Letter: Continued Neighborhood Opposition to Sterling Project

Sterling Apartments – original proposal

By Marjorie Beach

I am writing to inform Vanguard readers of the continued opposition of Rancho Yolo residents to the “Revised” Sterling Project proposal.  In no way are we now “happy” with the project, nor are we dropping our opposition to it.

The project is basically planned as a large student dorm – without the important amenities and support system that an on-campus college dorm has.

Such a situation is a recipe for a pretty miserable experience – both for the dorm students and for the surrounding neighborhood.  Such a large project – and the dorm-like type of project – should be situated immediately adjacent to or on the UCD campus.

Rancho Yolo lies in the midst of many 1,2, and 3 bedroom, mostly student-occupied apartment complexes.  These are not incompatible with our community of approximately 260 single-story, single-family homes.

A massive project such as Sterling, occupying a small parcel of land, is not compatible with the neighborhood or with the General Plan.  Sterling’s size, its character, the increase in congestion it would contribute to an already busy (and getting busier, with newly built and/or approved projects in the area) – all of these factors request a No vote from our City Council at its April 18th Meeting.

A “No” vote would be for the good of Rancho Yolo, the rest of the neighborhood, East Davis, the potential students, and the City of Davis as a town which seeks to be a family-friendly, student-friendly community.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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95 thoughts on “Letter: Continued Neighborhood Opposition to Sterling Project”

  1. Todd Edelman

    First and foremost, it’s extremely important to address housing needs at the root, and their foundation. The problem here is in principle the same thing that’s caused massive social and economic upheaval, in effect also a non-military ethnic cleansing – on the west and southwest side of the Northern California Megaregion – Silicon Valley, the Peninsula, San Francisco, Oakland with tremors felt throughout the whole Megaregion: The problem is that there’s simply no entity which has enough power to ensure something close to balance in supply & demand in the Megaregion, in which Sacramento Valley Area is the eastern side. In lieu of a Supercounty political entity with elected officials responsible for housing, mobility and job creation/siting for the Megaregion, a formal takeover of UC Davis by its students, or a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, I don’t see how the university will be prevented from increasing enrollment in any significant way. But this enrollment near-freeze simply has to happen until something close to this “balance” is reached, especially as the City of Davis is fully justified in developing at least a moderate amount of jobs with the intention of increasing tax revenues as both it and UCD build dense, modern housing where the number and capacity of places for people to live, love, sleep, eat, socialize and study are never reduced so that some can store private vehicles which remain parked most of the time. In other words, until the entire community – both the City and the University – can make significant progress towards balance, there can be no formal parking minimums. This means that private vehicle storage – outside of a few exemptions – is not possible in any new projects, and that robust replacements for the private car – including some parking at the borders of town – are required in all projects, complemented by tough measures to prevent residents of the developments from parking in many areas of town. Demand is so high for housing now that this rule will hardly throw a spanner in the sales pitch of any building owner.

    So it’s clear that the design of Sterling partly ignores the balance imperative, and it’s important for the City Council to make a decision about Sterling in relation to what I hope many current and potential residents of Davis will grow to recognize as an ideal design for a site like this. A design which, first and foremost, is a clear illustration that an abundance of people, of intelligent and interested new neighbors – does not have to be accompanied by an increase of congestion and air pollution – if private vehicle storage is simply left out of the mix. The elements would include:
    * Apartments of various sizes and reasonable prices for all economic capabilities  – from studios to multiple bedrooms  – that are suitable for everyone from singles to families with children, or including elders and pets;
    * Flexible facilities that recognize the needs of groups which are over-represented in Davis, such as university students, but are still suitable for all their neighbors in the development;
    * Carshare and normal/electric-assist bikeshare vehicles that can safely and comfortably be used by persons of all abilities for shopping and other activities, supplied in a ratio that ensures availability (a bottomless coffee cup of shared mobility);
    * Bicycle-parking that is close to all units, takes into account heavy and over-sized designs, and is in as close a direct line as possible from units to the street;
    * Increase in provision of collective public transport if needed;
    * A system to transport people late at night when running large buses (essentially any resident can request a ride from anywhere in the city and get picked up within 30min. for free);
    * Off-site parking near e.g. 80/Mace and 113/West Covell (for people who still need their own car to get out of or around town);
    * A Prohibition on parking near 5th and Pole Line, and no possibility for resident of the development to park for more than a couple of hours on public streets or in public parking lots.

    For the 5th and Pole Line location there are already the beginning of plans that would create two main routes for cycling to and from campus: One via 5th, L and 3rd through Downtown; via 5th; and from Pole Line to a crossing to Olive St and then past Richards and under the tracks to the Arboretum.

    The capacity for people at the site of the former Families First facility – based on the above requirements and requiring the above elements – can certainly be increased above the level in the first version of Sterling, if – and only if – there is virtually no private vehicle storage onsite. We probably don’t want the parking stall to replace the bicycle as the symbol of this town, and in second place for symbols I hope we agree that we need to be clear on it being a bed, and not that car parking stall.

    The City Council is in a difficult position as the business model for running what’s currently planned on 5th just east of Pole Line is not suitable for the egalitarian elements I propose above. And to make matters worse,  Rancho Yolo residents, our planning department and perhaps the Sterling developers themselves – in addition to many other residents of Davis – all seem to be under the illusion that density = automobile congestion. It clearly does not have to be. It’s an understandable cultural misunderstanding, enforced by experts. So… on April 18th, will the City Council help us start to shatter this illusion? I truly hope so.

    1. Ron

      David:

      And, of course your comment calls for the need to question why the city should specifically encourage student-oriented housing (and assume the costs and responsibilities for doing so), especially when it’s better suited for campus locations (and where it’s perfectly legal to limit such housing for students).

      Yeap – and “off we go”, to the same arguments that keep getting repeated (by everyone).

        1. Howard P

          But, not a “super-majority”… don’t have the documentation, but if you include all rentals, SF/MF, suspect strongly the student portion is right ~ 60%… so you are correct as to “majority”… if MF only, pretty sure that’s at ~ 80-85%. [might be a bit lower… that’s ‘high-end’]

          No cites, but based on people I know…

        2. Ron

          David:

          Really?  I hadn’t “heard” that vacancy rate number (about a million times), previously.

          As a city, I guess that’s the “planning tool” number we should use, then.  Never mind the impacts this would cause, (including financial impacts on the city):

          http://www.davisvanguard.org/2017/03/sterling-comes-back-revised-proposal/#comment-354891

          Other than the former Families First site, I’m not sure exactly where else you’re advocating more “mega-dorms”.

          And, of course, never mind that the LRDP process isn’t even complete (including targeted enrollment numbers, primarily consisting of more “profitable” international students).

          I’m going to have to start “saving and pasting” the arguments, as well.  (Really, you and a couple other commenters want to start this up, again?)

