Entries categorized "Housing"

An Open Letter to South Davis on Issues at Pacifico (January 2021, recycled)

Today the D. Vanguard recycled some old content from January 2021 in a 'new' article "Commentary: Long Troubled by Some of the Comments on Pacifico" and sprinkled in some recent content from an Anti-NIMBY Council-meeting public comment.

I, too, am disgusted by some of the comments on Pacifico, but the comments I find twisted are the opposite comments Greenwald is troubled by -- those by David Greenwald, Georgina Valencia and some much-DV-recycled comments by Gloria Partida . . . and the rest of the Usual Suspects of the "Anti-NIMBY" crowd.

My position remains immortalized in the following letter:

An Open Letter to South Davis (January 2021)

Hello South Davis,

I don’t live in South Davis, but I’m looking at District 3 100’ away out my window.

I share your problems and your concerns. There is a spot 200’ from my house where drug addicts / drug dealers / thieves camp outdoors. This is not a homeless encampment, it is a revolving crime den. In Spring 2020 I had three scary men on meth (I believe) approach me late at night and one threw rocks at me. There were numerous incidents of mental health outbursts. I slept little for two months as these people were up all night.

Our neighborhood mostly solved the problem *this time* eventually by having meetings with both the Police Chief and his Lieutenant, and relentlessly pestering the City Council. That took two months.

Your problems I have heard regarding Pacifico are similar, and thankfully also seem better but not solved. I am here with you in unity. We cannot participate in these issues only when the problem is next to us. We must support other Davis residents who have similar problems, as the problem is bigger than Pacifico, and bigger than the location next to me.

God Bless the people who are helping the truly homeless population that are in need. Those who spoke today on that are I believe sincere. However, the problem is not the needy, but the criminals. We cannot conflate these.

There have been times when residents, and subtly even our leaders, have shamed “the homed” for being “privileged” and not being sensitive to those in need. These are separate issues. We must recognize the needs of the truly homeless. We must also recognize that there is no shame in having a home and a roof over our heads, nor the need to protect our families and yes, our things.

When people talk of drug dealers and thieves, they are not talking about the needy homeless; we must not conflate the two as a rhetorical trick. We must recognize and acknowledge that shaming the ‘other’ and demonizing those with homes, and those without homes, will not result in constructive resolution. We must recognize the needs of all parties as legitimate. Except for criminals, they ‘need’ to be removed.

Alan C. Miller is a resident of Old East Davis


Rent Increases, Price Gauging, Collusion — Republican Stew

2022-10-20 Porter Inflation
U.S. Representative Katie Porter

By Scott Steward

Rents have gone up so fast it has surprised even colluding real estate software marketer RealPage. Again blocked by Republicans, the “A Place to Prosper Act”, renters rights and rent increase control, never reached debate. Rent is not increasing because it costs more to keep up properties. Rents are higher because it’s what enough people can be forced to pay. Owners are charging computer generated higher rents, knowing that it will cause higher vacancies, because they can—increasing homelessness. It’s that bad.

Not one Republican voted for the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act. And if Republicans are the majority—you will never hear of the bill to make sure you are charged a fair price at the pump. Much more the opposite, put Republicans in power and you will fuel Putin’s Russian war, make Saudi’s rich and put American energy independence into the trash can.

Corporate profits are at records. This is true not because these corporations are adding value, it is true because they are charging high prices. Pharmaceutical companies, cable companies, oil companies—an average of 53% increase in profits over the last 6 months. How? By raising prices well over their costs—just plain old “because they can.” Biden is not the owner of Moderna, Xfinity or Exxon—most of inflation is being caused by corporate greed.

In the meantime Trump appointed judges ruled to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a similar ruse was used to undercut the EPA, (saying agencies have to have more explicit power from Congress.) Hogwash! Guess what else is funded outside of regular appropriations—Medicare and Social Security. These Judges want to serve up these 50+ year old protections, including women’s reproductive rights, to the carving knives of MAGA Republican controlled majorities in the House and Senate.

Blame inflation on someone, that’s what Republicans are betting on even as their party will make the problem worse with giveaways to the rich and the same trickle down policies that gave 80% of us a zero increase in household income over the last 40 years. That’s their big idea.

Democrats can be forced to make laws that put Americans first. That’s why we have made some gains to see that regular Americans get fair compensation and opportunity—that is what is best for the economy—for Democrats, Republicans, Independents and everyone.


Celebration of Abraham Rocks the Block in West Sacramento with Habitat for Humanity

Rocks-the-block(From press release) On Saturday October 8 the Celebration of Abraham joined Habitat for Humanity Greater Sacramento to Rock the Block in West Sacramento. Our team comprised folks from all three Abrahamic traditions including Jewish (Renee Dryfoos, Gregory Guss, John Katonah and Dean Newberry), Muslim (Anne Kjemtrup, Kamal  Lemseffer and Timur Mamedov) and Christian (Mary Philip and Helen Roland Cramer). In addition to providing the interfaith work team, the Celebration of Abraham ran an on-line fundraising campaign and raised $1350 to supply the materials needed to work on the project.

The specific project that the Celebration of Abraham worked on was painting the transitional housing that Shores of Hope provides to folks aging out of foster care. Shore of Hope is a nonprofit in West Sacramento that offers among other services transitional housing, Slavic Women’s Health Outreach, emergency shelter, and a Food Closet. (See Welcome to Shores of Hope )


Letter: Comments on Mr. Morrell's take on homelessness in Davis

I am writing to share my deep concern about the comments that Adam Morrill, a candidate for city council (District 4) has made regarding homelessness and those who experience homelessness.  His comments should trouble all of us. Despite our move to district elections, we remain one city and one community. I have spent well over decade working on issues related to homelessness, serving on the boards of Davis Opportunity Village, the Yolo County Homeless and Poverty. I am also a member of the Interfaith Housing Justice Group. Mr. Morrell’s approach to dealing with the homeless issue lacks an awareness of the scope of the problem as well as an understanding of the limits of the resources of local nonprofits.

In the Davis Chamber of Commerce forum, he was asked about his approach to addressing homelessness. Early in the forum he referred to unhoused individuals as “violent transients.” He said that he thought a better solution to addressing homelessness than “kind of moving people along who are continually problems, people who aren’t interested in services” is “deeding over the sidewalks to the landlords because then it results in a “trespassing issue rather than just a camping issue.”” This approach will lead to criminalizing unhoused people. But he didn’t stop there, he went on to say that the city shouldn’t be in the business of social services and that these efforts are duplicative of what the nonprofits have already been doing. The nonprofits cannot solve the issue—they simply do not have the resources.

My deeply held view is that all humans deserve to live with dignity, and that includes the right to be in stable housing and to receive appropriate services. And I believe local government – because of its role in housing policy, enforcing building codes, and protecting public health -- has an important role in dealing with issue.  Mr. Morrill has a very restricted and troubling view of what it takes to build a community where everyone is safe.

I urge those who live in District 4 to vote for Gloria Partida.

Helen Roland Cramer


Winter Shelter for our Unhoused Residents

Why non-congregate (e.g. hotel/motel-based) shelter is the best solution

(From press release)

Background: The City of Davis, in coordination with several stakeholder organizations, is planning for winter shelter for our homeless Davis and Yolo County neighbors. The current proposal being advanced by the City’s Social Service and Housing Department is to use the city-owned house at 512 5th Street as congregate shelter for up to 10 people, with Davis Community Meals and Housing (DCMH) providing staffing, case management and administration of the program.

HEART of Davis (formerly Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter) is enthusiastically supportive of and interested in contributing to sheltering those who need it during the cold winter months. We stand ready to provide volunteers to provide food and other resources to those in need. However, we firmly believe that the 5th Street house is the wrong venue for this purpose at this time, for the following reasons:

  • The 5th St facility is far too small to address the need. Historically, there have been at least 20-25 people needing cold weather shelter on a nightly basis in Davis. Sacramento homeless camp sweeps will likely increase the need.

  • As a congregate shelter it may well be a source of COVID-19 outbreaks, during which time it will have to be closed, as has been the case with the 4th and Hope Shelter in Woodland.

    • During the closures, the only alternative will be using motel or hotel rooms for non- congregate shelter, or to provide nothing at all.
    • The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) shelter guidance (dated May 6, 2022) advises: “ When possible, the use of alternative housing sites or non-congregate settings should be considered in lieu of congregate shelters.” (See the attached rationale, written by Dr. Sheri Belafsky, UC Davis Department of Public Health Sciences, in consultation with the Yolo County Public Health Officer).

  • Some hotel rooms will be needed anyway for the vulnerable population. Those who are at highest risk for COVID will need to be sheltered in separate motel/hotel rooms to minimize health risks.

    • The City will then be implementing a second track of non-congregate shelter, which will require separate management. The City could reduce management costs and staff time by running just one non-congregate shelter program.
    • It will be very difficult to for our volunteers to provide food at two locations

Projected Costs: The room costs of such a program, assuming ~20 people per night for 4 months (120 days) would be 20 rooms x $100/night x 120 nights= $240,000. Demand each night will depend on the weather and other factors, such as screening criteria. HEART of Davis has offered a matching contribution $25K, which has thus far not been accepted by the city. Additional fundraising to pay for rooms, supplies, and other resources will be needed, and possible sources would be other organizations in Davis who support the homeless, the local business community, and, of course, the city.

What you need to know: Dana Bailey, Director of Davis’ Department of Social Services and Housing, is hosting a meeting with multiple interested organizations on Thursday, October 6, to present her current plan. The City Council will discuss this item at its October 18 meeting.

What you can do: Please spread the word to your networks and constituencies that the City Council needs to direct staff to pursue shelter options that can accommodate 20 or more people, such as a motel- based shelter. Please contact City Council members directly using the contact information below. Tell them:

  1. Winter shelter for our homeless neighbors is desperately needed in Davis.

  2. The proposal to use the city house for congregate shelter is both inadequate to address the need, and unsafe, from a public health point of view.

  3. Motel/Hotel-based shelter, like that provided last year, is probably our best option at this time, since we know how to run such a program and it needs to be up and running in a month.

  4. The City needs to, and can, find resources to run such a program. All that is needed is the political will.

  5. The Council should direct staff to focus on non-congregate shelter options that can house 20+ people/night.

Please contact the City Council, and plan to attend the October 18 City Council meeting. Spread the word!

