Monday Morning Thoughts: Davis Residents Increasingly Recognizing Housing Problem, but What’s the Fix?

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There has been a shift in Davis political dynamics over the last three or four years.  As recently as 2016 it looked impossible to pass a Measure R vote.  In 2018, two of them not only passed, but passed by double figures – 60-40 and 55-45.

Polling recently showed the top issue as “lack of affordable housing” with 31 percent responding to that open-ended question.  But it actually goes deeper than even that – a full 79 percent of the voters cited dissatisfaction with the affordability of housing, with only 18 percent citing satisfaction.  While that is notably larger than the percentage willing to vote yes on housing projects, it shows the depths of concerns.

The solution to that housing problem in Davis is less obvious.

A recent op-ed in the LA Times from early July, said that the housing crisis in California, in many ways self-inflicted, is attributable to “overregulation.”

Nine of the 15 most expensive metro areas in the nation are in California.  The response by many will be to build more homes – in hopes that the increased supply will decrease pent-up demand.  Governor Newsom wants to build 3.5 million new homes by 2025.

Some of the bills introduced into the legislature, like SB 50, believe that local land use regulations are blocking new housing construction.

The authors write: “The sponsors of SB 50 seem to recognize that the state’s housing problems are at least partially man-made. Indeed, California is a leader in regulating just about everything — including insurance carriers, public utilities and housing construction. If California’s regulatory code underwent some serious spring cleaning, it could help the state at least make a dent in its housing affordability crisis.”

Locally many believe that the biggest hindrance to new housing is Measure R.  There is some truth to that, but the last two Measure R votes both passed.  The voters will get a third shot at Measure R itself next spring or fall when the measure once again comes up for renewal.

The survey did not poll Measure R, but it seems rather unlikely that the voters will vote to dismantle Davis’ seminal land use ordinance.

Therein lies an interesting rub.  While the voters of Davis are more likely to cite the lack of housing as a problem, more likely to vote on a project by project basis to approve housing, it is not clear how the city will go about solving the housing crisis locally.

Estimates of new housing requirements put the number of new residences required somewhere between 6000 and 10,000.  Unlike previous iterations of RHNA (Regional Housing Need Allocation), this one could carry with it substantial penalties and lost funding opportunity if the city fails to grow at the prescribed rate.

A key question is going to be where does the city grow.  In general, I have not favored the expansion of the city’s urban growth boundary.  Infill opportunities are likely to be rather limited.  We already have developed the Cannery – the largest plot of land inside the city.  We have approved a project at Nishi – not inside the city, but surrounded by development.

While we have favored infill and redevelopment in the downtown, growth models show that cost-prohibitive.  We could see some marginal development with the redevelopment of the University Mall and infill projects like Plaza 2555 – if they occur.  But those are not going to supply much bang for the buck.

Some have suggested that Davis has artificially limited its growth, but that’s not completely true either.  The city has the county-line boundary to the south that will limit new growth opportunities there.  There is also university land surrounding it to the southwest.  West does not seem to be much of an option at this point.  The east is locked up in conservation easements and protected lands.

That leaves a few narrow plots to the north as possibilities.  Assuming ARC (Aggie Research Campus) comes about, that largely takes care of the land to east of Mace.  That largely leaves three different swaths of land to the north of Covell as possibilities.

We have Wildhorse Ranch and Shriner’s to the north of the city.   There is a small area inside the Mace Curve as well that is possible, even though the landowners do not seem interested in developing that land.  There is Covell Village between the Cannery and Pole Line – but voters rejected that land by a 60-40 margin in 2005.  And then there is the Northwest Quadrant and land to the west of where WDAAC (West Davis Active Adult Community) was approved.

Looking at the map in this way, it appears that Davis’ growth potential is actually a lot more limited than a lot of people believe.  That is one reason why I have generally supported densification and growing up rather than outward.

Driving through town, one thing is apparent – a lot of the apartment buildings are older and not very dense.  There is potential to go higher and more dense with these apartments.

Bottom line – it is easy for voters to say the affordability of housing is a big and growing problem in Davis.  However, the answer about what do about that problem seems trickier than we originally believed.

—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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39 thoughts on “Monday Morning Thoughts: Davis Residents Increasingly Recognizing Housing Problem, but What’s the Fix?”

  1. Ron Oertel

     “Assuming ARC (Aggie Research Campus) comes about, that largely takes care of the land to east of Mace.  That largely leaves three different swaths of land to the north of Covell as possibilities.”

    MRIC/ARC would do nothing to lower market-rate housing prices (might even increase them), and would vastly increase pressure to develop these other properties.  Even with the inclusion of housing at MRIC/ARC.

    The technology industry is primarily responsible for high housing prices in the Bay Area, combined with lack of land to grow. But locally, it would just increase pressure to approve even more sprawling developments.

    It’s a zero-sum gain, except for the increase in traffic and destruction of farmland.

    1. Craig Ross

      If they build 800-900 units, high density, co-housing, they should be reasonable for younger workers.  It’s not going to reduce overall housing costs, but it’s purpose is to provide housing for young workers at the innovation center

      1. Ron Oertel

        As noted in yesterday’s article, the housing included on-site is not expected to meet the additional demand for new housing created by the development.

        And of course, assumptions regarding who would live at the site are likely to be disputed. The new households may very well include commuters to Sacramento, for example.

        Creating a new need, and “partially” solving it seems to be a rather pointless goal, and will increase pressure to develop other properties.

        Bottom line is that if you’re concerned about high housing prices (and/or additional sprawl and traffic – beyond the development itself), MRIC is likely to make things worse.

        1. Craig Ross

          You need to start asking yourself basic questions

           

          (1)what is the purpose of the housing for this site?

          Answer: provide housing for the first wave of young workers who otherwise can’t afford to live in the area.

          (2) How many beds/ bedrooms?

          Answer:  We don’t know.  But it could be four to five per unit which pushes the number to 4000.

          (3) What form will the housing take?

          Answer: High density, could be some co-living space.

          (4) Will it solve all of the housing needs for the spot?

          Answer: No.  But it could provide all of the housing for the first ten years of the project.  Depends on how many poeple end up working there.  I guarantee if they end up with 10,000 workers, the project will more than pay for itself and the city can figure out where the next group of people will live.

          But whenever you evaluate these things, you (A) never evaluate the upside and (B) never consider the project from the perspective of the people who are going to work there.

          If I got a job there at the age of 25, I want to live there.  At 50 with a wife or family, not so much.  The housing there is aimed more toward the former group.  Keep that in mind.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Ron:  “The technology industry is primarily responsible for high housing prices in the Bay Area, combined with lack of land to grow. But locally, it would just increase pressure to approve even more sprawling developments.”

          “It’s a zero-sum gain, except for the increase in traffic and destruction of farmland.”

          Regarding (personally) “getting a job” there, it’s just as likely to be someone from anywhere in the country, who has the skills and desire to work there. 

          Of course, all of this assumes that there’s sufficient commercial demand in the first place, given the other “innovation centers” planned for the area.

        3. Craig Ross

          Your response indicates that I need to clarify my point, which was to create a profile of who might live there – 20 something, right out of school.  Not 50-60 something looking at retirement.

          In terms of commercial demand – I would say it’s pretty high.  The city has gotten five major new companies in the last year.  Plus several major outside investors including Fulcrum and Ramco.  Those companies are bettings hundreds of millions on Davis.  That would seem a pretty strong indicator of the commercial demand.

        4. Ron Oertel

          A sample of some interesting articles, regarding an “innovation center” in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin (home of a University of Wisconsin campus).  I just saw a story regarding this, on TV.

          “One month ago, Foxconn said its innovation centers weren’t empty — they still are”

          https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/13/18565408/foxconn-wisconsin-innovation-centers-factories-empty-tax-subsidy

           

           

          “Wisconsin governor says Foxconn is again likely to miss job targets”

           

           

           

          https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/08/wisconsin-governor-says-foxconn-is-again-likely-to-miss-job-targets.html?__source=twitter%7Cmain

        5. Richard McCann

          Bottom line is that if you’re concerned about high housing prices (and/or additional sprawl and traffic – beyond the development itself), MRIC is likely to make things worse.

          You seem to have missed the point of Saturday’s article that the City needs to find new revenue sources. Maybe MRIC isn’t the right project, but perhaps if you had a realistic suggestion for an alternative, then we could discuss that option. (And saying that we need to stop population growth doesn’t count as a realistic option which I’ve refute before so don’t bring that up.)

        6. Ron Oertel

          Of course, in addition to the job shortfall (compared to initial projections) the Wisconsin innovation center effort included significant tax subsidies, as well (as noted in the first article link I posted, above):

          “Last summer, Foxconn announced that it would buy buildings across Wisconsin and turn them into “innovation centers” as part of its record-breaking $4.5 billion tax subsidy agreement with the state.”

