Guest Commentary: DISC Opportunity to Reduce Impacts on Region

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by Kevin Wolf

Proposed housing and business projects should be measured by their bioregional and global impacts, not just over parochial concerns such as traffic, views, and parking.

The DISC business and housing proposal on our November ballot is an opportunity for Davis to reduce our impacts on this beautiful region and planet by covering farmland with streets and buildings here rather than continuing to push development to other cities that don’t pack in nearly as much greater good as this project does.

I opposed this project the last time it was presented to the City because it lacked housing and wasn’t as good as it should be given the value of being a part of Davis. Now it includes 850 housing units and will set a City record for the amount of permanently affordable and shared equity homes.

With our Yes vote we can significantly expand our off-road hiking and biking connections to the causeway.  We can bring back the natural landscape with 25 acres of native species planted, far more than the little habitat there now.  And no business park in the region is going to result in up to 342 acres of habitat permanently saved from development like the DISC project will.

Reversing global warming means we all have to step it up and let go of the little things in order to make big positive changes happen.  Our Yes vote will result in the creation of an exemplary business and housing park that generates considerable renewable energy on-site, commits to only using electricity from renewable sources, and will not offer gas infrastructure.

With your Yes vote, we can lead by example and persuade other cities to include more of what Davis requires in order to develop on more far land. And we will gain the many local benefits of this project such as more opportunities to live and work locally, increase the supply of affordable housing, and generate more tax revenue.

Kevin Wolf was Chair of the 2007 General Plan / Housing Element Update Steering Committee and Co-founder N Street Cohousing


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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14 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: DISC Opportunity to Reduce Impacts on Region”

  1. Keith Olsen

    This article left me scratching my head.

    It reads like an “Onion” piece, but not totally.

    Whether the author meant to or not, this article is dripping with sarcasm.

    I think he meant to.

    I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Alan Pryor

    Proposed housing and business projects should be measured by their bioregional and global impacts, not just over parochial concerns such as traffic, views, and parking

    Well I guess us opponents of DISC really are just a bunch of parochial hillbillies because we do not ascribe to the greater global good theory touted in this article and elsewhere by DISC proponents. But I suppose it’s not surprising that the author wants to completely gloss over the immediately local adverse impacts this project will have on Davis by instead referring to some mythical “bioregional” environmental benefits.

    The simple facts are that DISC is projected to add 24,000 car trips per day to Mace – more than doubling current levels when built out. Workers at DISC are expected to have some of the longest average commute distances in the region. Largely as a result of these enormous transportation impacts, DISC is projected to annually generate 83,000,000 pounds (yep, that’s 83 MILLION) of CO2e emissions into the atmosphere and increase Davis’ carbon footprint by 8% from this project alone.

    And DISC’s “record-breaking” affordable housing is just a few units more than the absolute bare minimum of 15% currently demanded by Davis’ affordable housing ordinance.

    The Sierra Club has formally endorsed the No on Measure B campaign because DISC is the antithesis of the Sierra Club’s motto of “Think globally, act locally“. Only in some weird Trumpian future using Orwellian double-speak could anybody tout this car-centric, land-use dinosaur as an environmentally superior project. Well, it seems the future is now here.

  3. Alan Miller

    The DISC business and housing proposal on our November ballot is an opportunity for Davis to reduce our impacts on this beautiful region and planet by covering farmland with streets and buildings here rather than continuing to push development to other cities that don’t pack in nearly as much greater good as this project does.

    That is an amazing sentence, and as worded almost makes me want to vote against the project.

    1. Keith Olsen

      Exactly Alan, if it wasn’t satire then the author missed the mark if he’s really advocating for the project.

      And what do you make of this sentence?

      With your Yes vote, we can lead by example and persuade other cities to include more of what Davis requires in order to develop on more farm land. 

      Are you sure it’s not satire?

       

      1. Alan Miller

        With your Yes vote, we can lead by example and persuade other cities to include more of what Davis requires in order to develop on more farm land.

        I missed that one . . . wow!

        Of course, I thought the book “In Defense of Looting” was satire, too.  And I’m still trying to wrap my head around how it couldn’t be.  I guess I’m just “tone deaf to the times”.  Can we have new times?

        1. Keith Olsen

          With your Yes vote, we can lead by example and persuade other cities to include more of what Davis requires in order to develop on more far(m?) land.

          I added the (m) to “far” thinking it was missed or a mistake as often happens in the Vanguard.  But looking at it maybe the author wanted to say “far land”.  I don’t know, but I wanted to clarify.  ‘Farm land’ makes more sense but maybe the author meant to say ‘far land’.

           

           

  4. Alan Miller

    we can significantly expand our off-road hiking and biking connections to the causeway.

    We can?  Can someone explain this?  I’ve looked over the plan several times, and I don’t see this as part of the plan.  Quite serious.  Don’t see Causeway connections for bikes and hiking.

  5. Ron Oertel

    ” . . . and will not offer gas infrastructure.”

    Are you sure about that?  Because another commenter on here pretty much stated that some supposed businesses would need it (e.g., as already-provided at other competing locations).

    Where does it state that no gas infrastructure would be provided?

    Already, some are noting that the proposal doesn’t “pencil-out” beyond the stages which include housing. The city ignored the recommendation to better-match the housing construction with commercial development (e.g., the recommendation to require 3,000 sq ft of commercial per unit, vs. the 2,000 sq ft that was proposed by the developer – and accepted by the city).

    So now, the developer is (also) not providing gas infrastructure? Really?

  6. Alan Miller

    The more people try to convince me of the project, the more I feel like voting no.   I am a yes at this point as long as I remain convinced that a bike under-crossing UNDER Covell is in the baseline, not just a vague crossing.  But y’all keep trying to convince people about this project the way y’all are, and you might actually sink it.  The project advocates might want to really asses their messaging.

    1. Alan Miller

      Oh, and I also have to be convinced the shuttle to Amtrak/downtown/university is real and has a method of funding, not just a ‘wouldn’t-it-be-nice’ that actually won’t be funded.

      So convince us all these things are REAL.  By real I mean BASELINE.

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