My View: Will Nishi Pass?

Students listen about Nishi in February
Students listen about Nishi in February

One of the biggest questions as we come down to just two and a half weeks left in the election is whether Measure A, the Nishi Gateway Project, will be able to become the first project to pass a Measure R vote.  That is not a straightforward question – for as much as some claim there are polls floating around, we were not able to come up with one.

Davis is a community where high-powered campaign tactics, as often as not, fail.  The previous Measure J elections saw massive advantages for the developers in terms of finances and organization, only to see that Davis is still a community where grassroots activism can overcome these advantages.  So the fact that, as of April 23, the developer’s PAC outspent the No side $178,000 to $11,000, is not only not that surprising but also is not a clear advantage for the most part.

For their parts, both sides believe they will prevail.  I think there is legitimacy to that view from both sides.  Because the Yes side is running a standard campaign – mailers, organized precinct work with voter identification and a somewhat sophisticated GOTV (Get Out The Vote) effort planned for the end – the Vanguard focused this week on understanding more of how the No side is managing to stay in the game, if not outright win.

As far as the Vanguard could glean, the No on A campaign is comprised of perhaps a half dozen to a dozen regulars.  The 460 form filed in early May bears out some of the key actors – Alan Pryor, Nancy Price, Pam Nieberg, Bob Milbrodt, Eileen Samitz and Michael Harrington.  There is probably another layer of people involved, but it is a surprisingly small operation, compared to either the No on X group or the No on Wildhorse Ranch group.

There is some precinct walking, although the people that the Vanguard spoke with either would not or could not tell us how much they have walked. They have sent out a single mailer.  And they have a presence at Farmer’s Market.

Michael Harrington has repeatedly boasted, both on the Vanguard and in other conversations, about the large number of signs that they have been able to give out and get people to put up around town.  When asked, given the limited nature of the No on Measure A campaign, how he thinks they will be able to prevail, he said that he felt like there was a pervasive distrust of local government that puts people’s default at No.

He sees heavy enthusiasm at the No on Measure A campaign for his side, and lukewarm for the professional yes side.  He believes that there is pervasive anger among the voters that will carry through a No vote, and perhaps by a large margin, just as was the case with Covell Village and Wildhorse Ranch.

And, while there is validity to Mr. Harrington’s view of the electorate, other observers see things a bit differently.  Much is often made of things like an enthusiasm gap, and while it is true that a small portion of the population feels passionately about a project like Measure A, and the majority of those who feel real passionately are No voters, it may also be the case that that passionate portion of the population is relatively small.

While the No side is clearly outflanked from the standpoint of a professional and organized campaign, there are areas where we can gauge their relative strength on their own turf.  While I personally am not a believer that campaign signs are all that determinative, this is an area where the No side could be dominating, but most observers believe that the distribution is somewhat equal.

In 2009, the Vanguard comment section was dominated day after day by the people who opposed Wildhorse Ranch – some believe that the campaign was at least partially won (or lost, depending on one’s perspective) in that venue.  In 2016, while there are passionate voices on both sides, the comments are somewhat evenly split, maybe even leaning slightly towards the Yes side.

In op-eds on both the Enterprise and Vanguard, the pieces seems somewhat evenly split, if not somewhat advantaged towards the yes side.  Even the letters to the editor in the Enterprise seem fairly evenly split, and to date there hasn’t been an onslaught.

None of these points are determinative, but our general sense is that, in 2009, the landscape was tilted heavily away from Wildhorse Ranch and this time it feels like the battle is far more even.  Now, of course, someone should point out that WHR went down nearly 3 to 1 and a 55-45 victory for No on A would look much more even in comparison – and, point taken.

But my point here is that these are areas where a strong No side that doesn’t have a lot of resources could and perhaps should dominate, and, yet, the Yes side has been able to negate the advantage.

There are therefore two notable variables that will go a long way to determining the outcome.

