By David M. Greenwald
Davis, CA – Just 14 months after the initial project came before the voters and lost, DiSC 2022 returns to the Planning Commission for consideration of the reduced project, now 102 acres with 1.3 million square feet of innovation space and 460 residential units.
As reported in early December, the city released an Addendum to the EIR. As staff notes, “An Addendum does not have a formal comment period, and that has already occurred as part of the EIR process. However, the city posted the Addendum on December 1, 2021, well in advance of the first public hearing regarding the DiSC 2022 project.
“The DiSC 2022 Addendum concludes that no substantial changes have occurred with respect to circumstances under which the project would be undertaken that would require major revisions of the previous SEIR,” staff writes.
Details of the revised project are presented in the staff report.
Staff notes, “Although the proposal no longer includes the construction of a bike/pedestrian undercrossing under Mace Boulevard the applicant has committed to 1) to prepare a study to determine the most appropriate design for the intersection of Alhambra Drive and Mace Boulevard, 2) to construct said intersection improvements, 3) to provide the land for a future bike undercrossing of Mace Boulevard.”
Parking: “The proposed parking ratios for the overall project site are less than the current requirements under the Davis Municipal Code because there is a plan for shared parking arrangements as the project is built out over time.”
Floor Area Ratio: “With the reduction in required parking, the proposed project is expected to reach a minimum FAR of 0.7 at full buildout.”
The project will exceed affordable housing requirements with 61 units required, but 85 units proposed by DiSC 2022.
“The Developer is committed to providing, through those means afforded in the Ordinance, for 85 affordable housing units, eighteen percent of the overall housing units. The commitment to 85 units exceeds the Project’s obligation under the Ordinance,” staff writes.
Further, “Developer commits to constructing at least 74 of its affordable units onsite. The onsite affordable housing units will include 60 affordable rental units and 14 for-sale housing units.
“For the remainder of the affordable housing required of DISC 2022, which shall be no less than an additional 11 units,” staff writes noting that this obligation “excludes the payment of in-lieu fees and could include – onsite construction, acquisition of permanent affordability restrictions on existing housing units within the City, provision of a land dedication site, project individualized program or an alternative manner.”
When DISC was proposed in 2020, it was controversially designed with 6.8 acres of ag buffer on the Mace 25, city-owned property.
However, that is no longer in the works.
“The DiSC 2022 project does not adjoin nor does it include the Mace 25 property. Therefore, the Mace 25 property will remain in the county jurisdiction as an agricultural property,” staff writes.
Based upon the City’s consultant, “EPS’s independent analysis that was reviewed by the Finance and Budget Commission, the DISC project is projected to produce $5.3 million in net positive fiscal benefits to the City of Davis on annual basis at buildout.”
The EPS report also identified “significant economic impact through business-to-business activity and employee spending, indirect and induced benefits, on the local Davis economy and Yolo County overall.”
Staff notes, “The DISC project also presents an opportunity to diversify the local economic base and providing an opportunity for major employers that will need employees that fall into a key Davis demographic that has been on a steady decline over the last decade, the 25-55 demographic.”
At the BTSSC (Bicycling, Transportation and Street Safety Commission) meeting in early December, the commission recommended: “The Project will need to implement a comprehensive set of design features and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies intended to reduce vehicle trips and vehicle miles traveled.”
They recommended, “The desired outcomes of a TDM Plan shall be to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transportation total carbon footprint through a reduction of the Project’s vehicle miles traveled (VMT).”
They add, “A key strategy should be shifting away from single occupancy vehicle (SOV) use by incentivizing a mode shift to walking, bicycling, public transit, private transit, and/or 3+ carpool.
“An additional goal of the TDM program shall be mitigation of daily traffic congestion generated by the project by reducing daily SOV trips by at least 33% compared to the business-as-usual (unmitigated) scenario predictions in the SEIR,” the commission recommended. “In other words, at full buildout the project must generate fewer than 12,000 motor vehicle trips per day (compared to the 24,000 trips predicted in the SEIR).
“This reduction requirement is to be applied incrementally at each phase of the Project. If daily SOV trips for each phase are not 33% lower than the business-as-usual (unmitigated) projections in the SEIR, then construction of the next phase shall not be permitted.”