Lucas Frerichs

Mayor

City Council District 3

Term Ends: 2024

lucasf@cityofdavis.org

 

Will Arnold

Vice Mayor

City Council District 2

Term Ends: 2024

warnold@cityofdavis.org

 

Dan Carson

Councilmember
Elected "At large"

(resides District 1)
Term Ends: 2022

dcarson@cityofdavis.org

 

Josh Chapman

Councilmember

City Council District 5

Term Ends: 2024

jchapman@cityofdavis.org

 

Gloria Partida

Elected "At large"

(resides District 4)
Term Ends: 2022

gpartida@cityofdavis.org

 

Attachment. Analysis from Dr. Sheri Belafsky
Rationale for non-congregate shelter whenever feasible this winter:

  • While case rates and hospitalizations have been trending down over the past month, significant virus circulation remains throughout Californiaincluding Sacramento and Yolo counties. Per CDC data, Yolo County currently has a low community level, however, “community transmission”, which reflects the presence and spread of COVID-19, is still “substantial”. (https://www.yolocounty.org/government/general-government-departments/health-human- services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/covid-19)

  • Currently, the behavior of the COVID-19 virus is unpredictable, and the development of new variants this winter is possible.

  • Congregate emergency winter shelter constitutes a high-risk transmission setting for a population disproportionately at high risk for COVID-19 complications.

  • CDPH’s shelter guidance (dated May 6, 2022) advises: “When possible, the use of alternative housing sites or non-congregate settings should be considered in lieu of congregate shelters.” (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/infection-control-guidance- clients-congregate-shelter-including-homelessness.aspx). CDPH also advises that “Non- congregate housing should also be prioritized for:... those who are at high-risk for severe COVID-19 infection or medical complications should they become infected, such as people over 65 or those who have underlying health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection.”
  • CDC recommendations for “medium” community levels include:

    • Testing in high-risk settings (these include settings that are enclosed with poor ventilation, and where there is close contact between residents
    • Masking with a high-quality mask if at high risk of complications from COVID-19 infection
      (
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html)

  • In the event of COVID-19 outbreaks, other shelters with congregate housing have been forced to close intermittently with subsequent urgent re-housing of their guests in motel rooms to isolate.

Why DiSC matters for the City Council election

Some of DiSC’s proponents called it a tiny city. That suggests it is a microcosm of Davis as a whole and all of the issues it faces.

DCC with DiSC in background-2By Roberta Millstein

In a recent interview with the Davis Enterprise, Gloria Partida said that “I know that people right now are very focused on what happened with Measure H” but that being a member of Council is “not a one-issue job.”

However, Measure H represents a large number of central and key issues that future Davis City Councils will have to weigh in on.  It would have been bad for Davis in variety of ways, as Davis citizens widely recognized when they rejected the project by an almost 2-1 margin. 

Thus, a candidate’s stance on Measure H speaks volumes about their values and how they would govern.  Gloria Partida (District 4), Dan Carson (District 1), and Bapu Vaitla (District 1)  were strongly in favor of Measure H.  In contrast, Kelsey Fortune (District 1) and Adam Morrill (District 4) strongly opposed Measure H.

As the No on Measure H campaign emphasized in its ballot arguments and campaign literature, each of the following issues was relevant to the proposed project. In no particular order:

Continue reading "Why DiSC matters for the City Council election" »


Part 2 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election

Sierra Club logo

Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing

Introduction - As has been our custom for over 20 years, the Sierra Club Yolano Group prepares a wide-ranging questionnaire and presents it to candidates in races of interest to our local membership. The questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council race received answers from all 5 candidates in the 2 of the 5 City Council Districts for which an election is held in Novemeber, 2022.

The candidates, listed in alphabetical order by their first name, are:

District 1 (West Davis): - Bapu Vaitla, Dan Carson, and Kelsey Fortune

District 4 (East Davis ) - Adam Morrill, Gloria Partida

Questions asked were in the following general categories:

Part 1 - Land Use and Housing Development – Peripheral Development

Part 2-- Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing

Part 3 - Energy Use and Greenhouse Gases

Part 4 - Transportation Management

Part 5 - Waste Management

Part 6 - Toxics in the Environment and Other Environmental Issues

Part 1 in this series can be viewed by clicking on that article's title above which is linked to the earlier publication.

This is the 2nd in the series of articles and focuses on Land Use and Housing Development – Downtown Core and Student Housing and provides candidate responses to the following questions:

Continue reading "Part 2 Candidate Responses to the Sierra Club Yolano Group Questionnaire for the 2022 Davis City Council Election" »


An evening with Leah Rothstein

Document copy

By Ellen Kolarik 

It was November 18, 2019 and Richard Rothstein, author of The Color of Law was nearing the end of his presentation to a full house at Davis Community Church.  More than 200 people remained for the Q&A. 

A member of the audience asked “How can we maintain that small town feel and still deal with our housing issues?”

The reply? “That small town feel is a euphemism for a segregated community.”

Those of us that were involved in putting on that event were excited and proud that our community was open to hearing tough information about who we are as a country and as a community.  But, how to move forward?

Interfaith Housing Justice Davis (IHJD) formed as a response to Rothstein’s call to action.  IHJD is a loose coalition of faith organizations in Davis who advocate for changes in city policy to encourage more affordable housing, the first step in desegregating a community.

Continue reading "An evening with Leah Rothstein" »


Where have all the babies gone?

Screen Shot 2022-07-09 at 10.22.28 AMBy Dave Taormino

Davis has been gradually losing its innate college town character. The level of civility in civic discourse continues its decline as demonstrated in the recent Measure H campaign. The 1960 – 70s mid-western ethos that prospered when Davis and UCD set out on their mutually aligned growth paths has deteriorated with urban-like political fighting. The midwestern neighborly values that were once well established have given way to a divisive approach to community engagement. In housing development discussions, the person you disagree with is characterized as evil, dishonest, a liar, etc. Why? In part because Davis’s 40 years of restrictive housing and growth policies has spawned and feeds unintended and unnecessary discord with little visible, offsetting benefits.

