2018 in Review: Measure R Votes

Matt Williams and Colin Walsh were two of the opponents of Nishi

For better or for worse, we entered Davis with a key question: “Can Davis Pass a Measure R Vote?”  However, as I pointed out in an October 2017 column, it really wasn’t the most accurate question in the world.  After all, in 1995, the city voters held a special municipal election in which (ironically enough) Measure R was on the ballot by citizen petition but ended up with enough votes to ratify approval of the project after a hotly contested election.

Five years later the voters passed Measure J by a 53.6-46.3 margin.  The first two Measure J votes went down overwhelmingly.  It would be seven years between Measure P (which lost by a 3 to 1 margin) and Measure A (which lost by 700 votes).

That set up 2018 with the question brewing – can Davis ever pass one of these?  In 2018, of course, Davis would pass not one but two Measure R votes and pass them overwhelmingly.

In June Measure J got just over 60 percent of the vote to win overwhelmingly.  In November, the margin narrowed slight but Measure L still passed by a more than 11 point margin.  Suddenly the voters had answered a key question – Measure R votes can succeed in Davis.

We have asked the question a number of times – why these projects?  Why did they succeed while others before them failed and like most such questions, the answer is somewhat complicated.

The first point is that Measure X in 2005 had two major things going against it.  In 2005, Davis was coming off a period of major growth which is what led to the 2000 passage of Measure J in the first place.  The second factor is that no one had really had to run a campaign for a project like this before.

The project size of over 2000 units, even phased in over time seemed enormous.  The project was located (much like the original Nishi) in a congested corridor and there didn’t seem like realistic plans to deal with traffic impacts.

The result was overwhelming defeat for Covell Village in 2005.

Four years later, the Measure P project was plagued with different problems.  If Measure P had come in 2018, it may well have passed.  It was relatively small.  It was very sustainable.  However, it did have two major things going against it – first the near neighbors badly opposed a project there.  Second, it was in the heart of the great recession and the collapse of the housing market.

The two factors reinforced each other and the project went down by an astounding 3 to 1 margin.

That led to many people believing more than anything that a housing project could not pass in Davis.  It would be seven years before anyone tried again.

The Nishi project in 2016 was one we expected to pass.  Student housing by this point was a clear need.  The project also provided R&D space.  They attempted to fix Richards Blvd by creating a new path from Richards directly to campus.

But there were two problems that ultimately sunk the project.  First, instead of building on-site affordable housing, they first attempted to utilize the vertical mixed-use exemption and then they added $1 million for in-lieu of affordable housing fees.  That caused a swath of younger more progressive voters to turn against the project.

Second, despite plans to work around and fix Richards with $23 million in improvements plus grant funding for the redesign, the voters leery of traffic impacts turned against the project.

I think but for the contested Hillary Clinton – Bernie Sanders race, the project still may have passed.  But it went down by 700 votes.

The two projects that passed this year were obviously very different in key ways.  One was student housing, the other was senior housing.  One was rental apartments, the other was primarily single family detached homes.

But there were similarities.  Neither one had near neighbor impacts.  That eliminated key sources of opposition.  Second, the traffic impacts were minimal.  Nishi intentionally avoided Richards Blvd, the second time around.  WDAAC had traffic analysis conclude maybe ten second impacts on a stretch of road that is not really a thoroughfare for most residents of the community.

Both projects addressed affordable housing needs – Nishi by providing it for students and WDAAC by creating the largest affordable housing site in the city.

It is not that either project didn’t have opposition, but rather neither seemed to have opposition that went deeper than an immediate core of voters.

In both cases the elections were heated and hotly contested, but contrary to perhaps expectations of many observers, in the end, the position of the voters seemed to be that we needed housing unless there was a compelling reason to oppose that housing – and for the vast majority in both votes, there simply wasn’t.

Measure R figures to a hot issue for the next 18 months.  That is because it is set to expire at the end of 2020 and we expect there will be a renewal vote at some point in 2020.

The question that voters will have to answer: does Measure R work as designed and should it remain as it has for nearly two decades or are there modification needed.

As we presented in November, Councilmember Dan Carson told the Vanguard, “Measure J and R can work, at least if the losing side does not try to nullify the election results with legal actions that are at odds with the spirit of Measure J and R.”

But not everyone agreed that Measure R worked.  As one commenter put it, “I think Measure R didn’t work in this case as imo the project didn’t deliver the type of housing that Davis really needed, was exclusionary and not dense enough.”

Another person I ran into, an adamant opponent of Measure R who voted no on the project, told me that Measure R was supposed to prevent these types of projects from being approved because it should discourage low density peripheral projects.

But as I pointed out at the time, viewing Measure R was outcome-based rather than process-based is a mistake.

As I have mentioned I do have concerns about Measure R as a process.

I think we need to ask tough questions headed into 2020.

One question is whether Measure R is producing better projects than would exist without Measure R?  Nishi is an interesting case study.  Some would argue that the 2016 version that lost was a better project than the 2018 version that won.  That was a case that the opposition tried to make in 2018 (ironically several of the people doing that actually opposed both).

