Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Enough talk, enough debate; let’s build

By
From page A12 | November 17, 2013 | 1 Comment

The issue: Time to turn an old eyesore into a new neighborhood

The Hunt-Wesson tomato plant shut down in October 1999. That’s right, Davis has been dealing with this crumbling, derelict eyesore on the northern end of town for more than 14 years.

IN THAT TIME, we’ve had enough offers, counteroffers, visioning meetings, EIR scopings and community forums to satisfy the most ardent enthusiast of the small-town civic process. One contractor has come and gone, seeing no way through the City Council’s shifting priorities. But the landowner, ConAgra, kept pushing its Cannery project, knowing that Davis needs more housing and that it held the largest remaining parcel inside city limits.

To be sure, the city has driven a hard bargain. Our leaders insisted on unprecedented sustainability, diverse housing and accessibility. Senior groups wanted somewhere to age in place. Bicycle enthusiasts sought integration with the existing two-wheeled infrastructure. And, to its credit, ConAgra and its contractor, The New Home Company, stepped up. The project will include detached homes, lofts, bungalows and flats. Under an agreement with the group Choices for Healthy Aging, single-story detached homes will be an option in three of the project’s neighborhoods.

On the sustainability front, each home will be built to energy efficiency standards 40 percent greener than the state mandate. The single-family homes will have a photovoltaic solar system and wiring to charge an electric car. Every unit will be built within 300 feet of the greenbelts linking the neighborhoods with the mixed-use retail and business space at the southern end.

Not only is 30 percent of the land devoted to parks and open space, but the project also includes an “urban farm.” Run by the Center for Land-Based Learning, this 7-acre space will train future farmers in sustainable practices and provide seasonal produce to residents and businesses in the market area.

ON THE MOST contentious issue — transportation — the builders are pledging $11 million in improvements along Covell Boulevard. The Covell-J Street intersection, the main entry point to the area, will get a facelift, and two grade-separated crossings will allow bicycle access across Covell.

If ConAgra can obtain an easement through the Cranbrook Apartments, a connection to H Street behind the Davis Little League complex will seamlessly link residents with Community Park, North Davis Elementary and Davis High School. Within The Cannery, car-sharing spaces, bike-repair stations and e-vehicle charging stations will help promote a less-congested lifestyle.

The latest issue is the fate of some 300 trees on the property. While the developers should make every effort to preserve the vibrant, healthy trees, the ones in  “poor” to “fair” condition will do little to enhance the neighborhoods, especially five or 10 years down the road.

THE TRUTH IS that Davis needs this project. Its 547 units would go a long way toward satisfying Davis’ fair-share housing requirements (we need to build 1,000 units by 2021). Our growth-challenged school district could definitely use the extra kids who will be growing up there, and those folks who work in Davis but find it too expensive to live here will have more options.

In the long interval since the plant was a healthy part of the Davis economy, it has occasionally served as the site of fundraising carnivals. Otherwise, the ride has been slow and excruciating.

On Tuesday, the City Council is expected to vote on the zoning change that will allow the project to go forward, as well as the final development agreement that provides all the benefits listed above. For the good of the community, the council must end the 14 long years of debate and start Davis toward a greener, brighter future.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich RifkinNovember 15, 2013 - 10:30 pm

    "On Tuesday, the City Council is expected to vote on the zoning change that will allow the project to go forward, as well as the final development agreement that provides all the benefits listed above." ....... I've listened to the questions and comments of the five members of the City Council, trying to sense which way, pro or con, each will vote on this project. I don't have great confidence that I know their votes one way or the other. However, based on what appear to me to be small hints, my guess is that there are two likely yes votes (Frerichs and Swanson) and two likely no votes (Krovoza and Wolk). I have no read at all on Brett Lee yet. I'm not sure he has made up his mind. But Brett seems likely to be the swing vote, making it pass 3-2 or fail 3-2. ........ One possible out would be that the Council approves The Cannery with the condition that it must then go before the public in a referendum. That is more-less what happened when a previous Council approved the Target proposal, but sent it on to the public for a vote. ........ So if my read on the 2-2 tie of all but Brett is correct, I could imagine Councilman Lee joining the yes vote in order to send it back to the voters of Davis (who then, in all likelihood, will reject it).

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6