Ballot Arguments for Measure H – DiSC 2022

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Argument in Favor of Measure H

Vote YES on H to approve the Davis Innovation & Sustainability Campus (DiSC) because it enhances and advances more of what we love about our city.

YES on H gives voters in Davis an exciting opportunity to:

  • build affordable housing for the next generation of Davis residents and families;
  • protect endangered species and permanently preserve hundreds of acres of agricultural land;
  • provide good jobs close to home, for UC graduates and others;
  • produce more STEM internship opportunities for Davis high school and college students;
  • preserve Davis’s quality of life without raising taxes.

YES on H is supported by residents, business leaders, students and environmentalists, because it advances Davis’ community values and provides opportunities for everyone. DiSC will build on Davis’ commitment to bold environmental and agricultural leadership by attracting next-generation companies focused on solving the world’s greatest challenges, like climate change, food supply, and water scarcity. And DiSC will be a carbon-free model for California, requiring 100% renewable power onsite.

YES on H will improve existing trails and add new bike and pedestrian paths and a safe undercrossing of Mace Boulevard. An objective, independent study confirms that DiSC traffic improvements will reduce commute times near the Mace/I-80 interchange by up to 3-1/2 minutes.

YES on H improves the amenities that matter to Davis. It creates new greenbelts and trails, native habitat, and soccer, softball and other recreation fields — all at no cost to taxpayers. DiSC brings millions of dollars a year to the City budget and for support of Davis schools, while generating $29 million in one-time revenues to fix our infrastructure and help pay for a new South Davis library and community center.

YES on H is endorsed by the entire City Council, the Davis Chamber of Commerce and UC Davis student associations. Learn more at www.YesonDiSC.com. VOTE YES on H!

Signers:

Gloria Partida – Mayor of Davis
Pamela G. Marrone – Founder Marrone Bio
Joseph P. DiNunzio – DJUSD Trustee
Gerald Braun – Member, Valley Clean Energy Community Advisory Committee; Member, Davis Utilities Commission
Ruth Uy Asmundson – Former Davis Mayor


Argument Against Measure H

Again?…Really?

Rejected only 19 months ago by voters, DiSC is back. But it is still an autocentric, freeway-oriented, downtownthreatening project. It still has overwhelming traffic and environmental problems, and it is still non-compliant with the City of Davis General Plan.

Crushing Traffic

According to the City’s own Environmental Impact Report, DiSC will add 12,000 additional car trips per day to an already hopelessly congested Mace Boulevard.

This will cause more gridlock during rush hours, backing traffic up even further into East Davis and South Davis neighborhoods. On the worst days it already takes 45 minutes just to drive a mile on Mace Boulevard. This is neither healthy nor sustainable. Would you want that in your own neighborhood?

The Developer has made almost no binding commitments and has no viable ways to improve this traffic mess. Their only promise is to develop a Traffic Demand Management Plan if the project is approved. But figuring this traffic mess out later is not a plan!

Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Locally we are reeling from the debilitating impacts of drought and terrifying wildfires caused by dramatically increasing carbon emissions.

Yet alarmingly, the Environmental Impact Report states DiSC is projected to produce 54 million pounds of new greenhouse gases annually – largely from vehicle emissions. DiSC alone will increase the City’s carbon footprint by almost 5%, completely derailing the City’s ability to meet its carbon-neutral goal by 2040.

We owe our children and grandchildren a sustainable, livable future.

Downtown Blight

The City’s analysis predicts that competition from retail and commercial at DiSC will cause sizable vacancies in Davis on top of the effects from the pandemic. We need to protect our local businesses!

It’s time to reject DiSC again and demand the City update its General Plan so we don’t have to keep fighting against outdated and obsolete projects like DiSC.

Please Vote No on Measure H – www.VoteNoOnDISC.com

Michael Corbett – Former Mayor, City of Davis

Stephen Wheeler – Professor of Urban Planning & Design, Dept. of Human Ecology, UC Davis

Darell Dickey – Former Commissioner, City of Davis Bicycle Advisory Commission; Living Streets Activist

Juliette Beck – Current Candidate for Yolo County Supervisor District 2; Community Social & Environmental Activist

Roberta Millstein – Former Chair, City of Davis Open Space & Habitat Commission; Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Philosophy, UC Davis

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34 thoughts on “Ballot Arguments for Measure H – DiSC 2022”

  1. Keith Y Echols

    YES REBUTTLE

    build affordable housing for the next generation of Davis residents and families;

    How significant is the affordable housing?  Is it anything more than what is required by inclusionary housing requirements?

