Revised LRDP Will Accommodate 90% of Student Growth with On-Campus Housing

ucdavis-campusIn a major reversal that will have far-reaching implications, UC Davis has released a revised Long Range Development Plan that will now accommodate 90 percent of enrollment growth with on-campus housing.  The plan “refines the initial planning concepts shared with the community over the past six months and reflects the collaborative engagement with senior city staff and council leadership, as well as valuable community feedback regarding enrollment growth and local housing capacity.”

“The goal of the proposed plan is to keep UC Davis compact and keep people connected,” said Bob Segar, assistant vice chancellor for Campus Planning and Community Resources.

UC Davis has announced it will grow by around 9000 students, faculty and staff in the next decade.  The bottom line, as recently as April, was: “The university expects to add 9,000 staff, students and faculty to its population over the 10-year planning period, and the university will not be able to house them all on campus,”

During the engagement process, one of the main concerns voiced by the community as a whole was the local housing capacity for students. “UC Davis planning staff have been meeting with senior city staff and council leadership since the beginning of the process to understand goals and concerns about absorbing sizable student housing growth in the Davis community,” according to the report from the UC Davis News service.

During the outreach process, the city worked hard behind the scenes, with Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis, City Manager Dirk Brazil and Community Development Director Mike Webb doing much of the heavy lifting.

According to one source, a key barrier to an agreement was Chancellor Linda Katehi.  Once she was out of the picture, the university was much more responsive to the city’s concerns.

In 2014-15, around 9,400 students lived on campus.  Of those, about 5,500 traditional first-year students lived in residence halls while another 3,900 upper-division undergraduates and graduates lived in apartments. Altogether, about 29 percent of the Davis-based students lived on campus in 2014-15 according to the university’s “Campus Tomorrow” webpage.

The LRDP Preliminary Planning Scenario “provides capacity to accommodate an additional 6,200 students in residence halls and apartments on campus, including an additional 1,550 students in residence halls and 4,650 students in apartments.”

That pushes capacity to provide 40 percent of the students on-campus housing, which comes close to the number the university had originally agreed to in an MOU between the city and university.

Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis worked hard to get this agreement.

He said, “After my election, I requested regular meetings with University staff to discuss issues of mutual concern. When The LRDP process got started, university staff met with Dirk, Mike and me and we laid out our strong preference for the most aggressive housing approach they could provide.”

While it took some time, the work has borne fruit.  Robb Davis told the Vanguard, “They were very receptive and have been responsive to our needs. It has been collaborative, frank and fruitful. I am very gratified with the direction they are taking and think it lays the groundwork for good collaboration on a range of critical issues going forward. We are moving together in a very positive direction.”

By the numbers, as indicated above, in 2014-15, 9400 students out of 32,130 lived on campus for 29 percent.

By 2027-28, the predicted enrollment is going to be 39,000.  The campus could see 6,870 new students and would provide on-campus housing for 6,200 of them, or 90 percent.

The need for student housing remains, as the city only has a vacancy rate for apartments at 0.2 percent, but this is a game changer in terms of overall growth pressure on the city.

LRDP-Housing

UC Davis says it is committed to a compact housing configuration.  It is looking toward seven locations to accommodate the housing needs.

One of the biggest is West Village.  “Currently West Village accommodates about 2,000 people, a satellite campus for Sacramento City Community College and a collection of UC Davis Energy Efficiency and Transportation Innovation Hubs. The LRDP Preliminary Planning Scenario for West Village provides capacity for more residents than previous planned in the 2003 LRDP and potentially accommodates an additional 1,125 students on a smaller footprint than previously planned.”

West-Village-2016

The LRDP Preliminary Planning Scenario provides capacity for an additional 2,250 students in West Village.

At Orchard Park, “The LRDP Preliminary Planning Scenario provides capacity for an additional 900 students with the redevelopment of Orchard Park Apartments and the greenhouses west of the Wellness Center. Much of the additional capacity for new student housing in this area will be dedicated to students with families and graduate students. The current 2003–2015 LRDP, as amended by the Regents, designates the greenhouse site as residential.”

Another area that the university is looking to add capacity would be transforming the current Russell field into housing.

