Fact-Checking Concerns about the Hyatt House Hotel

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Map-Hyatt

On Sunday morning the Vanguard walked around the proposed Hyatt House site and the adjacent neighborhood with the intention of evaluating the concerns of the neighbors in advance of the Davis Planning Commission meeting this Wednesday.

Our overall impression is that the site, with a greenbelt separating it from neighbors, will be well buffered from the most serious concerns of the neighbors.  Most of the neighborhood will not have direct line sight to the hotel.  The developer has told us that the trees along the greenbelt will remain, many of the neighbors have their own line of trees and, by the far side of Albany, there will be several layers of trees to look through.

The rest of this piece will address some of the more specific concerns of the neighbors as well as present some of the photos taken on the site.

A look at the site along the tree line
A look at the site along the tree line

Safety issues: The neighbors have presented various safety concerns.  There is a foot and bike access point that leads to the greenbelt and through to Albany Ave.  There is certainly some risk there, but how much risk is unclear.  In order to drive into the neighborhood, one would have to drive down Cowell, turn right on Drummond and then right onto Albany and then drive into a residential neighborhood.  That’s a long drive for someone that might potentially look to burglarize homes, and there are far easier targets with better freeway access.  Likewise, it seems unlikely that someone would go on foot or bike with the intention of a break-in.  Without discounting the possibility, there are simply more accessible targets that would not risk going blind into a residential neighborhood.  We therefore categorize this concern as plausible, but low.

Pond-Hyatt-10
Path enters Albany, accessible for pedestrians and bikes

Significant increase in foot and car traffic:  “According to KD Anderson & Associates, the transportation engineers hired by the project team, traffic impacts are negligible.”  Part of what we learned with the Embassy Suites analysis is that, unlike commercial businesses, there is no peak flow traffic for a hotel, people check in and check out during the course of the day.  They may go somewhere and return, but we are talking about a 120-unit hotel, on a road that is not impacted and again which is far away from the road.

Noise concerns: Walking around the neighborhood we heard motorcycles on the freeway as well as the ambient noise of the freeway.  The hotel will actually reduce that noise, as it will act as a sound wall.  That is what AEC, the acoustical engineering consultants hired by the project team, found.  “I80 road traffic noise is and will remain the existing major source of noise impacting the neighborhood. Sound levels will actually decrease at residences along Albany Avenue due to significant shielding by the proposed hotel building of transportation noise sources.”  This is an example where the hotel will actually improve the quality of life for neighbors rather than reducing it.

Lighting concerns: There are some concerns that there will be additional light pollution from the hotel.  While these seem legitimate on their face, anyone who drives down Cowell at night will note that Davis Diamonds is completely lit up in order to avoid concerns about vandalism.  It is therefore unclear that the hotel will add to those concerns about light.

Height of the hotel:  According to current zoning, the height limitations are three stories and 50 feet.  The hotel is proposed at four stories and 48 feet with the exception of the 52 foot “tower” – the portion of the hotel where the name will be displayed.  The Planning Commission will have to grant an exemption for the height of the building, however, our walk around suggested that most neighbors do not currently have a view of the freeway and will not be able to see the hotel.  There will be exceptions to that, but the impact here is limited.

Pond-Hyatt-7

Trees effectively block any view of the hotel even from a two-story building to the south west
Trees effectively block any view of the hotel even from a two-story building to the south west
This is the one gap that the developers plan to close with more trees
This is the one gap that the developers plan to close with more trees

Adjacency to the immediate neighbors. The hotel plans, even with their recent adjustments to the plans, still locate the hotel only feet away from the backyards of residence.  This is true.  This will be a hotel that is located close to the backyards of residents.  However, there is a greenbelt and trees that provides separation.

Pond-Hyatt-11 Pond-Hyatt-9 Pond-Hyatt-13 Pond-Hyatt-14 Pond-Hyatt-15

Transient nature of the business.  If the city followed current zoning, the businesses that could move there may well be just as transient.  One needs to look only around town to see store fronts vacant and offices that are unoccupied.  There is no way to protect against that for any commercial structure.  That said, there is a legitimate concern here that safety issues and other concerns will only be handled as well as the business is run.  A well maintained and well run hotel with responsive staff is probably not going to be a problem for the neighbors.  A poorly run hotel, with deteriorating conditions could be.  There is a legitimate concern that this could be a problem down the line, just as there is a legitimate concern that a deteriorating and poorly run New Harmony could be a problem down the line.  But that is probably a distant concern rather than an immediate one.

Lack of restaurants and services for guests.  Partially true.  One would have to drive 1.7 miles along Cowell and Chiles Road to reach McDonald’s, and further up the road is Nugget Market, Taco Bell, Subway and Cindy’s.  In the other direction, Safeway, Dos Coyotes and Round Table are about half a mile.  This is certainly not close proximity but probably not fatal to the hotel.

No easy freeway access to this location.  Likewise, this is accurate.  It is not an easy on or off the freeway.  It is probably a between 1 miles and 2 miles to the freeway access to the east and west.

Pond-Hyatt-5 Pond-Hyatt-2 Pond-Hyatt-4 Pond-Hyatt-3

Tree issues.  The petitioners cited the suggestion by the tree study to remove up to 35% of the foliage.  The developer has no plans to do that and will in fact be planting trees to restore some of the gaps in the tree line along the greenbelt.  Michael Bisch told the Vanguard plainly, “No greenbelt trees will be removed, period.”

From the Vanguard’s tour, it seems that a lot of the neighbors’ concerns are mitigated by existing trees that will block some of the impact of the hotel.  While there are some legitimate concerns, for the most part it appears that most of the neighbors would never know that there was a hotel on the other side of Albany along the freeway, and some will be benefited overall from the presence of the hotel.

—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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267 thoughts on “Fact-Checking Concerns about the Hyatt House Hotel”

    1. Grok

      Interesting. I would be more concerned about having the hotel patio that will have alcohol service 20 feet from the Greenbelt. has the City of Davis allowed that at any other place along the greenbelt?

        1. Matt Williams

          I can think of two off the top of my head, but no others come to mind.

          — Jack’s Urban Eats for the City’s greenbelt

          — Osteria Fasulo for the Village Homes greenbelt

        2. ryankelly

          Imagine a bike ride around the Davis Loop and being able to stop and get a beer periodically without having to leave the trail and ride to a store or restaurant?

           

        3. Frankly

          Are you serious?  What, back to a temperance movement?

          Come on Grok, you can do better than this.  Your are really starting to appear unhinged, polarized, desperate and NIMBY.

          Give us something real to discuss and debate, not this type of junk.

          Davis needs commercial space and rental housing.   Maybe you should be making the case for why this lot should be converted to zoning for apartments.

          But wait… then there would still be alcohol and cigarettes within 20 ft of a greenbelt!

        4. Grok

          Matt, your examples do not hold up.

          Jacks patio seating is in the parking lot of the Marketplace shopping center.

          Osteria Fasulo has a significant buffer between it and the Village Holmes greenbelt. Further, if I understand correctly the Village Holmes Green Belt is owned by the Village Holmes neighborhood association, not the city.

           

        5. Grok

          I am not universally opposed to a restaurant that serves alcohol on the green belt, but for a matter of process we need to recognize that this is a place the city has not gone before and take it into consideration. That has not been done in this staff report.

        6. Mark West

          Grok: “but for a matter of process we need to recognize that this is a place the city has not gone before and take it into consideration.”

          It is not being taken into consideration because it is a complete non-issue. Just another of your many attempts to ‘throw mud’ at the project and the developers while hiding in anonymity.

        7. hpierce

          And, none is proposed… the parking/firelane/access is ~ 40 feet wide, according to the exhibits.  I call BS.

          Based on ‘facts’… parking stalls are ~ 20 feet deep… fire lanes need to be 20 feet clear.

        8. Grok

          It is not being taken into consideration because it is a complete non-issue. Just another of your many attempts to ‘throw mud’ at the project and the developers while hiding in anonymity.

          If it is such a non-issue then it should be easy to address, but it has not been. The staff went to the trouble of acquiring opinions from the Davis Chief of Police, but this was not among the questions asked.

          Any anonymity on here is pretty thin. I will post under my own name when everyone is required to post under their own names. Even the author of this article posts under multiple aliases.

        9. Loki

          “Osteria has a significant buffer between it and the…greenbelt.”

          As someone who worked at Osteria many moons ago, your description of the back patio and garden at Osteria is completely inaccurate, Grok. Both back onto the greenbelt, with maybe fifteen feet of separation from the greenbelt path. I realize that the NIMBY’s won against Measure A by stretching the truth, but this is too much.

        10. Matt Williams

          Grok, you are confusing the pool and its seating area with the bar and its seating area.  Based on the 05B-91 graphic you referenced from the Staff Report, the bar and its seating area are approximately 60 feet to the northwest of the pool and its seating area.  Alcohol service will have, just as hpierce said, one row of parking spaces plus the fire lane (the graphic has a label that shows that combined width to be 42 feet) PLUS approximately another 42 feet of kitchen and dining area inside the hotel building until you get to the bar and its service and seating area.

          Given your more specific wording of your question, I’ll take the liquor license footprint of Jack’s off table as an example.  The buffer you refer to for Osteria Fasulo is actually their outdoor seating area, so it actually abuts the Village Homes greenbelt . . . but here too with your more specific wording of your question, I’ll take Osteria Fasulo off the table as well.

        11. Grok

          I walked by Osteria within the last week, that’s what I am basing my description on. It appears it is about 60 feet to the bike path. I do seem to remember it having less of a vegetation screen when it was the Plumbshire, but the patio was also much smaller, so it was set further back from the path.

          You failed to address that the Village Holmes green belt being owned by the neighborhood association not the City.

        12. Grok

          Thanks Matt,

          I appreciate your candor.

          In regards to the restaurant vs. the pool seating area, I recognize the difference, however, my experience as a guest in this type of hotel is that generally speaking the bar/restaurants generally deliver to the pool area, or at the very least one can take your food and beverage to anywhere at the hotel and and outdoor lounge area by the pool is a popular place to take it.

          Again, I am not advocating to prohibit this at this at this time, I am advocating that there should be consideration to the fact that Alcohol will likely be served  20 feet from the City of Davis Green belt and that consideration is not in the staff report.

        13. Mark West

          “my experience as a guest in this type of hotel is that generally speaking the bar/restaurants generally deliver to the pool area, or at the very least one can take your food and beverage to anywhere at the hotel and and outdoor lounge area by the pool is a popular place to take it.”

          Where within the establishment liquor may be served is subject to the liquor license and generally not city ordinances. The ABC makes this determination after consultation with the local police. There will be public noticing of the neighbors and a comment period as required in advance of issuing the license, providing you or anyone else the opportunity to present their legitimate concerns.  I suspect that your concern today is actually bogus, but in the event that it is legit, it is for the most part, premature.

        14. Barack Palin

          I’ve been to many bars where the alcohol can’t leave the bar area or where alcohol isn’t allowed n the pool area.  Do we even know what Hyatt is proposing? Are neighbors not allowed to drink in their backyards which are also close (closer) to the greenbelt.  Much ado about nothing.

