Noted architect and urban planner Joe Minicozzi will speak in Davis on Monday, February 24, at 11:30am in Davis Community Chambers, 23 Russell Boulevard, Davis. His visionary and nationally popular “Dollars and Sense” presentation draws upon data gathered from cities across the US to illustrate how land use decisions impact the municipal bottom line.

Following his talk, Minicozzi will respond to questions from the audience and should also be available to continue the conversation afterwards. His next stop is the City of Benicia, where he will be giving a keynote talk that same evening.

Save your spot by registering today. The Davis Futures Forum, a Cool Davis working group, is organizing this presentation as the latest in an ongoing series now in its fifth year.

Data-driven, fiscal approach to local planning

Minicozzi came to Davis five years ago as the first speaker for the Davis Futures Forum. He excited and informed our community with his newly created visual tools that clarify the complex relationship between where and how we grow and the municipal budget. Since that time, he has developed more data and more impressive visual tools, presenting to audiences as diverse as the American Planning Association, the International Association of Assessing Officers, the International Downtown Association, and the Urban Land Institute, as well as multiple individual cities

Minicozzi uniquely sees cities as municipal corporations that must balance revenues and expenditures, just like private or non-profit corporations. He identifies land as the municipal corporation’s raw material. The city’s investment portfolio consists of tax producing land uses. The income from these properties finances a portfolio of infrastructure, i.e., parks, roads, sewer, water, transit lines, and services (police, fire, schools).

Property tax data from county assessor’s offices and local sales tax revenues are gathered by Minicozzi, keeping specific property information confidential. This data is illustrated on a GIS map that allows even a novice to identify the highest tax generating districts in a community. In most communities, the highest revenue generating district turns out to be a walkable, mixed-use downtown.

Dovetailing with Form Based Code and the Davis downtown planning process

Following Minicozzi’s visit five years ago, our city leaders determined that downtown Davis would be an important place to accommodate and encourage future growth. This resulted in a strategy to increase downtown development through the application of a Form Based Code, a new planning approach that simplifies our previously complex and often conflicting development codes and processes. Developers who comply with the requirements of the new code will be able to move through the process much more quickly and at considerably less expense.

After over two years of input from our residents, the City’s consultant for the new Form Based Code and the Council-appointed Downtown Davis Planning Advisory Committee have almost completed their work. The final product is scheduled for review and adoption by Davis City Council in the very near future.

It is expected that the next step in planning the future of Davis will be an update of the City’s general plan. Minicozzi’s experience and insights gained since he was last in Davis will provide us with additional guidance about where and how we might grow in an economically sustainable way.

Register for the Joe Minicozzi event.

The purpose of the Davis Futures Forum is to highlight innovative approaches to social, economic, and environmental sustainability through land use planning. The Forum primarily accomplishes its work by arranging for nationally known experts to speak at local public venues and with help from experts and supporters at the City of Davis, UC Davis, and in the community. Visit our web page on the Cool Davis web site for more information about the Forum and previous speakers.