Monday Morning Thoughts: The Status Quo Won’t Work in Davis

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – There is a disconnect between those who oppose Measure H and those who support it.  That’s to be expected.  It’s part of our system of governance.

In my view, and why over the last ten years I have come to support more housing and things like DiSC, it has been my analysis of both the fiscal and housing situation in Davis.

Recently I read a letter to the editor from someone who has lived in Davis for 37 years and says they have “watched leaders plead again and again for sprawl on our periphery, touting the need for often-delusive revenue to cover unchecked city spending.”

They add, “Like many, I put roots down in Davis because it offered what I desired most, excellent, innovative city planning, strong schools, and a strong city spirit. In the past, Davis was known nationally as a charming small college town with abundant bike paths and lanes, surrounded by farm land and open space.”

I agree.  But they don’t seem to understand that all of those things are actually in trouble.  Our strong schools are stifling under the weight of declining enrollment precisely because we have not added a major peripheral housing project since the 1990s.

The writer asks, “Isn’t there a better way to provide funding for city services than paving over prime agricultural land with an industrial park?”

How?  More taxes?  Right now we are facing a shortfall of at least $10 million annually.  The city is running out of infill space for either housing or commercial.  Just how are you planning to do this?  I have seen references to magical thinking on the part of supporters of DiSC—but the real magical thinking is that somehow Davis is going to continue to thrive by stifling new development.

Meanwhile the writer notes, “We have an internationally recognized agricultural research university and the city is proposing to despoil the very essence of that educational field: the land. The university hasn’t asked for this project or even endorsed it.”

That’s a little misleading in my view.  The university, after what happened with West Village, is not that interested in sticking its nose into Davis land use issues—and who can blame them.

Gary Mary only issued a general letter of support stating, “UC Davis encourages projects that bring economic development to our region and produce opportunities for our shared communities.”

But others like Justin Siegel, both a professor and a Davis-based entrepreneur, have been stronger, stating, “There isn’t enough space in Davis to accommodate all of the innovation-focused businesses that would like to be here. We need DiSC 2022 to retain more of the companies that are being formed through research done at UC Davis.”

Tim Keller of Inventopia goes further, “One of the biggest challenges facing Davis and its quest for economic development is the lack of commercial space suitable for high tech and lab space.”

Traffic is a legitimate concern with respect to DiSC.  The problem is traffic is a legitimate concern without DiSC there.  Moreover, without DiSC there is probably not going to be the money for any sort of transportation upgrade.  Critics have questioned whether or not the plans are firm enough or sufficient to solve the problems.  They may be correct.

One thing I know is that without DiSC there definitely won’t be any improvement there because there won’t be the funding and SACOG and other grantees are probably not going to want to invest in infrastructure upgrades without a regional upside.

The upshot is that traffic is likely to get worse even without DiSC and the city is likely to have far less in the way of resources to fix it.

He added, “Davis has been ‘leaking’ extremely valuable companies for decades now. Because we have a lack of commercial space, a lot of companies set up shop in Woodland, west sac, or elsewhere.  These are companies founded by Davis residents—and those residents are forced to commute out of Davis to work.”

But funding is not the only serious problem the city faces.  It also faces a housing affordability crisis.

Last week the Sacramento Bee ran a story that found, “Fewer than one-quarter of California families can afford to purchase the typical single-family home as the housing affordability crisis continues to hit every corner of the state.”

It gets worse.

“The drop was particularly striking in the Sacramento region. Just 34% of Sacramento and Placer county families could afford a median-priced home during the first quarter of 2022. That mark stood at 41% in Sacramento and 39% in Placer last year.”

Oh and even worse.

“Yolo County was the least-affordable county in the region, with just 28% of families able to afford the median-priced home of $630,000, according to the data. Last year, 38% of families in Yolo could afford to purchase the typical home.”

It doesn’t drill down into the Davis, but you can imagine that if Yolo County is the least affordable county in the region, that Davis is the least affordable city in Yolo County.

