Commentary: Aggie Deal is a Reminder that We Have to Step Up

The future of Davis is at stake and some may not even realize it.  Is Davis going to be a community that cannot even pay for basic city services?  The last few weeks are a reminder that attempting to count on tax money to fund basic infrastructure is not a sure thing, whether it is local or from the state.

A strong majority of voters supported the roads tax, but even at 57 percent it still fell well short of two-thirds vote requirement.  To add insult to injury, a measure has qualified for the November ballot that would rescind the 12-cent gas tax.  That means roughly $1.5 million from the state for road repairs would dry up if voters indeed approve the measure, which experts expect to pass in November.

In 2020, all eyes will be on maintaining the 1 percent sales tax (half of which was passed in 2004, the other half in 2014).  If that goes away, the city’s budget gets ugly fast.  Forget about expanding tax revenues, at least in the first part of 2020 – we are now looking at 2022 at least before we can think about another roads tax.  As I asked earlier this week, how much will that cost us?  It will likely be in the tens of millions.

Throughout the campaign this year, comparisons were drawn to 1972.  There was a belief that a large number of students would come out to vote this time.  That doesn’t seem to have materialized.  But 1972 was the year that Davis really became Davis, because the 1972 General Plan laid the ground work for the planning that defined Davis – from its greenbelts to its parks and bike paths.

If we’re not careful, 2018 will define Davis for it might become – a community that can no longer pay to maintain the great infrastructure that has been planned for and built by the generations that came before us.

With an immediate housing crisis upon us, we have had to focus heavily on providing student housing for UC Davis students coming to our community to get their education.  But, at the same time, we have to think about our long-term funding needs.

In the news yesterday was an announcement from UC Davis where Chancellor Gary May thanked Governor Jerry Brown and Assemblymember Kevin McCarty for approving a planning budget of $2.8 million for Aggie Square.

“The UC Davis Aggie Square satellite campus planning is off and running with an infusion of $2.8 million in state funds,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “The project is a quadruple win for the State of California, UC Davis, the City of Sacramento and the Stockton Boulevard Corridor. The partnership will allow the University of California to accommodate more students, support small businesses in our community and foster economic development throughout the Sacramento region.”

Brown approved the funds as part of his signing of the state’s budget on Wednesday morning. The monies, which will cover 2018-19, will be used for community engagement and outreach, internal planning staff, external consultants and technical experts, and legal experts.

“I am grateful for this commitment of support from our government leaders, especially Gov. Brown, Assemblymember McCarty, and Sen. Pan,” Chancellor May said. “This initial investment will help us take significant steps forward as we refine our vision for Aggie Square in partnership with industry, faculty and the community.”

We can view this news as a negative or a positive.  The bad news is that UC Davis is partnering with Sacramento on creating a large innovation park, along the lines that we were planning back in 2014.  Getting in the way of our ability to deliver on our immense promise, and the promise of sustainable revenue, have been old fights over land use and restrictions over development.

The result is that, while we had basically three proposals for innovation parks on the table in 2014, they are all effectively off the table today.  The Davis Innovation Center which was proposed for north of Sutter Davis has moved up the highway to Woodland, where it has already been approved.

Nishi was approved by council in its original form with 300,000 square feet of R&D space, but that measure was voted down by 700 votes in June 2016.  Nishi came back to the voters in 2018, but this time without the 300,000 square feet of R&D space.

Finally, the Mace Ranch Innovation Center is technically still alive.  The council certified its EIR in 2016.  However, it remains on hold.

On the other hand, we can also view the efforts by UC Davis and Aggie Square in a positive light.  It shows that there is a regional demand for research and development, and for high-tech, and that bodes well for Davis and UC Davis.

While UC Davis is clearly putting its efforts now into Aggie Square, a rising tide will likely lift all boats.  The fact that the state is willing to help put money into innovation in Sacramento means there is the potential for Davis to step up with its own innovation space in Davis and attract money and investors.

Recent conversations with city leaders have convinced me that this remains a priority for the city.  We have lost our momentum over the last few years, that we seemed to have had in 2014 when we had three active proposals on the table, but the basic dispersed innovation strategy developed in 2010 still holds and the basic need is as strong as ever.

What is needed is some new leadership and some new energy, and that is something we can get moving again – and very quickly.

