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City to Consider Appeal as Judge Sides With Trackside Opponents

Post Date:May 20, 2019 1:56 pm

The City of Davis announced today that Judge Samuel T. McAdam of the Yolo Superior Court has ruled that the Trackside development is not consistent with the City’s General Plan, ruling in favor of The Old East Davis Neighborhood Association. The City Council will consider whether to appeal this decision at an upcoming council meeting.

In a 22-page ruling by Judge McAdam, the Court stated, “Based on the totality of circumstances and a review of the entire record, it is the conclusion of this Court that Trackside is not consistent with the City of Davis planning provisions governing the transition between the Core Area and to the Old East Davis neighborhood.”

The ruling goes on to conclude that while the City made “a compelling case” for a mixed-use, residential development, the Court believes that “the mass and scale of the project is not reasonable.”

The ruling declared that the City’s Sustainable Community Environmental Assessment (SCEA/IS) should be overturned because in the Court’s view, it did not “properly assess project inconsistency” with the General Plan.

The City was directed by the ruling to rescind all approvals associated with the project.

“The ruling in this case is perplexing and runs contrary to the standard of law that applies to decisions by local jurisdictions,” said Mike Webb, City Manager, City of Davis.

“The ruling is a disappointing setback that undermines the authority of city officials to make difficult and complicated, local, land-use decisions,” said Dan Carson, Davis City Councilmember. “It’s ironic that while state officials are threatening to take away transportation money from cities that don’t build enough housing, courts within the state are hindering our efforts to do so. Hopefully, if the City appeals, a higher court will restore local control, so we can build the community we want and address our housing needs.”

“Although I voted against the Trackside project, I believe the City Council does have discretion to decide as it did on this development issue,” said Davis Mayor Brett Lee. “I am surprised that the court felt otherwise.”

Kemble K. Pope, a managing member of Trackside, LLC, said “We are disappointed in this result, but we remain committed to this project that provides much-needed, environmentally friendly, infill housing and modern commercial spaces for local businesses in the core of our community.”

View the final ruling: Statement of Decision PT17-2111 (PDF)

For More Information Contact:
Barbara Archer, City of Davis

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