Project Proponents Lay Out the Benefits of DiSC at Campaign Rally in Mace Ranch Park

Former Councilmember Stephen Souza

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – Supporter of DiSC 2022 gathered at Mace Ranch Park next to Korematsu and down the street from where the innovation center would be constructed if voters approve Measure H in June.

Former Councilmember Stephen Souza ran through the rather long history of looking to expand economic development in Davis.  He noted some early efforts by Pam Marrone in 1996, but the first big plan was in 2008, “We put out a Business Park Study.  We were looking at where are the spots that we could do some actual innovation?”

He mentioned the work of D-SIDE and Rochelle Swanson around 2008 and 2009.  That ultimately, he said became the Innovation Park Task Force.

“That task force was the beginning of issuing concrete proposals that led us to hire a person like Rob White, and got us to the point where we started to look at three innovation centers – they were in the Northwest Quadrant next to the Sutter Hospital, the Nishi property over here, and the first Mace Ranch Innovation Project over here.”

“We were down that road. We were really going down that road. It looked like, you know, we were going to do it.  We were on the precipice.  We were ahead of the surve actually at that time – way ahead of the curve,” he said.

But, “one of the projects fell out and that project now has moved to Woodland,” he said.  “I firmly believe at this time, if we don’t capture this DiSC project, we may not see it.”

“I hope I’m wrong and that we do pass and we actually go get to some of those things become that I dreamed of as a kind – things like solar parks that actually produce energy in the night, ideas that are just being incubated right now on the campus.”

Souza also said, “It would be wonderful to see us not lose some of the technologies that we have here right now.”

He noted the laser technologies from Grayson Beck, Marrone bioinnovations, “which we’ve lost the corporate headquarters, but they still have some of their principle entities here.”

And of course, Tyler Schilling, “who established those robotic arms that allowed us to go down and take pictures of the titanic.”

He said, “Those sales tax dollars that could be generated through that manufacturing, shouldn’t be in somebody else’s coffers that don’t allow us to repair our streets, keep our parks nice, do the things that we need to do in this town.”

Rick Gonzales

Rick Gonzales for years handed out over one thousand scholarships to Latino and Latina students in Yolo County through the Concilio.

He noted that UC Davis is getting ready to turn into an HSI – a Hispanic Serving Institute, which means that when the population is more than 25% undergraduate “it becomes an HSI which qualifies them for federal monies to do outreach, to tutoring, to do all these things, to bring more, uh, Latino students to UCD.”

He noted, “The project is a mile from here.  All these people here in East Davis, where I live, I live right down the street, are being affected by this project.”

In 2020 he noted it narrowly lost, “so the developer looked at it and said, I gotta make some changes.  So he cut it in half.”

Gonzales said, “The city is going to receive $4 million a year – $4 million a year forever.”

Second he said, “this was going to create 2500 jobs on the site.”

And he said, “They were going to build 460 homes again on site.  So the people who work at the facility, will also live at the facility.  That was very important.”  He noted of those 460 homes, there will be 85 which are Affordable Housing.

But he added, “The biggest thing I think is the map shows it best – These 23 improvements, traffic improvements, because the opposition all they say about is that the traffic a mess.”

He said, “Well it is a mess, and it’s a mess already.”

He said, “But these 23 improvements paid for by the developer… it’s going to minimize, it’s going to improve the traffic in the area.”

Gonzales said, “We’re going to have traffic, because what time do most people get finished from work?  5:00.  And then what do they do?  They go home and they all go home at the same time.”  He said, “Some of that is already a problem, but with those 23 improvements, it’s going to improve that a whole lot.”

He also pointed to the undercrossing under Mace Blvd, “So the people who live here and who work here especially if they have kids, they’re going to go underneath Mace Boulevard. And they’re going to go to the junior high or to the elementary school.”  He added, “what’s important about this inside path that they’re going to make is t’s away from the traffic away from all the traffic.”

Gonzales also noted, “currently the city government is in deficit spending.  They don’t even have enough money to operate in what they’re operating now.  They’re behind by $7 million.”  He noted that the allotment from DiSC would cut that in half.

He said, “I don’t know if I’ll be around to see it, but 10 years from now, if it passes, the city’s going to have $40 million.”  He said, “Do you think they can start fixing some of these streets?”

He also noted that the school district is in declining enrollment.  “Do you know that the schools import 800 students from Woodland, from Dixon, from Sacramento, West Sacramento – new students because we don’t have the school children.  We don’t have new families with kids coming in.  Why?  Because it costs $800,000 to buy a house around here.”

