Commentary: Can We Build Housing and Still Protect Against Sprawl in Davis?

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – I wanted to tie a couple of different threads of discussion together here.  At the outset I will make two policy statements.  First, for my 16 years of running the Vanguard, I have supported Measure J’s right of the citizens to vote on the conversions of agricultural land to urban uses and I have generally supported infill over greenfield projects.

However, as a practical matter, I believe I have voted yes on all of the Measure J projects except Measure X in 2005.

Does that mean I have supported sprawl as one commenter put it?  I don’t think so.  In fact, that commenter offered a definition of sprawl as the “endless expansion by any city onto surrounding farmland…”

What is interesting about that definition is that while that commenter has generally connoted sprawl for any peripheral project, at the same time, their definition really forecloses the possibility of true sprawl in Davis because Measure J de facto precludes any sort of “endless” expansion because of the braking mechanism provided to the voters.

Could that change in the future?  Of course.  But that seems unlikely.  Moreover, we are talking about the here and now.  The voters have approved just two projects and only the one in West Davis really expanded the city’s boundaries.

In a very real sense, Measure J was implemented to stop Davis from sprawl.  And it continues to serve that function.

The problem that I see right now, is that we have swung the pendulum too far away from growth.  Realistically, we are not going to meet our housing needs now strictly through infill.  That was the point of several columns this week.

That brings me to the other thread that got revived from a comment from August 6.

Measure J is a process – not an outcome.  When you have free elections, that means that you have to accept the fact that your preferred candidate or policy outcome will lose.  As I argued on August 6, “I support the democratic process even when/ though it doesn’t always produce the outcomes I prefer.”

A good response was made by another commenter yesterday:

“We need to have a balanced democratic process. Having citizens vote on every single decision, e.g., where to put a stop sign, would basically bring our society to a standstill. We also have an electorate that can’t be informed about every issue. Instead, we’ve delegated decision making through a democratic republic and in order to keep our representatives accountable we need to fully delegate responsibility to them. We undermine one democratic institution (government officials) by being overly reliant on another (direct decision making through initiatives/referendums). We’ve seen this problem at the state level–it isn’t unique to Davis. Democracy is much more complicated than simply having a vote. I suggest that you reexamine your position on whether Measure J created a process that leads to good democratic governance. I submit that it has been counterproductive at a broader level.”

I agree with a number of points raised by this comment.

As I noted earlier, one problem that I see with housing is that the pendulum swung too far in the direction that precluded new housing.  While you can argue Measure J is the most extreme of these swings, it is not alone and that’s why it is a statewide and indeed, nationwide housing shortage, not just a California problem.

It’s not just that voters are not always informed on every issue, it is that the people who vote by and large are more likely to own rather than rent – even in places like Davis where the majority of residents are in fact voters.  Moreover, there are constituencies locked out of the process entirely because they can’t afford to live here.

We are at the point where Measure J has made it difficult if not impossible to meet our state housing requirements.  There could be consequences down the line for that.

The residents of Davis resoundingly voted in 2020 to extend Measure J until 2030.  I lamented at the time a number of things including the lack of community discussion on this issue, the lack of opposition to Measure J, and as it turns out, the decision by the voters was made without the knowledge of all of the potential consequences.

Some of course – a very small minority at this point – would like to end Measure altogether.  The voting numbers alone make that exceedingly unlikely.  Far more likely would be state intervention – but while that is more likely than voter action, it is unclear how likely that actually is.

There is of course another possibility.  One that I have suggested a number of times – look at modifications to the way we do land use.  If Measure J is our protection against sprawl, the safeguard of Davis becoming like countless other fast growth cities in the valley, but Measure J has simply swung the pendulum to the point where we cannot build reasonable amounts of housing, then perhaps we could tweak it.

In 2020, the rallying call of slow growthers was to pass Measure J extension as written with only small technical changes.  Ironically those strong supporters of Measure J, may ultimately prove to be its undoing.

