Guest Commentary: Great Location for Our Seniors in Need

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Located Next to Sutter Davis, Communicare, and the Marketplace, WDAAC is a Winner

By Bill Powell and David Thompson

We ask you to please vote YES on Measure L to start a new life for the low income seniors in Davis who have nowhere else to go.  The wait list for senior affordable housing is 3-5 years, and there are currently 400 plus low income seniors on the wait list for affordable housing in Davis.  There were only ten openings in Davis in 2017.

Sheila Allen, Executive Director of Yolo County Healthy Aging, has shared, ”In five years time, when the first phase of DSHC’s affordable senior housing opens its doors at WDAAC there will be over 16,000 seniors in Davis over 55”.

“The Far Edge of Town is Exactly the Wrong Location for a Senior Development…” No on L Statement – September 6th, 2018.

The No on L group proposes no alternative to meet the coming silver tsunami. No site in downtown Davis can donate five acres to build a 150 unit affordable senior campus.

Neighborhood Partners (NP) and Davis Senior Housing Communities (DSHC) at West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) believe the location will be an excellent place to live.

In fact, the area near West Covell Blvd and Shasta Drive is already home to the most seniors in any neighborhood in Davis. Within a half mile of Sutter Davis Hospital there are already about 600 Davis seniors who chose to live at the University Retirement Community, Shasta Point, Olympic Cottages and Covell Gardens.

Davis Senior Housing Communities (DSHC) and Neighborhood Partners are well aware of the benefits of the West Covell DSHC site, proposed in the WDAAC neighborhood.

  • First and foremost, this site is adjacent to the Sutter Davis Hospital, the Sutter Out-Patient Clinic, Sutter Urgent Care, and the only Emergency Room in Davis. Being just moments away from all those critical health services is critical to seniors. Except for toddlers up to one year old, seniors are the most frequent user of emergency wards.
  • In addition, many of the low income seniors who will live at the DSHC campus at WDAAC will take advantage of Communicare which is also adjacent to the WDAAC site. Already, 19% of the 26,500 yearly clients of Communicare in Davis are low income seniors. Right now residents at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle have to go quite a ways to get to Sutter Davis Hospital, the Emergency Room, and Communicare or to go shopping.
  • Other health, dental and hearing services are all located in the same neighborhood such as UC Davis Health and Woodland Health Care.
  • The bus stop is just east of the site with frequent service by Unitrans and Yolobus. In addition DSHC will arrange for a car sharing service to be located near the property. Many of our low income seniors frequently have to go to Woodland for County services.
  • Being near the Marketplace Shopping Center means having important access to Safeway and the CVS drugstore plus the restaurants, coffee shop and parcel delivery store. Safeway has a delivery service that residents’ will likely use.
  • In addition, DSHC builds a Commons Market into each of the campuses. Staffed by resident volunteers, the Commons Market provides a range of food options to meet short term need without residents having to go to the store. The Commons Market also distributes free fresh fruit and vegetables from groups like Farm Davis, Local Harvest and surplus food from Panera Bread and Nugget Markets.
  • As with Eleanor Roosevelt Circle, DSHC will arrange with the Yolo Food Bank to deliver twice monthly food parcels to all our eligible residents.
  • Finally, with a 150 senior apartment campus we have talked with Meals on Wheels about opening a second Davis location in our community room.
  • Additionally, there will be garden beds and community gardens for residents to grow their own food.
  • The DSHC site overlooks the Urban Forest, is adjacent to a pocket park and walking distance to the WDAAC Neighborhood Center and its services.
  • The West Covell DSHC site will be a senior campus with many amenities and community activities. Like other DSHC communities there will be on site social service coordinators and numerous programs arranged with many local nonprofits.
  • Lastly, no other affordable housing site in Davis is adjoining so much open space. The DSHC site looks west onto part of a 4 acre Urban Forest, looks north onto a greenbelt and pocket park and has walking and bike paths on all four sides.  The location will have beautiful views to the west of the Vaca hills. No other Davis affordable housing site has been provided with so many green landscape elements.

