Analysis: Will the Developers Try Again with DISC after Narrow Loss?

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By David M. Greenwald

It was a close race, relatively speaking.  The final gap was just under 1300 votes.  Fifty-two percent voted no, but over 15,000 people voted for the project.

The last project to lose in Davis was in 2016.  Nishi at that time lost by around 800 votes—slightly narrower.  Based on that result and the developer’s analysis of the reasons why the project went down, the developers came back with a new proposal addressing two of the key concerns.

For those concerned with traffic on Richards, they eliminated through traffic to Richards from the project.  For those concerned with the lack of affordable housing, they included a sizable on-site proposal.  And they also moved away from ownership units over concerns about the long-term impact of freeway emissions on people living on the site.

The result is that a narrow loss in 2016 turned into an overwhelming win in 2018.

Could DISC do that?  That will probably be a question that is followed in the next year.

On Monday, in a statement from Dan Ramos, he didn’t tip his hand.

“Although obviously disappointed with the election outcome, my project partners and I are hugely appreciative of the support from so many community and business leaders and Davis residents, who understood our vision for bringing a transformative project to Davis that would have accomplished so much for the community,” Ramos said.

He added, “We especially want to thank the City Council for allowing us to take our case to the community, the commissioners whose feedback helped shape the project to make it work as well as possible for the City, the more than 900 public endorsers, and the many others whose insights and energy were an invaluable help.”

Still, the question about the future remains.

Ramos said, “After several years of work, we brought forward a project that we were confident was a great fit for Davis. Beyond not delivering the many fiscal and other local benefits that the DISC would have provided, Measure B’s failure also represents a missed opportunity for Davis to play a more significant role in helping to address a range of pressing global issues that affect everyone, including food security and climate change.”

He continued, “The need and demand for the type of facilities and cutting-edge businesses that the DISC would have accommodated is not going away because Measure B failed. They’ll simply look elsewhere.”

That represents a challenge for Davis.  In 2014, Davis, when Mace Ranch and the Davis Innovation Centers submitted proposals, Davis would have been ahead of the curve.  Situated with a premier research university in their background yard, it was primed to take advantage of the next wave of high tech innovation and research.

Since then, Davis has lost ground.  They have not only lost some key local businesses, but neighboring cities have taken advantage, with huge proposals in places like Sacramento, West Sacramento, Woodland, Dixon and Vacaville.

Still, Davis remains a key and prime location.  But it has lost out on a half a decade of growth potential.

In the meantime, Davis’ fiscal situation remains precarious.  The loss of revenue potential, the decline of TOT and other taxes will put increased pressure on the city’s resources at the same time there are new demands for expenditures and infrastructure needs.

Will the community support more taxes?  We are probably about to find out.

The question for Ramos and DISC—is this a one-shot deal?

Dan Ramos put it this way on Monday: “As the project partners and I evaluate our options, the question for Davis residents and voters is whether they could ever support an innovation center, or if they’re comfortable continuing to let those types of projects and their related benefits go to other communities.”

There remain several questions.

First—was this the result of a moment in time?  There are legitimate concerns about traffic impacts.  You could argue that perhaps the plan did not go far enough to address them.  You could also argue in a few years, with corridor repairs, perhaps some of those problems would be mitigated.

But clearly the concerns about traffic weighed heavily on the outcome.  The areas of town closest to the project and most impacted by traffic were the areas that were strongly opposed to the project, while the other side of town was more evenly split, if not supportive of the project.

In a narrow result, other factors creep in as well.  For example, the uncertainty of COVID.  Many people expressed the position that this was not the right time for a large project when we are uncertain about what a post-COVID world will look like.

Will consolidation of companies continue?  Will companies decrease their physical space needs due to remote work?

If that’s the case, perhaps a reconsideration of the project in four years is in order.

By then, the city will likely have both its downtown plan and general plan update addressed—reducing perhaps some uncertainty.

There were also concerns that, despite the lengthy ramp up to the project since 2014, there had been insufficient community engagement.  I can see that point.  Back in 2013 and 2014, I made the comment that, during the Innovation Task Force meetings, half the “Davis room” was not there.  That half of the room was the half that ended up opposing DISC.

