The Planning Commission will hold a workshop on Aggie Research Campus this coming Wednesday at their meeting—according to a city announcement the format will include a brief presentation by staff, a more detailed presentation by the applicant and then an opportunity for the public and members of the commission to comment.
The staff stresses that no decisions will be made at this meeting and the workshop is informational only.
The ARC project, proposed at 185 acres located to the east of the Mace Curve will include 2.65 million square feet of innovation space and 850 residential units. This will apparently include a 160,000-square-foot hotel conference center of about 150 rooms, slightly larger than the Residence Inn about to open across the street.
In the meantime, the Aggie Research Center has released a set of environmental sustainability “guiding principles.” According to an info sheet, “These Guiding Principles are a means for mandating, implementing and maintaining Project features that are designed to address and mitigate identified environmental concerns, including but not limited to impacts to global climate change, and to ensure sustainability for the life of the project.”
They write: “Critical to the success of the Aggie Research Campus is its ability to demonstrate continuous advancements in site sustainability during buildout and into campus operations.
“Many of the Sustainability Guiding Principles are designed to gradually increase site sustainability and further reduce Project impacts over time, such as improved air quality, reduced carbon emissions, greater electrical efficiency and reduced single-occupancy vehicle travel.”
These principles will “work in tandem with Project mitigation measures” in order to reduce environmental impacts.
On building standards:
- “The Project shall meet and exceed Title 24, Cal Green Tier 1 and will utilize the City of Davis’ Residential Energy Reach Code standards.”
On Energy efficiency:
- The applicants are pledging that “all structures consume 100 percent renewable electricity.”
- There will be onsite solar energy generation with mandatory “photovoltaics on every conducive structure and in parking areas.”
- The project will enter into a purchase and sale agreement with Valley Clean Energy and will sell and distribute all electricity generated onsite.
- All onsite residential units will be all-electric.
- “100% clean energy, Developer commits all structures, residential and non-residential, to purchase power from solely renewable sources such as Valley Clean Energy’s “UltraGreen” 100% renewable program or its equivalent, to offset any electric deficit.”
- Achieve net zero for outdoor lighting.
- “The Project will be designed and pre-wired for future microgrid capacity and energy storage.”
Transportation Management Plan:
- Prior to the commencement of construction of each phase, a traffic study shall be prepared which measures in- and out-flow from the Project and identifies traffic patterns.
- The Project shall be designed to accommodate internal, local and regional transit.
- At Phase 1, Developer will implement an electric shuttle service running weekdays from the AM to PM peaks, connecting the ARC to UCD and the Amtrak station.
- Developer will participate in and support Caltrans led efforts to add HOV lanes on I-80 from West Sacramento to Davis.
- Developer will continue its relationship with Yolobus and Unitrans, both of which have bus service contiguous to the site, to increase the frequency and capacity of bus service as the Project develops.
- The goal is to “incentivize a mode shift to bicycling, public transit, private transit, or car pool.”
- All streets and surface-level parking shall utilize low-impact development features.
- Parking surfaces will utilize tree shading.
- Landscaping shall provide 80% shading of pedestrian walkways and off-street Class I bike paths.
- Parking preference and priority will be given to high occupancy vehicles (HOV) and electric vehicles (EV).
- All commercial parking areas will be designed with infrastructure to gradually phase-in the installation of EV charging stations as demand grows.
- All housing shall include one Level 2 EV charger per unit.
Landscaping and Water Conservation
- “Native and drought tolerant plants shall predominate the plant pallet.”
- Turf will be strongly discouraged.
- Developer will engage with “the Center for Land Based Learning, the Davis Arboretum, or other local expert to design and manage its open and landscaped buffer areas.”
- Landscape plans will be subject to City review including the Open Space and Habitat Commission and the Tree Commission.
- “Developer will install recycled “purple pipe” infrastructure which will convey non-potable water for use in all landscaping.”
- “All runoff will be captured, conveyed and detained onsite in a series of bioswales intended to filtrate and clean the run-off and maximize groundwater recharge.”
- “The inclusion of housing and an overall complementary mix of uses reduces the number and distance of project-related vehicular trips, encourages walking and bicycle trips, reduces air quality impacts and reduces the overall carbon footprint of the project.”
- Housing will be medium and high density – 15 to 50 units per acre
- No single-family detached housing.
- Designed to meet the needs of workforce and will not resemble student-oriented housing found elsewhere in the City.
- No unit greater than three bedrooms.
- Rental apartments shall not exceed two bedrooms.
- Housing construction directly linked to development of commercial space – ratio of one home per 2000 square feet of non-residential space.
- Housing will be all electric and utilize Residential Energy Reach Code.
- Multifamily rental units shall be charged separately for parking so that any resident may have the option of renting car-free housing.
- “The project shall comply with Mitigation Measures identified in the Approved Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Plan.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting