My View: Nishi as a Referendum on Measure R

Matt Williams and Colin Walsh were two of the opponents of Nishi

Had Nishi been defeated in the Measure R vote on Tuesday, I believe that this would have been the beginning of the end of the measure as we know it.  Measure R gets a reprieve by the resounding victory for Nishi, but people are continuing, for the first time, to really ask questions about the long term prospects for the venerated measure.

Those who argue that Measure R worked as designed in Nishi are only looking at the outcome and not the process.  Probably the biggest discussion over the next two years will be should Measure R be renewed and should we consider changes?  In my view, we only preclude the possibility of changes if we wish to be dogmatic and arrogant enough to believe that we cannot improve upon a measure that will actually really be tested legally and otherwise for the first time after a project passes.

I have been surprised by the number of people and the type of people who have questioned Measure R even after Nishi passed.  Supporters can ignore this only at their own peril.

For years, we have heard the argument that Measure R produces better projects.  We now know without a doubt that this is not true.  Both sides acknowledged this.

Colin Walsh repeatedly made the argument that the council brought back the project, “And when they did, every single member of city council agreed that this project was inferior to the project that was voted against two years ago.”  Matt Williams frequently cited the comments by council while noting that he voted for Nishi in 2016 but not in 2018.

Lucas Frerichs said, “I’m not sure that anybody is 100 percent totally satisfied with Nishi 2.0. I know I’m not entirely satisfied with it. For me I think still I think Nishi 1.0 was superior in many ways…”

Will Arnold said, “This is a reduced project from the project that we had in front of us 2 years ago and like others on the council have said there were a lot of things I liked about Nishi 1.0 that I’m lamenting aren’t part of this project, in particular the innovation piece.”

Bottom line – both sides agree – the second Nishi was not as good a project as the first Nishi and clearly we have Measure R to blame for that.

As we pointed out yesterday, the developers attempted to address reasons why Nishi lost in 2016 and they ended up eliminating the innovation center component, limiting access on Olive Drive to avoid the traffic problems at Richards, and eliminating the for-sale housing component.

Where I disagreed with the opposition is that I believe the need for student housing and the fact that Nishi 2018 addressed that problem even better than previously trumped the loss of the innovation center and commercial opportunities.

However, from an objective view, it is fairly clear that Measure R did not produce a better project, it produced a project that could better pass a vote of the people.  There is a difference.

Whether you agree or disagree with the previous Measure R votes, they all came down to big issues.  The first Nishi hinged on three key issues – traffic on Richards, lack of affordable housing, and air quality concerns.  But when two of those issues were completely taken off the table, we ended up with a campaign that attacked things like air quality, the fiscal analysis, and process.

When it became clear that those were not going to defeat Measure R, we got a series of weird arguments.  Colin Walsh put forward the idea that Nishi would build day care centers and preschools on the site.  He put forward the idea that the affordable housing would never be built and they could change fundamental portions of it with a 3-2 vote of council.  There was the idea that even though the project baseline features preclude a project without an agreement from UC Davis, they could somehow build the project and then sue for access.

The bottom line is that the campaign and others in the community threw out a bunch of weird scenarios and essentially used them to sow confusion.  There was one conspiracy theory thrown out after another.

The good news for the community, I think, and really regardless of which side you come down here, is that the public did not buy into those weird scenarios.

I really don’t understand why the opposition couldn’t just say, we don’t like housing at Nishi, we prefer student housing on campus.  If you agree, vote with us against Nishi.

Okay, I do understand, that wasn’t going to be a winning issue.  But I think that’s part of the problem here – the fact that Measure R makes this into a ballot measure and a political campaign means it is no longer just about planning, it is about making a political argument for and against a housing project.

The reality is that Nishi addresses the two biggest concerns, and many in the community were concerned about the student housing crisis and voted accordingly.  Nishi 2018’s opposition did not have the cards to play that they did in 2016.  That’s understandable, but to make a series of weird and at times irresponsible arguments in order to defeat a project at all costs is not good for the system.

During the campaign I made the point that there is a structural flaw to Measure R.  We see this perhaps more in student housing than elsewhere, but that is that the residents of Davis get to vote in a Measure R election.  That sounds fine until you realize that the people who live in Davis, most of them being in the ownership class, already have a place to live in Davis and most already own their home.

The people likely to live in Nishi – most of them did not get to vote on this project.  The students living on campus can’t vote.  The students forced to move outside of the city due to lack of housing opportunities can’t vote.  The future students can’t vote.  And even many current students are registered elsewhere because they just don’t have the ties to Davis.

The result is that we have created a system where the people who can vote for this housing project are people that would never actually live in this housing project and many of them do not need this housing project.

I don’t have a good answer for this – but it creates an asymmetry in the incentive structure.

Should we look at changing Measure R?  That will be a two-year-long debate.  There are clearly those who believe Measure R works as designed, works fine, and do not want to see it change.  However, Gloria Partida, the likely first place finisher, has argued that Measure R has the unintended consequence of changing Davis as it hopes to prevent Davis from changing.

A point I have made is that Measure R is completely unproven.  We have never seen its provisions challenged in court.  So we may not know what needs to be changed.

I think a key thing we need to do is have a community discussion and figure out what works and what doesn’t work about the current system and then see what things the community is willing to support in terms of changes.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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92 thoughts on “My View: Nishi as a Referendum on Measure R”

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I that’s actually part of the problem – not that I’m advocating for 14 year olds to vote. But rather that the people voting in elections are largely housing secure and they are making decisions for people who are not housing secure.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          Weird red herring alert. We’re not talking about 14 year olds. Talking about the fact that people who hare housing secure are making decisions that will impact those who are not. It’s a shortfall of direct democracy when the people most impacted don’t get to vote.

          1. Don Shor

            Just in case nobody else is getting this: the students who will first occupy Nishi are likely about 14 years old right now.

        2. Howard P

          Ok… tried to be fair, ‘reporting’ your comment, and my original response… mine was removed, your remains… so, your post…

          Weird red herring alert.

          Apparently directed to me, but I didn’t bring the 14-year old thing up… another poster did…

          ‘Tis you bringing “red herrings” into this thread… [do you fully understand the referent, BTW?].  “Weird”, yes… that is how you are behaving… whatever…

          Like someone else we are all too familiar with, you never admit error/bad call/mistake, and either ignore, spin, and/or ‘double down’… whatever…

           

           

  1. Alan Miller

    The people likely to live in Nishi – most of them did not get to vote on this project.

    Give 14 year olds in other cities the right to vote in Davis!

    The students living on campus can’t vote.

    Give students on campus the right to vote!

    The students forced to move outside of the city due to lack of housing opportunities can’t vote.

    Give students in Dixon, Winter, West Sac and Woodland the right to vote in Davis!

    The future students can’t vote.

    Give 14 year olds in other cities the right to vote in Davis!

    And even many current students are registered elsewhere because they just don’t have the ties to Davis.

    Give students who don’t care about Davis the right to vote – nee, make them vote in Davis!

    For the future!!!

    1. Alan Miller

      OK, I get it, the “housing secure” voting for the “future housing insecure”, but how in h*ll do you figure a way around THAT?

      My real question is — I just don’t get it.  You constantly say you are in favor of Measure R, yet every housing argument you make belies the true effects of Measure R.  It’s like you’re running for City Council or something.

      I also hear over-and-over (by City Council candidates) this idea of “changing” Measure R, yet I never hear HOW.  Let’s be real, there is no “change Measure R”, only scrap it and possibly replace it without something else, or don’t.

      This “change Measure R” thing is nothing but Davis City Council candidate b**l s**t.  B**L  S**T!!!!!

      1. David Greenwald

        “You constantly say you are in favor of Measure…”

        After watching the opposition to Nishi, I am reconsidering whether I will continue to support it – if you couldn’t figure that out.  I’m not yet in the opposition side, I may be more in the let’s review it and modify it side, but the view is shifting.

      2. Don Shor

        I also hear over-and-over (by City Council candidates) this idea of “changing” Measure R, yet I never hear HOW.  Let’s be real, there is no “change Measure R”, only scrap it and possibly replace it without something else, or don’t.

        Ok, I’ll give it a try. In the General Plan update, establish an urban limit line for the city. Then put to a vote of the public the annexation of key parcels within that limit. Put to the voters the zoning changes (residential, commercial, mixed use) and the densities. Development proposals to be decided by the council with input from commissions after the land is annexed.

        The developers know what to expect. Those living next to the properties know what to expect. Anything that significantly changes the land use after annexation would require a subsequent re-vote for that project. There is, of course, always the option of a referendum for any proposal. But it would be best to minimize that likelihood by establishing clear basic parameters for the annexed properties.

        First up: the northwest quadrant. I see no particular reason the WDAAC can’t proceed anyway.

        The public does not need to vote on the particulars of a project, nor even really need to have them in hand before making an annexation or rezoning decision. That is what is hamstringing developers and keeping reasonable projects from coming forward. That is likely part of what drove the north Davis business park team up to Woodland.

        1. Howard P

          A perpetual “urban limit line”?  One to last 3 millenia? One? 20 years? 10?

          Depending how drawn, could readily support a 10-20 year urban limit line… but it would have to include the area under the ‘Mace curve’, and the Covell Village/Crossroads site.  And, obviously, the Nishi site.

          Could accept, in concept, properties adjacent to Mace, and to Covell… but that’s just me…

          1. Don Shor

            A perpetual “urban limit line”? One to last 3 millenia? One? 20 years? 10?

            Most that I’m aware of are for 20 years.

  2. Alan Pryor

    Bottom line – both sides agree – the second Nishi was not as good a project as the first Nishi and clearly we have Measure R to blame for that.

    ……

    However, from an objective view, it is fairly clear that Measure R did not produce a better project, it produced a project that could better pass a vote of the people.  There is a difference.

    David, you  acknowledge that we now have a Nishi project that will not overwhelm Richards Blvd traffic, that it now has an affordable housing component that you yourself have lauded, and families and seniors will probably not live there thus lessening air quality concerns. Now, please tell me again why you believe Nishi 1 was objectively better….

    It seems to be rather arrogant of you to say that just because you and the Council agree that Nishi 1 was better, that is was, in fact, a superior project compared to Nishi 2. The overwhelmingly majority of voters in Davis disagreed with you and the Council. And this is exactly what Measure R was supposed to do. That is, take peripheral development out of the hands of the Council and developers and their shills and put it into the hands of the voters. Seems like democracy worked to me. Do you have a problem with that…..?

    1. David Greenwald

      Like I said, it produced a project that could better pass a vote.  The opposition to Nishi spent the campaign convincing us that the original Nishi was better.  I gather you disagree?

      1. Alan Pryor

        I completely disagree that Nishi 1 was objectively better than Nishi 2 for the traffic, affordable housing, and air quality concerns as stated above.

        1. Jeff M

          Another way of looking at Alan’s perspective on this is that we have again taxed ourselves over environmental and social justice extremism.  Instead of Davis just being a city with recognized standard economic needs and constraints, it is the do-gooder activist sandbox of the government and non-profit employee lacking other hobbies.

        2. Don Shor

          I think that for the people who will be living there, the current version of Nishi will be much nicer. Quieter, leafier, less internal traffic.

        3. David Greenwald

          A point I made to Ron whenever he brought this up in opposition to Nishi 2018 (even though he opposed 2016), is that the result of Nishi losing was Sierra Energy invested their money internally rather than at Nishi and Mark Friedman invested at the URP.  So it’s not clear there is a net loss here.

        4. Alan Pryor

          Another way of looking at Alan’s perspective on this is that we have again taxed ourselves over environmental and social justice extremism.  Instead of Davis just being a city with recognized standard economic needs and constraints, it is the do-gooder activist sandbox of the government and non-profit employee lacking other hobbies.

          I have no idea what you are saying here nor how you come to these conclusions

        5. Sean Raycraft

          Yeah, I tend to agree with Alan here. I am someone who thinks the new project is significantly better than the old one, for all the reasons discussed before. There certainly are folks who preferred the old version of the project for its commercial activities and tax revenues that come with it, which is okay I suppose, but most of those folks decided this new project was just fine, with a few notable exceptions.

      2. Tia Will

        David

        What I think is clear is that whether Nishi 1 or 2 was “better” depends entirely upon the prioritization of the individual. If you were determined to have “innovation space” on that site, of course Nishi 1 was the “better” project. If your focus was on exclusively temporary or more affordable housing on the site, of course Nishi 2 was the “better project”. I think Measure R in this case did exactly what it was intended to do. It provided a measure of which of the two projects the majority of the voters felt was the “better” project regardless of how you, or I ,or the members of the City Council felt about it. Since I feel Measure R fulfilled its intended purpose, I will continue to support it….. at least until someone tells me specifically how it could be modified to make it “better” in their view.

        1. David Greenwald

          I wonder about that, not withstanding Alan’s points.  One could argue that the difference between Nishi 2016 and Nishi 2018 is that the housing crisis grew a lot worse and enough voters were no longer concerned about the traffic impacts (a point that I disagreed with from 2016 – I believe that the traffic mitigation’s would have helped to fix Richards, something that we lost from 2016 to 2018) and the affordable housing (a point that I agreed with from 2016 – not having on-site Affordable Housing was a big mistake that was rectified in 2018).

