Project Submitted for the Hibbert Site

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

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.”

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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46 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    Wow – only 11 units (out of 224) are “Affordable”?

    And even those 11 are reserved for those making (up to) 80% of the Area Median Income level?

    No parking.  Will the leases require residents to not have cars (or, their visitors)?

    What a disaster for that entire area of Davis.

    There goes my trips to the Co-Op. It was nice while it lasted.

    Failing to see how this serves or improves Davis better than (say) a lumberyard.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      This is the problem with infill – hard to make affordable work.

      Since the project is in preliminary app, not a ton of details. Also bear in mind, just because they are proposing it, doesn’t mean that’s what gets done.

      1. Ron Oertel

        This is the problem with infill – hard to make affordable work.

        The only way that they make it “work” on peripheral land is to allow an Affordable housing developer to pursue government funding on a portion of the site.

        They could do that with the ENTIRE Hibbert’s site, if they chose to do so.  Presumably, obtaining funds for the land itself from that same pot of money.

        But again, none of this is “my” goal in the first place.

         

         

        1. David Greenwald

          “They could do that with the ENTIRE Hibbert’s site, if they chose to do so. ”

          That is something that the city could do if they had a viable affordable housing fund – purchase the land and turn it over to a non-profit to put affordable housing on it.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I don’t believe that this is dependent upon city funding.

          Again, I see no reason that the same type of government funding (that is used for other Affordable housing developments) can’t be used at Hibbert’s – to purchase the land, as well.

          For that matter, perhaps this would even be viewed as an “eminent domain” type of situation – to address the so-called “housing crisis”. Perhaps with the support of state government (and the attorney general), as well.

          Hey, if it’s a “crisis”, why not?

          Regardless, it seems to me that David Thompson brought up some important points, below.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Affordable housing developers pursue government funds all the time.

          But again, this may involve something like eminent domain, as well.  Perhaps the city itself could (then) pursue (state) government funds. Or work with an Affordable housing developer to coordinate the effort.

          An area of law which might require some actual research, beyond what can be accomplished on this blog.

          Again, none of this I “personally” support – but if the goal is Affordable housing to address a “crisis”, maybe the city needs to act accordingly.

          My guess is that the issue might ultimately show “who” ACTUALLY cares about Affordable housing (vs. “build, baby build”). Much like how the “housing crisis people” didn’t care about the housing shortage that would have been created by DISC. Or what impact the “Davis-connected buyer’s program” would have on “equity”.

          But again, the most-important comments seem to be David Thompson’s (below).

          1. David Greenwald

            You still don’t seem to understand. Someone owns this land. In order for an affordable housing developer to pursue government funds, they must obtain the land to begin with. That costs money. That’s assuming that the owner even wants to sell the land rather than develop it themselves.

        4. Ron Oertel

          You still don’t seem to understand.

          You don’t seem to be understanding my comments.

          Someone owns this land.

          Right.

          In order for an affordable housing developer to pursue government funds, they must obtain the land to begin with.

          Have government funds been used elsewhere to obtain land for Affordable housing?  If so, there’s your answer regarding how to pay the owner (and obtain the land).

          That’s assuming that the owner even wants to sell the land rather than develop it themselves.

          Eminent domain, if necessary. (There should be no hesitation to do so, from those who call “crisis”.)

          Isn’t this essentially what redevelopment agencies did in the past (e.g., in San Francisco and Sacramento)? And again, don’t cities (or other government agencies) sometimes use eminent domain to address “needs” of a community?

          Again, the city in conjunction with an Affordable housing developer.

          Again, a topic that would extend beyond the ability to analyze on a blog.

          The people who call “crisis” are the ones who should be checking into this.

          1. David Greenwald

            The city could buy land – if they have the money to do it. But they don’t.

        5. Ron Oertel

          Again – what did I just note regarding the money to obtain the land itself?

          Have government funds been used elsewhere to obtain land for Affordable housing?  If so, there’s your answer regarding how to pay the owner (and obtain the land).

          I’m not referring to “city” money.  I’m referring to state and/or federal money, for example. Probably the same “pots” of money that they use to build the actual Affordable housing (buildings) throughout the state.
           

