Commentary: Measure R Doesn’t Work If You Don’t Let It

Up until last June, there was never a successful Measure R vote.  The closest a project came to gaining the approval of the voters was Nishi in 2016.  But Nishi ended up losing by about 700 votes.  The whispers were growing loud at that point – many questioned whether any project could pass a Measure R vote.

This was not a small problem.  Measure R had never been challenged in court.  Would it stand up to a challenge?

As it turned out, it was an academic question.  In 2018, two projects passed by comfortable margins – Nishi and West Davis Active Adult Community.  Had they not, it would have been interesting to see if that would have spawned lawsuits claiming that Measure R made it impossible to gain approval, or whether it simply would have led to a bitter and vigorous campaign that might have topped the 2000 Measure J campaign for intensity.

We will never know.  Our best assessment at this time is that Measure R will go back on the ballot for November as it is currently written, and with little in the way of opposition.

But if there is a threat to Measure R, it may come not from the opponents of the land use measure, but from its most fervent supporters.

Nishi, despite passing a Measure R vote by a near 60-40 margin, remains tied up in the courts.  The group Davis Coalition for Sensible Planning may or may not consist of architect Susan Rainier and activist Colin Walsh.  But the actions of the group are thwarting the will of the voters – the very heart of Measure R which allows the voters to decide.

This group has decided that it knows better than the voters, that it knows better than Yolo County Judge Peter Williams, and has taken it upon themselves to tie things up.

That’s a threat to Measure R.  The whole idea of Measure R is that the voters should have the final say on development projects.  For years, the answer from the voters was no – no we don’t want this large project in the case of Covell Village, no this isn’t the right time for development in the case of Wildhorse Ranch, and no we are concerned about traffic impacts and the need for affordable housing in the case of Nishi 2016.

But in 2018 the tide turned.  The voters were worried that we don’t have enough student housing, that housing costs have gone up, and we need more housing.  The votes were overwhelming.

For several years now we have been pushing for more student housing, both on and off campus.  But, while both the university and city have committed to more housing, that process has been slow.

UC Davis has a plan to allow for 9050 new beds over the next five to seven years.  The city has approved 4000 or so beds.  But to date, none of those have come online.

What that means is that students are still cramming into the same apartments and mini-dorms off campus.  The soonest we will see housing is this fall.  Sterling is just about to come online.  UC Davis is hoping to have more housing ready for the fall or perhaps by 2021, depending on how quickly they can finish housing at West Village and the like.

But litigation has slowed housing development at Lincoln40, whose owners just announced that the project has been sold to a Denver-based company.  And litigation has ground the 2200 beds at Nishi to a halt.

Shouldn’t it matter that 60 percent of the voters said yes to this project?

The opponents had their day in court in front of Judge Peter Williams.  He ruled against them.

In October, the judge denied their petition, ruling that the “petitioner has failed to establish that the project unlawfully discriminates based on familial status.”

Nor did Judge Williams agree with petitioners that the EIR failed to account for changed circumstances by failing to update the EIR to account for the 5000 to 6000 additional vehicle trips each day.

Judge Williams also noted: “Petitioner has failed to establish that the City’s decision to prepare an addendum, regarding transportation impacts, is not supported by substantial evidence.”

Are the petitioners likely to prevail here?  No they aren’t.  There is almost no chance they will win on appeal.  All they will succeed in doing is delaying the project, delaying 2200 beds coming online, and increasing the cost.

Students are angry. They should be. They worked hard to get student housing approved by the city council and the voters.

Lincoln40 and Nishi have been delayed unnecessarily by litigation – litigation that failed in court both times. Neither case was a particularly close call.

As Adam Hatefi, the External Affairs Vice President of ASUCD, put it: “This lawsuit is abhorrent. Both students and non-students overwhelmingly voted for the development of more housing. It was approved by the community and it was given a green-light by the courts.”

He probably went too far in accusing the group of being “feckless” and “student-hating.”  However, I have been rather surprised at just how much anger student housing has generated in some quarters of this community.

