Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Deven's parting gift from Pimentel, Davies and Dote: Petrovich land annexed

City manager Mark Deven, who has resigned, received a farewell present in the form a 154-acre annexation that will benefit the city's favored developer Paul Petrovich. Council members Art Pimentel, Skip Davies and Martie Dote obliged both Petrovich and Deven by approving the annexation. Council members Bill Marble and Tom Stallard voted against the resolution.

Click here to view the September 20 city council meeting.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Council likely to rubber stamp staff nod for 154-acre annexation by favored developer

From the Woodland Record:

After putting the finishing touches on blocking a 22-acre annexation by developers not named Petrovich, the Woodland City Council will likely take the staff recommendation and annex the adjacent 154-acres owned by Paul Petrovich. The city has a history of favoring Petrovich projects, even when the community doesn't support them.

On April 11, 2010, councilman Art Pimentel told the Woodland Record, "Yes. I support annexing the property to the City of Woodland. That needs to happen. What is placed on that property will be determined by the community and city council." That was before any Environmental Impact Report was performed and the application included a crudely drawn and vague plan for development.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Letter to Historic Preservation Commission: Save the 100 year-old Electric Garage building

From the Woodland Record:

The following is a letter sent September 17 to the City of Woodland Historic Preservation Commission who will be discussing the demolition of the historic 100 year-old Electric Garage building as part of the Paul Petrovich and Cinema West multiplex at 801 Main Street. The commissioners are Robert Orlins, Cheryl Brookshear, BJ Ford and Mark Aulman. There is one vacancy.

Historic Preservation Commission:

Please consider this communication as part of the public record for your September 21, 2011, meeting.

Thank you for your proactive approach to avoid another disaster in the historic downtown. As Cheryl pointed out during the July 20 meeting, the city would have likely left the HPC out of the loop until it is was too late to mitigate the Petrovich/Corkill CinemaWest multiplex project at 801 Main Street.

Thank you also for briefly discussing (during that meeting) the letter I sent about mitigation to save the original historic Electric Garage building. I noticed this specific topic/solution was left out of the staff report for Wednesday's meeting.

Regarding the report for the Wednesday, September 21, meeting:

• The original Electric Garage building at 801 Main Street was built in 1911, not 1912 as stated. Also, the Mead & Hunt evaluation also incorrectly identifies the date as 1912 as does the city's "Explore Historic Woodland" tour book. Based on three different sources (Dotty Huber, great-granddaughter of founder William Dahler, old Daily Democrat articles and ads, and 1913 "History of Yolo County") the August 2, 2010, edition of the Woodland Record clearly identifies that in 1911 the Electric Garage was built at 801 Main. The original Electric Garage is 100 years old this year. It's a pity the city has not recognized that fact.


Woodlander Steven Peyton tackles nine in Brown opening win

Excerpt from the Brown University article "Brown earns thrilling 21-20 season opening victory over Stony Brook:"

Senior Matt O'Donnell was the defensive standout for the Bears with a team high 12 tackles, including two tackles for a loss. Senior safety Steven Peyton and senior linebacker Dan Smithwick registered nine tackles each.

Read it all at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yolo Sun: Frankenstein Bank (Chase) now squats on downtown gateway

Excerpts from the Yolo Sun opinion piece "Politically, can Woodland do better than this?"

Chase Bank is now erecting its architectural Frankenstein building on the southeast corner of Walnut and Main Streets, 21 months after it first approached the city and 12 months after the public was made aware of its project.

For eight months (Jan. – Aug., 2010) Woodland City Hall was quietly working with Chase Bank to concoct a subversion of the City’s Downtown Specific Plan (DSP), permitting this bank to build in the general way that it desired: a small bank with a glorified drive-thru and a vast parking lot.

This bank is a Frankenstein building for reason of combining various architectural styles into a phony historical format, appearing (pseudo) historical, but without integrity of actually representing any valid, actually historical, architectural style. Call it: “Modern Woodland Pretense.”

Glaring violations of the DSP include evisceration of its ability to produce a proper manner of “Western Gateway” for the downtown area and placement of an enormous parking lot along sidewalk frontage on both Main and Walnut Streets.