          Does anyone know how much in incentives that Aggie Square (in Sacramento) will ultimately receive?

        7. Rik Keller

          Richard McCann stated “You seem to have missed the point of Saturday’s article that the City needs to find new revenue sources. Maybe MRIC isn’t the right project, but perhaps if you had a realistic suggestion for an alternative, then we could discuss that option.”

          How about we first stop discussing snakeoil prescriptions that have been shown time and time again to be losers? Then we can discuss realistic options for actual revenue growth, which is–given the tax structure in California–going to boil down to retail and hotel/tourist tax options.

    2. Bill Marshall

      MRIC/ARC would do nothing to lower market-rate housing prices (might even increase them)

      Please cite your evidence for your assertion(s), particularly the bolded one, which is counter-intuitive… please be as authoritative as possible… but both assertions are questionable without demonstrative evidence… I know you expect that of others (other topics)… so my comment here, is ‘quid pro quo’…

      The technology industry is primarily responsible for high housing prices in the Bay Area, combined with lack of land to grow. But locally, it would just increase pressure to approve even more sprawling developments.

      See above, but also note how can things be “sprawling” with “a lack of land to grow”?  Disconnect there.

      It’s a zero-sum gain, except for the increase in traffic and destruction of farmland.

      Used to the term “zero sum game” but by definition, “zero sum gain“?  Is that like a ‘Dutch treat is no treat at all’?  Your words seem to betray you.

      Just seeking knowledge here… please explain…

      1. Ron Oertel

        Just to clarify, are you suggesting that the technology industry has nothing to do with high housing prices in the Bay Area?  Do a Goggle search for that, on your own.

        The rest of your comments have no relationship to what I said.

        By the way, I understand that a significant portion of the Covell Village site was in a flood plain.

        Truth be told, anyone who wants “moderately-priced” housing can find it about 7 miles north of Davis. Thousands of houses recently-built, with thousands more planned. With an “innovation center”, for that matter.

        1. Ron Oertel

          The area in which they’re building thousands of houses (in Woodland) is not in a high-risk flood plain, according to the link you provided. (I did not check the degree of flooding expected at the Covell Village site, for comparison.)

          Let’s face it – Woodland is the primary location that’s absorbing development that might otherwise occur in Davis – especially for families.  And, nothing that Davis approves will change those plans.

          To a lesser extent, areas such as West Sacramento and Dixon are also absorbing some of that development.

          In any case, it’s misleading to state that there’s an “affordability crisis”, without acknowledging that housing is available nearby at a more moderate price. And, it’s apparent that many have already figured this out.

          The absorption of development in surrounding communities is also keeping prices in check, in Davis.

           

        2. Ron Oertel

          And frankly, that’s been the “history” of development everywhere – it spreads further and further outward (until all cities “blend together”, unless steps are taken to prevent it).

          Woodland is to Davis, as Daly City is to San Francisco.

          And, the Sacramento region itself is absorbing Bay Area overflow, as well.

          Of course, the entire Bay Area is a mass of housing now – except for those locations that have purposefully prevented market forces from running amok. 

          Ultimately, you either value open space/farmland protection, or you don’t.  There’s plenty of hell-hole locations around that country that don’t. Including many within California.

          Interestingly enough, Los Angeles comes to mind as a place where development has been allowed to run amok – and yet, it’s expensive these days.

           

        3. Ron Oertel

          Lately, I’ve been watching some old George Carlin videos online.  It’s interesting to hear him talk about the real owners, in America.  (Essentially the “one-percenters”.)  The ones who already own the best land, etc.

          Leaving everyone else fighting over various issues, while they’re above the fray (and off to the bank).

          There’s a brutal honesty, in George Carlin’s humor.

          I’d highly recommend searching out those videos, on YouTube.

        4. Bill Marshall

          The technology industry is primarily responsible for high housing prices in the Bay Area  

          Just to clarify, are you suggesting that the technology industry has nothing to do with high housing prices in the Bay Area?

          Cute “back-pedal”… note that I asked about “primarily responsible” (your words, not mine), and you respond with asking me if I’m suggesting that it has “nothing to do…”

          Then, instead of answering my question of you, you basically say, (without cites/sites) ‘look it up for yourself’… that applies to almost every question you have ever asked on this site… that will be my standard answer for questions you ask of me… quite clever… deflection, but quite clever…

          By the way, I understand that a significant portion of the Covell Village site was in a flood plain.

          No, you don’t understand, and you are incorrect… but, you can always Google it…

           

        5. Bill Marshall

          Woodland is to Davis, as Daly City is to San Francisco.