        15. Grok

          Do we even know what Hyatt is proposing? – BarackP

          I don’t think we do know for sure. I am admittedly making assumptions based on other hotels, so that could certainly be better flushed out in the proposal so it can be addressed by the planning commission. I would think a follow up with the Chief of Police would be warranted.

        16. Grok

          Its disappointing to see someone like Mark West on here who is so in favor of approving this Hotel that they can’t seem to even consider that there should be considerations for further mitigating the impact on the neighborhood.

        17. Mark West

          Grok: “Its disappointing to see someone like Mark West on here who is so in favor of approving this Hotel that they can’t seem to even consider that there should be considerations for further mitigating the impact on the neighborhood.”

          I have said all along that the neighbor’s legitimate concerns should be addressed by the applicant through the engagement process. If those concerns can be mitigated, they should be, which is exactly what has happened. All we have today is a long list of ‘so-called’ concerns being thrown out by an anonymous ‘non-neighbor,’ apparently representing those who refused to take part in the engagement process with the City and the applicants. This is the same anonymous ‘non-neighbor’ who has felt justified in making personal attacks against named individuals who disagree with him. I am happy to provide him with another target at which to throw his mud as he clearly has very poor aim.

        18. Grok

          I have said all along that the neighbor’s legitimate concerns should be addressed by the applicant through the engagement process. If those concerns can be mitigated, they should be, which is exactly what has happened.

          The neighbors clearly don’t agree that their legitimate concerns have been addressed or mitigated because their petition is still up and gathering more signatures.

          All we have today is a long list of ‘so-called’ concerns

          My concerns have been pretty circumscribed and have specifically and extensively referenced the staff report.

          It is interesting that you bring up the so called attacks on the Pastor Hamicht, all I have ever done is reference his public postings on the Hyatt House development website, linkedin and the Davis Community Church website. The pastor has claimed to be a “community leader” on the vanguard but it is clear he has little or no experience in developing a hotel.

          “those who refused to take part in the engagement process” 

          There are significant questions about how well the engagement process was run.

          I am happy to provide him with another target at which to throw his mud as he clearly has very poor aim.

          How about suggesting some positive potential additional mitigations to address the neighbors concerns? That is what I have put forward.

        19. davisresident

          So, you’re saying that the pastor isn’t a community leader? It seems to me that he has done quite a bit for this city. And he’s certainly been recognized for it with awards like the Jay Gerber Young COMMUNITY LEADER Award from the Rotary.  So, at least some people in Davis view him as a “community leader.” If he doesn’t fit the designation in your view, I’d love to hear your definition of the term.
          Your innuendo has done damage to you, not him in my estimation.
          As Mark West has previously stated, it doesn’t matter if he has experience in development.

        20. Barack Palin

          So Frankly, after drinking your wine does the close proximity of the greenbelt make you want to get crazy and frolick through the trees like a crazy man?  Let’s hope that our city council can just dismiss these spurious made up problems and get on to passing this project.

        21. Grok

          OK DR, all I said is the Pastor calls himself a “community leader.” Why do you have a problem with that since you agree with him?

          Interesting to see  that you agree that Pastor Habicht is lacking in experience in developing a hotel, I really wasn’t sure just going on the public postings until the pro hotel at any cost to the neighborhood folks who seem to know him personally started saying he is has no experience in developing hotels. Ultimately though it is not up to you or I  to decide if the developers lack of experience in a project is a cause for concern, but the Planning Commission and the City Council might consider it.

          I am still waiting for your positive  potential additional mitigations to address the neighbors concerns.

        22. Grok

          OK frankly – The place you highlighted is not on the restaurant’s patio, but is adjacent to the path owned by the Village Homes neighborhood association. I will drop by and say Hi.

        23. Frankly

          It is the backyard of the restaurant where they serve dinner and drinks and it is right next to the path that separates the green belt and where I am consuming copious amounts of good alcohol in a responsible manner.

          Have you noticed Burgers and Brew and Crepeville with all that alcohol right next to Central Park where kids play?

        24. Grok

          I find it really odd that folks argue against considering this issue.  It is a new thing for a business to receive permission to sell beer and wine adjacent to a City of Davis greenbelt. The only thing that I have advocated is considering the issue, that is the appropriate thing to do before setting a new precedent like this.

        25. Sam

          He has a point, aside from Osteria backing up to a bike path and Target and Café Italia and  Mikuni and Whole Foods and CVS and Jacks Urban Eats and Safeway and Dos Coyotes it is unprecedented to sell booze near a City of Davis bike path!

          NIMBY

        26. Grok

          Sam,
          First off, I do not live in the neighborhood, so this is hardly in my back yard, Secondly, your way off base in your restaurant comparisons
          Target, CVS, Safeway and Whole foods – While alchohol is available at these places, they do not serve alchohol.
          Café Italia’s outdoor seating area is almost 500 feet across a parking lot, a road and a building from a greenbelt
          Mikuni’s out door seating area is almost 300 feet accross a parking lot to a bike path
          Dos Coyotes – Market Place or south Davis is far enough from a green belt, I am not even sure which one to try to measure.
          Jacks Urban Eats – is the same as Dos Coyotes in the Marketplace

        27. Chamber Fan

          I don’t understand why it matters if alcohol is served near a Greenbelt. We serve alcohol on patios near roads and that’s far more dangerous.

        28. Sam

          Round Table pizza in South Davis backs up to a City of Davis bike path and there is no fence between the beer serving establishment and the path. Dos Coyotes in South Davis is the same. The other places I mentioned would take just as long to access a bike path as the proposed hotel.

           

        29. hpierce

          Try exhibit 05b-2… only next to the pool, where no glasses are generally permitted, is it just a fire lane.  To the west there is two rows of parking plus the aisle/fire lane.  To the east, 1 row of parking, plus the aisle/fire lane.  Others have refuted the likelihood of ‘bar service to the pool area.

        30. Mark West

           Grok: “How about suggesting some positive potential additional mitigations to address the neighbors concerns?”

          If I were a neighbor to the project and interested in mitigation of my concerns, I would engage with the developers, as they are the ones with the power to make it happen. According to the Staff Report, that has in fact happened.

          If, on the other hand, I was not interested in mitigation but instead was looking to block the project, I would spend my day posting on a public blog like this one (or hire someone to do it for me) in the hopes of ginning up opposition. I have heard a couple of legitimate concerns from the neighbors which the developers have already addressed, or have expressed willingness to do so.

          I have not seen or heard a single thing in Grok’s laundry list that rises to the level of legitimate concern in need of mitigation, and have heard nothing at all from actual neighbors. Even if I had heard significant concerns, I am in no position to offer mitigation nor suggest what that mitigation should be. I therefore have no reason or responsibility to suggest ‘some positive potential additional mitigations’ just to please Grok.  I do have reason and responsibiilty, however, to call Grok out for his behavior, and for his lame attempts to gin up opposition with a laundry list of nonsense.

    2. Matt Williams

      Delia, for second hand tobacco smoke to arrive in an Albany Street back yard, it would have to travel across the back parking lot of the hotel, across the 65 foot wide greenbelt and across some portion of the back yard of the Albany Street house itself.  That is probably a distance of over 100 feet, with a mature stand of trees in that 100 feet acting as a filter.  Given that, is it reasonable to believe any second hand smoke will affect any asthmatic Albany Street residents?

      With that said, I will reach out to Alan Pryor and Barbara King, two of the most involve Davis residents in the wood burning discussions in Davis.  I know both of them are very knowledgeable about smoke dispersal realities in Davis.  Perhaps they will be willing to share their thoughts regarding your concerns.

      1. Barack Palin

        If a different type of business were to locate there their workers might also smoke on the back lot.  How abut the fact that the freeway is already close by spewing all kinds of smoke.  This is all much ado about nothing and comes off as desperation that the hotel is looking more and more like a sure thing.

    3. Tia Will

      Delia

      I am big on the issue of public health and safety. My take on what I see as your valid concern about asthma exacerbations, is that if the neighbor is not bothered by the contaminants from proximity  to the freeway, it is very unlikely that they will be bothered by the second hand smoke from the hotel guests. Of course, this is totally off the top of my head and should not be considered as anything other than one doc’s opinion which is considered in medicine to be the weakest form of evidence. But then again, some were swayed by one doc’s opinion with regard to Nishi.

    4. David Greenwald Post author

      It doesn’t seem likely that smoke will drift through the trees, but that’s of course a risk of anyone who has a house backed up against another

    5. quielo

      Anyone who has asthma who is living that close to the Freeway, and of course the train on the other side of the freeway, has much bigger problems. I assume from your comment Delia that you don’t actually live in Davis?

      1. Tia Will

        Frankly

        Do you believe that this kind of disparaging comment is useful ? I would remove you  that health issues weighed heavily enough on some folks minds to cause them to vote no on Nishi, a project that both you and I supported.

        I believe that presenting the reasons that you do not agree with a concern is likely to be.more effective than is a snarky comment thrown out for the fun of it.

        1. Barack Palin

          I agree with Frankly, especially with the opining of today’s supposed weak problems it seems that the detractors are throwing everything against the wall and hoping it will stick

        2. Frankly

          I am willing to accept and debate all reasonable factual points in opposition to any development project.  I think David has done an excellent job distilling those to what are real and what are fake.

          The problem here is that Davis has proven that it has a lot of foolish people that can be manipulated with what is fake… just get an emotional reaction.

          The defeat of Measure A was a wake-up call for the need to call out those that do this type of thing.

          And no, there is nothing beneficial in accepting any and all issues and concerns as reasonable if they are not.   I am not a believer in existential BS.  Honesty and practicality are primary and necessary components of a well-functioning society.

      1. Barack Palin

        I may be mistaken, but I think all the trees are on the greenbelt.  I don’t remember ever seeing trees on the proposed development property.

        1. Grok

          Barak,

          I don’t remember seeing anything significant, but I believe they have already removed some smaller trees.

          There is actually an important consideration regarding the green belt trees that I think will resonate with you. The staff report relys on the green belt trees to mitigate the view of the hotel. you can see it here:

          Because of the rear-yard fences and the trees on the greenbelt, much, but not all, of the building is shielded from view by neighborhood residents. 05B – 8

          Exhibit A-9 is an illustration that shows how City greenbelt  trees will partially screen the hotel
          Exhibit A13 are photos that show how City greenbelt trees partially screen the hotel
           
          Exhibit A-14 are photos taken from a drone that show how the trees screen the houses. 

          Because of the existing trees on the greenbelt, there would be minimal impacts… The applicant has offered to plant additional screening trees in the greenbelt where necessary for increased screening which is included as a condition of approval. The ultimate placement of any proposed screening plantings will be subject to review by the City Arborist to ensure that new trees would not be detrimental to the trees that are already on the greenbelt. 05B – 11

          But here is the problem, all the greenbelt trees and property are owned by the City. when any of these trees suffer damage or die in the future, it would be the cities responsibility to replace them. That makes the city responsibility for the upkeep of the mitigation after the hotel is built.
          Trees will be damaged at some point either in a wind storm, because of a drought, or just because the tree past its life expectancy and died. The current staff proposal in no way suggests it will be the Hotel’s responsibility to replace the tree, so there is no long term accountability on the part of the hotel to maintain the green belt trees as mitigation.
          Worse, the neighborhood could hold the city responsible for repairing the green belt tree screen they are being promised as mitigation. Replacing mature trees could be a significant expense to the city.

