Guest Commentary: Why the Hyatt House Proposal Should Be Rejected by the Davis City Council

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External view with privacy screen/ rendering by HRGA
External view with privacy screen/ rendering by HRGA

by Carl Boyd, Alan Pryor, Lisa Sanders, Gregg Schwab, Levi Souza, and Carol & Tennis Tollefson (all Rosecreek neighborhood residents)

Introduction – We are a group of residents living in the Rosecreek neighborhood in South Davis. Our neighborhood is bounded by Cowell Blvd and the I-80 Freeway to the north, Drummond to the east, and Lillard to the south and southwest where it intersects with Cowell and Poleline Rd at the Oakshade Shopping Center (Safeway). Our neighborhood is almost all one-and two-story single-family homes with a few one-and two-story duplexes and apartments on the far south and east side of the neighborhood. There are also two 2-and 3-story low income housing developments on the far east side where Drummond intersects Cowell.

The Hyatt House project is proposed on the South side of Cowell Blvd and backups up directly to our neighborhood separated only by a narrow greenbelt pathway. It is proposed to be a 4-story, 120-room hotel on 2.031 acres.  This was originally promoted as an entirely extended stay hotel, but the applicant has been changing the mix of extended stay suites vs. more short term stay standard rooms.

A coalition of dozens of residents of the Rosecreek neighborhood object to the proposed Hyatt House project based the following concerns:

Neighborhood Compatibility Issues and Lack of Flexibility and Accommodation by the Developer

  1. The proposed Hyatt House project is incompatible with the Rosecreek neighborhood setting.
  2. The Hyatt House proposal misrepresents the nature of their project as a purely “Extended Stay” hotel.
  3. The Hyatt House proposal misrepresents the extent of the “Concessions” claimed to have been made to appease neighborhood complaints.
  4. The proposed Hyatt House project and location scores very poorly when considering the Council’s site selection criteria for hotels

Zoning Considerations – The Proposed Hyatt House Project May be Violating Prohibitions Against “Spot Zoning”

 

Uncertainty of Market Demand and Financial Benefit to the City

  1. There is uncertain evidence that demand for a 2nd extended stay hotel in Davis exists.
  2. The financial benefits to the City are uncertain.
  3. The Hyatt House may be predatory to downtown hoteliers and diminish downtown economic viability.

Traffic Issues and CEQA Compliance

  1. The Hyatt House Traffic Study is flawed and underestimates traffic impacts.
  2. The Hyatt House is attempting to use the existing Greenbelt as mitigation for noise & privacy neighborhood concerns.

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NEIGHBORHOOD COMPATIBILITY ISSUES AND LACK OF FLEXIBILITY AND ACCOMMODATION BY THE DEVELOPER

  1. The Proposed Hyatt House Project is Incompatible with the Rosecreek Neighborhood Setting

Large hotel owners like their properties to be within very short (even walking) distances from amenities such as food and retail shopping, fast food and restaurants, and gas stations. They are also almost always located within a short distance of a freeway exit and potential work sites or entertainment venues which serve to draw out-of-town visitors. And they are always well away from single-family homes.

During the recent Planning Commission meeting in which the proposed Hyatt House project was rejected by a 4-3 vote, photographic evidence and site survey results were shown demonstrating that every single upscale motel/hotel on I-80 between West Fairfield and West Sacramento met these criteria. They were always located near a I-80 interchange with a variety of amenities within walking distance. There was not a single hotel that bordered a single-family home residential neighborhood. (See http://www.cityofdavis.org/city-hall/city-council/city-council-meetings/meeting-videos and scroll down to Planning Commission – September 14 to view the streaming video or download the mp4 file to view this Commission Meeting).

The presentation also included views of Days Inn as the only Davis hotel that bordered a residential neighborhood. However, the difference between Days Inn and the proposed Hyatt House is that Days Inn is only a single-story building with a one-story wall surrounding it and the adjacent neighbors are in a 2-story apartment building. Thus, no one from Days Inn can peer down onto single family homes/yards as would be the case with the proposed Hyatt House Hotel.

In further contrast to the proposed Hyatt House, the proposed Marriott on Fermi and 2nd St near Mace Blvd. would be separated from the nearest residential neighbor multi-family apartments by both 2nd St and a gas station and vacant lot and does not present any of the privacy concerns inherent in the Hyatt House proposal. There are also many more amenities within a short walking distance from the proposed Marriott compared to the proposed Hyatt House and it is much closer to the numerous industrial draws on 2nd St. including Mori Seiki and Schilling Robotics.

  1. The Hyatt House has Falsely Misrepresented the Nature of their Project as a Purely “Extended Stay” Hotel to Minimize Neighbor Concerns

The 24-hour nature of hotels also creates noise factors even though developer claims extended stay hotels minimize daily in and out travel and associated noise. In fact, the Hyatt House development team has continually misrepresented the project to local residents, Staff, and Council. In all of the early discussions of the development team with local residents and the Planning Commission, the public was told that the project was an “extended stay” hotel and would thus attract a less transient client base and generate less traffic. Almost all of Staff’s references to the hotel in their various reports to it as an “extended stay”. The applicant has also repeatedly said that this hotel will not be predatory to existing hotels because it is a different market segment – i.e. extended stay and they and Staff continually refer to it as such.

That is somewhat misleading because the developer has since stated they expect to substantial numbers of overnight traveler visits. Indeed, the owner of the the proposed project’s next door neighbors, the Davis Diamonds, stated that would like to hold tournaments with a hotel right next door. The developer is putting in a substantial number of studios without kitchens. Full suites with complete kitchens is what is characterized as an “extended stay hotel”. Promoting the Hyatt House project as a full “extended stay” hotel, when most of the rooms are actually designed for short term occupancy, is a “bait and switch”. This is in stark contrast to the proposed Marriott Residence Inn in which, they claim, all units are full suites truly set up for extended stay with kitchenettes.

It is also important to note that just because the Hyatt House development team is proposing a Hyatt Hotel now, once the project is rezoned and approved for hotel use, there is nothing now to prevent the development team from flipping the newly entitled property to a new developer who could then come in and instead propose a Super 8 motel or a similarly low end hotel.

Thus far, no evidence has been submitted indicating that the development team has executed a standard Franchise Disclosure Document with Hyatt Corporation committing them to the project. In contrast, the Marriott Development team has indicated that it has signed such an agreement with the Marriott parent corporation so it is a much higher likelihood that the City of Davis will actually get what it is expecting with the Marriott proposal.

  1. The Hyatt House has Misrepresented the Extent of the “Concessions” They Claimed to Have Made to Appease the Neighborhood Complaints

 

The proposed Hyatt House developers have made great claims about their outreach to the local neighbors in the Rosecreek neighborhood stating they have even gone to great lengths to redesign the project to overcome the objections of the neighbors. This is not true.

What residents of the neighborhood have consistently said is the proposed Hyatt House is way too large and too high for the limited lot size and proximity to single family homes. We claim that this massive structure invades the privacy of the neighbors immediately to the south of the site and is inconsistent with the character of the other buildings in the neighborhood. Indeed, almost every single square foot of the two-acre site is filled with the building footprint and parking, to the extent that the Hyatt House team is requesting a special variance to allow it to put in much less landscaping on the premises than would otherwise be required by code. If ever approved, there will not be any full green buffer on any sides of the project.

The proposed Hyatt House is functionally the same size with almost the same number of parking spots as the proposed Marriott, but the Marriott is being proposed for a 3-acre site whereas the Hyatt House is being shoe-horned into a 2-acre site.

As an aside, the promoters of the Marriott site have publicly stated that they previously looked at the Hyatt House site and rejected it prior to the purchase by the current owners because they deemed the site to be simply too small for the scope of the project. Many of the Rosecreek neighbors have also stated they would either support (or at least not oppose) a reduced size Hyatt House project if the building were reduced from a 4 story to a 3 story building with the same footprint as allowed under current code (thus reducing to room count to 90 or less) and moving the parking underground.

In response to neighbors concerns about the impact of the large structure on the adjacent neighborhood, though, the Hyatt House proponents proposed to keep the building height and footprint almost exactly the same but simply moved the building a few feet further towards Cowell, while moving almost all of the parking and the pool to the back of the building and even closer to the adjoining neighbors. Given the associated noise with cars at night and very early morning and sometimes raucous pool behavior, this only increased the concerns of the neighborhood.

Further, because of the complete lack of any additional space on the site to offer any buffer between the proposed hotel and adjacent neighbors, the Hyatt House proponents are actually proposing to use the narrow greenbelt itself as their mitigation for aesthetic, noise, and privacy impacts on adjacent neighbors. This is completely inconsistent with the intentions of CEQA and opens the proposal to potential CEQA challenges along with other aspects of the proposed project as further noted below.

Many of the adjacent neighbors have noted that some of the large mature trees on which the Hyatt House project is relying for mitigation are actually in quite poor health due to over-crowding of trees along the greenbelt (confirmed by the City arborist, Rob Cain). There is real concern among the neighbors that the failing health of these trees and/or construction trauma will force their removal in the future thus exposing these neighbors to even more line-of-sight concerns than now exist. The Hyatt House project applicant has not agreed to any commitments to replace these trees should they be subject to an untimely demise or otherwise agree to some binding mitigation measures. Even if they did agree to some bonding mechanism to assume this cost responsibility, it would still be decades before the trees grew large enough to offer any substantial line-of-sight protection for these immediate neighbors should these trees die in the future and thus require replanting.

  1. The Proposed Hyatt House Project and Location Scores very Poorly Against Council’s Site Selection Criteria for Hotels

On April 19, 2016, Council approved a specific set of criteria to be used by the Planning Commission and Council to evaluate the two pending hotel proposals from the Marriott and Hyatt House development teams.