Here are some of the impacts:

  1. Less than 40% of our TOP City management live in Davis. Nearly all the major City decision makers and their families live elsewhere. Their family life and personal civic involvement is not here.
  2. The percentage of Davis Police and Fire Department personnel who live in Davis is much lower than the TOP management. In essence, their family and hearts reside elsewhere.
  3. The vast majority of North, North Davis homeowners are individuals employed at UCD or a Davis business. They cannot afford to live here. A sizable number have children commuting daily with their parents to attend Davis schools, a good outcome for us.
  4. In the Cannery, roughly 80% of the buyers had no relationship to Davis or UCD, although some had grown children living here. Most came from the Bay Area and Marin County, exactly where the Cannery developers heavily advertised. It was an intentional strategy not intended to attract local UCD faculty, staff, and other Davis workers. In the 546 homes, an unbelievably low number of school age children actually live there. Something like 26 new students resulted from Cannery’s 546 homes plus apartments. In the 80’s and early 90’s a “Cannery-type neighborhood” would have generated 300 - 400 new students. Where have all the families with or capable of having babies gone?
  5. Approximately 1,000 Elementary through High School students commute daily to our schools. Without these commuting students some neighborhood schools would close. Imagine the rancor and anger that would result should neighborhood school closures be considered. The civic anger, neighborhood vs neighborhood would likely be greater than the recent Measure H arguments. The School District has done a masterful entrepreneurial job in “recruiting” out of Davis parents/children to attend our neighborhood schools. For how long can those creative efforts be sufficient? A university-oriented community NEEDS GREAT schools. Great schools require children from childbearing age parents living here and as a result contributing to a wholesome, family friendly, inclusive community. That was “the 1960’s and 1970’s Davis civic perspective” when UCD embarked on its original and now continuing growth plan.

The list could continue, but you get the point.

Continue reading "Where have all the babies gone?" »


Post-election statement from No on H campaign

No on H 2022_Sign Design_Final w SC Endorse Seal(From press release) We are pleased by the overwhelming defeat of Measure H, which we believe would have resulted in a development that was harmful to Davis.

It was a true grassroots effort of many volunteers over many months, who poured countless hours of their personal time into the campaign. It was also the result of many passionate supporters who donated to the campaign, displayed lawn signs, wrote letters to the editor, and participated on social media.  We thank everyone who was involved in the effort.

We hope the resounding defeat of Measure H  leads to more collaborative community discussions that engage Davisites in creating future projects which will be truly sustainable and environmentally progressive.


Davis still needs a new vision

Back in December 2020, some members of the successful 2020 No on DISC campaign got together and articulated what they felt was a new and better vision for Davis.  With the apparent defeat of DiSC 2022 as Measure H, currently showing a 63.52% "No" vote, I thought I would pull it out again.  I think our vision and much of what we wrote here remains pertinent , including an all-too-prescient prediction that:

"the developers will try to bring back DISC with minor changes and spend another quarter of a million dollars in the hopes of gaining just enough new votes to change the outcome of the election.  What the election vote shows is that such an attempt would be a mistake.  The project proposal was fundamentally flawed and a few more bells and whistles wouldn’t change that."

We did not, however, expect that the developer would spend significantly more than half a million dollars, and still lose.  It is to Davisites' credit that we still saw that this was a bad project delivered through a bad process (including an inappropriate developer-funded lawsuit, spearheaded by a sitting Councilmember).

I hope our op-ed stimulates you to think about an alternative path for Davis.

-RLM

The Failure of Measure B Suggests a New Vision Is Needed
Originally posted December 12, 2020
https://www.davisite.org/2020/12/the-failure-of-measure-b-suggests-a-new-vision-is-needed-.html

West from Rd 30B - Sac skylineBy Roberta Millstein, Pam Gunnell, Nancy Price, Alan Pryor, and Colin Walsh

Measure B – the measure that proposed a 200-acre business park and housing development outside of the Mace Curve – failed at the polls.  The defeat comes with official Yolo County returns showing that 16,458 people, or 52% of voters, said “no” to the project.  In Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, 60% of voters opposed the project.

This is a remarkable result considering that the No on B campaign was outspent by over 14 to 1.  As of October 28, Yes on B had spent $258,919 between when B was put on the ballot in July and the election in November, while No on B had spent $18,149.  The No on B campaign, composed solely of volunteer Davis citizens, created its own literature, designed its own sign and other graphics, was active on social media, and, to the extent possible during COVID, pounded the pavement distributing flyers to let Davisites know about the negative impacts that this project would bring.  It was a true grassroots effort.  There were no paid designers, no paid consultants, no multiple glossy mailers, and no push-polls to gather information on what messages would sell.  Opponents also could not table at the Farmers Market due to COVID restrictions, normally the bread and butter of a campaign lacking deep pocket donors to finance getting its message out.

By comparison, Yes on B hired a PR Firm and other consultants more than a year in advance of the vote to help contrive and package its message and run the campaign.

