Entries categorized "Land use"

The City of Davis Propaganda Machine & Sky Track - Tales of the Bizarre

Last night, less than an hour after the Rec & Park Commission meeting considered Sky Track #large echo & trumpets#, a bizarre posting appeared on a Facebook Page with the City Logo that reads like an oil company trying to claim environmental brownie points after running an oil tanker into a reef full of penguins:

https://www.facebook.com/100064544416178/posts/pfbid02aGvm4r3B34TCAQHLKCEHc8eVoCn3bWFw7PUHHXNAvPjb9ppZhF2AxcXw3RDnre2El/?d=n

The capstone of the posting: "The City of Davis and its staff work diligently to ensure a vibrant community that enhances the quality of life for residents, families, children and students."

Oh please.  Gag me with a spoon.  Make me vomit.  I'm heading to the vomitorium to hurl chunks.

Who wrote that, and why?  What is really going on here that the City has that written in an hour, and up on the web?   It's too perfect.  Why would a City website post something so vomitously self-serving?  That's not what cities do . . . they are government, not private.  Cities shouldn't make proclamations about how great the city and its staff are.  I've met several great City staff btw.  This isn't about how great or not great any particular staff is.  It's about the fact that it is not government's place to toot it's own horn -- and we should all be asking:  why is it doing so in this case?  Something is rotten in West Davis.

And why is the City providing a forum so City residents can get into a Facebook war?  So assholes can berate and belittle the neighbors for what, having an issue with the constant sound of metal grating on metal?  I had no idea the degree of vitriol from users and abusers of the zip-line. What part of 'metal grating against metal' don't you people understand?  This isn't rocket science, it's not even sound science.  We all fucking know that metal on metal and a constant grating noise next to where we live can destroy daily life.  That isn't a sound you just get used to.  We don't need paid sound scientists to use meters and numbers to justify my love when we all know whatever the damn meter says that 'metal grating on metal' is an awful sound.  I have not been so disgusted by some Davis people since the Trackside defenders.  

More on the Facebook forum There are those playing the 'envy card' -- 'you own a house!' - imagine the gall of someone owning a house in Davis :-|.  There are those playing the 'you hate children' card, even though they say they never minded any of the sounds or children playing or shrieking in joy -- only the grating of metal on metal.  There are those playing the 'you get special treatment' card, even though the Krovozas and others are getting shat on by asshole zip-line users/abusers and City government.  There's the 'you knew there was a park there when you bought your house' card, even though the Krovoza's pointed out repeatedly that they moved in next to a park and had no problem with that, the zip-line came much later and that is the only and specific noise issue.  Metal on Metal!

And why is the City now a propaganda machine?  Not that many years ago if I wrote to the City Council, two or three Councilmemebers would write me back with their personal response.  Now an 'information officer' sends me a pre-packaged response about how my email was sent to all the Councilmembers.  This is a new position paid for with your taxpayer money, and what we get is pre-packaged pablum.  Now the propaganda machine is expanded to bizarre City-serving Facebook posts with forums for citizens to berate citizens.  The City isn't a corporation that needs a slogan that it "enhances the quality of life for residents, families, children and students."  Why are we putting up with this shit?

That meeting last night was bizarre.  Truth is lies.  Words are reality.  Coneheads roam City parks.  All that virtual meeting proved to me is a lot of people got dropped on their heads as infants.

Anyway, have fun playing 'Spot the Flaming Davis Assholes' as you read the comments in the Facebook page  :-|

P.S.  Why do we call it Sky Track with capital letters like it's some special thing with a proper name -- instead of "that fucking zip line" ? :-|


Legal Fees Owed to the Lawyers for the Six Defendants Sued by Dan Carson over Measure H Ballot Statements were Finally Paid on His Behalf by the Yes on Measure H Campaign Committee

PileofmoneyBut Numerous Questions Remain Unanswered

by Alan E Pryor

Executive Summary

 In the June 7, 2022 election, Davis voters were asked to approve the annexation of 102 acres of land off Mace Blvd into the City of Davis for the construction of a large industrial project known as the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus. The matter was on the ballot as Measure H and was resoundingly defeated by voters by almost a 2:1 margin.

