Woodland Research and Technology Park Specific Plan Goes to Woodland Planning Commission

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Woodland, CA – On August 17, 2023, the Woodland Planning Commission will be asked to make a recommendation to the City Council on the proposed adoption of the Woodland Research and Technology Park Specific Plan.

This is the continuation of planning for a project initially approved in August 2017.  The project is located on 350 acres adjacent to the Spring Lake Specific Plan area and is bounded by SR 113 to the West.

According to the project description, “The Woodland Research & Technology Park Specific Plan is envisioned as a new technology hub for the City of Woodland, intended to serve an array of research and technology companies interested in locating and growing near UC Davis, and other research and technology institutions within the Sacramento region.”

They further note, “The Specific Plan will offer a unique business environment, supporting research and development, technology, and science and engineering-based companies, as well as training and workforce development for local students and graduates of the Woodland Community College.

“In addition to its role as an employment center, the Specific Plan is envisioned as an attractive place to live, recreate, shop and gather for neighborhood events. The Specific Plan will be highly connected to and is intended to complement the mix of land uses in the adjacent Spring Lake development.”

The WRTP is envisioned as “a dynamic innovation and technology hub where leading-edge companies can connect with start-ups and business incubators in a physically compact, walkable, bike-able and connected setting.”

As described in the introductory chapter of the plan, “The Woodland Research and Technology Park will serve as a gateway to connect Woodland, a community that has shaped the future of food and agriculture for over a century, with UC Davis, one of the leading agricultural research universities in the world, through the creation of an enterprising mixed-use community.”

The Specific Plan proposes a mix of uses including business/technology park, office, retail and housing of varying densities, “providing a long-term economic base for Woodland’s future generations and new housing opportunities.”

The Research and Technology Park will accommodate office, research and light industrial “flex” space for a variety of users in a range of sizes and scale.

The specific plan also anticipates 1600 dwelling units.

“The Specific Plan provides for a variety of housing types and densities from detached single-family homes to mid-rise urban style lofts and apartments,” city staff writes.

Approximately 1,100 units will be developed at medium and high density ranges (8.1 – 40.0 dwelling units per acre).

“These generally smaller lots and smaller unit development types create relative “affordable by design” housing options for buyers and renters,” staff writes. In addition, “the Specific Plan is subject to the City’s adopted Affordable Housing Ordinance. The ordinance requires that ten percent of all residential units be made available to low income tenants or home buyers or that an in-lieu fee be paid to support affordable housing outside of the immediate residential development project.”

Specific Plan Guiding Principles:


The Plan Area will develop as a state-of-the-art innovation center campus for technology, research and development, and office uses. Flexibility in design and implementation is supported, allowing businesses to respond to market demand through phasing of construction and the ability to offer a variety of building types and sizes. Complementary uses within immediate proximity to the business park, including hotel, commercial, employee-serving retail and recreational opportunities will support day–to-day needs of businesses, their clients and their employees.


Collaboration with UC Davis, Woodland Community College and others will bolster start-up businesses and growing mid-to-large size companies through technology transfer and IP sourcing. The Plan will accommodate advanced technology-related jobs and training that allow a greater number of Woodland residents and college graduates from the Woodland Community College and throughout the region to live and work in the community, generating an infusion of intellectual capital.


Companies locating in the Tech Campus will have the opportunity to take positive advantage of the existing and thriving seed, food, and agricultural-based industries currently located and doing business in and around Woodland. Access to additional resources and new markets, new ideas, materials and expertise will grow through strategic partnerships with new and existing businesses in Woodland.


The Plan Area will lead in energy efficiency and sustainable design. Development within the Plan Area will incorporate cutting edge green building practices. Land use strategies and transportation demand management will reduce vehicle miles traveled and facilitate the use of alternative fuel vehicles. The city’s urban forest canopy will be increased and projects will incorporate naturalized stormwater management. These and other measures will contribute to meeting City goals for greenhouse gas reduction by 2035 contained in its 2035 Climate Action Plan.


A successful Village Center and featured 11-acre linear park will provide a mix of social gathering spaces for employees, residents, and visitors to connect, recreate, and relax. These informal networking opportunities will foster greater innovation and engagement among the workforce and allow for the balanced integration of work and life that the next generation of professionals seek.


A combination of well-designed complete streets, protected bicycle lanes, and pedestrian / bicycle greenways will prioritize the pedestrian experience throughout the Plan Area. Well-connected parks, open spaces and greenbelts will encourage residents and employees to walk, bike, or scooter rather than drive to work, home and play. Existing bike trails and greenbelts will extend from and connect to the adjacent community including nearby schools, community center and shopping center. A shared mobility hub will serve as a point of connection for those arriving and departing the Tech Campus by various forms of alternative transportation – including micro transit stops and fixed bus routes with frequent service to Downtown Woodland and UC Davis. Amenities to support last mile active transportation alternatives are featured, including bike and scooter share services.


Connected streets with bicycle and pedestrian facilities, trails, accessible parks and open spaces with passive and programmed recreation will facilitate and encourage active, healthy living. Access to healthy foods through community gardens, a farmer’s market and/or fresh produce market in the Village Center will be promoted. A mix of social gathering places will enable employees and residents to come together for fun and relaxation, boosting emotional wellness.


