Nishi Campaign Reacts to LRDP Announcement

Solano Park and Nishi Gateway as envisioned in the LRDP
Solano Park and Nishi Gateway as envisioned in the LRDP

(From Press Release) – UC Davis has formally recognized a link to the Nishi Gateway Innovation Park, by including the connection in their Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) map for the Solano Gateway plan area. This demonstrates the university’s ongoing interest in partnering with the Nishi Gateway project (on the ballot as ‘Measure A’). The proposed undercrossing that connects south campus to the innovation center with a new road and bike and pedestrian connection sets the framework for the projects to coordinate planning efforts.

“The plan also includes the possibility of a connection to the Nishi Gateway Project, a private development that is separate from campus, east of the railroad tracks,” UC Davis explained in their announcement. “The University and the City of Davis have been planning collaboratively and exploring possible roadway, bikeway, and open space connections with the Nishi property, in hopes of gaining mutual advantage to the vitality of the campus, downtown and the greater Davis community.”

The LRDP also includes tentative projections to provide housing for 90% of the 9,000 new students expected to enroll at UC Davis over the coming decade. That still leaves 1,000 new students, additional staff and faculty, and a majority (60%) of existing students, without on-site housing. ‘Yes on Measure A’ provides housing for 1,500 students, which combined with the university’s projections, would ensure that the new student population will not contribute to commuter traffic. The 210 efficient stacked condo flats would be ideal for staff and faculty and innovation park workers further eliminating the need for commutes.

With the LRDP and successful passage of Measure A (which is unanimously supported by the existing City Council), we can bring our vacancy rate up to a level that meets our city’s needs.

‘Yes on Measure A’ further improves Davis’s housing picture by helping to  preserve neighborhoods by making mini-dorms less attractive to out-of-city absentee investors. ‘Yes on Measure A’ also includes $1 million for the city’s affordable housing trust fund and $23 million for needed infrastructure, including major fixes along the Richards Boulevard that will improve traffic flows. The centerpiece of these improvements is the second bypass road and undercrossing linking South Davis to the campus, a feature mentioned in the university’s LRDP.

Nishi also further builds connections to UC Davis with 325,000 square feet of research and development space designed to convert research at UC Davis into local small businesses. This space will be overseen by entrepreneur Mike Hart, the CEO of Sierra Energy, one of Davis’s leading tech companies. Successful passage of Yes on Measure A will also bring millions of dollars to city services and local schools every year and create 1,500+ local jobs.

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82 Comments

  1. Michael Harrington

    UCD staff told me there were no talks with Nishi about the RR underpass ….

    Think about it … Why would UCD want all that traffic motoring through the heart of the area THEY need for dense housing ?

    If UCD wanted Nishi they would have bought it cheap years ago.  It’s vacant because Nishi is not a good place for housing.  Their own guy Dr Cahill says its a toxic valley and live there !

    Vote NO on June 7!

     

    1. Adam Smith

      If there were no talks about the RR underpass, why would UC Davis recognize it  on their LTDP map?  Nishi owners didn’t make this map.   There would be very little new traffic  coming into UCD from the Nishi side.  It’s all traffic that is coming in from some other way now, most of it through the Richards underpass and through First Street.   The Nishi access doesn’t create new traffic for UCD, it just provides a much more efficient way for the traffic to arrive.

      1. Michael Harrington

        The faint line on the LRDP map is just an idea …. one of many alternatives UCD has to legally consider in its EIR

        If UCD really wanted that tunnel under the RR tracks they would have had a formal deal months or years ago and would be pressing the city for this project

        Notice the deafening silence from the gown side of town-gown?

         

        I think if one delves into the emails and meetings between the developers and UCD you will find the tunnel is mostly just a developers dream on the back of an envelope.

        Hey, if UCD ends up saying no tunnel, then the developers can flip the Nishi land for a huge profit.

        Less than three weeks left …

         

         

        1. David Greenwald

          “If UCD really wanted that tunnel under the RR tracks they would have had a formal deal months or years ago and would be pressing the city for this project”

          My understanding is that the regents have to approve the LRDP before the university can make a formal deal.

        2. Adam Smith

          Hey, if UCD ends up saying no tunnel, then the developers can flip the Nishi land for a huge profit.

          My understanding is that the connection to the university is a requirement of the City of Davis.  If UCD says no to the underpass, there is no Nishi Gateway.    Who is going to buy this property at a big profit for the developers under those conditions?

        3. ryankelly

          Mike, You don’t seem to understand how the development process works on campus. Nothing gets built without the approval and allocation of money from the Regents.  The campus has more immediate pressures on the lack of classroom space and office/research space for the new faculty that the University will need to provide, so the building of student housing will happen but not instantly. They are looking at a time line of many years.   Just because you are not involved in these meetings and briefings to staff and faculty, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.  It seems to me that you are overestimating your value in the planning process.

