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Friday, February 09, 2007

Conflict of Interest on the County Planning Commission

According to several sources one of the members of the County Planning Commission owns property adjacent to the Oeste Ranch, Binning Farms. He then circulated to his neighbors the 2100 unit Oeste Ranch Senior Housing development project as an answer to improve the value of his own property.

In an email that circulated to his neighbors, he writes:
One of the recommendations the board received from the Yolo Planning Commission is to support the addition of 2,100 housing units in the Northwest Quadrant, located west of 113 and North of Covell Blvd in Davis.

I am in support of the Planning Commission's recommendation for two basic reasons: Sewers and Water.....

Our best opportunity for infrastructure improvement in the Binning Farms will come from a regional plan for our quadrant. The Binning Ranch Estates project (to our immediate South), if constructed, offers our community the possibility to connect to a regional sewer and water plan at considerably lower cost than if we had to provide our own assessment district.
This represents a clear conflict of interest in my view. He stands to potentially gain financially with improvements to the adjacent property by being able to connect to regional sewer and water services that do not appear to presently be available. While some may defend this process by suggesting that the county supervisors rather than this individual has the final say over the implementation of this policy and it appears that the county is not going to pursue this policy, nevertheless this appears very unseemly.

The city of Davis for example has a policy where a Councilmember must recuse themselves on any project or decision within 500 feet of their policy, it seems only reasonable that there should be the same level of scrutiny for this process as well. The planning commission has a large say over what projects get considered and what projects do not.

His email sells this project to his neighbors as their "best opportunity for infrastructure improvement in the Binning Farms."

---Doug Paul Davis reporting