by David Taormino
Alan Pryor’s greatest nightmare is that Bretton Woods will be built as proposed and the promises to the voters faithfully kept. Get ready for sleepless nights, Alan!
Wading through the ranting, he raises three concerns, none of which were the topics that the City Council was being asked to address on Tuesday evening.
First: Bretton Woods’ Developer’s alleged violation of the following Baseline Feature:
“provide an approximately three-acre parcel for either the expansion of URC for the benefit of its residents, or for use by another specialized senior care facility.”
Alan then quotes from the original application of August 2016 sited in Tuesday’s Staff Report, for reasons I can’t explain, which was used for the EIR, primarily for traffic analysis purposes. It was changed in 2018 as correctly quoted above, and was part of the ballot measure and numerous election related presentations I made.
I intend to honor that promise and all the others stated in the Baseline Features. That was the “deal” between me and the voters.
Yes, there is litigation. The past president of URC’s parent company, Pacific Retirement Systems (PRS), a multi-state corporation and Bretton Woods, LLC had differences which resulted in litigation and arbitration. These differences were quietly resolved with PRS’s new president in late fall of 2021.
Even before that point, PRS (URC) on my request submitted URC’s basic site design criteria for a multi-story building to the Planning Commission which was approved in mid-2021. When an actual building with specific uses is submitted by URC, it will first go before the Senior Citizens Commission for their input then returned to the Planning Commission for further review. I specifically set up the review process so that residents of URC would have input, including the meeting to be held at URC.
Having mutually resolved our issues, PRS and Bretton Woods LLC are jointly reviewing what we hope to be the final Purchase and Sales Contract. Expectations are for a close of escrow in the near future once infrastructure construction commences.
Was all this information available to Alan? Absolutely! He just had to ask:
- Local URC management or PRS management
- Any of the 7 local members of the URC Board of Directors all of whom are listed on the URC website; or
- Any of the attorneys listed on the litigation documents he obtained.
Alan didn’t ask. Why? Likely, the actual facts weren’t important for an angry, fictional story about greedy, dishonest, despicable, lying developers.
Second issue raised by Alan citing Baseline conditions:
“Establish a foundation and seed funds for the initial planting and ongoing maintenance for the Oak Tree forested area in association with the HOA and principal.”
My response: Alan again misleads the reader. Here is what our approved construction drawings, CC&R’s and other supporting documents approved by City provide:
- Landscape plans: Includes elaborate descriptions that show Bretton Woods, LLC planting a minimum of 350 oak trees at its expense separate from the endowment along with irrigation systems to support the oaks.
- The Developer shall deposit into a segregated restricted account with the HOA a sum of $150,000 as an endowment to support and enhance the oak forest over time, including providing locational maps, interpretive signage, and miscellaneous display boards. The entire list of the use of the restricted funds is incorporated into HOA documents and may also be obtained from the city.
- Regular, ongoing maintenance and care of the oak forest shall be the obligation of the HOA along with it’s other landscaping obligations as detailed in the CC&Rs, conditions of approval, and related written documents. The endowment as explained in the campaign is not to be used by the HOA for regular oak tree maintenance.
- A detailed Bretton Woods Landscape Maintenance Manual has been prepared by our landscape architect and engineers, reviewed and approved by numerous city staff and departments.
Once again, Alan has created a non-existing controversy to impugn my integrity and the integrity of city officials. None of his assertions have ANY factual basis whatsoever.
Alan could have verified his claims by asking:
- Public Works staff: City Engineers Dianna Jensen or Kevin Fong
- Tracie Reynolds: Leases and Open Space Manager
- Sherri Metzker, Community Development Director
- Maricela Marroquin, Assistant City Attorney, or
But he didn’t bother to get the facts. Why not, Vanguard readers should ask.
Thirdly, the explanation for returning 80 buyers’ initial deposits.
Yes, we did return deposits after 18 months in escrow. Here’s what we said in our Newsletter informing potential buyers of the reasons. The entire newsletter is available upon request.
Thank you for you support of Bretton Woods and for the confidence that you’ve shown us through the payment of a deposit for a lot or home. We are continuing to make progress on the subdivision and look forward to delivering homes to buyers as soon as possible. However, as you know, we have not yet been able to secure a master builder to construct the homes. As a result, we are unable to provide you with a definitive start date or assurance that your home will be available within the near term. Under the circumstances, my partners and I feel uncomfortable keeping your deposit in escrow with so much uncertainty. Therefore, we are electing to have the title company return your deposit starting early next week…
Information on your priority number, lot selection and home size will be maintained and delivered to the eventual builder when appropriate…
Rest assured, my partners and I are fully committed to bringing our Bretton Woods Neighborhood to Davis as soon as we can. The additional, unanticipated, challenges since the election have been wearing on all of us. We also recognize the impact that these delays have had on your new home planning.
Finally, whose responsibility is it to verify Alan’s assertions before publishing his inflammatory allegations? Certainly, Alan should be held to some degree of integrity which he avoided as the verifiable facts show.
What about the Vanguard? Shouldn’t the Vanguard staff insist the writer of such an accusatory commentary provide evidence before publishing an inflammatory article? Should not some support documentation from the writer be requested along with a statement that he or she has expended a reasonable effort to verify his claims? Shouldn’t the Vanguard request some minimal evidence to support the writers claim? If not, then at least the Vanguard should provide an introductory disclaimer that the validity of the writer’s claims has not been independently verified, and that the writer has not voluntarily provided to the Vanguard evidence of validation.