      1. David Greenwald

        Ron: All I called for was the need to study how many apartments we need for students.  You put the rest of that in.  And yes, I think the majority of the need for apartments is student-based and student-driven.  You want to start copy and pasting your responses, then I just assume stop having a discussion with you.

        1. Ron

          David:

          Regarding “copying and pasting”, it’s sort of a joke from the other day, regarding the repetitiveness of arguments.

          Your premise is not something that I would agree with.  Therefore, it’s the wrong question to ask.

          Each student-oriented apartment complex that is built might very well mean one less such complex on campus.  In addition, converting sites to accommodate housing that’s specifically oriented toward students (e.g., requiring one to walk through a bedroom, to reach a bathroom) will ensure that the complex does not meet the needs of non-students. (There’s a letter in the Enterprise which mentions this, regarding the Sterling proposal.)

          In other words, purposefully creating student-oriented housing off campus could very well lead to no improvement in the vacancy rate, and could also essentially prevent a given site from serving other types of renters.

          In addition, no one has addressed the ramifications of creating an even higher ratio of housing that’s occupied by students, within the city.

          1. Don Shor

            Each student-oriented apartment complex that is built might very well mean one less such complex on campus.

            What is your basis for this assertion?

          1. Don Shor

            So what? They’ve made a commitment. The LRDP will be finalized long before any housing is built in Davis or on campus, at the rate things are going. So what is your basis for the notion that they will not adhere to their commitment? It’s either 90% of new enrollment, 40% of total enrollment (current commitment to the city), or maybe more than that (in your dreams). How would any construction of any housing in town change those numbers? They’re based on enrollment.

        2. Ron

          Don:  Not sure I understand your question (or assertion), but we’ve had similar conversations previously, over-and-over.

          The bottom line is that UCD’s projected enrollment, along with the housing units expected to be provided on campus has not been finalized.

          It should be noted that some campus housing has already been approved, under the prior LRDP.  (It seems that this is often overlooked, in these never-ending arguments.)

          1. Don Shor

            My assertion is simple. You say that building housing in town might cause UCD to build less*. I say you have no basis for that statement. You reply that the LRDP is not complete. I reply that the housing commitment of 90/40 in the draft LRDP (which has not changed) is not directly or indirectly affected by the construction of housing units in town.
            Do you have some basis for asserting otherwise?

            *Each student-oriented apartment complex that is built might very well mean one less such complex on campus.

        3. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “In addition, no one has addressed the ramifications of creating an even higher ratio of housing that’s occupied by students, within the city.”

          You could do everyone a favor and solve that issue by describing what you personally see as the ramifications of creating an even higher ratio of housing that’s occupied by students, within the city. You appear to be the only person who is concerned about those ramifications.

        4. Ron

          Matt:

          A city that’s overwhelming occupied by student renters is a fundamentally different place than a city occupied by a range of various populations.  What you (and some on the Vanguard) are suggesting is to purposefully change that ratio, without even considering the ramifications.

          If I’m the “only one” who’s concerned about that, what do you make of the opposition to mega-dorms, such Sterling?  How about the opposition to “mini-dorms”?  What about the impacts on schools and other services, that would result from a purposeful change regarding the mix of population types? How would businesses within the city change, to serve a higher ratio of students (compared to non-students)?

          Those are just examples, off the top of my head. (Really? The answer isn’t obvious to you?)

          1. Don Shor

            No you haven’t. You have provided no basis for asserting that UCD will build less housing if any is built in town. UCD’s commitment is a percentage of enrollment.

        5. Ron

          Don:

          Let’s repeat this again.  (Here’s where I need the “copy and paste” function.)

          The LRDP (including the EIR, projected enrollment, and the amount of housing expected to be provided on campus) has not been finalized.  (Hopefully, the city’s response to the LRDP has not been finalized, either.)

          If the city starts approving construction of student-oriented housing prior to the completion of the LRDP process, this will provide a justification for UCD to build less housing, and/or not adjust its planned enrollment numbers with available housing on campus.

          1. Don Shor

            this will provide a justification for UCD to build less housing, and/or increase enrollment even further.

            False.

        6. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “A city that’s overwhelming occupied by student renters is a fundamentally different place than a city occupied by a range of various populations.  What you (and some on the Vanguard) are suggesting is to purposefully change that ratio, without even considering the ramifications.</em.

          That's an interesting personal perspective from 40,000 feet.  In what specific ways are they different?  What are the specific ramifications you believe exist?

          Ron also said . . . “If I’m the “only one” who’s concerned about that, what do you make of the opposition to mega-dorms, such Sterling?  How about the opposition to “mini-dorms”? “

          Those individual site design (mega-dorm) and site use (mini-dorm) concerns are very different issues than “the ratio of housing that’s occupied by students, within the city.”  In what ways do you personally believe a city that is 22% students (the 2000 ratio) differs from a city that is 26% students (the 2010 ratio) or differs from one that increases to 30% students or 35% students?

          Ron also said . . . “What about the impacts on schools and other services, that would result from a purposeful change regarding the mix of population types? How would businesses within the city change, to serve a higher ratio of students (compared to non-students)?”

          Those are good questions.  How do you personally think businesses within the city will change (or already have changed), to serve a higher ratio of students (compared to non-students)?  What do you personally believe the impacts on non-school services are?

          Regarding impacts on schools, can’t the same thing (or more) be said about the senior demographic group? The 2000 and 2010 US Census numbers show that the number of senior residents of Davis grew by 58% and the number of UCD student residents of Davis only grew 26%.  Similarly, the proportion of senior residents of Davis grew by 45% and the proportion of UCD student residents of Davis only grew 15%. Wasn’t the increase in seniors a purposefully change of the ratio?

        7. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “this will provide a justification for UCD to build less housing, and/or increase enrollment even further.”

          That is your personal opinion Ron.  Do you have any evidence to support that opinion?

          Don said . . . “False”

          That is your personal opinion Don.  Do you have any evidence to support that opinion?

          1. Don Shor

            Do you have any evidence to support that opinion?

            The University of California does not make enrollment projections based on housing starts in any community except where they have settled a lawsuit by agreeing to do so. There is no such agreement in Davis. Their housing projections are in the current LRDP which is posted here:
            http://campustomorrow.ucdavis.edu/slide5
            The enrollment projection is 39,000 students by 2027-28. They have committed to housing 90% of the increase and 40% of the total enrollment. There is nothing in the LRDP which suggests that commitment, or their enrollment projections, are correlated in any way with housing starts in town. A percentage is a percentage. In the absence of any evidence otherwise, I feel very comfortable stating that Ron’s assertion is false. Consider my position the null hypothesis, and feel free to provide evidence otherwise.

        8. Ron

          Matt:

          Some quick responses, and then your turn.  Have to move on to something else, but will probably check in later.