Disparaging these projects as “mega-dorms” and demanding that all new housing be on the UC Davis campus, along with these delaying tactics, have clearly generated anger and frustration.

The Vanguard had called for UC Davis to take on about 10,000 new beds in this LRDP and bring the on-campus housing share to 50 percent.  They did not go that far.  But, realistically, adding 9000 beds this cycle, getting up between 46 and 48 percent from 29 percent in 2010, is a lot of progress.

UC Davis has committed to adding over two-thirds of the new beds – that seems pretty reasonable.

What is not reasonable is the ceaseless delay.  I continue to support Measure R, I think it is wise to have a public check against sprawl and added protections for farmland and open space.  What I don’t support is endless litigation to stop projects that both the council and public have already approved.

In the long run, these tactics don’t help anyone and they actually could backfire, creating frustration with the process, and could induce the council and voters to approve more projects.

—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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63 Comments

  1. Don Shor

      The group Davis Coalition for Sensible Planning may or may not consist of architect Susan Rainier and activist Colin Walsh.  

    Isn’t this a matter of public record?

      1. Bill Marshall

        The actual members of a group are not a matter of public record. 

        Unless they become an ‘entity’, such as a ‘business’, or tax -exempt entity.

        No evidence such an entity exists… just a (meant to be ‘cute’?) “nom de guerre”?

  2. Ron Glick

    More evidence that Measures J/R were never about good planning but always an impediment to growth. This appeal is a complete waste of time and money.

    Yet somehow you clingon to this failed policy that has brought us poorer design of projects and contributed to a cruel housing shortage and all its ancillary consequences.

    Vote no on Measure R renewal.

    1. David Greenwald

      I think you raise a good point here Ron Glick. You could probably defend the initial lawsuit. But a judge ruled against them. The chances are that an appellate court will too. So all you have succeeded in doing is: (1) delay opening the housing, (2) raised the costs for all involved. Opponents of the project complained that the cost of rent would be too high – now they’ve probably made it worse.

    2. Bill Marshall

      Vote no on Measure R renewal.

      Our best assessment at this time is that Measure R will go back on the ballot for November

      I believe it should just lapse… not even be placed on a ballot.

      There are other “remedies”… referendum on a specific project, lawsuits (duh!), and/or pressuring CC members to reconsider approvals, under political threat of recall, and/or negative votes in future campaigns.

      Like “Moose and squirrel”, Measure R should die (paraphrase of Boris Badenov – Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons).

      It is apparent, lawsuits can be used to attempt ‘trump’/delay the results of, Measure R votes… so why go through the cost or effort?

      1. Tia Will

        Bill

        I see this completely the other way around. I hate our societies pretense that a good way of conflict resolution is always the adversarial/legal route. I would much rather see the voters make a choice than always default to legal challenge.

        1. Bill Marshall

          And you (with all due respect) don’t see the “political process” as ‘adversarial’ and or ‘legal’ routes?  Measure R votes are inherently adversarial and legal processes [see past campaigns, arguments pro/con].  If you disagree, we’ll agree to disagree, and leave it at that.

          All “politics” are generally legal and adversarial.  IMO.

          Measure R is far from “collaborative”… it is yes/no, no room for discussions except the ultimate on/off switch.  IMO.

          The collaborative piece ends after the staff, Commissions, and CC, have reviewed and recommended/acted.

          After that, things border on extortion..

        2. Richard McCann

          I second Bill M’s point. And it appears that we have defaulted to the legal challenge route, regardless of the intent of Measure R. All we’ve done is added another layer of hindrance rather than providing a safe passage to completion once the vote is decided.

  3. Ron Oertel

    The Nishi lawsuit is based upon the EIR, not Measure R. Had there been no Measure R, it still could have been challenged.

    Lawsuits have not been limited to Measure R proposals.  As evidenced by Trackside, the Hyatt Proposal, Residence Inn, etc.

