An Appeal to All Who Care about Davis

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Aerial Map showing proposed Sterling Apartments in relation to Rancho Yolo
Aerial Map showing proposed Sterling Apartments in relation to Rancho Yolo

By Gene Miner

There is a large variety of reasons for which some of us care about Davis—a comfortable place to live, a small town atmosphere with many amenities, great schools, a lovely place to retire, a great location between the ocean and the mountains, lots of trees, wonderful weather, bicycle friendly, easy access to entertainment, friendly people, and many more that make up a desirable lifestyle.

Whatever our lifestyle, Davis is now under threat of reckless exploitation by out-of-state speculators, such as a certain billion-dollar corporate developer, always under pressure to maintain and expand great wealth and power, and who do not share our concern for Davis as a community.

Davis is an ideal target for this exploitation because of pressures for housing by ordinary citizens and students and faculty of the University of California.  A Houston developer constructed and runs the “U” Sterling University apartment complex at Cantrell and Second Street. Unmonitored students living in tiny apartments at the U have been a problem for neighbors and the police. However, the U was built within maximums allowed by the Davis City Plan.

Now the same developer is trying to rush through approval to build an enormously huge apartment complex on the former campus of Families First at 2100 Fifth Street adjacent to the Main Post Office.  If built as proposed it would be twice as many small apartments in half the space, FOUR TIMES the density of the U!, and way out of proportion to its neighborhood, not to mention a complete blow-out of the Davis City Plan and zoning; twice as many small apartments in half the space.

Our concern is that the public be aware that this process is in motion now and, if we care about Davis, we are obligated to make sure our city’s commissions and the City Council are aware of our disapproval of this project at the already busy corner of Pole Line and Fifth, shared by the DMV and Post Office and already beginning to feel the pressure from other recently begun new housing .

Please help yourself and us to make our city’s commissions and the City Council aware or our concern by any peaceful means you feel to be appropriate, such as encouraging voter registration, signing petitions, attending City Council and commission meetings, advising your friends and relatives, writing letters to the City Council and the commissions as well as the Davis Enterprise and the Davis Vanguard.

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42 thoughts on “An Appeal to All Who Care about Davis”

  1. Eileen Samitz

    Gene,

    I think this is great that you are doing outreach regarding the concern about the Sterling Apartment proposal. I agree the project is way out of scale and I would much rather see the City help reevaluate having the site used for  another social service. In fact, it would make sense for the Social Services Commission, the Planning Commissions and perhaps the Senior Commission, to tour the site to see what facilities are already in place and that should be reused rather than demolished. I understand the ultimate decision comes down to who purchases the site, but the amount being paid for the site has to do with what the ultimate use or re-use is. There probably is a large amount of money being offered right now, but only if the enormous apartment complex proposed is approved. I agree that the size and scale is way too big and I don’t think a large student apartment complex belongs there. It is too far from the campus and particularly, and to pour more than 1,000 students daily on the already highly impacted 5th Street which is going to be narrowed at the east end, will just increase car versus bike incidences. Any additional high-density student apartment complexes belong on the campus for many reasons including that it is “green and sustainable” planning that reduces the traffic, circulation, parking and other impacts on our City.

    There are many social services needing to expand their uses. The high bid needs to come off the table for this or any large apartment complex for the site to be affordable by any social service. Until the City makes it clear that a large apartment complex simply does not belong there (and the traffic studies should help explain this), a social service will not have a chance to purchase the site.

    Meanwhile, please understand that the root of this problem is that UCD has not built the promised and needed on-campus housing. I did not see this problem mentioned in your article. Just so that you know, our citizens group”Citizens for Responsible Planning” has been organizing and submitting many communications making clear that UCD needs to provide the on-campus housing it has promised for years. This is especially important since they have escalated the number of students over the last 5 years and they apparently want to continue to do so. Well, that needs to be reconsidered until they can provide the on-campus housing and the classrooms, faculty, and staff for their student population.

