Residents Speak Their Piece About Project

Two separate “open house” presentations on the proposed Natomas Landing project, facilitated by Wendy Hoyt of The Hoyt Company, drew standing-room only crowds to the Westlake club house Monday afternoon.

Natomas-area residents made comments on the latest drawings of the project. City officials and landowner Doug Ose responded to some of the comments while White suggested more information be sought in response to more specific questions.

Said one city rep, “Until something is built, the plan is not written in stone.”


  1. The latest incarnation of Natomas Landing (the version presented at this meeting)can be viewed here:

    Couple of notes:

    The amount of retail space has been “reduced” to 310,000 feet, because 90k of retail space was converted to another HOTEL. (The current proposal calls for 3 hotels to be built on the property.) The conventional wisdom arguing against the hotel proposal is this: if he can get through all the hoops to get the land re-zoned (considering getting it re-zoned makes no sense whatsoever) it’s entirely plausible that he could get at least one if not all of that hotel space converted back over to retail. Technically he’d have to go through the same process he’s going through now (planning commission, city council, etc.) but if they’re gullible enough to fall for the re-zone idea, selling them on the smaller issue of converting smaller chunks of hotel space to retail stores should be a piece of cake.

    Consider this: each hotel calls for 150 rooms. Assume a 2 person-per-room occupancy (that’s conservative as obviously a lot of the rooms will accomodate 4 people.) If those hotels become as wildlly popular as Ose dreams them to be and book fully, that’s 900 PEOPLE staying on the property, not counting hotel staff and the other shoppers and retail store employees. That has mess written all over it. (And yes, it’s worst-case scenario, but shouldn’t we be planning for that?)

    The proposal that was given to us on paper at the meeting was finished the DAY OF the meeting, meaning they had made LAST MINUTE CHANGES to the plan the submitted to Westlake owners via email several days beforehand. When Ose and his spin doctors were asked if this would delay their July 29th presentation of the plan to the city council they waffled on their answer. Thankfully a member of the city planning commission present clarified that it would push the presentation of the plan back to August 15th, so that the City Council and the Planning commission could have ample time to review the plan. As far I’m concerned, this last-minute change to the plan reeked of either ineptitude, arrogance or desperation (or all of the above) on Ose’s part.

    Doug Ose has politician permanently embedded in his DNA, and quite honestly it creeps me out. This was the first time I had heard him speak at one of these meetings, and after I heard him speak I realized why: he can never answer a question head-on, and when he does, his answers are so round-about and irrelevant that you get the sense he’s LYING to you. I don’t trust this guy any further than I can throw him.

    Another thing that was annoying about the meeting: the Ose folks kept spinning the idea of their development as if it was its own little island separate from everything else. When audience members threw out concerns about the other 500,000+ square feet of retail space SURROUNDING the Ose property, it was quickly downplayed. We can’t let them make us forget that what he’s proposing is adding on to a huge amount of retail space already set to go in.

    To paraphrase one comment from one of the attendees that I loved: “The current zoning allows for 215,000 square feet of retail, and your plan calls for 310,000 square feet — why can’t you just live with the 215,000?” (This, by the way, was never answered head-on. Ose’s folks wrote it on their “concerns” list, thanked the attendee for voicing his concerns, and moved on to the next question.)

    This last meeting was (surprise) all window dressing and no substance. Aside from “reducing” the amount of retail space, Ose STILL has not addressed our major concerns: traffic, the project’s lack of economic viability, quality of life and neighborhood safety.

    Doug Ose needs us more than we need him and we can’t afford to fall for his ruse.

    If you’ve made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read my rant. There’s few things in life I hate more than being lied to or taken advantage of, and what we’re being presented smells of just that.

    Join me in letting Tretheway, Fargo, et al know that we want none of this nonsense.

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