Russell-Field

They note, “Russell Field, Howard Field and A Street Field are currently used as active recreational fields for intramurals and club sports, practice and as informal open space for the community.”

The plan calls for a potential 1000 students to reside at the redeveloped Russell and Howard field.  “The LRPD Preliminary Planning Scenario also provides capacity for additional academic building space on the A Street Field. The LRPD Preliminary Planning Scenario includes open space along Russell Boulevard and A Street and retains 3 acres of unlit natural sod surface on Russell Field. The remaining 3-acre field will continue to function as an active recreational field in the core of campus, albeit reduced in size and designated as a stormwater detention basin that will be inundated during extreme flooding events.”

Solano-Gateway

Finally, concurrent with Nishi was originally supposed to be the redevelopment of Solano Park.  That appears to be back on.  “The LRDP Preliminary Planning Scenario provides capacity for an additional 500 students west of Old Davis Road and Solano Park Apartments,” they write.

They also plan to connect to the Nishi Gateway project, should it be approved by voters.

They write, “The Plan also includes the possibility of a connection to the Nishi Gateway Project, a private development that is separate from campus, east of the railroad tracks. The University and the City of Davis have been planning collaboratively and exploring possible roadway, bikeway, and open space connections with the Nishi property, in hopes of gaining mutual advantage to the vitality of the campus, downtown and the greater Davis community. The Nishi Gateway project will appear on the City of Davis June ballot as Measure A. Campus will analyze a possible connection in the LRDP EIR in 2017.”

LRDP-Capacity

—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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74 Comments

  1. SODA

    Interesting! Kudos to Robb for his leadership with UCD and the City. There was quick movement after the Chancellor’s departure which is interesting in itself that the process could move so quickly in a new direction-it has only been several weeks.

    I can see this impacting Nishi in several ways….positively with the UCD momentum and then again, some thinking not as much housing now needed. Nice that UCD is more receptive to Nishi access and good news about Solano Park. Think we have to thank Eileen Samitz also for her persistence. Hope this is an indication of growing collaboration between city and UCD!

  2. Tia Will

    SODA

    I share your hope about this representing an era of increased collaboration which in my experience is always a better hope for a mutually advantageous solution. I see also see this as favorable for Nishi since the combination of the two would address to a much larger degree than foreseen the student housing issue. I see this as a much better proposal than the  Sterling site since it seems apparent to me that such a large concentration of students would be much more appropriately located on campus.

  3. Marina Kalugin

    thank you… I have known about this for a long time….ever since John Mayer left the city for the campus…and the campus has been building dorms and apartments at a fast clip.

    Some are owned by campus and others are built by developers on campus soil….those which built by developers are actually not ADA compliant….the developers do not have to do that and they can cut costs by not having such things as elevators…..those new apartments are the ones that are driving the rents up…the developers have to earn a profit and boy do they…

    developers get to cut costs, compared to UCD, and they get to gouge the students and parents…and guess who wins this race also….   the same ole developer names…

    of course the yes on NIshi folks are trying to keep a lid on this…….rush rush…..make the money while they can…

      1. David Greenwald

        The release said dorms for first year students and on-campus apartments. The developers of West Village were contracted by the university. Not ADA compliant? I doubt it, but don’t know.

    1. South of Davis

      Marina wrote:

      > Some are owned by campus and others are built by developers

      > on campus soil….those which built by developers are actually not

      > ADA compliant….the developers do not have to do that and they

      > can cut costs by not having such things as elevators…

      Only a small percentage of the population is in a wheelchair so we don’t need every apartment in town to have an elevator to the second and third floor…

    2. Rob White

      Marina

      Keep a lid on this? This just validates that the university sees the Nishi connection as part of the overall strategy. Ands that infill is the ultimate plan. Plus, as noted in the LDRP, the campus currently only houses 29% of enrolled students and these new plans are meant to house 90% of the additional students.

      Let’s not forget the battle royale that ensued over West Village, Round 1, and the outcry from Solano Park students when it was suggested that the facilities their need to be replaced and upgraded. It is commendable that the university is working hard to address their share of the growth, but the same people that are no on Nishi are going to show up to say no on these other development spaces. Think of the outcry of all of the new cars, or the air quality impacts to the Solano Park area… you can hear the echoes of the past already!

