The Davis City Council will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers at 23 Russell Blvd. The following are brief descriptions of selected topics that will be discussed at the meeting. The full agenda can be viewed online at cityofdavis.org/meetings.
Lewis Planned Communities, the owner of the roughly 100 acre property on Covell Boulevard, is attempting to get approval for a mixed-use development at the site. The plans have already been presented at a number of public meetings, including the Planning Commission. Now it is time for City Council input.
In a report to be presented Tuesday night, city manager Bill Emlen laid out the key questions and issues the council will have to address in order for the project to proceed.
The primary issue is whether the city should consider changing the plan for that area from a business park to a mixed-use residential, which is what Lewis Planned Communities is proposing.
The land has been zoned as a business park site since the 1950s, but the surrounding area has changed dramatically since then, the report said. The site is one of the last large undeveloped areas within the city limits, and traditionally the plan has been to locate office space for high-tech industrial employers. The need for jobs in the city is discussed frequently at City Council meetings.
City staff is making a number of recommendations on how to proceed with the project:
First, change the current zoning and land use designation to mixed use, since there is not enough information at this time to find that the site should remain in the business park category.
Second, find that there are enough questions to merit a comprehensive review of the impacts of different options for the site. This would include an analysis of the current Lewis proposal as well as a look at a business park.
The strategy for the review would include outreach to community members and UC Davis representatives. It would also include asking Lewis to present a business park proposal for the site for comparison. Additionally, an environmental impact report would be commissioned for both the mixed-use residential and the business park plans.
Downtown business tax
The Downtown Davis Business Association is allowed to levy a tax on businesses that operate downtown, but the tax must be approved by the City Council every year as part of a state-mandated public approval process. The funds from the tax can be used for public events, improving parking facilities, furnishing music and decorating public places, according to a staff report.
Three downtown business owners wrote letters opposing an increase in the tax, saying they did not derive any benefit from it.
Integrated pest management policy
The city’s Public Works department developed an integrated pest management plan in 2005, with the goal of reducing the city’s reliance on chemical controls for dealing with pests and weeds while not exceeding each department’s budgetary constraints. The plan also included a focus on maintaining relationships between the public, city departments and regulatory agencies.
An integrated pest management specialist was hired in 2007, and an updated policy is now being developed.
JEREMY OGUL can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.