Sample Ballot for June 5, 2018 Election




If approved by a majority of the voters voting, Measure J would approve Resolution 18-023 amending the Davis General Plan to change the land-use designation for the Nishi Property from Agriculture to Residential Medium High Density and Natural Habitat, and establishing “Baseline Project Features” to govern development.

The 47 acre Nishi Property is located adjacent to the current city boundary west of Olive Drive, between Interstate 80, the UPRR Railroad tracks and UC Davis.

Davis voters approved “Measure J” in 2000 and “Measure R” in 2010. Measures J/R require voter approval of any amendment to the Davis General Plan that changes the land use designation of property from agricultural or open space to urban land uses. Measures J/R also require voter approval of baseline project features that cannot be changed without voter approval.

Nishi Property Baseline Project Features, General Plan map, and text amendments are set forth in Resolution 18- 023 in full. Baseline Project Features include, but are not limited to:

  • Development in accordance with the General Plan Amendment. The land use includes medium high-density student focused residential with private open space and parking, ancillary commercial/retail space, drainage and open space uses.
  • Project cannot exceed 700 multifamily rental units with a maximum of 2200 beds, a maximum of 10,000 square feet of ancillary ground-floor retail, office and service space, and approximately 13.6 acres of open space, including 3.3 additional acres in the Putah Creek Corridor, Urban Forest and stormwater areas.
  • Access to the Nishi Property will be by a new grade-separated undercrossing of the UPRR line to Old Davis Road and the UC Davis Campus (subject to approval by UC Regents).
  • No vehicular access to or from the Nishi Property from West Olive Drive except for emergency vehicles and public transit.
  • Construction of grade-separated crossing must commence before Project construction may start. No Certificates of Occupancy will be issued for any building until the UC Davis vehicular connection is completed and secondary emergency access is provided.
  • Maximum of 700 off-street parking spaces.
  • Require 220 beds be affordable to very-low income and 110 beds be affordable to extremely low income students.
  • Tree buffer between buildings and I-80.
  • All buildings LEEDv3 Gold standards or equivalent.
  • Goal of Net Zero energy use, with photovoltaics and participation in the Valley Clean Energy Alliance power at the Green rate.
  • Project will contribute $200,000 for community enhancement programs for civic arts, carbon off-sets and downtown parking plan implementation.
  • Project will pay approximately $15,000,000 in City impact fees, construction tax and permit fees, $2,200,000 in Yolo County impact fees and $2,100,000 in Davis School District impact fees.
  • Project will pay fees equal to the City’s, County’s and School District’s share of property tax if the property is leased or acquired by a property tax exempt entity.
  • Comply with City required Agricultural mitigation.

Resolution 18-023 was adopted and placed on the ballot as Measure J by the Davis City Council on February 6, 2018.

/s/ Harriet A. Steiner Davis City Attorney


Yes on Measure J – Addresses Housing Crisis

Many students are now forced to commute from other cities. Others crowd into single-family homes around town. Providing new student housing next to campus makes more homes available to everyone. Student Housing at Nishi also offers a groundbreaking, privately- funded, affordable housing program aiding hundreds of disadvantaged students every year.

Yes on J – Best Location for New Student Housing

The Nishi property is adjacent to campus/downtown. Residents will walk or bike to campus and local businesses – without taking up parking spaces.

Yes on J – Environmental Sustainability

Student Housing at Nishi includes over 13 acres of open space, solar power, Net-Zero energy consumption, and over 2000 bicycle spots.

Yes on J – Less Traffic

The ONLY private vehicle access will be through a new underpass directly to UCD – with no access to Richards Blvd. Previous commuters can now live car-free. Less driving means less traffic.

“I opposed the Nishi project in 2016 because of traffic concerns, but I support Measure J because these issues have been resolved.”– Sean Raycraft, South Davis Resident

Yes on J – Benefits our City and Schools

This project will generate a one-time benefit of over $11 million in revenue for the City of Davis. Money that can be used for parks, roads and other city needs. Davis Unified School District will see an additional $2 million in one-time funding. The City also estimates almost $2.5 million in additional property taxes every year.

Our City Council and Planning Commission carefully studied this proposal. Both voted unanimously to move the proposal forward.

Student Housing at Nishi means affordable living next to campus, environmental sustainability, economic enrichment, less traffic, a host of benefits for everyone.

Our elected and community leaders, students, environmental activists say Vote Yes on Measure J!