        2. Chamber Fan

          “That makes the city responsibility for replacing…”

          Not necessarily.  Developer has agreed to fill the gaps.  Doesn’t seem like a huge stretch to make the owner responsible for tree maintenance along the Green belt.  That’s an easy fix.

        3. ryankelly

          The City can plant more trees.  The hotel can plant more trees.  The neighbors have and can plant more trees.  Tree Davis can plant more trees.

        4. Grok

          The City can plant more trees.  The hotel can plant more trees.  The neighbors have and can plant more trees.  Tree Davis can plant more trees.

          There are no requirements that the Hotel maintain the green screen in staff report. Any suggest of what they “can do” is meaningless without requiring it.

        5. Grok

          The hotel should clearly have to pay for any future tree replacement on the green belt if those trees are being considered as mitigation for the zoning change. That is not in the current staff report.

          1. Don Shor

            The hotel should clearly have to pay for any future tree replacement

            Since the building height does not exceed the zoning, there is no actual obligation for the developer to mitigate the visual issues. It’s good of them to do so, and providing some one-time plantings in the greenbelt is effective because it can fit right in with the city’s ongoing maintenance without any increase in cost. But there is no reasonable presumption on the part of the nearby neighbors that this project would provide that screening in perpetuity. If a tree dies, the city would replace it as part of their greenbelt upkeep. That’s all part of the management of our urban forest that is already done.

            All that said, the fastest and most effective way to deal with a line-of-sight issue is in the yard of the person who has that issue. A much smaller tree, or even some large shrubs, can provide screening quickly since you don’t need a 40′ tall tree to screen a 40′ tall building when you plant it closer. Working with the handful of affected neighbors might mitigate the direct impact of this building. A 15-gallon Podocarpus planted in the corner of an affected yard can make a big difference.

        6. Grok

          Don, As I have cited above, the staff report repeatedly sites the trees of the greenbelt as mitigation. The staff just does not go far enough to ensure this mitigation persists beyond 18 months after the hotel is built.

          Your suggestion that the neighbors should bare the financial and land use burden to assure a mitigating green screen is unbelievable. It must be the developers responsibility to mitigate for the impacts of the new development, especially with the different type of use and density that is being requested for the site.

          1. Don Shor

            I did not suggest the neighbors should bear the financial burden. If the developers want to help mitigate this for the small number of neighbors who have a line-of-sight issue, they could work with those homeowners. Mitigation of the view of a building that is no taller than what the site is zoned for is not an obligation of the developers, but it is a good thing for them to do. The “use and density” aren’t the issue; the height is. This building is not taller than what is allowed by current zoning. People who bought there had no reason to expect screening from a 40′ tall building. But if a few trees can help alleviate the problem, so much the better for everyone. And the most practical place to screen is in the yard that is affected.

        7. Grok

          I disagree, the use is very much an issue, and frankly you have the issue backwards, the problem is not so much that the neighbors have to look at the building, the problem is that hotel guests have a view into neighbors back yards and windows. The people who own houses or live here had no reason to believe a hotel was a likely project for the site.

        8. Marina Kalugin

          wow… on the opposite side of the woodbridge fence separating my very shallow yard from the Fouts nightmare.. the neighbor’s yard is full of old valley oaks…which all started as volunteers….those trees are now over a hundred feet tall..

          in addition to the many olive trees lining the property border, which were “protected” in the final plans, those trees were also..

          Who would even know they are volunteers at this point……and aren’t  Valley oaks “protected” or some such.

          For my rosecreek friends,  I would highly recommend getting the Sierra Club and other conservation groups out there asap…be sure to take lots of pictures, as some of the “volunteers” may be removed right away…like in the middle of tonight…

          many conservation groups can also help you discern if there are swainson’s hawk nests and other endangered species which may  living in those trees, or crawling around the ground, like the elderberry beetles…also don’t forget to check if there are burrowing owls.

          also, Rosecreek neighbors, unfortunately, too many neighbors have died in recent years, however there are enough of us left…… be sure to canvas the streets surrounding Woodbridge on all sides, including El Macero Vista, and the old Willowbank on that side of Putah Creek, and also the other neighborhood of San Marino…

          many of us grumpy old activists, who haven’t died yet,  will be willing to help you out…

          I am out of the country at the moment, but my husband and other family are around.

        1. hpierce

          Another fact… the site was graded, compacted, for future development when it was created, as part of ‘Rosecreek’.  That’s the main reason why the volunteer trees look the way they do.  That grading, compaction occurred ~ the same time the greenbelt was developed… actually, a little before.

          We need to acknowledge the existence of a political force in  Davis.  The Druids.  They have a sub-group, the Druids, Reformed.  The latter can worship shrubs. We should certainly respect the religious beliefs of others.

          [attribution, Hawkeye Pierce, a MASH episode]

      1. hpierce

        Which would also occur if the site was developed under the current zoning.  The removal has been anticipated with all proposed development plans for the site to date.  Hotel use has nothing to do with that “fact”.

      1. Grok

        It is unclear from the staff report if the fire lane will be open to parking lot traffic, the drawings suggest it will. If it is that puts cars driving within feet of the trees. But the fire line is only a small part of the back area of the hotel, the majority of the hotels has parking immediately adjacent to the green belt. In fact the hotel has no landscape buffer between it and the green belt at all.

        1. Grok

          RyanK – If you have read my other posts on here hopefully it is clear to you that I have read the staff report.

          The Staff report contemplates protecting trees but is only able to assure there are no “detrimental impacts to the majority of the trees.” 

          In fact the report finds “Five trees (four Canary Pines and a callery pear)” future health “cannot be assured.”

          Further, the staff report specifically allows for compaction all along the southern edge of the property immediately adjacent to the green belt because these areas are in the drive and parking areas.

          Avoid grading, compaction, trenching, rototilling, vehicle traffic, material storage, spoil, waste or washout or any other disturbance within tree protection zones (TPZ’s) outside of drive and parking areas.

          Finally if trees are damaged or destroyed the staff report does not require replacement of the damaged trees, it requires payment into the City’s tree preservation fund equal to the value of the damage. There is no requirement to repair the green screen. Even if the City chooses to use the funds received, it is unclear how money for 50% of a tree can make a 50% damaged tree whole again and act as part of a screen for the neighbors.

          What is completely missing from the report is any consideration of the future health of the trees beyond 18 months after the project is completed..

      2. hpierce

        David and Grok… the risk to the roots is during the construction of either drive aisles OR fire lanes, both for the excavation needed, and probably more importantly, the compaction of the soils needed to construct those.

        I strongly suspect that either they already have mitigation measures for both, and even if not specifically in the approvals, the City has ways of dealing with it during the Building Permit plan check process.  Standard operating procedures.

        And any use of the site would probably have the same issues.

        Someone needs more pasta.

        1. hpierce

          Don could probably ‘fact-check’ me on the concepts and the staff report… I’m not a professional tree person, but have interacted often with those who were/are.

          I find it ironic that for a piece about fact-checks, many of the posts on today’s thread border on the antithesis of that theme.  Helps to show the reason why fact-checking is important… the ragged old saw is that “you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts”…

    1. hpierce

      If you read the staff report, tree root issues (not just roots, but the root zone) for the existing GB trees is directly addressed, including the view of the City arborist.  Am not going to bother with looking up the exact cite, but I know it’s there, as I did read the staff report.

      1. Grok

        HP please see my posts above with specific citation about the possible damage to trees and how the parking area immediately adjacent to the greenbelt will not be protect from compaction.

        1. Don Shor

          In fact the report finds “Five trees (four Canary Pines and a callery pear)” future health “cannot be assured.”

          The mitigation measures proposed for those trees “would reduce potential impacts to greenbelt trees adjacent to the project site (with the exception of Tree #8) to a less than significant level.”

          The health of the callery pear (Tree #8) ‘cannot be assured’ likely because it is only in fair condition (and has poor structure). This is a problem species. I would almost certainly recommend replacing that tree now, but that probably isn’t in the purview of the consultants or the city staff. So they recommend mitigation measures that might work, and require that the value of that tree be paid if it doesn’t survive.

          Further, the staff report specifically allows for compaction all along the southern edge of the property immediately adjacent to the green belt because these areas are in the drive and parking areas.

          Avoid grading, compaction, trenching, rototilling, vehicle traffic, material storage, spoil, waste or washout or any other disturbance within tree protection zones (TPZ’s) outside of drive and parking areas.

          Because mitigation measures for the compaction have been detailed to reduce potential impacts to … a less than significant level.”

          Finally if trees are damaged or destroyed the staff report does not require replacement of the damaged trees, it requires payment into the City’s tree preservation fund equal to the value of the damage. There is no requirement to repair the green screen. Even if the City chooses to use the funds received, it is unclear how money for 50% of a tree can make a 50% damaged tree whole again and act as part of a screen for the neighbors.

          The value of a tree is not the same as the replacement cost of a tree. It’s much higher.

          Tree canopies change over time. If a tree comes out, other nearby trees often will fill in the air space with branches and foliage. In any case, the key is to have new trees growing where older ones are declining so that the overall greenbelt tree system remains healthy. That is the city’s job regardless of what is built nearby.

        2. Grok

          Don, your post as I understand it is all factual, but I don’t think you answered my concerns (not that it is your job). I think this point is the most removed from what I have written about.

          That is the city’s job regardless of what is built nearby.

          In this particular case the proposed staff mitigations for the project rely on the city trees. All I am suggesting is the city should not bare the expense of maintaining the green screen for the hotel in perpetuity.

  1. Delia .

    Since recreational cannabis will soon be legal, will hotel guests be allowed to smoke it on the hotel grounds? What about expensive fancy cigars, where will guests be allowed to smoke those? Guests chatting on their cellphones late at night?   What happens when a doctor/ vet/ research scientist/ police chief/ proffesor living on Albany Ave. comes home for a quick nap but now there are hotel guests yelling in the swimming pool?

    1. Barack Palin

      What happens now when your next door neighbor smokes a cigar or maryjuana?  When they talk on their cell phone?  When a next door neighbor’s kids are out playing?

      1. Grok

        Personally I am not hugely persuaded by the smoking argument, other than people might choose to stroll on the green back to smoke since smoking at the back patio by the pool wont be legal.

        But this:

        What happens now when your next door neighbor smokes a cigar or maryjuana?  When they talk on their cell phone?  When a next door neighbor’s kids are out playing?

        is a red herring. the Hotel is a massive increase in the number of “neighbors” that are just over the back fence.

        1. Barack Palin

          So we can never build anything anywhere because someone might have asthma?  The smoke would have to travel pretty far through wind and trees and by the time it reaches any backyard I’m pretty sure it will be very dissipated.

