Nishi Will Provide Space for Jobs in Davis

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Nishi-Scene-1by Rochelle Swanson

I have heard from some folks in the past few weeks the argument that we don’t need jobs in Davis.

As someone who has had to work hard to get where I am, I am disheartened by these sentiments. I most certainly don’t share the view point. I would instead say that Davis needs to increase the amount (and diversity) of jobs available to our residents so that all of those in our community that would like to live and work in the same city can do so.

We need more professional level jobs right here. Relying on campus for a large portion of the jobs has already spelled disaster… does anyone remember the last Great Recession, where the university had to conduct significant cuts to programs and staff? Remember the headline in the Davis Enterprise on February 25, 2011 that stated that UC Davis planned to lay-off 450 people? (http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/ucd-plans-calls-for-450-layoffs/)

To say that we don’t need more jobs is myopic, and seems self-serving (and maybe even self-centered). It doesn’t take into account the reality that many of our residents have to drive to Sacramento or the Bay Area for employment opportunities that match their skills. Some have to commute much further. Most do not commute by choice, but by necessity. While this certainly impacts air quality, it also impacts day to day quality of life. Not just within the immediate worker’s life, but also our greater community.

Groceries on the drive home, dinner pick up prior to hitting the local exit, school supply shopping during the lunch hour in your work day “community” – dollars not spent in Davis, events not intended, community connection strained.

When you have retired people earnestly arguing “we don’t need jobs”—something is broken. This can’t be one of those ‘I got mine’ type of arguments, can it? Please tell me we are better than that?!

While we may be a “company town”, UC Davis cannot keep our community afloat alone, nor should it. No community should be that vulnerable to the ebbs and flow of one entity. Growth in students and faculty does not automatically create a growth in jobs on campus. And relying so heavily on a single goose for golden eggs sounds like far too familiar of a fairy tale.

One example far too close to my heart is that City staff numbers are back at the level from the nineties. More people, more projects, and yet less people. Some of this can be explained due to efficiencies, which leads to a decline in the number of jobs, and is a phenomenon that has occurred across all industries.

The mentality that got us to a place where we don’t have enough revenue to hire the appropriate staff is the same one that is telling us now that we don’t need jobs.  While efficiencies are certainly something to be celebrated, displaced workers need new jobs to take the place of those replaced.

This is not just about the degree holding analyst, but also the support staff, the janitorial professionals and all the hard working people in the service industry that the front line primary job (i.e. the CEO, the rocket scientist, the pulmonary physician) that supports the second the tertiary jobs.

Almost every economist, banker, financial advisor, or fund manager will tell you that diversity is the key to a successful portfolio. Even nature uses diversity to ensure survivability of the ecosystem, so why wouldn’t this also be true for our local economy?

Davis has been blessed with an emerging startup scene, with research being conducted and new businesses being developed on and off campus. Startups in areas like agriculture, engineering, arts, medicine, veterinary science, transportation, and energy are building momentum.

Current research from respected campuses like UC Berkeley have demonstrated that for every new job in the tech sector, there are at least another 3 jobs that are created to support that position. That means for every research scientist at a plant genomics company, there is also a need for professional support in the areas of administrative, legal, financial, and technicians.

This continuum of jobs for people of all educational and skills levels is right in line with what is already happening in Davis. We just need to support the opportunity for more of them to be here. And the Nishi Gateway Innovation Center is a modest amount of new space, directly across from the university, that will support the opportunity for these new ideas and startups to be able to take root here in our town.

The Innovation Parks Task Force spent a few years getting to a place where we could agree we needed a dispersed model for innovation and economic development – this model did not just mean a few parcels scattered around town, but an intelligent model along a continuum that provided and supported spaces of intellect, invention, imagination and innovation – garage to a couple large scale centers. Incubator space is exciting, but doesn’t provide revenue. Scaling and supporting those start-ups to firmly take root and blossom here benefits us all.

So, I would like to ask you to reflect on one last thought. In the immortal words of the great political mastermind Paul Tsongas, “Let’s try winning and see what it feels like. If we don’t like it, we can go back to our traditions.”

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118 thoughts on “Nishi Will Provide Space for Jobs in Davis”

    1. Tia Will

      Rob

      Yes, you are biased, as are we all. And that is your right. But then you are not a member of our City Council supposedly there to serve all of us.

  1. Tia Will

    I write as someone who favors Nishi. I also write as someone who abhors deliberate divisiveness.

    I have heard from some folks in the past few weeks the argument that we don’t need jobs in Davis.”

    All statements are relative and depend upon the scope of your vision. Rochelle states that this view is myopic. But then she limits her vision to Davis alone. It is this view that I perceive as myopic. If you view Davis as part of our region, we already have one of the largest job generating entities on our border. I am sure that some of our neighboring communities who are truly in greater need of better paying jobs would love it if UCD were located at their border. Compared to most of our neighboring communities, Davis has a number of good paying jobs and certainly has more wealth. 

    I see Davis as having the ability to both provide good paying jobs for the members of our own community, and provide the larger businesses most needed by our neighboring communities. I do not see that we have either the need or the capacity to “hoard” enriching jobs within our own community but rather can be a major contributor to our region while still supporting ourselves.

    The mentality that got us to a place where we don’t have enough revenue to hire the appropriate staff is the same one that is telling us now that we don’t need jobs”

    With this I just disagree. The “mentality” that got us to this place was an overly optimistic assessment of how we should compensate public employees combined with an unforeseen recession. This is not the same as a “mentality” that believes that change is best when it comes gradually allowing time for incorporation of those changes rather than feeding into the boom and bust cycle that we do not seem to be able to break because we cannot see past the build as fast as possible when we can mentality.

    When you have retired people earnestly arguing “we don’t need jobs”—something is broken. This can’t be one of those ‘I got mine’ type of arguments, can it? Please tell me we are better than that?!”

    It might be seen that way. However, it might also be seen as a call to recognize that there are greater needs in the region than just those of Davis. It might also be seen as a call for a more gradual addition of jobs. It might further be seen as the idea of building to what is actually needed here in Davis for the community to prosper as opposed to the idea of enriching certain favored groups that are already well established or drawing endlessly more people who do not already live here, but aspire to, in the hopes of growing ever more since that is clearly the intent of some. But it would seem that some are quite willing to cast the most unfavorable light on something that is mere a different perspective. 

    Finally, as to “please tell me we are better than that !”

    What is clear to me is that some are not above using ageist arguments and trying to divide the community based on perceived economic status. I sincerely doubt that Tim Ruff doesn’t “have his” as much as Alan Pryor “has his”. Does Rochelle believe that the major in town developers and manufacturers who will be the big winners do not already “have theirs” ? Does she believe that building Nishi will mean that those who clean those buildings and provide other basic services will magically get to live in town because we build Nishi or “grow as fast as we can “? 

    I would say that what is very clear is that some in our city are not above very ugly divisive tactics when trying to promote their goals. This is true in lies ( or exaggerations) told and allowed to stand from the No side. It is equally true from the name calling (“old puckered up folks”, retired people who “already have mine”) from the proponents. I think that this is barely acceptable when it comes from anonymous posters on the Vanguard. I think it is completely unacceptable when it comes from one of our cities leaders.

    It makes me ask the question “are we not better than that ?”

    1. nameless

       I do not see that we have either the need or the capacity to “hoard” enriching jobs within our own community but rather can be a major contributor to our region while still supporting ourselves.”

      Who said anything about “hoarding” jobs?  All the City Council is trying to do is promote a diversification of economic development within the city, so that the city is not reliant on just UCD for jobs.

      1. Tia Will

        nameless

        Who said anything about “hoarding” jobs?”

        No one used that word but me. But, when you have people saying that Davis should be trying to keep every smart young graduate who wants a job here as some have opined, this to me, when we have adjacent communities which are much less affluent, amounts to hoarding. Some of these same people are not even willing to consider that there might be an optimal size for Davis that is not “as big as it can be”.

        This is a matter of values. Some favor growth over sustainability. Others favor sustainability over growth. Some see them as one and the same. I happen to fall into the sustainability over growth camp. That does not make me right or wrong. However, creating unnecessary divisions in a community is always wrong and certainly not worthy of a leader and hopefully a model for our youth in a university town.

        1. Rob White

          Tia

          We agree (and sometimes disagree) on many things… But I think you have read Rochelle’s article with some bias of your own. She doesn’t talk about keeping all of the jobs here. She talks about providing job choices suitable for the residents already in Davis. Beyond just the university.

          And we agree on sustainability… Which only supports this jobs point even more. Why are people having to commute long distances (including you) when at least some of these opportunities can be provided right here? I’m not advocating for a 1:1 balance, just support for the efforts already underway and a little space for them to be near campus…. Which is probably one of the most specific type of sustainability actions this community can take.

          I know you support the Nishi Gateway project… I’m also asking that you view the point Rochelle is making from a different perspective than you have so far… I think her point is about providing opportunity for all of the community.

        2. Ron

          Tia:  “I am sure that some of our neighboring communities who are truly in greater need of better paying jobs would love it if UCD were located at their border.”

          Some supporters of Nishi are, in fact, advocating the relocation (to neighboring cities) of existing blue-collar businesses and jobs that currently exist on West Olive Drive.

          One commenter noted that these businesses and jobs may (ultimately) relocate, regardless.  Not sure if this is true, since these businesses don’t show any signs of ceasing operations, on their own.  (I have frequented these businesses, myself.)  In any case, Nishi would cause an immediate relocation to occur, without any solid plans to replace jobs and revenue at Nishi (with white-collar employment).  (Any replacement jobs/businesses would be years off, regardless.)  I’m not sure if this was even considered by the finance and budget committee, or the city council.

          So much for “diversity” of jobs.  Guess we’re on our way to becoming a (completely) white-collar town.  And, if you need a car repaired, or a garden tool repaired/sharpened, we’ll have fewer (and more distant) choices as a result.