—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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  1. Jim Hoch

    Interesting that Sacramento has state representatives that actually take an interest in what happens in Sac. How do we get some like that?

    It continually amazes me that nobody seems to mind that both Curry and Dodd are ignore Davis 100% while we are a pretty big part of their districts.

    Dodd prioritizes us below garage doors while Curry seems to believe that her district ends at the 505.

    1. Mark West

      “while we are a pretty big part of their districts.”

      Not really. We have effectively reduced our influence in the districts due to our policies, something that will continue as long as the regional population and economy expands at a faster rate than our city’s. Even looking closer, to our influence in the County, we should expect the next Census or two to result in a change in the Supervisor’s districts to further diminish Davis’ influence. We are marginalizing ourselves with our decisions, and our current path to insolvency won’t help.

      1. Howard P

        Not particularly concerned with our “influence”… wouldn’t “grow” anything for that… silly, IMO… yet, I think the attitude that we should not grow our economy, and accept proportionate population growth and housing, goes beyond “silly” and is more like the s-word that I’ve been banned from using here… wonder if “unintelligent” (or, unwise) will pass muster for the ‘filters’/’moderation’…

      2. Jim Hoch



        We are about 20% of their districts. The issue is not demographics but psychographics. Likely they feel we will deliver for them next election regardless of they do or do not deliver.

  2. Ron

    I remain committed to fighting the peripheral proposal that will inevitably arise, and which will inevitably include housing. The Vanguard will apparently remain committed to promoting such a development.

    The “regional demand” will be met at other proposed locations (e.g., Sacramento, Woodland, Dixon, etc.). (Still not sure why some continuously state that there’s suddenly a demand for “innovation centers”. This concept didn’t even exist, a few years ago. They were called “business parks”.)

    David recently noted that UCD did not want an innovation center component at Nishi (where it belonged), presumably with access through campus.

    1. Howard P

      Thank you for sharing…

      Peripheral housing is not ideal (transportation demand)… yet almost all housing in Davis was once “peripheral”…

    2. John D

      According to latest reports, over 20,000 – of Davis 24,000 employed residents – commute “out of town” for work each day.

      And that’s OK with you?   And you believe that’s sustainable?   Never seen a VMT you didn’t like – where are you coming from?

      Sorry, Ron, but what are you thinking?

      1. Ron

        John:  Already, more folks commute into Davis, vs. those who commute outward.

        Adding more employers will exacerbate this imbalance.

        If the goal is to control costs, perhaps the city shouldn’t be giving raises (which will exceed 2%, when pensions are considered). If the goal is to be reimbursed for expenses that the city incurs, then perhaps the city could review some of their proposed mitigations (in response to the EIR for the LRDP).  For example:

        Proposed Mitigation Measure #5 — The University will enter into an agreement with the City to compensate for the direct and indirect impacts of students on city infrastructure and services (e.g. transportation, transit, utilities, water supply, wastewater treatment, stormwater conveyance, parks and greenbelts, community services, recreation facilities and programs, police and fire service).

        Public universities are one of the few employers which pay no taxes, to offset their impacts. (Even as they pursue full-tuition, non-resident students.)

        At this point, I don’t believe they’ve even ceased the elimination of local properties from tax rolls, via master leases off-campus.

        1. Howard P

          Thank you, David…

          That actually gets more to the point that we need more housing to mitigate the home/employment/school imbalance… true environmentalists and true City financial advocates should be advocating for more housing opportunities…

          “Jobs/housing” balance has been often referred to in Davis’ GPs… we need to grow the City’s finances (fix backlogs/unmet needs/unfunded liabilities)… we need to accommodate that growth from businesses… IMO…

        2. Ron

          Howard:  That would be an argument against the creation of more jobs.  (Unless one simply wants to expand the size of the city.)  Given the inflow of commuters, it appears that there’s already more jobs than residents who need (or at least, can successfully compete for) them.

          The underlying problem is that the existing, primary employer (UCD) isn’t paying for the costs that it creates. That, coupled with a failure by the city to reign in costs and/or for the residents to pay sufficient taxes.

          Ironically, Davis is probably in better shape than many other communities (who already have employers who pay taxes). And, which are in direct competition with Davis to land additional tax-paying employers.


