Guest Commentary: Nishi Project is Bad for City of Davis

Alan Pryor
Alan Pryor

Why the Nishi Project is Bad for City of Davis Finances, Low Income and Student Renters, and the City’s Climate Action Plan

by Alan Pryor

The Davis City Council is asking for citizen approval of the proposed Nishi mixed-use project in the Davis General Municipal Election ballot in June. The Nishi project will provide 440 multi-family rental units and 210 stacked flat condos. All residential housing will be 5-6 stories. It will also contain 325,000 sq ft of office/R& D space and 20,000 sq ft of commercial/retail space. Because the project is outside the City limits, however, it requires a voter approval under Measure J/R.

On the surface, this project at first appeared to be a desirable in-fill development that had the potential to provide much needed student and affordable housing, financial benefits to the City and local businesses, and minimum contributions to greenhouse gases due to proposed sustainability features.

Unfortunately, however, once the details of this project finally became public it became clear that there were many serious deficiencies in project financing and the affordability of the project to students and low-income people.

The Nishi project will generate substantial developer profits but provide no significant fiscal benefits to our community nor address our need for truly affordable, low income, and sustainable housing. Instead it risks traffic gridlock and jeopardizing the respiratory health of our most vulnerable residents.

These shortcomings are so serious that voters are urged to VOTE NO ON MEASURE A at the ballot and send it back to the City and developer to renegotiate project terms more favorable to UCD student renters, low-income Davis residents, our City finances, and our environment.

No Small Units Suitable for Student or Low-Income Use

The Nishi projected was promoted as a solution to the student housing crisis in Davis. Indeed, the City claimed in voter ballot materials that is was “oriented towards students…with small units”. This is grossly misleading. Unfortunately, Nishi is instead an unaffordable high end luxury housing development that will be beyond the rental price-range of almost all students and low-income Davis renters. All of the rental units are very large and sprawling. According to an independent analysis, the rent for an average 1,100 sq. ft. 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment will be over $2,400/month!

No Affordable Housing – Council has Improperly Exempted Nishi from the Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance

There is also absolutely no low-income or affordable housing component in the project because the City Council improperly exempted the developer from the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance that would normally be otherwise required for a project of this size (440 rental unit). A normal rental development of this size and type in Davis would require 25% of the units be affordable to low income residents and 10% to very low income under the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance. That would result in a total of 440 x 35% = 154 units dedicated for low-income housing use at the Nishi site. In some cases, an in-lieu fee paid by the developer to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund may be substituted for the construction of affordable housing units at a rate of  $75,000 per unit. This in-lieu fee payment, if applicable, would thus total $11,550,000 (154 units x $75,000) for the Nishi project.

Unfortunately, the City of Davis has arbitrarily completely exempted the Nishi project from all affordable housing requirements in direct violation of the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance.

The developer recently offered and the City accepted a contribution of $1 million dollar to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. However, $1 million dollars is not nearly enough compensation for the enormous loss of 154 affordable housing rental units as otherwise required by the Affordable Housing Ordinance. Or viewed in another way, it represents the net loss of $10,550,000 to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund compared to if the Nishi project were otherwise paying in-lieu fees equivalent to those imposed on other developers in Davis.

Part of justification for the Council not imposing the requirements of the Affordability Housing Ordinance on Nishi was that the units would be affordable by definition because they were going to be constructed as small units with comparatively less expensive rents and because they were going to be very energy efficient and receive solar electricity provided by the 4.9 mw solar energy system to be put in as part of the project.

Promising small affordable units and then delivering large expensive apartments  is clearly a “bait and switch” to increase developer profits.

Export of Solar Energy for Developer Profits Rather Than Beneficial Use by Tenants and No Greenhouse Gas

The ballot claim that the project’s solar system will “supply 85% of electricity used onsite” is also misleading. Instead of delivering the solar generated electricity to the project’s tenants as originally intended, the developer now proposes to sell the entire solar electrical output for profit to another wholesale buyer for about $800,000 PER YEAR. So as now proposed, Nishi tenants will actually receive no direct solar or financial benefit at all from the large solar system.

And there are otherwise absolutely no other provisions to effectively reduce, offset, or mitigate almost 11,000 metric tons of green-house gas emissions per year that are expected to be produced by the project going forward (that’s about 24,000,000 pounds of CO2 annually!). This one project alone functionally destroys the City’s Climate Action Plan goals.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Building Standards

Despite glossy claims by the developer and the City about how much more cheaply students could live at the apartments due to the sustainability of the project as a whole,  the developer only has to “pursue” LEED Neighborhood Development certification (LEED-ND). But there are NO contractual requirements that the developer must actually attain any LEED-ND level of project certification at all.

And contrary to City boasts of the high level of energy efficiency of the buildings themselves, the developer actually only has to meet the City’s current minimum building code requirements for energy efficiency.which is equivalent to only LEED-Silver certification. Meanwhile, the majority of new buildings recently constructed on the UC Davis campus have achieved the much higher energy and sustainability standards of LEED-Platinum or, at minimum, LEED-Gold certification.

Other Huge Economic Give-Aways to the Developer

In addition to the loss of $10,550,000 to the City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (equivalent in-lieu fees for not building 154 low income units) and $800,000 per year in solar energy electricity the developer is now keeping for himself instead of providing to tenants, the City is giving away millions of dollars in other benefits to the developer.

Traffic Impact Fee Rebates of $1,775,462 to the Developer

Of the approximate $4,775,464 of roadway impact fees to be paid to the City by the developer, only about about $3,000,000 will actually be paid because the developer will receive a credit of up to $1,775,462 for “construction of the Olive Drive and Richards Boulevard Intersection improvements and the bridge over the Putah Creek Parkway”. In other words, the developer is being paid $1,775,462 for widening Olive Dr. and putting in the bridge to the Nishi property from Olive Dr which improvements are only needed as a direct result of the project itself. This rebate to allow the developer to put in road improvements and a bridge at City cost for which the developer should be paying anyway is just another huge give-away to the developer by the City,

The remaining $3,000,000 left to the Citywill be used to pay for the new “tight diamond” freeway off-ramp from westbound I-80, but this amount is expected to only cover about 30 – 40% of that project’s estimated $7,000,000 to $10,000,000 cost. Taxpayers will pay the remainder of the costs without further financial assistance from the developer. All other improvements along Richards Blvd necessitated by this project will also be paid for by the City instead of the developer.

Give-Away of 22 Acres of Prime Commercial Land to the Developer

As part of the original Pre-Development Agreement executed by the City with the developer in November of 2012, the City was to be given the 22 acres on which the R&D buildings were to be built free of charge.

