Monday Morning Thoughts: Is the Council Actually Out of Step?

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By David M. Greenwald

A few weeks ago, an op-ed by several citizens implied that the council who voted to put DISC (Measure B) on the ballot, we somehow out of step with the voters.

They argued, “the election also demonstrates that there is a troubling disconnect between the current City Council and the concerns of its citizens, including the concerns of many downtown business owners.  All five council members were enthusiastic supporters of Measure B and there was not a single voice on the council that championed citizen or city of Davis Commission concerns about DISC.”

But the writers fail to note that the two of those who voted to put the Measure on the ballot were reelected by large margins – including over one of the authors of the piece and that the voters themselves were closely divided on the issue – 52-48.

In response, Dan Ramos, noted that while the authors argued that the defeat of DISC “means that it’s time for a new vision,” he pushed back in his own letter arguing, “the truth is that Davis remains an excellent location for an innovation center that retains and builds on the transformative technologies coming out of UC Davis.”

“We wouldn’t have proposed the project and spent the money to move it forward if that wasn’t true,” Ramos argues.  “Without a project like DISC, those new ideas and businesses will just go elsewhere, as they’ve been doing for decades. That creates a missed opportunity for Davis to play a more significant role in actually addressing climate change, food insecurity and other pressing global issues, and for the city and Yolo County to benefit from the hundreds of millions of dollars in research funding that flow annually to UC Davis.”

While the authors argue that DISC’s defeat has “climate-change benefits” – Ramos points out, “the truth is that it means highly qualified Davis residents who could be working locally will instead continue commuting to jobs in Sacramento and the Bay Area. Lost jobs, missed opportunities to positively shape and impact the future, and longer work commutes … that’s hardly a win for the environment and an undeniable loss for Davis.”

Meanwhile Timothy Tutt points out, “the Council’s support of DISC means that their vision comports with that of nearly half of Davis voters — that’s not wildly out of step to me.”

Tutt argued, “I carefully read through the DISC proposal, the environmental impact reports, and the arguments opposing the project and then voted for it. I believe that by the time DISC would have been built out most of the car trips to and from the site would have been with electric vehicles powered by electricity that is at least 80 percent carbon-free.”

He argues, “I believe in net-zero development, but also understand that one simply cannot make that happen in all cases without some offsite reductions to offset onsite carbon emissions. One cannot build a net-zero medium rise or high rise building without offsite reductions — there is simply not enough space for on-site zero carbon energy production and not enough room in our lifestyles for significantly less energy use than allowed by state building code.”

He notes, “I have worked for 40 years in the area of energy and climate policy and understand the benefit of offsite reductions and trust the protocols and monitoring that makes those fully legitimate.”

Tutt believes there is plenty of room in the Davis zoning code for denser infill development.

He writes, “Three story development opportunities downtown are abundant, and higher developments are possible with variances if deftly planned. My favorite candidate is the strip mall just north of the Co-op. It’s outdated and I could see a very nice mixed-use development there of three or more stories. Granny flats are allowed and could be developed in nearly all the existing R-1 and R-2 areas. A code change in which tasteful four unit apartment buildings, no more than two stories, in R-1 and R-2 zones, similar to what Minneapolis has adopted, makes sense to me.”

In my view, the views of various residents on the future of Davis need to be part of robust discussion.  What do we need to do to remain vital and have a sustainable economy while at the same time, preserving the many strengths of this community?

A 52-48 decision by the voters during a pandemic is hardly a knock out blow for the council or future discussions about economic development and growth.

—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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55 thoughts on “Monday Morning Thoughts: Is the Council Actually Out of Step?”

  1. Robert Canning

    It would be helpful to know who Mr. Tutt is and where his remarks appeared.

    And also, Ramos’ remarks seem a bit self-serving. Have other observers also suggested that “Davis remains an excellent location for an innovation center that retains and builds on the transformative technologies coming out of UC Davis”? Maybe not a developer?

        1. Alan Miller

          Oh.   He not only wrote a letter, the DV was pulling quotes wholesale from the letter.  If only we’d been informed of that fact while reading the article.  I thought it was a DV interview of somebody in the ‘energy’ sector commenting on DISC.

          I guess we’re expected to have thoroughly read the DE before reading the DV.