      I think this is actually a reaffirmation of the good planning principles of being close to campus, within biking and walking distance to amenities, and embracing the kind of sustainability that brings… That is exactly what we see from this latest LDRP… and that is what Nishi is, all day long.

  4. Tia Will

    of course the yes on NIshi folks are trying to keep a lid on this”

    Why and how would you think that the Nishi folks would try to “keep a lid on this ? First, with this article, likely to have a counterpart in the Enterprise, the information is already out beyond any possible “lid”. Next, if you have been following the conversation as I am sure that you have, you will know that 10% of students not housed on campus still represents a challenge for the community and thus makes this a compliment to, not a substitute for Nishi.

    When there has been resistance in the past and trust between two groups is broken, the tendency is to maintain adversarial relationships. I would like to see this as the beginning of a new era of collaboration where we could drop some of the negative assumptions about “those other people who are standing in the way”, listen, and work together on mutual problems.

  5. Don Shor

    This is a huge achievement. Robb, Dirk, Mike Webb, and their counterparts at UCD deserve lots of credit for significantly reducing the housing pressure from future UC growth.

    The current proposals for private apartments will help to alleviate the present shortage of thousands of beds caused by previous enrollment growth. But we can foresee a time when vacancy rates could stabilize, rent increases could slow down, and traffic impacts would be reduced.

  6. Barack Palin

    According to one source, a key barrier to an agreement was Chancellor Linda Katehi.  Once she was out of the picture, the university was much more responsive to the city’s concerns.

    So this agreement magically all evolved in just the couple of weeks that Katehi has been gone?  It hasn’t been in the works for months and months while Katehi was there?  Katehi had nothing to do with the process?  This comes across to me as a cheap shot.

  7. ryankelly

    This is what Harrington, Samitz and others have been demanding – ramped up growth on campus to house hundreds of students.  I know that all this has been in the works for some time, so it is not new news to me.  There are proposals to continue to increase enrollment at all UCs even higher, so expect this building to continue.

  8. Robb Davis

    This has been a good process.  I want to particularly thank Bob Seger for his leadership.  If you review the City Council meetings where Bob has presented, he is a clear communicator, honest about the challenges and opportunities, and very open to understanding the needs of all stakeholders.  I really enjoy working with Bob.

  9. Frankly

    Good work Robb Davis, Dirk Brazil and Mike Webb!   Very impressive.

    Now expect to work even harder as the no-growthers flail about opposing all this development too.  I can’t wait for the West Davis NIMBYs to freak when they learn about the West Village expansion.  They will demand that all traffic gets routed through Dixon.  And developing Russel Field?!   That will be sweeeet for us knowing we need to brand the no-on-everything crowd as the no-on-everything crowd.

    Now the difference here is that Measure A does not come into play.   And the CC will not have any power of governance over the development choices made by UCD.   And lastly, we will not get a dime in tax revenue for any of this.

    But new housing is new housing… and we need it.

    So, up with those seven story dorms on Russell Blvd!  Let’s cram in all in and reduce the cost of student housing.   This will also help take pressure of the UC brass for working to reduce the cost of tuition… which they will need to keep high due to the high cost for building all this housing.

      1. Frankly

        Sure.  Why not?  Can’t stop UCD from putting them up.  In fact, I would support 10-story dorms given the need for student housing.   Let’s cram them all in so we can help achieve Tia’s car-less utopia.

    1. Marina Kalugin

      she DIDN’t – attributing any of that to her, now  I am sure that YOU know that is all nonsense, Don Strong….

      How many stories are Miller dorms on campus corner of Russell and LaRue….and how many stories are the many massive new apartments in West Village…if anyone wants to go and count, let me know, please.

      How tall are the Tercero dorms and see just how many there are.

      This WAS the building focus of Chancellor Katehi and for good reason…  we just need more classrooms also.

      Marina Kalugin (Rumiansev)

  10. Ron

    Great news, overall!

    Many commenters on the Vanguard repeatedly stated that the University would never agree to this. Seems that you were wrong. (No surprise, to me.)

