Commentary: Why Commissions Could Be Seen As a Proxy Fight for the Davis Housing Wars

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – On the surface, it looks like a nerd issue.  The ultimate of inside baseball.  Commissions.  It’s hard to get excited about the issues.

And yet there we had the spectacle of Colin Walsh yelling up to the dais in the middle of the meeting and Mayor Will Arnold responding by likening his conduct to Marjorie Taylor Greene’s shouting down President Biden.

Bear with me for a second, but there are layers to this one.  At the core, I think is this.  At one point the slow growth forces in Davis could get their folks elected to council.  Briefly they have actually controlled the majority on council.

But in the last decade or more, that influence has waned significantly.  We have seen in the last few election cycles, efforts to run slow growth candidates fall well short.

But despite that political weakness, the structure of Davis governance continues to grant those forces significant power.  There is of course Measure J which allows the citizens to block housing and projects.  And the robust commission system acts as a key point of access for citizen dissent.

With the city council increasingly out of reach for opponents of housing projects, that put an added importance to the commission structure.

The city does not believe its proposals will interfere with the robust functioning of commissions.  They maintain that the subcommittee issue was misconstrued while the time limitations are mostly benign.

But the pushback by some in the community shows how sensitive many are to even perceived attempts to pull back on the influence of commissions.

The city of Davis has avoided the pitfall that has befallen other communities.  This week cities like Berkeley and Oakland, for example, are among those whose housing plan was rejected by HCD.  A number of cities in the Bay Area are in the same boat, and some have not even tried.

These cities are in danger of having the state impose the “builder’s remedy” which would override local land use authority and could result in the loss of state funding for housing as well as other grants.

But make no mistake, this is a temporary win for Davis—at best.

A key component to this cycle of housing plans is that the city must justify that sites they identify on their housing plans have a reasonable likelihood of being built in the next eight years.  I have a good deal of skepticism as to whether the Davis Downtown Plan, for instance, will yield the amount of housing that they are projecting, but evidently HCD believes it is sufficient.

The city is far more concerned about the next cycle.  Indeed they should be.  Finding sufficient property to build affordable housing is going to be a huge problem.  This is precisely why, last week, the Davis City Council announced they would be looking into exemptions for Measure J.

Make no mistake, Measure J is a fourth rail.  It was implemented in 2000 in response to the perception that growth on the Davis periphery was out of control and the citizens wanted more say.  This has effectively shut down peripheral growth in Davis for the last two decades—nothing has been built, though it appears that Bretton Woods is getting closer and closer to doing so.

Council, despite the fact that Measure J is largely untested from the perspective of being actually able to see a project through to its conclusion, has been reluctant to even attempt or discussion the possibility of revisions—until now.

Can Davis reach its affordable housing requirements in the next cycle without building affordable housing on the periphery?  There is a good deal of skepticism about that.

On the other hand, some will argue, well San Francisco has a plan to build 82,000 new homes, more than half will be affordable in the next eight years.  They are doing that without building on the periphery.

There is some truth to that argument.  But it misses a good deal of fine points. First, will San Francisco actually build that number of homes when they have failed to get anywhere close to those numbers of the last few decades?

Second, it appears that San Francisco is attempting to leverage state and federal funding to purchase surplus and available land, and utilize that funding to fun affordable housing projects.

That is something that the city of Davis should look into.  There isn’t a lot of city-owned property in the city, but they could redevelop the Corp Yard on Fifth Street.

Third, there is also the issue of density.  While the community has fairly consistently voted down peripheral projects, efforts to build upwards has been met with lawsuits and pushback from the community as well.

A number of San Francisco’s affordable housing projects are going to be high rises—very dense urban developments.  Many in Davis have complained about four-story buildings, the council has had to fight to get to seven-story buildings, so are community members going to accept ten-story, high rise, affordable housing projects adjacent to their homes and neighborhoods?  It seems unlikely.  Yet that’s been part of the San Francisco solution.

The problem that we face however, is solvable if we take a modest approach.  This week, we talked a bit about the senior housing affordable project at Bretton Woods.  That project, on a land dedication site, shows us what’s possible—5.6 acres, affordable 150 units.