During these same eight months of confidential negotiations between city hall and Chase Bank, the city’s redevelopment agency created a program to consider proposals for a downtown cineplex based upon inclusion of State Theatre renovation and expansion within that process. This State Theatre proposal was (per DSP) virtually dependent upon use of this very parcel upon which Chase Bank was intending, with city hall’s graciously covert assistance, to construct its small building and its huge parking lot.

Why was it necessary to abandon this original and brilliant DSP goal of expanding and renovating State Theatre as a cineplex?

Because a majority of the city council decided that it would rather have Chase Bank absurdly shoe-horned into this key downtown corner and let Paul Petrovich develop his Electric Garage property as a cineplex.

Read the complete article at

See also the Woodland Record article "Chase Bank breaks ground for monument to deception."

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

City's annex block results in tax deduction for New Woodland Partners

The above diagram is part of the January 18, 2010, staff recommendation to deny the New Woodland Partners appeal to annex land next to the Gateway Center along Interstate 5. Note that all properties surrounding the 22-acre site are owned by Paul Petrovich (labels added). The city owns land that touches the southeast corner of the New Woodland Partners parcel. The city subsequently met in closed sessions to discuss “price and terms” of the land. In disregard to the Brown Act, city manager Mark Deven refused to disclose why the city needed the parcel.

From the Woodland Record:

The City of Woodland got what they wanted – the outgoing city manager, staff, planning commission and council effectively blocked a 22-acre annexation application to give Paul Petrovich's Gateway II 154-acre annexation a better chance for approval. For the same reasons the city denied the New Woodland Partners their annexation adjacent to Costco (Gateway I), the city should really have to deny the Gateway II project since it is adjacent to both Gateway I and the New Woodland Partners parcel.

Instead, the New Woodland Partners were battered down enough to relinquish their property for a mere $1,000 and tax deductions for the balance to our "charitable organization" called the City of Woodland. With that parcel out of the way, the city can now proceed what they've wanted to do all along... approve Petrovich's Gateway II. Woodlanders already know that city councilman Art Pimentel told the Woodland Record on April 11, 2010, that he wants to annex those 154 acres. "Yes," he said, "I support annexing the property to the City of Woodland. That needs to happen."

What's more, the city doesn't really know what to do with the property - although the real deed was accomplished. Here is an excerpt from the staff report:


Monday, September 05, 2011

City staff rejects grand jury's findings on response billing

From the Woodland Record:

In typical fashion for this outgoing city manager and his staff, they won't admit to any faults in doing the people's business – in this case they reject the following findings of the Yolo County Grand Jury investigation into the City of Woodland's emergency response billing program:

• City Ordinance No. 1506 deprives“responsible” parties of their due process rights, as the billing process does not provide proper notice or a formal method of contesting findings of responsibility.
• “Responsible” parties are treated inequitably, depending upon their insurance coverage.
• Billings are linked to insurance policy language.
• City Ordinance No. 1506 is a form of double taxation for Woodland property taxpayers.
• Record-keeping by both FRUSA and WFD is inadequate and is not auditable.
• The time it takes WFD personnel to gather and submit pertinent data does not make economic sense given the important public safety demands on their time.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Main Street widening at Petrovich site delayed

This is the most recent benefit for Paul Petrovich and his properties – compliments of the City of Woodland. The Main Street widening project will widen the north side of Main from East to Sixth Streets (along Petrovich's defunct Rite Aid project that should have covered most of the costs). These improvements consist of widening westbound Main Street to two lanes as well as sidewalk, curb, gutter and ADA ramp work. Price of street widening component: $305,281. Price of storm drain improvement: $392,000. Total: $697,281 (minus $69,000 to be reimbursed by the Woodland Courthouse project for street widening). Last year the city paid Petrovich $2.5 million for the I-5 on ramp land. And just last Tuesday city council met in closed session to discuss price and terms for two Petrovich properties and another property purchase that would benefit Petrovich's Gateway II annexation application.

From the Woodland Record:

The construction project has experienced several delays since early July due to several unforeseen conflicts. The new storm line in the intersection of Main and East Streets conflicts with an existing 12kv buried PG&E power line, and on Main Street near Sixth Street, the contractor discovered two abandoned underground storage tanks (USTs). Most recently, near Sixth Street, damage to the PGE 12kv high voltage conduit was discovered by the contractor.

The abandoned USTs have been fully remediated.