           

        4. Yes on A Fan

          Indeed, the campus map and press release reveal that the campus is adding 500 more student residents adjacent to those planned on Nishi.  Is this the Cahill demarcation zone?  I think Mike should stick to his bird-watching economic development strategy

    2. ryankelly

      Jeez, Mike.  Nishi is vacant, because the University doesn’t own it and they already have lots of land to build on.  The University has no problem with the underpass on to campus.  In fact, they are including it on their presentation.  It’s clear that you don’t have the University as an ally in your campaign against Nishi.

  2. South of Davis

    Mike wrote:

    > Their own guy Dr Cahill says its a toxic valley and live there !

    I like “triangle of death” more than “toxic valley” or “toxic soup” if I was trying to to scare people (who won’t know that some no on A people live even closer to freeways and railroad tracks that the new Nishi residents will)…

    Another good idea for the no on A people is to point out that all the autistic kids from Nishi will flood the local schools and take money from the GATE program (voters probably won’t know that like the West Village apartments there will not a single pregnant woman living at Nishi most years)…

    1. Michael Harrington

      “Triangle of Death” does have a certain ring to it …

      The question is:  would I vote for student apartments on land that I would never live on, or let my kids live on when they go to college?  The answer is NO.

       

      I am very confident that these developers are going to on-line student housing market for Nishi in SE Asia, and the markets read by the wealthy in NYC, Boston, and Europe. 

      Yes, show them the literature with children biking with Mommy on Nishi! 

      Show them the literature with photos of senior citizens playing tennis on Nishi! 

      Show them the literature with the outdoor workout space in the western side of Nishi!  (Oh, airbrush out the nearby freeway!) 

      Sell it to those rich parents living thousands of miles away who have no idea about Dr. Cahill’s studies, and how he calls housing on Nishi a very “grave” condition.  Stick those children of absentee parents in a toxic air dump and sign the long leases from Tokyo and Bangkok and Paris! Make them pay for the City of Davis’ budget recovery! Brilliant plan!

      Way to go, members of our CC.   You will never have your own kids living on Nishi.

      I trust UCD’s own guy, Dr. Cahill, and his years of independent research.  Vote NO on Measure A, No on Nishi, and NO on its toxic air for other people’s children.

        1. Michael Harrington

          Pugilist:  Unsubstantiated?  Oh really?  You get the literature Yes on Nishi is using to sell this project to the Davis voters?  You’ve read their proposal and seen their happy sunny farm scenes online?  Lots of sun flowers!    You know the apts are very expensive.  You know Nishi is going to market to parents far away.  You know, don’t you, that those online marketing campaigns are going to omit Dr. Cahill’s studies?  If you doubt this, I have some cheap farmland to sell you 25 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge.

          It’s all very substantiated … by Nishi’s own documents, and UCD’s own expert.   All the best kind of evidence:  “party admissions.”

      1. Tia Will

        Michael

        The question is:  would I vote for student apartments on land that I would never live on, or let my kids live on when they go to college?  The answer is NO.”

        No. This is actually not the question. If it were, since my answer would be “Yes”, I would not hesitate to live there ( already live even closer to the tracks than these folks will and the freeway in not much further away, and I would not hesitate for my own children to live there. So we effectively cancel each other out as far as this question is concerned.

        The real question is, does the weight of the evidence prove that this site is more hazardous than any other potential site considering all the potential risks ( such as mode of travel, length or commute) and any number of other potential factors that Dr. Cahill has not stated any opinion on ?  While I deeply respect the work of Dr. Cahill, a rational approach would not only consider the downsides that he has enumerated, the upsides about which he has remained silent, and the risks of other sites about which he also has remained silent.

         

  3. Tia Will

    South of Davis

    (who won’t know that some no on A people live even closer to freeways and railroad tracks that the new Nishi residents will)…”

    Who that opposes Nishi lives “closer” to the freeway and tracks ?

     

     

    1. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > Who that opposes Nishi lives “closer” to the freeway and tracks ?

      There are No on A signs in East Davis in front of homes that back on to the railroad tracks (and one on G St just across a vacant lot from the tracks).  I saw a No on A sign on Olive in front of an apartment that backs on to I80 and some signs in West Davis in front of homes that are even closer to 113…

      1. Roberta Millstein

        But there are no signs where people live between an elevated freeway and train tracks, with an area of braking for both cars and trains, with air inversion in the winter and prevailing winds from the freeway or from the train tracks.  Why?  Because there is no other place in Davis with this “perfect storm” of negative factors other than Nishi.  Let’s not be saying “oh sorry, we didn’t know” to future residents of Nishi – because we do know.

