Friends of Davis vs City of Davis -- in a nutshell

The spirit of the Davis community is reflected in its small-town atmosphere by locally operated, compatibly sized businesses. We, the Friends of Davis, wish to restore the power of our community to determine its character and destiny.

We, the Friends of Davis, are forced to bring suit against the City of Davis to compel them to comply with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the California Planning and Zoning Law. We request the remedy that the City return to consideration of the Davis Commons (part of the Aggie Village project) and that they do it right. Our petition to the Superior Court of California is the only means by which to keep the process open.

To remedy the City's failure to adequately follow and enforce CEQA, the City must study the possible economic impacts and traffic problems that are inherent in category-killer/big-box retail stores like Borders. The issue is not that Borders is a bookstore -- the issue is the size (22,000 sq.ft.) and the nature of the proposed bookstore and the consequences that stem from this unfair competition with local stores.
    The city's refusal to study these impacts constitute a violation of the public's right to intelligently and meaningfully participate in the environmental review and political decisionmaking process. Specifically, the City failed to adequately analyze the project's increase of motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic that will converge at major downtown interesections. A thorough analysis is crucial to ensure safety and to prevent accidents such as the recent fatality at Covell and Pole Line.

    The City also failed to investigate the project's economic impacts on downtown businesses, although ample information was presented showing that these impacts are potentially capable of leading to physical environmental effects.
The City of Davis' General Plan, Core Specific Plan, and Gateway/Olive Drive Specific Plan acknowledge the value of our downtown and seek to maintain its vitality. In the past, Davis has rejected category killer/superstores (i.e. Walmart) to preserve the health and character of our unique community. The City's decision to approve the Davis Commons project without consideration of the specific use of the land (e.g. Borders superstore) and its impact on our downtown and community is inconsistent with these citizen-based plans and a violation of California Planning and Zoning Law. Many other inconsistencies exist based on inaccurate data, the Richards Boulevard underpass status, and the City's CEQA jurisdiction over the project.

The City of Davis has misled the public. They have misconstrued and misapplied the law. The Friends of Davis hope that this situation can be rectified by a court order requiring that the City redo the process properly.

Petition filed August 12, 1997

[A meeting between the two parties of this suit (Friends of Davis and the City of Davis) was held on September 21, 1997; no resolution of these issues came from that meeting and the court action is on-going.]

For Further Information Contact:

Nancy Price 758-0726
Keith Prior 753-9774

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