Nishi Proposes Student Housing Project to Go on 2018 Ballot

Developer Tim Ruff addressing questions at a January forum in 2016

In January 2016, the Davis City Council voted 5-0 to put a mixed-use development for the Nishi property on the ballot, subject to voter ratification.  The voters however, by a margin of just over 600 votes, rejected the project following a contentious election cycle in 2016.

On October 6, the property owners submitted a “preliminary conceptual site plan for development on the Nishi property.”  The city has also received a revised application and project narrative.

The new project focuses on a student housing proposal, including an affordable housing component.  There would be vehicle access through a crossing under the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the UC Davis campus.

Vehicle trips would be reduced and the applicants are considering elimination of private automobile access to west Olive Drive.

The project also includes open space, potentially a farm to provide produce for UC Davis students, and surface parking with opportunities for photovoltaics.

The proposed concept, staff writes, “would be generally consistent with the ‘Nishi Property – Option with Access Via UCD Only’ site recommended for housing in the City Council’s 2008 resolution
regarding Housing Element Steering Committee recommendation.”

The applicants have requested that the proposal be placed on the June 2018 ballot.

Staff writes, “The schedule would entail action by the current City Council, who are familiar with the site and its planning history. There are no other ‘Measure R’ proposals anticipated at that election.”

Litigation was filed against the original Nishi project in 2016.  Earlier this year, that litigation was resolved in favor of the city, with the litigant conceding the affordable housing argument.  However, earlier this week, Michael Harrington announced he had filed an appeal of the ruling.

In a release to the Vanguard, he wrote, “Plaintiff has filed its appeal today as we believe that certain aspects of the trial court’s decision after hearing are legally incorrect or need further clarification by the Court of Appeals. Those aspects include the traffic issue and the lack of affordable rental housing. Further comments will come at the time of briefing.”

A key question will be whether the legal challenges are nullified because of the major differences between this project and the previous project that was subject to the litigation.  Plaintiffs challenged the adequacy of the traffic study on Nishi, but if the applicants here are recommending limited to no private vehicle access, the project may not impact Richards Boulevard at all.

Tim Ruff points to the road

However, staff notes, “A June ballot might be possible only because environmental review for the previous application was completed and the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) certified by the City Council. That EIR analyzed development of the Nishi property with 650 residential dwelling units (210 condominiums plus up to 1,500 beds), 325,000 square feet of research and development use, and 20,000 square feet of accessory retail.

“The EIR evaluated two ‘equal-weight’ access scenarios: one with vehicle connections to both Olive Drive and UC Davis; and the other with vehicular access only from West Olive Drive.”

Staff believes at least preliminarily “that the revised proposal could be evaluated through an Addendum to the previous EIR. Recirculation would not be necessary pursuant to Section 15164 of the state guidelines for the California Environmental Quality Act.”

Staff adds, “While recirculation under CEQA is not required, the analysis prepared for an EIR Addendum would be crucial to community, commissions, Council, and ultimately voter consideration of the updated proposal.”

In order to make a determination that an Addendum is the appropriate level of environmental review, the City would need to make the following determinations:

  • The changes in the project would not result in new significant environmental effects or a substantial increase in the severity of previously-identified significant effects;
  • There are no significant changes in circumstances that would result in new significant environmental effects or a substantial increase in the severity of previously-identified significant effects; and
  • There is no substantial new information that shows new significant environmental effects or a substantial increase in the severity of previously-identified significant effects.

In the narrative submitted to the city on October 4, the applicants write: “The guiding concept of the Nishi proposal is to retain elements of the plan already approved by The City Council, while simplifying that plan to lessen impacts questioned by the voters of Davis.”

Among the priorities, consistent with already-approved land uses, “is the creation of a new student housing neighborhood that takes advantage of the site’s unique proximity to both Downtown Davis and UC Davis. The site also offers direct bicycle and pedestrian access along the extensive Arboretum corridor strongly connecting the site to the balance of our community both North and South.”

Accordingly, the project continues to meet, as before, “the critical need for rental housing at this uniquely convenient location. This convenience, particularly for UCD students, provides economies in both travel time and automobile use to students during their normal 2-5 year tenure at UCD.”

The revised project suggests that the residential area would “provide 650 housing units which could accommodate up to 2600 occupants.”

They note, “Even though the prior project was exempt from affordable housing requirements, the new plan could include housing available to underserved students. Most students do not qualify for the necessary conventional Federal and State subsidy benefits.

“Nonetheless, if some path to feasibility can be found, such housing will be a benefit to students who need assistance.”

Moreover, “Accessory structures and amenities normal for such housing projects will be built and maintained for residential use.”

In terms of circulation, they write, “A vehicular and bicycle/pedestrian undercrossing connecting Nishi and UCD is planned in generally the same location first identified in the approved plan. This new connection will augment already existing bicycle/pedestrian access both North and South, and provide alternative emergency access in addition to the emergency access at Olive Drive and the existing 1-80 bike path/ emergency vehicle undercrossing.

“On-site bicycle paths will complete the circulation offering convenience by connecting between existing routes and new routes offering more options for bicyclists.”

Largely because of feedback from the community, they write, “a reduction below certified EIR benchmarks, or even the elimination of private automobile access from Richards Blvd to the Nishi site needs to be explored. Input from appropriate City commissions will be relevant in determining a path forward.”

The applicant writes that, due to its unique location, “Nishi student residents may not need daily access to their cars. Accordingly, apartment on-site parking might be feasibly limited, in the aggregate, at lower ratios normally found at apartment projects in more remote parts of the community.

“Further, a survey has shown that a satellite car storage area is acceptable to student residents. Accordingly, a satellite car storage facility, generally located where commercial buildings and parking lots were first envisioned, might be a feature offered to all students, including campus residents. This in turn may permit greater density and more efficient uses for core University lands adjacent to the Nishi property.”

The narrative concludes: “The Nishi property was selected by the California Strategic Growth Council, as the #1 site for sustainable development in the State of California. As a result of that process funds were provided to prepare a comprehensive sustainability implementation plan which is incorporated into the approved EIR. Additional opportunities may be available to enhance the sustain ability plans by adding PV panels in the satellite car storage areas.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

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

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154 Comments

  1. Tia Will

    Although I had supported Nishi as previously submitted, I did think that this location was optimal for a student only project and pending details, am likely to support such a project at this site.

  2. Roberta Millstein

    The developer has had time to the air quality studies of the site that Dr. Cahill called for, but has not done so.  They have another opportunity this winter, the season when the air quality is hypothesized to be at its worst.  I call on them to have those studies done, either by Dr. Cahill (as he has offered) or by an equivalently qualified person.  If they really think that there can be housing at this site and they want the voters to ratify that, then they owe us that information, information that was lacking in the EIR.

    1. David Greenwald

      “This serves students whose average occupancy is typically under 3 years- young adults. For sale eliminated due to longer exposure. It’s no different than Solano Park or Lincoln 40 , or Aggie Village. The key to air quality is to reduce auto trips.”

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Anyone could choose to rent there for as long as they like, yes?  And the air quality problems for those living at the site are not primarily due to auto trips, as you well know.  They are due to the fact that the site is sandwiched between the freeway, in an area with braking, and with the traintracks.  As you well know.  You admitted yourself in an article not so long ago that there was increasing evidence of the dangers of living near freeways, and this site is particularly bad.  How do you know that 3 years is “not so bad” (again, even assuming it’s just three years)?  How do you know who will be living there — some students do have asthma, you know, and are particularly sensitive.  How do you know where they will live afterward, if this is just the beginning of other exposures they will face?  Will they be given informed consent?