    And – if Nishi is rejected, perhaps the University will purchase that site (for various uses – including housing), as well.  (With no vehicular access to Olive Drive.)

    Rejection of Measure A will ensure that the value of the Nishi site does not skyrocket, beyond the University’s ability to purchase it, for the benefit of the University and its students, faculty and staff.

     

      1. Ron

        And we won’t have the costs, risks, years of construction at an impacted intersection, or permanent traffic/congestion problems by adding about 1,500 parking spaces and additional motor vehicle access to the University (going through the same intersection that’s already backed up).

        I’d like to take a moment again to acknowledge all of those who were so very “wrong”, regarding the University’s response. By taking that position, some of you also made it more difficult to influence the University.

        1. Frankly

          And we won’t have the costs, risks, years of construction at an impacted intersection, or permanent traffic/congestion problems by adding about 1,500 parking spaces and additional motor vehicle access to the University (going through the same intersection that’s already backed up).

          Why not?  UCD could build the exact same.  And the city might be mandated to accept certain connections for safety and other reasons.

          I think we would likely get 99% of the same impacts… maybe 110% of the impacts… and no tax revenue.

          Remind me to never go into business with you.

        2. Ron

          Frankly:  “Why not?  UCD could build the exact same.  And the city might be mandated to accept certain connections for safety and other reasons.”

          I don’t see a scenario in which the city would be “forced” to provide (normal) motor vehicle access from Olive Drive, to a University-owned Nishi site.

          Frankly:  “I think we would likely get 99% of the same impacts… maybe 110% of the impacts… and no tax revenue.”

          Those are interesting (non-supported) “thoughts”.  If the University owns the site, they have responsibility for costs.  The city would still gain sales tax revenue, when students venture off the site.

          Frankly:  “Remind me to never go into business with you.”

          Although I respect your ability to manage your current business, I’m not sure that I’d want to go into business with you.  (Overall, your goals/values are different than mine.)

    1. Marina Kalugin

      yes, and if the freeway will need to be expanded, as it already does…there will remain some space to do that….in the meantime, this is all truly showing the lack of need of housing for students…

      PS>  those who don’t understand the laws of supply and demand, also seem to confuse that with created demand.

      when the massive projects are built and there are not enough people in Davis to fill them, the developers advertise in outlying areas…and who wouldn’t want to move to Davis?   if you have no job and are on welfare, where would you rather live.

      If you cannot afford Oakland, you could commute to Davis and pay a fraction of the price for WAY better…..even with the skyrocketing Davis values,  it is STILL way more affordable than Oakland/ bay area…

      thus the empties fill up right away, and we are full again and why not?

      yet the city keeps growing by leaps and bounds…it is all an illusion and for the years that there was hardly any building and no more students added, yet there was still a low vacancy..  well, duhhhh….

      and then the prices were lower and more stable…..this is quirk in the law of supply and demand….if areas are way more desireable, then more supply will actually create more demand…and, if it is not here, the developers will find the folks elsewhere and bring them here…

    2. CalAg

      Many commenters on the Vanguard repeatedly stated that the University would never agree to this. Seems that you were wrong. @ Ron

      This is a great start. Productive engagement with UCD should continue.

      There are still additional opportunity sites for student housing east of 113 and south of Orchard Park. In addition, the planned densities of some of the listed sites seem a little low.

  11. The Pugilist

    While I tend to agree with Tia’s point that we still need rental housing (and who knows how long it will take for UCD to build, look at West Village), I think this is a huge blow to the chances of Measure A.  I’m surprised they’ve been silent on this.  They need to jump in on this news cycle.

    1. Barack Palin

      I was thinking the same thing, voters might now think that we don’t need Nishi if UCD is going to pick up much of the housing slack.  As far as the timeline it’s going to many years before any Nishi apartments are on the block, right?  How much farther down the line will any added UCD housing happen?  All this needs to be considered.  I have to wonder about the timing of this announcement being so close to the June Nishi vote.

      1. Ron

        BP:

        Per my comments above, I think it’s quite likely that the University will purchase the site, if Measure A fails.  (I recall a recent article in the Enterprise, in which one of the developers already acknowledged that they may work with the University, if Measure A fails.)

        If Measure A fails, the value of the site will not skyrocket overnight (which would primarily benefit the developers).

