Opposition to WDAAC Emerges

The West Davis Active Adult Community project largely sailed through the Planning Commission as well as two council meetings with limited opposition.  However, as the ballot arguments have been submitted, a group has emerged to oppose the project.  Signing the opposition to what has been designated as Measure L are: Alan Pryor, Nancy Price, Steve Tracy, Pam Nieberg and Todd Edelman.

Meanwhile, signing the ballot argument in favor are Mayor Brett Lee, Former Public Guardian Cass Sylvia, Former Assemblywoman and Supervisor Helen Thomson, Psychiatrist Cap Thomson, and Bill Power from the Delta Senior Housing Communities.


Yolo County has 35,000 Baby Boomers at or nearing retirement age. Approximately 25% of Davis’s homes are owned by this generation, many of whom, like us, live in houses larger than necessary or desired. Providing our seniors with housing options specifically designed for a changing lifestyle will allow Davis to retain its baby boomers and all of the value that they contribute to our community. It will also make available existing, larger homes located near schools for a new generation of Davis families. This is the benefit West Davis Active Adult Community offers: keeping our base, while growing our future.

If voter approved, West Davis Active Adult Community will offer Davis seniors homes that are a better fit for them at an ideal location: west of Sutter Davis Hospital, near medical facilities along West Covell Boulevard, and close to Marketplace shopping and Highway 113. West Davis Active Adult Community includes 150 badly needed affordable senior apartments and 410 homes ranging in size from 800 to 1,800 square feet, including a mix of cottages, bungalows, condominiums, single-story homes, fifty small builder lots and specialized senior care.

This new community is addressing Davis’s housing needs. Measure R calls for “an adequate housing supply to meet internal City needs.” Following this mandate, 90% of the home sales will be limited to Davis-connected buyers.

Finally, this proposal reflects extensive community input provided in 60 public meetings. Early feedback resulted in sustainability features such as 350 native oaks, planting of pollinators, all-electric homes, an energy retrofit program, bicycle connectivity, wildlife passages, a transit hub, and $1,000,000 towards a community aquatics center, just to name a few. As such, this project reflects our community’s values and priorities.

The City Council carefully studied the West Davis Active Adult Community and unanimously voted to recommend its approval by Davis voters. Please vote YES on Measure L to help meet the critical housing needs of Davis seniors and families.


West Davis Active Adult Community consists of rows of expensive detached, single-story homes on very large lots. This Sun City-like senior project is the antithesis of modern urban planning and is the worst example of suburban sprawl proposed in Davis in over 25 years.

Irresponsible Planning – West Davis Active Adult Community does not meet the City’s own “Guidelines for Housing that Serves Seniors and People with Disabilities” in the areas of Transportation and Location and has no Independent Market Study to determine true community need for this type housing. Nor does it meet the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) seven Principles of Smart Growth.

No Community Planning – This proposal opens up the entire northwest quadrant of the city for piecemeal development without ANY discussion of community needs or vision. A Specific Master Plan for the entire area must be prepared before any development occurs.

Massive Developer Giveaways and Subsidies – The City has reduced the normal development fees for the project by over 40% costing the City over $3.3 million. And the City may also lose $150,000+ every year after build-out because the full costs of providing services exceed the property taxes received.

No Guarantee that the Required Low-Income Housing will ever be Built – West Davis Active Adult Community will not build ANY low-income housing itself like every other major development in Davis has done in recent years. Instead, the developer is donating less than 10% of the total project land on which low-income housing MAY be built – but only IF another non-profit can raise the millions of grant monies needed for construction. In this time of shrinking government budgets, there is no assurance these funds will EVER be available to build this required low-income housing.

This ill-advised project is driven by developer profits and should be rejected by the voters and sent back for revision to reflect true community values and needs.

Please Vote No on Measure L.

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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. Richard McCann

    Every housing project built privately is driven by “developer profits.” Given the rather abysmal record for government-built housing (and even university housing is often a boondoggle), our real objective is to steer developer incentives to design the right project.

  2. Don Shor

    A Specific Master Plan for the entire area must be prepared before any development occurs.

    That should take about ten years.

    sent back for revision to reflect true community values and needs.

    What process do you have in mind for that? Public hearings sponsored by the developer? Commission meetings which review the project? City council review?

    rows of expensive detached, single-story homes on very large lots.

    I know, we all hate those. And most people purchase them and live in them. Well, except Todd. He gets a pass on this one.

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