Sunday Commentary: Does Davis Really Control Its Own Destiny?

West Village represents one way forward for UC Davis
West Village represents one way forward for UC Davis

Mike Fitch in his book on Davis, Growing Pains, describes Mace Ranch as “a disturbing challenge.” He writes, “Davis was unprepared in 1986 for a high-stakes political showdown over development along its borders, and its slow-growth policies were largely to blame. The crisis came swiftly, without much warning, demonstrating that the growth-control policies were more fragile and more susceptible to damage from political forces beyond the city’s borders than officials had believed.”

“Davis city suddenly found itself tormented by a recurring nightmare, where new houses, shopping centers, and industrial projects kept popping up just outside of the city’s borders, just beyond the city’s control,” Mr. Fitch writes.

He then quotes two-time Mayor Dave Rosenberg who, he says, “acknowledged the crisis caught Davis by surprise.

“I think it’s fair to say that,” Mr. Rosenberg said. “Mace Ranch changed everything.”

The Mace Ranch situation led to two things. First was the pass-through agreement, where there was county agreement not to develop on the borders of Davis in exchange for the city passing through redevelopment money to the county.

There was also the passage of Measure L by 56 percent of the voters, which indicated three principles. First, “Davis should grow as slowly as it legally could.” Second, “Future growth should be concentrated on lands already within the city limits and additional annexations should be discouraged.”

Finally, “The county should not approve development on the periphery of Davis unless the city gives its stamp of approval by ruling it consistent with the Davis General Plan. Measure L included several findings, including the beliefs that ‘the prime agricultural land surrounding Davis is a resource of local, state and national importance’ and ‘the growth of Davis is an issue best determined by Davis citizens without outside pressure or influence.’”

In 2000, the voters would then approve Measure J, which required approval of the voters in order for Davis to convert agricultural land. One of the possible results of Measure J and its renewal in 2010 in the form of Measure R, is that Davis has not approved another peripheral development.

In 2005, voters heavily voted down Covell Village. Four years later, by an even larger margin they voted down Wildhorse Ranch. Now we have made arguments that Measure R isn’t the only factor to blame here. Developers probably overreached on Covell Village, while Wildhorse Ranch was proposed in the midst of the housing collapse.

We have also seen how non-Measure R projects like Cannery have been delayed by community concerns and process, as well as small developments like Paso Fino that have been slowed by council and community concerns.

That said, the city has not approved a major peripheral subdivision in over 15 years. The question is whether that will be sustainable, long term.

UC Davis, projecting increased student populations in 2003, began proposing a plan for West Village that would house faculty and staff in just under 500 homes, plus about 1000 or so units for student housing.

UC Davis Medical Center represents another alternative of building new facilities in Sacramento or other adjacent communities.
UC Davis Medical Center represents another alternative of building new facilities in Sacramento or other adjacent communities.

Even that process took a long time, but was perceived to be the university’s answer to the city’s slow growth policies – namely – if Davis will not accommodate housing, we will build it ourselves.

The big question now is with the proposed innovation parks. Davis is moving towards putting Davis Innovation Center and Mace Ranch Innovation Center on the ballot, perhaps by next spring. The same may be true for Nishi, which has both a housing and innovation component.

We are already seeing at least a few signs of community resistance. The innovation parks would offer the city valuable revenue and allow native businesses to stay close to home.

But what is clear is that UC Davis will probably continue with its bold ambitions, regardless of whether Davis becomes a partner.

In a recent column in the Vanguard, UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi noted, “Today, with a $4 billion annual budget that includes more than $700 million in research and $1.5 billion in clinical activities, UC Davis is the region’s largest employer, after state government.

“All told, UC Davis is responsible for $7 billion a year in annual economic activity and supports nearly 70,000 jobs. It generates more than $3.4 billion a year in employee pay alone. With our role as employer, purchaser, real-estate and workforce developer, collaborator and facilitator, UC Davis is arguably the most dynamic economic development engine in the region. Since we now receive about $340 million in state funding, that’s an impressive return on investment of more than 20:1,” the chancellor wrote.

UC Davis sees itself as potentially the UC Campus of the 21st century. And Chancellor Katehi has been establishing the structures to make that come true.

In her column from late March, the chancellor lays out a lot of the work that they have done in just the last five years. This includes the launching of the Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Venture Catalyst program in the Office of Research, and the Engineering Translational Technology Center.

