Commentary: Council Steps Up to Try to Meet Fiscal Challenge

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

On Tuesday night the Davis City Council did not take any votes, but it is clear that the council will be moving forward with both hotel projects – the only real question is what the projects will look like in the end.

I have a bunch of different thoughts here to express.

The first is how similar this process turned out to be the Field & Pond approval by the County Board of Supervisors.  The two kind of came on our radar at similar times, they were disapproved by their respective planning commissions, but the key factor for both is that the project applicants always seemed sincere in trying to find a compromise – or a win-win – while the opposition, neighbors in both cases, never seemed to accept that an approval could occur.

There might be additional compromises that come down the road, but it was remarkable how willing to attempt to mitigate the impact on privacy the applicants were willing to go.  Yet it never seemed enough for the neighbors and I don’t think that went unnoticed by the council.

Robb Davis said on Tuesday that he tried to get the developers to meet with the neighbors with the help of a professional facilitator at city expense.  “I went around the table that day,” he said.  “The answer I received was no.”

The neighbors simply did not want a hotel there, just as the neighbors in the county did not want the event center.  But, most often, governing bodies are looking for the compromise.  They don’t want to impose harm on residents if they can avoid it, but when residents are not willing to work with their neighbors, it makes it hard.

There was a late idea thrown out, interestingly enough on the Vanguard – which definitely once again was the place where these discussions took place – and that was going down to three stories AND having underground parking.

Will Arnold was also critical of the neighbors, in that “there is a lack of options being given from the neighborhood as to what might satisfy you.  The two that were mentioned specifically were going down to the three stories and underground parking.”

“My understanding is that underground parking is a no go and that going down to three stories would result in sacrificing a lot of the things that we find very beneficial about this project, including many of its environmental attributes,” he explained.

He noted that he read this as a package deal that, if the developers did both of those things, “it might be acceptable.”  Mr. Arnold said, “I think those things are a poison pill for this project.”

The idea was thrown out on the Vanguard that, if the Palm Court Hotel could have underground parking, certainly the Hyatt House could.  We were not able to find out specifics of the Palm Court financing, but we do know later on when the Chen Building came about, there was a push for underground parking there and it proved too expensive.

Some research indicates that putting in the parking underground may increase the costs by up to 15 percent and, on top of that, critics wanted to decrease the number of rooms by 25 percent.  Without knowing the expected margins, those two numbers alone would seem to argue against such a change.

On a second note, if you had asked me a week ago what was going to happen, I would have said there would be one approval, Marriott Residence Inn.  No one was opposed to the Residence Inn, but the neighbors were opposed to Hyatt House.

That begs the question: how much did the Fulcrum Property announcement regarding the University Research Park change the calculations?  It is hard to assess – but clearly the applicants jumped on board.  Some of the councilmembers, including Will Arnold and Lucas Frerichs, cited it.

You’re adding in at least $100 million investment at the start between Fulcrum and Sierra Energy.  All of a sudden you have a demand generator that wasn’t there before.  There were similar arguments offered for the Residence Inn – the fact that some big business entities were down the road (and probably further than half a mile, given the expanse of Second Street).

In the end, this came down, I believe, to money for the city and Fulcrum simply made that money more certain.

Here, I think, Robb Davis eloquently but probably provocatively made the case.

“People have said to me what you’re engaged in around the fiscal issue, especially in relation to this project, is fear mongering,” he stated.  He said that fear mongering is raising fear that isn’t merited.  “The reality is our fiscal situation is dire and it’s not getting any better.”

He noted that the city is not going to have to be looking for a couple hundred thousand every year, “we’re going to have to be looking for millions of additional dollars every year.”

 “In that context, is it too much for me to ask a neighborhood, many neighborhoods in our entire city, to make sacrifices?  I don’t think so,” he stated.  “We’re in a situation where we have to try to find more revenue for the city.  I am unapologetic in trying to find ways to find revenue.  And I’m unapologetic in trying to find ways to cut costs.”