Jackson Mills in a guest piece pointed out one problem: “Over the last 20 years, the city of Davis has largely stopped growing. According to the U.S. Census, the city experienced a 10-year population growth of 30.5% from 1990 to 2000. This dropped to 8.8% from 2000 to 2010, and from 2005 to 2010 total growth was less than 2%. This slow pace continued through the next decade, with 1.9% total growth between 2010 and 2020.”

That stagnation has had an impact on housing prices.

“The consequences of not building are rooted in basic economics: While housing supply in Davis has tapered off, demand for available and affordable housing has exploded. This dichotomy has spurred a precipitous rise in housing prices: The median home value in Davis has jumped from $450,000 in 2012 to more than $875,000 in 2022. An average household income of around $200,000 is necessary to afford a home at this value, which only an estimated 11.2% of Yolo County households and 13.3% of California households make, according to the American Community Survey,” he writes.

This is the problem we face.  The writer above said he moved here because this was a great community with great schools, but the attempt to save paradise has its costs, and the sky high demand for housing without supply has put our schools on the brink and the quality of life here in Davis along with it.

People respond to this data and argue, hey, I don’t want to live in Elk Grove.  I agree.  I don’t either.  But there has to be some sort of middle ground.  The advantage of a project like DiSC is it actually is a middle ground—it’s 100 acres that can help address our fiscal issues for the next 20 to 30 years.  That seems pretty reasonable.

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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34 Comments

  1. Todd Edelman

    True innovation and sustainability work for the past few years would have had multiple formal meetings between Staff and some informal one-on-one’s with Council members with the owners of privately-owned grey fields and low-density developments in the greater central Davis area – i.e. inclusive of South Davis near Pole Line and Research Park, and the PG&E yard, plus in West Davis, Caltrans and extending east on 2nd to build housing, mixed-use or just commercial spaces — as appropriate, also on undeveloped greenfields… with the goal of making suitable arrangements that support their bottom line and community cohesion.

    Specifically….

    2nd St: Target (etc.) parking lot; some smaller parking lots and single-level lower-value properties (storage business); PG&E yard.
    South Davis: Greenfield between Drummond the south land of the Pelz Bridge along the north side of Cowell Blvd.; the parking lot at Oakshade Town Center and the multiple parking lots areas in Research Park and so on (and determining if the approved project on Research Park can go considerably less than more than half its footprint for parking lots); Davis Creek Mobile Home Park (re-develop for density, existing tenants can move back in); Kaiser (ridiculously low-density right now).
    East Davis: Main Post Office (to similar look as Sterling, of course if a temporary site can be arranged, or perhaps we should encourage USPS to de-centralize); Pole Line Road Baptist Church (huge empty lot on corner); Davis Manor Center.
    West Davis: Anderson Plaza the Marketplace on W. Covell; United Methodist Church and St. James Church (14th St side) parking lots; on a shelf or fill (etc.) on top of the deeper below grade section of 113, roughly between Hutchinson and Covell.

    Everything here is much closer to Downtown, Davis Depot and Campus than DISC, well within the acceptable or even popular cycling distance per the Campus Travel Survey. They take advantage of existing and brand new bike-ped connections across I-80 and support not only Davis Depot but reasonable bus service due to their high density.  Thus parking at these new and re-developed places can be minimal. It’s simply immoral and stupid to approve surface parking spots in a city with huge financial and housing challenges and an reasonably aggressive action plan for climate protection.

    True, there are some formal barriers – yet eminent domain should not be a tactic – and we might need to develop some kind of portable rig to place pre-fabricated building sections on new supports over existing low-level buildings (like in Research Park).

    Preserving farmland and avoiding sprawl that would also be unacceptable in a new General Plan is complicated, but we can do it — and there’s really no other choice.  Real and true innovation and sustainability creates robust equity. The new and better Davis starts now!