    2. Rob White

      Tia

      I would argue quite the opposite… If we think that the research and ideas coming out of the university are truly world changing and make life better for everyone, then we should act on this and provide every opportunity for this research and policy to be developed as quickly as possible.

      That means providing the labs, office space, innovation spaces, incubators, and maker spaces that almost every other global-reach university has sitting at its borders. That means providing the financial, professional, legal and administrative services that are needed to leverage this research for betterment of the planet. Which means we have jobs for the residents that moved to Davis to work at the university, or their spouse did, or they loved their time as a student and moved back to make a go of it, or grew up here… Or whatever the reason!

      Should you have to drive to Sacramento or San Francisco to work just because you are lucky enough to live in Davis? How’s that part of the ‘Davis way’? That’s the antithesis of sustainability.

      As Bob Dunning smartly pointed out in his column a few days ago, everyone arrived in this community at some point. Is it fair to close the door now that ‘I got mine’? And if you favor that approach (which is your right), can’t we at least admit we should provide job opportunities for those that already live here?

      Rochelle touches a nerve only because she asks us to look in the unfiltered mirror… Let’s at least give opportunity for the community to take advantage of what we have going for us already. It’s not ageist, or divisive… It’s reality. Every economic indicator shows we are lopsided in our job offerings and in extreme jeopardy when (not if) the next recession hits.

      1. Tia Will

        Rob

        then we should act on this and provide every opportunity for this research and policy to be developed as quickly as possible.”

        I suspect that age and experience does play a role in our differing views of the role of technology. I have had more years to see and appreciate the potential destructiveness as well as the up side to technology. I lived during the time of the thalidomide and DES survivors. Drugs that held promise destroyed lives.I can remember when a road trip was through clear blue skies on an open road where one rarely encountered another car. Now we have smog and gridlock. I certainly appreciate the positive changes that rapid development of technology has brought.   I have had plenty of time to see the downsides as well. It is from this perspective that I believe that our development should not necessarily be “as quickly as possible” but rather from a slower, more holistic approach with consideration of what we stand to lose as well as what we stand to gain at each step of the way. This is not an argument against change, it is an argument for full consideration of each change before forging ahead.

      2. Ron

        Rob White:  “Should you have to drive to Sacramento or San Francisco to work just because you are lucky enough to live in Davis?”

        Not sure how many times I’ll have to point this out, since it’s consistently ignored by Nishi supporters.  In any case, I suspect that most Davis residents who work in Sacramento commute via subsidized, public transit.  (I did this, and witnessed this, for years.) I also suspect that many (including myself) are completely satisfied with this arrangement.

        1. hpierce

          To be clear, Ron… you believe in and/or advocate for publicly subsidized public transit?

          Actually, I do not disagree with the concept, but have some issues on the %-age of the subsidy, depending on the transit system.  I am a strong supporter of public transit in general… and have frequently used it… AMTRAK, YoloBus, (in Manhattan) subways, buses, trains.

          Looking for clarification, not intended as argumentative…

        2. Ron

          hpierce:  “To be clear, Ron… you believe in and/or advocate for publicly subsidized public transit?”

          I support the concept.  Actually, I understand that most public transit systems are publicly subsidized, before any rider even sets foot in the door.  But some private and public employers go much further, and provide public transit vouchers for their employees.  (I believe that this applies for most public transit commuters to Sacramento.)

          On a related note, I’m not sure if the University does this for their employees.  (In other words, those taking public transit to Davis.)  In any case, public transit commuting to Davis is something that Nishi supporters (also) disregard.

        3. South of Davis

          Ron wrote:

          > I suspect that most Davis residents who work in

          > Sacramento commute via subsidized, public transit. 

          I know that “some” Davis residents that work in Sacramento commute on the bus and train, but I would be surprised if it was “most” (aka more than half).  Have you ever seen any kind of study (like the UCD commute study Don recently posted) that shows this?

          Traffic is almost always bad coming to Davis in the afternoon and I’m guessing that “most” of the people on I80 heading toward Davis are commuters (not Sacramento residents heading to SF for dinner and a play)…

        4. Ron

          SouthofDavis:  “I know that “some” Davis residents that work in Sacramento commute on the bus and train, but I would be surprised if it was “most” (aka more than half).  Have you ever seen any kind of study (like the UCD commute study Don recently posted) that shows this?”

          No – I haven’t.  I can tell you from first-hand observation that it’s substantial.  I understand that most government employees, for example, receive a substantial voucher to encourage the use of public transit.  And, parking is not cheap in Sacramento.

          Of course, others may be commuting beyond Davis (e.g., from Sacramento to Vacaville, etc.).  I suspect that most who live beyond Davis would drive.

          My main point is that (some) supporters of Nishi “conveniently” disregard those who commute out of (or into) Davis, via public transit.

        5. Tia Will

          Ron

          Actually, the issue of public transportation is not uniformly ignored by all supporters of Nishi. Some of us have considered this point and have found it an overall positive of the project. I believe that housing both students and some workers closer to their places of study and work as Nishi does will be beneficial in three ways.

          1. The close proximity may mean that some will be able to adopt a car less lifestyle entirely thus benefiting themselves from both a health and economic point of view and the community as a whole by putting one less car on the road.

          2. Some will be better able to use public transportation due to the presence of a transportation hub within easy walking distance to their home. This was true for my partner when his work was in downtown Sac. He had much easier access to the am train from our home on J street than he had from either Village Homes or North Star.

          3. Looking to the longer range picture, I can see that if enough of our younger people become acclimated to car free living ( my son did not learn to drive nor have much use for auto transportation until he was 24) we may reach a new tipping point at which the majority of people choose to live in car free or limited setting which would be a benefit to all of our health.

           

    3. Frankly

      Tia – Your writing on this subject is a mile wide and an inch deep in assessment for what is needed to sustain the general human condition.  Your vision is largely fanciful and much too contradictory to be believable (for example, you say you want a more car-less and denser city, but then you reject highly dense infill projects because they are too close to your neighborhood.)   I am happy you say you support Nishi; but your writing on the subject consistently indicates that you are doing so under protest and are likely to change your mind at any minute.

      CC Swanson’s commentary here hit the nail on the head.  The fact that she got your goat is evidence that you deserve ownership of what she is inferring.

      You always point out the need for incremental rather than bold change so we don’t upset those that have needs and have grown accustom to the way things are.  Well, the needs and the way things are is that people need jobs and places to live where they have jobs.  The needs and the way things are is that the city needs more rental housing because UCD is growing.  The needs and the way things are is that the city needs more revenue from local business activity.  The needs and way things are is that local business needs more commercial space options.  The needs and the way things are is that we need development to improve the Richards interchange and overpass that is already gridlocked and getting worse with the increase in population from UCD growth.

      You seem to support drastic and untested change caused by force scarcity of the current standards of fulfillment for these needs to change the way things are to the way Tia Will would prefer them to be.

      Again, another contradiction of your position and worthy of the inferences presented by CC Swanson.

      But, at least you are in good company in this town.

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        Thank you for yet another exposition on “what Tia really thinks”. I am sure the Vanguard readership has been enlightened. However, I would like to point out some factual errors of which you could not be expected to be aware since you are actually not in my head.

        The fact that she got your goat is evidence that you deserve ownership of what she is inferring.”

        Wrong. First, I am supporting Nishi. Second, and much more importantly, I dislike rude and divisive comments regardless of the target population. I believe that I have been very clear on this point with regard to multiple issues. I would have disliked her comments just as much had they been aimed at you.

        You seem to support drastic and untested change caused by force scarcity of the current standards of fulfillment for these needs to change the way things are to the way Tia Will would prefer them to be.”

        Wrong. First I do not believe in “forced scarcity” whether it is jobs, housing, or clean air and open space. But I, like many, do not see Davis as a city of scarcity with the current exception of housing which we have discussed on many occasions and which I have stated that I favor more of, especially for those in need.  I do not see most of the developments that are proposed as helping those who actually need help. The Cannery is a prime example. It will be affordable to few but the already affluent.  As for advocacy,  I do not see my advocating for what I prefer as any different from Tim Ruff advocating for what he prefers, or Ramos advocating for what he prefers, or…..even Frankly advocating for what he prefers.

        you say you want a more car-less and denser city, but then you reject highly dense infill projects because they are too close to your neighborhood.) “

        And wrong again. It is true that I do want a more car limited city. It is untrue that I reject highly dense infill projects because they are close to my neighborhood. As you rightly pointed out with regard to the Trackside project, it is not close enough to my home to have a direct impact. And you have chosen to ignore the fact that I do not oppose redevelopment at the Trackside site. I oppose completely ignoring the zoning and design guidelines so as to place in a “transitional zone” a six story building which would have been larger than any existing building in Davis and placed right next to a row of single story homes. I would have been just as likely to oppose this if they had proposed putting it next door to you. For proof, I also opposed the initial, but not the final proposal for Paso Fino. I disapproved The Cannery from the first meeting that I attended all the way through the 3-2 vote. I have gradually come to believe that the merits of Nishi outweigh the downsides.

        There is nothing “grudging” about this. It is simply about the willingness to weigh advantages and disadvantages of every project separately. I am on neither the no growth nor the grow as rapidly as possible bandwagons. It is possible and enlightening to look at any given issue from many different perspectives. You should try it ! And if you like, you may certainly accompany me to the polls to verify that I am not lying !  If would be fun.

         

  2. Barack Palin

    “Let’s try winning and see what it feels like. If we don’t like it, we can go back to our traditions.”

    Not necessarily.  If we pave over our peripheral farm land and end up looking like Elk Grove there’s no going back.

    Just yesterday I was out walking my dog at Nugget Fields and there was a guy out there launching planes and just watching them fly off.  I asked him what they were and he said they were drones that were GPS guided.  I then asked him what they were used for and he replied that they were equipped with cameras and that the company he works for is doing high resolution maps of Davis for developers.

    1. Rob White

      BP

      I’m beginning to think you may have as much of a duality in your thinking as your name suggests!