We know there is a core group of No on Measure A people – many of them are the same actors that have opposed other projects in town.  While some of the faces have shifted – Michael Harrington and Alan Pryor were in favor of Wildhorse Ranch, Alan Pryor and Eileen Samitz were in favor of the water project – the core group is relatively defined.

We know there is a core group that will favor all developments – it’s hard to project from the past, but we saw 40 percent of the voters support Measure X and 25 percent support Measure P – but there is a segment of the community who is going to be generally supportive of development.

There are two key groups. The first is the group of people who live in Davis – they will vote, but they are not paying that much attention to municipal affairs, they may not know about the state of finances or even housing shortages in Davis, they may not read the Enterprise or watch council meetings, but they will show up and vote, especially given a still intriguing Democratic Primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  How will these people vote on a housing project?

The other variable is the students.  California has seen record registration.  Students are energized by Bernie Sanders, but they also came out for the Nishi vote in February and they came out last week for the renters’ ordinance.  While some of the activist students have come out against Nishi on the affordable housing issue, it is hard to see a lot of students who are concerned with rental housing costs and quality being opposed to Nishi – a large turnout of students could swing an otherwise close election.

Finally, there is one more card at play.  The Yes on Nishi campaign tells the Vanguard that they have already walked almost the entire city and have identified a sizable number of yes voters.  They plan to continue that program for the next few weeks and then hope to turn out their vote.

The one real and clearcut advantage that a campaign like Nishi has is the ability to identify voters and get them to the polls.  The No side cannot match this organization – they are going to have to rely on the enthusiasm gap and voter skepticism to get their voters to the polls and voting in the right direction.

Some believe that the 2013 Measure I campaign was close and that the voter identification and GOTV efforts pushed them over the top.  Can the same thing happen here?  That is the big question.

We believe still that this race could go either way.  The main advantage right now might be the ability of the Yes side to reach those lesser-informed voters and students and get them to the polls.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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61 Comments

  1. The Pugilist

    The No side seems very dishonest in their claims.  They have mounted an unsubstantiated campaign on air quality, the traffic claims seem overstated, and they continue to ignore housing and jobs needs.  The question is whether they have the resources to get that view out to the voters and whether the yes side can counter them effectively.

    1. hpierce

      Tia… folk on BOTH sides have been very dishonest/conniving in their claims and the refutations of the other side’s claims… if you cannot see that, you are not paying attention.

      It has become uber-political… that, in and of itself is a strong argument for reforming/eliminating the ‘Measure R process’.  It has become a game.

      1. Misanthrop

        Yes, measure J/R doesn’t work. It isn’t even a reflective democratic process that reveals public sentiment since the vote is skewed because thousands of people who live on the wrong side of Russell don’t get to vote on Measure R votes.

        One thing I have noticed when you talk to people who are not the usual suspects is the general consensus that the Davis housing market is broken. When people are complaining all over town about 10 or 15 people living in a house near them even people who seem to be the no on everything type even seem to be coming around. If necessity is the mother of invention Davis needs to address its massive housing shortage and there is only one way to address it. To paraphrase an ignominious former V.P. candidate, build baby build.

        1. hpierce

          So… if those living on campus could vote on Nishi, which way do you think the majority of them would vote? [assuming they vote at all… I seem to recall that the turnout for the campus precincts is significantly below the average turnout rate]

        2. The Pugilist

          Mis: I don’t think there is a general consensus.  I think the vote whichever way it goes will show us a divided community somewhere between a 55-45 split – that’s not consensus.

    2. Roberta Millstein

       

      The No side seems very dishonest in their claims.  They have mounted an unsubstantiated campaign on air quality, the traffic claims seem overstated, and they continue to ignore housing and jobs needs.  The question is whether they have the resources to get that view out to the voters and whether the yes side can counter them effectively.