    1. Don Shor

      Parking lots are not going to be redeveloped for other purposes. Talking about the PG&E site is a waste of time, they aren’t going anywhere. We have no say whatsoever about what the USPS does with their property. Nobody is going to be covering 113 or I-80 with anything for the purposes of development. There is literally no reason whatsoever for “formal meetings between Staff and some informal one-on-one’s with Council members with the owners of privately-owned grey fields and low-density developments” as they would yield no new developments and would, if anything, just be a diversion and distraction from actual economic development. I’d be very surprised if any private developers would wish to walk any of the gauntlets that you’re proposing.

    2. Ron Glick

      “Preserving farmland and avoiding sprawl that would also be unacceptable in a new General Plan is complicated, but we can do it — and there’s really no other choice.”

      Of course there are other choices than your pie in the sky  ideas that aren’t going to happen.

    3. Ron Oertel

      Preserving farmland and avoiding sprawl that would also be unacceptable in a new General Plan is complicated, but we can do it — and there’s really no other choice.  Real and true innovation and sustainability creates robust equity. The new and better Davis starts now!

      It’s actually not “complicated” at all.

      Almost every city/community within 30 miles or so of the California coast has been doing so for years, now. (The same locations where the vast majority of the population lives.)

      Some do so by choice, others do so because they’ve already gobbled-up all of the land available to them.

    1. Don Shor

      When I was a landscape contractor I once arrived on a job site to check on things and found the landscape forewoman in active conversation with the owner about some problem that had come up. I noted with some amusement that all of the hot-shot young men on the crew had stopped working to join the conversation. The owner’s spouse leaned over to me and commented with a wry smile, “looks to me like you’ve got too many designers and not enough landscapers.”
      That’s Davis in a nutshell.

    2. Richard_McCann

      Todd

      There might be ways of persuading land owners to redevelop their properties but it would take substantial creative thinking and a sound demonstration that the financial return net of costs has a rapid payback compared to current uses. That we can’t even get 7 large restaurant spaces Downtown filled despite substantial interest in those spaces (we know several current operators unable to negotiated satisfactory leases) shows how difficult this task would be. Rather than come up with a wide ranging plan assumes financial feasibility, go through the exercise of calculating whether one of these would pay off. (And again, please stop fantasizing about the PG&E Yard–it’s not being converted for at least two decades, if ever.)

  2. Matt Williams

    One thing I know is that without DiSC there definitely won’t be any improvement there because there won’t be the funding and SACOG and other grantees are probably not going to want to invest in infrastructure upgrades without a regional upside.

    .
    There is a fatal flaw in this observation … because the observation uses the word “improvement” with nothing to describe any infrastructure improvements that will actually improve traffic on Mace. Arguably the 23 mitigation measures won’t actually improve the current traffic problems on Mace.  To illustrate why it is useful to start by answering the following question … How will adding a second southbound lane to the Mace Curve above Alhambra improve the traffic flow on Mace? 

    To answer that question start by looking at the current configuration of the Mace-Alhambra intersection.  It already has three southbound lanes.  The proposed “improvement” described in the DiSC documents will not add any southbound capacity to that intersection.  The current two left lanes support thru traffic headed toward the I-80 interchange and the right lane supports protected turns onto westbound Alhambra.

    Travel times on southbound Mace will be unchanged by that “improvement.”  Safety on the Mace Curve will actually get worse because vehicle speeds will increase during the times where congestion is present.

    The only improvement that will have any impact on southbound travel times  on Mace from the Curve through Chiles will be if/when CalTrans modifies the I-80 loop on-ramp to support more vehicles safely entering the eastbound I-80 traffic flow without disruption.  CalTrans completely controls the fate of that possible improvement, and if it actually ever happens Davis will not be responsible for any of the funding of the improvement.

  3. Matt Williams

    “Yolo County was the least-affordable county in the region, with just 28% of families able to afford the median-priced home of $630,000, according to the data. Last year, 38% of families in Yolo could afford to purchase the typical home.”

    .
    Let’s put the proposed price of housing at DiSC into the context of that statement.  DiSC proposes a $699,000 median price for its Owner-Occupied Residences.  How is that helping the housing affordability problem in Yolo County?  The homes at DiSC should be sized to have a sale price below $600,000.  That way they will actually have a positiver impact on housing affordability in Yolo County.