        1. hpierce

          Easy answer… require a “disclosure” to all owners/tenants/workers, and they can make informed decisions… it’s done all the time… for airspace issues, border zone determinations, etc.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          A good idea, but too late to add to the baseline features, so no guarantee that it would actually happen.  Also, this is not trivial to do.  To do it right, the information has to be in clear non-technical language and people need a chance to have their questions answered from a neutral third party.  Also, if people are right that it will be primarily students living there (my own view is, who knows?), people in their late teens and early twenties are notoriously cavalier about their future health (I know I was, and I pay for it now).

          But if you are going to build residences in this area, then yes, there should be disclosure, even if imperfect.  Again, though, there is nothing to guarantee that this will happen.  After the things that have been happening at the Cannery, I am a little gun shy concerning developer promises.

        3. Roberta Millstein

          See pages 2-81 through 2-111 (yes, 30 pages worth of information, from Dr. Cahill) of the FEIR and section 4.3 of the DEIR prepared by Ascent Environmental, especially pages 4.3-29 through 4.3-33 (where they conclude that the impacts are significant and unavoidable).

          All the Nishi EIR documents are located here, including links to some of the peer review research:

          http://cityofdavis.org/city-hall/community-development-and-sustainability/development-projects/nishi-gateway-final-eir

          Dr. Cahill has also offered, via an “ad” taken out in the Davis Enterprise, to email additional information to anyone who asks.

        4. ryankelly

          Anyone who lives in Davis knows that the air is not contained in one neighborhood like an enclosed bubble.  It is a ridiculous idea.  If the air is terrible at Nishi, then the air is terrible in downtown Davis, on the UC Campus, along Olive Drive. Harrington’s own house is right across the street from railroad tracks, flanked by busy streets with continuous braking cars.  Yet he refers to Nishi as a “toxic soup” and ignores the conditions of his own neighborhood.  The Nishi residents will have better built housing than all of the residents in the downtown core with air filtration systems and a nearby forest of trees.  It will be a beautiful place to live with views overlooking the UC campus and the arboretum.  I’d say that Olive Drive apartments have it worse – sandwiched between the tracks and I-80 right outside their windows.  The improvements to the I-80 off ramp will move it further away from that property and benefit those residents.   If any study is done at Nishi, it also needs to include areas all along I-80 and the railroad tracks through town as a comparison.

        5. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly, sometimes what seems intuitively surprising (who would have thought that the earth wasn’t flat?  No, seriously, most of our everyday experience suggests that it’s flat) turns out to be correct.  Proximity matters for concentration of exposure.  Prevailing winds matter.  Elevated freeways matter.  Inversions matter.  These have all been documented in the studies that Dr. Cahill cites.  Over a distance, the pollutants dissipate.

        6. Roberta Millstein

          Quoting from Dr. Cahill’s presentation to the City Council: “The situation in winter is exacerbated by the presence of strong surface based inversions. These trap pollutants close to the ground, and were a key factor in the death rate from ischemic heart disease in Bakersfield…The effect of the inversion on fine mass is striking. Pollutants generated from sources stay near the sources and stay near the ground.”

        7. Yes on A Fan

          Roberta, why is the University planning to add 500 students next to the Nishi site in their new housing plan?  Even a staunch advocate for healthy living like yourself can not look at the map and see this plan and state that the air is any different from here or there; rarified as the air may be in your profession. Or Solano married student housing or Aggie Village. Nishi is not in a bowl- it is flat as a pancake just like the surrounding residential areas (that offer no mitigation whatsoever).

        8. Roberta Millstein

          Don Shor (sorry, not given the option to indent at your level), and yes, there is a disagreement about whether that mitigation will be sufficiently effective.

          Yes on A Fan: I don’t know about that site in particular, but no, I don’t think that one can judge air from a map. Keep in mind that no EIRs have been done yet on the University’s proposals. (And I never said Nishi was in a bowl. But the freeway is elevated with respect to it, and there is evidence that elevated freeways are a relevant factor. As is proximity).

        9. Frankly

          Proximity matters for concentration of exposure.  Prevailing winds matter.  Elevated freeways matter.  Inversions matter

          Agenda and bias matter more in these things.

        10. Roberta Millstein

          Frankly: What is your evidence that the measurements of fine metals, etc., in the studies cited and performed by Dr. Cahill, are affected by bias?

        11. ryankelly

          Roberta: Quoting from Dr. Cahill’s presentation to the City Council: “The situation in winter is exacerbated by the presence of strong surface based inversions. These trap pollutants close to the ground, and were a key factor in the death rate from ischemic heart disease in Bakersfield…The effect of the inversion on fine mass is striking. Pollutants generated from sources stay near the sources and stay near the ground.”

