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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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City Council to hear updates on Cannery, parking

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From page A1 | October 09, 2012 | Leave Comment

The City Council will receive updates on four hot-button topics in the community at its meeting Tuesday, including the Cannery Park project, downtown parking, economic development and the Fifth Street redesign, also known as the “road diet.”

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers of City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. It will be streamed live at www.cityofdavis.org/media and can be seen on Comcast Channel 16.

The Cannery: Since the council last heard an update in February about The Cannery, the last large piece of undeveloped land in Davis, project applicant ConAgra has slightly altered its plan. The property at Covell Boulevard and J Street is slated to be a planned community that will feature a mix of residential and commercial uses and green space. The development sits on a 100-acre site where the old Hunt-Wesson tomato cannery used to operate.

The council will hear about the changes to the plan Tuesday. Among them: ConAgra project leaders have drawn a more “traditional” grid street system into the neighborhood’s blueprints. They’ve also stretched the park in the middle of the parcel into two smaller spaces that extend farther north on the site, and have increased the percentage of lots that will have north-south orientation.

Broken down, the overall site will feature:

* 16.1 acres, or 87 units, of low-density residential housing;
* 27.3 acres, or 212 units, of medium-density residential housing;
* 10.9 acres, or 218 units, of high-density residential housing;
* 15.1 acres, or 24 units, of mixed uses, including approximately 110,000 square feet of commercial space; and
* 28.7 acres of either parks, neighborhood greenbelts, a private clubhouse or open space.

The city staff members working with ConAgra planners believe the draft environmental report for the project will be released within the next month, which then will be available for 45 days of public review.

Following the public comment period, the draft EIR will go to several city commissions for input. The city anticipates the final EIR will be released in January with the hope that the project will go before the City Council for approval in April.

Downtown parking: The council directed city staff last September to look at implementing a series of parking improvement strategies for the downtown, hoping to remedy what some would call one of Davis’ biggest problems for downtown businesses.

Since then, staff has looked at a “wayfinding” program to guide drivers to parking spaces and visitors to their destinations, evaluated the Core Area’s two-hour parking spots and considered further design of a parking structure on the block bounded by Third, Fourth, E and F streets, among other initiatives.

The council will hear the status of those efforts Tuesday.

Ken Hiatt, the city’s community development and sustainability director, also will ask the council to consider forming an ad hoc task force to advise the city on parking issues.

Hiatt suggests a group of no more than 11 members that would include a cross-section of downtown business interests and residents citywide.

Economic development: From an Arts and Entertainment District to a new downtown hotel and conference center, from a community visioning process to a mixed-use innovation district, the council will hear the over-arching state of economic development in Davis.

Over the past year, city staff members have collaborated with a who’s who of business groups and other local stakeholders on numerous projects and plans to stir up the local economy.

A 37-page report that will be presented to the City Council details the status and the next steps for all of the efforts that have been put forward. It can be found in the packet on the city’s website under the City Council meeting page.

Fifth Street: In response to Councilman Brett Lee’s concerns about pedestrian safety on the redesigned Fifth Street between A and L streets, city staff has assessed its options for widening the medians and will present them Tuesday.

If the council chooses to widen the medians, the city’s interim public works director, Bob Clarke, will recommend a 4-foot-wide striped median (originally 1 1/2 to 2 feet) with 7-foot bike lanes and 11-foot travel lanes separated by a 1-foot-wide white stripe, and 10-foot turn lanes.

Clarke also will recommend retention of a flashing light signaling a pedestrian crossing.

The overall project will reduce a traffic lane and add bike lanes in both directions. Construction of the project is set to begin next summer.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8057. Follow him on Twitter @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
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