        We need more student housing, to be sure.  And I’d like to see it on campus.  But let us not do this at the expense of residents’ health.

        1. David Greenwald

          Is short term exposure a problem – do we know that?

          And just like with Sterling and Lincoln40 – I think we know that largely students will be living there. Someone choosing to live there long term would have to take into account potential risks.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          Is short term exposure a problem – do we know that?

          Well, the last few days have seen warnings for not exercising too much, or going out at all, on *single* bad air quality days.  And now we are talking about possibly many months out of the year, for several years.  Especially problematic for those who exercise outdoors (as students are wont to do), for those with asthma or other lung conditions (yes, students have those), for pregnant women (yes, students get pregnant).  And again, you don’t know these are the only years of their lives that they are exposed, so that (for them) it will only be “short term.”

          And just like with Sterling and Lincoln40 – I think we know that largely students will be living there. Someone choosing to live there long term would have to take into account potential risks.

          And how are they supposed to know the risks?  There is no provision for informed consent.

        3. Jim Hoch

          We could give each student one of these
          ChemiSense

          ChemiSense is making the world’s first personal, wearable air quality monitor, giving everyone the chance to breathe smarter. By crowdsourcing data through a network of these mobile sensors, we can build detailed heat maps of air quality much like Waze did for traffic data. For the first time, we are able to make this product viable by using our breakthrough chemical sensing technology.

  3. Ron

    If this actually is an acceptable location for student housing (with no vehicular access to Olive Drive), I’m wondering why UCD and the developer haven’t been able to make this work as part of UC Davis’ campus. They’ve had ample time and opportunity to explore this possibility, and yet haven’t come up with anything. (Perhaps UCD is a little “wiser/smarter” than the city.)

    The only way to legally reserve housing for students is to make it part of the campus. (And, that’s the only way to ensure that UCD assumes the costs and responsibilities associated with such housing.)

    Regarding David’s suggestion that students will “take into account” potential risks (e.g., regarding air quality), I haven’t seen a lot of evidence that many young people consider such things.  (As evidenced by lack of bicycle lights, helmets  . . .)

     

     

    1. David Greenwald

      Why would you want it to be part of the campus when we would lose property tax revenue?

      “The only way to legally reserve housing for students is to make it part of the campus. ”

      And here we go again. Aren’t you the one who is complaining that the housing on Lincoln40 and Sterling is not conducive for non-students? You’re trying to have it both ways.

      “Regarding David’s suggestion that students will “take into account” potential risks (e.g., regarding air quality), I haven’t seen a lot of evidence that many young people consider such things.”

      You’re misstating what I said. The issue wasn’t young people who will not live there very long, the issue was anyone planning to live there long term (which I frankly don’t see happening anyway).

      1. Ron

        C’mon, David.  You know that housing costs (for the city) eventually exceed property tax revenue.  (Perhaps more so, for student and Affordable housing.)

        I have doubts that this thing is even viable for the developer, (e.g., the costs to study air quality, the undercrossing below railroad tracks to access the campus, the Affordable housing component, the “satellite” parking area in an undetermined location . . .) (And honestly, no vehicular access to Olive Drive?)

        By the way – if it became part of the campus, there would be no Affordable housing requirements.

        1. David Greenwald

          I also know that putting a ton of students on the campus and outside of the city is going to lead to unfunded costs for the city whereas if we are getting property tax revenue a lot of those costs get offset by property taxes.  So while your statement is technically accurate, it’s not the full picture.

          You have doubts that this is viable for the developer?  You’ve done no studies, you have no expertise in this matter, and they have consultants, and experts and investors willing to put in tens of millions of dollars into this, but somehow you know better?  That is audacity.

          wouldn’t that be a negative not having affordable housing?

  4. Ron

    David:  “And here we go again.  Aren’t you the one who is complaining that the housing on Lincoln40 and Sterling is not conducive for non-students?  You’re trying to have it both ways.”

    No.  I stated that Sterling (which is IN the city, relatively far from campus) could have been used for a variety of purposes (including something closer to it original purpose, commercial activity – closer to it’s original zoning, or a traditional apartment complex, which would appeal to a wider population).

    Some of those same arguments would apply to Lincoln 40 (although it is closer to campus).  However, with Lincoln 40, there’s the issue of an unfunded bicycle overpass/underpass, impacts on the “worst intersection in town”, no Affordable housing included on-site . . .)  (Again, if a proposal is within the city, it should include Affordable housing within the proposal.)

      1. Ron

        David:  “You and Eileen have consistently complained that the housing at Sterling and Lincoln40 is not conducive to families.”

        That’s true (and is part of what was pointed out).  (As noted above, Lincoln 40 is closer to campus.  But, it has other concerns that will impact the city, as noted above.)

        1. David Greenwald

          This is addressing the point you made: “The only way to legally reserve housing for students is to make it part of the campus.”

          So you are correct that you cannot legally reserve the housing for students, but you can by design make the housing such that only students (for the most part) will live there. Hence the point of my exercise here.

  5. Ron

    David:  “I also know that putting a ton of students on the campus and outside of the city is going to lead to unfunded costs for the city whereas if we are getting property tax revenue a lot of those costs get offset by property taxes.”

    In fact, you don’t know that.  It’s entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that revenues for the city generated by those living on campus exceed the costs to the city. Those folks spend money, in town.

    What we do know is that the costs of servicing housing eventually exceeds property tax revenue.  (The very reason that the city is facing financial concerns – the “other” issue that you harp on.)

    David:  “You have doubts that this is viable for the developer?  You’ve done no studies, you have no expertise in this matter, and they have consultants, and experts and investors willing to put in tens of millions of dollars into this, but somehow you know better?  That is audacity.”

    Thank you.  (Let’s hope that the city isn’t subject to costs associated with this.)

     

     

    1. David Greenwald

      “It’s entirely possible (perhaps even likely) that revenues for the city generated by those living on campus exceed the costs to the city.”

      I look forward to your fiscal analysis.

      1. Ron

        You’re the one who implied that students living on-campus generate costs to the city which exceed revenue.  There’s no evidence for that.

        Most cities try to attract “visitors”, due to the revenue created. Not sure I’d classify those living on campus as frequent “visitors” to the city, but that might be the closest description.

        1. David Greenwald

          “You’re the one who implied that students living on-campus generate costs to the city which exceed revenue.  There’s no evidence for that.”

          There is plenty of evidence for it, but there is no concrete fiscal analysis.

          The fiscal benefit of students to the city is very limited because they have such a low level of disposable income.  If they come into town the only benefit would be going to restaurants and bars.  Well how much is each student spending on beer each month?  And how much of that the does city actually get?  It’s a lot less than you think.

          Now consider impacts – you have road impacts, you have traffic congestion, you have additional police that is needed to enforce drinking laws and such (they have extra officers on duty on the weekend precisely to police drinking and parties).

          Bottom line, I would be interested to see how those factor out, but to say there is no evidence to support my statement is to fail to understand what evidence actually is.

        2. Ron

          Now consider impacts – you have road impacts, you have traffic congestion, you have additional police that is needed to enforce drinking laws and such (they have extra officers on duty on the weekend precisely to police drinking and parties).

          Since you brought it up, aren’t those issues generally centered around housing?  For example, don’t most parties occur WITHIN or near such student housing? Isn’t that a large part of the reason that some object to “mini-dorms”? How much extra police/emergency presence (at the city’s expense) will be needed if Nishi goes forward?