     

    protect endangered species and permanently preserve hundreds of acres of agricultural land;

    Aren’t those endangered species already protected?  If the property isn’t approved for annexation doesn’t the whole thing stay as agricultural land?  I don’t really get this argument.

     

    provide good jobs close to home, for UC graduates and others;

    Uh…yay for UC Davis?  What’s in it for the city?

    How can they know that there will be more STEM internship opportunities for Davis High students?  Is it written in the development agreement?

     

    preserve Davis’s quality of life without raising taxes.

    IMO this is the only real argument for the project.  However framing this way can be misleading as if the project is approved and you still raise taxes for whatever reason…you’re going to get blamed and so is the project.  I get what they’re trying to say; that there are only three ways for the city to pay for things with it’s deficit: increased revenue, debt and raising taxes.

    NO REBUTTAL
    Crushing Traffic

    According to the City’s own Environmental Impact Report, DiSC will add 12,000 additional car trips per day to an already hopelessly congested Mace Boulevard.

    This is true and there’s not much the YES people can say to get around this.  There only possible rebuttal is that efforts are being made to mitigate traffic and I think the state has funds for improving highway 80 traffic congestion?   But yeah, East Davis and parts of South Davis/El Macero are screwed (but does El Macero count?).

    Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    Locally we are reeling from the debilitating impacts of drought and terrifying wildfires caused by dramatically increasing carbon emissions.

    So…yeaaah…uh…this argument is based on the idea that Davis has a Sci-Fi Bio Dome over it and that if the DISC companies don’t go there that the regional greenhouse gasses aren’t going to effect Davis at all.  Either that or it ruins Davis’ ability to pointlessly virtue signal to the rest of the world or region.

      Downtown Blight
    The City’s analysis predicts that competition from retail and commercial at DiSC will cause sizable vacancies in Davis on top of the effects from the pandemic. We need to protect our local businesses!

    I can’t figure out if this argument or the environmental one is more ridiculous.  Just look at what kind of retail exist right off of freeways in small to medium sized shopping centers.  So you believe that Borders is going to go into a small to medium sized retail space?  Or that Avid Reader is going to move to the very outskirts of the town?  Is Starbucks going to move from the downtown to Mace?  Oh wait! aren’t they already there?  Is a Dress Barn going to move into a small to medium sized retail space and compete with the boutique dress shop(s) downtown?   If a McDonalds goes in, will it put Burgers and Brew out of business?   I know!  A rival comic book shop is going to move in to put Bizarro World out of business!   I don’t think available peripheral commercial space is hurting downtown businesses at all.  Aren’t there currently available spaces in the Target shopping center that could support businesses to rival downtown businesses?  I’m pretty sure they’re having little to no impact on the downtown.

    So here’s my question, what percentage of shoppers of downtown Davis are students, residents and people just off the freeway stopping in for a bight to eat or to buy something?  And then, of last group, how many are going to come downtown anyway and how many would be additional new shoppers of McDonalds or whatever on the peripheral edge of East Davis?

    BOTTOM LINE

    The economic benefits for DISC are the highlight here.  DISC could be the VANGUARD of economic development and growth for the city of Davis in order to support all the things we want in the city of Davis (better roads, traffic enforcement, safer streets for bikes, parks, greenbelts, city rec and camps activities for kids…etc..).

    But yes, the traffic impact going to screw over the residents of East Davis and parts of South Davis.  This could be a case of the rest of Davis telling East Davis to “take one for the team” because of the overall benefits to the greater city.  But if I lived in East Davis and traveled on Mace, I’d oppose Measure H.  But I don’t live there and I think the economic benefits go far beyond just this single project.  I believe it would signal to perspective businesses both elsewhere and here looking to grow that Davis is a real probability to locate and be successful.  That vision of controlled growth going forward will help Davis economically and politically in the region in the years to come.

    SIDE NOTE

    Does the county have some sort of property tax agreement or services agreement with the city of Davis concerning El Macero (note: not El Macero Estates…which is in the city limits)?  Because El Macero is an unincorporated community and census designated place.  So the city isn’t receiving it’s normal cut of property tax from the El Macero properties (again, unless there’s some other agreement).  So El Macero uses the city’s road (Mace) as it’s primary access to the freeway.  Can the city of Davis justify charging the county for El Macero’s access to Mace?  I could understand that it wouldn’t be justified if El Macero had alternate access out of the community.  But it doesn’t.  It’s dependent on Davis city streets.

     

    1. Alan Miller

      I like your style, KYE.  Stick everyone’s hypocrisy and exaggerations.   It’s so refreshing over the typical ‘choose a team and go down with the team’ take that most people have.