        1. Misanthrop

          Doubtful, why would they buy something that needs tens of millions in infrastructure improvements when they already own thousands of developable acres?

        2. Adam Smith

          So the university is going to house (in some undetermined time period) 90% of the additional student population.  That means that in addition to the problems we have now, there will still be increasing pressure on the situation.   If (and I think its a big if) the university builds what they say, our housing problem will be worse in a few years than it is now, if the city doesn’t allow any apartments to be built.  We need Nishi, and  more  to alleviate this housing crisis.

      2. Ron

        Misanthrop:  “Doubtful, why would they buy something that needs tens of millions in infrastructure improvements when they already own thousands of developable acres?”

        I recall reading a recent article in the Enterprise, in which one of the Nishi developers stated that he was already considering the possibility of working with the University directly, if Measure A fails.  I’m not sure what that meant, but I don’t see many other potential buyers. And, it seems that the “price will be right” (won’t skyrocket), if Measure A fails.

        Regardless, I realize that some believe that the site is not fit for housing, regardless of ownership.  I’m not sure what to think, regarding that particular issue.

         

  12. Misanthrop

    This is good news but all these people living on campus will not be voting in city elections. Another blow against the ballot box  reflecting the will of the people of the area.

    By the way I predicted this when writing about Katehi’s firing a few weeks ago.

    Still I don’t expect the World Food Center or a tech park to get built here.

  13. nameless

    Don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but I do have to wonder.  UCD has made promises in the past that have not been kept, to build a substantial amount of student housing.  Why is this time any different?  If it is different, why?

    In regard to Measure A, the 90% only refers to the influx of new students to be housed, but fails to address the huge number of current student numbers that are still not housed on campus.  Measure A would help address that problem.

     

    1. hpierce

      Excellent points… timing of drastic change of ‘policy’ is weird… there still is no firm commitment from UC/UCD to participate financially in, nor even “permit”/support a full connection to Nishi under UPRR tracks… that’s the reason I believe Measure A is untimely.

      To me, access (guaranteed/supported) to UCD is paramount… I see the full connection to W Olive, PARTICULARLY w/o the UCD full access being a guarantee as a ‘fatal flaw’ as to Nishi… except for the access issues, I’d be a strong supporter of Nishi… as it stands, I voted “NO”…

       

        1. hpierce

          Promise is one thing… reality is another… (“I’ll still respect you in the morning” comes to mind)… even with the full UCD connection, I have grave concerns about the W Olive connection, except for bike/ped/EVA

          I reject the “toxic soup”, “giveaway”, “not green enough” BS, big time… I feel ‘dirty’ voting the same way the equivalents of the “trumpettes” are encouraging folk… but, I held my nose, and voted NO… had UCD COMMITTED to the connection, had the W Olive connection been limited, likely would have voted in favor…

          Pro-A folk who claim this will be a bypass that will relieve the Richards/First corridor issues are about six months ahead of themselves… probably already doing recreational use of MJ.

           

    2. Marina Kalugin

      nameless, are you also clueless…have you SEEN how many new dorms are being built annually on campus, west village, and refurbishing of Castilian…….none of what you say is fact…..

      MORE dorms mushrooming by the day….not enough classrooms is the real problem…

      1. nameless

        “…have you SEEN how many new dorms are being built annually on campus, west village...”

        West Village is dead in its tracks.  UCD stopped the project for fiscal reasons, or so they said.

    3. Don Shor

      Yes, it’s important to keep this in perspective. UC has agreed to house most of the new enrollees. Looking at the timetable, I’d say we’ll get the students before we get a lot of the housing. They haven’t agreed to build enough to cover the last decade+ of enrollment increase. The housing they’ve built over the last 10 – 15 years falls way short of that increase that’s already happened, and it’s been quite awhile since new private rental housing has been added — hence the 0.2% apartment vacancy rate.
      Also, UC isn’t exactly awash in funding right now for capital improvement projects. So I suspect the timeline may stretch….
      This gives the city some breathing room. The proposed enrollment was going to make the vacancy situation much worse. If nothing is built privately, and they follow through with this and the proposed enrollment increase, we’ll still be right where we are now.
      Getting the apartment vacancy rate back up to 2 – 3% would be a good goal.