Following are the site-specific criteria followed by our analysis of the deficiencies of this Hyatt House project in meeting these criteria

A Proximity to Demand Generators, including International Businesses, Sports Facilities, and

UC Davis.

B Pedestrian and Bicycle Access and Accommodations, including Loaner Bicycles.

C Visibility and Accessibility from Interstate 80.

  1. Site Location, Product Characteristics and Amenities and Desirability for Extended Stay Travelers (Restaurants, Groceries, Neighborhood Services, etc.)

E Proximity or Access to Public Transit.

  1. Proximity to Residences and Neighborhood Compatibility

G Existing Zoning.

In its Staff Report to Council on the project, Staff analyzed all of these criteria with non-surprising positive reviews. However, much information was intentionally not disclosed in this Staff Report as further discussed below.

A. Proximity to demand generators, including international businesses, sports facilities, and

UC Davis. – Most of the major, high employment international businesses in town that would receive business visitors are actually north of I-80 like Mori Seiki and Schilling Robotics. These companies would be better served by the proposed Marriott Hotel at Fermi and 2nd St. Although the proposed Hyatt House would be closer to downtown Davis and UCD as the crow flies, access to either requires travel through the already extremely congested Richards Blvd. corridor and/or the downtown tunnel. In contrast, travel to downtown from the Marriott can be down either 2nd St. or 5th St and access to UCD can be via I-80 and utilizing the Old Davis Rd exit. Both downtown and UCD access from the Marriott can thus be achieved by avoiding the Richards Blvd Corridor.

B Pedestrian and bicycle access and accommodations, including loaner bicycles. It is unlikely any business traveler staying at the proposed hotel will use walking as a primary mode of transportation to either the Oakshade or Nugget Markets Centers because they are a 15 minute or greater walk. Pedestrian access to Target and related stores would be less than a 5 minute walk for patrons at the proposed Marriott. Both proposed hotels will have loaner bicycles for local use.

C Visibility and accessibility from Interstate 80 – Although visibility from I-80 would be excellent, accessibility from I-80 is very problematic for the Hyatt House compared to the Marriott. There is not another major hotel off I-80 from Fairfield to UCD that would be as far removed from freeway access as would be the proposed Hyatt House freeway access via either from Mace or Richards Blvd. While Staff speculates that extended stay hotels would likely gain less benefit from freeway accessibility because guests are anticipated to have limited freeway trips once they arrive at the hotel, the proposed Hyatt House is not exclusively an extended stay hotel and they will be actively courting overnight guests to their rooms that are anticipating using for nightly guests.

D. Site Location, Product Characteristics and Amenities and Desirability for Extended Stay Travelers (Restaurants, Groceries, Neighborhood Services, etc.) – There are no amenities in immediate walking distance available to future patrons of the proposed Hyatt House while guests at the proposed Marriott are provided with a wealth of shopping and food and purchase alternatives at the Target Center on 2nd St. or on Mace Blvd.

E Proximity or access to public transit –  Only the Unitrans W line provides local bus service on Cowell Boulevard near the proposed Hyatt House. The existing bus stops are about several hundred yards away from the proposed hotel site and the bus only travels in one direction. In contrast, 4 Unitrans routes and YoloBus pass by the proposed Marriott site and/or stop within a short block of the proposed site.

F. Proximity to Residences and Neighborhood Compatibility – The greatest objections neighbors have to the proposed Hyatt House is its proximity to single family homes and the attendant lack of privacy as a result of the massive height and length of the building. Additional neighborhood issues are the parking lots for the hotel which, for hotel aesthetic purposes, are pushed all the way to the back of the building causing additional noise concerns to the neighbors – particularly late at night. Also, the swimming pool at the proposed Hyatt House has been moved to the back of the building which will also cause noise pollution particularly since a bar is planned for the site. The Hyatt House project applicants have also informed the neighborhood residents that this bar will also be open to non-hotel guests. It is believed there is not another location in Davis where alcoholic beverages will be served to the general public in such close proximity to single family homes with children, a greenbelt, and a children athletic facility.

G Existing zoning – The proposed Hyatt House is currently not allowed under the existing Business Park zoning Use for the lot in the General Plan Land Use Map nor is it consistent with the South Davis Specific Plan. Zoning changes are required to both to entitle the project. Staff acknowledges the following specific zoning use changes will be required to entitle the proposed project.

 Addition of a hotel as a conditionally permitted use

 Increase in number of allowable stories from three to four and the building height from 50 ft to 55 ft.

 Increase in signage area exceeding light industrial standards

 Recreational facilities permitted outside an enclosed building.

 Doubling in the FAR Size Ratio

 Drastically decreased landscaping ratio requirements

The breadth and scope of the zoning changes required to entitle this project have severe and irreversible impacts on the primarily single-family home Rosecreek neighborhood. Much of the problem is due to the fact that the site is attempting to cram the maximum size of development onto an undersized lot (2 acres) directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood. By contrast, the Marriott is the exact same number of rooms (120) but it is being placed on a much larger 3 acre lot.

At the Planning Commission meeting at which these criteria were discussed for the proposed Hyatt House Facility, Commissioner Marilee Hanson presented a slide showing the number of red flags that that the proposed Hyatt House project raises with respect to these criteria.

HH-AP-1

We additionally believe that the relative paucity of access to public transportation (one single bus line going in one direction only with existing bus stops far removed compared to the abundance of bus options available to future patrons at the proposed Marriott) also raises a Red Flag for the Hyatt House in Criteria E but was not noted in Commissioner Hansen’s presentation to the Planning Commission.

Clearly, the large number of red flags raised as a result of this project represents a massive departure from approved uses of the site otherwise anticipated under current zoning. This is completely inappropriate given the quiet nature of this single-family home neighborhood. Because the Marriott is not adjacent to any residential uses, none of the privacy and noise issues are of any concern and there have been no public protests against the entitlement of that hotel whatsoever. If the City Council truly uses these criteria to select appropriate locations for hotels in Davis, this proposed Hyatt House should have been dead on arrival.

But it is not as if there were not other available parcels in town available for the Hyatt House development team to purchase. Indeed right now there is a 3-acre parcel directly adjacent to the Marriott site which is for sale at a cost of about $20/sq. ft. The Hyatt House development team has otherwise seemingly to have chosen their particular parcel on Cowell, however, because it is smaller and only costs $10 per sq. foot as compared to the higher price for the obviously more suitable and larger site on Fermi adjacent to the proposed Marriott. If the City allows the Hyatt House project to go forward and cram the proposed hotel into the much smaller parcel on Cowell, the City is essentially granting a variance worth at least $2,000,000 in reduced land pricing to the developers but in doing so sacrifices the best interests of the Rosecreek neighborhood.

Indeed, the Hyatt development team appears to have speculatively purchased the Cowell Ave site at a very low price anticipating that the city would change the zoning for their project and thus almost immediately double the value of their land purchase alone. So even if the project is never built and the land is just flipped to a new developer at the increased valuation of $20/sq. ft. because of the increased density allowed and the new hotel entitlement, the developers would stand to reap almost $1,500,000 on a $500,000 investment.

Of further concern is that the City is attempting to similarly change the zoning on the adjacent lot and the additional lot across street without any real community engagement as would be the case in a General Plan or District Specific Plan update. It is believed that this proposed rezoning is also not being done in conformity with legally required public notices to all affected property owners and there has been almost no public discussion about these zoning changes.

ZONING CONSIDERATIONS – THE PROPOSED HYATT PROJECT MAY BE VIOLATING PROHIBITIONS AGAINST “SPOT ZONING”

For almost every major development proposed in the City in the past few years, the City has been changing zoning at will and discarding General and Specific Plan designations that had been carefully crafted by years of negotiations between residential and business stakeholders. The Embassy Suites and Nishi projects are only the largest and most recent of such arbitrary zoning changes allowed by Council. The purpose of zoning laws is to establish clear expectations for allowed uses of real property, certainty of investment, and to minimize conflicts among neighboring properties. Unfortunately, wholesale abandonment of these zoning ordinances through exception zoning combined with extrajudicial changes in zoning in immediately adjacent parcels now seems to routinely occur which is simply a direct violation of the public trust.

When the City of Davis continues entitle land and projects through “zoning by exception. (sometimes also known as “spot zoning”), this practice defeats the purpose of legally mandated general plans and neighborhood or district-specific plans.

Indeed, at the Planning Commission meeting on September 14, Commissioner Herman Boschken stated that he felt the unusually large number of significant changes in current zoning for the proposed Hyatt House site that are required to entitle the project came perilously close to spot zoning.

We refer readers to the excerpt from Wikipedia on spot zoning attached as Appendix A. This treatise seems to be a very comprehensive summary overview but it is obviously a generic discussion and there are many aspects of spot zoning specific to California law which are not discussed here.  One Councilmember has privately stated that the issue of spot zoning has been thoroughly vetted by Staff and the City Attorney and is not applicable to entitling the Hyatt House project.

Suffice it to say that Staff and City Council have always taken the most liberal interpretation of zoning and development related laws to support large development projects in Davis in the past including Council-approved projects at Embassy Suites and Nishi. Others have vehemently disagreed with these interpretations and these disagreements have resulted in protracted and currently unresolved litigation surrounding those projects. Thus, it would not be surprising to learn that many of the residents of Rosecreek may not have a high regard for the certainty and interpretation of Staff’s and Counsel’s legal opinion in these matters.