          As the percentage of housing that specifically oriented toward students rises, conflicts (as demonstrated by the concerns regarding mini-dorms and mega-dorms) will also rise.  (You will continue to see this “up close” – not just at 40,000 feet.)

          Regarding a higher percentage of students, this might lead to a higher number of restaurants and nightclubs, and less need for hardware stores (for example).

          Do you now acknowledge that there would be impacts, and that I’m not necessarily the “only one” who might be concerned about such impacts (as you initially stated)?

          What other types of impacts do you now see (and perhaps would like to discuss)?

          Overall, this is not a question to be decided via short responses between commenters, on the Vanguard.  In any case, it seems foolish to purposefully pursue a policy to change the population mix, without considering the impacts of such an approach.

        9. Ron

          Don:

          Let’s repeat this again.

          The LRDP process (including the EIR, which will contain responses and concerns) has not been finalized.  The enrollment numbers and amount of on-campus housing has not been finalized.  In your own response, you provided an example of an agreement in which plans to increase enrollment are tied to the availability of on-campus housing. Who knows, perhaps UCD will adjust its plans before that point. (Don’t we still have a council LRDP subcommittee working on this, as well?)

          Do we need to keep going over this repeatedly, forever?  (Seems to be a pattern with you – not just with this particular subject.)

          1. Don Shor

            The draft LRDP did not change prior to the NOP being posted. The comment period for the NOP has ended. The university has not changed the 90/40 commitment nor the enrollment projections. Thus there is no basis for your assertion. It is false. You don’t need to keep repeating unfounded assertions. You just need to justify them, but you haven’t, won’t, or can’t. Not sure which.

            you provided an example of an agreement in which plans to increase enrollment are tied to the availability of on-campus housing.

            There is no lawsuit pending against UCD. Are you planning one?

            Do we need to keep going over this repeatedly, forever?

            Stop repeatedly making unfounded assertions, and I won’t need to rebut them.

        10. Howard P

          Ron… no ‘insult’/’boxing’ in your 6:39, 7:42, 8:22, etc. posts… it is clear that only I troll/box/insult… so, I sign off in disgrace,truly penitent, as you might wish… best to you and yours, and g’nite…

        11. Ron

          Don:

          You consistently change what I’ve stated, and then argue that it’s false.

          You’re presenting opinion as fact.  To some degree, so am I.  However, it’s pretty obvious that approving student-oriented housing within the city will provide a justification for UCD to not do so.  Sorry, but the LRDP process is not complete, and that is a fact.  (Hopefully, the city’s response is not finalized, either.)  And, if UCD does take advantage of the city’s willingness to approve student-oriented housing (by then failing to build housing on campus), it won’t make one bit of difference regarding the vacancy rate.  In fact, it could theoretically make it worse, as noted in the following paragraph.

          Purposefully approving developments that are primarily aimed at students (by design, as discussed earlier) will ensure that a given site is not available for other possible uses (including more “traditional” apartment complexes, which are desirable for a wide range of populations).  Instead, the complex would be occupied by students (who might have otherwise lived on campus).

          1. Don Shor

            The young adults I’ve known who were finding housing in the Davis rental market — none of whom were UCD students — have all lived at various times in “developments that are primarily aimed at students.” Many of them are or were community college students, but also work here or grew up here. They weren’t necessarily thrilled about it, but that’s what the Davis rental housing market is when you’re in your 20’s. “More traditional apartment complexes” in town are largely full of students. They overwhelm the market.
            All other things being equal, construction of any housing anywhere in town and on campus would probably increase the vacancy rate. That’s kind of the way it works in markets. The only problem is UCD is going to grow fast enough, and still leave 10% of housing of the increase to the surrounding community, so the vacancy rate will likely be pretty static or fluctuate somewhat depending on the pace of construction. There are some variables there. As students age they are likelier to be willing to live further from campus, so Woodland and Dixon will end up taking more of the excess.

        12. Ron

          Howard:  “Ron… no ‘insult’/’boxing’ in your 6:39, 7:42, 8:22, etc. posts… it is clear that only I troll/box/insult… so, I sign off in disgrace,truly penitent, as you might wish… best to you and yours, and g’nite…”

          It seems that you often make some comment regarding my post, without considering the other party’s post.  (And sometimes, the other’s party’s post is glaringly hostile.)

          In this case, I have no idea what you’re objecting to, nor do I have much interest in researching it or “guessing”. I’ve got my hands full with Don and Matt simultaneously, already. (Although it hasn’t yet degenerated into personal insults, there’s already some misstatements going on.)

        13. Ron

          Don:  “The only problem is UCD is going to grow fast enough, and still leave 10% of housing of the increase to the surrounding community.”

          This statement is an opinion, partly based upon the preliminary plan that UCD first presented last year.  The plan is undergoing an EIR process (which includes alternatives), further review, and possible challenges (in some form).  The plan has not been finalized, no matter how you “slice and dice it”, or downplay the review process.

          I recall that UCD’s position is that 10% of students want to live in surrounding communities.  Many objected to that assumption.

          Not sure what you mean, when you state that “UCD is going to grow fast enough”. But, enrollment plans are also subject to review and change. (Again, we’re repeating ourselves.)

           

          1. David Greenwald

            I think it is more accurate to state that Don’s statement is a project based on the current working plan from the university. That plan may change. That’s one reason I continue to suggest that Davis come up with a range of numbers based on how much the university provides housing and adjusts accordingly.

        14. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Some quick responses, and then your turn.  Have to move on to something else, but will probably check in later.

          As the percentage of housing that specifically oriented toward students rises, conflicts (as demonstrated by the concerns regarding mini-dorms and mega-dorms) will also rise.  (You will continue to see this “up close” – not just at 40,000 feet.)”

          Conflicts exist regardless (conflicts come with any kind of change … they are inevitable).  Further, those conflicts are not limited to any specific demographic group.  For example, as the percentage of senior residents rises (as it did from 7.6% to 8.8% to 10.9% to 12.0% to 17.5% in the respective 10-year periods from 1970 to 2010) conflicts will also rise.  By comparison, the percentage of UCD Students in that same period has seen much less change (from 25.4% in 1970 to 26.4% in 1980 to 25.6% in 1990 to 22.7% in 2000 to 26.2% in 2010).

          Ron also said . . . “Regarding a higher percentage of students, this might lead to a higher number of restaurants and nightclubs, and less need for hardware stores (for example).”

          Three thoughts/questions come to mind.  (1) Is a higher number of restaurants and nightclubs inherently bad?  (2) Is there actually a higher percentage of students?  (3) Have we lost any hardware stores?

          Ron also said . . . “Do you now acknowledge that there would be impacts, and that I’m not necessarily the “only one” who might be concerned about such impacts (as you initially stated)?” 

          As I said above, any time you have change there are impacts.  The question I have for you is given the change in the ratio of senior residents and the change in the ratio of UCD student residents, which do you believe has had more impact on Davis?