      The Yes side seems very dishonest in their claims.  They have mountain an unsubstantiated campaign on financial benefits to the city, the traffic claims seem overstated, and they continue to ignore the scientific evidence concerning air quality and health risks.  The question is whether the Davis community will see the huge amounts of developer money being dumped into this race and recognize what is really driving all of this.

      1. DavisforNishiGateway

        Yes on A has cited the estimated economic benefits from the City’s Finance and Budget Committee. I would hardly call that “unsubstantiated.” The No side is citing the original economic impact report whose assumptions were slightly modified by the Finance and Budget Committee. There is nothing unsubstantiated here. Estimates can differ based on what assumptions you make.

        No one is ignoring “the scientific evidence concerning air quality and health risks.” That is precisely why the property owners are going to implement the mitigation measures identified in the Environmental Impact Report (again, I don’t know how this could be reasonably construed as being ‘unsubstantiatied’). Some real examples of unsubstantiated claims are the hysterical cries about Nishi being “toxic soup” or a “ghetto.” I think it is also disingenuous for the project opponents to declare Nishi ‘poisonous’ without providing any context. The fact is that even before mitigation measures are undertaken, the relative risk from air quality is negligible as compared to the risk to life and limb that is magnitudes greater if one commutes into Davis. If we don’t build more housing, our 0.2% vacancy rate means more students, university employees, and employees working at a Davis-based business will be commuting in cars. That is not unsubstantiated, it is the reality of housing in Davis.

        What is driving Nishi is an eight-year collaborative process between the property owners, the City, UC Davis, and hundreds of other stakeholders to design a project that addresses some of the most pressing problems currently confronting Davis:  a lack of student housing and R&D space.

        1. Roberta Millstein

          DavisforNishiGateway, as an unknown person or persons with an account created just to shill for Nishi, perhaps written by a paid PR person, I can see why you might have trouble understanding a light tit-for-tat jab that was merely meant to show that the sort of thing that the Pugilist said can be slung both ways.

          I am very pleased to hear, however, that you (whoever you are and whoever you are supposed to represent) acknowledge the science behind the air quality and health risks.  You seem, however, to be very selective in which scientific findings you accept, since the EIR conclusions were in large part based on Dr. Cahill’s research, yet he doesn’t think the mitigation will be adequate.

          On what basis do you think that Nishi’s housing will make for less commuting?  Will only Davis residents be allowed to live there?  Will they be required to work only in Davis?

          Please also keep in mind that just because I am against Measure A doesn’t mean that I agree with everything that everyone else who is against Measure A says.  I have not said anything about Nishi being toxic soup or poisonous or a ghetto.  Again, perhaps that is hard for a (paid?) shill to understand.

  2. Tia Will

    hpierce

    Tia… folk on BOTH sides have been very dishonest/conniving in their claims and the refutations of the other side’s claims… if you cannot see that, you are not paying attention.”

    Not sure why you addressed this to me. I thought that I had been very clear in calling out what I saw as the hyperbole of both sides. I made a point of stating my objection to misleading glossies with attractive families ( presumably not the target population) in a Nirvana like setting ( clearly not emphasizing the presence of trains and freeway).

    I also have posted a number of times regarding what I perceive as exaggerated claims of risk to pregnancies with regard to autism. I think it is reasonable that I have had more to say about the latter than the former given that this is my area of expertise.

    So how is this not calling out both sides ?

     

    1. hpierce

      I was responding to the top post, that singled out the No On A folk… and then “dumb-thumbed”/had a ‘brain spasm’… my apologies, as it was indeed Pugilist who made the post, and to whom I meant to respond.

      Sincere apology, to you, Tia…

  3. Tia Will

    hpierce

    I am so sorry that you can’t have my first Vanguard smile of the day award. Ron beat you out on another thread !  But I will acknowledge my appreciation for the sincerity of your post ; )

    P.S. I am sure that we will be able to find something to spar about later in the day…..so don’t despair !