          You are comparing Davis with Bakersfield? Bakersfield is in the lower San Joaquin Valley and is ranked as having high pollution levels per the American Lung Association. http://www.stateoftheair.org/2014/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html  We have a different climate.   You can’t tell me with certainty that the risks you describe exists only at Nishi, at extreme levels,  and no where else in the Davis, and not across the tracks at Solano Park or at Tercero dorms, or West Village or Olive Drive, or downtown Davis or Old North Davis or…

        12. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly, no, I am not saying that the air quality at Nishi is as poor as it is in Bakersfield.  My understanding is that Dr. Cahill and his colleagues studied the site at Bakersfield and found a very high correlation between the very fine and ultra-fine metals released when braking and observed ischemic heart disease death rate (and other studies have confirmed this, as well as a correlation to loss of lung capacity in children).  This is suggestive of a causal link between the release of very/ultra-fine metals from braking and death from ischemic heart disease; once we have reason to believe there is a causal link, then we can export that model to other sites.  Since there is braking on I-80 near Nishi (especially on weekends) where the number of lanes is reduced from six to three, those very fine and ultra-fine metals, given the prevailing winds, will be present at Nishi as well.  Indeed, Dr. Cahill and his team measured a site nearby and found high levels of ultra-fine metals.

          As far as I know, there is no other site in Davis that has the “perfect storm” of factors (as I have explained many times already) that Nishi does.  Can I tell you that with certainty?  No.  Science doesn’t deal in certainty.  But the available evidence points to Nishi being worse than other sites in Davis.

           

        13. ryankelly

          Where did they test nearby?  And was it the mere detection good enough for Cahill?   Did they test near other car breaking sites, such as a busy intersection near the downtown for the presence of these materials?   I’m sure the Air Resources Board has been monitoring air quality in the Valley?  Why rely solely on the opinion of one person based on a study in a heavily polluted area of Central California?

        14. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly: According to the publicly available information in the FEIR (you can look this all up too), the measurements were made “east of the property on Olive Drive” (see p. 2-90 of the FEIR if you want to see the picture).  Dr. Cahill seemed to express the belief, based on his experience with other sites and studies that proximity very much affects concentrations, that these measurements would be lower than you would have at Nishi itself.  No, the mere detection was not good enough for Cahill.  Again, as I said above, you have to tie together the detection studies with the other studies that suggest a possible causal link.  The two types of evidence together are what help to form the conclusion that the air quality at the site is poor.  He called on the City Council to do better and more prolonged monitoring of the actual site before going forward, but the City Council did not take that advice and put the project on the ballot without further monitoring.  Dr. Cahill did not take these measurements alone and most of the paper he cites are either co-authored with him as a co-author or with other authors.  I have listed the papers on other threads but I am happy to repaste the long list of papers again (not sure if the moderator would be happy, though).  I can’t see why he would object to having other people study the site as well; I’d certainly be in favor of that.  But again, that was not what the City Council chose to do.  Here is the Enterprise’s accounting of that meeting:

          http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/council-approves-nishi-5-0-next-stop-june-ballot/

          Nishi’s final environmental impact report states that the project has “significant and unavoidable” air pollution impacts, but not enough to prevent it from moving forward under state laws. Councilman Brett Lee sought the advice of Thomas Cahill, a UCD air quality expert, who spoke out against the hazards of placing housing in such close proximity to I-80.

          “(California agencies) are working on the basis of state and federal regulations on air quality which are really hopelessly inadequate,” Cahill said. “Science has deviated from regulation very badly, and unfortunately Nishi runs into that.

          “The basic answer is that it’s hard to think of something that gets around that,” Cahill added. 

          Lee pressed for additional answers on the potential for a tree buffer, which is included in the project, to ease air quality concerns. Cahill said this could indeed help, but not to an extent that he felt comfortable with.

          After a series of comments from fellow council members, Mayor Dan Wolk swiftly made a motion to approve the proposal, without additional inquiry or comment.

        15. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly: Correction to what I wrote above.  Dr. Barnes took the measurements at the site near Nishi.  The FEIR states that they didn’t do the study on Nishi itself because of the lack of power.

        16. ryankelly

          East of Olive Drive?  You mean he tested a site near car repair businesses, machine shops, the busy intersection of Richards Blvd, and the on and off ramps of I-80?  From this he condemns the entire Nishi site, even the placement of residences far away from the freeway and away from the testing site?

          I ‘m going to suggest that we owe it to the students who live along Olive Drive to take action to improve Richards Blvd and Olive Drive, moving the off ramp further away from their homes.

        17. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly: Not “east of Olive Drive”.  That’s not what I said. Just east of the property ON Olive Dr.  Look in the FEIR where I said to look.  Or look at a map.  You will see that there is a section of Olive Drive that is directly east of the property.

