A Community-Centered Housing neighborhood offers specific home designs, a variety of financing, real-life approach tailored to the amenity & financial capabilities of local employees. Based on its modest size, infill location, and site plan, Palomino Place presents Davis with an opportunity for a Community-Centered Housing Prototype.
Palomino Place (formerly called Wildhorse Ranch) is located on the southeast corner of the Wildhorse master planned community. It is 26 acre, odd-shaped, remnant from the original subdivision.
Community-Centered Housing, sometimes referred to as Workforce Housing, is often touted but seldom built. Palomino Place offers a specific design, program, and practical approach to providing homes tailored to the financial capabilities of local employees and current renters. Its size (26 acres), proximity adjacent to the existing Wildhorse development, access to schools, and open space affords a unique opportunity for Davis to build a prototype community.
The experiences generated by Palomino Place can be replicated and scaled to function within much larger parcels. Palomino Place’s design and layout reflect practical design solutions for an irregular (pork chop-shaped) parcel. To benefit adjacent homeowners, the design and type of homes are a continuation of the original Wildhorse Plan’s housing themes. It is a classic infill site with adjacent infrastructure along with existing homeowners.
Within each category of proposed Palomino Place homes are imaginative opportunities to assist purchasers and the City in achieving their housing goals beyond a typical land purchase. The size of the home is consciously formulated to meet the buyer’s financial capabilities with the cost to construct and ultimate sales price.
This is where UCD, as independent investors, purchased the finished home then “land leases” the lot to its faculty and staff who own the home itself. A concept first created in California by the Irvine Company in Southern California.
While common with government-subsidized “for sale” units, this practice is used less often in normal market-rate units. UCD applied this approach at Aggie Village to offer more affordable prices to later purchasers.
Down payment assistance to buyers from either a Private Equity company (common in Silicon Valley), the newly proposed City of Davis Housing Trust Fund, or a local public/private employer participation.
To ensure long-term availability for local employees receiving an employer subsidy, the employer may require a “first right to purchase” in the event of its resale for some period before the residence goes on the open market.
No retention by the purchaser of the property after vacating for use as a rental home. This restriction helps with maintaining inventory for future Davis employees and residents.
Required by the purchaser, except for specific reasons and timeframes. The home must be sold to an owner occupant.
Palomino Place proposes much-needed housing in Davis focuses on Davis residents. Palomino Place also includes move-up and mid-level housing so current Davis-employed homeowners can move up to larger homes as their needs and families change. The vision and justification for such housing are described in compelling detail in the attached Community-Centered Housing, A Prototype Neighborhood narrative. Click Here to Download a copy of the narrative
To achieve the vision described above and in the referenced narrative, the development proposes a mix of entry-level cottage and townhouse-style units, mid-level units, and second move-up homes. In addition, approximately 70% of the mid-level and move-up lots would include an accessory dwelling unit built at the time of the home construction. The table below includes the metrics for each of the unit types:
Entry-level Halfplex Townhomes
Updated and New Ranch Homes
First Move-up, Mid-level, Two-story, Single-family Homes w/ADU
Second Move-up, Mid-level, Two-story, Single-family Homes w/ADU
40 (20 ADU's)
1,000 –1,350 ±
800 –1,000 ±
1,400 – 2,800 ±
1,400 – 1,600 ±
Detached carport parking
Shared courtyards and grounds
Renovation of three existing homes and construction of two new units.
ADUs constructed with a portion of the homes, attached/detached TBD
ADUs constructed with a portion of the homes, attached/detached TBD
The Palomino Place project will include four community amenities to be available for use by the general public. The proposed sports complex would ease overcrowding and overuse of facilities that were never meant to handle the number of people they see on a daily basis. A description of each facility is described below:
Davis Fencing Academy will repurpose the existing horse barn on the property as a world-class, Olympic-quality Pentathlon training facility. The modern Pentathlon competition is an Olympic sport that comprises five different events
Freestyle swimming (200m), Equestrian Show Jumping, Fencing, and a combined event of Laser Pistol Shooting, interspersed with five 600 – meter Cross Country runs. It is important to note that both modern pentathlon competitions and the Palomino Place proposed facility only use lasers for the target pistol shooting portion of the competition. The repurposed facility will include modern workout and locker room facilities, in addition to training spaces/facilities for the fencing and laser pistol events. In addition, a cross country trail will be included and a swimming pool complex will be constructed adjacent to the training facility
Currently, training in Davis for these five events happens in at least two to three separate locations four to five times a week. The sports complex at Palomino Place would allow for training to happen in one place for all but the equestrian event. This would allow easier carpooling, increased likelihood of pentathletes (children and adults) riding their bikes to practice, decreased car trips, wear and tear on roads and greenhouse gas emissions
Due to recent changes, USA Pentathlon Multisport is looking for a new training base. At present Davis Pentathlon trains out of Davis Fencing Academy, but has insufficient facilities for all disciplines on site which severely hampers training opportunities. USA Pentathlon Multisport (USAPM) has designated the proposed facility Official Training Center of USAPM with an eye towards locating the national program here. The former USA Fencing Association President, a Northern California resident, is also looking at the Palomino Place facility as a potential base for the US Fencing Coaches Academy and National Team. The Pentathlon group has also been approached by both dance and cross fit-type groups that would be interested in sharing the new facilities. Palomino Place offers the unique opportunity for Davis to create a multi – sport complex anchored by modern pentathlon that provides the facilities necessary to support Davis residents’ active lifestyle.
