Commentary: Claims in Measure H Ballot Argument Largely Supported by Documentation

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – While there will be plenty of opposition to Measure H (DiSC 2022), most of the claims are at least supported by the documentation.  However, like most campaign statements, there is a little fudging.

First, they write that this will “build affordable housing for the next generation of Davis residents and families.” On the one hand, it is true that the project contains 85 affordable housing units of which 74 will be built on site.  One could further argue that the 460 total units of workforce housing meet the definition of small “a” affordable housing.  However, the primary purpose (though there is no such requirement) of these units is to provide housing for people working at DiSC so as to reduce vehicle trips and this implies a broader usage than that.

Next, “protect endangered species and permanently preserve hundreds of acres of agricultural land.”  By city ordinance, the project is required to provide 2 to 1 ag mitigation.  “Developer shall preserve agricultural land at minimum ration of 2:1. At full build-out, Developer shall have purchased agricultural conservation easements in a manner compliant with City Ordinance and subject to City approval. Compliance with agricultural mitigation may be achieved in phases as the project develops over time and portions are developed.”

To protect burrowing owls, “The agricultural buffer shall include one burrowing owl den complex.”  Further, “The burrowing owl complex will be managed and monitored for owl use in consultation with a third-party wildlife biologist.”  Thus the project does include protection for the burrowing owl, but whether the voters will consider that to be sufficient is a subjective question for individual voters.

The remainder of the claims are derived directly from four sources: (1) The Project Baseline Features, (2) the Development Agreement, (3) the EPS Fiscal Analysis and (4) the Fehr & Peers Traffic Analysis.

Third, “provide good jobs close to home, for UC graduates and others.”

At build-out, the project projects to generate 2800 jobs per EPS.

Fourth, “preserve Davis’s quality of life without raising taxes.”

According to EPS, the annual gross general fund revenue at buildout are estimated to be $5.3 million with $3.9 million in net fiscal revenue.

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

According to the project baseline features, “DiSC 2022 will achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.”

In order to achieve this goal, “each individual development must, prior to the issuance of building permits, demonstrate consistency with the City’s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan by demonstrating a fair-share reduction of GHG emissions.”

Examples of this include: “VMT reduction through TDM programs, electrifying project components, inclusion of on-site renewable energy, institution of composting and recycling programs, implementation of an Urban Forestry Management Plan, use of energy efficient fixtures, and finally, purchasing off-site mitigation credits if necessary.

“The Project shall meet or exceed Title 24, Cal Green Tier 1 and will utilize the City of Davis’ Residential Energy Reach Code standards. The Reach Code promotes energy efficiency within the City of Davis through the use of energy-efficient building standards and is intended to ensure LEED Gold Equivalent or better.”

Moreover, the project commits to be fueled by 100 percent clean energy.  “Developer commits all structures, residential and non-residential, to purchase power from solely renewable sources such as Valley Clean Energy’s “UltraGreen” 100% renewable program, or its equivalent, to offset any electric deficit.”

In furtherance of the commitment to utilize 100% renewable energy, “the installation of photovoltaics or future renewable energy technology will be required, to the greatest extent practicable, on every conducive structure; e.g. greenhouses would not be conducive. City and Developer agree that if, during the term of this Agreement, technological advancement or shifts in renewable energy generation render the commitment to install PV on all structures superfluous, the obligation will be waived.”

Furthermore, all residential units will be all-electric with no natural gas.  The project will achieve “net zero for outdoor lighting through the use of onsite photovoltaics or similar technology.”  Commercial buildings will be “all-electric for the building envelope” including HVAC and water heaters.  But “[n]atural gas may be provided to the building and made available to meet the needs of individual tenants.”

The ballot argument continues, saying it “will improve existing trails and add new bike and pedestrian paths and a safe undercrossing of Mace Boulevard.”

Just before the approval, DiSC committed to building a bike and ped crossing in the project baseline features.

“The DA requires the developer to construct several new bike/pedestrian related improvements, including providing the land for a grade separated undercrossing of Mace Blvd. This will connect the 1.5 miles of publicly accessible bike/walking trails within the DISC 2022 project to a future trail along the inside of the Mace Blvd curve,” the staff report notes.