      Of course we can go backwards. Nothing we build is permanent.

      It’s already happening in Detroit, where whole neighborhoods are being abandoned and removed. And I imagine you have travelled around, and if so, you can probably recount many places that you have seen that were once homesteads, castles, and cities that are now rubble and lost to time.

      People and what we build are not everlasting, even if we feel that way sometimes. In 1 million years, we will likely have been but a blip in Earth’s history… And our ‘magnificence’ will be but ruins to be explored by some other life form, from who knows where.

      1. Tia Will

        Rob

        Well that is certainly the extremely long view. If you look from the perspective of a million years from now, it really does not make one bit of difference what we do today so we might as well quit fighting over growth and go have a beer !

        I suspect that most of us take a more in between perspective. I tend to think of how I would like to see the city 5, 10, 20, 50 years from now. And with those time frames in mind, BP is right. Choosing to develop on agricultural land, or even choosing to build up will certainly affect the experiences that our own children and grandchildren will have. Every development that we choose now to cover the costs of our immediate desires that we choose not to pay for, is a choice that they will not get to make. It is the narrowing of the possibilities for our own children, not future potential lifeforms, that I object to.

    2. Michael Harrington

      Fascinating …. but expected.  So these guys are making very low level, high resolution commercial films of our homes and backyards … ?

    3. Frankly

      BP my conservative brotha from another mutha’ I too am struggling to understand this duality of position that you seem to have.  Do you really think it is in the city’s and local humanity’s best interest to build a farmland moat so you and others retain the benefit of field scenery over all the other benefits we would derive by replacing a percentage of it with development?

      1. Barack Palin

        Frankly, as you know I’m for jobs and I’m for all the business parks.  I’m voting yes on Nishi even though I think the city dropped the ball on the revenue side.  My comments are in response to the quote ““Let’s try winning and see what it feels like. If we don’t like it, we can go back to our traditions.”  We can’t go back once we build on our farmland.  Even though I’m a slow growther I do realize that if the business parks ever get built we most likely will need housing on our periphery.  But there’s no rush and sometimes I feel we’re getting a full court press from those that want to build everything everywhere.

        1. Barack Palin

          BTW, Nishi is going to pass easily.  If people like me and my neighbors that I’ve talked to that are normally against development who are now voting for Nishi I guarantee a victory.

        2. Frankly

          Ok.  Thanks.  I am with you.  I will never support paving over paradise.  But just consider that we already have 5000 acres in and around the city and that 2-1 ag mitigation policy.  We also have Measure R.  I don’t think we need to worry too much.

      2. dlemongello

        Farmland is primarily for growing food , the “scenery” is a bonus, the dust IMO, is not.  I think BP would agree, and will tell us if he does not.

        1. HouseFlipper

          “farmland is primarily for growing food” Round of applause for the most important comment on the Vanguard all week. We absolutely need to consider our farmland with every proposed new development. Paving over our farms is more than a short term mistake.

           

      3. Tia Will

        Frankly

        “….build a farmland moat…”

        Nice turn of the hyperbolic phrase which we see from you with every project that is objected to for whatever reason. Not really any different than calling every new development “urban sprawl”. Do you truly lack a concept of pros and cons ?  Or do you just like to write this way ?

         

        1. Frankly

          Are you familiar with the plans for an urban boundary around Davis?  That is not hyperbolic since it is actually written down as an actual goal.   Of course it is not a real moat, but it serves the same purpose to prevent unwanted people from coming in.

          I absolutely see things in pros and cons.  The pro of using the term “farmland moat” is that it is a useful counter weight to those that tend to throw around the term “sprawl” with wild abandon.  The con is that there even needs to be a counterweight.  Ideally everyone would just be reasonable so we can all demand reasonable language.

          1. Don Shor

            We’ve had this conversation before. An urban limit line is not “to prevent unwanted people from coming in.” It is a sound planning tool that reflects a community consensus about where you grow and where you don’t. It formalizes the goals of conserving farmland, preserving wildlife habitat, and keeping open space between cities. It can also clarify where development can occur. It isn’t even a slow-growth concept. Woodland has an urban limit line, and nobody would accuse Woodland of being a slow-growth city.

  3. Misanthrop

    “I see Davis as having the ability to both provide good paying jobs for the members of our own community, and provide the larger businesses most needed by our neighboring communities.”

    Like that innovation center that was proposed by highway 113 in Davis that is now going to get built in Woodland. Problem is that sharing too much of the largess won’t solve the personnel budget shortfall or the declining infrastructure needs of the city. Or the on campus housing that won’t add to the city coffers. Or the Schilling FMC factory that will be built in West Sac. Hopefully Schilling will still support our world champion high school robotics team instead of West Sac’s. Or Monsanto’s move to Woodland because they are not feeding the world with organic food and too many people object. Or Agriquest moving to vacant facilities in West Sac ready for a growing company with growing revenue. Or Annie’s Organic not even considering Davis for any part of its business even though the guy who built the company lives here. Or Genentech building a huge production facility in Vacaville because Davis didn’t try hard enough to get them to come here and where plenty of highly skilled Davisites drive to work everyday.

    Davis’ problem is not outsourcing our intellectual capital. Our problem is figuring out how to retain some of it to generate enough economic activity to support a community that is healthy, wealthy and wise.

  4. Tia Will

    Misanthrop

    Like that innovation center that was proposed by highway 113 in Davis that is now going to get built in Woodland. ”

    Precisely !  And I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically. Which community do you suppose actually needs that development more ?

    Hopefully Schilling will still support our world champion high school robotics team instead of West Sac’s”

    Why?  Do you believe that high school student’s in West Sac are less worthy of support for their robotics team?

    To me, this is the height of the “we have ours so let everyone else fend for themselves” point of view that Rochelle seems to abhor……but only within our little city. When it comes to “beating out the competition” of surrounding cities, she and many rapid growthers here seem to think it is just fine.

    As for paying for what we want, you all know by now that my point of view is that if we want it, we should be willing to pay for it, not push it off to our children either directly or indirectly by taking away their future choices on how best to develop the city.

    1. Barack Palin

      Precisely !  And I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically. Which community do you suppose actually needs that development more ?

      Does Woodland have an unfunded $655,000,000 backlog to fill like we do here in Davis?

      1. Tia Will

        Rob

        She doesn’t talk about keeping all of the jobs here.” 

        She has made the statement “grow as fast as we can”. And more importantly because I recognize that this is a sound bite which could as easily have been used out of context as she used Alan’s statement, she has backed it up consistently through all of her votes. Can you name a single vote of Rochelle’s that has not been in favor of more growth regardless of the relative merits of the project ?

        Should you have to drive to Sacramento or San Francisco to work just because you are lucky enough to live in Davis? How’s that part of the ‘Davis way’? That’s the antithesis of sustainability.”

        True. But then I would direct you to another of my questions. Do we believe that building Nishi will somehow magically provide housing in Davis for all of the service personnel and those who get jobs, but not the “good jobs” ?  Who is more able to afford the commute, those of us who are already affluent, or those who are not ?  Those of us who would have very strong job prospects elsewhere and then move back when we earned enough….or those who will never have such strong prospects. For me this is yet another time when we are choosing, as a city, to benefit those who are already affluent at the cost of those who are not. Or maybe you believe that you know where all of these less affluent individuals will live locally when we are already displacing them in favor of the more wealthy ?

         

         

        1. Ron

          Tia:  “Or maybe you believe that you know where all of these less affluent individuals will live locally when we are already displacing them in favor of the more wealthy?”

          I assume that you’re referring to individuals such as “Odin”  🙂

          I realize that you believe that those on East Olive Drive will likely be displaced, anyway.  (I would think that this includes some non-wealthy students.) But, Nishi will “hurry” that trend along, to say the least.

          Perhaps gentrification will benefit the “haves”, regardless. (This particular comment is not directed to you.)

           

        2. Matt Williams

          Ron, my suspicions are that the speed of the redevelopment/gentrification of East Olive Drive will have a direct relationship to the city’s aggregate housing supply/demand equation.  If my suspicion is correct then a Nishi rejection is likely to speed that redevelopment/gentrification even more than a Nishi approval.  That is usually how the supply/demand curve works.

        3. Ron

          Matt:

          I don’t think that Nishi will do much (if anything) to change the supply/demand curve. If Davis was an island (with no access to the “outside world”), perhaps you could make such an argument.

          I suspect that the (overall/larger) market demand for housing in Davis is fluid and unknown, to some degree.  (I’m not just talking about the increase in students, which will be largely addressed by the University.)

          I don’t believe the argument that if you build “X” number of units, demand will be reduced/satisfied by “X” amount.

          (I may not be able to respond much more for awhile, today.)

        4. Matt Williams

          Ron, the current number of residential units in Davis is approximately 25,000 (15,000 SFRs and 10,000 apartment units).  An incremental 650 units will add 2.6% to the total housing stock and 6.5% to the apartment stock.

          You are absolutely right when you say “I suspect that the (overall/larger) market demand for housing in Davis is fluid and unknown, to some degree” and that market demand for housing is the numerator of the supply/demand curve in both the with-Nishi and without-Nishi calculations … and dividing that specific demand number in the numerator of the ratio by a smaller supply number in the denominator of the ratio is going to produce a higher supply/demand ratio calculation.  That higher supply/demand ratio means a developer is looking at higher prices and greater return on their investment.  You need go no farther than Cannery to see that in action.  New Home Company projected approximately $325 per square foot as a selling price at the time the Development Agreement was signed.  Reportedly (and I have not confirmed those reports) they are actually selling their units for in excess of $400 per square foot.

      2. Tia Will

        BP

        Does Woodland have an unfunded $655,000,000 backlog to fill like we do here in Davis?”

        I do not know the answer to your question and was unable to get the answer on a quick Google search. I see this as one parameter to look at. But there are certainly others one could assess.