  4. Ron Oertel

    hat it knows better than Yolo County Judge Peter Williams, and has taken it upon themselves to tie things up.

    As the city seems to think “it knows better”, regarding the lawsuit it lost against Trackside.

  5. Ron Oertel

    He probably went too far in accusing the group of being “feckless” and “student-hating.” 

    He said a lot more than that.  And, the Vanguard included it in its article, yesterday. It’s irresponsible, and might even be dangerous.

  6. Ron Oertel

    David:  “I continue to support Measure R, . . .”

    I’m not sure that you have much influence regarding that, as you simultaneously work to undermine it (regardless).  In fact, your style of reporting lately is likely creating a rift between you and some of your former supporters.

    On the other hand, you’re probably gaining new “supporters”. Probably not the type that would appeal to Measure R supporters, though.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Well, that does surprise me.  Glad that you’re still a supporter.

        But again, the lawsuit is based upon the EIR, not Measure R. Had there been no Measure R, it still might have been challenged.

        1. David Greenwald

          I understand the lawsuit is based on CEQA – but I think lawsuits like this that drag on the approval for years undermine Measure R.  That’s where I think we disagree.  If you want to have Measure R, you can’t use it as one tool among many to thwart the project.  The will of people needs to be respected here.

        2. Ron Oertel

          If you want to have Measure R, you can’t use it as one tool among many to thwart the project.  

          Measure R (or any “approval process”) may very well result in a denial of a proposal.

          The will of people needs to be respected here.

          The same type of argument might be put forth, regarding approvals that are achieved via representatives (e.g., city councils).  Supposedly, they also reflect the “will of the people”.

          Ultimately, legal challenges are based upon law, and are not “popularity contests”.  Such challenges can also impact the legality of other proposals.  (For example, isn’t the legality of the Affordable housing program included in the challenge?  Something along the lines of discriminating against non-students?)  I’ve forgotten – would non-students even be allowed to rent those Affordable housing units?

          Your argument would suggest that Measure R approvals should never be challenged, regardless of the law. (That’s where I think we disagree.)

        3. David Greenwald

          “ Measure R (or any “approval process”) may very well result in a denial of a proposal.”

          Which is the prerogative of the voters.  It is going beyond that that I start having problems.  If you want to have the vote – you need to respect it even when it doesn’t go your way.  That’s the point of differentiation.

        4. Ron Oertel

          As I said, you’re suggesting that questions regarding legality be ignored, if a proposal is approved via Measure R.

          I don’t think that’s a very good argument.

          I personally would like to know more about the challenge regarding the Affordable housing program, for example. I’d like to see a discussion regarding that on here.

          1. David Greenwald

            What I’m suggesting is that this is a scorched earth policy that could end up causing more harm than good to the position of those who support responsible planning but aren’t opposed to every single project. You can see the anger mounting. The question is what comes of that anger.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Well, you can choose to “stoke” that anger, or (alternatively) discuss what the lawsuits are actually about.

          In my opinion, there are actual concerns regarding issues such as the Affordable housing program.  And, if left unchallenged, future proposals might use the same “model”.  I’m not sure that’s in the best interest of those who depend upon Affordable housing, for example.

           

        6. Eric Gelber

          The will of people needs to be respected here.

          Does it? Should it have been respected in the case of Prop. 187? In the case of Prop. 8? I agree with Ron O. that, whether approved by a legislative body or by voters, the standard should be whether the enactment is lawful. The Nishi lawsuit and appeal may very well be frivolous and specious and, if so, should be summarily dispensed with. But let’s not give undue deference to “the will of the people.” Sometimes the will of the people is misguided.

  7. Ron Oertel

    It’s also rather telling that there’s been no real discussion or analysis regarding the actual issues in the lawsuit.  Only “speculation”, regarding motives.

    Nice “reporting”.

    1. David Greenwald

      We published a full report on the court proceeding from October and the ruling by Judge Williams.  When there is something other than a statement from the city and other parties to report on, that will be reported as well.