          1. David Greenwald

            This is not a full answer, but take a look at this: http://hcd.ca.gov/planning-and-community-development/public-lands-affordable-housing-development

            Key quote:

            One of the challenges in building new affordable homes is acquiring land suitable for housing. In 2019, Governor Newsom took several actions to make state and local public lands available for affordable housing development including:

            * An executive order to make excess state land available for affordable housing (Executive Order N-06-19)
            * Connecting affordable housing developers to local surplus land and strengthening enforcement of the Surplus Lands Act (AB 1486, Ting, 2019)
            *Requiring cities and counties to inventory and report surplus and excess local public lands to include in a statewide inventory (AB 1255, Robert Rivas, 2019)

            That’s suggestive that purchasing land for affordable housing is difficult.

        6. Ron Oertel

          David:  That has nothing to do with the suggestion raised (using state/federal Affordable housing funds to obtain the Hibbert site – using eminent domain if necessary). Use of eminent domain still requires payment for the owner. But perhaps they’d even be “willing” to sell.

          Truth be told, even “I” probably wouldn’t complain about it if the city pursued this.  I’d be at least kind of impressed that city officials truly “believe” there’s a “housing crisis”. Not to mention addressing the “affordable” RHNA targets.

          1. David Greenwald

            You’re wrong that this has nothing to do with that suggestion. I’m looking at what is out there and what the state is currently doing. I found private land acquisition funds from both Mercy Housing ($47 million) and Golden State Acquisition Fund ($94M)

            “ The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) seeded GSAF with $23 million from its Affordable Housing Innovation Fund, which serve as 25% top-loss for GSAF loans. ”

            I’m doing research (something frankly you need to do a lot more of) to see what’s out there.

        7. Ron Oertel

          I did mention using state and/or federal funds (e.g., for Affordable housing) to obtain the land itself.

          Your miscellaneous quotes do nothing to address that.

          This is one of the problems with attempting to address complex issues on a politically-oriented blog.

          1. David Greenwald

            Really? One quote says that the state has provided $23 million to GSLA for a land acquisition fund. How does that not address your point? This is clearly not worth my continued time.

        8. Ron Oertel

          Really? One quote says that the state has provided $23 million to GSLA for a land acquisition fund. How does that not address your point? This is clearly not worth my continued time.

          Uhm, you’re presenting a singular example of $23 million for a land acquisition fund as “evidence” of what, exactly? And then stating that it’s “not worth your time” to explain whatever connection you’re attempting to establish to my comment.

          Am I (or any of your readers) expected to be a mind-reader?

          Now, if you’re stating that these are the ONLY funds to be used for land acquisition, and that they’re already used-up, that would be an (unsupported) claim. But even if that were true, wouldn’t that be yet another possible (legal) argument to challenge the state’s RHNA targets?

        9. Ron Oertel

          That’s fine.  I’ll remind you of this the next time that you state that sprawl is necessary to provide Affordable housing.

          But if what I think you’re claiming is true, this may be yet another strong legal argument that can be used to challenge the state’s RHNA targets – assuming that cities actually have the willingness to do so. (The latter of which I doubt is true, regarding Davis.)

  2. Richard_McCann

    Those two projects can get us a third of the way toward our goal. These should bring more people downtown which could help revitalize the area.

    1. Matt Williams

      Richard is correct that this project will help revitalize the area.

      It is disappointing that there will only be 5% of the units designated as Affordable.  That doesn’t amount to much progress on “housing affordability.”

      It is also disappointing that the project isn’t seven stories like Davis Live is.  Adding two more stories would increase the number of units to approximately 336.  112 additional units would also be good for the revitalization that Richard referred to.

  3. Tim Keller

    Love the “zero parking”…  The benefit of that is that it is going to ensure that the people who live there are people who work HERE.

    If you live downtown and you work in the city or on campus… this location is a block from the co-op… so you really DONT need to own a car, unless you are venturing out of town for 1-off trips.. in which case, ZipCars are a great option… ( im assuming spots for carshare will be made available?)

    This is the model for a sustainable future davis.  I just REALLY hope that there isnt the normal push-back from neighbors trying to get the height reduced… we cant build this building tall enough in my opinion.