Others argued with less traffic impacts, a focus on student housing, and on-site affordable housing, the 2018 version was better.

Absent Measure R would we have a better project there?  Hard to know.

My biggest problem with Measure R has been the increasingly hostile nature of the campaigns – even in the face of relatively overwhelming votes.

Both sides have learned over the course of five Measure R campaigns how to run them.  Proponents have learned to avoid traffic and near neighbor impacts in order to win while the opposition has learned that in order to defeat Measure R project, you must attack them.

They are terrible by nature.  You have to attack the integrity of the process.  You have to attack the integrity of developers.  You have to attack everything.

Colin Walsh tried to do that with Nishi, and finally Sandy Whitcombe had enough and labeled his attacks “Weird Red Herrings.”  Even some of his allies on that day admitted that they cringed at some of his claims.  His attacks, as it turned out, did not work.

But that approach did not work with Nishi and it was approved easily.  And it didn’t work with Measure L, it was also approved easily.

Are these kinds of attacks good for the community?  Good for good planning?  Or does it subtract from the process.

We now know that projects can pass Measure R votes.  The question over the next 18 months therefore will probably focus on whether the current process for conducting Measure R elections is the best we can do, or whether there are improvements that can occur with the process.

–_David M. Greenwald reporting


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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105 thoughts on “2018 in Review: Measure R Votes”

  1. Keith O

    In my opinion this could be a title for an article:

    2018 In Review:  The Vanguard Transcended into Being a Developer’s Best Friend.

    It wasn’t always that way.  The V ain’t what it used to be.

    I don’t think I’m going to miss the V much.

     

     

    1. Alan Miller

      Wait a minute . . . I understand the removal of most of yesterdays personal insults . . . but a compliment to K.O.?  Not sure why that got deleted . . . so I’ll try again, to have it on the permanent #ahem# record.  I think it’s good to honor this long-time, respected (by me at least) commenter, soon to be digitally deceased.  K.O. said:

      I don’t think I’m going to miss the V much.

      To which I answered (approx.):  “We’ll miss your morning ‘first at bat’ comments to set the tone.”

  2. Ron

    “My biggest problem with Measure R has been the increasingly hostile nature of the campaigns – even in the face of relatively overwhelming votes.”

    The Vanguard itself is increasingly hostile to Measure J/R, its supporters, and anyone who opposes sprawl.

    (Never mind the hostility that was demonstrated by the development team, during the last campaign in particular.)

    As Keith noted, the Vanguard has become a developer’s best friend. It is harmful to the community.

    1. Howard P

      and anyone who opposes sprawl.

      A loaded word, to be sure… code word for zero peripheral growth, often… yet also used by some for rezoning infill sites, if it means housing…

      As Keith noted, the Vanguard has become a developer’s best friend. It is harmful to the community.

      Yes, in some folks’ eyes, all developers are the spawn of Satan… therefore, all development, infill or peripheral, are inherently evil. Particularly if it involves any housing.

      Funny tho’, opponents’ residences were created by developers and constituted ‘sprawl’… but that is different, right?

        1. Ron

          Regarding balanced views, you’re a “developer’s best friend”, personified.

          But what David does is more insidious.  For example, he’ll state that he’s a supporter of Measure J/R, while subtly undermining it. It’s a demonstration of his political background.

          You, on the other hand, don’t engage in such tactics.

           

        2. Craig Ross

          Do you understand that I have friends who sleep every night in cars?  I’m trying to get them housing.  I don’t give a f—- about developers, not developers.  That’s a game that you privileged folk play.  This is all a game to y’all.

          How is David undermining Measure R?

        3. Ron

          You’ve already acknowledged that you interned with a developer.  Not sure if you’re struggling with housing, but maybe he didn’t pay you enough.

          Regarding student housing, perhaps the 15,000 beds that have been approved on campus and off will make a difference.  But, as someone else pointed out, those sleeping in cars will still have to come up with rent money.  (Not sure why they aren’t doing so already, as some have pointed out that the Davis housing market essentially includes surrounding areas.  I’m not the one who pointed that out.)

          Regarding your other question, one thing that David does is to constantly make the claim that Measure R is leading to inferior proposals. He (and other Measure R opponents) have been forced to make this claim due to the recent Measure R approvals. (They can no longer claim that Measure R prevents approvals, so they’ve had to “expand” their arguments.)

        4. Ron

          And, when folks like David suggest that Measure R can be “improved”, what he’s really referring to is weakening it, e.g., by creating “exceptions”.

          You can be sure that David will continue to attempt to undermine Measure R, in the months to come.

  3. Howard P

    Measure J/R ain’t what it presumed to be.  A complete no growth measure. (intention, not now fact)

    I don’t think I’m going to miss the J/R very much.

    1. Ron

      Says the guy who has acknowledged voting against two Measure R proposals.  (Not sure if there are others he opposed, as well.)

      It’s “challenging” to make much sense of that dichotomy. Starts drifting off into “Alice in Wonderland” territory.