The mayor talked on Tuesday night about being frustrated, but this is my frustration – we are staring at a huge chasm between the revenue that we are producing and our needs, whether it is for city services or infrastructure.

We had revenue potential at Nishi, but it got voted down without any alternative offered.  The innovation centers went away due to financing concerns and opposition to mixed use.  People opposed the hotel because of its proximity to neighbors.

So, at the end of the day, we had a series of projects killed, none of them perfect, but all of them revenue-producing, and no viable alternatives were offered.

Robb Davis made the argument that people are going to have to sacrifice.  And it will not just be these neighbors – all of us will be asked to do so, whether it is more traffic, more taxes, worse roads, fewer services, etc.

That said, I have always believed the actual impact on the neighbors will be far less than they are currently fearing.  There were two big takeaways I saw when I walked through the neighborhood.  One is the ambient noise from the freeway.  The other is that few will actually physically see the hotel.

There are a few homes and I visited one that clearly will see the hotel.  I’m not sure how big an impact that ends up being at the end of the day.  You adjust your tree line, pull a few shades, and with the privacy screens the worst concerns are mitigated.  For the most part, their view is the empty field, a frontage road and a highway.

I think Robb Davis put it well.

“Will this harm you?” he asked the neighbors.  “You feel it will.  I feel it could inconvenience you, I feel it could change your life.”

For most people it probably ends there.

But if the city cannot find ways to generate revenue – the impacts on your neighborhood could be a lot greater.  Lack of upkeep on roads.  Lack of maintenance on the greenbelt.  Lack of maintenance on the parks.  The city is facing a crisis and the council believes that adding a few hotels is a way to generate more revenue.

It is not going to solve the problem, but it is a start.

Lucas Frerichs put it well when he noted that the overwhelming sentiment seemed to be a great project, but the wrong place and time.  To that, Councilmember Frerichs responded, “If not now, when?  If not here, where?”

That is the bigger problem we face – we object to the imperfect solution while offering nothing to solve the overall problem.  The council saw through that.  And yet, if there is another compromise to make that make sense, they will be there too.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

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

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53 Comments

  1. Rosecreek Resident

    David,

    Our neighborhood has made a sincere effort to stay away from the comments and discussions on the Vanguard as most of it seems non productive. So pardon jumping in late to address more negative comments directed towards our community.

    Similar to when you openly called out out the neighbors for being racist and Xenophobic and later had to print a retraction because you didn’t fact check before you wrote an article blasting a wide swath of people, the opening to this article leave up for debate your true integrity as a “journalist”. I digress.

    Rob Davis made his comment at the council and we have since discussed it with him. But we take major issue with the fact that “we were never willing to meet for mitigation”. The discussion was that we were not willing to meet for mitigation until after the planning commission meeting as initial concessions by the developer felt like a slap in the face. Feel free to give a few of the other council members a call or email to fact check that, I think you may be pleasantly surprised that this has been our consistent message since the beginning to local government including the PC. To address the “harm comment” is a totally different issue and one that is up for debate as we have all seen our neighborhood change in the last 10 years and one could argue while it may not physically harm, it’s not going to help. Or perhaps it does harm some residents by inducing stress, sleepless nights, or anxiety? Who knows, that’s not a cut and dry argument because the effects of the hotel are unknown from both sides of the debate.

    So before you continue to cast stones, ask yourself this. Why did the Hyatt never reach out once the community was formally organized? Why did the Hyatt not reach out post Planning Commission to discuss what could be done or mitigate prior to City Council? Does the onus simply lie on the neighbors to facilitate discussions after opposition? We believe it’s a two way street and no one ever closed that door. In fact it’s still open. Hell, were waiting with biscuits and the coffee maker one…

    Lastly, Lucas mentioned further mitigation with a Redwood screen. If you recall the city arborist being on site at the PC on site visit, he said further tree planting would not work in that location due to over crowding, health of current trees, and likelihood of new tree survival. Not to mention it will take years for any new trees to grow to an adequate level. So the options that the neighbor’s understand for mitigation of light, parking lot sounds, and privacy are limited to the comments you have heard thus far. Perhaps the Hyatt team could come to the table with some great creative ideas that solve a problem and are cost effective to them which the neighbors perhaps didn’t know about? Well that’s not on us, that’s on them. Clocks ticking.