          Again, you’re speculating regarding the city’s costs vs. revenue when discussing housing on-campus.  However, costs of such housing within the city are more well-known and understood.  (And, are the reason that the city is now considering an additional parcel tax.) Costs to provide services for housing are exceeding the revenue collected.

        3. Ron

          Much of the “justification” for the original version of Nishi was the “innovation center” component which supposedly would provide revenue for the city, in a location adjacent to UCD. (There were also arguments which stated that air quality would not matter as much, for a commercial development.)

        4. David Greenwald

          Of course, but when you build housing in town, those costs are mostly offset by the property tax generation that you don’t get when you build outside of town – so you end up with a lot of the impact costs without the big property tax revenue to offset it.

        5. Ron

          Are you making purposefully misleading statements, here? You already know that costs for housing developments are not “mostly offset” by property taxes – especially in the long run as costs rise. Again, the very reason that some are proposing a parcel tax increase.

          You can’t have it both ways – arguing that the city is experiencing financial challenges, while simultaneously arguing for developments that will ultimately increase those challenges.

          And again, you have no idea how much revenue is created vs. costs, when housing is located on campus.

          1. David Greenwald

            “you have no idea how much revenue is created vs. costs, when housing is located on campus.”

            Actually we have plenty of idea how revenue is created because we know where revenue comes from if the housing is located on campus – sales tax. So you can look at estimates for per capita sales tax generation and then calculate based on size.

            And then we can look at cost models and exclude those costs that are specific to residing in town (but we also have to exclude the fees associated with those costs, because they city doesn’t collect those either).

        6. Ron

          Maybe so, regarding one side of the equation. Of course, there may be things you’re overlooking even on that side of the equation – such as TOT for relatives visiting those living on campus.

          1. David Greenwald

            So here’s an example from Sterling’s fiscal analysis.

            Sterling had $854K in impact fees on roadways and just under $600K for parks with additional impact fees for storm sewer, open space, public safety and general services.

            So now extrapolate that to Nishi. If Nishi in the city, it will require all of those fees for the city (and more than Sterling since there are three times the number of residents). Other than sewer however, all of those fees are off-setting costs that will accrue to the city regardless of whether the project is on the campus or in town but they don’t offset those impacts if the project is on UC Davis campus.

            That’s just one example.

        7. Ron

          And, “economic activity/taxes” in restaurants, bars, etc. – from those living on campus (or those visiting them).

          In other words, the “usual reasons” that cities encourage visitors.

        8. Ron

          Regarding Sterling, you’re mentioning the fees charged (one side of the equation) without mentioning the long-term costs.

          Regarding revenue generation for the city related to UCD, perhaps the most accurate way to measure it would be to examine it separately from the issue of housing.  (For example, TOT, sales tax, economic activity . . .)  I suspect that economic benefits for the city are about the same, whether or not students live on campus.  However, we know that housing has demonstrated to be a long-term money-loser for Davis (and other cities).

          Your arguments regarding the “economic benefits” of housing students in the city vs housing them on campus lack honesty. Doing so undermines your advocacy.

        9. David Greenwald

          The point Ron is that those fees represent the reimbursement of costs over time that would not be reimbursed if the development is on the campus but likely would still acrue.

        10. Ron

          That is simply not true.  Costs for providing services for housing within the city have increased faster than revenues collected.  For the most part, those costs do NOT accrue, for housing proposals which don’t exist in the city. (For example, UCD provides its own police, fire, water, sewer . . .)

          Again, I’d suggest that you stick to more honest arguments.

        11. Ron

          As a side note, the “economic benefits” from UCD are not limited to direct impacts from students.  There’s faculty, staff, visitors, etc., which all generate economic activity for the city.  As UCD grows, so do the economic benefits.  (But again, this can be examined separately from the issue of the location of, and costs associated with student housing.)

        12. David Greenwald

          Ron – You don’t know what you’re talking about.  The reason that the developer has to pay for example is $600,000 in road impact fees is the impact on the roads.  That very much does accrue over time.  So I’m not sure what you’re saying even at this point.

        13. Ron

          (Of course, I suspect that the biggest “beneficiary” of a growing UCD is UCD, itself.)

          Regarding road fees, it might be interesting to compare the impacts on roads/intersections from a development such as Sterling or Lincoln 40, vs. on-campus housing – where there is no “daily commute” required through town. And, fewer needs to account for such impacts.)

          But, it may be true that UCD is not creating sufficient economic activity to offset all of its costs on the city, regardless. (Especially since they pay no taxes.) And yet, some think the city should do even more to “help” UCD.

        14. Ron

          Also – since you brought up Sterling:

          I recall that another commenter (Howard?) noted that Unitrans buses cause SIGNIFICANT(unreimbursed) damage to local roads.

          It also seems likely that the planned elimination of a traffic lane (for bicycles) on Fifth street might not be needed, in the absence of Sterling. (While one might argue the “desirability” of doing so, there’s still a cost and impact.)

  6. Todd Edelman

    UC Davis! The Sooner You Graduate, the Sooner Ends Your Exposure to Pollution! Students Offered Air Filtration and Ability to Take More Units per Semester in Order to… etc….

    OK. There doesn’t seem to be consensus about the air pollution this close to the metal river that is named after Eisenhower, but how ’bout the noise?

    Ron : <<Les étudiants love la loud rock musique, so…>>

    ****
    No direct access to Richards sounds great except how do all the vehicles get from I-80 to the Nishi parking lot? Teleportation? Why not the first year residence hall parking protocol for this location, but for all students in all years… with limited parking per ADA and for a very small number of visitors?

    This supports my concept for a parking structure on top of the re-developed 80-Richards interchange that by design reduces impacts on Richards. With access to Downtown – and Nishi, directly – by self-driving mini-buses operating on fixed routes 24/7 and the closure of the 1st and E St. parking garage (the top two levels get converted to an amazing rooftop venue with restaurants and entertainment — and below, its kitchens, bathrooms, storage rooms and delivery area).

      1. Todd Edelman

        Coming from and going west and perhaps outside of Davis to the north via 113, and when Richards is congested… okay. But it’s a huge diversion heading to closer points north or all to the east. At the very minimum anyone living here should not be allowed to have a parking permit for campus – like in the existing rule for on campus housing – but for so many other trips the car will be used. The only reason to justify owning a car and living at Nishi 2.0 will be that it’s not fair to suffer the possible pollution effects of the I-80 without having any of the advantages of car access.

  7. Ron

    David:  ” . . . the issue was anyone planning to live there long term (which I frankly don’t see happening anyway).”

    If Affordable housing is included on-site, might those residents live there long-term?  (They may not be students.)

        1. Ron

          Right – it’s “inevitable” that a public institution works against the public’s interest.  Apparently, no one can control that.  (Actually, maybe more true as they continue reaching for “private” dollars in the form of grants and full-cost tuition for International students, while still reaping all of the benefits provided to public institutions.)

          But hey, UCD’s plans must be for the “public good” (as long as you ignore the impact on the city, and on current students). With the Vanguard leading the way. Of course, it also helps some development interests.

    1. Keith O

      I agree with Don here.  I’m fairly sure I will vote yes for this unless there’s something that comes out later that changes my mind.  I too wish they had kept the small business park aspect of the project.  You can’t get a location much closer to the college unless it was actually on campus.

  8. David Greenwald

    General comment in response to this: “You know that housing costs (for the city) eventually exceed property tax revenue.”

    The answer is: I don’t know that and walking through the fiscal analysis for Sterling, I’m not convinced that this is.

    Looking at the model for year three when the project appears to be fully built out, the fiscal analysis shows that there is $353K in revenue and $275K in expenditure.

    What then happens is that the analysis assume that revenues will grow by about 1.9% annually while revenues will grow by 4.1% annually.  The result of those assumptions is that year 15 has a negative -10K fund balance.

    I would argue that even if these particular assumptions held, it is not that the project doesn’t pencil out, it is that the city is not properly cost-containing the rise of employee compensation.  In other words, it is not the development per se that is driving that, it is the compensation.

    But there is evidence to suggest that the 4.1% annual expenditure growth assumption is too high.  Bob Leland for other purposes projected annual salary growth a 2%.  If we held expenditure growth to 2% or just slightly more than revenue growth, the 15 year number would be well in the positive.

    So which assumption is correct?  I don’t know.  But the bottom line here is that I don’t think Ron’s statement at the top is accurate.

     

    1. Ron

      David:  “In other words, it is not the development per se that is driving that, it is the compensation.”

      We’ve had this discussion, many times.

      We know that revenue is limited by Proposition 13, but that costs to provide services for housing are not.  (Even if costs are “temporarily” contained.)  As a side note, I’m not sure how you’re calculating an increase in “revenue”, above what Proposition 13 allows.

      Again, you can make arguments regarding the “need” for housing (which is driven largely by UCD). But, to suggest that it’s going to be “revenue-neutral” in the long run is simply dishonest. On a related note, the city apparently hasn’t even completed its analysis regarding the appropriate amount of impact fees.

      Now, let’s get back to those parcel tax increase proposals (which somehow “aren’t” related to this structural problem).

      1. Howard P

        We say again, Ron, impact fees are one-time revenue not to be used for on-going operational or normal maintenance costs.  So, if you tripled impact fees, you’d have to increase capital spending 3 times.

        1. Ron

          Howard:  I am fully aware of that.  That’s why I described it as a “side note”. (Still a significant concern.)

          The more serious concern is the underlying structural problem, which inevitably leads to ongoing (and increasing) revenue shortfalls, compared to the costs of providing services for housing.

          Revenues are limited by Proposition 13, while expenditures (over time) are not. Add more housing, and the problem inevitably increases, as well. Hence, the need to consider additional parcel taxes.

        2. Howard P

          “We”, can mean more than one, or the ‘royal form’, and doesn’t come close to implying “all of us” or even a majority.  Whatever.

          Rest assured there is likely almost no way I’d consider, much less accept, your suggestions, on any matter… particularly on writing style.

      2. David Greenwald

        Ron: Your response is not responsive to my comment.   I’ve actually broken down for you the fiscal analysis.  You’ve not responded to that in any way shape or form.  What I’m telling you is that the development produces small but significant revenue if you hold costs in line.  The problem we have is not with development, it is with cost containment.

        1. Ron

          David: “What then happens is that the analysis assume that revenues will grow by about 1.9% annually while revenues will grow by 4.1% annually.”

          This makes no sense, and includes no explanation.

          1. David Greenwald

            The fiscal analysis includes the assumption that revenues will grow about 1.9 percent annually while the expenditures (I mistyped) will grow by 4.1 annually. Hope that helps.

        2. Ron

          Thanks.  So, it’s just “we” already know – that expenditures exceed revenues, eventually creating an even larger problem for the city’s finances.

          There’s no reason to expect that Nishi would be any different.  (Especially since the “innovation center” component was lost.)

        3. David Greenwald

          What we actually know is if you look at the Bob Leland analysis that expenditures are not increasing 4% annually and if they increase by closer to 2 percent, revenues and expenditures will increase in tandem.  But the more important point is that even assuming the 4 percent assumption, it’s not clear to me that Sterling (by way of being the most recent example) is a net negative.  It’s a net positive every year until years 14 and 15.  The totality is a net positive and it’s not even clear to me by year 15 you have any real effect of any development – the model may be drawn out too far to begin with.

          Irrespective of that point, the need to cost contain regardless of development is paramount to the health of the city.

  9. Ron

    By the way, the “loss” of the innovation center at Nishi will cause those who constantly advocate for it to increase the decibel of their arguments, regarding MRIC.  (And, I suspect that it will ultimately include housing, based upon whatever argument “sticks”. Regardless of whatever is said about it, at this particular point in time.)

    1. Roberta Millstein

      Yes.

      And yet, they will still maintain that there is a huge enthusiasm for bringing “innovative” businesses to Davis, in spite of the fact that developers seem less-than-interested in building for them.

        1. David Greenwald

          That said I would have liked to have seen a USC Village type Nishi development, but this at least solves the student housing shortage in town, which is not a small thing.

          1. Don Shor

            this at least solves the student housing shortage in town

            Actually, if you add up this project, Sterling, and the Olive Drive proposal, it almost covers the shortfall from UCD’s growth at the 90/40-ish rate. Meaning we stay roughly where we are at right now with respect to the vacancy rate. It means things don’t get worse. It doesn’t by any stretch solve the student housing shortage in town.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          That said I would have liked to have seen a USC Village type Nishi development, but this at least solves the student housing shortage in town, which is not a small thing.

          Give them housing, harm their health.  Such a deal.

        3. David Greenwald

          Roberta: We don’t know that it will harm their health.  If you ask Tom Cahill, which I have, he can’t answer whether living for a year at Nishi would have any impact.  He also can’t answer whether it would have more impact than living in any number of places that already have housing in Davis.  Most of the studies of freeway impacts are longitudinal studies and look at the long term effects and even there, the risk factor is unbelievably low.  So if you live in Nishi for one year, two years, three years, it’s not clear that you would have any heightened risk factor.

        4. Roberta Millstein

          Roberta: We don’t know that it will harm their health.  If you ask Tom Cahill, which I have, he can’t answer whether living for a year at Nishi would have any impact.  He also can’t answer whether it would have more impact than living in any number of places that already have housing in Davis.  Most of the studies of freeway impacts are longitudinal studies and look at the long term effects and even there, the risk factor is unbelievably low.  So if you live in Nishi for one year, two years, three years, it’s not clear that you would have any heightened risk factor.

          So you feel comfortable deciding on behalf of the students on the basis of inadequate data rather than pushing to gather more data (which I think you did in the past, but now you seem to be backing off of that).

          Because that is what a vote is — deciding for the students.  Again, they won’t know what it is they are potentially being exposed to.

          How is that responsible?  How is that ethical?

          We don’t “know” in the sense that we don’t know for certain.  But science never concludes anything with certainty.  What we do have are several smoking guns.  I don’t think we should dismiss those and assume all is fine.  I think history has shown that these smoking guns usually have guns behind them (again, especially for those who are particularly vulnerable: the young, those with lung problems, those who are pregnant, those who choose to exercise in the promised open space).

        5. Ron

          Dr. Greenwald apparently says, “3-4 years are o.k., but probably not 5 years”, I guess.) Good to know.

          Unlike Dr. Greenwald, I’m neither an air quality or health expert, so I’ll probably refrain from putting forth an opinion regarding this subject. (Other than “unknown” at this time.)

          (I understand that Dr. Greenwald sometimes “doubles” as an attorney!) 🙂

        6. David Greenwald

          I don’t recall giving a timeline.

          But let’s consider this.  Dr. Cahill said directly and I can quote it if need be that he was okay with people working on the site.

