Argument Against Measure L

West Davis Active Adult Community consists of identical rows of expensive detached, single-story homes on very large lots. This Sun City-like senior project is the antithesis of modern urban planning and is the worst example of suburban sprawl proposed in Davis in over 25 years.

Irresponsible Planning – West Davis Active Adult Community does not meet the City’s own “Guidelines for Housing that Serves Seniors and People with Disabilities” in the areas of Transportation and Location and has no Independent Market Studyto determine true community need for this type housing. Nor does it meet the Sacramento Area Council of Government’s (SACOG) seven Principles of Smart Growth.

No Community Planning – This proposal opens up the entire northwest quadrant of the city for piecemeal development without ANY discussion of community needs or vision. A Specific Master Plan for the entire area must be prepared before any development occurs.

Massive Developer Giveaways and Subsidies – The City has reduced the normal development fees for the project by over 40% costing the City over $3.3 million. And the City may also lose $150,000+ every year after build-out because the full costs of providing services exceed the property taxes received.

No Guarantee that the Required Low-Income Housing will ever be Built
– West Davis Active Adult Community will not build ANY low-income housing itself like every other major development in Davis has done in recent years. Instead, the developer is donating less than 10% of the total project land on which low-income housing MAY be built – but only IF another non-profit can raise the millions of grant monies needed for construction. In this time of shrinking government budgets, there is no assurance these funds will EVER be available to build this required low-income housing.

This ill-advised project is driven by developer profits and should be rejected by the voters and sent back for revision to reflect true community values and needs.

Please Vote No on Measure L.

Alan Pryor, Commissioner, Natural Resources Commission
Pam Nieberg, Former Co-Chair, Yes on Measure O (City of Davis Open Space Ordinance)
Nancy Price, Former Commissioner, City of Davis Planning Commission
Steve Tracy, Former Manager, Long Range Transportation Planning Team, Co of Sacramento
Todd Edelman, Commissioner, Bicycling, Transportation, and Street Safety Commission

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Measure L

A community is enriched and made resilient by the diversity of its citizens. Regionally, Davis has been the least racially diverse city for many decades. Our population is also the “oldest” and the most “wealthy” in terms of income but the City has very limited affordable housing for working families.

West Davis Active Adult Community exacerbates ALL of these demographic imbalances in Davis. By limiting almost all home purchases in perpetuity to seniors, the project will continue to rob the City of the vitality of young families. Because almost all of the new homes will be classic sprawl on large lots, the resultant high prices will exclude purchase by working families and seniors of modest means.

Most worrisome, however, is the developer’s “Taking Care of Our Own - Davis-Based Buyers Program”. This exclusionary program requires 90% of West Davis Active Adult Community buyers to have a preexisting “relationship” with Davis by already living here, having a family member here, working here, or having attended Davis schools; among other criteria.

The developer justifies this discrimination by claiming they are only favoring seniors as allowed under current housing law. However, while laws do allow senior-only projects, they expressly prohibit exclusion of unaffiliated “outsiders” such as required by the “Davis-Based Buyers Program”.

West Davis Active Adult Community will clearly perpetuate the racial, age, and economic disparities in Davis and deny ownership opportunities to other racially diverse, younger, and less wealthy groups not currently well-represented in Davis.

Please embrace inclusivity and diversity and reject this discriminatory housing project.

Please vote No on Measure L


Don Price, Emeritus Professor of History, University of California Davis
Marilee Henson, Former Commissioner - City of Davis Planning Commission
Juliette Beck, Environmental and Social Justice Activist
Rik Keller, City Planning Consultant
Carol Warren, Environmental Legislative Advocate