Sunday Commentary: Lack of Trust Slowing Us Down

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Internal View of Mace Ranch Innovation Center
Internal View of original MRIC Proposal

The school board has a saying, we move at the speed of trust.  It is a phrase that suggests that the pace of movement and change can only proceed at a rate that the public can absorb and can understand the need for that change – and trust the elected body to be operating in the best interests of the community.

It is a phrase perhaps the city council should also adopt, although at times it seems like the speed of trust is stopped for many in this community.

As we noted this week, trust issues clearly played a huge role in the apparent downfall of Measure A.  Indeed, there are legitimate trust issues at play here – some of them go back decades, but others played themselves out in the failures of the council to enforce agreements on the Cannery project, and their willingness to give The New Home Company $10 million in CFD funding for very little in return.

We can see the trust issue playing itself out on the affordable housing deal, where many saw the city giving away millions in city and community benefits in allowing for the exemption to the affordable housing policies of the city.  Lack of trust also played a role in that there are segments of the community who clearly never trusted the process to play out as advertised on the Richards corridor improvements or the promised grade-separated crossing onto the university.

The baseline features supposedly locked in the timing, but there were those who clearly saw the lack of commitment by the university as a reason to proceed more slowly.  The developers wanted to proceed for a variety of reasons in June, while some believe that they should have waited until November.

There are times when it is hard to separate legitimate reasons for delay from excuses to oppose a given project, but in retrospect one of the failures of Measure A was that we proceeded faster than the speed of trust and left too many things to the opposition to exploit.  In a narrow election, it appears there was just enough uncertainty and legitimate lack of trust to make the project fail.

Moving forward, no sooner had the dust settled on Nishi but MRIC came back with a new project proposal, a stripped down 102-acre version of their previous 218-acre project.  They are next in line for the Davis spanking machine – and that machine is already warmed up with skepticism and cynicism.

The timeline here to get it on the ballot is very tight.  City Manager Dirk Brazil told me that he was skeptical that they could get everything together fast enough to put it on the ballot by early July – just a month away.  To do so would certainly hand potential opposition the issue of rushing it onto the ballot.  And, really, they would have a legitimate argument here.

For the council to act this quickly – and, to be fair to the council as we have yet to see them weigh in on this issue, they might express the same concerns as those from some of the commenters in the last two days – would take a huge leap of faith.

Clearly, a November vote on Mace might proceed far faster than the speed of trust.  And yet, I see legitimate reasons why MRIC might want to proceed quickly here.

First, this really isn’t a new project.  They have already had an EIR process that was completed.  They have already had an economic analysis.  Yes, this is a different project, but if anything it is smaller and therefore less impactful.  They are not asking for housing here.

Second, no one has said this, but I think the clear driver here is Schilling Robotics.  Schilling has not been coy that they need more space than their current facility offers.  They will move if they do not get that space.  They are a Davis-grown company.  They provide jobs for employees and revenue for the city.  They want to stay but, if we lose them, we lose those jobs and revenue.

The urban reserve issue is curious – and probably a point that they ought to consider dropping, unless they have a clear and simple rationale for it.

As they describe in their press release, “The updated project would seek annexation of the entire 228 acres, including the Mace Triangle and the MRIC project site,” but “now seeks approval of innovation center uses on only the southern 102 acres. The northern half of the property, including the City’s 25 acres, is requested to be brought into the City with an urban reserve land use designation and will be subject to a future planning effort and subsequent Measure R vote before any development may occur.”

On the surface of it, anything that would be built on the northern part of the project would need a Measure R vote anyway.  So, why this has become a red flag for some – I don’t know.

But Eileen Samitz makes the point, “While I think it is good that the Mace Ranch Innovation Center is back on the table, it was originally proposed to be an innovation park, that is the land use designation it needs to be – innovation park, not urban reserve which is a total ‘wild card’ for any type of development there.”

She argues, “There is absolutely no excuse for the developers to change the land use designation at this point,  and it is a ‘red flag’ for the community to notice. Do not expect to get an innovation park at all with an urban reserve land use designation.”