      1. Howard P

        BS… gave my reasons… would not have chosen to vote on them, but, if they are on the ballot… you’re obviously trolling yet again… ~ 4 days…

        Your single-minded pursuit of spaghetti to be hurled will truly not be missed…

        For the record, I voted against both the ‘original’ Measure J, and the subsequent measure R…

        1. Ron

          4 days for you, as well.  How odd it is that you often initiate responses with your own spaghetti, and then call attention to the Vanguard’s new policy that will prevent you from commenting and responding. 

          More “Alice in Wonderland” dichotomy.

          Without Measure R, you wouldn’t have had an opportunity to vote against, or for any proposal.  In the case of Nishi 1.0 (and possibly WDAAC), all of the council members apparently supported those proposals.  And yet, you voted against them.

          As they say, your comments are becoming “curiouser and curiouser”.

           

        2. Howard P

          I would have preferred that neither I or others, could vote for or against proposals, absent such a vote being initiated by a public-initiated referendum on the specific project approval… like the original Mace Ranch and original Wildhorse ones… both of which failed miserably…

          Measures J/R are hopelessly flawed… the citizens have an ‘out’… the normal referendum process.

        3. Ron

          By your own logic (and demonstrated by your acknowledged voting record), council approvals are sometimes flawed. Measure R provides an opportunity for folks like you to weigh in on those flaws, or to affirm that the decision was correct.

          Again, folks who try to argue against Measure R have their work cut out for them, at this point. It’s even difficult for a talented political writer like David to make a case for its elimination or weakening. (But, I’m sure that he’ll continue to try.)

  4. Craig Ross

    This whole conversation is strange – how many here believe we don’t need new housing in Davis right now?  The voters approved two measures overwhelmingly.  The democratically elected council approved student housing projects.  The two no-growthers on the ballot, lost.  Maybe the Vanguard isn’t the one out of touch with the community?

    1. Howard P

      Well, Craig, you asked the question, bass-ackwards when you wrote,

      how many here believe we don’t need new housing in Davis right now?

      If you had asked, who believes we need additional housing (all types) right now, I’d say “I so believe”… but there is generally a 12-18 month delay (or more, if the litiginous get involved) between ‘approvals’, and occupied units on the ground… many reasons… Chiles Ranch was approved over 7 years ago… no significant controversy… anyone occupying a unit yet?

  5. Alan Miller

    Matt Williams and Colin Walsh were two of the opponents of Nishi

    And apparently had their houses located and the values assessed by Craig Ross and others in the “creepy political move of the year” self-admission of yesterday.

  6. Howard P

    Ron… your 11:40 post…

    Do you not get the clue that CC exercises LESS judgement with J/R, knowing that they aren’t the decision makers, so they can punt to the electorate?  Guess you’d have to know how things have and are working… you clearly don’t…

    I do.

    And, there is also the referendum process…

    1. Ron

      Not sure why my response was deleted, but will alter it slightly:

      Howard:  That’s a theory, which may not have any basis in reality.  And even if true, that’s an argument for the council to do a better job reviewing proposals, and not an argument to abandon Measure R.

      Just to be clear, you’re essentially stating that you’d prefer “punting” all decisions to the council (despite your acknowledged disagreements with their decisions).

      The logical conclusion of your statement would be something along the lines of, “I disagree with some council decisions regarding peripheral proposals, but would prefer to have no ability to weigh in on that”.

      1. Eric Gelber

        Ron – I’m pretty much with Howard on this. The logical conclusion from your position would be “I disagree with some Council decisions, so there should be a public vote on all land use issues, or all significant issues that come before the Council.” Why limit public votes to peripheral land use issues? Why should we not trust the representative decision-making process only in this  one area?

        1. Ron

          Eric:  Howard is stating that the council uses less judgement, as a result of Measure R.  Is that what you’re agreeing with?

          Regarding infill vs. peripheral decisions, some have indeed argued that the council shouldn’t be conducting “planning by exception”, and changing zoning to accommodate whatever developers propose.  Unfortunately, that seems to be what’s occurring.

          Regarding peripheral developments / expansion of the city’s footprint, I see nothing wrong with allowing voters to weigh in on such proposals.  In fact, such protections are not unlike what occurs in other communities, such as Ventura county and its cities.

          The “alternative” is pretty clear, regarding what will occur without such protection.

          One goal (that some seem to forget) is the protection and maintenance of surrounding farmland/open space.

        2. Ron

          In regard to Ventura county (that David recently highlighted as essentially a “model of something wrong”), here is what SOAR does:

          “SOAR is a series of voter initiatives that require a vote of the people before agricultural land or open space areas can be rezoned for development.”

          https://www.soarvc.org/about/what-is-soar/

          I would have a fundamental disagreement with anyone who opposes such efforts, in Davis or elsewhere.

