Colin Walsh and former Davis City Councilmember Michael Harrington used their public comment time to put forward arguments against Nishi on Tuesday night.
Colin Walsh said, “The baseline features of the Nishi project, which will be on the ballot this spring, refer to the project development agreement which is an ordinance that was passed by this council. That ordinance calls for mitigation measures cited in a CEQA document.
“Those mitigation measures call for air filtration systems with 95 percent efficiency for the buildings and positive air flow pressure for the buildings. That air filtration system, as I understand it, may not actually exist. So the city council is calling for air filtration systems that may not actually exist.
“But much more concerning to me is what’s happening outside those buildings,” he continued. “The other ordinance, that was passed that night, allows for zoning on Nishi. Allows for urban agriculture, day cares, preschools, I can’t imagine are these indoor only preschools. Do these preschools not get a play yard? There’s nothing in the ordinance that it’s an indoor only preschool.”
He continued, “It also allows for outdoor entertainment. If you believe that there is a need for 95 percent air filtration on interior uses, how can we as the city of Davis allow children
playgrounds outside in that air quality? How can we allow the workers in urban agriculture to work outdoors in that air quality?
“All of the city council voted to put this on the ballot. Many of the city council candidates are in favor of this, but there are two that are not,” he said. “They have my support because they are looking out for the children in our community. I will absolutely vote no on Measure J, the Nishi project this June.”
Former Davis City Councilmember Michael Harrington also spoke against the Nishi project. He said, “The next council will be the one that looks at Measure R and the General Plan. It is critical that we have the right people up here.
“I have to tell you something about Nishi, I’m embarrassed that this council would ignore experts in air quality that say that there’s a problem over there, they think there needs to be another study and this council had no hutzpah, had no guts to tell Johnny Whitcombe, one of the richest people in Yolo County, to go spent $10,000 and verify that. All of you knew that two years ago.
“Whitcombe was down here saying to these students, I have no money. You have to minimize the affordable housing. This is embarrassing, as a member of this body. It’s embarrassing.”
He continued, “Affordable housing set aside for students is illegal under Federal Law and state fair housing law. What are you guys doing? You duped the students here. It’s illegal. You should recall this and fix it and put it on the ballot.”
He said, “I ran for council in 2000 to fix it for the children. My son was in the schools, they were jammed, they had 900 in a 600 elementary school. I have a ten year old down here tonight, I want to protect him. And I’m going to protect the lungs of the hundreds of thousands of young people that Johnny Whitcombe wants to bring here for his profit motives.
“You think they’re going to tell those parents in Japan and China, in North Korea or South Korea that their kids are unsafe here? They didn’t even do a study. How dare the council not require Johnny Whitcombe to do a study? Why, Brett, didn’t you vote, not yet? Why?
“You were elected and Robb Davis was elected by the same team that elected me. Why didn’t you guys vote, not yet? I’m embarrassed.”