          So let’s do some math – people working on the site, 8 hours a day, for ten years.

          A student living on the site, even if it is 24 hours a day, for three years is going to be exposed to a less amount than someone who works 8 days a day for ten years.  And as we know no student is going to be home 24/7, so the realistic exposure period even for someone living there for three years is less than someone working there for ten years.

          So in your world, why would one be permissible and the other not?

          What you don’t want is someone who lives at the sight for 20 years and btw, I believe that is the time period of the longitudinal freeway studies.

        7. Ron

          David:  Assuming that’s what he told you (regarding the entire site), then a student living there could be exposed to more pollution in year 4, compared to someone working there for 10 years.

          In any case, this might be more of an issue for those staying longer term (e.g., those staying beyond the time required to earn a bachelor degree, those in the Affordable housing component, etc.) Perhaps also a concern for particularly sensitive populations, such as those who become pregnant, children, etc.

          Personally, I just don’t know enough to comment much, regarding this subject.  But, we do know that Dr. Cahill called for more study.  (Can’t imagine what the problem is, in doing so.  Perhaps it’s due to the cost required to do an adequate job?) I would think that the developer and city might ultimately need to know as well, to ensure that adequate filtration systems are used.

        8. Ron

          Not to belabor the point, but it’s also possible that more “intense” exposure (over a shorter period of time) is worse than less-intense exposure, over a longer period of time.

          Even if both scenarios have an equivalent amount of total exposure.

          Sort of like “binge drinking” on weekends, vs. “a glass of wine at dinner” more frequently.

        9. Todd Edelman

          Notice to students living at Nishi 2.0:
          * Don’t get pregnant.
          * Don’t live anywhere similarly-polluted afterwards (if you get a degree in a useful subject you’ll have enough money not have to live next to a freeway or oil refinery!)
          * Changing the pollution effects of the highway is not possible beyond what’s the result of the slow electrification of private vehicles. Don’t even ask. Including about noise.

  10. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    You are pretty cavalier by making assumptions diminishing the health impacts concerns on students by Dr. Cahill who is a world famous expert on this subject and has written countless papers on the health impacts  of particulate matter on . What is your expertise on this subject?

    Also, as Roberta pointed out, if there is no air quality problem, why haven’t the developers gathered the data to prove that over the past year? They have had plenty of time to do so. What are the developers afraid of if there is “no problem” with backing it up with the data that Cahill asked them to collect years ago when the developers met with him. Cahill gave them documented specifics on what needed to be done. The City was notified if this as well. Why isn’t the City asking for the air quality data?  Particularly after the damning information that even the Vanguard reported on from a years of data that was released in a study less than a year ago, making clear the health impacts on residents living in housing near highways over periods of time?

    1. David Greenwald

      I asked him, I interviewed him as I recall he was more concerned with the for sale homes because they would be permanent residents rather than student renters.  He was also okay with workers being employed there which is probably similar exposure to students living there a year or two or three.  So I’m basing my comments on what he actually said and what we actually know.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        I asked him, I interviewed him as I recall he was more concerned with the for sale homes because they would be permanent residents rather than student renters.  He was also okay with workers being employed there which is probably similar exposure to students living there a year or two or three.  So I’m basing my comments on what he actually said and what we actually know.

        Gee, if only there was a way for a journalist like yourself to find out someone’s opinion on something.  Too bad you are forced to put words in someone’s mouth when in fact you have no idea what inference they would draw or what they would consider to be similar.

    2. Howard P

      Cahill (who I respect) is a physics/air quality guy… he is not an epidemiologist, nor biologist, nor physician trained in respiratory ailments.  He is very competent in making measurements… he is not competent on the ‘effects’ side, altho’ he is probably cognizant of public health epidemiology studies and can refer folk to those that he has encountered.

      1. Ron

        Howard:  “He is very competent in making measurements.”

        Eileen:  “Cahill gave them documented specifics on what needed to be done.  The City was notified if this as well.  Why isn’t the City asking for the air quality data? Particularly after the damning information that even the Vanguard reported on from a years of data that was released in a study less than a year ago, making clear the health impacts on residents living in housing near highways over periods of time?”

        Seems like a reasonably straightforward concern to adequately address, if there was a will to do so.
         

        1. Howard P

          Would have been more impressed if he had said,

          “Cahill gave them documented specifics on what he believed/opined needed to be done.

          My reference was in the context of when folk decided “what needed to be done (level of study)”, he’d be a good source to how to gather the data, and report it out within his area of expertise.

        2. David Greenwald

          “health impacts on residents living in housing near highways over periods of time

          The key to Eileen’s sentence is the bolded phrase – “Over periods of time.”  And so if you look at what Cahill actually said, his concern was longitudinal effects which is why his primary concern was the for sale units and not the workers or rental units.

        3. Ron

          David:  “He was also okay with workers being employed there which is probably similar exposure to students living there a year or two or three.  So I’m basing my comments on what he actually said and what we actually know.”

          What you’re doing is making your own personal extrapolation, regarding what Dr. Cahill apparently said to you.  (While disregarding his call for more study.)  And, while disregarding the unknown length of occupancy of the Affordable housing component.

          (I realize that this proposal is still in the early stages.)

        4. David Greenwald

          The call for more study was done with a different project that had for sale homes in it.  The fact that he had no problem with people working on the site with proper filtration systems is critical to understanding the limits of his concerns.

        5. Roberta Millstein

          The call for more study was done with a different project that had for sale homes in it.  The fact that he had no problem with people working on the site with proper filtration systems is critical to understanding the limits of his concerns.

          Again, you have no basis for this claim.  Interview him again, and then maybe we have something to talk about.

        6. Roberta Millstein

          Again the basis for the claim is his position on allowing Nishi for workers and an estimated hours of exposure over a one to thee year period.

          If you are so confident in your claim then you should ask him, instead of putting words in his mouth.  You are practicing irresponsible journalism.

        7. Todd Edelman

          Office and light industrial buildings etc. can have closed windows, with over-pressuring and filtration systems to probably significantly reduce air pollution (and also reduce noise pollution). I doubt that students living at Nishi 2.0 want to live in those types of buildings.
          It therefore seems quite inappropriate to compare the health effects of e.g. three years in an office to one year in a building with some filtration but also open windows, patios, decks, community swimming pools and other areas, etc.

  11. Eileen Samitz

    Don,

    I find your last comment pretty astonishing. So you are all for the City fixing UCD’s on-campus housing shortage due to UCD’s years of negligence? So, now is UCD going help with providing housing for non-students? Oh right…they can’t do that and they wouldn’t anyway because if they just keep stalling like they have been, then local developers will fix the problem for UCD.

    It is no wonder that UCD is making no progress to provide more on-campus beds. Whitcombe and Ruff have apparently been working the “backfield” undoubtedly assuring UCD that they don’t need to do anything beyond the ridiculous, and inadequate “40/90” plan. UCD will just continue stalling and subtracting beds that they can, and need to produce on campus with proposals like this. Meanwhile, it is the City’s water, wastewater and services being used for almost 4,000 more students with nothing in all of these rental housing proposals for non-students?

    This Nishi proposal does nothing to help non-students, which I have been concerned about, and I thought was one of your main concerns.

    1. Don Shor

      I find your last comment pretty astonishing

      You shouldn’t. I’ve been advocating for more rental housing in Davis for a decade now.

