UC Davis Responds to the City of Davis on LRDP

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Back at the December 20, 2016, meeting, the Davis City Council sent a letter to UC Davis to communicate areas of concern regarding the proposed UC Davis Long Range Development Plan (see here).  In that letter, the city requested “UC Davis provide for a minimum of 100 percent of the projected enrollment of all new incoming students starting with the 2017 academic year and at least 50 percent of total UC Davis campus student population in the LRDP.”

The city also requested that “UC Davis develop an accompanying construction and financing implementation strategy to ensure the delivery of these units and facilities in a timely manner.”

The sent a follow up letter in March that was presented as an informational item to the city council on the April 4 agenda.

The city has now received, dated April 14, a response letter from Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter.  Staff, following review of the letter, “believes this letter highlights the need for the City to pursue a number of actions to further illustrate and reinforce the prior questions, clarifications, concerns and requests that the City Council has put forward to UC Davis in the last several months regarding the LRDP, which remain largely unanswered.”

Staff recommends a response prepared by both staff and legal counsel that would come back on May 16.

Staff writes, “In light of the response received to the City’s correspondence to date, coupled with the continued forward progression and expected Fall 2017 release of the LRDP Draft EIR, staff believes it is prudent to begin preparation of our own series of analyses of potential impacts of the LRDP on the City. These areas of study and potential impacts include transportation, parks, greenbelts, and City services, as outlined in the City EIR scoping comment letter to UC Davis.”

Staff writes, “Having such studies in hand would enable the City to gain a better understanding of the potential LRDP impacts associated with the Draft EIR once released, allowing for a more thorough analysis and comments.”

Staff writes that “one key area of potential transportation impact includes the Russell Boulevard and Richards/First Street corridors where it will be important to understand how city traffic operations would be impacted if key campus access points, such as First and A, were to be altered. Such studies would also serve as a basis to formulate suggested mitigations and potential impact fee agreements between the City and UC Davis to account for the associated impacts of campus enrollment growth.”


April 14 Letter From Ralph Hexter

Dear Mayor Davis:

I am writing in response to your letter of March 22 requesting “clarity and formal response” on a number of issues related to the UC Davis Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). I have provided specific responses below, and later in this letter, I share my observations about what I see as a breakdown in effective communication between the City and the campus regarding the LRDP.

Following are my specific responses to the questions in your letter of March 22, 2017. A number of the documents referenced herein have previously been provided to the City, but I have attached them once again for your convenience.

First, you request clarity and formal response regarding the “timing and sequence of campus delivery of net new residential and non-residential space vis-à-vis the timing of expected campus enrollment growth.”

  • With respect to residential space, I attach “Upcoming UC Davis On-Campus Housing Projects.” This document summarizes the timing and sequence of the first 3800-4000 of the 6200 new on-campus beds that are included in the current draft LRDP. In addition, consistent with our conversation on February 28, I have provided an additional attachment that describes this same information graphically and shows additional potential delivery of our planned housing capacity through 2027-28.

Please note that many factors could affect the timing and sequence of individual residential projects, including but not limited to financial, weather, and/or construction delays. However, the single most critical factor for assuring that all 6200 beds are completed in a timely manner is the approval of the LRDP in March 2018 as called for in our current schedule. Delay in the LRDP approval will result in a delay of the EIR for the 1600-1800 beds at West Village that is included in the draft LRDP and draft LRDP documents. In turn, that would result in delayed delivery of future campus housing projects. We look forward to your support of timely approval of the LRDP next March.

  • With respect to non-residential space, I am providing links to our “University of California Capital Financial Plan: 2016-2026” and to the UC Davis Design and Construction Management websites, which together provide detailed information that responds to your request with respect to timing and sequencing of upcoming projects.

Of course, the same uncertainty with regard to unexpected financial, construction or other factors could affect the timing and sequence of these projects as it could with the residential projects.

University of California Financial Plan: 2016-2026: See here

UC Davis Design and Construction Management: http://dcm.ucdavis.edu/projects

Second, you request clarity and formal response regarding “the density/intensity of proposed on-campus housing . . . specifically [your] desire to see greater housing numbers pursued and to gain an understanding of whether UC Davis will pursue greater housing in the LRDP per the City’s requests, and if UC Davis will not do so, to understand the particular business model rationale.”