We will see what happens over the next year or so.  I would still favor a moderate policy that allows us to build the housing we need while still providing a brake against endless growth on the farmland.  We will see if that is a possibility.

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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22 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    The problem that I see right now, is that we have swung the pendulum too far away from growth.

    A subjective comment.  What is “too far”, or “not enough”?

    Two peripheral housing developments have been approved, over the course of 20 years.  One every 10 years.  That’s not “enough”?

    Realistically, we are not going to meet our housing needs now strictly through infill.

    Other than what the state’s mandates, what is “our housing needs”?  How many more people, how much more acreage do you want to see paved over?

    Again, the state’s mandates are primarily focused on coastal cities (where the vast majority of the population lives) which aren’t expanding outward at all – some of which are already far more dense than Davis.  

    Why do you claim that Davis (uniquely) has to sprawl outward beyond its boundaries to address those requirements, when the majority of other (large coastal cities – who are also subject to those requirements) aren’t doing so?

    That was the point of several columns this week.

    That’s your focus on most days throughout most years.

    As I noted earlier, one problem that I see with housing is that the pendulum swung too far in the direction that precluded new housing.

    As already demonstrated, Measure J does not preclude new peripheral housing.

    Moreover, there are constituencies locked out of the process entirely because they can’t afford to live here.

    Those are called “non-residents”.  There’s a lot of them in regard to places like Tiburon, Santa Monica and Malibu.

    While you can argue Measure J is the most extreme of these swings, it is not alone and that’s why it is a statewide and indeed, nationwide housing shortage, not just a California problem.

    Most communities throughout California’s valley and the country welcome and pursue as much housing as developers are willing to build.  So, why is there a so-called “shortage”?  By the way, exactly how is that being measured?

    I would still favor a moderate policy that allows us to build the housing we need while still providing a brake against endless growth on the farmland.

    Put forth some numbers regarding the amount of additional people you’d like to add to Davis, the amount of acreage outside of the city you’d like to see converted, etc.  And if that’s accomplished, then you’ll be “satisfied”?

    By the way, I just read that housing prices have dropped some $300K in San Francisco, due to the housing downturn.

    Construction is grinding to a halt across the country, due to rising interest rates, concern about the economy, etc. And yet, you and others still claim that there’s a “housing shortage”.

    If you want to know what creates housing shortages in the first place, it’s ultimately pursuit of economic development.

    1. Don Shor

      Ron:

      Other than what the state’s mandates, what is “our housing needs”? How many more people, how much more acreage do you want to see paved over?

      The city’s 1% growth limit establishes the numbers, and the state is telling us that they need to be certain types of housing. The city can mandate density or even affordability status.

      Davis has a 2020 population of 69,992. Davis is currently growing at a rate of 0.28% annually and its population has increased by 6.72% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 65,584 in 2010.
      (https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/davis-ca-population)

      Grew by 4408.
      1% growth limit would have allowed 6558.
      Could have allowed 2150 more people in the last decade per growth limit.

      Average # of people per housing unit, US overall per census: 2.6
      2150/2.6 = roughly 827 more units of housing that could have been allowed per Measure H in the last decade.
      Growth has slowed dramatically but projects are coming forward, enough that they will bump up against that 1% growth limit.

      For the current decade 2020 – 2030, the voter-approved growth cap would yield 7000 more residents.
      At 2.6 per unit, that is about 2692 housing units in ten years. Some have already been approved.
      Davis occupancy density is probably higher, so this would be an outer range of housing units over the course of the current decade. With a rent/own ratio of about 55/45, a focus on rental housing and higher densities will allow that number of housing units to be built on a smaller footprint than in a more traditional housing market (Woodland is about 45/55, for example). But if you figure 1/8 acre per housing unit, it would take about 337 acres to provide 2692 housing units.

      Requires a vote:
      Palomino Place is about 26 acres, 164 units.
      Shriners Property would be 264 acres, 1200 units.

      Approved:
      University Commons would have about 264 units, 894 beds.
      Nishi is about 27 acres and will provide about 700 units, 2200 beds.
      Various other small projects probably get the total to about the 1% growth limit.