     

     

    1. Chamber Fan

      At times the Vanguard discussion is not productive.  But I would point out to you that a lot of the arguments made on both sides were directly referenced in public comment and by councilmembers.  The discussion of the hotel was happening on the Vanguard and you guys probably made a mistake in ceding that ground.

      That said, there are two sides to every story, but I found it interesting that the council with the notable exception of Brett Lee was left with the impression that your neighborhood was not willing to engage or meaningfully compromise.

      Let us be honest – the comments at the planning commission were to the effect – we oppose the project.

      But let’s move past that.  Name your proposal.  I don’t think underground parking and three stories works.  So what will for you?  Personally – I’m all ears.

        1. Marina Kalugin

          only if the parking is underground right?   and this would not be as profitable for the  developers, though they didn’t pay premium pricing either….

          and why are the airbnb not subject to TOT?

          in KA illlegal air bnbs are shut down…….how do I know?

          We didn’t know that some were legal and of course the cheaper ones were “illegal”… we arrived in Oct with a confirmed booking only to find the owner cancelled all bookings and air bnb forgot to let us know…right?   then I wasted time while at HNL and later that day trying to find a reasonable yet adequate place….my first day of vacation shot, right?

          and so it went….

          the council is losing tons of money every day, while wasting time with nonsense projects…

           

      1. Rosecreek Resident

        Thanks Chamber fan. We’re going to wait for the developer to follow council’s lead before we discuss what will work as we feel that’s a fluid process and having to put pen to paper in a public forum may not be the best approach to finding the best resolution to both side. So forgive the not going into “what we are proposing” in writing.

        1. Ron

          Rosecreek Resident:

          Seems like a wise response.  (Unless you’d rather “float” some ideas for “approval” on the Vanguard.)  (Yeah, that should go well.)

    2. South of Davis

      Rosecreek Resident wrote:

      > Not to mention it will take years for any new

      > trees to grow to an adequate level.

      If you live directly behind the hotel site you should think about planting Oleander bushes along your back fence (the bushes CalTrans has in the I80 median) since they (literally) grow like weeds and will soon be taller than your house giving you all the privacy you need.  I’m not going to tell anyone what to do but I’ve noticed that the happiest people are the ones that deal with their own problems rather than try and get others to change and solve them.  Feel free to keep “fighting city hall” and/or “trying to get DJUSD to expand the AIM/GATE program” but at the end of the day there is probably going to be a hotel behind your house and the schools won’t have special classes for smart fast learners.  The people that planted bushes early or paid for special tutoring for their kids are not only going to come out ahead but they will have a lot less drama in their lives…

      1. Marina Kalugin

        depends on who has more money….the developers or the residents….or how many cc members were bought out…..

        if nothing else, it can be dragged out until the current residents want to retire and move….

        how much money does city hall want to waste?   they think they have unlimited funds to keep wasting….

        and their pals in town keep voting them back and also those water projects….oh well..

      2. Tia Will

        South of Davis

        “The happiest people are the ones that deal with their own problems rather than try and get others to change and solve them”

        If this is true, then we must have some very, very unhappy developers since they seem to have the habit of creating problems for themselves, by purchasing property for which they know that zoning and design guidelines will have to be changed, and then expecting a vote of three on the part of the City Council to change these factors in order to solve their self induced problem for them.

        And I am speaking as someone who is not in opposition to this proposal, but could not avoid the irony of your post.

         

    3. Mark West

      “Why did the Hyatt never reach out once the community was formally organized? Why did the Hyatt not reach out post Planning Commission to discuss what could be done or mitigate prior to City Council? Does the onus simply lie on the neighbors to facilitate discussions after opposition? We believe it’s a two way street and no one ever closed that door. In fact it’s still open. Hell, were waiting with biscuits and the coffee maker one…”

      Our system is designed around the premise that we are given legal notice of events or actions that may be important to us. There are specific rules on what types of events/actions need to be noticed, and how those notices are to take place. Once we receive notice, it becomes a matter of personal responsibility for us to act on the notice if we so choose. The onus is entirely on us, either as individuals or as organized groups.

      In the case of this development project, the applicant was obligated to provide you with an opportunity for engagement. They did so. There is absolutely no obligation, nor should there be any expectation on citizen’s part, for the noticing party to ‘reach out’ individually and force you to engage, no matter how public your contact information is. The fact that you have organized into opposition does not change the calculus. The onus is still on you to accept the opportunity for engagement, or not.

      Despite what some may think, posting on a public blog is not an example of ‘engagement’ with the applicant. That is an example of engagement with the community of blog readers. The applicant’s contact information is public. If you want to talk, pick up the phone or send an email and make an appointment.

      If you want to engage on a topic, show up. If you don’t show up, you don’t get a say. The choice and the responsibility is, and will always be, yours.

       

      1. Marina Kalugin

        huh?    cannot you also read the general plan and follow the rules?   the real premise is that the citizens and council eke out a gp that most can agree with….spending countless hours, days, months and years…..

        and someone like you goes….heck that land is cheap, I can make a fortune….now what project can I get the numums to buy?

        and which ones should I support for the next round of elections, right? you know the ones who grew up in progrowth families right?

        not that I am actually accusing anyone, like you, of really doing such a thing, but heck…..there is always such a possibility

    4. hpierce

      It is written, “if you have a problem with your brother, take him aside and try to win your brother over… if you fail in this, bring in the elders”… sounds like the “neighbors” ignored a), and went for b), then, decided to go for an impelled version of a) again, when it looked like b) would fail.

      Dishonest/dishonorable, at best.  Good “politics” tho’…

      No sympathy as to process, opportunities here.

    5. davisresident

      Rosecreek Resident,

      First, I really appreciate the tone of your post.  It was well written and thoughtful.

      A few questions… knowing you might not choose to respond, but I think it’d help to provide some insight if you’re willing:

      1.  According to the developers, they held at least three community meetings as well as set-up a website where anyone could contact them.  I’ve also seen a few of the communications by the Hyatt group.  It seems like they did reach out regularly over the course of the past year seeking dialogue.  For example, this post from the Next Door website:

      Your voice continues to be important to us. The Hyatt House team is working to develop and diversify our engagement platforms in response to the input received at the Rose Creek neighborhood gathering January 10th. Over the next several weeks, we will implement new avenues for communication and engagement. Your questions/input from the January 10th neighborhood gathering will most certainly be included in this. In the meantime, please know that we would love to meet with any of our Rose Creek neighbors for individual follow-up conversations. We’re more than happy to work with your schedule. Feel free to reach us anytime at: Bill Habicht, williamhabicht@gmail.com, 530-746-8512 Michael Bisch, michael@davisproperty.com, 530-256-6412

      There were numerous posts on Next Door just like this one as well.

      Is there a reason the neighbors opposed to the project didn’t take them up on the invitations to talk over the course of the last year?  I don’t mean that as a judgment, but as a sincere inquiry.  Just trying to understand if there were any issues that led to the choice not to engage at the time.

      2.  I also read in a sort of staff report (though I can’t remember where) that neighbors met with city staff once but refused the offer for a second meeting with the developers.  Were there reasons why such a decision was made?

      3.  Finally, I’m having trouble understanding the rationale to wait until after the Planning Commission meeting for dialogue to begin.  It seems like dialogue should’ve occurred prior to the final project submittal and vote by the Planning Commission.  Trying to understand the thinking behind this.

      On the positive side, it seems like neighbors will get a chance to dialogue with the developers and city in the coming weeks.  I hope it goes well for everyone and is a productive and calm conversation.

