Analysis: Is Measure R Back in Play?

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In 2000, the voters of Davis by about a 1400 vote margin (53.6 to 46.3 percent) approved Measure J, which amended “the city’s general plan to add a policy requiring voter approval for certain changes to the land use designations or entitlements of properties…”

Measure J was renewed for 10 years in 2010, by a far larger 76.7 to 23.3 percent margin, or 7300 votes.  But that renewal was during the heart of the Great Recession and largely occurred at a time when most people were not considering the need for additional housing.

Times have clearly changed, as we are now just two years from the expiration of Measure R and the biggest issue facing the community is the student housing crisis – and housing in general.

It is worth pointing out that a number of non-Measure J/R votes have come before the voters and some, such as Wildhorse in 1995 and Target in 2006, have passed.  But the three Measure J/R votes: Covell Village, Wildhorse Ranch and Nishi all went down to defeat, and only the 2016 Nishi measure was even competitive in the end.

Rich Rifkin in a thought-provoking column writes, “Every proposal that has gone to the voters under Measure J/R has lost. Several others were abandoned along the way as bills mounted.”

His view: “It’s time we stop this nonsense.  The process is too expensive in money and time.”

While I remain a supporter of Measure R, I think his column bears close scrutiny.  I will say this: at this point, I think most of the long-term residents of Davis would continue to support Measure R in 2020.  However, there is a wild card – the students, if their housing crisis continues, have the numbers to change the dynamics.

Toward Mr. Rifkin’s point: “If the residents of Davis don’t want any new developments on the periphery, we should replace Measure R in 2020 — when it expires — with an ordinance that permanently fixes the city’s perimeter where it is. No developments that require a popular vote should be considered.

“While that approach is not good planning, insofar as certain future needs cannot be met within present boundaries, at least it is honest.”

Many have argued that Measure R forces better planning.  Mr. Rifkin points out that one problem with the current system “is that every development is taken on ad hoc. Voters are not asked to consider a general planning map for future needs that will satisfy what we lack in recreation, commerce, housing, parking, office space or R&D facilities. We are told to vote up or down on a specific proposal put forth by one developer whose vision may or may not meet the needs of Davis.”

He notes: “This is the same issue neighbors confronted with the Trackside and Mission Residence projects. The adopted General Plan had a considered vision for those areas. But on a one-off basis, after developers submitted proposals that required zoning changes, the City Council altered the adopted General Plan for those parcels only.

“That disregard for planning is a consequence of Measure J/R.”

It is an interesting point.  One of the points I would make about Measure R is that the Nishi project as currently configured is designed specifically with the issue of getting Nishi passed by the
voters.  They looked at what went wrong in 2016, they added an affordable housing component.  They eliminated Richards Boulevard access to avoid the traffic problems.

The project addresses one need: the need for student housing.

However, in their goal to get a project that could be passed by the voters, they undersold the density, they eliminated the mixed-use components, the R&D space, the commercial considerations.  So yes, they have a project that can pass a vote, but it is a far less optimal project than even what came forward in 2016.

Again, it fills a critical need for student housing, but that’s effectively all it does, and Measure R is a chief reason why that is the case.  And because of Measure R, the city is no longer getting $10 million to fix Richards Boulevard (quick note: I don’t know what deal will occur, but Nishi 1.0 contained $10 million for Richards Blvd.).

Mr. Rifkin notes that “citizen control has created an imbalance that has made the cost of living in our city too high for all new residents who don’t come from wealth or who are not high-income earners.”

He adds, “We have demand for more housing, especially rental apartments, and due to Measure J/R, we cannot plan for it. We lack R&D and retail segments, and we cannot plan for it.

“Students and other low-income renters are being pushed out of Davis by the nearly 0-percent vacancy rate that causes rents to increase well beyond the rate of inflation every year,” Mr. Rifkin continues.  “Because of Measure J/R, many starter homes in Davis go for more than $700,000. The price of a typical square foot here is 65 percent higher than elsewhere in our region.”