      Housing market fluctuations are irrelevant to this discussion.

      it’s ultimately pursuit of economic development.

      “Economic development” = jobs, livelihoods, income, ability to support selves and families.

      1. Matt Williams

        “Economic development” = jobs, livelihoods, income, ability to support selves and families.

        .
        I don’t disagree with Don’s equivalency statement above.  The questions that Davis has to grapple with are (1) What is the alternative to economic development? and (2) What are the costs to the community that come with economic development?

        A good way to look at the first of those questions is by illuminating the demographic trends that Davis has experienced in the past 20 plus years.  In that time Davis has effectively been a bedroom community where the jobs of residents (especially the higher paying jobs) were outside the City Limits.

        According to the US Census there were 24,819 Davis residents who were employed.  4,291 of them were employed within the City Limits.  That means 20,528 Davis residents commuted to their jobs outside the City Limits.  UCD has recently reported that approximately 4,700 of its employees live in the City.  That means the remaining 15,000 plus residents are employed beyond the combined City/UCD area.

        The other key demographic trend is how much the “Retired” demographic of Davis has grown.   In 1990 there were just under 5,000 Davis residents of retirement age (55+ years old).  In 2020 that number had risen to 23,500 in the Census (34% of the total Davis population).  How do Don’s criteria … jobs, livelihoods, income, ability to support selves and families … relate to that on-third of Davis’ population?  Do retirees need a job and/or livelihood?  Does the typical Davis retirees need an income, or does he/she already have an income … and the ability to support him/herself? 

        In a Saturday conversation last weekend at the Farmers Market with two of our community leaders about energy policy, all three of us agreed that one of the problems that exists in Davis is that Davis residents with incomes that exceed their expenses/needs each year do not reinvest their “savings” in the community, but rather put the money in the stock market. 

        We weren’t saying the should give their money away, but rather put it into something like a Public Bank such as was envisioned by AB 1177, or loan the money to a Community Resilience Seed Fund that can kick start the implementation of energy microgrids in Davis.  Look at how that concept bore fruit during the process that created Valley Clean Energy.  All the seed funding loans were paid back with interest, and the community as a whole was more sustainable and more resilient.

        Looking at the above, it appears that Davis has been pursuing an alternative path to “economic development” for over 20 years.  The questions we face are, “Should we continue along that path?” and “What are the costs to the community that come with continuing on that bedroom/retirement community path?”

    2. Ron Oertel

       

      The city’s 1% growth limit establishes the numbers, and the state is telling us that they need to be certain types of housing.

      The growth cap (which is by “units”) is an arbitrary number, and has nothing to do with my question.  But you’re right in that the state mandates “types” of housing, regarding affordability of those units.

      Grew by 4408.

      1% growth limit would have allowed 6558.Could have allowed 2150 more people in the last decade per growth limit.

      I assume you’re referring to the period between 2010 – 2020?

      Again, I understand that the “growth cap” addresses housing units (regardless of the number of bedrooms), not “people”.  And it’s a “cap”, not a “goal”.

      How many units have been built?  (That’s the number you need to look at, in regard to the 1% growth cap.)  But again, the growth cap has nothing to do with claimed “need”.

      Average # of people per housing unit, US overall per census: 2.62150/2.6 = roughly 827 more units of housing that could have been allowed per Measure H in the last decade.

      I understand that Measure H is the “growth cap” that you’re referring to, based upon housing units (regardless of the number of bedrooms) – and an arbitrary limit at that.

      Without even defining “need” in the first place, you’re advocating building more housing based upon the average number of people in a unit for the entire country, and then comparing it to a university town (where multi-bedroom megadorms, for example, accommodate a far larger number of people per unit), and then applying the growth “cap” – which is an “upper limit”, not a “goal”.

      Which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      Growth has slowed dramatically but projects are coming forward, enough that they will bump up against that 1% growth limit.

      Again, are you referring to housing units, or people?

      For the current decade 2020 – 2030, the voter-approved growth cap would yield 7000 more residents.

