Nearly Four Years after Successful Measure J Vote, Bretton Woods Breaks Ground

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – Normally the groundbreaking for a housing development is not really newsworthy.  It is one of those events that politicians like to get photos at because it shows a concrete accomplishment.

But this week’s Bretton Woods groundbreaking ceremony is one of those unusual events because not only is it occurring during the heart of a pandemic, but it is the very first time that a Measure J project, approved by the voters, is about to be built.

Here are some of the comments from Dave Taormino, who was the project manager for the senior housing project:

In other Sacramento region cities – a groundbreaking ceremony for a residential development isn’t newsworthy or special – but this is Davis. Bretton Woods is the first voter approved single family neighborhood in 22 years. As the first, it needs to meet our community’s expectation and serve as the justification for more. 

With the help of DeNova Homes, we will deliver to Davis residents what was promised. And, in doing so, others that follow can use it as a steppingstone to address the housing needs of our community. From the beginning, I was precise and specific in what was proposed to the voters and why. The site plan you see today is the one I showed the voters.

This neighborhood was designed to address the specific needs of the Baby Boomer generation as well as later generations. The concepts of aging gracefully in place, right sizing your home, a neighborhood plan that incorporates both positive physical and mental health amenities, designing caregiver suites that allow for a caregiver for you and your neighbors as well. And an oak forest as a remembrance for our first homeowners and residents. It was not easy to keep these features in-tack during the 6-year review process, but we did. Thank you, Dave & Trent Sanson, and Brad Durga, and all of the DeNova team for sharing the vision and making it a reality.

Bretton Woods represents the first side of a housing triangle. It emphasizes the concept of building a neighborhood to meet the specific needs of our community. Housing not just because a state government agency says so, new housing because it enhances the lives of our residents or those who ought to be welcomed members of our community. A village that will thrive in part because of its diversity and enhanced by housing choices.

 The second side of the housing triangle is the proposed Palomino Place, designed for young Davis families, local employees, UCD faculty and staff, and first-time buyers. The third and final side of the triangle…well, you’ll just have to wait until it’s ready.

Thank you for sharing this happy, long overdue, event with us.

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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  1. Ron Glick

    Twenty-two years  to break ground on a Measure J project. Works out to around 20 units a year under the ordinance. Seven Measure J elections, five failures, two approvals, one project breaks ground. One approval unlikely to get built because of access constraints defined in baseline features included in order to sell the proposal to voters. Any wonder why the price of housing has skyrocketed?

      1. David Greenwald

        I think he’s referring to Nishi.

        When I talked to Mike Webb in June, he was optimistic…

        “Nishi, it’s just the crossing that is holding things up,” Webb said.

        He reported that they are now finally doing well with the railroad and also attempting to figure out the exact landing spot on campus.

        “They’ve made significant headway in the last couple of months,” Webb said. “Tim Ruff is sounding optimistic about it.”

      1. Ron Glick

        It’s been four years since Nishi passed at the ballot box yet it still hasn’t broken ground. How long before you recognize that not having a deal for the underpass construction is a huge problem. Nishi might get built someday but the time lost until that day is time when that supply is not available to a market with high demand.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Yet, David T, by ‘sharing his views’ might well be jeopardizing the Palomino Place proposal, subject to a JeRkeD vote, with his ‘sharing’… time will tell…

        I was/am ambivalent to both Bretton Woods and Palomino Place proposals, for mainly technical, not philosophical (anti-growth) reasons… the former, more than the latter… but it is what it is, and que sera, sera…

        Bretton Woods is NOT ‘prime ag’… mainly alkaline soils… but sanitary sewer issues, being in the flood plain, circulation issues, are issues, on technical reasons… but it is a “done deal”… except for circulation, Palomino place (does everyone get the double-entendre (possibly triple entendre?  If not, you are more dense than substances very high on the periodic table!) has some issues, but about the same as the Chiles Ranch on E Eighth…

        Yes, I look at things thru a technical/practical lens, fully understanding how it might affect me…

  2. Walter Shwe

    The Davis residents that reject new housing developments solely because they don’t want new housing in Davis have no right to complain about the sky high cost of housing.  It’s simple economics. Demand far exceeds supply.

  3. Walter Shwe

    Measure J has contributed enormously to the high cost of housing in Davis. I have opposed Measure J from the very beginning for exactly that reason.

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