General Plan Steering Committee Profile: Brenda Little

We continue with our on-going profile of members of the Davis General Plan Steering Committee by looking at Stephen Souza’s choice, Brenda Little. Little is the director of property management for Tandem Properties. Tandem Properties is one of the largest property management companies in the city of Davis. It is owned by John Whitcombe among others. Whitcombe has consistently been one of the strongest supports of Stephen Souza.

Whitcombe and Tandem Properties was the chief developer involved in the proposal and construction for the failed Covell Village development project initiative. Voters in November of 2005 defeated the massive project by huge margins. And yet, here we are, having the developers of the Covell Village project on the General Plan Steering Committee.

What is clear is that while Councilmember Souza did not directly put John Whitcombe on this committee, he put a person with clear development interests instead. This is a person who likely stands to directly gain from new development and a more favorable general plan to development.

What is interesting is that Councilmember Souza who owns a pool cleaning company has in the past done business with Tandem Properties. At some council meetings, he has recused himself from weighing in on items directly effecting Tandem Properties. He did this during a Covell Village hearing process, but I believe later on, he got a ruling that suggested that his past dealings did not create a conflict of interest. Souza of course was a strong supporter of Measure X and Covell Village. Whether he had a direct business relationship with Whitcombe and Tandem, he has a strong political connection there.

The purpose of this is to suggest the interests of Brenda Little are squarely in the realm of the pro-development majority of council. Ms. Little will obviously continue to represent the interests of the largest and most powerful development and property management company in the city of Davis. It is clear where the priorities of this committee lie.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Land Use/Open Space

92 comments

  1. I think this is to be expected. Whitcome/Tandem also owns lots of apartments/student housing.

    The Yolo county’s general plan is rejecting growth in the North central and northeast quadrant of Davis

  2. I think this is to be expected. Whitcome/Tandem also owns lots of apartments/student housing.

    The Yolo county’s general plan is rejecting growth in the North central and northeast quadrant of Davis

  3. I think this is to be expected. Whitcome/Tandem also owns lots of apartments/student housing.

    The Yolo county’s general plan is rejecting growth in the North central and northeast quadrant of Davis

  4. I think this is to be expected. Whitcome/Tandem also owns lots of apartments/student housing.

    The Yolo county’s general plan is rejecting growth in the North central and northeast quadrant of Davis

  5. What is most remarkable is the obvious contempt for our level of intelligence. This alone should galvanize the Davis voters to send Saylor and Souza(either council or supervisor race) packing in 2008.

  6. What is most remarkable is the obvious contempt for our level of intelligence. This alone should galvanize the Davis voters to send Saylor and Souza(either council or supervisor race) packing in 2008.

  7. What is most remarkable is the obvious contempt for our level of intelligence. This alone should galvanize the Davis voters to send Saylor and Souza(either council or supervisor race) packing in 2008.

  8. What is most remarkable is the obvious contempt for our level of intelligence. This alone should galvanize the Davis voters to send Saylor and Souza(either council or supervisor race) packing in 2008.

  9. One thing that wasn’t clarified is that this is one element of the General Plan that is being updated. It’s not a complete General Plan update.

    It’s fine that you’re profiling each member of the housing element subcommittee.

    You generally want a balance of representatives on the subcommittee because ultimately it will be developers who have to accommodate Davis’ “fair share” of future regional growth. They should have some say in that.

    I do, BTW, believe Davis should accommodate it’s fair share of regional growth. However, I also think we should set the standard regarding how to accomplish that.

  10. One thing that wasn’t clarified is that this is one element of the General Plan that is being updated. It’s not a complete General Plan update.

    It’s fine that you’re profiling each member of the housing element subcommittee.

    You generally want a balance of representatives on the subcommittee because ultimately it will be developers who have to accommodate Davis’ “fair share” of future regional growth. They should have some say in that.

    I do, BTW, believe Davis should accommodate it’s fair share of regional growth. However, I also think we should set the standard regarding how to accomplish that.

  11. One thing that wasn’t clarified is that this is one element of the General Plan that is being updated. It’s not a complete General Plan update.

    It’s fine that you’re profiling each member of the housing element subcommittee.

    You generally want a balance of representatives on the subcommittee because ultimately it will be developers who have to accommodate Davis’ “fair share” of future regional growth. They should have some say in that.

    I do, BTW, believe Davis should accommodate it’s fair share of regional growth. However, I also think we should set the standard regarding how to accomplish that.

  12. One thing that wasn’t clarified is that this is one element of the General Plan that is being updated. It’s not a complete General Plan update.

    It’s fine that you’re profiling each member of the housing element subcommittee.

    You generally want a balance of representatives on the subcommittee because ultimately it will be developers who have to accommodate Davis’ “fair share” of future regional growth. They should have some say in that.