      1. Ron Glick

        When was the last time the 3rd district overturned a failed CEQA lawsuit? Probably hasn’t happened in decades. My guess is the court simply denies the appeal.

  8. Ron Glick

    “The Nishi lawsuit is based upon the EIR, not Measure R. Had there been no Measure R, it still could have been challenged.”

    True enough but the cumulative impact is many years of delay from both processes.

    1. Ron Oertel

      True enough but the cumulative impact is many years of delay from both processes.

      I’m not sure that’s true, as EIRs are required, committee reviews, council approvals, etc.  The only apparent delay might be the time between “council approval”, and “Measure R approval”.

      And again, it has nothing to do with delays based upon challenges of EIRs.

      It’s also possible that the plaintiffs will “win” their appeal – resulting in something that has more ramifications than a “delay”.

      I can see and understand arguments put forth by some regarding Nishi (e.g., viewed functionally as an “infill site”, adjacent to UCD).  However, regarding other peripheral proposals, I don’t automatically “assume” that they should be approved at all. You seem to have a different view, regarding that.

      The process appeared to move quite quickly, regarding WDAAC.  It wasn’t even held up by a lawsuit.

      1. Ron Glick

        Measure R is only one additional hurdle but it is a time consuming and risky one requiring a roll of the dice on an election. In the case of Nishi two elections. In the case of Covell Village the land sits vacant after 14 years. Measure R in that case has precluded the construction of much needed housing while the community suffers a housing shortage resulting in ever increasing prices for homes and rent.

  9. Ron Oertel

    Ron G.  “In the case of Covell Village the land sits vacant after 14 years.”

    It’s not “vacant” – it’s a beautiful piece of farmland.  I’m so glad that it was saved, and hope that it stays that way.

    Can you imagine what the traffic would be like today (e.g., at Covell and Road 102) if that was approved?

    Davis isn’t “suffering”.  Far from it. What a great city Davis really is. A gem, in the valley. And yeah, a great deal of that is due to UCD.

    Today, I had the “privilege” of driving around West Sacramento, somewhat lost for a short period.  (Now that’s a community that’s suffering.) Holy sh*t – parts of it look worse than the third world (but perhaps more dangerous). They can probably use 20 innovation centers, assuming that they actually do any good.

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      They can probably use 20 innovation centers, assuming that they actually do any good.

      They (West Sacramento) probably have “room” for them as well.  In addition to room for a LOT more/dense housing (within city limits).

      They’d probably welcome that, as well. They’re essentially right next to downtown Sacramento.

  10. David Greenwald

    Important to point out that the lawsuit did have to do with Measure R.  In fact, on Page 16 paragraph 8 of the Second Amended complaint they expressly ask the court to overturn the results of the vote:

    “For a peremptory writ of mandate setting aside the result of the Revised Project’s “Measure R” election, and requiring the City to comply with Measure R prior to placing the Revised Project or any further revised project on the ballot for subsequent voter consideration under Measure R.”

    1. Ron Oertel

      I would assume that it would have to go through the same approval process (if the appeal is successful), but I’m not sure of that.  In any case, if the court determines that some aspect of it is “illegal”, are you proposing that they set that aside, simply because the development has to go through the Measure R process?

      In theory, do you think that voters might want to know why some aspect of it might be ruled to be “illegal”, for example? Or do you think they’d be “so angry” by that point that they’d want to disregard a legal ruling?

      By the way, aren’t you “convinced” that the initial proposal was “better” (e.g., with an innovation center component)?  Well, this may be your “chance”.  😉

      1. David Greenwald

        I think my point is that the court didn’t find the project violated state laws and the appellate court is not likely to overturn that.

        At this point building the project and getting 2200 beds of student housing online is in the best interest of the community.

        1. Ron Oertel

          It appears that your 5:54 comment was mentioning the possibilities if the plaintiffs win their case.

          Your second point is admittedly one that I find challenging to argue with, at this point.  But, I’m not sure of the future ramifications (e.g., regarding other proposals) if the Affordable housing program (for example) is allowed to stand.