    4. Marina Kalugin

      and, back in the day,  folks actually had a polling place on campus…not even that far back in the day.

      And, by the way, the houses for staff and faculty are dead…..the apartments are mostly built out..

      I cannot stand those who act like THEY know something and don’t even get off their duffs to go see.

      West Village is not needed at the moment for faculty as they can afford the cannery and other places…

      most staff cannot afford to live in town regardless

      …and student living….dorms and apartments IS the priority…and has been for over a decade…my son started at Miller in 2004 – he was the first or second class of Regent’s Scholars/IS students in that dorm…

      That was over 12 years ago…and so much more since then…

       

  14. Marina Kalugin

    why NOT?????   why are students NOT voting?

    I did many decades ago as a student……and many of the non-city matters also truly matter to all….

     

      1. hpierce

        And, in my opinion, they should not if they are living on campus… “representation without taxation”…

        Further, a lot of them have been voting w/o having to deal with ‘consequences’, as UCD bought up apartment complexes in the City, removing those properties from the tax rolls, but leaving the students free to vote for taxes, bond issues, etc. that they will never have to contribute to…

    1. hpierce

      Let’s be clear… students on/off campus can vote for County supervisors, County measures, state candidates, State measures etc.  They can also do vote by mail in their home precincts, where they can vote for CC, local measures in their home town, etc.

      They are hardly “dis-enfranchised”…

      1. Misanthrop

        Yes disenfranchised from city politics. Thousands of people not allowed to vote in city elections or on measure R votes because they live on the wrong side of Russell. Thousands of people denied access to Russell Blvd because they live on the wrong side of the street.

        You may think its right but I simply disagree. I think more to the point is you don’t want them to vote because you are concerned about how they will vote.

        But I think that one thing cannot be overlooked those that claim that a Measure R vote represents the will of the people conveniently are overlooking the skewed results because of the way people who live on campus are excluded from Davis politics. Building more housing on campus only skews the results more. There are many who think this is as it should be but I think its no better than the kind of voter ID laws that have been put in place in Texas that allow concealed weapons permits but not student ID’s to vote. The method is different but the outcome is the same the disempowerment of a class of people with consequences that directly and negatively effect that class of people.

        As for your no representation without taxation it seems you want to return to the original unamended kind of 18th century voting where only property owners were allowed to vote. Not to mention women and minorities or those old enough to kill but not for voting unless they are over 21.

        1. CalAg

          79% of the Davis-based student body can vote in city elections. We get property taxes from the places they live, but subsidize the city services that they consume that are not covered by the tax receipts.

          The solution to the voting and tax revenue issues is to annex UCD into the City of Davis.

  15. Marina Kalugin

    how is that different than so many things….like the water project…the cost will increase incrementally until most of the current residents have bailed and the new ones have no choice….

  16. Marina Kalugin

    Yes, I am a Department Manager…I work 24/7…..and am trying to wrap up projects to retire…

    I bought my first house in Davis while a reentry student employee in 79.

    In 1970 I lived in Hughes…. and then found roommates and moved into Sycarmore Lane after a year at the dorm.. My dad gave me $50/month and I spent $35/month on rent to share a room in a 2b/1b . I babysat to pay all my other expenses…

    Didn’t have much back then…

  17. tribeUSA

    Good news!

    Would be even better if they could build more student dorms than in the plan above; only space for about 1500 new students when the projected increases in enrollment are going to be many-fold greater than this. Of course, the large increase in student apartments will help make up for this; but dorm accomodations are generally cheaper; need to also help out the many non-affluent students.

  18. Michael Harrington

    Hard to address the LRDP news from last night without studying the proposal.  Are they housing students for all four years?  How many?  Where?  What is UCD going to give the city in terms of $$ to pay for the city’s costs of these zillions of new residents when there are no taxes paid for that housing, and no city services?

     

    Details matter, so I will reserve on this for a bit.

     

    But:  I think it publically undercuts the Yes on A side, as their whole screaming pitch was “gotta have the housing NOW, the students are coming!  blah blah ….”   chicken little stuff.  Now the LRDP’s commitment to more housing (90%?  really?  what are the details?) severely undercuts the Yes side.