        Woodland median house sales price over the past 3 months – $ 535,000 or $196/square foot. Davis median house sales price same time interval – $535,000 or $ 335/square foot.

        Woodland – Family Median Income $55, 139

        Davis -Family Median Income $ 108,058

        So seen in this light, which community do you think might need better paying jobs the most? A few drives through Woodland will tell you that they also have a parks and road repair deficit. I don’t know how much is due to lack of money and how much is other priorities, but because I am a frequent visitor there, I am aware that their infrastructure is not in tip/top shape either.

         

  5. Jim Gray

    Dear Tia:

    With regards to the content of the post “Nishi will provide jobs”, I believe that in balance it makes a number of important points.  It emphasizes that we need more job opportunities in Davis. It makes it clear that relying on just one institution – such as UCD—or one industry Higher Education and the California Budget Process makes our local economy vulnerable.

    Clearly in many ways we are a “company town”.  We are fortunate that the University is such a strong institution of education, research, and public service.  We have multiple colleges, professional schools and growing research funds.  But it is vulnerable to the ebbs and flows of tax support and could be increasingly impacted as the costs of tuition and room and board grow ever more expensive to California’s and the World’s students seeking a great education.

    If you look at the Top 10 Employers in Davis you will see that UCD, City Government, County Government, School District, and publicly funded institutions make up the majority of our employment.   I believe that we would be a healthier community if the number of private sector companies could grow, flourish, and provide better diversification and additional jobs.

    With regards to Tia’s perspective that we need to view Davis in light of the regional setting I believe that she is absolutely right.  Within the region UCD and in a number of ways the City of Davis are two of the “crown jewels”.  We have much to be proud of and the intellectual capital and the trained minds help to fuel the region.  I  know that Swanson realizes and supports broader regional thinking.

    As someone who is nearing the age of eligibility for Social Security I think that it is important to note that those of us who are “growing older” — which is a natural biological process and better than the alternative –can be supportive of growth, change, opportunity.  We don’t have to “pull up the drawbridge”.  As I talk to my neighbors and others in my cohort many of us are voting for Nishi and for the Innovation District and the additional student housing.
     
    It is also worth noting that Davis was once known as a great place for young families to buy a home and to raise their children and like today we were attracted to great schools and a high quality of life.  In 1980, when my wife and  I bought our house on Alice Street near Holmes Junior High School, almost 30 % of the homeowners in Davis were under 35. By 2013, according to Census Data, that number had fallen to 4%.
    It is true that as a community we are getting “grayer” and it is also true that many young people find it harder to share in the values and attributes and  opportunities that make Davis so great.

    Finally, with regards to Tia’s admonition that the civil discourse should be more balanced and with less name calling.

    I would say that what is very clear is that some in our city are not above very ugly divisive tactics when trying to promote their goals. This is true in lies ( or exaggerations) told and allowed to stand from the No side. It is equally true from the name calling (“old puckered up folks”, retired people who “already have mine”) from the proponents. I think that this is barely acceptable when it comes from anonymous posters on the Vanguard. I think it is completely unacceptable when it comes from one of our cities leaders.

    It makes me ask the question “are we not better than that ?”

    I think Tia is right that the discourse could be more civil with less name calling.  I want to apologize for an earlier inflammatory post in which I characterized an opponent as grumpy and selfish.  Going forward I will try to set a more positive example and try to listen and understand the concerns of the Measure A opponents.   That said I hope that we can legitimately disagree and find a way to provide greater opportunities while working to mitigate our environmental and community impacts.  There is no need to be afraid of change we can plan for change that will make us better and a healthier community.

     As I see it that is what Measure A is seeking to accomplish. Rochelle’s post is right on and Tia’s request for more civil discourse is too!

    1. Alan Pryor

      I would say that what is very clear is that some in our city are not above very ugly divisive tactics when trying to promote their goals. This is true in lies ( or exaggerations) told and allowed to stand from the No side (emphasis added)…..Going forward I will try to set a more positive example and try to listen and understand the concerns of the Measure A opponents.

      Hey, way to start out the new civil discourse. Insult No on Nishi supporters then say you’re going to try to play nice in the future.

      1. Jim Gray

        I would say that what is very clear is that some in our city are not above very ugly divisive tactics when trying to promote their goals.This is true in lies ( or exaggerations) told and allowed to stand from the No side (emphasis added) That portion was from Tia…

         

        …..Going forward I will try to set a more positive example and try to listen and understand the concerns of the Measure A opponents. That portion is from me.  

        I will try to be a better listener and make every effort to respond with facts and my personal opinion and leave out most of the disparaging remarks or questioning of motives.

        Agreeing to disagree and recognizing that there are alternative world views on what is best for the future of our city will be a better course that the alternative of name calling and disparaging character.

    2. South of Davis

      Jim wrote:

      > In 1980, when my wife and  I bought our house on Alice Street

      > near Holmes Junior High School, almost 30 % of the homeowners

      > in Davis were under 35. By 2013, according to Census Data, that

      > number had fallen to 4%.

      Back in 2013 the Median proced home in Davis (according to Zillow) was $476K, today it is $594K (making it ever harder for people under 35 to buy a home).

      Maybe the No on A folks don’t care at all than the value of their home(s) keeps going higher, but all my friends and neighbors voting No on A tell me it is to keep the supply of housing low and push values even higher.

      P.S. Many of these same friends and neighbors have refinanced twice since 2012 and really want values to stay high since they are mortgaged to the hilt (Sometimes I think about replacing my 20+ year old car with a new Tesla or BMW that I could easily get with a HELOC, but in the end I always remember what a stupid financial decision it is to borrow money to buy a car)…

  6. Frankly

    “old puckered up folks”

    I take responsibility for that.  It was tactical… to provide a vision of what others might be visualizing of the typical Nishi opponent.  It is also a tool I use to regulate myself as I demonstrate a puckered up old person at times.

    One of my friends called me this after telling him about a time when I was working in my front yard and a college student living in the house across the street was working on his car in the driveway while playing “Beastie Boys” rap loudly on his car stereo.  I got irritated and walked across the street and angrily demanded that he turn down “that crap”.  The kid did so and then very politely said he was sorry.  I felt like crap.  He was nice and polite and I was a puckered up old person.  And one that not too long before was playing rock and roll in my band and having to deal with neighbors complaining about it when we would practice in our (mostly soundproofed ) garage.

    The point I was trying to make is that young people are irritating to us older people.   But they deserve our support and respect.  They need housing.  They need updated roads and safer bike and pedestrian pathways.  They need good jobs. They need a city that lives within it’s budget means.  These are things that we had and took for granted.

    I need to constantly consider the things that irritate me in my old age to asses if I am justified or just puckering up.

    But I do apologize to anyone that found this offensive.

    1. South of Davis

      Frankly wrote:

      > a college student living in the house across the street was

      > working on his car in the driveway while playing “Beastie Boys”

      > rap loudly on his car stereo.  I got irritated and walked across the

      > street and angrily demanded that he turn down “that crap”.

      > The kid did so and then very politely said he was sorry.

      I would have expected him to “fight for his right to party”…

      P.S. I heard on the radio that one of the Beastie Boys (who was a little younger than me and Frankly) died last week…

    2. Tia Will

      Frankly

      The point I was trying to make is that young people are irritating to us older people.”

      I appreciate your explanation and more conciliatory tone. However, I also wish that you would choose to speak for yourself. I am significantly older than you are and I do not find young people irritating. I chose to live on a street with a mix of ages. We have three housing cooperatives and two apartments that largely cater to university aged folks, and I knew this when I chose to buy. We also have a family with young children, a couple older than my partner and myself and a bunch of people in between. Some of us just plain like variety.

      1. Frankly

        I don’t think you are “significantly older than me”, but let’s assume you are more experienced in years… of course I am generalizing in my comments.  I think many position you hold are unique… I would never say that you are typical in your age demographic.  However, your slow-growth attitudes align with many that I see as being somewhat grumpy old stasis types.  You saw them come out of their dark rooms when they thought they could shut down the nightclub scene downtown.

        My point was/is that my impulses are the same.  I am easily irritated by youthful behavior.  Hell, I was irritated by it when I was younger too.  But I admonish myself frequently for it and work on my attitude.

        I believe we can all change our negative attitudes.  For example, I live adjacent to a preschool.  At one point I was completely irritated with all the screaming kids playing outside.   Then at a friends house one evening, his neighbor’s kids were playing in the back yard next door and he said “I love the sound of children playing.”   That was all it took for me.  I went home and changed my attitude to actually like it when those preschool kids are playing outside.   What used to be irritating is now comforting to me… just by changing how I reflected on it.

        That is my general reason for the “puckered up” label.   I think if people could actually reflect on how they appear to others in opposition to some things and their reasons why, they might un-pucker and find a positive way to support those things.

        Frankly, (because I am) there are few things that I can oppose if they will help young people achieve a better life.

  7. Doby Fleeman

    Rochelle,

    Great job of summarizing the view from the dais – a view in which must necessarily attempt to balance the overall needs of the community.   While many of us tend to gloss over, or simply overlook, the aspect of “how do we pay for all our roads, our parks and social programs”, you as a Councilmember do not have such luxury.

    Tia has often repeated her willingness to pay higher taxes to maintain the high quality of life in our community – and, no doubt, that will be a very interesting conversation for the incoming council.

    Along these lines, what has continued to frustrate me is the seeming unwillingness of many to address the “structural revenue problem” that has arisen in Davis.    As Jim points out, all of our major employers are government or non-profit entities.  What he fails to add, however, is that none of them contribute towards the city’s commercial property tax base  –  as if that isn’t an important distinction.   On the regional issue, I understand both your points that “the university” is a regional resource, but the fact of the matter is that a Bayer located in West Sacramento isn’t doing a thing to directly support our municipal operating budget in Davis.  And, location matters due to the vagaries of our taxation models.

    Point is:  Davis has a huge structural deficit in this category of commercial-property-tax- paying private sector employers – and their employees – particularly those affording well paying job opportunities.