He said, “This little paradise that we have here is just that.”

Dan Carson reading from Enterprise Editorial

Councilmember Dan Carson noted that “Our city council adopted an 84 million, 10 year plan to fix our streets and roads and improve the overall quality of them.  It’s fully funded for the first four years. But after that we need economic development revenues to keep going to meet all of the commitments that we’ve promised to make this project could be a very significant part of meeting those as obligations and fixing everybody’s streets over time.”

He noted, “We’ve got a couple decades worth of work to catch up on.  We can’t do it all overnight.”

Carson read from the Enterprise endorsement of the project.

He read, “The developers backing DiSC and Measure H aim to provide much-needed research and innovation space to businesses emerging from UC Davis, thousands of local jobs to graduates and other Davis residents, and increase the city’s housing supply. The project would bring 1.34 million square feet of business and innovation space — 550,000 of research, office and R&D; 550,000 for manufacturing; 160,000 of hotel and conference space and 80,000 of ancillary retail — as well as 460 residential units.”

“That we’ve been dealing with a brain drain for years is self-evident. Just take a glance up I-80 to the cluster of biotech companies in Vacaville, where Solano County officials leverage their proximity to UC Davis in order to attract high-paying companies,” he continued.  “On top of that is the city’s “funding gap” (don’t call it a deficit), which won’t be solved without a new infusion of revenue. We complain about crumbling roads, weed abatement and traffic, and the only real hope of addressing things like this is the extra funding that a new business park would provide.”

Carson said, “We’re going to be mentioning this editorial to everyone between now and June 7, reminding them of really key ideas that are here that are constituent with our cause.  We know we can make this a better community.”

He added, “We know that changes coming to our community, whether we like it or not, this is how we create the change we want.”

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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36 Comments

  1. Alan Pryor

    “I hope I’m wrong and that we do pass and we actually go get to some of those things become that I dreamed of as a kind – things like solar parks that actually produce energy in the night…”

    Uhh…”solar parks that actually produce energy in the night“.  Is this one of those technoplogies that Carson says will be developed at DiSC “that are going to save the world…literally“.

    Just throw in some unicorns and I’m in!

  2. Keith Y Echols

    Not a mention (or much of a mention) of WHY economic growth is good for Davis.  Why should the residents of Davis care?  WHY should they endure more traffic and sacrifice open space?  There’s some belief that more jobs = automatically good.  More housing = automatically good.  We’ve lost some businesses.  So what.   (yes, I know the economic implications).

    I’m a proponent of smart growth.  Convince me as to WHY the city should grow.  How does growth benefit the residents of Davis?  Because my first reaction is; ugh! a business park and more traffic….and I’m not anti-development.   All this is to say that I do not believe the YES campaign does a very good job of connecting to voters.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      I skimmed the article too quickly.  I missed Carson’s comments about funding roads.  But I’m not sure it still fully resonates with voters yet.

    2. wesleysagewalker

      More jobs means a thicker labor market. That means more choices for both employers and employees. This gives employees greater bargaining power (right now I think there are some good reasons to think the labor market in Davis is closer to monopsony than competitive), gives employers access to better matches when looking for employees which is a friction that many economists believe is quite important, and there is strong evidence from the work of Enrico Moretti at Berkeley that thicker labor markets lead to network effects that increase economic growth and innovation as compared to thinner labor markets. More economic growth=more wealth for people and communities=higher standards of living=more happiness.

      Constricted housing markets create major deadweight loss which retards economic growth from achieving optimal allocation of resources. Yes, there are weird tax policies that cause some types of housing to be net costs to cities (although this is mainly for single family detached suburban-type housing which requires much more infrastructure spending per unit than denser product. I have seen some reasonable evidence that denser “infill” housing is not revenue negative which logically makes sense given that cities must calculate fees to be revenue neutral, and detached single family is more costly to serve, which would imply that the denser housing would likely be net positive given the fairly uniform structure of fee calculations. Anyway, that was a small digression. Housing markets where demand exceeds supply create huge deadweight loss by distorting the allocation of resources away from more efficient uses, limiting the labor market opportunities which retards economic growth, wages, profits, and higher standards of living.

      More economic growth means more revenues for public entities like the City to spend money on services and amenities that can be welfare improving. It also means more money for companies to increase investment and to create more jobs. It also means more money for those with jobs at all levels. Economic growth is the single most important force shaping our reality in the last two hundred years.