        2. Matt Williams

          David Greenwald said . . . “One could argue that the difference between Nishi 2016 and Nishi 2018 is that the housing crisis grew a lot worse”

          David, the reality of the housing supply/demand numbers is that the housing availability problem did not get measurably worse between 2016 and 2018.  The housing supply/demand deficit in the UCD-related housing segment was already over 10,000 beds in 2016 and while the demand increased by 3,000 beds in those two years, the approval of the beds at Sterling and Lincoln 40 and UCD’s LRDP commitments offset (to a certain extent … with timing differences) that increase in demand.

          The big difference between 2016 and 2018 was the politicization of the issue … especially from the Aaron Latta-led UCD student activists.  Loud voices do not make a crisis, but they do add a stakeholder influence to the mix.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Let’s assume your numbers are correct – 10,000 and 3000 – I’m skeptical – but basically you’ve increased the problem by 30 percent and more likely you’ve added almost exclusively to the housing insecure population. I would say if that’s the case, then the problem did get immeasurably worse. I don’t disagree that the issue has been more politicized than it was previously which also helps to explain the willingness of the voters to approve a housing project that they previously narrowly rejected.

  3. Matt Williams

    “Bottom line – both sides agree – the second Nishi was not as good a project as the first Nishi and clearly we have Measure R to blame for that.”

    For what it is worth, I completely disagree with David’s bolded words.

    Political scientists have long and consistently opined that the language of individual laws, initiatives, measures, ordinances, etc. are only as good as the regulations and processes that the bureaucracy uses to implement them.  The 2018 Nishi was an inferior project to the 2016 Nishi because of failures and inconsistencies in process.

    Ironically, today at the City’s booth at the Farmers Market, a citizen  joined a conversation that City Manager Mike Webb and I were having about Monday’s FBC meeting regarding the City Budget.  When the conversation evolved to the Nishi topic, the citizen said that thanks to Measure J/R Davis got The Cannery rather than Covell Village.  My response to him was that those two projects were not equivalent, and that the shortcomings in The Cannery were due to failures in the Planning process that had nothing to do with Measure J/R or Covell Village.

    Also ironically, the current application by Davis Live at the same residential density as Nishi 2016 has illuminated the fact that if Nishi 2018 had been proposed at the same residential density as Nishi 2016, it may well have been exempt from the requirement for an EIR under the provisions of CEQA.  So instead of trying to “game the system” using the 2016 EIR as they did, they (possibly) could have used the same provisions of CEQA as Davis Live is using.  The fact that that was not discussed at all by either the project team or the City is a process issue, not a Measure issue.

    1. Howard P

      Disagree, but we can discuss over a brew… not here… in Cannery, process was not the problem… it was a people problem, due to some staff and some CC folk.

      1. Matt Williams

        Howard, indeed we will discuss over a beer . . . but I would argue that “a people problem, due to some staff and come CC folk” is by definition a process breakdown.

  4. Rik Keller

    The article states:

    “The people likely to live in Nishi – most of them did not get to vote on this project.  The students living on campus can’t vote.  The students forced to move outside of the city due to lack of housing opportunities can’t vote.  The future students can’t vote.  And even many current students are registered elsewhere because they just don’t have the ties to Davis.

    The result is that we have created a system where the people who can vote for this housing project are people that would never actually live in this housing project and many of them do not need this housing project.”

    The flipside of this that is not mentioned is that many of the people voting for the project–including most of the students who the project campaign was actively courting–will not be in Davis to deal with the impacts.

    I would also add that to the extent that any of them are still living in Davis and need more affordable housing, since the projects rents are geared to the upper 5-10% of the market, it is extremely unlikely that any of them will benefit from the project.

    1. Matt Williams

      Rik Keller said . . . “I would also add that to the extent that any of them are still living in Davis and need more affordable housing, since the projects rents are geared to the upper 5-10% of the market, it is extremely unlikely that any of them will benefit from the project.

      Rik, while I understand your logic, I disagree with it to the extent that any student renter who chooses to rent at Nishi will be removed from the demand side of the supply/demand equation for other more affordable housing in Davis.  That will be a benefit. Not a large benefit, but a benefit nonetheless.

    2. Ken A

      The median income of  UC Davis Student family is almost $100K and almost half the kids come from the “top 20%” so it make sense that people are building for the “upper 5-10%: since they are a big pare the student body.  Those in the “bottom half” should also be happy since every new student that rents in Nishi will open up a cheaper older apartment for someone who does not have rich parents (or want to go in to debt to live in a nice new apartment).

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/college-mobility/university-of-california-davis

      1. Rik Keller

        This article written by the co-directors of San Francisco’s Council of Community Housing Organizations touches on the debate on the market effects of  high-end housing. The article references a recent nexus study done for the City of SF by economic consultants in which it was found that high-end housing actually induces a greater need for affordable housing that increases prices more than the dampening effect that an overall increased supply has: http://www.sfexaminer.com/dont-believe-the-hype-affordable-housing-does-not-depend-on-market-rate-development/

        That study undercuts arguments that an increasing supply of housing at the pointy-end of the market will cause downward pressure on rents. There are many complex dynamics and characteristics of housing markets that can account for this, including the fact that local (and neighborhood) housing markets do not exist in a vacuum and are subject to regional influences (and sometime international influences in the case of investment properties). Furthermore, there isn’t one monolithic “housing market” at the local level, but rather multiple markets based on income level. There is increasing research similar to the study referenced above that there is an increasing bifurcation of housing markets where an increase in the high-end expensive housing supply can keep prices contained in that market, but have little no effect on the middle- to low-income housing markets.

        The “filtering” mechanism for housing works only in the long term, and there are many factors such as latent/pent-up demand and assumptions about the price elasticity of consumer demand that can keep an increased housing supply, especially high-end housing, from mitigating price increases significantly. There is evidence (like the study referenced above) that high-end housing especially, while increasing supply (at least for that tier of housing), can actually induce demand for more housing and shift the market demand curve such that there are overall prices increase.

        Finally, we have limited opportunities for affordable housing projects in Davis. To the extent that an exclusive high-end project that doesn’t address affordability gets built on a site, it means that a good project that addresses affordability and inclusivity cannot. That represents a lost opportunity for the affordable units that could be built on the site. If we want affordable housing, let’s advocate for affordable housing and hold developers to high standards in this regard, rather than accept the kinds of Trojan horse projects that are “affordable” in marketing only and are targeted to the top 5-10% of our existing rental prices.

        There seems to be a commonly accepted narrative that Davis rents have been increasing at a higher rate than other places in the region. And certainly there are a lot of development advocates like the BIA who say that Davis’ too-stringent environmental regulations and housing affordability requirements have caused it to be increasingly unaffordable compared to other places. However, looking at some initial rent and housing price data I have compiled, that narrative is false. In the last 7 years (time frame for which I have accurate rent estimate data by city), Davis rents have been very close to the overall California median, but have increased at a slightly lower rate than the state as a whole. And while more expensive, Davis rents have also increased at a lower rate in the last 7 years than all of the neighboring  jurisdictions I have looked at (in Yolo, Solano, Sacramento, & Placer counties) .

