YOLO COUNTY NEWS
A Union Pacific worker installs a fence in April to keep people from walking across the railroad tracks from Olive Drive to downtown Davis. Among several other topics, the Davis City Council on Tuesday will discuss the controversial railroad track crossing issue. The city is in the process of planning an at-grade bicycle and pedestrian crossing at the train station downtown. At the same time, Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks, has made clear its intentions to build an 8-foot tall, 3,600-foot-long fence to prevent illegal crossings. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

City government

Council to tackle multiple issues Tuesday

By June 4, 2011

Housing policies, water rate increases, the train station railroad crossing and Third Street makeover are all up for discussion at the Davis City Council meeting Tuesday.

The council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers, City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

The council will have two separate talks on housing issues — one on affordable housing and the other on housing needs and types.

The city’s proposed water, sanitary sewer and sanitation rate increases also will return for the council’s formal OK to begin the noticing process, which is required by state law under Proposition 218. This law gives ratepayers the opportunity to stop the increases — household water rates are expected to nearly triple in five years — with a majority protest.

If the council initiates the process, residential and commercial property owners will get notices in the mail explaining the proposed rate hikes.

Also on the agenda is the controversial railroad crossing issue. The city is in the process of planning an at-grade bicycle and pedestrian crossing at the train station downtown. At the same time, Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the tracks, has made clear its intentions to build an 8-foot tall, 3,600-foot-long fence to prevent illegal crossings.

The fence, which will run parallel to the tracks and along Olive Drive, from Richards Boulevard to L Street, will close off direct downtown access to residents of the Olive Drive neighborhood.

In anticipation of the fence construction, the city plans to ask the California Public Utilities Commission for permission to build the crossing, as well as an emergency vehicle access route, to connect the neighborhood with the downtown.

The council also will revisit another improvement effort, the Third Street project. While excited by plans to upgrade the Third Street corridor, which connects the downtown with the UC Davis campus, the council held off on the project last month due to the estimated $5.8 million price tag.

Crystal Lee

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