        2. hpierce

          Let’s see… “just over the back fence”?  Not… unless someone went to the south side of the greenbelt which is at least 30 wide… fact. [the standard for the current ordinance on smoking is 20 feet away from a doorway, etc.]

          Since the predominant breezes (needed, as smoke generally goes up) is from the south (see any of the wind-rose exhibits, used for Nishi, for example, understanding that the “north winds” are generally not “breezes”)… the winds from the north tend to be more like winds than breezes, much more “turbulent” than breezes, hence more dissipative.  A fact that can probably be checked with the YSAQD.

          Where are your “facts”?  Sounds more like “what-if’s” to me.  Perhaps some one should write a piece on “what-if checking concerns”…

        3. hpierce

          So, the %-age of hotel residents who smoke exceeds the number of folk currently using the greenbelt do?  What is the factual basis for that assertion?  I’d assert that current greenbelt users are “neighbors” as well, in this context.  But, no, I don’t have factual data to back up my assertion.

    1. hpierce

      Actually that is not a valid yes or no question, but then again, you know that, right?

      There is a City bikepath/greenbelt system, where one could go from the parking lot of the proposed hotel, down through Walnut Park, along the Putah Creek Parkway, to its current western terminus at Da Vinci Court.  then it is an on-street system on Da Vinci Ct, the westerly end of Research Park Drive, W Chiles Road then back to an off-street system under W Chiles and I-80, thru the Nishi property, under UPRR and into the arboretum, and to Davis Commons (thus, a link to the southern edge of the downtown, eastern edge of UCD).  Actually, once at the the parking lot or the arborteum, one can go either west or north to connect to the bike/ped path on the south side of Olive, and either to UCD or downtown.

      Alternatively, one could travel on a bike/ped path from the hotel, under Cowell, thru Playfields, under Pole Line, up and over I-80 (still separated from the roadways) , along the bike/ped path on the south side of Fifth to the intersections of L & Fifth and Fourth… again the edge of what is either considered the eastern edge of ‘downtown’, the east side of Old East, and or the Core Area.

      The MV traffic on Da Vinci, west end of Research Park Drive and West Olive is pretty much de minimus.

      Safety is in the eye of the beholder… by the time my kids were 9 or so, I’d have had no problem with them taking either route alone, during daylight hours.  If they were wearing their helmets, of course.

      As the theme is “fact-checking” I offer,

      http://cityofdavis.org/city-hall/public-works/bike-pedestrian-program/see-the-bike-map

      Better cook up some another batch of spaghetti, in my view.

      [BTW, the intent of the City is to extend the Putah creek parkway, so the Da Vinci/RPD/West Chiles link would be unnecessary]

      1. South of Davis

        hpierce wrote:

        > then it is an on-street system on Da Vinci Ct, the westerly end of Research Park

        > Drive, W Chiles Road then back to an off-street system under W Chiles and I-80,

        Does anyone know why the city has not uses eminent domain to run the bike path directly from behind the DaVinci Apartment along the side of Hamel Lane to the I80 underpass?

        1. hpierce

          Yes.

          And, actually, your “why hasn’t” assumption is incorrect, to a point.

          The pathway next to Da Vinci Apartments does indeed exist.  I’m thinking you meant across the research park property and the Hamel property (which, as I recall, is actually in Solano county).

        2. Alan Miller

          The City has not been able to run through because the Rust property is in the way.  I understand that may be for sale.  If so, the City must buy an easement for this bike path connnection.  I have been advocating this for years, most loudly several years ago when a friend on a bike was T-boned by a car making a left turn with her in the blind spot on this section of Research Park Drive.  This zig-zag-zig is simply wrong.  BTW, the friend rolled over the top of the car and landed on her feet.

        3. Ron

          Alan Miller:  “The City has not been able to run through because the Rust property is in the way.  I understand that may be for sale.  If so, the City must buy an easement for this bike path connection.”

          I’m interested in knowing more about this.  (Since I rarely get over to that side, can you describe on the bike map that Matt provided exactly where it is?)

          By the way, this “might/might not” be the type of things that developers can help with, especially when requesting zoning exemptions – at least to generate good will and support. (I know that some may have a different view.)

    2. Matt Williams

      Delia, as part of the Brsssk Morning Walkers (see LINK) group on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, we often walk the greenbelt that runs behind 2750 Cowell.  I can tell you from personal experience that a protected bike path runs from that site westward to the protected bike path along the west side of Pole Line, which connects to the protected bike path that is on the south side of 5th Street from Pole Line to L Street.

      Connecting to the campus would follow the greenbelt connection through Walnut Park to the South Putah Creek Bike Path which connects through the I-80 bike underpass across Nishi and through the Arboretum.

       

    1. Grok

      Actually, the assessments in the Vanguard article are not that good. I think it misses key points on every aspect. It’s clear David did not look at the proposed site with someone from the neighborhood group, because he has not fully addressed the neighbors’ concerns. Of course that is David’s MO, he never seems to ask the people he takes on in his articles for comment. It’s like he thinks his analysis can’t stand up to objectivity.

      Personally I don’t think I have time to sit at my computer all day writing and defending an analysis of how messed up David’s analysis is.

      What I will write about is this: David is missing the most significant request for a variance in the staff report.

      Approve the attached resolution amending the General Plan to conditionally allow hotels within the Business Park land use designation, with a Floor Area Ratio up to 100 percent;

      That is a 100% increase in density over the currently allowed 50% FAR. The staff report is proposing allowing a doubling of density over the current zoning. 

      This increase in density causes cascading problems. Assuming you accept the change in use allowing for a hotel, the next step is to consider any problems that it causes and mitigate for them. But, in the case of this project, the density is too high to allow for significant mitigation. This lot is just too small for the project as proposed.

      For example, the hotel should be required to plant its own green screen, not rely on the City owned green belt as a mitigation (see my post above). The hotel having its own green screen would have the added benefit of screening the hotel from the green belt and setting the hotel a little bit farther away from the houses. Instead, the staff is recommending that the landscape area be less than is required in South Davis, because there just is  no space for it under the current proposal. When changing the zoning like this, the mitigation should require more landscaping, not less.

      Another example is the set back from the green belt. The city moved the hotel forward on the lot as far as tit can, but that’s only another 15 feet, because the lot is too small to move it any farther forward. But this causes a cascade of problems, because it results in parking cars to the very back of the lot which will increase light and noise pollution to the immediate neighbors. The mitigation fails, because the density on the lot is too high to mitigate properly for the new use.

      Personally I can imagine a situation where a hotel could be an acceptable use in this location, but it requires mitigation measures. In this case the hotel is just too big for the lot as proposed, so proper mitigation cannot be done.

      There are changes to the proposal that could make more area available on the lot for landscaping and set back that would help mitigate the problems. The developers should be required to put the parking under the hotel without increasing the height of the hotel. Then the hotel should be required to plant its own green screen, not rely on the City owned green screen.  The building should also be moved a little further forward on the lot. Without underground parking, the lot is just too small for the needed mitigations. Submerging the parking would have the added benefit of vastly decreasing the light and noise pollution.

      The only other option I see is reducing the size of the hotel.

      In any case, without further mitigation I would not support this project.

        1. hpierce

          Truth be told, the developers of Rosecreek “provided”, both with land, improvements (and initial maintenance), the buffer… yeah, the city may have required those ‘provisions’ (via the South Davis Specific Plan), but those are nuances.  [bottom line, no City funds were expended to acquire the land, nor build the improvements).

          But the theme of this piece is ‘fact-checking’, and am trying hard to toe that line, and note when I may be getting to the edges.

        1. Grok

          There is a balance that has to be struck between saving land and impacts on neighborhoods. I suggested ways the project can be improved that make it a better fit for the neighborhood.

        2. Misanthrop

          I’m not concerned about saving land as the ultimate planning goal. Davis has plenty of land all around it that has been saved. I’m more concerned about over densification and the resultant changes in quality of life as the unintended consequences of Measures J/R reshape the landscape and human ecology of Davis.

      1. Chamber Fan

        “Of course that is David’s MO, he never seems to ask the people he takes on in his articles for comment. It’s like he thinks his analysis can’t stand up to objectivity.”

        And why take unprovoked pot shots?  Make your points and be on with it.

    1. Tia Will

      Delia

      It’s better to walk/ bike around that area and see for yourself, imho.”

      Doubtless from the understanding point of view, unfortunately “better” is also contingent upon the current status of one’s back !

  2. PhillipColeman

    Quite a comprehensive analysis, and the photo-spread was very helpful in better understanding the issues presented and countered.

    I can address the specific issue of potential residential burglary having interrogated hundreds of these persons. Burglars don’t like limited access neighborhoods. They’re traps should police be alerted to their presence. Residential burglars also like to have the ability to unobtrusively enter a neighborhood and have a means of carrying away their loot beyond what they can carry in their pockets.

    More on the issue of resident safety. Opponents to this project allege that an undisclosed percentage of Hyatt-class patrons are predisposed to be residential burglars and pedophiles, and will ply their trade in the nearby neighborhood. This statement simply defies logic and crime statistics from other communities with similar hotel/residential geography are needed to validate this peculiar argument.

    1. hpierce

      Albany is effectively a dead-end street, for MV traffic west of Arnold. This will withstand “fact-checking”. I say that to affirm Phil’s points as to “access” for n’er-do-wells.

      And to jump ahead of some likely comments, no, Arnold Street was named for the Revolutionary War General, and not for a realtor or a CC member…

  3. Robb Davis

    I had posted a long comment on biking but see others have already done a better job of describing bike/ped access issues so I took it down (I don’t know how to embed maps here). Whatever other challenges exist for this project, I don’t think that bike/ped connectivity is one of them. South Davis has an excellent off-road network and good access into downtown.

    1. hpierce

      Yeah, took me awhile to do the narrative and post the link… glad you didn’t take the bait as to a “yes or no… have you stopped abusing your spouse?” question.

    2. Matt Williams

      Robb, anyone who wants to include an image in a comment simply needs to copy and paste the url of the image into the body of the comment.

      With that said, the City of Davis Bike Map (which can be accessed at http://cityofdavis.org/home/showdocument?id=5842) is not an image, but rather a document.  Pdf files are documents as well, even though many of them are images.

      To get a web-hosted image of a pdf or other document, I often go into Google with the appropriate search term and then click on the Images choice and a jpg of the desired image is often there. The image below was gotten using that method.

      https://placemanagementandbranding.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/davis-bike-map1.jpg

        1. Matt Williams

          That’s what I do hpierce . . . understand and share useful information.  Ron will no doubt want to know what my “position” is about the bike map, but for the moment I’ll let the “evidence” stand on its own.

      1. Barack Palin

        I had figured that area had to already be bike friendly because of the kids that live in the neighborhood and the addition of the children of New Harmony.

    1. Matt Williams

      FWIW, I suspect a large proportion of the guests will be spending their working hours on the UCD campus, and there are a wealth of restaurants between UCD and 2750 Cowell.

  4. Biddlin

    I cannot help but wonder if some of our recently acquired members are not paid agent provocateurs?

    The endless harping on non-issues and trying to inflate others far beyond reason are classic tactics.