          I’m also not entirely convinced that UCD will build the housing it’s promised, as the city has continued to approve its own developments (e.g., Sterling, Lincoln40, Davis Live, etc.).

        2. Ron Oertel

          I think I addressed that, in my 6:01 p.m. response.

          I realize that you’re concerned about student housing.  Personally, I’m just as concerned about the impact (traffic, fiscal, opportunity costs, driving out non-student renters, compromising Affordable housing requirements, possible sprawl, etc.) that this single-minded push is having on the city as a whole.

          You’d think that students (and others) would be blaming the source of the problem (UCD’s unilateral decision to add students, especially non-resident students who pay big bucks to attend), without negotiating the impacts with the city.  Instead, some seek to put the blame elsewhere, and don’t seem particularly concerned about those impacts. Of course, I’m never sure where “actual” frustration begins, vs. “manufactured” frustration.

        3. David Greenwald

          My observation is that the students have blamed whatever they see as a barrier to housing.  Right now they see this lawsuit as public enemy number one.  When we held a housing forum a few years ago and Matt Dulcich was there from UCD, he got a tongue lashing.

        4. Ron Oertel

          And yeah, I’ve got to tell you – there’s a TON of affordable market-rate housing – which isn’t limited to “non-students”, just on the other side of the causeway (and in other nearby communities).  (In reference to my “foray” today, discussed above.)

          For that reason alone, it doesn’t strike me as an “emergency”, in the same way that it might for you.

          Certainly something to address in a careful (and legal) manner, though. Again, should have started with UCD, when they decided to add students (especially non-resident students).

        5. David Greenwald

          First of all, regionally vacancy rates are low.

          Second, Don Gibson pointed out a rather interesting phenomena, he expected that the shortage of housing led more students to live out of town.  The data say otherwise.  For the most part, they are packing more densely into existing housing rather than commuting.

        6. Ron Oertel

          My observation is that the students have blamed whatever they see as a barrier to housing.

          From what I’ve heard, some students are “coordinating with” development interests.  Something that hasn’t been explored, on here.

          Also seems to me that they think they can get further with the city, than with UCD. Simply be attending a council meeting. And it’s worked for them, so far.

        7. Ron Oertel

          First of all, regionally vacancy rates are low.

          I believe you’re correct, regarding that.  And, it has nothing to do with Measure R. Maybe rents haven’t been high enough (regionally), to justify new development costs. (This does seem to be changing, though.)

  11. Ron Oertel

    I realize that the following example doesn’t work so well (regarding UCD’s decision to add students without providing on-campus housing), but for everyone else – the following makes sense. (That is, if you can’t “stomach” the significant opportunities that exist just beyond Davis’ boundaries.)  In fact, this is the same phenomenon which have led (and is continuing to lead) Bay Area residents to Davis and the Sacramento region:

    “They’d been kicked out of the Concord apartment they had called home for almost eight years . . .”

    “Just a year later, she’s no longer stressed out by housing insecurity . . .”  At the top of Chandler’s list of things to worry about is how to furnish the three-bedroom, two bathroom house she bought in Phoenix.  Yes, you read that correctly  Chandler’s now a homeowner.”

    I personally know people who have made similar moves (and couldn’t be happier about it). I’d probably do the same thing today, if I was just starting out.

    I have yet to see any coherent argument from those arguing “for” market forces in Davis, but “against” market opportunities elsewhere.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/she-left-california-to-find-an-affordable-place-to-live-—-and-became-a-homeowner/ar-BBZ0XT2?ocid=spartandhp

     

      1. Ron Oertel

        To me, the argument has always been to not continuously wreck a place for the purpose of encouraging non-residents to move in.  I guess you think differently.

        It seems that there’s a lot of communities (even within this region) who agree with you, however.

        Regarding maintaining affordability for existing low-income residents, that can be accomplished via measures such as rent control and Affordable housing.

