For as much flack as the Vanguard has received for supporting recent student housing projects, it would probably be fair to note that it’s not clear that the Enterprise ever saw a development project it didn’t like. That is not a commentary on the merits of any of the recent projects that the Enterprise support, just a commentary on their ability to discern between good and bad projects.
Their bottom line on WDAAC: “Creative projects like this one deserve to move ahead.” And: “The housing crunch is affecting all sorts of people in Davis. Renters and students are impacted, and so are seniors looking to downsize out of large, multi-bedroom houses.”
The applicants have done a lot of things right in this process, but they have banked on the theory that there is a population in Davis that is seeking to downsize out of large homes and into more senior-age appropriate homes.
The council will first tackle this issue on Tuesday, though the final decision isn’t coming until the last meeting of the current council on June 19.
The specifics: “150 age-restricted affordable apartments; 32 attached, age-restricted cottages; 94 attached age-restricted units; 129 single-family detached, age-restricted homes; and 77 single-family, detached non-age-restricted homes.”
The key, though, is that the project will require annexation and a voter approval under Measure R.
They argue that the developers “have been laser-focused on finding Davis’ needs and designing the project to meet them.” They add, “The outreach has been unprecedented, as has been the attention to detail to make sure the development fits in with the community.”
The Enterprise continues: “Also innovative is the effort to make sure that these units go to existing Davis residents, to allow people who live here already to keep on living here as their needs evolve.
“The ‘Davis-based buyers program’ would limit sales to no more than 10 percent of buyers who do not live in Davis; have a close relative in Davis; worked for UC Davis, the city, the school district or a Davis-based business; or graduated from UCD. The baseline features of the project commit to marketing only in Davis and Woodland.”
(Please note that the Davis-based Buyers Program is included in Section B-8 of the Draft Development Agreement: To help ensure that Davis residents will purchase this, the development agreement does include the provision for a Davis-based Buyers program. “Developer has elected to restrict ninety percent (90%) of the residential units within the Project to initial purchasers with a preexisting connection to the City of Davis, and desires to sell or hold said percentage of market-rate residential units available for sale to households that include a local resident, defined as a person residing within the City or the Davis Joint Unified School District boundary, family of a local resident, a Davis employee, a Davis grade-school student, or an individual that attended Davis schools.”).
The Enterprise continues: “The response from the community has been positive, both overall and specifically by the people the project seeks to serve. We can’t recall such enthusiastic response to a proposal in a long time. This is precisely what Measure R was supposed to encourage — development aimed at the city’s needs in real time.
“West Davis Active Adult Community has dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. We think this thoughtfully conceived, well-planned project deserves to go on the ballot, where it will no doubt win approval by the voters.”
Given the history of Measure R projects in Davis, it is unclear how the Enterprise can presume that “it will no doubt win approval by the voters.” Probably be better to state, “It deserves to earn approval by the voters.”
We shall see.
—David M. Greenwald reporting