Plaza 2555 Comes Back to Council Looking a Quite a Bit Different, Including a Facility for Yolo Crisis Nursery

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By David M. Greenwald

Two years after the first time it came before council, Plaza 2555 is back looking quite a bit different from the last time it was here on October 16, 2018.  Back then, the council appointed their standard Partida-Carson subcommittee to work with staff and applicant to address concerns raised at that time.

These concerns had been over the inclusion of four- and five-bedroom units as well as the loss of commercial space in the city.

The revised version has eliminated the four- and five-bedroom apartments, with the new mix further reducing the number of bedrooms provided in the project by a good margin.

The affordable housing plan has also been revised to include not only onsite affordable units, but a contribution of land to the Yolo Crisis Nursery.

As revised, the proposal will consist of 200 units with around 500 bedrooms, downwardly projected from the 646 bedrooms in the 2018 proposal.

The project has also reduced the number of micro units and single bedroom units and eliminated studio apartments.  However, it now has 81 two-bedroom and 109 three-bedroom dwellings to go with five each of the one-bedroom and micro units.

The proposal includes “approximately 22,400 sf of non-residential spaces that include 3,100 sf leasing office and café space, 8,100 sf multiple indoor activity areas, 2,200 sf bike barns, 1,500 sf day care, pedestrian pathways, landscaped courtyards, common open space areas, and maintenance areas.”

The current affordable housing plan contains onsite for very low income—5% of the rental units to be rented at an affordable rent to very low-income households, with the unit mix including at least three two-bedroom units and at least three of the micro units.  The remainder of the affordable units will be one-bedroom units.

In addition to the 10 overall affordable housing units, Plaza 2555 will contribute one acre of land to the Yolo Crisis Nursery for the purchase of creating a new and larger facility to better meet the needs of the families in Yolo County.

As staff notes, “The Yolo Crisis Nursery provides a ‘home away from home’ for children ages zero to five whose families are in crisis and in need of supportive services. It is a short-term residence for at-risk children who can stay for up to 30 days while their families receive wrap-around services.”

The facility “predominantly serves very low and extremely low-income income families referred by other Yolo County social services agencies. Even though YCN does not itself income-qualify its clients, in practice 99% of the children that YCN serves come from families that are eligible for Medi-Cal.”

The income threshold for Medi-Cal eligibility is lower than the “very low income” threshold.

Furthermore, staff notes, “72% of the children come from families who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.”

Staff reports, “There are only four crisis nurseries in California, and YCN is the only nursery to operate under multiple licenses in order to serve a range of children of various ages. The need for the crisis nursery is growing, but the current facility cannot be expanded to meet the growing.”

Back in 2018, the council noted “that the loss of this commercial designated land is supportable given the limited freeway access and the fact that the property had remained unimproved for many years.”  However, they did not find the unit mix acceptable, particularly the four- and five-bedroom units and the total bedroom count of 646.

The council pushed for a “more traditional” apartment complex that has micro units, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.

The project qualifies as a Transit Priority Project exempt under CEQA.  Staff notes, “It meets all of the requirements of PRC related to this exemption.”

It also has a number of sustainability measures, including “compliance with the City of Davis reach codes, photovoltaic panels to offset energy use and purchasing any energy needed to achieve a net-zero energy profile for site and commons area spaces at the highest renewable rate available from the project’s utility. Transportation measures include unbundled parking for the residents, meaning parking will be charged separate of rent to encourage a car free lifestyle.”

Staff notes that the project is proposed “adjacent to transit and within walking distance to shopping, parks, medical facilities, and schools to promote alternative transportation options. The applicant has proposed the amenity space and coffee kiosk to discourage peak-hour traffic to and from the project.”

—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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12 thoughts on “Plaza 2555 Comes Back to Council Looking a Quite a Bit Different, Including a Facility for Yolo Crisis Nursery”

  1. Matt Williams

    There is a “Truth in Advertising” problem in this Plaza 2555 project proposal.  It touts itself as workforce housing, but when you compare it to the other two workforce housing proposals, by comparison it looks a much more like student housing than workforce housing.