        1. Barack Palin

          Now now, Tia doesn’t like that analogy.  But for real, what else would you call the concerns being expressed on here today?  Throw it and see what might stick.

    1. South of Davis

      Biddlin wrote:

      > I cannot help but wonder if some of our recently acquired

      > members are not paid agent provocateurs?

      I hope the local hotel owners that want to block this development to keep ADRs high are not paying Grok and Ron very much…

      P.S. are any of the new IP address at the Spafford & Lincoln offices?

      1. Biddlin

        “I hope the local hotel owners that want to block this development to keep ADRs high are not paying Grok and Ron very much…

         

        P.S. are any of the new IP address at the Spafford & Lincoln offices?”

        Maybe they are unpaid interns, then, hmmm.

        “Since recreational cannabis will soon be legal, will hotel guests be allowed to smoke it on the hotel grounds?”

        Presumes quite a bit, don’t you think? I don’t think the legalization is a done deal. The proposed law would also seek to establish laws to regulate cultivation, distribution, sale and use of cannabis, and would create a Bureau of Marijuana Control within the Department of Consumer Affairs to regulate and license the legal marijuana industry in the state. The highlighted portions are issues that not all pot advocates agree on. I think the fact that, long legal, medical marijuana is essentially shunned in Davis, and I’m sure local dealers thank you for that, would indicate a similar ban at the Hyatt, whatever the outcome of the election.

  5. Ron

    Just wondering –

    If this proposal is approved, might it result in Marriott losing interest in what is (pretty-clearly) a better spot for an extended-stay hotel (near Target, gas station, easy access to the freeway, easier to get downtown, “same side” of the freeway as downtown and the University, etc.)?  (And, no adjacent homes.)

    I know that there’s been some discussion that the market can ultimately handle 3 extended-stay hotels (Hyatt, Embassy Suites, and Marriott). but I don’t know if there’s consensus regarding that. I wonder what Marriott would choose to do.

     

     

     

      1. quielo

        It would be interesting to know what type of signals UCD is giving regarding these ventures. Hyatt, having a hotel on campus, presumably has good relations with the people who would sign a preferred provider agreement for transient staff and faculty.

        1. Tia Will

          BP

          Nope, done waiting.  Each should be considered seperately on their own merit.”

          Well let’s think about that strategy a little more. So we consider proposal A first just because the applications went in first. It turns out that proposal A is not as good as proposal B which now gets built, but due to its superiority drains business from project A. Or let’s suppose that because we first approved the suboptimal proposal A we are stuck with it and proposal B does not get built. How does that help the overall TOT for the city ?  As a matter of fact how sure are we as David has pointed out previously that the anticipated TOT is in fact new generation of revenue for the city as opposed to just redistribution of these revenues ?

        2. Barack Palin

          I want them both to get built.  Let the hotel applicants worry about if they’re going to be profitable or not.  They’re much better at figuring that out than you, I or the city.

      1. quielo

        What would be the point of that? Each has it’s own strengths and supporters/detractors. With the expansion of UCD likely they are projecting some estimate of room nights they anticipate needing. Much of the economic justification for these projects is probably coming from that.

        1. Sam

          Maria is onto something. With a bike crossing just to West of the hotel (Pole Line) and just to the East of the hotel (Bike Bridge) you might have two or three kids go out of their way to ride their bikes on the bike path behind the expensive hotel. Strangers smoking cigarettes, weed and drunk on $15 martinis could have walked down Cowell and around to the back of the hotel at 8am to cause trouble. We just can’t let that happen!

          NIMBY

    1. quielo

      Maybe we should look at the threat of residents to the hotel guests. South Davis is well known for violent crazies and maybe we should build a big fence to protect the guests?

  6. Marina Kalugin

    I am returning from the hospitals/vacation on Sept 3… come visit me and see what I was talking about regarding Ricci/Woodridge…  and you may understand more….in fact, we will have a walking tour for those interested..  of much of what I posted about over the months…

    same will happen at Rosecreek, if enough allow it…

    [moderator] edited, off topic

    1. Alan Miller

      Oh, goodie.  MK is going to be giving tours in Davis on topics from comments made in the Vanguard comments section.  That should be a profitable business venture.

  7. Marina Kalugin

    okay…it is not…as some of the same developers and engineering firms are involved…

    mostly same people and/or companies…and/or same tactics…and that is why people should do due diligence and learn…

    history repeats itself to the extent people do not learn…

     

  8. hpierce

    No need for fact checking… no ‘facts’ to check.

    Surprised you didn’t add UCD Admin staff to the list… about in the same proportion as to the ones you did cite. Very small %-age, but is real. And I have the same factual basis for that as you do, but actually, Admin staff (and professors, who are teachers) from a university/college are more likely to spend time in the hotel.

    1. Biddlin

      “No need for fact checking… no ‘facts’ to check.”

      https://mattsko.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/benny-paar.gif

      “Oh, my!”

      “on an extended visit, the perves may get to talking with the children who ride by daily ..or live in the nearby houses….the perves will encourage first communication,  then be invited over…what a disaster just waiting to happen..”

      This particular bit of paranoid disinformation  is potentially very harmful. According to most experts 90% of child victims know their offender, with almost half of the offenders being a family member. Of sexual assaults against people age 12 and up, approximately 80% of the victims know the offender.

      Another sad effect of the propagation of such myths is the creation of irrational fears of socializing, inflicted upon children and young parents. One of my fonndest memories of traveling with my mother were the folks I met on trains and planes. Now, if I try to console the lost child in the airport concourse or converse with the restless child in the seat in front of me of me, I’m looked at as a “perve.” What a world….

  9. Tia Will

    “Now now, Tia doesn’t like that analogy.  But for real, what else would you call the concerns being expressed on here today?  Throw it and see what might stick.” 

    Since I got called out personally, I will respond. You are right. I don’t like it. But more to the point is that I feel it may be counter productive. When people make snarky or dismissive comments not only is the initial questioner more likely to  dig in their heels, but if people who are considering the issue for the first time find it offensive enough, they may also adopt a contestant position. I have not decided on my position yet but am slightly leaning in favor of the project. These negative comments are not strengthening your case. While that will not matter much in this case which will not come to a public vote, I think it could make a difference in a tightly contested project such as Nishi. I would hate to think that this cheap form of negativism made a difference in costing votes for a project I favor.

    1. Barack Palin

      Get real Tia, many of the “concerns” here today is merely throwing crap against the wall.  I agree with Frankly, at some point it gets rediculous and we have to move past those that don’t want a project anywhere at anytime.

      1. Tia Will

        BP

        Please tell me who made you and Frankly the final arbiters on what is a legitimate concern vs what is “crap” ? And I was being very real and will give you an example.

        During the debate over Nishi, I became quite incensed by some negative and divisive comments made by a member of our CC who was in favor of the project. I also favored the project and the negativism of the comment was not enough to change my vote. But had I been someone sitting on the fence with regard to the merits, this kind of personal attack might have been enough to lean me towards voting “no”. Since I have done a lot of tabling and some walking of precincts for various candidates and issues, I can assure that casual comments that offend people can be enough to swing a vote in a way that is not your intent. Again not so much of an issue in this case, but the principle is the same.

  10. Frankly

    When people make snarky or dismissive comments not only is the initial questioner more likely to  dig in their heels

    First, I don’t read where there was any snark.   But in any case, not really.

    People are never rational. They rationalize. So after the fact they tell you why they did something. And there’s plenty of science to support that.   Now we can show that people actually make their decision before they come up with their reasons.

    So this is fine.  But if people are going to come up with reasons it is reasonable to criticize them if those reasons are made up and silly.

     

    1. Tia Will

      Frankly

      But if people are going to come up with reasons it is reasonable to criticize them if those reasons are made up and silly.”

      As I said to BP, I am unaware that you have been appointed the town’s arbiter of what is “made up and silly” vs. what is a legitimate concern. Why not just take the high road on this, consider that no matter how trivial you think an issue is, there may be someone who feels quite strongly about it. Would not the better path be to simple explain your position without demeaning theirs ?  What positive do you think these accusatory attacks achieve ?

      1. Frankly

        Why not just take the high road on this, consider that no matter how trivial you think an issue is, there may be someone who feels quite strongly about it.

        When my kids were little they would have strong feelings that they should not take a bath, that they should be allowed to stay up late, that they should be able to sleep in their parents’ bed and not their own, and that they should be able to eat candy all day and never brush their teeth.

        Would it have been taking the high road to let them express their feelings on this every time they were faced with the need to get over it?  Should I have validated their feelings as reasonable, or unreasonable?

        I don’t agree that every feeling should be accepted and validated as worthy in a debate of ideas.  I think it is not my responsibility to have to weed through irrational emotional responses, it is the responsibility of the feeler to rationalize their feelings and come to the debate with honest and factual points that explain what is bothering them.  If in the end the things they bring up are fake, made-up, over-exaggerated or de minimis… then it is justified to grow dismissive of those points after refuting them.  This is an opportunity for the feeler to grow a bit of emotional intelligence to get to the REAL reason they are bothered and what their REAL agenda is.

        Emotional intelligence is the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, to discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior

  11. Frankly

    Here is a little free business lesson for the NIMBYs using the no-restaurant-in-close-enough-proximity argument.

    If you were thinking of opening a restaurant you would want to have the customer base there already… or be assured that the customer base would be there before or at the time you open.  Because otherwise you would be running the restaurant at a loss.  And after already having sunk your savings into all the cost for meeting the myriad of new code requirements from nanny government and the global warming alarmists… you don’t have the capital to sustain a prolonged period of losses.

    So the better strategy is to wait until there is a customer base before opening the restaurant.

    So if the hotel is built, the neighbors in the area can look forward to future new eating establishments being built.

    But now we are getting into economic dynamism… something the stasis NIMBY mind cannot grasp.

      1. Frankly

        Friendly assessment noted and appreciated.

        Measure A changed my opinion of these people.  I am no longer respectful because I no longer respect them.

  12. Mark West

    We still don’t seem to have any neighbors willing to openly oppose this project. Those who were interested in improving the project engaged with the developers and had their concerns addressed. According to the Staff Report, another group of neighbors were uninterested in engaging, and only wished to oppose the project. None of them appear to be willing to go on the record with their opposition now, at least not here. We will see later this week if there are any actual neighbors opposed to this project or only the anonymous noise makers posting here.

     

     

      1. Alan Miller

        using their time for things that are more effective than posting on the vanguard.

        You mean, like Vanguard Comments Section regulars should be doing?

      1. Mark West

        Tia: “I have no reason to doubt that Delia and Ron are posting under their own names”

        If I were an entertainer or Brazilian soccer star (or had an ego to match) I might believe that a single name would suffice for proper identification, but for most of us it takes two and even then there is ambiguity. Ron (and Delia) may well be posting under their own names, but unless you believe there is only one Ron in Davis (Delia by her own account does not live here), he is effectively anonymous. When the name is clearly made up, then we know that the intent of the poster is to remain hidden, unless said poster chooses to add identifying information.

