It was with perplexed confusion that I read two editorial pieces in Sunday’s Davis Enterprise, insisting that The Cannery project include housing designs that seniors/disabled can use — specifically, small, single-story, detached homes. In fact both authors erroneously claim there are “none planned now” and ask “what is the rationale for leaving them out”?
Here are the facts:
* Single-story houses are available for purchase by seniors/disabled who want them, representing 25 percent of all homes in The Cannery. There are also stacked flats and two-story homes for those seniors who prefer a different style.
* The developer also has committed to selling 30 parcels in the development to small builders/owner-builders, for those who wish to build a home to suit their specific needs.
* The developer will ensure universal design in all its homes through its Livable Design Program, e.g., stepless entries, multiple-height work surfaces, wider hallways/stairways, with other features available to add.
* 75 percent of the homes in The Cannery feature a bedroom on the first floor, a crucial universal design feature.
* The developer also has promised all staircases in two-story homes will be reinforced to allow for installation of a chair lift.
It is for these reasons that the Davis Senior Citizens Commission unanimously approved the following motion: “The project proposal is generally consistent with the guidelines for housing that serves seniors and persons with disabilities. The proposed livable design program and builder commitment is more than sufficient in meeting the goals of the city’s guidelines for universal access.
“The project’s location, configuration and amenities appropriately meet the city objectives of providing an inclusive multigenerational approach to residential development.”
It is also important to note:
* Universal design accommodates everyone.
* Senior housing guidelines, the city’s General Plan and SACOG principles encourage infill, which is antithetical to a 200-unit seniors-only enclave of single-story homes, which is what a few are clamoring for.
* Not all seniors want a single-story detached home, within a seniors-only enclave.
Threats to unseat City Council members who refuse to demand more small, single-story detached homes in The Cannery are unjustified.
Elaine Roberts Musser