      So you are all for the City fixing UCD’s on-campus housing shortage

      No, I believe housing in a university town is provided both by the university and by the private sector. I believe the majority of it should be provide on campus, by the university. I believe some can and should be provided in town.

      It is no wonder that UCD is making no progress to provide more on-campus beds.

      That is a false statement. They simply haven’t agreed to provide as many on-campus beds as you and we all would prefer. But we know roughly what they are going to provide now. More to the point: even if they provided 100/50 (which they clearly won’t), we would still need more rental housing in town.

      Meanwhile, it is the City’s water, wastewater and services being used

      Every resident who uses city water pays for it.

      with nothing in all of these rental housing proposals for non-students?

      That is a false statement. There is nothing to prevent non-students from living in any of these proposed rentals. I can assure you that young adults who are not UCD students often live in the local apartments that are designed and marketed for the student rental market.

      This Nishi proposal does nothing to help non-students,

      That is a completely false statement. Non-students can live in any of these projects, and increasing the supply of rental housing in town obviously helps non-students.

      I thought was one of your main concerns.

      It is, which is why I would strongly prefer that you and Ron and other stop trying to obstruct rental housing proposals.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        That is a false statement. There is nothing to prevent non-students from living in any of these proposed rentals. I can assure you that young adults who are not UCD students often live in the local apartments that are designed and marketed for the student rental market.

        Maybe tell David that, because he seems absolutely positive that it will be only students and that they will live there no more than 3 years.

        1. Don Shor

          Maybe tell David that, because he seems absolutely positive that it will be only students and that they will live there no more than 3 years.

          It is very unlikely that the young adults who live in local apartments that are designed and marketed for the student rental market would live there any longer than students do. Same demographic, just not UCD students.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          It is very unlikely that the young adults who live in local apartments that are designed and marketed for the student rental market would live there any longer than students do. Same demographic, just not UCD students.

          What is your basis for that claim?  What is to stop a student from graduating and continuing to live there, assuming that (as one generally would) that this location has no more health risks than any other?

          1. Don Shor

            What is your basis for that claim?

            My experience with many dozens of employees over the years. Also just the fact that these aren’t exactly where these young adults would prefer to live. It’s just what’s available because our rental market situation is so dire.

        3. Ron

          Don:  I really doubt that’s true.  I think it’s more likely that some will stay beyond the time required to earn a bachelor’s degree (either in the working world, and/or while pursuing an advanced degree). (Not to mention those living in the Affordable housing component.)

          1. Don Shor

            Don: I really doubt that’s true. I think it’s more likely that some will stay beyond the time required to earn a bachelor’s degree (either in the working world, and/or while pursuing an advanced degree).

            My experience with them is that you are almost 100% wrong.

        4. Ron

          If I’m not mistaken, you stated that (even) Sterling would appeal to non-students.   Are you now “taking back” that argument?

          You really haven’t shared your “experience” with “them” (other than to suggest that you’re some kind of “representative for their interests”). In any case, I sincerely doubt that you’re a “spokesperson”, regarding what would occur.

          Regarding Nishi 2.0, we don’t even know what the arrangements would be. Nor do we know how the Affordable housing component fits into the picture, and/or how long their tenure may be.

        5. Ron

          I suspect that many students leave town entirely (instead of working at a retail nursery, for example) once they graduate. (And, had likely planned to do so, before even arriving in Davis.)

          Others might get a local career-oriented job (e.g., in Sacramento), and then decide whether or not to stay where they currently live for a period of time. Others might continue their current living arrangements, while pursuing an advanced degree.

  12. Ron

    David:  “By my calculations Sterling, Lincoln, and Nishi would net 4100 beds which makes up the shortfall of 3800 beds by UCD.”

    With the proposed “excess” of student beds, perhaps there’s now “room” to address the concerns with Lincoln 40 (no Affordable housing on-site, unfunded bicycle/pedestrian overpass, impacts on the “worst intersection in town” . . .)

      1. Ron

        Not likely.  How about you?

        The new proposal (while still early in the process) apparently has the advantage of no vehicular access to Olive.  But, it removes the “innovation center” component, which (at least) would have helped to offset the long-term costs of the development.

        I would support this thing if the developer and UCD made a deal on their own, without asking the city to be involved.  (In fact, I would look forward to that.) This would also likely provide a benefit to students (in the long run), with a possible elimination of developer involvement at some point in the future.

        Instead, what we have is permanent developer involvement (and profit), with long-term costs to the city and probably higher costs to students, in the long run.

        And again, I strongly suspect that attention will focus even more on MRIC as a result of the “loss” at Nishi, and that a proposal will eventually arise at MRIC that includes housing.

        It also seems as though there are unresolved concerns regarding air quality, at this point.

        1. Howard P

          It is proposed to have vehicular access from W Olive… EVA and bicycle… it already has bike/ped… unsure if the current access could handle the EVA aspect, but suspect it could…

           

        2. Ron

          Uhm, because one vote doesn’t normally affect the outcome of an election. There’s lots of people who (apparently) agree with your focus. I’m merely trying to point out some consequences.

  13. Jim Frame

    This Nishi proposal does nothing to help non-students, which I have been concerned about, and I thought was one of your main concerns.

    It helps non-students by increasing the local supply of housing available to students, thereby reducing student demand for housing elsewhere in the city.  It won’t solve the supply problem, but it’ll move the needle in the right direction.

  14. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    Again, you are making unwarranted assumptions. Cahill was very clear in his very public writings and testimonies that the housing of any type, regardless of if it was rental or owned was a problem. So please, do not try to re-characterize his concerns or his position about residential on Nishi.

    Also David, I don’t see any response from you addressing why have the developers not done the air quality studies at Nishi? They have had plenty of time to do so.

  15. Eileen Samitz

    Howard P,

    Please, your assessment of Dr. Cahill’s expertise is incorrect. His expertise, has been on air pollution particulate matter impacts on health.  So please, if you respect Dr. Cahill as you say you do, please do not try to diminish his qualifications nor his very clear position on housing at Nishi.

  16. Eileen Samitz

    Jim,

    It does nothing to motivate UCD to create more on-campus housing. It also does nothing to help provide new rental housing for non-students. Non-students, particularly families, are not going to want to live in a huge Nishi mega-dorm

  17. Don Shor

    The state Air Resources Board recommends to avoid siting sensitive uses within 500 feet of a freeway. So long as the Nishi development complies with the ARB, the city has no particular basis for establishing a more stringent standard for a development. If Dr. Cahill has objections to that recommendation, he would do well to take it up with the regulators at the state level. This is not something to decide ad hoc, city by city. Regulatory scientists can consider his advice along with that of other experts in the field and recommend mitigations. Previously the developers showed a willingness to adopt mitigations for this site that went, as far as I can recall, well beyond anything they were mandated to do, ranging from filtration systems to tree plantings.

     

    1. Roberta Millstein

      This is ultimately up to the voters, not to the City.  And the voters can very well take into account Dr. Cahill’s testimony showing that the special characteristics of this site make it worse than others.  It’s not just about distance from a highway.  I highly doubt regulations could be changed before June even if Dr. Cahill or someone else wanted to pursue that.  But we’re smart enough to recognize that context matters and that regulations need to take into account local context.

      1. Todd Edelman

        Roughly only 25% of the Nishi space is more than 500 ft. from the I-80. New residential space seems incompatible unless people are prepared to live without open windows. Imagine a whole house fan in this situation.