Don Shor added, “I have tried to figure out any reason they would put an undeveloped portion of the property through a Measure R vote when it would require another Measure R vote to then change the designation again. The only thing I can think of is that it would possibly increase the value of the undeveloped land, and perhaps they intend to sell it. Other than that, why would they bother?”

Honestly, I don’t get the thinking on this either, by the developers or the public.  From the developers’ standpoint – what advantage does an urban reserve designation give them if they have to do go to the public anyway to get a project approved for that spot?

On the other hand, from the public’s perspective, what disadvantage does an urban reserve give us, given that we retain full rights to vote down an unacceptable project?

Clearly, we need to move at the speed of trust.  I would like to believe that, given the discussion about the need for innovation centers since early 2014 and culminating in the RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest), the project proposal and then a series of public discussions, we could move on MRIC quickly.

On the other hand, I fear that the public is not ready to proceed at this speed and we will have a ton of questions – so why the rush, even if the rush may be justified, based on the Schilling timeline and needs?

I don’t get the flap over the urban reserve, but if it becomes an issue, remove it from the table.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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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78 thoughts on “Sunday Commentary: Lack of Trust Slowing Us Down”

  1. Barack Palin

    The urban reserve issue is curious – and probably a point that they ought to consider dropping unless they have a clear and simple rationale for it.

    It’s no surprise that there’s a lack of trust.  Many felt that there was a bait and switch when the developer and the city went from innovation park to mixed use.  I can understand how people feel some trepidation now with the urban reserve issue.  I agree, the developer should drop that part of the request.  If it’s not a big deal then it shouldn’t be a problem for the developer to leave the zoning as it is.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I think this is part of the problem. You decided that the idea of proposing housing was bait and switch. My discussions with a lot of people in the business who are not involved in this project think that the financing for the infrastructure of 20 to 30 year time horizon project is difficult to manage and that housing would have made it easier to finance. You frame it as a nefarious plot rather than the developer trying to figure out the best way to make such a project possible. That kind of charge, in my view, poisons the discussion. And the fact is very few of us on here have real world experience in financing and development. I’m not saying we should build housing there, what I am saying is that immediately leaping into “bait and switch” language is part of the reason we are stuck here at neutral.

      1. Mark West

        I think you are correct in calling out the ‘trust’ issue, but this response to BP points out the other half of the problem which I see as an ‘entitlement’ issue.  Commentators feel ‘entitled’ to jump in with their opinions that were based on insufficient information (and sometimes no information), and then repeatedly expound on those opinions as if they were based in fact. BP’s ‘bait & switch’ was just one example. We don’t bother to wait for the project details, we just assume we are smart enough to ‘know’ what the developer and the City are going to do (and why) and assess the project based on those assumptions. Frequently, those assumptions are wrong, as well as wrong-headed.

        “There is absolutely no excuse for the developers to change the land use designation at this point,  and it is a “red flag” for the community to notice. Do not expect to get an innovation park at all with an urban reserve land use designation. “

        No excuse? Perhaps the change in designation increases the land value and decreases long-term risk sufficiently to make financing of the initial project more feasible. If that is the case, then it would seem to me to be a smart move for everyone and might even be a necessary step if we are going to have an innovation park at all.

        We don’t know because no one has bothered to find out. It is so much easier to assume the worst and blast away in the face of our ignorance. We have a planning process for a reason, so why don’t we allow that process to work and then make the decision? Turn down the volume, you are not helping yourself, your neighbors or the City.

        1. Barack Palin

          We don’t bother to wait for the project details, we just assume we are smart enough to ‘know’ what the developer and the City are going to do (and why) and assess the project based on those assumptions. 

          The thing is I thought we did know the project details and it showed a nice shiny new innovation park with no housing that I believe most in the community liked.  Then later housing was introduced.

          If you’re talking about the new scaled down plan, then no we don’t have the details.  I’m all for the innovation park but could tell from the comments that the urban reserve designation was going to cause a big problem and feel that leaving the zoning the way it currently is would make it easier to get this project going.  But you are right, there could be a logical explanation as to why they’re asking for it.  Either way I believe that the no growthers will be all over it.