      1. Matt Williams

        I’ll add my thanks for the constructive and thoughtful comment submitted by Rosecreek Resident.  Thanks too to davisresident for your constructive response.

        I believe I can shed some light on davisresident’s question 3.  The Planning Commission meeting that Rosecreek Resident is referring to is not the one on September 14th when the Planning Commission voted.  The referenced Planning Commission meeting is the one on August 24th when the likelihood of a decision to vote on the project was extremely low.

      2. Rosecreek Resident

        Davis resident,

        Appreciate the comments as well as your well formed questions. My apologies in advance for being short here, I hope you will understand my tone comes with no aggression.

        Personally, speaking about the past doesn’t do any parties involved any good. My comments above were meant more to discuss the concern that Mayor Davis expressed as well open up discussions to move forward.

        While I feel your questions are valid, the answers do not really do any good for either party, or the greater good of the community in terms of moving forward and finding a resolution if there is one. What has happened on both sides of the discussion, good or bad are behind us and the best way to figure things out is to look at the next steps ahead. I do not want to take a tone of he said/she said as I think it creates an environment that hinders resolution, and ideally I think that is something that everyone can agree on. Best thing for our community and I am guessing the developers is to discuss what is feasible.

        Hope that’s fair.

         

        1. Bill Habicht

          Rosecreek Resident,

          The Hyatt team remains committed to open and transparent dialogue.  Over the last year, we’ve heard from Rosecreek supporters and opponents via meetings and one-on-one conversations, leading to numerous adjustments in project design.  Ultimately, it is a better project than when we initially started.  The Hyatt team looks forward to our time together as we continue discernment of feasible mitigation efforts.

      3. rosecreek

        As said by Rosecreek Resident we have decided to stay off the DV for many reasons, but I want to chime in here quick as I feel this conservation is going well so far.

        @Davis Resident : I attended the January 20th (which was the last publicly noticed meeting – no other public meetings were held by the developers  – which is fine, but at that time us neighbors were not organized or fully engaged yet) meeting at Davis Diamonds and brought with me at least 5 neighbors (we live more than 600 feet away so I saw the notice on Nextdoor.) During this meeting we brought up many concerns and some of them were addressed by the developers and some were never addressed.

        Here are a few of the concerns typed out by developer and sent to us as a follow up (the follow up also included other information as well as the developers contact info):

        What noise impacts will HH have on the neighborhood?
        What is HH offering to mitigate traffic?
        How many kitchenette units will be in the HH?
        How many years before the HH can change brands or converted into a different hotel?
        How long until the traffic study is available?
        What impact would a delay on the Embassy Suites (due to litigation) have on the HH project?
        Is the shuttle free or do you have to pay to utilize its services?
        Can something be done to the “tower” portion of the HH to reduce height
        How will the HH impact property values?
        How does the light from HH impact the neighborhood at night?
        How would the wine bar impact the neighborhood?
        What negotiating (parking, height, etc) is possible?
        What assurances can you offer that the HH wouldn’t be disruptive to the current neighborhood?
        Publicity of neighborhood meetings needs to be more substantial.  At least publicize twice.
        Outreach to the entire neighborhood prior to the Planning Commission meeting
        Continue to post notices on doors and extend beyond 500 ft.
        Expand and diversify communication modes (e.g. – Facebook Group, Davis Enterprise, Email, etc)
        Concerns about the height of HH – 4 stories

        From this you can see the the neighbors expressed these concerns to the developers eleven months prior to the City Council meeting.  We did not organize as a neighborhood to as a group oppose the rezoning until just before the first planning commission meeting.

        We did however request  meeting with city staff to discuss the project and express our concerns.  Two city council members and two city staff attended the meeting.  We thought the meeting would be for the staff to hear our concerns and work those into the planning process – BUT the meeting ended up being a lesson in the planning process.  Honestly they talked for almost one hour straight and we barely were able to say anything.