        I also looked at house value change over time and Davis has the lowest rate of increase in median home vales in the region from 2011-2018. At the same time, in terms of price-to rent ratios (where highest is best for renters than for buyers comparatively) Davis has had the highest in the region in 2011 and 2018, and saw an increase in this index from 2011 to 2018, meaning that Davis rents increased at a lower rate than home values.

        At least from an initial look, this rent/price data doesn’t fit the narrative that a constrained housing supply has caused massive housing cost increases. On the contrary: in the last 7 years measures of rent affordability have been improving for Davis compared to other jurisdictions in the region. This finding warrants further investigation and analysis in context with comparisons of housing stock growth across jurisdictions to better grasp pricing vs. supply issues. I will plan to provide that analysis in the coming weeks in the form of an article.

        1. Ken A

          I’m not sure if Rik wants to understand the market or just spin stuff but

          When he says “There seems to be a commonly accepted narrative that Davis rents have been increasing at a higher rate than other places in the region.” few renters talk about the rate (aka percentage) increase vs. other places in the region they talk dollars and Davis has had some of the highest rent increases and has some of the highest rents in the region (if a guy gets a $100 rent increase he does not say, “well the guy getting the $50 increase in Williams is actually getting a higher percentage increase”).  The reason that most areas in the region are going up at a higher “rate” is that they went down at a higher rate (rents and home values fell off a cliff in places like Elk Grove where they just went down a little in Davis).

          The reason that “Davis rents have been very close to the overall California median, but have increased at a slightly lower rate than the state as a whole.” is that many areas of the state have MORE stringent restrictions on development.  SF has water in three sides so can’t just vote to add land for thousands of units and if you think building an infill project in Davis is hard try to build one in Piedmont or Palo Alto.

           

        2. Rik Keller

          Alan M.:  I helpfully provided bolded highlights for those who don’t want to get deep into the data. Next time you can just write IDWLA (“I don’t wanna learn anything”).

          Ken. A.: evidently when confronted with data that you don’t want to acknowledge, you just throw a bunch of… stuff… at the wall and hope something sticks. Let’s tally up how you did:

          1) you say, contrary to all statistical convention, that percentage/relative change is not the right way to compare increases. Do you really think that someone who is paying $500 rent would see a $300 increase the same way as someone who is paying $3000 rent? That someone making minimum wage at $11/hour who got a $5/hour raise would see that as the same as someone making $50/hour? STRIKE ONE!

          2) You imply that Davis’ rent increases over the last 7 years as an absolute dollar amount are twice that of other jurisdictions in the region. Is that true? Naw. Davis had an increase in median rent at an average rate of $68/year over the past 7 years. That’s lower than Fairfield at $70, compares exactly to Folsom and Roseville at $68; a little bit more than Winters at $60, Vacaville at $58, Elk Grove and West Sac at $57; and with Dixon at $53, Sacramento at $51, and Woodland at $50 at the low end. Does this show that the supposedly massively constrained housing supply in Davis has lead to giant comparative rent increases? Nope: Davis has the lowest rate of increase in the region. STRIKE TWO!

          3) You acknowledge that the rent in other areas are going up at a higher “rate” (which you strangely put in quotation marks as if rate of increase isn’t a real thing), but say that the real reason is that the rent rates in other jurisdictions declined more rapidly in the housing bust. This: 1) conveniently ignores the other half of the the boom/bust equation where rates increased dramatically more in some areas in the boom [note: the dataset I am using only has rent values back to 2011 so we can’t compare rents at the trough of the bust circa 2006]; 2) makes it clear that you think that rates ARE a proper way of comparing changes across jurisdictions. STRIKE THREE!

          4) You state that the reason that Davis rents have increased at a lower rate is that “many areas of the state have MORE stringent restrictions on development.” This ignores the fact that MANY MORE areas of the state have LESS stringent restrictions on development. You have not attempted to quantify where Davis stands comparatively to other areas in this regard. According to your logic, we would also not be able to compare Davis to the U.S. as a whole because that includes parts of California that have more strict development regulations, and so on. STRIKE FOUR!

          5) Directly related to #4 and #5 above,  simplistic Econ 101 supply/demand analysis does not explain why many of the areas that experienced the largest housing price increases in the housing boom leading up to the crash in 2006 were also the areas where housing supply was the most flexible and unconstrained. STRIKE FIVE!

          6) As I discussed, Davis has the highest price-to-rent ratio compared to all regional jurisdictions and to California as whole, and this number has increased over the past 7 years (the higher the ratio, the better things are comparatively for renters).  This also means that while Davis median rents have closely tracked median rents for California as a whole, Davis median housing values are much higher than California median housing values. Comparatively, Davis rents are a much better value. You completely ignored this data. STRIKE SIX!

          7) You also neglected to comment on the economic studies demonstrating that high-end housing, while increasing supply (at least for that tier of housing), can actually induce demand for more housing and shift the market demand curve such that there are overall prices increases. STRIKE SEVEN!

        3. Ken A

          1) If I pointed out minimum wage workers in CA  had a “higher rate if increase in their pay” than a CEO that got a million dollar raise going from $25 to $26 million (up 5% for the guy cleaning at McDonalds vs. “only” 4% for the CEO) most people would accuse me of trying to hide something.  Why not talk about actual income or actual rents (unless you want to hide them)?

          2) Davis has had high rent increases over the past seven years.  The Parkside Apartments on F Street in Davis were renting  2 bedroom units for $950/month (with the first month free) in 2010, they are now asking over $2K.  I don’t think you can find an apartment in another city in the region that had an apartment go from under $1K to over $2K in the same time period (If you can please post the name and address)

          3) I acknowledge that the rent in other areas are going up at a higher “rate” but you can still get most apartments in Woodland or Elk Grove for a lot less than a similar place in Davis.  If you are going to go buy dinner tonight do you really care about the “rate” that the price of the burgers has been going up at each place since 2011?

          4) If you think development restrictions have no relation to rent and home values please post a few places where it is easy to develop with higher prices than Davis and/or places where it is even harder to develop than Davis with lower prices.

          5) Simplistic Econ 101 supply/demand analysis does not explain why many of the areas that experienced the largest housing price increases in the housing boom leading up to the crash in 2006 were also the areas where housing supply was the most flexible and unconstrained.

          But the movie “The Big Short” does…

          We had a system where people could make thousands every time they got a guy making $14K to “buy” a $700K home with a stated income no doc neg am loan (that is why we had the big run up and big crash).

          https://www.investorvillage.com/mbthread.asp?mb=4245&tid=2056096&showall=1

          6) Comparing Davis to the “median” rent in a state with some homes under $100K and some homes over $100 million is like comparing the weather in SF to Chicago since they have a similar Median temperature.