Diverse, high quality and attractive new neighborhoods and housing options, including single and multi-family residential units and mixed-used projects will allow Tech Park employees to live and work close by and “move up” within the same neighborhood as families grow or nests are emptied. Land use and circulation planning, coupled with design and development standards will ensure a thoughtful transition between the Plan Area and the adjacent Spring Lake neighborhood, complementing the established community

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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    1. David Greenwald

      Think about this for a second…

      Woodland will get an Innovation Center which ends up being a revenue generator

      It ends up being the landing spot for tech jobs

      It is putting 3200 housing units on the 360 project – which is more than Davis needs for its entire RHNA cycle

      AND Davis still gets all of the traffic impacts of the back and forth between UC Davis and none of the benefits.

      1. Keith Olsen

        AND Davis still gets all of the traffic impacts of the back and forth between UC Davis and none of the benefits.

        Wait a minute, your argument all along has been that Davis needed to build housing along with a business park so people wouldn’t have to commute to work.

        So now that Woodland proposed building 3200 housing units next to a business park you’re complaining that people will have to commute from Davis?

        You can’t have it both ways.

      2. Tim Keller

        Woodland will get an Innovation Center which ends up being a revenue generator
        It ends up being the landing spot for tech jobs

        True, but the single family housing is likely a money loser… so it might be a mixed bag… unless it is going to be much higher density housing.. maybe thats where the extra units are coming from?     If that is the case.. then woodland is just being a lot smarter than us…

        In any case… But lets be specific about this park… it is NOT a substitute for DiSC, its not going to be an “innovation center”.  That is just marketing.

        I have seen a talk from the developer and he has clearly stated that this is going to be commercial space that is “build to suit” and that they will be looking for companies that have good credit.

        So that rules out pretty much every single potential tech company tenant except for established companies with already large and healthy balance sheets… meaning this is space for people who want to open a satellite location where land is cheap, OR set up new operations in a place where there is an attractive workforce ( like biotech)

        If you drive through Vacaville and see the land north of the freeway near Genentech and Kaiser that has streets but no buildings… THAT is the kind of land that is coming to Vacaville.    its dirt that is “shovel ready”.  And it will likely stay “shovel ready” for decades before it is built out fully.

        The new biotech company breaking ground there was looking for exactly such a kind of real estate, and there is a place in the economy for such a business model, but it is NOT an “innovation park”. ie: targeted towards young innovation companies.  By definition of its business model it is just NOT.

        That is why during Disc 1 both myself and other people pushed Ramos and Buzz Oates to agree to building a large amount of that land proactively or “on spec”. because the build-to-suit business model really only applies to established companies.


  1. Don Shor

    Davis still gets all of the traffic impacts of the back and forth between UC Davis

    Davis and Woodland and UCD should work together to provide shuttle services. I’m sure a lot of the new workers at this innovation center will be happy to live in the nice, new houses that will be built on the Mace Curve.

    1. Tim Keller

      There is a rail line running right through there…  isnt there?

      Maybe a tram coming down the tracks to deliver those ppl to downtown and a transit station with a lot of bike parking…

  2. Ron Oertel

    It is putting 3200 housing units on the 360 project – which is more than Davis needs for its entire RHNA cycle

    Holy cow.  I don’t think many people know this (including myself).  This is way more than the 1,600 housing units that were added when the proposal failed in Davis (without even being presented to voters).
    Can you please direct me to the documentation which shows this enormous increase in housing?  The information on Woodland’s website only seems to show the 1,600 housing units originally planned.

    For that matter, it’s ALWAYS a good idea for you to reference your sources via link.

      1. Ron Oertel

        No, Walter – I want him to reference sources, AND present the correct information.

        A Woodland city official told me that the information that David is presenting here is dead wrong, and that there are no plans to increase the number of housing units from 1,600 to 3,200.  Not in the planning report, not anywhere.

        So it appears that for the second time in as many days, David is putting out incorrect information.

        1. Walter Shwe

          Even at 1,600 homes the so called sprawl (badly needed housing), is a lot to be erected in Ron’s own backyard. Looks like Woodland is becoming the next Elk Grove. Ron appears powerless to halt the vast influx of new development.

        2. Keith Olsen

          Since Walter and David are so amused I would ask, has Ron ever complained about or fought against the Woodland Research and Technology Park and adjacent housing?

          I don’t recall him ever doing so.

  3. Ron Oertel

    If you drive through Vacaville and see the land north of the freeway near Genentech and Kaiser that has streets but no buildings…

    Genentech itself is shutting down, regardless of whether or not it has a buyer.

    Plenty of space there.


      1. Ron Oertel

        I was being sarcastic, but I’m glad you responded.

        There was a time when I wouldn’t have opposed a commercial-only proposal.  However, I have since realized that creating jobs (or at least, claiming that jobs will be created) will result in a cry for more housing.

        In addition, these business parks don’t seem to pencil-out without housing.  That’s the reason that 1,600 housing units were added to the Woodland technology park, after it failed in Davis before it even reached voters.

        And when housing is added, any supposed fiscal benefit is diluted – at best.




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