of those employees will be executives and will want bigger houses and bigger yards.   I know this is politically incorrect in the prevailing views of the progressive all things right and relevant city, but it is reality.  Not everyone wants to live in a little flat above the pizza joint.  And few want to live in an apartment or condo within a business park.

          I think some of us long-time Davisites are really a bit out of sync with the what the rest of the world wants in a home and place to live.  We are in a bit of a Davis bubble.  Maybe some of us are not getting out enough traveling to other places.

          I have UCD grads working for me that are single young professionals and they are getting restless.  Davis does not meet their social needs.  One wants to move to Pasadena where thankfully I have an office.  The other is probably okay for another year or two, and then I expect the Bay Area to call.

          Now over time Davis can change to be a hip place similar to Boulder.  But not now.  Those hard working young professionals will get off work and feel like they are in social purgatory.

        3. Miwok

          young professionals as a demographic are generally single.

          Most of the Grad Students I used to work for ten years ago were not single. Try half. Yet they try to live in these apartments like they are in the suburbs. Dog, Cats, Parties, etc. Of course if you are hired as a Professor or other  Faculty, you get low-interest loans from UCD.

    2. Matt Williams

      Eileen, Don was very clear that he believes “The proposal for housing at Mace Ranch circumvents the public process” the information I shared gave him additional input that he may not have considered in coming to that belief.  Simply sharing evidence pertinent to his political statement.

      1. Ron


        All decisions are ultimately political.  (You seem to think this is a “bad” thing.) We all have access to the same information.  Interpretations of that information may differ.

        1. Ron

          Also, I tend to respect those who come out with a position at some point, even if I don’t agree with them. (I prefer this over attacking one side of an argument, and then “claiming” that I don’t have a position.)

      2. Matt Williams

        Ron said . . . “All decisions are ultimately political.  (You seem to think this is a “bad” thing.)”

        I wholeheartedly disagree that all decisions are ultimately political.  The decision to parent a child is not political.  The decision whether or not to apply for a drivers license is not political.  The decision whether to wait for the traffic light to turn green is not political.  The decision what college to apply to is not political.

        When it comes to the good or bad of political decisions, the key word you used is “ultimately.”  Political considerations are part of the evidence in any decision process.  By their very nature, political considerations are subjective . . . as you said, interpretations may differ.  Most forms of evidence are somewhat (but not completely) removed from the subjectivity of political considerations.  If a decision is made at a time when “ultimately” is still a far distance off, then the subjectivity of political considerations often overwhelms the as-yet-not-collected objective evidence.

        In that kind of situation, I do think that is a bad thing.  For me, the Cannery CFD was a perfect example of a decision that was made at a time when “ultimately” was still way to far in the distance.  We knew the value (in dollars and sense) of what we were giving up.  We were going to write the multi-million dollar check for that amount and then combine that with spending $2 million on the overhead of bond issuance costs and reserve requirements.  What we did not know was what the value was that the City was going to get in return.  It was a bad decision to give away $10 million without any sense of what the dollars and sense were that we were getting back.

        To answer your follow-on clarification question, if I am elected in June, I will be 75 days from my 69th birthday. Age 69 is way too late to start a political career, and as a result my campaign is not to be elected to political office, rather it is to become an elected public servant in support of the citizens and residents of Davis.

      3. Matt Williams

        I suspect what you are reading as attacking another person’s position is more often than not simply laying evidence out on the table in as objective as possible a manner.   The evidence ultimately speaks for itself.


  6. Ron

    Matt said, “I wholeheartedly disagree that all decisions are ultimately political.”

    I had already clarified this, above.  (“To clarify, all decisions related to government.”)  A city council position is indeed a political position.  If you don’t see this, I’m not sure that you’d be a very effective (or trusted) elected official.

    The choice/decision to study any particular piece of “evidence” is often political, in the first place.

    I consistently see you laying out “evidence”, which can only lead to one “logical” conclusion.  For example, you recently stated that there was essentially “no chance” of influencing the University to build more housing for its students.  (Therefore, your unstated “logical” conclusion is that the city must then build more housing to meet this demand.)  Yet, the University is now asking us to respond (via survey), regarding plans to build more housing.  (Not sure if this is due to local pressure, but Janet Napolitano (also) recently announced plans to build (14,000?) units of housing at UC campuses.)

    Unfortunately, you only provide “evidence” that seems to support one “logical” conclusion – that the city must build more housing (at Nishi, and MRIC).  And, you assume that those who arrive at a different conclusion must be doing so due to “political” considerations.  (I can provide several examples of this, if needed.  However, I’d suggest that you review your own postings, first.)  I find it irritating that you then consistently state that you’re objective (as if you aren’t already at least leaning in one direction, or the other). Especially since you’re running for a “political” office, where you’ll be called upon to make such political decisions.

    So far, you have limited your presentations of “contrary evidence” to those who question the wisdom of including housing at MRIC, and those who don’t support Nishi. That alone is “evidence” that you are taking a position (or at least leaning in one direction).


    1. Ron

      To clarify a little further, not all decisions are financial in nature.  But, even financial analyses related to a proposed development can be politically-influenced and/or incomplete (as you noted with the Cannery).

