Cannery Back With Requested DA Changes But Also Concessions

Cannery-TNHC

In April, The New Home Company had three requested changes to the Cannery development agreement (DA) before the planning commission, only to have them pulled at the last minute with Bonnie Chiu arguing that they “decided to put our proposal regarding the Stacked Flats Condominiums on hold at this time to allow additional outreach time.”

A more skeptical read might have noted that they would time their return for after the election but before Dan Wolk left the council, given that he had received more than $20,000 in campaign contribution from The New Home Company in his two failed Assembly bids.

Sure enough, the item comes before the council during a lame duck session between the June election and the seating of the new council in July.  However, this time, the council subcommittee appears to have gained something for the community in exchange for these changes, in the form of guarantees on the bike connectivity and three-quarters of a million in community benefits.

Staff notes that these are “major amendment(s)” and “include additional apartment units and increased building heights for the Cannery Market Center Neighborhood Mixed Use District proposal and additional condominium units for the University Stacked Flat Condominiums component of the Cannery project…”

Staff, while recognizing “the requested amendments are a change from the original expectations for the Cannery subdivision,” nevertheless recommends approval, arguing that they will “enhance the viability and vitality” of the mixed-use area, provide “a greater number of smaller housing units and less expensive housing units,” and provide “additional resources to support community amenities and bicycle/pedestrian connections serving Cannery residents.”

The proposed amendment related to the Market Center proposal includes:

  1. Amendment to the Preliminary Planned Development (PD #1-11) and Final Planned Development to increase the number of residential units allowed from 24 units to 36 units all on the West Side, and to update the Affordable Housing Plan to reflect the unit changes.
  2. Revision to the Design Guidelines to increase the maximum building height on the West Side from 35 feet to 45 feet.
  3. Incorporation in the Development Agreement of the revisions to these documents by reference.

The proposed amendment related to the Stacked Flat Condominiums includes:

  1. Revisions to the Preliminary Planned Development and Final Planned Development to increase the total number of condominium units from 96 units to 120 units, a total of 24 new units (12 additional units on each of the two Stacked Flat sites), and update the Affordable Housing Plan to reflect the unit changes.
  2. Revisions to the Final Planned Development and the Design Guidelines for modification to the street setback and building height increase from 45 feet to a maximum of 56 feet at the peak of the roof to accommodate project architecture.
  3. Incorporation in the Development Agreement of the revisions to these documents by reference.

The proposed amendment related to Community Enhancement contributions and bicycle connectivity includes:

  1. Confirmation that the 24 new condominiums will make Community Enhancement contributions for transportation and circulation improvements, totaling $161,208, and Community Enhancement contributions for park and community-wide improvements, totaling $103,671.
  2. Developer contribution of $500,000 for City Council discretionary projects/programs, in addition to the previous commitment of $1,653,000 for a bicycle/pedestrian connection to the Cannery.
  3. Establishing an expectation that the City will strive to commence construction of the crossing within a year of the date the preferred alternative is selected by the City.

The key to this agreement now, however, is that Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis and Councilmember Lucas Frerichs appear to have acquired additional benefits to the city in the form of “refinements to the bicycle connection provisions and potential additional funding for community enhancements as part of the Development Agreement Amendment proposal.”

As such, “The final proposal being presented to the City Council includes the proposed amendments to the Cannery Development Agreement related to the Market Center and the Stacked Flats developments in conjunction with a final determination on the bike/pedestrian grade-separated crossing alignment.”

The council would move forward with Alternative 4 (A or B), with the expectation “that the City will commence construction of the crossing within a year of the date the preferred alternative is selected by the City.”

The staff report notes, “The Cannery Development Agreement makes provisions for community enhancements contributions to the City of Davis for transportation and circulation improvements, community park and community-wide improvements, greenhouse gas reduction programs, the Cannery Farm, and Civic Arts programs. Some Community Enhancement contributions are required to be paid on a lump-sum basis, while others are paid on a per-unit basis at Certificate of Occupancy.”

The recommended Development Agreement would result in the following new Community Enhancement contributions, totaling $764,879:

  1. Community Enhancement contributions of $6,717 per unit for transportation and circulation improvements for the 24 new condominiums (totaling $161,208) payable at Certificate of Occupancy
  2. Community Enhancement contributions of $4,319 per unit for parks/citywide improvements for the 24 new condominiums (totaling $103,671) payable at Certificate of Occupancy
  3. Developer contribution of $500,000 for City Council discretionary projects/programs, payable one-half within 30 days of the effective date of the Development Agreement amendment, and one-half within 30 days of City’s completion of environmental review or final design for the connection.

Staff writes, “With the Community Enhancement contributions from the Development Agreement, and the roadway impact fees from the project, the City would have up to $13.7 million for connectivity or other improvements…”

Alternative 4 Overcrossing Options:

Cannery-4aAlternative “A”- This alternative (Attachment 1) would connect at the Cannery multi-use path east of Jacobsen Lane, crossing the UPRR tracks at a 30 degree skew, lessening the 90 degree bends shown in previous alternatives, and conform to the existing path under the Covell overcrossing. This option would provide access to H Street, and F Street by use of the F Street multi-use path. The alignment for this alternative would require a longitudinal encroachment into the UPRR right of way. It is uncertain whether UP would approve this encroachment. Staff intends to submit a formal request to UP in July and it could take up to a couple of months to obtain a decision from UP’s Omaha office. Preliminary conversations with local UP staff suggest a compelling argument can be made given the unique right of way boundaries in this area (ROW is 100’ wide north of Covell and 60’ wide south of Covell).