        1. Mark West

           “for the purpose ofencouraging non-residents to move in”

          The point that has been made repeatedly, but some choose to ignore, is that the problem we are facing is that the residents are already here and there is insufficient housing to meet their needs.

        2. Bill Marshall

          To me, the argument has always been to not continuously wreck a place for the purpose of encouraging non-residents to move in.

          Let’s see… “wrecking”?  What Davis is, as a place, was ‘built’ and sustained by non-residents who moved in.  I’m a ‘Newbie’… only been in Davis for ~ 45 years… know a lot of folk who have been here longer… I was a non-resident until I came here.  I am still a resident.  I don’t think I ‘wrecked’ Davis, nor did the developers who built the housing we have/are living in… the housing we’ve had, dated from the 50’s, 60’s and 90’s… all might have been defined as “sprawl”.

          Measure R should “sunset”

          Now, we get to the word ‘encouraging’… I came here, long term, ‘encouraged’ because of costs and climate (on several levels), and career advancement… I was not ‘recruited’, and actually took a small salary cut when I came to Davis.

          There is a difference between “encouraged”, and “accommodated”, “facilitated”, and “welcomed”.

      2. Ron Oertel

        And again, there seems to be an assumption in the growth advocates’ arguments that Davis is so special that everyone and their mother wants to move in, if only they’d allow more sprawl.  That’s a false argument.

        If you actually want to maintain a balanced community, the way to do that is to ensure that there isn’t an effort to create more jobs (or maintain an over-sized school district), in excess of what the community actually needs. Those are the “drivers” of sprawl. And yet, that’s exactly what some growth advocates lobby for, while subsequently complaining about “housing shortages” that they’ve created.

  12. Ron Oertel

    Mark W.  ” . . the problem we are facing is that the residents are already here and there is insufficient housing to meet their needs.”

    Ironically, some of those who might be viewed as slow-growth are the same ones who put forth a significant (semi-successful) effort to encourage UCD to building more on-campus housing.

    In contrast, some of those (who claim that they care) didn’t lift a finger during those efforts, while simultaneously advocating against the inclusion of sufficient Affordable housing and rent control (regarding developments in the city).  They also advocate the creation of jobs beyond what a community actually needs.

    One might ask themselves which side actually “cares”. Hopefully, those who actually are in need can see through the b.s.

     

    1. Mark West

      “effort to encourage UCD to building more on-campus housing.”

      I’m not sure that there is a more bankrupt argument than that put forward by those who believe building housing on campus is somehow better for the community than building in the City. Both add to the population of the community, increase the demand for services, add to local traffic and decay of our infrastructure, and both destroy farmland, but only housing in the City adds revenues to the City’s coffers to pay for those increased costs.

      What makes the argument even sillier is when the same folks complain about having to ‘subsidize’ the education of out of district transfer students since those households don’t pay the parcel tax. Apparently, they don’t realize that the housing on campus is part of the school district and any children living on campus are a part of our school community even though their households won’t be paying the parcel taxes.

      I guess I just need to take my own advice and develop some empathy…

      1. Ron Oertel

        I’m not sure that there is a more bankrupt argument than that put forward by those who believe building housing on campus is somehow better for the community than building in the City.

        I don’t think there’s anything more “disingenuous” than someone who claims to be concerned about housing for students, but puts forth no effort to encourage housing on campus.  It’s akin to arguing for economic development, but taking steps to block a key private downtown business from building a small solar-covered parking lot on their own land.  Somehow, referring to a 60-year old plan which was created at the height of the pursuit of sprawl.

        Both add to the population of the community, increase the demand for services, add to local traffic and decay of our infrastructure, and both destroy farmland, but only housing in the City adds revenues to the City’s coffers to pay for those increased costs.

        Perhaps the entity that is creating the need should address it, in a dense, high-rise manner that was encouraged by the same folks you’re criticizing.  (At least as high and dense as those proposed in an already-impacted city.)  In addition, UCD has total control over parking, on campus.