     

    Vote NO on Nishi, and let the developers sell it to UCD and they can worry about access and services and affordable housing for their own students.  They can put some R and D start up space there if it’s important to the UCD planners.  This parcel has really been in the close in orbit of UCD, and I don’t think it’s appropriate or even good planning for the city to get caught up in the drama and expense and challenges of developing that site.

    So vote NO, and demand that UCD keep its word and build more permanent affordable housing for its students.

    1. DavisforNishiGateway

      Voting No has no connection to “UCD keep[ing] its word and build more permanent affordable housing for its students.” It is indeed good news that the burden on the already dysfunctional rental housing situation in Davis is going to be increased by somewhat less than we fully thought. This doesn’t change any of the material facts such that Davis does not currently have a healthy vacancy rate which drives rent up at alarming rates and encourages the proliferation of mini-dorms that displace Davis families from neighborhoods. The housing at Nishi is still needed. It would be a terrible mistake to abandon the benefits Nishi brings to Davis simply because the currently overburdened rental housing market in Davis is only going to be suffocated with slightly less force. What’s more, Nishi’s R&D space in conjunction with its housing are still a model for the region; it incorporates the best elements of smart planning to deliver a project that addresses the most pressing problems currently confronting Davis. I hesitated to write anything for a while because nothing has changed. Davis still needs more rental housing and R&D space which Nishi provides.

  19. The Pugilist

    “Many commenters on the Vanguard repeatedly stated that the University would never agree to this.”

    That’s not what many commenters said, what they said was that the city had no ability to force the university to do this and therefore it wasn’t a good strategy to sit by and hope.

  20. CalAg

    “Many commenters on the Vanguard repeatedly stated that the University would never agree to this.” That’s not what many commenters said …

    That’s exactly what was being said.

    “therefore it wasn’t a good strategy to sit by and hope”

    Apparently, the City leadership didn’t get the “sit by and hope” memo. Kudo’s to the leadership and the on-campus housing advocates for helping to move this forward.

        1. CalAg

          It changes the calculus on whether or not it’s worth blowing up the Richards corridor for an additional 1,500 beds on Nishi when (1) UCD is on track for 6,200 beds with the potential to push its number much higher, and (2) a significant fraction of the beds at Nishi are likely to be occupied by non-students.

          Nishi is not an independent project. Like it or not, construction of Nishi is tied to the LRDP – and there is no guarantee that the LRDP EIR will support the required connection to campus. This announcement means it will be harder for the Nishi connection to pass campus environmental review because of cumulative impacts. In addition, it is likely that the LRDP EIR will be sued over the Nishi connection as a way of stopping the development.

        2. CalAg

          Nope. Not simple at all.

          If Measure A passes but the occupancy permit triggers are not (and/or cannot be) met, we are in uncharted territory – especially if any construction has occurred on the site.

          More interesting is the question of a UCD purchase. If Measure A passes and the developers flip the land to UCD … what happens? Does the City loose jurisdiction on the planning of the property even though it is inside the city limits?

        3. Ron

          CalAg:  “More interesting is the question of a UCD purchase.  If Measure A passes and the developers flip the land to UCD … what happens? Does the City loose jurisdiction on the planning of the property even though it is inside the city limits?”

          You have a mind that a developer would appreciate!  (Pointing out / thinking of potential loopholes/possibilities, that most of us wouldn’t even think of.)

          I’m glad that you’re on the “right side” of these issues.

        4. hpierce

          CalAg 7:34 post….

          City would retain zoning control, needing to service, loses property tax and perhaps other revenue…

          Worst case scenario…

  21. Eileen Samitz

    I am encouraged to see that UCD is finally responding more than 100 communications from our citizens group “Citizens for Responsible Planning” focused on this issue of the need for on-campus housing which were also sent to UC administrators including Bob Segar, UC President Napolitano, the Chancellor, the Regents, and our California State legislators including those representing Davis, and those legislators concerned about the UC and UCD issues. These communications were also sent to our City Council and City Staff, and I wish to express appreciation to all of them who have agreed with our groups concern and advocacy for much more on-campus housing that is needed. It sounds like Robb, Dirk,and Mike arranged a meeting as well with the UCD campus land use planning representative after our deluged of emails addressing this issue, and I greatly appreciate that as well. So we have started a much needed dialog between the City and UCD which is long past due, but look at the progress already. So thanks to all, and let’s keep this dialog and progress going.