UNCERTAINTY OF MARKET DEMAND AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS TO THE CITY

  1. There is Uncertain Evidence that Demand for a 2nd Extended Stay Hotel in Davis Exists

Following are excerpts (in italics) from the Staff Report submitted to Council (05 Hotel Background Information) for the Nov. 1, 2016 Council meeting:

To provide an analysis of the potential new supply of hotels rooms, a report New Hotel Impact & Analysis prepared under City contract by HVS, was presented to the City Council on March 15, 2016 (HVS Report). The key findings of the report suggest that the addition of a hotel conference center and one extended-stay hotel in the near-term would be beneficial to the City, other hotels, and the overall market and that the addition of a second extend-stay hotel would not benefit the market for four to five years after the initial extend-stay hotel opened.” (Underline Emphasis Added)

The residents of Rosecreek believe this is a definitive conclusion based on all available information. If such conclusions are accepted by Council given the fact that the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center is currently tied up in litigation and may not be built for some time, the clear and obvious choice before them on November 1 is to choose between the two competing projects (the Marriott vs. the Hyatt). We believe the Marriott Hotel is clearly the more favorable site because of the far better location near I-80 and Mace Blvd and the lack of adverse neighborhood impacts as is otherwise discussed elsewhere in this article.

In the same Staff Report, more detailed discussions about the potential market for hotels in Davis are provided but in a clearly subjective and/or biased manner; as follows:

Demand Generators – unmet need for supply exists and will increase over time

 

There are people attending UC Davis events but not staying in Davis hotels.

 

An informal poll of event planners at UC Davis on hotel needs was recently conducted by campus. We received the following information.

 

Hotel Loyalty Programs – guests want to use loyalty programs and are not provided with all the choices in Davis. There are presently no Hyatt or Hilton hotels in the City of Davis, for example. Both brands have strong customer loyalty and associated programs.

 

Amenities and services – guests want better appointed facilities (no details provided).

 

Depending on the time of year, supply cannot accommodate all guests.

 

50% of event planners that responded (unknown number of respondents), replied that more hotel rooms are needed.

 

50% of respondents think there is enough demand for two new hotels (this is not

explained any further).

Firstly, stating there is no Hyatt in Davis now and that the poor Hyatt Hotel users who come to town can’t use their loyalty points and will thus have to go elsewhere is disingenuous and borders on outright deception. This is because Staff explicitly fail to note that Hyatt users can currently stay at the 127-room Hyatt Place Hotel right on campus which is just a few miles away from the newly proposed Hyatt House on Cowell. While the City of Davis fails to collect Transit Occupancy Tax from guests at this establishment on UCD because it is technically in the County and not the City of Davis, it’s presence does clearly eviscerate the arguments of Staff that a Hyatt option is not locally available to visitors to the Davis area and that Council should thus approve another Hyatt facility in Davis proper.

The Staff report also states that the survey reported “guests want better appointed facilities”. But better than what?…the existing Hyatt Place on campus? It is telling that there were “no details were provided” by the informal survey respondents to substantiate this claim or that these details were not provided by Staff in their report. Certainly the proposed new Hyatt House will not have any “better appointed facilities” than the nearly new Hyatt Place on campus which renders this claim very suspect.

The survey respondents supposedly also claimed that “Depending on the time of year, supply cannot accommodate all guests”. OK, but for exactly how many days of the 365 days in the most recent year was the Hyatt Place and other Davis hotels/motels at full 100% capacity and thus turning away guests? Is it one days or 100 days? Making such a blanket statement without providing quantitative data to substantiate it questions the objectivity of the Staff Report.

There are also other broad unsubstantiated statements in the “informal survey” with “unknown number of respondents” that Staff performed as follows:

unmet need for supply exists and will increase over time.”  They note that “there are people attending UC Davis events but not staying in Davis hotels.”

    50% of event planners that responded (unknown number of respondents), replied that more hotel rooms are needed.

    50% of respondents think there is enough demand for two new hotels (this is not explained any further).

But if only 50% of UCD event planners surveyed believe that such a need for more local hotel rooms exist, that means that 50% of the event planners surveyed DO NOT believe there is a need for more local hotel rooms! It certainly takes the shine off that survey when you report it that way.  But the reality is that nobody knows what the actual day-to-day demand is because, amazing as it seems, there has not been any formal study of how much hotel guest leakage to other cities is occurring.

It is almost incomprehensible that these proposed major development decisions are being promoted by Staff and seriously considered by Council without obtaining this most straight-forward market information. Without this basic information, Staff comments about market demand are pure speculation and are seemingly conjured up to support their recommendation to build any hotel that is proposed in Davis. Unfortunately, enough scrutiny has not been given to Staff’s underlying assumptions and the incongruity of these assumptions discredit their somewhat simplistic approach at quantifying drivers of market development to justify support for unneeded projects. It is really hard for many of us in the community to get behind the recommendations of Staff for more development when they make rosy forecasts of demand without any underlying objective quantitative evidence to support their claims.

However, we will acknowledge that there has been substantial occupancy growth in Davis hotels and motels as the country came out of the depths of the great recession. Many will recall how brutal that recession was on downtown hoteliers and businesses in 2008 – 2011. But that is the nature of economic cycles. The mistake some in Davis are now making is to continue to think this type of hotel occupancy growth coming out of the great recession will continue indefinitely into the future – especially if we are looking down the barrel of another recession.

We believe that calls for adding hundreds and hundreds of new hotel rooms expecting this type of occupancy growth to continue unabated into the future is what some would call “irrational exuberance” – thinking if we just build the hotel rooms, guests will come. We subjectively believe, however, that the market can probably handle a 120 room extended stay niche-market hotel with current market conditions. But adding even more rooms than that in this highly inflated market would be foolhardy in the absence of a major new market driver (e.g. the build-out of the Embassy Suites Conference Center) or a definitive and quantitative market study showing we are leaking an average of at least 75 rooms a day to surrounding communities. As stated above, no such quantitative study has been performed and approval of both projects in this absence would thus be irresponsible.

The Financial Benefits to the City are Uncertain

Also reported in the Staff Report to Council was the Finance and Budget Commission’s report to the City that estimated that financial benefits will accrue to the City in range of the hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. This is in stark contrast to the rosy forecasts submitted by Finance and Budget Commission member Dan Carson whose reports were considered by the Finance and Budget Commission before they made their own final determination and recommendation. The Commission noted that the accuracy of the estimates of financial benefits to the City are predicted mostly on the level of long term occupancy rates achieved by the hotels because the TOT revenues to the City will far outweigh the value of property taxes and or other fees.

There are potentially many inaccuracies in both in the HVS and the Dan Carson reports which limit their usefulness as a near or long term term financial planning tool for the City due to the uncertainty of future occupancy rates.

The most glaring potential error appears to be that not all hotels/motels in town were even counted when determining occupancy rates for the City over the past 6 years. For instance, on page 47 of the HVS reports in which the occupancy rates for 506 Davis hotel rooms are reported (and including the University Hyatt Place), the authors acknowledge that they did not include occupancy rates for 221 other motel rooms when determining overall City hotel occupancy rates. The uncounted hotel rooms included the 106 room Motel 6, the 78 room Day’s Inn, and the 45 room University Inn. Omitting more than 30% of the motel room sample size in a survey of this type obviously calls into question the accuracy of many of its conclusions and certainly detracts from the usefulness of this study.

Another problem in the Carson financial analysis is that he makes the unrealistic assumption that if we just build both hotels, they will magically fill up to 73% occupancy over time without providing any historical context or quantitative analysis to justify or support this assumption. It seems Mr. Carson just picks the very best point in time in which the highest occupancy rates have ever been achieved in Davis and then projects them out into the future as if they will certainly eventually occur. There is absolutely no “worst case” or even a serious “lesser case” analysis to project revenues if Mr. Carson is just flat out wrong about future occupancy rates. A “Build It and They Will Come” mindset in projecting future occupancy rates in newly constructed hotels is a very dangerous way to project future revenues to the City as it will very likely overestimate future income.

In addition, the analysis did not include the possible negative impacts if the proposed convention center is never built or, if built, that it can draw enough large groups on a steady enough basis to actually require big room blocks at a new Embassy suites AND two other large hotels in town. WHEN (not if) the economy does enter another recession and travel and entertainment budgets are slashed to the bone as we saw in the last two recessions in this century alone, large conference attendance plummets and blocking rooms of 25+ at a time by companies becomes a fading memory for a number of years.

The Hyatt House may be Predatory to Downtown Hoteliers and Diminish Downtown Economic Viability

While much has been made about the robust growth in the occupancy rates in Davis over the past several years and proponents of the proposed Hyatt House claim that this robust growth will continue indefinitely in the future, I note that we heard the same chatter in the height of the real estate boom before the bust in 2007-2008. Some even acknowledge this recent rapid growth has tapered off in the past year for reasons not yet understood. Perhaps it is simply the end of a normal growth cycle.

One other possible reason is the very large growth in new AirBnB listings in Davis over the past 2 years. As of yesterday, there were 232 listings for AirBnB locations in Davis including single bedrooms, suites, and entire homes. Even if all of the listings were only for single bedrooms, this would still almost equal the total number of bedrooms offered by BOTH the proposed Hyatt (120 bedrooms) and the proposed Marriott (120 bedrooms). If such growth in local AirBnB listings continue to grow at such a rapid rate in the future, this would have significant impact on local hotel/motel demand and speaks against approval of at least one of the 2 proposed new hotels. Perhaps the City of Davis should investigate imposing a TOT on AirBnB rentals if revenue is such a crucial consideration weighing on the Council. Doing so might completely replace the revenue otherwise projected to be received by the proposed Hyatt facility

Further, it is well known that the promoters of the Embassy Suites and other local downtown hoteliers have spoken with Council members and requested that new hotel entitlements be delayed for a year or two until after the Embassy Suites/Conference Center has been built out to allow for conference and hotel bookings to create a sufficient demand that is not predatory to both the Embassy Suites and the downtown hotels. If, in fact, bookings in downtown hotels decreases as a result of oversaturation of the Davis hotel market due to build-out of the proposed Hyatt House, this will have negative consequences for both downtown restaurants and retail businesses serving these downtown hotel guest clients.

We are sympathetic to these claims. It is really hard to imagine that Staff is proposing to add 240 new hotel rooms to an existing base of 726 hotels rooms in Davis and UCD (an increase of about 33%!!) without any new occupancy drivers and not expect serious decreases in occupancy rates across all other hotels in town.