        3. David Greenwald


          Only if you only care about limiting traffic and size of the community.  If you care about the vitality of the community, our ability to finance city services, you have to have to look at in a more dynamic way – as a series of benefits and tradeoffs.

        4. Ron

          David:  I’ve already addressed that (e.g., pursuing an agreement with UCD), stop giving raises when we can’t even afford existing compensation, etc.

          Seems to me that the Vanguard is going to continue supporting development in general, citing one “need” or another. And presenting development as a “solution” to those needs. As developers often do.

        5. David Greenwald

          I think have a fundamental disagreement on what development costs us money.  That said, I don’t see how this community is going to maintain its basic quality of life without an influx of revenue.  If you have a solution to that, I’m all ears.  Remember we’ve already voted down a parcel tax and it’s not just a city issue as the school district will be looking to upgrade 50 year old facilities.

        6. Ron

          Try listening, with those ears.  🙂  Already addressed your points.

          As a side note – who knows, maybe Nishi will (yet) fail, due to legal or access challenges. Providing another opportunity for those who continue to believe that development is the answer.

          1. David Greenwald

            “Already addressed your points.”

            Sorry I haven’t seen any realistic plan put forward by you that addresses these points.

            “As a side note – who knows, maybe Nishi will (yet) fail, due to legal or access challenges. Providing another opportunity for those who continue to believe that development is the answer.”

            Where to start.
            (A) No – UC Davis wants the housing, there isn’t going to be an access issue
            (B) No court is going to strike down a democratically supported housing development during a housing crisis (state and local)
            (C) Nishi is not of sufficient size to address our R&D needs, even if 1.0 had passed, the Studio 30 report called Nishi and a peripheral site, not Nishi OR a peripheral site.
            (D) There will not a third opportunity even if I’m wrong on (A) and (B)

        7. Ken A

          I’m wondering if David’s numbers include “just” the “city” of Davis or UCD and the other areas around town like all the seed business south of town and Teichert, the stables and golf course north of town?

        8. Ron


          See my comments at 9:09 a.m., 12:33 p.m, and 12:39 p.m., for starters (regarding fiscal concerns).

          Regarding what a court might/might not do (in reference to Nishi), I would hope that such decisions would be made based upon the law, rather that political considerations. 

          Regarding access, I suspect that the rail line would be the more likely source of potential complications. (Of course, an agreement is also probably still not in place regarding how much UCD wants to be “reimbursed” for the use of their land.)

          For that matter, has the tax-sharing agreement (involving the city and county) been finalized?

          Regarding the size of the commercial component of Nishi 1.0, it has no relationship to what a future proposal might include.

          I guess we’ll see what happens.


        9. David Greenwald

          “See my comments at 9:09 a.m., 12:33 p.m, and 12:39 p.m., for starters (regarding fiscal concerns).”

          I have – my answer remains
          “Regarding what a court might/might not do (in reference to Nishi), I would hope that such decisions would be made based upon the law, rather that political considerations.”
          Yes, well…
          “Regarding access, I suspect that the rail line would be the more likely source of potential complications. (Of course, an agreement is also probably still not in place regarding how much UCD wants to be “reimbursed” for the use of their land.) “
          None of these are going to be barriers.  UCD needs more housing.
          “For that matter, has the tax-sharing agreement (involving the city and county) been finalized?”
          You’ve bought into campaign talking points that were always non-issues.
          “Regarding the size of the commercial component of Nishi 1.0, it has no relationship to what a future proposal might include.”
          Except that the Studio 30 report addresses this very point when they conclude that while Nishi was a short-term answer for additional space, what we really need is about 200 acres or so.  Nishi is only 45 acres.  Hence Studio 30 recommend either northern or eastern peripheral properties as an answer.

        10. Ron

          Actually, your response didn’t address the comments I referenced.  You responded to my subsequent comment.

          Regarding the Studio 30 report, this predates the proposals that have arisen since then, in surrounding communities.  (Assuming that they’re even viable, there.) Perhaps you could check into whether or not those proposals are even attracting commercial tenants, at this point. And, if they are, then the next question might be how much the demand will be reduced/addressed, by these proposals.

          In other words, the Studio 30 report doesn’t reflect the current “demand” for commercial space.

          If there’s “honest” demand for commercial space, then we’ll see an “honest” proposal.  (Not a housing development with commercial space tacked on, to make it palatable.)