“The developer will also be responsible for the construction of the separated grade crossing across Mace Blvd and will construct a bicycle connection from the west side of Mace Boulevard, north of the Nugget Headquarters, westward to the City’s existing trail system that runs between Lake Alhambra Estates and Harper Middle School,” it continues.

It further claims, “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.”

The DiSC is required to implement a number of mitigation measures (23) that Fehr & Peers found would improve overall connectivity and commute times.

Councilmember Dan Carson during the approval argued, “It was said before, and I want to try to make this concrete, this project doesn’t in the long term worsen traffic, it solves the traffic problems. It makes things better. And that’s not my conclusion. That is the conclusion of the transportation experts at Fehr & Peers.”

The traffic analysis can be found here—for each intersection, Fehr and Peers calculates the delay for Existing + Project.  Starting on page 125, it calculates for Existing + Project w/Mitigation.  For example, for Intersection 9, Mace and Alhambra, it goes from an average 140 seconds total delay for Existing + Plus Project to 14.6 second average delay for Existing + Project w/ Mitigation.  That marks an improvement from 19.5 seconds for the existing.  One can do similar comparisons on all analyzed intersections.

“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.”

As previously noted, DiSC would provide about $3.9 million in ongoing benefits to the city.  Moreover, DJUSD would collect $1.37 million annually in school assessments.  The city of Davis would also collect $45.4 million in one-time fees including $6.9 million in roadway impact fees and $7.6 million in construction tax.

Moreover, on Page 63 of the Development Agreement: “Developer will directly contribute $2,000,000 to the County for the construction of the South Davis Library facility.”

In conclusion, aside from some minor quibbles, for the most part the claims by the Yes on H Ballot Arguments are backed up in either the Project Baseline Features or the Development Agreement, or by reports from either EPS or Fehr & Peers.

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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27 Comments

  1. Keith Olson

    I thought I was going to read a critique of the YES on DiSC 2022 campaign arguments but I somehow stumbled on what in my opinion more resembles a campaign ad.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      I thought I was going to read a critique of the YES on DiSC 2022 campaign arguments but I somehow stumbled on what in my opinion more resembles a campaign ad.

      Why would David write a critique of the YES campaign?  He’s been blatantly open about his support of it.

      I believe the Vanguard is open for commentary from other points of view.  Didn’t he ask you to write a counter argument to DISC 2022.  I’m sure the offer is open to anyone.

      I will say this: David writes a counter argument to the “claims” by the NO on DISC supporters.  But there’s no reference to these “claims”.   I’m guessing he’s talking about a flyer that’s gone around?  If it was a flyer he should have scanned it and used it as his picture in the article…or at least written it out verbatim in his article.

      DAVID once again…just because it says COMMENTARY and there’s a little (and I do mean little) word that says “opinion” at the top of the article…..it seems people still have hard time separating you from the Vanguard.  Again, I think it should plainly state in a banner over the content of the article that this is an opinion piece that doesn’t necessarily reflect the Vanguard’s opinions.  Even though yes you are pretty much the Vanguard….but I’m guessing you want to be able to separate your personal opinions and some semblance of the Vanguard’s professional journalistic objectivity.

      1. David Greenwald

        “I will say this: David writes a counter argument to the “claims” by the NO on DISC supporters. But there’s no reference to these “claims”. I’m guessing he’s talking about a flyer that’s gone around? If it was a flyer he should have scanned it and used it as his picture in the article…or at least written it out verbatim in his article.”

        It’s in reference to the ballot argument – it was published over the weekend.

      2. David Greenwald

        ” Even though yes you are pretty much the Vanguard….but I’m guessing you want to be able to separate your personal opinions and some semblance of the Vanguard’s professional journalistic objectivity.”

        I wanted to address this separately. Increasingly I’m not “the Vanguard.” I’m one person who works for the Vanguard, but one among many on an every day basis. One of my longer term goals is to make the Vanguard not dependent on me working every single day. We’ve actually really close to being able to do that. We’ve already had a number of days where I have not personally written any articles and no one has noticed enough to say anything. Eventually I will probably only write columns rather than do straight news, but we are not there yet. Maybe later this year, we’ll see.