B. The Developer and City desire to develop the Property as a mixed-use development with a residential component and a research/business park component….The Developer has proposed to the City that in furtherance of the overall development of the Property, as a term of the proposed Development Agreement, Developer would convey approximately twenty-two acres of the Property to the City for development of the research/business park component of the Proposed Development (emphasis added)…”

 Thus, the City was to receive this 22 acres of land at no cost as an inducement for the City to equally share in the pre-development costs of the project. This commitment has not been carried through to the anticipated final Development Agreement, however, as shown below.

6. City Option / Right of First Refusal for Office/R&D Parcels

Developer shall give City an option to purchase and a right of first refusal to purchase (emphasis added) any or all office/R&D parcels for a period of eighteen months from completion of backbone infrastructure and recordation of Final Map, whichever is later.”

So the agreement to convey the 22 acres of land to the City without any further costs somehow morphed into an agreement where the City would end up paying to purchase the land instead. Raw land costs of this 22 acres of prime commercial real estate entitled property could range from $100,000 to  $200,000 per acre. Thus, giving up potential ownership of this no-cost 22 acres of commercially-zoned land represents an additional net give-away to the developer by the City of about $2,200,000 to $4,400,000.

No Analysis of Year-by-Year Cash Flow Deficit by the City and other Economic Uncertainties

The City has touted that it will receive “up to $9,000,000 in one time fees paid to the City” but fail to note these are intended to off-set costs costs actually created by the project, or that their payment would be delayed five to ten years, if ever.   Meanwhile, the taxpayers will pay for most of the local road upgrades required by the project, at a cost of millions.

Amazingly, however, the City has not even done a year-by-year cash flow analysis of their potential income and expenditures to see how deep of a financial hole it is digging for itself in the early years of roadway construction expenses but before offsetting fees are paid by the developer.  Although the City Council indicated it would be desirable to have this information before approval of the project, in their haste to put the project of the ballot at the last possible moment this exercise in fiscal sanity was never performed. If a business owner proposed such an arrangement to its banker while negotiating a loan, the businessperson would be immediately shown to the door. The City must be held to the same standards of financial accountability

An independent analysis by a financial consultant initially showed that the project would essentially break even from the City;s perspective.  A later analysis, commissioned by the City and done by the City’s Finance and Budget Commission, estimated that the prjoject could generate as much as $1,400,000 in annual revenue for the City after project build-out in 5 to 10 years.  There are several questions about the Finance and Budget Commission’s estimates, however, in that they are based on several major assumptions, as follows;

1) The Finance and Budget Commission’s analysis used dramatically lower estimated costs to provide Fire and Police Department services to the project than did the independent consultant who projected a very modest income/loss to the City, if any. Using such reduced expense estimates would increase projected net income to the City by about $700,000 per year compared to the independent consultant in projecting City costs. When representatives of the Finance and Budget Commission queried the Fire Captain and Police Chief if they agreed with these new lower estimated costs, both responded emphatically that they did not and wanted the previous cost of service estimates left intact.

2) The Finance and Budget Commission ‘s estimates on tax-sharing of property and sales tax between the City and County would be a 50:50 split. However, the County has negotiated a much higher sharing percentage for themselves in other transactions with other Cities similarly seeking to annex County land for development purposes. There are no assurances at all that the County will agree to the tax-sharing arrangement proposed by the City. If the County demands a higher share, either the project is aborted if the City does not agree or the City accepts a smaller tax-sharing percentage than 50:50 which will dramatically lower the amount of such tax revenue the City may receive each year.

3) Finally, there is no guarantee that the R&D portion of the project will ever be built in a reasonable period of time such that the City can receive fees based on construction completion of these R&D buildings. Delays or failure to receive these monies combined with a potentially smaller tax-sharing percentage could easily cause the City’s financial return to break even or even be negative.

Potential for Traffic Gridlock is High

The intersection of Richards Blvd and Olive Dr. leading to the Downtown tunnel underneath the railroad tracks is certainly the most congested intersection in town and will be severely impacted by the Nishi project as well as the new Conference Center project proposed for the corner of Richards and Olive.

During review of the traffic study performed for the Nishi project, the Bicycling, Transportation, and Traffic Safety Commission (BTTSC) heard testimony that 1) pre-existing traffic counts used for analysis were inadequate in that they were only taken during a few hours per day on a single day in 2014, and 2) that the baseline assumptions for traffic flow derived both from the project and from the previously approved Conference Center were artificially low. As a result, the Commission specifically recommended, among many other transportation-related suggestions, that an independent review of the traffic study for Nishi be performed. This formal request for a 2nd opinion has been completely ignored by Staff and Council and none of the other recommended improvements made by the Commission have made it into the baseline features or the framework of the Development Agreement.

Even with all of the “improvements” the City claims will be made, experts still cannot confirm Nishi-related traffic will not cause gridlock along Richards Blvd. Traveling through the Richards Blvd. tunnel into or out of downtown is unbearable now and this project will make it immeasurably worse.

Air Quality at Nishi is Unfit to Breathe for Children and Expectant Mothers

Further, noted UC Davis professor emeritus of physics and atmospheric sciences, Dr. Tom Cahill, opposes Nishi because of the “Significant and Unavoidable” adverse air quality impacts as noted in the project’s Environmental Impact Report. Due to the project’s low-lying location between the congested freeway and heavily-used railway, dangerous pollutants can accumulate onsite. Children and expectant mothers are particularly susceptible to permanent respiratory and developmental problems due to long-term exposure to these transportation-related pollutants.

Please Protect Davis’ Progressive Values. Vote No on Nishi – No on Measure A”

_________________________________________________

For more information contact Alan Pryor, Treasurer, No on Nishi – No on Measure A, ozone21@att.net, 916-996-4811

According to Mr. Pryor

I have been an unabashed supporter of Davis in the past 6 years having previously served as chair or treasurer of the last 3 big-ticket measures voted on by Davis residents – Yes on Measure D (the Parks Parcel Tax measure), Yes on Measure I (the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Project measure), and Yes on Measure O (the Sales Tax measure). I willingly served these roles because I believed those measures were in the best long term economic and environmental interests of Davis and would benefit all of its residents.

Unfortunately, the Nishi project sent to the voters of Davis by our City Council will not similarly benefit Davis as much as it enriches the developers. For this reason, for the first ever, time, I am urging voters to reject a proposal in Davis and send Nishi back to the Council for renegotiation on more favorable terms to the City and our residents.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

79 Comments

  1. Misanthrop

    VOTE NO ON MEASURE A at the ballot and send it back to the City and developer to renegotiate project terms more favorable to UCD student renters, low-income Davis residents, our City finances, and our environment.”