He argues: “If the people of Davis are at all empathetic with students, low-income renters and young families who have been priced out of our community, we should return to a planning process after Measure R terminates in 2020.”

Rich Rifkin points out, “Measure R is set to expire in 2020. We probably will have two more public votes — one for Nishi student apartments, the other for West Davis senior housing — before it expires.”

He writes: “My hope is that Davis voters will show some empathy for others and approve those needed projects. My expectation is that Davis remains as self-centered as it has been for the last 18 years.  The disastrous consequences of Measure J/R are self-evident. Our community knows by now that holding out the football only to pull it away is not just cruel. It’s a dishonest scheme that we need to end.”

He concludes: “Let those be the last ad hoc votes.”

I believe that what happens with Nishi will be critical in shaping the view of Measure R as we head toward 2020.  The students are organizing – if they end up not being able to pass Nishi, I would look for a more concerted effort to defeat Measure R come 2020.

As I said I continue to support Measure R, but I think Mr. Rifkin is correct that it ironically ends up leading to less than ideal planning in the hopes of getting a project past a citizen vote.  And the cost and expenses are mounting.  At some point, something has to give.

—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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96 thoughts on “Analysis: Is Measure R Back in Play?”

  1. Keith O

    The Measure R vote on Nishi 1 was close only because voters realized we need more student housing and didn’t see it as peripheral development but more as infill and an extension of UCD.  That said I believe a Measure R vote on Nishi 2.0 will pass this time.  I don’t believe the West Davis senior project will pass a Measure R vote any time soon as in my opininion the project is flawed and because it is on the periphery.  Our residents see what development has done to Elk Grove and Natomas and don’t want to end up like looking like that.  Measure R is here to stay.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Measure R is here to stay.”

      What if 10,000 students show up to vote in opposition because they see it as preventing the city from dealing with student housing issues? I’m not saying that’s a likely outcome especially if Nishi does pass, but that’s certainly a variable that you and others are not accounting for.

      1. Keith O

        What if 10,000 students show up to vote in opposition

        Highly unlikely.  First of all how many students actually live in the city of Davis?  Secondly how many of those are international and/or not citizens and can’t vote?  Lastly how many reamaining are registered to vote in Davis elections and would actually bother?

        1. Ken A

          For decades older white college grads have had the highest voting percentage, while young minority non college grads have had the lowest voting percentage.

          With the majority of UC Davis students young minority students that have not yet received a college degree (including many foreign students and “dreamers” who can’t vote even if they wanted to).

          I don’t think we will ever see a high student voter turnout in city elections (since most kids don’t even bother to vote in ASUCD elections on campus).

    1. Keith O

      As David wrote:

      It is worth pointing out that a number of non-Measure J/R votes have come before the voters and some, such as Wildhorse in 1995 and Target in 2006, have passed.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      It is worth pointing out that a number of non-Measure J/R votes have come before the voters and some, such as Wildhorse in 1995 and Target in 2006, have passed.”

  2. Mark West

    Measure J/R is antithetical to good planning, and a severe hindrance to our ability to meet our community’s current and future challenges. It is the current law, however, so presently we have to find solutions within its confines, but our options to truly meet the housing needs of our community, the fiscal needs of the City, and the social justice and social service needs of our residents are all severely limited by its existence.

    The reality though, is that many property owners have profited from the artificial scarcity created by J/R, and consequently it is in their self-interest to have that scarcity continue. The question for the community is should those property owner’s self-interests outweigh the obvious needs of those in the community who are less fortunate?

    I believe that if we are truly interested in meeting the needs of everyone in our community, including our renters, young families, the working poor, and students, and not just protect the well-to-do, then we should allow the ordinance to expire.

     

      1. Mark West

        I’m simply stating facts, Keith. Measure J/R favors existing property owners and limits our options for addressing the needs of the majority of Davis residents who live in rental housing. There are better means for keeping Davis from ending up like some of the sprawling cities in our region, but if you are honest you have to accept that Measure J/R has been the driving force for Woodland sprawling to the south as our de facto ‘leapfrog’ development of north-north Davis.

         

         

        1. Keith O

          Well Mark, being that Measure R votes have been landslides with a 3 to 1 margin in favor of the Measure and the 3 to 1 vote against the Wildhorse Ranch Project I don’t feel it’s a winning position to be against it.  Just my opinion.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            It’s going to depend on the electorate and I think the students. Both WHR and Measure R were held in the heart of the housing market collapse and economic recession.

        2. Mark West

          “I don’t feel it’s a winning position to be against it.”

          Keith – Measure J/R is an impediment to both residential development (the focus of the votes you noted) and commercial development, so it inhibits our ability to address the housing crisis and also to increase revenues through economic development to meet our fiscal and social challenges.

          Frankly, I think the community is beginning to awake to the problems created by our adherence to a ‘no-change’ philosophy, and are looking for real answers to our challenges rather than the feel-good pablum being dished out by some. If I lose this election because of speaking the truth, so be it, but I’m not willing to see this City ruined by the ‘champions of the status quo’ without at least putting up a fight.

          I hope others will join me, Keith, no matter how unlikely that outcome seems to you.

        3. Tia Will

          There are better means for keeping Davis from ending up like some of the sprawling cities in our region”

          Would you mind enumerating what you see as those “better means” ?

        4. Keith O

          Mark West

          I hope others will join me, Keith, no matter how unlikely that outcome seems to you.

          You know Mark that I have already stated that I was voting for you, but your stance on Measure R has most likely lost this vote.

        5. Mark West

          “You know Mark that I have already stated that I was voting for you, but your stance on Measure R has most likely lost this vote.”

          Keith – I have stated before the I view Measure J/R as reflecting the will of the people as expressed in the previous votes, and the approaches that I have put forward in my campaign for dealing with our community’s challenges are designed to fit within the constraints that we have imposed upon ourselves by those decisions. We can solve our challenges regardless of what the community decides about J/R in a few years, but it would be completely false to claim that J/R does not matter or that those constraints do not inhibit our options and future choices. I am not calling for an immediate repeal of the ordinance, but I do believe that it has outlived its usefulness. You, of course, are free to disagree with my assessment.

          How you choose to vote it entirely your decision (and none of my business), I will just thank you for voting.

        6. Keith O

          Mark: Measure R comes up for renewal in 2020, are you going to support renewal or support repeal at that time?

          Thank you for this question David. I feel this is a question that every candidate needs to answer with a simple yes or no without weaseling out.

        7. Mark West

          David: “Measure R comes up for renewal in 2020, are you going to support renewal or support repeal at that time?”

          I’m pretty sure I already answered that question.

          “I believe that if we are truly interested in meeting the needs of everyone in our community, including our renters, young families, the working poor, and students, and not just protect the well-to-do, then we should allow the ordinance to expire.”

          1. Don Shor

            I’m not sure why this has to be a binary choice, though it is likely to be presented as such. Measure R could be modified to have the vote taken at a different stage of the process, or it could be applied differently to different zoning types, or it could apply only to annexation vs rezoning. The community needs to decide whether the intent of Measure R is accurately reflected in the outcome we have.

        8. Mark West

          Don S. “I’m not sure why this has to be a binary choice, though it is likely to be presented as such. Measure R could be modified to have the vote taken at a different stage of the process, or it could be applied differently to different zoning types, or it could apply only to annexation vs rezoning. The community needs to decide whether the intent of Measure R is accurately reflected in the outcome we have.”

          I agree with Don’s comment. I have commented only on the current version of the measure, not some as yet undefined future version.

      2. Howard P

        If Measure R was worded, “shall we reverse a decision by the CC on X project”, rather than, “shall we affirm a proposed decision by the CC on X project”, well… look at the numbers.