        3. Eric Gelber

          I’m not necessarily agreeing with Howard’s speculative conclusion that the Council scrutinizes Measure J/R issues less rigorously because they are not the final decision-maker. But I do believe that there are other ways of approaching peripheral land use decisions other than abdicating the Council’s responsibility and putting the issue before a mostly uninformed, or less informed, public. One could have a more rigorous public participation process for peripheral land use issues–for example, holding special Council or Planning Commission hearings to address such issues. These might involve panels representing varying perspectives and interest groups, including expert testimony, as appropriate, rather than simply agendizing these issues for regular Council meetings where developers do formal presentations and other perspectives are heard only through random public comment.

          I’m just not a big fan of the current initiative process–at the state or local level–particularly on complex issues (as opposed to relatively more straightforward issues, like a bond or sales tax measure, for example).

      2. Howard P

        It’s more than a theory… ask Robb Davis, Lucas,  Brett, other CC members who have approved projects that went to J/R votes.  I welcome that ‘test’ of my ‘theory’.

        Just to be clear, you’re essentially stating that you’d prefer “punting” all decisions to the council (despite your acknowledged disagreements with their decisions).

        Patently untrue.  Your words/concepts, not mine.  You distort the plain meaning of my words.

        Your “logical conclusion” is not, and is patently incorrect.

        The CC spends hours of time reading about, listening to views on projects.  I’ll wager that the average voter relies on ‘sound bites’, and the equivalent of posts like yours focusing on little bytes by folk with no concept of balance, but rather a biased advocacy bent.

        The CC can certainly err, in my opinion, but I trust that process more than a plebiscite on everything…

        Wood burning was not put to a vote… plastic straws were not put to a vote.

        Every two years, we get to vote in or out 2-3 CC members… there is also the recall process, which is viable.  We have the referendum process on any CC decision.

        Here’s one of the problems with J/R… it requires a majority vote for approval… perhaps we should reverse the question, and have the vote be “shall the CC approval of the project be overturned?”

        With ~ 1/3 of voters voting “no” on most things (reflex [or reflux] action?), a lot more projects will be approved with that ‘simple’ change to J/R… the J/R folk know that ‘voter bias’, but probably not one will admit to it.  That’s why the referendums on Mace Ranch and Wildhorse failed so miserably… same voters, but the vote was worded to overturn, not to affirm. An inconvenient truth.

        That would be in line with the laws re:  utility rates… CC sets, but a majority protest can overturn…

         

        1. Ron

          Howard:  “It’s more than a theory… ask Robb Davis, Lucas,  Brett, other CC members who have approved projects that went to J/R votes.  I welcome that ‘test’ of my ‘theory’.”

          Those are the same folks who are supposed to be reviewing proposals, before they’re presented to voters.  And, you’re stating that they’re “complaining” that their own review process is not up to par?

          Are you sure that it’s not you claiming this, instead of the individuals you cite?  (Seems strange for someone to be “complaining” about their own job performance.)  Perhaps no one should complain if some Measure R proposals are rejected, as a result.

          Howard:  “With ~ 1/3 of voters voting “no” on most things (reflex [or reflux] action?), a lot more projects will be approved with that ‘simple’ change to J/R…”

          Not sure why anyone has a goal of approving “more” Measure R proposals.  I’d like to see fewer of them come forward in the first place.  However, I suspect that the declining housing market will take care of that, for awhile. (With the possible exception of a vote regarding MRIC, which I suspect the council will force upon the city. And, it will include housing, in all likelihood.)

          You’d think that the development activists would be happy with the two proposals in a row that were recently approved. I guess they want more (and more, and more . . .).

    1. Ron

      Some additional information regarding SOAR in Ventura county, the same county that David held up as a model of something “wrong” in regard to agricultural/open space protection:

      “The history of sprawl development in Southern California over the last several decades, often over the strenuous and vocal objections of residents, is testament to the fact that local elected officials have been more responsive to development pressure than to the core values of their citizens. The fact that one of the largest sources of campaign funds for local elected officials in Southern California is pro-development money was a primary reason that Ventura County citizens recognized the need for an extra level of review by the voters for urban sprawl development proposals.”

      https://www.soarvc.org/about/what-is-soar/

      (Emphasis added by me.)

      I wonder if communities in Ventura county have their own “versions” of the Vanguard, attacking community efforts to preserve agricultural land / open space (and aligning themselves with development interests).

       

  7. Jeff M

    It is just a matter of years, if not months, until the Democrat controlled State government moves to preempt all local no-growth ordinances. In fact, Davis is likely to be used as the poster-child for the new social justice cause of inadequate housing.

    If I were Ron, I would be getting ready for a Davis with no Measure J/R.   The no-growthers will have to get back to getting their people elected to the City Council as a way to thwart growth instead of blowing fake reports of toxic air to scare the uniformed voters.

    1. Ron

      The state will likely move against communities that have resisted growth/development to a much larger degree than Davis has.  (The vast number of communities that have rejected “fair share” growth requirements, for example.)

      It is not likely that the state will force sprawl.  However, it is likely that the state will try to force more infill where it’s not wanted. Ultimately, I suspect that their efforts will largely fail. (The declining housing market will also take care of that.)