The current justification for entitling a this large new number of new rooms at this time is that the recent growth in occupancy coming out of the great recession will continue unfettered into the future. This is a naive view of a market often taken by people unfamiliar with or who refuse to accept the reality of normal economic cycles.

Classic economic theory says that building new hotel room capacity to accommodate currently non-existent guests could lead to an over-saturated market, decreased occupancy rates, and falling room prices if the expected future hotel guests do not materialize for whatever reason (e.g. economic downturn, failure of other demand generators to materialize such as the proposed Conference Center currently tied up in litigation).

This would negatively affect any new hotels constructed as well as existing downtown hoteliers and downtown businesses dependent on those downtown guests (remember the downtown Davis economy in 2008-2011? – it was brutal). Eventually it could lead to bankruptcies to weed out the financially weaker players and fire-sale asset prices.

We believe stable, measured growth is much preferable to booms and busts. Assuming that is true, the rational choice would thus be be to entitle the Marriott now because it is the clear superior alternative of the two choices and then see if either the Embassy Suites gets built or there is a definitive study showing large leakage of hotel guests to other to other cities before entitling another large hotel such as the Hyatt.

Another danger of over-entitlement by approving both the Marriott and the Hyatt is that a more conservative assessment of risk by bank financiers could endanger bank financing of either the Marriott or the Hyatt because of perceived insufficient market demand for both hotels. Financing difficulties have already been postulated as one reason for delays in build-out of the Embassy Suites which has a much stronger financial profile than a hotel only because of the conference center draw. Dan Carson suggested in his analysis that both the Marriott and the Hyatt should be be entitled and just let the free-market determine which or both are build. This demonstrates a decidedly unrealistic approach to market development and could cause neither hotel to be built.

TRAFFIC ISSUES AND CEQA COMPLIANCE

  1. The Hyatt House Traffic Study is Flawed and Underestimates Traffic Impacts

The Hyatt House Traffic Study is flawed because it relies, in part, on old baseline data from the Embassy Suites Traffic Study for baseline conditions. As stated in the Traffic Study for the proposed Hyatt House project, “Cumulative traffic volumes and lane configurations presented herein are based on information derived from the work performed for the Mace Ranch Innovation Center Draft EIR (MRIC DEIR) and the Davis Hotel Convention Center (DHCC) traffic impact study.

Unfortunately, there are uncertainties as to the accuracy of that baseline data and is a partial basis for the currently pending litigation against the City and the Conference Center. Reliance on this data to justify the traffic study conclusions for the proposed Hyatt House obviously calls these conclusions into question and should not be used as a basis for the City certifying the project’s Mitigated Negative Declaration.

The Traffic Study also does not account for the inadequate parking and associated problems that currently exists at Davis Diamonds (next to the proposed Hyatt House) which has been adequately documented to Council members via numerous photographs. Further, the Traffic Study assumes most traffic to the Richards Blvd. Corridor will travel along Cowell but, in fact, much of it travels along Research Park Dr along Playfields which, due the large number of guests entering and leaving the parking lot at the Playfields, presents additional problems not addressed in the Traffic Study.

Finally, there is inadequate parking at the proposed Hyatt House to accommodate all guests and employees when at capacity. It is likely that such employees will simply park their cars in the residential areas along Albany and use the short footpath over to Cowell to get to work. This presents further undesirable impacts on the Rosecreek residents.

The Hyatt House is Attempting to Use the Existing Greenbelt as Mitigation for Noise & Privacy

Proponents of the Hyatt House claim that adjacent residents on Albany Ave will have adequate line-of-sight privacy and minimal noise impacts as a result of the existing greenbelt and mature trees separating the hotel and residents. However, the existing greenbelt cannot be properly used as mitigation for the project to resolve aesthetic, noise, and privacy issues due to the uncertain lifetime and transient nature. Indeed, the City arborist has stated that many of the trees are in poor health due to overcrowding and may be further harmed by construction related soil compaction or physical damage. Further, the proximity of the Hyatt House landscaping and paving and the new storm drain work required by the project will also very likely damage these already stressed trees hastening their eventual demise and removal. This will cause even further degradation of the trees along the greenbelt and there is no mechanism for the project or City to offset or mitigate this loss of privacy and noise to the affected single-family homeowners.

 

 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

 

For all of the above reasons, the Hyatt House proposal should be rejected by Council and NOT reconsidered until either the Conference Center is built or there is definitive and quantitative evidence that substantial hotel guest leakage to other cities is proven in a professional market survey.

Even if it is reconsidered at a later date, this hotel proposal should be significantly downsized and substantially redesigned to reduce unacceptable neighborhood impacts. All current maximum floor and height standards and density zoning requirements should be met as well as landscape requirements.

 

_____________________________________________________

Appendix A – Spot Zoning

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spot_zoning

Spot zoning is the application of zoning to a specific parcel or parcels of land within a larger zoned area when the rezoning is usually at odds with a city’s master plan and current zoning restrictions. Spot zoning may be ruled invalid as an “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable treatment” of a limited parcel of land by a local zoning ordinance.[1] While zoning regulates the land use in whole districts, spot zoning makes unjustified exceptions for a parcel or parcels within a district.[2]


 

The small size of the parcel is not the sole defining characteristic of a spot zone. Rather, the defining characteristic is the narrowness and unjustified nature of the benefit to the particular property owner, to the detriment of a general land use plan or public goals. The rezoning may provide unjustified special treatment that benefits a particular owner, while undermining the pre-existing rights and uses of adjacent property owners. This would be called an instance of spot zoning. On the other hand, a change in zoning for a small land area may not be a spot zone, if it is consistent with, and furthers the purposes of the general area plan.

 

For example, a small zone allowing limited commercial uses such as a corner store within a residential area may not be a spot zone, but a carve-out for an industrial use or a night club might be considered a case of spot zoning. In the first case, the differing land uses are mutually compatible and supportive. In the latter case, the residential nature of the area would be harmed by a conflicting land use.

 

When the change in zoning does not advance a general public purpose in land use, courts may rule certain instances of spot zoning as illegal. The Standard State Zoning Enabling Act states “all such regulations shall be uniform for each class or kind of building throughout each district.”[3] It may also be an invalid exercise of authority, if spot zoning is not a right conferred upon the body by the state’s zoning enabling statute, because it deviates from the plan set out by the enabling statute.[1]

Contents

Authority

Situations where spot zoning may arise


            Variance

            Special-use permit

            Amendment to ordinance

            Contract zoning

References

External links


 

Authority

Main article: Zoning in the United States § Constitutional challenges

Generally, zoning is a constitutional exercise of a state’s police power[4] to protect public health, safety, and welfare. Therefore, spot zoning (or any zoning enactment) would be unconstitutional to the extent that it contradicts or fails to advance a legitimate public purpose, such as promotion of community welfare or protection of other properties.

Spot zoning would be a constitutional exercise of zoning power by a local zoning authority if the state zoning enabling law allows spot zoning. Conversely, spot zoning may be an invalid exercise of a local authority’s zoning power if the state zoning enabling law prohibits spot zoning.

 

Situations where spot zoning may arise

 

Variance

A variance is the license to deviate from the land-use restrictions imposed by the zoning ordinance. A variance usually requires the landowner suffer a substantial hardship which only the granting of a variance may remedy. If a local zoning authority decides to grant a variance to a landowner who lacks substantial hardship, then its legality (regarding equal protection) may be called into question.

Special-use permit

A special-use permit occurs when a zoning regulations allows some specific exception to its regulations provided that a landowner receive a special-use permit from the local zoning authority. An example of a specific exception includes a church in a residential neighborhood. If the special-use permit deviates from zoning ordinance or the enabling statute, then an instance of spot zoning arises.

 

Amendment to ordinance

A local zoning authority like a city may seek to amend its zoning ordinance. If it amends it zoning ordinance but only for a parcel within a district and the parcel has a different land use characterization than the surrounding district, then an instance of spot zoning arises.

 

Contract zoning

Contract zoning occurs when a local zoning authority accommodates a private interest by rezoning a district or a parcel of land within that district. Then the private interest may then be allowed to develop the land where before the zoning regulations prohibited such a land use. Contract zoning is usually illegal, in contrast with permissible conditional use (also known as special use) zoning.

 

References

  1. Eves v. Zoning Board
  2. Eves
  3. http://www.tnlanduse.com/SSZEA.htm
  4. Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926)

We acknowledge that there are many different ways that “spot zoning” might be interpreted with respect to the proposed Hyatt House project and rezoning. In our lay opinion, however, the proposed Hyatt will clearly be yet another example of zoning by exception where the City of Davis attempts to amends its General Plan and/or District Plans in a major way for a specific parcel yielding entitlements to a select landowner. Unfortunately, these entitlements can fundamentally change the nature of the property use making it inconsistent with its commercial or residential neighbors. It appears such is the case with the Hyatt House proposal.

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83 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Why the Hyatt House Proposal Should Be Rejected by the Davis City Council”

  1. Chamber Fan

    It would be interesting to compare this document to the original petition.  The neighbors have done a good job of dropping incendiary language as they have clearly gotten guidance from more experience people like Alan Pryor.

    However…

    The proposed Hyatt House project is incompatible with the Rosecreek neighborhood setting.
    The Hyatt House proposal misrepresents the nature of their project as a purely “Extended Stay” hotel.
    The Hyatt House proposal misrepresents the extent of the “Concessions” claimed to have been made to appease neighborhood complaints.
    The proposed Hyatt House project and location scores very poorly when considering the Council’s site selection criteria for hotels

    I think each of these claims are problematic.  The Hyatt House project is no more incompatible with the neighborhood than permissible use under the existing zoning.  So this is really a red herring.  They have the technical claim about the zoning difference but once staff drills down into what that means, it becomes a distinction without a difference.

