by Pam Marrone
I have been reading the letters criticizing the City Council’s Measure B support. The City Council voted on what they thought would be best for the city. Why? Thousands of R&D-based workers drive over the causeway twice every day to West Sacramento instead of living and working in Davis because we do not have adequate R&D-based facilities for all the companies and workers.
I understand the criticism about the environmental footprint of the proposed R&D park but what about all the tons of emissions from all those cars driving out of Davis every day? Furthermore, the last time a R&D park was built in Davis was 1990 — University Research Park on Drew. I was the first tenant, founding Entotech then AgraQuest in 1995 (bought by Bayer, moved to West Sac in 2012) and now Marrone Bio and Novo Nordisk Biotech reside there. The buildings are old and energy inefficient.
Marrone Bio pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to PG&E in utility costs due to the single-pane windows and poor energy efficiency of the buildings. To get solar panels on this rented building (need both roof and new carports for all the panels) has not been possible because of landlord objections. Each week, an entrepreneur with a green agtech startup contacts me about space in Davis to set up shop. Nearly impossible.
Should we not want home grown green/clean businesses here? Therefore, we need modern, energy efficient research park so employees don’t jump in their cars to commute out to their jobs. I urge the developer to come back to the table and address the traffic issue (btw it’s not like the Mace traffic situation is good now) as we truly do need a place for UCD spinouts and other startups and green businesses to locate.
Pam Marrone lives in Davis and founded Entotech, AgraQuest and Marrone Bio Innovations.
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