  • We appreciate your interest and have previously responded, in a number of contexts, to your request of December 20, 2016. You made the same request in your January 24, 2017 comments during the EIR scoping period. Our response remains unchanged. Please be assured that we are committed to continuing to examine opportunities for additional housing capacity within our draft LRDP land-use plan during the first stages of the environmental analysis. We continue to explore opportunities for incorporating additional housing capacity within the LRDP land-use plan, and continue to be hopeful that we will identify viable models for creating more housing capacity that will expand accessibility and affordability for students. If we are unable to do so, please be assured that we will share the considerations that informed the decision.

Third, you request clarity and formal response regarding the “definition and clearer understanding of the UC Davis non-residential space needs and where those needs may be accommodated.”

  • Our non-residential space needs are clearly defined in the “University of California Capital Financial Plan 2016-2026” and at the UC Davis Design and Construction Management websites at the links provided above. As I responded formally on January 25, 2017 in my reply to your December 20, 2016 letter, “we added land into the draft LRDP, South of Interstate 80 at Old Davis Road, to potentially accommodate such needs, dependent upon demand and financial feasibility.”
  • Moreover, being fully aware of your ongoing concerns about property owned and leased by the Regents on behalf of UC Davis, I specifically committed with formality and with clarity that “we will certainly engage with city staff and Councilmembers further on this topic,” to which we have not received a response.

Finally, I would like to make some observations about what I perceive as key issues in the process and structure the City established to assure that we would be open and honest with one another regarding our specific needs and intentions around the LRDP. I was very appreciative of your and the City staff’s engagement with and support of multiple LRDP outreach efforts during the first 15 months or so of the LRDP process starting in October 2015. I was also very gratified last year when the Council established an LRDP subcommittee to focus on this important effort, and I was pleased to assign two of our most knowledgeable leaders as my representatives to your committee in Bob Segar and Marj Dickinson.

However, since December, we have encountered greater difficulty in finding creative ways to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes on shared issues. I firmly believe that you and I, your Council colleagues and City staff, and our UC Davis LRDP team are all people of intelligence and integrity who are fully committed to finding a path to solutions to the difficult challenges that face our shared community. Whether it is the LRDP Subcommittee process that you established, or another structure, perhaps involving sustained, constructive dialogue between our respective staff leadership teams, it is time for a re-set of our interactions around the LRDP.

I would recommend that Bob Segar, Marj Dickinson and City Manager Dirk Brazil be directed to meet before mid-May and return to you and me with a joint recommendation defining principles and objectives for dialogue between the City and the campus for the remainder of the LRDP process. In making this suggestion, I clearly recognize that there well may be matters on which we will have to agree to disagree. That said, I believe equally clearly that we can limit those matters through the dedicated efforts of the talented and committed professionals on each of our teams. And, most importantly, for items where we agree and can chart mutually beneficial outcomes, I see great opportunities to collaborate and create positive planning efforts for the Davis community.

In my letter to you on January 25, 2017, I posed this question which I still believe can serve as a starting point for constructive dialogue for our staff:

How is the college-town character of Davis evolving and what values are important for recognizing that character?

I strongly believe that the college-town character of Davis is a unique and precious attribute, and I am hopeful that our collaborative planning can identify whether stewardship of that character would be possible, useful and rewarding for the Davis community and how it might be most effectively accomplished.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide the clarity and formal responses you had requested, and for considering my observations regarding the importance of ongoing, sustained and genuine communication and dialogue around these important issues. I look forward to your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Ralph J. Hexter
Interim Chancellor



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About The Author

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

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34 thoughts on “UC Davis Responds to the City of Davis on LRDP”

  1. Greg Rowe

    Don: It’s even worse than just that. Attachment 2 to Hexter’s letter was a chart showing student housing projects in 2-year increments between the 2015-16 baseline and the 2027-28 completion of the LRDP, divided between students living in residence halls (i.e., freshman dorms) and students living in apartments.  In the baseline, 5250 lived in residence halls and 4150 lived in apartments.  The number living in apartments is expected to reach 7300 in the 2021-22 academic year and then stay static through 2025-26.  It does not increase to 8550 students living in campus apartments until 2027-28.  In other words, Davis and surrounding communities will continue experiencing a tidal wave of students moving out of dorms after freshman year and into our community and surrounding cities (Winters, Woodland, Dixon, West Sacramento) well into the time span of the LRDP because no UCD on-campus apartment construction will occur over a 3-year period.  Instead of “frontloading” construction to prepare for the upsurge in enrollment, UCD proposes to let it lag until the endpoint of the LRDP.

