The Old East Davis Neighborhood Association (OEDNA) requested that the Trackside Appellate court decision be reviewed by the California State Supreme Court. Some were critical of our decision due to the long odds. We were quite aware of the odds, and thus the decision not to review the decision comes as no surprise. We believed, however, that enforceability of City planning documents was a battle worth fighting.
This was a fight for public awareness and enforceability of city planning documents - Statewide. For people to believe in the law, it must be enforceable. With the publication of the Trackside decision, the current City Council can interpret planning documents, approved by previous City Councils, to mean whatever they want them to mean – with no repercussions.
We make plans to create certainty. OEDNA participated robustly in creating the Davis Downtown and Traditional Neighborhood Guidelines to gain certainty for developers and for residents. This decision negates that certainty. So what, then, is the purpose of moving forward with any city planning documents? The Downtown Plan, the General Plan, the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, or any other plan? The details of those plans – those things we fight for and that we believe have teeth – have no teeth.
Who loses out? The residents of our City, and of every City in California. Because with this decision, all California city planning documents have become uncertain.
Larry Guenther is President of the Board of the Old East Davis Neighborhood Association.