        Wildhorse and Target measures were worded differently than the others… when in doubt, most people vote NO… as most voters are not engaged/cognizant of the details/ramifications, guess what…

        Had the Nishi project measure been worded, “Shall the City deny the project?”, I opine that Nishi 1.0 would be under construction… BTW, I’d still have voted against it.

    1. Jeff M

      I agree with you Mark.

      But I believe the state is going to have to step in at some point to eliminate these type of land-use blocks by a tyranny of the majority.  The lack of housing is becoming a larger social justice issue that will eventually overwhelm the no-growth extremists.  Fighting the local Measure R fight is like standing in a bucket of slop while trying to empty it.

      What we should have instead is:

      1. Elected city officials that represent the needs of ALL residents – CHECK

      2. A General Plan – CHECK

      3. A City Planning and Development Department – CHECK

      4. A Planning Commission – CHECK

      5. An active and involved community that provides a voice to all that would protest – CHECK

      6. Measure O fund to build a farmland moat around the city – CHECK

      I think the only thing we lack from this list is visionary community leadership that can help move us to a more positive future of smart growth.  We are really Podunk in that category based on all my experience with other communities.   Just check out the little city of Winters and their downtown plan with all the form-based code.   Those people are running circles around the more highly-educated Davis cohort that cannot seem to see beyond their own change-fear and home equity.

  3. Ron

    From article:  “However, in their goal to get a project that could be passed by the voters, they undersold the density, they eliminated the mixed-use components, the R&D space, the commercial considerations.  So yes, they have a project that can pass a vote, but it is a far less optimal project than even what came forward in 2016.”

    The elimination of the innovation center component could cause the proposal to fail. Nishi started out as an innovation center project.

    Not sure where commercial development is envisioned by some, if not at Nishi (or one of the other sites in the city that’s being considered for conversion for housing).

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I’ve repeatedly suggested you read the Studio 30 report so you can understand this stuff. Basically Nishi 1.0 was going to have a 300,000 square foot R&D component run by Sierra Energy. They said at the time, that if Nishi doesn’t pass, they’ll do it on their own off-site. That’s what they’ve done. So between Sierra Energy and the URP, what Nishi was going to bring has been covered. What hasn’t been covered is the 200 acre Innovation Center planned either near Sutter-Davis or east of Mace. That’s where we are hurting.

    2. Ron

      Not an answer, Don.  Where do you see significant commercial development occurring, if not at Nishi or one of the other sites within Davis that’s being considered for conversion from commercial to residential?

      And, if it’s a peripheral site, do you expect the developer to propose the inclusion of housing (as with MRIC)? If so, what do you think the chances are of that passing?

      This is the downside of focusing on one issue, at the expense of all others.

      1. Don Shor

        Where do you see significant commercial development occurring, if not at Nishi or one of the other sites within Davis that’s being considered for conversion from commercial to residential?

        Read the report that I linked and your question will be answered. Just once, Ron, do your homework and stop posting without informing yourself.

        1. Ron

          Don:  I’m aware of the sites that are being considered, and I suspect that you are, as well.  Again, I was asking for your opinion, regarding the following:

          Where do you see significant commercial development occurring, if not at Nishi or one of the other sites within Davis that’s being considered for conversion from commercial to residential? Perhaps you could specifically name a couple of them?

          And, if it’s a peripheral site, do you expect the developer to propose the inclusion of housing (as with MRIC)? If so, what do you think the chances are of that passing?

        2. Ron

          I already know of the sites, and have listed one of them.

          I’m just asking you and Don to acknowledge and respond to the questions I asked, as well as the discrepancies in your own comments/article.   Why do you refuse to do so?

        3. Ron

          David:  “I’m not following your point at all.

          Ron:  “I’m aware of the sites that are being considered, and I suspect that you are, as well.  Again, I was asking for your opinion, regarding the following:

          Where do you see significant commercial development occurring, if not at Nishi or one of the other sites within Davis that’s being considered for conversion from commercial to residential? Perhaps you could specifically name a couple of them?