          Ron asked . . . “What other types of impacts do you now see (and perhaps would like to discuss)?”

          Any and all changes will have impact on taxes, impact on the mix of services, impact on the cost of services, impact on the modes of transportation.  All you have to do is look at an EIR to see the plethora of impacts that change brings with it.

          Ron said . . . “Overall, this is not a question to be decided via short responses between commenters, on the Vanguard.  In any case, it seems foolish to purposefully pursue a policy to change the population mix, without considering the impacts of such an approach.”

          Let’s accept your premise at face value.  To date, what consideration have we given to the impacts of purposefully pursuing a policy to change the population mix from 7.6% seniors in 1970 to 8.8% in 1980 to 10.9% in 1990 to 12.0% in 2000 to 17.5% in 2010?

          Similarly, what consideration have we given to the impacts of purposefully pursuing a policy to reduce the population mix from 25.6% UCD students in 1990 to 22.7% UCD students in 2000?

          1. David Greenwald

            I’m baffled here – the current situation has led to the rise of conflicts. Scarcity leads to conflict.

        15. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “As the percentage of housing that specifically oriented toward students rises, conflicts (as demonstrated by the concerns regarding mini-dorms and mega-dorms) will also rise.”

          David Greenwald said . . . “’I’m baffled here – the current situation has led to the rise of conflicts. Scarcity leads to conflict.”

          David, in fairness to Ron that is a somewhat different perspective on conflicts.  Scarcity has indeed led to the rise of mini-dorms, but is scarcity the direct cause for the concerns that exist between existing neighborhoods and the converted mini-dorms within those neighborhoods?

          I personally doubt that scarcity has been much of a factor in determining the size of Sterling’s proposal.  They were committed to the high-rise model of student-oriented housing long before they took the option on the Families First property.  Their prior Davis project (now called The U) was/is 4-stories.  Their projects in other college towns are in many cases much more dense than Sterling.  Scarcity has (in my opinion) very little to do with their design.  The more units you can fit on a lot, the more money your project makes.  It is simple economics.

        16. David Greenwald

          Not sure I agree with you Matt.  First, my point on conflict was clearly broader than Ron’s but that was part of my point.  Second, I disagree that market forces and scarcity didn’t drive at least part of Sterling’s calculus.  After all if there was not a market need, why would they undergo such a costly and risky investment.

  2. Ron

    Marjorie:

    I appreciate your letter and clarification.  It’s unfortunate that the leadership of Rancho Yolo dropped their formal opposition, especially since the developer’s representative had previously/already acknowledged that the proposal would be reduced in size.  (This was previously reported on the Vanguard, as well.)  Not sure exactly what significant “concessions” were made so far, in connection with the request to rezone the site from industrial to high-density residential.

    If the council has already essentially decided to support a given development, subsequent “negotiations” are generally not going to favor neighbors. “Real” negotiations would ensure that neighbor’s concerns have significant weight, regarding whether or not to approve a given change in zoning in the first place.

    It also appears that the current level of development fees may not be sufficient to offset long-term costs of proposals such as Sterling, based upon recent proposals discussed on the Vanguard.

    I obviously don’t share Todd’s vision, although his ideas are interesting.  (I’m guessing that he’s not overly-concerned, regarding road maintenance.)

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Howard P

      Get real, Ron… unless the concession is “no project”, expect you’d not sign on… nor would the active voices @ Rancho Yolo…

      Based on my interpretations of the bulk of your previous posts (and their’s)… I well be incorrect…

      1. Ron

        Howard:

        If you’re referring to the alternatives listed in the EIR, that would be correct (as far as I’m concerned).  However, even if that occurs, I realize that something will occupy/re-use the site (and that it’s desirable for that to occur).

        I cannot speak for residents of Rancho Yolo, and I doubt that they have a consistently unified vision, either (other than objecting to the current, massive student-oriented development, for the most part).

  3. Todd Edelman

    Ron, thanks. What can I do to persuade you to share my “vision”?

    You guessed incorrectly about my concerns regarding road maintenance. It’s certainly true that I am not as informed as much as I’d like to be about development fees. However, since you’re softly suggesting that the fee level for this project is simply too low, I would counter that the impacts on the surface quality and thus maintenance costs for road infrastructure in Davis is somewhat less impacted by a development based on the “elements” I detail above than in either iteration of Sterling. This modest guesstimate is based on the traffic generation statistics in the EIR, which I cannot – at least not yet – address with a different methodology or analysis. Still, my vision – with its reduction in vehicle use – generates less VMT and of course climatic conditions are harder on any infrastructure than perhaps any number of bicycles, etc. In aggregate with more new and renovated projects following this template, roads could be eventually narrowed due to both capacity and design speed changes — more on the latter in a moment. Narrow roads need less maintenance than wider ones. Parallel cycling- and walking/slow-rolling-infrastructure would keep going and going and going… with not too much fuss… if the Energizer bunnies at the engineering firm contracted to build them are quite clever in regards to high temperature and whatnot (please not the hacks that faked the Dutch intersection at the can-of-worms opener — I mean the entrance to the Cannery). Nevertheless and given all that, my not so well-informed but well-intuited decision is that the development fees in town are too low, perhaps even for the same reason that gas taxes are too low — but that’s a slightly different discussion. I’d be happy to threaten a construction freeze if it leveraged us good citizens a higher fee!

    I promised more about “design speed” so here goes nothing not too slowly: After the City tunes up its priority list about road repairs as necessary, we press forward with a 15 mph design-speed regulation for the most local of streets, for example everything ending in a cul-de-sac or which doesn’t go directly to another neighborhood without joining another street. This may all be hopefully sooner-rather-than-later specified at the State level, with individual cities required to participate in some form, even just to justify why these most local streets have to stay 25 mph zones… for example if all the residents are university students who are also volunteer firefighters. 15 doesn’t happen with signs; it happens with designs, namely narrowing. Narrower can initially reduce re-paving, paving etc costs, though it would still be necessary to remove vestigial street tissue and replace it with gravel and bio-swales and semi-public parklets. If done right it seems like this street would be both safer and cheaper to maintain. (This is crazy and I can’t believe I’m saying it, but in certain cases could homeowners be offered the chance to increase the size of their lot by buying 5 or 10 ft of the excess street width, adding to the value of their property whilst providing cash for our coffers?) And, before I forget: The last hundred or two-hundred yards of a journey at about 15 instead of 25 mph increases its duration by seconds. You can try this the next time you leave your house by car instead of by physical manifestation of the town symbol.

    So, Ron… where we at? Both you and Don Shor have, of late, shown some interest in my ideas. Could you possibly share more about your opinion?

    1. Howard P

       (This is crazy and I can’t believe I’m saying it, but in certain cases could homeowners be offered the chance to increase the size of their lot by buying 5 or 10 ft of the excess street width, adding to the value of their property whilst providing cash for our coffers?)

