Pro-Covell Village FAQ

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This text is originally from [WWW]YesOnXSmartPlanning.com, and this thus biased as Pro-Covell Village. It was kept on the wiki with the understanding that it would be easier to respond and discuss these common campaign claims here.

Covell Village, Pro Measure X FAQs:

  1. Covell Village, Pro Measure X FAQs:
    1. Where did this FAQ come from?
    2. What does the new agreement between the City and County mean?
    3. How will Measure X help schools?
    4. What's the difference between the schools agreement in Measure X and past agreements with other developers?
    5. What will Measure X do for Mace Ranch School?
    6. What makes Covell Village a "solar" development?
    7. Will Covell Village be bad for regional air quality?
    8. Will Measure X preserve any farmland?
    9. Will Measure X preserve any wildlife habitat?
    10. Does Measure X add bike paths to Davis?
    11. Does Measure X add any parks to Davis?
    12. Who will maintain the parks in Covell Village?
    13. Will Measure X do anything for parks outside of Covell Village?
    14. Will Measure X guarantee lower-income housing?
    15. Will there be any housing close to the Village Center?
    16. Will Covell Village provide any opportunities for co-housing?
    17. Is there any mutual housing in Covell Village?
    18. Is there any housing available for people with moderate incomes in Covell Village?
    19. Will Covell Village have any middle-income housing?
    20. Is there senior housing in Covell Village?
    21. How many market rate homes are in Covell Village? How big will they be?
    22. How will the City determine future resale prices of the low- and middle-income housing?
    23. Who will qualify for affordable housing in Covell Village?
    24. Will Measure X have an adverse effect on the City's budget?
    25. Will Covell Village cause the value of my home in Davis to decrease?
    26. Is Measure X doing anything to improve public safety?
    27. How fast will Covell Village be built?
    28. Will Covell Village overburden our sewage system?
    29. Will Davis have to upgrade our wastewater treatment plant because of Covell Village?
    30. Who are the developers of Covell Village?
    31. What are the Covell Village developers doing about traffic?
    32. Will Measure X do anything to divert traffic around Davis?
    33. Is Measure X doing anything to reduce automobile dependence?

Where did this FAQ come from?

[WWW]YesOnXSmartPlanning.com is the original source. Feel free to debate and question these assertions.

What does the new agreement between the City and County mean?

New benefits recently added by an agreement between the City and the County will further improve the City's fiscal health. Now, instead of 15.33%, the city will get 17.48% of all Covell Village property taxes. According to City Councilmember Don Saylor, the City can expect to see a residual of about $3.6 million over 15 years.

The agreement also requires the Covell Village partners to donate up to $500,000 of matching funds for the South Davis Library, a 7,000 square foot site for a mental health group home in the Village Center, and a Village Center site to Davis Community Television, suitable for the construction of a two-story, 10,000 square foot Media Center.

How will Measure X help schools?

Measure X guarantees over $60 million in benefits for public schools all over Davis.

Measure X guarantees that the Covell Village partners will donate to the school district $1 million and ten acres of land, in a prime location. At the present time, the school district is anticipating that the site may be needed for a Davis High School satellite campus.

Measure X also guarantees that the Covell Village partners will purchase the district-owned parcel of land in Wildhorse, Nugget Soccer Fields, for $4.2 million, and then donate the fields to the City for permanent recreational use. Under the agreement, sports groups will continue to take care of field maintenance.

The school district projects that new revenues from Community Facilities Districts will total $59,286,000.

What's the difference between the schools agreement in Measure X and past agreements with other developers?

In agreements with the developers of Mace Ranch and Wildhorse, benefits granted to the school district were above the state minimum, but according to former school board member Jan Bridge, "probably provided less than one-third of the capital or facility costs for the students who now reside within those developments."

In contrast, contributions by the Covell Village partners — plus future taxes and fees generated by Covell Village — will pay for 100% of the facilities and programs for the children who will reside in Covell Village.

"This is the best deal that the school district has ever negotiated with any developer," said school board member Marty West. "It sets a new standard."

What will Measure X do for Mace Ranch School?

Covell Village will provide a slow, steady influx of new elementary school students that will counteract declining citywide enrollment. This influx will accelerate the eventual full operation of Korematsu Elementary School in Mace Ranch.

What makes Covell Village a "solar" development?

Covell Village will embrace passive solar technology, which uses no fossil fuels and makes homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Mike Corbett has designed the neighborhood so that many homes will have increased south-facing glass areas; energy-efficient design; a layout that takes advantage of sunlight for heating; and efficient cooling using Delta breezes at night.

According to solar-energy expert Tobin Booth, Covell Village will generate at least twice as much solar electricity as any solar neighborhood in the nation existing today, doubling the previous record for solar-powered homes.

There will be a minimum one-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system on every single-family home in Covell Village to provide electric power to residents.

Power generated by photovoltaic panels will supply each single-family home with an average of 30% of the electricity it requires. Homeowners will have the option of adding more photovoltaic panels to their home, so the percentage will be higher than 30% in some cases; owners of affordable units will be able to add additional panels that won't count against the home price limits.