Prior to the election but immediately following the submission of ballot statements to the City Clerk by the proponents and opponents of Measure H, Davis City Council member Dan Carson, as a private resident, sued the six Davis citizens who authored and signed the Argument Against Measure H alleging that their ballot statement contained numerous references that were false and misleading.

After ruling on the matter generally in favor of the defendants and making only very minor changes in the ballot statement language, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire also later ruled that Dan Carson must repay $42,209.25 in legal fees to the Counsel for the six defendants in the case. In his ruling he stated the defense by the six defendants "served a public benefit purpose...as the public in a democracy has a strong interest in political debate that is 'uninhibited, robust and wide open'." After the election, this fee award was finally paid on behalf of Council member Carson by the Yes on Measure H campaign committee.

Assuming no monetary or other consideration was given by Council member Carson to the Yes on Measure H committee, the payment of the fee award for Council member Carson, an elected public official, by the Yes on Measure H campaign is probably considered a "Gift" under California law. Any such "Gift" to an elected official in excess of $520 per calendar year is prohibited under California law and, if so determined to have occurred, is subject to administrative penalties of up to $5,000 per violation or three times the amount of the gift received.

Further, any such gift may also also subject to an Internal Revenue Service levy of income tax on the donor of the "Gift" rather than the recipient. In this case, the responsible party incurring that liability would be the Yes on Measure H committee, which potential liability has not been reported on their Form 460 financial filings with the City.

Background

On March 21, 2022, Davis City Council member Dan Carson, as a private citizen, filed a lawsuit against 6 Davis residents (including this author) who wrote and signed the Argument Against ballot statement supporting a No vote on Measure H on the recent June ballot in Davis. The lawsuit against the six individual ballot statement authors/signers (the "Real Parties of Interest") sought to suppress almost 1/3 of the language - over 80 words -  in the ballot statement, alleging the statements were "false and misleading". 

Dan Carson was a long-time supporter of the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Campus (DISC) project, which the Measure H ballot sought to approve and be annexed into the City. Of further interest, Council member Carson was part of the 2-person City Council subcommittee that negotiated the terms of the DISC industrial project with the developer on behalf of the City.

After he voted to put the project before the citizens on the ballot, Council member Carson also then became the "Honorary Chair" of the Yes on Measure H committee, further clouding the nature of his relationship with the Yes on Measure H committee and the managing partner of the development project, Dan Ramos of Ramco Enterprises..

On March 30, 2022 Judge Maguire ruled that only 2 minor changes needed to be made in the ballot statement - deleting the word "only" from one clause and changing the unit of measurement of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by the project in another clause. The ballot statement was otherwise left unchanged and the functional intent of the language remained in place.

Shortly thereafter, Counsel for the six defendants, Strumwasser and Woocher, filed a Petition for Award of Attorney's Fees requesting reimbursement of their legal fees and expenses incurred by the firm defending the six Davis residents from the Carson lawsuit. Counsel for Mr. Carson subsequently submitted their own petition for award of attorney's fees from the six Davis defendants alleging that he, Dan Carson was, in fact, the "successful party" in the litigation and was thus entitled to reimbursement of legal fees from the six individual Davis defendants.

This was a highly unusual request because both Council member Carson and Dan Ramos had both previously publicly admitted that the Yes on Measure H committee had funded the lawsuit on behalf of Dan Carson. Payment of these legal fees to Mr. Carson's attorney's prosecuting the case, Nossaman LLP, was confirmed by the Yes on Measure H committee Form 460 financial disclosure filings with the City of Davis.

Thus, although Mr. Carson had not actually paid any legal fees himself, he still petitioned the court to order the six individual Davis defendants who successfully fended off his lawsuit, to reimburse the legal fees that were otherwise actually paid for by the developer through the Yes on Measure H committee.

After a hearing on the matter, on June 1, 2022 Judge Daniel Maguire ordered Dan Carson, as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, to pay $42,209.75 in legal fees to Counsel for the six Davis defendants. In his ruling Judge Maguire stated,

"As explained below, while both sides gained some of their objectives in this litigation, the Real Parties in Interest have achieved the greater share of success, and are awarded a net fees recovery of $42,209.75."

He further explained his ruling stating,

"Under the ‘American Rule,’ litigants in this country generally pay their own lawyers, win or lose. In contrast, under the "English Rule," the loser pays both lawyers...

There are exceptions to the American Rule, and one is the private attorney general doctrine. Its purpose is to encourage "meritorious public interest litigation vindicating important rights."...

The private attorney general doctrine accomplishes this purpose by awarding attorneys' fees to litigants who advance the public interest by successfully bringing or defending a lawsuit. (Ibid,) The aim is to incentivize legitimate public interest litigation, not to punish the losing side. (Ibid.) Without the prospect of a fee award, litigants may be unable or unwilling to undertake or defend litigation that transcends their own private interest, even when doing so would benefit "a broad swath of citizens."

"The Real Parties in Interest also satisfy this requirement, as the public in a democracy has a strong interest in political debate that is  'uninhibited, robust and wide open.'...Our society has a deep commitment to free speech, especially in political matters, and by defending their right to make their argument in their words, the Real Parties in Interest have also enforced an important right affecting the public interest."

In summary, Judge Maguire based his Award of Attorney's Fees on the finding that the six defendants, the Real Parties of Interest, were more "successful" than Mr. Carson in the outcome of the litigation and that the award "advanced the public interest" by "defending their right to make their argument in their words".

According to the most recent Form 460 financial filing by the Yes on Measure H committee, these required legal fee reimbursements were paid to their Counsel, Nossaman LLP, on June 21 for forwarding to Strumwasser and Woocher, the Counsel for the six defendants. However, Nossaman LLP did not forward any payments to Strumwasser and Woocher until July 26, telling Strumwasser and Woocher that the Yes on Measure H committee had not paid them until them.

Unanswered Questions Concerning the Payment of Mr. Carson's Legal Award Fees by the Yes on Measure H Campaign

1st Question - Is the Payment by the Yes on Measure H Campaign of the Legal Fees Owed by Mr. Carson Considered a "Gift" to an "Elected Official" Not Allowed Under State Law?

The California Political Reform Act restricts gifts, honoraria, payment of travel expenses, and loans in excess of $520 per calendar year to 1) elected officials and candidates for local elected offices, 2) most local officials, 3) judicial candidates, and 4) designated employees of local government agencies.

In determining whether the payment of the awarded legal fees by the Yes on Measure H committee on Mr. Carson's behalf is a non-allowable "Gift" to Mr. Carson, the following information is provided in the Fair Political Practices Commission publication FPPC Ed - Pro 046 10-2021, October 2021 (https://www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/NS-Documents/TAD/gift-fact-sheet/LocalGiftFactSheet_Final_2021%20Version_2_Gendered%20Terms_Clean_Copy.pdf).

"What is a "Gift"?

A “gift” is any payment or other benefit that confers a personal benefit for which a public official does not provide payment or services of equal or greater value….(Section 82028.) (See Regulation 18946 for valuation guidelines.)"

The award of attorney's fees by Judge Maguire explicitly orders a payment by Petitioner, Dan Carson, to Counsel for the Real Parties (the six defendants). However according to the Form 460 reporting Yes on Measure H committee finances filed on July 28, 2022 with the City of Davis City Clerk, full payment for the obligation by Dan Carson was actually instead made by the Yes on Measure H committee. The payment was purportedly made by the committee on June 21 to Counsel for the six defendants, Strumwasser and Woocher, to the committee's Counsel, Nossaman LLP, acting as the payment agent for the Yes on Measure H committee.

Conclusion - In the absence of any recompense otherwise made by Mr. Carson to the Yes on Measure H committee, it would otherwise appear that this payment of Mr. Carson's obligation by the Yes on Measure H committee would be considered a "Gift" to him from the Yes on Measure H committee.

"Enforcement”

Failure to comply with the laws related to gifts, honoraria, loans, and travel payments may,

depending on the violation, result in criminal prosecution and substantial fines, or in

administrative or civil monetary penalties for as much as $5,000 per violation or three times the amount illegally obtained. (See Sections 83116, 89520, 89521, 91000, 91004 and 91005.5)".

Conclusion - If the payment of Mr. Carson's legal fees by the Yes on Measure H committee is construed to be a "Gift", it could result in criminal penalties in addition to imposition of administrative penalties up to $128,127.75 ($42,709.25 x 3).