And there is more coming. The chancellor stated, “We have more initiatives underway and more will come down the road. These are efforts that support job creation in Davis, as well as regionally and nationally. But even more valuable may be the life-saving and life-enhancing innovations put out into society where they can do the most good.”

They also announced plans to develop a 70-acre solar farm with SunPower Corp on a site south of Interstate 80. The chancellor writes, “This facility will open in June and generate 14 percent of campus electricity needs, making it the largest solar power installation in the UC system.”

UC Davis is clearly a driving force in economic development, tech transfer and the creation of startups in Davis and throughout the region.

The ideal partnership would be for Davis and UC Davis to work together in synergy. That would benefit the city by allowing it to take home more tax revenue, and it would benefit the university as it would ready available space to continue and increase its technology transfer.

However, if history shows itself to be true, UC Davis is not going to wait for the city to get in gear.

Last week, local businessman Doby Fleeman noted, “Historically, Davis has been willing to acknowledge, but reluctant to pursue the need for long-term economic development initiatives. These initiatives could prove essential if the community is to afford the services and amenities we often take for granted.”

In noting UC Davis’ role as major regional jobs creator, he wrote that this was “best exemplified by the success of its Sacramento-based UCD Medical Center. Today, the Med Center is situated on a 142-acre campus and serves as the principal employer for some 10,000 people, with countless other supporting jobs in medical offices and laboratories throughout the Sacramento area.”

The Medical Center, of course, ended up away from the university’s main campus.

That is similar to what may happen with the World Food Center, as it was reported last year that UC Davis was considering Sacramento’s downtown railyard as a potential location for a third campus and a spot where the billion dollar world food center might be located.

Harold Schmitz, a chief scientist at Mars Inc. and a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis, wrote in the Bee last weekend, “Why did Mars choose UC Davis above all other universities in the world? Because this public powerhouse is the best place to discover ways to improve the health of all three of our primary consumers: people, dogs and cats. It’s home to the world’s best agricultural school and ideally positioned to find ways to create sustainable supply chains for our key raw materials, including cacao, corn, peanuts, tomatoes and rice.”

He adds, “Being in Davis also places us next to the world’s leading innovation cluster in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, which faces the emerging markets of Asia.

“I believe UC Davis and the UC system are at the forefront of this curve,” he continues. “This is why UC Davis and Mars have jointly established the Innovation Institute for Food and Health. The institute aims to establish a new type of university-industry relationship that catalyzes much needed innovation at the nexus of food, agricultural and health.”

This is the game that UC Davis is entering. Does anyone think that they are going to wait for Davis to get its act together and approve some small innovation parks? No. UC Davis does not have to wait. They have lots of options.

They can do like they did with the UC Davis Medical Center and build in Sacramento, at the railyards, or they can do what they want with West Village and expand their own campus.

Davis has an opportunity to benefit from this new thrust, but UC Davis is clearly prepared to proceed with or without the approval of the voters of Davis.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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35 Comments

  1. Don Shor

    Davis has an opportunity to benefit from this new thrust…”

    It is difficult to tell from this essay what you think Davis should do. Annex land for housing? Annex a site for the World Food Center, and try hard to get it here?

    I doubt most Davis residents care that the Med Center is in Sacramento. I doubt most would care if the World Food Center located in West Sac. UC Davis will do whatever it wants. If the chancellor wanted to locate it here, she would be working with city officials to make that happen — or she would have a team working on a site somewhere on the thousands of UCD acres that are readily available for that. Chancellor Katehi has a regional outlook and is not focused on what is best for the city coffers.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “I doubt most Davis residents care that the Med Center is in Sacramento.”

      maybe that’s part of the problem.  how much revenue would that have generated for the city?  how much will the wfc?

      “Chancellor Katehi has a regional outlook and is not focused on what is best for the city coffers.”

      no reason she should, but the question is why are residents of davis not more concerned about that?

  2. Davis Progressive

    “It is difficult to tell from this essay what you think Davis should do. ”

    i don’t know what he thinks davis should do, but i do think the point is being made that the world is going to change whether davis likes it or not.

    1. hpierce

      As I assume you’re aware, “Davis” is not a monolithic entity.  That being said, I’d like input as to time, place, manner, but the salient point you make is that no one should expect “stasis”.

      BTW, there is a phone poll going on as we speak [re: innovation park proposals]… spouse was asked to participate, and declined.  I got called, and participated.  I found many flaws in the questions, and in the ‘permitted’ response options offered.  I repeatedly pointed this out, and the poor person who called could only offer to pass those comments up the food chain.  That person seemed to understand, but it was above their pay grade to change my response options.