    I do, BTW, believe Davis should accommodate it’s fair share of regional growth. However, I also think we should set the standard regarding how to accomplish that.

  13. That’s a good point about balance, but I think there is a considerable lack of balance on this committee. There is no one representing the social services commission.

    You have Luke Watkins who does the supply end of affordable housing, but no one who is a social worker or on that commission.

    You have no one from the Senior Citizens commission on that committee and they have a sizable interest.

    You have no one representing the UC Davis students on that committee and they have a sizable concern. Yes Tandem supplies apartments, but again, there is no one from the demand end of that spectrum.

    Meanwhile you have nine of the twelve with substantial developmental interests. So if anything, the developers are over rather than under representing.

  14. That’s a good point about balance, but I think there is a considerable lack of balance on this committee. There is no one representing the social services commission.

    You have Luke Watkins who does the supply end of affordable housing, but no one who is a social worker or on that commission.

    You have no one from the Senior Citizens commission on that committee and they have a sizable interest.

    You have no one representing the UC Davis students on that committee and they have a sizable concern. Yes Tandem supplies apartments, but again, there is no one from the demand end of that spectrum.

    Meanwhile you have nine of the twelve with substantial developmental interests. So if anything, the developers are over rather than under representing.

  15. That’s a good point about balance, but I think there is a considerable lack of balance on this committee. There is no one representing the social services commission.

    You have Luke Watkins who does the supply end of affordable housing, but no one who is a social worker or on that commission.

    You have no one from the Senior Citizens commission on that committee and they have a sizable interest.

    You have no one representing the UC Davis students on that committee and they have a sizable concern. Yes Tandem supplies apartments, but again, there is no one from the demand end of that spectrum.

    Meanwhile you have nine of the twelve with substantial developmental interests. So if anything, the developers are over rather than under representing.

  16. That’s a good point about balance, but I think there is a considerable lack of balance on this committee. There is no one representing the social services commission.

    You have Luke Watkins who does the supply end of affordable housing, but no one who is a social worker or on that commission.

    You have no one from the Senior Citizens commission on that committee and they have a sizable interest.

    You have no one representing the UC Davis students on that committee and they have a sizable concern. Yes Tandem supplies apartments, but again, there is no one from the demand end of that spectrum.

    Meanwhile you have nine of the twelve with substantial developmental interests. So if anything, the developers are over rather than under representing.

  17. I will be more direct and perhaps heretical. The Fair Share concept is more a goal than a directive that has real penalties attached( other than cutting off affordable housing grants which even our own city staff has publicly stated in fantasy and has not been used to his knowledge). Many communitites have looked at their Fair Share allocations and have decided that, in their best interests , they will not reach those goals. This is a real option that the Steering Committee needs to consider. In that regard, developer interests have a clear conflict of interest.

  18. I will be more direct and perhaps heretical. The Fair Share concept is more a goal than a directive that has real penalties attached( other than cutting off affordable housing grants which even our own city staff has publicly stated in fantasy and has not been used to his knowledge). Many communitites have looked at their Fair Share allocations and have decided that, in their best interests , they will not reach those goals. This is a real option that the Steering Committee needs to consider. In that regard, developer interests have a clear conflict of interest.

  19. I will be more direct and perhaps heretical. The Fair Share concept is more a goal than a directive that has real penalties attached( other than cutting off affordable housing grants which even our own city staff has publicly stated in fantasy and has not been used to his knowledge). Many communitites have looked at their Fair Share allocations and have decided that, in their best interests , they will not reach those goals. This is a real option that the Steering Committee needs to consider. In that regard, developer interests have a clear conflict of interest.

  20. I will be more direct and perhaps heretical. The Fair Share concept is more a goal than a directive that has real penalties attached( other than cutting off affordable housing grants which even our own city staff has publicly stated in fantasy and has not been used to his knowledge). Many communitites have looked at their Fair Share allocations and have decided that, in their best interests , they will not reach those goals. This is a real option that the Steering Committee needs to consider. In that regard, developer interests have a clear conflict of interest.

  21. There was no way to discern from the City website, outside of their e-mail suffixes, the affiliation of many of the appointees.

    Balance is key, and no group should be overrepresented.

  22. There was no way to discern from the City website, outside of their e-mail suffixes, the affiliation of many of the appointees.

    Balance is key, and no group should be overrepresented.

  23. There was no way to discern from the City website, outside of their e-mail suffixes, the affiliation of many of the appointees.

    Balance is key, and no group should be overrepresented.

  24. There was no way to discern from the City website, outside of their e-mail suffixes, the affiliation of many of the appointees.

    Balance is key, and no group should be overrepresented.