    I have stated in many writings that this policy of UC accepting so many non-resident students is part of this rental housing shortage and that it is happening at the expense of  California residents. Now the State audit has made clear that the problem is even worse then was anticipated. This massive increase of non-resident students together with UCD not building the student apartments needed for so long for the 4-5 years that the students attend UCD is exacerbating what was already a bad situation.

    I wanted to suggest that you and your neighborhood might want to submit letters, as we have, to UCD’s Bob Segar, who is heading up their UCD LRDP update making clear the need for significantly more on-campus student housing, and to UC President Napolitano, Chancellor Katehi, the Regents, our State representatives, and education legislators including Senator Lois Wolk, the Governor, City Council, and City Staff. All of this is helping to get attention on this lack of UCD on-campus issue. It needs to be made clear that UCD’s negligence and lack of planning is unfair to their students and our community, and it is negatively impacting our community and our City planning in a big way.

    Meanwhile, I invite you and your neighbors to join our citizens group efforts by emailing us at citizens@dcn.org. We are addressing this significant problem that UCD is causing our community with impacts such as the rental shortage due primarily due to UCD not producing the promised on-campus housing needed for their own student population growth. UCD has over 5,000 acres and there is no excuse why they have not done it. They have access to over $1 billion dollars for capital projects but they have prioritized an art museum, a music recital center and an International Student Center, all under construction now, rather than the much needed on-campus student apartments. UCD clearly needs to re-evaluate their priorities on their capital expenditures, and focus it on building the on-campus student housing.

    1. Mark West

      “please understand that the root of this problem is that UCD has not built the promised and needed on-campus housing”

      Repeating a fallacy does not make it true.  The problem is that Davis has a severe housing shortage, and the root of that problem is that the people of Davis have spent the past several years fighting to prevent new housing from being built. If UCD had built all of the so-called ‘promised’ housing, there would still be a severe shortage of apartments in Davis.  This is not UCD’s problem and it is not UCD’s fault (they have their own problems).  It is a Davis problem and it is our own fault for not providing appropriate housing for our residents.

      We will never have sufficient housing, and certainly not affordable housing until we agree to start building more apartments, townhouses, and condominiums. Sticking our head in the sand and hoping someone else will solve the problems hasn’t worked in the past (look where it got us) and it won’t work now.

       

    1. hpierce

      “Mission” [education]… the mantra of the UC system is that… housing, parking, etc. are not part of the “mission” [even if some of us believe that those are intrinsic to the “mission”], and therefore those facilities need to either break even in fees, etc., or provide a “profit” to UC.

      Follow the money… and “prestige” … the two are intertwined…

  2. Misanthrop

    “There is a large variety of reasons for which some of us care about Davis—a comfortable place to live, a small town atmosphere with many amenities, great schools, a lovely place to retire, a great location between the ocean and the mountains, lots of trees, wonderful weather, bicycle friendly, easy access to entertainment, friendly people, and many more that make up a desirable lifestyle.”

    You seem to have left out that Davis is the host community for one of the great land grant universities in the nation. That is the real draw here. Everything you list is of secondary importance to the existence of UCD. I think you are not alone in this oversight. Many people in this community, most of whom would not be here were it not forUCD want to forget that the community is the tail and the tail doesn’t wag the dog. So many people want to enjoy the benefits of living in the shadow of UCD but don’t want to accommodate the needs of UCD. I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it too.

  3. Eileen Samitz

    Misanthrop and Mark,

    We have been over this many times but the fundamental problem is that UCD has not done any responsible planning in the provision of housing for this landslide of students that they KNEW that they were bringing on for at least a decade. The part that really is astonishing is that UCD’s deliberate inaction in the provision of this on-campus housing is primarily responsible for any shortage of our City’s rental housing. But then UCD has the audacity to complain about the City’s lack of available rental housing, that UCD is causing. To make matters worse, then UCD is trying to acquire even more of our rental housing with “master leases” pushing even more of our workforce and families out of rental housing.

    This is not about wanting anything “both ways”. This is about letting UCD know that our community is fed up with UCD not taking responsibility for providing housing for their own growth on their land. This is inexcusable since it is one of the largest campuses in the nation owning over 5,000 acres. And it is also clear now, that our State legislature, the students, and obviously many faculty are fed up too.

    It’s time for UCD to stop with the excuses and stalling and start building the on-campus housing.

    1. Mark West

      “It’s time for UCD to stop with the excuses and stalling and start building the on-campus housing.”

      And even if they do that tomorrow, it will not solve the housing crisis in Davis. You are hung up on what UCD hasn’t done, but you ignore the fact that Davis has been far more negligent, thanks to those who believe as you do. That is a hypocritical position and one that cannot be allowed to continue. UCD needs to build more housing, but at most we can expect them to house the first-year students and a small percentage of second-year’s.  The rest need to find housing in the local community, and that is on us.  We are living with the consequences of not having sufficient housing in Davis, and it is destroying the fabric of our community by driving out the young families that will be our future.

      It is time for Davis to stop with the excuses and stalling and start building off-campus housing.

       

  4. Widjet

    Looking at the map, the “U” is surrounded by commercial and on one corner there is the police station.  Does it have immediate residential neighbors around it?  I also do not understand the reference to “unmonitored” students living at the “U”.  Is someone supposed to be watching the student residents?  It strikes me that if you find the “U” to be a problematic apartment construction then your position is simply a ban on all apartment construction in Davis.  I can’t imagine where else you will find, within the city limits of Davis, a location like the “U” where it is buffered on all sides by commercial/light industrial and even has the police station just across the street to keep them in-line.

  5. Ron

    Mark:  “Sticking our head in the sand and hoping someone else will solve the problems hasn’t worked in the past (look where it got us) and it won’t work now.”

    I shudder to think of what the city would be like, if your vision was implemented. You’ve repeatedly made it clear that you support an overwhelming amount of development. Seems like your vision is similar to Elk Grove.

    When the University builds housing, it will free up rentals in the city, for others.

    Go ahead and comment, if you’d like.  But your vision would absolutely destroy the city.

    1. Mark West

      We have roughly $650 million in unfunded obligations.  Your vision (or lack thereof) has already destroyed Davis, the bill just hasn’t come due yet.

      No housing, increasing taxes, failing infrastructure and services that we cannot afford, all so you and yours can bury your head in the sand and proclaim that building houses will destroy Davis. You are the one advocating for the continued destruction of the City, I am the one advocating for a future where we pay our bills, provide decent jobs and housing for residents, and provide opportunities for young families to grow and prosper.

  6. Ron

    Mark:  “We have roughly $650 million in unfunded obligations.  Your vision has already destroyed Davis, the bill just hasn’t come due yet.”

    And yet, housing doesn’t cover those obligations, does it?  If it did, all of the other developments that have been built in Davis over the years would cover those obligations.  (And, the same thing would be true for other cities that are struggling, throughout California.)

    You already know that housing is a MONEY-LOSER for cities.  (And please don’t bring up that tired, false argument (that this time – it will be “different”).

    We have the Cannery, Chiles Ranch, and other developments in the pipeline.  Other developments will no doubt be built, as well.

    But one thing for sure – your vision is absolutely destructive, and is more extreme (toward rampant development) than anyone else on this forum, it seems.

    1. UCD_stemfaculty

      Most of the Cannery properties are unaffordable for a family of four, where there are two wage earners, both working at UCD. The townhouses, which are in the high $400k, have three-stories layouts built without any understanding of how a family with small children functions.

      In the past 10 years, Davis citizens have voted against developments such as Covell Village. The Cannery development has been voted against for many years, and now is in the hands of companies with unrealistic expectations regarding the financial assets of their home buyers.