      Someday, perhaps folks will realize that California may be at its functional limits, in regard to 40 million people living in a semi-desert state. And with no significant increase in infrastructure, for the past several decades.

      1. Howard P

        (The declining housing market will also take care of that.)

        Opinion, not fact, and that is cyclical, in any event.

        We are a ‘mediterranean climate’, not semi-desert, as a state…

    2. Ron

      And for folks hoping that the state takes legal action, you might want to review the history of SOAR:

      “The Ventura SOAR initiative was then challenged in Ventura Superior Court, the California Appellate Court, the California Supreme Court and up to the United States Supreme Court. In all of those challenges, not one justice ever voted against SOAR. SOAR won unanimous support from the justices on the Superior Court and Appellate Court, and the State and Federal Supreme Courts refused to hear appeals of the pro-SOAR verdicts.”

      https://www.soarvc.org/about/history-of-soar-in-ventura-county/

      I’m going to have to “thank” David, for his article which led me to search for and discover this organization, online.

      Reminds me of some of the same type of battles that occurred in Marin and Sonoma county.

    1. Don Shor

      #5. Fairfield, Maine, your apparent ideal destination for Californians because our state is “full,” has one remaining paper mill as the sole employer and no other industries, and the population is declining. Median home price is about $100K and, yep, you can buy old fixer-uppers for less than that.
      Gee, I wonder why people are leaving this idyllic community and coming to California.

      1. Ron

        I guess you’d have to ask if they make 1/20th of the salary, in Maine.  Or, if someone could save $46,000 here, and then pay cash for that house (with no mortgage).

        Perhaps they would welcome an innovation center. Regardless, there are some places in the U.S. that are extremely affordable.

        There are certainly places where the income/housing cost equation is more balanced, than it is in California.  (Probably almost every other place, with the possible exception of New York City.)

        When housing costs rise above an amount supported by local salaries, that’s when it’s time to leave. (And unfortunately, “replaced” by those earning a higher salary – according to the other article it seems.)

        1. Howard P

          I guess you’d have to ask if they make 1/20th of the salary, in Maine

          https://www.google.com/search?ei=h7olXOGdMIfAtQXQ0KeYDw&q=fairfield%2C+ME+median+income&oq=fairfield%2C+ME+median+income&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i299.19491.29887..30344…0.0..0.459.3422.0j8j3j3j1….2..0….1..gws-wiz…….0j38j0i71j0i7i30j0i22i30j0i22i10i30j33i160j33i22i29i30.Iy0Uh0mzFjk

          Asked and answered…

          $40,000 X 20 = $800,000

          Guess you are doing real well if your household makes more than that (median) in Davis!

          If you do, you should support an additional $10,000 per year in DJUSD taxes, and an additional $20k in City taxes! Chump change!

        2. Ron

          Thanks, Howard.

          So, the median income in Fairfield, Maine is $40,704, and in Davis it’s $57,683.

          Adds support to the point that the income/housing cost ratio is more favorable in other areas.  (Something we already knew, and which is leading to an exodus of lower-income Californians to other states.)

    2. Howard P

      Yeah Ron… a 3bdr/2 ba fixer upper in Davis was $71 k in 1980… the one we bought.  Not so long ago… ~$65/sf… in 1994, Davis prices were ~ $120/sf… growth control has moved that up to ~ $360/sf…

      1. Ron

        Growth control is not the only cause of that, and may not even be the “primary” cause.  Davis is surrounded by communities that essentially have no “growth control”, but which are nevertheless becoming more expensive. (Perhaps going down, however, in the current market downturn.) Regardless, these communities also function to keep Davis prices in check.

        At a certain point, some folks are smart enough to leave overpriced areas, entirely. (With lower-income folks leading the way, according to the other article.)

        And frankly, if you want to talk about truly overpriced areas, another nearby “Bay” area comes to mind.

      2. Howard P

        Correct, as to “not only”… there is the time-value of money (aka inflation)…

        What other factors, other than inflation and growth restrictions, do you attribute the 300+% increase since 1980 to?

        1. Ron

          First, I’d question any numbers you put forth, without support.

          Then, I’d compare the rise in cost in Davis, vs. the rise in cost with surrounding communities.

          One might also have to factor in the increased growth at UCD. UCD itself makes housing in Davis more valuable, and this was true even before Measure J/R.

          It can be difficult to perform a straight-out comparison with surrounding communities, because prices fluctuate more wildly there, over time.

        2. Ron

          In reading the other article today (regarding “walkability” in Davis), another factor regarding the rise in value might include the bike/pedestrian paths that have been built since 1980 (your base year, for comparison).

          Some foothill communities (like the Folsom area) build nice paths, but not every community does.  I wonder what the rise in value has been in places like Folsom?

          I’m sure that the reputation of Davis’ schools add to value, as well.  (Compared to some other communities.)

          In short, sometimes you “get what you pay for”, up to a point at least. (I would argue that this point has been exceeded in Davis and California as a whole, for lower-income folks in particular. A reason that they’re leaving the state.)