    Tia, the same issue holds true when we talk about Woodland and the potential for a new Innovation Center in their community.    It seems you would ignore the fiscal equation.   Woodland has constructed a much more diversified economic model, reflecting  a growing base of commercial Ag-Tech employers as well as a dominant collection of commercial properties dedicated to retail sales tax generation – the lifeblood of municipal finance.

    Make no mistake, these strategies result in very different revenue generating models for our neighboring communities – essential revenues without which their municipal services would be further pressed.

    Bottom line, whatever one’s thoughts and feelings about better prospects for well-paying next-generation jobs,  our City Council members must still contend with the fiscal challenges of a local economy that is fundamentally out-of-balance with respect to the number and size of employers who would otherwise be helping to carry the load.

    I would conclude by observing that but for the sustained growth of this community between 1960 and 2000 – there are many here among us who would not have found the opportunity or a pathway to pursue their career of choice in a community of their choosing.   I believe this is a worthwhile perspective to keep in mind as we discuss the future direction for our community.

    1. Tia Will

      Doby,

      It seems you would ignore the fiscal equation.   Woodland has constructed a much more diversified economic model, reflecting  a growing base of commercial Ag-Tech employers as well as a dominant collection of commercial properties dedicated to retail sales tax generation – the lifeblood of municipal finance”

      I appreciate most of your comments. I do object to this one. I do not ignore the fiscal equation. I just see the cause and effect from a somewhat different perspective. I agree that Woodland has created a more diverse base. Realistically, they had to. They do not have the university. That is an advantage that Davis retains that the remainder of the region has not shared proportionally until recently. Also, I have often stated not only my willingness to pay more in taxes, but also my appreciation of the need for some diversification ( although not as much as some would like) and some wiser fiscal decision making on the part of our leaders ( which I think that we have been seeing).

  8. Ron

    I’ve brought this up in the past, to no avail.

    Is no one examining the possibility of revenue-sharing, between cities/within the region?  I’m sure there’d be a lot of resistance to such an idea, but I’ve heard that it works elsewhere.  (I recall that someone posted the location, on the Vanguard.)  I suppose that this would be too much to ask, of our leaders.

    The alternative – endless competition, in a race-to-the-bottom (to see which city can “bend over backwards” the farthest, in the form of incentives to benefit businesses that don’t necessarily need it).

    And again, Nishi is primarily a housing development, which was allowed to bypass affordable housing requirements.  Take away that, and you wouldn’t even have a proposal.  (Just look at what happened with MRIC, which was in a more accessible location.)

    In any case, traffic/accessibility remains my primary concern with Nishi. (1,732 parking spaces for Nishi itself, unplanned and unapproved additional motor vehicle access to the University, access to Olive Drive/Richards.)

     

    1. Frankly

      I think revenue sharing between cities is a great idea, but look how difficult it was to even share fire safety services with UCD.

      Are you really going to be happy blending services with another city that probably will not share your Davis values?

      If this was easy then why is the EU unraveling?

        1. Mark West

          You and Tia share a desire to change society as part of your solutions to addressing our fiscal problems.  You want revenue sharing between cities, and she wants less materialism and a car-less society. I do not opposed those efforts, but they will take considerable time and effort with no certainty of success, and therefore should not be used as an excuse for our failure to address our acute fiscal problems. Work to change society all you want, but we still have to pay the bills today and not wait for some time in the future when it is more convenient.

          We need solutions that will work in today’s reality, today.

        2. Ron

          Mark:

          You make some reasonable points.

          Of course, any (possible?) financial contribution from Nishi is also years away, as well.  (I’m also not sure that any contribution from Nishi is as certain as some believe.)

          In the meantime, I understand that the city would have to contribute some more immediate funding for infrastructure to support Nishi, as well.

           

        3. South of Davis

          Ron wrote:

          > Agreed – not easy, but probably worth it

          > (in the long run).

          Have you written any of the neighboring cities and asked if they will “share” some of their revenue with Davis?

          I have heard that Woodland has agreed to “share” the MRAP with Davis, maybe next time we borrow it we can ask if they will also “share” some revenue.

        4. Frankly

          Developing the local economy to increase our tax base has no significant roadblocks to overcome other than opposition to change from local residents.

          Service sharing and general expense reduction through greater efficiency and compensation reductions has tremendous roadblocks due to the political realities, and the legal impediments previously installed to prevent this very thing.

          You cannot use the second one as an equal alternative solution to economic development because it isn’t done.  There are really no useful examples of it being done… yet.

          If you want Davis to be a trend-setter, then you need to be one of the leading people to spearhead it.

          Otherwise it is almost like advocating the planting of money trees to solve our budget problems.

        5. Ron

          South of Davis:  “Have you written any of the neighboring cities and asked if they will “share” some of their revenue with Davis?”

          Your question points to the difficulty of implementing this idea (short of requiring it).  Perhaps one “bargaining chip” is an agreement to NOT build a particular development in Davis, if revenue is shared.  From the perspective of the adjacent (host) community, this would reduce “cannibalization” from nearby (competing) developments, while ensuring local jobs for the host community. (Reducing cannibalization might also help ensure the viability of a particular development.)

          I can’t think of any other bargaining chip, at the moment.  (Perhaps at some point, I’ll find out how it was implemented, elsewhere.)

        6. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “In the meantime, I understand that the city would have to contribute some more immediate funding for infrastructure to support Nishi, as well.”

          Ron, can you expand on the above comment?  All the information shared with the Finance and Budget Commission indicated that there was no need for immediate funding from the City for infrastructure to support Nishi.  In fact there was a specific friendly amendment put forward by Ray Solomon and approved by a Commission vote that all the infrastructure would be paid for by the developer, not the City.

          The spreadsheet numbers in the graphic below line out the infrastructure expenditures (as well as the City’s one-time revenues).

          Can you help me?

          https://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Nishi-Infrastructure-Totals.jpg

           

           

        7. Ron

          Matt:  “Ron, can you expand on the above comment?  All the information shared with the Finance and Budget Commission indicated that there was no need for immediate funding from the City for infrastructure to support Nishi.”

          Can you explain the (almost) $2 million “fee credit” for the Richards/Olive intersection, and how this works?  (My apologies if you’ve already explained this.)

          I really have to sign off for awhile.  I’ll look at your response later today.

        8. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Can you explain the (almost) $2 million “fee credit” for the Richards/Olive intersection, and how this works?”

          Ron, Exhibit I Paragraph 3 on pages 48 and 49 of the Development Agreement (see LINK) specifically identifies three transportation infrastructure items (highlighted in bold in the quoted text below.

          Based upon the current adopted Capital Improvement Program, the Project is estimated to generate $4,775,462 in roadway impact fees […] City anticipates that three million dollars ($3,000,000) of the Roadway Impact Fees will be used for the Richards Boulevard Interchange. […] The Project shall be entitled to fee credits for construction of the Olive Drive and Richards Boulevard Intersection improvements and the bridge over the Putah Creek Parkway, but only to the extent that these fee credits do not reduce the total Roadway Impact Fee payment to less than the three million dollars ($3,000,000) identified above.  This credit will be applied to Roadway Impact Fees due after three million dollars in Roadway Development Impact Fees has been collected from the Project.

          My reading of those words are that the $3 million is Nishi’s fair share of the I-80 Interchange (30% of the funding and 30% of the contributed impact, with the remaining 70% of the funding and impact coming from the Hotel/Conference Center and prior South Davis developments like Interland and Oak Shade and others).  The next $2 million Nishi’s developers are spending is a contribution to the currently under way changes to the Richards/Olive intersection to deal with the existing problems.  They are getting a $1.7 million to $1.9 million fee credit for that contribution.  The next $2 million is for the Putah Creek Parkway bridge between Nishi and West Olive Drive.  They are getting no fee credit for that contribution.

        9. Ron

          Matt:  “The next $2 million Nishi’s developers are spending is a contribution to the currently under way changes to the Richards/Olive intersection to deal with the existing problems.  They are getting a $1.7 million to $1.9 million fee credit for that contribution.”

          Can you expand upon this?   What does this mean, and how does it work?  Also, are you stating that the Nishi developers are already contributing these funds (“under way changes”), before the development has even been voted on?  (That seems unlikely, so I’m guessing that it’s not the case.)

          Why would any of this depend upon “your reading” of the statement, as you’ve put it?  Didn’t the finance and budget committee decipher this, previously?

        10. Ron

          Why would any of this depend upon “your reading” of the statement, as you’ve put it?  Didn’t the finance and budget committee decipher this, previously?

          From reading the text that you provided, it seems that the developers would receive approximately $1.8 million credit for improvements to Richards/Olive, and for the bridge that’s only needed as a result as a result of the development.

          Since the project was expected/estimated to generate approximately $4.8 million in roadway impact fees, what is the reason for “excusing” $1.8 million of those fees?  (More importantly, what is the effect of that reduction, and how is it accounted for?  In other words, what roadway improvements or funds will be reduced as a result?)

          Also (from your statement), it seems that the city does not have all of the remaining (70%) of the funds needed for the interchange improvement, since part of this depends on the unbuilt hotel/conference center.

          Does my understanding seem correct, to you?  (I’m honestly not trying to confuse the issue.)

           

           

        11. Ron

          Matt:

          Now that I think about it, the city also does not have the 30% of funds from Nishi that would be needed for interchange improvements.  (At what point would these funds be collected?)

          (Also, please see my questions above, regarding the remaining 70% of funds needed for the interchange – which partially depend upon the unbuilt hotel/conference center, and the “excusing” of $1.8 million in roadway impact fees for Nishi.)

          Since these funds have not been collected, how would the interchange improvements proceed?

          I think I’m just now starting to understand all of this.

        12. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Now that I think about it, the city also does not have the 30% of funds from Nishi that would be needed for interchange improvements.  (At what point would these funds be collected?)”