        2. Mark West

          “I thought we did know the project details and it showed a nice shiny new innovation park with no housing that I believe most in the community liked.  Then later housing was introduced.”

          We ‘knew’ the initial proposal, that necessarily was evolving as it proceeded through the planning process.  You saw one change you didn’t like and jumped on it, using your indignation as justification to figuratively pound the project to a pulp.

        3. Barack Palin

          Oh please, the city had guidelines put out that stated there would be no housing.  The developer said there would be no housing.  You know I was 100% onboard.  Changing the project to add housing I would have to say was more than just evolving, in my view it completely changed the project.  So was the community supposed to just sit back and let it all play out and not voice our opinions?

           

      2. Matt Williams

        I have absolutely no problem with voicing our opinions BP.  I voiced my opinions.  It is the attempt to shut down dialogue through the inflammation of passions and the use of pejorative terms.

        1. Matt Williams

          Not in the least.  I have very thick skin, and probably more than most people enjoy your hyperbolic posting style, but in your flights of fancy vis-a-vis “bait and switch” regarding MRIC housing you sounded more like Bob Dunning than you sounded like Growth Izzue or Rusty.

        2. Barack Palin

          Please show me where I disparaged or belittled anyone?

          Your example doesn’t hold water.

          If anything I feel you’re trying to disparage and belittle me with your false accusations.

           

        3. Matt Williams

          Barack Palin
          May 3, 2016 at 6:50 am
          Ha, just switch water surface project with MRIC and switch fluoride to housing and look what we have.

          Barack Palin
          December 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm
          Sign me up.  I agree with you, in my opinion this has all the markings of a classic bait and switch.

          Barack Palin
          February 8, 2016 at 11:41 am
          Adding housing to MRIC is nothing more imo than a bait and switch from what we were originally told the project was going to be.

        4. Barack Palin

          Mr. Matt, I don’t see any problem with any of those posts.  They’re all my opinions, I’m allowed that aren’t I?  On some of them I’m just agreeing with another commenter.  Either way none of them are disparaging or belittling.  You seem to be grasping at straws.

          You probably had to spend a lot of time to search out those posts, I’m flattered.  Why do you have it in for me today?  Let it go, relax and enjoy the night.

        5. Mark West

          bait-and-switch

          noun

          the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods that are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods

          When you posted (repeatedly…perhaps even ad nauseam) that it was a ‘bait and switch’ you were stating that the Developer was being dishonest with the community. How does that ‘opinion’ forward the conversation and help create a ‘better project?’

        6. Matt Williams

          BP, it took only about 5 minutes, probably no more than the time you put in the last time you devoted time to your multiple posting name concerns.  We all have our idiosyncrasies.

          In fairness to you, when I did do the Google search on the combined phrases “Barack Palin” and “bait and switch” your screen name was not as prominently active as CalAg and Eileen Samitz.  Your comments weren’t as vociferous as theirs, but Mark West’s point above substantially mirrors mine.  It is a pejorative term.

    2. hpierce

      With the ‘urban reserve’ designation, the underlying zoning is generally unchanged… in this case, one of the forms of “Ag”.  See 41.01.040 Definitions. Davis Municipal Code.

      Facts are nice.  Speculation sells papers.

      1. Anon

        Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t MRIC and the city, with the urban reserve designation, want to send a signal to the COUNTY that the goal is to eventually annex the entire parcel and not just half of it to be developed as part of the project?  In other words, the urban designation is an attempt to keep the county from getting any ideas about developing it for themselves, and make plain the city has in mind to annex the entire property for the project at some point in time?  According to the Davis Enterprise: “The remaining 110 acres — including the city-owned Mace Triangle — would be set aside as “urban reserve” land, which would be designated for the project at some time in the future but which would require a second Measure R vote to approve city annexation.  An urban reserve designation wouldn’t automatically give the property owners the right to develop the land and the land could be re-designated for agriculture at any time, according to the city’s General Plan.

