Council Moves Forward with RFP for Changes to Pacifico


Facing calls by a handful of neighbors to level Pacifico and rebuild from scratch, the council instead took the more modest step of calling for an RFP (Request for Proposal) and waiting before designating target populations until they see what comes back.  In the meantime, they have named Lucas Frerichs and Gloria Partida to a subcommittee on the matter.

Councilmember Dan Carson said that, as custodians of public dollars, “We have an obligation through an RFI [Request for Information] to see if we can fix this place.”

He noted the long and significant efforts that have already been made to try to address the real concerns of the neighbors.

“I’d like to see what we can do with this process,” he said.  “We’ll know at the end of that RFI if it’s going to be productive or not.”

Councilmember Lucas Frerichs said that the council needed to address the safety issues, acknowledging that not all of them were coming from Pacifico – noting the people camping on the greenbelt and in the creek bed.

“I do support the notion of an RFP, I think that’s something we should be doing,” he said.  “I’d be willing to provide some direction in terms of target populations… But I think that I don’t want to have a preconceived notion, there are folks that may come forward…”

Councilmember Frerichs said that the residential facility was still something he had interest in.  “I think the 16 units are something we need in this community,” he said.  “However, the navigation center, I’m not sure that’s the appropriate location in the community.  Particularly since it’s not central to other services available in this community.”

He thought it would be better closer to the center of the city, with the county center and other existing services being located nearby.

Mayor Pro Tem Gloria Partida favored making the immediate changes.

“The only real solution that (neighbors) are feeling is that they be removed,” the mayor pro tem stated.  “That’s not really a viable solution.”

She said, “There’s no spaces available to take those vouchers and when there are spaces, no one will take them.”  She said that “there’s really not a whole lot of other places they will go, so they will end up in the ditch behind Pacifico – I think that’s a worse situation for people who are experiencing challenges with this population already.”

On that basis, she felt the interim changes are “probably as good as we are going to get for the moment.”

Like her colleagues, she did not want to limit the population at this time.  Although, she said, “I think this is probably not a good place for seniors.”

She also noted that she looked back at some web-based rating services and many people were really unhappy with the location when there were students living there.

Gloria Partida felt that the residential treatment center would be appropriate, but felt that the navigation center would be better situated near A Street with existing facilities.

“I don’t think we need to necessarily consider that,” she said.

Councilmember Will Arnold started by saying, “I guess on I’m the nail on the coffin on the navigation center in this location.  I think it’s just a bad location for it.  You should not need navigation to get to a navigation center.”

He said this is an important service – which we need, but not in this location.

“I’m interested in seeing where we can move forward with something like that,” he said.

The councilmember also pushed back on a number of comments made by the public.

To those who argued against the fence, he pointed out that he lived in a house with a fence, “because I have a reasonable expectation of privacy where I live.”

He said, “The idea that we’re going to come out here and say fences aren’t necessary, these folks don’t deserve a fence, they shouldn’t have any privacy, I ought to be able to look in and see what they’re doing because they’re a menace – that doesn’t fly with me.”

Will Arnold also noted that, while he can afford not to live in a place like Pacifico, and he lived in a place “not unlike Pacifico” in college in Eugene, “would I want to live in a place like that today?  No.”  “Did I think it was uninhabitable?” he asked, “just because it’s not the way you would want to live, doesn’t mean it’s uninhabitable.”

He said when he spoke to residents they said, while they aren’t that crazy about the configuration, their main concern is “they’re very happy to have a roof over their heads.”

He said one of his beefs with his tenure on the council is with “the hyperbole that gets used when what we’re trying to say (is) we can do better by folks… but instead we say it’s uninhabitable.”

Will Arnold said this is not a place that’s uninhabitable, but it is a place if you can afford not to, you might not want to live there.

He noted, “Nishi is 330 affordable beds at maximum occupancy, Pacifico was about a third of that – it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.”

Councilmember Arnold agreed with his colleagues about not narrowly targeting populations.  “I’m somewhat reticent about narrowing our scope about who we deem necessary to live at Pacifico,” he said.

