(From No on A Press Release) – On the June 7th ballot, you will be asked to make a very important decision about the future of Davis. On that ballot is Measure A which seeks voter approval for the City to annex the Nishi agricultural property into the City and approve rezoning of the property for 660 high density housing units and 325,000 sq. ft of R&D/office space.
The No on Nish campaign strongly urges voters to Vote No on Measure A – No on Nishi. This email summarizes the many problems with the project and will be followed later by a series of more detailed analyses of each of the problem areas.
There are many reasons why this project is not good for the residents of the City of Davis. The Nishi project is driven by developer profits and meets neither community housing needs nor Davis’ standards for sustainability and affordability.
● No Affordable Housing – Only Luxury Housing
Nishi’s housing will not be affordable nor “oriented towards students…with small units” as promised. Because the City illegally exempted the project from its low-income housing requirements and $11.5 million in alternative in-lieu fees, Nishi’s housing will all be luxury rental apartments and for-sale condominiums affordable only to the richest students. Independent analysis projects rent for an average 1,100 sq. ft. 2-bedroom, 2-bath apartment at over $2400 a month!
● Huge Developer Give-Aways
Ignoring the huge Affordable Housing give-away, Nishi proponents claim there will be “up to $9,000,000 in one time fees paid to the City” but fail to note these only cover costs expected to be incurred by the City in implementing the project. And these fees will only come after 5-10 years (if ever) because payments are tied to construction completion. Meanwhile, taxpayers will pay millions more for local road upgrades that are only required because of the project itself. According to independent analysis, Nishi also has uncertain but potentially negative annual financial benefits for the city.
● Massive Traffic Grid-Lock
Even with these promised street “improvements”, experts 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.
● Green-Washed Sustainability Plan
The claim that the project’s solar system will “supply 85% of electricity used onsite” is misleading. Instead, the developer proposes to sell the entire solar electrical output for profit to another wholesale buyer so Nishi tenants will actually receive no direct solar or financial benefit. The project will also produce over 10,000 metric tons of unmitigated Green House Gas (GHG) emissions per year (that’s about 24,000,000 lbs. annually)! This functionally destroys the City’s Climate Action Plan goals.
● Worst Air Quality in the Region
Noted UC Davis Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science, 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.
The Nishi project will generate substantial developer profits but provide no significant fiscal benefits to our community nor address our need for truly affordable and sustainable housing. Instead it risks traffic gridlock and jeopardizing the respiratory health of our most vulnerable residents.
We have all seen how badly the ongoing Cannery development has turned out for the City with the string of broken developer promises and City mishaps. Because of the shortcomings of the Nishi project, it has the potential to be much, much worse. Let’s not be fooled again.