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Saturday, February 03, 2007

More Development Pressures on Yolo County

I was leaked a letter of a development proposal along Highway 113. It is just south of Woodland and just outside their urban limit line. But Davis residents should also be aware of it as it is only five minutes from Davis.

In the letter, Mr. Onkar (Mike) Gill of Yolo Vinyards writes:
"My intention for the development is to construct several 'Big Box' stores, a shopping center, restaurants, a gas station and high density housing. Due to the commercial nature of the development and the location, which will attract a high volume of customers, Yolo Marketplace would provide the community with significant additional revenue, services and job opportunities.

I have been contacted by several national retailers who have expressed interest in the site since it has easy access off State Route 1 13 and is quite accessible from either Interstate 5 or Interstate 80."
He writes the Board of Supervisors because he needs to change the usage of the land to commercial.

Now this proposal never came before the planning commission, it was sent to the Supervisors just a days prior to their first hearing on the General Plan. This entire thing seems pretty strange for such a massive project. Make no mistake: this would be a major, major endeavor. Not one big box, but "several." Plus a high density housing project.

The developer claims that he has three votes on the Board of Supervisors. I do not buy that for a minute. Rexroad has strongly criticized it on his blog saying, "So in that light, the chances of me supporting this proposal are about the same as the Sacramento Kings winning the Super Bowl on Sunday....not impossible but extrememly unlikely." I'm not sure what Rexroad's measure of impossibility is, but I'll go out on the limb and say the Kings will never ever win the Super Bowl.

I am fairly sure I see at least three votes against this proposal. However, I find the approach and audacity of this developer maddening. For a such a massive proposal, you would think he would realize he needed to have much more than just a letter to get the proposal moving.

However, I have decided to post this article mainly because I believe that Davis residents have not paid sufficient attention to the County General Plan process. Some involved in the process have expressed surprise that the Oeste Ranch project, which is in the General Plan, has not created more of a stir. Of course it helps when the local paper is not making a big production out of it. We should not take for granted what the County will do in terms of development not only in our direct sphere of influence but in areas just outside it such as this proposal.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting