November 2009 Election/Measure P

Measure P: November 2009 Election Rejected: 75% opposed, 25% in favor
Shall Resolution No. 09-132, amending the Davis General Plan to change the land use designations for the Wildhorse Ranch property from agriculture to residential uses, as set forth in the Resolution and establishing the Base Line Project Features for development of the Wildhorse Ranch Project be approved?"
Politics: Growth Politics, Other 2009 issues: none

Yes_on_P_Logo.jpg No_on_P_Sign.jpg yes-on-P-yardsign.jpg

Measure P would have approved construction of Wildhorse Ranch. It was a direct result of Measure J and [WWW]2009 resolution 09-132 being passed. The measure was rejected by voters [WWW]9,465 to 3,201 (74.7% to 25.3%). See [WWW]the Yolo Elections website for a breakdown of results.

YES website
NO website

This development has been debated in text on [WWW] and on [WWW]

You can watch the 2009-09-18 live debate (105 minutes) videotaped by Davis Media Access [WWW]here or [WWW]here.

[WWW] also has Bill Buchanan's 30-minute (each) "in the studio" interviews of the Pro and Con sides.

Measure P was endorsed by the Sierra Club, a fact that was oft-mentioned in the "Yes on P" literature.

  1. Ballot Arguments
    1. Argument In Favor
    2. Rebuttal to Argument In Favor
    3. Argument Against
    4. Rebuttal to Argument Against
  2. Campaign propaganda

Ballot Arguments

Argument In Favor

Not every new affordable home in Wildhorse Ranch will be painted green. But each home is thoroughly green.

Measure P will bring to Davis a neighborhood of 191 affordable, environmentally responsible homes.

The neighborhood is designed to be affordable so those who work in Davis including our teachers, police and families with children can live in Davis.

Because this project will be a model for sustainable development, not just in Davis but also across the state, our area’s leading environmentalists support Measure P.

Davis can take pride in this project, like the eco-friendly Village Homes 30 years ago.

Measure P’s Wildhorse Ranch neighborhood uses environmentally responsible design and green building practices. Solar panels on every unit will provide nearly all of the project’s power, and the project will exceed by 50% the State’s goals for reducing energy use.

Wildhorse Ranch has designed its solar energy systems to reduce energy consumption to the point that fully 90% of its green house gas emissions are eliminated.
Measure P and the Wildhorse Ranch neighborhood:

This is a community plan. It is the result of a five-year collaboration between the City Council, residents who live near the site, and leaders and activists in Davis.

Davis is a great community in which to live and raise a family. Measure P and Wildhorse Ranch allow us to keep our small-town character while providing much needed affordable and environmentally responsible homes.

/s/ Tansey Thomas, Community Activist
/s/ Stan Forbes, Bookstore Owner/former Davis City
/s/ Jay Gerber, Business Owner/former President Davis
Chamber of Commerce
/s/ Pamela S. Nieberg, Environmental Activist
/s/ Ken Wagstaff, former Davis Mayor

Rebuttal to Argument In Favor

We stand behind the statements that we made in the Argument against Measure P. We’ve provided verification, documentation, and explanation at


/s/ Nora Oldwin, Attorney/Spanish Tutor
/s/ Fred Buderi, City Planner
/s/ Michelle S. Rasmussen, Registered Nurse - Sutter
Davis Hospital
/s/ Dennis J. Dingemans, Retired UCD Faculty
in Geography
/s/ Fraser Shilling, Environmental Science and Policy
Researcher at UC Davis

Argument Against

Davis Has Enough Approved Housing For Now:

This Project Will Drain City Finances:
Vote No.
/s/ Philip G. King, Chair, Economics, SFSU 2003-6
/s/ Mark Siegler, Chair, Finance and Budget
Commission, 2003 - 2006
/s/ Bob Hagedorn
Chair Planning Commission 2003
/s/ Pamela Gunnell, Former Chair, Planning Commission
/s/ Sue Greenwald, Davis City Councilmember,
Mayor 2006-2008

Rebuttal to Argument Against

Davis needs affordable housing so that people who work in Davis can live in Davis. Wildhorse Ranch is designed to yield maximum benefits to Davis workers who want environmentally-friendly housing.

There are 191 homes at Wildhorse Ranch.

The claim that 2000 units are entitled and unbuilt in Davis is misleading. 1,025 of those “units” are University on-campus student housing proposed for West Village. The 475 homes the University plans on campus are restricted solely to University employees. Of the alleged 500 units approved in the city, the only project currently moving forward is Chiles Ranch at 108 units.

The project pays for itself. According to an independent fiscal analysis and confirmed by staff, the project results in net fiscal benefi ts of approximately $4 million over the 15-year analysis period, providing a reliable annual source of funding for city services — something no other Davis project has done.

Wildhorse Ranch is the only project with 90% GHG reductions and energy savings that are a guaranteed part of the baseline features contained in Measure P that cannot be changed without voter approval.

Please join leading environmentalists, community activists, your friends and neighbors in voting for Yes on Measure P.


/s/ Mark Braly, Chair, Davis Planning Commission
/s/ Carolyn Hinshaw, Neighborhood Activist
/s/ Eric Nelson, Neighborhood Activist
/s/ Alan Pryor, Environmental Activist/Director, Yolo Clean Air
/s/ Maynard Skinner, former Davis Mayor

Campaign propaganda



(WTF does kissing babies and picture of an old barn have to do with approving a housing development?) Not to mention the red tree labeled "really green".

What do you think about Davis Measure P?

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I just got a mailer for yes on P, it's the slickest mailer I've seen since target (which I saw a TV spot for) and covell village . Nice full color photos with a theme about barn raising. If these houses are so affordable howcome me and my friends (all from Davis) can pool our money and resources and still not be even close to getting one of these homes? They claim teachers will be able to afford these $400,000 houses.

Another thing, what exactly is green about this project? Shame on the Sierra club for selling out and endorsing these, I would love to see what they used to come to the conclusion they did. —StevenDaubert

2009-10-14 22:09:27   I have yet to hear a good reason why this project shouldn't go through. It's affordable, it's green, and I think the people against it are trying to mislead the public to keep their home values high. I got into an argument with one of them at the farmer's market when she said there were 2000 homes scheduled to be built already that I could buy. Not true! Over 1000 of those "homes" are for students and faculty... not for the open public. Then she went on to say that because of this, more homes would be available for sale since those people would be taking the University housing. I don't think so. I think measure P is a great idea and I hope it passes. —Aaron.Curtin

2009-10-15 14:10:34   Aaron.Curtin—thank you for saying what needs to be said. I live in Wildhorse and have been to the meetings residents have held. The real reason, unstated to the public, has to do with people's unfounded fear of their loss of property value. This project has been negotiated, discussed, and will be a boon to Davis and the local economy. —GWHayduke

2009-10-16 22:09:53   The pro and con sides seem to be talking at crossed purposes. The Yes side is saying "This is a wonderful plan", while the No side is saying "It doesn't how good the plan is, we don't need more development." While it's true that the MOST ecological thing you can do is TO DO NOTHING, people will build homes somewhere, so perhaps the issue becomes whether we want the homes in/near Davis or want them built elsewhere. If they live in a "less green" house elsewhere, the global impact may be worse (although possibly better for Davis). If you could vote on something good for the planet, but bad for Davis, would you? Should you? —SteveDavison

2009-10-16 22:20:06   RE: Affordability: I'm not sure the developers have that much control over the matter. It's mainly market forces. Imagine they sold them for $50,000 each. They would be snapped up quickly by a few lucky people, but unless you were one of those, that wouldn't do you any good. Let's say instead, they were going to build homes worth that much: single rooms with a bathroom, a stove, space for a microwave and a refrigerator, and a couple lightbulbs. If that's what enough people want, they could get city council to allow that, and builders would build that. I doubt people want that though. —SteveDavison

2009-10-21 00:22:53   Will they meet the [WWW]Living Building Challenge? Will the buildings be [WWW]LEED Certified (at least to the lowest level)? Will they have solar PV AND solar water heating? Will they have rainwater collection systems? Will there be graywater (i.e. used shower water) reuse provisions (such as watering nearby trees)? Will there be areas for compost piles? Chicken coops? Gardens (instead of lawns)? Native drought-tolerant plants? Edible landscaping (like Village Homes)? Will they be OTG (Off-The-Grid)? Will they be plumbed with separate drinking and irrigating water supplies? Will they have sufficient skylights to make daytime lighting unnecessary? Questions to ask... —SteveDavison

2009-10-26 23:25:39   Does anybody have a copy of the latest "Chia House" three page flyer that just came in the mail? —KemblePope

2009-10-27 00:26:07   What are the prices of other houses around Davis?

I agree - $400,000 is not "affordable housing", at least not unless it is subsidized somehow. To afford a typical mortgage on a $400,000 house, while maintaining healthy finances, a family would need an income of around $160,000 per year. (This assumes that they aren't putting down a large chunk of the home value as a down payment.) That's probably not realistic for most Davis residents. Of course, someone could spend a much higher proportion of their income on housing that expensive while making less. But they would be putting themselves in financial jeopardy by doing so. —IDoNotExist

2009-11-01 14:03:10   I really don't know enough of the measure to have a strong opinion either way, because I'm just now beginning my research. I've only read what the Yes on P people say, but I don't really get it. The environmentally-friendly bits are good, but I don't see how taking over land to build more stuff is really environmentally friendly. The website says it can't be used for farming—I doubt that's true. Maybe not to make a profit, but someone could farm there, or plant trees, or something more environmentally friendly! The numbers they give are far from affordable—I say this as a student teacher who, in a few years, will begin to make less than $30,000 a year, so a $400,000 home is far from affordable. I mean, they say police officers and teachers will have more affordable houses, so how come they're not quoting any police officers or teachers endorsing the bill? They do say that there is "very low income" housing, but they don't give any numbers on who qualifies and how much they'll pay. Also, I don't see the point in paying several hundred thousand dollars for a townhome when you can get a townhome apartment for a lot more affordable prices in Davis. My last point is that they're saying there isn't enough housing in Davis. Are apartments overcrowded? Nope. There are several apartments around mine that are absolutely empty, and I swear this isn't my fault. If someone really wanted to live in Davis, they'd have places to live—and for much, much cheaper, and MUCH closer to their jobs in Davis.

My current stance is a no on Measure P. Feel free to change my mind! —KarinaSummers

2009-11-03 10:24:52   This probably should've been the featured page today, and yet we're stuck on possums. —EliYani

2009-11-03 20:51:42   Election Night update: This failed. By a lot. —JerseyCity

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