But it also shows us the challenge.  It means you can get over 100 units of affordable housing on around 5 acres or less.  The problem of course is that there are only a handful of such sites in town that are vacant and available (We aren’t going to put affordable housing, for instance, on a superfund site).

But even if those properties are currently developable, the city would need a way to purchase those sites and then fund the housing.  Neither is simple.

Much more land is available of course outside of town, but it took an 80-acre, 580 unit development to get the 5.6 acres, 150 affordable units for Bretton Woods.

Land dedication rather than inclusionary housing is much more efficient, but you still need the land, which means you need a mechanism by which to get approval for the use of the land.

The city is going to look at ways to gain exemption from Measure J, and there might be some sort of trade off that could come into play as well, but in the end, the city is going to figure out how to get those housing units or risk having the state step in—and then who knows what will happen.

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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31 Comments

  1. Ron Glick

    Conflating the commissions and Measure J is like comparing a sling shot and a nuclear bomb. One can inflict a little pain the other destroy everything.

    If you step back and look at the staff presentation it is clear that attending commission meetings has become a burden on the staff members, who, must participate in long after hours meetings, that keep staff away from home and family. While commission meetings might be empowering to those entrusted as citizen volunteers, to the people staffing the meetings, its simply more work after hours that often drag on late into the evening. Staff wanting to place some time limits on commission meetings is a reasonable and measured request.

    On the other hand Measure J makes blocking development too easy for the most reactionary voices in the community because it shifts the burden for calling a referendum election from the opponents to the proponents and makes a referendum vote mandatory. As the Arch Luddite of Davis, who claims he wrote Measure J told me, the old way where you had to collect signatures to place a project on the ballot, was too much work.

     

    1. Keith Y Echols

      I get what David is trying to say.  His article was just sort of unfocused and went off in a “the problem with Measure J” tangent.  But to summarize for those that didn’t follow the article (which is understandable):

      No/Slow Growth political zealots have lost power in the actual local government over the last decade.

      No/Slow Growth political zealots have found a voice/platform in the commissions

      They reacted against efforts to control/curtail the commissions which effects their imaginary political self importance (again, I say this because the point of the commissions is to serve the city council…NOT to be some imaginary voice of the people)

      1. David Greenwald

        That’s a reasonable summary of the piece except the article didn’t go off on a tangent, instead attempted to connect the two. Maybe didn’t succeed like I would have preferred, but you seem to have gotten much of the gist.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          The city is going to look at ways to gain exemption from Measure J, and there might be some sort of trade off that could come into play as well, but in the end, the city is going to figure out how to get those housing units or risk having the state step in—and then who knows what will happen.

          That’s like an anorexic on a strict diet trying to justify cheat days.

  2. Don Shor

     There isn’t a lot of city-owned property in the city, but they could redevelop the Corp Yard on Fifth Street.

    That site would be more appropriate for commercial development. Nearby uses are noisy (especially the PG&E yard), and pretty incompatible with housing. And I’d point out that that site is all that remains of the economic development plans from 10 – 15 years ago. Turning every possible income-generating parcel into housing will exacerbate the city’s structural deficit.

      1. Don Shor

        There are apartments right across the street from the PG&E yard, so I don’t think your noise-based reasoning holds water.

        I’ve been working directly across the street from the PG&E yard for 42 years. My comment is based on personal observation.
        This end of 5th St. is a commercial district. There are auto and tire service stores right next to my nursery. These are businesses that make a lot of noise and emit various auto-related fumes. I’d be perfectly happy to have housing behind my store, but there would likely be incompatibilities between the retail and commercial service businesses on one hand and high-density housing on the other. And the city would decrease its revenues if housing were to replace commercial here.

  3. Ron Oertel

    I have not found the members of commissions to be “anti-housing”.  If anything, the opposite has been true.  I can rattle-off a bunch of names to prove the point, if needed.

    The rest of this article consists of the usual scare tactics.  And yet, just yesterday – David agreed that Affordable housing (statewide) is NOT actually going to be built to the degree contained within housing elements (or anywhere close to it). And that includes San Francisco, as well.

    Would you like me to post links to articles again showing the reason why that’s the case in San Francisco? (The figure $19 billion dollars for Affordable housing comes to mind.)

    The most recent information I read (and posted on here) showed that only 15% of cities and counties in the Bay Area even met the deadline to submit a housing element.