      But, as you no doubt are aware, there are plenty of people who take the attitude that since they already have a job that they like well enough or are retired, that economic growth is some abstract concept that has no bearing on their life. This perspective ignores the additional resources that are made available through economic growth to improve people’s standard of living and quality of life.

      Economic growth is a fundamentally disruptive process, and many people prefer to try to maintain stasis. There are trade-offs between evolution and stasis, and it is probably unwise to seek to maximize one wholly at the expense of the other. I think that the last two hundred years have demonstrated that it is generally better to have more evolution and disruption via economic growth than stasis, but there is an important role for continuity and conservatism with respect to economic growth.

      Anyway, this seems straightforward enough. If you have questions, would be happy to discuss further.

      1. Alan Pryor

        Constricted housing markets create major deadweight loss which retards economic growth from achieving optimal allocation of resources.

        Left unsaid by Mr. Sagewalker is the obvious fact that with 2,500 employees but only 460 housing units, the DiSC project will exacerbate exisiting housing shortages in Davis and drive housing prices even higher.

        …oh wait, higher housing prices will be good for the developer too, right?

        1. Craig Ross

          Wait, I thought it was a business park that morphed into a housing project.  Now you’re saying there’s not enough housing.  I’m SOOOOOOO confused!!!!!

        2. Ron Oertel

          I’m SOOOOOOO confused!!!!!

          I’d suggest you start off reading the EIR. 

          If the commercial is successful, it creates demand for 1,269 housing units (in addition to the 460 units provided on site).

          If you’re still “confused” after reading that, let me know.

        3. wesleysagewalker

          Mr. Pryor,

          I have consistently advocated for more housing in Davis. Can you say the same? I think your professed concern about housing supply demand mismatch is disingenuous and sophistic.

          Blocking jobs and economic development because it might create more housing demand seems myopic to me. If there is excess housing demand, build more housing. In my mind, it really is that simple. Of course, there are always tradeoffs that need to be considered and reality is always more complicated than a model, but I find the argument against DiSC based purely on concerns about housing to be rather hollow.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Blocking jobs and economic development because it might create more housing demand seems myopic to me. If there is excess housing demand, build more housing. In my mind, it really is that simple.

          Given that you’re among those who are advocating for a housing shortage, where do you advocate for this housing to be built?  And given that approval is not automatic, isn’t it downright irresponsible to advocate for a housing shortage, when you have no plan to address it?

          That means that even if a project starts out with a net positive contribution, that positive will be eroded over time until it becomes a negative.  That is true for all housing regardless of what type of housing it is.

          And even if the additional housing is built, what would the fiscal impact of the above fact be as a result of the additional housing needed to accommodate DiSC?

           

        5. Craig Ross

          “ I’d suggest you start off reading the EIR. ”

          And I suggest YOU read again the talking points from the campaign and you will realize they are internally inconsistent with each other

        6. wesleysagewalker

          Ron,

          Approval for the Downtown Plan is imminent. That will create some housing opportunities. Furthermore, Davis will begin updating its General Plan that can create housing opportunities throughout the city provided that it isn’t watered down too much. Davis has a number of sites that are suitable for development and redevelopment of dense housing and/or dense mixed-use development. DiSC has a fairly long expected timeframe for full buildout, so I do not think it is unreasonable to suppose that the housing market will adjust as new regulatory regimes are created via the Downtown Plan and General Plan. You seem to be focused on a static equilibrium rather than a dynamic one which I think is not the correct way to view the complicated dynamics of urban development and growth. I do not think my view is irresponsible given the impending regulatory changes coming down the pipeline with respect to housing policy. I think it is irresponsible to block jobs and economic growth for the sake of stasis.

        7. Ron Oertel

          Approval for the Downtown Plan is imminent. That will create some housing opportunities. Furthermore, Davis will begin updating its General Plan that can create housing opportunities throughout the city provided that it isn’t watered down too much. Davis has a number of sites that are suitable for development and redevelopment of dense housing and/or dense mixed-use development.

          Again, Wesley – I ask what your plan is in regard to the additional demand for housing that DiSC would create.  Not the plans and demand which already exist without DiSC.

           I do not think my view is irresponsible given the impending regulatory changes coming down the pipeline with respect to housing policy.

