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Clayton Should Not Be For Sale

Jeff Wan City Council

A straightforward concept really.  Clayton should not be for sale.  But if you look around downtown, that’s the impression you’d get.  The dilapidated buildings on Oak St. have a For Sale sign.

Clayton Downtown Oak St.

Why is the city so intent on selling its assets?  With our current reserve position at approximately $4.5M or 1 year of operating activity, we do not need the one time influx of cash – the city needs to utilize its resources in a responsible way to shape the future of our downtown.  Once these properties are sold, the city loses its ability to exercise discretion about how the property is used, and what type of building or structure may go in there.  If these properties sell, the city would be constrained to approve many things that residents may not appreciate, but since they’d be consistent with the existing general and downtown specific plan, they would be allowed.

If instead the city retains ownership however, the city could take action to ensure the types of business and development that occurs is consistent with the downtown character and charm that attracted so many of us to Clayton.  We could offer longer term, significantly reduced lease amounts to encourage certain businesses to participate.

But look at what is going on behind closed doors at the latest Council meetings.  Here is the agenda for 7/17/18:

City Council Agenda 7/17/18

And here is the agenda for 8/21/18:

City Council Agenda 8/21/18

There is a continuing amount of closed door sessions to negotiate the sale of the properties on Oak St.  It’s unclear what the intentions of the City Council are, but I am opposed to anything that leads to the city selling off its assets.  These three parcels on the agenda are highlighted below on the left.  Those three are only a subset of what is for sale and owned by the city here:

Clayton Downtown Map 1

The parcels referenced are just those on the left.  The large open space on top is also for sale:

Clayton Downtown 1

Those are only the properties for sale right now (highlighted in red).  The city also owns other property downtown (highlighted in yellow):

Clayton Downtown Map 2

The Council will surely not sell the Grove Park, but based on their current push for selling other property can we say it’s out of the question that no other city owned property will be put up for sale?  This is not an activity we should engage in if we want to maintain control over our downtown character.  But there is one more area to highlight (light blue) – the targeted areas for three separate three story high density buildings for senior rental units:

Clayton Downtown Map 3

Downtown isn’t that large a geographic area.  When I look at it like this, it’s easy to see how at risk the character of our downtown actually is.  It wouldn’t take much to impact some of the reasons we all chose to live here.


When I look to the future of Clayton, what our downtown could be, I see so much potential.  We could have a vibrant downtown full of small retail and locally owned business that benefits all the residents of Clayton.  Even the older buildings that aren’t owned by the city could be encouraged to update and do some maintenance that may have been previously put off with assistance.  That future is only possible if the Council shares that vision and doesn’t sell our city to outside developers.
And that future does not include high density housing right near downtown.

Comments (15)

How about our city employees more.

You are naive to think it is for sale. It is subject to planning commission and city council approval.

This is city government business and I think they know what they are doing.

There are For Sale signs on the city-owned downtown parcels. Does that mean they are NOT for sale? City government represents the citizens, and most are opposed to 3-story high-density housing on that land.

Keep it vacant?

Buy it.

The citizens of Clayton DID buy it, and they should determine how the land is used.

Yah but the 81 apartments are all ready zoned that way. And it’s not public land. I think a private developer has it.

Yes, a private developer does have it. His name is Bill Jordan. And Dave Shuey and CW Wolfe have both voted numerous times granting Jordan zoning exclusions to make his project even larger. It’s now a 3-building 3-story 81 unit Antioch-style high-density apartment rental development currently “Under Review” by the City. Jordan has already stated “I don’t care what Clayton wants”, and he intends on building the largest, densest development possible to maximize his ROI.

City is don’t develop land. If the don’t need it they sell. This is surplus land. We should buy it if you want to keep it vacant.

Do you really think that this is doing us better or causing Wan and Buddell harm. I think the latter. It’s obvious that all the hate on ND is really backfiring on our candidates. It’s all so emotional. Johanna and Alison are trolls and actually for incumbents imho.

How about a “go fund me” so we can purchase the lots. We all chip in and give it to cbca to manage?

Our city bought the land and bestowed a right to us, the right to use it for our festivals and the right to open space. Government can’t take away rights once the the rights have been bestowed. A prior City Council was foolish enough to take TAXPAYER dollars and try to play the real estate speculation game. The City does not need the money. The land belongs to We The People and it should be kept that way. The lesson for future City Councils is don’t take taxpayer money and engage in the real estate speculation business, Leave that to the private sector. Now that We The People own the land, it should be kept that way and left as open space, especially when the cost is insignificant,. Open space INCREASES property values for all of us in Clayton, Open space keeps our small town character, If you want a “vibrant downtown with retail and coffee shops” move to Walnut Creek. You can have that along with all the crime.

I agree with the land is for us. I also think their are good ideas out there for development that would benefit us.

Jordan is the only guy that will build. Clayton is a best kept secret and he will take the chance. He did In other cities and no doubt he will do it here.

It’s under contract and not easy build out. There are car lifts to accommodate parking. The creek is a concern.

But all the permits are paid for.

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