    So, what makes David (or anyone else) believe that Davis (with a housing element that is likely to be approved) is in any kind of “unique” circumstance?

    The state is (first) going to after the communities which are actively defying them.  All of this is going to be tied up in lawsuits.

    And if the state (in cooperation with the realtor-funded “Californians for Home Ownership” along with the YIMBY groups are actually successful in forcing some “builder remedies”, that’s when the real battles will begin. But those battles will not start in Davis.

    Even the “builder remedies” require a percentage of affordable housing, thereby possibly containing their own “poison pill”.

    There is no way that the YIMBY-type groups are going to win, in the long run.  They are digging their own grave. Ultimately, you can’t win against a majority of the populace, as they’ll just take control back via an initiative.

    1. David Greenwald

      A few things in response:

      First, it’s not that “members of commissions” are anti-housing or not. Commissions give a voice to those who otherwise are excluded.

      Second, when I agreed with you that affordable housing is going to fall short, that’s not the end of the story but rather just the start.

      Third, “showed that only 15% of cities and counties in the Bay Area even met the deadline to submit a housing element.” Maybe I read it wrong, but I thought it was the other way around, 15 percent didn’t meet the deadline.

      Fourth, I don’t think that Davis has some sort of unique circumstance. In fact, that’s precisely why I have been working to connect the housing issues in Davis to the statewide discussion.

      Fifth, you argue there is no way that YIMBY groups are going to win in the long run. That presumes that California is always going to have a housing crisis. I don’t think that’s a reasonable presumption.

      1. Ron Oertel

        First, it’s not that “members of commissions” are anti-housing or not. Commissions give a voice to those who otherwise are excluded.

        If they’re not even a “majority” on their own commissions, how is it “giving them a voice”?

        Second, when I agreed with you that affordable housing is going to fall short, that’s not the end of the story but rather just the start.

        It’s definitely the start of battles (which won’t be focused on Davis).

        Maybe I read it wrong, but I thought it was the other way around, 15 percent didn’t meet the deadline.

        You read it wrong, and could have found that out within 5 seconds of an Internet search.  For example:

        A key plan to dramatically increase housing across the Bay Area fell flat this week as less than 15% of the region’s cities and counties met the state’s Tuesday cutoff to provide their homebuilding proposals.

        ………

        Fourth, I don’t think that Davis has some sort of unique circumstance. In fact, that’s precisely why I have been working to connect the housing issues in Davis to the statewide discussion.

        In this article (and every other article you write on the subject), you’re doing so for the purpose of attacking Measure J.  Despite the fact that Measure J already has an exemption for Affordable housing.

        https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/02/01/most-bay-area-cities-are-now-late-on-their-state-housing-plans-and-new-penalties-could-be-in-store/

        And that’s just in the Bay Area.  Cities in Southern California are in the same situation.

        https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/18/most-southern-california-cities-miss-new-deadline-to-complete-housing-plans/

        Fifth, you argue there is no way that YIMBY groups are going to win in the long run. That presumes that California is always going to have a housing crisis. I don’t think that’s a reasonable presumption.

        Your presumption is that there is a “housing crisis” (which has no actual definition), and that the interest of the YIMBY groups is to “solve” it.  (Again, look at their funding sources to find their motivation.)

        And since you agree that the YIMBY groups will largely fail – despite multiple lawsuits against cities, etc., that means that you don’t think that the “housing crisis” will be “solved” via their efforts.

        See how this works?

        The “housing crisis” is already being solved via dropping rents and housing prices, as well as the exodus from the state (resulting in a population drop over the past 3 years).

        According to Realtor.com, the metro areas that are showing the fastest drop-offs in rental prices are in California and Nevada, with Riverside, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Sacramento, CA, all experiencing around 5% drops in average rent year-on-year.

        https://www.housedigest.com/1161088/these-are-the-u-s-cities-where-rent-prices-are-falling-the-fastest/

      2. Aaron Stacy

        I think it’s rather reasonable, in regards to your 5th point.    Housing prices in CA continue to increase year after year (barring the 2007-2008 recession).  Its a ritual you can set your watch to,  and many are in the landlord business because of it.

         

        There is simply not enough affordable houses where people WANT to live, so the bleed over occurs in our peripheral cities.  I watched as the central valley (Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, Modesto area) became a landing pad for bay area residents who were financially wise to buy here and work there.  However, that created a slew of additional woes to the city with regards to rampant population growth.

