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Opposition to Paid Parking

AceI respect and support our local businesses

By Colin Walsh

Now is not the time to put the retail that has managed to survive in Downtown Davis in jeopardy by instituting parking fees.

CNBC reported today that nationally, “Already, 4,810 store closures have been announced by retailers in 2019, according to Coresight Research.” Only 5,524 store closing were tracked by Coresight in 2018. 2019 thus far is proving to be a fatal year for retail. (

It is clearly a challenging climate for physical stores, and the City of Davis should be careful not to make it any more difficult locally.

In Davis we are very fortunate to have a vibrant downtown that includes several independent and locally owned retailers. In Davis we still have the choice to shop at locally owned hardware stores, bookstores, and more. These stores have disappeared from the landscape in most cities. Locally owned stores like this do more for the local economy by keeping more money locally. Large chains and online stores literally siphon money out of the community to pay CEOs and investors and offer only a few low paying local jobs in return.

When 40 plus downtown merchants including some of the longest lasting and largest Davis stores are willing to voice an opinion to the City Council, it is important that the City Council listen. A few others have claimed the Council should rely on the paid parking experts in determining what to do next. One member of the public at the March 5 City Council meeting even derided local businesses as relying on “folk wisdom” in their opposition to paid parking. (Link to video)

Our local business owners are professionals and experts in their fields. Three business owners that spoke at that council meeting together represent 150 years of local business experience between them. These business owners know the particulars of Davis’s dynamics and customers inside and out. To say they are relying merely on “folk wisdom” is downright insulting.

What I don’t think people understand is this. Our locally owned businesses are operating on thin margins. They need only lose a small percentage of their business to force them into unprofitable territory where they cannot survive.

Paid parking only needs to discourage a relatively small number of shoppers from coming downtown to turn a successful business into another shuttered store front.

The City’s paid parking scheme need not even reduce the number of trips downtown to kill a business, it need only change why people come downtown. If bar and restaurant patrons are still willing to pay, but retail customers would rather park for free at Target or Home Depot that could cause locally owned retail shops to close.

The Davis City Council needs to work to maintain a Downtown Environment where our businesses can survive and thrive. Given the terrible climate for brick and mortar stores as reported by CNBC, the council needs to listen when 40 plus local businesses express concern about an elaborate new restrictive paid parking scheme.

If the City Council passes paid parking, I support a referendum to overturn their bad decision.

The following 66 businesses have voiced opposition to the City’s paid parking plan:

Aggie Enterprises

Akasha Yoga

The Artery

Avid Reader

Bayhill Advisors

Bizarro World


Carol LaPerle LMFT

Cloud Forest Cafe

Cookery and Company


Crème de la Crème

Crucial Vibes

David's Haircutting

Davis Ace Hardware

Davis Dermatology

Dawn Coder CB Select RE

DCCNS Parent Cooperative Preschool

Dowling Properties

Duaine Worden


Elizabeth Middleton MFT

Ellen Cohen PHD

Fish's Wild

Hastings Back Porch

Helen Krell PHD

The Hotdogger

Integrated Accounting Solutions

John Natsoulas Gallery

Kaya Yoga

Kobe Mini Mart

Laili Mcgrew LCSW

Law Office of Derraugh Dawson

Lawrence Shweky Psychotherapy

Lift Pilates + Post Rehab

Lori Prizmich and Associates

Luci's Salon

Mahin's Alterations

Mahnaz Kashani Stylist

Majestic Psychological Services

Mark Corey PHD

Melrina Maggiora

Nelson van Dissen Properties

Optical Phases

The Paint Chip


Pomegranate Salon

Ralph Hwang Property Management

Rebecca Brunette LCSW

Rebecca Witter LMFT

Roger Smith Properties

Samantha Marquette Cosmotologist

Sarah's Alterations & Ecocleaners

Shu Shu's

Simmons Real Estate

Skin Renewal Center

Smith Funeral Home

Soul Wisdom Therapy

Stacey Horigan

Teach Your Children

Teena Hosey LCSW

3+G Psychotherapy

Vivienne Roseby PHD

Volleys Tennis Shop

The Wardrobe

Wellness Way



Good point, regarding the challenging retail environment, thin margins, and the resulting environment which might only support restaurants, coffee shops, and bars.

It's rather ridiculous to even consider this proposal, given the opposition from some key, existing businesses.

Even worse, that there was a recent attempt to prevent Davis ACE from building their own parking lot. (As I recall, one council member supported that attempt.) Really?

As a side note, is Hibbert Lumber closing, or are the owners just retiring? (See article, below.) If Hibbert closes, that just leaves ACE. (Also, Orchard Supply went out of business, last year.)

If ACE ever decides to close up shop, Davis is screwed (but won't have local access to screws)! :)


The article below implies that the Hibbert property will be sold.

Can you imagine what that large piece of property is worth, and how it will likely be redeveloped?

Here's a "subtle" hint: I strongly suspect that it will ultimately consist of, or include a large number of residences. Goodbye, lumber yard.

How will that impact parking, at the G Street garage and nearby areas? (I suspect that my recent discovery of what appear to be unrestricted spots near the Co-Op will disappear, for example.)

It's laughable to ignore the impact of increased residences (especially those in, or near downtown) on traffic and parking. One of the ways that development is helping to "improve" everyone's life, I guess? Especially when some are simultaneously advocating for the elimination of on-site parking requirements.

Rick Entrikin

Lat's face it: After the City has invested many thousands of dollars on "expert" consultants, City staff and the Council do not want "regular citizens" to challenge that expert advice (even when paid for with our tax dollars). And as Colin, Ron and others have pointed out, even when many downtown business owners and concerned citizens have expressed serious, cogent arguments against various aspects of "The Plan," they have been summarily derided (if not yet totally dismissed) by our Mayor, because they are "not experts."

And that makes me wonder: Who is this council actually representing? The consultants? City staff? A parking meter installation firm? The parking management team that would be hired to manage The Plan? Maybe a business that would make and install all of the new signage? It certainly does not appear to be the Davis citizens who would be most impacted by The Plan.

Todd Edelman

To the tune of Changes

Oh, yeah
Still don't know what I was waitin' for
The nightmare meter was runnin' wild
A million congested streets and
Every time I thought I found a parking place
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
How the others must see the faker
I'm much too good at business to take that test
Turn and face the strange
Don't want to be a richer man
Turn and face the strange
There's gonna have to be a different plan
Parking pay change me
But I can't bill time
Mmm, yeah
I watch the conveyances change their size
But only bikes and peds leave the stream
Of cold impermanence
And so the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these consultants that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what countless other towns are goin' through
Turn and face the strange
Don't tell us to grow up and out of it
Turn and face the strange
Where's your shame?
You've left us up to our necks in it
Parking may change me
But you can't make it free
Strange fascinations fascinate me
Ah, changes are takin'
The pace I'm goin' through
Turn and face the strange
Ooh, look out you Davis Downtown members
Turn and face the strange
Pretty soon now you're gonna get bolder
Public space may change me
But why I cannot get more free time?
I said that the Commons may change me
But will I change my mind?

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