      1. Matt Williams

        Since not everyone has a subscription to the Enterprise, here is the text of Tutt’s letter, which has been published online, but not yet in a print edition.

        Letter: City Council’s ‘vision’
        By Letters to the Editor

        I find the debate about Measure B and the Davis City Council’s “vision” interesting. It would seem to me that the Council’s support of DISC means that their vision comports with that of nearly half of Davis voters — that’s not wildly out of step to me.

        I’m an environmentalist. I have solar on my house, energy-efficient lights and appliances, hang-dry laundry, limit meat consumption, and have driven almost exclusively on electricity for nearly 20 years. I carefully read through the DISC proposal, the environmental impact reports, and the arguments opposing the project and then voted for it. I believe that by the time DISC would have been built out most of the car trips to and from the site would have been with electric vehicles powered by electricity that is at least 80 percent carbon-free.

        I believe in net-zero development, but also understand that one simply cannot make that happen in all cases without some offsite reductions to offset onsite carbon emissions. One cannot build a net-zero medium rise or high rise building without offsite reductions — there is simply not enough space for on-site zero carbon energy production and not enough room in our lifestyles for significantly less energy use than allowed by state building code. I have worked for 40 years in the area of energy and climate policy and understand the benefit of offsite reductions and trust the protocols and monitoring that makes those fully legitimate.

        I also think that there is plenty of room in the Davis zoning code for denser infill development. Three story development opportunities downtown are abundant, and higher developments are possible with variances if deftly planned. My favorite candidate is the strip mall just north of the Co-op. It’s outdated and I could see a very nice mixed-use development there of three or more stories. Granny flats are allowed and could be developed in nearly all the existing R-1 and R-2 areas. A code change in which tasteful four unit apartment buildings, no more than two stories, in R-1 and R-2 zones, similar to what Minneapolis has adopted, makes sense to me.

        Timothy Tutt
        Davis

  2. Ron Glick

    “A 52-48 decision by the voters during a pandemic is hardly a knock out blow for the council or future discussions about economic development and growth.”

    But  an 85% yes vote on D was.

  3. Todd Edelman

    Hardly
    Out of step
    Narrow
    C’mon you guys
    Not really
    etc.

    100% of the Council voted for DISC, and 48% of the people who voted, voted for DISC, and turn out was high, so something like 35% of people who registered to vote, voted for DISC, yes? But like only 2/3 of people register, yes? Add to that the residents who cannot vote due to age, citizenship status, Federal convictions, etc.

    So perhaps 20% of residents voted for DISC vs 100% of Council, yes? (I realize that this is not apples-to-apples, but I feel it’s important to not gloss over the structural clusterf*cks of voluntary sort-of-dcmocracy.)

    Also:  

    All five council members were enthusiastic supporters of Measure B and there was not a single voice on the council that championed citizen or city of Davis Commission concerns about DISC.

    and the Council’s DISC sub-committee refused to meet with the BTSSC’s sub-committee on DISC. Councilmember Carson told us that they understood our perspective, which is interesting considering his sub-committee colleague’s curious views on infill development and mitigation of traffic impacts.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      But again, the opposition to DISC who ran for council each got less than 35 percent of the vote. So the same voters who voted against DISC, voted to return their councilmembers who voted for it by huge numbers.

      1. Matt Williams

        David’s point ignores the fact that the responsibilities of City Council include many, many other issues beyond land use.  I include below a list of Issues I put together in 2014 that adds some meat to my assertion that the responsibilities are broad … and the list I created isn’t close to complete.  Please feel free to add issues that aren’t on my list. Bottom-line, the decision on which Council candidate to vote for is complex, while the decision on how to vote on a specific Land Use Measure is nowhere near as complex.

        https://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Screen-Shot-2020-12-28-at-9.52.30-AM.png 

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Actually it’s embedded in the point that the Council includes far more issues than simply DISC. But my point is simply that if most people found that position so abhorrent as suggested in the column, then they had a remedy for it. The voters chose not to take that remedy.

        2. Matt Williams

          Embedded perhaps, but very quietly so.