      I understand that many Davisites of long date want to protect their own home equity and their Proposition 13-sheltered property tax bracket, but this all works against young families (with two earners or one) of UCD and City of Davis employees. We cannot live and work in Davis without major financial sacrifices, and the burden of tax properties is on us.

    2. Mark West

      “You already know that housing is a MONEY-LOSER for cities”

      Repeating a fallacy doesn’t make it true, no matter how often you say it.

       

       

       

       

      1. Ron

        Mark:  “You already know that housing is a MONEY-LOSER for cities”

        Repeating a fallacy doesn’t make it true, no matter how often you say it.

        Well, it’s not just me saying it.  In fact, it was pointed out to me (by some rather conservative-types) on this forum that the cost of services for residences (e.g., police, fire, etc.) generally rises faster than taxes collected (over time).  That’s the reason that Davis (and other cities) are in this predicament (regarding finances).  But, you’re a smart guy, and I strongly suspect that you know this already.

        Sure, you can blame local politicians (for allowing these increases, without a corresponding increase in tax). That’s (partly) the result of Proposition 13, as well. However, there’s been no fundamental change that would prevent this problem from continuing into the future, as well.

        This is also the “justification” for supporting MRIC.  (In other words, we’ve approved “too much” housing, and “not enough” commercial to support/balance it.)  Despite that argument, I’m not a particularly big fan of MRIC, either.

        Again, you (and another person) on this forum are the most “extreme” development supporters on this forum.  However, you (in particular) have challenged me a number of times (sometimes with incorrect assumptions).

  7. Ron

    UCD_stemfaculty:

    I understand your predicament, and found your concern (as stated earlier) to be quite valid.  I haven’t heard many “first-person” accounts (regarding the difficulties with housing) on this site.

    To be honest, I don’t think that any amount of development (that is likely to be approved) will be “affordable” (unless it is subsidized in some manner).  I also doubt that any development that is likely to be approved will have any real effect on current homeowner value.  (I wouldn’t assume that this is the primary motivation for most who support slow/controlled growth in Davis.)

    I agree that Proposition 13 has some real, unfortunate (and unfair) consequences.  It also essentially keeps residents from selling their homes (which might allow new homeowners to come in).  I would like to see some changes, regarding Proposition 13.

    I have held my views for as long as I can remember (including the time prior to home ownership).  Controlling rampant sprawl/development is a core value for me, and will likely continue to be for the rest of my life (regardless of my location/living situation).  I guess you’ll just have to take my word that I’m being honest.

    If I were moving to Davis now, I’d likely look at Woodland or surrounding areas.  I’ve never been convinced that Davis is all that “special”, compared to nearby areas.  (I understand that many already use public transit from those areas.)  I commuted for years (to Sacramento) via public transit, and never found it to be a problem.

    Regarding the Cannery, it was not voted on.  (It was within city limits.)  However, some in Davis (who otherwise support slow growth) saw the value in supporting that development since it converted an otherwise-unused site (former Cannery), and provided some market-rate housing.  (I was in there a few weeks ago, and was told that some prices were actually lowered somewhat, due to lack of demand.)

    Not sure what your view is, regarding your comfort level for new development.  (In other words, would you prefer that we just continue expanding the city, forever – as all other cities in the Region are doing)?  If you wait long enough, Woodland (and other cities) will get even closer to Davis.  I really value what Davis is doing, in terms of trying to control rampant development.  (It’s the only city in the Region that even makes an attempt to do so.)

    I found your earlier communications with Dr. Katehi quite astonishing.  (Hard to believe that she thinks some graduate students are “rich”, and therefore didn’t need the University’s support.)  I’m not sure why the University (apparently) resists housing (to some degree), since they have more than 5,000 acres of land that they already own.  I can only guess that Dr. Katehi views housing as a “money-loser”, for the University, as well. I suspect that the University has not felt this much pressure previously, regarding the housing needs of their students and faculty.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Ron

      Also, you might want to look at the upcoming Chiles Ranch (in Davis).  I suspect that they will have some more traditional housing (although I haven’t seen the plans).  Again, though, I doubt that they’ll be “affordable”, unless they’re subsidized.

