Davis Chamber Again Backs DiSC 2022

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – In a move that will surprise absolutely zero members of the community, the Davis Chamber announced on Thursday that they will once again back the updated Davis Innovation & Sustainability Campus.

The move signals that, once again, the business community in Davis overall sees the value of and the need for land that can be entitled for and developed as commercial high tech space.

In a release from the Chamber, they pledged to “play an active role in helping to secure City and voter approval for the plan.”

“DiSC 2022 will provide huge economic and community benefits to Davis. We’re excited to support it, and we’re fully committed to helping educate our members, residents and voters about why it’s so important to move the plan forward,” said Cory Koehler, executive director of the Davis Chamber.

DiSC 2022 returned this summer about eight months after DISC lost by a narrow margin at the polls.

“At 102 acres the new DiSC 2022 plan is about half as large as the proposal that appeared on the November 2020 ballot. As with the previous plan, DiSC 2022 includes laboratory, R&D and advanced manufacturing facilities, homes designed to appeal to innovation center employees, affordable housing, a hotel and parks. Tech-oriented employment facilities total approximately 1.1 million square feet, about half of what was proposed in 2020, and the number of housing units is reduced by nearly half from 850 to 460,” a release read.

“Because the demand is strong and growing for an innovation center close to the university, we’ve decided to try one more time to get a plan approved. We believe there’s an appetite in Davis for a smaller plan that is responsive to the community and the market,” said Dan Ramos, vice president of Ramco Enterprises and DiSC 2022 project manager.

“The changes we’re making are in direct response to what we’ve heard from the community,” said Ramos. “We also now have insight into what post-COVID work environments will look like and our updated plan reflects those realities. What hasn’t changed is the need for research and advanced-manufacturing facilities to deal with global challenges like climate change and food security, especially so close to a leading research university like UC Davis.”

Reynolds & Brown, which owns property that comprised the northern portion of the earlier plan, is no longer involved in the project. “We’re directing our resources to other projects and are not going forward in Davis,” said Dana Parry, president and CEO of Reynolds & Brown.

DISC in November failed by a 52-48 margin or about 1300 votes.

Critics of the project complained about traffic impacts as well as the overall size last year.  In addition, many observers felt that the uncertainty created by the pandemic and the absence of students on campus were causes of the voter denial.

This fall marks a period of review for the project, with DiSC 2022 under review by several City commissions before it goes to the City Council early next year for proposed approval to put the plan before Davis voters on the June 2022 ballot.

“We very much appreciate and value the support of the Davis Chamber, and look forward to working closely with its staff and volunteer leadership to get DiSC 2022 across the finish line,” said Dan Ramos, vice president of Ramco Enterprises and DiSC 2022 project manager.

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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  1. Alan Miller

    This is where I usually say, “In other news:  sky blue”.  But,

    In a move that will surprise absolutely zero members of the community,

    My work is done here  😐

          1. David Greenwald

            There are going to be a lot of interesting things coming out here, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen in this story – and I tried to head off that point, but no one apparently wanted to duck it. Yes, least surprising news of the year.

        1. Ron Oertel

          or just dry humor?

          Bada-bing, bada-boom.

          He should cut his old articles in half and post them.

          One has to entirely cut-out any mention of a bicycle/pedestrian underpass, under that busy road.  Except for the bit of land reserved for that “in the future”. (Presumably, paid for by “the other half” in the future.) Interestingly, that spit of land is already proposed on “the other half”, as I understand it. Suggesting that there’s still a connection between ALL of these developers – including the half that’s taking a “temporary powder”. Same thing regarding the agricultural corridor.


  2. Don Shor

    The Chamber does represent a slice of the Davis business community, but is heavy on the commercial end of things. Retailers have never been a significant part of the Chamber, at least not in proportion to their numbers. My understanding is that there will be more organized opposition to DISC/2 from some downtown business owners this time.

    1. David Greenwald

      What I don’t understand is why – for the most part, nothing that will happen at DiSC will impact the downtown. And in many cases it could help by drawing more people into town.

