Vanguard Survey Finds Most Attending Forum Undecided on Nishi

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Tim Ruff presents on Saturday with Brett Lee and Katherine Hess looking on
Tim Ruff presents on Saturday with Brett Lee and Katherine Hess looking on

It is the most unscientific poll you can find, with only 18 of the roughly 50 people who attended Saturday’s forum discussion on Nishi filling out the Vanguard survey. So the results should be taken for informational value only.

We asked four questions and solicited other comments on the project.

First we asked if people were in support, opposition, or undecided. Half the respondents are still undecided on the project, with five (27.8 percent) in opposition and four (22.2 percent) in support. In short, fairly evenly split, with the rest undecided.

Next we asked for the biggest concerns of the project. By far the two biggest were traffic and circulation, as two-thirds of those responding listed that as one of their concerns. The fiscal issue was second, with 61 percent listing that as among their concerns. Everything else was relatively less, with air quality listed as a concern by 27.8 percent of respondents and uncertainty of contingencies at 22 percent.

The strengths of the project were also fairly clear. Fifty-six percent of respondents said downtown, while half said proximity to campus. Smaller percentages (22 percent) saw mixed use and housing needs, with 17 percent selecting the innovation component.

Councilmember Brett Lee shares his thoughts
Councilmember Brett Lee shares his thoughts

The fourth question is harder to gauge, as we asked what previous measures respondents supported. It is difficult to get a true sense since we didn’t think to ask people how long they had been a resident. Measure O (Open Space) at 61 percent and Measure J at 50 percent drew the largest responses. Target was next at 22 percent and none of the other projects – Wild Horse, Covell Village, the Widening of Richards Tunnel and Wild Horse Ranch – drew even 20 percent of responses.

Some other comments:

  • I feel I will be subsidizing this development with my property tax
  • Nishi Gateway will not have affordable housing – how is this housing supposed to be affordable to students? And to entry level workers? 130 more units? Where?
  • I won’t vote for a project that will be a net loss for the city. Thomas Cahill has said this parcel is not suitable for housing because of prevailing winds. To say “it depends on the time of day” seems fatuous.
  • I am a proponent of maximization of transportation alternatives to the privately owned automobile. I would prefer to see as close to zero private automobiles as possible. The location is appropriate. The intended population is appropriate. A truly innovative project in this regard would be very welcome.
  • The city needs to wait until the freeway improvements are completed and they see what impact the hotel has on traffic.
  • No acceptable financial analysis, could lose the city of Davis $100 million
  • Fiscal and contingencies concerns can be nailed down in the baseline features presented to the voters

Overall, the Vanguard was pleased with the event – it was well intended and it generated numerous questions for the developer, Brett Lee and City Staffer Katherine Hess.

Following the presentation, there was a tour of Nishi.

A spectacular day
A spectacular day

Nishi-Forum-7

Tim Ruff points to the road
Tim Ruff points to the road
Tim Ruff talks to the small group
Tim Ruff talks to the small group
This at-grade crossing is problematic and Union Pacific will gladly swap it for a below grade crossing closer to campus
This at-grade crossing is problematic and Union Pacific will gladly swap it for a below-grade crossing closer to campus
Nishi is far longer than it would appear. The tree line is only the half-way point.
Nishi is far longer than it would appear. The tree line is only the halfway point.

The event was videoed by Davis Media Access and the Vanguard will post the video when available. Our next Davis Vanguard event will be on February 17 from 7 to 9 pm at Davis Community Chambers (City Council Chambers). The topic will be the future of growth in Davis. We are in the process of finalizing the participants.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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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One thought on “Vanguard Survey Finds Most Attending Forum Undecided on Nishi”

  1. Davis Progressive

    how much can you tell from from an 18 person survey?  about what might have been expected – an even split with most people not making up their mind.  we know what the issues are and we know what the strengths are.  i guess the most surprising thing is there is nothing that surprising here.

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