Finally, there are other modifications to the project that could be considered.

First, taking housing off the table might be helpful—although, to be honest, I think it would be irresponsible to add jobs without housing in such a tight market.  A number of people expressed opposition based on the presence of housing.

Second, the developers have looked at reduced size projects in the past.  They found the projects non-viable, but it might be an option to take one section at a time rather than the full 200 acres.

Third, developing a better transportation plan is another approach—although the experience of Nishi suggested, even with a robust plan, the project was still vulnerable to traffic impacts until traffic on Richards was literally taken off the table.  There is no legitimate way to do that on Mace.

In the end, the developers will have to evaluate whether and when and in what form to bring back a proposal—and the community will have to decide whether they are willing to support an innovation center of any sort.

—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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56 thoughts on “Analysis: Will the Developers Try Again with DISC after Narrow Loss?”

  1. Alan Miller

    It was a close race, relatively speaking.  The final gap was just under 1300 votes.  Fifty-two percent voted no, but over 15,000 people voted for the project.

    You called a similar gap between Trump as Biden ‘not really that close’.

    Nishi at that time lost by around 800 votes—slightly narrower.  Based on that result and the developer’s analysis of the reasons why the project went down, the developers came back with a new proposal addressing two of the key concerns.

    Which resulted in a win, but seemingly not a project?  At least they seem in no hurry to break ground.

    the uncertainty of COVID

    I don’t see that as a voter issue.  Why would a voter care?  The risk is with the developer.  If they believe there is a market, Covid-19 is just a delay.  I doubt voters would be interested in the developer’s view of the risk in such a delay.  The fact the developer’s thought it was feasible and willing to take the risk is on them.

    1. Richard McCann

      The uncertainty of COVID relates to how DISC could impact other commercial properties in town. That has nothing to do with developer risk, and actually reflects how the developer might be externalizing project risk to others in the community. We need a deeper exploration of what might happen going forward before we can resolve that uncertainty.

  2. Matt Williams

    The problems with the Dan Ramos statement can be boiled down to one word, which he uses repeatedly … the word “would.”

    “… a transformative project to Davis that would have accomplished so much for the community,” Ramos said.  […] “… delivering the many fiscal and other local benefits that the DISC would have provided” […] “The need and demand for the type of facilities and cutting-edge businesses that the DISC would have accommodated is not going away because Measure B failed.”

    In each case, based on the evidence the DISC team provided tom the community, the more appropriate word rather than “would” is “might”

    “… a transformative project to Davis that might have accomplished so much for the community,” Ramos said.  […] “… delivering the many fiscal and other local benefits that the DISC might have provided” […] “The need and demand for the type of facilities and cutting-edge businesses that the DISC might have accommodated is not going away because Measure B failed.”

    MRIC had a lead tenant.  DISC did not.  And there was no attempt on the part of the DISC team to show the community evidence of the need and demand.  They simply said “trust us the need and demand is there,” but provided no evidence to support their belief. As a result the project never became more than a dream of optimistic outcomes.

    In addition, the central premise that the project is built on is that UC Davis is a magnetic presence  … and therefore a jobs generator.  If the DISC team ever brings back a new proposal, they need UCD to indicate that UCD believes there actually is need and demand … and that they support a project that addresses that need and demand.  Making a statement that “UCD does not oppose the project” does nothing to address the uncertainty.

    So, to torture a metaphor, in its 2020 incarnation DISC was a living embodiment of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” and any future project brought forward needs to put clothes on if it wants to get approval by the voters of the community.  Make it Real.

     

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Another possibility: they have simply done the homework and studies and analysis and are more certain about the prospects of the project than you were – and were willing to throw millions of dollars behind it.

      1. Matt Williams

        If they have done the studies and homework and analysis, then share the results with the voters.  That most likely would put clothes on the Emperor.  Until they do that their words are pretty much the same as Trump’s words about his health plan.
        https://www.joepaduda.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Screen-Shot-2020-09-10-at-5.56.51-AM.png 

      2. Richard McCann

        I agree with Matt. Remember that the vote was only on giving an entitlement to the project area which is much less of a commitment than the approvals requested for Nishi and WDAAC. I doubt that the developers had yet committed much in the way of funding except to the political campaign. If they had the studies, they could have come forward with them, or at least share them with key individuals in the community who then could have vouched for their veracity.