The fact that Measure B was nonetheless defeated in the face of long odds and unusual circumstances shows that DISC was a bad project for Davis from the outset.  It was too big, chewing up prime farmland and habitat.   The promise of on-site housing for DISC employees could not be guaranteed, making the development car-and commuter- oriented with extensive parking areas. Poor public transportation options exacerbated this problem. The DISC development would have massively increased Davis greenhouse gas emissions and made it impossible for Davis to meet its carbon neutrality goals. We are in a climate emergency, as Yolo County and other counties have recognized; Davis needs to shoulder its share of responsibility for climate impacts, including but not limited to wildfire impacts and extreme weather events locally and globally.

Continue reading "Davis still needs a new vision" »


Community Leaders Urge – Vote "No" on Measure H

(From press release) Here are six of the many respected and well-known community leaders who urge you to vote No on Measure H against the DiSC project, together with a brief statement of their concerns.

Evans "Previous City Councils required 25-35% affordable housing per each new project. DISC is providing many fewer low income units under a weakened ordinance that does not apply to land outside the city. This project is designed to deliver less units of affordable low income housing."
Ann Evans
Former Mayor of Davis; Founder of the Davis Food Co-op; Author, Davis Farmer’s Market Cookbook
w/ David Thompson
Affordable Housing Developer


Jolly“If these developments were about providing needed and affordable housing and not speculation, the developers would have broken ground on already approved projects. No on Measure H.”
Desmond Jolly
Former Long Range Planning Commission Member
Director Emeritus, UC Statewide Small Farm Program
w/ Julia Jolly



Krovoza“Long-term fiscal sustainability of projects for Davis is paramount. This means projects that pay for their impact and don't further burden city resources. The tax sharing deal with the county was done after the city announced the supposed financial returns. That's completely backwards. I firmly believe the 50/50 split with the county is low, and there's no evidence it’s based on which jurisdiction would pay the most for negative impacts. No on H, for sure.”
Joe Krovoza, Former Mayor of Davis
w/ Janet Krovoza



Dickey“A sustainable project needs to be sited and connected to the community it serves; it needs to favor walking and bike-riding. The location of DiSC 2022, the promise of minimal connectivity for active transportation, and a decidedly car-optimized design will ensure thousands of additional motor vehicle trips through town and onto the freeway each day.”
Darell Dickey
Former Commissioner, City of Davis Bicycle Advisory Commission
Living Streets Activist
Advisor, Bike Davis



Corbett“There are better options for Davis than DiSC. It will not do what they say it will do. With a new general plan Davis can maintain its compact size on existing land and actually provide a better transportation design, more affordable housing, desirable jobs, and improved City financing.”
Mike Corbett
Former Mayor of Davis
Developer of Village Homes
Affordable Housing Developer
w/ Grandson



Caswell“The worst, most deceptive, and disgraceful greenwash campaign in Davis’ history.
Measure H is bad for Downtown, bad for climate, bad for traffic, bad for Davis! Please vote for the Davis you Love, vote no on H”
Heather Caswell
Owner of The Wardrobe
Founder Davis Community Vision Alliance

 

 


Letter: Where’s the Water? NO on H!

Measure H is a rare opportunity for us, as individuals, to choose what is good for the many over what is good for the few.  The NO on H arguments focus on verifiable negative impacts of the proposed DISC development such as increased traffic and paving over of prime agricultural land, while the Yes side claims that, if all goes as advertised, the city will benefit financially.

No matter which arguments you believe or favor, there is one overarching reason to vote NO on H – WATER.  The City of Davis, indeed the entire state, is in the throes of a severe, worsening drought.   Davis receives surface water from the Sacramento River and well(or ground-)water pumped from aquifers beneath the city.  Our surface water supply is limited by finite, maximum water “rights,” which in turn are dependent on upstream reservoir levels and snowpack, both of which are far below normal, and pumping huge volumes of water, especially from the deep aquifers, is unsustainable. 

The agricultural land on which DISC would be built currently receives NO water from the city of Davis – NONE.  And, as ag land, it can be fallowed if necessary.  BUT, if Measure H passes, that 100-plus acres of land will be annexed into the City and connected – permanently - to our city water infrastructure, thus creating a new drain on our already-limited water supply.  And, if water is like any other commodity, even as we conserve more as a community, the demands of DISC and already-approved projects will lead to increased water rates.

But fear not, our city leaders have not forgotten us.  Even as they are campaigning for Measure H, they are planning to educate us with a new “messaging” slogan: “No doubt, We’re in a Drought!”  

Seriously folks, a few people could make a pile of money if H passes, and the City might benefit financially, but I believe we need to help the many by voting NO on Measure H.

Rick Entrikin
Davis


Letter: Not buying DiSC

I knew this Yes on H campaign was off to an ignominious start when I started receiving phone calls.  A lot of phone calls. All seeking my opinion.  Developers care about my thoughts? Not likely.  When you get THAT many phone calls, you know the pockets pushing a project are deep, aggressive, and expect to make a lot of money. They don’t like anyone getting in their way.  Then a sitting city Davis city council member, who heads the Yes on H campaign, sued the opposition with the apparent intent of snuffing out dissenting voices.  This lawsuit against the No on H folks felt Trump inspired: sic lawyers on any opposition and financially drain them into submission. That’ll teach ’em to speak up!

The Yes on H folks are trying to create the illusion that this enormous industrial development will attract people seeking nature.  This project is simultaneously being billed as helping solve the housing crisis in Davis (it won’t), helping endangered species (by paving almost 100 of acres of land, I guess) and solving climate change (because some people may take the bus or bike out there). Their “transit plaza” is …a bus stop. See how easy solving world climate change was! All solved with a single development!  Wow.  I guess mentioning “world peace” was too much of a stretch, even for them. Maybe next time, after they’ve had their way with Davis, they’ll say that their NEXT mega development will solve the Middle East Crisis.