    And, of course, if past history is any indication, UCD won’t meet even these meager goals. Example: the report issued by the UC Board of Regents in November 2002, UC Housing for the 21st Century, stated that by 2012 UCD would house 38% of its students on campus, with a goal of 40%.  That goal was never met. The LRDP states that the during the 2015-16 baseline, only 29% of students lived on campus and 63% lived off campus in the city of Davis.  Only thing is, ever since a number of people recently started examining and quoting from the UC housing report during the past year, it has mysteriously disappeared from the UC website and no longer available for downloading.  Just a coincidence?  Too bad, because the report emphasized that housing constructed on campus reduces housing pressures on surrounding communities, reduces commutes, and helps moderate off-campus rent increases.  It also emphasized that UC expansion plans must be coordinated with commensurate on-campus housing construction–something UCD has never done.

    In looking at the Georgia Tech website, it is apparent that university sees the strong value and importance of providing on-campus student housing. Let’s hope that Gary May brings that philosophy with him to his new job of Chancellor at UCD.

    1. David Greenwald

      Greg – Good points, I do think the situation with housing is much worse than 2002, so I don’t think they’ll get away with no doing anything, but this is certainly not encouraging.

    2. John D

      One hopes that the incoming Chancellor will bring a wealth of alternative perspectives based upon his tenure and familiarity with a university located in the heart of a major US city, as well as his position on corporate boards of prominent US companies.   Point being, regardless of one’s personal views regarding the specific business activities of such companies – the incoming Chancellor has been sufficiently well regarded by leaders in the private, for-profit  business sector to be selected for his counsel and advice.
      I might add that the companies with which he has been associated could equally well have been leaders in the areas of food production, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, or any number of other activities which might not be viewed in a positive light by certain segments within the community.  To reiterate, he was sought out for his acumen, insights and contributions he might offer as a board member for private sector enterprise – a characteristic not always found in those occupying leadership roles in many of our leading universities.
      Another very encouraging aspect to the incoming Chancellor is the depth and variety of leading US corporations which have sought to attain partnership roles with his College of Engineering within the university.   While UCD has many strategic partners supporting its research, it does not seem to have been the practice to advertise or promote such linkages.    Perhaps it’s more the difference in style, and the seeming embrace of these iconic US companies, together with a very public recognition of the value which such employers bring to the community and the university – both in terms of jobs and career creation, but also for their support of university research missions and the increased philanthropy which often extends from such employers and their key employees.
      Following is a link to Georgia Tech’s Corporate Affiliates Partnerships Program  https://www.ece.gatech.edu/corporate-affiliates-partnerships-cap
       
      Frankly, these are aspects which have received little attention or consideration in our local press.  One suspects that an incoming Chancellor with this depth and breadth of leadership and perspective will quickly grasp the wealth of opportunities – not only for the university, its faculty and graduates, but also for the host community and the region as a whole.  One can only hope that he might be similarly perceptive and attentive with respect to the unique challenges confronting the university and its relationship with his new, local host community.

  2. David Greenwald

    What is interesting is that I’ve been assured by the university that they understand the housing crisis, but I see no evidence of that in this letter which was basically, leave us to implementing the LRDP if you want us to build housing.

    1. Tia Will

      David

      There is a world of difference between “understanding” problems and being willing to do something proactive about solving them. I suspect that they understand the issue completely, but those with top decision making authority to do not prioritize it since it is not “where the money lies”.

  3. John D

    Somewhere back in my memory, I seem to recall the phrase “Man cannot live on bread alone”.  With today’s engineered breads, that statement may no longer be true, but the sentiment behind it does seem an apt analogy.

    Very few in this conversation seem inclined to acknowledge what has come to be an essential relationship between tax policy, geographical jurisdictions, the economy and the revenues necessary to support the local population, its businesses and its essential municipal services.   There, I’ve said it.

    Talking about housing, in isolation, will do nothing but distract from the larger issues at play.

    To my analogy, a community cannot prosper with its commerce built predominantly upon students, senior residents, and where the majority of remaining households subsist on heads of households  who are commuting out of town for work.  The numbers just don’t work.

    You do all realize that commuting – even by bike to the campus – is effectively commuting “out of town”.   Wherever one goes, out of town, so too any taxable sales also go out of town.  Whenever you go out of town, so too, the employers you visit or the office where you are employed is directing its commercial property tax revenues “out of town”.

    Sure, everybody who lives in town is contributing to the economic vitality “in town” – just like the residents of any community.  It’s just that when all of their employers are located elsewhere, it means that all day – every day – they are spending their time and random daily expenditures “out of town”, and likewise the purchases being made by their employers are being directed to a different municipal coffer along with the commercial property taxes paid by those employers.