      1. UCD_stemfaculty

        Hello Ron,

        thanks for your feedback.

        It is very difficult to beat the Green Belt, and the  family-friendliness of this town. We have been biking to work for 10 years now. Our eldest child bikes to school, and my youngest sits on the back of my cargo bike when I bike her to/from daycare. I have seen plenty of kids biking to/from school on their own, which is not common in many communities around us. Any reasonable parent will value the safety of their children.

        My personal favorite area in town is Village Homes, definitely not a sprawling type of development. So, to answer your question about what I think of slow growth, I have always valued it. However, the immediate result of it is the inability of young families like mine to buy a house we can actually afford. There are many houses owned by people living out of town and managed by real estate companies, who rent them to the students and do not care to maintain them properly. Proposition 13 tax advantages transfer to the children, and these long distance home owners will not sell.

        The inventory is little and typically overpriced. It all ends up in the landed aristocracy of the long-term Davisites, and in financial hardships for incoming young families. After 10 years in Davis, I still do not feel part of the community, because of the inability to buy a house…and I am a tenured engineering mid-career professor!

        Regarding Katehi’s comments and the 5,000 acres, the reality of it is that the financial gain of a private contractor is more important than the retention of dedicated faculty and staff. I have worked at UCD for over ten years, taught more than 1,000 engineering undergraduate and graduate students, brought federal funding and awards to UCD, and I count way less than a private contractor.

        I cannot even disclose my identity in this forum because of the fear of retaliation for my own career. So, I am not a particularly happy UCD employee right now, especially not in the midst of yet another scandal affecting our Chancellor.

        1. Ron

          UCD_stemfaculty:

          Thanks again for sharing that first-person account.  Hearing this influences me more than theoretical arguments.

          I’m not really sure that I have much else to say that would help you achieve your goal.  Again, some developments are in the pipeline, and more will likely come up.  I don’t think that all (or perhaps even “most”) of these developments will be purchased by investors.  (Not sure about Nishi, if it’s approved.)  But, I doubt that Davis will ever have a large inventory of low-cost housing that isn’t subsidized.

          Of course, it doesn’t help that the University is focused on pursuing wealthy non-resident students (who are financially in a better position to compete for housing). And, that the University hasn’t adequately responded to the concerns of their students and faculty.

          It is still somewhat difficult for me to believe that two professionals cannot afford to purchase a reasonable house, in Davis.  (I’ve seen very nice/traditional family-style houses in Mace Ranch that are priced around $550K, but I guess this still isn’t affordable.)

          Perhaps as more people eventually spread to nearby/surrounding areas, those areas will improve as well (and offer bike paths, green belts, good schools etc.).  I suspect that this is already occurring.  However, the amenities that you describe are costly, and will drive up the cost in any community.

           

    2. The Pugilist

      ” I don’t think that any amount of development (that is likely to be approved) will be “affordable” ”

      Perhaps, but one thing that is guaranteed is that we won’t solve the problem without building some housing.  You seem to oppose all housing unless it’s on the Dixon side of the Mason-Dixon line.

      1. Ron

        The Pugilist:  I don’t think that any amount of development (that is likely to be approved) will be “affordable” ”

        “Perhaps, but one thing that is guaranteed is that we won’t solve the problem without building some housing.  You seem to oppose all housing unless it’s on the Dixon side of the Mason-Dixon line.”

        No, I don’t oppose all housing.  The Cannery was fine with me, although I understand the concern about the CFD.  I accept that Chiles Ranch will be developed, as well.  A down-sized Trackside (that fits in with the neighborhood).  Perhaps a more reasonably-sized Sterling (that didn’t require a zoning change and 565 parking spaces, for example).  (Or, re-use of the existing, relatively-new facility, to supply housing in some manner.)

