While there is always a strong debate about city growth in Davis, sometimes reflected in NIMBY attitudes, at times the debate blossoms into political action, with city council, judicial decisions or voters making decisions that affect the future expansion or careful cultivation of Davis. The end result of all this is reflected in the annexation history of Davis. See also Town History.
- 1973 — Davis adopts a General Plan with growth control as one of its guiding principles
- 1986 — Measure L is passed by voters, advising city and county representatives that Davisites want Davis to grow as slowly as is legally possible, with new annexations discouraged.
- 1986-1988 — Mace Ranch is born, as follows: The Planning Commission and the City Council turn down a proposal for a 94-acre project by developer Frank Ramos. But the county was having financial difficulties and the city was facing an even larger development outside its borders. Result: Mace Ranch (see here for details).
- 1995 — Measure R is passed by voters, approving the Wildhorse development (see here for details).
- 2000 — Measure J is passed by voters, mandating voter approval for certain land use changes.
- 2004 — West Davis Neighbors sued UC Davis over the loss of ag land that West Village would cause. However, the lawsuit was dismissed. They also lost an appeal and did not appeal further.
- 2005 — Measure X is rejected by voters, blocking the Covell Village expansion.
- 2009 — Measure P is rejected by voters, blocking the Wildhorse Ranch project.
Outlying area and neighboring city issues
From 2000 to 2007, an attempt was made to build Dixon Downs, a horse racetrack with plans to expand into a hotel resort and retail plaza. Located at Pedrick Road and Interstate 80 in Dixon, the nearby nature of the major development was a concern for many Davis residents. The City of Davis took action and filed a lawsuit against Dixon in Solano County Superior Court (case #FCS028771). For more on Dixon Downs, read that entry.