    The second point is laughable and irrelevant.  Who cares?  What functional difference does that mean for the neighborhood?  If they want a hybrid hotel, why does the neighborhood care?

    Third point is equally laughable.  The hotel and developers have attempted to address the complaints of the neighbors.  The neighbors can argue for more.

    The fourth point omits the point made by the Vanguard today – the project and location now seem well situated given the $100 million plus investment into the adjacent research park.

    1. Frankly

      Well done.  Now I don’t have to say the same.

      I will add though that these complaints as written illustrate how irrational opposition becomes.  Unfortunately though, Davis is filled with people that latch on to irrational arguments because they illicit some feelings.  So although we can dismiss irrational arguments they seems to resonate more with Davis residents than most other places.   Let’s just hope that the City Council does not get all tied up in an “I feel your irrational pain” act and instead does the right thing for the community.

    2. Grok

      Chamber Fan suggests that 4 points out of the many points the neighbors make are invalid. Overlooking all of the other strong reasons the neighbors give for a no vote on this project, each of these 4 points is not only valid, but relevant:

       

      The proposed Hyatt House project is incompatible with the Rosecreek neighborhood setting.

      Yes, a 4 story hotel with nearly double the current allowable density a few feet away across a narrow greenbelt trail is unlike any other development in Davis and the Cowell project is incompatible with the neighborhood. The current zoning does not allow for this use, and it is not up to staff to say the zoning can be change as ChamberFan seems to argue. Further, the changes proposed are at best “dangerously close to spot zoning” and possibly illegal.

       

      The Hyatt House proposal misrepresents the nature of their project as a purely “Extended Stay” hotel.

      ChamberFan ask “who cares?” if the Cowell developers repeatedly mislead people as to the nature of their project? For starters it erodes their credibility on the rest of the proposal. As to what functional difference does it make, as someone who stays in hotels like this across the country I can tell you that extended stay hotels tend to be much quieter and have less of a bar scene.

       

      The Hyatt House proposal misrepresents the extent of the “Concessions” claimed to have been made to appease neighborhood complaints.

      The hotel developers have treated the neighbors with incredible disrespect at every step of the process. It is amazing to me that the first 2 “neighborhood meetings” were supposedly held in the living room of one of the developers who lives in a small affordable housing unit in the neighborhood. If they had ever intended neighbors to actually come they would have held the meeting in a location suitable for more than 1 or 2 people. Knowing that it is perhaps not surprising that only one person attended those meetings. (It is unclear if that one neighbor claimed to be in attendens is the developer who lives in the neighborhood himself or a family member).

      One of the developers even wrote on the Vanguard that the neighbors were somehow racist against the hotel. In all of the different cities I have lived in and development projects I have followed, I have never seen a developer do anything like that.

      Indeed, the hotel developers have offered some concessions but they have not been sufficient to alleviate the crux of the problem. The hotel is just too big for the lot and amazingly the proposal before the city council actually removes some of the concessions that were offered at the last planning commission meeting. The developers are actually moving backwards.

       

      The proposed Hyatt House project and location scores very poorly when considering the Council’s site selection criteria for hotels

      Watching all of the Planning Commission meetings on the subject it is very clear that they thoroughly addressed this issue and the Marriott meets the Council criteria much better than does the Cowell project. ChamberFan wants to suggest that a recent land sale in the area completely changes the picture. No, a land sale alone does not completely change the picture. There really is no new information yet about what the new owner intends for the land that can reasonably be considered as part of the Hotel discussion at this time. We are a long way from knowing what the new owner will propose, or when. In the related enterprise article the developer themselves says “For the next few months, Fulcrum Property will maintain the status quo as its team goes to the drawing board to re-envision the site.” It is just too soon to know what the developer plans and so this just cannot be considered yet.

       

       

      1. Mark West

        “a 4 story hotel with nearly double the current allowable density a few feet away…is unlike any other development in Davis and…is incompatible with the neighborhood.”

        The Hyatt House project is a 48′ tall building on a parcel zoned for a 50′ tall one. At the request of the neighbors, the building was moved closer to Cowell in order to reduce impacts on the neighborhood. If the owners had instead chose to put up a building that matched the current zoning, the building could be much closer to the existing neighborhood, and neither the neighbors or the City Council would have much (if any) say in the project because it would already be an approved use.

        Increasing the density of the project just means we are using the land more efficiently, which is an appropriate response to our decision to not expand the City’s footprint. The property is part of a commercial strip of land located between the Interstate and the neighborhood, that was designed to act as a noise buffer and as such, is required mitigation that the City should have provided decades ago.

        “Further, the changes proposed are at best “dangerously close to spot zoning” and possibly illegal.”

        Spot zoning is where you take a residential parcel in the middle of a neighborhood and change the zoning to commercial or other non-residential use (school, park). What we have here is a property that is currently designated for commercial use that will continue to be used for commercial use. This is not ‘spot zoning’ and those claiming it is are either ill-informed or are being purposefully misleading.

        As an aside, the California Court of Appeals has ruled that Spot Zoning is legal in California if the facts support a benefit to the community.  Spot zoning

        “The hotel developers have treated the neighbors with incredible disrespect at every step of the process.”

        The Developers have created a project that reflects exactly what the community has been asking for (LEED Gold, etc.) and have been extremely responsive to the community’s concerns and the neighbor’s demands. It has been the neighbors and their supporters who have been disrespectful to both the community and the developers, by their actions and by their refusal to meet with the developers to discuss their concerns (as noted by City staff). The neighbor’s focus has not been on trying to create the best project for the community, but on simple obstruction.

        “Watching all of the Planning Commission meetings on the subject it is very clear that they thoroughly addressed this issue.”

        By their own admission, the Planning Commissioners were completely confused about how to utilize the CC’s criteria when they were discussing the Hyatt House proposal. Their error was in attempting to apply criteria that they did not understand, and then using that as the basis for their decision. For this reason, alone, the City Council should set aside the Planning Commission’s decision.

         

        1. hpierce

          Mark… don’t you understand that ‘facts’ are ‘irrelevant’? Untruths/spun ‘facts’ rule?  At least on this site… you are so ‘out of line’… yet, you rejected more than one truth-teller/untruth exposer… whatever…

        2. Mark West

          “yet, you rejected more than one truth-teller/untruth exposer… whatever…”

          I did not reject your fact checking, I said I didn’t think it was necessary for the purposes of the discussion. I welcome your facts and accept your anonymity as the price.

        3. Alan Pryor

          The Hyatt House project is a 48′ tall building on a parcel zoned for a 50′ tall one.

          The proposal includes a huge oversized front sign that is 55 ft tall

          …the California Court of Appeals has ruled that Spot Zoning is legal in California if the facts support a benefit to the community

          Our position is that the benefits here are to the developers and the adverse consequences are to the community.  Of course, you consider these disparate entities to be one and the same

          …by their refusal to meet with the developers to discuss their concerns (as noted by City staff). The neighbor’s focus has not been on trying to create the best project for the community, but on simple obstruction.

          We have explicitly requested a smaller building (3 stories with fewer rooms), less parking, and more landscaping exactly consistent with the current code. Our requests have fell on deaf ears. So why do you claim WE are the intransigent group?

          And who told City Staff WE refused to meet with the developers? The fact is that they have never extended another invitation to the neighbors once we told them their project needed to be seriously down-sized and code-compliant. Since you have not been involved in any of these negotiations but are just parroting Staff, it is not surprising that your facts are twisted here.

          Their error was in attempting to apply criteria that they did not understand…

          The Planning Commission understood the criteria very well…it is not rocket science. The confusion was because Staff sent conflicting signals to the PC about whether they or only the Council should use the criteria. Review of the Council mtg where the criteria resolution was approved makes it exceedingly clear that the criteria were for evaluation by both Council and the PC.

        4. Mark West

           

          Alan P. “The proposal includes a huge oversized front sign that is 55 ft tall”

          Which is a ‘minor modification’ in the zoning regulation and a non-issue.

          [re: spot zoning comment] “Our position is that the benefits here are to the developers and the adverse consequences are to the community.”

          So what? The basic land-use is not changing and the commercial strip was defined in advance of a single house being built in the neighborhood. It is not spot zoning by any stretch of the imagination.  Besides, it is within the CC’s authority to make the determination of community benefit, not yours (read the ruling).

          “So why do you claim WE are the intransigent group?”

          Because by all accounts (other than yours, of course), you are intransigent. Multiple sources involved in the discussions, I just cited the one in the staff report.

           

        5. Alan Pryor

          “Multiple sources involved in the discussions, …”

          OK – I’ll bite…who are the other “multiple sources” (other than the developers, of course)?

        6. Mark West

          “OK – I’ll bite…who are the other “multiple sources””

          Personal communications, from parties other than the developers. I cited the public one. You are welcome to refute the claim in the staff report at the CC meeting tomorrow night, in fact, I hope you do.

           

        7. Grok

          I am sorry Mark, your claims that it is the neighbors that are the intransigent ones based on your unnamed sources are just not credible.

          Starting from the first meeting it is clear the developers did not want to meet with the neighbors. The hosted the neighborhood meeting in the small living room of the affordable housing unit that one of the developers lives in. If they intended people to come to this meeting they would have held it in a venue that could have accommodated more participants. The developer reports only one “neighbor” attended, but it is unclear if the developer counted them selves or a family member as the one.

          After having a complete failure of the first meeting the developer followed exactly the same formula for the second meeting. Again the developer reports there was only one person in attendance and again it is unclear if the developer is counting them selves as the one person.

          More recently the member of the development group tasked with public outreach actually posted on the vanguard claiming the neighbors (not a specific person, the general Rosecreek neighbors)  were racists.

          the neighbors have received no further contact from the developers in any way since the Planning Commission meeting were the commission voted against recommending the proposal.