The total solar energy production at Covell Village will be at least 2.04 million kilowatt hours annually. Every year, it would take 4,278,000 pounds of coal to produce that much power.

Will Covell Village be bad for regional air quality?

No. The solar technology in Covell Village will be good for regional air quality. Covell Village will prevent 4,581,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere annually; over the 25-year life of the solar panels, up to 115,561,000 pounds of dioxide will be prevented from entering the atmosphere.

Will Measure X preserve any farmland?

Yes. Measure X requires the Covell Village partners to permanently preserve 776 acres of farmland adjacent to Davis. This buffer will permanently prevent future development on that property. The farmland buffer will be twice the size of the developed area, and 82 acres of it will be donated to the City for lease to organic farmers.

Will Measure X preserve any wildlife habitat?

Yes. Measure X guarantees that a 26-acre nature corridor, accessible to pedestrians, will stretch from one end of Covell Village to the other.

Measure X also guarantees that habitat areas will surround the north side of the neighborhood. The Wildhorse "savannah corridor" will be extended westward, adjacent to Covell Village, to provide a home to native species such as burrowing owls. As part of the buffer, a 124-acre wetland habitat is planned along the northern border of the neighborhood, similar to the Northstar ponds, but almost ten times larger.

"The Covell Village habitat will be the largest urban wetlands in the region," said Davis City Councilmember Stephen Souza. The wetlands will also provide flood protection for North Davis.

Does Measure X add bike paths to Davis?

Yes. Covell Village is designed to be a bike-friendly neighborhood. The Covell Village partners are constructing eight miles of new bike paths and lanes and nine bike undercrossings that will connect Covell Village to surrounding neighborhoods and provide safe off-street bike routes within the neighborhood. These routes and the 16 acres of greenbelts will provide the missing link to the North Davis bike path system.

Does Measure X add any parks to Davis?

Yes. Measure X guarantees that Covell Village will feature green spaces including 12 acres of mini-parks; a village green, four acres of "linear greens" (long, narrow parks); and an 11-acre central park that's over twice the size of Central Park in downtown Davis.

Who will maintain the parks in Covell Village?

Parks in Covell Village will be created at the same time as each new phase of the neighborhood, and they will be maintained by the developers for over five years.

Will Measure X do anything for parks outside of Covell Village?

Yes. Measure X will benefit parks and recreational facilities everywhere in Davis. The developers are required to provide $27 million that can be used for amenities like parks and pools all over the city. They are also required to spend an additional $750,000 for the Walnut Park pool and $250,000 for the new Howatt Ranch athletic fields.

Will Measure X guarantee lower-income housing?

Yes. Most of the 286 multifamily units will be adjacent to the Village Center and near regional and local bus stops. They are planned next to a small park, and front doors will face the street or park in New Urbanist style. Of these units, 21 units will be occupied by lower-income YCCC clients, and 53 will house lower-income residents, including lower-income students.

Will there be any housing close to the Village Center?

Yes. 50 one- and two-bedroom apartment lofts will be built above offices and retail in the Village Center. 34 live-work units will be nestled in or next to the Village Center. These units allow a person to have their business on the ground floor and live above or rent to an employee or other person.

Will Covell Village provide any opportunities for co-housing?

Yes. 30 co-housing units, near the Village Center, will be similar to Muir Commons in Davis. The Covell Village partners have worked closely with co-housing advocates to include this type of affordable housing in the neighborhood. Individual townhouses will be clustered around a commons with communal facilities for dining and recreation.

Is there any mutual housing in Covell Village?

Yes. 170 units for low- to moderate-income families will be composed of mutual housing and cooperatives. These units are high density, and adjacent to the Village Center and bus stops.

Is there any housing available for people with moderate incomes in Covell Village?

Yes. 144 moderate-income townhouses will range in price from $198,000 to $310,000.

Will Covell Village have any middle-income housing?

Yes. 400 units of middle-income housing, with 85 for seniors, will be divided into four cost tiers and distributed throughout Covell Village.

Is there senior housing in Covell Village?

Yes. 150 small senior lots will be market rate, but will have mostly one-story houses. The units are very close to the Village Center and bus stops.

How many market rate homes are in Covell Village? How big will they be?

600 lots will be available at market rates. Smaller lots, at 4,000 square feet, would have some bungalow-style homes. The larger lots will average 5,400 square feet, similar to lot sizes in downtown Davis.

How will the City determine future resale prices of the low- and middle-income housing?

Future resale prices of the low and middle-income housing units are moderated by City ordinance and the Development Agreement. Low- to moderate-income home prices will be allowed to appreciate 3.75%; middle-income, five per cent.

Who will qualify for affordable housing in Covell Village?

Under the provisions of the City's affordable housing programs, preference will be given to households with a local employee, persons with disabilities, and seniors.

Will Measure X have an adverse effect on the City's budget?

No. The independent budget analysis by the City of Davis concluded that under a conservative analysis, Covell Village will have a revenue-neutral effect on the City's operating budget. In other words, after contributions from the taxpayers who will reside in Covell Village are factored in, the project will pay for itself.