  3. Don Gibson

    The effect of COVID on the student voting population in Davis shouldn’t be underestimated as a significant factor. Anywhere from one third to one half of UC Davis students chose not to return to Davis and would not have voted this election in Davis. The UC Davis student governments both strongly endorsed the project. If you only assume students vote 60% in favor Measure B, an additional 7,000 students voting could have easily been the margin of victory.

    Lastly there is a fundamental political issue those who reside on campus lack the ability to vote in city elections, council & city measures. If UC Davis hits their on-campus housing goals of 48% by 2030 (not posting to argue about this) then almost half of this portion of the UCD community, up to as high as 20,000 residents, will have no right to cast a direct democratic vote in local issues.

    1. Ron Oertel

      The effect of COVID on the student voting population in Davis shouldn’t be underestimated as a significant factor. Anywhere from one third to one half of UC Davis students chose not to return to Davis and would not have voted this election in Davis.

      That is factually incorrect, regarding mail-in ballots.  Ballots from the city/county do not have to be mailed from Yolo county.  Jurisdictions had record turnout, due to the presidential election.  You’re not likely to see an “incentive to vote” like Trump (again), in the near future.

      The UC Davis student governments both strongly endorsed the project. If you only assume students vote 60% in favor Measure B, an additional 7,000 students voting could have easily been the margin of victory.

      I’m not sure why students would support the creation of a housing shortage, but it does appear that the “student governments” do.  (As did the “city government”.)

      Of course, all of this assumes that the proposal was even viable in the first place, beyond the stages subsidized by the housing.

      Lastly there is a fundamental political issue those who reside on campus lack the ability to vote in city elections, council & city measures. If UC Davis hits their on-campus housing goals of 48% by 2030 (not posting to argue about this) then almost half of this portion of the UCD community, up to as high as 20,000 residents, will have no right to cast a direct democratic vote in local issues.

      The strongest argument I’ve seen yet, regarding providing housing for students on campus.  😉 And in that case, their actual needs will be met.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        “That is factually incorrect, regarding mail-in ballots. ”

        You don’t have data so calling something factually incorrect is itself incorrect. One thing you are not taking into consideration – voter registration. Students generally register to vote at the election. So if they are not residing in Davis, they are not registering in Davis.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Interesting that you have no issue with this unsupported “fact” regarding students:

          ” . . . and would not have voted in this election.”

          Honestly, you don’t even try to be balanced in your challenges.

          Was it a record turnout? How does the total number of votes (for/against DISC) compare to other elections?

          How do you know when/if students registered, or whether or not they voted by mail? Again, those don’t have to be mailed from Yolo county.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Exactly. So you don’t have the data to know that his claim was factually incorrect.

        2. Ron Oertel

          David:  Don G. is the commenter who put forth something as “fact” without support.  And yet, you challenge my comment, pointing that out.

          In any case, I’m not sure that Don is doing students any favors, by implying that they’re willing to support any sprawling, greenhouse emitting peripheral development (which would simultaneously create a housing shortage, if it’s viable).

          If believed, this (of course) would encourage development activists to house as many students as possible in the city, to ensure that proposals are approved. I’m sure that some think that way, and are attempting to do just that.

          Then again, the council has approved every megadorm that’s come before it anyway.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Don expressed his opinion. You called his opinion “factually incorrect” but you lacked the data to make that claim.

            An example of being factually incorrect would be if I said 500 people voted and in fact 1000 people vote. That would be factually incorrect. That’s not what we have here.

        3. Ron Oertel

          If you don’t have data to put forth a specific claim like Don’s, it can be assumed to be incorrect (until proven otherwise).

          Was it a record turnout, by the way?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            No. A declaration of factually incorrect means that you have definitive evidence that the claim is factually incorrect. Otherwise it is a matter of your opinion against his.

            The county-level turnout was a record.