        The real solution is for the UC to get real about its admissions numbers and actually balance this with what housing is available in town and on campus.  The pressure to run the UC like a business means increasing admissions every year to cover additional costs, but there is no way the city can keep up with this model once the students finish freshman year and become a transferred burden on the city’s available housing.

         

        We certainly need to build more housing, there’s no debate about that,  but the way all these projects are being marketed (reference the ad at the top) will not alleviate this problem at all.  The recent additions along E Covell by the high school seem like the right direction to go, and I would imagine that’s the type of housing they’re interested in anyway as it’s a continuation of that dorm-style life that they’ve grown accustomed to.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          I think it’s rather reasonable, in regards to your 5th point.    Housing prices in CA continue to increase year after year (barring the 2007-2008 recession).  Its a ritual you can set your watch to,  and many are in the landlord business because of it.

          I disagree to a point with David’s belief that the housing crisis can’t go on forever.  There’s almost no way to build out way out of the housing shortage.  It would take a colossal New New Deal construction of infrastructure and publicly built cheap homes.   The only way California gets out of the housing shortage without some major intervention is to wait until something tips the economy to a degree that it crashes and people flee en mass from the state (in multiple magnitudes from what is happening now).

          The real solution is for the UC to get real about its admissions numbers and actually balance this with what housing is available in town and on campus. 

          Agree and disagree.  The UC does need to get a handle on it’s finances, admissions and student housing.  But the city of Davis should not factor into their housing needs.  It’s not the city’s responsibility to support the UC’s housing needs.  The city should make decisions concerning the student population that makes economic sense for the city.

            The recent additions along E Covell by the high school seem like the right direction to go, and I would imagine that’s the type of housing they’re interested in anyway as it’s a continuation of that dorm-style life that they’ve grown accustomed to.

          What additions in this area are you referring to?  And why is “dorm-style” housing desirable for anyone?

        2. Richard_McCann

          First, we built our way out of a housing crisis after World War II. The inner ring of houses in Davis are a result of that build out. Davis didn’t have a housing “crisis” with a such a large premium over neighboring cities until the growth controls came into place in the late 1990s.

          Second, the goal of UC is to serve the state’s needs including educating its young and providing research. It has no real obligation to the communities where campuses are located other than to play nice. UC must meet the statewide demand for its services as a public agency (not a business) regardless of what those communities desire.

          As I have delineated here multiple times, UC and state taxpayers have provided billions of dollars in direct benefits plus numerous cultural amenities and a premium school system from highly educated parents to Davis. Our elevated property values reflect those benefits that have been provided. Davis in return is obligated to provide sufficient housing for UCD’s needs. It is our purpose as a community. We cannot act selfishly as though the rest of the state owes us.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          First, we built our way out of a housing crisis after World War II. The inner ring of houses in Davis are a result of that build out. Davis didn’t have a housing “crisis” with a such a large premium over neighboring cities until the growth controls came into place in the late 1990s.

          Yes see “Levitt Towns”.  But that required a HUGE investment in infrastructure as well as an influx of a work force (G.I.’s returning from war) into a booming economy of unprecedented conditions in modern times (the US was the only major manufacturer still standing for next 5-10 years).   None of that is going on right now .

          As I have delineated here multiple times, UC and state taxpayers have provided billions of dollars in direct benefits plus numerous cultural amenities and a premium school system from highly educated parents to Davis. Our elevated property values reflect those benefits that have been provided. Davis in return is obligated to provide sufficient housing for UCD’s needs. It is our purpose as a community. We cannot act selfishly as though the rest of the state owes us.

          Yeah…that agreement of benefits to each other is worth the paper it’s written on….oh wait…there’s no paper it’s written on!  I’ve made the argument many times; what’s the geographic distance requirements for housing obligation?  Does Davis owe the state government housing?  How about to Kaiser (the largest private employer in Sac…or Sutter or Dignity….the next largest Sac employers)?  You’d think someone would draw a line or something around the area that a city has obligations to.  It still mystifies me how some can can continue to bend over backwards for  the all mighty sacred, mythical, mystical and eldritch UC.  It’s irrational….but people get the warm and fuzzies about their time back in college.