        18. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly: And again, Dr. Cahill called for more testing, which could be done at a better location.  If you think there ought to have been a better test, you should be blaming the City Council for not listening.

      2. Tia Will

        SOD

        There are No on A signs”

        OK, but that is only part of the picture. If you travel down J street you will see “Yes on J” signs. I don’t see that the presence of Yes and No signs adds any weight to either side.

  4. ecotect

    What is happening with the Davis City Council leadership and the University is the same passive acceptance of what powerful developer advisors, “market experts” express, that have been spreading the same message for over thirty years: “build sprawl or lose your shirt.”

    Davis has properties within the city boundary that need serious attention due to “development” in the past.  Take Research Park in South Davis,  it has become an embarrassment apparently because it is sitting there quietly with significant vacancies and a lot of land around it.  In 2016 the best practice is to upgrade old buildings to net zero energy and every new building, if really needed, should be net zero energy. This is the State of California goal, soon to be mandated.

    The year is 2016 and incredible knowledge of our built world relative to population and climate change reversal is transforming how cities are looking at planning.  Old ways are being replace with much better new ways, that look at what we have for improvement inside boundaries before urbanizing more farmland.

    The Richards Blvd. traffic exchange needs a futuristic study of stocks and flows with deep understandings of the dynamics of that crucial entrance into Davis Downtown and to the University.

    As Davis and the University grow, traffic jams need to be studied as to where people are going and understood. Patterns and recipes of the past need to be replaced with patterns based on much more information. Awareness of how to design in accordance with the environment and the climate is increasing.  This brings demand on planning and design of urban development to understand and and be able to predict and manipulate urban microclimates to help pedestrian/bike  activity, building performance, energy consumptions and prevention of urban heat sink.

    It seems that neither the University or the City of Davis wish to enter into a serious study of the traffic at Richards for the proper upgrade that is needed for the population densification that is being proposed with little or no changes to the flow distribution system and a totally unacceptable path for pedestrians that is not optimal for bikes either.

    If the University wants to make Solano Park a “Gateway” then upgrade the buildings that are there to Passive House standards by insulating and making air -tight the building’s envelopes.  Gateway to what?

    An actual gateway is the intersection of Hutchison, Old Davis Road and 1st street, an intersection that has not received the upgrade and attention needed for the massive bike, bus and car mix that occurs there.

    Where is the master planning relative to traffic flows, pedestrians and bikes?  It seems this important aspect of growth is not getting the attention required.

    The City and University would be well advised to do a city simulation into the future.

     Progress is never easy, but always possible. 

  5. CalAg

    “… with 325,000 square feet of research and development space designed to convert research at UC Davis into local small businesses. This space will be overseen by entrepreneur Mike Hart …”

    What does this mean?

  6. Odin

    I wonder how much the Yes campaign has contributed to the Vanguard to get this thing approved.  Article after article pushing for a Yes vote, commenters bent on proving to us in the NO crowd that we are ignorantly informed.  Every few years we hear the sky is falling crowd trying to convince us that development is good and necessary and without our city will fall into ruin.  The Yes crowd has $160K to spend vs $11k of the No crowd.  Hard to fight big money, which is all this project is.  Once again our mailboxes are proliferated with fancy brochures with fancy pictures, in this case showing one car under the tunnel when we all know reality is the opposite, and pictures that make Nishi look beautiful, fitting into the environment.  I call bull.  West Village is proof as is The Cannery.  They’re ugly and obtrusive, but most of us don’t see it so we don’t care.

     

    If Nishi is approved, I can guarantee within 5 years another argument will appear pushing for more growth to meet new needs.  When will it stop?  When our town is no longer recognizable, taken over by developers who see big money in college towns?  When we continue to gentrify, running those of us on low incomes out of town?  Sacrificing parts of town that can’t handle new growth like East Davis and here on Olive?  Now we read how the real yes campaign is just about to begin, canvassing, posting Yes signs everywhere they can.  You can smell the money involved and sadly our town will ultimately go downhill until it is unrecognizable from what it is today if this is voted in.

    1. The Pugilist

      “If Nishi is approved, I can guarantee within 5 years another argument will appear pushing for more growth to meet new needs.  When will it stop?  ”

      Probably never since the university is still growing.  Is the town recognizable from the 1960s?  1980s?  Our obligation is to make the next decision to the best of our ability because the reality is that change is going to happen with or without growth?

      How are you planning on paying for the $655 backlog?  Infrastructure repairs?  Parks, roads, greenbelts?

      1. Barack Palin

        How are you planning on paying for the $655 backlog? 

        I take it you mean $655 million backlog?  If we’re being truthful here Nishi’s possible $500,000 to $1.4 million isn’t really going to do sheet in taking care of much of any backlog.