        Housing (especially student housing) is a MONEY-LOSER, for the entities that host it.  But not for developers, as long as they don’t have to deal with UCD-owned land.

        What makes the argument even sillier is when the same folks complain about having to ‘subsidize’ the education of out of district transfer students since those households don’t pay the parcel tax. Apparently, they don’t realize that the housing on campus is part of the school district and any children living on campus are a part of our school community even though their households won’t be paying the parcel taxes.

        There is NO requirement for DJUSD to accept out-of-district students.  And, that includes those who work on campus.  It’s unlikely that there would be a significant number of children living in campus housing.  But, perhaps this is yet (another) area in which UCD could offer to offset some of its impacts.  Has UCD (which is exempt from property taxes in the city) even stopped occupying space off-campus, at this point?

  13. Ron Oertel

    Let’s see… “wrecking”?

    Depends upon what definition we’re using.  Continued sprawl, as has occurred in the past?  Paving over the ARC site, the Shriner’s property, the Covell Village site?  And, continuing on, from there?  Is there any limit to that, regarding someone with views such as yours? Does the fact that it occurred in the past “mean” that it’s a good idea to continue that pattern into the future?

    Are they building more roads/water sources to accommodate that?  What about the continuing loss of farmland and open space?

    I’m a ‘Newbie’… only been in Davis for ~ 45 years… know a lot of folk who have been here longer…

    All of which is irrelevant.  Being “alive longer” does not give you any particular “rights”, nor does living in a particular place longer than someone else.  No one (least of all me) cares about your personal background.

    You’ve previously noted that you grew up in the Bay Area.  Does that give you a “right” to live there?  (I suspect that you’re like many who are realistically priced-out at this point, due to “economic development” and higher-earning people moving in.) Do you think the Bay Area should continue in a market-driven quest to ensure that janitors can live in Palo Alto, without assistance? That’s “Alice in Wonderland” territory. And, it would utterly destroy the Bay Area. It would also lead to further sprawl from “super-commuters”.

    There is a difference between “encouraged”, and “accommodated”, “facilitated”, and “welcomed”.

    That is true.  And, decisions made (such as the pursuit of economic development) will determine how many must be accommodated, and how much sprawl will ultimately occur as a result.

     

    1. Richard McCann

      Ron O.

      You continue to fail to provide viable alternative solutions or have a holistic perspective how to meet these these issues. “Population control” is not a viable alternative, particularly for a local agency. You point out “Are they building more roads/water sources to accommodate that?  What about the continuing loss of farmland and open space?” So if we don’t build these projects under the much more stringent regulatory requirements in Davis, don’t these just get built somewhere else that is much less careful with oversight and results in MORE roads, MORE water use, MORE loss of farmland and open space? What’s your proposed alternative to preventing the much larger damages when these are built elsewhere because they aren’t built in Davis.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Richard:

        Growth and development is largely a “manufactured” phenomenon, with little relationship to larger population trends. I believe there are nice areas in California that are actually losing population.

        Regardless, there’s plenty of communities willing to “manufacture a need”.  As communities mature (at least the nicer ones), they’re often less-willing to do so.

        Having said that, there’s LOTS of communities that still present (personal) opportunities, for those just starting out – as noted in the article I referenced above and below. Given their preference for letting the market address the “need”, you’d think that development activists would embrace this reality, rather than “argue” against it (for some unexplained reason).

        And, those communities are going to continue such pursuits, regardless of what Davis does or doesn’t do.

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/she-left-california-to-find-an-affordable-place-to-live-—-and-became-a-homeowner/ar-BBZ0XT2?ocid=spartandhp

      2. Ron Oertel

        And frankly, if some of the development activists were concerned about the environment, or increased opportunities and housing for those who need it – they’d probably focus their lobbying efforts in communities like West Sacramento (which need it). You don’t need to go to all the way to Phoenix to find that.

        Instead, we get folks “crying” on here, about companies moving to West Sacramento (while simultaneously avoiding discussion of what those companies actually do).

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