    1. Walter Shwe

      If this project does get built, I predict they will have trouble finding enough tenants to maintain full occupancy. There is only a limited supply of Zip vehicles to go around. I for one would never rely on Zip cars, especially during the Holidays. The zero vehicle hypocrite strikes again. 🙂

      1. Ferguson Mitchell

        I lived in Davis for seven years before buying a car, and lived a block away from Hibbert for two of them. Great location, especially for students and young graduates

        1. Richard_McCann

          If one doesn’t live in a community they won’t be familiar with the details of a neighborhood that affect a project, which include protections for parking for current residents.

        2. Richard_McCann

          In my opinion, some of those who support “smart growth” made a strategical and logical error, in that all growth must eventually stop. The only question is “when”.

          Ron O” There’s no real evidence for your claim other than a two year blip caused by the pandemic. Housing prices indicate otherwise and I’ve presented to you evidence that the California Department of Finance, which is much better informed than you are, forecasts continued growth. Plus 81% of state residents understand that we have a housing crisis. Your lone cry in the wind has no basis until you present actual supporting analysis and evidence other than an anecdote.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Ron O” There’s no real evidence for your claim other than a two year blip caused by the pandemic.

          Three years, and 500,000 net population reduction.  Not solely caused by the pandemic.

          The “usual” claim (presented by housing activists such as yourself) is that this was caused by “high housing prices” – which (if correct) is exactly how the free market works. (Folks pursuing opportunities which make more sense for themselves.) This is also a reason that so many moved from places like San Francisco to Davis/Sacramento in the first place.

          Though there are also other factors causing folks to migrate to other states, regardless.

          Housing prices indicate otherwise and I’ve presented to you evidence that the California Department of Finance, which is much better informed than you are, forecasts continued growth.

          Housing prices are going DOWN.  Sacramento’s housing prices have dropped by 12.6% since last year.

          https://www.redfin.com/city/16409/CA/Sacramento/housing-market

          I don’t recall any evidence you’ve presented from the Department of Finance, but were they correct at any point during the previous 3-year period?  And did they take any steps to adjust their projections, during the 3-year period in which they were (presumably and repeatedly) proven incorrect?

          Plus 81% of state residents understand that we have a housing crisis.

          Is that right?  Source?  And (if correct) what does that “mean”, exactly?

          Your lone cry in the wind has no basis until you present actual supporting analysis and evidence other than an anecdote.

          Evidence of what, exactly?  What do you think I’m claiming?

           

        4. Richard_McCann

          The “usual” claim (presented by housing activists such as yourself) is that this was caused by “high housing prices” – which (if correct) is exactly how the free market works.

          As I’ve pointed out before, a market that has strict government controls on housing supply growth is not a “free” market. In fact, it creates an explicit price signal that is driving away people. Here’s one article pointing this out: https://calmatters.org/housing/2023/05/california-exodus-housing-cost/ A truly free market would have unrestricted supply as well as completely voluntary demand. The problem is that all of these markets are both complex and highly regulated so there’s no such thing as a “free” market. Bottom line is that you’re no “free” market advocate (and neither is Tim Redmond who you keep pointing to): What you are advocating for is price controls that lead to your desired outcome of driving away lower income households out of state where population growth is continuing. That means those households won’t have access to the higher economic opportunities provided in our region compared to the rest of the U.S. Don’t act as though our current situation is somehow completely out of our control–the fact is that we’ve collectively created this by explicit decisions. And its time to correct those errors.

          Again and again, here’s the Department of Finance forecasts. I can’t help that you keep missing the evidence I put before you: https://dof.ca.gov/forecasting/Demographics/projections/

          David G posted an article with the poll results showing that 81% of respondents recognized that California had a housing crisis. You commented on that article. Your feigned ignorance doesn’t mean that it wasn’t presented to you.

          Just to remind you, here’s your claim that is crying unheard in the wind:

          In my opinion, some of those who support “smart growth” made a strategical and logical error, in that all growth must eventually stop. The only question is “when”.

           

          BTW, the Coop will gain many more customers in foot traffic than it will lose in drive up customers. I frequent the Coop several times a week and I’ve never had a problem finding a parking spot. Also, the Hibbert building may include an exclusion of neighborhood parking permits for residents of the building which will discourage car ownership.

        5. Ron Oertel

          As I’ve pointed out before, a market that has strict government controls on housing supply growth is not a “free” market. In fact, it creates an explicit price signal that is driving away people.

          Right – they choose alternatives.  So what?  Again, that’s what caused many people to move to the Sacramento region in the first place (e.g., from more-expensive locales).

