Discussion: Put Housing on Campus, but Not There

Orchard Park before its closing

There is an overwhelming sentiment that UC Davis needs to put a much larger percentage of housing on campus than they currently provide.  The view is that the university is driving the current rental shortage in town and, therefore, they must take responsibility for the housing for the increased new enrollment, currently projected at 6000 students over the next decade.

Aside from the fairness issue, which resonates with me, there is also the transportation issue that university land will be in closer proximity to campus than other areas.

That said, if we look at the past and present discussion, pushing housing to the university does not appear to punt the housing discussion.  One question we posed yesterday was where to put the housing if it is to be on campus.

Over the weekend, one resident of the nearby College Park neighborhood argued against putting houses along Russell Boulevard.  He writes, “I write to make a case for retaining those two playfields just as they are rather than replacing them with three-story student apartments, as proposed in UCD’s 2017-27 Long-Range Development Plan.  While the reasons to retain the fields are many, the main ones fall under three categories: aesthetics, traffic and impact on the nearest neighbors.”

Today, another letter suggested, “Everyone driving past the UC Davis campus along Russell Boulevard sees the historic and tranquil northern campus entrance, where discussions now raise a possibility of replacing this iconic and active vista with dormitories.”

They argue, “Surely we need to retain this lovely very historic northern entrance to our UCD campus, and not shift it to looking like another intersection such as the one at Anderson and La Rue, where dormitories loom over the sidewalks — cars and bikes always zooming by. We need to preserve this historic campus entrance.”

They conclude: “It is well known that our campus is blessed with the largest land holdings of any of the 10 campuses — there are many nearby preferable campus sites for constructing more dormitories that will offer students convenient access to central campus.  Filling in the beautiful, functional and historic northern entrance to campus is a terrible idea.”

Bottom line: one area whether the university is suggesting it will put students has strong objections by the neighbors.

The same was the case when UC Davis approved West Village.  But West Village had a decade-long planning process.  The planning got delayed by an unsuccessful lawsuit by a neighborhood group.  That ultimately led to the lack of access directly to the city of Davis through Russell Boulevard.  West Village is still not completed, nearly 15 years after planning commenced.

Solano Park is another option.  That was originally to be planned concurrently with Nishi.  But those plans were delayed when students living there threatened protests.

What about Orchard Park, which several posters correctly cited in UC Davis’ planning failures?  Orchard Park closed in July 2014 and remains closed, while Solano Park was finally scheduled to close this month.

However, a January article in the Aggie cited Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Jeff Gibeling, who claimed “redevelopment is yet to begin due to concerns about the cost effectiveness of the change as well as the possibility of rent increases post-development. Thus, in June 2014, all redevelopment plans were halted in order to find a new planning approach to the apartments that would focus on the students’ concerns. Even though planning stopped, Orchard Park still closed on July 31, 2014.”

“It wasn’t actually renovations. What we were initially talking about was the replacement of Orchard Park. It was based on an analysis that said it was much more cost effective to simply tear them down,” Mr. Gibeling told the Aggie. “We wanted to get a long lifetime out of the buildings, which meant starting from scratch.”

 “The plan wasn’t very well-received by the community. After many discussions with students and administrators, the Chancellor said we were going to pause the planning process,” Mr. Gibeling said. “So we paused the planning process and created a different committee with much higher student representation to go through a different planning process. We had hoped it would take about six months and be done by the calendar year of 2014, but it wasn’t finished until May or June of 2015.”

The plan, at least back in January, was to reopen Orchard Park Apartments in the fall of 2018.

There is also the issue of affordability.  The Aggie article noted, “While Orchard Park and Solano Park charged a little over $900 a month in rent, the costs of Russell Park, an off-campus alternative to Solano Park and Orchard Park, are significantly higher.”

There is some irony here.  Some of the projects that UC Davis has undertaken and is proposing to undertake have been slowed by Davis community opposition.  In that sense, it can be argued that UC Davis faces similar growth challenges as the city does.

The other problem is that, internally, they have a different set of problems that includes student protests, indecision and lack of affordability.

At some point, UC Davis needs to find a way to deliver more student housing, but these examples show it is hardly going to be as quick and efficient as we might want to see.

As I wrote yesterday, I suggest that the folks at Nishi, as well as UC Davis, look into models like Poly Canyon Village in San Luis Obispo.  Poly Canyon Village, built long after I graduated from Cal Poly, houses 2700 students with apartments, amenities, restaurants and retail on 30 acres.  It consists of nine 4- and 5-story buildings (so you don’t have to go to steel frames) and 618 apartment units with plaza and other space.

Think about it, it has nearly twice the student population on only two-thirds of the acreage of Nishi.  That could be built on Nishi or it could be built on UC Davis land to the west.  But even that doesn’t get us anywhere close to 90 percent of the student population growth in the next decade.