        Staff told us they had no ability to take our concerns into consideration when reviewing the proposal from they Hyatt – they only look at it from a planning view (like will it fit on the lot, is there room for parking, will it fit in the height limits).  They said if we didn’t like the height or size that they couldn’t do anything about it – they only look at it from a legal planning stance (this is probably the wrong term but I hope you understand what I mean). They told us if we had concerns with the project we need to work with the City Council – not staff.

        From that point on we met with every city council at least twice; except Rochelle who I met with once. We didn’t meet with staff again because it was clear they could not do anything about our concerns. We also met with almost every members of the planning commission.

        We have held strong on our no position on advice of many people.  After the planning commission meeting we thought we had a good change of getting the CC to vote no too; so at that time we didn’t see a need to mitigate.

        I just wanted to let people know that just because we are not posting on here or public noticing our meetings we have been doing a lot of work on this and trying to do it the right way to properly influence rezoning.

        The developers have had my email address since January 20th (the final publicly noticed meeting) – March 24th was the last time they emailed me or any neighbor (providing us a link to their website).  Maybe I should have continued to email them my concerns, but they have been aware of them since January 20th and I am sure the City Council members were also sharing our concerns with them.

        The only contact I have had with them is when one of their wife’s commented on a post I put on Facebook expressing my concerns with the project.  She and I, while we disagreed, came to a resolution that we both were okay with. Maybe the husbands can look to us as a roll-model :).

        I hope this helps and I thank you all any helpful input.  We are all just residents of this amazing town and I hope we can continue to be supportive of each other.

        I am happy to reply to any questions at my email address.  I will try to reply to comments here as long as they stay constructive.

        Thanks

        rosecreekdavis@gmail.com

         

         

         

        1. Bill Habicht

          Rosecreek,

          This is very helpful.  Thank you.  The Hyatt team developed the website hoping to provide a central location for questions posed by neighbors as well as the Hyatt team’s responses.  As you mentioned, our team emailed and posted the website link in March.  In keeping with our commitment to transparency, the email we sent to the neighborhood is below.  We certainly cannot claim a perfect process.  There are places we could improve upon, no doubt, but we attempted to undertake the best process we could at the time.

          And yes indeed, my wife is a role model for me 🙂

          Email from March 24, 2016
          Dear *****,
          Our Hyatt House team wants to reaffirm with you our commitment to the highest levels of openness, honesty and transparency.  As residents of Davis ourselves, we are striving to offer a product that adds value to the neighborhood and community.  We appreciate the honest feedback and questions we have received thus far and welcome further dialogue.  Thanks to your insightful input, we’ve been able to revise the Hyatt House project into something that, to be honest, is better than the original proposal.  The Revised Plans are available for your review at http://hyattdavis.wpengine.com/#revisedplans.

          As we continue to move forward, we want to ensure that you have the correct information to make informed and reasoned decisions regarding the Hyatt House project.  Our team has updated the Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.) in response to your most recent questions.  The updated F.A.Q. can be found below, as well as attached to this email and posted on the Hyatt House website at http://hyattdavis.wpengine.com.  We invite you to read through the FAQ at your convenience.  Topics include:
           

          Extended-stay Hotel Demand
          Wine Bar Accessibility
          Traffic Impacts
          Noise Impacts
          Zoning
          Height Limitations
          Types of Room Accommodations
          Hyatt House Franchise Agreements
          Pool Accessibility
          Property Values
          Neighborhood Privacy
          Light Impact at Night
          Community Sustainability Goals
          Building Community

          As always, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you individually.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have questions or would like to meet.

          Sincerely,

          Bill Habicht, williamhabicht@gmail.com(530) 902-2844
          Michael Bisch, michael@davisproperty.com(530) 256-6512

           

      4. Tia Will

        Hi davisresident,

         I’m having trouble understanding the rationale to wait until after the Planning Commission meeting for dialogue to begin.  It seems like dialogue should’ve occurred prior to the final project submittal and vote by the Planning Commission.  Trying to understand the thinking behind this.”