        I don’t believe there is any need for anonymity on this site, but I accept that others think differently, so I tolerate it with one exception. Once an anonymous poster attacks another by name, no matter how benign they believe that attack to be, then they have lost all legitimacy and integrity, and in my opinion, should be immediately outed by David or the Moderator. I believe one warning per lifetime is justified and sufficient.

        1. hpierce

          Am hoping you are differentiating between attacking  a ‘person’, and attacking a person’s falsehoods, half-truths, and opinions.  If not, please clarify…

        2. Grok

          I have said it before and I will say it again. The vanguard should get rid of all anonymous posting and make this a respectable community forum. It would probably get rid of some of the very nasty trolls that show up here everyday.

        3. Mark West

          Personal attacks such as those directed at Bill H. is what I am referring too, hpierce, not fact correction, the opposition of ideas or general orneriness.

  13. Chamber Fan

    Grok posted at 8 am this morning: “Personally I don’t think I have time to sit at my computer all day writing and defending an analysis of how messed up David’s analysis is.”

    He has proceeded to post 18 more times by my count – so apparently he does have the time…

    My question is what’s your angle?  Are you a neighbor?  A paid provocateur?  And if not, then what?

      1. Grok

        I am not a neighbor, I just don’t like to see a neighborhood get trashed by bad planning.

        And I really don’t have the time to deconstruct all of the problems with today’s blog entry. I summed up the key point above – More mitigation is needed to make this project appropriate for this location, but the high density of the project makes it difficult to implement the mitigation that is really needed.

        My suggestions are the hotel should either be smaller, or the parking should be put underneath without raising the height of the hotel, thus allowing more room on the lot to plant their own green screen, and remove the parking from the back of the lot to reduce noise and light pollution.

        It would certainly be interesting to hear other positive  contributions to how to make this project better fit this location rather than the cheer-leading and name calling up and down the comments section.

         

         

         

        1. davisresident

          It is mind boggling how many times the “real reason” the hotel shouldn’t be built has changed. Truly mind boggling.

          It does make me wonder, as others have raised, are you being paid? Maybe I missed the answer to that; I apologize if I did.

          The Planning Commission meeting should be entertaining to say the least.

        2. Ron

          Grok:

          I see nothing “wrong” with your suggestions/ideas, and I don’t particularly like to see others (who are also not neighbors) “piling on” someone who doesn’t automatically accept the proposal as is.

          You eloquently state what the neighbors’ concerns might be, and some possible suggestions.  Since it’s mostly just the usual commenters on here, it seems that most of the neighbors (perhaps fortunately for them?) aren’t members of the Vanguard community.

        3. Grok

          Davis Resident, I am not even sure who you are suggesting I would be paid by.

          I understand, If you can’t address the very limited problems I have focused on in the article and the staff report. It is a difficult problem caused by the 100% increase in density being requested in the zoning change.

          If you are in favor of the project, I suggest that a better approach is to offer positive contributions to the discussion suggesting ways the mitigation could be more effective to help clear the way to build the hotel rather than try to attack the character of a nominally anonymous poster.

        4. Loki

          Grok, here’s an idea on how to elicit positive contributions to a development project: don’t keep moving the goal posts after every trumped up argument you put forth (stranger danger, patio bar impact, reefer madness from drifting smoke, etc) gets refuted. It’s clear from your posts that you’re against infill development, and  your backtracking-claim that you don’t want to see a “good neighborhood (which you don’t live in) get trashed by bad planning” comes off as disingenuous.

        5. Grok

          Loki, The only thing you mention that I have discussed is the patio bar, and all I have suggested is it is not addressed in the staff report, is unique to this project and should be further addressed. That’s all pretty reasonable.

           

  14. Tia Will

    hpierce

    Oh, Tia et. al.  transient occupancy tax in Sonoma County (Jenner/Ft Ross area) is 11%.”

    Sorry, I am not intending to be dense, but I am genuinely failing to see your point. Can you clarify ?

  15. Tia Will

    A word to my fellow posters who oppose this project especially those who are new to the DV. One thing that bolsters your comments is if you take the time to respond when a point is made that you see as valid is made against one of your points, even if you do not fully agree with the conclusion. This has the tendency to increase the credibility of your sincerity and the honesty of your objections and tends to detract from the those who simply want to ignore or detract from your genuinely held beliefs.

    I know because I post here so frequently, and when out and about, often hear that people enjoy my more balanced and objective posts. I have even had some people tell me that they changed their mind based a post of mine. No one has ever yet complimented me on a snide exchange with another poster or a needlessly derogatory or belittling comment although I do occasionally slip when angered or outraged.

  16. Tia Will

    davisresident

    It is mind boggling how many times the “real reason” the hotel shouldn’t be built has changed. Truly mind boggling.”

    Could it not be because different people have different concerns. This was certainly true in OED with regard to the Trackside issue. The major difference that I can see is that we had a well developed neighborhood association with experience and the ability to focus on specific issue which were felt to be the most critical. Perhaps if such a neighborhood association had existed in this area, the same might have applied.

    Because one one’s mind is “boggled” does not mean that there is not genuine concern or that something nefarious ( such as paid opponents) is afoot.

    1. davisresident

      That’s constructive and helpful Tia. One good thing that could come out of all of this is that maybe the neighborhood will retain the new relationships they’ve developed amongst themselves and form into a neighborhood association for the betterment of the neighborhood in the future. I’ll try to weigh my thoughts more carefully, as you’re right, different people do have different concerns and all perspectives need to be honored.

    1. South of Davis

      I think that Grok is close to breaking a one week DV posting record (and he has not even mentioned the risk to pets on the bike path breathing in second hand smoke and licking spilled wine off the asphalt)…

      1. Tia Will

        I think that Grok is close to breaking a one week DV posting record”

        No. No. No.  I am sure that I must still have the record…… or at least the silver…..oh, no wait….wrong games.

  17. Biddlin

    “all perspectives need to be honored.”

    Honor what you like, but only reasonable ones deserve debate and consideration. The level of outright lying on the part of the “no on everything” crowd on every proposal that has come forward in the last five years has steadily risen until we have” junky perves renting $150 rooms to stalk our kids.” Honor your obligation to your neighbors (real ones) and to your posterity. “Perspectives” are a common commodity and not inherently honorable or valuable.

  18. Tia Will

    There are significant questions about how well the engagement process was run.”

    Since process is a major issue for me, I directly asked for suggestions on how the process and/or outreach could have been made better and either did not see, or did not receive any responses. If this is a concern of the neighbors, it would be very useful to get their ideas on what could have been done better.

    It would seem to me that three outreach events and the public posting of these in advance, and online materials regarding the project represent a fairly robust outreach effort. I am genuinely interested in ideas for a better process.

    1. Adam Smith

      Agreed Tia.  Plus, according to the Planning Commission documents, there was  a meeting with City Staff, and an offer from City Staff to meet again with neighbors, which apparently was not accepted by the neighbors.

      According to the post from a member of the development team, several project modifications were made to address issues that arose in the neighborhood meetings.  Seems like a pretty complete process all-in-all.

    2. Grok

      Thanks for your question Tia, I did not see your earlier post.

      Since I do not live in the neighborhood, I only know so much, but it is enough to cause me concern. I would like to hear more from the neighborhood on this point, and I hope they address this question with the planning commission.

      I would point to the fact that only 1 person attended the first meeting and only 2 people attended the 2nd meeting as evidence that there was a problem. I am unclear regarding the 3rd as Pastor Habicht did not post that information when he posted the attendance for the first 2. Since I do not live in the neighborhood, I never received notice so I can not comment directly on any direct outreach experience, I can report that multiple people in the neighborhood who I have spoken with expressed concern for the process, given what I mentioned above I tend to believe them.

      As to what a good process looks like, first I want to agree with you that process is important. it is important to the neighborhood and the developer. It is important that the developer get good input from the community so they can honestly try to address their concerns and try to alleviate them and avoid controversies that can delay a project.

      Personally I am of the opinion that generally speaking many concerns can be alleviated just by good communication. Others are more difficult and require dialog. Some can not be resolved between the developer and the community alone and need to be taken up by the planning commission and the Council. I suspect there are issues still at play here that could have been resolved with the developer if there were better channels of communication.

      So given how important it is to the developer to have this early input, the one thing I can be critical with them about directly is that they did not do a better job of addressing the low turnout at the early meetings to get more early feedback.

      I would also suggest that notices in the Davis Enterprise have greatly diminished in effectiveness since the circulation has dropped off so much. I would further suggest that a note hand delivered to the door is far less effective than knocking.

      As to what a good process would look like I can suggest this much. It needs to include multiple approaches. multiple flyerings, door knocking, phone calls, and newspaper announcements are all appropriate. Responding to low turn out with increased efforts is also appropriate.

        1. Grok

          It really depends on where the notice was taped, if it was windy that day, what the notice looked like and how  far in advance of the meeting the notice was distributed. There are really too many variables for me to know how it was executed, I can just come back to the fact that there was low (almost no) attendance at the first 2 meetings and the neighbors I have spoken to say they were not effectively noticed.

          Again, it is in the developers interest to notice the neighborhood to avoid later confrontations that could stall the project, but the first 2 meetings had basically no attendance, and we have no data on the 3rd.

      1. ryankelly

        This is not a campaign, nor is one required.  Neighbors were noticed about the plans.  Some were noticed more than once.  That is enough.  If the students in the rental down the street hand-deliver a copy of a noise permit for a massive party they have planned, I don’t get to complain that they didn’t call, knock on the door, hang up flyers in the neighborhood when the party disturbs my evening.  The neighbors should reach out and make their concerns known (as I think most have done).  What I see here is a bunch of people who don’t live in the neighborhood – some don’t live in the City – who feel that they need to step in to fill the vacuum of low activism to stop the project.  “Coming out of the woodwork,” so to speak.  The neighbors’ concerns are listed in the staff report.  There will be a Planning Commission meeting.  There will be a City Council meeting.

        1. Grok

          If a developer does a bad job of noticing, it causes problems. It is pretty pathetic to compare this to a noise ordnance for a one night party considering the considerable impact it could have on the neighborhood for years to come.

        2. davisresident

          Let’s assume the worst case scenario: the notices were blown off all the doors by wind and no one got them. They still held a 3rd meeting, posting it on nextdoor.com for the entire Rosecreek neighborhood. AND they put up a website with a place for people to provide input. I would encourage the developers to share the input they received as part of their the Planning Commission presention. I, for one, would be curious to hear what was submitted by the nextdoor community. And what steps they’ve taken, or not taken,  to address the input.

      2. Mark West

        The developers opened multiple lines of communication with the neighborhood, which is indicated by the feedback that they received and the changes to the project that were made. It doesn’t matter how good those lines of communication are, however, if the neighbors choose not to use them.  As indicated in the Staff Report, some members of the neighborhood refused to engage with the developers (or the City Staff) and were only interested in objecting to the project. There is an issue of personal responsibility here on the part of those neighbors.

         

        1. Grok

          I think your missing a key point Mr. West I will bold it for you. “some members of the neighborhood refused to engage with the developers (or the City Staff) and were only interested in objecting to the project.” that is not many members, that is not all members. It is hardly suggestive that there was a wide refusal to engage. I contend that their were many other members who did not even know about the project.