          Ron as I noted in a Friday response to Eileen:

          The point that Eileen makes is one that caused me to do some research over the past two weeks trying to uncover factual information rather than anecdotal opinion.  Here is what I found to be true.

          The fund containing the Development Roadway Impact Fees will have an unreserved fund balance of approximately $9,814,566 as of June 30, 2016.  The proposed FY 16/17 Budget includes roadway capital projects that are anticipate a reduction of that unreserved fund balance to $7,828,742 at the end of the Fiscal Year on June 30, 2017.

          In addition to those known balances, the Hotel/Convention Center (if it ever happens) is projected to contribute an incremental $2,000,000 to the unreserved fund balance.

          That means the City has $12,814,566 including the Nishi $3 million, and approximately $14,814,566 including the Hotel/Conference Center $2 million.  Given the estimated costs of $10 million for the project there is more than enough money in the reserves coffers.

          Regarding Nishi’s $2 million contribution to the Richards/Olive intersection improvements, for which construction has already begun, the problems exist regardless of the presence of Nishi, So their contribution to fixing those problems was optional.  The fact that they chose to contribute to the cost of fixing someoneelse’s problem is probably why they got the credits.  In essence the message from the City was “Thank you for the down payment, we will credit it to your account.”  Nishi got no such message for the Putah Creek Parkway Bridge expenditures because the need for that piece of infrastructure was 100% due to Nishi.

           

        13. Ron

          Matt:

          A discussion regarding the amounts in the reserve fund (or expected to be in the reserve fund) doesn’t really answer most of my questions (in my 8:06 and 8:22 postings, above).  (If you have the time/interest, please respond to those specific questions.)

        14. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “A discussion regarding the amounts in the reserve fund (or expected to be in the reserve fund) doesn’t really answer most of my questions (in my 8:06 and 8:22 postings, above).”

          Ron, here goes …

          At 8:06 pm Ron said . . . “Why would any of this depend upon “your reading” of the statement, as you’ve put it?  Didn’t the finance and budget committee decipher this, previously?”

          The FBC did not decipher the final language of Exhibit I of the Development Agreement.  That is why I started my comment with the disclaimer words, “My reading of those words …”

          At 8:06 pm Ron said . . .  “From reading the text that you provided, it seems that the developers would receive approximately $1.8 million credit for improvements to Richards/Olive, and for the bridge that’s only needed as a result as a result of the development.”

          According to the information I have seen, the Nishi developers are spending a total of $4.0 million on the Richards/Olive intersection improvements and the Putah Creek Parkway bridge.  The intersection improvements ($2 million of the $4) are needed due to the current non-Nishi volumes of traffic on Richards.  The bridge construction (the other $2 million of the $4) is needed solely because of the Nishi project, and won’t happen unless the project is approved.  The language describing the credit is not specific about which part of the $4 million it applies to.  My (somewhat) logical mind says that earning a credit for a contribution toward solving a problem you haven’t helped create (the intersection) makes much more sense than earning a credit for a contribution toward solving a problem that you are solely responsible for creating (the bridge).

          At 8:06 pm Ron said . . .  “Since the project was expected/estimated to generate approximately $4.8 million in roadway impact fees, what is the reason for “excusing” $1.8 million of those fees?  (More importantly, what is the effect of that reduction, and how is it accounted for?  In other words, what roadway improvements or funds will be reduced as a result?)”

          Give or take a few dollars the $4.8 million is correct.  The Nishi project will actually contribute $7 million, of which the City has chosen to direct $3 million toward the I-80 Interchange, $2 million toward the Russell/Olive intersection and $2 million toward the bridge.  As best as I can see, no roadway improvements or funds will be reduced as a result of that decision by the City.

          At 8:06 pm Ron said . . .  “Also (from your statement), it seems that the city does not have all of the remaining (70%) of the funds needed for the interchange improvement, since part of this depends on the unbuilt hotel/conference center.”

          At 8:22 pm Ron said . . .  “Now that I think about it, the city also does not have the 30% of funds from Nishi that would be needed for interchange improvements.  (At what point would these funds be collected?)

          (Also, please see my questions above, regarding the remaining 70% of funds needed for the interchange – which partially depend upon the unbuilt hotel/conference center, and the “excusing” of $1.8 million in roadway impact fees for Nishi.)

          Since these funds have not been collected, how would the interchange improvements proceed?”

          The answer to all the components of this question are answered Here

           

    2. The Pugilist

      Revenue sharing has been brought up multiple times over the past six to seven years.  Given the alternative of cuts and layoffs, you would have thought if the idea were viable, it would have gained footing,  But revenue sharing is complicated even in a straightforward situation like UC-COD Fire.

      1. Jim Frame

        For what it’s worth, there’s been some state-mandated revenue sharing between communities in place for years in the form of the automobile sales tax.  If you live in Woodland and buy a car in Davis, some of the sales tax goes to the City of Woodland.  Or so I understand.

        1. Jim Frame

          It looks like my understanding was flawed:  the sharing arrangements are by agreement, not by state mandate.  Or so I now understand.  🙂

          1. Don Shor

            We do have a revenue sharing agreement with the county in the pass-through agreement, but that resulted from a rather coercive situation.

        2. South of Davis

          Jim wrote:

          >  the sharing arrangements are by agreement, not by state mandate.

          I know that when you buy a new car you pay sales tax based on where you “live” and/or where the car will “be garaged” so if you drive down to Davis from Trinity County you only pay 7.5% sales tax when you buy a car from University Honda (not the 8.5%those of us that live in Davis pay).

    3. Matt Williams

       
      Ron said . . . Just look at what happened with MRIC, which was in a more accessible location.”
       
      Ron, I respectfully disagree.  Given the source of the vast majority of the incremental housing demand that has been added to Davis in the last five years, MRIC was infinitely less accessible for each individual housing consumer in that incremental demand cohort.  Demand is very location sensitive, and MRIC’s remoteness to the UCD campus when compared with Nishi makes it much, much less accessible.
       

      1. Ron

        “Matt:  Ron, I respectfully disagree.”

        I think you’ve separated my comment from the main point I was making (above).  My point was that if the housing component was “removed” from Nishi, I don’t think you’d even have a proposal from the developer.  (Nishi is primarily a housing development. Commercial development is not the “driving factor” behind Nishi.)

        1. Matt Williams

          I agree Ron, I did separate your quoted text from the rest of your comment.  Nothing in the rest of your comment gave any credence to your assessment that MRIC “was in a more accessible location” than Nishi is.

          With that said, the rest of your comment does bring up interesting points.

           

        2. Ron

          Matt:  “Nothing in the rest of your comment gave any credence to your assessment that MRIC “was in a more accessible location” than Nishi is.”

          I’m confused by your statement.  The MRIC site does not have nearly as many concerns regarding access (compared to Nishi).  Are you saying that this isn’t true?

          MRIC was a commercial-only proposal.  And yet, it was withdrawn.

          If the Nishi site was limited to commercial development only, the developer would likely not be pursuing it.  Nishi is primarily a housing development.  That’s what makes it worthwhile (profitable) to pursue, for a developer.

        3. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “The MRIC site does not have nearly as many concerns regarding access (compared to Nishi).  Are you saying that this isn’t true”

          Yes, I am saying that that absolutely isn’t true.  The daily activities of the human beings who reside onsite at Nishi are going to be in the highest category of accessibility … walking and bicycling to and from their university and/or downtown destination(s).  The daily activities of the human beings who work onsite at Nishi are going to be at a somewhat lower category of accessibility … a mix of walking and driving to their place of work.

          Compare that to the accessibility of all the human beings who work onsite at MRIC … 100% automobile travel from external locations, many of which will be remote locations.

          There is a very simple, straightforward measurement of accessibility … VMTs.  MRIC will have considerably higher VMTs per person than Nishi will have.

          In addition, as I noted in my prior comment, MRIC is significantly more remote from the source of Davis’ multi-family housing demand … UCD.

          Bottom-line, Nishi is significantly more accessible than MRIC is.

           

        4. Ron

          Matt:  “Bottom-line, Nishi is significantly more accessible than MRIC is.”

          Well, that’s certainly an interesting way to look at it, given that Nishi’s primary access point is via an already-impacted intersection, at the primary entrance to the city. (Unlike the MRIC site.)

          Hope you remember the VMTs that you mentioned, when you’re sitting in the daily traffic jams caused by adding 1,732 parking spaces at Nishi itself, and additional unplanned motor vehicle access to the University.  (All going through Richards/Olive.)

        5. Matt Williams

          What you are overlooking Ron is that virtually all the residents of the apartments and a substantial portion of the residents of the condominiums will, as part of their weekday activities will never get into a car … they will walk or ride a bicycle to and from their destination.

          Your point about the 1,732 parking spaces merits further investigation.  So I pulled up the EIR documents and dug into it.  Here’s what I found.

          Using the proportions from Table 3-1 of the Draft EIR segments the 1,732 parking spaces as follows: 737 parking spaces for the 440 multi-family units, 293 parking spaces for the 210 condomiums, and 762 parking spaces for the R&D businesses.

          So, at full capacity that means 762 trips into Nishi in the weekday mornings and 762 trips out in the weekday evenings from the R&D.  Perhaps, 100 trips into Nishi in the weekday mornings and 100 trips out in the weekday evenings from the condominiums.  And lower than 100 trips into Nishi in the weekday mornings and lower than 100 trips out in the weekday evenings from the apartments.

          Although it is not an accessibility issue, it is worth noting that the people who will be driving through Nishi in order to get to the campus, are currently driving through the Richards Tunnel.

          JMHO

           

           

        6. Ron

          Matt:

          It really seems that you’re disregarding the (uniquely) impacted intersection (Olive/Richards) and feeder streets at Nishi, which doesn’t exist at any other site.  Also, there may be a significant “outgoing” commute (and/or other travel via motor vehicle) by those living at Nishi, but not necessarily traveling to the University.  (For example, by family members living in the multi-family units, bringing kids to school, working at other places, etc.) Any “guess” is just that.

