By David M. Greenwald
Davis, CA – The city of Davis is counting on roughly 1000 units in the Davis Downtown by 2029. This week, they have already received a preliminary application for 224 units at the Hibbert site and is expecting another for 116 units at the Davis Ace site.
The recently approved Downtown Plan contained provisions allowing for the increased density of the Davis Lumberyard site popularly known as the Hibbert site for its long-time housing of Hibbert Lumber.
The project is seeking to construct a vertical mixed-use multi-family project with 224 residential and live/work units.
They also cited SB 330 for the submission of a “preliminary application.”
In their letter, they note, “Effective January 1, 2020, and further amended in 2021, “The Housing Crisis Act of 2019,” establishes a statewide “housing emergency” until January 1, 2030.”
They write, “During the housing emergency, local jurisdictions such as Davis are generally prohibited from rezoning or imposing new development standards that would reduce the capacity for housing or adopting new design standards that are not objective.”
“SB 330 allows a housing developer to submit a ‘preliminary application’ to a local agency for a housing development project. It is separate and distinct from a development application,” they continue. “The Project is a housing development project that has satisfied the preliminary application submittal requirements.”
Thus, they conclude, “the zoning, design, subdivision, and fee requirements in effect at the time of this letter must remain in effect for the Project through the remainder of the entitlement and permitting process so long as a complete development application for the Project outlined above is submitted within the next 180 days.”
According to the preliminary application, “The Project proposes 207,448 square feet of residential use comprised of residential and live/work units, for a total of 224 units. The Project also proposes 8,586 square feet of non-residential uses comprised of retail, public fitness center, and public co-work as well as a public passageway at the ground level.”
As noted there will be 224 residential units on the site. Of those, 11 will be reserved for low-income residents at the 80 percent AMI (Area Median Income) level.
Another 11 of the units will be live/work units.
The project contains zero vehicle sparking spaces, but 268 long-term bicycle parking spaces.
Last fall, Governor Newsom signed into law a bill that eliminates minimum parking requirements on new development near public transit.
Housing advocates, such as Brian Hanlon, were quick to praise the bill.
“California has a severe housing shortage, not a parking shortage,” said Hanlon. “AB2097 is landmark legislation — it prioritizes affordable housing for people while eliminating costly parking mandates that are a significant cause of climate pollution in our state.”
The measure “does not prohibit property owners from building on-site parking,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman who authored the legislation. “Rather, it would give them the flexibility to decide on their own how much on-site parking to provide, instead of requiring them to comply with a one-size-fits-all mandate.”
In the letter from Justin Zucker to the city of Davis on behalf of the Davis Lumberyard LLC, “We are looking forward to working with the City to bring much needed housing, both market rate and affordable, while also adding new commercial uses to a prime downtown location through the Project. We appreciate your processing of the application in accordance with state law as outlined above.”