        1. Keith Y Echols

           wanted to address this separately. Increasingly I’m not “the Vanguard.” I’m one person who works for the Vanguard, but one among many on an every day basis. One of my longer term goals is to make the Vanguard not dependent on me working every single day. 

          I figured as much.  Which is why I keep saying that you need a better header on these articles that state that commentary is an opinion piece that does not necessarily reflect the Vanguard.

          Even though you may no longer write the majority of the articles on the Vanguard.  You write the majority of the Davis related articles and nearly all of the land use articles.

          I’d recommend being more proactive in having the Vanguard provide an alternate view to yours.  So far it seems like you post what you feel like as an opinion piece and then wait for anyone to write a formal counter article.  Maybe you should court those opposing or differing views.  Develop relationships with those that can provide opposing view content.  Provide them a heads up about an opinion piece you’re writing so they have an opportunity to piece something together.   Who the opposition is…I don’t know.  Maybe some of the political and social groups that are active in Davis politics?  I dunno, maybe some sort of policy, procedure and protocol for actively courting opposing views/articles to the inhouse opinion articles could be implemented across the Vanguard beyond Davis.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I wanted to address this separately. Increasingly I’m not “the Vanguard.” I’m one person who works for the Vanguard, but one among many on an every day basis. One of my longer term goals is to make the Vanguard not dependent on me working every single day. We’ve actually really close to being able to do that. We’ve already had a number of days where I have not personally written any articles and no one has noticed enough to say anything. Eventually I will probably only write columns rather than do straight news, but we are not there yet. Maybe later this year, we’ll see.

          That’s what business people do – have others work for them.  Congratulations.

          Just as Elon Musk isn’t on the assembly line, creating Teslas. Or even designing them. But he (like you) is the beneficiary of the business.

          But at least his business has to pay taxes – including for its workers (e.g., for social security benefits, unemployment, etc.).

          And in your case, your “workers” sometimes get “paid” by universities, in the form of college credits.

  2. Alan Pryor

    The author states there is only “minor quibling” about the Arguments For the Measure because of what EPS and Fehr & Peers say in their studies and because of what the Developer  and City Council says are in the Development Agreement and Baseline Features . But he also claims that the Arguments Against the Measure are “wildly inaccurate and exaggerated” because of what EPS and Fehr & Peers say in their studies and because of what the Developer  and City Council says are contained in the Development Agreement and Baseline Features.

    In its early days, the Vanguard never used to just believe what the City’s consultants stated in their reports to the City or what the Developer and Council said about projects in the City. In fact, the “Peoples Vanguard” took great pride in using a sharpened scalpel to peel back the layers of the onion to expose falsities and directly challenge what came out of City Hall. But it seems that in the intervening years, while many in Davis have become far less believing of the City’s consultants and the proclamations of Developer’s and the City Coucncil because of their experiences with the various deceptions, the Vanguard has replaced their sharpened scalpel with a rubber stamp and accepts the proclamations from City Hall as tablets that Moses brought down from the mountain.

    It seems old age has slowed the stride and softened the voice of this former rabble-rousing publication and it now acts like an old man in his rocker shaking his fist railing against the voices of opposition in the community. The Vanguard might as well be shouting, “Davis…love it or leave it“!.

      1. Alan Miller

        I have a theory about this change, because it’s the only one that makes any sense to me.  DG has a lot of social programs that he wants implemented, and the only way to pay for them in Davis is to have a much larger tax base.  He has come to believe, right or wrong, that the only way to vastly increase the tax base is ramp up development as fast as possible.

        Of course, this money may all be gobbled up by retirement obligations, filling in existing budget gaps and other programs that DG doesn’t like.  But without some huge infusion, there’s no chance at all for all the new proposed progressive programs to be funded.  Therefore, support anything that could provide the infusion — and thus the change we’ve all noticed from the early Vanguard.  It’s just a theory; happy to have it refuted.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          I have a theory about this change, because it’s the only one that makes any sense to me.  DG has a lot of social programs that he wants implemented, and the only way to pay for them in Davis is to have a much larger tax base.