Possible Exceptions - The primary exception to the restrictions and limitations on "Gifts" to elected public officials exists as follows,

"Existing Personal Relationship. Benefits received from an individual where it is clear that the gift was made because of an existing personal or business relationship unrelated to the official’s position and there is no evidence whatsoever at the time the gift is made that the official makes or participates in the type of governmental decisions that may have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect on the individual who would otherwise be the source of the gift. (Regulation 18942(a)(19).)"

However, this exception would seemingly not apply in this instance because Council member Carson has publicly declared on numerous occasions that he has no business or economic relationships of any kind with the Yes on Measure H committee, the developer Ramco Enterprises, or the DISC project itself.

Further, it is clear by by being part of the City Council subcommittee that negotiated the development agreement between the City of Davis and the project, that Council member Carson "makes or participates in the type of governmental decisions that may have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect" on the principal developers of the project who, not coincidentally, are the principal funders of the Yes on Measure H committee. Additionally, because one of the developers of the DISC project, Ramco Enterprises, also has numerous other properties within the City in which Mr. Carson "makes or participates in the type of governmental decisions that may have a reasonably foreseeable material financial effect" on those properties, this exception to the restriction of a gift is not applicable.

Conclusion -  The payment of the award of legal fees by the Yes on Measure H campaign committee is seemingly not excepted by FPPC regulations regarding restrictions on "Gifts" and otherwise could be considered a gift to Council member Carson because it "confers a personal benefit (to Council member Carson) for which a public official does not provide payment or services of equal or greater value."

We assume in this discussion that Council member Carson has not provided or agreed to provide any past or future favorable treatment of any matters before the City by the developer by virtue of the developer's many other property holdings within the City. But if any such promises or inferences were otherwise made in exchange for the payment of the Mr. Carson's legal fees, it otherwise could be construed as a "Bribe" rather than a "Gift" for which much more substantial criminal and civil penalties could result.

2nd Question - Will any such "Gift" to Dan Carson of the Payment of His Legal Fees by the Yes on Measure H Committee Impose any Additional Income Tax Liability?

According to the Internal Revenue Service,

"The gift tax is a tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full value, in return. The tax applies whether or not the donor intends the transfer to be a gift. The gift tax applies to the transfer by gift of any type of property. You make a gift if you give property (including money), or the use of or income from property, without expecting to receive something of at least equal value in return."  (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/gift-tax)

"The donor is generally responsible for paying the gift tax. Under special arrangements the donee may agree to pay the tax instead." (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/frequently-asked-questions-on-gift-taxes)

In the present circumstances, the "Gift" to Dan Carson by the Yes on Measure H committee (by virtue of their payment of legal fees owed by Mr. Carson) would presumably generate an income tax liability on the part of the Yes on Measure H committee, as the gift donor rather than by Mr. Carson as the recipient of the gift.

In their most recent financial 460 report (through June 30) filed with the City in which the payment of $42,209.25 by the Yes on Measure H committee was noted, there was NOT any corresponding accrued expense noted to reflect the additional income tax liability potentially incurred by the committee by virtue of their "Gift" to Carson.

3rd Question - Why Does a Discrepancy Exist in the Reported and Actual Date of Payment of Awarded Legal Fees to Counsel for the Six Defendants?

The $42, 209.75 fees ordered to be paid by Mr. Carson to the Counsel for the 6 defendants was supposedly paid by the Yes on Measure H committee through Carson's Counsel, Nossaman LLP, on June 21 according to the most recent 460 campaign financial statements submitted by the Yes on Measure H committee to the City on July 28 for the period ending June 30, 2022.

However, the award amount was not forwarded by Carson's Counsel to the six defendants' Counsel, Strumwasser and Woocher, until July 26, 2022 and the delays were continually attributed by Carson's Counsel to ongoing delays in receipt of the payment from the Yes on Measure H committee. Perhaps there is an honest accounting error here but these discrepancies in timing have not been explained.

________________________________________________

Alan Pryor is the Principal Officer and Treasurer of the No on Davis Innovation and Sustainable Campus Campaign Committee and one of the defending Real Parties of Interest in the lawsuit brought by Mr. Carson.