  8. Ron

    So, here’s the thing:

    Prior to the last city council election, David “assured” us that it didn’t matter who was elected, because the remaining 3 members on the council support Measure R.  In any case, it appears that Dan Carson is also a solid supporter of Measure R.

    And, yet, ever since that election, David has been working to undermine Measure R. He has repeatedly attempted to create a controversy, and has made questionable claims regarding the impact of Measure R. Fortunately, he has failed in those attempts so far.

    Kind of reminds me how David claimed that MRIC was essentially dead and that there would be no more peripheral proposals, during the vote for WDAAC.  Turns out that isn’t the case, and he started advocating for MRIC again immediately after the election.

    David is now also assuring us that MRIC probably won’t include housing.

    You can judge for yourself what David’s assurances mean. I believe they are politically-motivated, to say the least.

    1. Jeff M

      Ron – something that appears clear to me but ignored by you and other no-growers is that housing has become a liberal social justice cause.  David is a liberal social justice warrior.  In fact, he probably had stronger love for Measure J/R initially because it ticked his liberal fairness and harm moral filter – buying the meme that the big bad developers in concert with their friends on the city council would continue to destroy the character of the city with sprawl while also destroying natural habitat and  farmland.  That wasn’t fair.  It harmed the people of the community, the state, the country, the world and the universe.

      Liberals in general filter so strongly on the morality of fairness and harm (and often only symbolically) that they often fail to take in the bigger picture and long-view.   The bigger picture and long view then manifests in the law of unintended consequences.  And in this case of Measure J/R, the consequence became yet another liberal social justice fairness and harm crisis related to the lack of affordable housing.

      You paint David as joining the dark side of developers when he is just being a consistent liberal social justice warrior.   You too are consistent in your change aversion.   You should read Virginia Postrel’s book related to this conflict of stasis and dynamism.

      Today we have greater wealth, health, opportunity, and choice than at any time in history. Yet a chorus of intellectuals and politicians laments our current condition — as slaves to technology, coarsened by popular culture, and insecure in the face of economic change. The future, they tell us, is dangerously out of control, and unless we precisely govern the forces of change, we risk disaster.

      In The Future and Its Enemies, Virginia Postrel explodes the myths behind these claims. Using examples that range from medicine to fashion, she explores how progress truly occurs and demonstrates that human betterment depends not on conformity to one central vision but on creativity and decentralized, open-ended trial and error. She argues that these two opposing world-views — “stasis” vs. “dynamism” — are replacing “left” and “right” to define our cultural and political debate as we enter the next century.

      1. Ron

        Jeff:  Up to a point, I agree that some “liberal social justice warriors” – as you call them, have gotten into bed with conservative developers.  However, a lot of their efforts seem to be focused on Affordable housing and infill.  To some degree, David has backed away from even those goals.

        I’m not averse to change.  In fact, I’m seeking it in regard to the development patterns that have occurred throughout California.  The “slow-growth” movement is the change, and is still facing an uphill battle. Every day, developers continue to put pressure on communities, and corrupt the political process. It is a battle that will never end, as long as there’s money to be made. (Big money, at that.)

        Davis has approved multiple infill developments (or is in the process of doing so), and has recently approved two peripheral housing developments.  Approximately 15,000 student beds have been approved on-campus, and off.

        It’s difficult for anyone to realistically claim that Davis is a no-growth community.  (There are communities which are much more resistant to growth/development than Davis is.)

        1. Craig Ross

          “Davis has approved multiple infill developments (or is in the process of doing so), and has recently approved two peripheral housing developments.  Approximately 15,000 student beds have been approved on-campus, and off.
          It’s difficult for anyone to realistically claim that Davis is a no-growth community.  (There are communities which are much more resistant to growth/development than Davis is.)”
          No one is claiming that Davis is a no-growth community but I do find it ironic that you are seeming to take credit for the approvals of “multiple infill developments” and “two peripheral housing developments” – all of which you and others bitterly opposed and if you had had your way would never have been approved.

        2. Ron

          Craig:  It is true that I’m concerned that the type of infill that’s occurring will essentially lead to sprawl, as existing commercial parcels are eliminated or compromised.  And, the infill that is occurring is almost exclusively for students (which could have been accommodated on campus), vs. a broader population – which still would have included students.

          Regardless, the fact that what I think is best is different than what’s actually occurring could be perceived as “evidence” that the current system is largely working, in terms of what the majority believes is best at this point in time.

        3. Ron

          I would add, however, that the efforts of some of the “slow-growthers” were a primary reason that UCD agreed to add more housing on campus.  Despite the apparent opposition regarding that goal, from some development activists.

          I would argue that these efforts also encouraged the council to enter into an agreement with UCD, to help offset some of the costs and impacts generated by UCD. (Again, the underlying possibility of legal action was something that was opposed by some development activists, and by the Vanguard itself.)

          Makes one question who actually has the city’s best interests in mind. (Including students’ interests.)