          7) I neglected to comment on the economic studies demonstrating that high-end housing, while increasing supply (at least for that tier of housing), can actually induce demand for more housing and shift the market demand curve such that there are overall prices increases.  Because it is a “chicken and egg” question, does the “high end housing” cause the rent increases or did the “high end housing” developers go to an area like Davis (or East Palo Alto) that is already having gentrification and “moving upscale” even if they never developed.  I don’t have the money to build a high end development in the Rust Belt to prove my point  but I don’t think placing a “high end development” anywhere that rents are not already on the way up will do anything (if a high end development really would raise all rents people would be building them in more areas with declining rents and not just in areas with an increasing number of well educated well paid workers or college students with a lot of rich parents.

           

  5. Eileen Samitz

    David Greenwald June 9, 2018 at 9:43 am
    “You constantly say you are in favor of Measure…”

    After watching the opposition to Nishi, I am reconsidering whether I will continue to support it – if you couldn’t figure that out.  I’m not yet in the opposition side, I may be more in the let’s review it and modify it side, but the view is shifting.

    I was just notified about this article, since I do not read the Vanguard regularly due to the lack of objectivity and lack of accuracy. Due to all of the Vanguard’s pro-developer advocacy, regardless of the problems with developments like Nishi, I have not posted on the Vanguard (nor do I plan to post regularly), but this article warrants a few points and questions in response especially in light of the article title.

    If is helpful David, that you are more transparent in this article, on where you have really been headed for more than a year now regarding the renewal of Measure R. It would be also helpful if you were even more honest and clarify that you are not really trying for a “modification” of Measure R, but that you are actually just starting your narrative for Measure R to not be renewed, or to be rendered ineffective.

    I have heard so many complaints about how the Vanguard has drifted completely away from its original intent, which was to be a blog objectively presenting issues in Davis that the community was concerned about and allowing discussion. Instead, the Vanguard has primarily become your daily advocacy for only rent-by-the-bed student housing in the City which only continues enable UCD to deflect its student housing needs onto Davis and surrounding communities. It is astonishing that you have even gone as far as advocating against student housing on-campus in previous articles. Meanwhile, you have raised no concerns about the families and local workers needing rental housing who have been forced out of our City’s rental housing due to UCD’s negligence to provide the needed on-campus student housing.

    So, here are a few simple questions for you:

    1)     Have you or the Davis Vanguard accepted any money from the Nishi developers (or their affiliates) over the last 10 years?

    2)     If so, how much was for “contributions”, versus how much was for Vanguard advertising (in particular regarding Nishi 1.0 and the Nishi 2.0 development proposals.)
     

    1. David Greenwald

      I’ve been pretty upfront that I have supported adding student housing.  I haven’t gone beyond student housing and have opposed other projects that are not student housing including Trackside.

      I am not opposing Measure R renewal at this time.  But I do think we should have a community discussion on potential changes.

      Has the Vanguard accepted money from Nishi developers over the last ten years?  Yes.  I believe at last one is a $10 a month subscriber.  The majority of the money from the Nishi development has been for advertising.  By far the majority of the money in donations comes from attorneys not developers.

      1. Rik Keller

        I think Eileen S. brings up some great points regarding transparency about funding/advertising sources and whether there is a “firewall” between the funding/advertising side of the Davis Vanguard operations and the editorial side. As I started commenting on some threads about the Nishi project recently, I was taken aback to see a large ad for the project on the right-hand side of every page at the same time that the editor of this site was echoing the campaign’s statements and posting entire articles that only quoted project proponents.

        I think a much more through disclosure with a breakdown of revenue sources and amounts is needed to provide a basis for which to judge the degree of journalistic independence that this site has.

        Richard Tofel, president of ProPublica, argues that [my bold]Transparency is key in these relationships. Thus, it’s important, to begin with, to know who a publication’s advertisers are, and have some rough idea of what they are spending,” and that advertising/donations need to be disclosed: “even arguably material contributions should be disclosed in this way. Without such disclosure, it is impossible for anyone to gauge whether the publisher is maintaining its independence in the face of donor pressures. Surely, we don’t want to see publishing suffer the corrosive effects that ‘dark money’ is inflicting on our politics.” [source: “Charting new ground: The ethical terrain of nonprofit journalism” https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/publications/richard-tolfel-compromise-funders/%5D

        1. David Greenwald

          I agree in the ideal, we would have a staff to able to handle both functions separately.  Unfortunately in the world we operate in right now, with limited budget and staff, we don’t.    My ultimate goal will be to separate the business side from the news side of the Vanguard.  We aren’t there yet.

        2. Rik Keller

          David,

          Your comment speaks to a current lack of personnel to be able to separate the people who are involved in fundraising/advertising from those involved in editorial/writing. But there is nothing stopping you from immediately taking much greater steps in providing transparency about the sources of your donation AND advertising income.

          I would encourage you to follow Propublica’s lead and provide these detailed disclosures ASAP. Your comment that “I gave you the answer I am willing to give. It’s not very much and most of the money is for advertising” does not do this.

          In addition to the content that you produced promoting the campaign and echoing false claims made by the project, the fact that one of your editorial board members, Sean Raycraft, was actively campaigning for Yes On J at the same time that the site was running prominent ads for the campaign speaks to the need to disclose these financial ties in detail for any kind of credible claim to be made about “independent journalism.”

          Your mission statement on your “About” page states in part “The Vanguard seeks to bring transparency, accountability and fairness to local government, while promoting social justice and democracy, and adhering to principles of accuracy and fairness in our reporting.” I would reiterate that, per ProPublica, it is ethically essential for nonprofit journalism sites to provide transparency and accountability about their own financial ties so that the readers might better be able to judge whether you are providing “accuracy and fairness” in your reporting.

  6. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    First, you have advocated for student-only housing in the City, but not for housing for families and local workers. To make matters worse you have advocated against on-campus student housing. So, this just enables UCD to continue deflecting its student housing needs to the City and benefits the developers like the Nishi developers.

    Second, you say you are not opposing Measure R “at this time”, but it is pretty clear where you are headed with what you call “community discussion” on the Vanguard, which is really not community discussion, it is your advocacy to try persuade readers to weaken or eliminate Measure R.

    Third, you have not answered the second question above. You say “the majority of the money” from the Nishi developers has been for advertising.  But how much total have you or the Vanguard accepted over the past ten years, and what is the breakdown of advertising versus contributions from them?

     

    1. Ken A

      It is interesting that Eileen says ” I do not read the Vanguard regularly due to the lack of objectivity” then tells David that he has “advocated for student-only housing in the City”.  

      I have been reading the Vanguard regularly and I have not read about a “student only” project that David has “advocated for” so I’m hoping that Eileen will either post a link to the post where David advocated for a project that would “only” allows students in the city (not on campus) or tell David she is sorry for posting something that is not true.