Learn more at

/s/ Brett Lee, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Davis

/s/ Sally Albertson, PTA President Davis Senior High School

/s/ Sean Raycraft, Union Steward / South Davis Resident

/s/ Judith A. Corbett, Environmental Consultant

/s/ John Mott-Smith, Environmental Activist


The Argument in Favor of Measure J omits important facts that invalidate its claims:

  • Touting Nishi’s location as “best” for students withholds that the site is sandwiched between Interstate 80 and the railroad and consequently has terrible air quality. The developers promise “mitigation” of health risks (Environmental Impact Report), but the elevated freeway makes the tree screen much less effective and 95% efficient air filtration is unobtainable in actual situations – housing realizes far less efficiency.
  • Asserting that the project is for housing students overlooks City Ordinance 2524 that allows daycare, nursery school, outdoor exercise areas, and urban agriculture on-site. These uses increase health risks to residents, especially young children’s developing lungs.
  • Maintaining there will be “less traffic” ignores the project’s 700 parking spaces and the resulting increased traffic on Old Davis Rd that will back up into downtown.
  • Claiming “a one-time benefit of over $11 million in revenue” obscures the fact that these funds are simply one-time impact fees paid by the developer to offset the City’s estimated one-time costs. This is not revenue. By California law, these fees must not exceed reasonably estimated costs. They cannot “be used for… other city needs.”
  • Promising “almost $2.5 million in additional property taxes every year” omits that only a very small fraction goes to Davis, according to the City’s own financial model.

Don’t let the developers turn a short-term housing crunch into a long-term environmental assault on the health of unsuspecting students, children, and other residents.

Don’t fall for deceptive traffic and financial claims.

Vote No on Nishi – No on Measure J

/s/ Thomas A. Cahill - Professor Physics/Atmospheric Sciences, UC Davis

/s/ Ralph Propper - President, Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS); Air Pollution Research Specialist (Emeritus), California Air Resources Board (CARB)

/s/ Charles K. Whitcomb - MD, Professor of Medicine/ Cardiology, UC Davis School of Medicine

/s/ Johannes Troost - Former Chair, City of Davis Finance and Budget Commission

/s/ Teresa Kaneko - Longtime Davis Resident


Two years after Davis voters rejected the Nishi project at the polls, it’s back on the ballot with the same pollution hazards from the adjacent I-80 freeway and railroad, and without the commercial component that was to deliver significant revenue to the City.

The City's own Environmental Impact Report showed "significant and unavoidable” detrimental health risks based on preliminary data from a nearby site. The conditions are even worse because the City’s report did not include the highly toxic ultra-fine metals from brakes and fuel additives and the soot from diesel trains that has 6 times more carcinogens than diesel truck exhaust. Exposures to these airborne particles are associated with dramatic increases in asthma, permanent loss of lung function, cancer, heart disease, and prenatal developmental problems.

Given the initial, limited air quality measurements, three years ago air quality experts urged the developers to perform measurements at the Nishi site itself over a longer time. Yet, they chose not to.

Additional significant problems:

  • This project will increase traffic congestion on Old Davis Road and First Street to Richards, which is already bottlenecked many times daily.
  • The proposed "affordable housing" program is exclusionary, intended only for students, and to be implemented by the landlord. This is contrary to the city’s long-standing affordable housing policies.
  • There is still no tax-sharing agreement between the City and Yolo County.
  • The project design will saddle the city with more costs than revenues. That means the rest of the community will subsidize the financial shortfall of this project, imposing costs onto our community.

No one should suffer unnecessary health risks for housing, nor should the community bear unnecessary financial burdens. Safer student housing can be offered on the UCD campus and elsewhere.

Please Vote No on Nishi - No on Measure J.

/s/ John Troidl, MBA, PhD, Health and Public Health Specialist

/s/ Nancy Price, Former Member, City of Davis Planning Commission

/s/ Roberta L. Millstein, Commissioner, City of Davis Open Space and Habitat Commission, 2010 to Present

/s/ Marilee Hanson, Former Vice Chair, City of Davis Planning Commission

/s/ Luanna M. Villanueva, Longtime Davis Resident


We support Measure J – Affordable Student Housing Near Campus

Two years ago, opponents to the Nishi project highlighted a lack of “housing” and criticized the project saying it didn’t meet “Davis' standards for sustainability and affordability.”

The revised project, Measure J, provides students with an affordable and sustainable place to live near campus!

“Tuition goes up year after year. There is a lack of affordable housing in Davis. I was unable to afford rent and pay tuition. I was homeless. No student should have to choose between their education and paying rent. I support Measure J.” Timothy Grooms (UC Davis Student)

“The housing crisis is real. Too many students are pushed into neighboring cities or forced to live at home – making the long commute to Davis. Measure J will add an affordable housing option for hundreds of students – next to campus.” Aaron Latta, Chair – Davis Student Brigade

Air Quality

“Tests have shown that the air quality at Nishi is no different than other urban areas. In addition to an action plan designed by air quality experts that includes planting a forest to improve outdoor air quality and a state-of- the-art air filtration system, Measure J will reduce driving and encourage biking. Less driving = less pollution.” - Dr. Charles Salocks, Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology, UC Davis

According to the impartial analysis from the City Attorney, Measure J provides Davis over $15 million in revenue and over $2 million for Davis public schools.

Vote Yes on Measure J – learn more at

/s/ Charles B. Salocks, PhD, Environmental Toxicolgy

/s/ Aaron Latta, Student and Chair, Davis Housing Brigade

/s/ Tim Grooms, UC Davis Student, Restaurant Server

/s/ Alisha Hacker, ASUCD Senator

/s/ Stephanie Zavate, UC Davis Student