     

  4. Widjet

    I was initially surprised at how many No signs went up in my neighborhood after the No people came through going door to door.  I refused a sign. I found their methods of persuasion a tad forceful and their attempt to use guilt and shame into putting-up a sign off putting.  Flash forward a few weeks to now, what I notice is that a number of those No on A yard signs have come down.  Lest you think they just tired of yard signs, not a single one of their Bernie signs have come down.  Now why would that be?  Are they having second thoughts? Were they bullied into putting up the sign and having learned more about the issue now find they are going to vote for A?

    1. Odin

      No, the No signs were stolen.  I talked to a couple of people just this morning who said all the No signs they posted disappeared just last night.

      People are also being pressured.  Tim Ruff won’t allow folks at 3rd Space to put a sign there because he owns the building and most likely because he will benefit enormously if Nishi is passed.

          1. David Greenwald

            I’m not telling you that, I’m telling you that Ruff doesn’t own the building.

  5. Eileen Samitz

    Widjet,

    I am sorry to say you feel that you had a bad experience when asked if you would put up a “No” sign.  Any advocacy for putting up a “No” sign should be about explaining the “No on Nishi” issue arguments an asking if the resident agrees and if they would like a “No” sign.

    What I can tell you, is that we have had many, many of our “No” signs stolen because we are getting almost daily requests to replace them. So that would account to many of the “No” signs coming down. I had to replace at least 6 this past week from phone calls of angry residents who asked me to replace the stolen “No” sign as soon as possible.

    1. ryankelly

      Stolen signs seems to be a whiny allegation by these folks every election.  Ask Sue Greenwald about trouble with signs.  I don’t think it’s valuable to harp on this.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        ryankelly,

        You miss the point of my comment. Widget was saying that a number “No” on Nishi signs up, have seemed to have “disappeared” and he seems to be implying that these residents may have “changed their minds” on this issue.

        I am explaining that many of the “No” signs that have come down have been stolen, and I know that because we have gotten almost daily reports of this theft from residents who want them replaced. I myself replaced 6 signs this past week in  responding to phone calls of these residents asking me to replace those “No” signs.

        1. ryankelly

          It doesn’t matter, Eileen.  I think that the number of missing signs is tiny and isn’t an issue.  I question the mental health of people who make angry phone calls over a missing campaign sign.  Signs are extremely temporary.   And we all know that the folks on Poleline Road will put up any sign that you ask them to.

        2. hpierce

          Heard there is a similar problem with the Yes on A signs… Robert Frost wrote about ‘something that does not like walls’… see:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44266

        3. Jim Frame

          Heck, someone stole my DavisGig sign.  Some people will steal a sign just because it’s there, and might look cool on their dorm/frat room wall.

  6. Odin

    While folks here continue to make ad hominem attacks on those supporting the No campaign, I have to ask how do WE benefit from Nishi.  Nishi has big money written all over it: $170K in campaign funds, paid consultants, paid campaign workers, Chamber of Commerce backing, profit, profit, profit, and somehow we’re being dishonest because we don’t believe a word a developers are selling us.  None of us have a cent to be made off of Nishi, yet we’re vilified because our conscience tells us it’s wrong because it is.

    1. hpierce

      Why should WE benefit?  WE don’t own the land…. WE don’t bear the costs for application/infrastructure…

      Are you saying that a project has to be “no harm, no foul” (my view as the basic litmus test), or are you saying that no project should be approved unless there is a significant positive ‘reward’ for WE?  And, who is WE?

      1. Odin

        We (those of us who oppose it) don’t own it, but we can keep it ag land.   Look, we can’t control what folks do with private land within our town limits, but this is something we DO have control over because we get to vote on it, and if those of us in the No campaign don’t feel it is in the best interest of this town, we deserve respect for our opinions; something I see little of here on the DV.

        1. hpierce

          Why do “we” feel a need to control the owners of marginal ag land, whose crops are likely to contain toxics from the air (another poster)?  You seem to have “control issues”…

          I just can’t respect faulty logic (opinions are our own, we ‘own’ them), or the need to ‘control’… reminds me of…

          http://www.abuseandrelationships.org/Content/Behaviors/subtle_control.html

          Not that it is relevant, but I already voted No on A… reluctantly… yet now, based on your “control” thing, and Mr H’s rants, wish I could have a ‘do-over’…

          I’ll try to atone for that by encouraging anyone who hasn’t vote, to vote YES ON A!

        2. Odin

          You defy logic too (as does the person who thinks crops produce more pollution than cars and industry).  This isn’t a control thing.  It’s a voted upon thing.  What does that have to do with personal relationships?

          It’s AG land and you want to change it.  Isn’t much of UCD based on Agriculture?  Am I missing something?  Why don’t we value farm land more than developed land.

          I’m selfish and I’ll admit it.  Developing west Olive is just the start of the gentrification of Olive Drive (I just found out Sudwerks purchased the Ganesh property).  We’re getting development already from all sides (Lincoln 40, the hotel complex and now Sudwerks).  Currently it is one of the last places in town where folks like myself, on limited income, can afford to live.  Where the heck do you think all the hotel workers, short order cooks, artists, musicians, writers, gardeners and lower income students live in town?  It’s also home to historic places and heritage trees, and I would like to see that preserved.

          Go ahead and tell people to vote yes, it’s a free country.  I’ll continue to convince as many as my neighbors here on Olive what it will eventually do to our cost of living, to our safety (Richards/Olive), and to our culture and encourage them to vote NO.

        3. Ron

          hpierce:

          The developer is requesting a change to current zoning.  The developer knew what the zoning was (and other aspects of the site) prior to purchasing it.  I strongly suspect that the developer purchased the site for speculative purposes.  Nothing wrong with that, but such changes are always subject to some type of approval process – even outside of Davis.  (Without getting into a long discussion, I’d suggest that the process in many other areas is “broken” – in favor of developers.)

          Some, like me, are reluctant to change zoning to allow more development.  (I suspect that my views are more toward the “slower-growth” spectrum, compared to many others’ views.) From my perspective, there has not been a shortage of development in the region, or in Davis.  However, there are obviously others who are more open to zoning changes to accommodate more development.

        4. Tia Will

          Odin

          we deserve respect for our opinions;”

          I agree that all opinions deserve the respect attributable to someone having duly considered the facts, their values, and come to a reasoned conclusion about what best suits their perspective. This approach, I truly respect.

          What I do not respect is people either making statements that they know to be false, or allowing false claims to stand as though they were true. Both sides have been guilty of the latter. The pro Nishi side by allowing non representative glossy ads to be distributed and the opponents by continuing to repeat claims that they know are unsupported by their evidence including some highly trained scientists.

          I quickly tire of the “we are the good guys, so just believe us “mentality that permeates this campaign.

        5. hpierce

          Odin… will admit to an over-reach… at least you finally admit that it is NOT about:

          those of us in the No campaign don’t feel it is in the best interest of this town, we deserve respect for our opinions

          and admit to,

          I’m selfish and I’ll admit it.  Developing west Olive is just the start of the gentrification of Olive Drive 

          As I’ve said many times, I have voted against measure A, precisely because I oppose the extension of W Olive.  But unlike you, I voted that way because of what I perceive to be in the community’s best interest, not my own.

          Your two quoted statements are inconsistent at best, and border on hypocritical… but those are your words.

           

        6. Odin

          So your telling me I have to vote on an issue based on absolutely one point or issue?  Why can’t I vote No both because I feel it is not in our best interests and how it personally affects me and my neighbors?  How am I different from the “mini dorm” argument people or the person who benefits financially from the project by basing my decision on several things?