      If not “crazy”, it shows great ignorance and/or naivete.  On many levels…

      1. Don Shor

        30+ years ago the residents of Purdue Drive petitioned the city to allow them to cut out planters in the street and install Chinese pistache trees. I remember the process and discussions about which trees would do best. A few of the homeowners opted out of the process. But here is the result:
        http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/Purdue%20Drive%20road%20cutouts.jpg

        Go to the street level view to check it out:
        https://www.google.com/maps/place/Purdue+Dr,+Davis,+CA+95616/@38.5540329,-121.7629041,151m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x808529b318a10927:0x2afcb07796810180!8m2!3d38.5540329!4d-121.7623569

        1. Ron

          Don:

          I had thought of that example (which seems closely related to some of Todd’s suggestions).  What do you (or others) think of this particular example?  (Although I appreciate the trees, I find it kind of messy-looking, and difficult to park when I’m visiting someone in that area.)

          But, I probably shouldn’t “admit” that I’m parking in that area, periodically.  Although I like my vehicle, I’m (at least) properly “ashamed” to admit it.  🙂

        2. Howard P

          I believe that was done by an “encroachment permit”… and, no, they (neighbors) did not cut out planters… the City did.   Was not directly involved, but am aware of some of the facts of that… created some issues regarding street maintenance.

        3. Todd Edelman

          I recall going down the street for the first time shortly after I arrived in town. I gave it a good grade for traffic calming but a bad one for letting the trees drink properly. Is that your issue?

          1. Don Shor

            I think it has worked surprisingly well considering how little area there is for the trees to get water from.

        4. Todd Edelman

          Re-creating that street with 10 mph design speed would require it be at least 1/3 narrower. This would:
          * Preserve the same amount of parking space. (But what does this street look like in the middle of the week, during the school year at 3am? How much capacity is left at this time? Taking parking away is not the goal here; the goal is recognition of the value of the space for different uses);
          * Permit full egress by emergency vehicles (Move over in front of a driveway if necessary);
          * Would decrease a full journey time by seconds;
          * Would decrease noise;
          * Enable sections to be essentially playgrounds, where cars – including bicycles! – are guests (this could developed further so that e.g. one or more front yards and the street create a contiguous space with no change in title or ownership mandated; any property owner could opt out unconditionally. If the formal boundaries could be overcome, transferring areas of the street to properties which they join could be a revenue source. Probably there’d need to be consensus amongst all the owners on the street…).

          When speeds are so low there’s a lot more flexibility for surfaces. But this… squeezing life into a street idea was partly about saving costs on re-paving. Obviously, gorgeous and well-functioning bio-swales and even some semi-public furniture costs money. So I’m curious about creating some kind of comparison of costs of keeping a typical local-est street here as-is vs. modifying per my suggestions or other variants. A holistic assessment could look at pollution, safety, athletic activity (health care costs) or just assign points to everything including the proximity to homes of safe play spaces, social interaction, and so on. I’m sure this entire tool or methodology already exists, yes?

          Back to Google Maps with more detail about which streets would be these Davis Playstreets*: In the immediate neighborhood around Purdue St., Harvard, Cornell, Bucknell and Colby would also be designed for 10 mph. Sycamore would stay 25 mph. Villanova might stay 25 or be 20 or 15 like Pine. Again, as distances on the Davis Playstreets or Davis Slowstreets* are such a tiny part of a trip, journey times will be more affected by the need to share with other users than their design speed.

          * If Esparto, West Sacramento, Winters, Woodland, etc. (i.e. incorporated areas) join in, these informal street designations could get Yolo-branding instead of Davis-branding.

      2. Todd Edelman

        If not “crazy”, it shows great ignorance and/or naivete.  On many levels…

        is not a professional response. Please. By “this is crazy” I frame it as controversial etc and so your feedback add nothing. I’m not here to box; seems like sometimes you are other times you are not….

        1. Howard P

          Not being compensated as a professional here… [my rate has been $50-125/ hour]

          As I said, MANY levels…

          Do you understand the concept of “fee title”?  When you do, and can articulate it, might share further… [hint… someone has to have fee title rights to sell land].

          Please realize and acknowledge I only slightly affirmed your “crazy” postulation… I said you were postulating from apparent ignorance/naivete… which is your God-given, constitutionally supported right…

          When I spend the time and effort to educate folk as to facts, generally ignored here… fine, will disengage.

        2. Ron

          Todd (to Howard):  “I’m not here to box; seems like sometimes you are other times you are not….”

          That’s been my experience with Howard, as well.

    2. Ron

      Todd:  “Ron, thanks. What can I do to persuade you to share my “vision”?

      I was thinking of asking you the same thing.  🙂

      Costs for the city (from developments) are not limited to road maintenance (much of which has historically been paid by federal/state agencies).

      Regarding your ideas to reduce the impacts of autos, I find your comments kind of interesting, but also overwhelming.  (That is, each suggestion has its own set of ramifications, which would require a lot of analysis.)  Seems like something that could be hashed out by a committee, to see if there’s some viable suggestions in there. (Suggestion – I’d put it in a “bullet-point” format, to make it easier to read.)

      I’m not so crazy about the idea of ever-increasing density, although it’s better than ever-increasing sprawl.  Either way, we’re someday going to have to come to terms with the fact that either approach has negative impacts (other than the impacts of autos).  Some who are concerned about such impacts are encouraging UCD to match their enrollment plans with the availability of on-campus housing (where there would essentially be “no commute” to campus – by auto or any other method through town).  (Not sure if you’re aware of those efforts.)

      1. Todd Edelman

        Ron:

        Thanks. To one of your points: Analysis, yes! Please! Don’t just accept what’s on our plates!

        To another: I am happy the City of Davis has gotten quite firm and asked for 100% of new students etc. , but there’s a huge number of units owed – if that’s the right word – by UCD for falling short – and chronically so – of earlier commitments.

        We need to see the stress, waste of time, waste of money, emissions, mobility dangers and displacement as violence that needs to be de-escalated, not just patched up a bit and sent back to the battlefield. It’s time for  a time-out (or nearly so.)

        1. Ron

          Todd:

          If you’re interested in this, I’d suggest contacting Eileen Samitz.  From my perspective, she is leading this effort, more so than anyone else.  (I strongly suspect that the city would not have responded in the manner that it did, without Eileen and a few other citizens.)  It’s an ongoing effort, as well. (Eileen is also a very kind and caring person, toward all – including students.)

  4. Ron

    Matt:  “You could do everyone a favor and solve that issue by describing what you personally see as the ramifications of creating an even higher ratio of housing that’s occupied by students, within the city. You appear to be the only person who is concerned about those ramifications.”

    Matt:  “Those individual site design (mega-dorm) and site use (mini-dorm) concerns are very different issues than “the ratio of housing” that’s occupied by students, within the city.”