          I am impressed, however, with the creativity of the arguments to justify (yet) another peripheral housing development.



        11. John D


          Regarding the Studio 30 Report:

          For all that commends it, and the recognition it has received, the report was basically written from an institutional point of view – identifying various innovation complexes across the country with particular emphasis on the role and sponsorship of the local research universities in their creation.

          What the report missed, or at least failed to emphasize and explore, was the role of the major, local, private sector technology and manufacturing companies and their support – both direct and in-kind – towards the creation and sustaining of such initiatives.

          As the result, the reports likewise failed to convey the actual number of such employers and the number of local jobs, and the contributions of these local employers to the general economic health and prosperity of the host community – as the result of their presence within the local jurisdiction.

          It is easy to conclude – “Well, that was obvious – no need to dwell on the obvious.”

          I would argue that the nexus between the presence of these local, stable, well financed jobs-generating, frequently large-scale, research-supporting institutions has been anything but obvious to those who have been following this entire discussion.

          It would require an entire addendum to the Studio 30 report to properly address and recognize the role of these partnering enterprises to the origination – as well as the ongoing support – for the leading innovation centers across the world.


        12. Ron

          John:  That could be, but the “institution” is apparently already pursuing opportunities elsewhere/nearby.  (Which ironically, also includes housing.) While simultaneously sticking the costs/impacts of student housing, to the city.  (Somehow o.k. with traffic generated by students, but not from an adjacent commercial component.)  Of course, even with just student housing, they want to be reimbursed for the use of their land.

          If I had to choose between which “institution” makes better decisions (for itself), I’d have to select UCD, compared to the city.



        13. David Greenwald

          “Regarding the Studio 30 report, this predates the proposals that have arisen since then, in surrounding communities.  (Assuming that they’re even viable, there.)In other words, it doesn’t reflect the current “demand” for commercial space.“

          Yeah but that really doesn’t matter, unless you believe that there is going to be a sudden drop in the need for university tech-transfer, which I don’t.  Most people I’ve talked to do not believe there is a need to reinvent the wheel in terms of an ED plan.

        14. Ron

          Yeah.  Nothing but “innovation centers”, as far as the eye can see. Not sure why Davis (and surrounding communities) didn’t think of this, earlier.

          Seems so obvious, now. 🙂

          1. Don Shor

            So I can’t really figure this out. Are you opposed to business parks, to peripheral business parks, or just to peripheral business parks that have a housing component?

        15. John D


          I think that might be China you are describing……….not that we should be concerned about, or interested in, how our sister city, Wuxi, is choosing to evolve.

        16. Ron

          Don:  In the past, I wouldn’t necessarily have objected to a peripheral commercial development.

          However, I view this effort as a farce, at this point. Developers are apparently looking to build housing, not commercial developments. And, they’ll use every twisted piece of logic at their disposal to do so, with the Vanguard actively supporting those fake arguments. And, like student housing, it will never end (unless the Vanguard “wins”). (However, I think that the Vanguard’s goal is not going to be as easy, this time.)

          Also, I’ve since learned more about the city’s failure to control costs, confront UCD over the fiscal impacts it’s creating, etc.

        17. John D


          Not to put words in your mouth, but I’d guess you might say that “Gone are the days of Davis being a welcoming community to those who might wish to share the experience – unless of course you have enough money”.

          Somehow, there was room for you or your family before you, and that was OK, but……today not so much?

          Today’s younger generation, and other enthusiastic new arrivals, could not possibly be as diligent as protectors and sustainers of the Davis tradition?   The only sure way forward is to finish building the moat and raise the gate?

          Just curious.

        18. Ron

          John:  In reference to your question, that type of argument is indeed one of those put forth, by those looking to build more housing.  (Although you do so more politely, than most.)

          I’m not a fan of “building our way to affordability”.  That’s a recipe for sprawl and overly-dense misery.

          I’ve been priced out of my original home, but harbor no resentment.  (Actually, I don’t even feel that I “belong” there, anymore.  I would probably even look like an outsider, to those living in that area now.  At least, in reference to those occupying market-rate housing.)

          I’m kind of hoping to end my participation in this thread, today.  However, I’m sure that this type of article will reappear again, very soon.

          David: In reference to your question, I already pretty much answered that (at 4:29 p.m.), in response to Don’s question. I phrased that in the past tense, though. Not sure, these days.