          Wrong again… (did you ever take a history class? Grade?)… on both counts…

          Woodland was the much older, more populated City/town (a clue is it is the ‘County Seat’)… it hosted a college long before UC opened an UC ‘extension’ (University Farm) to support UC Berkeley… you can Google all these facts… I didn’t need to… I just know them…

          Please think before you post these things…

        6. Ron Oertel

          “Six times larger and twice as dense as Village Homes, Covell Village would be a massive concentration of very big, expensive homes on tiny lots. If approved by voters in November, it would be the largest subdivision ever built in Davis, consisting of 1,864 units on over 420 acres of prime farmland, almost half of which is in the 100-year floodplain.”

          https://localwiki.org/davis/Covell_Village

          Regarding your other comments, do you have some question for me, or are you just rambling?

        7. Ron Oertel

          “Woodland was the much older, more populated City/town (a clue is it is the ‘County Seat’)… it hosted a college long before UC opened an UC ‘extension’ (University Farm) to support UC Berkeley… you can Google all these facts… I didn’t need to… I just know them…”

          I’m aware of all of this, with the exception of the history of the local college.

          The Spring Lake development has been marketed as “North, North Davis”.  It would be interesting to know how many of the many thousands of houses built, under construction, or planned will ultimately include some member of the household who works in Davis (or UCD).

          Or for that matter, how many will work at the “innovation center” that Davis “lost”.  Assuming it’s even viable. (I strongly suspect that the 1,600 homes associated with that ADDITIONAL development will be “viable”, regardless. Even if they’re delayed by the upcoming recession.)

          Bottom line is that the new, developments in south Woodland probably have stronger connections to Davis, than to Woodland, itself. (Including some of the actual developers, as noted previously on this blog.) (Refer to the “colonization” guest article.)

        8. Bill Marshall

          Ron, I’m not rambling… if you are using ‘local wiki’ as a primary source… well, says a lot…

          My source is FEMA, who defines the ‘flood plain’… I was the technical person on ‘flood plains’ in and around Davis for nearly 30 years… but go with “wiki” as an authoritative source of info, if you prefer…

          And as Don has alluded to, only takes a foot or so of fill, and/or improvements to drainage facilities, to get land out of the flood plain (1% event) in the Davis area… but, trust your ‘wiki’ sources more than a PE with 30+ years of experience with such matters…

          And I already asked my questions of you, and you deflected…

          Ramble on, Ron (hey, that rhymes!)

        9. Ron Oertel

          My source is FEMA, who defines the ‘flood plain’… I was the technical person on ‘flood plains’ in and around Davis for nearly 30 years… but go with “wiki” as an authoritative source of info, if you prefer…

          I posted an actual link, you didn’t.  Looking forward to yours, if you’re claiming that it’s not within the 100-year floodplain.

          Until then, it’s just a bunch of noise – along with everything else you’ve stated.

          As with another commenter on here, I’m not going to tolerate it anymore. It’s a waste of time and energy to do so.

        10. Matt Williams

          Bill, in this case Ron’s literal words “a significant portion of the Covell Village site was in a flood plain” are correct.  To access the FEMA Flood Plain Map for Covell Village go to https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search#searchresultsanchor and enter the address 1300 Covell Blvd Davis CA

          You will get the following map

          https://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Screen-Shot-2019-07-22-at-10.19.35-PM.png

          The blue area is marked by FEMA as Zone A .  FEMA’s definition of ZONE A is “Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage.”

          With that said, the very same Local Wiki site that Ron referenced has a site plan that shows how the very low depth sheet flooding is directed in a sluiceway across the property and connected to Channel A on the east side of Pole Line Road.  Channel A is designed to convey all the Davis surface water runoff to the Yolo Bypass.

          https://localwiki.org/media/cache/66/59/66591cfebcf12f48e2e5ee600171de4b@2x.png

          So while Ron is rhetorically correct in his wording, he is wrong in principle.

          Solomon has spoken. Now pick up the baby and play nice.

        11. Bill Marshall

          Matt… your clarification is acknowledged… good catch… I sit corrected, and appreciate the affirmation that the 1% chance of flood has de minimus effect as to depth of flooding… easily resolved by improved conveyance and a bit of fill… again, good catch… was working from informed memory, as I reviewed the studies of ‘flood zone’ issues in ‘real time’ during the preparation/certification of the CV EIR…

          For the general public… ‘flood zone’ (Zone A or AH) means different things in specific places… might mean there is a 1% chance of having less than a foot of water in the 1% (1oo year) event, but could mean 3-6 feet of water in the same event… the latter cannot happen @ Covell Village site… physically impossible.