      It’s not just El Macero, there’s also Willow Bank and Binning Tract (less impact with 113, but they do try to influence Davis at times as if they were part of it, without paying in).  And El Macero does dump out onto the M. Mess.

    2. Ron Oertel

      DISC could be the VANGUARD of economic development and growth for the city of Davis in order to support all the things we want in the city of Davis (better roads, traffic enforcement, safer streets for bikes, parks, greenbelts, city rec and camps activities for kids…etc..).

      There is NO WAY that will occur.  Even the developer isn’t promising that!

      If it generates a “fiscal profit” at all, it’s going to be used to pay for unfunded liabilities (including the newly-created ones, such as the staffing for the ladder truck).

      I believe it would signal to perspective businesses both elsewhere and here looking to grow that Davis is a real probability to locate and be successful.  That vision of controlled growth going forward will help Davis economically and politically in the region in the years to come.

      The next proposals on the horizon are housing projects, such as Shriner’s Ranch, Palomino Place, probably the “other half” of DiSC, etc.  Those are the developers that would be encouraged by a DiSC approval.  How much of a “fiscal profit” do you suppose they would bring in?

      But yes, the traffic impact going to screw over the residents of East Davis and parts of South Davis.  This could be a case of the rest of Davis telling East Davis to “take one for the team” because of the overall benefits to the greater city.  But if I lived in East Davis and traveled on Mace, I’d oppose Measure H.

      You seem to think that the increased traffic can be avoided, by some residents.  I strongly suspect that you are largely mistaken regarding that belief, in a number of ways.

      However, there’s an old saying, even if your conclusion were correct:  “No one gets thrown under the bus”.

       

      1. Keith Y Echols

        There is NO WAY that will occur.  Even the developer isn’t promising that!

        Nor should the developer promise that.  The developer and the companies going in (in theory) are responsible for themselves and what they do; revenue and costs to the city.  Any projections for the city beyond that should come from city leaders and their economic vision along with their business development staff member who is actively engaged with industries looking to move into the area, assessing their needs and recommending to the council how Davis can meet those needs and what the city gets out of it.  I’m sure the city’s leaders with a proactive vision and economic development plan will send the Vanguard their plans for the future.

        If it generates a “fiscal profit” at all, it’s going to be used to pay for unfunded liabilities (including the newly-created ones, such as the staffing for the ladder truck).
        Well, yeah all those unseen under funded liabilities…I agree.  All new development have those kind of things.  The ability to predict the future with some degree of accuracy is how decisions are made.  But it’s hard to predict all potential problems.  I mean what if aliens from space see the Apple “mothership” home campus and think it’s another one of their ships.  They come to Earth and demand that Apple release the mothership from captivity.  The aliens lay waste to Cupertino and parts of Saratoga and Mountain View?  What kind of fiscal impact should those cities have foreseen?  And should some sort of intercity alien invasion liability tax agreement be made with Cupertino because of the Apple mothership?

        The next proposals on the horizon are housing projects, such as Shriner’s Ranch, Palomino Place, probably the “other half” of DiSC, etc.  Those are the developers that would be encouraged by a DiSC approval.  How much of a “fiscal profit” do you suppose they would bring in?

        What are you talking about?  Residential development is a cost to the community.  They’re going to have to rely on irrational sentimentality that more (market rate) housing will help the “housing problem”.

        You seem to think that the increased traffic can be avoided, by some residents.  I strongly suspect that you are largely mistaken regarding that belief, in a number of ways.

        I said that East Davis is screwed.  The majority of residents in the rest of Davis?   I don’t go down Mace too often and I live in a Northern Central area of Davis (so much of Davis has even more access and ways to get around and through the city that require traveling in East Davis).  I have other ways to get to Sacramento if I need to.  Obviously there will be some extra traffic for the rest of Davis.  But the significance of it isn’t that great.  The obvious major impact will be on Mace near the on/off ramp.  There’s no way around it; that area and the people that have to use Mace there are screwed.

        “No one gets thrown under the bus”.

        I’ve never heard that NO ONE gets thrown under the bus.  I’m saying that if DISC is to be successful that East Davis will have to be thrown under the bus for now.

    3. David Greenwald

      “This is true and there’s not much the YES people can say to get around this. There only possible rebuttal is that efforts are being made to mitigate traffic and I think the state has funds for improving highway 80 traffic congestion? ”

      That’s kind of a big deal because they are using the raw unmitigated figure without mentioning the mitigation measures.