    The University Research Park Mixed Use project looks like this:

    Studio Apartments = 32 units = 20% of the units
    1-Bedroom Apartments = 96 units = 60% of the units
    2-Bedroom Apartments = 32 units = 20% of the units

    The 3820 Chiles Road Apartments project looks like this:

    Studio Apartments = 16 units = 7% of the units
    1-Bedroom Apartments = 90 units = 40% of the units
    2-Bedroom Apartments = 102 units = 45% of the units
    3-Bedroom Apartments = 17 units = 8% of the units

    The Plaza 2555 project looks like this:

    Studio Apartments = 5 units = 3% of the units
    1-Bedroom Apartments = 5 units = 3% of the units
    2-Bedroom Apartments = 81 units = 40% of the units
    3-Bedroom Apartments = 109 units = 55% of the units

    One of the other aspects that points toward student housing is the absence of any language regarding “rent-by-the-bed.”  In the Staff Report for Tuesday the following section jumps out

    5.Unit Mix.The City Council did not find the unit mix acceptable, especially the 4 and 5 bedroom units plus the total bedroom count of 646. The applicant was directed to look into providing a “more traditional” apartment complex that has micro units, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units. The Council believes that such a project would provide housing to varied income levels and will not focus primarily on student housing. Some Council members suggested that design features and floor plans that reduce emphasis on student housing also be considered.

    .
    In addition to the fact that a total of 5% of the units in Studio/Micro and 1-Bedroom qualifies for the expression “damning with faint praise” the negotiations between the Council subcommittee and the developer are conspicuously silent about a prohibition on “rent-by-the-bed” leases.  Leaving Plaza 2555 with that option makes the likelihood that this will become a predominantly UCD student apartment complex highly likely.  Council needs to either fix that omission or task the subcommittee and the developer with further discussions before coming back again for approval by the full Council.

    Fixing the lip-service paid to Studio/Micro and 1-Bedroom units would be desirable as well if Plaza 2555 is actually going to be workforce housing as it advertises itself to be.

  2. Ron Oertel

    Transportation measures include unbundled parking for the residents, meaning parking will be charged separate of rent to encourage (parking in surrounding neighborhoods) a car free lifestyle (and to maximize developer profits by foisting their unmitigated impacts on surrounding neighborhoods – and calling it “green”).

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Right, people are going to walk one quarter to half a mile from a nearby neighborhood (which isn’t so nearby) to avoid parking fees. And neighborhoods have no recourse when that happens (parking permits).

      1. Alan Miller

        As someone who put together a parking district –>  yup people will do that, and putting together a parking district so one can park their car is a major arse pain.  (In my case, I was highly motivated, as unlike most people, I don’t have a driveway, so it wasn’t just a matter of where to park my third car)

      2. Ron Oertel

        They do, and I’ve done it many times myself.

        Parking permits usually cost existing residents money. And, they’re usually limited regarding the number of residents’ cars (and make no provisions for visitors).

        A question I have, as well:  Is parking allowed on Research Park Drive?  And if so, do (current) sports park users already park there?

        Also, what’s in that white area, around Comcast?

      3. Ron Oertel

        Also, how would they keep residents and visitors from parking in the “Yolo Crisis Nursery’s” parking lot? (Is that supposedly in the white area, surrounding Comcast?)

         

          1. Don Shor

            As a private property owner who does this, I can tell you that it is possible, indeed it is relatively easy, to control parking on your private property. Signage, permits, and enforcement are simple steps. The methods are well-known to anyone who seeks to do it, and can be very effective. This is a non-issue.

  3. Bill Marshall

    unbundled parking for the residents, meaning parking will be charged separate of rent to encourage

    What a new, innovative concept!  Obviously to maximize profits for the developers/landlords…

    Thing is, it is neither new nor innovative… at least 50 years old… had  a relative, who never drived, who paid extra for a parking space @ her apt., to accommdate visitors…

    The post is misleading, at best…

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