      If you hear results of this “poll”, suggest you be VERY skeptical of any ‘conclusions’ those who commissioned the poll may try to draw from it.  This last sentence or so is my “public service announcement” for today.

        1. hpierce

          Starts out deceptively (my opinion)… they say it’s about innovation park proposals associated with UCD… then goes to contrasting opinions about the west Davis/ Mace Ranch proposals … Nishi is not mentioned… orange/red flag 1.  And that is the “intro”.  Have to move on to other tasks, but hope that helps.

      1. Davis Progressive

        i heard from a friend the same thing about the polling.  they weren’t able to participate for some reason.  i would just say, i agree about input on time, place, manner, but i think the overall point is that as davis has slowed down the process and tries to control it more, it may end up pushing ucd to look to sac or somewhere else.

        1. Don Shor

          Let’s say Davis annexes some land so UCD can have facilities on it. How does the tax revenue to the city from that compare to tax revenues from other commercial developments on the land? or to development of private apartment housing?
          What is the direct benefit to the City of Davis of providing land for UCD expansion?

        2. hpierce

          Don… once UCD owns, and perhaps even has an exclusive lease on the property, it is my understanding that the property, improvements, etc., comes off the tax rolls.

      2. Frankly

        I don’t know enough details about this polling, but I do know there is a lot of hand-wringing and second guessing going on around the city planners and change-makers over the timing issue for all three of the development projects being proposed.   Frankly, (because I am) the challenge of polling on this is directly related to the absurd Measure J/R challenge.  The developers are investing millions into just getting these projects approved and naturally want some assurance that their project will be approved.  Other pro-development leaders in the city also want to know how timing might impact voter’s acceptance or denial.  Lastly, there is the question about the strength of resistance for each of these development proposals… and what are the hot-button concerns related to each.

        All this stuff is hard to poll, but easy to must make a fuss about.

        With respect to timing we are talking about a 20 year build-out for the two peripheral parks, and probably 7 years for Nishi (from what I understand).  When the issue of timing comes up and I think about how the world has changed in the last 20 years (Google Corporation is 18 years old) it becomes clear that those making such a fuss about timing are truly people afflicted with stasis, change-aversion and NIMBYism… and want Davis to stay stuck in a fiscally-dysfunctional time warp.

        1. hpierce

          Given some of the questions, and limited response options, I was starting to come to the opinion that the poll was either commissioned by the pro-Nishi folk, and/or by the “anti-development” folk.  I particularly found the absence of any mention of Nishi, telling.  And the opening talked about a relationship to UCD, and that most fits Nishi.  Reiterating, don’t trust ANYTHING that comes as a purported “response” to this particular ‘survey’.

        2. Miwok

          I agree, and the University is just as slow. But when the City cannot function at all, they sure seem faster.

          I was involved with finding space on several occasions at UCD, for office space and such about 15 years ago. We were converting labs to offices and closets to offices. This was to me a crazy waste of money for remodeling when buildings were being built.

          Then new buildings came on line at the time 5000 new students were mandated to be accepted to the campus. Then West Village was created. It merely kept them neutral on growth, not growing as they planned long ago. I have seen where buildings where rooms are booked for a year in advance. Now some of this is done on purpose just to have the space, and if you know who booked it, you can scalp a day or week from them.

          I would ask which Regent is “sponsoring” the survey? If the City is responsible, why don’t they identify themselves?

        3. Don Shor

          With respect to timing we are talking about a 20 year build-out for the two peripheral parks

          I am curious, since you’ve mentioned this a couple of times — is that some kind of industry average, or is it something you’ve heard about these parks in particular from the developers or others?

        4. Frankly

          Don – Both.  If you research other research and business parks it is not uncommon for it to take 20+ years to fill them.  Rob White has often repeated this point.  It makes complete sense.  There is not just a flood of businesses waiting for the parks to open so they can build.  There is a few that the developers know about, and then there is going to be a demand and supply that take time to materialize.  There will be turn-over in the parks during that time… business leaving and new business buying the space instead of building a brand new facility.

        5. Davis Progressive

          i think frankly is correct here – rob white has mentioned about a 20 year build out projection.  i think that’s based on local factors not just industry ones.

          if you look at the fervor of ucd, i think 20 years may be a conservative estimate.

  3. Gunrocik

    The University owns around 6,000 acres.  If they want to develop on that land, there is very little we can do about.  If they develop that land, we will be the recipient of much of the traffic and the recipient of additional residents who will bid up the prices of our homes even more, so that these people can live close to work.