    Add it all up, and there is a major difference between the aggregate economic activity and associated municipal revenues being generated between one community and the next.

    When absolutely no effort is made to acknowledge this fundamental, accumulating and growing pattern – it is little difficult to endure an endless conversation about where more students should live.

    Instead, what if we spent all our time and effort discussing where all these wonderful, bright young people might be able to find local employment opportunities following their graduation.  Or don’t we really want them anymore after they have finished their course of study?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Ron

      John:

      And yet, “no one wanted” an existing, 6-acre industrial site (Sterling).

      After years of study/effort, MRIC “disappeared” unless they could include housing at the last minute, as well.

      I believe that there’s another rather large site (on the South side of I-80), which is currently commercial (and was occupied by UCD), but the owner is now interested in housing instead.

      A site on Spafford is being leased by UCD, instead of commercial interests.  (As a side note, you’ll probably recall the ongoing controversy regarding the activities that UCD wants to pursue, there.)

      It seems that developers are much more interested in converting existing commercial/industrial spaces to housing (for students or others), or leasing directly to UCD.

      1. Howard P

        Understand… commercial/industrial requires two basic things… access and ‘right size’ of land… some commercial is also highly dependent on proximity to likely customers and supplementary ‘attractors’…

        A neighborhood market in MR had to relocate, and change their business model, due partly to lack of customers, due in large part to no supplemental uses nearby and a greedy landlord, who kept forcing up the rent.  [ironically the same landlord has to settle for a Goodwill drop-off site.]

         

      2. Ron

        Howard:  Of course I “understand”.  However, I’m not convinced that we’re privy to the actual process that occurred.

        Approximately 6 acres, along with buildings that might have been re-used (even for commercial activities).

        Again, I know that it’s too late, and that some believe that a student dormitory-like structure was a better use of the site.

        Just remember this site, if anyone starts complaining about the need for a several-acre industrial/commercial site (for research, high-tech, or whatever), in the future. Is there really that much “demand”, if there was “no market” for this site?

        More importantly, this is an example of the type of “trade-off” that occurs, as density increases (and the city purposefully decides to house UCD’s students).

        1. Matt Williams

          Ron, one of the well done parts of Tuesday’s meeting occurred from the 04:25:20 through 04:29:05 mark of the meeting video (see http://davis.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=688) when the commercial real estate broker from CBRE gave a detailed description of the steps that his firm took as the agent for EMQ in trying to sell the property.

          What was there about that open, transparent detailed description that causes you to still be “not convinced that we’re privy to the actual process that occurred”?

        2. Ron

          Matt:

          I did look at the video you posted.  Lots of statements regarding marketing efforts, but none which stated the asking price.

          Glad to see that Will Arnold went on to state that he thinks the development fees for developments such as Sterling are probably “out of whack”.  (Something that you essentially accused me of lying about, in reference to your own calculations.)

          Actually, I think you “literally” accused me of lying about that. You can probably find the link in which you stated that to me.

        3. Matt Williams

          I didn’t “essentially” accuse you of lying Ron, I very directly, clearly and unequivocally accused you of lying.  Your argument was that the Impact Fees are too low and do not cover the Impact Costs.  You do not know that that is the case, and your assertion that that is what I said was where you lied.  Perhaps you should go back and reread what I actually did say (see https://www.davisvanguard.org/2017/03/sterling-comes-back-revised-proposal/#comment-354891), which was,

           

          The calculated result for the revised Sterling configuration would be Development Impact Fees totaling $3,822,643, which represents a $1,957,525 revenue increase for the City if the project is approved and built as proposed. 
           
          Alternatively, the base rate for both forms of Single Family Residences and the 2-bedroom multi-family units could be reduced from the current $17,656 aggregate Fees value.  That would reduce the total revenue to the City as well as the fiscal burden on the developer, but still solve the equity issue raised in Don and Maggie Sherman’s public comment.

           

           

        4. Ron

          Matt:

          The concern regarding the amount of development fees was not even initiated by me.

          There are other conversations regarding this (in which I referenced the same link), in which you stated that I was lying.  (Never figured out exactly what you thought I lied about, but frankly it doesn’t matter to me.)

          The more important thing is that Will Arnold is apparently aware of the concern, regarding the amount of development fees collected from developments such as Sterling.  (I hope that you don’t start calling Will a liar, as well.)

          I see that you only pasted a portion of the concern (and subsequent communications) above. If anyone wants to see the entire communication, I’d suggest clicking on the link that Matt provided, above.