  18. Eileen Samitz

    Don,

    I wish you would stop mis-characterizing criticism of bad planning as being obstructive. You have a different opinion clearly but you are bordering on getting personal with some of your strong language. Your bolding really gives the impression of shouting as well. If you want to disagree, fine, but let’s stick to the issue and make our points with civility.

  19. Jim Frame

    Non-students, particularly families, are not going to want to live in a huge Nishi mega-dorm

    Agreed, but they may want to live in the housing stock that would otherwise be occupied by the students who will move to Nishi.

    We have a supply problem in the categories of apartments and modestly-priced single family rental units.  Relieving some of the student pressure on these categories by building student housing at Nishi sounds like a step forward to me.

     

    1. Ron

      Not sure that this is true, regarding single-family units.

      Regarding student (“megadorm”) housing, it’s more of a question of which party (UCD, the city, and students) experiences the most benefit and least costs/impact.  So far, the city is taking it in the shorts. (Regarding Nishi, it’s also at least possible that no one should live there, due to air quality concerns.)

      This entire issue is being manufactured by UCD, and its development-minded allies within the city. The “growth” is the result of pursuit of students who pay full tuition costs (not California residents).

  20. Eileen Samitz

    Jim,

    I know that you would like to believe that Nishi would cause a shift of rental housing for students from City rental housing to Nishi, “freeing up” that rental housing for non-students. The reality is this new  Nishi proposal will simply free up UCD from providing on-campus housing they need to provide, like the other UC’s are providing of at least 50% of their total student population. But why isn’t UCD providing at least as much on-campus student housing as all of these other UC’s?

    This is especially egregious since UCD has over 5,300 acres, making it the the largest UC, which historically has been providing the least amount of on-campus housing.  So, rather than UCD adding beds on-campus, with this Nishi  proposal, UCD will just continue to subtract providing student on-campus beds and imposing the costs for that housing on Davis citizens with the Nishi proposal for 2,600 beds targeting only students. Instead of UCD providing more student beds that UCD can, and needs to provide on-campus, this Nishi project would be forcing city residents to subsidize UCD housing needs via water, (expensive) waste water treatment, and city services into perpetuity.

    Meanwhile, no additional rental housing is being created for non-students, particularly  families and local workers.

    1. Howard P

      The reality is this new  Nishi proposal will simply free up UCD from providing on-campus housing 

      Can I borrow your crystal ball?… have some NFL games I’d like to bet on  for Sunday… or do you speak as a policy-maker/advisor from UCD?   For some reason, think you are employed by UCD… or were…

      1. Ron

        I’d suggest that you ask Don for his crystal ball.  Although – with Sterling, Lincoln 40 and Nishi, I suspect that (both) Don and Eileen can envision the results regarding UCD’s response, and the impacts on the city.

        1. Don Shor

          Easy. The university will promise to build no more nor less housing than it was going to promise before. The planning process at UCD is unchanged by this proposal.
          You’re not going to see 100/50. They “will try” to add some more housing to their existing plans. Why do I surmise this? Because any significant change to the plans would require them to revise the EIR. They might tinker at the margins and bump the numbers up a bit. That would be great. But they can’t change the footprint of the proposal significantly by adding buildings without a revise of the EIR.
          It’s not a crystal ball. It’s logic. I would love to be wrong.

        2. Ron

          Did the EIR ultimately include an option for an adequate amount of on-campus housing?  I know that many in the city were suggesting that as an alternative within the EIR. If not, then that (continues) to demonstrate the level of concern that UCD has for its own students, as well as the city. There would also be no reason to expect that to change in the future, unless challenged.

          Oh, wait. You’re one of the people who states that “nothing can/will be done” (and not just with this issue). You have a similar response, regarding parcel tax inequities.

          Who was it that said, “it is what it is”?

          1. Don Shor

            Did the EIR ultimately include an option for an adequate amount of on-campus housing? I know that many in the city were suggesting that as an alternative within the EIR.

            It’s pretty clear what the university thinks about what many in the city were suggesting. They hear it. They’ll “try” to add some more housing. In the hierarchy of UCD’s priorities, satisfying the residents of the city in this LRDP is not very high up there.

            There would also be no reason to expect that to change in the future, unless challenged.

            I agree.
            The city and UCD should have begun a collaborative process in 2011 with the announcement of the Chancellor’s 2020 Initiative. They didn’t. Both failed to plan adequately, separately and together, for the increased population of approximately 10,000 people that the Chancellor announced they would be adding to a city of 65,000 people.
            That lack of cooperation and lack of planning has had serious consequences now, six years later, since UCD has exceeded their projections for the enrollment part of that initiative.
            We cannot undo that.
            So I strongly urge that a more collaborative process be implemented to deal with the present situation and plan more effectively going forward.

            Oh, wait. You’re one of the people who states that “nothing can/will be done” (and not just with this issue).

            Complete BS, Ron.

            You have a similar response, regarding parcel tax inequities.

            There we are constrained by the law, unless Davis becomes a charter city. I assume you know that. Unless I’ve misunderstood your comment.

        3. Ron

          P.S. – “footprint” doesn’t equate to height.  The footprint of the World Trade Centers (past, and present) don’t take up much space.

          Your “go to” alternative is being expressed now, in the form of increased parcel taxes, the need for more economic development to offset costs to provide services for housing, and lack of worker housing within an ever-more impacted city.

        4. Ron

          I’ll repeat the question (and clarify it), since you didn’t answer:

          Did the EIR ultimately include an option for an adequate amount of on-campus housing? I know that many in the city were suggesting that as an alternative within the EIR.  (This could include increased density/height at proposed locations.)  

          If so, then your previous statement is flat-out wrong.

          Regarding parcel tax inequities, these increase as the city agrees to provide more of the types of housing which result in the inequity. (A direct result of accommodating UCD, for example.) This ultimately will increase the financial challenges and burdens on single-family owners/dwellers. (And, will increase the volume of those calling for an “economic development” solution.)

          1. David Greenwald

            Did you google the EIR to find your answer? The answer is no, the EIR did not analyze UC Davis on-campus housing a project alternative. The off-site alternative analyzed the 5th St Corridor between Pole Line and L St as a mixed-use off-site project alternative.

        5. Ron

          David:  “The answer is no, the EIR did not analyze UC Davis on-campus housing a project alternative.”

          Not sure, but I believe you’re answering a question I did not ask.

          I asked if the EIR for the LRDP included a higher-density option on campus (e.g., something similar to a 50/100 alternative). Don apparently says it doesn’t. Is he correct?

          1. Don Shor

            I asked if the EIR for the LRDP included a higher-density option on campus (e.g., something similar to a 50/100 alternative). Don apparently says it doesn’t. Is he correct?

            No I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t say it, because the draft EIR hasn’t been published yet. I assumed you knew that, which is why I didn’t answer your question.

    2. Jim Frame

      The reality is this new  Nishi proposal will simply free up UCD from providing on-campus housing they need to provide

      We can wring our hands all day long over what UCD will do or not do, but we have no control over that administration beyond political pressure.  Refusing to approve housing within the city on principle (and not very sound principle, in my opinion) and just hoping that the housing problem solves itself doesn’t seem like a very smart approach to me.  To borrow one of Matt’s favorite phrases, I favor both/and rather than either/or.

      1. Ron

        Jim:  “Refusing to approve housing within the city on principle (and not very sound principle, in my opinion) and just hoping that the housing problem solves itself doesn’t seem like a very smart approach to me.”