          What you are advocating for is price controls that lead to your desired outcome of driving away lower income households out of state where population growth is continuing.

          Population has been declining, as pointed out several times to you.  This isn’t an “opinion”.

          The only “price control” in regard to housing that I support (which you don’t) is rent control.

          That means those households won’t have access to the higher economic opportunities provided in our region compared to the rest of the U.S.

          Uhm, those “economic opportunities” have been spreading to other places like Austin, Nashville, and Charlotte.  For sure, “economic opportunities” are not primarily headquartered in Davis (or Sacramento, for that matter).

          Don’t act as though our current situation is somehow completely out of our control–the fact is that we’ve collectively created this by explicit decisions. And its time to correct those errors.

          What “situation”?  What “error”?

          Again and again, here’s the Department of Finance forecasts. I can’t help that you keep missing the evidence I put before you

          Yeah, I’m not going to do research regarding whatever they said during the last three years when population was declining.  But it doesn’t take much of a guess to conclude that they were wrong.

          David G posted an article with the poll results showing that 81% of respondents recognized that California had a housing crisis. You commented on that article. Your feigned ignorance doesn’t mean that it wasn’t presented to you.

          Don’t remember it, but what question was specifically asked?

          If someone asked me that question, I’d probably seek to define it further.  There certainly is a financial crisis, for lots of people.  Some folks have trouble paying for food, clothing, transportation, etc., as well.

          Just to remind you, here’s your claim that is crying unheard in the wind:

          In my opinion, some of those who support “smart growth” made a strategical and logical error, in that all growth must eventually stop. The only question is “when”.

          Your quoting a comment I made, to prove that (what?) I made the comment?  Congratulations regarding that excellent point. You got me, with that one.

          BTW, the Coop will gain many more customers in foot traffic than it will lose in drive up customers.

          It might, but that wasn’t the point I made.  I essentially asked what the “purpose” is of businesses, if actions taken result in serving fewer existing customers in the existing community.

          I frequent the Coop several times a week and I’ve never had a problem finding a parking spot.

          Neither do I.  But last time I checked, there was still an abandoned lumber yard next to it. (A lumberyard that I used to periodically patronize, for that matter.)

          Also, the Hibbert building may include an exclusion of neighborhood parking permits for residents of the building which will discourage car ownership.

          How reassuring.

           

      2. Ron Oertel

        If this project does get built, I predict they will have trouble finding enough tenants to maintain full occupancy.

        They’d have no trouble, but that’s not the point of parking requirements.  No one cares if new residents and their visitors have no place to park, UNTIL it effects the surrounding neighborhood.  Which will occur immediately.

        The elimination of onsite parking requirements is one of the biggest scams that the state has ever forced upon cities.  On-site parking requirements are a partial MITIGATION for impacts created by new developments in existing neighborhoods (most of have onsite parking, for pre-existing development).

        A “special exception” is now being created for new developments. With no evidence at all that society at large is moving-away from private vehicle use, on a broader level. (Sure, you can get around downtown without a car, or to UCD – but no one limits their travels to those locales. Nor do their visitors all “come from” those locales.)

        There is only a limited supply of Zip vehicles to go around. I for one would never rely on Zip cars, especially during the Holidays. The zero vehicle hypocrite strikes again. 

        Tim Keller is mistaken, but there is no evidence that he’s a “hypocrite” regarding this issue.

         

        1. David Greenwald

          “They’d have no trouble, but that’s not the point of parking requirements. No one cares if new residents and their visitors have no place to park, UNTIL it effects the surrounding neighborhood. Which will occur immediately.”

          Except that the neighborhoods all have permit parking only.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Except that the neighborhoods all have permit parking only.

          And residents at this place would be “denied” a permit? On what grounds?

          Also, those “permit parking” locations do allow parking for a period of time for those without permits. Sometimes, with people “moving their cars” around (e.g., to another block). (An issue with ACE employees, as I recall.)

          I’ve parked in that neighborhood many times, myself. I don’t always use the Co-Op lot.

          I am confident that that I can find a place to park somewhere around there that has no such restriction, regardless.  But I’m pretty determined, having come from a much-more challenging environment (which was also subject to permit parking) – even though I could not get a permit.

          But again, this is assuming that permits would be “denied” for those at Hibbert’s in the first place. And/or that residents and their visitors don’t avail themselves of parking within the timeframes (and/or moving their cars around), assuming that permits are denied.