          As I stated before, the Yes crowd is bent on finding inconsistencies and contradiction in our arguments and denigrate us for disagreeing with them.  All of this reminds me much of what we are seeing in national politics.  When one side finds they don’t like the message of the others, they steal the message and twist it to make it their own.  Don’t believe me, then check the first post by Pugilist above.

        7. Michael Harrington

          Odin,  I think East Olive Drive has been a low voter turnout neighborhood.  Maybe you can walk and knock, and get people to the polls to vote NO?  Thanks!

    2. DavisforNishiGateway

      Nishi benefits Davis by adding up to $1.4 million annually to fund City services, $400k annually for DJUSD (while simultaneously using virtually none of the school district’s resources), fund for Los Rios Community College, funding for Davis libraries, $23 million invested in infrastructure to fix Richards and create another access point to campus so drivers can avoid going through the Richards tunnel, housing for students so we don’t further exacerbate our 0.2% vacancy rate, create R&D space that creates an estimated 1500 jobs here in Davis [although apparently the No side doesn’t believe that Davis needs jobs], allow companies to grow here in Davis which helps bring more capital investment to Davis and the region, and expand the Davis Bike Loop. Those are the benefits that spring immediately to mind. I think it is hard to argue that WE don’t benefit from this.

      1. CalAg

        “What I do not respect is people either making statements that they know to be false, or allowing false claims to stand as though they were true.” @ Tia Will

        Half of the claimed $1.4 M “fiscal benefit” comes from an accounting trick and the other half comes from the developer – sort of like a kick-back of profits from student rent payments to the General Fund.

        The DJUSD/Los Rios/library “benefits” are from city-wide taxes. Many people in town that pay these taxes while using none of the school district’s resources. Claiming its fair share of local taxes is a project “benefit” to the community is pretty lame.

        I’ve yet to see an accounting of where the $23M in infrastructure investment is coming from. The insinuation is that 100% is coming from the project. Is that true? If not, the claim is exaggerated. In my opinion, the $23M will be heavily subsidized with public funds in addition to the relief the developers have already received from its affordable housing obligations.

        The claim that the project will fix Richards is absolutely false. According to the Traffic Element of the DEIR – which understates the problem – the project will degrade the LOS at Richards/Olive from B to F in the morning and C to E in the evening.

        On the jobs issues, I oppose the project and strongly support the need for real economic development and job creation. The claim that the project will lead to 1,500 new jobs is false. We have a glut of unleased space and undeveloped lots city-wide, Nishi may create some new demand because of its location, but it will also cannibalize the existing market. Even in a constrained market with 325,000 sq ft of new demand landing on Nishi, a better jobs estimate would be 800-1,000.

        Regarding the Bike Loop, Nishi will be a subdivision bordering the Bike Loop that will have it’s own internal bike infrastructure. Big deal. This is not a material improvement of the Bike Loop.

        In my opinion, the benefits of Nishi are grossly overstated and the project is not worth the carnage it will cause to the Richards corridor.

        1. DavisforNishiGateway

          Your criticism concerning the fiscal benefit comes from a difference of opinion and estimates. Even the conservative estimates discussed by the Finance and Budget Committee say Nishi will add half a million dollars to the City’s budget. Adding $4ook annually to DJUSD isn’t lame; it is a great benefit for Davis schools (in addition to the millions this project will contribute toward new classroom construction and repair). Dismissing the money that will go into Davis schools seems very callous to me. This money that Nishi will provide will hire more teachers, support after-school programs, and ensure that Davis schools remain renowned for their excellence throughout the region. Voting No means forfeiting $4ook annually that could go towards supporting Davis schools; that is what seems lame to me.