        4. Craig Ross

          “I would add, however, that the efforts of some of the “slow-growthers” were a primary reason that UCD agreed to add more housing on campus”

          You’re quite wrong on that.  The primary reason that UCD agreed to add more housing on campus is a group of students worked with administration over the period of over a year and forced them to make an honest assessment of the actual housing needs.  The slow growth advocates were actually viewed with disdain by administration and as a bit of an omni-present joke.

        5. Ron

          There were significant, ongoing efforts which I believe preceded the meetings that Craig is referring to, including those directed at UCD, the council, the Regents, and the county.  The city and county (both) passed resolutions, regarding providing an adequate amount of on-campus housing.

          There is an article in the “other” blog right now, pointing out that the Enterprise is essentially allowing a UCD representative to act as a “reporter” for the Enterprise, in regard to campus housing.  In other words, it’s the slow-growthers who are continuing to hold UCD’s “feet to the fire”, regarding student housing on campus.

          Of course, it’s probably a combination of efforts that led to the agreement – including student involvement.  And frankly, let’s give Dan Carson some credit, regarding the binding agreement with UCD (and his support for Measure R).  Both of those positions are something that he clearly articulated, prior to the election.  (Now, if we can only discourage him from acting as a cheerleader for development proposals, . . .)

        6. Craig Ross

          Given I was privy to the conversations, I would say it might be advisable that you not comment on things when you were not there.

          I am curious to know who the Enterprise is allowing to act as a reporter, not interested in going to the other blog.

        7. Ron

          Craig:  I would give you the same “advice”, regarding efforts made by others. Regardless, my comment was not made in regard to the meetings that you’re referring to.

          I am not at all surprised that you have no interest in the article on the other blog. But, it seems that part of the problem is that the Enterprise didn’t adequately identify who the author was, in regard to UCD.

          1. Don Shor

            Yes, the article identified Andy Fell as the author, the online version linked his name to the many UCD news releases he has provided to the The Davis Enterprise (13 pages of article links going back eight years) as well as to other media sources, and at the end of the article it says “— UC Davis News”
            Much ado about nothing.

          2. David Greenwald Post author

            Andy is a good guy – I appreciate him a great deal. The article was a straight news story, simply informing the community that UC Davis was going to proceed with construction on West Village, given the litigation that was in some doubt. Not sure why the need to raise the issue at all , but as Craig points out, it is Colin.

        8. Ron

          I believe that’s the same article, but you can confirm that by looking at the other blog (along with their critique regarding the manner in which the Enterprise handled it). There is no need for me to repeat it, here.

          The bigger point is that some are continuing to review such communications with a “critical eye”.

          Regarding Don and David’s responses, it’s likely that there wouldn’t have even been a binding agreement with UCD in the first place, if their path was chosen. (Such an agreement would not arise, in the absence of the possibility of a legal challenge.) If anything, Don and David’s advocacy (opposing even the possibility of legal action) weakened the city’s position, and possibly the outcome of the agreement.

        9. Ron

          I find it highly inappropriate for Don and Craig to personally attack Colin (who doesn’t even participate on here, anymore). Is this what we have to continue to look forward to, from those using their full names?

          Actually, this is the second such instance of this, in as many days.

          1. Don Shor

            I find it highly inappropriate for Don and Craig to personally attack Colin.

            I have not personally attacked Colin. Would you like to retract this?

        10. Ron

          My apologies – I see that David made the statement. Even worse, regarding the reflection on the Vanguard itself.

          In all honesty, this is the type of comment that led others to start another blog. (One that doesn’t accept any advertising dollars or contributions, that I’m aware of.)

          The Vanguard is not a place that encourages open, honest, or respectful communications. Attempting to do so inevitably deteriorates, starting at the top.

  9. Alan Miller

    Wait a minute . . . I understand the removal of most of yesterdays personal insults . . . but a compliment to K.O.?  Not sure why that got deleted . . . so I’ll try again, to have it on the permanent #ahem# record.  I think it’s good to honor this long-time, respected (by me at least) commenter, soon to be digitally deceased.  K.O. said:

    I don’t think I’m going to miss the V much.

    To which I answered (approx.):  “We’ll miss your morning ‘first at bat’ comments to set the tone.”

      1. Howard P

        C’mon… Miller = lastname, Alan =  firstname?  Obvious pseudonym!

        [Just funnin’…]

        To get ahead of the curve, am now doing the “ignore commenter” thing, for those on ‘dearth row’ (as some have forecast)… that way won’t be tempted to be provoked by a few…

        Best of wishes to all for 2019…

        Hoping the new protocols go into effect sooner than later… particularly given last few days of “traffic”…

  10. Alan Miller

    To get ahead of the curve, am now doing the “ignore commenter” thing,

    Is that the digital equivalent of ingesting cyanide . . . and world slowly fades away, one person at a time . . . and all I see now are puppies and bunnies jumping over glittered unicorns.

    1. Keith O

      LOL, once the anonymous are gone the Vanguard will be the new Shangri-La of blog spots.  To all the liberal posters left it will be “puppies and bunnies jumping over glittered unicorns.”