          And, if it’s a peripheral site, do you expect the developer to propose the inclusion of housing (as with MRIC)? If so, what do you think the chances are of that passing?

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Again my suggestion is to read the Studio 30 report as it informs my thinking on the subject.

        4. Ron

          David:  If you have a point to make, then do so.  You’re continuing to avoid an honest response, regarding peripheral developments such as MRIC, as well as the elimination of other commercial/industrial sites within the city (for housing). It doesn’t require any general references, to respond to that specific question.

          What, exactly, is your “informed thinking” that you mentioned?

        5. David Greenwald

          Once again you have either intentionally or unintentionally distorted my commented.  I said that the Studio 30 report informs my thinking on this subject and you would not be asking these questions if you had read it.

        6. Ron

          I’m looking at the report, now. Again, I was asking for you to expand upon your opinion, rather than just referencing a report.

          For example, what exactly is your “informed thinking”, in reference to the Studio 30 report? Let’s hear it.

          And, how does that relate to my questions to you, regarding the elimination of commercial/industrial sites within the city (for housing), as well as the elimination of an innovation center component at Nishi?

          Are you hoping that a “Hail Mary” attempt at a large-scale peripheral site will make up for the loss of the sites, above? What do you think the chances are of such a proposal passing, especially if it includes housing?

           

        7. David Greenwald

          Ron:

          I didn’t say I had “informed thinking” I said the report “informed my thinking.”

          The Studio 30 report lays out the need for commercial sites in three tiers, Nishi is the second tier.  Nishi’s R&D contribution has been replaced by Sierra Energy and URP.

          Your third question is directly answered in the report.  The peripheral site has always been needed, period.  It is not conditioned on the availability of other locations.  There is no replacement for it within either the Studio 30, the Dispersed Innovation Strategy or the Innovation Park Task Force Report.  Again, if you had read the report, you would understand that your question is ill-informed.

        8. Ron

          Well, so you acknowledge that the innovation center component at Nishi was part of it.  I’ll look at the report more closely, but I doubt that it specifically refers to Sierra Energy and URP functioning as a “replacement” for the innovation center component at Nishi. Again, this argument would assume that there are no other companies that would occupy such a site. Also, the report predates the actions taken since Nishi 1.0 failed.

          Regarding the other sites around the city (that are being considered for conversion to housing), does the Studio 30 report address this?  (Doesn’t seem likely, since the report is dated in 2012.)  Perhaps just as important:  Does the Studio 30 report state that there is no need for these sites?

          And, in consideration of the challenges in getting a peripheral site approved (which would now likely include housing) might there be an increased level of importance, regarding the loss of the innovation center site at Nishi, as well as the other commercial/industrial sites around the city that are being considered for conversion to residential?

           

        9. Ron

          Statements such as that are often used, when one runs out of logical arguments (and/or, are trying to cover up the fact that they don’t have a logical response).

        10. David Greenwald

          The statement was used because you either do not understand my point or are intentionally misconstruing it.  There is no point to me repeating myself, but on multiple comments today you have clearly either twisted what I said or failed to understand it.

    3. Howard P

      It could… we’ll see… the people have the ‘right’ to determine… and the proponents have a right to “call the question”, in a timely manner…

      Coming from someone who was more concerned with traffic/safety impacts, rather than land use…

      And, voted against Nishi “1.0”, and am slightly inclined to vote for Nishi “2.0”…

      1. Howard P

        [Above comment of mine was responding specifically to,

        The elimination of the innovation center component could cause the proposal to fail.

        As David said on a different occasion, “so what?”]

         

      2. Tia Will

        Howard

        Excellent example of how prioritization of sometimes conflicting values can determine decision making. In the case of Nishi 1, which I favored and voted for, I prioritized the need for student housing over land use decisions, and did not see traffic and safety as overriding issues.

        This is also an important reason for viewing each project on its own merits and not pushing either a “grow as fast as we can” nor a “no growth” philosophy as our guiding principle.