    No, it’s not.  As I mentioned, you’ll continue to see conflicts regarding specific proposals to approve student-oriented housing throughout the city, as a result of the decision to purposefully change the ratio (without even examining the impacts of doing so).  However, there are also broader concerns, such as transportation, impacts on businesses, financial impacts to the city, etc.

    You’ve outlined one of the financial concerns in your earlier response to Don Sherwood, regarding the inadequate level of development fees for large-scale, multi-bedroom apartment complexes (exactly the type of student-oriented housing proposed at the former Families First site).

    http://www.davisvanguard.org/2017/03/sterling-comes-back-revised-proposal/#comment-354891

    To suggest that I’m the “only one” who is concerned about the impacts of specifically targeting a type of housing that targets a specific population (and the impact on the city) seems disingenuous.

    Matt repeating my statement:  “As the percentage of housing that specifically oriented toward students rises, conflicts (as demonstrated by the concerns regarding mini-dorms and mega-dorms) will also rise.  (You will continue to see this “up close” – not just at 40,000 feet.)”

    Matt’s response:  Conflicts exist regardless (conflicts come with any kind of change … they are inevitable).

    Conflicts are not always inevitable.  In this case, a policy change is being proposed (to purposefully approve student-oriented housing throughout the city – up to 2 miles from campus).  That is a “choice”, not an “inevitable outcome”.

    Matt:  “For example, as the percentage of senior residents rises (as it did from 7.6% to 8.8% to 10.9% to 12.0% to 17.5% in the respective 10-year periods from 1970 to 2010) conflicts will also rise.”

    Without verifying these numbers, this is a different situation.  Much of the rise in senior residents is likely the result of natural aging in place.  That is different than purposefully changing city policy, to encourage a specific type of housing.  (However, I realize that there are senior-only developments.)

    Regarding the impacts of changing demographics (e.g., more senior housing), yes – that would also have an impact on the city.  It could also lead to conflicts (e.g., the ramifications of approving student-oriented housing near a senior complex, for example).

     

    1. Matt Williams

      Ron said . . . “No, it’s not.  As I mentioned, you’ll continue to see conflicts regarding specific proposals to approve student-oriented housing throughout the city, as a result of the decision to purposefully change the ratio (without even examining the impacts of doing so).” 

      This argument fails on several levels.

      First, I know from a large number of one-to-one conversations that the conflicts/concerns would have existed if the proposed apartment complex was student-oriented or not.

      Second, as I have pointed out to you in prior posts, the proportion (ratio) of the UCD student population cohort reported in the US Census has not significantly changed over the past 40 years (from 25.4% in 1970 to 26.4% in 1980 to 25.6% in 1990 to 22.7% in 2000 to 26.2% in 2010).

      Third, there is no City policy regarding age cohort proportions.  So, in addition to the fact that there has not been any change over the past 40 years, there isn’t any policy to change.

      Fourth, I suspect that the ACLU (and many others) would tell you that having a policy regarding age cohort proportions is illegal discrimination under the provisions of both Federal and State Civil Rights laws.

      Ron said . . . “However, there are also broader concerns, such as transportation, impacts on businesses, financial impacts to the city, etc.”

      Which is exactly why California enacted CEQA, so that there is a clearly defined process for disclosing and evaluating those impacts in a transparent, inclusive public dialogue.

      Ron said . . . “Matt’s response:  Conflicts exist regardless (conflicts come with any kind of change … they are inevitable).

      Conflicts are not always inevitable.  In this case, a policy change is being proposed (to purposefully approve student-oriented housing throughout the city – up to 2 miles from campus).  That is a “choice”, not an “inevitable outcome”.

      First, is any policy actually being changed Ron?  Student-oriented housing has been approved consistently through the years in Davis.  Lexington Apartments is student-oriented housing.  Arlington Farm Apartments is student-oriented housing.  DaVinci Court is student-oriented housing.  Adobe at Evergreen is student-oriented housing.  The list goes on and on and on.

      With that said, your statement “Conflicts are not always inevitable” is correct if there is no change.  The minute change is introduced to the system, conflicts are inevitable.

      Ron said . . . “Without verifying these numbers, this is a different situation.  Much of the rise in senior residents is likely the result of natural aging in place.  That is different than purposefully changing city policy, to encourage a specific type of housing.  (However, I realize that there are senior-only developments.)”

      To help you along.  The numbers are from the official US Census for each of those years.  My source is the Demographic Research Unit, California Department of Finance, 915 L St, Sacramento, CA 95814.  Electronic copies of the e-mails in which the data was sent to me by the Demographic Research Unit were also sent to Bay Area Economics, who can independently verify that the data is correct.

      Once again, you point to an existing City policy that establishes age cohort proportions.  Have you seen that policy?  Can you provide a link to that policy?  Is it in the Municipal Code?  Was a Resolution passed that established that policy?

      Finally, how is a senior’s personal free-will choice to have a residence in the City of Davis any different than a UCD student’s free-will choice to have a residence in the City of Davis?

      Ron said . . . “Regarding the impacts of changing demographics (e.g., more senior housing), yes – that would also have an impact on the city.  It could also lead to conflicts (e.g., the ramifications of approving student-oriented housing near a senior complex, for example).”

      Glad that you see you acknowledge that impacts know no age or station-in-life boundaries.

       

      1. Ron

        Thought I’d pick at least a couple quotes from you, to examine:

        First, is any policy actually being changed Ron?

        Absolutely.  It’s in the letter that accompanied the city’s resolution, regarding UCD’s LRDP.  The “change” essentially states that the city will now specifically encourage student-oriented housing, up to 2 miles away from campus.  (You can probably find that letter and the exact wording, if you’d care to research it.)

        Sterling is different than other “regular” apartment complexes by design, regarding their “by-the-bedroom room” lease model, bathrooms that require access through a bedroom (and each bedroom having a bathroom), a focus on multi-bedroom units (which apparently do not contribute sufficient development fees toward the city – as discussed earlier), etc.  (On a separate note, there is no plan to bill electricity or water based on the amount used, thereby providing no financial incentive to conserve.  This was discussed at length, in another article.)   To my knowledge, there is no other apartment complex far located far from campus that has this combination of features, poised to take advantage of UCD’s reluctance to house students on campus.

        “Finally, how is a senior’s personal free-will choice to have a residence in the City of Davis any different than a UCD student’s free-will choice to have a residence in the City of Davis?”

        What?

         

        1. Don Shor

          The “change” essentially states that the city will now specifically encourage student-oriented housing, up to 2 miles away from campus.

          It’s not a change. See Adobe Apartments, Shasta Drive, north Davis. Same distance as Sterling.
          http://davismerchants.org/vanguard/Adobe%20vs%20Sterling%20distance.png

        2. Ron

          Don:

          I’ll bite.  Are these designed the same way as Sterling?  (4-5 bedroom, each having its own bathroom, each tenant having their own lease, etc.?)