      1. Keith Y Echols

        That’s kind of a big deal because they are using the raw unmitigated figure without mentioning the mitigation measures.

        I’m of the opinion that the mitigation measures are sort of like off setting costs.  I’ll believe them when I see them.  They’re worth mentioning.  But I take them with a grain of salt.  I think the best you (city leaders) can say is that they are dedicated to fixing any problems that may come up and are encouraged by the states future funding efforts to improve traffic in the area.  It goes back to city leaders gaining the confidence of the people about their good intentions and future efforts to better the city.  It still won’t persuade East Davis residents.  But a confident vision that includes a plan to take care of problems that will arise in East Davis might help say the voters in the rest of Davis (not in the Eastern part).

    4. Richard_McCann

      So here’s my question, what percentage of shoppers of downtown Davis are students, residents and people just off the freeway stopping in for a bight to eat or to buy something?

      They might have been, but voters rejected the widening of the Richards underpass in 1996 that has now choked off access to downtown from the freeway.

      1. Alan Miller

        Chocked off?  Ha, ha.  All it would do is move the traffic in a block.  Now the Gateway vision, that would help move people through the block under the bridge faster, and the Nishi I project would have moved the commute traffic via an alternate route – both quashed so far.  The Richards underpass is a historic keyhole into the city, glad it is still around, and most of the day it isn’t a bottleneck at all.

  2. Richard_McCann

    DISC I lost narrowly in 2020 when a high number of students were out of town, so they will pick that up. On the other hand, the June primary will be a low turnout election which students are less likely to participate in. This will probably turn on the composition of the electorate.

  3. Ron Oertel

    Me:  There is NO WAY that will occur.  Even the developer isn’t promising that!

    Keith E.  Nor should the developer promise that.  The developer and the companies going in (in theory) are responsible for themselves and what they do; revenue and costs to the city.  Any projections for the city beyond that should come from city leaders and their economic vision along with their business development staff member who is actively engaged with industries looking to move into the area, assessing their needs and recommending to the council how Davis can meet those needs and what the city gets out of it.

    You’re the one who said the following.  As I recall, you previously suggested that the city should start making such claims, as well:

    DISC could be the VANGUARD of economic development and growth for the city of Davis in order to support all the things we want in the city of Davis (better roads, traffic enforcement, safer streets for bikes, parks, greenbelts, city rec and camps activities for kids…etc..).

    But I’m glad to see that you also have a sense of humor, regarding the following:

    Keith E. I’m sure the city’s leaders with a proactive vision and economic development plan will send the Vanguard their plans for the future.

    Me:  If it generates a “fiscal profit” at all, it’s going to be used to pay for unfunded liabilities (including the newly-created ones, such as the staffing for the ladder truck).

    Keith E.  Well, yeah all those unseen under funded liabilities…I agree.  All new development have those kind of things.  The ability to predict the future with some degree of accuracy is how decisions are made.  But it’s hard to predict all potential problems.
    Me:  The next proposals on the horizon are housing projects, such as Shriner’s Ranch, Palomino Place, probably the “other half” of DiSC, etc.  Those are the developers that would be encouraged by a DiSC approval.  How much of a “fiscal profit” do you suppose they would bring in?

    Keith E.  What are you talking about?  Residential development is a cost to the community.  They’re going to have to rely on irrational sentimentality that more (market rate) housing will help the “housing problem”.
    But it’s hard to predict all potential problems.  

    I’d suggest looking at “past performance”, to accurately predict the future.  What on earth is causing people to believe that continued development will solve fiscal problems, when already-existing development isn’t?

    How many cities around California continue to face deficits, despite their pursuit of development?

    In any case, you misunderstood the point I made regarding all of the other peripheral residential development proposed for the area.  We are NOT in disagreement, regarding that.

    Me:  You seem to think that the increased traffic can be avoided, by some residents.  I strongly suspect that you are largely mistaken regarding that belief, in a number of ways.

    Keith E.  I said that East Davis is screwed.  The majority of residents in the rest of Davis?   I don’t go down Mace too often and I live in a Northern Central area of Davis (so much of Davis has even more access and ways to get around and through the city that require traveling in East Davis).  I have other ways to get to Sacramento if I need to.  Obviously there will be some extra traffic for the rest of Davis.  But the significance of it isn’t that great.  The obvious major impact will be on Mace near the on/off ramp.  There’s no way around it; that area and the people that have to use Mace there are screwed.