        1. The Pugilist

          I agree, but that is half a million to a million and a half that we don’t have to get through taxes.  And yes, we need to do more than just Nishi and 325000 square feet of R&D space.

        2. Frankly

          Assume $2.5 million in net new tax revenue for every 100 acres of tech business parks.   Davis has a $50 million dollar general fund budget that needs to be $75 million based on our current population, our growth projections and our demand for amenities and services.

          So we need another 1000 acres of business parks.  Which will mean that Davis goes from being 10 square miles to 11.5 square miles… and still retains the distinction of being one of the most highly dense small cities in the nation.

        3. CalAg

          So we need another 1000 acres of business parks.  Which will mean that Davis goes from being 10 square miles to 11.5 square miles … and still retains the distinction of being one of the most highly dense small cities in the nation.

          I agree with this 100% and have stated as much several times in the past.  The one additional point I would make is that it will take many decades to adsorb this much R&D land.  In other words, most of the land will still be growing alfalfa, tomatoes, sunflowers, etc. in 2026 and 2036 and 2046 and beyond.  Vacaville has a huge business park with vast amounts of land that is still in agriculture after almost 40 years. The relatively modest amount of Mace Ranch industrial land on 2nd Street is still not built out after 30 years (despite the fact that they were allowed t up-zone a big piece for the Target Center).  Nevertheless, having a large inventory of land zoned and waiting is a good thing.

        4. Frankly

          CalAg – Agreed.   I would expect to see the 1000 acres built out over the next 25 or 30 years.

          But it won’t happen if we don’t allocated the land for it.

        5. CalAg

          Based on the comps from Mace Ranch, I would be very surprised if we could do it in 40-50 years. Ramos/Oates still hasn’t reached buildout at 30 years on a much smaller inventory.

          The other factors that need to be considered in evaluating their track record are:
          (1) they were allowed to up-zone a big piece to retail
          (2) a very large fraction of their total sq ft are consumed by UCD instead of private companies
          (3) DMG banked a modest amount of undeveloped land for their future use

          Despite these tail-winds, they are still not done. In my opinion, Davis would need a huge sea-change to build out 1,000 acres in 25-30 years.

        6. hpierce

          Cal Ag (7:30 post)

          Please recall that Mace Ranch also re-zoned Neighborhood commercial (@ Fifth and Alhambra) to SFR… Target site, to be sure was greater acreage, but to be “transparent”, there was a bit of a trade-off…

    2. Tia Will

      Odin

      I wonder how much the Yes campaign has contributed to the Vanguard to get this thing approved.”

      I happen to know the answer to this question. The actual number is O. While it is true that the Vanguard accepts advertising for Nishi, it also accepts advertising against Nishi. I am the only member of the Vanguard editorial board that posts regularly here and I was back and forth so often on the question of Nishi before making my final decision that one poster actually opined that I should have a monitor accompany me to the polls to ensure that I had voted the way I stated !

      Don Shor is our unpaid moderator and so has no financial interest in expressing an opinion one way or the other.

      I hope that helps clarify with regard to financial stake in the project.

  7. Yes on A Fan

    Odin, I think you would agree that  a University Town, with a University with tremendous growth plans, needs to be proactive to plan for the future together. Land planning is a long process in Davis. For Nishi 8 years in the planning and 8 years to build out to help meet some critical needs of the City and campus simultaneously. Can growth in California be stopped altogether? The Regents have just told the campuses to grow to accommodate more California kids- a noble goal. That is why the campus has adjusted their plans. Even with the new plan 60% of students are living off campus. I think these are realities that need to be planned for or else our town will indeed become unrecognizable as conditions deteriorate due to the lack of any forward vision.

    1. Odin

      If that is indeed the case, then why not make it affordable to every student?  Why not get Platinum LEED ratings?  I’m not falling for this “proactive” bs.  I would only approve of the project if that was the case and that it did not affect Richards/Olive which I don’t care what the yes crowd says or even the consultants paid by them, it will get worse, you can’t force more cars from several projects (the hotel complex, Lincoln 40) into an intersection and tell me it will flow better.  People still have to wait for lights to change, and more cars can’t possibly mean shorter wait times.  I say screw the Regents.  This isn’t the first time they’ve made mistakes and the same could be said of the Yes campaign and it’s greedy developers.

      1. The Pugilist

        “If that is indeed the case, then why not make it affordable to every student?  Why not get Platinum LEED ratings? ”

        I find it interesting the divergent goals.  You want it affordable and yet you want to increase the costs by getting things like LEED ratings.

