Davis Manor Neighborhood Council
November 2003 Edition
Editor: Kevin Wolf     Layout: David Siedband

Traffic Circle Concerns lead to Changes

The corner of M and Colgate has always been a problem with cars traveling too fast and others ignoring the stop signs on M. This and other speeding and traffic problems on Colgate, Lehigh and other streets led to a neighborhood survey. Though undulations were preferred, City public works staff agreed to install and test a traffic circle. After a one-year test, the circle's value seemed to be validated with reduced speeds recorded on Colgate and less traffic cutting through our streets.

With that, the city jack hammered out the center and provided funds for the neighborhood committee to plant the circle, which it accomplished in spring 2003.

But now there is a growing concern that the circle may have made the intersection more dangerous. Cars cut the wrong direction. Some still run the stop signs. Others do multiple rotations around the circle. Bikes cut the wrong way. And other stupid and dangerous activities are witnessed there too often.

After an intense discussion via the DMNC listserv, the Board met with a number of neighbors and decided:

  • The tall grasses will be pruned to not block the view. This winter they will be transplanted to the N Street Park walkway to the community garden and replaced with low growing plants.
  • The City is requested to add traffic calming / traffic control features to the intersection.
  • Neighbors on Colgate, Duke, and M are encouraged to pursue installing traffic calming undulations on their streets. It takes two houses across from each other agreeing to have the undulations there and 50% of the neighbors on the street supporting the proposal before the city will consider the request. (See
  • Request the city to install traffic islands on Colgate in order to prevent 'cutting the corner' on the circle. Leaving an opening for cars to pass through, these islands would extend out from the East and West sides of the circle.

Next Board Meeting:

The next DMNC Board meeting will be on Monday, December 8, from 7:30-9 pm at the N St. Cohousing common house at 716 N Street. The agenda will be sent to everyone on the listserv about a week before the meeting.

Neighborhood Meeting on N Street Cohousing's Common House Design and Final Planned Development

The N Street Cohousing Community which consists of 17 houses on N Street and Lessley Place is inviting neighbors to review and comment on its proposal to add on to its common house (716 N St) and to finalize its draft Planned Development (PD) zoning changes. The presentation and recording of comments will take place from 7:30-8:30 pm on November 13 at 716 N St. After this a final proposal will be turned in and a second City-sponsored workshop will be held on the proposal before the Planning Commission vote.

The proposed PD language and 716 N Street design "elevations" are available on the web at or can be delivered in hard copy by calling Kevin at 758-4211.

N Street Cohousing is proposing to add a "granny flat" unit above the original downstairs house and connect it to the existing second story room. Most of the downstairs would then be converted to meet the eating and meeting needs of the community. Presently there are four rooms rented in the house. After reconstruction, there will be five bedrooms in an upstairs granny flat and a one-bedroom suite downstairs that utilizes the community kitchen. A preliminary PD was granted the community when the granny flat was added to 748 N Street in 1999. The purpose of the PD is to permanently protect the open space in communal backyards by changing the setback limit from 10 feet to 32 feet. This eliminates the existing R-1 zoning right to build "detached" granny flats up to 1200 square feet in the backyards. The PD will make it easier to add smaller granny flats above the existing houses without impacting open space.

N Street Cohousing members want to continue making their common house available for neighborhood meetings and events and believe that the enlarged and improved space will be an asset to the neighborhood as well as for their community.

If you cannot attend the meeting on Nov. 13, please talk with any member of the community for a tour and a view of the 3-d model of the proposed common house redesign. Or contact Kevin Wolf at 758-4211 -

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Energy Conservation, Mold and More in the Stanley Davis Homes of Davis Manor
An Interactive, Solutions Workshop with energy expert Jim Obannon
November 11 2003
7-9 pm

Sponsored by: The Davis Manor Neighborhood Council and the City of Davis Energy Efficiency Project

Over 200 Stanley Davis homes with open beam ceilings, 3 bedroom and 1 or 2 baths were built in the Davis Manor neighborhood in the 1950s. These average 1000-square foot houses used the "new technologies" of stucco and cement foundations. They were a marvel of the time, especially with a price under $12,000. Many of them were bought by veterans of World War II with very low cost mortgages.

But these homes came with problems, some not to be discovered for years.

They can demand a lot of energy to heat and cool to a comfortable level. They don't have much natural light. They can get mold especially with the poor ventilation of the bathrooms. They are highly susceptible to termites, especially when there are water leaks around the house, which happens with 50-year-old pipes and Davis water. The original roofs are problematic. The outlets aren't grounded. And more.

The Davis Manor Neighborhood Council (DMNC) and the City of Davis Energy Efficiency Project (DEEP) are hosting an interactive workshop that uses the hands-on experience of renters and owners of these homes and the professional expertise of Jim Obannon of Richard Heath and Associates (RHA) from Chico.

Jim has already toured about a dozen homes in the neighborhood taking photos and developing background material for the workshop. He found good examples of the right and wrong way to make "improvements" on these homes.

DEEP is able to cover workshop costs with funding from ratepayers through the "public goods charge' collected by PG&E and distributed according to California Public Utilities Commission mandated energy surcharge on energy bills. DEEP will give three energy efficient light bulbs to any household that hasn't already received the package worth up to $30. There will also be door prizes for participants, including an energy efficient fluorescent torchiere lamp and LED holiday light sets.

The City and School District will make available Valley Oak Elementary MPR room for the event on November 11 from 6:45 to 9 pm. The workshop will start promptly at 7 pm and is open to anyone who has an interest in the type of homes that make up the Davis Manor neighborhood, which covers the streets between L and Pole Line, and 5th and 8th Streets. For more information contact:

DMNC: Kevin Wolf, 758-4211
  Craig Blomberg, 756-4493

DEEP: Marshall Hunt, 757-5634

DMNC Email Listserv Here to Serve You

Over sixty residents in the neighborhood subscribe to the DMNC email listserv. In the last few months of its existence, neighbors have used the listserv to share thoughts and information on a myriad of issues.

The listserv is a fun way to keep up with what's going on and listen to the range of opinions in neighborhood. For those who like a little less email each day, the "digest" form is great, just one email a day with a table of content to what was posted, if anything that day.

To sign up for the listserv, visit -
If you have problems or questions, contact: David Siedband

DMNC Membership Problem and Request

In the paperwork shuffle setting up the new version of the neighborhood council, the sign-up sheet from the March general meeting at the Chestnut Park Roundhouse was lost. As treasurer I am setting up a database and trying to reconcile the money that was deposited in the DMNC's bank account. If you signed up and paid your dues, please e-mail or call me.

If you haven't become a member, please do so. Dues are $10 per year, but you can request this be waived and all requests will be honored. Dues help pay for printing and other costs.

Sue Sawyer 753-2929

DMNC Board members

Fred Buderi - Vice President
Jen Nachmanoff - Social Coordinator
Laurie Rivers - Secretary
Sue Sawyer - Treasurer
Jean Smith - Outreach Coordinator
Kevin Wolf - President

Wanted:Some friends of the path to the community garden to help in planting, mulching/weeding, and occasionally watering this stretch. Day jobs or long-term options. Good vibe benefits. Contact any board member if you are interested.

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