    1. wesleysagewalker

      Matt,

      As someone who studied some economics, you should be well aware of how supply curves work. Why would you expect that new construction would be below market rates? The primary effects of increased supply would most likely have greater impact down the quality hierarchy since people would have increased choice and higher quality units available ceteris paribus. The supply segments that we would expect to see price decreases would be most concentrated toward the bottom end of the spectrum. Under the current choice set that confronts a Davis buyer, there are very few new units, so older lower-quality units can set much higher prices than if there more higher quality units available. More new high-quality units means that the older lower-quality units must compete on price to compensate for their lower quality.

      You should also recognize that there is a fairly high cost to produce a new unit of housing. It costs about $400-600k in construction, design, engineering costs for most builders to deliver units these days. It can be less for larger single family home builders or cheaper product that is lower density. This excludes the land basis which, in an area like Davis where there is extremely limited available land, is a very high number. After you factor in the cost of capital and OH&P, it is extremely challenging to deliver units below median price. But that should also intuitively make sense. New construction should be at the top of the market. You wouldn’t expect a new car to be priced below the median car price.

  4. Matt Williams

    Jackson Mills in a guest piece pointed out one problem: “Over the last 20 years, the city of Davis has largely stopped growing. According to the U.S. Census, the city experienced a 10-year population growth of 30.5% from 1990 to 2000. This dropped to 8.8% from 2000 to 2010, and from 2005 to 2010 total growth was less than 2%. This slow pace continued through the next decade, with 1.9% total growth between 2010 and 2020.

    .

    Jackson Mills only tells part of the story with his 1.9% growth figure.   After the Sacramento Bee published a similar article in January I pulled the per-year unit numbers from the ten annual Housing Element Progress Report filings by the City of Davis with the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). 

    For the 10-year period 2011 through 2021 the City reported the addition of 1,797 units.  That calculates to a 7.2% increase in units. Bottom-line the reported population growth has not kept up with the housing unit growth. If Jackson had reported that information as well, his story wouldn’t have been quite so misleading.

     

    1. Bill Marshall

      Yes, Matt… context is everything… and an honest person would be ‘transparent’ about that…

      Many factors involved in ANY conclusions about the significance of, for example, the need for housing in Davis (both “affordable” (a squishy term in itself) and “market”), school needs/funding, etc.

      Societal trends as to reproduction; economy (recession, inflation, growth, etc.); job production/size of work force; etc., etc, etc., etc.

      Think a huge Venn diagram… some (actually many) are intertwined… a purported ‘algorithm’ that focuses on one or two, as a reason to move forward, is inherently ‘suspect’… yet very many do, as we have seen on VG articles/posts/comments… ‘vanity of vanities’… not real, rhetoric, speculation… yet, all with kernels of truth…

      I believe more in the adage (seen it in financial proposals), “prior performance is no guarantee as to future results”…

      We’re in the here and now… it is reasonable to consider past history, possible projections of the future… but there is the judgement factor… weighing the past and possible projections… thoughtful, informed judgement, and recognition of risk, being willing to admit to, and change from errors made, then ACTING on it, is the key… it’s called “survival”…

      At least that’s how I attempt “to roll”… the great majority of folk, right/left, conservative/progressive, will certainly hate and dispute my words here… but I stand by them, and anticipate and can withstand what I anticipate will be the reactions… I fully accept that reality.

      1. Darell Dickey

        For the life of me, I can’t figure out what you think is so edgy and controversial about what you’re written here Bill. This may be one of the most reasonable, down-the-middle logical bits that you’ve written in a while!

  5. Ron Oertel

     Our strong schools are stifling under the weight of declining enrollment precisely because we have not added a major peripheral housing project since the 1990s.

    Think about that statement, for a moment.

    David is claiming that school districts depend upon continued sprawl to survive.

    And (regardless of the accuracy of this statement), he supports continued sprawl for this reason.

    1. Darell Dickey

      It isn’t only the school district that claims this. It is the city of davis and the supporter of ever-more development that claim that the city must continuously “grow” to be a healthy, viable city.

