Unlike past Measure R projects, the approval and placement of the West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) was almost routine. This was the second meeting on the project by the council, but, other than a comment during the general public comment by Eileen Samitz in favor of the project, the public had nothing much to say.
The council spent most of their time addressing language that would clean up the proposal. For example, there were still questions on the Davis-Based Buyers Program.
As articulated by Robb Davis, the issue is “there doesn’t appear from what we have read here that there are any re-sale controls.” He said, “I buy a house based on being (connected to Davis)… and I turn around and sell it to a non-Davisite, I thought we put it to you that we’d want to have a deed restriction like we have with our affordable program.”
Dave Taormino said that was acceptable. “In terms of the flipping situation, absolutely, we want to put all the protections we can into the deed restriction to avoid that.” He acknowledged that they hadn’t thought of that situation.
A member of the development team explained that they spoke with staff and the city attorney about adding that into the development agreement. “The belief is that the Davis-Based Buyer’s Program is the applicants’ program and that the city is supportive of it in theory but doesn’t want to be involved necessarily in the details of that.
“We believe that (the CC&R) is the opportunity to address this,” he said. “In the CC&R… it would have a requirement that it be owner occupied.” He said that they are not sure they can permanently preclude it being sold to someone from outside the area, but they can at least “quell the thought of getting rich quick.”
On affordable housing concerns, “We do have the requirement that it commences on the first 60 units within the first three years… Progress is being shown… Or else that land reverts to the city and the city can find another developer that is capable of successfully constructing the site. That is the mechanism we put in place to address the concern of ensuring that the units are built – which I think that we all want.”
However, Brett Lee expressed the concern if that were to occur, the city would not be in the position to build those affordable units.
“The 150 units is quite generous, I’m appreciative of that,” Mayor Pro Tem Lee said. “My fear is… if it is not laid out in a timely manner, the parcel reverts to the city. Here you go city, here’s some vacant land. Good luck.
“Can we have some requirement such that you are working directly with the developer you have chose for the site to make it happen,” he said. “And that we’re out of the loop.” He didn’t want to be in the situation where, four years later, all of the market rate houses are built, there is a vacant parcel of land, and the developer hands it back to the city and says “good luck.”
Robb Davis said, “We don’t see at this point in time, the ability to provide significant projects.” He pointed out, “The way we financed them in the past is no longer feasible for us.” He wants to avoid: “We’re not put in the position where we have to figure out somehow how to get this money.”
The council also had concerns about multigenerational families.
“We live in an age of multigenerational families,” Robb Davis said. “The way I’m reading this, it talks about unanticipated child custody arrangements. I don’t want to have to take custody of my grandchildren if there’s an emergency. They should be able to just come and live with me.”
The developers consulted on some of these issues. On accommodating families, the team member noted about the language, “I don’t believe means you actually taking legal custody of the child, but physical custody of that child.”
He said, “We would be willing to add ‘unanticipated custody and multigenerational family living arrangements that may arise during residency to the maximum extent permitted under existing law.’”
Under current law, he said that one of the residents has to be 55 or older. They do not allow children unless there is a disabled child that needs to live with them, or the child as the caregiver. “You more or less have decided when you move into this community, that you more or less are an empty nester,” he said.
Another question was whether they would consider a contribution to the improvement of 113. Here Interim Community Development Director Heidi Tschudin explained that Cal Trans would need to agree since this would be within their right of way, and the idea would be to slow speeds coming off the freeway. She estimated the cost at around $150,000 to cover the improvements they’ve talked about.
The developer agreed to pick that up.
Lucas Frerichs moved the staff recommendations – all six of them – along with the four proposed changes to the Development Agreement. Rochelle Swanson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0 with Will Arnold having previously recused himself.
The West Davis Active Adult Community is now on the ballot for November 2018.
—David M. Greenwald reporting