    This is a flawed argument because if Nishi is voted down it is doubtful there will be any renegotiation. Instead the project will be abandoned. The same argument was made to me about Covell Village by a no on measure X economist that we would get a better deal if we voted no. Instead more than a decade later nothing has happened on the CV site.

    In a normal process this might be true that there would be more back and forth negotiation but under the constraints of Measure R the costs of putting a proposal together are too great while the outcome is too uncertain. In fact if Nishi is voted down it is more likely that there will not be another proposal on that site or any other for annexing land for housing as long as Measure R or a similar successor ordinance remain in effect.

    Without Measure R in a normal CEQA process this could all be hashed out in court, adjustments be made and the project would move forward or not depending on the costs and benefits of that process. But Davis has added a step with Measure R requiring a vote of the residents of Davis thus making the process longer, more uncertain, much more expensive and less likely that a project once voted down will be renegotiated and return for a second election.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      You raise an interesting point, but I think ultimately a flawed one. Do you think Nishi is a better project than Cannery? I think that is the test of your argument. Cannery had a normal CEQA process, did it result in a better project or a worse one?

      1. Misanthrop

        Cannery is better than nothing and not substantially different than it would have been if it was subject to a vote unless the vote left it vacant. Cannery is a product of densification. We see the same process playing out regionally where lots are so small you wonder why anyone would want to live there. But with small lots you get more houses in and less landscaping that needs water. Cannery doesn’t have to be the model of the future but likely will be as long as we value preservation of farmland over everything else. Speaking of which Cannery was also subject to that stupid urban farm nonsense where the residents are cramped on small lots but a huge portion of the land is operated by others. Only in Davis. Its sort of Village homes through the looking glass where the huge common farm areas at Cannery are off limits.

        As for high prices at Cannery you load these projects up with energy efficiency and use them to subsidize affordable housing and you drive the prices up. You restrict supply with measure J that stopped Covell and Wildhorse Ranch while the community continues to grow and you push housing prices up and then complain that the few houses that get through have a high price point. As they say in economics the cure for high prices is high prices. Of course if Nishi loses not even high prices will be enough to attract investors. If Nishi loses either we raise taxes or watch our infrastructure continue to decline because nobody will ever propose another Measure R vote for housing. If Nishi fails nothing will ever get done as long as Measure R is in effect. That is what the opponents want, nothing to get built and that is what they will win.

        1. David Greenwald

          The question here isn’t whether Cannery is better than nothing, the question is whether the Measure R process will produce a better project than a non-Measure R process. We can also add the litigation on the Hotel Conference Center on CEQA issues to the mix, since your original argument was that a normal process would have opted for more give and take. In fact, the HCC process was fairly similar to the Nishi process without the last step. Both are in litigation.

        2. Misanthrop

          The litigation hasn’t played out and so we won’t know until it does. Although I will say the litigation associated with the hotel is a waste of time. The city got that one right. If you think about how people use hotels they don’t concentrate around rush hour. They straggle in during the afternoon and evening and they straggle out in the morning. The hotel won’t impact traffic there much. Its a stupid lawsuit probably designed to set up a cumulative impacts claim on the Nishi site or simply because the usual suspects want to block everything.

          As for comparing Nishi to Cannery I don’t think its a straight forward comparison because of differences in access, acreage size and distance from the university. Still I don’t see much difference in the planning, you still see arguments over LEED certification, affordable housing, densification, access, taxes, CFD’s, benefits to the city and number of units in both places. So I don’t think you get a better process under Measure R because the rules that apply everywhere in the state where the possibility of citizens petitioning for a referendum is a real possibility especially here in Davis. The threat of a referendum is enough, where a certain election with measure R leads to all sorts of unintended consequences, as we saw where the city council said no to housing at MRIC, not because they thought it was a bad idea but because they thought it would hurt the chances of it passing a measure R vote.

        3. The Pugilist

          “In a normal process this might be true that there would be more back and forth negotiation but under the constraints of Measure R the costs of putting a proposal together are too great while the outcome is too uncertain.”

          “Still I don’t see much difference in the planning”

          So which is it again?

        4. Frankly

          Actually, I think for all the positives that Davis got out of the Cannery through the normal CEQA process, the Cannery development has problems that are the result of Davis liberal worldview …edit compromise.

          For example the Davis liberal worldview is that we should make all housing dense to save farmland and open space.  However it is generally a lie because people don’t really want to live like that… even the most vocal Davis liberal worldview holder has proven that she will oppose density that impacts the large lot living that she enjoys.

          So the developer, stuck between trying to appease these Davis liberal worldview demands and reality does a compromise trying to cram enough square feet of living space on tiny lots.  And people look at these homes without yards and with neighbors’ housing 10 feet away with no privacy, and they don’t buy the homes.

          [moderator] edited. Please refrain from direct attacks on other participants.

        5. The Pugilist

          “Actually, I think for all the positives that Davis got out of the Cannery through the normal CEQA process, the Cannery development has problems that are the result of Davis liberal worldview edit compromise.”

          Yeah, that will carry the day in Davis.  Have you ever considered tailoring your arguments for the audience?

        6. Misanthrop

          “Which is it?”

          Its that the normal planning process has sufficient safeguards because of the referendum process. Measure R makes it harder by guaranteeing an election. It shifts the referendum process to automatic adding risk, expense and punctuating the process to align itself with the election calendar instead of an organic planning process.

    1. Alan Pryor

      Thank you for attempting to clarify my heretofore unknown intentions for me. But you are flat out wrong. I wanted a project here. I was very involved in discussions and negotiations to try to make the project better for up to a year before it was approved. But those of us who tried to do so ran into stone wall after stone wall particularly in terms of getting an independent analysis of the traffic study performed and improving sustainability features. But we were stiff-armed again and again by the developer and Staff and the Council. I probably could have even lived with that, though, until I also found out about the flagrant violations of the Affordable Housing Ordinance by the City and developer. The illegal exemption of this project essentially rips off the low-income Davis community for the developers pocketbook – pure and simple. And, as I pointed out, we have literally provided millions of dollars of other give-aways to the developer in this project. If you are good with that then I must seriously question your intentions, sir.

  2. Robert Canning

    Alan,

    Dr. Cahill may be eminent in his area of expertise, but he is not an environmental epidemiologist, as evidenced by his claims about air quality near freeways and the health effects of same.