          Again, where are you planning to accommodate the additional demand that DiSC would create?  Given that RHNA numbers are also dependent upon the number of jobs created in a given community?

          Your claim is not only irresponsible, it’s the exact opposite of what folks like you normally claim to be concerned about in regard to “housing shortages”.

        8. wesleysagewalker

          This is my sixth comment, so I will beg the moderator’s indulgence because I feel it may be of some marginal value to VG readers who have waded this deep into the comment section to address Ron’s response here.

          Ron, DiSC will provide some housing on site that can address some of its employees’ demand for housing. Not all of DiSC’s employees will choose to live in Davis, thus, the housing needs of every employee need not be completely addressed by additional supply in Davis. Nevertheless, it is important to add housing in Davis not only for future DiSC employees, but to address the demand-supply mismatch that already exists. On this, we are agreed (but do you really agree with adding housing in Davis? I seem to remember you being a rather vocal opponent for a number of recent housing projects that have been proposed in Davis).

          You say you want a plan to address not only additional housing demand that may be generated by DiSC employees, but to address existing excess housing demand in Davis. (Again, I am a bit skeptical that this is a real concern of yours, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt here.)

          I will reiterate that the imminent approval of the Downtown Plan will create new housing opportunities that do not currently exist under the current regulatory regime. These are new units that can be built that do not exist. They will add housing supply that can be part of addressing the projected DiSC employee housing demand. Actually, if you look at the projected number of housing units the Downtown Plan will create and look at the number of housing units that DiSC employees are projected to demand within Davis, the entire delta could be satisfied by the Downtown Plan alone. Second, the update of the General Plan will begin which could create many new housing opportunities if the General Plan is focused on delivering more housing. I hope that given your professed concern for housing supply in Davis that I can count on you to be a forceful advocate for a housing-forward General Plan that creates economically viable housing development opportunities within the City of Davis. That will mean higher density.

          If your argument is that we should not add any additional housing demand to Davis until the supply-demand mismatch has been addressed (as evidenced by prices), then I must disagree with you. This need not be a zero sum game. We can expand housing supply and create jobs and commercial development at the same time to receive the benefits of economic growth that I laid out earlier in my reply to Keith. It does mean that we will need to be more aggressive in promoting greater density and facilitating economically feasible housing development in Davis, but that is why we need strong advocates for greater housing supply for both the Downtown Plan and the General Plan. I don’t think it is wise to try to only maximize housing production or commercial development. That will create its own issues. Nuance is needed and growth is imperative as you seem to agree with.

          Personally, I am working hard to add housing to Davis and the greater Sacramento region. It is important to add housing, but it is also important to foster economic growth through commercial development that will create tax revenues for public entities, thicken labor markets, promote innovation and economic growth, and create public goods that have positive spillover effects for communities.

          You state a concern about the fiscal impact of additional housing, but provided that it is dense housing, Joe Minicozzi and his team provided some fairly compelling evidence (to me, at least) that additional dense housing can be revenue positive. Again, given your opposition to Nishi, University Mall, and other dense infill housing projects, I am a bit skeptical about your stated concerns about housing supply, but I’ll take you at your word.

        9. Ron Oertel

          I am beyond 5 comments as well, though some of mine were very short. In any case, I’ll keep this one short as well, and will hang it up for the day.

          Your long-winded response shows that you have no plan at all, regarding the additional demand for housing that DiSC would create.  (Though I see now that you’re acknowledging that surrounding communities would pick up much of the “tab” (resulting in additional commuting to Davis).

          All of the plans that you mentioned already exist without the additional demand for housing created by DiSC.

          Nor do you have any thoughts regarding the additional fiscal costs if more housing development occurs in or surrounding Davis, as a result of DiSC.

          This all leads to a logical conclusion that the development activists don’t actually care about housing shortages resulting from their proposals, or the fiscal health of the city. (But honestly, I already suspected that was the case.)

        10. Craig Ross

          Responding to Ron O:

          My point is that opponents of DiSC on the one end have argued, as the Vanguard reported… “ Pam Gunnell argued that this project had morphed into a residential project with housing and had done so at the 11thhour.”

          At the same time they are now arguing that there is not enough housing.

          So which is it?

          You like to bring up the EIR, but the EIR finds there is adequate housing on site to meet the internal demands.  You told me to read the EIR, but having read it many times, I wonder if you’ve read it or just cherry picked the part of that section that supported your position.