    Lots of people use the Mace entrance/exit points, to I-80 – not just those in East Davis.  Including people already commuting to/from Davis or UCD.  Not to mention the access point adjacent to the causeway.  And lots more will, as other access points become more congested, as well – from increased traffic as a result of other development in the city and beyond.

    Then, there’s the traffic that would be generated on Covell, Road 102, etc.

    Me:  “No one gets thrown under the bus”.

    Keith E.  I’ve never heard that NO ONE gets thrown under the bus.  I’m saying that if DISC is to be successful that East Davis will have to be thrown under the bus for now.

    Permanently.  And not just from this development.

    But my biggest (personal) objection is in regard to the loss of open space/farmland.  From my perspective, getting stuck in resulting gridlock is “karma” for those who continue to approve developments.

     

    1. Keith Y Echols

      You’re the one who said the following.  As I recall, you previously suggested that the city should start making such claims, as well:

      Yes, I said City not Developer.  You said developer.

       What on earth is causing people to believe that continued development will solve fiscal problems, when already-existing development isn’t?

      We’ve covered this a bazzillion times.  You just don’t believe it or understand it.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever had to relocate or grow a company but getting the right space is important not just any space.  New space is much more customizable, newer/nicer and freeway accessible for the majority of workers that live out of town (as opposed to having to drive into Davis).   As for solving fiscal problems; commercial space/development generally generates positive revenue.  Residential development/units are a cost to cities. But you seem to believe that all development has a negative fiscal impact on communities.   Let me ask you this: how would you acting as the city right it’s fiscal problems?  Sure you can cut costs.  But you quickly end up lowering the standard of living for the existing residents.

      But my biggest (personal) objection is in regard to the loss of open space/farmland.

      Well yeah, sure.  But if you accept that the fiscal demands of the city require it, then the best you can do is control the growth.  So sacrifice has to be made.  Ironically, I’m no fan of peripheral development.  But there is no viable way to fund the city’s current and future standard of living.  I’m open to alternatives that don’t require peripheral development and growth (and again, the silly idea that infill existing commercial space can meet those needs is a ridiculous pipe dream by those who have never tried to relocate a business, grow a business or court corporations in specific industries).

    2. Ron Oertel

       

      Yes, I said City not Developer.  You said developer.

      Why would you encourage either of them to make claims that aren’t true?  Aren’t they doing enough of that, already?

      We’ve covered this a bazzillion times.  You just don’t believe it or understand it.

      None of what you state has anything to do with the city or its finances.  Your experience is irrelevant, regarding that.

      But there is no viable way to fund the city’s current and future standard of living.

      I don’t know how you’re defining that, or what evidence you’re relying upon to make that statement.  But it sounds like you support a continuing Ponzi scheme of sprawl. Which is ultimately an acknowledgement that development isn’t paying for itself, over time. And this is already crystal-clear, from the “evidence”.

      One thing for sure – the school system needs to be “right-sized”. And it ultimately will be, whether they like it or not.

       

      1. Keith Y Echols

        Why would you encourage either of them to make claims that aren’t true? 

        You say it’s not true.  But it’s a matter of opinion.  And the more informed of an opinion the more likely it is to be true.   1.  Developers are not willing to build business parks in Davis because of political issues.  2. Businesses are less or willing or unwilling to grow or relocate to Davis because of available space in Davis (this is known by anyone with any familiarity with the commercial real estate market in the area and business expansion in general….but it can be better confirmed by proactive city leader/staff that regularly communicates with perspective businesses looking to grow, expand and/or move into the area.  So it’s about getting more and more relevant information support economic and fiscal projects.  Often detractors of projections want concrete evidence for future plans concrete evidence doesn’t exist…all you can have is a well informed opinion and data.

        None of what you state has anything to do with the city or its finances.  Your experience is irrelevant, regarding that.

        I have no idea about this reply.  You said: ” What on earth is causing people to believe that continued development will solve fiscal problems, when already-existing development isn’t?”  I replied about the prospects of existing development in terms of infill as a fiscal solution.  But if you mean continued development in general by cities.  Yes, residential development is a stop gap measure (in some cases almost a Ponzi scheme) to fund a city.  Commercial development on the other and is generally a net positive revenue generator for cities.  But you seem to have a misinformed blanket belief about development as a fiscal negative for cities.  And yes in this case my experience is relevant to state that.

         I don’t know how you’re defining that, or what evidence you’re relying upon to make that statement.  But it sounds like you support a continuing Ponzi scheme of sprawl. Which is ultimately an acknowledgement that development isn’t paying for itself, over time. And this is already crystal-clear, from the “evidence

        I define “standards of living” in terms of the community as good roads, ability to mitigate traffic (yes, I get the irony…but money needs to be generated to fix these problems), good parks, good rec programs, an effective and efficient police force with a community social support system, fire (if the city is well funded enough…go ahead and by a latter truck).  You gotta be able to pay for all that stuff.  