    The study that Dr. Cahill relied upon is the ONLY study of its kind and is of modest sample size (300+ autistic children and 260 healthy children). It makes (and you should not either) no claim to causality for freeway-related air pollution.  In fact, the levels of association (in this study they are “odds ratios”) are only fair to poor in strength and the lower bound of confidence is near 1.0, making them barely statistically significant.  In addition, the level of pollutants faded into the background once the subjects in this study lived further than 1,000 feet from the freeway, suggesting that Nishi residents further than 1,000 feet would have no perceivable effects from the freeway.  
    I believe it is also important to not to jump to dire predictions based on a correlational study of modest size and without any replication. One of the problems in studies like these is their focus on only one outcome among many and provide only vague causal reasoning (in this case inflammatory processes).

    1. Alan Pryor

      You are referring to only one study about freeway proximity by expectant mothers and subsequent autism in their children which I admit is non-conclusive – but indicative nevertheless. There are many more studies discussing proximity to freeway in young children and respiratory problems which, taken as a whole, are much more conclusive.

      1. Anon

        From UCLA study: “Unfortunately scientists cannot say exactly how close is “too close” at this point. European studies have shown increased respiratory health problems in children who live or go to school within 100 meters (~330 feet) of a busy roadway, with the greatest risks appearing in the first 50 meters (~165 feet). Studies conducted by SCPCS investigators here in LA show that carbon monoxide and ultrafine particles – the smallest portion of particulate matter emissions and potentially the most toxic – are extremely high on or near the freeway, dropping to about half that concentration 50-90 meters (~165-295 feet) from the freeway. After about 300 meters (~990 feet) the concentration of particulate matter reaches the “ambient” level – the normal level in the air without the influence of any nearby sources. In 2003 the California state legislature enacted a law that new schools must be built at least 500 feet from very busy roadways.”

        See: http://www.scpcs.ucla.edu/news/Freeway.pdf

      2. Matt Williams

        Alan, I find myself asking how applicable that study is to the Nishi project. Questions that come to mind are …

        — How many children will the 650 units house?

        — How much outdoor activity will actually take place at Nishi?

        — What proportion of the Nishi residents will reside there for the 10 year duration that was the case in the study?

        — What proportion of the Nishi residents will reside there for even a 5 year duration?

        — What proportion of the Nishi residents will reside there for more than 2 years?

    2. Frankly

      Good thing there are no large power grid towers close by, because I am sure Mr. Pryor would oppose the project based on any “study” he could find on the hazards of EMFs.

      1. Alan Pryor

        I am not worried about EMFs because I wear a tin-foil hat to protect myself. Also keeps the CIA out of my head. But recently I found a study citing adverse health and psychological impacts due to noxious gaseous discharges from self-indulgent blow-hards trolling on blogs that threaten air quality and mental health in immediately surrounding areas. I think I’ll write a law limiting their constitutional rights and tax them as well.

        1. Frankly

          LOL.  Ok, you win, I say “uncle”

          I was going to ask you what you REALLY want, but then I read down and found this…

          I support much more dense student housing on Nishi that is actually sufficiently affordable (as promised) to pull students out of the neighborhood mini-dorms plaguing our neighborhoods and making  rents skyrocket.  While you may be a business owner in Davis, Don, you do not live here and face this problem everyday in our neighborhoods (especially at night) like full time residents. But I do not support family-type housing at Nishi because having children living near freeways anywhere is terrible for developing lungs. This potential for respiratory harm is not nearly so large in college student that already have fully developed lungs  – and they will not likely live there for more than a few years. Hence, I can support Nishi for student housing and not incongruously oppose it for family housing. I believe Dr. Cahill takes a more dim view of Nishi use for any housing than me but otherwise supports the site as more suitable for office/R&D space.

          Still having a problem with you nuanced position that it is okay to poison older people, just not the kids.

        2. South of Davis

          Frankly wrote:

          > Still having a problem with you nuanced position

          >that it is okay to poison older people, just not the kids.

          I think it is funny that people seem so worried about kids that “might” move in to Nishi “someday” but don’t seem to care at all about the health of all the low income kids that “do” live in Cesar Chavez plaza (even closer to the freeway than the proposed Nishi apartments) “right now”…

          Can anyone tell me why the people in town so working for better health for “future” Nishi kids are not doing anything to help the “current” CCP kids who other than the 6 hours when they are at school (eating the Pop Tarts and Froot Loops the Government gives them for free) are breathing dangerous exhaust from I80?

          http://www.community.coop/davis/ccp/

           

  3. Don Shor

    So the opponents want more affordable housing built on Nishi, but they don’t want people to live there because of the air quality. I guess they should live across the freeway in New Harmony instead?

     but provide no significant fiscal benefits to our community

    Yes it will.

      1. Frankly

        I think we are done with that argument.  At some point there has been enough debate and then there is work done and we have a conclusion that we need to accept.  Projections are always going to be fraught with some risk of unexpected change or adjustment.  You cannot make decisions if you are expecting perfection because it cannot be determined in advance unless you have either a crystal ball or a time machine.

        But once we have a qualified projection anyone that continues to challenge it should be identified as simply an opponent of progress and disqualified from continued influence.

        1. Tia Will

          disqualified from continued influence.”

          Now that is an interesting concept in a society that claims to value free speech. If I am understanding you correctly, a project is “qualified projection” ( which I interpret as you believe that it is good enough) then these dissenting voices should in some way be silenced ?  Perhaps I am misinterpreting you ?  Would you care to clarify ?  Because it certainly sounds as though you are arguing for censorship of positions with which you do not agree.

           

        2. Mark West

          You may look upon it as a form of censorship, but the way I read it, we should stop listening to those who refuse to learn. When data is presented from a qualified source it should either be accepted or refuted in a logical manner. What should not happen is to ignore the data because it doesn’t fit with your preconceived notions or expectations. It has become quite clear that some with the most strident voices in our community have made the active choice to ignore data that contradicts their position. It is those strident and unrepentantly ignorant (by choice) voices that Frankly is calling on us to ignore.

        3. Frankly

          From my decades of being the primary owner of the effort to implement significant change in large organizations.

          Basically, with any significant change, there are three groups/actors:  supporters, don’t know yet, and opposition.

          All three those actors should be respected in the debate through the period of debate, and then there needs to be the go vs. no-go decision.

          The one subgroup that should NOT be respected is the one that contains the people that are really in firm opposition but that lie to others (and maybe to themselves) that they are open-minded, objective, balanced and honest.

          Frankly, there is absolutely no value in protecting the speech of someone like this.  They are just a disruptive and destructive force.  They make negotiation and compromise impossible.  They foment the “us against them” climate that ensures not only does this not get done, but the well is poisoned for the next transaction.

