Wednesday, August 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Demolition of Third and G paused by commission

By
From page A1 | March 06, 2014 |

The Davis Planning Commission voted Wednesday night to delay demolition of a building at the corner of Third and G streets downtown.

Commissioners voted nearly unanimously to ask the property owner to prepare a better plan for the two-story structure that would replace it, with an emphasis on aesthetic improvements and the color of the building. It will take up the issue again in April.

It was a compromise move that followed clear counting of votes against approving the design of the project, setting the stage for an appeal to the City Council.

It was a night of twists and turns unusual for a commission charged with normally the last word of the design of buildings that could stick with Davis for decades.

The issue started off with members of the public concerned about the relocation of two existing businesses that will have to leave the building at 239 G St. All were extremely loyal customers at Razor’s Edge barber shop who are worried about owner Sukh Banwait’s future.

Craig Blomberg, who said he was a 35-year-resident of the city, admitted the infill proposal from the owner had merit, but said he is worried about the difficulty of placing small retail and service businesses downtown, which is fast becoming a “food court.”

“We need to watch out for what I’ll call the little guy,” Blomberg said. “I think we need to be cognizant of how we make decisions that affect their lives … and my hair.”

The joke was somewhat lost on the commission, as a handful of other supporters of the barber shop pleaded with it to force the owner to find a good home for the businesses that haven’t yet located one.

The property owner, Anthony Ruebner, a Davis-raised man who now lives in Lafayette, said he is actively searching for spaces for the two businesses.

Commission Chairman Rob Hofmann reined in the conversation with the help of Community Development & Sustainability Director Mike Webb, reminding everyone that the commission’s purview is not social and economic, but architectural.

Commissioner George Hague said even so, he felt he could still express concerns.

The plan to replace the building would turn 2,475 square feet in a tight space into 4,974 square feet on two stories, and would make the drab building both economically viable and earthquake-safe. The first story would remain available for retail-type businesses.

Yet even with the commission recalibrated for design review, the owner faced harsh criticism over the boxy modern design of the building.

“I’m absolutely shocked by this,” Commissioner Marilee Hanson said. “… I can’t believe something better than this can’t be proposed.”

Hanson said the building didn’t mesh well with neighbors, didn’t look friendly to the street and didn’t match the character of the area.

“Once this gets built, the city of Davis is stuck with it for 50 or 100 years,” she said.

Other commissioners echoed her worries, but some supported the project.

“It’s a very restrained modern design,” Commissioner Cheryl Essex said. “It’s not trying to make a statement all by itself.”

In a nod to infill, Essex also called for more two-story buildings downtown, possibly three stories.

With a motion made by Commissioner Mark Braly to approve the project, Hofmann abstaining because he represented businesses across the street from 239 G St., and Hague, Hanson and Commissioner Herman Boschken pledging no votes, the project seemed destined for what city staff said was an appeal to the City Council.

Just before a vote could be taken, Webb reminded the commission it had other options, including asking the owner to prepare a better presentation.

That hit a chord with the entire commission. Braly withdrew his motion, and the commission voted, with Hofmann abstaining, in favor of the delay.

— Reach Dave Ryan at dryan@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews

Comments

comments

.

News

Mr. Dolcini goes to Washington

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

 
Yolo grows sunflower seeds for the world

By Margaret Burns | From Page: A1 | Gallery

True Blue Devil Arnold gave back starting in high school

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Farmworkers’ son wins prestigious NIH scholarship

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Interested in Portuguese? Drop by I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Play groups offered by Center for Families

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Chat with Poppenga at coffee shop

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Give blood and get a free movie ticket

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sunder campaign distributes signs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Back-to-school party benefits Archer campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Breast cancer program examines surgery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Crisis nursery bill on governor’s desk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Global warming on group’s agenda

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
A sweet reward for turning in cash

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

Try yoga, meditation at Holistic Health Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Troops get ‘Hugs From Home’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Raley’s pays $1.6 million to settle hazardous-waste lawsuit

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Documentary reveals ‘The Village Under the Forest’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

UCD West Village gets an electric Zipcar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Little Rock hero featured at reunion

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
UCD ranks No. 16 for serving the public interest

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Wolk’s infrastructure bill clears state Senate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Obama risks alienating Latinos

By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

 
A water plan for all of California

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
MRAP sends the wrong message

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Play structure idea endorsed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Thanks for firearms info

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Buschman, Cats mute the Sounds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
New coach eager to see his Aggie charges hit the courses

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shaw respects Aggies, while is Gould happy to get a shot at Stanford

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils prep for tough 2014 volleyball schedule

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bumgarner deals as Giants blank Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Carter’s blast send Astros past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Online registration ends Friday for Labor Day Races

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Field to fork: Play catch-up with summer’s produce

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Franco M. Navazio, M.D.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6