      This is the definition of a pyramid scheme. If we must always grow to be economically viable, then we can’t afford what we have, and we won’t afford what we’re about to build. What if instead of “forever growing” we actually studied the situation and made a plan for the future that was realistic and took into account the finite world in which we live?

       

      A guy can dream.

  6. Darell Dickey

    I hear the problems, but I don’t see the data on how DiSC is the solution.

    We cannot pave our way out of traffic congestion. We’ve tried. MAN how we’ve tried. Adding DiSC to get more traffic in order to get more money to pay for more paving in an attempt to accomodate more congestion doesn’t add up. (see pyramid scheme in my earlier comment). We need alternatives to private vehicle traffic. And we are basically ignoring all of them for the promise of “improved roads”. We don’t need more lanes in which to store the cars as they inch along.  Actual traffic mitigations don’t involve accommodating and inducing more traffic. But so far, this is the big promise of DiSC.

    Cost of housing? Does anybody really think that DiSC is even a tiny solution to our housing shortage and cost? How does that work? WHEN has that ever worked? Why didn’t the Cannery solve that? Or…. all the other developments? Plus I keep hearing that housing is terrible for the city’s bottom line. So…. Huh?

    School attendance. The district desperately wants kids to live there so the schools can get more money. Everybody loves money! But what about the cost? DiSC is about the worst physical location for students live, as they’ll basically be driven everywhere they need to go. Especially school. Who’s letting their kid ride over Mace to get to Pioneer? So we should widen the roads, right?  sigh.

    So yeah again, I hear the problems we have. (Heck, we have so many terrible issues in Davis can there be any wonder why everybody wants to live here?) What we need is proper solutions. Solutions that take real planning and thought and nuance. We won’t get it perfectly right, but we can sure get it better than merely taking random suggestions from a developer on how he can make the most money.

    1. Ron Oertel

      Does anybody really think that DiSC is even a tiny solution to our housing shortage and cost?

      Not only that, but DiSC would create a housing shortage, in the form of 1,269 housing units that won’t be built onsite (per the EIR).

      (Assuming that the commercial component is actually successful.)

      This fact is what bothers me the most regarding most of the supporters of DiSC.  These are the same people who claim to be concerned about housing shortages in the first place!

        1. Ron Oertel

          It does not state the opposite.

          It states that the city and surrounding communities are expected to absorb that increased demand (in addition to the “housing shortage” which already exists). And yet, there are absolutely no plans to accommodate that additional demand created by DiSC (assuming that the commercial component is successful in the first place).

          The city is already having challenges meeting existing “fair share” housing requirements (foisted upon the community by the state), without even including the additional demand created by DiSC.

          But you can be sure that the state will consider that increased demand, in future “fair share” housing requirements.

          How is it that folks like you advocate for housing shortages, with no plan to accommodate it?

        2. Craig Ross

          It in fact DOES state the opposite.  This is what the EIR concludes: ” the project does not induce a need for increased housing construction.” 

          That is the EXACT opposite of what you claim it says.

        3. Ron Oertel

          The EIR itself notes a need of 1,269 housing units that won’t be provided onsite.

          However, the EIR claims that this need will be met via the pre-existing housing element plan, which was created prior to, and without acknowledging the additional demand from DiSC (that the EIR itself notes).

          As such, the EIR itself could have (and should have) been challenged regarding its own contradiction.  (As you and the other development advocates should be, as well.)

          In other words, the EIR ignores other demand, upon which the housing element itself was based upon. 

          Future housing element plans will have to account for the increased demand from DiSC, assuming that the commercial component is actually successful.

          Now, if you want to claim that no additional housing need is “induced” other than the plans in the housing element (and that DiSC makes “no difference” regarding demand for housing), be my guest.  (Pretty sure that you, the rest of the development advocates and SACOG will be singing a “different tune”, if DiSC is approved.)

          Are you actually claiming that adding 2,500 jobs won’t create additional demand for housing beyond the 460 housing units planned onsite?  Really? 

