In 2017, Davidon hoped that by joining with Kelly Creek Protection Project (KCPP), they might be able to divert attention away from their dismal history of environmental stewardship over the Scott Ranch. So, they formed a partnership: Davidon as the managing / controlling partner with KCPP as the limited partner--but the official face of the project.
The plan was to let KCPP and its PR firm spin a tale of a politically and environmentally correct development, complete with a park and hiking trails. This PR campaign and lobbying efforts would surely entice the city and the community to embrace the project and to overlook the detrimental environmental impacts of its proposed development.
Since 2018, KCPP has told a wonderful story of parks, trails, and blissful harmony with the land while carefully avoiding the past behavior and deficient stewardship of their managing partner, Davidon Homes. KCPP has alerted the public about the current problems facing this pristine piece of property yet fails to mention that their partner, who has owned the land since 2003, has done nothing to fix or abate any of the issues raised by KCPP. One partner (KCPP) tells the public one thing and the other, the one with the final say (Davidon), continues to let the land be abused.
What KCPP tells us about the land (May 2022)
The land at Windsor and D has been over-grazed by cattle.
The cows are trampling the creek bed and eating native vegetation.
The cows drink from the stock pond and threaten the breeding site for the red-legged frog.
Without management, the stock pond will continue to fill with sediment, reducing the amount of water available to the frogs.
The Department of Fish & Game stated to Davidon in 2003 that the pond should be managed. How much pond management has Davidon done since they bought the land in 2003? According to KCPP, Davidon has done nothing.
For the last 19 years, Davidon continued to lease the land for grazing
Davidon allowed the cows to roam freely. Davidon allowed the cows to drink from the stock pond.
Usually a handful of cows roam on the land. Last week the herd tripled and is “trampling” the land and drinking out of the creek and stock pond. KCPP wrote about the negative impact of the cows a few weeks ago. Does it make sense for Davidon to increase the herd a couple of weeks later knowing the damage that the cows are causing?
Repairs needed on the open space
These are the repair items stated by KCPP on May 10, 2022: repair the gullies, raise the water table, stop the erosion, fence the cows out of the stock pond and the creek, and plant native carbon-sequestering trees.
What kind of steward of the land will make minimum repairs while waiting until the City approves 28 million-dollar houses before doing any needed repairs?
What kind of environmental partner lets the land degrade? What’s up with this "partnership"?
From Davidon's perspective, these are only 28 homes. Davidon could walk away from this expensive development with cash flowing to Walnut Creek. KCPP, Helen Putnam Park, and a coalition of non-profits will be left with the repairs, design, installation, and maintenance of the park extension.
Perhaps the development of 28 million-dollar homes is a good trade-off for parking spaces and new trails leading to Helen Putnam Park. Perhaps Petaluma needs new million dollar homes to meet its housing goals. Perhaps the wildlife will be able to negotiate a path around the new homes, yards, and streets and still migrate through this land. Perhaps the red-legged frog will stay away from the construction and housing area. Perhaps the run-off from the new homes will not cause flooding. Perhaps traffic will not increase from these houses and visitors to new parking lots on D Street and Windsor. Perhaps fires will never threaten this high-fire risk location. Perhaps the residents who buy these million-dollar houses will bring plenty of money to the city.
We all know that this is the false narrative that everyone involved with this proposed development wants the public to believe.
We KNOW better, now let’s DO better. Let your voice be heard to put the brakes on this irresponsible development.