        1. Odin

          No, my point is we are a university town.  We should set the standard for the Sacramento region and prove you can achieve both.  Sorry if I set my expectations higher than the rest.  I thought we were a town of educated people and you’re telling me there are limitations.  I disagree and find your sort of thinking as hindering progress, not advancing it.  Developers want to make as big a profit as possible, don’t try to sell me on the idea that they don’t.

        2. The Pugilist

          Your views are filled with contradictions – you want to have affordable apartments, but restrict building more supply.  You want affordable apartments, but want to increase construction costs.  You want a university that achieves higher standards, but you deny them the space to spin their technology off.  Of course someone isn’t going to invest money into a project unless they think they can earn a profit, but why begrudge them that profit when they give us what is needed – housing and jobs?

        3. The Pugilist

          Project baseline feature: “All of the residential and office/R&D buildings on Nishi will be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified through the U. S. Green Building Council.”

        4. Frankly

          So your telling me we can’t do as well as Carson, CA in platinum and affordable?:   http://www.usgbc.org/projects/arbor-green

          Because Carson residents don’t have Measure R and a high percentage of puckered up old people blocking any and all development.  So the land prices are cheaper thereby allowing for more investment in green amenities and certification while also keeping the rents down.

          The population density of Carson CA is about 60% of Davis.  They have more land available to build on… and that land is a lot less expensive because it is not artificially constrained by Measure R and a farmland moat around the city.

        5. Yes on A Fan

          Indeed the neighborhood plan is for LEED platinum or equivalent in the baseline features. There may only be 13 places in the world at this level- i don’t know but I don’t think Carson is one of them.

        6. Odin

          Once again all I am hearing is “the plan for”, “the projected…” and not one single concrete statement guaranteeing anything.  I’m also hearing that we can’t do things other towns do because we are somehow limited by property values.  This kind of stuff happens in several college towns (Chico, San Luis Obispo comes to mind).  They become attractive to everyday folks because they are college towns and they become too expensive for the people they are meant to attract — students.  So tell me, how are we making Nishi attractive to students WHEN THEY CAN’T EVEN AFFORD TO LIVE THERE.  Isn’t that our main goal?  To provide affordable housing?  And if we do, don’t we want it to meet the absolutely highest of standards we can achieve?

          As far as the traffic issue, I really wonder if any of you lived on Olive, like we do, whether you would think Yes on this issue.  You’re being as NIMBY as we are whether you like to admit it or not by keeping in the back of your mind that this development really doesn’t personally affect you.  We’re supposed to believe the plan is to complete the Richards exchange before construction begins as if the city will deny Nishi?  We’re supposed to believe that this will make our town “better”?  Wrong.  Your pushing for development because that is the only answer towns come up with for increased revenue.  It’s not practical and it’s definitely NOT sustainable.  As I stated before, you’ll all (the yes folks) start the same argument again and again in another 5 years if Nishi passes with your sky is falling attitude that development = progress and you’ll be asking for more and more development as if that is the only answer.

          1. Don Shor

            you’ll be asking for more and more development as if that is the only answer.

            Actually, the solution to the city’s budget issues involves a 3-fold approach: economic development to increase city revenues, cost-cutting, and targeted tax increases. Any reduction in one part of the 3 requires increases in the others. If we don’t get more revenues from more diverse sources, it will be necessary to increase taxes. If that isn’t sufficient, it would be necessary to continue to reduce city staffing and reduce the amenities that Davisites appreciate.

        7. Frankly

          As far as the traffic issue, I really wonder if any of you lived on Olive, like we do, whether you would think Yes on this issue.

          Here is how I would process it.

          1. I live where there is greater risk that I will be impacted by traffic and future growth than in many if not most areas of town.

          2. I choose to accept that greater risk due to the benefits… namely being in close proximity to the downtown.

          3. Now some of those risks are coming true.  And this should not be a surprise to me because I really did see it coming.

          4. And the changes are organic in nature.  The university is growing, hence the population is growing.  Also the region is growing.  And all that organic growth is pushing change right where I live.

          5. So I either accept it or move to another location.

          That is how I would process it.

        8. hpierce

          Odin… re: 3:38 post…

          not one single concrete statement guaranteeing anything.

          In life, if you want guarantees (except perhaps for household appliances, and that’s iffy) good luck with that… pensions, SS, health, outcomes of medical procedures, gambling bets, etc.  Different likelihoods of what we thought we were promised, yes… but not guarantees.

          Probably the only guarantee we all have is MORTALITY. We all die.

    2. Odin

      So in other words your advocating that low income folks like myself (a public school teacher) should shut the hell up, accept the inevitable and move to some crap town like Woodland.  I’m sure Frankly you’ll be happy seeing only high income folks and high income students in this town as long as it doesn’t affect YOUR lifestyle.  Keep winning folks over.  You’re doing a great job.