When they expect over 2,500 employees working at site, yet only 460 housing units (with no guarantee that residents in the development are actually working at the site) … then … well, it’s not going to be an environmental utopia, no matter the grand the promises.  No solving the Climate Crisis.  No world peace either, I guess.

Davis needs to vote no on this project before the project leaders shut down any more voices that they don’t like with their lawyers.

Liz Reay 

Davis


It is all there in the Numbers … Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!!!

Traffic-on-maceBy Matt Williams

With apologies in advance to those people who find my articles and/or comments too detailed, I’m going to clearly show David Greenwald of the Davis Vanguard the numbers, so that he, and hopefully everyone, understands the traffic study contents. 

For those of you who want to skip the detail and just read the summary, it appears at the bottom of the article alongside the very tall Google Earth image of Mace and its current lane configuration.

With the caveat that the readers of yesterday’s article don’t know what steps might have happened behind the scenes that weren’t described in the article, it appears that yesterday, David Greenwald forgot to follow his own advice.  Several times in the recent past David has complained bitterly that one of the Vanguard’s guest writers published their article without taking the time to check with an information source prior to publishing an article that criticizes one or more aspects of our community’s decisions and/or decision processes.  I believe, but could be wrong if there is information I don’t know about, David would have done well for himself and for the Yes On Measure H campaign team if he had checked with the information source he criticized in yesterday’s article.  If he did do so, I’m sure he will clarify in a comment.

Traffic studies are arcane beasts.  They follow a set of clearly set out rules that a lay person like David and me has to work hard to understand. It is easy for a lay person to make mistakes when trying to understand “WHY?” a traffic finding in the traffic study is what it is.  In late 2020 when formally submitting questions  about the traffic study in the Draft EIR, I learned that lesson the hard way.  To their credit Fehr & Peers responded very clearly, logically, understandably, and professionally to my questions … pointing out where I had gone wrong in my calculations.  They were good teachers.  I thank them for that educational lesson.

So, when the updated traffic study for DiSC 2022 was published I was able to much better understand the data … and also carry forward the intersection by intersection graphics that had accompanied the 2020 traffic study.  However, before I finalized any conclusions based on the new data, I reviewed those tentative conclusions with a retired City traffic engineer and two engineering professionals who have considerable experience dealing with traffic.  Their collective and individual counsel was very valuable.  Their advice would have been very helpful to David if he had sought that advice prior to publishing yesterday.

Continue reading "It is all there in the Numbers … Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!!!" »


Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign

Yes-on-H-mailer-cropped-annotatedBy Colin Walsh

The Vanguard published a guest commentary by Jackson Mills, “Debunking Deceptive Descriptions of DiSC in No on H Campaign Messaging,” on Tuesday morning. But it’s the commentary itself that is deceptive.

Ironically Mr. Mills himself chooses to mislead people in his selection of an outdated illustration to lead the article. It is notable that the illustration used with this article is from the previous DISC proposal and is certainly not an accurate picture of the current DiSC proposal. The water feature in this picture is an idealized version of the drainage ditch that ran through the middle of the previous project (it also shows far more water than there ever would have been). The drainage ditch does not run through the project in the current iteration. And the drainage ditch certainly doesn’t support paddle boarding as depicted on the Yes on H mailers.

The Vanguard has done nothing to address the Misrepresentations of the Yes on H campaign. Those claims have included such outrageous exaggerations and misinformation such as:

Measure H “helps our community fight the housing crisis” – DiSC will have over 2,400 employees, and by the City’s own documents only 187 will live in the onsite housing. That adds over 2,200 additional people looking for housing in Davis, adding pressure to our already incredibly tight Davis housing market.

Continue reading "Misrepresentations of the Yes on H/Yes on DiSC campaign" »


Affordable Housing Expert argues that Affordable Housing at DiSC does not Comply with City of Davis Municipal Code

Landplan
Site map showing the Residential Area of DiSC adjacent to the Advanced Manufacturing Area. Most of the residential units will be market rate, not Affordable.

By Matt Williams

Each morning for the next two weeks I will provide Davisite readers and Davis voters with an article on one of the dozen issues that I covered in my presentation on Thursday at University Retirement Community which had Dan Carson presenting for Yes On Measure H.  For everyone’s reference, at the end of this article I have listed those dozen issues that argue strongly for a “No” vote on Measure H.

What is the most important reason to vote “No” on Measure H?

On Tuesday I got a telephone call from David Thompson, the president of he Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and co-principal of Neighborhood Partners LLC, which has developed and has in development over 1,400 units of low-income integrated nonprofit housing valued at over $200 million. His Affordable Housing projects in Davis include:

Creekside
Eleanor Roosevelt Circle
Cesar Chavez Plaza
Tremont Green
Moore Village
Twin Pines
Owendale
Dos Pinos

David has forgotten more about Affordable Housing than I will ever know. So when he asked me if I was interested in understanding how there is considerably less Affordable Housing in the DiSC project than is required by the City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance, I was quick to listen.

Continue reading "Affordable Housing Expert argues that Affordable Housing at DiSC does not Comply with City of Davis Municipal Code" »


Fact Checking Matt Williams's Affordable Housing article

By Matt Williams

This table provides fact checking for the article Affordable Housing Expert argues that Affordable Housing at DiSC does not Comply with City of Davis Municipal Code

What is the most important reason to vote “No” on Measure H?

