Letter: Planning First

by Bob Schneider

Properly planned, the northwest corner of Davis offers an important opportunity for meeting development needs in Davis in a manner that reflects Davis values.  Neighborhoods, a natural habitat swale for the Covell drainage, flood water pond storage, edible vegetation, affordable co-housing, senior housing, community gardens, appropriate commercial, and live-work buildings, bordered by protected farmland and open space reflects my values and I believe our Davis values.

Working towards this vision necessitates a General Plan update or a Northwest Specific Plan.

Piecemeal development, focusing on one development at a time, may preclude this important opportunity.

I suggest we delay any immediate decisions until the new council is seated.   They can make a thorough, inclusive, and comprehensive decision without a rush to judgement on how we should best proceed.

For full disclosure- Yes, I was a builder and developer and for a time I was involved in the northwest area.  My interest then, as now, was in first ensuring comprehensive planning.  I no longer have any involvement or financial ties to this area.

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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6 thoughts on “Letter: Planning First”

  1. Todd Edelman

    I agree that the bring-to-ballot CC meeting for WDAAC needs to be delayed, but in regards to

     Davis values.

    WDAAC is a poisonous, two-headed ageist snake:
    Elders living there will slowly become more and more isolated, and children who want to visit grandparents etc. living there will find it too hard to get to independently.
     

  2. Jeff M

    That area is not very attractive for commercial development as it lacks direct freeway access… unless it connects to 113 north of the hospital but before the Binning Tract.  But I understand that this is not feasible as this would be too close to Covell… and there is generally not enough distance between Road 29 and Covell to justify a new freeway connector.

    So you have the problem of commercial truck traffic on Covell and also on the county roads.  As long as the City is ready to accept Covell going six lanes wide at the 113 overpass, that might work.   Which means it will not work.  The old retired university brass are sitting in their condos looking at the window thinking about how they would defeat any attempt to do this.

  3. Laurie Rollins

    Todd says: “Elders living there will slowly become more and more isolated, and children who want to visit grandparents etc. …”  I couldn’t disagree more strongly.  Our over 90 year old mom moved to URC a few years ago; the move to community senior living saved her life and made it far easier for us to visit her, help her, etc.  She takes some meals there, cooks some, and goes out some.  Most importantly, she is no longer isolated and made good friends with whom she travels, goes to events & meals with, etc.

  4. Alan Pryor

    That area is not very attractive for commercial development as it lacks direct freeway access

    How do you figure? The area is much closer to the freeway in terms of road miles traveled than the proposed commercial area at Nishi. And Covell is much less congested than either Richards Blvd. or Old Davis Rd. so in terms of traffic it would seem to be a better commercial site than Nishi. Plus it is further away from residential areas.

  5. Howard P

    Duh… you may all missing a “clue”, methinks… clue is,

    Working towards this vision necessitates a General Plan update or a Northwest Specific Plan.

    Bet that means all the property, north of Covell, from the proposed project, west to CR 99, will be in play.  Been there before… Julie P and Suzie B were on the council… there was a proposal to relocate the Covell Drain to the north… “flood avoidance” considerations… Julie, perhaps recalling what happened with Northstar (ditch got relocated from Covell, but then owners claimed that the remnant of land was too small to farm effectively, and became Covell Park Northstar), questioned, ‘would that mean the property south of the re-aligned canal would be developed?’… Suzie Boyd, said that was silly… Julie had that one right…

    This article appears to be the proverbial “camel’s nose in the tent”… I have no problem ‘considering’ a GP revision/Specific Plan for the proposed site and the property to the west, but am uncomfortable with subterfuge… last I heard, West Davis Associates, which at one time included the article’s author, either owned or had an “option” on the site to the west…

    In fairness to Bob, he did disclose,

    For full disclosure- Yes, I was a builder and developer and for a time I was involved in the northwest area.  My interest then, as now, was in first ensuring comprehensive planning.  I no longer have any involvement or financial ties to this area.

    I know Bob well enough to fully believe his final sentence.  I do not question the rest of the quoted text.  Most is demonstrably true…

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