Please Donate to Help Us Stop Indiscriminate Open Pit Mining in Yolo County

Imagecdn.mightycause
Photo of Prime Farmland Set to be Destroyed by Proposed Open Pit Mine

The Sierra Club Yolano Group, together with its local partner, Yolo Land and Water Defense, is desperately trying to stop a massive new sand and gravel open-pit mining operation. This proposed project will forever destroy 300 acres of productive prime farmland just off of Cache Creek a few miles west of Woodland. Almost in the city's backyard, this huge new surface mine will leave behind a wasteland of methyl mercury contaminated impoundment ponds, no guarantees of successful farmland reclamation, potentially serious decreases in local groundwater levels, and greenhouse gas and priority pollutant emissions far greater than estimated (see below for more detailed information about the project's environmental shortcomings).

Our lawsuit challenges improper mining project approvals. Over vigorous objections about the lack of appropriate environmental protections as required under California law, this project was recently approved by the Yolo County Supervisors when they certified a defective Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and awarded lucrative 30-year sweetheart mining rights to Teichert Mining. The company is a subsidiary of a billion-dollar mining and construction behemoth. To stop this ill-advised and destructive project unless necessary protections are put in place, the Sierra Club with our partners recently sued Yolo County and Teichert Mining to rescind certification of the EIR and project approvals.

The Sierra Club and a number of members of both organizations have already made very substantial contributions, but we urgently need to raise $12,000 more to continue this lawsuit all the way through trial. Please help us force Teichert Mining to act responsibly so that our children and future Yolo County generations can enjoy unpolluted habitat, productive agricultural land, safe and reliable access to good quality water, and clean, breathable air.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation of any amount.

1) By Credit Card or Paypal - Click on the online donation link here (https://www.mightycause.com/story/Yolanogroupsc)

2) By Check - Send your check payable to Sierra Club Foundation, c/o Yolano Group, 2736 Brentwood Pl in Davis CA 95618.

Continue reading "Please Donate to Help Us Stop Indiscriminate Open Pit Mining in Yolo County" »


Kelsey Fortune Announces Her Candidacy for Davis City Council in District 1

Fortune_smaler

>>from press release<<

I am honored to announce my candidacy for Davis City Council in District 1.

I was raised in small town Wisconsin to believe everyone should play an active role in shaping their community. I moved to Davis nine years ago to pursue my PhD in economics, determined to live in accordance with my values for respect, inclusion, and sustainability. I use my bicycle as my main form of transportation and have woven close relationships with a wide variety of people through my involvement in our community. I volunteer my time as the Associate Director of Purple Tree Cafe and on the Boards of Bike Davis and Cool Davis.

Faced with a climate emergency that threatens to exacerbate already unacceptable levels of inequality and is currently degrading our environment, I believe our diverse and compassionate community is our greatest strength. I see untapped potential for progress and action in the City of Davis. The people and elected leaders who came before us laid the groundwork for a vibrant, sustainable community, and our city government and citizenry can again become an example of an equitable and effective response.

The city is also faced with an unsustainable budget, a public safety and justice system that does not best serve the people, an extreme dearth of both affordable and dedicated low-income housing, and lack of transparency, effective communication, and action from our City Council. Our children’s future depends on our ability to act now to address these problems.

That’s why I’m running for Davis City Council in District 1.

______________________________________________________

For more information, contact FortuneForDavis@gmail.com,  530-220-2001


Do NOT Change Noise Ordinance Standards nor Formulas

Recreation & Parks Commission,

I am highly concerned about the proposal to change the sound standards for the City of Davis.  My understanding from articles written by former mayor Joe Krovoza is that standards are in consideration to be changed in terms of duration, levels, and measurement of peaks.

I have aural nerve damage in one ear and so have had to, out of necessity, learn  how sound affects the human body.  Loud sounds can cause me splitting headaches emanating from the inside of the ear, severe ringing in the ears, internal ear pressure, disorientation, burning, aural misinterpretations, etc.  Sound frequency, duration, distance, peak-volume and distortion all factor into the severity of an 'event' as I have come to know them.

Though dependent on particular circumstances, in general shorter bursts of loud sounds are more damaging than longer duration of softer sounds.  That is why going with some sort of 'averaging' system would be a tragic mistake.  This would ignore the very real damage done by peak sounds.  My world-renowned ear doctor from Stanford Ear Clinic would back me up on this.  He has coached me on how to live with my condition, which is not treatable.