        I am not part of the Rosecreek neighborhood and am not opposed nor a proponent of  this project but I do have some insight into how divergent the views can be with regard to the issue you are seeking to understand. As an opponent of the initial Trackside proposal, a frequent poster here was very critical of me for stepping up and voicing my objections to the initial proposal before it had gone through the commission process as opposed to waiting until it came before the CC. This would be the antithesis of my feeling that the sooner all points of view can be heard the better since no one could then feel that their efforts had been “sabotaged” at the last moment by someone “holding back”until what they saw as the most opportune time. There seem to be an amazing number of different points of view on who has the right to voice an opinion, when and under what circumstances they should do so.

        Personally I would like to see an end to “any gamesmanship” on all sides and a completely transparent process from the beginning all the way around. I see the civility of the current conversation as a definite step in the right direction.

        1. Mark West

          “a frequent poster here was very critical of me for stepping up and voicing my objections to the initial proposal before it had gone through the commission process as opposed to waiting until it came before the CC. ” [emphasis added]

          No, I criticized you, Alan M. and your neighbors (and still do) for taking it to the City Council before the project had been submitted to the City for review (in response to a newspaper article). You were attempting to short-circuit our process through political action instead of working within that process through the commissions. Now you are attempting to misrepresent your actions and my opposition to them.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    the council still makes very poor choices….the younguns need to learn to think outside the box….I doubt that is taught in school anymore – certainly not under common core….

      1. Marina Kalugin

        and I have many, many campus awards to prove it hp,,,,some back to my “student assistant” days, as a techie before there was the word IT, and others leading up to when I got THE major campus award for the year for Distinguished Supervision…not the runners up…but the Major award…..

        Though it was only a few years ago, I wasn’t quite so old or testy then..  you may even find some of those awards under either name still….you may also find my arrest also…for a hit and run when the guy was already dead and I was in shock and the CHP dispatcher told me it was okay to head home,  right….

        several others had already run over the drunken guy who tried to run across the freeway near Curry road….

        sometimes google is a friend but other times it is not…

        Only when real life death was happening at the UCD….not kidding suicides (Oct 15) of an overloaded manager who also had PTSD etc, it was all over the papers…. and mass layoffs of good people who may have gotten older, did I really start speaking out….

        then I kinda lost it over the Napo/LK garbage…oh well    🙂

        People being forced out to retirement before they even hit the magic age..

        Faculty whose head was almost put on a pike, as the new policy for getting rid of the older and more challenged was brought out in 2004…

        I always speak out and I sometimes yell…and I almost died many times over recent years due to lack of sleep and workload…

        And even I have a case now, but do I have the time……not yet…

        I have other way more urgent legal cases ongoing…. 🙂

        and I still waste way too much time here…. 🙂

    1. Barack Palin

      You don’t understand Frankly, they want it right now, they can’t wait 3 years.  Just like when the detractors say it will take years before we see any revenue from the hotels so we shouldn’t build them.  I guess there’s no such thing as planning ahead and waiting for fruition.

       

      1. quielo

        If the property owners believed in planning in advance they would open a couple of water spigots on the property for public use and make it a drop off site for donations to the homeless. If they had robust homeless camp there the neighbors would view the proposal differently.

         

         

    2. South of Davis

      Frankly wrote:

      > Plant bamboo.  It will take three years to create a screen.

      A few years after that the bamboo will start pushing concrete up and the stuff can actually grow “through” asphalt…

    3. Tia Will

      Nice pic Frankly. I think bamboo is a good choice. Beats the poisonous oleander unless of course one has no young children or grandchildren to be concerned about.

      1. Don Shor

        Just for the record, poisonings by oleander are statistically so rare as to be almost nonexistent. It’s extremely difficult to ingest it in sufficient quantity to cause poisoning. Most oleander poisonings on record were intentional.

          1. Don Shor

            No, it takes a lot of sugar to mask the bitterness of the active ingredient. You have to extract it and bake it in a pie, or something like that. But perhaps I’ve said too much….