        4. Ron Oertel

          David:  Your comment is absurd and demonstrates your bias (in regard to who/what you respond to).  I did not state that up to half of the students (who would have voted) did not.  I called that claim incorrect, and stand by that. If you want to call that my opinion, have at it.

          But maybe more importantly, I don’t think that Don is doing students any favors, given the disharmony that already exists (between a subgroup of them, vs. others). And the implication that if there’s “enough of them”, they can ride roughshod over the concerns of others. (Some might argue that this is already occurring.)

          How did the total number of votes (for/against DISC) compare to other elections (e.g., Nishi, WDAAC)?

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You called the claim factually incorrect when you lacked evidence of that it was. And now you’re arguing about it.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Seems to me that you’re the one who wants to argue with me.

          31,647 total votes in regard to DISC.  Sounds like a record, regarding total number of votes in regard to a development proposal.

          And thanks to the 83% support for Measure D, I guess we’ll see if the developers and council want another round. Maybe we can even increase the percentage of defeat, next time.

          Fortunately, DISC has no “easy fix” like Nishi did, which lost by a much smaller percentage the first time.

          November 3, 2020 General Election Returns — Yolo Elections Office

          Agricultural mitigation land, my friend.  😉

           

        6. Ron Oertel

          And depending upon how/when traffic returns (from the Covid lockdown), that will certainly be a more obvious “in your face” problem if DISC returns, than it was this time.

          And I suppose that both sides might benefit from more door-to-door canvassing, etc. (post-Covid).

          I wonder if they’ll need a new traffic study, EIR and fiscal analysis?  😉

          Regardless, it’s a little more fun when you have one win under your belt, at least.

        7. Ron Oertel

          Ooh – ooh:

          One more obstacle:  The Woodland proposal is going to be working hard to attract the SAME commercial tenants as DISC would have, and will have an enormous “head start”, in a much-more supportive city. (You know – the proposal which failed in Davis, and was subsequently reconfigured to include 1,600 housing units, and “moved” a few miles up the road.)

          Also seems to me that we haven’t even seen all of the impacts (business failures) from Covid yet, either.  (More upcoming vacancies.)  Of course, in Davis – the city just converts those sites to housing, anyway.

    2. Matt Williams

      Don raises some very good points.  If we take the voting point from the second paragraph first, unless the University campus is annexed into the City Limits, the opportunity to vote on City issues will not be afforded to students who live on-campus. I for one would strongly support such an annexation.I believe that Don Saylor brought the issue of UCD annexation into the City up when he was on the City Council.  The UCLA campus is in the City of  Los Angeles. The UC Berkeley campus is in the City of  Berkeley.  Perhaps it would be a good idea for UCD students and alumni to get behind an annexation effort so that UCD and the City of Davis work together as one community rather than as two separate silos.

      I’m not sure that Don’s first paragraph voting point is as big a factor as “an additional 7,000 students” voting.  In this election 100% of the votes cast in Davis were mail ballots.  The fact that an individual UCD was not occupying their Davis apartment due to COVID did not prevent that student from submitting his/her ballot in the election.

      1. Don Gibson

        I did do work back in ~2008ish with some councilmembers back then about consideration annexation of the West Village area/project before people moved in. From my memory city staff at the time showed significant costs and changes to the liability of core services such as Fire.

        Most students move every year or two thus they need to update their voter registration annually. For example, freshmen living in the dorms in 19-20 academic year would have to have re-registered. 20-21 year freshman are significantly reduced living in Davis due to COVID. As someone who has personally registered thousands of voters, a lot of people put it off to the last minute. Additionally, most people and students don’t follow local politics, so would not feel completed to register in Davis as opposed to at the family home. This is where I assume that the student vote, even with record turnout is down by the thousands. Exact number would need a review of a voter database and running some queries. But 7,000 additional voters at 60% YES rate would a margin of victory.

        1. Matt Williams

          From my memory city staff at the time showed significant costs and changes to the liability of core services such as Fire.