        19. John D


          Please, before you go.

          Your calculation that we have reached the terminus – sorry, I just don’t get that part?

          How do you arrive at that conclusion?   Why do you believe that today is as good as it gets or could possibly be?

          Sounds like your confidence in the community to continue forward, making it ever better, has faltered.



        1. David Greenwald

          I don’t think most of my friends who live in Davis and work in Sacramento, want to move to Sacramento.  Some however, would love to work in Davis.

        2. Ron

          You should probably point out to them that jobs would not necessarily be filled by local residents.

          I commuted to Sacramento for years (via fully subsidized public transportation). Never wanted to move there, and never expected the job to move to me.

        3. David Greenwald

          I have so many points, I don’t know where you would like me to start.  My most general one is that the current situation is untenable from an environmental and planning perspective.  We have a job-housing imbalance.  That doesn’t mean everyone wants to live in Davis, who works here and that everyone who lives in Davis, would prefer to work here, but we can reduce traffic, congestion, pollution, and fiscal problems by better addressing the job-housing imbalance.

      2. John D


        Sorry, I didn’t get back earlier, but I’m using the most recent data (Jan 2018) produced by the City’s economic consultants (Joe Minnicozzi in this case) issued in conjunction with the current DPAC existing conditions materials.

        If David wouldn’t mind posting a readable graphic, you could see the inbound and outbound statistics for “Davis residents” – as a subset of our regional population.

        It shows 18,959 Outbound, 9,003 inbound, and 3,686 who live & work in the city of Davis – of the 22,645 employed residents living in Davis (based on data from 2015).

        These are official statistics for “residents of Davis” vis a vis job locations for those residents.   It appears that both you and David may be conflating employment at the UC-Davis & Sac City campuses with “jobs/employment in Davis”.   That’s fine, as a general rule, but it makes a BIG difference when one starts delving into the economic and tax ramifications with respect to the different trade areas and associated sales and property taxes generated for the respective jurisdictions.   It is this very distinction around which the fiscal discussion now revolves.

        If you believe that some paltry $2-$3 MM “mitigation” payment is going to fix things – you’re pretty much missing the whole point as well as the related conversation.




      1. Ron

        David:  “I don’t believe I ever said that UCD “did not want an innovation center component at Nishi” – I believe I said that the university wasn’t going to partner on an innovation center project in Davis.”

        I’m pretty sure that you did state it, but not in the link that you provided above.  In fact, you stated that someone from UCD actually told you that they didn’t want an innovation center component at Nishi (with access through campus).  Your statement was made shortly before the election.

        Since you apparently communicated with someone at UCD about this, it’s difficult for me to believe that you don’t remember stating it. Unfortunately, I probably did not save the link.

        Just to clarify, you’re (now) stating that UCD would had no concerns (that you know of) with an innovation center component at Nishi, with access as currently planned for Nishi 2.0? Again, I’m pretty sure this is the opposite of what you stated, previously.


        1. David Greenwald

          I found it: “UCD prefers to locate housing at that site as “it aligns better with their needs” and meets common objectives of both UCD and City.  UCD did not want the traffic from R&D and thus prefer the current plan. ”

          Which was in response to your coment: “I see an opportunity to pursue a development with UCD, which includes an innovation center component.  (With access remaining as currently proposed.)”

          I think the only way we can get UC Davis to partner with us is we do the heavy lifting and get approval for a site, then they would probably come in as they have with Aggie Square, but not before.  Too uncertain.

  3. Alan Miller

    > there is the potential for Davis to step up with its own innovation space in Davis and attract money and investors.

    We had that flying car business in Research Park for 40 years that always had flying cars two years in the future and raised $40 million in private capital and then got a few thousand dollar fine from the SEC and then sold almond butter and drawings of flying cars . . . now THAT is Davis innovation at its best!

    1. Howard P

      But, Paul invented and made a great muffler for motorcycles!

      And am pretty confident the new owner/tenant will duplicate the success of the “flying car” efforts… particularly on funding, and results…

      1. Alan Miller

        Glad you said it . . .

        . . . the land that building is on is haunted . . . perhaps cursed is a better word.  Certainly built on Native American burial grounds, but it’s something much more inscrutable than that.