        But yes.  I plead “guilty” to a desire to establish/maintain some type of controls, regarding endless development/sprawl.  (Not just in Davis.) I think we’ve seen the alternatives to that, as well.

        1. Ron

          (Also – I actually care about Dixon, as well!)  Even Austin, Texas!

          Overall, the housing and real estate industry has way too much influence in this country, and has been creating sprawl everywhere, for decades.

          I’ve also never understood the “fairness” of providing homeowners with income tax breaks (for mortgage interest/taxes).  This does not serve any useful purpose, and ultimately transfers the burden to renters (and again encourages rampant development – to purchase “The American Dream”).  Not to mention Proposition 13, which (again) benefits long-term homeowners at the expense of others.

          Now that the housing crisis is over, look for sprawl to “ramp up” again.

        2. South of Davis

          Ron wrote:

          > I’ve also never understood the “fairness” of providing

          > homeowners with income tax breaks (for mortgage interest/taxes)

          People selling real estate always make a big deal about the “tax advantages” of buying real estate, but at the actual saving are not much for most people.  When I bought my first (cheap and dumpy) condo the interest and taxes were less than my standard deduction as a single guy.

          The average home in America sold for about $300K last year and with a $200K mortgage at 3.2% you will pay $6,341 in interest the first year (paying less and less interest each year until the loan is paid off).  In California property tax on a $300K home is $3K for a total of $9,300 so a couple of married “homeowners” will take the same “Married Filing Jointly” $12,600 standard deduction as a couple of married renters.

          If you buy a $600K home in Davis (that costs double the national average) with a $500K loan you will pay $15893 in interest and $7K in taxes for a total tax deduction of $22,893 ($10,293 more than a couple that is renting saving $2,882/$240/month (at the 28% tax bracket) in income taxes.

          Don’t forget that as a “homeowner” you now need to pay Davis parcel taxes of about $1,000/year (that are not deductible) and maintain the home you now own at about $6K/year (most people spend an average of 1% of the purchase price per year over 10 years on home maintenance).

  8. The Pugilist

    As someone who cares about the city of Davis, I find it interesting how few people care about the impact of lack of housing on the city.  How few people care that there are places in this community where students are being stuffed into houses that have been redesigned as mini-dorms. How few people care if families can afford to live here or stay here.  That there is a 0.2 percent vacancy rate.  The reason no one here cares about that is all of you have homes and aren’t renters.

    1. UCD_stemfaculty

      I completely agree with Pugilist here.

      My husband and I are two professionals, with no debt whatsoever. More than one entire take-home stipend goes directly into rent + daycare and after-school fees. We are financially careful and are putting money away for retirement, plus we travel periodically to see our aging parents, who all live outside California. Having lived in and traveled to other states outside California, we are regularly confronted with the cost of housing elsewhere, and the typically much larger availability of well-maintained rentals.

      In Davis, many houses in the $500k-600k are actually fixer-uppers. This is what the current market is. The houses that can be moved in, in the >$700k range, are being purchased cash by Bay Area/out of US people.
      As a young family, purchasing a fixer upper means that we will have to pay one rent and one mortgage for several months, which is obviously not ideal.

      In ten years, we have moved only twice, because it is very difficult to find a decently maintained single family house in this town at a reasonable price. The rental market is awful. Six years ago, we viewed over 30 rentals before finding one that was acceptable, and we have not dared to find another rental since then.

      We were very hopeful for Covell Village, which we considered a future Village Homes community, and for the Cannery. The prices of many properties in the Cannery (>$800k) are comparable to those you would find in the Monterey peninsula, and may even have an ocean view.

      We live and work here, we have young children. We want to contribute to this community. We will be house poor when we find a house. Still, we are luckier than many of the UCD/City of Davis employees with young families, and especially those with one single earner (single parent or a family with a stay-at-home parent), not to mention students with families.