          In addition to this, I think we should string-up leaders that abuse their power to prevent debate from happening only to get their way.

    1. Alan Pryor

      I support much more dense student housing on Nishi that is actually sufficiently affordable (as promised) to pull students out of the neighborhood mini-dorms plaguing our neighborhoods and making  rents skyrocket.  While you may be a business owner in Davis, Don, you do not live here and face this problem everyday in our neighborhoods (especially at night) like full time residents. But I do not support family-type housing at Nishi because having children living near freeways anywhere is terrible for developing lungs. This potential for respiratory harm is not nearly so large in college student that already have fully developed lungs  – and they will not likely live there for more than a few years. Hence, I can support Nishi for student housing and not incongruously oppose it for family housing. I believe Dr. Cahill takes a more dim view of Nishi use for any housing than me but otherwise supports the site as more suitable for office/R&D space.

      BTW, I thought New Harmony was a bad idea and also opposed it at the time for the exact same reasons. But the Council approved it after promises from the developer that they would grow up a wall of dense trees in no time…just like they are promising at Nishi. Drive by New Harmony sometime and take a look at this non-existent wall. They could have used your expertise in plant selection and placement.

      1. Anon

        What is “sufficiently affordable” in your eyes?  Obviously it is not $600 a month.  So if not, then please be specific.  What is affordable rent per month for a student in your mind?

        1. The Pugilist

          I’m supportive of Nishi, but the affordability issue is a problem for me.   BTW, it’s not $600 per month, it is $2400 per month and you are assuming that that rent will be split four ways.  But that means shared rooms.  $600 is a lot for a shared room.  Especially when you can rent a house and split the rent six ways and have a lot more space.

        2. DavisforNishiGateway

          Greetings all! I must say that I have gathered great delight as a spectator to the surging debate concerning Nishi for quite some time now. It seems, however, the time has come for me to enter the fray and contribute my own share to the discussion at hand. To that end, I will try to clarify and edify the conversation whenever I believe I may be of assistance. For instance, did you know that the apartments intended for students will be comparable in price to residencies in the dorms? That does not seem grossly luxurious to me. Furthermore, the units at Nishi, in addition to being more energy efficient than their dormitory counterparts (also let’s not forget the fact that one does not need a car if one lives there), will offer more space. I can see the attraction in living la vie boheme, but 1100 square feet split between two to four people does not strike me as being particularly decadent. Perhaps, however, I am simply a sybarite.

  4. Michael Harrington

    Go Alan!  The City should be ashamed to put this mess on the ballot so fast.  They could easily have put in on the November ballot and fixed some things.  I might be wrong, but I don’t see Ramos’ 200 acre “growth zone” project being anywhere near ready to go by this summer, for a fall ballot.  (The cutoff to act to put on the ballot is early this year:  early July.)

    1. Anon

      Nishi has been under consideration for years, and the current vision has been in the works for 2 years – hardly a “rush to the ballot”!  Your statements remind me of the questionable tactic (pardon the pun) of “paralysis by analysis”…

      1. Alan Pryor

        While some discussions have been had for years, all the final decisions were made in the last few months of private negotiations between Staff, two Councilmembers, and the developer behind closed doors. Indeed, many of these decisions were hashed at on the very last night that the project could be legally be approved to get on the June ballot. Even some of the Councilmembers admit it was a “rush” to get it on the ballot. The facts of the end result speak for themselves.

        1. hpierce

          No, the final decision will be made as a result of the vote.

          Some would prefer the “final solution” for Nishi.

          For myself, I sorta’ don’t care.  If Nishi has ANY motor vehicle traffic on W Olive, (other than EVA) I will vote NO, and will encourage any others to do the same.  If it has sole vehicular access to UCD, AND if it is a ‘wash’ or better, as to City finances and relief of student housing pressures, I may vote for it, but probably wouldn’t encourage others as to their vote.

        2. Frankly

          I agree with Alan on this point – discussions go on for years, specific designs and agreements are hashed out quickly.

          This statement irritates me because I have a ton of experience working with people of certainly personality types that struggle being able to make a decision on matters with significant inputs and variables.  Frankly, (because I am), giving too much decision power to those people is a giant mistake.

          What is interesting about decisions is that they either happen or they don’t happen.  When they happen they happen at a single point in time.  However, discussions – especially the Davis types – can drag on and on and on and on.   And they drag on so long that they same gets repeated over and over and over.

          This is a classic perfection is the enemy of the good.  Davis is infested with a high percentage of people that are gifted at analysis and dysfunctional at making decisions.

        3. The Pugilist

          I don’t see why you would be irritated by the comment – it’s accurate.  Decisions are made quickly even those that have been discussed over years.  And more importantly – perfection and good are subjective terms, not objective ones.

    2. Misanthrop

      So then Mike you seem to understand exactly why this was put on the June ballot because they want MRIC on the November ballot and don’t want both on the same ballot. So why do you play dumb repeatedly claiming you don’t know why they put it on the June ballot?

      By the way, don’t you own a mini-dorm on second street? Didn’t you remodel Turtle house so that you could rent the rooms individually? I don’t think your own economic interest is what motivates you but I do think its ironic that your own interests are part of the problem while you do everything you can to stop any attempts at finding solutions.

  5. Anon

    This article puts me in mind of the old adage “Perfect is the enemy of good”.  In seeking perfection, anything less than perfection is deemed not worthy of consideration.  I also have to question the motives of anyone seeking perfection, because it is so extreme.  Do they, in reality, have a hidden agenda, e.g. no/slow growth?  Being an unabashed supporter of increases in taxes and a supporter of cleaner water is hardly in the same realm as economic development, but just the opposite.  It appears the author’s solution to our city’s fiscal problems is to raise taxes?  Not my idea of a solution…

    1. Alan Pryor

      “Perfection is the enemy of the good!”

      How often have we heard our Councilmembers make that cry as they try to approve deficient project after deficient project? Well, Nishi is truly far from perfect but it is also not even a good project. It is NOT what was promised (affordable student housing) and it is riddled with obscene give-aways to the developer and a defective and biased traffic study.

       I also have to question the motives of anyone seeking perfection, because it is so extreme.  Do they, in reality, have a hidden agenda, e.g. no/slow growth?