      At 2.6 per unit, that is about 2692 housing units in ten years. Some have already been approved.

      Again, the growth cap has nothing to do with “need”.  It’s an arbitrary upper limit (which deals with housing units, not people).

      And it’s a “cap”, not a “goal” or a “need”.  All of those are different things.

      Davis occupancy density is probably higher, so this would be an outer range of housing units over the course of the current decade.

      Indeed – see multi-bedroom megadorms.

      With a rent/own ratio of about 55/45, a focus on rental housing and higher densities will allow that number of housing units to be built on a smaller footprint than in a more traditional housing market (Woodland is about 45/55, for example).

      But if you figure 1/8 acre per housing unit,

      Mixing new for-sale and rental housing in that number, and without even defining the number of bedrooms, for example?  And basing it upon the growth cap (which again, is a limit, not a “goal”).

      it would take about 337 acres to provide 2692 housing units.

      Again, you’re mixing units vs. people, different types of units, growth caps vs. “need”, etc.

      But again, it doesn’t answer the question:

      Other than what the state’s mandates, what is “our housing needs”?  How many more people, how much more acreage do you want to see paved over.

      Economic development” = jobs, livelihoods, income, ability to support selves and families.

      Tell that to the folks priced out of the Bay Area, due to the pursuit of the technology industry.  (Some of whom continue to move out to the Sacramento region – including Davis.)  Certainly, some of the higher-income folks in the technology industry can (and do) “price out” others.

      1. Don Shor

        Other than what the state’s mandates, what is “our housing needs”? How many more people, how much more acreage do you want to see paved over.

        Our housing need is for workforce and affordable housing. You wanted numbers, so I answered your question. 337 acres, roughly, and about 2700 people in a decade. With appropriate guidance as to housing types, that could provide workforce housing and possibly affordable housing.
        The 1% cap (population) was a city council consensus on a very divided council. It was their compromise in implementing the voter approval of Measure H several years prior.
        There is no point in continuing this discussion with you, since your answer to all the questions you’ve asked appears to be zero, and your answer to where people should live is always ‘somewhere else’. You could prove me otherwise by answering your own questions.
        What is our housing need, Ron? Please be specific, since I have been specific.
        How many more people, how much more acreage, Ron? Is your answer to either of those numbers greater than zero?

        1. Ron Oertel

          Our housing need is for workforce and affordable housing. You wanted numbers, so I answered your question. 337 acres, roughly, and about 2700 people in a decade.

          And again, those numbers have no basis (in multiple ways, as already discussed).

          By the way, how fast are other communities growing in the region?  I ask because (despite how it seems), I recall seeing somewhere that they’re not growing much faster than Davis’s own “growth cap”.

          With appropriate guidance as to housing types, that could provide workforce housing and possibly affordable housing.

          Meaningless terms, in multiple ways.

          The 1% cap (population) was a city council consensus on a very divided council. It was their compromise in implementing the voter approval of Measure H several years prior.

          Sounds like the problem arose there, as usual.

          There is no point in continuing this discussion with you, since your answer to all the questions you’ve asked appears to be zero, and your answer to where people should live is always ‘somewhere else’. 

          Without getting into that allegation, I’m not the one advocating for sprawl with no basis.

          You could prove me otherwise by answering your own questions.

          I wasn’t asked a question.

          What is our housing need, Ron? Please be specific, since I have been specific.

          O.K. – there’s a question.  My answer would be that everyone already living in Davis has a home.  (Well, with the exception of the “homeless” – assuming that they call Davis “home”.)

          How many more people, how much more acreage, Ron? Is your answer to either of those numbers greater than zero?

          I’m not advocating for more sprawl.  I don’t mind seeing some infill, nor do I mind seeing UCD build those massive apartment complexes on or near the core of their campus.

          I also don’t actually mind The Cannery. For one thing, the justification for it was that it would negate the need for Covell Village. Nor do I mind the upcoming Chiles Ranch.