          That isn’t a surprise, but also illuminates how city staff often only looks at one side of an issue.  Costs clearly are going to be affected, but revenues also are going to be affected.  The provision of Fire services in the current jurisdictional set up has costs for providing Fire Services to the campus.  That money that UCD is now spending to provide those services would be redirected toward covering the costs that staff was concerned about.  Further, the need for the City to spend $1 million plus on acquiring a ladder truck and then a half a million dollars a year staffing that truck would not be needed.  Instead a collective decision about how to optimally use the existing UCD ladder truck to provide services to the expanded City Limits footprint would be a far superior alternative/approach.

          With that said, it is a pleasure to be hearing from you again here on the Vanguard Don.  I really respect the thought and consideration you put into your comments.  You have my respect.

      2. Alan Miller

        Perhaps it would be a good idea for UCD students and alumni to get behind an annexation effort so that UCD and the City of Davis work together as one community rather than as two separate silos.

        I would get behind that effort.

  4. Richard McCann

    If in the future the community has developed the plan and the mechanism to properly consider this project, I would consider supporting it in the future. However, the developers should plan on communicating directly with citizens here and not rely on using City staff management as proxies. In particular, Nishii used that path the second time around to gain further support. Ignoring so many of the commissions’ proposals (and coming to them at such a late date) did not help politically.

    1. Matt Williams

      If in the future the community has developed the plan and the mechanism to properly consider this project, I would consider supporting it in the future. However, the developers should plan on communicating directly with citizens here and not rely on using City staff management as proxies. In particular, Nishi used that path the second time around to gain further support. Ignoring so many of the commissions’ proposals (and coming to them at such a late date) did not help politically.

    2. Mark West

      Davis is already one of the most expensive and difficult communities in the region for developers to work in. Instead of working to alleviate some of those challenges so that we might address our commercial and residential deficiencies (and the City’s fiscal shortfall) what Richard is advocating here is essentially to double down, making it even more expensive and more difficult to build projects. The practical application will be to block future peripheral development, keeping Davis an expensive and exclusive enclave for the well off. I guess, “protect the status quo” should be our new motto.

      The call here is for more community involvement in development planning. The reality, though, is that DISC was the culmination of a multi-year community planning effort to expand our commercial sector and support economic development in town. The goal of those years of community involvement and investment was to expand our tax base so that we would not have to rely on residential property tax and sales tax increases to meet the City’s fiscal challenges. Was this project perfect? Absolutely not, but then again, no project ever will be. It was, however, a project that the developer was willing to build while taking on the financial risks of doing so. There are no other projects on the horizon or other developers standing in line to take on those risks, so the pursuit of a perfect project has only acted to prevent the possible one, while at the same time, dismissing years of investment and involvement by the community. Apparently, community involvement is only of value if the results conform with one’s personal agenda.

    3. Ron Oertel

      . In particular, Nishii used that path the second time around to gain further support. Ignoring so many of the commissions’ proposals (and coming to them at such a late date) did not help politically.

      Hence, a reason to stack the commissions with members who would likely be more supportive of future proposals, whether it’s a “conscious” decision, or not.

      “Wink-wink, nudge-nudge” (to quote Monty Python, I think).

      By the way, why are Richard’s and Matt’s posts “identical”?

      1. Don Shor

        stack the commissions with members who would likely be more supportive of future proposals

        You have no idea how the new commissioners will vote on future proposals.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Also it’s not exactly clear that it matters all that much – most are advisory votes anyway and even the Planning Commission can be overruled by the council – as it was with University Commons. That’s the part of the equation that I never understood with respect to this conspiracy.

        2. Ron Oertel

          You have no idea how the new commissioners will vote on future proposals.

          We know how the non-selectees would have voted, regarding a recent proposal.

          Regarding its relative importance, that might depend upon how one views the political traction of having commissions aligned with a pro-development council.

          And in the case of actual information (such as that from the finance and budget commission), the importance of that analysis is self-evident. And as one can plainly see, some commission members (and the former one on the council) are far more “optimistic” (regarding benefits, vs. cost) than others.

           

           

          1. Don Shor

            having commissions aligned with a pro-development council.

            You have no idea whether the new commissioners would be “aligned with a pro-development council.” You are casting aspersions on the new commissioners and basically using innuendo to discredit them and the council.
            Basically you seem to want a litmus test for commissioners that they be known to be anti-development, not open-minded.