  4. Richard_McCann

    The debate about commissions’ roles did not arise out a debate over housing growth. Colin Walsh was not part of initiating this and those of us who raised this question have a multitude of viewpoints on this issue. So it is incorrect to link this commission issue with the growth issue.

    The commission issue came to a head with the Brightnight debacle in April 2020 (as described on this site at the time.) That was the culmination of a series Council missteps such as the Recology franchise transfer (also described here at the time) that went against better informed viewpoints from commissioners, who had been locked out of the decision making process. Staff documents on sustainability features for proposed developments also contradicted better informed positions from commissions that have professionals who have much more experience that City staff on those issues. None of these issues related directly to housing growth.

    I understand the burden on City staff of the meetings, but this is exacerbated by hiring staff that live far from Davis, including in communities east of Sacramento. That problem can be solved by hiring much closer. Staff comes on board knowing what’s expected of them, and they are paid quite well as Alan Pryor has documented here several times.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      , who had been locked out of the decision making process.

      I thought the decisions were the city council’s decisions.  The decision making process is the council’s as well.

      I understand the burden on City staff of the meetings, but this is exacerbated by hiring staff that live far from Davis, including in communities east of Sacramento. That problem can be solved by hiring much closer. 

      What difference does it make where the staff lives?  If anything it gives them a more impartial perspective compared to the Council that lives in the city.  But in general you want your professionals to be as objective as possible.  If you require staff to live in Davis; you’re probably going to have to pay them more.

      1. Richard_McCann

        Keith E

        There are public disclosure requirements of the Council in making decisions. In both of the examples I gave, the Council violated the law, but the window for making a case was too short to gain relief. The courts are lax in enforcing this law and the penalties pretty much meaningless as the politicians wrote the law that would be enforced against them. And the facts are that the commission members were correct in their criticisms of each decision.

        And yes, it does matter where staff live. Staff should readily reflect the outlooks and values of the community. (Don’t give any BS about “objectivity” somehow making them completely disinterested.) Based on frequent interactions, staff members bring their personal values to the table in each of these situations. I generally find those who live in Davis or nearby better reflect our values (although there are notable exceptions.) Being in the community is a legitimate characteristic to be considered in hiring City staff, just has having education and work experience.

    2. Ron Oertel

      The debate about commissions’ roles did not arise out a debate over housing growth. Colin Walsh was not part of initiating this and those of us who raised this question have a multitude of viewpoints on this issue. So it is incorrect to link this commission issue with the growth issue.

      That was my primary point, as well.

      And you’re one of the people on an “environmental” commission who doesn’t even support Measure J.  “Perfect example” of the point you and I made, though there are other examples as well.

  5. Colin Walsh

    To the extent the Tree Commission reviews development projects (witch is seldom) and offers advice to the council or planning commission, the focus I have seen on the Tree Commission has been in making sure there is a good plan for planting and maintaining trees in a new development especially that provide shade where people are and that can help encourage people to use active transit and public transit by shading bus stops and bike paths. The Tree Commission recommendations on the DiSC 2.0 project were generally adopted and I would gladly say that that project did a good job on trees. It is an extreme stretch to say the tree commission having the time and opportunity to do a good job and work with a developer representative to come up with a good tree plan is some diabolical plot to stop development. I mean it’s pretty ridiculous.  
    I was a signer to the letter from the group McCann was part of and fully support the effort to encourage the City to use the commissions effectively. What went before the council was directly counter to that because of it’s lack of input from commissioners, and lack of a plan to involve them.
    Last I want to note that the Urban Forestry and public works staff that work with the Tree Commission are excellent to work with and I have no criticism of them.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      Colin,

      I might suggest that if the commissions believe they’re some sort of voice of the people that they get out and present their work to the people?  Booths at the Farmers Market and at community festivals.  Hold your own meetings….or expand and make them more frequent.  Coffee talks to interested groups and parties.  The (tree, alt transport, environmental, economic/fiscal…etc…) commission’s primary job is to advise the city council.  But maybe a secondary role can be advising the public (voters) who can then can also influence the council.

      1. Don Shor

        Commissions have to act under the rules of the Brown Act, which probably makes these suggestions unworkable. In fact, strict interpretation of the Brown Act can really hobble the work of city commissions, but I think that’s unlikely to change. It’s up to non-profit private groups to provide the public education function.