He noted that one of the issues people might be experiencing is that “this is a really deep affordability place.  These are folks that are one step away from homelessness.”

He said, “If we limited it to students, or veterans, or seniors or other folks – that’s great for those folks… but if you don’t check one of those boxes, now all of sudden there’s another place you’re not allowed to live.”

Councilmember Arnold said, “That’s not good for those folks whose alternative is Putah Creek.”

Mayor Brett Lee said he changed his mind about targeting the population and is open to looking at the RFP first and seeing what proposals come forward.

He said, “This property has a history and very valid near-neighbor concerns.”  He wants to see what applicants will come up with.

Brett Lee noted the new units coming online at places like Creekside and said, “I think the current residents would be taken care of and have a more suitable location.  The idea here is not to throw anyone out on the street.”

“We have a lot of different groups that are struggling with housing,” he said.  He said in the RFP they would need to specify at least 87 units – as required by RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) – of either low or very low income.  He believes with an RFP that would be taken care of.

The council was clearly willing to look into new populations and to see what proposals come forward.  At this point they did not go as far as the neighbors to support demolition.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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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26 thoughts on “Council Moves Forward with RFP for Changes to Pacifico”

    1. Bill Marshall

      I see it somewhat differently, Craig… “legitimate problems” feels like an oxymoron… but I get your drift, I think… there are legitimate concerns, and may well be problems that call out for solutions/remedies/mitigations…

      I do think that the call for RFP’s is a good move… I also believe that one of those should come from the current management, addressing legitimate concerns… some of the concerns expressed are frankly (although I’m not) not legitimate, in my view… particularly those which start with “they…”

      So, Craig, in basic agreement, but nuanced… the RFP, if responses are fairly evaluated, taking in all needs of the ENTIRE community (not just those within, say, 500 feet), and including all “special needs” in the community, is an approach I support.

      Another “wait and see”… which I think is a ‘good answer’…

      1. Ron Oertel

        I never do put up with allegations of NIMBY-ism.  😉

        The question is, when is it even worth responding to?

        (Yes – I understood what you actually meant.)

  1. Alan Miller

    “The idea that we’re going to come out here and say fences aren’t necessary, these folks don’t deserve a fence, they shouldn’t have any privacy, I ought to be able to look in and see what they’re doing because they’re a menace – that doesn’t fly with me.”

    Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above

    Don’t fence me in

    Let me ride through the wide open country that I love

    Don’t fence me in

    Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze

    And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees

    Send me off forever but I ask you please

    Don’t fence me in

    — Bing Crosby

  2. Alan Miller

    I only see two comments (four listed).  DG, I gave you my password several weeks ago to remove any blocks I’d accidentally clicked.  Am I still not see Edgar, or is it someone else?  Can’t this feature be termainated now, or at least allow the user to unblock?

    1. Moderator

      When I removed the post that was a mistake, it took the replies with it, I think, but it doesn’t seem to change the reply ‘count’.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Alan… I don’t log on via facebook… if you don’t, see if you have a ‘dashboard’ there… if so, you can find an off/on option as to “ignores”… Edgar was here in past week…

      1. Jim Hoch

        Actually I was thinking RFI is more likely as they are in feasibility rather than asking for a binding proposal. Generating a proposal is a lot of work for a prospect that has no idea what they want, no timeline, no defined budget, and most likely will do nothing. An RFI response is likely sufficient.

        1. Alan Miller

          a prospect that has no idea what they want, no timeline, no defined budget, and most likely will do nothing.

          Sounds like a consultant’s dream project.

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          Request for Information (RFI)

          The RFI is a solicitation document used to obtain general information about products, services, or suppliers. It is an information request, not binding on either the supplier or the purchaser, and is often used prior to specific requisitions for items.

          The purpose of an RFI is to gain familiarity with the current market for a particular supply or service and to gather information in a formal, structured, and comparable way.

          The RFI process may help in the decision making process by developing a well-conceived solicitation document (RFP, RFQ) and clarifying the competitive requirements.