          With that said, I believe you are being somewhat myopic when you say, “But my point is simply that if most people found that position so abhorrent as suggested in the column, then they had a remedy for it. The voters chose not to take that remedy.”  The voters had an available and timely remedy for the abhorrence they felt for the DISC proposal … and 16,458 of them did indeed choose to take that remedy.  That is one of the beauties of Measure J/R/D … voting Council members out of office for a litmus test issue becomes unnecessary.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            That’s one way to look at it. The way I view it, is there are layers of public opinion. There is a segment of the population – perhaps 20 to 35 percent – that was opposed to DISC and willing to throw ’em out. There was another who perhaps in general didn’t have a problem with council but was not going to support the project or not this year – that group was about 20 percent of the population maybe up to 30 percent. And then there was a group willing to support both the project and the council. That helps us see where the lines are here.

        3. Ron Oertel

          If the council reflected what voters preferred, more than half of the council would have opposed DISC.

          But really, one should take an “average”, when looking at how the council matches-up with development proposals.  If the council consistently supports proposals in which there is significant opposition, then (by definition) there is a division.

          But it’s not all that simple to look at it on an individual level, unless one also includes Dillan Horton, Rochelle Swanson, Josh Chapman, etc. (And again, there are already self-imposed limitations regarding “who” is willing to run, in the first place.)

          I understand that Colin (if one wants to use him as an example of a “slow-growther”), reportedly supported WDAAC.

          One would also have to consider who voted for various infill proposals (or not), and the reasons why they did so.

          Then, there’s the issue of incumbency, the amount of effort put in by challengers, etc.

          There’s also the issue of district elections, which (by definition) include a much smaller percentage of voters (than city-wide issues), such as DISC.

          Regardless, there appears to be no question that those who “make it” into office support development (both infill, and peripheral) more consistently than residents and voters.  I have no explanation for that. But it might also depend upon “who” is actually willing to run in the first place, for what is pretty close to a “volunteer/temporary” job, which requires significant expenditures and effort to win.

           

        4. Ron Oertel

          But if I had to single-out one council member who I suspect is most “out-of-touch”, it might be Gloria.  But, she’s got the “social justice” vote going for her, and has a gentle, polite approach. It is difficult to “dislike” her, based upon that.

          Hopefully, she’ll refrain from getting involved on behalf of developers, going forward. (I don’t think we can hope for that in regard to Dan, but we already know where he’s coming from.) But at least Dan has some more of what I might call a “basis in reality”, and strongly supported Measure D. (Unlike Gloria.)

          1. Don Shor

            But if I had to single-out one council member who I suspect is most “out-of-touch”, it might be Gloria.

            I think Mayor Partida is very much in touch with what Davis voters care about. A council member doesn’t have to be against development to get elected because Measure D gives voters the final say on those issues. This is all quite different from council elections a couple of decades ago when housing growth was the core issue of each campaign.
            The notion that the council members are “out of touch” is coming entirely from people who supported the candidates who lost by significant margins. So it’s a little absurd at that level. It just seems that the campaign has not ended, and those folks are just pivoting to the next election and trying out their themes for when they can find someone to run against Dan Carson and Gloria Partida. “Transparency” (with innuendo and insinuations about corruption) didn’t work, so now it’s “they’re out of touch.” I don’t think that will work either.

        5. Alan Miller

          (Unlike Gloria.)

          Um, but she did support D.  She expressed concerns and I was hopeful she’d vote against putting it on the ballot, based on what she was saying, but then she just went along with the council majority to make it the council unanimity.

          No soup for you!

        6. Ron Oertel

          Don: “Transparency” (with innuendo and insinuations about corruption) didn’t work, so now it’s “they’re out of touch.” I don’t think that will work either.

          Innuendo and “innuendo and insinuations about corruption” sounds like innuendo, itself.

          But apparently, the “innuendo” that you’re suggesting did not prevent voters from sinking DISC. Despite direct involvement by Gloria and Dan, on behalf of the developers.

          If council is consistently more supportive of developments than voters (and/or residents), it’s a simple mathematical/factual observation, not a political argument.

          Regarding whether or not it “works” to point that out is a different argument.

        7. Matt Williams

          That’s one way to look at it. The way I view it, is there are layers of public opinion. There is a segment of the population – perhaps 20 to 35 percent – that was opposed to DISC and willing to throw ’em out. There was another who perhaps in general didn’t have a problem with council but was not going to support the project or not this year – that group was about 20 percent of the population maybe up to 30 percent. And then there was a group willing to support both the project and the council. That helps us see where the lines are here.