          Either way, is it now a “good idea” for the city to be specifically encouraging this type of design, up to 2 miles away from campus?  (I already know your answer, but I’d suggest that you’re not considering the impacts of this type of change to city policy.)

           

           

          1. Don Shor

            Either way, is it now a “good idea” for the city to be specifically encouraging this type of design, up to 2 miles away from campus?

            The city doesn’t encourage or discourage it. The city responds to proposals from developers.
            Yes, it is desirable (a “good idea”) for more apartments to be built in Davis.

        3. Ron

          Don:   “The city doesn’t encourage or discourage it.”

          It seems that you’re engaging in selective reading.  The city is most definitely encouraging it, in their letter that accompanied the resolution regarding the LRDP.

          1. Don Shor

            If that’s your definition of “encourage,” then my answer to your question is yes, it is a good idea.

        4. Ron

          O.K., Don.  I noticed you answered a different question than the one that I originally asked, but you’ve made your overall position quite clear, multiple times.

        5. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Absolutely.  It’s in the letter that accompanied the city’s resolution, regarding UCD’s LRDP.  The “change” essentially states that the city will now specifically encourage student-oriented housing, up to 2 miles away from campus.  (You can probably find that letter and the exact wording, if you’d care to research it.)”

          Ron, the exact wording of the LRDP Interests Framework letter (copy attached below) is “City to continue to pursue consideration of all infill and apartment housing proposals within the City (with emphasis on student oriented housing proposals within 2 miles of campus in order to facilitate ease of access).” 

          The reality of California law (and current City policy) is that any properly completed proposal/application submitted to the City Community Development Department must be given due process consideration.  The LRDP Interests Framework letter does not change that policy in any way shape or form.  Consideration is that, nothing more, nothing less.  Consideration does not presuppose approval, nor does it presuppose rejection.  The consideration process is defined, not the end result of the consideration.

          There is absolutely nothing in the LRDP Interests Framework letter indicating that the City will encourage student-oriented housing anywhere within the City Limits. In fact, what the letter specifically says is, “Promote diversification of housing stock to accommodate full breadth of community needs (workforce, affordability, seniors, students).

          http://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2016-12-06-CC-Item-06-LRDP-Interests-Framework.jpg

        6. Colin Walsh

          Matt it sounds like you are suggesting that emphasizing student housing over another demographic as the letter does is out of line with state law.

        7. Matt Williams

          Colin Walsh said . . . “Matt it sounds like you are suggesting that emphasizing student housing over another demographic as the letter does is out of line with state law.”

          Colin, you are an accomplished reader of (master of) the English language.  As such your brain knows that what I have written makes no such suggestion.  You are also very knowledgeable about the legal realities of land use planning . . . and therefore you know that the City’s Community Development and Sustainability Department receives project applications, and then, as objectively as possible, processes those applications, giving every application it receives all the due consideration spelled out by California, local and Federal law.

          You and I both know, and most of the Davis community knows that the Community Development and Sustainability Department under Mike Webb and Ashley Feeney’s leadership works very hard to stay neutral and give each submitted application they receive the same fair hearing that every other submitted application receives.
           
          You also know that the Community Development and Sustainability Department works hard to maintain arms length distance from the portions of the City’s organizational structure that are tasked with promoting the visibility and vibrance of the community to the world outside of the Davis City Limits . . . like the current Davis 100 celebrations for example.

          Further, as I clearly stated to Ron, there is absolutely nothing in the LRDP Interests Framework letter indicating that the City will emphasize student-oriented housing anywhere within the City Limits. In fact, what the letter specifically says in the City Objectives column of the Housing section is, “Promote diversification of housing stock to accommodate full breadth of community needs (workforce, affordability, seniors, students).”

          The City does not create project applications, project applicants do.  It is the project applicant’s decision what development characteristics the application (and the project design contained therein).

        8. Colin Walsh

          Matt,

          For all of the hostility and words you used I don’t think you actually addressed the single sentence I posted.

           

          Do you think that emphasizing student housing over another demographic as the letter does is out of line with state law?

           

        9. Mark West

          Colin  “out of line..”

          Mischaracterizing other’s words is certainly ‘out of line,’ and not surprisingly, one of your core competencies.

           

        10. Ron

          Colin:

          I appreciate your stepping in (or, should I say “stepping in it”), regarding the never-ending nonsense with Matt.  If it continues (which it no doubt will), you might want to consider just letting it go.  Not worth it, at a certain point.

          (As I was typing this, I noticed that Mark is now “coming to the rescue”, as well.)

          The city’s letter is a “de facto” policy change specifically citing student-oriented housing, and was created AFTER the Sterling proposal/process was well-underway. Now, the city can point to that letter, to help “justify” the development. But, I digress.

        11. Matt Williams

          Colin Walsh asked . . . “Do you think that emphasizing student housing over another demographic as the letter does is out of line with state law?”

          Colin, I answered your question very clearly and unequivocally. Here is that answer again.

          There is absolutely nothing in the LRDP Interests Framework letter indicating that the City will emphasize student-oriented housing anywhere within the City Limits. In fact, what the letter specifically says in the City Objectives column of the Housing section is, “Promote diversification of housing stock to accommodate full breadth of community needs (workforce, affordability, seniors, students).”

        12. Matt Williams

          You have cherry-picked only a portion of the quote Ron.  The whole quote is :

          City to continue to pursue consideration of all infill and apartment housing proposals within the City (with emphasis on student oriented housing proposals within 2 miles of campus in order to facilitate ease of access).” 

          Your undying commitment to partisan propaganda is clearly on display.

          Further, the City can not create either proposals or proposal applications.  The City can only receive applications that are submitted . . . and can not consider applications that are not complete.

           

        13. Ron

          Matt:  You’re the one who stated the following:

          Matt: “There is absolutely nothing in the LRDP Interests Framework letter indicating that the City will emphasize student-oriented housing anywhere within the City Limits.”

          I then pasted the portion of the letter, which directly contradicted what you stated:

          From letter: “. . .with emphasis on student oriented housing proposals within 2 miles of campus . . .”

          And again, student housing on campus will certainly “facilitate ease of access” more than any other location.

           

        14. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Matt:  You’re the one who stated the following:

          Matt: “There is absolutely nothing in the LRDP Interests Framework letter indicating that the City will emphasize student-oriented housing anywhere within the City Limits.”

          I then pasted the portion of the letter, which directly contradicted what you stated:

          Ron, you extraction of selected words from a complete sentence is the equivalent of me extracting the first two letters of your name and arguing that that directly contradicts any statements that you may have made that you are a man . . . “Ro” being a woman’s name.  Of course you are no more a woman than the letter commits the City to changing the demographic ratio of its population.