        1. hpierce

          I have no clue about the precise intent of either the applicant, nor the City (which, to my knowledge, has not officially responded yet)  as to “sending messages” to anyone…

          Zoning can be done by a description of land, even a portion of a legal lot.  My understanding is that annexation requires an “all or nothing” action as to legal lots.

          Again, see Sec.  41.01.040 of the Davis Municipal Code,as to what ‘urban reserve’ means.  It is what it is…  as I’ve said before, Sutter Davis did the same thing when they annexed their property to Davis, knowing that they’d need to build a hospital, but unclear as to what the eventual ‘medical campus’ might be.  They had to come back to the City, under the rules/laws in place (pre-measure R/J), and the urban reserve land proposed for the MRIC would have to do the same (post R/J).  No harm, no foul.

          There seems to be a lot of paranoia as to “urban reserve”… it appears, from the little information available as to the current revised application, that the underlying/base zoning will remain unchanged, and will require the same scrutiny/public approvals that currently exist… in and of itself, ‘urban reserve’ is NOT an entitlement… I’ll consider a rebuttal to that only if the rebutter can show creds as a land use attorney or other professional with at least 5-10 years of relevant practice.

          Probably a bad analogy, but if a guy asks someone “can I call you again?”, a reply of ‘yes’ only gives the option of a second date (which might be rejected), and doesn’t obligate either party to an ‘engagement’, and definitely not to obligate for marriage/sexual relationships.  Urban reserve is the “can I call you again” type of thing.  If a “second date” isn’t even considerable, the city/public can always “just say no” (RIP Nancy Reagan)[can’t believe I just quoted her].

        2. hpierce

          BTW, IF the Emptyprize reported, “… including the city-owned Mace Triangle…”  that was an ill-informed, ignorant, if not grossly stupid phrase… the City does not own the land the fruit market is on, nor the land east of the connector road to the P&R and the city water tank.

  2. Misanthrop

    With the price of oil recovering Schilling probably has the clarity to go forward with its expansion. Its probably now or never for keeping their expansion here. They have said for years they were willing to wait until this November so this is probably the last chance to get this done. With the EIR done and the potential tenant ready to go elsewhere the cost of an election is a risk worth taking.

  3. Roberta Millstein

    First, this really isn’t a new project.  They have already had an EIR process that was completed.  They have already had an economic analysis.  Yes, this is a different project, but if anything it is smaller and therefore less impactful.  They are not asking for housing here.

    The EIR process may have been completed, but input from the Commissions about whether the project met the City Council’s Innovation Center Guidelines.  And the Commissions were making recommendations as well.  Those processes were suspended – they were never completed – when MRIC was put on hold.  Now, it seems, the proposal is to proceed without ever finishing those procedures, or to pretend that the previous never-completed never-discussed never-presented analyses were sufficient.  They were not.  This is bad process.  Evaluating a project is more than the EIR.

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        I for one could care less about the commissions”

        I appreciate your honesty. It is rare for a poster here to state that they simply do not care about a process in which some of the most knowledgeable and dedicated members of our community are willing to contribute their time to examining all sides of an issue in order to make a truly informed recommendation.

      2. Roberta Millstein

        The commissions are there to represent citizen input into the process.  Commissioners spend their free volunteer time researching particular aspects in depth, and take input from the rest of the community.  Objecting to commissions is tantamount to objecting to democracy.  If you think they could be run better, I encourage you to volunteer for one.  There are often open spaces for people who are willing to volunteer their time.

        1. Misanthrop

          Roberta as I recall, and please correct me if I am wrong, haven’t you been an advocate for retaining the land out there that the city owns as some sort of farm to be run by the Open Space Commission?

        2. Roberta Millstein

          The Open Space and Habitat Commission has, over the course of many years and in conjunction with the City Council, pursued the idea of a community farm.  After much research of possible sites, the Commission determined that ~25 acres at Mace Curve was the most feasible location.  Thus, when the Leland Ranch discussions were occurring, the OSHC recommended that the City retains ownership of those acres, which it did, using Measure O Open Space funds.  There was never any suggestion that the OSHC would run the farm, and indeed, the Commission is in no position whatever to run such a farm.