If successful, The Palomino Place Project will donate property for two training pools in the north east corner of the parcel, immediately adjacent to the Pentathlon facility. The Palomino Place facility would be a dedicated pool complex specifically for community programing of all ages, including coach lead lap swimming, youth groups, senior – focused programs, and other niche groups. At one point, based on numbers of participants in the community swim groups below, it was estimated that 1 in 10 Davis residents is involved in a swim program. The DART program alone involves 1000 – 1100 families
The aquatic complex would be used on a regular basis by the following groups:
DART Swimming – Youth swim team (Ages 3 – 20)
1.Davis Aquatic Masters – Adult swim team (Ages 18 – up) – approximately 500 current members
2.Davis Pentathlon Club – (Ages 7 – up) – currently 40 – 60 participants
3.Davis Water Polo Club – Youth water polo (Ages 5 – 20)
4.Davis Aquastarz – Youth Synchronized swimming group (Ages 5 – 20)
5.Davis Fencing A cademy (ages 6 & up) – 80 – 120 participants, including pentathletes
● 25Y by 25M Pool – All deep (Min 7 Feet)
● 15Y by 25Y Pool – All shallow (2 ft to 4ft)
Daily & Seasonal Usage
The aquatic complex would serve a variety of groups during the year based around seasonal programming. During the summer months, the complex could have all four groups using pool
space during a single day. The complex would also have public access to programs like lap swimming, aqua – aerobics, and recreational swim times for families.
The Palomino Place and Pentathlon / Pool Complex design benefits the Davis community by:
Programming – all the aquatics programming in Davis are currently limited in what they can offer to the citizens based on current pool space limitations. This pool complex would alleviate some of these overcrowding issues to allow new “open” time at other City facilities. The DARTS program alone has approximately 1400 participants an nually. The availability of new pools at Palomino Place could reduce the usage load on other pools in town.
● City Pools – Open more hours. This facility would allow for pools like Manor and Arroyo to have more time for public recreational swim and lap swim.
● City Pools – Lowering operational costs – The City could close certain pools seasonally to lower operational costs. The City of Davis currently subsidizes aquatic programming in
Davis so seasonal closures would lower the overall operating budgets.
● City Rentals – The rental groups in Davis will continue to need to rent pools from the City of Davis. The Palomino pools will positively affect the pool rental market by greatly
reducing the daily and season conflicts.
● Modernized Facilities – Providing a modern pool facility dedicated to community programming for swimmers of all ages and ability levels.
● Providing a single location for Pentathlon athletes to train in 4 of their 5 sports eliminating the need for travel throughout the City.
● Offering a destination for a niche sport, attracting Pentathlon athletes and fencers from around the world, and, in turn, raising the prestige of the City.
● Opening an opportunity for Pentathlon athletes to give back to the City by sharing their expertise, improving physical education, and motivating students.
The complex will be partially funded by the monies provided by the Bretton Woods development intended for the Davis Masters’ swimming complex. A 118 – space parking lot is proposed for pool and Pentathlon visitors.
Landscape Buffers, Open Space, and Pedestrian/Bicycle Connectivity:
The Project will provide both connectivity and landscape screening to buffer the existing homes within the Wildhorse Subdivision. The open space and connecting trails include:
● A 20’ wide tree screening buffer along the entire northern and the majority of the western property lines.
● Widened tree buffer areas at select locations along the western edge as depicted on the Illustrative Site Plan.
● An open space ped/bike connector to the Wildhorse Subdivision as originally master planned, with a connection to Caravaggio Drive and Bonnard Street. This connection will also function as an emergency vehicle secondary access.
● An open space ped/bike connection providing connectivity to the existing Wildhorse Agricultural Buffer on the east side of the Project.