          One has to remember that flood zones we established in 1976, based on 1954 topo maps… updated later, but at a cursory level, in this area (CV)… best guesses, as it were…

        12. Ron Oertel

          Matt:  “Bill, in this case Ron’s literal words “a significant portion of the Covell Village site was in a flood plain” are correct. 

          So while Ron is rhetorically correct in his wording, he is wrong in principle.”

          Strange, I don’t recall making any statements regarding “principle”, in regard to the floodplain.

          It sure is interesting what others “believe” they see in someone else’s comments.

          Now, getting back to Bill – glad to see an acknowledgement that he was dead wrong, even though he wouldn’t acknowledge it until someone else pointed it out.

          If I recall correctly, he also “believes” that humans aren’t causing climate change.

           

        13. Ron Oertel

          Matt:  “With that said, the very same Local Wiki site that Ron referenced has a site plan that shows how the very low depth sheet flooding is directed in a sluiceway across the property and connected to Channel A on the east side of Pole Line Road.  Channel A is designed to convey all the Davis surface water runoff to the Yolo Bypass.”

          I did not put forward any statements regarding whether or not the flood risk can be successfully mitigated.  However, a simple diagram of a site plan does not in and of itself “prove” that the water will be directed as intended, or have impacts on other sites/infrastructure.

          An analysis of this is beyond the scope of (both) the topic of this article, and the blog itself.

          I did not intend any interpretation, beyond the actual words I wrote. Which have now been blown out of proportion.

           

  2. Alan Miller

    There is Covell Village between the Cannery and Pole Line – but voters rejected that land by a 60-40 margin in 2005.

    I don’t believe they rejected “the land”.

    FTR, I voted for “the land”, er . . . ‘project’.  That was a great project.

    Looking at the map in this way, it appears that Davis’ growth potential is actually a lot more limited than a lot of people believe.

    However, the answer about what do about that problem seems trickier than we originally believed.

    Who is this ‘lot of people’ and this ‘we’?  They sure aren’t very intelligent if they believe housing space isn’t limited in Davis nor tricky.

    it is easy for voters to say the affordability of housing is a big and growing problem in Davis.

    Not easy at all:  they’d have to not hang up on the pollsters and take the poll, which is more effort than I am willing to put in.

    The city has the county-line boundary to the south that will limit new growth opportunities there . . .  West does not seem to be much of an option at this point.  The east is locked up in conservation easements and protected lands. That leaves a few narrow plots to the north as possibilities.

    The Four Directions of Davis, housing potential edition.

    it appears that Davis’ growth potential is actually a lot more limited than a lot of people believe.  That is one reason why I have generally supported densification and growing up rather than outward.

    But didn’t you just say . . .

    Infill opportunities are likely to be rather limited.  While we have favored infill and redevelopment in the downtown, growth models show that cost-prohibitive.  We could see some marginal development with the redevelopment of the University Mall and infill projects like Plaza 2555 – if they occur.  But those are not going to supply much bang for the buck.

    ???

    1. Bill Marshall

      Some “factoids”… for information only:

      The Covell Village site is bounded on three sides by urban… the fourth side has a former ‘dump’ (not a sanitary landfill) in the NE corner (now, go-kart track)

      ~ 20% of the Covell Village site has very alkaline soils… not fit for much farming.  Maybe some volunteer wheat… northern portion…

      As to the property under the ‘Mace curve’… technically (legally) it is the same legal lot that extends far directly north of the site… it is (the area under “the curve” [roadway]) bounded on two sides (west and south) by housing and Harper Jr High (which was acquired by DJUSD…most advice from knowledgeable professional City staff was ignored, and actually, berated… how dare someone think that DJUSD is not ‘god incarnate‘!)[after all, “it’s for the kids”… absolute in the views of the ‘prophets’, who see all, know all]

      Logically (which does not exist too much in Davis), the area under ‘the curve’ should have been developed for housing and the JHS, with access to Covell (or better, a local/collector street), and to  Mace at the intersection of CR 104 (original alignment of ‘Mace’)… a senior planner and senior engineer advocated for that (it was intuitively obvious)… the JHS could have had access to both Covell, and a local street joining to Mace at an existing 3-way intersection (which could have been signalized) but the “no-growthers” were strong enough to have those views dismissed, and pressured DJUSD to ignore/reject good planning [DJUSD is NOT known for good planning for the ‘community’, and barely for their own ‘turf’ (works along 2-3 levels)]… just like the “no-growthers” who ‘have theirs’ and desire stasis, with enhancements to service, and aggressive maintenance/preservation of what they have, at no additional costs to them… yeah, got that…

      Whatever…

       

      1. Alan Miller

        Wow . . . a lot of pent up anger and a hoop shot ‘whatever’.  But I really didn’t understand most of what you just said, have no idea the issues/conflicts that you were venting about.  When/where/who/what . . .