          Now the developer has a new proposal to the City Council that actually removes some of the mitigation measures that were offered in the final proposal before the Planning Commission.

          Finally in the very article you are posting on the neighbors offer an olive branch and a possible compromise if the hotel where 3 stories and the parking was under the hotel.

        8. Mark West

          Grok –

          I will answer your questions when you have the integrity to post under your own name. Since you intend to run for City Council, I would think you would want the name recognition, except of course if you are concerned that your reputation will be tarnished by your repeated false claims and personal attacks. Your choice.

           

        9. Grok

          Mark,

          I actually didn’t ask you any questions.

          I  also have no plans to run for City Council (an election almost 2 years away), although it is kind of you to suggest it.

          If I were running for City Council, I probably would not be posting on here at all.

      2. Bill Habicht

        The hotel developers have treated the neighbors with incredible disrespect at every step of the process. It is amazing to me that the first 2 “neighborhood meetings” were supposedly held in the living room of one of the developers who lives in a small affordable housing unit in the neighborhood. If they had ever intended neighbors to actually come they would have held the meeting in a location suitable for more than 1 or 2 people. Knowing that it is perhaps not surprising that only one person attended those meetings.

        Completely inaccurate.

        1.  The Hyatt team sought out input over a period of at least 12 months and treated residents with tremendous respect.  The team went well above-and-beyond the requirement by the city in terms of neighborhood outreach.  Colin, your statement is not only inaccurate, but manipulative.

        2.  The first meeting was held outside my home.  And yes, I do live in the city’s affordable housing, and I am proud of that.  Our home is ~1,200 sq/ft btw, so inside would’ve been just fine if we’d chosen to meet indoors.  The second meeting occurred at the little park behind Davis Diamonds.  The third meeting occurred in the Davis Diamonds facility.

        (It is unclear if that one neighbor claimed to be in attendens is the developer who lives in the neighborhood himself or a family member).

        The attendee for the first meeting lives directly behind the project site on the greenbelt.  No one on the Hyatt team is related to this person.  Btw, the neighbor is a supporter of the project, but is afraid to speak up in public due to potential lashback from other neighbors.  They did express their support to various Councilmembers however.

        1. Bill Habicht

          Yes, Quielo, I live in the city’s Affordable Housing program: https://localwiki.org/davis/SouthField_Park_Condos.  My family moved in there in 2008.  I chose a profession that serves the common good of the community… alas, such professions aren’t the most lucrative in the world 😉

          I’m involved in the Hyatt project b/c 1) I’m a nearby neighbor and care about my neighborhood a great deal and 2) I wanted (along with the team) to leverage the hotel for the benefit of the community, such as sponsorship of Montgomery Elementary fundraisers, scholarships for camps for kids, job training for adults with disabilities and more.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    hola, aloha and mahalo mi amigos..

    Glad to see that we are on the same side of this issue once again, ole pal Alan….

    I expect that the developers and the chamber and their cronies will be all over this…so I won’t even waste my time this morning for more than “thank you for doing this”…..and good luck.

  3. Ron

    Despite some mocking comments by some on the Vanguard, there does seem to be legitimate concerns from neighbors, including privacy and noise considerations.  For example, (from the article):

    “Hyatt House proponents proposed to keep the building height and footprint almost exactly the same but simply moved the building a few feet further towards Cowell, moving almost all of the parking and the pool to the back of the building and even closer to the adjoining neighbors. Given the associated noise with cars at night and very early morning and sometimes raucous pool behavior, this only increased the concerns of the neighborhood.”

    (The narrow greenbelt won’t do much to reduce this concern.)

    1. hpierce

      Nothing, absolutely nothing, can reconcile the neighbors’ “valid” concerns, except a denial of the proposal, in any form.  Yes, an opinion, but an informed one… several of the authors are not within 1000 feet (more than 3 football fields) … there appear to be other factors/agents at work (opinion, also informed).

      The bombast continues…

      1. Grok

        hpierce – Perhaps you missed the neighbors suggestions for how to make this hotel work at this location in this rather lengthy and thorough article.

        I also think your attack on some of the authors as living to far from the project, possibly as much as 1,000 feet, to have their opinion matter to be pretty laughable. Where do you live that your opinion should matter more?

        1. dooglio

          I personally think it is none of the neighbors’ business. Unless you can prove that the developers and the owners are actually harming others, the neighbors would be better off minding their own business. We would all get along much better that way.

    1. Alan Pryor

      Well perhaps you are right that I should include less facts and dumb the article down for some of the readers here. But I prefer to write articles that include all of the relevant information – long or otherwise. But if I did not include all of this info, Don, you know there would be howls from the noble opposition that I am not documenting my statements so I am damned if I do or don’t. And there is a summary of the main points in the opening paragraphs of the article so readers can just scan the first page and move on if there is too much info there for their liking.

  4. Chamber Fan

    “Our position is that the benefits here are to the developers and the adverse consequences are to the community. ”

    I don’t see benefits to the developers as being a bad thing – after all, without profits for the developers, they would not risk ventures.  The upside to the community is TOT revenue and now with the new innovation center nearby, the hotel can become an even bigger asset.

    1. Alan Pryor

      I don’t see benefits to the developers as being a bad thing…

      You’re right. If developers did not make a profit there would be no development. But when the developers get all of the benefits and the neighborhood gets all of the adverse consequences, it is  obviously a one-sided deal.

      Remind me again what are the benefits to the neighborhood?

      And if the additional of this hotel actually results in no net increase in occupancy in the City (read the numbers in my report) it will actually hurt downtown hotels and businesses. So please remind me again what are the benefits to the community? Do you honestly believe a 33% increase in the number of hotel rooms in Davis is justified when there are no new growth drivers (new owners of Interland is not a new driver…just a new owner) and we don’t have a quantitative clue if there is guest leakage to other cities

      1. Chamber Fan

        I would argue the TOT revenue will help the neighbors and all residents in town.  Finance and budget calculated net revenue and that was before demand generators and $100 million in investment in the nearby area.

      2. Sam

        “But when the developers get all of the benefits and the neighborhood gets all of the adverse consequences,”

        And here is the main defense used by all NIMBY Davis residents to prevent any development in Davis. Forget about the extra tax revenue the hotel will generate for the City and forget about the jobs it will create. For some reason Alan no longer cares about the extra carbon emitted when visitors stay in Sacramento and drive into Davis instead of staying in Davis. Now Alan is very concerned about downtown businesses and local hotel owners?

        Just be honest with everyone and say that you just don’t want vacant commercial land in your neighborhood developed. You could have cut 6990 words out of your article and delivered the same message.

        1. Alan Pryor

          For some reason Alan no longer cares about the extra carbon emitted when visitors stay in Sacramento and drive into Davis instead of staying in Davis.

          Who says Davis is losing guests to other cities? As I stated in the article (actually stated over and over again so it would sink into naysayers’ skulls), there has not been a single quantitative study showing we are losing guests to other cities any more than other cities are losing guests to us. At a 70% average occupancy rate in Davis, that means there are still 150 vacant rooms available in Davis on an average night (approx 526 rooms  x 30% vacancy) which seems to me to indicate a lot of hotel guests supposedly lost to other cities could actually stay here in Davis if they wanted to. Do you have any hard facts at all to otherwise support your position?

        2. Grok

          Just be honest with everyone and say that you just don’t want vacant commercial land in your neighborhood developed. 

          Sam, you overlook that the neighbors have proposed workable options to build the project and the developers have not even responded.

        3. South of Davis

          Alan wrote:

          > At a 70% average occupancy rate in Davis, that

          > means there are still 150 vacant rooms available

          > in Davis on an average night

          Remember that about half the time Davis will have MORE than 150 rooms vacant and about half the time Davis will have LESS than 150 rooms (some of these nights there will not be ANY vacant rooms and people will have to drive in from West Sac or Dixon).

          > Do you have any hard facts at all to otherwise

          > support your position?

          Call any hotel in town and ask them how many vacant rooms they have on average picnic day weekend, move in weekend or graduation weekend (hint, all the people driving in from Dixon and West Sac are not staying there just to get a cheaper room)…

           

        4. Sam

          Bogus reason #51, “We need a qualitative study!”

          You don’t need a study. The developers build the hotel and if there is not enough demand it goes out of business.

          Nice deflection from “But when the developers get all of the benefits and the neighborhood gets all of the adverse consequences,”

           

        5. Mark West

          “Who says Davis is losing guests to other cities?”

          Where do you think they go when they cannot find a room in town? The hotels in town are currently operating at near capacity, as was pointed out by the consultants. If you are unable to understand that simple fact you have no business commenting on the topic.

          A city the size of Davis next door to a top University like UCD should be bringing in $5-8 million annually in TOT, and we would be if we had the hotels to allow it. The 500 event planners at UCD will fill any room we build in town just with the events they currently have on the calendar. As long as there are developers willing to risk their capital to build hotels, we should be letting them do so. When there is insufficient room demand, there will no longer be any proposals.

        6. Sam

          Mark- Don’t you know that Alan knows better than the developers? He will tell you there is no demand for the project, but in the same breath tell you that “the developers get all of the benefits” and are making so much money on the project.

          What a joke!

          NIMBY

        7. hpierce

          grok… your 1:44 post… so, you’d negotiate with “terrorists”?  ‘Cave in to our demands or we will virulently oppose you’?  God (or pick your deity or philosophy) help us if that view prevails… not good public policy.  If NO, just say NO… don’t play games…

        8. South of Davis

          Sam wrote:

          > You don’t need a study. The developers build the hotel and if

          > there is not enough demand it goes out of business.

          If there is not enough demand the “original developers” will lose the business and the lender will sell it to to someone else.  The new owners will most likely do fine when they buy a nearly new hotel at a discount and are able to price the rooms lower than anyone else in town.  With a lower average ADR the city will get “less” TOT revenue “per room”, but but might end up with “more TOT revenue overall” if low room rates help the new owners keep occupancy higher than average…

      3. dooglio

        Remind me again what are the benefits to the neighborhood?