        No one here is suggesting that Nishi be rejected “on principle”.  It remains to be seen if the proposal will offset the long-term costs to the city.  Given the city’s track record (e.g., Sterling being the latest – as discussed above), this does not seem likely.  (The original Nishi proposal at least had the “innovation center” component, which theoretically could have helped offset the long-term costs.)

        It remains to be seen if air quality will be studied, to determine if Nishi is actually a suitable place for housing.  Since they apparently haven’t done this so far, it (again) doesn’t seem likely. Not sure why some believe they can “make that call” (regarding suitability for housing), as laymen. Perhaps they’re so focused on one concern that they’re willing to overlook another concern.

        Perhaps these are among the reasons that the developer and UCD could not make a deal.

        In any case, it’s still early in the process, and the proposal does not seem fully formed at this point.

        1. Jim Frame

          No one here is suggesting that Nishi be rejected “on principle”.

          “No one” in this case would be Eileen, and the principle would be

          The reality is this new  Nishi proposal will simply free up UCD from providing on-campus housing

           

  21. Ron

    A short “preview” of tomorrow’s Vanguard articles, regarding other “internally-generated” needs:

    The “need” for an innovation center (which isn’t “viable” without housing), and which now has to compete with the planned development in Woodland.

    The “need” for more (fill-in-the-blank)-type housing.

    The “need” to raise parcel taxes for the city and/or schools (which aren’t equitably distributed between apartments vs. single-family dwellings). (While simultaneously advocating for a greater percentage of student-oriented apartment buildings, which exacerbate the discrepancy.)

     

    1. Howard P

      A short preview of Ron’s responses… (to his ‘preview’ articles)

      “No need for any additional people, in town (or in State, Country, world), under any circumstances”…

      “No need for any additional (fill in the blank) commercial/office/industrial” uses (might lead to more people, more housing)…

      “No need for any existing or new parcel taxes (they are unfairly weighted)”…

      Ron speaks only unfettered, dispassionate, fair, “truth”… I am but a “troll”

      Yeah, Ron, as usual, am leaving the last word to you… give it your best…

      1. Ron

        Howard:  Rather than “giving it my best” to come up with some “stinging” response, perhaps it’s better to ask, can Davis remain a slow-growth town (with reasonable taxes), with so many advocating for the opposite?  (And, with so many stating that “nothing can be done” regarding the adjacent public institution, inequitable tax distribution, unfunded liabilities . . .)

        And, should all remaining sites within the city be used for housing, rather than commercial development or other uses? Or, do we always have to sacrifice surrounding farmland and open space, as a result?

        Regarding Nishi, we’re left to speculate regarding the reason that the developers are asking the city to approve this, rather than working with UCD (as they once suggested, shortly after the last election from what I recall).

        Now, we’ll have to ask ourselves if the loss of the innovation center component is “worth” the lack of vehicular access to Olive (as if these are the only choices, regarding student housing). As always, developers step in, as UCD remains silent. And, the city experiences the results.

        As a side note, no one has addressed Dr. Cahill’s suggestion to adequately examine whether or not Nishi is even suitable for housing.  Seem like it’s within the “realm of possibility” to answer.  The proponents have an opportunity to put this to rest, if they so desire.

         

         

      2. Ron

        I would also assume that (unlike Nishi 1.0), the Nishi 2.0 development would not be making any contributions toward the “worst intersection in town”.  Not sure if that impacts the city’s plans and financing for that intersection (which will be impacted by the Lincoln 40 megadorm).

        1. Howard P

          Actually, that’s not true… if it developed in the City, a portion of the Roadways Impact Fees paid by the project will go to it.

          Since bikes and peds will still use the intersection, there may be a small “special contribution” as well, but not like what it would have been with the previous version…

        2. Ron

          Howard:  Since bikes and peds will still use the intersection, there may be a small “special contribution” as well, but not like what it would have been with the previous version…

          Just wondering (and not trying to make this an argument), but how does that impact the city’s plans and financing regarding what they plan to do for that intersection (e.g., partly as a result of the need created by Lincoln 40)?

        3. Howard P

          OK, Ron, I’ll treat this as a ‘fair question’ (though I have my doubts):

          Just wondering (and not trying to make this an argument), but how does that impact the city’s plans and financing regarding what they plan to do for that intersection (e.g., partly as a result of the need created by Lincoln 40)?

          It may change the future design (just in a ‘planning stage’ now) and costs.  May not.  Are you familiar with the ‘quanta’ concept?  It may be that improvements would be the same whether you just work on the existing, or whether those same improvements can accommodate an additional 10 to 1000 trips (be they pedestrian, bicycle or motor vehicle).  Maybe not.

          For financing, I’d argue that the existing City is responsible to finance the solution of  any perceived problems in the existing situation.  New development would be responsible to finance incremental costs due to their “demand” on the intersection.  It’s called “nexus”, an important ethical and legal principle.

          If the intersection improvements are covered by impact fees already collected, or to be collected, new development would pay for that portion, with any increment “on them” (called a ‘fail share’ exaction).  New development might even offer to pay more towards those improvements to “sell” their project, and/or get expedited processing.

          Expecting Lincoln or other new development to pay full freight to fix current and future improvements (a ‘freebie’ to the existing city) is morally repugnant, and likely illegal.

          Hope you consider that a fair answer (but again, have my doubts)…

  22. Ron

    David (regarding Sterling):  If we held expenditure growth to 2% or just slightly more than revenue growth, the 15 year number would be well in the positive.

    You haven’t actually presented the math to back that up, but I’ll assume it’s accurately tallied, and that your sources are correct.

    Regarding holding expenditure growth to 2%, is that actually “doable”?  (For example, total compensation – not just salary.)  Seems to me that costs for services (including unfunded liabilities for pensions and medical benefits) are growing faster than that.

    Again, if you add to the need for services, then you’re also increasing the deficit. That’s not an argument one way or another, regarding proposed developments. It’s simply a fact.

  23. Tia Will

    Ron

    no one has addressed Dr. Cahill’s suggestion to adequately examine “

    The key seems to lie with who gets to determine what it means to “adequately examine”. There are lay people that I have spoken with directly who would not be satisfied with less than a 20 year study of an exactly exposed site to determine increased cancer risk. Since this is not feasible, that essentially means never. Which is probably their intent once I have pointed that out to them.

    There are those, like the mayor whose expertise is in public health and myself with expertise in clinical medicine and risk assessment in combination with the expertise of my “in house expert” in statistical analysis in reviewing statistical data from the county epidemiologist concluded that the data presented already constituted adequate  examination.

    Given this disparity of opinion, who  would you suggest make  the final decision ?

    1. David Greenwald

      Tia: Ultimately it is the voters and council that will make the call.  I simply do not see the alarming health risk here that some do.  Even long term exposure risk factors are under whelming.

      1. Howard P

        Key word is “risk”… key concept is acceptable risk….

        There is a risk that having sex will cause pregnancy, STD transmission, psychological problems… if you want no risk, you don’t have sex.

        If a woman takes/uses a contraceptive, there are risks.

        If a woman becomes pregnant, the pregnancy has risks: spontaneous abortion (mainly psychological); bad health outcomes for the mother during the pregnancy; and both mother and child at birth.

        If a woman chooses to have an abortion, there are risks.

        So, If you demand a risk-free environment, never kiss, never have sex, never bring a child into the world… but there are risks in that approach, too…

        1. Howard P

          True story… if you leave your house in a rainstorm, there is a risk of being hit by lighting… leaving by getting into a car, even worse.

          Not leaving your house when told to evacuate due to fire or flooding, can be very deleterious to your health

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