      Who said anything about perfection?…I’d be overjoyed with just a project that delivers what was promised and doesn’t give-away in excess of $10,000,000 to the developer. I am NOT for no growth or even slow growth, I am for smart and responsible growth – see Sundays OP-Ed in the Enterprise which I co-authored -http://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/opinion-columns/an-infill-future-for-davis/

      Re: Questioning my motives – I similarly question the motives of people who advocate for bad City planning and throwing City money to developers through unneeded subsidies, because it is so shortsighted. Do they, in reality, have a hidden agenda, e.g making money through bad development projects?

       

    2. The Pugilist

      The problem here with the “Perfect is the enemy of the good” is that perfect and good are subjective and someone’s good is another person’s bad.  Each of us has thresholds to overcome in order to support a project, for some it is lower than others.

  6. 2 cents

    There are a lot of issues that I have with the analysis in this article. One is with the concerns related to the Traffic Impact Fee Rebates.  Impact fees are mitigation of traffic impacts related to development and it is completely appropriate to pay back to the developer those costs that they are covering.  Also using the remaining impact fees to pay for the “tight diamond” is again appropriate since this will be a traffic mitigation related to new development.  The tight diamond is also not a new project but one that has been a part of the City’s plan in one form or another for decades.  The fact that impact fees from Nishi can provide such a large percentage of the revenue needed to cover this project is not a negative thing but actually quite positive.

    Another of the larger issues that I have is the concern regarding affordable housing.  Granted affordable housing is an important social consideration but the reality is that it low income housing does not provide enough income to support it so it ultimately needs to be subsidized in other ways.  On the one hand this opinion piece is talking about concerns that this project will not generate net positive income for the City but on the other hand saying that it is not providing enough to ensure that the City can build revenue negative housing.

    I am all for a spirited discussion to help to facilitate the best project possible but I have always had a problem with bad analysis. While there may be merit to some of the issues brought up here on balance I would say that the analysis is flawed and does not add to the positive discussion of this project.

  7. Eric Gelber

     
    As a former, long-time member of the Social Services Commission and Affordable Housing Task Force, I must say that I am concerned by the apparent disregard of the spirit and intent of the City’s affordable housing requirements. I have yet to hear a valid explanation. Concerns with the practicality of the City’s current affordable housing requirements should be addressed through the regular legislative process, not by giving in to developer demands and granting sweeping, unauthorized or unwarranted exemptions.

  8. Sam

    Alan- Your article seems very focused on developers profits:

    “generate substantial developer profits”

    “increase developer profits”

    “sell the entire solar electrical output for profit”

    “$800,000 per year in solar energy electricity the developer is now keeping for himself”

    ” the City is giving away millions of dollars in other benefits to the developer”

    “huge give-away to the developer by the City”

    “net give-away to the developer by the City of about $2,200,000 to $4,400,000.”

    Shouldn’t the focus be on what is best for the City?

    If the developer promised not to make any money on the project, would you vote yes on it?

     

    1. Alan Pryor

      I focused on the developer give-aways because that is what this project is all about….all the big money arrows point to the developer and almost none to the City. I don’t begrudge the developer making a good profit as long is it is not at the expense of the City’s economic well-being or the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

      1. South of Davis

        Alan wrote:

        > I don’t begrudge the developer making a good profit 

        Don’t forget that developers have a lot of other big expenses that cut in to profit like giving millions to just about every elected official from city council members up to the Governor, they also end up hiring a lot of politician relatives (who may or may not do actual work) and give even more to the the “dark pools” of PAC money (some even have the added expense of printing a free t-shirt for every kid at UCD every year).

        http://rainmaker.apps.cironline.org/donors/alex-g-spanos/

        http://rainmaker.apps.cironline.org/donors/angelo-k-tsakopoulos/

      2. Sam

        How do you consider the city is giving the developer revenue from solar panels that the developer had to pay to build? Also, how is the city giving the developer $2.2-$4.4MM in land the developer already owns?

        I do think the city should do a revenue and expense projection on the project to see if it is in the City’s best interest, but neither the solar panel revenue or the land would not be on the projection.

        1. Mark West

          The planning process is a continuous negotiation between the developer and the City. Alan apparently thinks that every comment ever made by the developer or City Staff should be treated as a concession or promise that Alan can later claim should have gone to the City.  The fact is that most of the things Alan is complaining about are trade-offs that the City made during those negotiations, and not ‘give-aways’ to a wealthy developer as he claims.  Most importantly, all of the decisions occurred before the project was presented to the electorate for consideration. If you are not happy with the results of the negotiation, then vote against the project, but don’t vilify the CC for providing the applicant with the desired up or down vote.

          This situation differs completely from the Cannery, where the CFD the City Council voted on after the fact, was, in fact, a multi-million dollar gift to the developer. The CC members who approved that gift of community funds deserve to be voted out of office (if not vilified).

        2. Frankly

          This is an important point that points to others’ lack of understanding for how business is done in the world outside the public-sector business bubble.

          The actors in the public sector business bubble don’t understand two-party negotiations.  They don’t understand leverage and its relationship with compromise.  They don’t understand that when two parties come together in agreement, it is highly unusual that either party will get 100% of everything desired because everything desired of one party usually means less for the other party.

          Even worse, when these private-sector business-ignorant people in the public-sector business bubble don’t get 100% of everything they want, instead of learning the lessons of leverage and negotiations to help them fair better with the next transaction, they instead take to demonizing and shaming others for failing to comply with the rules within their strange public-sector business bubble morality.

          The developer is greedy.

          The developer is proceeding with plans that will warm the planet and kill the environment.

          The developer is going to poison kids.

          The actors in the public-sector business bubble keep running the same play.  It never gets old for them… but the rest of us are really quite tired of it.

           

        3. Matt Williams

          Frankly and Mark, I agree with the points that the two of you make with respect to two-party negotiations, but it is arguable that this Nishi project is a three-party negotiation.  That is a significant complication.

        4. Mark West

          Matt – If you want to join Alan et al. in the weeds with a forensic analysis of the Nishi deal, go for it. Nothing any of you say, however, will change the project that is in front of the voters.  The only question that is relevant for the vote is, do you think the project as described is a net benefit or deficit for the City. Based on your assessment, vote yes or no.

          Had I been the developer, I would have designed a completely different project. So what?  I don’t own the land, nor have I the deep pockets required to get the job done. What I think isn’t important in that regard. The same is true I suspect for Alan, CalAg, you, Frankly and every other commenter here. Nobody needs a justification for voting the way they choose. Read the data and make a choice. Stop the nonsense.

          The only thing I would add, is I think there is a very real risk that this vote will impact our ability to improve our economic vitality in the future. With the extent of our unfunded obligations, I see our economic vitality as the overriding concern of this election.