       

      1. Howard P

        ‘Hope springs eternal’, yet in this instance, such hope is quixotic, at best.

        I’m hoping that Eileen will either post a link to the post where David advocated for a project that would “only” allows students in the city (not on campus) or tell David she is sorry for posting something that is not true.

        The other poster needs not be “sorry”, but might retract, apologize, or amend… but that is quixotic, as well… it is what it is… “tilting at windmills”, as it were..

        1. Ken A

          I was “hoping” someone would say they are sorry but I really just expect even more (and bigger) lies the next time we vote to annex land (I bet many are upset they didn’t say Nishi was restricted to College Republicans and built on the site of a former Indian village that is home to three different endangered species since the restricted to students only built on the best farmland in the world with deadly air lies were not enough to kill the project this time)…

        2. Ron

          Ken and Howard:  Eileen has nothing to apologize for.  The developments she is referring to (e.g., Sterling, Lincoln40, and Nishi) are designed for students.  Since this has been addressed repeatedly, you should already know this.

        3. Jeff M

          Well if she doesn’t like student housing being the result of Nishi #2, then why the hell did she start and promulate the fakes news about air toxicity to defeat Nishi #1?

          Seems that the no-growth activist cohort is being destroyed by their own inability to see the political playing field beyond their myopic resistance.  There is a lot of that going on with politics today.

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      First, I believe that the biggest problem that needed to be addressed was student housing and that by addressing that, we would alleviate the student encroachment into other housing. What you’ve put forward does not work for family housing, so we are going to need a different approach than market rate, multi-family housing.

      Second, only if you live in a black and white world where there are only two possibilities support or oppose.

      Third, I gave you the answer I am willing to give. It’s not very much and most of the money is for advertising.

  7. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    First, you continue to prioritize UCD student housing needs over housing needs by families and local workers. Then by advocating against student housing on-campus, and instead advocating for student housing in the in the city, this perpetuates a number of problems:

     1) market-rate housing costs in the City cannot be controlled long-term like they can on-campus, so student housing costs will continue to rise more in the City, than on campus, 2) encouraging even more student-oriented housing in the City will continue to push families and local workers out of City housing, particularly rental housing, 3) encouraging more student housing in the City benefits developers focusing on rent-by-the bed housing which is exclusionary housing (by design) since it does not help provide needed housing families or local workers, and 4) focusing only on more student-oriented housing in the City only de-motivates UCD to build more on campus housing and enables UCD to continue pushing the vast majority of them (71% currently) off campus after their freshmen year.

    Second, it certainly does seem pretty “black and white” where you are headed with the Vanguard by starting your campaign to weaken or eliminate Measure R. But, I hope that anyone noticing will let me know how soon you get to those “conclusions” with your “community discussion” with the same three people who post on the Vanguard who always back you up.

    Third, so you still haven’t answered a simple question of how much money you or the Vanguard have taken from the Nishi developers. How telling… If it is truly a” small amount” why not reveal it?  Also, the “small” amount of money from the Nishi developers taken in by the Vanguard compare to what…the more than $250,000 dollars that the Nishi developers spent on their Yes on Nishi campaign?

    It is pretty interesting that the Vanguard calls out for transparency for other entities (i.e. City and State government, local policing), but not for the Vanguard itself.

    In case readers have not noticed, the “Davis Vanguard” has clearly become the “Developer’s Vanguard”.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “First, you continue to prioritize UCD student housing needs over housing needs by families and local workers. ”

      I do. I have explained that I believe that student housing is the most easily solvable housing problem we have. I disagree with that encouraging more student-oriented housing will push families out. I would argue that creating more student oriented housing with reverse that trend.

      Second, I never said I am starting a campaign to weaken or eliminate Measure R. Right now I am looking forward to a robust community conversation and we will see where I come down as well as the west of the community.

      Third, I’ve told you what I’m going to tell you on money. I can tell you in terms of donations, it is probably less than $1000 over the ten year period.

  8. Eileen Samitz

    David,

     First, thank you for confirming that you do not have the same concern about the need for housing by our community’s families and local workers. That’s astonishing since you yourself are fortunate enough to live in affordable housing in Davis.

    Instead, it is clear that you and the Vanguard’s priority is to use what little land Davis has left for student housing, imposing the costs on the Davis community, as well as diminishing housing options for families and local workers. This in turn enables UCD to continue pushing the vast majority of its students off-campus just to pay higher rents into the future. Plus, building primarily student-oriented housing in the City is clearly not flexible for use by families and local workers. Further, building this massive amount of this student housing in the City will not resolve the student housing problem, especially because UCD dials back its on campus-housing when the City moves forward with adding more student housing (which is also exclusionary by design.)

    Second, your “robust community conversation” will be nothing more, again, than you and your three commenters who post to back you up on a daily basis on the Vanguard.

    Third, you claimed that the Nishi develop have contributed around $1,000 so far by the Nishi developers over the last ten years. But, how much did the Nishi developers pay for their Vanguard ads?

    Also, it is interesting that you have invited donations from developers on your other Vanguard “premium” publication today to your premium subscribers:

     “If there are any developers out there – we will gladly take your donations along with anyone else in the community who believes in our mission of independent journalism, accountability and social justice.  We promise nothing in return other than good journalism.”    – David Greenwald

    The final sentence above is really astonishing since the Vanguard is not offering “good journalism” by any means, just its political spin. So, now that the Vanguard has “cast the line” to the developers for money publicly, it will be interesting to see what comes of that, and how less and less objective the Vanguard becomes, while it becomes more and more pro-developer.

    I will check back on that later to see how your invitation for developers to “donate” is going and how “objective” the Vanguard will be on their project proposals, including late “donations” from the Nishi developers.

    I am also looking forward, like others, to see if there will be any (or how much) “transparency” by the Vanguard on its funding sources.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      Eileeen:

      “First, thank you for confirming that you do not have the same concern about the need for housing by our community’s families and local workers.”

      That’s not what I said. What I did say was: “I believe that student housing is the most easily solvable housing problem we have.” Therefore I believe it should be tackled first.

      You keep ignoring the fact that multifamily housing is not a good solutino for families with children.

      Second, “your “robust community conversation” will be nothing more, again, than you and your three commenters who post to back you up on a daily basis on the Vanguard.” If you want to believe that, then you have nothing to fear. But given that you are acting fearful, it seems that you know there is a lot more than that.

      Third, “you claimed that the Nishi develop have contributed around $1,000 so far by the Nishi developers over the last ten years. But, how much did the Nishi developers pay for their Vanguard ads?”

      It think they ran ads for a month and a half with a 280 by 150 ad, you can do the math.

      “If there are any developers out there – we will gladly take your donations along with anyone else in the community who believes in our mission of independent journalism, accountability and social justice. We promise nothing in return other than good journalism.”

      Yes, I stand by the comment.

      1. Matt Williams

        David Greenwald said . . . “You keep ignoring the fact that multifamily housing is not a good solution for families with children.”

        David, you have made the above statement a number of times.  Why do you think that is the case?  There are hundreds of thousands of families with children living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, etc.  It would seem that the evidence is overwhelmingly the opposite of your assertion.

         

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          There are tons of people who live in Queensbridge but I wouldn’t call it a good solution for families with children. No other choice isn’t the same as good solution.

          In the Davis case: market rate multi-family is not affordable for families. A two bedroom is at least $1600 and a three is over $2200 on average. For students who can split rent, that’s not bad. For families who can’t, that’s not generally affordable and those who can afford that can buy a home in another community for that amount per month. One reason we moved from our apartment six years ago was that with children, there was no safe playing spaces. Therefore I will submit that families are better off being able to rent housing that is embedded into neighborhoods and that we should be looking to develop more affordable housing for families as a solution.

        2. Matt Williams

          David Greenwald said . . . “In the Davis case: market rate multi-family is not affordable for families. A two bedroom is at least $1600 and a three is over $2200 on average.”

          Do you really think the average monthly rent for a 3-bedroom house is less than $2,200?  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that average is actually more than $3,000 per month.  Then the cost of utilities is probably half again higher than for a comparably sized apartment.

        3. David Greenwald

          I’m not claiming otherwise.  However, I believe a single family home is a more appropriate location for most families.  My proposed solution for cost is big A affordable housing.

        4. Ken A

          Matt there are also “hundreds of thousands of families with children” living in buildings full of rats and roaches”.  Just because “hundreds of thousands of families” do something does not make it a “good solution”.  I’m wondering if Matt knows any families in Davis who tell him they have plenty of money to rent or buy a home but keep renting an apartment since “life would be boring” if they did not have their downstairs neighbors yell at them daily to stop the kids from running around or if they worry their kids won’t learn the words to the popular rap songs of the day if the people above them would not play the songs every night as the kids are going to bed.  Maybe they hate the idea of their kids having backyard  since running around outside would cut in to TV video game time, or maybe they love the exercise they get carrying groceries up three flights of stairs or the sauna experience  they get having a car parked on a blacktop parking lot vs. in an insulated garage…

        5. Matt Williams

          David Greenwald said . . . “My proposed solution for cost is big A affordable housing.”

          So, it appears that you are proposing building enough new Single Family Residential (SFR) homes, so that the 12% to 15% of those new SFRs that are big A affordable will address the current unmet demand for families with children looking to rent rather than purchase their housing.  Am I understanding you correctly?

          What do you think the size of the current unmet demand for families with children looking to rent rather than purchase their housing is?

        6. David Greenwald

          “Am I understanding you correctly?”

          You are not and you never asked.

          I don’t know the answer to the question about pent up demand.

        7. Matt Williams

          Ken A said . . . “I’m wondering if Matt knows any families in Davis who tell him they have plenty of money to rent or buy a home but keep renting an apartment.”

          Well Ken, since David was talking about families that qualify for “big A affordable” housing, the chances of the families he and I were talking about being families “who have plenty of money to rent or buy a home” are somewhere between slim and none, and slim has left the building.

        8. Matt Williams

          David Greenwald said . . . “You are not and you never asked.”

          Actually david, this dialogue has been a continuous series of my asking questions … and in the process peeling back the layers of an onion.

          So, with that said, here is my next question, If your “proposed solution for cost is big A affordable housing,” how do you propose achieving/implementing that proposed solution?

      2. Don Shor

        “your “robust community conversation” will be nothing more, again, than you and your three commenters who post to back you up on a daily basis on the Vanguard.”

        There have been over 60 comments from 14 different people on the Vanguard in the last 24 hours. This is a relatively slow time period.

      3. Eileen Samitz

        David,

         You say:

         “I believe that student housing is the most easily solvable housing problem we have.” Therefore I believe it should be tackled first.

        You keep ignoring the fact that multifamily housing is not a good solutino for families with children.”

        The student housing need is not more solvable then helping families and local workers needing rental housing and it is an insult to non-students, that you would say so. The solution is building 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, not just 4- and 5- room mega-dorms.

        On top of that your second statement is ridiculous and also insulting since plenty of families need rental housing and you yourself and your family lived in in multi-family apartments for years before you got lucky enough to move into your affordable unit house. So, now you want to deny other families the option to rent an apartment?

        Regarding your second response, I am simply clarifying what you really mean by your soon-to-be-staged “community discussion” on the Vanguard, which it never is. It is simply your daily political spin and then your usual back-up posters agreeing with you.

        Finally, well-said on “standing by” your comment that the Vanguard will be inviting developers to get daily articles to back-up their projects for their Vanguard “contributions”. This is the most genuine thing you have posted. So, thanks for that admission.

  9. David Greenwald

    First of all, you need to stop it with “it’s an insult” – it’s an analysis.  The solution that you are proposing is not going to work.  First of all, even if you build 1, 2, 3 bedroom apartments, students are the most likely to live there.  Second, there is the affordability factor.  The rental market is 65 to 85 percent student, so the easiest problem to address is the student housing market.

    The point I’ve made to you is that without affordable housing, we would not be living in Davis.  That’s the point you keep missing.  And that’s the solution to housing for families.  Because market rate is too expensive which is why fewer and fewer families live here in town.

  10. Eileen Samitz

    Ok, David, then it is an insulting analysis that you have proposed. Your solution assumes there is land and funding to build many single family Affordable housing units like yours (note: capital “A” affordable), which is is unrealistic in these times primarily due to less available land and increased costs. So you need to stop denying the opportunity for families to live in apartments as an option.

    The point you keep on ignoring is building a massive number of only 4- and 5- bedroom apartments designed specifically for students does nothing to help families and local workers short-term or long-term. Plus, the cost of student housing rent in the City cannot be controlled long-term, like it can on- campus. That is specifically why the other UC’s are building at least 50% on campus housing. That is the long-term solution for student housing, not more housing in the City designed specifically for students since market-rate rent in the city will increase in cost far more into the future, than on-campus student housing.

    1. David Greenwald

      You do understand that even if you build the housing as you have discussed, the people living there are going to be students.  When we moved into the apartments we lived in 2000, it was half families, half students, a good mix.  When we moved out in 2012, it was all students.  We were almost the last family living there.  When I sampled around last year, most of the apartment complexes in town were more than 90-95 students.  So you are recommending a solution that is not actually a solution.

      1. Rik Keller

        So, let me get this straight: because UC Davis has not provided enough on-campus student housing to meet demand, students have increasingly rented in town, and this has pushed out families and other non-students, the solution is to do more of the same and tell families to move elsewhere?

        1. Rik Keller

          I’m trying to clarify David’s position. Just confirming that he is giving up on trying to provide affordable rental housing for non-students in Davis.