        1. Keith Y Echols

          How would commission members gathering at a local park, the Farmer’s Market, downtown public area…etc… be a violation of the Brown Act?  It would be a “special meeting” and all you have to do is put a notice in the Enterprise/Vanguard/Davisite at least 24 hours ahead of time.  Also, if the gathering is less than the majority of the committee then the Brown Act doesn’t apply.  In terms of the intent of the law which is public figures in “glass houses” transparency; there’s nothing much more transparent than standing around in the public square talking to people….especially if you tell the public ahead of time that you’re going to do it.

        2. Matt Williams

          Keith, the City Attorney’s interpretation of the Brown Act has essentially forbidden all joint meetings of Commissions and/or Commission Subcommittees and/or Commission members without permission of City Council.    Part of the problem is staffing of such a public meeting even if Council and the City Attorney gave permission to have it.  Staff has looked skeptically on unstaffed joint meetings.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          That’s a rather draconian interpretation of the Brown Act.  Seems to me it’s that way to make 100% sure there’s no violation.  But that’s like preventing people from crossing the street at stop lights because you’re afraid someone will cross when they shouldn’t.

          If I were on a commission and cared enough, I’d simply get one or two members to go out to the community.  That’s not a quorum.  So the Brown Act doesn’t apply.  But ultimately the commissions work for the city council so the commissions should work with them to engage the public.  Staff?  What does staff have to do with going out into the community?

        4. Matt Williams

          Staff wants to control the message, so they want any meeting to have publishable minutes … and that means they have to be there to take the minutes.  If they are there they have to either be paid overtime or take time off  during normal working hours, which means their normal work doesn’t get done.  In addition, frequently, their superiors and even individual Council members want to be briefed on what happened, especially if there are any political implications associated with the meeting topic.

          A pretty clear indication of where the community Stan’s is that the City still has not released/published the June 30, 2021 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) … I.e. the audited financial statement.  Further, the Finance and Budget Commission has not received the Q1 update for the 22-23 fiscal year yet.

        5. Matt Williams

          Keith, in addition to working at the pleasure of City Council … lending support to the accomplishment of Councils goals, do you believe the Commissions also provide a “watchdog” function for the benefit of the citizens at large?

        6. Keith Y Echols

          I don’t get all this about Staff.  Why does staff have to be present for all commission engagements?  Official meetings?  Sure.  I guess.  But like I said a non-quorum of commission members reaching out to the public doesn’t have be regulated (per the Brown Act)  If a member or two has a booth at the Farmer’s Market or some other public gathering area…what does Staff have to do with it?

           do you believe the Commissions also provide a “watchdog” function for the benefit of the citizens at large?

          They can.  But it’s not they’re official function.  If the commission’s advice runs counter to the will of the city council….then council is going to ignore them….which is their right.

          To me it seems like there’s some weird conflation going on about committee functions and voter representation/watch dog functions….etc.   I mean sure committees/members can advise the council that runs counter to council’s desires but that’s the extent of the committee’s official abilities.  But is it any surprise if the Council and Staff then starts shutting out their advisors?   If those on committees really want more political influence and power they will find  a way to reach the people instead of confusing their volunteer committee roles as some sort of official government function.

          You sit or sat on a fiscal/economic committee right?  There’s nothing stopping you from setting up a small booth at a public gathering spot with some posters with charts, diagrams and handouts about sound civic fiscal policy.  And if being on a commission is to constraining; then maybe you’re better off not on the commission where you can spread your message more efficiently.  If you push it among the people and in public government meetings….the council will get your recommendations anyway.

        7. Matt Williams

          Keith, the answer is embodied in two words Trust and Control.  There is very little of the former (on both sides of the abyss) and a strong desire for the latter (again on both sides of the abyss).

          Regarding your recommendation, come to Lamppost Pizza on Wednesday.  I’m doing exactly what you suggest.

        8. Richard_McCann

          Keith E

          Our group has been asking the same questions about reasonableness that you are asking. But City staff and their outside attorney has been interpreting the rules just as Matt describes. That is why we have been raising these issues. They can’t be solved in an outside manner as you are suggesting, which is why I suggest that you join us in resolving this problem.

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