          I think you’re very close to the mark.  In my case, while I’d like some of those crunchy granola social reforms, what I really want are better roads (traffic management), more city summer camps, city swim lessons (it seems there are less of both this year), more police (I know, not popular with the progressives), better tree canopy service….and not directly related; better retail and restaurant options that don’t just cater to students.

          While I don’t like paving over farm land and building peripherally, I’m a realist and know that infill development isn’t completely feasible at this point so some peripheral development is necessary.  I figure build a little on the edges and fund improving the interior of the city to better accommodate future infill development.

        2. Don Shor

          This isn’t a new topic for the Vanguard. Budget issues have been a recurring theme and I think it’s more about sustaining the existing priorities and programs than about adding new ones.

          The Davis Enterprise on Monday ran a story entitled, “When to tax?” The general thrust of the story is two-fold. First, the city has a growing deficit of $1.2 million followed by as much as $3 million the next year.

          On the other hand, the city has a long list of “unmet needs.”

          That’s from January 2009. 
          https://www.davisvanguard.org/2009/01/city-now-facing-crisis-of-unmet-needs/

          The city’s ongoing fiscal deficit has been recognized by a lot of folks since before the Great Recession, got worse then, and hasn’t abated really at all. That was the impetus for the DSIDE process, the peripheral business park task force (ad hoc committee appointed by the council), the recommendations for up to 3 peripheral sites as well as increasing the downtown business activity. The requests for proposals that went out, the projects that were brought forward, the first vote on Nishi, and the original DISC proposal were all results of that process. The goal is to increase economic activity in Davis in order to increase tax revenues.

        3. Ron Oertel

          No one ever seems to ask why the already-existing amount of development doesn’t pay for long-term needs.  Not just in Davis, but throughout California.

          Shouldn’t that always be the first question to ask, before jumping in with something that’s guaranteed to have negative impacts?

          The only difference I can see (regarding Davis) is that some folks pay one heck of a lot of attention to it.  Apparently, they believe that “this time will be different”.

          Meanwhile – the ladder truck, two additional social worker positions, the Mace Mess, unfunded retirement liabilities, etc.

          And if the other developments such as Chiles Ranch are approved, there goes your “fiscal profit”.

          I don’t think that Keith E is going to get his summer swim camp – either way.  But hey, if your cat needs rescuing, the ladder truck might come to its rescue. (Hopefully, they won’t charge you for that.)

          In any case, none of this will put one dime in anyone’s pocket, other than those connected with the proposal. When was the last time that a development did, on a personal level?

          For sure, it will cost some personal dimes to idle in traffic.

        4. Craig Ross

          No one ever seems to ask why the already-existing amount of development doesn’t pay for long-term needs.  Not just in Davis, but throughout California.

          Isn’t the answer twofold?  Too much spending.  Overly generous compensation packages to city employees. Second,  Davis has far less per capital retail sales and thus sales tax of typical cities.  The Vanguard has always argued you can’t fix the budget with just revenue, you need cost containment.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Isn’t the answer twofold?  Too much spending.  Overly generous compensation packages to city employees.

          I don’t know that the answer is “twofold”.  Seems to me that most cities throughout California make a habit of spending more than they bring in.

          Second,  Davis has far less per capital retail sales and thus sales tax of typical cities.

          Given that expenditures always rise to meet revenue, I suspect that a lot of the cities which have grown to rely upon retail have been suffering even more, lately.  Due to the rise of the Internet, and the impacts of the pandemic.

          Unfortunately, they’re “stuck with” their expenditures – even when revenue drops.  That’s why Uncle Biden has tried to come to the rescue.  (And yet, those funds have primarily been turned over to private businesses. Did you see the list of recipients for those funds, in Davis alone?)

          The Vanguard has always argued you can’t fix the budget with just revenue, you need cost containment.

          Again, I’m not seeing how the city (or most of the other cities throughout California, which are also experiencing deficits) can solve their challenges with more development – given that the ever-expanding growth model is both unsustainable and hasn’t worked to resolve those deficits. Seems that a lot of them are relying upon a continuing one-at-a-time Ponzi scheme to stave off the inevitable.