    Outside of our restaurants, grocery stores and Target, the city will get very little revenue from these businesses.  We won’t get much since we don’t have the retailers or the business parks to support the sales tax and business to business sales that will be generated by the development.

    We can stay inside our bubble and continue to get over run by one of the largest economic engines in all of a California, or we can acknowledge the reality of future growth and find a way to be a participant in making sure it develops in the best way possible  instead just being a whiny neighbor.

    The park is going to happen one way or another – we can make sure our needed mitigations are incorporated and are properly funded or we can continue to reap all the costs of being a university host community and none of the benefits.

    We have a lot better chance of having a healthy, thriving community in the future if we make sure the development stays within our city boundaries.

    1. hpierce

      “We have a lot better chance of having a healthy, thriving community in the future if we make sure the development stays within our city boundaries.”  And, not owned/leased by UCD. That would be the worst case… all the burdens of services, none of the revenues…

      1. Miwok

        This might happen as long as the City quits hiring consultants and writes contracts that are in its interest with performance clauses and penalties for non-performance, including fines and dates for completion.

        1. Miwok

          Little too subtle? Let me elaborate.

          Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for consultants, cost overruns on every City Project and deadlines that are always violated, or changed because of poor planning or unforeseen difficulties are just some of the things I read about all the time.

          They get taken to the cleaners by the UC and contractors who hold them hostage because they cannot nail down what they really want until the project is half done, then financing the whole thing that results in every project costing double, no doubt emulating the State financing of bonds and such.

    2. Davis Progressive

      which to me suggests that we ought to do it, so they don’t have to.

      “We have a lot better chance of having a healthy, thriving community in the future if we make sure the development stays within our city boundaries.”

      exactly.

  4. davisite4

    The title of this article puzzles me.  Does Davis Really Control Its Own Destiny?  It seems as though the answer is in many ways obviously “no.”  Davis doesn’t control California’s economy or the nation’s economy.  It does not control the future of the tech industry.  It does not control the climate.  It does not control state decisions about water use.  Etc.  All of these things control Davis’s destiny far more than any decisions we make about whether or not to build a business park or two or three.  Those who promise otherwise are being deceptive.

    And yes, I understand that the point of the article was to say that UC Davis is going to act with or without the blessing and cooperation of the city of Davis.  I am just pointing out the other ways in which our destiny is not in our hands.

    That doesn’t mean that we should do nothing, but it does mean we should be humble about our ability to bring about grand changes, especially if those changes have negative consequences along with them.

  5. Tia Will

    The Medical Center, of course, ended up away from the university’s main campus.”

    We have a lot better chance of having a healthy, thriving community in the future if we make sure the development stays within our city boundaries.”

    The Medical Center was logically located in Sacramento where the patients are. Despite potential revenue to the city, it would have made no sense at all to locate the Medical Center in Davis. The decision to move the medical school to the location of the hospital also made sense from the point of view of medical professional training. Despite the fact that some in Davis did not like these decisions, they were the best choices within the regional context and the needs of the greatest patient population which is of course, what medical education and the provision of medical care are about.

    With regard to the second statement, we have no way to “make sure that the development stays within our city boundaries”. Just like with the Medical Center, Chancellor Katehi is going to attempt to locate the World Food Center in the location she sees as being most advantageous to UCD, not to the City of Davis. Her loyalty is rightly placed. Her duty is to the development of the University and she is absolutely right to take a regional view of where best to locate this major development. If the decision were mine, I would want to place it in Sacramento/West Sacramento or as near the center of government as feasible.

  6. Doby Fleeman

    There were only a couple of points I was trying to get across with recent articles to which David refers.  They were summarized in the concluding two paragraphs:

    while the city and university may have their hands tied when it comes to freely discussing their needs for revenue — or the necessity of those additional revenues to ensuring their long-term financial sustainability and success — those of us in the private sector are not so constrained.

    Let me spell it out for you.  As I indirectly alluded to in the paragraphs above, the university’s hands are tied with respect to advocating for one community over another – such is one cost of being a state supported institution.  In this context, don’t ever expect to see or hear the word “Davis” substituted for the term “region” – even if, in pragmatic terms, it might be in the best interests of the university and its staff.

    At least in my view, the same, or a similar, problem exists for the City – in that the City staff has limited options for directly or overtly advocating for measures intended to develop or produce more revenue to the city.   At issue: Such actions might be viewed or construed as self serving.