        Again with the Ponzi scheme and the blanket belief about development, you continue to show a poorly informed understanding of development and finances.    What “evidence”?

        1. Ron Oertel

          Again with the Ponzi scheme and the blanket belief about development, you continue to show a poorly informed understanding of development and finances.    What “evidence”?

          Neither you, nor I have claimed any professional experience regarding city finances.

          But unlike you, I make no such claims, let alone encourage the city to make claims that aren’t true (and that they themselves aren’t even doing).

          As far as “commercial demand” (which is only indirectly related to city finances), there’s a long list of failed commercial proposals – including the one that ultimately “moved” to Woodland (and added 1,600 homes in the process).

          The truth is that there is a MASSIVE AMOUNT of commercial space in the region, for any company that wants to relocate or expand here. Without even expanding any city’s footprint, into prime farmland.

          You can probably fit 10 DiSCs into existing space in West Sacramento, alone. By “space”, I’m referring to both undeveloped land, or land that is ripe for redevelopment.

          And yet, they’re not doing so.

          DiSC is a HOUSING development – that’s the entire motivation. If they could eliminate the commercial (and replace it with housing), they’d do so.

        2. Keith Y Echols

          Your comment is so wrong headed…..it’s hard to respond.

          Neither you, nor I have claimed any professional experience regarding city finances.

          You don’t know my experience.  And yes, commercial development is generally a POSITIVE net revenue generator for cities.

          let alone encourage the city to make claims that aren’t true 

          I encourage the city to gather data and make it’s best guess for making decisions about the future.  That’s all you can do.  You’re looking for absolutes that don’t exist.

          As far as “commercial demand” (which is only indirectly related to city finances), there’s a long list of failed commercial proposals – including the one that ultimately “moved” to Woodland (and added 1,600 homes in the process).

          Again with the false equivalency of Woodland and Davis.  How about Davis and Vacaville, where we know that 10-20 years ago companies were exploring Davis as a suitable host for bio-tech companies in which Vacaville became a host for.  Vacaville is on the outskirts of Sacramento and I5.  Vacaville, Davis and West Sac are off of the I80 corridor between Sacramento and the Bay Area.  Maybe 1,600 homes is the only way to make the project work in Woodland because of the market?  In Davis the homes are needed for financial security because of political constraints.

          The truth is that there is a MASSIVE AMOUNT of commercial space in the region, for any company that wants to relocate or expand here. Without even expanding any city’s footprint, into prime farmland.

          We covered this already.  There is little space that is VIABLE for to suit a significant corporate footprint.  Infill development is EXPENSIVE (prohibitive).  I mean quite simply where in Davis could you plop down DISC as it is….without having a serious impact on the local streets and services?  I mean DISC will effect East Davis.  But if you plopped down DISC in the middle of Davis it would kill traffic everywhere without some serious (costly) mitigation measures.  There’s also commercial space available in West Sac, Vacaville and even Dixon.  But it’s not prime industrial grade and prime business park ready space.  Most of it is class C tilt up space and cookie cutter retail stuff.   So please put the myth of a MASSIVE AMOUNT of commercial space in the region to rest.

          DiSC is a HOUSING development – that’s the entire motivation. If they could eliminate the commercial (and replace it with housing), they’d do so.

          Show me any evidence of that.  Why bother with housing in Davis when you can far more easily build housing and sell it elsewhere?  I’m currently informally looking at land for a couple residential developers and I wouldn’t have them  give Davis a passing thought.  What’s the point?

          I’ve explained to you before but you continue to cling to your misinformed belief about the reasons for housing in DISC.  The housing exists as a financial foundation in which to get the commercial component built.  The housing part is the only part you know is going to sell.  You can’t say that about the commercial part because at this point…because of Davis’ political conditions…no company can commit to moving into the project….nor does Davis have a significant established history of companies moving here and expanding.  That’s important for financing.  So you have to lean on the housing component to make it work financially.  But that doesn’t mean the commercial part isn’t the primary focus of the project.  Again, if commercial wasn’t the focus, then you may as well go build somewhere else; where it’s easier and far less of a risk.

        3. Ron Oertel

          You don’t know my experience.

          You’ve spoken about your experience a number of times on here.  You have none, regarding city finances.

          How about Davis and Vacaville, where we know that 10-20 years ago companies were exploring Davis as a suitable host for bio-tech companies in which Vacaville became a host for. 