My ear doctor explains that there is a 'threshold' level at which the noise becomes damaging to hearing (in my case, the threshold is much lower than those with a healthy ear). The PEAK noise is almost always the problem. Therefore, changing the city noise ordinance to consider some AVERAGE measurement as the standard is not only unwise, it is INSANE.

To give an example of how unwise this is, an example everyone can understand - consider train horns.  A train horn -- at 100' in front of the horn -- ranges from 96 to 110 db.  Even at the low end this is painfully loud, and on the high end can cause ear damage in just a few seconds.  But, if you averaged the railroad noise around the tracks over a period of hours, it would show very low AVERAGE noise as over time there are few trains.  The PEAK noise is when the damage is done; AVERAGING OVER TIME would FAIL to CATCH the DAMAGING peak sounds.

While I am more bothered by sound than those with healthy hearing, ear disease is rampant and hugely under-diagnosed in this country.  There are many people with my condition and many other hearing diseases who are intolerant of various sound conditions.  This is not just about an annoyance, it is at times debilitating.

Another thing to consider is that those close to a noise source suffer from the exposure repeatedly and over time.  Those adjacent to noise sources are the people who must be considered paramount and above all else.  Let's say a nightclub with sub-woofers goes in next door to someone's house.  But ON AVERAGE less than 1% of the people in town even hear the noise.  The standard must be on how the noise effects those adjacent, not on the fact that 99% of Davis voters never hear it.  Another abominable use of 'average' exposure.

I urge the commission, the City, and the Council to retain current noise-ordinance formulas and standards, and reject any attempt to change the noise ordinance to be more allowing of harmful peak noise exposures.

Sincerely,

Alan C. Miller, District 3


Measure H versus Measure B voting patterns

What happened?  Drilling down into the data

Keep-calmBy Matt Williams

Precincts
To get to an apples to apples comparison of the results of Measure H and Measure B, one has to start with the understanding that the Yolo Elections Office reported Measure H in two consolidated precincts

… one for the western portions of Davis plus Downtown and Olive Drive (seen in light blue in the left graphic below), and

… the other for the northern, eastern and southern portions of Davis (seen in the darker blue in the left graphic below).

Back in November 2020 the reporting of Measure B came in eleven (11) consolidated precincts, which are shown in the right side of the graphic below, with the precincts that had more than 50% “Yes” votes shown in green and the precincts that had more than 50% “No” votes shown in light blue.

Side-by-side

Fortunately, the underlying precinct boundaries did not change between 2020 and 2022, so a one-to-on comparison of the two Measure H consolidated precincts can be made to their Measure B equivalents.

Continue reading "Measure H versus Measure B voting patterns" »


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


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


Opposition to Measure H from Davis's Environmental Recognition Award Recipient

Eliot Larson, Climate Strike Leader
Eliot Larson, Climate Strike Leader

Dear City Council members, Mayor Partida and other local leaders,

Last month (April of 2022) you presented me with a special environmental recognition award to which I had very mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it felt good to be recognized for the work I do as a youth climate activist but on the other hand it felt like all of you were just trying to cover up our inactions.

Today, I got a pamphlet in the mail for yes on Measure H. I wanted to be open minded and see the points that yes on H stated. As I looked over the pamphlet I was horrified to see the seemingly endless list of people who have signed onto this measure, most of whom I know; the mayor of Davis, as well as many former mayors, Dan Carson, Lucus Frerichs; the list went on. I saw only half truths and mostly lies about what this project will bring to the community.

I know a lot of people here in Davis feel very strongly about this measure and I admit that I am one of those people. I cannot stand to think of another part of our beautiful Mother Earth being paved over and hundreds of wild animals losing more of their land. We need to remember that this is not our land and we have no right to destroy it. I will not stand for more agricultural land being taken and Davis becoming an even bigger and more politicized city.

I did not want this letter to be all about measure H. No, I want it to be about how disappointed I am in the leaders of my community who claim they want to save the Earth and make Davis a more affordable and safe community. Davis will not be affordable or safe if humans build on every bit of the land they can and climate change destroys the rest.