        1. Don Shor

          They may have concerns about the ‘ancillary retail’ that has only been reduced from 100,000 square feet to 80,000 square feet in the new iteration, and which is not actually shown on any of the readily-accessible maps of the project site. This is just speculation on my part and would be better addressed by some of the signatories to that letter that you linked.

  3. Bill Marshall

    One has to entirely cut-out any mention of a bicycle underpass, under that busy road.  Except for the bit of land for that in the “future”.

    Like a stopped clock, Ron O can be “spot on” from time to time.   Bike/ped/multi use crossing of Mace is very important… it should be part of the current proposal, even if there are provisions for reimbursement from developers (or others) to the north with inflation and/or CCI factors in play (which would be fair and equitable)… it (grade separated crossing) was one of the reasons I voted in the positive in Nov 2020… (Ron O will not disclose his vote, if any)

    I agree with those who support a split-grade crossing of Mace… Alan M and I were in perfect agreement on that, as I recall… danger is, if not done with current project, future development to the north (and, that will happen, at some point) would likely say, “Why us?  Why didn’t you require that of DISC? “… and they’d be righteous in asserting that… if the DISC 2022 folk are dead-dog serious, they would add that to their project description, with the proviso that there are fairly/equitably reimbursed by contributing payments by others… now, or upon future development.

    But it is a critical piece of infrastructure for any development east of Mace.  and you can’t built a half of a grade separated crossing… that would be stupid.

    Good point, Ron O, for highlighting the need for the grade separated crossing! The time is indeed now.

    1. Ron Oertel

      and you can’t built a half of a grade separated crossing… that would be stupid.

      You probably can, but it would require a “personhole” cover halfway across the street for access.  And a ladder.

      Perhaps they can combine it with a sewer line, and get all the way across.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Whatever…  seriously meant to thank you for reminding folk of the importance of the crossing… may have done so inelegantly…

        But the grade separated crossing is crucial.  Thank you for reminding folk of that… hope folk, inc. project proponent, city staff, commissions, CC, voters, get that… we also need to make it equitable… serves so many… given the housing component, there will be some students, and the crossing (and connection to Mace Ranch Park), will be good for elementary, jr high, HS students… and the general public.

        Please consider my acknowledgement of a good point made by you, as a sincere one.  If not here, in your mind.  The latter is all I ask.

  4. Todd Edelman

    The residential section is really far from Downtown, even further from UC Davis and cutoff from South Davis… by bike. Except when I-80 and/or Mace is very congested, it’s an easy and fast drive from here to all these places.

    ANY significant development should include significant upgrades for cycling and walking to South Davis, for example a fully-separated cycle way and something nicer the sidewalks above curbs next to fast and annoying traffic. This will be very expensive to do in way that creates direct routes not crossing I-80 egress points. This is simply that was not attempted at Richards, with the result a circuitous joke.

    No safe way across I-80 means no access for any kids travelling on their own to Pioneer Elementary. No trips by bike to Nugget or by foot to the collection of interesting restaurants at El Macero Shopping Center.

    A grade-separated crossing of Mace will really only be used for recreation and trips to schools. It’s simply too far to Downtown by bike! Who wants to regularly shop at Target? This development – if needed – is simply in the wrong place to co-exist with the City’s stated policies.

    1. David Greenwald

      There is pretty much nowhere that could be added that is of sufficient size that would be close to downtown at this point. They are planning to have shuttles to the train station, which is obviously downtown.

      1. Todd Edelman


        Man.  There’s plenty of space, if one is creative. There’s no reason for multiple business to be in the same building. They can be minutes away via foot, bike or autonomous shuttle on a fixed route – already used in many business part type things in the USA, e.g. Roseville or thereabouts. Very cheap to run.

        There’s lots of large parking lots, at shopping centers…. other sites. Everything closer to campus and Downtown. No one has to lose parking, either.

        1. David Greenwald

          There really isn’t plenty of space. What space there that would actually be developable, is small and far away from the downtown. And we have almost nothing that is large enough to handle a medium size move up of an existing facility much less something that would accommodate modest size out of town move ins like the company that moved to Vacaville.

          If you don’t want additional development – then say it. Don’t create false excuses for not doing it.

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