          2,500 new employees are going to be housed in those 460 housing units? Leaving aside for the moment, whether or not anyone else would be living there?

          I will not make any further comments in this article, today.

           

    2. Mark West

      DD: “I hear the problems we have. (Heck, we have so many terrible issues in Davis can there be any wonder why everybody wants to live here?) What we need is proper solutions.”

      That’s the thing… You, Matt W. and Ron O. are all gangbusters when it comes to pointing out problems, and with stating why proposed projects are bad, but none of you provide viable alternative solutions. At least Todd E. has ideas, no matter how unlikely they are to be viable. I would be more impressed with your negative commentaries if you provided real ideas beyond the need for more “real planning and thought.” The first time the City invested in ‘real planning and thought’ was in 1961, when the community produced a well focused plan for the future, which was quickly ignored, much like every subsequent attempt. Calling for more planning in the face of decades of failure implementing community plans is nothing more than a call for obstruction.

      The basic problem here is that we do not live in a command/control society, so the City does not have the power to command that property owners develop their land in the way that the City (or various citizen groups’) want, other than through the blunt instrument of eminent domain. As a consequence, we are completely dependent on developers finding a profitable model for their projects, otherwise nothing gets built. Now I’m fairly certain that blocking all development is the ultimate goal for some, but it doesn’t help pay the bills. For most of us who live in the City, raising taxes yet again is not a viable option (see the ‘road tax’) so we need some level of development to add revenues to the City’s accounts.  I’m all ears for your ideas, especially if you have ‘skin in the game’ with your development proposal.

      1. Ron Oertel

        You, Matt W. and Ron O. are all gangbusters when it comes to pointing out problems,

        What an odd comment, given that the development advocates are the ones constantly pointing out problems that (additional) developments will “solve”.

         

      2. Matt Williams

        Mark, even if DiSC gets a positive vote on June 7th, no meaningful net revenue will accrue to the City Budget for at least 10 years, so we are faced with a tax increase regardless … either that or continuing to let the roads and buildings and greenbelts/bikeways deteriorate.  The prudent approach would be for the annual tax increase revenue to equal the annual funding gap, which realistically is between $14 million and $15 million per year.  My personal preference is to have the tax be on a per bed basis.  That way the recent trend of “rent by the bed” which burdens the City with higher costs than the traditional rent by the unit model would be addressed.  If you figure there are close to 70,000 beds in Davis that would mean a tax of approximately $20 per bed per month.  Ideally DJUSD would deal with its capital infrastructure repair/replacement/maintenance issues at the same time with a $10 per bed per month tax.

        That would provide the needed revenue to allow Davis to continue onward on its default Vision of being a bedroom community for retirees and university students.

        1. Mark West

          Matt:  You don’t pay City taxes, so your preference is of no interest. Post all you want about the County as those are the taxes you pay. You don’t have standing to talk about City issues.

           

           

        2. Matt Williams

          Mark, you very specifically criticized me for pointing out problems, but not providing any alternative solutions.  You then went on challenge me to provide real ideas beyond the need for more “real planning and thought.”

          I provided you with exactly what you asked for. 

          Here’s a rhetorical question for you.  If you didn’t believe I had standing to talk about City issues then why did you ask me to talk about City issues?

        3. Mark West

          “If you didn’t believe I had standing to talk about City issuesthen why did you ask me to talk about City issues?”

          Matt – Talk about City issues all you want. It is when you start calling for other people to pay more in taxes to support you vision of the City, knowing full well that you will not be subject to that taxation, that I consider your comments to be out of line.

      3. Darell Dickey

        Isn’t the point of projects like DiSC to fix existing problems that the city faces? If DiSC doesn’t solve anything for the city then we either have no problems, or DiSC doesn’t fix them. So we can probably stipulate that the city’s problems have been pointed out by people other than the gangbusters. And then some of those same people realize that we need a fix! And that needs money! And every project that comes along promises money! So they’ve provided the “solution.”