          I have actually already posted about where how the $23 million will be broken down–and to be clear, this is all private capital coming from the property owners. $13 million will be spent on constructing the rail road undercrossing, $2 million for the Olive Drive/Richards intersection, $2 million for the bridge at Putah Creek which will allow bicyclists along the Davis Bike Loop to remain separated from automobiles, $3 million will contribute towards the fund to fix Richards, and $3 million for the new by-pass road and bike paths, sidewalks, and UniTrans stop.  This is money that will help the City fix Richards, if any entity benefits from this financing, it is the City. Claiming that this money is being subsidized by public funds is just another misleading and erroneous claim such as we have seen coming from the No side.

          The new connection to campus that allows people to bypass Richards, along with the millions spent on redesigning Richards is part of a multifaceted effort that will help make Richards more functional. The EIR concludes that given the millions being spent to improve Richards, “traffic will be reduced to less than significant.” This is the best solution  for Richards that is feasible. Voting No means we continue allowing the present situation to deteriorate [unless we want to raise parcel taxes to cover the hundreds of millions in unfunded liabilities as people like Alan Pryor have suggested. This, of course, would impact those with limited means or fixed budgets the most, and would require raising taxes by thousands of dollars per parcel].

          Dismissing the professional estimates concerning the project’s economic benefit of creating 1500 jobs is completely absent any humility. The methodology used as part of the Economic Impact Report is well-documented and done by recognized professionals using copious data. Are you willing to  explain how you arrived at your estimate? If not, I don’t know how you expect anyone to take your cocktail napkin guesstimate seriously.

          Nishi creates another access point to campus [the railroad undercrossing] that connects the Davis Bike Loop. If that is not a material improvement to the Bike Loop, I think you may want to reconsider how you define a material improvement.

        2. CalAg

          1. The actual fiscal benefits are essentially zero – the costs of the residential eating up the benefits of the commercial. The machinations to get to a positive number were very disappointing to watch.

          2. The Nishi campaign is arguing that the project should get a gold star for paying it’s city-wide taxes. Maybe it’s a generational thing.

          3. The DA states that the applicant and developer will seek public funds to offset the costs of infrastructure. The project received a massive subsidy from the City on affordable. Impact fees that would be more appropriately spent off-site will be spent on project infrastructure if Nishi is approved.

          4. Traffic is NOT reduced to less than significant at Richards/Olive. LOS goes from B to F in the am and C to E in the pm. The reason it is MISLEADINGLY categorized as less than significant in the EIR is that the Richards/Olive intersection was illogically put into the Core Area Specific Plan which allows LOS F. This is an example of the staff/consultants gaming the traffic model at this intersection. The actual traffic data is clear (even though it understates the magnitude of the traffic degradation if the project is built). LOS degradation from B to F is an unacceptable outcome. The Nishi campaign is being incredibly deceptive on this point.

          5. The best solution for Richards is “No Project” with the City spending its horde of impact fees on Richards and the Richards interchange (subsidized by any grants it can secure).

          6. Taxes are going up with or without Nishi. The impact of Nishi on the overall fiscal problem is a net negative.

          7. So as not to be callous and without humility, the basis for my jobs estimate is that Nishi estimates it will populate the 325,000 sq ft of R&D commercial at 216 sq ft per employee. If this were South of Market in San Francisco, I might agree. In my opinion, a better estimate is 300-400 sq ft per “innovation park” employee. The 400 figure is backed up by copious data and the 300 figure makes the very unlikely assumption that the Nishi commercial is a home run.

          8. In my opinion the LRDP EIR will require traffic mitigations that will make approval of the Nishi tunnel by the Regents unlikely. This will leave the community with a major mess on its hands – an annexed and entitled piece of land with a project that can’t be constructed. The Measure A “cart” is so far in from of the LRDP “horse” that it’s ridiculous.

          1. David Greenwald

            “1. The actual fiscal benefits are essentially zero – the costs of the residential eating up the benefits of the commercial. The machinations to get to a positive number were very disappointing to watch.”