          Truth be told, I don’t have much objection to Nishi (except for the missed opportunity to address the state’s affordable housing requirements, there), nor do I regarding Bretton Woods.  (Their “Davis buyer’s program” is somewhat reprehensible, but I suspect that it ultimately won’t make much difference regarding who purchases there.)

           

  2. Matt Williams

    Moreover, there are constituencies locked out of the process entirely because they can’t afford to live here.

    [edited]

    The residents of El Macero are locked out of the City of Davis political process. is that a good or a bad thing?

    Those same constituencies that David cites as being locked out are also locked out from owning a penthouse on Park Avenue or on Rodeo Drive or along the Embarcadero. Life has billions and billions of “locked out” situations. The vast majority of those situations are because of the simple workings of supply and demand.  The housing market in Davis has a limited supply, and no matter how much we add to that supply, it will still be limited.  On the other hand the housing market in Davis has demand that effectively has no limits.  The graphic below illustrates one of the reasons for that expansive demand.  The exodus of residents from the Bay Area thanks to the workforce changes brought on by the COVID pandemic is another reason.  UCD aluma and Bay Area ex-pats simply have more economic resources than David’s constituents.  That spending power difference will perpetuate the “lock out” whether we like it or not.

    https://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/UCD-Alumni-Stats.png

    1. Bill Marshall

      The residents of El Macero are locked out of the City of Davis political process. is that a good or a bad thing?

      C’mon Matt, you know better than that… Binning, ‘Old Willowbank’, El Macero, etc. folk have been very much part of the ‘political process’ over the last 5 decades, that I’m aware of… the only part they haven’t, is in voting on City issues… but the ‘vote’ is only a part of the ‘political process’… the additional back door is the fact that there is the City/County angle (politics/policies)… which, if you aren’t clear on how that works, we can discuss ‘off-line’ (as we oft do)…

      The unincorporated folk have another choice… annexation… do you want to go there?  Is that a good or bad thing?  Your post implies wanting “representation without taxation”… [beyond the representation they get thru the City/County political links]

      Fish or cut bait?  As another commenter might say, “I wonder”…

       

       

  3. Ron Glick

    Non-Citizen residents are also locked out of measure J elections. As a result they have no input into Measure J elections even though they live here. Direct democracy only works for those who can vote but many who can’t vote are impacted.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      As a result they have no input into Measure J elections even though they live here. 

      Uh…what?  By definition they don’t live “here”.  There are these things called “city limits” that say otherwise.  Woodland residents don’t get to vote on Measure J projects either; yet they’re effected by Davis’ land use decisions too.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          Non-citizen residents can live in the city but they can’t vote in our elections.

          uh…so?

          If these non-citizen residents value being part of the community to the degree that they want to vote in our elections; then they can apply for citizenship and then vote in our elections.

          Just like if the folks in El Macero (or Woodland) want to vote in Davis elections; they should move to Davis.  When you choose to live in El Macero; you accept your status as a county community.  When you choose to live in Woodland you accept that you’re a citizen of the city of Woodland and not Davis.  When you choose to be a student of UCD it does not automatically make you a resident of the city of Davis.

        2. Ron Glick

          So, they pay the exorbitant rents but have no input in decisions that effect the market. At least with a normal process they have a voice with the elected representatives who usually don’t go around asking residents if they vote.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          So, they pay the exorbitant rents but have no input in decisions that effect the market.

          Yes.  If they don’t like it.  They can become a citizens.

           At least with a normal process they have a voice with the elected representatives who usually don’t go around asking residents if they vote.

          What do you mean “normal process”?  You mean the one where the unwashed masses interfere with the knowledgeable (or ruthlessly ambitious) leaders?

          Mayor Quimby : Demand? Who are you to demand anything? I run this town. You’re just a bunch of low income nobodies-

          Aide : whispers urgently in Quimby’s ear Election in November! Election in November!

          Mayor Quimby : What? Again? This stupid country…

          Mr. Burns: “Ironic, isn’t it Smithers. This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That’s democracy for you!” 

           

        4. Ron Glick

          It isn’t so simple to become a citizen unless you are born here. There are rules that involve a lot of hurdles, time lines and other obstacles like visa status. As an example, a post doc, who comes here from another country, can’t qualify to vote for some time if at all depending on visa status. That non-citizen of Davis, who is certainly educated enough to decide their own political interests, doesn’t get to vote in Measure J elections that effect the cost of living in Davis. That person, would at least get heard by a city council member if they spoke out, whereas they have no voice at all in a Measure J election.

          This is one example but there are many people who live in Davis but can’t vote in Measure J elections putting the lie to the notion of direct democracy being the voice of the people. It is only the voice of the people who can vote and many are excluded.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Residents of other countries (who are temporarily living in Davis to attend the adjacent university) pay the same rental costs as resident students do. (I assume this would also apply to student housing on campus.)

          Tuition costs are where they’re comparatively “gouged”, as they’re subject to something like 3X the tuition fees that a California resident pays.  (Assuming that they personally pay those costs.)

          Perhaps those concerned about that type of “inequity” should make their thoughts known to UC.

        6. Keith Y Echols

          It isn’t so simple to become a citizen unless you are born here. There are rules that involve a lot of hurdles, time lines and other obstacles like visa status

          As it should be.

           That non-citizen of Davis, who is certainly educated enough to decide their own political interests, doesn’t get to vote in Measure J elections that effect the cost of living in Davis. That person, would at least get heard by a city council member if they spoke out, whereas they have no voice at all in a Measure J election.

          LOL…the arrogance of Davis residents about their “education” and how it relates to civic matters continues to amuse me.  As if having a Doctorate in soil testing shows a level of intelligence to vote on civic matters.   Most Doctors (actually people in general) are dumb as a stump ignorant about most matters outside their area of expertise.  But that’s another discussion for another time.

          Citizenship should mean something, and the right to vote is a big part of it. And while most Americans are born citizens, an immigrant’s affirmative decision to become a citizen is a vital acceptance of duties as well as privileges.
          “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty,” reads the oath of allegiance for the newly naturalized. And “I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic” and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” including military service and other “work of national importance” as required by law. -New York Post Editorial 2020

          Citizenship binds us together as a society.  It makes sure that despite our many differences that we have some common civic values and goals.   When you become a citizen you:

          GIVE UP ALLIEGENCES TO ALL OTHER COUNTRIES

          Swear allegiance to the United States

          Support and defend the Constitution of the United States

          SERVE THE COUNTRY WHEN REQUIRED – Serving on a Jury for example.  Register with Selective Service and serve the country when called to do so.

          For example, many would argue that those citizens that do not accept and actively participated in preventing a peaceful transition of US Presidential power can be held accountable for not upholding the civic laws and intent of the land.  It is expected that citizens accept the peaceful transition of power through the election process.  And while non-citizens are expected to follow the laws of the land; nothing binds them to follow the values and intent of these civic laws.

          Now is that silly soils post-doctorate fellow going to actively work against the local, state and/or federal government?  Probably not.  But you have to draw lines somewhere that define and stitch together people and citizenship is one of those lines.

  4. Ron Oertel

    Matt:  he housing market in Davis has a limited supply, and no matter how much we add to that supply, it will still be limited.  On the other hand the housing market in Davis has demand that effectively has no limits. 

    This is actually true in just about every city in the U.S.

    If the price is right, there’s “unlimited demand”.  (Well, maybe not in parts of Detroit, for example – even for $1.)

    For that matter, Davis would probably be vacated in a heartbeat, if its residents were offered an opportunity to live in (say Tiburon) for the same amount of money.  (If only we could convince those mofos to abandon their town, and lower their price.)  🙂

    But I’m pretty sure that a “vice-versa” offer would not be too appealing to the folks in Tiburon (move to Davis, for the same price that they’re forced to sell). For that matter, they wouldn’t move to Davis even if the prices were (in reality) the same between the two cities.