          Also, there’s no study, plans to route traffic or provide parking, or approvals regarding the increased motor vehicle access to the University (for those commuting in, from other areas).  This is a significant unknown.  Providing increased motor vehicle access may very well increase (facilitate) motor vehicle commuting, from other areas.  (At an already-impacted intersection.)

          I think we’ve beat this subject to death, at this point.  (It’s still difficult for me to believe that you’re arguing that Nishi has fewer access concerns, compared to other sites.) In any case, if you have time and interest, would you take a look at my follow-up questions, regarding the finances connected to road improvements required for Nishi (above)?  I’ll look at your answer tomorrow.

        7. Ron

          Matt:

          Also, people living at Nishi will drive out for purposes other than commuting. If their activities were limited to walking to the University or downtown, the parking spaces for those living at Nishi would not be needed.

          Regarding your statement that Nishi has fewer motor vehicle access concerns than other sites (such as the one proposed for MRIC), I guess one can make arguments out of anything, if one tries hard enough.  🙂

          Regarding VMT’s, I’m sure that Nishi has fewer of them than other sites.  (It’s hard to rack up “vehicle miles traveled”, when you’re stuck in traffic.)  Heck, it will reduce VMTs for all drivers within the vicinity!

        8. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Also, people living at Nishi will drive out for purposes other than commuting. If their activities were limited to walking to the University or downtown, the parking spaces for those living at Nishi would not be needed.”

          100% correct Ron, the 440 apartments do not need parking spaces.  I have been saying that for almost 2 years now.  Parking spaces should not be included in the monthly rent for an apartment.  They should have their own monthly rental fee of at a minimum $300 per month, ideally $500 per month.  Very few students will spend that kind of coin to have their vehicle gather dust in a garage.

          If the condos get bought up by the local Davis landlords to serve as student rentals the same lack of automobile trips will apply.  For the condos I have also been saying that parking spaces should not be included in the purchase price.  Parking spaces for the condos should have their own monthly rental fee … again for a minimum of $300 per month, ideally $500 per month.  Very few condo renters will spend that kind of coin to have their vehicle gather dust in a garage.

          NOTE: I believe a substantial part of our disconnect is that you are looking at “access” purely from an automobile-centric perspective, and I am looking at “access” from an aggregate walk/bike/auto “all transportation modes” perspective.

          NOTE2: Another disconnect that you and I have is that you are including automobiles that are simply passing through Nishi on their way to non-nisei destinations. Since the human beings in those cars never “access” by stopping and putting their feet on the ground, my belief is that they are external to any “access” equation/calculation. They are “accessing” UCD, not Nishi, and almost all of them are currently “accessing” UCD by going through the Richards Tunnel. Same number of cars going through to UCD, just using a different route.

        9. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “For example, by family members living in the multi-family units, bringing kids to school, working at other places, etc”

          What parent in their right mind is going to subject their child to the fraternity atmosphere of a students-centric apartment complex.  Have you checked the enrollment projections that DJUSD has made for Nishi?  Their demographic consultants expect zero DJUSD students to come from Nishi.

        10. wdf1

          Matt Williams:   Have you checked the enrollment projections that DJUSD has made for Nishi?  Their demographic consultants expect zero DJUSD students to come from Nishi.

          The reason that DJUSD’s demographic consultants haven’t projected any students to come from Nishi is that Nishi hasn’t yet been approved for development.  They haven’t even looked at Nishi.  It has to go through the June 7 vote.  They don’t project any enrollments from any possible developments that haven’t yet been approved.  If Nishi is approved, then they will look at the development plans and decide if and how many students would potentially come from the development.

        11. Matt Williams

          wdf1, if I read the recent article in the Enterprise correctly, the School District’s demographic consultant in SoCal did include Nishi in their latest projections … the ones that projected 9,005 students by the 2025-26 school year.   (see LINK)

          Torlucci said Davis’ existing schools should be able to handle the enrollment gains he is projecting.

          He added that he doesn’t believe many school-age students would be living at the Nishi Gateway project (650 units, adjacent to UC Davis), if it is built. Those units are aimed primarily at students and university workers; in any case, Torlucci includes only developments that are fully approved in his projections.

        12. wdf1

          Matt Williams:  Note the last phrase in your quote:

           in any case, Torlucci includes only developments that are fully approved in his projections.

          Nishi was not fully approved when Torlucci presented his report.  It is not now fully approved, but that could change.  You can read the original report here (warning, it will probably download to your computer).  If you see in that report an explicit assessment of Nishi, please tell me and cite the page number.

          People don’t often behave as planned.  When my wife and I chose to live in Davis with two kids and barely the income to support it, we lived in apartments that primarily served a UCD student population.  There were other families in that complex who lived at income levels that couldn’t support a mortgage.

          I would predict that Nishi housing intended for students will become a target for lower income families, such as they can afford it.

        13. Matt Williams

          wdf1, I could be wrong, but I suspect you are playing a game with semantics … ignoring Torlucci’s spoken words and only using his written words. I provided the link to the actual article for a reason … so that anyone who wanted to do so could go to the source material. I have no desire to bias the dialogue, just provide the information so people can judge for themselves.

          As reasonable people, let’s agree to disagree . . . reasonably.

  9. Yes on A Fan

    There may be a reason your arguments are “to no avail”.  Point to a “solution” that is really not on the table as a segway to “race-to-the-bottom” and other mischaracterizations.

    1. Ron

      Yes on A Fan:  “There may be a reason your arguments are “to no avail”.  Point to a “solution” that is really not on the table as a segway to “race-to-the-bottom” and mischaracterization.”

      Well, you’re demonstrating a perfect example of the resistance that harms any effort to implement better long-term solutions – which would ultimately result in better planning. (I point to this as evidence that developers still have “too much say” in local planning decisions and proposals, which tear a city apart.)

      Your alternative (to create traffic havoc, at the primary entry point to the city) is not very appealing.

  10. Yes on A Fan

    Ron, so you would support a regional focus- something akin to SACOG which supports the Nishi project for greenhouse gas reduction and fewer cars on the road (ie. less traffic), or are you proposing setting up and having tax-payers fund another regional organization?

    1. Ron

      Yes on A Fan:  “Ron, so you would support a regional focus- something akin to SACOG which supports the Nishi project for greenhouse gas reduction and fewer cars on the road (ie. less traffic), or are you proposing setting up and having tax-payers fund another regional organization?”

      Oooh – I see what you’re doing here.  Making an argument for Nishi (via SACOG), while instilling fear of (yet) another government organization.  (Very clever!)

      I’d suggest that planning (and sharing revenue) on a regional basis might actually reduce the total amount of government needed.  (Hopefully, there’d also be less opportunity for developers to “influence” local government officials, as well.)

      On a related note, we’re already meeting SACOG (growth/development) guidelines – without Nishi. (Some Nishi supporters have argued that such requirements are “meaningless”, regardless.)

       

      1. Don Shor

        Revenue sharing between local governments has been discussed over the years as a way to reduce the competition between cities in trying to attract businesses that generate high sales taxes. A number of years ago the voters approved a measure that would allow the governments themselves, rather than the voters, to enter into such revenue-sharing agreements. But I’m not aware of it ever happening, most likely because the higher-income cities have no incentive to share revenues with the lower-income cities. The logistical issues of who manages the disbursement is another concern. It does usually require another layer of government, just as the RDA’s existed to collect and disseminate funds (and they’re still deciding what new agencies are going to do that going forward). In short, it’s complicated and usually there’s little basis for agreement among the cities. It requires a 2/3 vote of each city or county government governing body. That’s less of a hurdle than a public vote, but still a hurdle. Why would Woodland agree to share sales tax revenues with Davis, for example?

        1. Ron

          Don:  Why would Woodland agree to share sales tax revenues with Davis, for example?

          Please see my responses to South of Davis (and Mark West), above.

      2. Mark West

        Ron: “I’d suggest that planning (and sharing revenue) on a regional basis might actually reduce the total amount of government needed.  (Hopefully, there’d also be less opportunity for developers to “influence” local government officials, as well.)”

        How will you feel when your proposed regional authority decides that Davis needs to double in population over the next ten years? The County – our current regional authority – has already decided that housing growth needs to occur in the cities, and has historically not been shy about forcing the issue.

        1. Ron

          Mark:  “How will you feel when your proposed regional authority decides that Davis needs to double in population over the next ten years? The County – our current regional authority – has already decided that housing growth needs to occur in the cities, and has historically not been shy about forcing the issue.”

          It can be a “double-edged” sword, I suppose.  Of course, we’re currently meeting SACOG guidelines, due to all of the developments under construction or planned.  (I’m still hoping for an article regarding SACOG, but I realize I can research it on my own, as well.)

          In general, it seems that local control is (often) susceptible to undue influence from developers.  (I’m very grateful for Measure R. Perhaps Davis will remain the only “slow-growth” community in the entire region.)

        2. Mark West

          “In general, it seems that local control is (often) susceptible to undue influence from developers.  (I’m very grateful for Measure R. Perhaps Davis will remain the only “slow-growth” community in the entire region.)”

          First, I think it is rather a naive belief to think that a regional authority would be less influenced by money. Looking at our political system the only difference is the amount of money involved.

          Second, you do realize, I hope, that Measure R only pertains to the City’s actions and has no impact on what the County or other regional authority might decide to do.

        3. Ron

          Mark:  “First, I think it is rather a naive belief to think that a regional authority would be less influenced by money. Looking at our political system the only difference is the amount of money involved.”

          That could be.  (I think this conversation spread from a discussion regarding revenue sharing, to regional control of development decisions.  But, there can be overlap regarding these issues.)

          In any case, given what’s happened (over the years and in many locations) regarding local government control (or lack thereof) related to planning decisions, I’m glad that we at least have Measure R (which provides a level of oversight, and allows those with divergent views to weigh in).  I guess we’ll see how that plays out, regarding Nishi.