      3. Matt Williams

        Ron, one of the first rules of real estate is “Location, Location, Location.”  From the perspective of the employers of young professionals that John D is describing, how attractive is the 2100 Fifth Street parcel as a location for those employment opportunities?

        According to the information shared in a “neighbors focus group” meeting, the large site on the south side of I-80 (which is zoned Mixed-Use not Commercial) has been actively searching without success for what they refer to as a “trophy tenant” for almost a decade.  The reason the most recent tenant, UCD, abandoned the site is the same reason given by the companies that have inquired about the site, (1) archaic and inflexible and earthquake regs-challenged existing building, (2) high demolition costs for that existing building that must be incurred prior to commencing any commercial construction, (3) remote location from retail customers.

        The site on Spafford was leased by Z-World from 1997 through 2013.  Z-World is a leading manufacturer of embedded microprocessor controllers used extensively to develop Ethernet drivers.

        Both your point about MRIC and your final paragraph have resonance, and illuminate the impact of incremental “entitlement costs” and “entitlement uncertainty” that any peripheral site around Davis has to incur when compared to an infill site within the City Limits.

      4. Ron

        Matt:

        Regarding “location”, how “appealing” was the Sterling site for student housing, vs. the young professionals that John D. was describing?  (I think you need to explain your reasoning.)

        Regarding the site south of I-80, why has it been “difficult” to find a “trophy tenant”, but probably “not-so-difficult” to find a developer who wants to build (or at least include) housing on the site?

        Regarding MRIC, why is it “difficult” to build an innovation center without housing, but “not-so-difficult” to build it with housing?

        Could the answer to all of these questions boil down to the fact that housing is generally more profitable (and overall more appealing to developers), than commercial/industrial development?

        Regarding the site on Spafford, why might it be “difficult” to find a commercial tenant for the site, vs. leasing it to UCD for “controversial” activities?

         

         

        1. Howard P

          First question… answer, very.  Many reasons.  Most RE professionals would know that.  Not so much for YP’s… same reason.

          Second question… answer, distance from fwy ramps.

          Third question… answer… DNK, but the question is flawed, as I believe city staff pushed for housing to minimize home-work trips on the City grid.

          Fourth question… answer… DNK, but the question was speculative and leading.

          Fifth question… see answer to fourth question. Particularly adding ‘controversial’… in quotes, no less… one only has to say the word to create it…

           

        2. Ron

          Howard – regarding your responses:

          First question:  Not actually answered.

          Second question:  Not fully explained.

          Third question:  Doesn’t explain the developer’s decisions.

          Fourth question:  Perhaps true, but the other questions lead up to it.

          Fifth question:  The point was related to demand for commercial space, not so much the “controversial” aspect of UCD’s proposal. (Basically, related to my fourth question.)

        3. Matt Williams

          My personal opinion is that a location at 2100 Fifth Street is as appealing, or more appealing than 2150 Tilia Street is.  Google Maps shows the bicycle route from 2150 Tilia to 305 Howard Way (the front of the MU) as 1.9 miles and 9 minutes.   Google Maps shows the bicycle route from 2150 Tilia to 305 Howard Way (the front of the MU) as 1.6 miles and 10 minutes.  So the practical reality for each individual student boils down to whether they want to live on-campus or off-campus.

        4. Ron

          So far, neither Howard nor Matt have addressed even my first question.  That question was based upon Matt’s earlier statement, in which Matt essentially stated that the Sterling site was a “bad” location for employers of young professionals (such as those referred to by John D.), but was a “good” location for students commuting to campus.

        5. Howard P

          Ron… we both did address your first question… you seem to be playing a game of “I’m thinking of a number between one and a hundred, and if you do not give the answer I want (with full encyclopedic cites), you have not addressed my question”.  You’ll have to play by/with yourself… je suis finis avec toi.

          Answer your own damn leading/baited questions… you may not be a liar, but you do not issue honest questions.

        6. Ron

          Howard:

          The question was essentially repeated right above your comment.  You jumped into this conversation on your own accord.

          If you can’t understand my underlying point, I’ll put it out there plain as day for you.  We lost a 6-acre site, zoned for industrial uses.  I questioned the wisdom of that, given the frequently-stated concerns regarding a lack of commercial/industrial development in Davis.  I also pointed out that (in general) developers seem to pursue residential development, over commercial development (and I provided several examples of that).

