Thursday, August 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Council green-lights Cannery on split vote

The cannery aerialW

ConAgra and The New Home Company have received approval to build 547 units of housing — plus a small office/business park, an urban farm, several parks and greenbelts — on 100 acres north of Covell Boulevard and east of F Street. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | November 20, 2013 |

Meet your new neighbor.

The City Council approved the entitlements for The Cannery project on a 3-2 vote early this morning, clearing the way for construction of a brand-new residential neighborhood in North Davis.

Mayor Joe Krovoza, still not content with the state of bicycle connectivity at the southwest corner of the property, and Councilman Brett Lee, who doesn’t believe the project offers enough to existing residents in Davis, each dissented on the vote.

Described as a multigenerational housing development, The Cannery, once it’s built, will feature 547 units of low-, medium- and high-density housing; 15 acres of business park/commercial and office space; parks and greenbelts; a community center; and a working urban farm, among other design features.

The diversity of the housing choices and the multitude of features within the neighborhood seem to have struck the right chord with Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, who made the motion to approve the project after about a half-hour of mostly pro-approval public comment.

“Approving this project will not only provide (many) benefits, but I think it sends a message to the region, because I think it will do nothing less than establish Davis as a leader in smart, innovative, sustainable growth,” Wolk said. “And that’s exactly the direction that our region needs to head in.”

Home construction likely won’t begin for at least a year and a half, after all the necessary below-ground infrastructure has been installed, including sewers, drainage and other utilities.

To move the project forward Tuesday, the council had to approve the development agreement, which spells out all the community enhancements promised by the developer; the final environmental impact report; and a rezoning of the 100-acre parcel from industrial use to planned development, which will accommodate residential use there.

The project site, essentially the last large chunk of undeveloped land in Davis, sits just north of East Covell Boulevard and east of F Street.

Those looking for unanimous, or near-unanimous support for the proposal from the council, meanwhile, can blame the connectivity issues in part.

The mayor, who’s been the most outspoken on the council about ensuring sufficient bicycle connectivity to and from the project site, has long held concerns about the southwest corner of the property.

Krovoza proposed amendments to the development agreement Tuesday that he believes provide more assurances that an acceptable grade-separated crossing — including the option that would filter bicyclists down to the H Street tunnel — eventually would be built on the southwest corner of the site.

“As I look at the mix of funding and see $1 million (for the southwest grade-separated crossing), that may be enough,” Krovoza said. “But it’s not clear to me that it really is, if that is going to be the cornerstone bike/ped connection for all of the houses, all the people living there, who are heading down to the southwest of town for all the amenities that are there.”

But the mayor could not convince any of his council colleagues to work through the details of his proposal, which would have dedicated more money to the bicycle connection at the southwest corner of the property, among other things.

Lee said in his remarks that he believes The Cannery proposal is a good one, but not a great one. His decision seemed to be based on whether this project would benefit the city in the long run, and he said he simply never was entirely satisfied.

“It’s not because I don’t believe that the project has some benefits,” Lee said. “And it’s also, again, as I stated before, it looks like it would be a pleasant place for people to live, (but) I’m going to be voting no just to remind people that we were very close to the great.”

Councilman Lucas Frerichs, however, listed a number of reasons why he believed the council should support the project: It’s infill development; the neighborhood would inject more students into a school system in need of more bodies in classrooms; and the developer, The New Home Company, and landowner, ConAgra Foods Inc., have furnished the site with features that will cater to many of the community’s interests.

Residents asked for more sustainable, low-impact homes, and The New Home Company committed a significant solar power component to much of the housing.

The senior housing advocacy group, Choices for Healthy Aging, asked for more single-story houses, and New Home promised just last week single-story options in three of the neighborhoods within the project.

The list goes on.

“I’m not willing to let perfect be the enemy of the good,” Frerichs said. “We should show our support for smart growth by approving this innovative mixed-use project on the long-dormant Cannery site.”

Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson added that she believes this development demonstrates that the private sector can accomplish what UC Davis did with West Village, for example, with public funds.

“I remember telling (George Phillips, spokesperson for ConAgra), please don’t just add window dressing, make it really amazing, and it is,” Swanson said. “It is a demonstration project and I do stand by the comment that it’s the blueprint for the blueprint and it’s exciting to see it come to fruition.”

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

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

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

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Marcy finds her place in the DHS Hall of Fame

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Learn about Girl Scouting at meeting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Low-income Davis homeowners can save money and go green

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Prospective foster parents welcome

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis Media Access: Get involved in community media

    By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: A4

     
    ‘Art of Acting’ offered at Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tai chi classes set at Davis Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Do you have a project for the noon Rotary club?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Stroll Through History highlights Beamer Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    All are welcome at monthly sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Hosts sought to befriend international visitors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Perfectly good playground?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Work on gun control instead

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Military has too much money

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Put flowers in our hair

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Give cops the ability to protect

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Don’t let MRAP be a tool for bigger mistakes

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Yes, mother’s milk is best

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Gould, Shaw won’t dwell on it, but Biggs remembers The Upset

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    No. 8 keeps Republic unbeaten streak at 8

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS boys look to win seventh soccer section title

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    New attitude, new stadium for 2014 UCD field hockey

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggie men ranked 11th in water polo poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Dunning picks Cupcake Week

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Youth roundup: Judges like what they see from Davis Diamonds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Baseball roundup: Huge inning helps Cats in Nashville

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Local teacher and artist turns 100

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    100 years’ worth of stories

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

     
    Ethereal dream pop to illuminate Sophia’s Thai Kitchen

    By Anthony Siino | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Outdoor art classes to close out summer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Well-known artist will be juror for exhibition

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, August 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6