          That’s one way to look at it.  From a voting age population based on the 2010 Census numbers of approximately 53,000, 40 percent did not vote, 29% voted Yes and 31% voted No.

          The way I view it, the layers of the Yes votes were that half or more of the Yes votes fell into the “don’t care personally, but my friend/neighbor/relative who I trust is voting Yes, so I will vote Yes” and less than half of the Yes votes actually supported the project and/or the Council.   So, no more than 15% of the voting age population actually supported the project and/or the Council.

          My view of the layers of the No votes were similar to yours, with 80% or more of the No votes being opposed to the project in principle, and the remaining 20% of the No votes in the category of “not going to support the project now given all the uncertainty” So, 25% of the voting age population opposed the project in principle.

          That is probably a good starting point on any Measure J/R/D election.  25% of the voting age population opposed in principle, 15% supportive in principle, 40% who won’t vote regardless, and the remaining 20% willing to listen to the supposed merits of the project.

        8. Ron Oertel

          Matt:  For what it’s worth, I think that you and David leave out those who vote for “any-and-all” proposals, for reasons other than the specifics of a given proposal.

          Probably those voting against Measure D contain a high percentage of those folks. But, I suspect not all of them.

          But really, all of these percentages (other than the final tallies) are pulled from the nether-reaches of our imaginations, to put it politely.

          The total amount of voters (and for each proposal) likely varies in each election, as well. With Trump being on the ballot having an impact, as well. (As if people’s individual vote in California made any difference whatsoever, regarding that. Sometimes, I wonder about people in regard to things like that.)

        9. Ron Oertel

          For what it’s worth, I think that you and David leave out those who vote for “any-and-all” proposals,

          Which seems to include the council, itself.  (Just kidding, sort-of.)

          Actually, neither Will nor Lucas ultimately supported University Commons.

          Brett was the unexpected change, regarding that. (And at one time, I guess he was considered the more “slow-growth” person on the council. Seems like he disappointed some folks.)

          You’d think that the social justice representatives would have been concerned about WDAAC, but this might go back to my first sentence underneath the quote, above.

        10. Matt Williams

          Matt:  For what it’s worth, I think that you and David leave out those who vote for “any-and-all” proposals, for reasons other than the specifics of a given proposal.

          Probably those voting against Measure D contain a high percentage of those folks. But, I suspect not all of them.

          But really, all of these percentages (other than the final tallies) are pulled from the nether-reaches of our imaginations, to put it politely.

          The total amount of voters (and for each proposal) likely varies in each election, as well. With Trump being on the ballot having an impact, as well. (As if people’s individual vote in California made any difference whatsoever, regarding that. Sometimes, I wonder about people in regard to things like that.)

          .
          Ron, for what it is worth, your “those who vote for “any-and-all” proposals, for reasons other than the specifics of a given proposal” and my “no more than 15% of the voting age population actually supported the project and/or the Council” are effectively the same people … with the difference being in name only.

          With that said, let’s drill down into your statement “all of these percentages (other than the final tallies) are pulled from the nether-reaches of our imaginations” (1) the total population of 65,622 is a statistic of record, rather than plucked from nether region imagination. (2) the portion of the total population that is 18 years or older is a statistic of record, very close to 53,000. (3) the total votes counted of 31, 647 is a statistic of record, rather than plucked from nether region imagination. (4) the mathematical result of dividing 31,647 by 53,000 to get 60% doesn’t even get close to the nether region neighborhood.  (5) 100% minus 60% to get the 40% proportion that did not vote is also “nether region-free” (6) the total “Yes” votes counted of 15,189 is a statistic of record, rather than plucked from nether region imagination. (7) the total “No” votes counted of 16458 is a statistic of record, rather than plucked from nether region imagination.

          Only when one gets to the two clearly labeled “The way I view it” statements, the only one approximating a nether region is not David … and not me.

          As Chiefs head coach Andy Reid would say, “Time’s yours.”

        11. Ron Oertel

          ” . . . let’s drill down into your statement . . .”

          Let’s not.

          Did you check out the link to the “Tut” video, below?  (When he moved back to America, they got rid of one of the “t’s”.)