      For example, I believe that the updated EPS analysis for Nishi (dated 2/4/16) shows a range of possibilities for the city, from ( -$18,000 to +$613,000).  However, the number that’s now being tossed about by developers and the city apparently describes a $1.4 million surplus. The only difference seems to be that the underlying assumptions were changed.  And, this apparently does not include some other potential costs (to the city), related to the Richards Boulevard improvement and other potential costs (that were recently mentioned by someone on this forum).

      One could argue that assumptions that financial analyses are often manipulated for political purposes.  (I’m not necessarily saying that this is the case with Nishi.)  My main point is that political processes/analyses (and the resulting “evidence”) are often not as objective as you seem to state.  Nor is the decision to study a particular problem, or the resulting “evidence”.

    2. Matt Williams

      Good response Ron.  Let’s deal with the final paragraph first.  So far, here on the Vanguard, no one has put out any facts-based arguments against housing at MRIC.  There have been lots of feelings-based arguments about why the idea of housing was a bad one.  Further, many of the people who have put out those feelings-based arguments haven’t simply laid their evidence on the scale and stepped back for some collective contemplation, rather they have vociferously insisted that the discussion needs to end immediately.

      I see the Vanguard as a dialogue space, and what good is a dialogue space if the dialogue is being prematurely cut off?

      Regarding your second paragraph, the two key words in your first sentence are “seems” and “conclusion.”  Based on the information we have one the table, we don’t have enough reliable (unchangeable) evidence to come to a conclusion.  The fiscal information FBC has is incomplete and subject to change.  If I don’t believe any informed “conclusion” is currently possible, how is it that it can “seem” that I am supporting one particular conclusion?   I have taught college-level Critical Thinking with particular focus on healthcare and information technology.  Industry surveys of the senior executives responsible for funding major IT projects, when polled about the success of their project after it was “live” fount that over 87% of those executives deemed their projects to have been “failures” and the biggest reason they gave was that the automated solution produced did not solve the human problem it was supposed to solve.  The second most frequent reason given was that there was an insufficient understanding of what the real problem was, and that the automated solution actually fixed a “problem” at great time and expense that wasn’t even a problem.

      Why do I tell that story?  For two reasons.  The first reason is that housing at MRIC has all the classic signs of a problem that we don’t know enough about to make an informed, efficient, effective decision about.  The second reason is that I’m becoming more and more of the belief that it is also a problem that (at this stage of the process) we might not be able to know enough about . . . any decision about housing at MRIC might involve a significant “roll of the dice.”  The decision to go with no-housing is just as uncertain as the decision to go with housing.  Bottom-line, what it “seems’ to me is that neither answer is that “logical conclusion” is an elusive expression right now.  The real question appears to be “what homework do we need to do, and how best to do it.”

      I very quickly acknowledged the fact that President Napolitano’s announcement was a complete surprise.  But at the same time I laid out the numerical calculations that showed how the announcement did not come without its limitations.  All I ask you to do is add up the numbers, even with President Napolitano’s announcement factored in.  The numbers speak for themselves.  Before her announcement the tsunami was 40 feet tall.  With her announcement, it might have reduced to 35 feet.  It is still a tsunami.

    1. The Pugilist

      That’s not exactly what he said.  “When the city then asked us to consider adding a housing component to our project for environmental analysis purposes, we were hesitant.”  As I understand it, the city put in an alternative in the EIR that had a mixed use component.  They were not in favor of that alternative, but after looking into it more, it grew on them.  I don’t see that as a b-s story.

      1. CalAg

        Ramos was polling on housing before the RFEI. In my opinion, their agenda from the moment of their initial submission has been to find a way to get housing, and they’ve actively worked with staff to this end. In addition to the 850 units up-front, I think they’ve also tipped their hand about seeking to upzone land (what they’re calling retrofitting) to residential and/or retail at some point down the line.


        1. David Greenwald Post author

          You’ve posted about the housing being polled before the RFEI, I looked at the poll and don’t see housing asked. Do you have a link or a screenshot?

  7. Alan Miller

    I am more likely to vote for the Mace Business Park if it has housing.  I believe I am in the vast minority on this and it will more likely fail at the ballot box.

    I am also more likely to vote for the Northwest Business Park, if it ever returns from the dead

  8. Alan Miller

    We are all claiming to favor evidence-based approaches and yet I don’t see any evidence guiding the opposition to housing here.

    I am not clamaing to favor evidence-based approaches because that is a sham.  Everyone has their own reality, even with so-called “evidence”.  Let’s drop that idealistic approach here & now.

    1. Barack Palin

      I am not clamaing to favor evidence-based approaches because that is a sham.  Everyone has their own reality, even with so-called “evidence”.  Let’s drop that idealistic approach here & now.

      Well stated Alan, if one has a bias it’s easy to look for and cherrypick “evidence” that will support that bias and ignore other evidence that goes against what you advocate for.  I also agree that this whole evidence based decision making is just a sham.

      1. Miwok

          I also agree that this whole evidence based decision making is just a sham.

        The evidence I see presented does not seem like anyone who presents “evidence” ever goes outside the City Limits, including Staff. Since Davis is an Ultimate melting pot of international proportions, it is interesting how the CC makes decisions seemingly in a vacuum.

        Contracts are written in such a way that contractors make out without conditions of performance and no penalties or timetables. Consultants are hired to get a certain result, much like Grants are written, which assume a result before the result is found. I took Business Administration courses in the seventies that warned about this blindness.

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