          Again, there is no analysis regarding what keeps leading to this situation.  But I’d suggest (first) not spending more than you know that the city will bring in.  (Apparently, the council believes differently, in the form of pay raises, unfunded retirement liabilities, ladder trucks and staffing, additional social worker type positions, the Mace Mess, . . .)  It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when the federal money for some of this runs out.

          And one thing for sure – city finances are not the same as personal finances. Maybe the developer should just pay voters directly, to approve it. That oughta do it. 🙂 After all, residents are going to be “directly paying” for some of the resulting costs, when stuck in gridlock.

  3. Keith Olson

    Well since this article didn’t really question the YES 0n Measure H arguments I guess it’s up to the Vanguard readers to do so.

     “preserve Davis’s quality of life without raising taxes.”

    This is very vague, was it purposely worded that way?  Does it mean the development itself won’t cause taxes to go higher or the development will produce enough revenue for the city so the city doesn’t have to raise taxes on its citizens in order to preserve Davis’s quality of life?  And if it’s the latter, for how long.  A few years?  Forever?

    “permanently preserve hundreds of acres of agricultural land.” 

    All in how you look at it.  Some might think how is permanently taking 102 acres of agricultural land out of circulation somehow preserving farmland?  For example, if there are 3 homes on a block and a developer bulldozes one of them but promises to preserve the other two is the developer really preserving two homes or destroying one?  Or another example, if someone killed 10 burrowing owls  but promised to save 20 other burrowing owls can that really be considered preserving  owls?

    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.”

    Does anyone really believe this?  That adding 1000’s and 1000’s of daily trips because of DiSC is going to somehow lead to improved traffic conditions at the Mace/I-80 interchange?  I know I don’t.

     

     

     

     

     

    1. David Greenwald

      The article addressed these points. (1) the fiscal analysis (2) this point address the two to one ag mitigation that is addressed in the article (3) You’re definitely entitled to your opinion on that. Fehr and Peers did their analysis – they looked at the current, current + project and current + project w/ mitigations. I cannot control nor do I want to whether or not you agree with it, but I did spent a number of hours to find the exact source of each of the claims and quote them here.

      1. Alan Pryor

        I did spent a number of hours to find the exact source of each of the claims and quote them here.

        I think you meant to say “The Yes Campaign spent a number of hours to find the exact source of each of the claims and gave them to me to quote them here

         

  4. Ron Oertel

    Why would David write a critique of the YES campaign?

    The answer would depend upon what one expects of a media source.  If it’s just opinion, it’s not of much use for anyone actually trying to analyze the arguments and decide.  What we have instead is the same as looking at a developer campaign mailer.

    He’s been blatantly open about his support of it.

    Ya think?

    I believe the Vanguard is open for commentary from other points of view.  Didn’t he ask you to write a counter argument to DISC 2022.  I’m sure the offer is open to anyone.

    Readers aren’t running “non-profit” blogs, collecting money from the community to do so, using students as free labor, etc.

    Note that the baseline features do not require the developer to pay for the bicycle underpass.  Nor is timing of construction settled.

    In the other “Yes on DiSC” article, the map that was included showed that the developer was only directly responsible for 3 out of the 23 “mitigations”, and the bicycle underpass is not one of them.  Expansion of I-80 was not even one of the 23.

    The city has a lot of flexibility regarding how funds from DiSC can be used, including fixing the “Mace Mess” that the city itself is responsible for.  Of course, that would leave less money for the “other” mitigations.

    Of course, the only way for this proposal to be “accomplish” zero greenhouse gas emissions is by purchasing cheap mitigation credits so that other polluters can continue polluting.

    As far as housing is concerned, the EIR notes the following:

    DISC is expected to create a need for approximately 1,729 housing units, with only 460 of those units included within the proposal.

    The city of Davis and the surrounding communities are expected to absorb the remaining need – more than 1,269 units (in addition to the 460 units onsite).

    And even this estimate is based upon an overly-optimistic assumption regarding the number of DISC employees that would actually live at the site.