    2. Howard P

      Alan… yep… and a primer for all City planning staff, and the electeds…

      Rob White (former Davis CIO)[who some here lauded] works for the site successor, last I heard…

      As a privately owned business, they do not have to be “transparent” as to income,investors (and grants, profits, etc.

      nuff said…

  4. Todd Edelman

    Our share of the Causeway Toll would net the City between 10 and 20 million dollars per year.
    Nishi 1.0 failed in part because of little imagination on how to deal with its transport access.

    (I just got a major treatment with my own razor and Motown Barber Shop, so in sympathy I am going to only write very short things for the time being.)

  5. Howard P

    I’ve been priced out of my original home,

    Interesting recurrent thought/theme… guess someone didn’t inherit the home they grew up in… with prop 13, and prices “back in the day” (mortgages?), there had to be something like that going on…

    I could have owned the home I grew up in, no sweat… Dad wanted the house sold, with proceeds going to me and his grandkids… honored my Dad’s wishes…

    Haven’t seen a credible claim of,

    I’ve been priced out of my original home,

    in like, 40 years…

    Never been “priced out” of any of the three (non-rental) homes I’ve lived in… same for all relatives including second and third cousins…

    Interesting, recurrent post… from the proximate poster… thin argument… or, …

    1. Keith O

      I’ve been priced out of my original home.  I sold a house in San Mateo in 2001 for $540,000, that house is now valued at $1.2 million.  Could I afford to buy that house today?  No is the answer so I have in fact been priced out of my original home.

      I’m pretty sure that’s what Ron was getting at.

      1. Ron

        Yes – I was referring to my original home, where I grew up (and stayed in, while attending college).

        Truth be told, no one in my family (including my parents) could afford that home, today.  And, it really wasn’t really that great of a house.

        The bottom line is that salaries (for the most part) have not kept up with the rising price of housing (throughout California, but more so for some areas). Unless you work for one of the big tech companies, perhaps.

        I’m glad that I purchased a home when I did, or else I’d probably be priced out locally, as well.  Next stop:  Yuba City!

        Actually, if I was starting out today, I’d probably leave California altogether. Lots of places nicer than Yuba City.

        1. Keith O

          Yes Ron, in fact I remember telling my wife when we moved from San Mateo to Davis that we wouldn’t ever be able to afford going back.

          Your assertion wasn’t “thin” at all “or” whatever else Howard was inferring.

        2. Ron

          Thanks, Keith.

          Wondering if you miss it (or are sorry that you sold it), although this probably isn’t the best forum to ask.

          I miss parts of the Bay Area (e.g., the weather, hills, parks, clean air along the coast, etc.). I’d probably move back there (at least to certain areas), if I could afford it.

          Also, the air pollution from the Bay Area is blown right into the valley (along with us refugees).

          If I’m not mistaken, I believe that Howard mentioned that he’s from the Bay Area, as well. Along with a lot of other Vanguard commenters and residents of Davis (and the region).

        3. Keith O

          I miss the weather sometimes but San Mateo has changed a lot.  They’re cramming in high rent apartment buildings everywhere and the traffic is horrendous.  I have friends there and still get Facebook posts from the area and the standard theme is too much building and terrible traffic.

        4. Ron

          Keith: I was going to note something along those lines, as well.

          There are parts of the Bay Area (e.g., Marin/Sonoma) that are less impacted.  But, even those areas are becoming much more difficult to deal with (and quite expensive). (Even with some pretty strict regional “growth controls”, those areas are nevertheless still growing.)

          I know an older couple that have had it, with renting in Southern Marin.  (They constantly complain about traffic, general rudeness, and rising rental costs.)

          They’re moving to Nevada to purchase their first house, soon. (To a relatively nice area, but still comparatively inexpensive.)