          The EIR Concludes: “With that capacity, the raw demand for housing in Davis generated by DiSC 2022 could be met with the existing planned and approved units and, as such, the project does not induce a need for increased housing construction.”

          So why when you refer people to read the EIR do you always leave out their concludes that contradicts your own?

      2. Ron Oertel

        Constricted housing markets create major deadweight loss which retards economic growth from achieving optimal allocation of resources.

        And yet, DiSC would create additional demand for 1,269 housing units that WON’T be provided on site, per the EIR.

        This is the glaring hypocrisy that is put forth, from the same people who constantly shout “housing crisis”.

      3. Matt Williams

        wesleysagewalker said … “I have seen some reasonable evidence that denser “infill” housing is not revenue negative”

        .
        wesley, please share that reasonable evidence with everyone.

        The biggest problem with respect to housing revenue in Davis is the long history of Davis government’s inability to control costs. The Forecast section of the annual City Budget shows that revenues are expected to rise by 2.5% each year, and expenses are expected to rise by 3.5%.  That means that even if a project starts out with a net positive contribution, that positive will be eroded over time until it becomes a negative.  That is true for all housing regardless of what type of housing it is.

        Unfortunately, a review of the actual City Budgets since 2015 shows that each one of the five-year rolling averages from 2015 through 2020 (covering the 10-year period from 2011 through 2020) shows that the increase in the City’s expenses has been 4.0%, 8.1%, 7.2%, 9.5%, 10.4%, and 10.3% respectively.  Every one of those 5-year averages are above 3.5% … some are far above 3.5%.  For the first 12 years of the DiSC project if the City’s expenses increase by the Budge3.5% $480,000 of net revenue disappears, if the City’s expenses increase by 4.5% another $533,000 of net revenue disappears.  If expenses rise by 5.5% then  another $585,000 of net revenue disappears.  At 5.5% that is a total of $1.6 million of net revenue lost … and it gets even worse if any of the recent historical values of  8.1%, 7.2%, 9.5%, 10.4%, or 10.3% are used.
         

        1. wesleysagewalker

          Hi Matt,

          Joe Minicozzi and his group at Urban 3 did an interesting presentation to the City of Davis I think in 2015 that showed the potential for denser housing and mixed use development to be tax positive. There were several articles that the Vanguard did covering this. I just checked his website and they don’t seem to have publications readily available for public viewing, but they did do an analysis of Davis that supported this.

          Cost containment is a big issue, but that in my mind, that isn’t really a land use issue as much as it is a public finance problem that is indeed a bit trickier to solve. Nevertheless, the logic of density as it relates to the cost of infrastructure and service seems to hold up as a general point.

          There are demographic reasons to expect cost inflation to come down in the long run given the workforce composition, but there are reasonable grounds for debate there. Overall, it seems pretty clear to me that denser development is net revenue positive; it is an open question if that revenue surplus will be eaten up by less revenue efficient components of the city.

          Overall, I am with you on the need to prioritize cost containment and to look at ways to deliver services and infrastructure more efficiently. Count me in as a fellow advocate for fiscal responsibility. Among the many benefits of DiSC (stronger labor markets and  more opportunities for network effects to promote innovation and economic growth being key), I think the relative density of the land use proposed at the site will be revenue positive and its infrastructure commitments will be a net benefit to the City of Davis.

      4. Keith Y Echols

        Wesley, thanks for the detailed response.  I was not looking for answers.  But I appreciate the effort you put into the response.    In my case I am better informed that most about these things (in fact, I might arrogantly argue that I’m more experienced than most in Davis about in land development and local economic growth).  The point I am making is that the messages from the YES campaign are not clear and compelling enough.  

        A few weeks ago, I spoke with some YES campaign volunteers at the Farmer’s Market and they were embarrassingly unprepared and parroted simplistic talking points about job growth (not what’s in it for residents).  The NO campaign members were pathetically misinformed too but at least their talking point item on traffic resonated.

        1. NJ Mvondo

          “…I spoke with some YES campaign volunteers at the Farmer’s Market and they were embarrassingly unprepared and parroted simplistic talking points about job growth”

          Thank you for your comment. I don’t know if i spoke with you on the day you are referring to, but i am one of the YES Campaign volunteers at the Farmers Market. It would be helpful to have some context regarding your comment, such as the question you asked the volunteers. While most volunteers at the market can best speak about the personal reasons that motivated them to support the DISC, we do encourage our community members to seek further details by using the contact form on the YES on H website, and especially in a situation like the one you described. By now i hope that you have spoken to someone better prepared to answer your question.

