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Housing for students, seniors on city’s 2018 agenda

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What: Davis Planning Commission considers Lincoln40 and West Davis Active Adult Community

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10

Where: Community Chambers, Davis City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

New housing developments — for seniors and students, in particular — will be a frequent topic of discussion for city commissions and the Davis City Council in 2018, with multiple projects now in the planning review process and two likely to go before voters before the year is up.

The Davis Planning Commission will conduct public hearings on two projects on Wednesday — the West Davis Active Adult Community and the Lincoln40 apartments. The commission will consider the draft environmental impact report for the West Davis project and the project applications and final EIR for Lincoln40, which could go before the City Council later this month.

Lincoln40, a student-oriented residential infill project proposed for East Olive Drive, would cover 11 parcels along Olive Drive and Hickory Lane and would require demolition of the existing 14-unit Kober Apartment complex and 10 single-family cottages.

Replacing those residences would be 130 rental units with two to five bedrooms each in fully furnished apartments. The majority of units (64 percent) would be four-bedroom/four-bathroom units, each with a kitchen, dining area and four secure bedrooms with adjoining private bathrooms.

Of the 473 total bedrooms, 234 would be double-occupancy, resulting in a total of 708 beds.

The building would include three tiers stepping up in height from Olive Drive. The first tier, closest to Olive, would be three stories. The next tier would be four stories and the last tier, closest to the railroad tracks, would be five stories.

According to city staff, while Lincoln40 is designed as an off-campus student housing project, units would be available to non-students as well. However, unlike traditional apartments, residents would lease by the bed, rather than by the unit.

Other amenities available would include a swimming pool, fitness center, indoor and outdoor lounge areas and more.

Critics of the plan are worried about Lincoln40’s impact on traffic — including auto, bike and pedestrian travel — along the Richards Boulevard corridor. Many also oppose the development of so much student-oriented housing in the city, believing UC Davis should be providing more of that housing on campus, freeing up more housing stock within the city for families and non-students .

Lincoln40 is one of a handful of student-oriented housing projects moving through the planning process. More are in the pipeline and will be heading to the Planning Commission, the City Council — and in one case, likely to voters — in 2018.

Later this month, the Planning Commission will discuss Plaza 2555, an apartment project planned for Research Park Drive in South Davis that would include 200 units with a total of 554 beds for students. Also headed for public hearings — as well as a possible spot on the June ballot — is the Nishi project, which would provide 2,600 beds for students.

Meanwhile, projects proposed for 3820 Chiles Road, Oxford Circle and the planned University Research Park would add additional housing units geared toward students.

Construction is already underway on two other student-housing projects: Sterling, on Fifth Street, which will provide 160 units with beds for 540 students, and the B Street Apartments at 820 B St., which will contain 11 units.

As for Lincoln40, a final environmental impact report has been prepared for the project and will be reviewed Wednesday by the Planning Commission for recommendation to the City Council. The draft EIR did not identify any significant and unavoidable impacts, according to city staff. Both the final and draft EIRs are available online at

Members of the public wishing to weigh in on the Lincoln40 project can do so before the Planning Commission, which meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, in the Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

The design of the proposed West Davis Active Adult Community encourages neighbors to socialize, including having greenbelts between their front doors and walking paths throughout the community. Courtesy rendering

West Davis Active Adult Community

During that meeting, commissioners also will take up the draft environmental impact report for the West Davis Active Adult Community, a 75-acre project proposed for land just west of Sutter Davis Hospital and across Covell Boulevard from the University Retirement Community.

The project, submitted by local developer David Taormino, includes 325 for-sale units, primarily single-story detached single-family homes, as well as 150 affordable senior apartments.

Eighty percent of the community’s units would be restricted to those age 55 and over.

Specifically, the West Davis Active Adult Community would include:

* 150 affordable, age-restricted apartments;
* 32 attached, age-restricted cottages;
* 94 attached, age-restricted units;
* 129 single-family, detached, age-restricted units;
* 77 single-family, detached, non-age-restricted units;
* A 3-acre continuing care retirement community that likely would consist of 30 assisted-living, age-restricted detached units; and
* Approximately 4.3 acres of mixed-use development that likely would consist of a health club, restaurant, clubhouse and up to 48 attached, age-restricted units.

Upon completion, the project would provide up to 560 dwelling units and 4.5 miles of off-street biking and walking paths within the project area, as well as 11 acres of off-site improvements, an agricultural buffer, arboretum and urban orchard.

A draft environmental impact report has been released for public review and the city will be collecting input until Feb. 20. The draft EIR can be reviewed at

For approval, the West Davis Active Adult Community would require a General Plan amendment, annexation and voter approval under Measure R. If approved by the city, the project likely would be placed on the November ballot.

Taormino says the vision for the West Davis Active Adult Community is a place for seniors who wish to downsize from their single-family homes in Davis and age in place, but not in a traditional retirement community. Rather, with 20 percent of units open to residents of all ages, the goal is “to replicate people’s neighborhoods,” Taormino said.

Buyers are folks, he explained, who want privacy but don’t want big houses and big yards to maintain.

There are more than 4,000 single-family homes in Davis owned by people over the age of 55, he said, and building a community to suit their needs will open up more of those older homes for resale — including to young families with children.

What do these seniors need? Topping the list, Taormino said, are living situations that prevent chronic loneliness, where health issues can be easily addressed, security, walkability and more.

WDAAC aims to address those needs through a design that essentially requires neighbors to see each other, including by having greenbelts between front doors and walking paths throughout the community.

“We’re looking at ways you have to run into each other,” Taormino said.

A dog exercise area and playground for young children will encourage residents to linger together and talk, he added, while the on-site health club and pool will be open to the whole community.

But the project is not without opponents, many who are concerned about the size of the development and its impact on traffic in the area.

Other concerns submitted to the commission: that there is no assurance that current Davis residents will want to move to the community and sell their existing homes; that the project essentially groups seniors into residences on the edge of town; and the loss of open space.

In addition to viewing the draft EIR online, residents also can view copies at the Department of Community Development and Sustainability, 23 Russell Blvd.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at [email protected] or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy.

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