        1. Bill Marshall

          You are correct Alan… I breached the facts/opinion barrier… my bad… “the devil made me do that”, I’ll say on the flip side… was not my original intention… but the basic facts are facts… not responsible for those who cannot distinguish between the two…

          I stand by my facts… including the history of political calculus involved…saw it, experienced it…  facts… DJUSD did what I said, but the adjectives were opinion… and I don’t know their motivations, but I do know their actions, and that they complained to the CM, accusing two senior planning/engineering staff of ‘torpedoing’ (actual words) Harper JHS EIR… even when they were pointing out flaws in the draft,and doing their professional best to help DJUSD avoid being ‘torpedoed’… trying to make them “bullet proof”…

          Goes to “no good deed ever goes unpunished”…

        2. Alan Miller

          Well, just don’t remember this one.  But I understand about having a craw gotten into when you feel something really dumb was done.  For me, it’s the design choice (not the current cluster-F) of the Cannery to H St. ped/bike connection.  Saving money on a design choice means nothing when the design choice does nothing.

  3. Rik Keller

    The Vanguard states “Estimates of new housing requirements put the number of new residences required somewhere between 6000 and 10,000. ”

    Total new housing units for Davis for the the 7.5-year RHNA cycle? Extremely unlikely. Where are these “estimates” from?

  4. Rik Keller

    The Vanguard once again completely ignores one of  argest impediments to affordable housing production in Davis: the weakening of the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance last year and the suspension 10 years ago of the City’s Middle Income Ordinance.

    1. Rik Keller

      The Vanguard has a base assumption here that opening up more land for development and/or increasing density will magically lead to affordability. Putting simplistic Econ 101 assumptions aside–this is not the way housing markets work in the real world.

    2. Matt Williams

      In September 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a number of new housing bills into law including AB 1505, which overturned the 2009 Palmer decision and restored the legal authority of cities and counties to require affordable housing in rental development projects.”

      In addition, AB 1505 imposed parameters to ensure affordable requirements do not unduly constrain housing production. Of particular note is a provision allowing the State to review and potentially require an economic feasibility study for any local jurisdiction that requires more than 15% low income affordability.

      With its 35% affordable requirement, the City’s old affordable housing ordinance did not comply with the 15% low income affordability provisions of AB 1505.

      1. Ron Glick

        Rik is right on one point, simply adding land for development will not in and of itself solve the affordability problem. Of course, Affordable Housing requirements in exchange for entitlements won’t solve it either. But both of these ideas won’t make things worse and might make things better on the margin. California is so far behind that it is going to take massive intervention from government at both the state and federal levels to provide the housing programs that California needs to get its housing house in order.

        Of course don’t expect any help from the feds. Our landlord in chief has no interest in interfering with his own financial interests. Any wonder that under Trump rents have increased and evictions are up.

        Remember when Carter was Presidents the price of peanuts went up. When W. was President the price of oil went up and now with Trump rents are up.

  5. Don Shor

    Driving through town, one thing is apparent – a lot of the apartment buildings are older and not very dense.  There is potential to go higher and more dense with these apartments.

    If you tear down the older apartment buildings and replace them with higher, denser housing, I guarantee that the new housing will be more expensive.

    Older apartment buildings, largely on the east side of town, are the main ‘affordable housing’ in Davis.

    Estimates of new housing requirements put the number of new residences required somewhere between 6000 and 10,000. 

    New residences? Or beds? Or multi-family units? Please clarify. Also, a large number of units have been approved in the last couple of years. Are you factoring those in? Where did you get this number? The Dept of Housing and Community Development hasn’t yet issued its Cycle 6 numbers.

    But in any event, you are not going to get to the numbers that are likely needed just with infill. Annexation of land for a new subdivision is realistically the only way to get enough new housing units, with prescribed percentages of variously-affordable housing units. Since I don’t think the owners of the Covell Village site are interested in another ballot fight right now, that leaves pretty much the northwest quadrant.

    Affordability will only happen if it is mandated.

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