        3. Ron Oertel

          The reason for the subcommittee’s recommendations (to exclude those who opposed DISC) are not my responsibility to explain.

          We do know that those two (Gloria and Dan) were perhaps the strongest supporters of DISC, and essentially helped campaign for it. In my opinion, they are (also) not particularly “welcoming” of opposing points of view (sometimes, to the point of casting “dispersions” upon others). Sort of like what happens on here, routinely.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            The focus on DISC I think misses the point on the subcommittee’s recommendations. A bigger factor with two of the applicants were interpersonal issues. Todd’s ended up being publicized, but Alan’s wasn’t. Discounting the issue of diversity I think would be foolish. The last round greatly increased the number of people of color on the commissions.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Regarding selection upon skin color, I’ll “re-use” Don’s allegation, regarding me:

          Basically you seem to want a litmus test for commissioners . . .

          But back to your quote:

          A bigger factor with two of the commissioners were interpersonal issues.

          How do you know?  And which is it – “undesirable” skin color, or “interpersonal issues”?

          Regardless, either of these claims be used as a “cover” (purposefully, or inadvertently) to ensure closer alignment with favored views.

          To be fair, I don’t recall (directly) any “aspersions” from Dan Carson, but it seems to me that there has reportedly been some friction between him and some others.  So, maybe it’s not the commissioners who have interpersonal issues.

          I do recall what I’d label as aspersions from Gloria (in regard to those concerned about the impact of megadorms, for example). Seems to me that (in general), she “stokes the flames”, rather than attempt to understand. Same with her comments regarding Measure J/R/D, in a way.

          There is only one former commissioner that I can see who might be viewed as having “interpersonal” issues.  And, he seemed highly motivated to address those concerns (and may have already been doing to).

          Another commissioner (who certainly doesn’t see eye-to-eye with me) put forth a comment on here in support of Alan P.

           

           

        5. Alan Miller

          A bigger factor with two of the applicants were interpersonal issues. Todd’s ended up being publicized, but Alan’s wasn’t.

          Wow, seriously?  You put out there this vague implication that a person had “issues” with the implication that you have some all-knowing, factually-correct, inside knowledge, but present no evidence or details.  All that does is smear someone, because with no details, people just fill in their own ideas as to what you are implying.  That’s not even close to journalistically moral and is really low.

          And who is this “Alan” of which you speak?

          Discounting the issue of diversity I think would be foolish.

          “Diversity” may indeed be desirable goal for commissions, in a way that it isn’t for job hiring decisions . . . but unless it is defined, it is a forever-unattainable goal, with every group claiming it isn’t – and wanting to be – “represented”.  So one must define what groups need greater representation and why.

          I agree with the concept of the local group trying to get more “people of color” and/or  other groups on to commissions by recruitment and encouragement.  What I found indigestible was when a qualified school board appointee got caught in the political crossfire and terminated for no higher crime than being in a white face at the wrong time.

        6. Keith Olsen

          What I found indigestible was when a qualified school board appointee got caught in the political crossfire and terminated for no higher crime than being in a white face at the wrong time.

          That, imo, was a very disgusting chapter in Davis politics.

        7. Bill Marshall

          What I found indigestible was when a qualified school board appointee got caught in the political crossfire and terminated for no higher crime than being in a white face at the wrong time.

          Somewhat agree… the candidate/appointee was not to me, the object, and unfortunately was a “collateral damage”… I had sincerely hoped she had run for a seat, but she chose not to… may well have voted for her, if it was for the “at large” seat, which was the one she was appointed to fill. [Sidebar, because of the way things ‘went down’, I was precluded for any seat except the at-large… which gets to my next point, in part]

          The reason I signed the petition was to admonish (and, negate) the board members who insisted on doing the appointment, instead of waiting 6 months, when an election was scheduled, where a replacement could be re-elected, at-large… one board member in particular, showed extreme cowardice (my opinion) in originally supporting community input (voting) then “flipped”… not much respect for Ms Pickett, either, who originally abstained (as to method), then “flipped” when the appointment did not go the way she thought it would… so, I feel no guilt… 2 0f the 5 on the board had questionable ethics, and as I recall, the main proponent of appointment was Fernandes, he chose not to run, and helped decide the ‘lack of diversity’ appointee…