Cannery-4b

Alternative “B” – This alternative (Attachment 2) would also connect at the Cannery multi-use path east of Jacobsen Lane, but would cross both the UPRR tracks and the F Street channel, before ramping down to meet grade and conform to the existing path just north of Covell Boulevard. This option would provide access to H Street, and F Street by use of the F Street multi-use path and would require the removal of an unknown number of trees to cross over the channel.

—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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26 Comments

  1. nameless

    The amendments requested would give additional funding to the city for the grade separated crossing, as well as add more affordable (“big A” affordable and “little a” affordable) housing to the project, a win-win for everyone.

  2. Tia Will

    Perhaps I am not understanding the situation accurately. It looks to me as though these “concessions” on the height and number of units are being negotiated for transportation and connectivity “improvements” that should have been an essential part of the approval of the project before ever approved.

    Could someone explain to me why this was not dealt with up front instead of requiring more negotiations and concessions ?

    1. nameless

      The specific transportation and connectivity improvements have not been decided, but a fund was set up to address the improvements.  The amendments to the DA will result in more money coming into the transportation and connectivity improvement fund.  The specific transportation and connectivity improvements were not decided upon at the time the DA was first agreed to was because one City Council member in particular was continually dissatisfied on the connectivity issue.  See: http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/city/council-green-lights-the-cannery-project-on-split-vote/http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/city/traffic-impacts-connectivity-of-the-cannery/

        1. hpierce

          Yes, truly a weird question… on two levels… either seeking a second source, or if they were one and the same, who copied from who, or is there yet a third source?

    2. David Greenwald

      Perhaps our former colleague on the Vanguard editorial board who now serves on council can answer that question, since he along with Lucas were on the current team negotiating for this deal.

        1. hpierce

          Yes, I do… and it is possible… but very complicated…

          And you also miss the point… if there is a negotiation, EVERYTHING can be put on the table under a DA.  Including a cash amount from the developer to pay off the balance of the CFD funds within 90 days… not saying the city could get that, but why not put it on the table?

          Sometimes, David, you are very myoptic, it appears… so much for “optics”

          1. David Greenwald

            It was simply an observation. I really hope Robb comes on here to explain the thinking on the deal – it makes some sense. It doesn’t fix everything. They finally exact something in exchange for an ask.

  3. Misanthrop

    The election is over and you are still pushing some nefarious intent, manipulation of the election calendar or corruption about the actions of Dan Wolk and Cannery. Let it be, its nasty, petty and unwarranted.

    Could it be that this is coming back now because it simply finally got worked out? Lucas and Robb cut this deal after Robb asked for one more try at negotiating it. Remember that meeting David? It was just a few meetings ago. It won’t get done before Dan leaves office because it will come back for a second or third readings. Also by your own admission it will take UPRR until long after Dan leaves office to get this done.The plan looks workable if you can get UPRR on board and from the way its designed it seems there is a good chance of that. This is going to be approved with at least 4 votes and perhaps five depending on how far gone Brett is on Cannery so Dan isn’t even a swing vote.

    Your latest gratuitous attack on Dan Wolk contradicts your argument that he should have raised more money in his campaign. I guess he could have flipped and supported more oil by rail through Davis then perhaps he would have increased his IE share with support from UPRR and perhaps Valero would have gone with him instead of Aguiar-Curry.

    If you want to look at manipulation of the calendar how about the green waste containers being passed out right after the election. Now there is a real story.

    1. nameless

      Misanthrop: “The election is over and you are still pushing some nefarious intent, manipulation of the election calendar or corruption about the actions of Dan Wolk and Cannery. Let it be, its nasty, petty and unwarranted.”

      Agreed.

  4. hpierce

    if you can get UPRR on board

    Love the pun, intended or not…

    BTW, the timing of the waste containers coincide with the fiscal/contract year, and has been out there in the open since their use was approved/mandated… not right or wrong, but what is… no smoking gun there…

  5. Matt Williams

    Bicycle Alterative A is preferable to B because of the improved sight lines for the bicyclists.  90 Degree turns are much harder to navigate as well.

      1. Matt Williams

        It probably could Donna, but what advantage would be provided by crossing the channel only to have to recross it as the bike path proceeds to the south?

  6. Marina Kalugin

    First the developers should pay all of the $10mil which the current city council members “gave them”… then perhaps they should be allowed on the agenda….

  7. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   back in the day, folks like Dan Wolk should and did recuse themselves due to conflict of interest…

    in fact, anyone who got funds in substantail amounts from those people and the others of their ilk, should  not be allowed to vote…nor even put it on the agenda…

    of course, is Will any better or different?

    are his family members still developers in town? are they selling any homes in town?

    If so, he should also recuse himself…..

    that is another real conflict of interest……

  8. Marina Kalugin

    and, why not an undercrossing across Covell?

    that would be way easier for the bicyclists and pedestrians?

    Oh wait, one of the same developers was against that, right?

    perhaps the council could invoke eminent domain rights….for the good of the people….

    of course, follow the money and see why that is out of the question.

    I suppose the esteemed council will wait for someone to get hurt or killed jaywalking/riding across Covell before the current council majority think better access is needed across Covell?

     

     

     

    1. David Greenwald

      “why not an undercrossing across Covell?”

      Money?

      “I suppose the esteemed council will wait for someone to get hurt or killed jaywalking/riding across Covell before the current council majority think better access is needed across Covell?”

      No, it seems that there will be a crossing, it is in this deal.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        not a convenient crossing…..and too little too late…and if someone is heading to the Nugget, do you think they will go further in the opposite direction?   ever drive down LaRue?    that will be covell….

        1. David Greenwald

          Too little too late? How about better late than never? It’s not like the project is even completed yet. I’m not defender of the Cannery project, but I’m glad the council stepped up to make this little piece finally happen.

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