NP and DSHC at are grateful for this affordable housing location in Davis. It will be one of the loveliest in the County and bring great pleasure to many low income seniors.

Please Vote YES on Measure L to bring 150 affordable apartments to low income Davis seniors. See our efforts at http://westdavisactive.com/affordable-senior-housing/

On behalf of the seniors we serve and the hundreds on our waiting list,

We thank you,

Bill Powell, President, Davis Senior Housing Communities

David J. Thompson, Neighborhood Partners, LLC.

www.npllc.org/projects

 

 

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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16 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Great Location for Our Seniors in Need”

  1. Alan Pryor

    Bill, David – No one disputes the need for low-income senior housing. The problem is that you are trying to treat the consideration of the 4.5 acres of dense, low-income housing in a vacuum without considering the adverse impacts of the remaining 70 acres of the project which is almost all low-density, single-story, single-family sprawl available only to affluent, well-to-do seniors. You do not do yourselves a favor by pretending your cart is not hitched to that nag.

    The Sierra Club strongly supported the low-income housing component of the WDAAC project but overall endorsed No on Measure L because of the sprawling nature of the rest of the project. This is also the position I have consistently taken with this project since I first met with David Taormino and David Thompson in my house over 2 years ago to discuss it.

    There are also couple of misstatements in your arguments for the project:

    The No on L group proposes no alternative to meet the coming silver tsunami. No site in downtown Davis can donate five acres to build a 150 unit affordable senior campus.

    The statement is flat out wrong We have proposed the corporate yards on 5th St where both DJUSD and the City essentially park vehicles and have mobile trailers for offices. These are currently exceedingly low value use for a high value land. The DJUSD offices across from Central Park are also an excellent location where density can be greatly increased and is consistent with plans to densify the downtown core.

    I also take issue with your attempts to portray this low-income senior project as some sort of urban shangri-la

    No other Davis affordable housing site has been provided with so many green landscape elements.

    This is almost laughable on the face of it. Your “urban forest” is a 150 ft wide strip of bare ground on the west side of the property that will be planted with some oak trees at some point in the future. But the developer has not specifically stated how it will be maintained nor how large of an endowment he will contibute to the long-term care of the “forest”. All I know is that when the developer touts this “urban forest” he says will be created he holds up pictures of 150 year-old oaks in Bidwell Park in Chico as examples. How misleading can you possible get?

    And the “pocket parks” are 1-acre or less postage size plots of land that the developer is scattering through the project because he is trying to get out from installing a full size park in the middle of the development. Why?… because he otherwise wants to sell that land for expensive houses, of course. I also don’t foresee the greenbelt you refer to that the tenants can supposedly serenly gaze out onto toward the north. The only things tenants will see looking north all the rest of the housing of the 75 acre project.

    And you tout that the seniors will be able to grow their own food on site…but in what? Flower pots on their patios?. With only 4.25 acres available to cram in 150 apartments, it is really disingenuous to try to claim there will be a community garden for the seniors.

    Finally I have to take issue with the statement that there will be bike and walking paths on all four side of the project as if they will all be conducive to leisurely strolls around the premises. On the south side will be the six lanes of Covell roaring by. On the east side will be a main access road to the low-income project. On the north side there will be 70 acres of new construction going on for years. On the west side there will be farm land but maybe not for long. By opening up the northwest quadrant there is already a developer land rush to get their land options in place and plan for the next phase of development in this quadrant. And without any northwest quadrant Master Plan to guide their development, it could be the wild west with all sort of inappropriate projects planned that are not exactly sympathetic to quietude desired by your low-income senior needs.

    1. Don Shor

      Bill and David: No site in downtown Davis can donate five acres to build a 150 unit affordable senior campus.
      Alan Pryor: The statement is flat out wrong We have proposed the corporate yards on 5th St where both DJUSD and the City essentially park vehicles and have mobile trailers for offices.