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          I’m not tracking your point here Keith.  You stated, once the anonymous posters are going it will “Shangri-La of blog spots” and then you said, “To all the liberal posters left it will be “puppies and bunnies jumping over glittered unicorns.””

          To which I pointed out, land use is likely to still be contentious and it cuts across ideological lines.  So I’m not following your last comment to me.

        2. Keith O

          I think you’re being a little dodgy here this morning.  Two of your three articles today are not about land use. You very often write about race issues, cops, taxes, schools, city council and things other than land issues.  The future of the V comment section will pretty much be a bunch of liberals all agreeing with each other.

          1. Don Shor

            If you care about it, then you are welcome to post under your full name. If not, then this is just repetitive whining. Your choice as to what you do after the first of the year. Nobody is forcing you to leave.

        3. Keith O

          I’ve explained my reasoning for posting anonymously on here several times and I think it’s a good reason especially in this close minded liberal town towards conservative views.  Jeff and some others have explained their reasons too which I feel have merit.

          But thanks for the “repetitive whining” comment.  If I had written that to you I’m sure it would’ve been deleted.

          1. Don Shor

            I’ve explained my reasoning for posting anonymously on here several times and I think it’s a good reason especially in this close minded liberal town towards conservative views. Jeff and some others have explained their reasons too which I feel have merit.,

            Your views are welcome on the Vanguard. You just have to own them. It’s your choice to leave.

        4. Alan Miller

          Your views are welcome on the Vanguard. You just have to own them. It’s your choice to leave.

          Or we could all blame the Vanguard for ever allowing anonymous whiney posters in the first place.

          #tounge firmly in cheek# (in fact, I just choked on it)

  11. Ron

    David (to Keith):  “To which I pointed out, land use is likely to still be contentious and it cuts across ideological lines.  So I’m not following your last comment to me.

    It’s apparently the Vanguard’s goal to be repeatedly contentious, day-after-day.  A good reason to avoid commenting.

    There’s yet another attempt today (in a different article), to undermine Measure R. Fortunately, it’s another failed attempt.

    According to David, it didn’t matter who was elected to the council (in the most recent election), because the three remaining council members support renewal of Measure R. Fortunately, Dan Carson also supports it. But, that hasn’t stopped the Vanguard from attempting to undermine it again.

    Sort of like the time that David said that MRIC was essentially “dead”, prior to the election regarding WDAAC. Then, immediately after that, he started advocating for MRIC, again.

    We’re not playing with someone who is presenting fully disclosed arguments, here. And worse, he repeats the same b.s., day-after-day.

  12. Ron

    I’m always surprised that some of the harshest, most mean-spirited comments come from some who use their full names.  Often, they don’t even put forth actual views, but seem to simply enjoy the “fight”.  Those folks will continue to fit in quite well, on here – provided that they can find someone to “fight” (or at least agree with, regarding the purposefully contentious arguments put forth on here).

    I’ll be glad to take a break from the Vanguard (at least for awhile), partly because of such comments, but primarily due to wanting a break from playing David’s provocative, repetitive games.

    I’m glad that the Vanguard is instituting its new policy.  All it means is that some segment of views is disappearing from this blog.  (To “resurface” elsewhere, most likely.) However, the lack of uniformity (regarding online IDs) never made much sense, either.

    (I see that the comment that prompted my response has now “disappeared”.)

    1. Mark West

      Ron 9:28am: “I’m always surprised that some of the harshest, most mean-spirited comments come from some who use their full names.”

       

      Ron: 9:12am: “We’re not playing with someone who is presenting fully disclosed arguments, here. And worse, he repeats the same b.s., day-after-day.”

       

       

    2. Alan Miller

      All it means is that some segment of views is disappearing from this blog.  (To “resurface” elsewhere, most likely.)

      Like an andesitic volcano on Mace Blvd.

  13. Ron

    Mark:  There is a difference between attacking arguments, vs. attacking a person.

    Something that you have never mastered.

    David has attacked someone personally, on this very page (albeit a “minor” attack).  Regardless, David and Don are responsible for what’s allowed, on here.

    And yes, David repeats the same arguments, day-after-day.  (I sometimes get “blamed” by the development activists for repeatedly “responding”.)  I’m looking forward to a break from that.

    One hand clapping makes no sound.

    edited

    1. Alan Miller

      My “working theory” is that some folks are so full of bile that they cannot even recognize the fact that they are the ones that should fully hide their identity.

      True dat!  . . .

      it reminds me of what I recall that Jerry Seinfeld noted regarding serial killers.  That is, they often use 3 names (e.g., John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Mark David Chapman, John Wayne Gacy, etc.)

      True dat!

      Alan Charles Miller

      1. Ron

        Not sure if it’s one of your best, but many of your comments are amusing (and not hurtful).  Probably the highlight of most articles. Jim makes some amusing/clever comments, as well. As do others.

        Desipte what I said earlier, even John H. makes me laugh, at times.

        I guess we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, even if we deeply care about some issues.

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