    It doesn’t take much imagination to see that this additional demand would subsequently be used to justify an additional housing development on the northern half of the DiSC site.  In addition, there are proposals to develop Chiles Ranch, Palomino Place, and eventually – the space inside the Mace curve.  The traffic analysis DOES NOT INCLUDE THE IMPACTS of these other proposals.

    What I personally find most-galling is when the “housing crisis people” (such as David) don’t actually care if it’s exacerbated.  Some of the “climate change” people are similar, in this regard.

  5. Keith Y Echols

    this will “build affordable housing for the next generation of Davis residents and families.” On the one hand, it is true that the project contains 85 affordable housing units of which 74 will be built on site.  One could further argue that the 460 total units of workforce housing meet the definition of small “a” affordable housing.  However, the primary purpose (though there is no such requirement) of these units is to provide housing for people working at DiSC so as to reduce vehicle trips and this implies a broader usage than that.

    I think we’re confusing or conflating terms here.  “AFFORDABLE” housing and “WORKFORCE” housing.  Affordable housing is generally defined as:

    According to the federal government, housing is “affordable” if it costs no more than 30% of the monthly household income for rent and utilities. Most affordable housing developments are built for families and individuals with incomes of 60% or less than the area median income (AMI). calhsng.org

    Workforce housing is generally defined as:

    Workforce housing (sometimes referred to as middle-income or moderate-income housing) is housing for individuals and families typically earning between 60% and 120% AMI. cscda.org

    I’ve generally worked with the definition of 80% – $120% for workforce housing.  Obviously builders would rather create workforce housing than affordable housing to meet the desires of many communities.  Plus many communities would prefer the kind in the workforce housing socio-economic class over those that qualify for affordable housing.

    Now I’m a limited proponent of affordable housing.  I even support workforce housing development.  But I believe in workforce housing as a function of community support.  So workforce housing for teachers, fire fighters, city employees, police…etc…   I believe that these efforts should be developed, financed and administrated with state/federal subsidy by the interested organizations (city and the police dept, city and the fire dept, school district…etc…).  I don’t want the city to subsidize housing (through approval and  providing services) some company’s engineers, IT staff, sales people…etc..   Nothing against them, but let them buy and rent homes like everyone else.

    But IMO affordable housing is for a tier of the population in a much different socio-economic situation.  30% of the median household income in Davis is $21,000.  These are the lowest wage earners trying to make it in the community.  If I’m going to back a community effort to support (through approval and providing residential services) a group of people and sub-market housing, I’m going to choose the ones with the greatest need; those that qualify for affordable housing over workforce housing.

    Next, “protect endangered species and permanently preserve hundreds of acres of agricultural land.”  By city ordinance, the project is required to provide 2 to 1 ag mitigation. 

    How much land is available for endangered species without the development?  What if the project site stays as farm land?  Is it 2 developed acres to 1 acre of conservation land?  or vise versa?

    Third, “provide good jobs close to home, for UC graduates and others.”

    Uhm…good for UCD and UCD graduates?  Doesn’t really have anything directly to do with the city’s interests….or are we conflating the two again?

    Councilmember Dan Carson during the approval argued, “It was said before, and I want to try to make this concrete, this project doesn’t in the long term worsen traffic, it solves the traffic problems. It makes things better. And that’s not my conclusion. That is the conclusion of the transportation experts at Fehr & Peers.”

    I think the key word here is “LONG TERM”.  Also, no one has really spelled out what those mitigation measures are that are supposed to fix traffic.  I assume it’s in the report (but I’m not going to take the time to read it…maybe I will eventually).  But essentially the YES commentary has said:  traffic will be fine eventually.  It’s all in this report if you want to read it and here are some estimated commute numbers to make you feel better.  I’m SKEPTICAL and I mostly SUPPORT the project.

    The city of Davis would also collect $45.4 million in one-time fees including $6.9 million in roadway impact fees and $7.6 million in construction tax.

    This is nice of course.  But to everyone, I want them to be cautious of these kinds of claims.  Ron O. has said that development is often a ponzi scheme to fund cities and he’s not wrong.  You get one time fees that pay for lots of stuff for the city but the project is an ongoing loss for the city and becomes a liability that needs to be supported (because remember that the city has to provide ongoing services to the development) going forward.