          I believe that the current proposal would not include the ~25 acres; they would be part of the “Urban Reserve.”

        1. Michael Harrington

          Skip the Commissions, halt public pricess  and put this piece of dressed up valley sprawl on the ballot in November  Great idea !

        1. Barack Palin

          I feel that often times we get people on the commissions that have an agenda and think that the commissions are sometimes used by the no growthers as an excuse to slow down the process.

          That’s why I could care less about them.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            So did you view the work of the Finance and Budget commission that supported Nishi that way? The planning commission who likewise supported Nishi? Do you think without the Finance and Budget commission’s work, the project would have ended up net fiscally positive? I just think you’re view of one commission is coloring your view here.

        2. Matt Williams

          Often times BP?  Other than Natural Resources Commission, which you have complained in the past was dominated by zealots, what other Commissions match your “agenda” criteria?

          With that question asked, I will also re-ask the question I asked you earlier, “What alternative to the commissions do you propose?”

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      When I talked to the city manager, there was no indication that the process would proceed without finishing those procedures – in fact – he was specifically concerned about whether there would be enough time to do so and therefore whether the timeline would be feasible.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        David, they are not on the proposed timeline in the staff report, and knowing how much time the previous processes took, I don’t see how there is time.  We’d need to see the revised proposal and see what has been done is still relevant and what needs to be redone.  I’ll add again that this is all over the summer when some commissions don’t meet and many people are out of town.

        To be clear, I am not criticizing the city manager. Staff has been asked to pursue this, and they are. I am saying that this simply isn’t feasible. Now suddenly we’re in “hurry up mode” over the summer and there is no crisis — only a developer who changed their mind and then changed it again, and asks for all of the rest of us to accommodate.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          I understand – all I’m sharing is that I don’t think the city manager disagrees with you. But it’s not his call – it’s the council’s call and they haven’t weighed in yet.

          1. Don Shor

            We don’t know if the council even has a specific revised proposal to weigh in on yet.

          2. David Greenwald Post author

            They have the letter right now. THe council will weigh in on Tuesday and either tell them to go forward or tell them this is too high a lift for November.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          David, I’m glad to hear that the City Manager is taking the full process into account.  I wish that your commentary had done likewise.  That was what my initial comment was about.

          I know it’s the Council’s call.  I’ve already written to them to express my concerns with the timeline/process.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            My thinking is that we kind of know the parameters of what the public wants at this point, and so if there things that need to be tweaked, we should do that. But I don’t have a problem pushing ahead with someone. In the end, the public will get a full vetting one way or another.

        3. Roberta Millstein

          David, I don’t see how you can say that we know what the public wants at this point when the commissions analyses were still in process and their analyses never presented to the Council.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            The basics I think we know – we want something that will generate city revenue, we want something that is environmentally compatible, some level of LEED certification, some level of sustainability, some level of access that allows for people to get there without driving, etc. We just went through this process with Nishi – we saw the council give and take – we saw the pushback during the campaign. The question is whether we can get all of that done in essentially a month, that will be the downfall. But then again, I don’t see a huge downside to putting this for a specific March vote rather than a November one.

        4. Roberta Millstein

          David, as you said yourself, “the commissions catch a lot of problems early on in the process.”  Well, we weren’t early in the process, but we were still in process.  The Council set out guidelines for all the innovation centers to meet.  Shouldn’t we determine if the revised proposal meets them before this is put in front of the voters?  What would be the point of putting this before the voters if the guidelines hadn’t been met?  Also, the commissions were in the process of making recommendations.  Wouldn’t it be better if we considered whether some of those recommendations should be part of the baseline features?  I just don’t understand your position here.

  4. Marina Kalugin

    Some who may have followed this one better than me here, please chime in.  Where exactly is the land and who owns it currently?  what does the land abut?

    how many acres and what class soil?

    I assume it is not in the general plan?