          Regarding your other point, yes – I realize that Measure R only applies to decisions made by the residents of Davis.

  11. Yes on A Fan

    I think you are clearly advocating for more government but less local control.  So we export our impacts to other communities and import revenue from them? Unless we are certain other communities support this approach, we are heading down a path to insolvency.

    1. Ron

      Yes on A Fan:

      Please see my responses to South of Davis (and to Mark West), above.

      However, my primary concern is still the accessibility of the Nishi site, the 1,732 parking spaces at Nishi itself, and the effects of the unknown/unapproved increased motor vehicle access to the University via existing intersections.  (Those are the “impacts” that your development will “export” upon current Davis residents.)

    2. Tia Will

      Unless we are certain other communities support this approach, we are heading down a path to insolvency.”

      There seem to be a number of posters who believe that we are on that path now, but who argue against any increase in taxes even as part of a three pronged approach to managing our cities finances as many have argued for.

  12. Tia Will

    Ron

    I realize that you believe that those on East Olive Drive will likely be displaced, anyway.  (I would think that this includes some non-wealthy students.) But, Nishi will “hurry” that trend along, to say the least.”

    You are correct that I believe that this will happen anyway. However, I do not see that Nishi will necessarily “hurry this along”. I think that there is a reasonable possibility that Nishi might even slow the process as time will be needed for the infrastructure repairs and some pressure will be taken off the housing market from both Nishi and certainly if UCD lives up to its newest statement about housing. Slower would be better from my point of view since the city will need to time to adjust and compensate for any adverse consequences from Nishi and or the hotel/conference center.

    There is another point to be considered here. I believe that there is a better way to proceed with housing. Optimal is to not displace anyone as is the case with Nishi. Next best is too ensure a long time frame and aide for those who need to relocate whether they qualify or not for “big A” affordable housing as I understand the project headed by Bill Ritter is attempting. Next best would be to not displace anyone and respect current zoning and design principles by working with the existing community and neighbors. Worst policy is to displace and significantly inconvenience people that the developer knows ( or believes) will have no power to influence whatever it is that they ( and or their friends) want to put by the council on a divided vote if need be.

  13. Misanthrop

    “In 1980, when my wife and  I bought our house on Alice Street near Holmes Junior High School, almost 30 % of the homeowners in Davis were under 35. By 2013, according to Census Data, that number had fallen to 4%.”

    I guess it really is true what I often hear about Davisites, that once they have a home they want to close the gate behind themselves. It appears from the data that Davis has been successful in keeping newcomers out, but, at what cost comes this exclusivity. The loss of the generation that came after the small is beautiful, limits to growth, baby boomers. Need workers no problem there are plenty in Woodland. Need school kids because of declining enrollment, there are plenty in Woodland and Winters. Students need housing, no problem stuff them into rental housing or have them commute from Woodland. Need money to run the city, no problem simply raise taxes, but make sure to provide exemptions for all those 35 year olds who bought in 1980. They are septuagenarians now. The problem for the no growth scene is that they refuse to recognize the unintended consequences of what they have created.

    1. South of Davis

      Misanthrop wrote:

      > I guess it really is true what I often hear about Davisites, that

      > once they have a home they want to close the gate behind themselves.

      This is not true they (the majority that vote against growth) just want to stop any new development so their friends can sell the crappy flat roof Streng homes they bought around Holmes JHS for over a half million (or rent them for $3K.month ($4K a month with a mini-dorm garage conversion).  They are more than happy to have young people (with $250K down payments from Mom & Dad) come in the gate to buy their homes (or the homes of friends who are moving to condos in the Bay Area or to their Carmel, Seadriift or Sea Ranch weekend places full time).

      P.S. Does anyone know the connection between Davis and Sea Ranch (in Sonoma County)?  If I had a dollar for every single long time Davis resident I’ve met that has a weekend place in Sea Ranch I could take the Vanguard editorial board out to a nice dinner….

  14. Misanthrop

    “You don’t know what you got…”

    I was reading somewhere the other day how few communities have the the ability to become innovation hubs. Its San Jose and the Bay Area, Raleigh and Boston. There may be a few others but it was clear to me when reading the article the special opportunity Davis has before itself. What is unclear to me is whether we have ability to grab the ring and make this community a hub of innovation that will bring prosperity to ourselves and our region. If Nishi fails I fear the answer is no.

    1. South of Davis

      Misanthrop wrote:

      > I was reading somewhere the other day how

      > few communities have the the ability to become

      > innovation hubs.

      Pretty much every top school in America has at least a mini “innovation hub” near it, for example the Stanford Research Park in Palo Alto and Torrey Pines, UTC and Carmel Valley around UCSD.  Even Oregon State that is in a small town similar to Davis (but as a school ranked much lower) has a good size innovation hub in the area around the campus.

  15. Tia Will

    Pretty much every top school in America has at least a mini “innovation hub” near it”

    For me, this is exactly what we should be promoting. We are and for he foreseeable future will be a small city, as Frankly has pointed out. If seems most reasonable to me for us to aspire to house a “mini hub” with close affiliation with UCD. This was my initial hope for the Cannery. With the failure of that, my next hope was for Nishi. I can then see as companies wish to expand, their movement or growth into the larger surrounding communities.

    Rob White has asked if I think it is ok for people to live in Davis and have to commute to their jobs. My answer is, it depends. In my field, it makes tremendous sense. We do not have a Kaiser Hospital in Davis. We do not have enough patient demand for another hospital in Davis. Therefore the “right” solution is not to build another hospital in Davis,( as we overbuilt our schools and thus now need to “import students”  but rather for me to either move to Sacramento or choose to commute. I would have chosen living closer to work, my now ex-husband wanted to live closer to his parents in Davis. The issue was resolved in his favor and I have commuted ever since.

    Sometimes I think that we tend to look at this issue too simplistically. At a time when many families have two employed adults, it is not a simple matter of living close to one’s work. Which one’s work frequently comes into play. I do not believe that when viewed holistically, the issue is nearly as straightforward as build more and everything will be fine. We know for a fact that all growth will not be stopped. But we could choose gradual growth with more time for assimilation and adjusting as needed when the inevitable problems and unintended consequences arise rather than a headlong rush as is our tendency when anything new and shiny presents itself.

     

  16. Ron

    Matt:

    You may be right, regarding a lack of families living in the multi-family units.  Still, if there’s parking spaces at Nishi, the spaces are going to be used, and the cars won’t just sit there.  Students and others go in-and-out all day/night.  (Students aren’t necessarily at the campus all day, either.)

    Overall, I like your ideas about charging additional amounts for parking.  (Not enough to convince me to support the development, but still an interesting idea.)

    I’d still suggest that providing more motor vehicle access points to the University can actually facilitate (increase) traffic at existing, impacted intersections and feeder streets.  Of course, there are a lot of unknowns regarding how the University would handle this additional motor vehicle access point, traffic flow, associated parking, and whether or not it’s actually approved by the University.  What we do know is that up to 1,732 parking spaces are allowed at Nishi itself.

    Still doesn’t make sense to me, when you state that Nishi has fewer automobile access challenges than the MRIC site.  I guess we’ll just leave it at that.

    Yeap – if Nishi passes, VMTs will be reduced for everyone within the vicinity of the development.  It’s difficult to rack up “vehicle miles traveled”, when you’re stuck in traffic.

     

  17. Yes on A Fan

    Actually Ron, the answer is in the EIR which studied all the traffic from Nishi as it travelled through campus. There is a small improvement required at a campus roundabout to handle the traffic. With all the traffic improvements, traffic is “less than significant”.  Your last bastion, (what about the 1732 parking spaces?)  (has been addressed) and answered  in the (EIR). The EIR actually assumed over 1920 parking spaces when it decided it was “less than significant” so traffic will be even better than stated to “even less than significant”.

  18. DavisforNishiGateway

    The conversation about Nishi has largely focused on the issue of student housing. In many ways, this makes sense. The rental housing market is in a state of crisis. A 0.2% vacancy rate fuels a 5% annual increase in rent (almost five times inflation), leaves tenants in a vulnerable position by denying them other housing options, and incentivizes housing construction in Woodland and other neighboring communities to creep closer towards Davis. Nishi plays an important role in addressing this unhealthy situation by adding 1500 beds for students in an area where 80% of trips to campus and downtown will be by biking and walking.

    The other important contribution Nishi adds to Davis is the 325,000 square feet of R&D space which is estimated to generate 1500 jobs across the knowledge and skills spectra. This much-needed space is intended to serve as an incubator for companies looking to partner with the research being conducted at UC Davis. The Studio 30 Report identified Nishi as an ideal site for this role. All of this is part of realizing the vision for economic development and diversification that came out of discussions and planning by the City in response to the economic crash of 2008.

    Councilmember Swanson is absolutely right that we need the jobs and the revenue that Nishi will create. The City is facing more than $650 million in unfunded liabilities. Nishi invests $23 million to improve the City’s infrastructure, is estimated to generate up to $1.4 million annually for the City’s budget, $400k annually for DJUSD, and millions more in one-time fees as well as annual revenue streams for Los Rios Community College, Davis libraries, and other entities that help make the quality of life in Davis what it is. It should also be noted that because Nishi is being built on private land and will host private enterprises, the City will be able to benefit from taxes generated from the business that is done at Nishi. This wouldn’t happen if the R&D space at Nishi were built at UC Davis, as some people have suggested.

    As Councilmember Swanson points out, currently many people in Davis have to commute to Sacramento or the Bay Area because job opportunities outside of the university are hard to come by in Davis. The traffic on 80 each morning and evening is a direct consequence of this. What’s more, encouraging a thriving scene for tech transfer strengthens UC Davis, and helps the City of Davis more fully benefit from the outstanding resource of the university. We applaud Councilmember Swanson for her advocacy for economic development and creating opportunities here in Davis. We also thank her (and the rest of the City Council) for supporting Nishi and the benefits it will deliver to Davis.

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