        5. Matt Williams

          Point well take Mark.  My preference for a November ballot rather than a June ballot would not have changed the project baseline features.  It might have changed the fiscal terms . . . or the certainty associated with the fiscal terms, but the project was/is the project.

      3. DavisforNishiGateway

        I certainly appreciate Mr. Pryor’s concern for Davis and the tremendous work he has put in to try to make it a better community. Thus, I certainly do want to impugn his motives or besmirch his sterling character in any way. I do feel compelled, however, to offer considerations which I feel are pertinent here. You state that this project will harm the city’s economic well-being. I must respectfully disagree. In addition to increasing the stock of housing in a town with a vacancy rate of 0.2 or 0.3% (which will be further strained by the planned increase of 5000 additional renter), Nishi is projected to create 1500 full-time jobs that will employ people at all levels of the income and educational spectrum–including jobs for students and good union jobs. Perhaps most importantly, as we all know, it is projected to provide $1.4 million each year to help improve city services, $400,000 annually to Davis public schools (likely without contributing a great deal of demand for these schools’ resources), and more than $30 million in investments to Davis’ infrastructure. That is $1.4 million every year the city does not have right now. That is $400,000 dollars every year Davis public schools are without. $30 million in infrastructure upgrades and improvements that do not exist right now. Helping relieve the incredible stress on Davis’ unbalanced rental housing market, creating good-paying jobs, and contributing significant monies to the city services budget, Davis public schools, and city infrastructure seems like contributing to Davis’ well-being to me.

    2. Tia Will

      Shouldn’t the focus be on what is best for the City?”

      It is clear to me that it should be. However, there are no end to differing ideas about what is “best for the City”. Some of us use a yardstick that measures in terms of health, wellness and safety. Others use a yardstick that measures only financial well being. Others look at infrastructure as the most important marker. So when we are discussing what is “best for the city” we have to be specific about which parameters are the most important to us rather than using sweeping terms meant to apply as though there were one, mutually agreed upon “best”.

      Anon has stated that she does not see raising taxes as “a solution”, and yet I see a mixture of small scale innovative businesses, usage taxes, and parcel taxes as well as economizing where we can as the “best solution”. So unless you are of a mind to heed Frankly’s call to silence those who do not agree with him, I am afraid we are stuck with the cacophony of differing viewpoints. Messy…..but very American.

      1. Mark West

        We need to double our General Fund budget if we are going to pay for the services that we have already enjoyed. As has been pointed out numerous times by a variety of posters, your ‘best solution’ won’t come close to reaching that goal. Maybe it is time for you to stop ignoring the City’s fiscal reality and start working towards real solutions lest you be considered one of the “unrepentantly ignorant (by choice) voices” discussed above.   

  9. CalAg

    “Raw land costs of this 22 acres of prime commercial real estate entitled property could range from $100,000 to  $200,000 per acre. Thus, giving up potential ownership of this no-cost 22 acres of commercially-zoned land represents an additional net give-away to the developer by the City of about $2,200,000 to $4,400,000.” Alan Pryor

    The 14.8 acre Panattoni innovation center site on Cowell Blvd was on the market for $470,000 per acre.

    http://www.loopnet.com/Attachments/F/3/E/F3E26D02-56C1-466F-98AB-6C6896F1B7C4.pdf

    Based on this comp, the value of the 22 acre improved Nishi site would be at least $10.3 M (and probably quite a bit more based on location and freeway access).

    If you want to characterize this as a give-away, a more accurate estimate would be $10-15M.

     

  10. Tia Will

    SOD

    don’t seem to care at all about the health of all the low income kids that “do” live in Cesar Chavez plaza (even closer to the freeway than the proposed Nishi apartments) “

    I would definitely be concerned about this particular population if there were any evidence to support that they had proportionally higher rates of respiratory problems than do other children in Davis. However, according to the Yolo County epidemiologist, they do not. It is not until one reaches West Sac that there seems to be an increase in childhood respiratory problems as measured by respiratory induced trips to the ER. I find it difficult to believe that any children living at Nishi would be subject to much more in terms of pollutants than would the age matched residents of  Cesar Chavez who so far do not seem to be manifesting increased rates of respiratory illnesses.

  11. CalAg

    “The fact is that most of the things Alan is complaining about are trade-offs that the City made during those negotiations, and not ‘give-aways’ to a wealthy developer as he claims.” Mark West

    Interesting comment. What trade-off do you think the City received in exchange for relief from the project’s affordable housing obligation under the AHO?

    By my reading, the core of the initial deal structure was that (1) the developer would received 650 housing units and relief from the affordable housing requirement in exchange for 22 acres of shovel-ready commercial land, and (2) the parties would split the infrastructure costs 50/50.

    This would have resulted in the following (costs) and benefits to the City:

    Infrastructure (City’s share per Plescia analysis) –   ($12.4M)
    In lieu fees to the Affordable Trust Fund –                  $11.5M
    Minimum receipts from commercial land sales –       $10.3M

    Accordingly, the net gain to the City related to this deal would have been at least $9.4M. Instead, all we wound up with was an option to buy 5 acres (net) of undeveloped R&D land at market rate. The City is obviously not going to take that deal under any foreseeable circumstances.

    I’m really not seeing any trade-offs. Everything is so one-sided in favor of the developer that it is hard to characterize this as anything but a give-away.

    Here is the full set of preliminary deal points. These, of course, were non-binding and did not constrain the development agreement negotiations in any way.

    Developer to grant city the approximately 22 acres shown as research/business park land.

    Developer and City agree to identify backbone infrastructure to the property including access to Olive Drive in addition to possible access points to UCD, I-80, or both. Backbone infrastructure will include utilities and primary roadways.

    Costs for infrastructure will be shared equally

    City and Developer will work together to explore financing alternatives, including alternatives for construction and maintenance of infrastructure. City and Developer will work together with UCD in all planning efforts including negotiating access to UCD sewer, water, fiber optic, fire, and, if applicable, drainage services

    If residential density is greater than 30 units per acres gross, no affordable housing obligation or fees

    Agricultural land conservation to be determined and could include in-lieu of fees. Costs of Ag conservation, and any other fees, assessments, etc. for agricultural preservation will be split 50/50

    It is intended that phasing of the development will be flexible so that either property, City’s or Developer’s, can be developed as utilities and access are completed in phases. Once the Business Park parcel is granted to City it is the intent that each parcel can develop independent from the other

    http://city-council.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/20121127/Packet/08-Nishi-Land-Use-Cost-Sharing.pdf

    This was an absolutely terrible starting position for the City, but it could have yielded a marginally fair outcome if our representatives hadn’t (literally) given away the farm.

