Local News

City awarded grant money for Nishi project

By From page A3 | June 06, 2014

Looks like the state is going to pay for part of Davis’ latest business-boosting venture.

A state committee charged with helping infill projects decided this week to award the city of Davis $600,000 to conduct studies of the 44-acre Nishi property.

The money will pay for environmental and feasibility studies needed to give developers and voters more information about as-yet-unfinished development plans.

The property — sandwiched between Interstate 80 and UC Davis, just west of downtown — is owned by a group of local developers who formed a limited liability corporation. Tim Ruff is the managing owner.

The land is in Yolo County outside the city limits, but a collaboration involving the city, the county, the owners and — in the case of the grant, the Sacramento Area Council of Governments — is helping to move the development process along.

In three versions of the development — ideas being considered at this point that were shown to the public at meetings last week — the proposal would have some mix of tech business space, open space, high-density housing, bike paths and pedestrian paths. A sprinkling of service-commercial space also might be added. Davis voters would have to approve the eventual plans in a Measure R vote.

The overarching idea is to provide space for companies spun off from UCD, and build homes for their employees, in close proximity to the campus and downtown.

While the Nishi property may not meet some strict definitions of infill, Davis community development administrator Katherine Hess explained that it does meet the criteria of the state and is considered infill at City Hall.

“We consider Nishi to be infill because it’s between the city and the campus,” she said, adding that the neighborhood is urban, not agricultural, and none of the adjacent properties are agriculture.

Hess said at least 30 other applicants were chosen out of 66 total to get state funding. However, Davis’ application scored the highest, 97 out of 100, according to the California Strategic Growth Council, the committee in charge of the grant.

In coming days, the city will collaborate with another state bureaucracy, the Department of Conservation, to negotiate a contract in order to receive the money.

— Reach Dave Ryan at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews




Dave Ryan

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