Click here to open and download the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers handout.
Why is the City interested in pursuing the development of Innovation Centers?
Why is the City looking at three projects?
All three applications are in the City review process, all require significant analysis, including preparation of Environmental Impacts Reports among other studies, and, if one or more are approved to move forward by the City Council, would require a public vote under the provisions of Measure J/R. Each Innovation Center applicant has developed a project specific website with more information about their proposal. Click here to learn more about the three innovation center proposals.
What is the City’s role in this process?
How can the community get involved?
What approvals/actions from the City are required?
- Preparation of various analyses, including economics/fiscal, and EIRs.
- Amendment of the Davis General Plan to create a new land use designation and apply it to the project site.
- Pre-zoning/Zoning to create a new Preliminary Planned Development Zone and attach a new zoning designation to the project site.
- Execution of a Development Agreement - A voluntary contract between a developer and the City citing developer contributions in addition to those with a direct nexus to the project (e.g. conditions of approval and mitigation measures).
- Development of a tax sharing agreement with Yolo County.
- Site Plan/Architectural Review related to proposed Design Guidelines and Design Performance Standards.
- Action by the City Council to call for an election and set the baseline features of the project.
- Voter action on a ballot measure pursuant to the requirements of Measure J/R.
- Annexation into the municipal boundary of the City of Davis (if approved).
Will the projects require a Measure J / R vote?
What is an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and what topics will it study?
- Aesthetics and Visual Resources
- Agriculture and Forest Resources (including loss of ag land)
- Air Quality
- Biological Resources
- Cultural Resources
- Geology, Soils, and Mineral Resources
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy
- Hazards and Hazardous Materials
- Hydrology and Water Quality
- Land Use and Urban Decay
- Noise and Vibration
- Population and Housing (including jobs/housing balance)
- Public Services and Recreation
- Transportation and Circulation
What project alternatives will be evaluated in the EIR?
- No Project Alternative – This alternative assumes that existing conditions/uses continue on the project sites. This alternative is required under State law. This alternative would be analyzed at a “comparative” level but there would be considerable detail available through the setting sections of the EIR.
- Off-site Alternative – This alternative would assume development of the proposed project at an alternative site. The rationale for an off-site alternative generally is that it may avoid or substantially lessen the significant effects of the project.
- Reduced Site Size – This alternative assumes the full intensity of development on a smaller site. The rational for this alternative generally is to test whether a more compact urban form would avoid or substantially lessen the significant effects of the project.
- Reduced Project – This alternative assumes 35 to 50 acres for short-term expansion of only one or two Davis businesses.
- Mixed Use Alternative – This alternative assumes the introduction of a balance of high-density residential uses in both projects. The type of housing anticipated would be high density (over 30 units/acre), attached, multi-story live/work units designed specifically to house and support workers within the Innovation Center.
Housing was not recommended for inclusion in the Innovation Center project(s) during the RFEI process, nor are the applicants proposing housing as part of their proposals. However, CEQA requires that the lead agency test alternatives that could reasonably reduce significant impacts of the project. Staff anticipates that the project EIRs may identify significant impacts related to vehicle miles traveled, and air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, staff has concluded that a mixed use alternative will likely be necessary to satisfy CEQA requirements. It is anticipated that the Draft EIRs for the Innovation District and Innovation Center proposals will be released in June 2015 for a 45 day public review and comment period. During this time, the community and City Commissions can evaluate the Draft EIR and submit comments and questions on the draft documents. Responses will then be drafted to these comments and questions as part of the Final EIR preparation.
What economic and fiscal analysis will be conducted?
- Development buildout scenarios (timelines) and anticipated mix of uses, industry, and job type, under high and low assumptions.
- Evaluation of a land economic profile for each proposal, for purpose of understanding the project’s ability to cover infrastructure costs and other contributions desired by the City; and to assist with the Yolo County tax share agreement.
- Community economic impact analysis, to evaluate the potential benefit of the jobs and other business spending to the Davis economy. The evaluation will also be conducted at the Countywide level.
- Fiscal analysis, to evaluate potential project impacts on the City’s General Fund.
- Meetings and advisory services, including check-ins with the City Council and Finance and Budget Commission.