  3. Alan Pryor

    I just realized that one of the complaints frequently levied by Mr. Greenwald against the No on DiSC campaign team is that we were mostly old people. So take a look at the pictures of the speakers at the event in the article above

    Geez – at least our team is majority women – and some are even under 50!

  4. Matt Williams

    He also pointed to the undercrossing under Mace Blvd, “So the people who live here and who work here especially if they have kids, they’re going to go underneath Mace Boulevard. And they’re going to go to the junior high or to the elementary school.”  He added, “what’s important about this inside path that they’re going to make is t’s away from the traffic away from all the traffic.”

    .
    There is one small problem with the undercrossing … the language in the Baseline Features says DiSC 2022 will construct a grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing of Mace Boulevard connecting to local and regional trails.”   There is no funding or work plan or schedule of completion.

    The Development Agreement provides more words, but precious little substance.  It says:

    Bicycle and Pedestrian Connectivity

    Within Phase 1 and prior to commencement of Phase 2, DiSC 2022 will construct a grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing of Mace Boulevard that connects to local and regional trails and transit stops at a location agreed upon by the Parties. The Developer may be reimbursed for construction of the crossing under a separate agreement between the City and the Developer which will provide that if and when a particular property benefiting from the grade-seperated crossing is developed, the City will require the benefiting property to reimburse the Developer its pro rata share of the costs of the crossing, as determined by future studies and set forth in the agreement. City and Developer will utilize best efforts to identify and pursue state and federal grant opportunities for such bicycle and regional trail infrastructure projects. City, Developer and County will collaborate in good faith to seek grant, or other funding opportunities or mechanisms, to aid in the completion of the crossing as early in Phase 1 as possible.

    .
    The language I bolded confirms that a “separate agreement” still must be negotiated, and that any funding plan for the undercrossing is currently little more than an agreement to  collaborate in good faith to seek grant, or other funding opportunities or mechanisms.

    Is there anything in that under crossing “commitment” that is binding?

    1. Keith Y Echols

      I’m not sure if the construction of the bike pathway is contingent on funding and grant financing.  Just that they’re going to try and get it.  From Resolution 22-010 Exhibit C:

      DiSC 2022 will participate in financing mechanisms, including but not limited to, a community facilities district, that could help pay for roadway improvements on and near Mace Boulevard, in East Davis and in other locations deemed appropriate by the City. DiSC 2022 agrees to negotiate the terms of such financing to the City’s satisfaction prior to issuance of building permits for any residential units. In addition, the DiSC 2022 project will contribute Roadway Impact Fees and construction taxes for such purposes.

      I think the listings in the document state the binding agreements.

      DiSC 2022 will construct a grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing of Mace Boulevard connecting to local and regional trails.

      • A minimum of 1.5 miles of publicly accessible bike lanes and walking paths will be provided on-site at DiSC 2022.

      • DiSC 2022 will construct an off-street bike trail connection between Mace Blvd and Harper Junior High School along the inside of the Mace Curve, thereby making a greatly needed connection, filling a gap in the system and improving bicycle safety.

      • DiSC 2022 will provide ample bicycle connections to local and regional routes, convenient and abundant bicycle parking, storage lockers, shower facilities and a maintenance and repair kiosks to encourage cycling.

    2. wesleysagewalker

      Matt,

      As stipulated in the Development Agreement, the development team at DiSC is responsible for ensuring the construction of a bike and pedestrian grade-separated crossing of Mace. They will collaborate with the City to go after infrastructure funding to help pay for this, but that is the raison d’etre for these infrastructure funds–to fund infrastructure projects that achieve the criteria these infrastructure grants and programs lay out. This effort will depend on the exact funding that is available, so it is not unusual in my mind that the exact allocation of funding for this grade-separated crossing would be handled in a future agreement given that this funding will be sought at a future date. Nevertheless, it is abundantly clear from the DA that the ultimate responsibility for the construction of this grade-separated crossing lies with the DiSC development team.

      There is not a work plan with a precise timeline because the Measure J/R/D vote that is about to occur is fundamentally about land use designation. When the project comes back to the City for its site plan, design review, master planning, and building permits, there will be a much clearer timeline for the project’s development schedule which will include the timetable and work plan for the project’s infrastructure commitments. Nevertheless, as you quoted, the grade-separated crossing must be constructed in Phase 1 of the project which is defined in the DA.

      The grade-separated crossing is a binding commitment as stipulated in the project baseline features and DA. If Measure H is passed, then it will be built. The exact funding mix will depend on what monies the project team and City are able to obtain versus direct outlays from the project team, but I do not think that should be cause for alarm.

    3. Alan Miller

      Within Phase 1 and prior to commencement of Phase 2, DiSC 2022 will construct a grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian crossing of Mace Boulevard

      MW, is there any timeline for when “prior to commencement of Phase 2” is expected to be?  1 year, 20 years ?  Also, this language is in that agreement that the City can change later, not in the binding agreement, correct?

  5. Don Shor

    The city of Davis has a 1% annual cap on housing growth.

    What is the buildout time frame for DISC II?

    The project phases in the housing over the buildout of the commercial component. Would that rate of housing construction, on site or elsewhere, exceed the 1% growth cap?

     

     

  6. Don Shor

    The back and forth on this thread illustrates why, in my opinion, we need to de-couple the debates about housing growth from economic development.

    Louis Sullivan: Form Follows Function.

    That should be the guiding philosophy of planners.

    Business parks don’t need housing. They’re for commerce. The idea of including housing comes from the ‘new urbanist’ school of urban planning, and it has a somewhat superficial appeal – that people want to live where they work, work where they live, and have all amenities within walkable or bikable distance. There are cases where this works, but mostly it doesn’t. Yes, people will live wherever housing is provided. This reflects the lack of inventory more than anything.

    The precepts of new urbanism (1970s) predate major demographic shifts as to who is in the workforce and where they are willing to travel for work. Most households are two-income, especially for homebuyers. It is a rather rare and lucky couple where both manage to find jobs within a reasonable distance of their housing.  People choose where to live based on different reasons than they choose where to work. The pandemic has exacerbated this disparity: people are less likely to use mass transit, and more likely to want a house with a yard, than they were before the pandemic.

    More to the point from the standpoint of voting on DISC and other commercial projects, residential development reduces the economic benefits that the business park provides for the city. Commercial districts make money for the city. Residential development doesn’t make money for the city. Putting them together makes little sense from a fiscal standpoint.

    There is a charming notion in urban planning circles that housing should be in mixed-use developments with neighborhood retail, commercial zoning, etc. Housing developments typically won’t have enough population to support retail businesses just on their own. Every time I see proposals for walkable neighborhoods with little shoppes and such I wonder if the planners have ever bothered to consult with retail experts. There are very few businesses that can make enough money in a setting where they’re off the main street and surrounded by housing. You need traffic and visibility.

    Yes, I know that cities in Europe may differ in this regard. The way we live and shop in the United States, it is unlikely that most retailers would locate in a residential subdivision. Very few will locate in a mixed-use subdivision. The exceptions would be those that can be a regional draw, and that will create traffic problems that were typically not anticipated. The Cannery has gone through all of these issues as they’ve tried to fill the commercial parts of that subdivision.

    Note that Village Homes was supposed to have a retail sector. They’re fortunate to have a high-quality, high-end destination restaurant there, but that’s all that’s ever happened.

    More than once I’ve been asked if I wanted to move my business to a new development and find myself mystified that anyone would think that’s likely to succeed.

    Everybody likes to talk about high-density downtown living. It’s a narrow demographic that wants that lifestyle. Most people want single-family homes with yards or the nearest approximation that they can afford. Privacy, safety, and having their own space are priorities.

    Infill is great in concept but really hard to implement because of the tension between near-neighbor conflicts vs profit margin.

    Build houses where people want to live. Build business parks where people want to work. Try to put them pretty close to each other if you can, but don’t harbor any illusions about any direct connection between the housing and the jobs. Plan for transit if there’s enough demand for it.

    I suggest the constant linkage between housing and jobs simply will not ever achieve a balance that will be acceptable, and this becomes just another argument impeding reasonable growth.

  7. Ron Glick

    “ Pam Gunnell argued that this project had morphed into a residential project with housing and had done so at the 11thhour.”

    The project has been on the ballot twice. Housing has been talked about for years. Perhaps Pam Gunnell wasn’t paying attention until the 11th hour but I doubt it.

  8. Ron Glick

    “I’m a proponent of smart growth.  Convince me as to WHY the city should grow.  How does growth benefit the residents of Davis? ”

    Keith, what in your mind does this look like?

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