            I have to disagree on this one. They put in a services CFD, that’s not a machination. The assumption that we would not renew either sales tax, was not realistic, and frankly looking at the budget numbers, if anything we’re going to increase the sales tax, not decrease in 2020. The idea that we were going to need $700K for fire and police services is ludicrous. We’re not opening a new fire station on the basis of Nishi, nor are we hiring more police. So that wasn’t a realistic assumption by EPS, and of course the Chiefs want the extra budget. So what machinations do you see there? A pretty conservative (fiscally speaking) finance and budget commission signed off on it.

        3. Matt Williams

          CalAg said . . . “I’ve yet to see an accounting of where the $23M in infrastructure investment is coming from. The insinuation is that 100% is coming from the project. Is that true? If not, the claim is exaggerated. In my opinion, the $23M will be heavily subsidized with public funds in addition to the relief the developers have already received from its affordable housing obligations.”

          As part of my own homework on the various claims by both the No and Yes camps I dug deep into the $23 million in infrastructure claim.  Here is what I found:

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

           

  7. HouseFlipper

    I am amazed at how many people the Spafford & Lincoln PR firm have working for Measure A and I can’t understand how people who are listed as staff on the Aggie Website are working for L&S. No doubt many of the Vangaurd posts are being put up by L&S.

    1. David Greenwald

      “No doubt many of the Vangaurd posts are being put up by L&S.”

      Other than the seemingly official posts on here, I don’t believe so.

        1. David Greenwald

          Because 95 percent of the people posting are regulars who have been on for years. The few that haven’t like yourself are against the project. So it’s simple deduction.

  8. Eileen Samitz

    Odin,

    Thanks for your strong opposition to Nishi. I completely understand how your neighborhood will be impacted. Please refer any of your neighbors to me for “No” lawn signs.

     

    1. South of Davis

      Eileen wrote:

      > Please refer any of your neighbors to me for “No” lawn signs.

      Do any of the mobile homes on Olive have “lawns”?

       

       

  9. Frankly

    I would like all those that are opposed to Nishi disclose where they live.  I have a guess that the opposition is generally from those that live close to the development… And generally in the core area.

      1. Frankly

        I don’t see that.  I think it is the near-Nishi residents against the rest of Davis with some exception of the uniformed and older change-averse population.

        I think there is a need for some studies on the psychology of change-aversion relative to proximity.

        1. Odin

          Yep, as I said North vs South.  Those folks affected by Richards/Olive vs those not affected.  Wouldn’t you be concerned if they were creating havoc next to your back door?

        2. Frankly

          Yep, as I said North vs South.  Those folks affected by Richards/Olive vs those not affected.  Wouldn’t you be concerned if they were creating havoc next to your back door?

          If I lived in the core area of Davis, I would be readying myself for big change or to move.

        3. Frankly

          By the way.  I supported the West Davis innovation Park even though it would have caused profound impacts to my neighborhood… because it would have been good for Davis.

    1. nameless

      To Michael Harrington: Please substantiate that claim!  I make no money off development nor do I get any increased local business.  I am in favor of Measure A from sound logic – it provides much needed tax revenue to the city, to DJUSD, R&D space, student housing, new jobs.

    2. Adam Smith

      Interesting that Michael Harrington would go here.  As a downtown landlord, he clearly benefits if there are fewer apartments or offices.     The old “I got mine…” cliche clearly applies to Michael, and perhaps others in the No on A camp.

  10. Eileen Samitz

    Odin,

    For what it is worth, I live in North-East Davis, and I oppose this project because it does harm to your neighborhood, south Davis, the downtown, and the whole City as far as I am concerned. So please, this is NOT a North versus South Davis issue. It is a badly planned project versus Davis issue.

  11. nameless

    While some of the faces have shifted – Michael Harrington and Alan Pryor were in favor of Wildhorse Ranch, Alan Pryor and Eileen Samitz were in favor of the water project – the core group is relatively defined.”

    Water project is entirely different from housing/economic development project.  In fact the water project will improve the environment, which would explain support from some Sierra Club members.

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