    4. Ron

      David: “That’s what they’ve done. So between Sierra Energy and the URP, what Nishi was going to bring has been covered.”

      So, your position is that Sierra Energy is the only company that can make use of a mid-sized site, and that we might as well convert all other such commercial sites for housing.  And, that the loss of an innovation center component at Nishi is “not a problem”, even though you’ve essentially stated the opposite in your article, above.

      Regarding URP, I understand that they are also looking into converting the site to allow the inclusion of more housing, as well.

        1. Ron

          David: It’s a logical extension of your statements above, regarding Sierra Energy and the URP. You stated that the need is now “covered”, as if there are no other companies that could make use of mid-sized sites. (As a side note, the size of the innovation center component at Nishi is not necessarily limited to the size proposed in Nishi 1.0.)

          And yet, there’s this:

          From article:  “However, in their goal to get a project that could be passed by the voters, they undersold the density, they eliminated the mixed-use components, the R&D space, the commercial considerations.  So yes, they have a project that can pass a vote, but it is a far less optimal project than even what came forward in 2016.”

        2. David Greenwald

          Actually you changed my words.  What I said, was that what “Nishi was going to bring is now covered.”  What you said is the “need” is now covered.  There’s a difference.  What I said was that the 300,000 square feed of R&D space is covered.

          You also went further in distorting what I said when you stated “Sierra Energy is the only company that can make sue of a mid-sized site.”  I never said that.  Ironically my comment also referred to the University Research Park in addition to Sierra Energy.  My point was that the square footage for R&D space is covered by the two projects mentioned.

          And yes, I have never made a secret that the current configuration of Nishi is not my ideal project for that site.

        3. Mark West

          “What I said, was that what “Nishi was going to bring is now covered.”  What you said is the “need” is now covered.  There’s a difference.”

          Our now nearly two-decade-old ‘community-driven’ General Plan called for an additional 200 acres of new commercial development to help meet the needs of the community. That is roughly 8.7 million square feet. That was determined to be the unmet need back in 2000 before our communal neglect created the current fiscal, housing, and social challenges.

        4. Ron

          Mark:  Then why are you (apparently) unconcerned about the elimination of an innovation center component at Nishi, as well as all of the sites around the city that are being proposed for conversion from industrial/commercial to residential?

          Or, do you expect “one big score” (e.g., MRIC, probably with housing) to satisfy the need? A “Hail Mary”, if you will? Is that a realistic plan?

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            This is exactly why you should be familiar with the Studio 30 report – you wouldn’t be asking questions like these.

        5. Ron

          David:  If you have a point to make, then do so.  You’re continuing to avoid an honest response, regarding peripheral developments such as MRIC. It doesn’t require any general references, to respond to that specific question.

        6. Mark West

          “Then why are you (apparently) unconcerned about the elimination of an innovation center component at Nishi…”

          That project is no longer an option. I concern myself with the options we have remaining, not those that were thrown away.

        7. Ron

          David:  “That project is no longer an option.”

          At the moment, that is true.  However, it may not remain that way.  In fact, failures are often the source of greater accomplishments.

          Challenging (but large/adjacent) sites such as Nishi are rare, to say the least.  Perhaps we don’t have to settle for a choice that you agree is less than optimal. (And frankly, air quality studies should be done, regardless. If those turn out o.k., there might be some options that are better for everyone – including students, UCD, the city, and the developer.)

        8. Ron

          Yes, Mark said it.  Sorry, I was responding to you on multiple threads (regarding the same basic points) within this article. (And, your comments are sometimes similar to Mark’s, regarding development issues.)

  4. Tia Will

    We are told to vote up or down on a specific proposal put forth by one developer whose vision may or may not meet the needs of Davis.”

    I agree with Rich’s point with regard to the importance of planning….and then honoring the intent of that planning instead of allowing a vote to circumvent that planning. This is equally true of a Measure R/J vote on the part of the residents, or a vote of 3 on the part of the City Council which also allows development as a “one off” without respect to previous planning in the form of zoning and design guidelines. I would support allowing the Measure R/J to expire only if we were also to do away with planning by exception on the part of the majority of the City Council in a statutory and binding manner.

