A Treeless DiSC?
Developers deploy paid operatives

Why is DiSC back?

Note: The following comments made at the City Council's Feb 1, 2022 meeting.  The City Council, as expected, decided to proceed with putting the project on the ballot for voters to decide.

DISC overview shot

By Roberta Millstein

DiSC is back. But why is it back? Is it any better than the project that voters rejected just a little over a year ago?

It has no new features. Indeed, the developer initially deleted a bunch of features from the proposal and, after pushback from the Planning Commission and others, has now added some of them back in. But at best that only restores the status quo to the previously rejected project.

It is a reduced project, but half of huge is still huge. It’s the size of one Cannery instead of the size of two Canneries.

It’s still a freeway-oriented and car-oriented project that will massively impact traffic on Mace Blvd, I-80, and adjacent Mace Ranch surface streets. As a consequence, the greenhouse gases from the project will shred the City’s already weak carbon neutrality commitment. Nothing the developers can do on site can change that, since most of the climate change impact would be from commuters to and from the site. Vague promises of possible transportation improvements don’t change this climate killer either.

It’s still consuming prime farmland that could be better used for habitat for sensitive species or for regenerative agriculture to fight climate change.

It’s still harming Davis’s downtown. Note that retail is the one thing that has not been cut in half – it is now a much larger percentage of the project. That spells trouble for our beloved downtown businesses.

It’s still making Davis’s housing problems worse rather than better by adding jobs without sufficient housing and by not putting in place mechanisms to ensure that housing goes to workers onsite.

It’s still not a financial win for the city. The most the Finance and Budget Commission would say is that they thought it would be a net positive. Well, one dollar to the City is a net positive. That’s about as weak an endorsement as you can get.

The job of the City Council is to make sure that only good, well-vetted projects come to the voters and citizens of Davis, that our scarce and precious open space is only used for the best purposes. This not-innovative, not-green, not-sustainable, rehash of a project is not doing that.

Thank you.

Comments

Ron O

It’s still making Davis’s housing problems worse rather than better by adding jobs without sufficient housing and by not putting in place mechanisms to ensure that housing goes to workers onsite.

This is the reason that DiSC will cause even more peripheral housing proposals to come forward (and put pressure on the city to approve), including on the "other half" of DISC, Shriner's, Palomino Ranch, the property inside the Mace curve, etc. The cumulative impact on traffic from these proposals is not included in the traffic analysis for DiSC.

The current DiSC proposal is already requesting "reimbursement" for the bicycle crossing from future expected proposals, should they be approved. (They're also hoping for government grants to fund the crossing.) If you look at the proposed location for the bicycle crossing, you'll see that it would actually serve the "other half" of DiSC, more so than it would for the current proposal. It is not in a location that would be conducive to those traveling from the existing city to DiSC (or beyond, toward Sacramento).

DiSC is just the "camel's nose under the tent", in regard to what's coming next.

State "RHNA" housing requirements will also increase, when more jobs are added. (Assuming that the commercial component of DiSC is actually successful.) Even without DiSC, the city is already finding it challenging to meet those requirements. (Partly because the city is not receiving credit for the "megadorms" it already approved.)

Nancy Price

Thank you, Roberta.

Roberta L. Millstein

Good points, Ron. This is just the start of the sprawl/traffic/climate-crisis disaster.

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