Although Covell Village will be revenue-neutral, when contributions from the development agreement and fees are added in, Covell Village will actually bring in as much as an extra $50,775,000 to the City.

Will Covell Village cause the value of my home in Davis to decrease?

That is unlikely. Historically, well-planned neighborhoods enhance property values in surrounding neighborhoods. Covell Village is expected to have a positive effect on home values in existing Davis neighborhoods. Four main factors will contribute to the positive effect: quality public schools, public safety, slow phasing, and amenities.

Is Measure X doing anything to improve public safety?

Yes. Measure X guarantees that the Covell Village partners will improve public safety in Davis by donating a new fire station to the City and providing $14.2 million for City services such as fire and police operations. The new fire station will bring thousands of current Davis residents into the five-minute response zone.

How fast will Covell Village be built?

Very slowly. The design for Covell Village ensures that it will be built slowly over time, phased in at a rate well under the City's 1% policy.

Over a period of 22 years, even though Davis has grown at an average of 452 housing units per year, home values have increased fivefold. Covell Village will be built at a rate of a maximum of 183 housing units per year over ten years, ensuring stability in the housing market — and protecting Davis home values.

Will Covell Village overburden our sewage system?

No. According to City Engineer Pat Fitzsimmons, Davis' wastewater treatment plant has the capacity to accommodate Covell Village. Fitzsimmons estimates that even after Covell Village is completely occupied, the plant will still have capacity for the wastewater generated by an additional 8,000 people.

"The long and short of it is there is the capacity for Covell Village and there is capacity for the General Plan build-out, and then some," said Fitzsimmons.

Davis' plant capacity is 7.5 million gallons per day, and today the city generates 6.25 million gallons per day. Covell Village will add only .46 million gallons per day upon completion, leaving capacity for .79 million gallons per day.

Will Davis have to upgrade our wastewater treatment plant because of Covell Village?

No. The planned upgrade of the City's wastewater treatment plant to meet stricter state and federal water quality standards is totally unrelated to the development of Covell Village; this upgrade must be undertaken whether Covell Village is built or not.

Covell Village will reduce the tax burden for the upgrade, because Covell Village taxpayers will pay the portion of the costs they were slated to contribute when the plant was originally planned.

Who are the developers of Covell Village?

The developers of Covell Village have deep roots in the community. Mike Corbett is the designer. Corbett is a world leader in the field of environmental design. Time Magazine named him a "Hero of the Planet" in 1999. He first won international acclaim for his design of Village Homes in West Davis. Corbett's design blended active and passive solar architecture. The groundbreaking project — with its natural drainage, edible landscaping, greenbelts, and common areas — garnered him accolades from around the world. In 1979, he won both the President's Award for Energy Conservation and the Governor's Award for Energy Conservation. He has lectured at UC Davis and UC Berkeley, and wrote "Designing Sustainable Communities" and "A Better Place To Live." He served as Mayor of Davis from 1988 to 1990.

Yes, we know Mike Corbett is the designer, but who are the developers? Why are they never named? -MattJurach

What are the Covell Village developers doing about traffic?

After the Covell Village partners complete all improvements required by the City and the EIR mitigations, every intersection affected by the project will meet acceptable Levels Of Service as designated by the Davis General Plan.

To enhance circulation in the area, the Covell Village partners are investing approximately $20 million to:

Will Measure X do anything to divert traffic around Davis?

Under an amendment to the development agreement approved on October 4, 2005, the Covell Village partners are required to complete $1.1 million worth of improvements near the proposed neighborhood, including repaving County Road 102 and traffic-diversion and traffic-calming measures along Road 102 featuring signage, medians, turn lanes, flashing yellow lights, and intersection lighting.

"We're going to divert traffic around Davis," said project civil engineer Chuck Cunningham. "Cars traveling south from Woodland to Sacramento, San Francisco, or U.C. Davis will be encouraged to take alternative routes to reduce traffic on Pole Line Road in Davis."

Is Measure X doing anything to reduce automobile dependence?

Yes. Covell Village is intended to be a walkable community. Dining and shopping will be clustered in the Village Center. Live-work lofts and senior housing will be nearby, within easy walking distance. The highest density areas are near the core, putting a majority of the housing units close to the Village Center.

Sidewalks that are set back from the street, in the style of the early 20th Century, will — along with design elements such as front porches — encourage pedestrian traffic. So will a pedestrian grid that incorporates walkable parks — or "linear greens" — that connects the farthest corners of the neighborhood to the Village Center and to habitats and parks.

Covell Village is designed to be a bike-friendly neighborhood. The Covell Village partners are constructing eight miles of new bike paths and lanes and nine bike undercrossings that will connect Covell Village to surrounding neighborhoods and provide safe off-street bike routes within the neighborhood. These routes and 16 acres of greenbelts will provide the missing link to the North Davis bike path system.

The Covell Village partners are establishing a special transportation district to provide bus passes to all Covell Village residents. A new transit line will link Covell Village to downtown and the campus, and a sheltered bike parking lot will provide bike storage for bus riders.

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