      Alan, the corporate yards on 5th Street are not in downtown Davis. And, of course, both of the sites you propose are occupied and would not be readily vacated. Where did you have in mind for the city and school district to move their offices?
      WDAAC would be much closer to a full-service shopping center than 5th Street or the DJUSD headquarters at 5th and B. The shopping that is available downtown no longer serves the needs of seniors. There hasn’t been a pharmacy downtown in decades. The sites you propose are not any better for access to goods and services than the WDAAC site near Marketplace.

      Alan Pryor: This is almost laughable on the face of it. Your “urban forest” is a 150 ft wide strip of bare ground on the west side of the property that will be planted with some oak trees at some point in the future. But the developer has not specifically stated how it will be maintained nor how large of an endowment he will contibute to the long-term care of the “forest”. All I know is that when the developer touts this “urban forest” he says will be created he holds up pictures of 150 year-old oaks in Bidwell Park in Chico as examples. How misleading can you possible get?

      Ohhh-kay, now. 150 feet is a good, wide area for planting trees. I suppose you can demand a maintenance plan from the Taorminos, but I can tell you that with oaks it’s mostly “water until established, mulch; then you’re good.”
      How fast do oaks grow? Some fast, some not.
      I have a 3-year-old Quercus macrocarpa that is 18’ tall from a 5-gallon can. I have a 25-year-old Quercus shumardi that is 40’ tall and wide. If your point was that trees take time to grow, well, duh. If they fill the place with nothing but Valley oaks and live oaks, then, yes, it would take a long time to fill in. If they’re planning to go more in the direction of the Shields Oak grove, then you can get significant growth from many species very quickly, with others filling in more slowly.
      My suggestion (this is free of charge) is to always plant a mix of species so that you have better protection against unanticipated issues from introduced pests and climate changes. But in any event, a 150’ area of land can host a large number of trees and be a very attractive landscape and buffer.

      Alan Pryor: the “pocket parks” are 1-acre or less postage size plots of land that the developer is scattering through the project because he is trying to get out from installing a full size park in the middle of the development.

      This seems like a weird criticism. Are you under the impression that senior citizens need soccer fields or something? Why are you criticizing the use of smaller parks? How much room do you need for a shuffleboard court, anyway? Smaller parks seem quite reasonable to me.

      On the south side will be the six lanes of Covell roaring by. On the east side will be a main access road to the low-income project.

      I haven’t looked at the plans, but I’m going to guess that they’ll be landscaping those areas. You make it sound as though they’ll be walking through a giant parking lot.

      And you tout that the seniors will be able to grow their own food on site…but in what? Flower pots on their patios?. With only 4.25 acres available to cram in 150 apartments, it is really disingenuous to try to claim there will be a community garden for the seniors.

      The 146 plots at the community gardens on 5th Street, which are mostly 18 x 20, appear to occupy less than 1.5 acres total. It doesn’t take much space to provide a community garden. I think all new subdivisions in Davis should have access to a nearby community garden. Glad to know they’re providing for that here.

      And without any northwest quadrant Master Plan to guide their development, it could be the wild west with all sort of inappropriate projects planned that are not exactly sympathetic to quietude desired by your low-income senior needs.

      Yep. Better get going on planning for the northwest quadrant. You know what gets planning underway? Proposals by developers. There’s always a lot of talk about revising the General Plan and all, but planning in this town takes years and years – until someone comes along who actually wants to build something. I think WDAAC is an excellent start, and that subsequent housing over the next couple of generations in the northwest quadrant should be planned to meet the needs of other market segments.

      1. Tia Will

        I’m going to guess that they’ll be landscaping those areas. You make it sound as though they’ll be walking through a giant parking lot.”

        I would like to support one of Alan’s point by describing what is happening at the Lincoln 40 site, a project I supported, by the way. This site is 1/2 block and across the RR tracks from my house. The representatives of the developers met with us on numerous occasions especially since it is our homes that the “giant parking lot” will be closest to. We discussed at length the fate of the row of trees that separated the Lincoln 40 site from the RR. They give assurances that they would save “as many of the trees as possible”. A few weeks ago, I was treated every morning by the sound of heavy equipment tearing down trees. All but one of the trees across from J St. have been removed. What we are facing will be a giant parking lot. Bad news from the developers. The promised “greens screen” is going to be “more difficult than anticipated.” I have been told I will be, but have not yet been contacted.