  11. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    Quite the contrary, it is you recommending a non-solution, in the short-term or long-term. The only effective solution is that far more on-campus student housing is needed at UCD than what they proposing since UCD is fully capable of providing that with its enormous 5,300 acres campus. All the other UCs are all doing it, so can UCD.

    That is the only way to help allow families and local workers to have access to rental housing in the City. What you are proposing will perpetuate a shortage of housing for students, as well for families and local workers.

    But then again, you are not advocating for that is in the best interest of the community, nor the students. Instead, you are advocating for what is in the best interest of the developers, and for insuring funding for the Vanguard. You have tipped your hand, in particular, even after an affirmative Measure R vote, by now moving the Vanguard on to its new campaign to try weaken or eliminate Measure R.

    1. David Greenwald

      “The only effective solution is that far more on-campus student housing is needed at UCD than what they proposing ”

      The Eileen Samitz gambit has failed.  You bet that you could raise the alarm on UCD housing – which you did.  The problem is that you raised the level of concern about all housing and most in the community did not buy into your premise that on-campus housing was the only effective solution.  The result is that while UCD had increased their housing alotment, the council and community has agreed to increase their as well.  For the life of me, I don’t understand how increasing supply is a bad thing.  Apparently I’m not alone on that.

  12. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    So while you are celebrating Nishi’s approval, let’s just say that now UCD needs to step-up now to include the “50/100” plan that four resolutions have asked UCD for including the City Council, the Board of Supervisors, the ASUCD Student Senate and the Sierra Club, Yolano Group.

    The most logical sustainable student housing solution is to place at least 50% of the UCD student housing on-campus on UCD’s enormous 900-acre core campus within its enormous 5,300 campus, the largest in the UC. That is the way to diminish the traffic, circulation and parking problems and other impacts on the City’s infrastructure, as well as the cost impacts on the City. The issue is that UCD has not yet planned to do enough student housing on campus.

    Last note, if our small citizens group had access to more than $250,000 to run our campaign like the Yes on Nishi developers had, the vote may have turned out differently.

    1. David Greenwald

      The difference between 50 and the current plan is 950 beds.  I’m not sure how much of a difference that is going to make, particularly since the 950 beds would probably be six or seven years from now.

    2. Don Shor

      if our small citizens group had access to more than $250,000 to run our campaign like the Yes on Nishi developers had, the vote may have turned out differently.

      I doubt it. The opposition to Nishi basically evaporated when they made the decision to close the Richards entrance to the site. Moreover, the opposition argument was rather muddled. Illustrated best by having Colin Walsh and Matt Williams on the same side of a debate panel.
      Walsh: “The site is too toxic! Children will die in the arms of their unsuspecting mothers!”
      Williams: “Yes! And furthermore, we should double the density.”
      Once some time has passed, I hope the supporters of Measure R will look at a couple of facts.
      — Most of the candidates for council supported modifying it. Five years ago, would you have considered that likely?
      — The two candidates who steadfastly supported renewal without change failed. They were both far behind the top tier winners. Do you think that suggests a change in voter attitudes in Davis?
      If you try to create an either/or approach — Measure R must be renewed word for word, any modification to be portrayed as ‘weakening’ it — I expect you’re in for a disappointing couple of years. We have three important planning issues before the next council: The General Plan update, downtown planning issues, and renewing Measure R. Do you really want to make all of those into epic battles? Or do you see a possible approach that includes the kind of cooperation and collaborative decision-making that prevailed with, for example, the Housing Element Steering Committee?

      1. Matt Williams

        Don, of you were looking for a unified theme from either the yes or no side, you were destined to be disappointed.  The various reasons to vote for and against Nishi were as varied as the species of birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway.

    3. Howard P

      So Eileen… money = votes?  Is the electorate so stupid as to buy into “paid advertising”?  If so, that is truly scary…

      What was the “monetary value” of all the No on Nishi posts on this and other social media?  You asked David about access to the VG from Yes folk, so I turn that around, for transparency and “fair play”… how much?

      How would more money for No have convinced gullible voters to buy into false or half- truth arguments by the No folk?  Again I ask, are voters that stupid/gullible to be affected by money spent on “info”?

      Don’t worry, this post will be deleted/moderated with prejudice, as I used the “s-word” twice…

       

  13. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    Wow, you make almost 1,000 beds that are needed on-campus sound like a small number. It’s not. That would be the equivalent of yet another two more Sterling Apartments mega-dorms in the City. I mean, seriously? That is not an irrelevant number of beds and UCD can, and needs to do better than what they have proposed for their LRDP update.

    But actually UCD needs to added even more beds than that, particularly depending on which of the “shell-game” numbers UCD is using to claim they have as their bed “capacity”. UCD appears to be trying to get away with a lot of shoe-horning in more beds into existing campus bedrooms, rather then building the additional on-campus apartments with the additional bedrooms needed.

    1. David Greenwald

      It’s about 8 to 10 percent of the amount that will be built, so it is a relatively small number compared to the 14,000 total between the city and university.

      I think if I were you, rather than trying to squeeze another 950 out of UCD, I would focus on making sure the 3800 or so beds after the initial 5200 beds actually get built.

  14. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    UCD needs to step-up, not stall on the production of far more on-campus student housing than what they are proposing in their LRDP.

    This LRDP update is where UCD need to catch-up with the huge backlog of on-campus housing that they have neglected to build to keep up with their ambitious student population growth. What they are proposing is simply not enough. They have plenty of land and the means to do it. UCD needs to stop neglecting their students housing needs as they have for years which is primarily responsible for the student housing shortage.

    1. Ken A

      I bet I have read close to fifty posts by Eileen where she says something like “UCD needs to step-up, not stall on the production of far more on-campus student housing”.

      I’m wondering why she cares so much about student housing “on Campus”.  I don’t think my life will be any different if UCD never builds another unit on campus before I die.

      Is it an overall fear of college students or the worry that some might rent near her and leave red cups on their lawn after playing beer pong?

       

    2. David Greenwald Post author

      My view is they go from 28 percent to 48 percent this LRDP – that’s probably as much as is going to reasonably get built. And right now they only have plans to go to 5200, they need to still build the next 3800. 9000 plus the 4000 to 5000 built in the city once the council approves Davis Live and Plaza 2555, is 13000 to 14000. I don’t think the last 1000 is *that* crucial.

  15. Eileen Samitz

    Ken,

    Well if you have read that many of my posts, thanks for paying so close attention.

    I can’t say I pay as close attention to your posts since I don’t really read the Vanguard anymore and if I do, it is hard to understand what you are talking about most of the time.

      1. Ron

        Ken:  There’s no reason for Eileen to respond to a false narrative.

        In general, Eileen has advocated for inclusive designs within the city, suitable for a broad range of populations (including students).  In addition, she has expressed support for the Oxford Circle proposal, which would primarily serve students.

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