      1. hpierce

        low income folks like myself…

        Except for “emergency permits”, Davis teachers with only a bachelors’ starts at $37 K, tops out ~ $46.3 K… working ~ 3/4 of a year.  Not counting STRS and benefits…  teachers in private/parochial schools, with the same motivation, skill sets, get lower benefits and ~ 15% less salary… ’nuff said.

        A “crap town” like Woodland?  Condescending at best, and a damn good reason why, if you teach in Davis, you shouldn’t be.  That’s just “sick” to call Woodland a “crap town”… did you lose the silver spoon that you were born with?

  8. Michael Harrington

    Go Odin go!  You are on a roll.   Contact me and help get some lawns signs up!  Michael@mikeharringtonlaw.com 

    (Goes for all of you good-hearted local readers who disagree with Nishi’s obvious marketing plan to use the lungs of unwitting international parent’s children to try and solve city budget issues.)

      1. ryankelly

        The No on Nishi campaign, led by Mike Harrington and Nancy Price, continues to claim that it is immoral to vote Yes.  Now, Mike is saying that people who are vote Yes are not “good-hearted” and have devious plans to poison children.  Yes, it is annoying, but this seems to be a strategy of the No on Nishi campaign.

         

        1. Tia Will

          have devious plans to poison children”

          The “No on Nishi” folks have no monopoly on this particular strategy. As a 30 year practicing physician I and my pediatric colleague were accused of “devious plans to poison children” and “accepting money from large corporations” to promote water fluoridation. Regardless of how anyone stood on this issue, the charges against us were patently false and even the city council members who voted against us were clear that they did not believe that we had any intent to “poison” anyone. However, that does not stop people from making outrageous claims in the hopes that some will be emotionally manipulated by what they know to be lies.

      2. Michael Harrington

        Pugilist:  I think all of these economic development articles are basically campaign pieces for Yes on A.  Brilliant idea they had, with the DV.

        Protecting our children is Job No. 1. And if that involves being a little shrill to protect the children of absentee parents, then I accept that job.

        Ryan: I did say that the business model of Yes on A involves placing the children of wealthy, international parents into a toxic air site. Dr. Cahill and his research clearly state that it is a toxic air site. You used the word poisoning …. I would agree with you, now that you first said it.

        1. ryankelly

          You clearly missed my point.  Or did you?  Be careful. You are showing your true colors.  You are leading an ugly campaign.  The air is not toxic, no more than 7th and G Street.

        2. Yes on A Fan

          Take a look at the map. The University is adding 500 additional residents just north of the Nishi parcel, near Aggie Village and Solano Park married student housing, all very popular places to live.

        3. South of Davis

          Ryan wrote:

          >  The air is not toxic, no more than 7th and G Street.

          The corner of 7th and G is a scary place where the “diesel fumes” and “asbestos dust” from the CFNR railroad cars blows across the “toxic fumes” coning out of the ground at the “Hazardous Waste” site (see link below) that used to be the Texaco at 712 G forming a “toxic soup” much worse than Nishi.  I hope any of the No on A folks that are worried about the health effects at Nishi would call CPS on anyone who allowed kids to live at 7th and G.

          http://city-council.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/20050712/Packet/04H-Hazardous-Waste-Sites.pdf

  9. Tia Will

    Michael

    I think all of these economic development articles are basically campaign pieces for Yes on A.  Brilliant idea they had, with the DV.”

    Also untrue. I believe that almost anyone you talk to who knows me would identify me as a “slow growth” advocate and some insist, regardless of my actual position, that I am “no growth”. David specifically asked me to submit an article on the economic potential for Davis as I see it from my distinctly minority point of view. I was quite delayed in getting my piece to David and so it has not been posted yet.

    You also are free to write a piece regarding your perspective on growth in Davis and I would encourage you to do so rather than complaining that the bulk of the articles are not in agreement with you.

  10. Topcat

    “The plan also includes the possibility of a connection to the Nishi Gateway Project, a private development that is separate from campus, east of the railroad tracks,” UC Davis explained in their announcement.

    So the Underpass is only just a “Possibility”? I wonder if anyone has talked with executives at Union Pacific about how they would cooperate with the underpass construction?  Since the UP mainline would have to remain operational during construction, a temporary bypass would have to be built first to take railroad traffic during construction.  This underpass construction project would be a very expensive and time consuming project.

    1. David Greenwald

      I believe that UP is very supportive because they want to get rid of the at grade crossing on the eastern edge of the Nishi property.

    2. Topcat

      I believe that UP is very supportive because they want to get rid of the at grade crossing on the eastern edge of the Nishi property.

      Yes, getting rid of railroad grade crossings is desirable.  From a safety standpoint, getting rid of the grade crossing where road 32A crosses the main line east of Davis should be a much higher priority as that is a fairly heavily traveled route.

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