        Based on this experience , and what I perceive as duplicitous discussions regarding Trackside, and what I see as the “bait and switch” of the Cannery, I am not so sure about the quality or timing of the planned “landscaping”.

        1. Don Shor

          Based on this experience , and what I perceive as duplicitous discussions regarding Trackside, and what I see as the “bait and switch” of the Cannery, I am not so sure about the quality or timing of the planned “landscaping”.

          Make noise via your city officials, elected and staff. We weren’t given an occupancy permit for our business until we went through multiple final inspections, and some of the inspected aspects included compliance with the landscape and street tree requirements. Our tree out front, species dictated by the city staff, had to be in the ground before we could open for business. I’ve also worked with another project on our street that was subject to plan check where they had to show the trees that were going to provide the mandated 50% parking area shading, and those had to be in the ground before the final permit would be granted.
          Your issue has redress. Make noise.

  2. Jeff M

    because of the sprawling nature of the rest of the project.

    A legitimate definition of “sprawl” means either leapfrog peripheral development, or developing at a density that is below some defined standard.

    This project is not leapfrogging… it is connected to land already developed.

    So then the only legitimate use of the term sprawl here must be the latter definition.   However, I am not aware of any standards that we would apply.  Thus it seems to just be the personal opinion of Alan Pryor and a few others… thus the use of the term is a pejorative only.

    1. David Greenwald

      Using wikipedia’s description: “describes the expansion of human populations away from central urban areas into low-density, monofunctional and usually car-dependent communities”

      That seems to be consistent with Alan’s usage…  Whether it is or isn’t is probably subjective.

      1. Jeff M

        I don’t believe it to be accurate with this development… otherwise all peripheral development would be considered sprawl.  This location is connected to the existing city, is close to retail and medical services.

  3. Howard P

    On the south side will be the six lanes of Covell roaring by. On the east side will be a main access road to the low-income project.

    I YELL BS!

    There is a snowball’s chance in hell, on a summer day, that Covell will be 6 travel lanes wide in any of the lifetimes of those reading this

    Also “roaring by”?  @ likely max of 40 mph (at least posted)?  BS, again. [Guess it might depend on one’s definition of “roaring”…]

    Somebody’s nose is about 20 feet long at this point….

    1. Jeff M

      There is a lot more traffic on west Covell and there is already a lot of roaring as it is a favorite for motorcycle rides up through Winters to the Napa Valley.  It will never be six lanes I agree, but I would see it becoming four lanes.

      The other main problem with that stretch is the apps that divert stuck I-80 drivers to the Bay Area getting to 505.  It is getting ugly, but it is not from this development.   I have jumped on that road 31 to get to Winters where I have anther business on the weekend and had a solid line of cars because it was faster for these people to bypass I-80.

      That is what people that complain about traffic impacts need to be honest about… it is already bad and getting worse without any development.  This region is growing and there is nothing we can do about it but stomp our feet and throw a tantrum.

      1. Tia Will

        This region is growing and there is nothing we can do about it but stomp our feet and throw a tantrum.”

        I agree the region is growing. I disagree there is nothing we can do about it

        I believe there is quite a bit we can do about it. We can demand that developers, instead of following a design model more appropriate to the 1950’s than to the 2010’s, bring to the city projects that meet today’s need for greater densification and housing appropriate for lower income individuals and families. And yes, as my support for Lincoln 40 should show, even if it is in “my backyard”.

        In this case, we have a choice to vote down this project. I took a very long time coming to this conclusion, have spoken to many people who favor the project, and in fact, did not reach my decision until after a discussion with one of the developers. It was this conversation that put me in the “no” camp ironically enough.

      1. Howard P

        HP, you mean to tell me you’ve never heard of the Winters Expressway Project?

        Actually, I proposed it, and did the preliminary design for it… six + lanes from 113 to 505…

        Designed to favor “roaring traffic”… and designed to go up to 8 + lanes to ensure Davis and Winters can grow until they touch. Maybe 5 -10 years from now…

         

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