A header

On Tuesday I got a telephone call from David Thompson, the president of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation and co-principal of Neighborhood Partners LLC, which has developed and has in development over 1,400 units of low-income integrated nonprofit housing valued at over $200 million. His Affordable Housing projects in Davis include:

Creekside
Eleanor Roosevelt Circle
Cesar Chavez Plaza
Tremont Green
Moore Village
Twin Pines
Owendale
Dos Pinos

Factually correct

David has forgotten more about Affordable Housing than I will ever know. So when he asked me if I was interested in understanding how there is considerably less Affordable Housing in the DiSC project than is required by the City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance, I was quick to listen.

Factually correct

David started our discussion by asking me whether I had received the recent promotion piece for Yes on Measure H, which says, “Measure H enhances and advances more of what we love about Davis by creating affordable housing.”

Factually correct … confirmable on the Yes on DiSC website

After I told him that I had indeed seen that statement, he replied “That statement by DiSC is simply not true!”

DISC is purposefully choosing to provide less affordable housing as a percentage of the total than any previously proposed site that has come up for a citizen vote.

Factually correct.  He absolutely shared that opinion with me.

The reason is both simple and straightforward. Prior to 2018 all citizen vote proposals provided at least 25-35% of the housing units as permanently affordable under the provisions of Article 18.05 of the City of Davis Municipal Code … the City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance … which states.

Factually correct.

To the maximum extent feasible, each developer must meet the ownership affordable unit requirement as it pertains to the project, as set forth below:

(a) Standard ownership affordable housing requirements. Any development that is comprised in whole or in part of ownership units shall comply with the following requirements, which shall be included in the development’s affordable housing plan.

(1) Affordable Housing Requirements, by Residential Product Type.

(A) For projects comprised of market rate single-family detached ownership units on lots larger than five thousand square feet in area, the developer must provide for a number of affordable housing units equivalent to twenty-five percent of the total units being developed, including the affordable units, by means of one of the methods set forth in this section.

[…]

General plan implementing policies also require that, to the extent feasible and subject to existing law, rental housing developments with five to nineteen units shall provide fifteen percent of the units to low income households and ten percent to very low income households; and in rental housing developments with twenty or more units that twenty-five percent of the units be affordable to low income households and ten percent of the units be affordable to very low income households. General plan policies also require that affordable rental units remain affordable in perpetuity. (Ord. 2418 § 1, 2013)

Factually correct.  Every word is copied verbatim and pasted directly from the Municipal Code

David went on to explain that DISC is applying under the “Interim Affordable Housing Ordinance” which substantially reduced the requirement to 15%.

Factually correct

The interim Affordable Housing Ordinance was passed by City Council in February 2018 with the stated plan that it would sunset on December 31, 2018. That sunset never happened, and its interim policy is still in effect.

Factually correct.  The Vanguard has published that very information in past articles.

However, that interim policy with its lowered 15% was written specifically to apply to land already in the city, and was/is based on the December 11, 2015 Economic Report prepared for the City by A Plescia & Co entitled Preliminary Project Economic Analysis For City of Davis Affordable Housing Ordinance.  That Plescia report begins as follows:

Factually correct.

The primary purpose of this summary report is to present preliminary information related to the projected economic implications of potential affordable housing ordinance requirements on certain urban scale residential ownership and rental development prototypes. The project economic analysis summarized in this report addresses the estimated financial feasibility (including profitability) information for certain identified residential ownership and rental development prototypes.

Factually correct.  Every word is copied verbatim and pasted directly from the Plesia Report document

The preliminary project economic information presented in this report can be used by the City of Davis to inform the process being undertaken by the City of Davis in regard to its consideration of amending its existing Affordable Housing Ordinance as it relates to the identified residential ownership and rental development prototypes addressed in this memorandum.

[…]

For purposes of this preliminary project economic analysis, the identified residential and mixed-use prototype alternatives are assumed to each be developed on a hypothetical 2.0 acre infill development site within the current urbanized area of the City of Davis.

Factually correct.  Every word is copied verbatim and pasted directly from the Plesia Report document

Why within the current urbanized area of the City?

Header

Because land costs in the City had risen to the level of  hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

There probably were a number of reasons, but this is the root cause reason.  So this statement can be characterized as an opinion rather than a fact.

Land that is outside the urbanized area, like the DISC site, does not suffer from high land costs. It resides on agricultural land outside the City Limits that was purchased for considerably less than $10,000 per acre … NOT hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

Factually correct

That economic reality, and the clear words of the Plescia report mean the affordable housing requirement for DiSC should remain at the 25-35% threshold contained in Article 18.05 of the Municipal Code

Opinion / Conclusion / Position

In November 2019 hundreds of Davis residents applauded Richard Rothstein’s talk on the “Color of Law,” which critiqued the role of government in reducing housing for people of color. Many of us want a future Davis to be more inclusive and expansive of housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Factually correct

DISC does the opposite by providing considerably less housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Opinion / Conclusion / Position

David is unequivocal in his opinion that the interim Affordable Housing Ordinance simply does not apply to DiSC, and until and unless the DiSC project changes its Affordable Housing Plan to comply with the provisions Article 18.05 of the City of Davis Municipal Code, the only choice is to vote “NO” on Measure H.  David Thompson has clearly stated that it is the most important reason to vote “No.”  None of us should want to live in a Davis that accepts fewer homes for those most in need and people of color.