       

      1. Ron

        UCD_stemfaculty:

        I am moved by your statements.  Again, I have seen houses in Mace Ranch (that are not “fixers”), for around $550K.  Less than that a few years ago, during the housing crisis.  (You said that you’ve been here for 10 years.)  I guess there were more rentals available six years ago (you viewed 30)?

        I don’t know what else to say, other than what I’ve already said regarding the new developments (e.g., Chiles Ranch), etc.  I admittedly do not know what it takes to get a mortgage, these days.  However, if you’re both working professionals (making at least $50K or more, each) then it seems that something should be within reach, even if you’re absolutely committed to staying in Davis.

        Ultimately, I do value controls regarding development, even if it means there are some unintended consequences.  The alternative is simply not acceptable. And, I felt (strongly) that way even when I was a renter, as well.

         

        1. Ron

          Also (don’t mean to push my luck), but have you considered purchasing one of the new homes in the Cannery that has a “granny unit”?  If it’s within reach, perhaps the “granny unit” can be rented out, helping to pay down your mortgage.  (And, it might help you get a mortgage in the first place.)

          Just an idea.

          That might be my final response for awhile. In any case, I hope some of what I’ve said is helpful in some manner.

           

        2. UCD_stemfaculty

          Thanks, Ron.

          We did not realize that the housing prices were coming up. Having lived elsewhere and looked at Schiller’s chart for housing prices (and patrick.net discussion board), we thought that the housing prices in Davis would adjust to a much more affordable level.

          Regarding the granny units in the Cannery, which you mention in your email below…They have three stories. I have injured myself in my teenager years, and now that I am in my 40s, I found out that I cannot go up and down the stairs many times a day.  The Cannery developers claim that they are accessible, but the layout with bedrooms on the third floor and the kitchen on a second floor is not family-friendly and definitely not friendly to anybody with knee injuries. If I am to live there until my kids go to college, 10+ years down the road, it is only going to get worse.

        3. Ron

          UCD_stemfaculty:

          I think you might be confusing the (three-floor) Cannery townhouses (which have an option for an elevator, I recall), with the two-story houses (different builder) that have an upstairs granny unit.  (However, the main unit is two-story well, so I guess that wouldn’t work for you.)

          Many (but not all) Mace Ranch houses are one-story.

          I recently re-visited the Cannery.  The (newest) “Beech” development (by CalAtlantic) seemed quite nice.  I’ve copied the base prices/sizes, below.  The following prices are all two-story houses.  However, they also had a one-story that did not have a price, yet.  (Seems like the one-story would be too small for your family, regardless.)

          In any case, I thought you (and others) might be interested in this.

          $596,000 – 1,780 square feet, 2.5 baths, 2-car garage.

          $629,000 – 1978-2012 square feet, 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5-3 baths, 2-car garage.

          $661,000 – 2141-2189 square feet, 3-4 bedrooms, 2.5-3 baths, 2-car garage.

          $? – One floor, 1,144 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1-car garage.

          I actually like the Cannery, overall.

          I know that you don’t want to leave Davis, but just wanted to mention that there’s also an entire development/builder dedicated to large, one-floor houses in Woodland.  (About 6 miles up Pole Line Road, from Davis.)

          As you can see, I like visiting new developments in our area.

        4. Ron

          I left out something.  (The $596,000 house has 3 bedrooms.)  (CalAtlantic Homes.)

          I’ve forgotten the name of the builder that creates the houses with granny units, but I understand these wouldn’t work well for you.