          1. David Greenwald

            “And residents at this place would be “denied” a permit? On what grounds?”

            They don’t live in the neighborhood.

            WHy do you think someone with a car will attempt to rent a place that has no parking spaces for them?

        3. Ron Oertel

          For that matter, some drivers in the locale I came from parked in a supermarket parking lot, perhaps buying a candy bar or something if they thought there’d be a problem.

          (That was probably the LEAST of the problems, given the rampant crime that occurred INSIDE of the store. There’s probably better situations in Somalia, at this point.)

          So, I guess the Co-Op (and/or the other businesses in that mall) better stock-up on candy bars.  (Organic ones, of course.) And get themselves a contract lined up with a tow-truck company (always a way to generate “good will” – even among “actual” customers).

          Lately, I’ve heard that some workers in San Francisco parked alongside Golden Gate park, and took public transit to downtown from THERE. (Presumably, before downtown was semi-abandoned.) Sounds like something I’d do, if necessary.

          Davis is a piece of cake, compared to that. But again, not enough “cake” to entice me (compared to other shopping locales, as they make it purposefully more difficult to patronize).

        4. Ron Oertel

          And residents at this place would be “denied” a permit? On what grounds?”
          They don’t live in the neighborhood.

          Maybe – I guess we’ll see what “neighborhood” it’s considered part-of (and whether or not “that” neighborhood has permit parking).  And if not, that’s where they’d park.

          But at some point, a development will be proposed that’s “in” a neighborhood, and won’t have on-site parking.  As such, would they be denied permits?

          WHy do you think someone with a car will attempt to rent a place that has no parking spaces for them?

          For the same reason I lived in a much more dense locale than Davis (without onsite parking) but still had a vehicle. Sometimes, parking many blocks away from my home or destination.

          And for the same reason that those who parked alongside Golden Gate Park as part of their “commute” to downtown San Francisco had cars.

          I would acknowledge that if steps are taken to discourage parking, it is less-likely that occupants would have cars, themselves. To what degree, I don’t know.  (They would still use cars in one way or another, as would their visitors.) 

          This is probably something that should be studied via an EIR.  Did the state eliminate EIR requirements for this type of proposal?

          But getting back to Affordable housing, the “builder’s remedy” would provide far more than this proposal.

          1. David Greenwald

            “But at some point, a development will be proposed that’s “in” a neighborhood, and won’t have on-site parking. As such, would they be denied permits?”

            That would depend on the development agreement. It would also depend on where the project is because under the state law, it has to be near transit to qualify for no parking minimums.

        5. Ron Oertel

          That would depend on the development agreement. It would also depend on where the project is because under the state law, it has to be near transit to qualify for no parking minimums.

          The entire city is near public transit.  I used it myself.

          I will say that “fighting infill” is not my primary interest, even though it causes problems. In my case, those problems are rather limited (e.g., deciding whether or not it will be worth visiting the Co-Op, downtown, etc.).

          Unlike those who have to live next to increasingly-dense infill.

          In my opinion, some of those who support “smart growth” made a strategical and logical error, in that all growth must eventually stop. The only question is “when”.

          But it is rather amusing that the state is trying to force dense growth while the population is dropping – ESPECIALLY in cities such as San Francisco where their efforts are supposedly focused, while developers across the state are still primarily pursuing sprawl – to accommodate those fleeing places like San Francisco.

  4. David Thompson

    Builders Remedy should be called Builders Bonanza.

    However, the projected Hibbert’s plan does not appear to even meet “Builders Remedy.

    Builder’s remedy requires 20% of the units for Low Income (LI) so on the face of it for 224 units projected there should be 44 units for low income households. Only 11 low income units are proposed which is 5%.

    A sad day for inclusion as these projects exclude those most in need.

    For the Hibbert’s site proposal there will be no parking requirements. Think of the impact on G street neighbors and the Co-op in particular. Where will 250-300 vehicles park in the neighborhood?

     Passage of SB 423 will make “Builders Remedy” permanent for cities not having an approved housing element. The Bill neglects and does not require building any housing for very low income households.

    Because Davis has not had its housing element approved by the State of California, our city is now under “Builders Remedy”. SB 423 makes permanent that any housing can be built as long as it has 20% of the units for low income households.