    Viewed from a private sector perspective – both of these limitations are difficult to process.   I can’t imagine a business which would not be anything other positively enthusiastic support for any employee who might have suggestions to help improve the revenue prospects for the company.  These are simply the realities.

    That said, it is clearly not the job of the city and the university to connect the dots for the community. It is up to the residents of Davis to demonstrate the leadership in this conversation, to make their own assessments of the challenges and opportunities presented, and ultimately to decide if this discussion is worthy of their support, encouragement and involvement.

    Thus, while nobody is debating the wisdom of the university’s decision to locate Med Center to Sacramento.  The point of the reference was merely to highlight the economic impact to the host community of such decisions.  To divorce   the two conversations is counterproductive to the best interests of the Davis community.

    It is truly time for the citizens of Davis to begin connecting the dots regarding fiscal sustainability if we are at all serious about maintaining the values and amenities we have come to expect.

     

    1. Miwok

      The history of UC Davis Medical Center dates to May 3, 1850 when Sacramento City Council recommended that a hospital be built. The Sacramento County Hospital was established as a result, in 1852.

      In 1871, the hospital was moved to a 22-acre (8.9 ha) parcel of land on Stockton Blvd in Sacramento, California; the present location of UC Davis Medical Center. Just five years later, the original facility was destroyed by fire. In 1879, a new hospital was completed and accepted by the county. This facility was designed by N.D. Goodell, architect of the Governors Mansion in Sacramento. It stood until 1914, when construction of an entirely new facility was proposed. The main hospital building was completed in 1928, and still stands today. It was incorporated into the north/south wing of the main hospital in 1950.

      In 1964, 34,000 square feet (3,200 m2) of space was added to the hospital. Two years later, the facility became a community hospital, making everyone in Sacramento County eligible for patient care. In 1966, an affiliation agreement was reached with UC Davis, making the hospital a primary teaching hospital, and expanding its mission to include education and research. The Medical School at Davis opened its doors on September 23, 1968 and one month later a dedication ceremony changed the name of the hospital from Sacramento County Hospital to the Sacramento Medical Center.

      In 1970, defeat of a Health Sciences Bond issue squelched the hopes of a new V.A. hospital in Davis, CA, setting in motion an agreement signed two years later between the County of Sacramento and UC Davis. This agreement provided for the transfer of ownership and operation of the hospital to the University. That same year, UC Regents purchased 32 acres (13 ha) of vacant land east of 45th street, formerly used by the California State Fairgrounds. This purchase increased the size of the medical center campus to 54 acres (22 ha). The Sacramento Medical Center officially became the University of California, Davis Medical Center on July 1, 1978, five years after its purchase on July 1, 1973.

      So the Teaching Hospital is also the Sacramento County Hospital and now its own Kaiser Type system, mainly for the students who want to practice (why do they use that term?) on patients…

      Mr. Fleeman, it doesn’t say why they located it there, but a steady supply of research patients maybe was part of it?

  7. Gunrocik

    Tia  noted:  The Medical Center was logically located in Sacramento where the patients are. Despite potential revenue to the city, it would have made no sense at all to locate the Medical Center in Davis. The decision to move the medical school to the location of the hospital also made sense from the point of view of medical professional training. Despite the fact that some in Davis did not like these decisions, they were the best choices within the regional context and the needs of the greatest patient population which is of course, what medical education and the provision of medical care are about.

    Doc is exactly right, you don’t typically put a medical center in a small town.

    And for the very same reasons enumerated above, you don’t put your innovation park in West Sacramento!

    The reason that Marrone et al put up with the City of Davis is because they want to locate where the researchers are, and the university facilities are nearby.

    The minute you relegate your innovation park to the other side of the Causeway, you might as well put it in Mission Bay,  Mountain View or Folsom–where it will at least be close to other like businesses.  As one who has watched university research parks evolve elsewhere and as one who personally knows the players who are already located in Davis — there is no interest in West Sac or Downtown/Midtown for that matter.  If they can’t be close to campus, they would rather be close to another campus (i.e. Stanford) and their investors (SF or South Bay).

    While the local no-growthers can relegate the line employees to living in Spring Lake or Dixon, they aren’t going to get the founders of the company to slum it in an adjacent community for their home or business.

    As I’ve said before, the future of the entire region is highly dependent on the success or failure of UC Davis — I am  hoping the University doesn’t allow a small group of no growthers to derail the hopes and dreams of the next generation.