        A free market in development benefits the community, whether you want to face that fact or not. When people are allowed to deploy their property the way they see fit, so long as they harm no one else in the process, we all win.

        I don’t care how many studies you have declaring the business will be a failure–get out of the way and allow people to develop their property to serve the community. If they fail at serving the community, they deserve to go out of business. Stop interfering in that process and allow the market to work.

        Mind your own business.

    2. dooglio

      Respecting property rights is to the benefit of us all. Being allowed to deploy your property so long as no one else is harmed is to the benefit of the entire community.

      Go home people, and stop worrying yourself over things that don’t matter to you and are none of your business.

  5. Shanetucker

    Unfortunately, the authors of this post made many factual errors.  I don’t have time or the inclination to answer all of them, but chose three important ones to highlight:

    Large hotel owners like their properties to be within very short (even walking) distances from amenities such as food and retail shopping, fast food and restaurants, and gas stations. They are also almost always located within a short distance of a freeway exit and potential work sites or entertainment venues which serve to draw out-of-town visitors.  They were always located near a I-80 interchange with a variety of amenities within walking distance

    Uh, wrong.   There’s no need to look from West Sac to Fairfield to find an example.   We have one in Yolo County –  the Hyatt Place on campus.    That site  has  perhaps the most difficult access of any hotel in Davis.  It is not located close to grocery, retail, fast food, restaurants or gas stations.

    The Hyatt Place and  Hyatt House  have an important similarity.    It has  access to sidewalks, walkways  and greenbelt areas for evening walks or early morning exercise.  While some have rightly questioned how much bikes will be used for daily commuting from either hotel, there is little doubt that there will be many extended stay guest who will use bikes as a form of weekend commutes  to downtown or UCD or for exercise.     All these amenities are available at Hyatt Place and will be at  the Hyatt House, but not so much for the Residence Inn.

    There was not a single hotel that bordered a single-family home residential neighborhood.

    This seemed like a preposterous statement,  so I spent 10 minutes looking  this morning and here is what I found:       In  Fairfield there at least 2 hotels that are immediately adjacent to single family homes:  La Quinta Inn and Suites  at 316 Pittman Road is separated by only a fence from single family homes;  Comfort Inn located at 4441 Central Place is separated from single family homes by a greenbelt.

    Or even better, take a look at the Residence Inn in 700 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill,  near Concord.  It is located adjacent to a residential neighborhood, and access to the hotel takes 6 turns and driving through a residential neighborhood.

    Financing difficulties have already been postulated as one reason for delays in build-out of the Embassy Suites which has a much stronger financial profile than a hotel only because of the conference center draw.

    This statement only  demonstrates that the  authors’ have a limited understanding   about hotel operations and finances.     The ES is apparently having trouble finding financing, but the reason is because of the conference center.    Conference centers, in and of themselves, are money losers (this is why they often owned by municipalities, or heavily subsidized by public money (this subsidy was lost for the ES when the RDAs were “killed” by Governor Brown).     The beneficiaries of conference centers are the hotels and other businesses (and the local government in the form of sales or TOT)  in the area of the conference center.  In the case of the ES, the hotel is far undersized for the capacity of the conference center, meaning that the conference center is actually a drag for the Embassy Suites financial performance.     In fact, the PKF report highlights that that Embassy Suites room count is far too small given the size of the conference center.

     

     

    1. commonsence

      Shanetucker – why the sudden interest in the project? Have we seen you at the Commission hearings or have you reached out to meet with the ACTUAL Neighbors of this project? Have you been asked to contribute by Bill H ? Is  Bill H your pastor or friend? Just wondering…..

      Also do you have time to look at the value of the homes that are immediately adjacent to the hotels in Fairfield compared to the ones not next to a hotel?

      Also the Comfort Inn is separated by a CREEK and a greenbelt – and has 4 restaurants with in 30 seconds walking.

      1. commonsence

        The hotel in Pleasant Hill has a green space and ROAD between the hotel and homes.  You are correct on the La Quinta is literally on top of  about 4 homes but that whole area is businesses -its not just open land, homes and a hotel.  Nothing against these areas but do we want Davis to look and feel like any old town along the 80?

        1. Chamber Fan

          Davis won’t look like any old town, it’s going to look like Palo Alto and the Research Triangle in South Davis.  You’re not going to recognize it in 10 years, but it will be for the better.

        2. Grok

          Chamber Fan, I appreciate that you have articulated your vision for the future of Davis. I think there are probably many people in Davis that would prefer to recognize their city in ten years from now, but it really does help to know where you are coming from.

        3. Chamber Fan

          It’s already done, there’s nothing you can do about it.  You were guarding the wrong thing.  You were looking left and they went right.  Nothing you can do about it.

      2. dooglio

        Also do you have time to look at the value of the homes that are immediately adjacent to the hotels in Fairfield compared to the ones not next to a hotel?

        I am tired of this protectionism. No one has the “right” to high home prices. You take the risk as a home owner that you will lose value. In fact, buying a house is a really risky “investment.” I wouldn’t even call it an investment, actually–it’s a money losing venture! It’s better to rent and leave the maintenance to the landlord.

        Full disclosure, I live in Oak Shade, and I want this project. I am in no way connected to the project financially or otherwise. I am schooled in economics, however, and I know that permitting development is good for the local economy. So get out of the way, mind your own business, and let people do what they want with their property so long as they harm none in the process. And there is no way anyone can demonstrate harm to anyone else by allowing Hyatt House (or any other development) to happen.

  6. Misanthrop

    “Increasing the density of the project just means we are using the land more efficiently, which is an appropriate response to our decision to not expand the City’s footprint.”

     

    Measure R strikes again.

  7. Alan Pryor

    …the Hyatt Place on campus.    That site  has  perhaps the most difficult access of any hotel in Davis.  It is not located close to grocery, retail, fast food, restaurants or gas stations.

    Yes you are correct in that Hyatt Place is also somewhat removed from the freeway (and obviously overlooked in the survey) but it is no more difficult to reach than the proposed Hyatt plus it has the obvious and distinct HUGE other features driving occupancy…the whole University, Mondavi Center, etc are within walking distance from Hyatt Place. These drivers do not exist at all at the proposed Hyatt House.

    The other hotel sites cited were not freeway-related hotels which is why they were not included in our survey of “freeway-related” hotels as we pointed out. Both are completely surrounded by other ancillary commercial businesses, other hotels, restaurants, shopping etc. except for the narrow exposure to single-family homes. Their exposure to the homes for these other hotels is much less than the proposed Hyatt House because both are oriented perpendicular to the adjacent housing with few windows on the skinny end so their impact on the single-family homes is minimized. And one hotel looks like it has a huge wall separating the hotel from the neighbors to minimize impacts. Plus it looks to me like all of the homes are quite a bit newer than the much older homes in the established Rosecreek neighborhood and were probably built after the hotels went in or at least with the knowledge of nearby hotel zoning when they went in..not so with the Hyatt House which was never envisioned decades ago when the current home buyers moved in with existing zoning prohibiting hotels. And I otherwise don’t think that Davis should emulate Fairfield in our land use decisions here. Fairfield is probably the most illogical and screwed up City in the region with respect to land-use planning. It is hardly a model to point to for smart planning respectful of neighborhoosd which is our credo here in Davis.

    And I do have another question for you as I understand you are nicely well out of town on a secluded walnut farm? What would you say if an inappropriate use of adjacent farm land were proposed next to you…say a detention facility or a huge outdoor entertainment complex? I know you would howl to the moon claiming your privacy and peace were invaded…right? So remind me again what is your relatonship with this project and why you are commenting on a Davis-only project that does not impact you out in the country one iota. Are you friends with the developers and just fronting for them here?

    …PKF report highlights that that Embassy Suites room count is far too small given the size of the conference center

    A point we repeatedly raised is that this project should be put on hold until the conference center is built and we actually know we will have the occupancy drivers the Hatt House hotel is counting on. Increasing the hotel room count in Davis by 33% without new occupancy drivers and without doing a quantitative analysis of guest leakage to other cities is just plain dumb and is a recipe for screwing the occupancy for other pre-existing hotels in town.

     

     

  8. Sam

    “Both are completely surrounded by other ancillary commercial businesses, other hotels, restaurants, etc.”

    You can walk to numerous restaurants and commercial businesses from the proposed hotel without even crossing one street! Stop with the false arguments.

    1. Alan Pryor

      You can walk to numerous restaurants and commercial businesses from the proposed hotel without even crossing one street! Stop with the false arguments.

      Why don’t you just go to Google Earth yourself and look at the distances from the Fairfield hotels to eating establishments (maybe 1-2 minutes to go next door  or across the street or they have in-house restaurants) and compare them to the walk required from the proposed Hyatt House to anything (probably 15 min plus along the greenbelt). There is no comparison here so there are no false arguments.

      1. South of Davis

        Alan wrote:

        > A point we repeatedly raised is that this project

        > should be put on hold until the conference center

        > is built and we actually know we will have the

        > occupancy drivers the Hatt House hotel is counting on.

        Just think how silly this would sound if someone (like Frankly who lives in West Davis) wrote: “A point we have repeatedly raised is that Watermelon Music should not be allowed to move West of 113 without a comprehensive survey “occupancy drivers” to make sure the business will not suffer after they leave their downtown location.

        > Compare them to the walk required from the

        > proposed Hyatt House to anything (probably

        > 15 min plus along the greenbelt).