     

     

     

    1. Roberta Millstein

      Marina, the land is just to the east of Mace Blvd and Mace curve.  There are ~200 acres in total, with ~100 acres proposed in this revised proposal (originally it was the ~200 acres), with ~100 acres put into “Urban Reserve”.  The soil is prime agricultural land (96.6% of the ~200 acres classified as Farmland of Local Importance).

  5. Tia Will

    Hi SODA

    What is the revenue estimate for the reconfigured project?”

    This is the key question for me. Much has been made about this being “the same project, just scaled back” leading one to conclude that only consequence would be decrease in the downsides of the project. What is key is not the effects on only one side of the equation but what are the changes in the advantages as well as the disadvantages. Without knowing both, one has no way of weighing the two..

     

  6. Marina Kalugin

    the Ricci farm was zoned farm/open space and it is now Woodbridge.

    none of the designations mean anything and can be changed by the whim  of the city council…

    I support Shilling staying nearby, and yet, it still needs to be a smart location….

     

    1. Matt Williams

      It has been a number of years since I last heard the costs discussed, but as I remember those discussions, the incremental cost is aomewhere in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.

      If we look at the reported costs of the Yes on Measure A campaign and then add in the litigation costs, proactively spending $100,000 to $150,000 on a special election is probably much less expensive than a contentious November ballot measure.

      JMHO

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Matt, do you remember if that is for a mail-in-only election or in-person election?

        Anyway, if that is the amount then I agree it would make sense to delay and do this right.

        1. Frankly

          The ONLY reason that you would want to delay it is so you can work with your NIMBY No-grower group to defeat it was Measure R.

          You don’t have any credibility at this point to be an objective contributor to any topic related to these development projects, IMO.

          The ONLY reason that you would want to delay it is so you can work with your NIMBY No-grower group to defeat it was Measure R.

          You don’t have any credibility at this point to be an objective contributor to any topic related to these development projects, IMO.

          [moderator] “your NIMBY No-grower group” This needs to stop.

      2. Matt Williams

        Roberta, I do not remember specifically, but I suspect it was for a blended absentee ballot and at-the-polls election like the one we had on Tuesday.

      3. hpierce

        The number cited, $100-150 k, is for a VBM (not “absentee”) ballot… 34 precincts… four poll workers assigned to each (state law requires 3 pollworkers present at all times [15 hour plus days])  $135 per day (min) for each pollworker… call it $20k.  Roving inspectors for polling places… add another $1k.  Now, add in to that the hours/costs involved in preparing and producing the ballots, processing/counting the ballots (particularly provisional/VBM ballots, where signatures, addresses etc. are verified before ‘counting’)… the folk that do that are paid much more than pollworkers, and also have benefits… same for canvassing the ballots (basically auditing).  That all gets you way over $150 k, as I estimate it.

        VBM only cuts out the pollworker costs, roving inspector costs, etc.  Most of the other costs of running an election are static… given the effort needed… independent of turnout…

        Would welcome info from County elections, but think that the $100-150 k figure is VBM (NOT absentee) only.

        Pet peeve… political parties demand separate ballots in primaries… yet they pay ZERO for the additional costs/delays for that ‘privilege’… and, it is indeed a ‘privilege’… for those of us who do not affiliate with a “party”, we can only vote for certain parties… Democrat, AIP, Libertarian, or accept a ballot with no presidential primary candidates.  We finally ARE able to vote for anyone for Congress (Senate or House) or non-partisan issues… that is recent… yet, we had 7 ballot types in our precinct… due to this stupid bent of political parties, about 85+% of the ballots that were prepared were unused in our precinct… that was also true in many other elections I worked.

        I advocate for completely open primaries, so there is only one ballot type.  Will significantly cut down on costs, delays in the polling places, etc.  If not, the political parties should completely pick up the incremental costs, period.

        1. Roberta Millstein

          Off-topic, but I agree with you 100% hpierce.  This last election with all the different ballots generated a lot of confusion.  People were given provisional ballots when they shouldn’t have been, and now, there are so many ballots not counted yet.  What a mess.  Agreed, we should not be paying for this.  Either open primaries or have the parties pay.  I’d prefer open primaries.