          My problem was the Board decision to appoint, not the appointee… again, I really wish she had run…

           

  5. Bill Marshall

    Here’s the “deal…

    Many will say DISC has too much housing… others will say, not enough (minimizes peak hour traffic)…

    Many will say, if housing, not enough “affordable”… many will say “too much… we don’t need ‘those’ people’ interacting with “us”…

    Many will say “No more traffic”… others will say it can be mitigated…

    Some will say, not needed… everyone will tele-commute, no need for lab/production space… others will refute that…

    Many will say, it is needed for on-going revenues… others will say, the City needs to cut expenses (lower salaries, benefits, reduce staff and/or programs), additional revenues are one-time, and/or not needed…

    Many will say, no change in urban footprint (takes ag out of production)… others will point out that the ag doesn’t make a whole lot of difference, at this scale…

    Could go on, but think a very complex Venn diagram (and some have argued that there is too much housing and not enough, in the same breath, further confusing the diagram)…

    Kind like a lot of folk are saying, I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 1,000… guess correctly, and we’ll vote for it (after all Measure J/R/D is sacred… crossing all spiritualities), otherwise, NO!

    That is the reality… it is orders of magnitude beyond ‘rocket science’ to be all things to all people… but, the proposal only has to get to 50% + 1…

    Will be interesting to see how he developers assess the risks, potential profits, and costs, moving forward, and either roll the dice, or lick their wounds… I was ambivalent, but even tho’ I live in Mace Ranch, I voted [edited]

     

  6. Ron Glick

    “Lastly there is a fundamental political issue those who reside on campus lack the ability to vote in city elections, council & city measures. ”

    Been pointing this out for years. Of course, unlike Trump, many in Davis don’t like to say this quiet part about voting rights out loud when they advocate that new student housing should be built on campus.

    1. Matt Williams

      Ron, it is a problem that has a clear solution.  What steps do you think we should take to make that solution a reality?  As long as the jurisdictional boundaries are what they are, the problem will persist.

       

      1. Ron Glick

        Two responses Matt. The city could annex some or all of the campus with an MOU with the University for provision of services or people could stop demanding that student housing not be built in the city and opposing it on the flimsiest of grounds.

        1. Matt Williams

          Ron, annexation is not a unilateral event.  One jurisdiction can not annex another jurisdiction without the agreement of that jurisdiction being annexed, and the formal legal action of the Local Agency Formation Organization (LAFCo). So that MOU you are referring to needs to be a whole lot more than a simple Memorandum.

          Once an annexation is agreed to and approved by the LAFCo, the provision of services becomes the responsibility of the newly expanded jurisdiction (the City in this case).  Once the jurisdiction is annexed, building housing within the City Limits would then include locations with the newly annexed area.  So “on-campus housing” would also be housing that is “built in the City.”

  7. Bill Marshall

    How does one expect to gain diversity by accident?

    Hard to parse who you are addressing, David… if it is me, and following that portion of the thread, I expect to gain diversity at the ballot box… the sub-thread was about DJUSD…

    Unless you are suggesting DJUSD members be appointed by some “diversity czar”, and forgo elections entirely… be careful what you ask for… which doen’t even get to how a “diversity czar” gets that ‘office’…

    If responding to another poster, humbly suggest you indicate to who you are responding… your quoted post shows up right after mine… hard to parse…

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I was throwing it out for whoever wanted it.  I think it’s the basic problem that we see with the commissions, without effort to change diversity, it doesn’t just happen.  Particularly in places like Davis.

      That said, I think you’re least culpable of the recent posters in that thread.

    2. Ron Oertel

      “Diversity Czar” – comment of the day!  😉

      In reference to Alan M.’s earlier comment, I’d suggest some criteria, possibly including points of varying amounts – depending upon that criteria.

      That way, we can ignore what the council may/may not actually be doing in regard to appointments.

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