  4. Ron Oertel

    While the authors argue that DISC’s defeat has “climate-change benefits” – Ramos points out, “the truth is that it means highly qualified Davis residents who could be working locally will instead continue commuting to jobs in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

    More likely is that they’ll “commute” from one of the 1,600 planned homes within the new “technology park” planned 7 miles up Highway 113.  Or, the 4,000 new or planned housing units adjacent to that, in Spring Lake.

    Those are some of the same folks that would otherwise commute to UCD (or DISC).

  5. Alan Miller

    Meanwhile Timothy Tutt points out,

    Seriously?  You introduce a random person with an alliterative name without any introductory credentials, and them have them speak on DISC and then slip in several other Davis development issues from one man’s opinion who is eventually vaguely identified as working in energy and climate policy.

    And no, just because we can Google things these days doesn’t mean your humble reader is required to do so.  The fact is, most people won’t, and will assume this person has cred.  Also, sans the alliterative name, it is possible to Google the wrong person if you don’t have enough info.  This is not using standards of basic good journalistic writing.

    Tut tut!

  6. Alan Miller

    I believe that by the time DISC would have been built out most of the car trips to and from the site would have been with electric vehicles powered by electricity that is at least 80 percent carbon-free.

    Assuming this guy actually has cred in energy policy, this is a fallacy that befalls those who know only of energy and nothing of transportation.  The electric car as some religious salvation from the satanic evil of carbon.  I doubt the energy grid will flip so fast, but no to mention the advantages of electric vehicles such as the terrible inefficiency of electricity from source to vehicle use, battery disposal, and the greater ease of killing children, animals and bicycles who can’t hear you coming.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

    But seriously on the transportation side, the electric vehicle does nothing to reduce miles traveled by vehicles.  We stick with the cars on roads issue, i.e. — traffic and energy use problems, and inefficient land use problems.  Transportation efficiency comes with solving the last mile issue with pleasant and safe personal-powered transport – like small covered buggies that can be used on self-powered-only roads (enhanced bike paths) for much of their journeys, and used in the rain – connecting to nodes of regulary-timed, high-occupancy transit such as at the Amtrak depot.

    Electric cars only prolong so many of our issues with single/low-occupancy powered transit.

  7. Alan Miller

    You could have just wrote an article on the other zoning issues our mysterious T.T. brings up (for some reasons), but since they are on-topic though off-topic.

    “Three story development opportunities downtown are abundant, and higher developments are possible with variances if deftly planned.

    I believe the downtown plan is calling for 7-10 in some areas.

    My favorite candidate is the strip mall just north of the Co-op.

    “Favorite” ?  Does T.T. or associates/family own an interest there?

    It’s outdated and I could see a very nice mixed-use development there of three or more stories.

    Small problem of toxic waste.

    Granny flats are allowed and could be developed in nearly all the existing R-1 and R-2 areas.

    True and have been for some time.

    A code change in which tasteful four unit apartment buildings, no more than two stories, in R-1 and R-2 zones, similar to what Minneapolis has adopted, makes sense to me.”

    THAT is a worm can.  Nice to just tuck it into an article like this – purposeful Mr. Vanguard?  Floating a trial balloon for T.T. & Co. or some other interests?

    But we were talking about DISC. No, we were talking about the council being out of step. Heck I dunno – I sure wish “COMMENTERS” would stay on topic!

        1. Ron Oertel

          That is an important point to note, Alan M.

          The Vanguard ultimately has a very narrow scope – even with the new student writers (who seem to primarily be pre-law students). Nothing inherently wrong with that, but it is what it is.

           

    1. Mark West

      AM: “I believe the downtown plan is calling for 7-10 in some areas.”

      Not the versions I have read. 2-5 is typical depending on location, with 7 mentioned as possible in limited areas. No mention that I have found for anything above 7 stories, but I am happy to be corrected. For the record, the 1961 CASP called for up to 8 stories.

      AM: “Favorite” ?  Does T.T. or associates/family own an interest there?