          I don’t know – you’d probably have to explore all of the reasons that some companies ended up there.  I recall that some large company ultimately left there, as well.  Was it Johnson and Johnson?

          Vacaville is closer to the Bay Area, as well.

          But more importantly, how are the city’s finances doing?

          I can see the resulting sprawl, including into Lagoon Valley at this point.  Not to mention up Highway 505.

          We covered this already.  There is little space that is VIABLE for to suit a significant corporate footprint.  Infill development is EXPENSIVE (prohibitive).

          Really?  You’re claiming that all of the cities in the region wouldn’t gladly approve sprawl, assuming that they don’t have massive amounts of empty space within their own footprints?

          Have you heard of the Railyard?  How about ARCO Arena?  (But might be considered infill, for that matter.)

          Show me any evidence of that.  Why bother with housing in Davis when you can far more easily build housing and sell it elsewhere?  I’m currently informally looking at land for a couple residential developers and I wouldn’t have them  give Davis a passing thought.  What’s the point?

          As you say, we’ve been over this many times.  The MRIC developer withdrew their proposal, when the city gave them a green light to proceed with a commercial development.  In fact, they withdrew it more than once, as I recall.

          Given that housing is more expensive in Davis than the surrounding cities, are you really asking me this question?

          Tell me what will (now) occupy the site proposed for the Davis Innovation Center. Here’s a hint – it’s housing. And, good thing that they got rid of that “pesky” commercial component at Nishi, which some suspect was simply a way to avoid Affordable housing requirements in the first place.

          At least The Cannery owners were “honest”, regarding the lack of viability for an “innovation center”.

          Take away the 460 housing units at DiSC, and see how fast they discover that farming isn’t such a bad use of the land, after all.

           

        4. Keith Y Echols

           You have none, regarding city finances.

          I’m not an expert but I have experience in this area.  I haven’t given a CV online here so I’m not sure what you know about me.

          But more importantly, how are the city’s finances doing?
          I can see the resulting sprawl, including into Lagoon Valley at this point.  Not to mention up Highway 505.

          Once again, you’re convoluting types of development to support your point.  Please try another tactic that is valid.

          Really?  You’re claiming that all of the cities in the region wouldn’t gladly approve sprawl, assuming that they don’t have massive amounts of empty space within their own footprints?
          Have you heard of the Railyard?  How about ARCO Arena?  (But might be considered infill, for that matter.)

          I don’t know what your question and comments is in regards to my comment.  Massive infill development is generally more expensive than peripheral development.

          As you say, we’ve been over this many times.  The MRIC developer withdrew their proposal, when the city gave them a green light to proceed with a commercial development.  In fact, they withdrew it more than once, as I recall.
          Given that housing is more expensive in Davis than the surrounding cities, are you really asking me this question?
          Take away the 460 housing units, and see how fast they discover that farming isn’t such a bad use of the land, after all.

          Once again, I don’t know how your comments relate to mine.  I already said that a commercial project in Davis on it’s own isn’t going to fly as far as funding goes.  The city may have given them the green light but did the people of Davis?  And most importantly, did their banks/funding sources (I bet not)?

        5. Ron Oertel

          Massive infill development is generally more expensive than peripheral development.

          So what?

          Does that mean that cities should just leave abandoned places to rot? While simultaneously approving more sprawl?

          That certainly is the pattern for many cities, for sure.

          The city may have given them the green light but did the people of Davis? 

          They never even tried.

          And most importantly, did their banks/funding sources (I bet not)?

          Goes to market demand, does it not?

          By the way, why is it that the city needs to give Tim Keller’s (already non-profit company) $60,000 in loan forgiveness?  (At least, that’s what I heard in regard to a council meeting that I did not watch.)

          For that matter, why does the city (also) need to give the Chamber of Commerce money, from that same federal (one-time) source?

          And why on earth would anyone in their right mind approve positions which will then be unfunded, when that money runs out? Not just for the ladder truck, but also for the new “social worker” type positions?

  4. Ron Oertel

    One thing that’s rarely discussed is that commercial property taxes are (also) limited by Proposition 13, in the same way that residential property is.

    But there’s a lot more “shenanigans” which occur for commercial property, regarding this. Much more so than residential property.

    I suspect that those who don’t like this (such as school districts) will try again in the future, to close the commercial loophole.  But so far, they haven’t been successful.

