DISC-2022 opponents push back another project, June 2022 schedule

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By David M. Greenwald
Executive editor

Davis, Calif .– While board member Will Arnold pointed out that planning for innovation parks in Davis began in October 2010 when city council established the Innovation Parks Task Force, opponents of the project previous laws have spoken against the new bill and its timetable.

“I guess you could argue that [the timing of] five months from now until the time when city council will have to hold a public hearing will be compressed, ”said Arnold. “I wouldn’t be okay with that. I think, in any reasonable measure of time, five months is perfectly enough for us to get what we need for this proposal. “

Public comment

But for those members of the public who opposed the first DISC project, this is once again a rush job that meets the developers’ deadlines and not the needs of the community.

Jeff Barbosa said: “I am surprised, but not shocked, that less than a year since voters rejected DISC – despite overspending from developers – we are seeing another version of this project, on which we just voted in November. “

He said one of the reasons he was rejected was “concern for negative impacts”. He said: “These concerns have not been addressed. This proposal will only increase traffic in this area and along Mace Blvd, Second Street and Alhambra. “

Finally, he said: “This processing time may be convenient for the claimant, but it is not adequate for serious consideration by commissions and the community. Necessarily rushing the schedule benefits the developer, not the city, and it could prevent further committee hearings on the critical issues at hand. “

Roberta Millstein noted that two years ago many complained about a rushed schedule and said: “Unfortunately, I see the same mistake being made.”

She said, “Again, each committee only has time to see the project once. They don’t have time to review the EIR, and I think that’s a problem. And again, that was a problem the last time around and the committees ended up rushing and having several meetings – additional meetings – to do it. “

She noted that there are “substantial changes to consider”, arguing that this is not just a smaller version of the previous proposal.

Ron Oertel said what really bothers him is that the original EIR itself “said it’s going to create more jobs than housing. And that would be true for this one too, if the ad is successful. So why are the same people concerned about housing pushing this proposal? “

Pam Gunnell said, “If the city really wants good planning, then DISC-2 is the antithesis of that. The proposed accommodation is located in the extreme northeast, the point furthest from the project from any link with the city. Why is the council even considering a proposal that would allow such extreme peripheral housing? We have a general plan based on not expanding. We have citizens who have clearly expressed their support for the filling both in terms of the environment and the future fiscal health of the city. It is crucial that the city uses existing infrastructure and does not sprawl out.

Larry Guenther said: “It is painful time and again to see the city bend its schedule and process to the will of a development seeker. Given the direction sought by the initiative, proposed by the commissioners and other community members in mid-2020, the timeline for the DISC 2.0 project outlined in the staff recommendation goes precisely in the opposite direction. He severely limits the commission’s contribution and requests this contribution before the project documents are completed. “

He added: “There always seems to be an urgency to launch big development projects for the next election. “

Alan Pryor, citing the staff report, said that “… all advisory recommendations were provided to the planning commission and city council as part of the project staff report.”

He then said: “This is a very misleading statement.”

He explained that “in fact, due to the extremely late publication date of the final EIR, many committees were forced to scramble and hold special meetings in order to submit their recommended baselines for consideration, but even after doing so, staff then declined to provide comments on the recommendations of the NRC, the Open Spaces Commission, and the Bicycles and Transportation Commission in staff reports to the Planning Commission and the Commission. advice – stating that there was not enough time for staff to analyze them or provide feedback. “

Heather Caswell said: “Our municipal government is being asked to create a special zoning provision for the existing zoning of the DISC land so that Buzz Oates, a multi-billion dollar development company, can reap huge benefits built around of this development. This billion dollar development company has no legal rights to this rezoning. Our city has no obligation to grant it.

She added: “There is no doubt that another multi-billion dollar development with the benefit of Buzz [Oates], which already manages and bills for 25 million square feet of retail space in California. She continued, “But I have to remind the public – and you, our board – that you were not elected to serve a private billion dollar development company. The question for us is whether it benefits the people of the city that you are the city officials who have sworn to serve. The answer to this question remains a resounding ‘No’.

Eileen Samitz added: “It’s hard to believe that any other version of the DISC project is making another attempt at approval.” She argued that the original intention of the developers of Ramos “was for it to be just a commercial technology park for the generation of income for the city.” But then there was the bait and switch of the developers to shoehorn into 850 homes in the middle of this industrial and commercial park. Thus, the housing component significantly decreased the net income generation of the commercial component.

She continued, “Now the Ramos developers are coming back with another bait and another switch – the project eliminating over 63% of the research desk and development lab, and also eliminating 38% of the commercial advanced manufacturing prototyping components. and product testing.

“So the public should know that this is just another masquerade from the developers, costing the city rather than the revenue it was supposed to generate. “

Colin Walsh said: “This time there is a new problem. While there are forward-thinking plans that have been responded to, staff are asking to limit the panel’s contribution to a single panel meeting and to prohibit any review by the panel’s subcommittee. To be clear, subcommittees allow [commissions] to dig deeper into the issues and come up with more solid recommendations.

He explained, “In order for us to do a thoughtful analysis, we will need to get the information from the developer. We’re going to need a subcommittee that meets, analyzes, and then brings it back to the commission as a whole.

Council decision

The board ultimately stuck to the proposed timeline, although it did allow the subcommittees to make recommendations with the commission’s comments on the RIA, all of which had to be submitted by December 31.

Public contribution after the meeting

For Colin Walsh, while this was an improvement over the staff’s proposal, it didn’t go far enough.

“Thank goodness (Will) Arnold and (Lucas) Frerichs repelled attempts by staff to limit the contribution of commissions and allow commissions to analyze the project,” Walsh told The Vanguard later. “It’s a shame the staff have so clearly devalued the work of city boards.


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