     

     

  8. Doby Fleeman

     
    Miwok, Doc and Gunrocik,
     
    Research university hospital or not, I don’t guess most customers of the UC Med Center like to think of themselves as “research patients”.
     
    It’s kind of ironic, but it seems like all of medicine is characterized as “practicing”, so maybe it’s a distinction not worth the discussion.
     
    Ever heard of the Mayo Clinic?  Why do people travel from half way around the world to go to some place in Cleveland called the Mayo Clinic?  It happens to have a reputation as the best of the best.  From the patient’s perspective, it doesn’t seem to matter where it’s located.
     
    Can’t say that would have been the case with Davis, CA, but the notion that Sacramento was the best place is purely a matter of budgets, politics and pragmatic circumstance.
     
    Today, we have a very large number of teachers, surgeons, and physicians commuting from Davis to Sacramento in order to deliver the promise.
     
    If you take the time to look at the series of articles referred to by Publisher Greenwald, you will find in the Fitch diaries that Davis, by 1966, had not yet decided that it would forever after become a no-growth community.   Whether Davis would have proven to be a successful location is now history, but the argument that Sacramento had a larger population of “research patients” would not have been the primary reason.  Yes, you make a valid point, as was the reality that the County budget was better served by a hospital operating under the supervision and budget of a UC university hospital staff.
     
    I go back to Stanford University Hospital and Palo Alto.  Why would Stanford University have elected to move their teaching hospital from San Francisco to Palo Alto if the primary consideration was the population of “research patients”?   In that case, do you think it might have had more to do with having the teaching hospital in closer proximity to the university?
     
    I don’t profess to have the answers.  However, there are tangible economic consequences associated with each such decision.  There are also very reasonable and practical questions pertaining to the home residency preferences of the teaching faculty – the value of their time, together with the convenience of proximity to the unversity’s teaching hospital, and, of course, their carbon footprint – that would presumably enter into the equation.
     
    I’m not here to debate the decision that was made in the 1960’s, I’m here in Davis in 2015, trying to make the point that location matters.
     

      1. Doby Fleeman

        hpierce,

        Thank you.  I stand corrected.  Must have been thinking of Cleveland Clinic, but no excuse.

        In fairness, I did allude (above) to improvements to the County’s budget with transfer of the hospital to the university.

        What I didn’t add was the number of now-retired physicians I have met in Davis who were originally recruited to UCD (prior to the Med Center acquisition) with the understanding that the hospital would be built in Davis.  Admittedly, it was but a window in time, with final results as you find them today.

        For what it’s worth, following is the draft of my original part II article which was later abbreviated to fit the print medium:

        This campus dates back to 1966 when the University reached an agreement with the County of Sacramento to operate the Sacramento Medical Center – expanding its role to include teaching and research.  When defeat of a Health Sciences Bond issue in 1970, effectively ended any hope of a new VA hospital in Davis, the University and County later reached an agreement that transferred ownership and operations to the university.  This history further helps in understanding why Davis, unlike most research-based university towns, does not have its own major Medical Center located on the Davis campus. 

  9. zaqzaq

    UCD’s actions continue to have a negative impact on the Davis.  The West Village is just one example.  It is an expensive high end complex that only the rich can afford.  Students on a tighter budget are forced to look for less expensive alternatives.  That is how we now have neighborhoods that are a mix of rentals and residents.  UCD is now destroying it’s inexpensive married housing on campus.  What will be replacing this lost inexpensive housing.  Most likely much more expensive housing.  What UCD should do is build inexpensive housing options on campus to house the students.  This would reduce costs for students and reduce the resident/renter conflicts that now exist in many neighborhoods.  Instead UCD is focused on attracting rich international students with fancy housing that their parents can afford.  This serves neither the students nor the citizens of California.  The main goal is making money for UCD.

    1. Davis Progressive

      how does west village have a negative impact on the city?  and if it does have a negative impact on the city, doesn’t that mean that the city should step up and design the projects they like or else risk someone else will design the projects they don’t like?

    2. Topcat

      What UCD should do is build inexpensive housing options on campus to house the students.

      How is UCD supposed to build inexpensive housing? Should they be able to use non-union labor? Should they be exempted from having to pay “prevailing wage”? Should they use substandard materials? Should they not include any energy efficiency features that cost more?

      It’s easy to say “build inexpensive housing”, but to actually figure out how to do that in another matter altogether.

      1. Davis Progressive

        we could build inexpensive housing right now.  nishi could put high density housing on its site.  they would be small, but inexpensive (at least in relative terms).

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