          The RFI may not be used as a source selection method to procure a supply or service.

        3. Bill Marshall

          RFP’s and RFQ’s (and responses) are not binding proposals… by law… they are more specific than RFI’s… but none are binding… they are nets set out to ‘fish’ … nothing more, nothing less…

          Requests For Interest (RFI):  defining the pond… figuring out if there are any fish…

          Request For Qualifications:  seeing if the fish are worth pursuing

          Request For Proposals:  seeing if the fish can provide the meal sought, and getting an idea of how much effort/cost there is to get the meal desired.

          THEN, there is getting down to specifics, and actual cost bases… called a Contract.

          I simplified, by analogy, for those who do not understand the terms…

  3. Ron Oertel

    Well, the “good thing” is that if Pacifico ultimately serves a different population, perhaps the concerns regarding it will simply be transferred to the Creekside development undergoing construction on Fifth Street. Apparently the same type of targeted population, but not sure if it’s the same management.

    (Actually, the same problems can occur at Creekside even if things don’t change at Pacifico.)

    1. Alan Miller

      perhaps the concerns regarding it will simply be transferred to the Creekside development

      I don’t trust no housing project that has a dishonest name.  Even the name Trackside was at least true.  But I guess “Drainage Ditchside” just doesn’t have the proper romantic ring to it when you are intending to rent apartments.

      (Actually, the same problems can occur at Creekside even if things don’t change at Pacifico.)

      CCP-II ?

      1. Ron Oertel

        I finally watched “Seattle is Dying”.  Wow.  It was interesting how they showed extremely angry residents on one side, vs. local politicians (who seemed rather clueless/resistant) on the other side.  (With police anonymously stating that their hands were tied, by local policies and politicians.)

        With perhaps the main point being that active intervention (e.g., with drug problems) is the only way to address the issue. (And that allowing complete “freedom” is actually rather harmful, for everyone.)

        Certainly some controversies, regarding the entire issue.

        1. Alan Miller

          Wish this wasn’t off topic and connected to a thread . . . but the main takeaway is that we are calling mental health and addiction issues as “the homeless” and blaming high rents.  All these issues have separate ‘fixes’, or lack thereof, and often so-called compassion applied to the incorrect group actually kills. Our cities as a whole are going to have to learn the same lesson that the relatives of drug addicts have to learn: enabling kills.

          (glad you watched it – everyone should)

        2. Ron Oertel

          The conclusion of that program seemed to be that “homelessness” wasn’t the actual issue.

          In the “old days”, a lot of folks with these type of problems were institutionalized. When that changed, there was “supposed” to be something to replace it, I understand.

          I’d have to agree that allowing complete freedom for some of these folks (e.g., to camp out on the street, sidewalks, doorways, etc.) is not in anyone’s interest.

      2. Bill Marshall

        But I guess “Drainage Ditchside” just doesn’t have the proper romantic ring to it

        Agreed, big time… the ditch didn’t even exist until the early 1990’s… first time I saw “Creekside”, I kept trying to place a project near Putah Creek (or the remnant thereof)… even in South Davis, Putah Creek hasn’t been a “creek” for ~ 60 years… it was the old “north fork”, until UC cut that off (diversion) many years ago… in the 60’s, what was left was turned into a man-made drainage ditch to accommodate So Davis growth… basically similar alignment, but “re-arranged” (straightened) and expanded… much older forks (by many thousands of years) went down what is now Third Street (vicinity of G Street), and Alvarado Avenue…

        But the current “Creekside”‘s ‘creek’, is less than 30 years old… weird naming… Alan is absolutely correct in calling it out as a drainage ditch…

  4. Bill Marshall

    Pacifico was a bit of a ‘sham’ from the get-go… an ‘affordable component’ for the adjacent development… foreign investors, “affordable student housing”… but, it exists… if structurally sound (suspect it is) the city should find its “highest, best use”… the RFP will hopefully lead to that… despite ‘neighbors’ views…

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