    As previously noted, DiSC would provide about $3.9 million in ongoing benefits to the city. 

    This IMO trumps everything else and is why I would vote YES on the project (though I’m still close to the fence).  So the fact that the project is a net positive in revenue for the city is what makes the project fiscally worthwhile and not the one time fees (which are icing on the cake).

    DAVID: It’s in reference to the ballot argument – it was published over the weekend.

    Ah yes, I just googled it and remember reading it this weekend.  Here’ the thing, I didn’t remember reading it and anyone reading your article that didn’t read it this weekend wouldn’t have a proper framework for your rebuttal commentary.  So you probably should have posted a link to it.

    1. Ron Oertel

      As previously noted, DiSC would provide about $3.9 million in ongoing benefits to the city.
      This IMO trumps everything else and is why I would vote YES on the project (though I’m still close to the fence).

      It should be noted that this is the “upper end” of the estimated contribution, per the city’s finance and budget commission.  Unfortunately, it’s the only one you’ll hear about on this blog, unless someone points out otherwise.

      I have not yet studied the finance and budget commission’s analysis this time, but again – that’s the upper end of the range – which actually originated with the developer’s own contracted financial analysis. (Does anyone see a problem with a developer paying for a financial analysis, for their own proposal?)

      Estimates depend upon lots of factors, as you know.  The development proponents claim that new residents, for example, don’t “cost as much” as current residents.

      So the fact that the project is a net positive in revenue for the city is what makes the project fiscally worthwhile and not the one time fees (which are icing on the cake).

      The “icing on the cake” as you describe it would be used to cover up the brussel sprouts that the development itself would create.  (Actually – not brussel sprouts, since you can’t grow those on pavement.)

      Unfortunately, there’s lots more “pavement brussel sprouts” on the horizon, which would be “justified” via the housing shortage this proposal would create.

      One thing I’m confident of: This proposal wouldn’t put one dime in the hands of residents. It would “cost them” some dimes, by being stuck in traffic (as well as losing a highly-visible piece of farmland).

    2. David Greenwald

      Keith:

      I tried to distinguish between big “a” affordable or subsidized housing and small “a” affordable. I think calling it workforce is probably better however. So I agree with you.

      ” So you probably should have posted a link to it.”

      I agree.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Given that something like 65% of it is rental housing, perhaps it’s more accurate to call it “student housing”, some 4-5 miles from campus.

        Or, perhaps “workforce housing” for Sacramento.

        Your “workforce housing” for this development would be in Woodland. Including some of those at the 1,600 housing units planned for that “innovation center”.

        Did the traffic study look at the impact on Road 102? Or, the intersection at Covell and 102?

  6. Ron Oertel

    Has anyone actually looked at how much of the claimed “fiscal profit” is dependent upon yet another hotel?

    (In addition to the three that the city recently-approved – including the brand-new one right across the street from the site?)

    Honestly, I never thought I’d see the day when the city of Davis would even consider a 2,000 plus parking space development on that particular piece of prime farmland – while also claiming that it’s “green”. I’ve already concluded that the city isn’t what I originally thought it was. Maybe it’s really just like every other city in the region.

  7. Alan Pryor

    I’ve already concluded that the city isn’t what I originally thought it was. Maybe it’s really just like every other city in the region.

    Most people who moved to Davis did so because it was a compact City with nice schools and amenities like parks and bike trails, a quaint downtown that was still in OK shape, and manageable traffic. They did NOT move here because they wanted it to grow into a sprawling, rapidly expanding City like Folsom or Roseville with traffic problem reminiscent of the Bay Area and LA. DiSC moves us closer to the El Dorado/Placer County vision of the future.

  8. Alan Miller

    We hire consultants to tell us what we want to hear.

    So yes, it is ‘supported by documentation’.

    I generally am leaning towards voting for the project; seeing between now and then if I can be convinced the bike crossing construction tripwire gets it built in a reasonable amount of time. Developers tell me yes; opponents tell me no.

    All based on ‘evidence’ and ‘facts’ 😐

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