        2. davisresident

          Good point. Ok, I amend my response. I’d like to hear about BOTH the neighborhood engagement process as well as the web-based input. And I mean specifics about:

          1. Meetings (who, what, when, where, why)

          2. Approach (was it informational or did they actually listen).

          3. How did they incorporate feedback, specifically?

          4. Website feedback. What did they hear as the input page was available to anyone in Davis?

          5. What would they do differently to engage the neighborhood more effectively?

           

          A little over the top probably, but those would be the questions I’d be interested in.

        3. davisresident

          Being fair to Grok (trying to incorporate Tia’s feedback), I’d also like to hear about breadth of notification, meaning the areas they convered geographically.

        4. Mark West

          I’m not missing any of your points Grok, I just don’t think they are worthy of consideration.

          The members of the neighborhood who had concerns about the project that they wanted addressed engaged with the developers. Those that didn’t have concerns or did not wish to engage, stayed away. If you don’t show up or take advantage of the opportunities provided, you have no one to blame but yourself. You can contend whatever you want as it makes no difference as everyone has the opportunity to address the Planning Commission at the appropriate time.

          I commend the developers for doing significantly more outreach than was required and commend the neighbors who worked with them in order to make the project better. I expect the Planning Commission to give a fair hearing on the project and I look forward to its approval so we may move forward with improving and expanding our local economy.

           

        5. hpierce

          Mark… there was also the late June meeting, with city staff, and the SR clearly says that there were few in attendance, and when offered a subsequent meeting, including the developer, they universally declined (see staff report).

          Reminds me of a old ‘joke’… to paraphrase, “what’s the difference between being held captive by a terrorist or purported neighborhood ‘concerned citizens’?”  The answer is, “you can often negotiate with a terrorist”.

      3. Tia Will

        I would further suggest that a note hand delivered to the door is far less effective than knocking.”

        I would respond to this with, it depends. Since I have had the experience of walking neighborhoods to distribute invitations to forums and events on several occasions, it is my belief that the turnout based on either is very, very small.

        It needs to include multiple approaches.”

        I certainly agree with this point as different people will pay attention to different approaches.

        Responding to low turn out with increased efforts is also appropriate.”

        This I believe was done and may account for the larger turnout at the third meeting.

        1. Grok

          Tia, having walked door to door in Davis many times myself, I agree with you on every point with only one exception. I actually have no idea how many people turned out at the third meeting because for some reason pastor Habicht did not post how many people attended the third meeting. I am further under the impression that at least some attendees at the third meeting where notified by neighbors, not the developers. In any case, I hope you will agree with me that this process deserves more exploration. It would be helpful if the developers would provide more insight into their approach, but they have been more absent from this forum than the neighbors of Rosecreek.

        2. Grok

          Thanks HPierce,

          I was planning on coming and commenting, but after the thinly veiled threats made on this page today against commenters who might speak out at the planning commission I am considering asking a friend to go in my place or to submit my comments in writing. I am a little sick to my stomach as I wrestle with a desire to participate in the planning process and the well being of my family. It is really chilling that this is what the Vanguard forum is about.

        3. hpierce

          Grok… nice excuse for backing out at the 11th hour… and after all this time pointing out problems…

          Am suspecting you don’t “grok” the issues at all…

           

  19. Matt Williams

    Grok said . . . “How about suggesting some positive potential additional mitigations to address the neighbors concerns? That is what I have put forward.”

    Grok, the first step in achieving what you suggest above is to agree on what the neighbors’ concerns are.  The staff report says they are the following.  Is that a correct list?

    4. Neighborhood Comments

    Staff has received notification from a South Davis resident of a petition to oppose the project that is circulating and posted on-line at change.org and correspondence from a South Davis resident expressing opposition to the hotel proposal.

    At the request of staff, the resident summarized neighborhood concerns as follow:
    — Safety; i.e. adjacency to a neighborhood with a high density of very young children. Access via green belt it immediately next door to the hotel and multiple Albany entrances/parks
    — Lighting
    — Height of the hotel
    — Adjacency to the immediate neighbors. The hotel plans, even with their recent adjustments to the plans, still locate the hotel only feet away from the backyards of residence.
    — 24/7 business being a nuisance to the neighborhoods
    — Transient nature of the business
    — Overall esthetics in terms of large scale building near one story homes. Note the nearby low income housing building that sticks out like a sore thumb
    — No investment into local community, large corporation w/no skin in the game in Davis vs. local business

     

    1. Grok

      Matt,

      I am not a spokesperson for the Rosecreek neighbors so I really can’t tell you what the neighborhood concerns are beyond what is publicly posted. What you have posted is the staffs representation of what they understand the neighborhoods concerns to be based on very limited public outreach.

      I suspect we will learn more about the actual concerns at the planning commission. I would suggest however that between that list, what has been posted on the Vanguard and in other public places there is certainly plenty of information available to start to understand at least some of their concerns.

      I have pointed out some clear issues with very specific detail in the staff report relating to density and how it causes a cascading challenge to implement mitigations, but I have mostly not been engaged on that.

      If there is really an interest in this forum in approving this hotel through good planning and respect for the neighbors, then commenters can post proposed positive mitigations that could help to make this project successful and aid in the process. That’s what I did and I have been attacked all day for it.

      So far today this forum has been largely filled with some very unnecessary and ugly attacks, not by you, not by Tia or Don or a few others, but by the majority of posters. Given this, I can understand why the Rosecreek neighbors are not posting here and why the Vanguard is developing such a bad reputation.

      So Matt, its time for you to step up as an aspiring council member, lead a positive discussion on how to make this a better project.

      1. Matt Williams

        Grok, one thing I learned in teaching Critical Thinking to University students is that the first step in Problem Solving is to have a clear problem statement.  To date there is no clear problem statement from the neighbors.  So, if I were going to lead a positive discussion on how to resolve the perceived problems with this project, the first step would be to confirm the actual problem.  You have very clearly stated that you are “not a spokesperson for the Rosecreek neighbors so I really can’t tell you what the neighborhood concerns are beyond what is publicly posted.”

        My 5:53 pm comment directly quoted the only information that I am aware of that has been publicly posted with a listing of the neighbors’ concerns.  If the quoted Staff Report list is inclusive and complete, then the next step would be to determine impacts (as Ron has very wisely suggested), and then address those impacts.

        However, if the neighbors believe the quoted Staff Report list is not inclusive/complete, then beginning a solution process with an incomplete list is an exercise in futility.  It makes no sense to try and address a moving target.

        So the next step is a collective and mutual affirmation by the neighbors and Staff that the target is not moving, followed by and an inventory (by the neighbors) of the impacts on the neighbors of the concerns on the list. 

        Their alternative is to continue to have you be their non-spokesperson and/or choose to continue to refuse to meet with Staff (as documented in the Staff Report, “Staff offered to hold additional neighborhood meetings with or without the applicant if the residents were desirous of additional dialogue. The residents attending the meeting reiterated their opposition to the proposed hotel use and did not wish to pursue additional meetings.”

         

        1. Grok

          OK Matt, fair enough, your not on City Council so I will not try to hold you to any responsibility for trying to come up with positive solutions for this. Your claim to lack information is shallow considering the fact there are several public places that problems with the Hotel have been posted, and that you have clearly done extensive thinking on the matter, including writing an interesting article on the topic.

        2. Grok

          Oh, one other thing Matt, I find it odd that there are so many complaints that the neighbors are not posting their opinion on the vanguard. Unless one of the developers is secretly posting under an pseudonym (hint, its not me) then they have clearly been absent from the discussion too ever since you outed Pastor Habicht’s not so secret identity.

        3. Matt Williams

          Grok, it is not that I lack information.  If I were the only person involved I could/would make a unilateral decision very quickly.  However, I’m like you . . . a citizen removed from the front line, but also a citizen who is looking down the barrel of my “fair share” of a $655 million unfunded liability over the next 20 years.

          The problem with the current situation is that any third-party imposed solution is vulnerable to either (or both) of the parties changing the criteria.  That makes all th parties vulnerable to bait and switch tactics.  For example, to the best of my knowledge only one neighbor has raised the alcohol issue.  Their non-spokesperson has raised it, but we have no idea whether it is important to the neighbors as a whole.  Another example is their “height” issue, even though the building’s parapet is lower than the 50 foot zoning code limit.  You and RobertP have raised the density/FAR issue, but the Staff Report does not indicate that the neighbors have identified density or FAR as important concerns.  Prostitution and pedophilia have been raised in the discussions here, and included in more guarded terms in the first listed concern in the Staff Report . . . “Safety; i.e. adjacency to a neighborhood with a high density of very young children.”   Is this still an issue given the Staff Report’s information that the Police Service Specialist Supervisor noted that the Police Department does not see a safety issue or impacts to the community from a hotel in this location, provided it has lighting consistent with the City’s Outdoor Lighting Control Ordinance.  Or is this concern only from the disavowed neighbor who labeled New Harmony as the “nearby low income housing building that sticks out like a sore thumb.”

          With that said, I agree with your point in principle about the need for both parties to be more actively participative . . . both the neighbors and the applicant.  I too posed questions to the applicant that are as yet unanswered.  But the reality is that answering my questions and your questions is really just window dressing. The questions that have to be answered are the neighbors’, and if the Staff Report can be believed, “The residents attending the meeting [on June 23rd with Staff] reiterated their opposition to the proposed hotel use and did not wish to pursue additional meetings.”

        4. Grok

          Fair enough Matt. It sounds like the Rosecreek neighbors have wisely avoided spending their time arguing on here and instead spent their time talking with the actual decision makers.

          I would still suggest that there is lots of room to offer positive mitigation suggestions that would help make the hotel tenable to the neighbors. One of those ideas might just be the answer to the current impasse. Matt, you  specifically have a good understanding of the topic, you could have a lot to offer here.

  20. Frankly

    On the Grok-ing for excuses for opposing , i.e., selling alcohol too close to a green belt… per ABC:

    SECTION 61-6-120. Proximity to church, school, or playground; exception.

    (A) The department shall not grant or issue any license provided for in this article, Article 5, or Article 7 of this chapter, if the place of business is within three hundred feet of any church, school, or playground situated within a municipality or within five hundred feet of any church, school, or playground situated outside of a municipality. Such distance shall be computed by following the shortest route of ordinary pedestrian or vehicular travel along the public thoroughfare from the nearest point of the grounds in use as part of such church, school, or playground, which, as used herein, shall be defined as follows:

    (1) “church”, an establishment, other than a private dwelling, where religious services are usually conducted;

    (2) “school”, an establishment, other than a private dwelling where the usual processes of education are usually conducted; and

    (3) “playground”, a place, other than grounds at a private dwelling, which is provided by the public or members of a community for recreation.

    The above restrictions do not apply to the renewal of licenses and they do not apply to new applications for locations which are licensed at the time the new application is filed with the department.

    (B) An applicant for license renewal or for a new license at an existing location shall pay a five dollar certification fee to determine if the exemptions provided for in subsection (A) apply.