        From where I’m sitting in the cheap seats it appears that somebody else is pointing out problems that the city has. And I’m sometimes pointing out why the proposed fixes are perhaps going to make the problems worse… or at least not fix what ails us. And I suggest that perhaps we should and could figure out what we actually need and pursue that angle instead of just accepting anything that comes along because MONEY!

        Here’s the score as I understand it:

        Todd: Has ideas but they’re “unlikely to be viable.”

        Darell, Matt, Ron O. : Only point out problems and provide no viable solutions. Because planning has proven to be ineffective. Our unviable ideas are worse than Todd’s unviable ideas.

        Mark West: We can’t control anything, the city doesn’t hold any of the cards, planning doesn’t work, all planning has been a failure. So we might as well build whatever a developer brings to us even if it doesn’t pay for the liabilities incurred by all the past projects we had no control over, nor has a plan to pay for the future liabilities that it will create. We must develop! Because money.

        >> blocking all development is the ultimate goal for some, but it doesn’t help pay the bills. <<

        You are incorrectly stipulating that “development” pays the bills. Why do we forever need more development after each development that’s built? Why are we forever behind in paying for things? Why didn’t the last one pay the bills? Is now a good time to circle back to the pyramid scheme concept?

  7. Don Shor

    A peripheral business park was intended to help provide revenues to the city and to provide sites for move-up businesses that spin off from UCD research and for businesses that wish to locate here due to proximity to UCD.

    It was not intended to help solve a shortage of housing nor was it intended to improve housing affordability. It had no relation to the quality of the schools. As usual, those things got caught up in the whole debate because everyone wants to link jobs, housing, and business development in every project. People seem to want every project to solve every need.

    Obviously if you create jobs there, it will increase demand for housing somewhat. There are other factors that are of probably greater impact on local housing demand (UC enrollment increases, UC staffing increases, population shifts to the interior, etc.). Personally I don’t expect a business park to provide housing.

    In my opinion Davis will need to grow somewhat over the next couple of decades. Davis is growing older and younger and losing the middle: more retirees, more students. A ‘normal’ housing development where people with families might live is likelier to be of benefit to the school district than a bunch of housing shoe-horned into a business park that’s right on the freeway. Really the housing supply issue should be addressed separately from the business park.

    This region is growing, the state is likely to continue to require additional housing, and it would benefit Davis in myriad ways to have greater demographic age diversity. But that discussion will happen soon enough, I’d imagine, as various ‘normal’ housing project proposals move forward.

    1. Ron Oertel

      A ‘normal’ housing development where people with families might live is likelier to be of benefit to the school district than a bunch of housing shoe-horned into a business park that’s right on the freeway.

      School districts exist to serve the community, not the “other way around”.  Is that really such a hard concept to grasp?

      Really the housing supply issue should be addressed separately from the business park.

      Tell that to the DiSC developers.  Or for that matter, the “Davis Innovation Center” which moved (what was left of it) 7 miles up Highway 113, and added 1,600 housing units in that process.

      To a location that was (also) not intended for housing.

      This region is growing, the state is likely to continue to require additional housing, and it would benefit Davis in myriad ways to have greater demographic age diversity.

      Existing housing will turn over. Depending upon continued sprawl is not an “answer” for anything, other than continued sprawl.

      But that discussion will happen soon enough, I’d imagine, as various ‘normal’ housing project proposals move forward.

      Are you referring to the massive Shriner’s proposal?  And in the future, the “other half” of DiSC?

       

    2. Bill Marshall

      Don… am thinking of a metaphor you might relate/respond to… a plant, tree…

      A plant/tree starts out as a seed… then if conditions are right, it grows, and is beneficial… it may well start out planted in a small pot/container… as it grows, it needs a bigger pot (exceptions include trees meant for bonsai or some cacti, etc.)… if it doesn’t get a bigger pot, it gets ‘root-bound’, becomes moribund, and dies.

      There are some who would prune/constrain the growth of a plant (bonsai, for example)… there are some who would give it more space (bigger pot, move to a garden of fertile soil)… there are some who would kill the plant, as it takes up resources, and takes up too much time/effort/resources to maintain.

      Just a thought…

       

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