    While I appreciate the kind words from SODA and comments from ryankelly, it is the many folks in our citizens group who deserve the credit for having our community’s concerns heard about the need for on-campus housing heard and I encourage other folks to join us by emailing us at citizens@dcn.org. The more folks we have to continue following upon the UCD LRDP process, the more continued progress we will have of what is a good start to having the need for much more UCD on-campus housing provided by UCD.

    That said, while I do appreciate that the LRDP has made movement toward the providing this needed on-campus housing, UCD is are asking for input on this draft LRDP plan. To begin with even more apartments are needed, and far more densification is needed of these residential projects on-campus because the UCD campus can handle far more units per acre then then City can since it does not need to work housing with existing neighborhoods and traffic issues to the same extent. For instance,  after seeing the new plans displayed last night my understanding was that the apartment projects proposed were only three stories, however any one year freshman dorms on-campus now are almost all four stories.  So ALL on-campus multi-unit residential buildings need to be a minimum of four stores and should be more than that.

    Also, there are still plenty of sites where more housing can be added like in add to to densifying Orchard Park more than what is proposed, there is at least 60+ acres south of it, so why is that not being used for high density student housing? And although the amount of housing has been reduced on Russell fields, I would prefer to see that green space that the students love, not used for housing. Instead, why not density West Village, Orchard Park and Solano Park more? I have other recommendations that I have submitted before including much more available land near the core of the campus to build residential on, but I will not go into that detail now. But I do want to say that I am greatly encouraged that UCD is finally making some movement towards recognizing the need to provide this needed on-campus housing. This progress with UCD also makes it clear that we need to not rush into the Nishi project with all of its problems including costs and impacts. So all the more reason why we need to vote “No” on Nishi in June.

    1. Frankly

      To begin with even more apartments are needed, and far more densification is needed of these residential projects on-campus because the UCD campus can handle far more units per acre then then City can since it does not need to work housing with existing neighborhoods and traffic issues to the same extent.

      Does somebody want to chime in to back this claim or explain it.

      The last time I checked, students travel to:

      – Class

      – Job

      – Shopping

      – Entertainment

      – Friends and family

      The ONLY of these that is absolutely on campus is #1.

      But the campus is pretty big.  Nishi housing is no further away from classes than would be other housing on this plan.

      The rest are primarily outside of campus.

      So then, why is the student housing on campus supposed to decrease traffic in a material way?

      I don’t think it will.

      I can’t tell if those so fixated on UCD housing are ignorant of this, or are just holding up some bizarre position.

      1. hpierce

        Frankly, depending on a household, there is at least one back and forth trip for each resident per day for home/work (and that would include “class”)… whether those trips are by walking, bicycle, transit or car, varies by many factors… how many motor vehicle trips does your household make per day?  We average two going, two returning per driver per day (8 total trips)…

        Additional units on campus, to accommodate additional folk will not decrease traffic one scintilla… it will slow the rate of increase of additional traffic… THINK…

  22. Don Shor

    Someone else can fill in the blanks and do the math.

    UCD enrollment 1997: 24,299

    UCD enrollment 2012: 32,354

    UCD enrollment 2016: _______

    UCD planned enrollment 2020: ______

    Total beds added on campus 1997 – 2016: ______

     

    1. hpierce

      So, are you talking living space, or traffic?  If someone can supply the numbers (I have no clue, except all but the last will likely increase), and also account for the number of “beds” [on-campus and off] decreased by UCD from decisions they made… still, we need to know whether you are talking about living space or something else…

    2. hpierce

      And, Don, I would have included a 40 year horizon… your 20 year one is particularly ‘generous’ as to UCD growth and the lack of campus based residential growth… makes UCD look GOOD!  Since the 70’s, UCD provided little housing on campus, actually decreased it, then bought City apartments (taking them off the tax rolls) to APPEAR to be meeting their growth needs…

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