        The walk is about the same distance walk to food and shorter drive to food than the Hyatt Place on campus (developed by the same people that want to develop the Hyatt House).  It is nice how Davisites like Alan are concerned that the local residents building a hotel next to Davis Diamonds may go broke without fast food across the street, but with food on site and a taco at Dos Coyotes less than two minutes away by car (according to Google maps) I’m pretty sure the place won’t be sitting vacant because everyone does not want to take a 15 minute stroll on the greenbelt to get Mexican food or something  at Safeway.

         

      2. Mark West

        You mean like the walk to on-site restaurant at HH (or did you forget that)? Oops. Maybe if you didn’t make up your facts you wouldn’t run into this sort of problem.

        By the way, Alan P. (I use the last initial out of respect for Alan M.) I didn’t bother reading most of your 7000+ words. I am headed to the Mary Stephens in a few moments and can randomly select a book off the shelf in the right section and find much better fiction.

         

        1. Grok

          I didn’t bother reading most of your 7000+ words. 

          Well there you have it folks. Mark West is not even willing to read the article before commenting at great length. That is the very definition of closed minded.

        2. Mark West

          I read enough to know it was fiction. Why waste the time to go beyond that?

          I haven’t commented at length about the article, I commented about the fallacies Colin Walsh was spewing and about Alan P.’s fiction.

      3. hpierce

        People who use these facilities don’t typically walk… how can you talk about traffic concerns, and walking distance at nearly the same time?

        Shotgun approach? Spaghetti on wall approach?

        1. South of Davis

          hpierce wrote:

          > how can you talk about traffic concerns, and walking

          > distance at nearly the same time?

          I thought it was funny that just like the no on Nishi people complained about “toxic air that will kill kids” AND “not enough affordable housing for families with kids” this article from the no on Hyatt people says “there is uncertain demand” for the hotel that may not produce tax money to the city AND it may be so successful that it is “predatory to downtown hoteliers and diminish downtown economic viability”…

      4. Sam

        Alan-So another hotel somewhere else has eating establishments closer than the proposed hotel, therefore we should not build the new hotel. That is a sound argument! Wait, except for one of your 50 bogus reasons not to build the hotel is that is was not close to eating establishments.

  9. Carson

    In the end, the city will likely bend to a couple dozen residents who will mostly be gone in 10 years, and that spot will continue to languish… Or it will get low density office/commercial that makes the city next to no $.

    Those residents will also continue to go to city council meetings screaming for better parks, more bike paths, more free yoga classes for seniors…  As long as the $ doesnt come from them, or the businesses that create it are elsewhere, impacting others.  As a member of the city sports park task force we heard constantly that the city didnt have the $ for x, the capacity for y.

    If we cant build a hotel on freeway frontage because the neighborhood BEHIND it and seperated by a greenbelt doesnt want it… Where can we?  The wedge of mess  between AMPM and the freeway?  Sure.  I say build both.  Get those greedy developers to pay all the fees, and let them fight it out in the marketplace.

    This hotel will generate millions in permits and fees, as well as hundreds of thousands a year in taxes.  money that this city desperately needs.  There are many people in this town that are sick of anti business attitudes leading to no increase in the tax base… followed neatly by requested increases in property taxes to pay for services that the city’s economic base should pay for…  There is a limit to how many more library, park, and school bonds and taxes can pass.  With no development, or waiting for that “perfect” project… we can and will… keep waiting…

     

    1. Grok

      This neighborhood is hardly anti business because they have issues with specific aspects of this specific proposal that requires significant zoning changes to move forward. The neighbors have very clearly articulated an alternative plan for building a hotel at this site and the developers have not even responded to them. In fact the developers have come to the city council with a proposal that offers even less mitigation than what they last proposed at the planning commission.

      I have found in talking to the neighbors that they generally have pretty reasonable expectations about the land on Cowell being developed in a way that is constant with the current zoning.

      1. Mark West

        “The neighbors have very clearly articulated an alternative plan for building a hotel at this site”

        When exactly did the ‘neighbors’ present this idea to the developers? I bet they never did, just published it here and claimed that they presented it. What a pile of rubbish. When and where, and to whom?

    2. hpierce

      Although I disagree with some (many, actually… even most) of the concerns of the neighbors who authored the piece, to label them as ‘short-timers’ is incorrect and unfair.  I know at least three of them, and although I may strongly disagree with them, as to calling them “short-timers”, not true…  one I have little respect for, but two others, high respect, even if we don’t see “eye to eye”…

      But am just a “newbie” myself.. . only have been here close to 40 years…

      1. Carson

        stats are stats.  the majority of residents will be gone within what… 20 years?  And asking for mitigations is usually just a way to begin the thousand cuts to kill…  that has the course lately with most of these “reasonable neighbors seeking changes” petitions.

        1. Grok

          Considering the very high percentage of the Davis population that are students  saying “the majority of residents will be gone within what… 20 year”  really is not saying much.

          Carson, how long do you think some one should live in Davis before they are allowed to vote in a city council election?

          How long does someone need to own a home in Davis before they should have  reasonable expectation that the zoning of adjacent land will not be significantly changed at the request of a developer?

        2. Chamber Fan

          I would guess that if you live next to a vacant lot there is always a possibility of development and always a possibility that the zoning will change.

        3. hpierce

          Grok… the “how many years” schtick might have been cute when Peter, Paul, and Mary were still all alive… not so much now… most will miss my referent…

          I chose to vote in my home district when I was @ UCD… my parents and I were invested in the community… UCD students, on-campus or not, are enfranchised to vote for national, state, county officers and measures… this “disenfranchised” BS is just that…

          Should a student @ UCD, on campus or not, vote to obligate the City or DJUSD folk for an 8 years assessment? A 30 year bond measure?  knowing they’ll blow town in 2-4 years?  Not real supportive of that… was either on-campus or in City for 5 years… never obligated others for what I would not have to deal with… yeah, I’m just weird that way.

          Perhaps some would like to get more voters to support their agenda, with no responsibility… like DJUSD, who choose a parcel tax so 400 students [apartment dwellers, per complex] will individually pay (at most, if the tax is passes on to their rent) $1.25 per year, exempt seniors (more who can vote without any consequences to their pocketbook) and others…

          Maybe we should demand the right to vote in other Cities and counties to decide their local candidates/measures if we visit/work there part of the year!

           

           

        4. Frankly

          I would guess that if you live next to a vacant lot there is always a possibility of development and always a possibility that the zoning will change.

          Bingo.

          And if you live next to a commercial area.

          And if you live next to open space not locked into the farmland moat.

          I cannot believe how damn entitled some people in this town are that they feel justified in dictating what someone else can do wither THEIR land.

        5. Grok

          Very interesting HPierce. I was responding to Carson’s seeming suggestion that the Rosecreek neighbors opinions on the Cowell hotel project should not be considered because he claims they are “residents who will mostly be gone in 10 years.” It is very interesting to learn that you think students living in Davis should be disenfranchised. What other voters that are currently eligible to vote in Davis do you think should be bared from voting?

  10. Carson

    And I love all the talk about “drivers”.  In what other areas do our dear city leaders do this “central planning”?  Thai restaurants?  Boba tea?  Sushi?  No.

    If the Hyatt house offers a good product at a good price… They will make $, if not, they wont.  Why does the city stick their face in?

    1. Grok

      Hi Carson, I want to point out that the idea of “drivers” has mostly been used to advocate in favor of the Cowell hotel. The Marriott Hotel has really not done the same. To the extent Alan argues about demand for the hotel it is really a counter argument to what the Hyatt team put forward.

      1. dooglio

        All of this concern for the profitability of the developers and hotel owners. Come on! They have clearly done enough research that their investors believe they will make money. That’s good enough for me. Allow them to fail. Get out of the way. Mind your own business.

  11. Shanetucker

    And I do have another question for you as I understand you are nicely well out of town on a secluded walnut farm? What would you say if an inappropriate use of adjacent farm land were proposed next to you…say a detention facility or a huge outdoor entertainment complex? I know you would howl to the moon claiming your privacy and peace were invaded…right? So remind me again what is your relatonship with this project and why you are commenting on a Davis-only project that does not impact you out in the country one iota. Are you friends with the developers and just fronting for them here?

    Hi Alan

    I am not fronting  for, nor do I work for or get paid by,  anyone.  I have a benevolent interest in the well being of the city of Davis, and I see these two hotel projects as important pieces of multi-pronged effort to gain control of our somewhat dour financial situation.     I met Guneet Bajwa once at a luncheon many months ago.    I  know Michael Bisch, and have coffee  with him once a quarter or so.   I do the same with several other commercial and residential real estate brokers in town.   I don’t own any commercial or residential real estate in Davis,  but because of my  former career and experience in commercial real estate, I like keeping up with the local market.

    Like you and Grok, my property is unlikely to be impacted by the development of either of these hotels.

     

        1. hpierce

          “West Davis” is a ‘funny’ (as in what used to be called ‘queer’ before the word was corrupted/co-opted as both a term of derision, and one of “pride”) appellation… some refer that to west of  SR 113… those obsessed with property values, use west of B Street… some, west of F Street.

          East Eighth/West Eighth boundary is B Street… W Covell/E Covell is at F Street.

          WTF does it matter?

          Am seeing two chances for my being moderated here… more is the pity…

    1. dooglio

      What would you say if an inappropriate use of adjacent farm land were proposed next to you…say a detention facility or a huge outdoor entertainment complex?

      I know this question wasn’t aimed at me, but I will criticize this example as being not related. As Shanetucker pointed out, the hotels are benefiting the community because the owners are taking the gamble that the market will support them. However, a detention facility is wholly the product of central planning; that I would oppose and speak out against–since it is motivated by political interests, not market interests. If your hypothetical entertainment complex was a City venture, I also would oppose it. However, if one of my neighbors wanted to convert his property into an open-area sports entertainment facility, who am I to get in his way? And if the actions of my neighbors are so rubbing me the wrong way, I’m certainly not going to go complain to the City and beg them to threaten violence against them. That is unneighborly! I’ll either deal or move in that case.

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