    1. hpierce

      Of course, “the Farm”, was the initial nick-name of UCD… UCD wants all the benefits, not one un-mitigated impact… the “give-away” may not have been to the developer… it might well have been to UCD.

      Perhaps we should give Nishi a proper burial… UCD might be “mourner in chief”…. takes pressure off them to supply housing @ Solano Park, already ready for destruction… they bought (taking it off tax rolls) the apartments on Oxford Circle, the land lies vacant, under UCD control, and am pretty sure that if UCD does new housing on either, they’ll show it as “new housing” they’ve ‘provided’…  even if the unit count is the same… perhaps Nishi should be annexed to UCD, with no city access/cost/services, and we can move on…

      1. hpierce

        If UCD annexes/buys it, there will be no Measure R vote (UCD is not in the City, either … except for a single parcel on A street… perhaps that’s what certain folk bringing suit want… perhaps that’s what the’developer’ really wants…

        1. South of Davis

          hpierce wrote:

          > UCD is not in the City, either … except for a single parcel on A street

          I thought UCD owned a lot of property in the city (that like city and state owned buildings pay no property tax or parcel tax)?

          Speaking of Oxford Circle I think most of the dorms on the street are UCD owned (just like the new dorm built at 8th and Wake Forest).

      2. South of Davis

        hpierce wrote:

        > takes pressure off them to supply housing @

        > Solano Park, already ready for destruction

        The 200 unit UCD owned Orchard Park has been closed for almost two years, any idea if the 276 unit UCD owned Solano Park is still scheduled to close at the end of the school year (in a couple months)?

        > they bought (taking it off tax rolls) the apartments on Oxford Circle,

        What is the name of the apartment UCD bought on Oxford Circle?

        1. hpierce

          Can’t remember the name, but it was at the NW dog-leg of Oxford Circle…

          UCD bought most of the private dorms/apts to the south of Oxford Circle… Web-Em, etc. All the burden, none of the taxes…

    2. Mark West

      “What trade-off do you think the City received in exchange for…”

      I was not a party to the conversation so I cannot answer your question, and I suspect the same is true for you,with your noise being based entirely on your own assumptions. Your quoting of old statements regarding earlier aspects of the project is not relevant. When it comes to negotiations, the opening positions, intermediate positions, and even penultimate positions, are all nonsense once the final agreement comes together. The only thing we should be evaluating is the project as described for the ballot, with a simple yes or no decision.  All the complaints about what you, or anyone else, thinks ‘should have been’ is just more noise.

       

      1. CalAg

        “What should not happen is to ignore the data because it doesn’t fit with your preconceived notions or expectations. It has become quite clear that some with the most strident voices in our community have made the active choice to ignore data that contradicts their position.” Mark West

        You don’t appear to be willing to walk the walk.

         

        1. Mark West

          Just because I won’t play your game of ‘gotcha’ does not mean that I am ignoring reality. It is a simple yes or no vote and I don’t require your strident opinions and false arguments to make my decision.

           

        2. CalAg

          So my “noise” is strident nonsense? Rather than reply to the substance of my post, I think you just made my point. Again.

          There’s no more need for me to try and engage you in intelligent dialog.

      2. Tia Will

        All the complaints about what you, or anyone else, thinks ‘should have been’ is just more noise.”

        Speaking as someone who has not yet decided how to vote on Nishi, your statement is only true if the “noise” is not enough to cause people to take another look at the “final proposal” and change their vote. If any statement causes enough people to reconsider, it was certainly more than just “noise”.

    3. South of Davis

      CalAg wrote:

      > Everything is so one-sided in favor of the developer that it is

      > hard to characterize this as anything but a give-away.

      If you read DavisforNishiGateway’s post above it looks like the city is projected to get:

      – increasing the stock of housing in a town with a vacancy rate of 0.2 or 0.3%

      – create 1500 full-time jobs that will employ people at all levels

      – provide $1.4 million each year to help improve city services,

      – provide $400,000 annually to Davis public schools

      – more than $30 million in investments to Davis’ infrastructure.

      With all that does it still sound like a one-sided give-away?  Were you hoping the developers would also buy every 14 year old girl in town a pony?

      1. hpierce

        Five-ten years from after they are built, I predict those Nishi units will be owned by the University.  Same impact, no revenue.  UCD has bought up much developed residential and commercial property over the years, to save $… Research Park Drive, Cousteau Place, Cowell, First Street…

      2. CalAg

        “Were you hoping the developers would also buy every 14 year old girl in town a pony?” South of Davis

        Read my 5:13 pm post. If you want to discuss the substance like an adult, I’ll respond.

  12. Biddlin

    “From my decades of being the primary owner of the effort to implement significant change in large organizations…All three those actors should be respected in the debate through the period of debate,…The one subgroup that should NOT be respected is the one that contains the people that are really in firm opposition but that lie to others (and maybe to themselves) that they are open-minded, objective, balanced and honest. …Frankly, there is absolutely no value in protecting the speech of someone like this.  They are just a disruptive and destructive force.  They make negotiation and compromise impossible….”

    “In addition to this, I think we should string-up leaders that abuse their power to prevent debate from happening only to get their way.”

    Oh, my, I guess you can’t argue with logic like that. Have you noticed that subgroup seem to follow you and thwart all of your plans?Thanks for the laugh.

    1. Frankly

      Nope, in my career I tended to make sure those subgroup people were removed from the project or fired so progress could be made.

      Chronic critics are are a dime a dozen.

  13. Robert Canning

    Alan, I would appreciate you showing some citations for those studies.  And I am not sure what it means to say that a study is “indicative”? Indicative of what?  Is it indicative that more research be done?

  14. Tia Will

    The one subgroup that should NOT be respected is the one that contains the people that are really in firm opposition but that lie to others (and maybe to themselves) that they are open-minded, objective, balanced and honest.”

    The problem with this subgroup designation Frankly, is that there is no objective means of determining who they are. I know, from many, many posts of yours that you believe you are able to detect them. But there is one major problem, there are equally educated and informed individuals who believe that it is actually you who might better fit this description. So please provide for me your objective criteria for belonging in this subgroup, and I will be happy to reconsider your theory.

     

    1. Frankly

      Au contraire Ms. Will.   I would not so designate a person as being a member of the subgroup unless that person had clearly (forgive my French) stepped in it.

      For example, say that someone is vocal in opposition while claiming they prefer an alternative, but then when that exact alternative is presented they agitate in opposition of that also.

      No amount of backpedaling, nuanced-deflection and denial will succeed in removing this person from the subgroup once there is this clear evidence of agenda hiding.

       

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for