          While we are on the subject of demographic ratios.  Given the recent addition of the non-student homes in the City, I strongly suspect that the percentage upward change in the proportion of 20-24 year-olds in the next US Census will be lower than the percentage upward change in the proportion of seniors 55 and over in that same next US Census.  Care to make a friendly wager?

          Bottom-line, the City of davis has never had a demographic ratio policy, currently does not have a demographic ratio policy, and is not considering a demographic ratio policy any time in the future.

        15. Ron

          O.K., Matt.  You win.  The city does not have a policy which specifically states that the goal is to change the ratio/percentage of a particular cohort.

          However, they do have a “de facto” policy of emphasizing student-oriented housing up to 2 miles from campus, which will likely change the ratio and percentage of housing occupied by students within the city.

          And, as you noted elsewhere on this page, the percentage of student residents in the city has apparently stayed remarkably stable, over the years.  (Suggesting that the city has already been “doing its part” – if there is such a thing, despite UCD’s reneging on past agreements to increase student housing on campus.)

        16. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “O.K., Matt.  You win.  The city does not have a policy which specifically states that the goal is to change the ratio/percentage of a particular cohort.”

          No winners or losers Ron.  That implies there is/was a competition.  No competition exists.  Simply a dispassionate pursuit of an agnostic interpretation of the City’s letter to the University.  I am glad you saw the light and embraced dispassionate agnosticism.

        17. Colin Walsh

          There is something I don’t understand here. How are these 2 documents being parced to emphasize the the “Draft LRDP Interests Frame Work” that was never formally adopted over the executed letter that was formally adopted by council. I am of course open to explanation.

        18. Matt Williams

          Colin, that is the document Ron chose for excerpting his quote, and then told me to chase it down.  The draft is the only version available on the City website.

          Do you have a copy of the executed letter? If so scan it and send it to Don Shor or me. That way we can get it visible for everyone to see.

          BTW: 2 documents?

        19. Colin Walsh

          Matt,

          I emailed you the executed letter from the City of Davis to UCD that states “City to continue to pursue consideration of all infill and apartment housing proposals within the City (with emphasis on student oriented housing proposals within 2 miles of campus in order to facilitate ease of access).”  It was adopted unanimously by the City Council on December 20th.

          The  “Draft LRDP Interests Frame Work” you have cited to was prepared by the 2 member LRDP subcommittee, was in the staff report for the December 6 Council meeting and was never formally adopted.

          These are 2 separate documents and have different weight.

        20. Matt Williams

          Thank you Colin for sending me the e-mail with the executed letter. Your comment in the Vanguard is 100% correct.  The Draft LRDP Interests Frame Work never was formally adopted, and the draft language in the December 6th Staff Report that Ron cited as proof of Council passing a policy emphasizing student-oriented housing up to 2 miles from campus exists only as a reference in the January 21st executed letter (see copy of the letter below — highlights added by me for ease of reading).

          http://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2016-12-21-Davis-Letter-to-Hexter.jpg

        21. Ron

          Matt:

          To clarify, I referred to the city’s emphasis on student-oriented housing within 2 miles of campus as a “de facto” policy.  (As is often the case, you attribute statements to me which I haven’t made.  At times, I don’t even bother to point this out, since it’s too overwhelming and time consuming to point out all of your misstatements. Seems like this is a full-time job, for you.)

          However, I’m actually not seeing the “2-mile” reference in this letter.  (I do see some references to specific proposals, such as Sterling.)

          On a separate note, there seems to be a typo in the letter (regarding the word NO?), near the bottom of the letter.

  5. Ron

    Matt:  “Third, there is no City policy regarding age cohort proportions.”

    Again, the letter from the city (seeking to encourage student-oriented housing up to 2 miles from campus) will change age cohort proportions.

    1. Ron

      Matt:  “Which is exactly why California enacted CEQA, so that there is a clearly defined process for disclosing and evaluating those impacts in a transparent, inclusive public dialogue.”

      Does CEQA examine all impacts?  Although I’m not an expert in this area, perhaps you’d care to discuss/volunteer impacts which it doesn’t address, but may still cause concerns for a community or city.  For example, does CEQA examine the adequacy of development fees of a given proposal?  What other impacts might it not examine?

      1. Matt Williams

        Ron asked . . . “Does CEQA examine all impacts?  Although I’m not an expert in this area, perhaps you’d care to discuss/volunteer impacts which it doesn’t address, but may still cause concerns for a community or city. What other impacts might it not examine?”

        You first, Ron.  You’re the one who asked the question.  What unaddressed impacts would you care to discuss/volunteer?

  6. Ron

    Matt:  “First, I know from a large number of one-to-one conversations that the conflicts/concerns would have existed if the proposed apartment complex was student-oriented or not.”

    That’s an interesting statement, Matt.  Can you share what those concerns were, and how you apparently gained a level of “trust” from those making such statements to you? Also, how did you respond?

    1. Matt Williams

      Ron, do you not conduct one-to-one conversations in your life?

      I co-hosted a group of eight Davis residents last night to give a farewell party for two of them who are leaving Davis.  We watched the movie Rams after our meal.  Interspersed within that evening were discussions of a broad spectrum of topics.  I listen to the points raised, and I “trust” the fact that the people speaking are sharing their true sentiments.

      Tonight there is an artist’s opening at The Artery.  Interspersed within that evening will be discussions of a broad spectrum of topics.  I will listen to the points raised, and I “trust” the fact that the people speaking are sharing their true sentiments.

      Tomorrow night there is the monthly occurrence of Stories on Stage at Pence Gallery.  Interspersed within that evening will be discussions of a broad spectrum of topics.  I will listen to the points raised, and I “trust” the fact that the people speaking are sharing their true sentiments.

      Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I walk 4 miles with approximately 30 people who are part of Brissssk Walkers.   Interspersed within those 75-minute walks are discussions of a broad spectrum of topics.  I listen to the points raised, and I “trust” the fact that the people speaking are sharing their true sentiments.

      I am one of the 10-member organizing committee of the Davis Gatherings Initiative: connecting communities for action.  We have organized/hosted four gatherings since the November election and over 800 people have attended those gatherings.  Interspersed within those four gatherings have been discussions of a broad spectrum of topics.  I listen to the points raised, and I “trust” the fact that the people speaking are sharing their true sentiments.

      I could go on, and on, and on with additional examples.  Bottom-line I listen to what other people choose to talk about.

  7. Ron

    Matt:  “Second, as I have pointed out to you in prior posts, the proportion (ratio) of the UCD student population cohort reported in the US Census has not significantly changed over the past 40 years (from 25.4% in 1970 to 26.4% in 1980 to 25.6% in 1990 to 22.7% in 2000 to 26.2% in 2010).”

    Wouldn’t this suggest that the city has already been “doing its part” (if there is such a thing) to respond to UCD’s enrollment increases, even though UCD has failed to live up to past housing commitments?

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