Planning committees address Davis housing crisis
On Nov. 20, the City of Davis’ Social Services Commission came together for its monthly meeting in the Community Chambers at City Hall. Among other issues, the commission discussed the proposed West Davis Active Adult Community and listened to a presentation from David Thompson, a co-principal of Neighborhood Partners, LLC, concerning the Affordable Housing component attached to the project. This meeting continues a series of discussions about the project carried out by concerned citizens, potential residents and community developers that began earlier this year. According to the proposal, 150 of the apartments built for the community will be dedicated to housing seniors who need affordable housing, both in and around Davis.
“We want to make these viable for those who are between 30 to 60 percent of the median annual income in Davis, so let us say $8,000 to $20,000-plus would be eligible,” said David Thompson, who is developing the affordable housing component. “Basically, 71 acres is a series of different forms of market-rate housing. But the remainder of the site, four acres, will be for sale to people 55 and above.”
According to Thompson, the waiting list for senior affordable housing on Eleanor Roosevelt Circle is over 200 applications long. The list grows to over 400 applications when all of the retirement communities in Davis are considered. The project would be built on the empty field situated between the Sutter Davis Hospital and the University Retirement Community on West Covell and Shasta boulevards.
The Social Services Commission still had several recommendations for the proposal, including ensuring that the seniors in the affordable housing area would be comfortably integrated with the rest of the Active Adult Community. The commission also advised creating a sliding scale fee for occupants to take part in the homeowners’ amenities provided to the rest of the community, such as the proposed community center.
“The housing issue is definitely an issue that our city council is paying a lot of attention to and is looking for appropriate ways to address it,” said Kelly Stachowicz, the assistant city manager. “The rent will be identified and collected separately, and that’s income-based. […] They [the Social Services Commission] don’t want to single out the residents of the affordable housing project — they want them to be as integrated as possible.”
Stachowicz noted that the proposal will continue to be modified as it makes its way up to the planning committee, which will give additional recommendations to the city council. The city council will review the proposal and recommendations and then vote on whether or not to place the proposal on a ballot. Because the community is proposed to be built outside of the Davis city limits, the ultimate decision comes from Davis residents, who will vote on whether or not the developers should undertake the project.
“This is a great location, and I don’t think we’re ever going to get another opportunity like this,” said realtor and developer Dave Taormino, who is devoting four acres of the entire 75- acre adult community to the affordable senior housing, in the Social Services Commission meeting. “Davis seniors […] and residents are facing problems with housing […] This can help deal with some of those issues.”
According to Stachowicz, the proposal is scheduled to come before the Planning Commission in March or April of 2018. Thompson noted that the project, at its earliest, could be completed by 2022.
Written by: Ahash Francis — firstname.lastname@example.org