          1. Don Shor

            I would guess that I win the “priced out of the family home” competition (La Jolla). My first experience with growth and development battles arose from the construction of an ungodly eyesore condo building that dominates the skyline of downtown La Jolla, 939 Coast. It sparked a citizen initiative that limited construction to three stories.
            La Jolla was an expensive community before UCSD was ever built there (my parents moved there before UCSD existed, to work at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which became part of UCSD). So in planning for housing, San Diego allowed the development of an entire new community east of the campus called University City. UCSD has also always worked to provide more housing for students and for staff than most UC campuses. My dad always had some trouble recruiting researchers to come to Scripps because the housing cost differential was so high compared to wherever they were moving from. But the upside was the climate.
            If you look at UCSD and La Jolla today, a large tech area has been developed north of campus around the Salk Institute, which was out by itself in the eucalyptus groves when it was first built. UCSD has leveraged their intellectual assets to the enormous benefit of the city and the region. The advantage they had is that most of that land was an old military base from WWII, or eucalyptus groves from failed lumber schemes from the turn of the century. Very little of the land was native or really worth preserving, and none of it was farmland. Aside from the occasional live grenades and abandoned bazookas, it was pretty much ripe for development.
            They have had their growth battles, but overall the region has benefited. No, I wouldn’t want to live there now. I prefer my rural life and having a business in the small city of Davis. But it’s a really nice place to visit, the tech/campus growth has been reasonably well planned, and I am really glad to have grown up there when I did.
            Average home price in our old neighborhood is pushing $3 million.

      2. Howard P

        Thank you, Ron (or should I say Keith), for clarifying that… greatly appreciated… as was the home, apparently…

        Dad bought his for $7,900 in 1955… sold for $450,000 in 2002…

        Still, I was not “priced out of my home”… tu parle englais?

  6. Jim Hoch

    It’s interesting that “progressives” like to say bad things about climate deniers and ridicule them for their lack  of scientific literacy. However, if you ask them what all these problems have in common:

    Housing Shortage

    Water Shortage

    CO2 overproduction

    Traffic Congestion

    Air Pollution

    Water Pollution

    Environmental Degradation

    Species Extinction

    Refugees Crisis

    They don’t know despite science having arrived at a common etiology years ago.



    1. Ron

      I think I know the answer!  🙂 (I don’t even need a scientist, to tell me.)

      Reminds me that someone once referred to a “cascading series of crises”. (A phrase that really stood out.)

    2. Ron

      Not sure that it’s really divided into “progressive” or “regressive”.  Perhaps just common sense.

      But, I have been disappointed in some who probably label themselves as progressive, but fail to acknowledge the underlying issue (for various reasons, I guess). As Keith stated, “putting their heads in the sand”. (That’s particularly true for some environmental groups, which are supposedly addressing these issues.)

      I’m not even sure what a progressive is, or whether or not I am one.  Do I have to buy into the party line completely, to label myself?

      Actually, labels are sometimes applied pretty “liberally” toward others, on here. (Pun intended.)


    3. Don Shor

      I don’t personally know any “progressives” who are unaware of the world’s population problem. Most are aware also, I assume, that as countries develop economically and increase education, and make health care available to their poorer citizens, the birth rate almost invariably goes down.

      1. Ron

        Don:  Not strictly disagreeing with you, but it seems that some don’t want to discuss the problem directly. Economic development and education alone do not always lead to a stable population. And in fact, some continue to argue against a stable population, supposedly (and ironically) referring to the need for economic development (which you cite as a factor in population stabilization).

        Thought that this was a pretty interesting quote, from a recent Enterprise column:

        ” A big part of the reason is because it is a subject fraught with controversy. It carries with it the issues of birth control, abortion and family planning, all of which generate heated disagreement from people with opposing views. This polarization has, to an extent, resulted in numbing of policy conversation, some sort of mutual understanding that it’s best to just not talk about it.
        On a more local level, no one seems to address how populated the city, region and state will (or should?) ultimately become.  As with the larger issue, discussing it also generates controversy, with some citing a “need” to continue growing (to address some perceived problem).

        1. Ron

          In other words, relying upon continued population growth to “feed” continued economic development, for example.  (Or, at least trying to justify it in that manner.)

          That line of thought (which is still very much a part of many societies) will eventually cause a “crash and burn” on a finite planet. (See Jim’s list above, for example.) In fact, you can see that line of thought expressed almost daily, even on the Vanguard.

          In the meantime, we’ll all be told to conserve water, reduce carbon emissions, etc., which will all be overwhelmed anyway, by adding even more people.

  7. Ron

    According to the article below, Aggie Square is planned to be built on UC Davis’ own land (thereby paying no taxes), with costs estimated to be in the “. . . tens of millions, if not hundreds . . .”, and will take years to develop.  In addition, the article notes that politicians are attempting to help fund it with state and local taxpayer dollars, and that housing may be build on adjacent, private land. 

    What a joke!

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