    (C)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), the department may issue a license so long as the provisions of subsection (A) are met in regards to schools, and so long as any playground or church located within the parameters affirmatively states that it does not object to the issuance of a license. This subsection only applies to a permit for on-premises consumption of alcoholic liquor.

    (2) Any applicant seeking to utilize the provisions of this subsection must provide a statement from the decision-making body of the owner of the playground or from the decision-making body of the local church stating that it does not object to the issuance of the specific license sought. If more than one playground or church is located within the parameters set forth in subsection (A), the applicant must provide the statement from all playgrounds and churches.

    First, a green belt is not a playground.

    Second, the city owns the green belt and hence can write a statement in support of the establishment.

    But there is certainly a president for ensuring alcohol is not sold in close proximity to schools, playgrounds and churches… none of which exist.

    1. Grok

      Yes that is the letter of the law, but that does not dispel the idea that the city should consciously consider whether or not it wants to have alcohol sold on the edge of the green belt. So far it has not been considered. That is all I am suggesting. Nothing you have posted suggests the city should not consider this.

  21. hpierce

    Only two “posting days” until denouement… Wednesday night, just like a masquerade ball at midnight (and the meeting might run that long), folk will have to drop their masks, say their names for the record, and then say their peace (or piece).

    Will compare the PH comments to what we’ve seen on these threads… should be enlightening…

    Since I have no dog in this fight (except facts, and dispelling untruths and myths), I’ll be watching with a bowl of popcorn, and perhaps a glass of vino… not many comedy/dramatic shows on Wednesday night.  This one might just win an Emmy (or, a Booby)…

    1. Marina Kalugin

      only midnight… jeez were you around when we watched the sun rise come up in the morning…

       

      of course elsewhere some call it a filibuster or some such…

  22. Marina Kalugin

    At the PV emergency room waiting area, the guy was watching 2 and a 1/2 men…that must be how he learns English…I thought I got away to PV so as not to hear those reruns every day…but the comments on this thread are way more hilarious.

    I see some of my earlier comments, about perves and child molesters are statistically more likely to be the kind of folks hanging out at the Hyatt…you know,  priests, boy scout leaders, teachers…

    of course, I am sure that was all off topic??? though some were worried about strangers and so on…how strange can it get??    you ain’t seen nothing yet….

     

     

    1. davisresident

      Probably pretty strange… Depending on the data set. By that I mean that you can probably find isolated incidences and apply them generally. For example, you could surely find an example of an assault at a Hyatt location, then make an emotional appeal based upon an isolated incident somewhere else in the country, then say, “See, I told you, Hyatt draws crime.” If you’re planning on presenting crime, I’d suggest a good data set to be effective. #tips

      1. Marina Kalugin

        on one of the other Hyatt threads…while I was posting I got a warnme alert from UCD about a crime on the greenbelt behind the Hyatt on campus…and I copied and pasted it on the thread..

        and some time later I got a “cancel that alert” from the campus PD>>and posted that..

        real life is always stranger than any fiction…  odd timing… and someone could follow up with the UCD PD>>.if they are so inclined…

        but it may be interesting if other things have occurred on that greenbelt behind that Hyatt…  anyone?

         

        1. hpierce

          It’s obviously a conspiracy with the city, and cover-up by UCD police, Marina… the attack did occur, right next to the ‘grassy knoll’… Hyatt and the City will deny it all…

  23. Tia Will

    Thanks Matt,

    I had already read your article and understand your and Dan’s perspective. However, I had also heard it expressed that some of the hotel owners in town did not hold quite such a rosy view of the situation and prospects. I do not claim to know who is right and who is wrong and I also understand that people are doubtless speaking from the perspective of their own perceived interests , only that there does not appear to be universal agreement about degree of benefit.

    1. Matt Williams

      Tia, it isn’t my perspective that I shared, it is the straightforward Audited Financial data from the City’s multi year actual TOT collections.  It isn’t either a “rosy view” or a “not quite such a rosy view.”  It is the kind of cold hard facts that would make Joe Friday happy.

      For example, the actual TOT data tells everyone and anyone that the “degree of benefit” is a 77% increase in hotel revenues during the six-year period from 2009 through 2014.  With that said, you are absolutely right when you put that 77% into perspective when you say, “I also understand that people are doubtless speaking from the perspective of their own perceived interests.”

      1. Tia Will

        Matt

         It is the kind of cold hard facts that would make Joe Friday happy.”

        I do not doubt the veracity of the facts. But I am sure that you will agree that even facts are not necessarily a reflection of what will occur in the future, and that is of course what is being predicted when we are trying to ascertain what future revenues may be.

        And no hpierce, I do not ever expect universal agreement, but think it is a fair to point out when one has knowledge that an opposing interpretation ( and yes, those do exist) even when there are facts that are used to support a given point of view.

        1. Matt Williams

          I agree Tia that historical facts are not necessarily a reflection of what will occur in the future.  In fact, the hotel situation in Davis is a perfect example of how that can work, because it is my understanding that each of the last four projections of annual hotel activity, made by industry experts, have been substantially exceeded by reality once there were actual volume and revenue numbers for the previously projected time period.  In each of those four cases the historical data produced an underestimation of the robustness of the Davis hotel marketplace.

          I worked very hard to be sure my article did not stray into the realm of opinion . . . and stuck to the facts, but with that said, I’m going to share some opinion in this reply to you based on my Wharton training.  My opinion is that there is a substantial (dare I say very substantial) pent up demand for hotel rooms in Davis.  I believe there are three reasons for the existence of this pent up demand.

          The first is the recent arrival of the Hyatt Place on the UCD campus.  It raised awareness of the high quality and value of Davis hotels on the part of the public.  Its 127 bedrooms added 25% more capacity to the existing 379 hotel bedroom supply in Davis. Think the Coke and Pepsi Wars ads back in the mid 70’s.  Both companies “won” that battle because the overall awareness of the cola market grew at the expense of 7Up and Ginger Ale and others.
          The second is the substantial rise in UCD enrollment, and especially in applications to UCD, which mean many more high school student and parent visits to Davis.  The 2014 Occupied Beds number for Davis was 176,473. 10% of that is 17,647 stay days.  If you assume two (2) stay days/beds per visiting applicant family (some will stay one day, some two days and others will need two rooms) then 8,825 additional applicant visits means a 10% increase in occupancy.
          The third is the (dare I say massive) amount of money UCD is paying through its Accounts Payable Department for Faculty and Staff to go to out of town conferences and meetings.  Hyatt Place and the new UCD Conference Center have created an environment where some of those conferences and meetings can take place here in Davis.

          Those three factors tell my Wharton brain that the Davis hotel marketplace is havin its own 2010’s version of the 1970’s cola advertising battle.  Just as Coke and Pepsi both saw their volumes and revenues skyrocket, I believe the recent 5-year trend of steadily increasing occupancy and revenues will continue, and possibly even accelerate.

          JMHO

           

  24. Tia Will

    Wow, I have no idea what happened that put my response to Matt in three times. I apologize and guarantee that I was not using that as a means of boosting my word count nor defending my record.

  25. rosecreek

    We, rosecreek neighbors, have met with every city council member except Swanson – waiting to confirm a date. We have also met with 2 planning commissioners and are meeting with several more in the next few days. We have met face to face with the property owners within the past 3 weeks. We are emailing, meeting with and going door to door in Rosecreek and willow creek.

    my email was posted in the last article and not one of you reached out.

    Thanks

    Rosecreekdavis@gmail.com.

    https://www.change.org/p/davis-city-council-petition-to-deny-hyatt-house-s-re-zoning-request

     

     

     

    1. Matt Williams

      Thank you for responding rosecreek.  I went to your petition and the following is the text therein

      Current zoning will not allow buildings taller than 3 stories and it will not allow a hotel. If this property is rezoned by the City Council, we believe there will be negative impacts on our neighborhood.

      OUR MAIN CONCERNS:

      — Significant increase in foot and car traffic.
      — It just doesn’t make sense to have a hotel here – that’s why its NOT zoned for a hotel.
      — A business running 24 hours 7 days per week in our back yard (literally in the back yards of many ALBANY homes)

      We would like to see a business that caters to our neighborhood or something that will actually benefit ALL of us in South Davis.

      Additional Concerns:

      — Lack of restaurants and services for guests

      — No easy freeway access to this location

      — Hotel guests will be able to see directly into neighbors homes and yards – especially after the tree removal and trimming suggested by the tree study commissioned by the developers.  (suggests removal or  trimming of up to 35% of the foliage of 16 of the 23 trees)

      — There are other hotel proposals that won’t be so close to neighborhoods.

      Is it reasonable to say that that list is a comprehensive inventory of the neighbors’ concerns? Or are ther additional concerns that you have presented to the Council members and Planning Commissioners?

    1. Matt Williams

      Rosecreek, thank you for the quick reply.  If you have a spare moment, could you share the comprehensive list?  Thanks.  I believe it will help make the conversation more constructive.

    2. Marina Kalugin

      ps… rosecreek,  do not share any further “concerns”  on this list….that will only allow the developers more time with comebacks and “evidence” to support their side….

      if those who you had face to face meetings with are not “understanding” the concerns yet, they will not …hold your breathe …spend your time on reaching out to people who may actually listen and help you..

       

      1. Tia Will

         rosecreek,  do not share any further “concerns”  on this list….that will only allow the developers more time with comebacks and “evidence” to support their side….”

        I could not disagree more with this bit of advice. As a member of the OED neighborhood association, it is my experience that what is most valued and respected is transparency and an honest representation of your point of view. From my interactions with the developers, CC members and commissioners what seemed to be respected is an objective presentation of information and concerns from both sides. If we want greater openness and objectivity from the developers prior to the presentation of a project to the city, then surely we should also be willing to be as open, honest, and objective as we can.

        If we do not present honesty and transparency, can we honestly expect developers to behave any differently ?

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          It’s also self-defeating advice. The project is likely to be approved and so if the residents don’t share further concerns, they can’t be addressed.

  26. Marina Kalugin

    also, to my rosecreek friends, you may find many other friends in the No on Nishi/ No on A group also…

    I will send an email alert to a few friends later today..after more sleep and some health appointments in the morning..

    Many monitor this DV site, though most have stopped posting after some unfortunate censorship incidents, even before the Nishi was on the ballot…

    good luck at the Planning commission meeting…  be sure to let everyone know how important it is for them to come…

  27. rosecreek

    Thank you marina!

    Its a sad day when mostly everyone on here says it doesn’t matter what we say or do, the project is moving forward.  I wonder if planning commission members know that most folks don’t see their role as a real part of the process ?  But I do.  We hope the planning commission will see that The project doesn’t fit with the neighborhood and will vote no. It’s their job to listen to the community and not be concerned with financial impacts.

    Tia – we are against the rezoning of the land. We are not open to mitigation. We have been 100% honest and open with the council and Comission members as well as with the developers. Just because we are not posting here dosent mean we are not transparent.

    The developers, city council, planning commissioners, And David have our personal emails and /or phone numbers and can reach out anytime.

    I do appreciate the constructive advice.

    thank you

    Rosecreekdavis@gmail.com

     

     

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