          To try to get back on topic, seems like it’s worth looking into VBM, especially if, as was said elsewhere, this is just a drop in the bucket for what the developer would spend, and might produce a better outcome.

        2. hpierce

          Looks like a dead dog (road kill) according to the link… at least for the foreseeable future… one of the many reasons I reject both major parties, and the “wannabes”…

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      If they did an all mail election, I think it’s somewhere around $50,000 whereas the cost is shared in a general election, so they might save $30 to $50K on it. For the developers, it’s almost chump change given the millions they are spending.

        1. hpierce

          Think we need a professional estimate from County elections… otherwise, just opining… Freddie and her staff would know, but I’d hesitate calling them until the recent election is ‘put to bed’.

          BTW, Elections staff are “aces”… they know their ‘stuff’, and are very friendly, knowledgable, honest, and responsive… Tony and Freddie have been great leaders…

    1. Matt Williams

      Marina, a quick look at the Yolo County GIS system (see Link) shows the Moller property as being no larger than 4.35 acres.  Schilling has said in the past that they need 40 acres.  Further their current main building is on a 6.32 acre parcel, and their second building is on a 6.48 acre parcel.

    2. hpierce

      Already taken, unless you want to evict another company… this has been discussed previously, but perhaps you were tied up in meetings, and missed that…

      Thank you for your input, though…

  7. Eileen Samitz

    I had no time to post regrading this article yesterday, but the “urban reserve” issue is significant for many reasons and should not be allowed. It is not in the best interest of the City and its citizens to annex in land that the developer has not defined what it will be used for. That has not been before and what a bad precedent that would set for other developers and future projects which would need to be voted on. Since the developers have to come back for another vote anyway, well fine. Let the developers come back with the second parcel when they define what it is for so the public knows what they are voting on. Why should the City give up any bargaining leverage? This is just another “shell game” by the developers and the Council needs to not allow this new manipulation attempt by the Ramos group.

    The Council needs to do what best interest of the City which is clearly to reject this latest stunt for a “urban reserve” designation for any portion of the project and take it off the table. The issue of the public’s trust has come up again, because this entire MRIC process began with promises, repeatedly, from the very beginning for a commercial-only innovation park to help the City with revenue. Yet, the Ramos developers keep trying to work their way into an 850-unit residential project as well, which would bring on major long-term costs to the City, and which, incidentally, would have no affordable housing per the EIR, just like the Nishi project.

    1. Matt Williams

      Eileen, your post is a bit confusing.  Based on your words above I see three possible scenarios. Which one (or ones) are you advocating for?

      1) Annex the entire 228 acres, establish Innovation Park zoning for the southern 102 acres (including the Mace Triangle), and establish Agricultural zoning for the northern 126 acres (including the City’s 25 acres) subject to a future planning effort and subsequent Measure R vote before any development of the 126 acres may occur.

      2) Annex the entire 228 acres, establish Innovation Park zoning for the southern 102 acres, and establish Urban Reserve zoning for the northern 126 acres, subject to a future planning effort and subsequent Measure R vote before any development of the 126 acres may occur.

      3) Annex the southern 102 acres only, leaving the northern 126 acres in the County.

  8. Anon

    Eileen Samitz: “I had no time to post regrading this article yesterday, but the “urban reserve” issue is significant for many reasons and should not be allowed. It is not in the best interest of the City and its citizens to annex in land that the developer has not defined what it will be used for.

    Based on the Davis Enterprise article I read, placing the undeveloped portion of the MRIC project in an “urban reserve” does NOT annex the property to the city as you have suggested.  Annexation is still up to the voters under Measure R.  According to the Davis Enterprise: “The remaining 110 acres — including the city-owned Mace Triangle — would be set aside as “urban reserve” land, which would be designated for the project at some time in the future but which would require a second Measure R vote to approve city annexation.”  

    City annexation occurs only AFTER a Measure R vote.

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