County Postpones Hearing on UC Housing Application

No time or date has been set to readdress the proposal.

Will they build or won't they? For those waiting for any definitive answer surrounding the , the wait just got a little longer.

The Sacramento County Planning Commission has announced its July 9 hearing on the the application will be postponed. A new time and date has not yet been set.

Though no specific plan has yet been made as to what could eventually be developed there, the foundation is being set.

The University expects to sell the property to an organization that would proceed with development, UC spokeswoman Brooke Converse explained. The University has no set schedule for selling the property either, so the timeframe for the start of development cannot be predicted with any certainty.

"Assuming the project is approved, sale and development of the property will depend largely on economic and residential real estate market conditions," Converse said in an e-mail.

The County’s adopted general plan and zoning allow for a much higher density of development than proposed by the University in its subdivision map application. Such higher density of development would have a greater adverse impact on the neighborhood’s natural aesthetic than the subdivision proposed by the University.

"The density and style of development proposed by the University is the same density and style as exists in the neighborhoods on three sides of the property," Converse said.

There are 435 trees on the site that are subject to the County’s policies on tree retention. According to the Draft Environmental report, 239 of the 435 trees would be removed; 196 of the 435 trees would be retained.

That report includes a series of recommended mitigation measures, requiring the planting of trees, both on-site and off-site in response to the removal of existing trees, Converse said. County planning staff has indicated it will recommend adoption of those measures by the Planning Commission as conditions of approval of the subdivision map. The University has indicated that it agrees with those measures.

"The Davis campus is always very sensitive to environmental resources, and adverse impacts to them, but the University of California has a fiduciary duty to its donors to carry out the purposes for which they leave property to the University," Converse said. "In this case, where the Davis sisters’ stated purpose was to fund scholarships, the University must create funding for the scholarships by selling the property, for the highest price it can obtain."

Converse went further in saying the property is zoned by Sacramento County for residential development, therefore its sale for that purpose will maximize the intended by the donors.

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