      Why do you presume an interest in the property is required to favor redevelopment here. I agree with the author that it is a prime location for a mixed-use development and I do not have any interest in the property (direct or indirect). The fact is that it is a large property with a limited number of parcel owners makes consolidation much more likely, and thus overcomes the primary deterrent to redevelopment downtown (small parcels with numerous owners making consolidation difficult and expensive). I think you would have difficulty finding a downtown location with more potential outside of City owned parcels.

      AM: “Small problem of toxic waste.”

      The remediation work has been in progress for several years and from what I last heard, was nearly complete. You may have more recent information.

       

      1. Matt Williams

        I agree with several of Mark’s points.  7 stories was the maximum if I remember correctly in the limited areas.  A maximum of 5 stories was much more prevalent.  I too think the strip mall north of the Co-Op is a prime location, and I too have no direct or indirect interest in the property.  The south building of the Davis Ace complex, which is currently for sale, is another prime location, and here too I have no interest in that property.  It also matches Mark’s criteria of  “a limited number of parcel owners makes consolidation much more likely, and thus overcomes the primary deterrent to redevelopment downtown (small parcels with numerous owners making consolidation difficult and expensive).”

        1. Mark West

          The former Davis Ace site also has potential but it is roughly a third of the area and does not include the adjacent parking lot (City owned). If you combine the strip mall, parking lot and the former gas station site to the North (separate ownership and a party to the remediation) you would have nearly 90K square feet. The Ace parcel is roughly 30K.

      2. Alan Miller

        Not the versions I have read. 2-5 is typical depending on location, with 7 mentioned as possible in limited areas.

        True, 7 was in the plan – someone in town was pushing for 10, but I should have clarified that was not in the plan.  For the record, I am not against a few 7 story buildings in the very core of the core.

        Why do you presume an interest in the property is required to favor redevelopment here.

        Not favor, “favorite”.  I found that odd language.  But I was assuming, since it wasn’t mentioned, that this was an interview by the DV, not a letter to the editor of the DE.  Since it was a LTE, that changes the flavor as it was a citizen letter.

        The remediation work has been in progress for several years and from what I last heard, was nearly complete.

        I hope that is true.  I was just pointing out why it hasn’t happened yet.  I would love to see some new development there, as long as it’s not ridiculously overwhelming of the neighborhoods to the east and west.  And the COOP is kept intact.

    2. Don Shor

      A code change in which tasteful four unit apartment buildings, no more than two stories, in R-1 and R-2 zones, similar to what Minneapolis has adopted, makes sense to me.”

      THAT is a worm can. Nice to just tuck it into an article like this – purposeful Mr. Vanguard? Floating a trial balloon for T.T. & Co. or some other interests?

      Here is what Minneapolis has done. https://minneapolis2040.com/implementation/built-form-rezoning-study/
      Here is your can of worms:

      In neighborhood interiors farthest from downtown that today contain primarily single-family homes, increase housing choice and supply by allowing up to three dwelling units on an individual lot.

  8. Matt Williams

    I received the following e-mail yesterday from someone after they read Dan Ramos letter in the Enterprise.  The points made in the e-mail apply not only to the assertions made by Dan Ramos, but also to David Greenwald’s assertions in today’s article, as well as the assertions made in the OpEd by Roberta Millstein, Pam Gunnell, Nancy Price, Alan Pryor and Colin Walsh two weeks ago.

    (1) These kinds of assertions are unprovable and non-refutable.
    (2) They reflect some people’s beliefs, or things they want others to believe, or their business strategy.
    (3) They’re matters of speculation, perhaps based on analyses designed to prove the desired conclusion, or perhaps based only on desires for them to be true.
    (4) People can argue about them forever and the argument never gets beyond matters of opinion, and nobody changes their opinion because they each have their own criteria for what constitutes evidence.

    So instead of engaging with these assertions let’s reframe the discussion. The critique that the Council decision on Measure B was DISConnected from what the people who live here really want, is a good place to start.  But it can’t end there. It has to continue to a discussion of what the people DO want.

    And for that, people need to start talking about what they actually want for the future of Davis.  What are some of the possible options that people in Davis should be talking about?

    Option 1 = DISC … what was rejected, and what may yet come back again.
    Option 2 = Status Quo … let’s hear from the proponents of status quo.  Is the status quo sustainable?  I suspect many people believe it is, and many believe it is not. What would the status quo look like in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
    Option 3 = what else?
    Option 4 = ?

