Village Farms Davis – Completed Rubric

Editor’s note: This is the full submission from Village Farms.  The one from Shriner’s will follow on Monday.

Cover Letter

It is a pleasure to share with you the Village Farms Davis’ completed version of the draft rubric introduced in Item 8 of the June 6, 2023 Council meeting. We went through a number of iterations and comparisons with our project. After much consideration we landed on the attached document based on adopted land use process standards and aspirational improvements to existing processes. We considered comments made from council members, both in direct one and one conversations and council meeting comments. As I noted in my June 6th remarks, we are dedicated to long standing Davis policies prioritizing open space, habitat and neighborhood parks which is reflected in the scoring. Last but certainly not least, we incorporated feedback and advice from many members of the community at large. Based on all that information, some rows were removed to better reflect reviews at the pre-CEQA, pre-Development Agreement stage at which we are now. Those sections are attached in the “Extras” document. In addition to our core team, we had the land use experts at Downey Brand review the rubric and add comments in the “Qualified 3rd Party Notes.” As recommended, we checked boxes that were comparable to features in the project and added notes of explanation. As you can see in the attached documents, we also made numerous notes of comments and recommendations. Many of the features are conditioned by policies and commitments of various public agencies, including the City of Davis.

The scores in this rubric are based upon the amendments we will make to our plan when we are allowed to formally move forward to the EIR process. These amendments were outlined by Lydia Delis-Schlosser in her June 6th comments and recently emailed comments to council and staff with the same information:

  • Increased density by 30% by increasing to 1800 units
  • 9.1 DU/acre with an average parcel size of 5,000 sq ft
  • Increased mixed building types
  • Addition of a Multi-Modal Transportation Hub

For ease of review, I have pasted here the information from the Summary page:

The Sphere of Influence Map has been updated since my remarks of June 6th. In conjunction with the attached map, I am providing relevant language to support our position that extra points should be awarded to a project located in the Sphere of Influence and to be considered a priority in the “periphery” category as it is arguably infill:

The most commonly used definition in CEQA, is from Public Resources Code Section 21099, subdivision (a)(4):

“Infill site” means a lot located within an urban area that has been previously developed, or on a vacant site where at least 75 percent of the perimeter of the site adjoins, or is separated only by an improved public right-of-way from, parcels that are developed with qualified urban uses.

I attached PDFs to ensure the document gets through spam and size limitation. I am happy to provide the excel version. I am available all weekend and anytime Monday should you have questions.

The Village Farms Davis team sincerely hopes you find the attached Amended Rubric helpful in your consideration of moving our project forward, as well as being helpful should you navigate forward in sharing the rubric concept with some of the commissions as discussed in the June 6th Council meeting.

I respectively request you move forward with directing staff to move forward with the EIR process to be ready for an early 2025 special election. Should you decide that both the project known as “Shriners” and Village Farms Davis should move into EIR, please make is crystal clear to staff and the public that Village Farms Davis has to take priority to make the early 2025 deadline as the representatives for Shriners has made it clear publicly that they do not wish to be on a ballot prior to 2026.

Thank you,

Rochelle Swanson
Project Consultant – Village Farms Davis

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Richard McCann

    While the LEED ND rubric is a useful start to understanding these projects, as John Johnston described previously, the results are incomplete and can be misleading. We need a better process, including a more complete assessment of how these developments would fit into our community and with each other.

  2. David Thompson

    The Vanguard has done an excellent job of highlighting the issue of affordable housing in Davis. I thank the Vanguard for promoting the dialogue.

    The community appears to be clear that affordable housing is the number one topic. And yet the Council continues with a weak Interim Ordinance riddled with loopholes that prevent us from reaching our RHNA goals. With an Interim Policy like this the Council operates rudderless without a backbone.

    Policy wise, Davis has adopted nothing to address the gaps in affordable housing of 580 units for the Very Low Income (VLI) and 350 units for Low Income (LI).  Neither of the two projects as proposed will come anywhere near to meeting those targets.

    In this rubric Rochelle Swanson writes,  As I noted in my June 6th remarks, we are dedicated to long standing Davis policies prioritizing open space, habitat and neighborhood parks which is reflected in the scoring. 

    It is not the fault of Village Farms that affordable housing for the VLI and LI is not a long standing priority of the city but it does point out that the Council does not have affordable housing for the VLI and LI as a priority.

    On the other hand, knowing the gap for VLI and LI units, Village Farms could have chosen to propose more units than required but brought forward less % of that housing those critical categories of housing than any other project requesting annnexation.

    When David Taormino asked me to do the affordable housing for Bretton Woods I said I would if he doubled the land required for affordable housing. 

    David provided land for 150 VLI and LI apartments instead of the required 68 units. 

    Standing at the Bretton Woods Booth at the Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday proved my point. His willingness to do more VLI and LI units that he needed to was the critical element in winning community approval in a Measure J election.

    I and Delta Senior Housing Communities (DSHC) are no longer doing the affordable housing at Bretton Woods but that one meaningful act had great impact and won community support. 

    A few years ago Richard Rothstein “The Color of Law” addressed a packed and overflow crowd of Davis citizens when he described the red-lining of the past and regretfully the present.  As a contributor to his book and writer about red-lining I was proud that the LWV brought him here.

    However, if projects brought forward have less affordable housing for the VLI and LI than previously are we not engaged in a new form of modern day red-lining?

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