Now, to the leaders of this community who have signed onto this destructive project, I am disappointed in you. Is that what you wanted? Did you really want a 15 year old queer kid to have fight the rest of their life for climate justice because you didn’t step up and do the right thing? You have no right to be leading this community unless you are capable of caring for its children and that includes fighting for their futures. Think about that for a moment. And maybe, if any of you have any conscience, you will reach out to me about how we can start taking steps towards a livable future.

Eliot Larson


Yolo County judge orders Councilmember Carson to pay the No on Measure H campaign $42,210 in legal fees

Justice2(From press release) In a 16-page opinion, Superior Court Judge Daniel Maguire found that Davis Councilmember Dan Carson, the honorary chairman of the Yes on H campaign, failed to prove the majority of claims he made in a lawsuit targeting the six Davis residents who signed and submitted the No on H ballot argument. The named defendants were the five No on Measure H ballot statement signers (Roberta Millstein, Juliette Beck, Michael Corbett, Stephen Wheeler, and Darell Dickey) and the No on Measure H Principal Officer and ballot statement co-author (Alan Pryor). 

This is the first time in Davis that an elected city official led a developer's campaign seeking to annex farmland into the city for a subdivision. The act of bringing this lawsuit was previously condemned in a statement made by six former Davis mayors.

Those ballot-signers "achieved the greater share of success" in the lawsuit and should have most of their legal fees paid for by Carson, Judge Maguire wrote.

The No on H campaign’s defense of their ballot arguments in the face of Carson’s challenge both protected No on H’s right to free speech and the public interest in receiving the No on H argument against the DiSC development. Judge Maguire states in his order, “Our society has a deep commitment to free speech, especially in political matters, and by defending their right to make their argument in their words, the Real Parties in Interest have also enforced an important right affecting the public interest.

"We thank Judge Maguire for his thoughtful consideration of the issues and are heartened that our grass roots campaign was vindicated and prevailed over deep-pocketed developers and politicians who tried to intimidate Davis residents with meritless litigation," said Alan Pryor, chair of the No on H campaign.

Continue reading "Yolo County judge orders Councilmember Carson to pay the No on Measure H campaign $42,210 in legal fees" »


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!!!" »


Letter: DiSC 2022 is a Trojan horse

I strongly oppose the DiSC 2022 project and there are plenty of reasons why, including the plethora of false claims by the Ramos developers.

First, the project will add 12,000 car trips daily to Mace Blvd., so it will increase traffic, not decrease it as they claim.

Second, the fiscal analysis contains absurd assumptions and inflated projections, resulting in a fairy tale fiscal “benefit”.

Third, while we are experiencing a serious drought and Davis residents will have to cut back on water use to conserve what we can, a large commercial park would significantly draw on our limited water resources.

Fourth, the DiSC housing would be expensive and appealing to I-80 highway commuters. DiSC’s 460 housing units would not alleviate housing need but, instead would create more housing demand for the 2,500 DiSC employees and increase local housing costs. Further, DiSChas no mechanism to assure that any DiSC employee would live on-site, therefore creating even more traffic. The minimal number of “affordable units” will not all be located on-site. In fact, they may not materialize since the developer can opt to pay “in lieu” fees instead. Further, this housing is not geared for family housing. Who wants to raise their kids in a commercial/research park?

Continue reading "Letter: DiSC 2022 is a Trojan horse" »


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" »


Davis LWV offers Pros and Cons on Measure H

Sitemapfordisc
This is the developer's provided "Land Plan," downloaded from the City's website here.

(From press release) One side sees new jobs, housing, and city revenue. The other sees traffic gridlock, growing demand for housing, and exaggerated economic benefits.

Davis voters will decide on June 7 whether to annex agricultural land for the Davis Innovation and Sustainability Center (DiSC 2022). This is a scaled-down version of a project defeated by Davis voters two years ago.

To help voters decide for themselves how to vote on the new proposal, the League of Women Voters Davis Area has prepared a nonpartisan Pros and Cons on Measure H.

In table form, the document provides a summary of the pro-and-con arguments on important issues: impact on city and school revenue, the environment, housing, jobs, traffic and impact on the downtown. An overview and history of the project also are provided.

The document can be viewed at bit.ly/MeasureHProCon.

More information about the Davis League — and a copy of the document — are available on the organization’s website at: lwvdavisarea.org.


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