Opinion / Conclusion / Position plus a recommendation for solving the problem identified.

As noted at the beginning of this article, each morning for the next two weeks I will provide Vanguard readers and Davis voters with an article on one of the dozen issues listed below that I covered in my presentation on Thursday at University Retirement Community.

Reasons to Vote “NO” on Measure H

• Massive Traffic Problems
• No Firm Plans to Mitigate Traffic
• Unmitigated Greenhouse Gas Emissions
• DISC will Cannibalize Existing Downtown and Local Businesses in Davis that are Still Hurting from the Pandemic
• Projected Financial Projections to the City are Questionable or Misleading
• We Cannot Trust our City Staff and Council to Protect Us from Rapacious and Predatory Developers
• Critical Farmland, Habitat, and our Last Views of the Sierra and Sacramento Skyline will be Lost Forever
• A Yes Vote Gives the Developer Lucrative Entitlements with No Guaranteed Baseline Features in Many Critical Areas
• The Project Will Exacerbate the Housing Shortage in the Davis Area
• The Scale of the DiSC Business Park is Much Too Large for a Small College Town Like Davis
• An industrial-research development while we are in a serious drought?

N/A


Letter: 2 reasons for voting No on H: Muzzling citizens & exclusionary housing

Thompson graphic 2Dear Davis Citizens:

Two reasons for voting No on H.

Council Member Carson tried to silence six voices opposed to Measure H. The six Davis citizens incurred a $71,000 bill to defend themselves, and now Carson is suing them for his legal costs of $76,358. Those volunteer voices are potentially paying $147,000+ from their personal savings.

On the other hand Carson has incurred no personal costs because his attempt to muzzle citizen voices opposed to Measure H was financed by the DISC developer.

That has prompted me to raise my own citizen voice … Council member Carson’s developer-funded stealth tactic should not be rewarded!  That alone is reason enough to vote No on Measure H.

However, there is a second reason to vote No on H. There’s Less Affordable Housing than the norm!

I received a Measure H piece, stating,

Measure H enhances and advances more of what we love about Davis, Affordable Housing.

Simply not true. DISC is providing less affordable housing as a % than any site set for a citizen vote.

Prior to 2018 all citizen vote proposals provided at least 25-35% of the housing units as permanently affordable. DISC is applying under the “Interim Affordable Housing Ordinance” which substantially reduced the requirement to 15%.

However, the interim policy with its lowered 15% was written specifically to apply to land already in the city.  Why?  Because land costs in the City are hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre.

The DISC site does not suffer from high land costs.  It resides on agricultural land outside of the city that was purchased for likely less than $10,000 per acre.  Therefore, the affordable housing requirement should remain at 25-35%.

In November 2019 hundreds of Davis residents applauded Richard Rothstein’s talk on the “Color of Law,” which critiqued the role of government in reducing housing for people of color. Many of us want a future Davis to be more inclusive and expansive of housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

DISC does the opposite by providing considerably less housing for low income residents and racial minorities.

Please join me in voting No on H.

David J Thompson
Davis


Old East Davis Requests Review of the Trackside Project Appellate Decision

Mandala-oednaThe Old East Davis Neighborhood Association (OEDNA) is requesting review by the California Supreme Court of the recent appellate court decision on the Trackside development project, in the case of OEDNA vs. City of Davis.

We are doing this because we believe that the City should be faithful to the plain meaning of its planning and zoning rules, and because we want to preserve the setting and feeling of our historic neighborhood.

By convention, land use policies adopted by a California city can be interpreted by the same city when the policies are applied to specific projects. While this sounds logicalgiving cities flexibility and local controlif understood too broadly, the conventional view could allow a city to reinterpret planning policies in ways that violate their original meaning and intent.

In the Trackside case, the Yolo Superior Court found that the City of Davis overstepped its discretion in approving the project, which does not conform to the City’s land use policies for mass and scale transitions between the downtown core and traditional neighborhoods.

To our dismay, the appeals court reversed the Yolo court’s decision, and in doing so claimed that the City has almost unlimited discretion in the application of its planning policies.

Continue reading "Old East Davis Requests Review of the Trackside Project Appellate Decision" »


Promises Made...Promises Broken!

Broken promisesHow Ongoing Complacency by the Davis City Council Allowed the Bretton Woods Developer to Renege on Many Election Commitments Made to the Voters of Davis

Part 1- A Specious Lawsuit by the Bretton Woods Developer, David Taormino as agent for the Binning Ranch Company LLC,  Forces the University Retirement Community (URC) to Abandon Plans to Construct an Enhanced Memory Care Facility at the Project Site. The Developer Proposes to Alternatively Construct 30 Detached Senior Homes which Seemingly Violates the Supposedly Immutable Voter-Approved Baseline Features of the Project but Which Could Result in Millions Dollars of Additional Profits to the Developer.

By Alan Pryor

Introduction

This is Part 1 of a planned series of articles discussing how the City Council is approving entitlements for the Bretton Woods project that violate the project's supposedly unchangeable Baseline Features. These Baseline Features were contained in ballot language presented to voters and upon which the voters relied when the project was approved at the polls in November 2018. The approved entitlements also completely change key provisions of Development Agreement between the Developer and the City that was also very prominently presented to the public prior to the vote.

Continue reading "Promises Made...Promises Broken!" »