YOLO SUN OPINION :
Woodland City Council has during 2016 delayed its General Plan (2015-2035) processes and wasted several hundred thousand dollars of precious City revenue, behaving like a dumb animal with a ring through its nose, being led by obvious hoaxes contrived by Conaway Preservation Group (Conaway), a little band of very rich and powerful folk who own about 17,000 acres within the Yolo Bypass of the Sacramento River.
Conaway also presently owns (so to speak) Woodland City Hall.
Conaway was a partner for Woodland’s (Davis’ and UCD’s) new surface water program, and is now “joined-at-the-hip” to Woodland, says its regular representative, Bob Thomas.
Voters of Woodland are capable of reclaiming their City Hall from Conaway’s grasp, etc., at the upcoming City Council Election, on November 8.
Jim Hilliard (now mayor) attempted a year ago to justify City inclusion of Conaway’s development option / alternative (on eastern edge of Woodland, nearby the City’s Waste Water Treatment Facility) within general plan processes — in order to preserve farm land.
Council member Sean Denny swiftly agreed with Hilliard and the rest of City Council (Tom Stallard, for whom sheer consensus is often a good enough reason to cave in, and Angel Barajas) soon fully caved in to this unbelievable, unconscionable hoax.
Please see previous Yolo Sun articles, just below on scroll:
Voters of Woodland in 2006 adopted its Urban Limit Line Ordinance (ULLO), which set ultimate parameters for City growth; those parameters include a relatively small amount of farm land along the City’s southern border.
The basic and approved public policy notion of the ULLO was to draw a line, outside of which no conversion of farm land could ever occur.
Now, this silly City Council — clearly at the strict beck and call of Conaway — wants to arrogantly ignore the plainly spoken will of City voters, by presuming that development of this small amount of farm land within the Urban Limit Line should be hindered / balanced toward the favor of Conaway’s plan to develop easterly, out past Gateway Center, into the floodplain (some distant day to be fixed, assisted by Conaway’s purchase and development of ~900 acres of City land (with potential freeway frontage), now used as a spray-field for organic residue from Pacific Coast Producers’ local tomato cannery, through relocating its spray-field somewhere within Conaway’s many thousands of acres around Yolo Bypass).
At the recent (August 24) City Council – Planning Commission meeting to receive the draft City General Plan, a stream of public testimony — churned up earlier in 2016, by a deviously misleading policy campaign, created by the sending of (very pretty, Conaway approved) post cards to City Hall — seemingly demanded City protection of farm land within the Urban Limit Line.
As previously and accurately announced by Woodland Planning Commissioner, John Murphy: “That ship has already sailed.”
At this draft General Plan reception, there was present a representative (from its Lodi headquarters) of Pacific Coast Producers, “concerned” about how its local tomato cannery was becoming involved within the sketchy chemistry of Woodland City Council politics.
Teamsters Union folk have appeared before the City Council / Planning Commission, falsely arguing that cannery jobs are somehow at risk because of an inadequate spray-field; and thus, the City should pay keen attention to Conaway, since it has ready a better spray-field (and it can then purchase the current ~900 acre spray-field to join with its adjacent land holdings and develop at the eastern edge of the ULLO).
Interestingly, this cannery-ownership representative stated (to Yolo Sun) some quite interesting facts.
Most all of the cannery’s very considerable amount of tomatoes come from with 15 miles of it; but — only about 25 or 50 acres of cannery tomatoes come from within the City Urban Limit Line.
Development on farm land within the Urban Limit Line will, thus — not have any significant effect upon cannery operations.
Also, the cannery will attempt to follow “whatever” the city desires (if revenue neutral); in other words, whatever the city wants, including new development being exclusively directed southerly and no new spray-field, are fully acceptable to it. There is no form of urgency about the status of its spray-field (and “no recent complaints”), which is large enough to satisfy future cannery needs, for more than a decade if not perhaps forever.
Pacific Coast Producers’ cannery’s future viability does not depend in any way upon the various cons of Conaway. The cannery was dragged into this matter, simply because Conaway wants its spray-field for development purposes and needs to conjure-up whatever manner of hoaxes are needed to get what it wants, at great expense to Woodland and its citizens.
Voters of Woodland decided, a full decade ago, to develop the farm land within the Urban Limit Line, so that inevitable, slow urban sprawl would not further and unreasonably encroach upon local farm lands. As well, such land is a prime resource for optimized City planning.
The City Council decided, only a few weeks ago, to appoint Skip Davies to the Council, instead of holding a democratic election, as a device to strengthen Conaway’s control of City Hall. Davies noted at this recent meeting that — increased City regulatory barriers to any conversion / development of farm land within the Urban Limit Line — should now be strongly considered.
Davies’ newly expressed view appears to be directly at odds with Woodland’s voters and its ULLO, but cunningly consistent with Conaway’s interests.
To complain about and attempt to slyly subvert such well-formulated and clearly intended voter policy, as is now being contrived and contemplated by Woodland City Council — is tantamount to civic (political) treason.