     

    1. Howard P

      This is equally true of a Measure R/J vote on the part of the residents, or a vote of 3 on the part of the City Council which also allows development as a “one off” without respect to previous planning in the form of zoning and design guidelines. 

      GP and zoning/guidelines were adopted by a vote of three (or more).  Not by the general public. Those were ‘changes’…

      Not all residents can, or do vote.

      There is a process for change… you have advocated for some changes… do you not see that reversing some ‘changes’ is as legitimate as the original ‘changes’ themselves?  Or, is it all about…

      1. Tia Will

        Howard

        Not all residents can, or do vote”

        And not all council members can, or should vote on any particular issue. That is what recusal is for and perhaps should be used more liberally. So your point was ?

        1. Howard P

          Wow… very weird “conflation” (I hate that term)… whatever… recusal is a mandated thing, by law… not being able or willing to vote is quite another… I said/posted,

          GP and zoning/guidelines were adopted by a vote of three (or more).  Not by the general public. Those were ‘changes’…
          Not all residents can, or do vote.

          You cherry-picked one sentence.

          Is it that you’re ‘torqued off’ by Lucas voting on Trackside even though he divested (only reason I can think of for you to bring up recusal… I know I did not… I referenced abstention… not nearly the same)?  If you can’t be honest with us, at least be honest with yourself.

          My point was/is, having a ‘popular’ vote is no more inclusive/democratic, at the end of the day,  than a 60% vote by representatives chosen by the same electorate.  CC has to approve stuff on a 60% vote.

  5. Keith O

    Can everyone imagine what our city would like like if we ever got rid of Measure R?  You know we have developers licking their chops to build out our city who knows how far?  Think it’s hard to park downtown now?  What you experience now will seem like nothing if you unleash the builders.

        1. David Greenwald

          I know all five members of the council fairly well, there is no one there that is for unrestrained growth in Davis.  It’s worth noting that the only project that they have voted on that is “peripheral” is Nishi.  Everything else is an infill project.  Have the past councils approved large peripheral projects.   In part that led to Measure R in the first place.

          Again, I don’t favor getting rid of measure R, but I don’t think it will lead to unfettered growth either.

        2. Howard P

          So what? 

          Future Councils will be elected by the citizens… you have a problem with representational democracy? If so, please elaborate…

          Measures J/R did not come down in stone tablets from a mountain…

        3. Howard P

          Then Keith, you should advocate to expand “R” to include votes on ANY land use change (GP/zoning), maybe even any building permit (additions/granny flats), etc.  Within the existing boundaries or not.  I sincerely hope that the Measure R renewal include those provisions…

        4. Howard P

          You’re absolutely right Keith… the word I should have used was “recommend”… clearly, I was out of line… apologies… and thank you for the ‘correction’… have a great day…

      1. Ron

        Howard:  “Have heard it includes Hawaii, Boise, Denver, and Cabo San Lucas…”

        Regarding Denver:  “The Denver Regional Council of Governments engages in general planning, clearinghouse, and federal funding allocation activities, but there is no real, effective regional planning effort. As a result, sprawling development, undifferentiated between cities and unincorporated areas of counties, is typical along most of Colorado’s Front Range.”

        Compare to Boulder:  “The service area concept creates an identifiable urban/rural edge. Unlike many cities that have either sprawled into the countryside or facilitated leapfrog development, Boulder has created a real edge between urban and rural development.”

        https://www.lincolninst.edu/publications/articles/controlling-sprawl-boulder

        I suspect that I could find something regarding Hawaii, as well. I find it amusing, when folks present growth concerns as a Davis-only issue. (Generally, it’s the “nicer” places that take some kind of action. A large part of what makes them nicer.)

         

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          ” I find it amusing, when folks present growth concerns as a Davis-only issue. ”

          I don’t believe this is an accurate comment. However, Davis governs its own growth and therefore city policies are of primary importance.

        2. Ron

          It seems implied, in some of the comments.

          As a side note, Davis does not totally govern its own growth.  It also must deal with SACOG requirements (which will be exceeded, via the latest proposals).  And of course, Davis is simultaneously being forced to deal with a rogue university, which is primarily pursuing full-tuition, non-resident students, resulting in the majority of their growth in enrollment.

          Yeah, I realize “rogue” is not the best word to use.  🙂  Just said it for effect, and couldn’t think of anything else at the moment.

          As a side note, I wonder how the non-resident students can pay $42K/year in tuition, and still have money to rent any place. Are those folks generally involved in protests? How do they come up with those kinds of funds? (And, is it actually worth it?)

        3. Ron

          Thought I’d subsequently look up the definition of rogue, and it is indeed a little harsher than is called for.

          Signing off, for now. (No – there’s no need to cheer, and I’d ask that you refrain from stating that.) 🙂

        4. Howard P

          Suggest you do the google map thing on Boulder.

          Within the distance from Boulder equal to its length, you will find a lot of development that is not rural.

          Maybe that’s the answer… independent ‘satellite’ cities within 4-5 miles of Davis.   That would be a lot like Boulder!

           

           

    1. Jeff M

      Not this conservative.

      But I am a progressive conservative.  In fact, the first use of the term progressive in politics was Republicans.  I don’t know where liberals hijacked it, but I have always had a hard time accepting their ownership of the label.

      I think the common thread in Davis is a demographic mix of older people (we tend to resist change the older we get), and younger people that are inexperienced, idealistic and/or don’t care enough to vote.

      Lastly, if your career was/is in government (the majority of Davisites) you were either previously wired as more risk-averse (like the job security of the public sector) or your brain was transformed into a low-change / rules-loving format because otherwise you would have run away screaming for more dynamism and growth opportunity in your professional life.

      Lastly, we have those artsy-fartsy hippy types that are sure the power lines are causing cancer.

    2. Ken A

      If Howard digs deeper he will see that most “progressives” renting an overpriced garage in town and most “conservatives” renting an overpriced home as they save to buy a place are in favor of residential growth in Davis.

      It is “homeowners” in town where the majority is against residential growth (and also includes “moderates “and people so “out of the political  loop” that they think “progressives” are people with Progressive auto insurance and “conservatives” are people that like to conserve water…

    3. Tia Will

      One of the best things about riddles is that they often have more than one applicable answer.

      I will illustrate. Jeff answered ” Not this conservative.”

      My answer as a progressive/or liberal if one likes is “Not this progressive.”

      We seem to have this response in common.

  6. Howard P

    Measure R comes up for renewal in 2020, are you going to support renewal or support repeal at that time?
    David. I feel this is a question that every candidate needs to answer with a simple yes or no without weaseling out.

    Every candidate can give a simple “yes” answer… when it comes up to CC vote, each member will have to either support renewal or support repeal. [unless they abstain, of course]

    1. Mark West

      The Members of the CC are expected to vote based on their values and the information they have at the time of the vote, taking into account all of the public comments, staff report, and discussions among the CC members. All a candidate can/should do at this point is state their opinion as of the current date and the given information. That is what I have done, expressed my opinion on the topic based on my values and the current information.

  7. Tia Will

    I know all five members of the council fairly well, there is no one there that is for unrestrained growth in Davis.”

    There is no one on the council who will state that they are for unrestrained growth. And yet one of the 5 current council members during her first campaign stated clearly that, referring to Davis, “we should grow as fast as we can”. Her subsequent actions, backing ( I believe) every single project that has been brought before the council, is consistent with her campaign statement. Her consistency of action and word is one of the things I admire the most about Rochelle Swanson although I have frequently disagreed with her.

    If anyone knows of a project she has voted against, please inform me as I have no intention of distorting her positions.

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