    My critique of SB423 and its predecessor, is that they do nothing (as far as I can tell) to provide housing for the most in need group of very low income households (VLI) in our city. The poor are not welcome. No room at the Hibbert’s Inn.

    So while “Builders Remedy” requires 44 units of RHNA’s 350 units of low income housing they do nothing to help us plan for 580 units of very low income housing.

    If these low income units are the only ones built in “Builders Remedy” projects then a city will continue to not meet its VLI targets. Does that mean therefore most housing elements will be found out of compliance? And therefore, the builders remedy will be the only law of the land?

    1. Richard_McCann

      David

      The answer is for cities to adopt Housing Elements that address VLI requirements. Remember the Builder’s Remedy is not the state’s favored solution–it’s the draconian hammer intended to motivate communities to act appropriately. Place the blame where it belongs–on local governments who resist making housing affordable across the income spectrum.

    1. Ron Oertel

      I have no doubt that gross receipts at the Co-Op will increase despite the loss of your business.

      Maybe (or perhaps will be a “wash”), but the Co-Op will no longer be serving existing customers who don’t want to deal with the traffic and lack of parking.

      As such, how does that “help” the city as a whole?  What exactly is the “purpose” of businesses, in regard to an existing city and existing customers?

      Sort of like the situation at University Mall – had housing been included.  Had that been pursued, it would have resulted in the site serving fewer existing customers.

      In other words, the sites are “importing” their own (new) customers, while creating a worse situation for existing customers.

      For that matter, a lumberyard “serves” existing customers, in a manner that an apartment complex does not.

      As another example, there was a rather high-end grocery store in my original hometown, which I periodically patronized. But after they tore the entire store down (and rebuilt it, with housing on top) – I don’t think I ever set foot in it again. And I doubt that I’m the only one who did not see the “advantage” of making it far more difficult to patronize. Nor did I see the advantage to the city itself.

      What I saw in that situation was an effort to make livability worse, for existing residents and customers. As well as a loss of existing customers (no doubt, more than just “me”).

  5. David Thompson

    Clarification fom the City. It is SB 330 which is not the Builders Remedy it is much worse,
    Still no parking no poor,David

    Mike Webb <mwebb@cityofdavis.org>
    To:David J Thompson

    Thu, Jun 1 at 5:47 PM

    David,

    Per your note below just wanted to clarify that Hibbert isn’t claiming Builders Remedy. They are filing under SB330 which is a different provision unrelated to the Housing Element. SB 330 governs things such as a five hearing maximum for a project, allows a developer to lock in current regulatory requirements, such as zoning and affordable housing ordinances.

    They are filing under the Downtown Specific plan and Form Based Code that was adopted by the Council in December and they are not seeking any deviation from that approved plan and zoning.  They are also filing under the current interim affordable housing ordinance requirements which would dictate 5% affordable units for a mixed use project.

    Just wanted to clarify in case you had heard somewhere that they filing under builders remedy mistakingly.

    Best,
    Mike

  6. Don Shor

    Maybe residents who want to own a car can make a deal with the parking garage at 4th and G for long-term storage of their vehicles. It’s only a couple of blocks away.

    This project provides a lot of benefit to the city: increased housing close to downtown, commercial along with retail to provide sales tax revenues. The size of the building is congruent with those nearby. It doesn’t adversely affect any near neighbors.

    It meets all of the urban planning criteria that we always hear people want. Reduced or eliminated parking requirements, easy access for transit, walkable to nearby amenities, and an affordable component. This is what everyone says they want: high density infill, with mixed uses.

    If this gets obstructed or encounters significant opposition, then that bodes poorly for meeting the goals of the downtown plan.

    If the project is required to provide housing for very low-income folks, that will be at the direct expense of the other residents and tenants of the site.

    IMO, downtown is not a suitable location for significant development of very low-cost affordable housing. That would not be the best use of valuable commercial space.  The affordability requirements should be waived or revised for downtown redevelopment projects that meet other city goals including economic development.

    If it goes over five stories, we are told by credible sources that the cost per square foot increases substantially. So affordability is reduced.

    All in all, this looks like a good deal for the city overall and will provide some much-needed housing while providing some tax revenues to the city. I agree that housing for very low income residents is important. I don’t think that trying to mandate it into redevelopment projects, without any present source of funding, is practical.

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