        1. hpierce

          And, for most bee stings are just a bit of discomfort… and most people love to eat peanuts… yet… had a shepard mix dog who became a sharpei when her face tangled with some spider… the second time was worse than the first… doggie doses of benadryl and some hydro-cortizone took care of the problem within a couple of hours.

          And Don is absolutely correct… rare to have a reaction that is a medical concern from oleanders…  see also, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002884.htm.  Confirms Don’s assessment.  But, for some, stuff happens…

  3. Marina Kalugin

    be careful though….only get the noninvasive kind…..or it will take over much of rosecreek…

    PS>   Oleanders are toxic to pets, and perhaps children,   bamboo is a way  better choice.

  4. Don Shor

    There are screening options. When the neighbors are open to suggestions, I’ll be happy to provide suggestions. There are also trees that can be planted in the greenbelt in spite of shade and proximity to existing trees. It’s a matter of selecting species according to those requirements.

    Screening with vegetation is definitely a viable option..

    1. hpierce

      Think is more “if” than “when”… they’d apparently prefer outright rejection of the project… no “mitigations” that can be required if that plays out…

    2. tj

      My comment about people roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on oleander branches is first hand information, NOT “urban legend”.

      Better not to comment on what you don’t know about.

  5. Davis Progressive

    the reality is my neighbors back window faces mine.  you know how i deal with it?  a screen – you get one that’s translucent and you can see out but they can’t see in.  it’s not the end of the world and it won’t decrease your home values.

    1. Marina Kalugin

      was the house there when you bought it?

      or was there a “promise” or a “general plan” of allowed usage  when you bought it…

      I bought my fixer on the border of the Ricci farm because of the farm AND I did my due diligence..

      those who want to live on tiny lots all over each other exist…typically those who choose to buy a single family home with a greenbelt behind it also do that for a reason….

      some of us had light and space when we bought…then we were not able to get solar after Woodbridge went in…

      Fouts built a THREE story house when it was approved for single story…back then there was NO height restriction….he took it to the limits….that will not happen now..

      because of us neighbors….

      HIS over $600K custom house had toxic mold….three families moved out before that was repaired…

      I NAME names because the same folks are still here running amuk.

      Back then some didn’t know some things..

      Like if the plywood is soaking wet, one doesn’t wrap those plastic sheets around them ….

      and so much else, which happens when the fox is running the hen house…

    2. Frankly

      I have a single story with my neighbor’s wall of two story windows looking right into my main living area.  That house was built a year after we were in and the design changed from when we purchased our lot and confirmed what our neighbor’s house would be from a single story on a pad to a multi-story on raised subfloor.   Don Shor helped with the selection of a bamboo that would work in these galvanized troughs.  This is only two years old.   Concrete footings could be installed to contain the roots.  I think the neighbors should demand the hotel install a bamboo screen along the fence-line.

      http://www.thesocialmisfit.com/images/Bamboo.jpg

       

      1. Don Shor

        Just for general information: there are also clumping (non-invasive) bamboo species that grow very tall, very quickly, which don’t require barriers. Bambusa textilis and B. tuldoides are two examples that are good locally.

        Plants to screen the hotel on the project property, combined with new plantings in the greenbelt and possibly some strategic plantings in residents’ yards, could readily mitigate the view. There are specific criteria involved in plant selection for each of those situations.

  6. tj

    If Davis is so short of money, why are the firemen allowed to use city vehicles for personal use:  Out to lunch, out to shop at the grocery?   They’re provided with a kitchen, they can bring lunch and dinner from home, or have food delivered.

    Police are paid for 12 hour shifts, but only work 10 hours or so.  The excuse is “they’re on call”.

    1. Marina Kalugin

      heck way better than in NJ and NY,,,,strikes are illegal so they clock in and go sleep or something until the shifts are over….shhh….don’t tell anyone, right?

      don’t want to give anyone here on the public dole er payroll…..any ideas…

      They even have some fancy term for that….

       

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