        5. South of Davis

          UCD_stemfaculty wrote:

          > Having lived elsewhere and looked at Schiller’s chart for housing prices

          I’m a big fan of Schiller’s work (and I laughed out loud when I saw him on the clip below years ago), but keep in mind that Shiller is back in New Haven tracking the “National” market and won’t know that UCD is not only letting thousands more kids in but taking hundreds of units (over a thousand beds) off the market by fencing off Orchard Park for the past couple years and soon to close and fence off Solano Park.

          http://www.cc.com/video-clips/s3wev7/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-home-crisis-investigation

          With that said congratulations on being debt free and good luck finding a place.  One thing you might want to keep in mind when looking is that with an older home you may have to fix a few things, but you get to meet your neighbors (and see how they have maintained their home and garden over the years).  If you buy a “new” place you might have rich Bay Area parents buy the homes on either side of you and be surrounded by spoiled rich kids who play beer pong on the front lawn and who take all the parking on the street with their cars (and the beater RV that they are fixing up and covering with pink fur before they take it to Burning Man)…

           

        6. Ron

          SouthofDavis:  “One thing you might want to keep in mind when looking is that with an older home you may have to fix a few things, but you get to meet your neighbors (and see how they have maintained their home and garden over the years).”

          Agreed!  Also, assuming it’s a tract home (as most are), your neighbor likely dealt with some of the same issues and will gladly share advice. Not to mention that it’s usually a better deal in the first place.

    2. Tia Will

      The reason no one here cares about that is all of you have homes and aren’t renters.”

      Once again, generalizations about how others feel fall short. I felt the same way about Davis, and cared about it when I was a renter sharing small apartments with other students. I valued above all the small town nature combined with the university. I could not afford to buy 30 years ago but felt the same then as I do now owning two homes. It was the small town nature of Davis that attracted me then as it does now. We can turn Davis into a Vacaville, or Folsom, or a Silicon Valley, or we can seek a balance that maintains the characteristics that make people want to live here while accommodating as many as possible. Somewhere between rapid expansion and stagnation there is balance and equilibrium. This is the condition would should be seeking.

      1. The Pugilist

        I actually had a very specific reason for my comment.  I’m trying to fnd the specific comment, but Ron a few weeks ago assessed the housing situation and basically noted that he could live with the consequences of lack of rental housing.  I realized at that point, well of course he can live with that consequence, it’s not his consequence to live with.  And then I realized that’s true of most of the people posting here – they are older, their kids are grown and out of the local schools, and they have their home.  There is a real consequence for those who are renters and do not own a home and whose kids are in school.  For whatever criticism you may have of the current council, three of them have children in school and Robb Davis has grandchildren in the local schools.

    3. Matt Williams

      The Pugilist said . . .  “The reason no one here cares about that is all of you have homes and aren’t renters.”

      That is a sweeping generalization.  I care just as much about that now as a renter as I did for the prior 17 years as a homeowner.  When I walk with the Brsssk Walking group every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning there is quite a lot of discussion of that issue amongst the walkers, and I would say that 90% of the people talking about it are homeowners rather than renters like me.

      Interestingly, a substantial portion of those walkers are Vanguard readers.  Other than me, none of them are Vanguard commenters.  I think you may be generalizing a bit too much based on what you read here from the “Vanguard 10 Plus.”

  9. Eileen Samitz

    To The Puglitist (and All),

    Please, most people posting here care about Davis.  We may have different views, but I think it is fair to say we care. I have been advocating for the need for on-campus housing for students for a long time now. This is an issue which is all about UCD causing a housing shortage, particularly retail housing, in our City due to UCD’s negligence  in providing so much on-campus housing, to support its own growth.

    If UCD really had their priorities right, faculty, staff, and students would all have access to on-campus affordable housing since UCD owns over 5,000 acres to provide it. THIS is the main issue that needs to be addressed.

    1. UCD_stemfaculty

      To Ron and South of Davis:

      Thank you, both!

      Ron, I have stopped following openings of the Cannery, but I may go revisit them.

      South of Davis, I loved the video with John Oliver and Schiller, thanks! Yes, Davis’ market is more complicated than an average market, and it is not going to get any better, thanks to the requirement of having 5,000 more students by 2020.

      Well, Spring is here, so more houses will show up on the market.

      I enjoyed the conversations.

       

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