    .
    My personal opinion is that that is a forward-looking, and uncertainty-reducing, path forward. Thoughts?

    1. Alan Miller

      The four points are well put, and apply to so many arguments here on the DV.  Especially:

      People can argue about them forever and the argument never gets beyond matters of opinion, and nobody changes their opinion because they each have their own criteria for what constitutes evidence.

      So true  So true   So true      . . . . .   . .  . …… . …     😐

  9. Tia Will

    not enough room in our lifestyles for significantly less energy use than allowed by state building code.”

    This to me would be a sure indicator that we need to take a long hard look at “our lifestyles”. Just a thought, and probably not a very popular one.

     

    1. Alan Miller

      Use of electronic devices has greatly increased energy use; not just the devices, but the massive computer banks, and the energy for air-conditioners to keep all those cool.

      These Covid-19 days are probably the best the environment will ever see, due to reduced jet travel and movement overall.  No matter what we do, when the world economy bursts forward again with a vaccine, the animals will flee back to the hills, and the ozone layer will cry out in anguish.  We’ll never be this eco-friendly again, and are these times even that friendly?

    2. Bill Marshall

      we need to take a long hard look at “our lifestyles”

      Fell free to deeply examine, and determine how you want to affirm or change it.  We do that occaisionally.

      Just don’t presume to legislate/dictate what ours is.  And I promise to do likewise, as to yours…

       

  10. Ron Oertel

    Oh, look – how “sad”. Damn lawsuits!

    New lawsuit could delay UC Davis’ $1.1 billion Aggie Square project in Sacramento

    Unless the deficiencies in the UC’s (environmental impact report) are corrected, the UC’s actions will exacerbate existing housing inequities and drive displacement in some of Sacramento’s most historically underserved communities,” the lawsuit, filed Dec. 21 in Sacramento County Superior Court, stated.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/new-lawsuit-could-delay-uc-davis-1-1-billion-aggie-square-project-in-sacramento/ar-BB1ciugk?ocid=hplocalnews

    1. Bill Marshall

      Yep… some shysters  ‘professional’ attorneys will file anything they are paid to, merit or not… to kill something, delay something, and/or “settle” (terms of which are frequenty not publicly disclosed) for a ‘pay-day’ for them and/or their clients… it is what it is…

  11. Jim Frame

    The fact is that it is a large property with a limited number of parcel owners makes consolidation much more likely, and thus overcomes the primary deterrent to redevelopment downtown (small parcels with numerous owners making consolidation difficult and expensive).

    The “limited number” of owners may be the largest stumbling block for that parcel.  It was originally developed in the early 1960s by some of the principals of the Spink Corporation — Sid Stinchfield, Mel Stover, I forget who else.  As they all died off their kids got joint control, and that generation has been dropping in the last 20 years, too, leaving yet another generation of heirs to share ownership.   It’s probably been 10 years or so since I had any involvement with the site, but at the time the ownership had gotten so badly diluted that the heirs were unable to agree on anything.  Add in the fact that the property is long since paid for and is happily generating cash, and you have an awful lot of inertia for any redevelopment proposal to overcome.

     

    1. Bill Marshall

      As a surveyor, will defer to Jim’s history of the site… never reviewed a preliminary title report (that I can recall), much less a ‘chain of title’ for the site…

      The only two ways that would lead to have the site fully ‘joined’ is for the diverse interests to merge (suspect, unlikely, as Jim points out), or eminent domain via a RDA (which is just as unlikely due to changes in the laws)…

      The ‘concept’ has a lot of merit… makes sense… but something about a “snowball’s chance…”, for the reasons Jim articulated…

    2. Alan Miller

      The “limited number” of owners may be the largest stumbling block for that parcel.

      A talented property buyer can get past this.  This was the same case with the Calorie property on Olive.  Got divided to a number of heirs, then their decedents – and they couldn’t agree on anything.  And so it sat, largely empty, for decades.  The developers of Lincoln 40 were able to get everyone together and purchase the property and, as evidenced by the wall to my south, develop the property.  I wasn’t happy to lose my views, but I was impressed that they pulled it off.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Alan… that would be “Callori”… some of the older family members reside on a large tract of land at the NW corner of E Eighth and Pole Line… permanently…

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