          Some are stating that the Sterling site couldn’t be sold under its existing industrial zoning (or closely related) commercial uses, but nowhere is the asking price for the property discussed. A basic piece of information. (Again, a zoning change was requested, based upon the lack of ability to sell the property, as is.)

          I’ll restate it, in case Matt wants to provide an explanation of the following:

          Matt essentially stated that the Sterling site was a “bad” location for employers of young professionals (such as those referred to by John D.), but was a “good” location for students commuting to campus.

        7. Howard P

          Who is this ‘we’ bullcrap, Ron?  Did the City own the land?  NO!  How did ‘we’ lose anything?  Or do you believe that the ‘people’ own all land?  How did the city ‘lose’ a property, zoned as industrial, never used for that as FF demonstrates?  

          Cite your responses… give cogent arguments to support your points… otherwise, you are indeed, unresponsive. Precisely as you have accused others…

        8. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Matt essentially stated that the Sterling site was a “bad” location for employers of young professionals (such as those referred to by John D.), but was a “good” location for students commuting to campus.”

          Ron, the expression Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is at work here in spades.

          The RIF lesson is recognizing the difference between a question and a statement.  “From the perspective of the employers of young professionals that John D is describing, how attractive is the 2100 Fifth Street parcel as a location for those employment opportunities?” is a question, not a statement.

          The thing that’s important to know is that you never know. You’re always sort of feeling your way. — Diane Arbus

        9. Ron

          Matt and Howard:

          The latest “tag team”, on the Vanguard.  You guys still “having coffee” together, as mentioned in the link that Matt provided above?

          If Matt doesn’t want to provide an explanation of his statement (as I invited him to, above), then that’s fine.  I’d suggest that he’s the one making statements in which he “doesn’t know” much, or is trying to avoid answering.

           

        10. Matt Williams

          Ron, there is a natural rhythm to life . . . first things come first.  If you want your question to be engaged, then you simply need to answer the predecessor question that was posed to you immediately before your question.  Specifically,  from the perspective of the employers of young professionals that John D is describing, how attractive is the 2100 Fifth Street parcel as a location for those employment opportunities?

          Embedded in your answer to that predecessor question will be the answer to your subsequent question.

        11. Ron

          Matt:

          I don’t know who John D., actually is.

          However, a 6-acre industrial site in the city, with buildings that could be repurposed, is rare.  (Of course, it’s not absolutely “necessary” to save those buildings, either.) In any case, where are all the supposed “start-ups”, high tech, etc. that are supposedly in the wings, waiting for such an opportunity?  If there are such businesses, what other locations are available to them?

          Regarding location, why is it “better” (for the city’s interests) to approve a zoning change to allow what is essentially a massive dormitory on the former Families First site, rather than providing space for the employers of young professionals (which would also match, or closely approximate existing zoning)?

          I think you need to explain your reasoning. Especially since you are one of the folks who is constantly pointing out the city’s financial challenges.

        12. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . .  “Regarding location, why is it “better” (for the city’s interests) to approve a zoning change to allow what is essentially a massive dormitory on the former Families First site, rather than providing space for the employers of young professionals (which would also match, or closely approximate existing zoning)?”

          Ron, you either don’t understand the location, location, location question, or you don’t want to answer it.  Location, location, location is meaningful from the perspective of a business making a decision about where to incubate their business.  They are the ones deciding to either purchase or lease the space where they want/expect their business to thrive.

          So, take a moment and step back and walk in the shoes of those business owners, and share your opinions about the pros and cons of 2100 Fifth Street as a place to locate a new (or expanding) business.

           

           

        13. Matt Williams

          Ron asked . . . “why is it “better” (for the city’s interests) to approve a zoning change to allow what is essentially a massive dormitory on the former Families First site, rather than providing space for the employers of young professionals”

          The answer to the bolded part of your question is really rather simple.  No employer of young professionals has shown any interest in locating their business at 2100 Fifth Street.

          As a result of those “on the ground” events (or non-events, if you prefer), the fiscal reality for the City budget is that the existing annual revenues from the site are at best constrained by the provisions of Prop 13, and at worst are subject to exemptions that EMQ/Familes First may qualify for because of any not-for-profit elements of their corporate structure . . . and the future annual revenues would only change if/when the site is redeveloped.  Since no business entity has stepped forward with a non-residential alternative, the future revenues will be the same as the current revenues in the current zoning.  That is not the case in a redevelopment scenario where an actual redevelopment proposal has been submitted.

          With that said, the fiscal realities of the City budget are not going to be addressed significantly by any residential proposal anywhere within the City Limits.

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