    Not sure if folks on here know this, but much of the Bay Area “looks down” upon cities in the valley – including Davis. They feel sorry for them, actually – and can’t wait to get out of that 100 degree heat when passing through. No doubt, they’d prefer to skip over the valley entirely, on their way to Tahoe.

  5. Ron Oertel

    Some other numbers I’d like to see (from the growth/development activists) include the price of the housing units they’d either prefer, or believe that they’d see (e.g., as a result of any realistic development scenario).  At least in terms of the market-rate units.

    (As David noted yesterday, it took more than 20 years for something like Creekside to be built.  Though I will say that it looks pretty nice – certainly better than some of the megadorms.)

    Getting back to the market-rate units, what is the price that the housing advocates are looking for (e.g., per unit, per square foot, etc.)? And, do they believe that their advocacy will actually achieve this? (Keeping in mind that these are the same folks who apparently believe that adding 2,500 claimed jobs, but only 460 housing units does not create a “shortage” of housing units.)

    It will be interesting to see what housing units at Chiles Ranch cost.

    And given the prices at The Cannery (several years ago), what would they expect to see in a future/possible peripheral development?  Even with the housing downturn now in effect?)

    Tell us the prices you hope/expect to see, as well as the amount you’d like/expect to see existing housing values drop, as a result of peripheral development.  (I suspect that any realistic amount wouldn’t cause existing housing prices to move one way or another, regardless.  The reason being that there are larger factors at work.)

    But I’d still like to see what the housing advocates are hoping for, in regard to “lower” market-rate housing prices as a result of any realistic development scenarior.  Should be good for a laugh, at least.  (See The Cannery.)

    Interestingly-enough, I don’t believe that housing prices are all that much higher than they were at the peak of the last bubble, in 2007 or so.  And we know that they’re on their way down, now.  (Again, having nothing to do with whatever peripheral development the folks on here are advocating for.)

    $300K lower in San Francisco so far, as a result of the downturn.  (If I’m not already at five comments with this one as I type, I’ll try to find a link to that article.)

  6. Todd Edelman

    Measure J is concrete about something not concretely-defined: “Sprawl”.

    “Growth” is also very subjective!

    I would really like the General Plan Amendment to include a bulletproof but adaptable definition of “15 Minute city”, i.e. the increasingly popular idea to only build housing with a 15 min walk – convenient, joyous and safe walk by people of most ages – of a complete range of services, from health care to all levels of education to lots of jobs to gathering places to shopping.

    Normally this 15 min thing is not specific to walking, nor to children and elders. It’s obviously good to be more specific, or people start throwing around the semi-meaningless “All” and “everyone”. It also normally applies to bicycles, but while e-bikes should be supported to a great extent in town – with things like infrastructure that safely facilitates their high rate of speed – not everyone will have e-bikes because they can’t afford their own.  (Still it could be 10 min by bike, etc). Not everyone HAS to ride a bike!

    DISC 2022 was clearly outside the “15 min…” idea with limited stores and private health care annexes not covered under all plans”, and one junior high school, and a Park and Ride. The other places proposed for further west a bit have some closer elementary schools, and a slightly better shopping center, but no health facilities, no library, the high school is still sort of far, though there is some nice open space and a private golf course.

    Obviously much of Davis is outside the 15 min thing and the “neighborhood shopping centers” have a 90-95% automobile modal share based on how many bikes parked and how many people one can see walking home their groceries out of the often vast parking lots. Sadly nearly all the main health facilities are on the west side of town, with huge parking lots, poor bus access, etc. This includes the fantastic low-income serving clinic – and most referrals are sent to Sacramento and Woodland without recognition that not everyone has their own car, and that public transport to facilities in these places is limited.

    Clearly we WILL need to define what are a complete range of services.

    1. Walter Shwe

      Davis can’t support more than 1 hospital and more than 2 high schools. I would like to see you attempt  to persuade any healthcare system to expand into Davis. You’re 15 minute concept doesn’t hold water in the real world. Not everyone can walk for 15 minutes or even walk to the nearest bus stop. For most Americans cars are a necessary part of life.

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