  5. Ron Oertel

    Publicly-traded agricultural technology firm Marrone Bio said Thursday it is moving its headquarters from Davis, California, to Raleigh and will relocate most of its senior leadership to North Carolina. In a statement, the company said the move would make it easier to work with its partners in Europe and…

    https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2479433642833/agtech-company-marrone-bio-latest-company-to-relocate-hq-from-california-to-raleigh

    Following the accounting irregularities, Marrone Bio was left reeling for a few years. By the third quarter of 2015, the company estimated it cost $5.6 million to investigate accounting problems just in that year, and it expected to pay $2 million in fines to financial regulators. The company also had to contend with investor class action suits filed against the company.

    By the end of 2015, Marrone had cut its workforce in half, from 161 in 2013 to 84 in November 2015. The company ended last year with 113 employees.

    https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2019/10/18/executive-who-inflated-revenue-at-davis-company.html

    (As noted in the Vanguard article, Pam Marrone is one of the signers for the “pro-DiSC” arguments. Since I’m not able to see the full text of the article I posted, I’m wondering what kind of incentives Raleigh provided to encourage the move.)

      1. Ron Oertel

        Well apparently, Davis isn’t as close to Europe as Raleigh is – according to the company’s own statement.

        Hell, not even a lower (rental or purchase cost) relocation to West Sacramento (compared to Davis) would help with that!

        Are they leaving a “vacant building” behind, in Davis? Or should I say, “yet another” vacant commercial building?

  6. Ron Glick

    “So…yeaaah…uh…this argument is based on the idea that Davis has a Sci-Fi Bio Dome over it and that if the DISC companies don’t go there that the regional greenhouse gasses aren’t going to effect Davis at all.”

    I’ve actually written about how the locals would like a Chernobyl like Sarcophagus  built over the campus so that those UCD students can’t contaminate the precious bodily fluids of the locals or how they want to levitate the campus and move it to Arbuckle like the Pentagon in Mailer’s “The Armies of the Night.” I guess the same can now be said about Ramosland.

  7. Ron Oertel

    And DiSC will be a carbon-free model for California,

    I’d call this both a false and misleading ballot statement.  And in fact, so does the EIR.

    It is factually untrue, at its most basic and obvious level.

    There is no way to build a 2,000 plus parking space facility adjacent to a freeway, and call it “carbon-free”.

    Seems that this is a legally-challengeable claim, given that it’s part of the developer’s ballot statement.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Again, not my opinion.  It’s in the EIR itself.

        Cars emit greenhouse gasses.  This is a fact.

        The development accommodates cars, in the form of 2,000 plus parking spots.  It’s a fundamental part of the development, and as such is included in the EIR when examining impacts.  Again, a fact.

        Claiming that this is (simply) my opinion is also factually-incorrect.

        Claiming that the development is “carbon-free” in the ballot statement is factually-incorrect, and appears to be legally-challengeable based upon that.

        1. Ron Oertel

          The cited ballot statement does not claim to mitigate the impacts, and as such is irrelevant regarding legal challenges.  It simply states:

          And DiSC will be a carbon-free model for California,

          We could discuss the offsite “carbon credit” mitigations (as we started to do in the other article), but it is outside of the legal realm in regard to the ballot statement.

        2. Craig Ross

          Project Baseline Features: “ DiSC 2022 will achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.”

          Carbon neutrality means net zero

          In order to get to net zero, they will have to offset the impacts of GHG emissions from vehicles.

          They are required to do that or they cannot issue any more building permits.

        3. Ron Oertel

          I’m referring to the cited ballot statement, not the baseline features.

          And DiSC will be a carbon-free model for California,

          Again, we could discuss the heavily-criticized offsite mitigations (which are not limited to this development), but this is outside of the legal realm of the ballot statement.

          In regard to this series of comments, I’m referring to legality of the developer’s ballot statement.

          [Moderator: this is your fifth and final comment on this thread for 3/23]

  8. Ron Oertel

    Let’s look at the entire sentence in the ballot statement, while we’re at it – which includes phrases that were already listed in bold text:

    And DiSC will be a carbon-free model for California, requiring 100% renewable power onsite.

    The first part of the sentence is factually incorrect, and has nothing to do with the second part of the sentence.  The development itself will NOT be carbon-free, as there is no way to accomplish this.

    However, taken together, the implication is that the “renewable power” onsite is the mitigation.

    I would call this combination “misleading”, at best.

    In addition, if the development is hooked-into the grid in any way, shape or form, I would call the “renewable power” claim factually-incorrect, as well.

    As a side note, I recall that Tim Keller previously noted that natural gas lines are essentially a necessity for labs.  (Something to that effect.)

     

     

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