—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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  1. Tia Will

    there are many nearby preferable campus sites for constructing more dormitories that will offer students convenient access to central campus.  Filling in the beautiful, functional and historic northern entrance to campus is a terrible idea.””

    As I wrote yesterday, would suggest that the folks at Nishi as well as UC Davis look into models like Poly Canyon Village in San Luis Obispo.”

    As someone who is not well versed in the landholdings and specific pros and cons of various university owned sites I see a major lack in these suggestions. What I am not seeing is the exact sites that are being proposed as the preferred locations for these suggestions. To those who believe that there are “many nearby preferable campus sites for constructing….” please be specific about where you have in mind.

    Specifically for David, where would you envision this Poly Canyon Village like development be located ?

    It would also be nice when addressing these questions if the proposer would include what they see as the advantages and disadvantages of their proposed location.

      1. Tia Will

        I would say either on Nishi itself or SW of the football stadium off La Rue.”

        I would agree with the Nishi site. Would have to check out the area southwest of the football stadium.

      2. Grok

        The roughly 4.5 acre area SW of the Football stadium on Health Science Drive Does seem to be completely overlooked in the LRD and is both a disturbed landscape and underutilized. I could imagine student apartments there being popular with med and vet students, maybe all or part of it could be a health-science living community. Other UC’s often organize their housing into learning communities like that.

  2. Grok

    This Data should help the discussion:

    Campus           Undergrads Housed          Size

    UC Davis                25%             5,309 acres

    UC Berkeley             27%        1,232 acres

    UC Riverside            34%        1,931 acres

    UC Merced               36%          810 acres

    UC Santa Barbara        38%             1,055 acres

    UC Irvine               41%             1,526 acres

    UCLA                    43%               419 acres


      1. Grok

        The data is obtained from US News and World Reports, individual UC Wikipedia pages, and  where ever possible it has been corroborated with information on the individual UC websites.

    1. Topcat

      I don’t see availability of land as an issue.  The issues seem to be extreme concerns about affordability of the apartments as well as some community opposition to some locations.  It also seems that the University Administrators just don’t see housing as a concern that they need to focus on.

    2. Barack Palin

      Thanks Grok.  Hard to dispute ‘evidence based’ rationale as to why UCD should take up more of the housing slack that they’ve created.

      1. David Greenwald

        I don’t think anyone actually disagrees with that. The question is how much we can expect them to do and how quickly and what should be done within the city.

        1. quielo

          “we can expect them to do” I think this is the key variable. We expect them to do something that is in our best interests while I have not read one word about it is in their best interests. Housing students is not a profit center for them and based on evidence it is not viewed as a priority. They are in the business of educating students and provide whatever housing they have to to achieve that goal. Why would they want to building housing when everyone they can get as many students as they want without it? This is not a statement but a question.

        2. David Greenwald

          I think that’s been the problem in the 30 years that this issue has been around.  In Davis, UCD has always been able to have students live in Davis or surrounding areas.  UCLA doesn’t have that luxury and therefore has accommodate far more students on campus.

        3. quielo

          David, I read these comments but they all seem like people engaged in solo sexual practices. Without a compelling reason that UCD would want to build housing or a path toward forcing them to do so nothing will change. Let me start with a couple of suggestions though as a new guy these have likely been considered and rejected previously. 

          Is it possible to refuse to accept on campus children to DJUSD by changing interdistrict policy?

          Is it possible to legislate minimum levels of on-campus housing at the state level?

          Is it possible to build housing on-campus that supports the educational mission of UCD? That is, some aspect of the housing is tied to university research?

          1. David Greenwald


            The answer is yes, DJUSD has done it to bolster their enrollment and it is financially in their best interest to continue to do so.

            My guess to the second is that the legislature can attempt to do that. What was interesting though is that the legislature had to offer moeny to UC to get them to take more instate students, so perhaps the answer is no.

            One three – probably, but I’m no expert there and not completely clear what that would look like.

        4. Mark West

          “Without a compelling reason that UCD would want to build housing or a path toward forcing them to do so nothing will change.”

          There is nothing that we (or the City) can do that will force the University to build more housing, where and when we want it. Sure, we can have high-level discussions, but in the end, the University will decide what is best for the University regardless of what we want.  There is only one thing that we will accomplish by arguing about what the University ‘should do’ and that is to block or simply ignore the one thing that we can do to actually address the housing shortage.  Build more apartments.

          Arguing about when and where the University should build more housing is nothing more that a smokescreen effort to prevent Davis from building more housing. The ‘if we don’t build it, they won’t come’ approach to life that many here clearly believe in. Just another example of the selfish, ‘no on everything’ mindset that has taken over the town.


      2. Don Shor

        I don’t know anybody who disputes that UCD should build more housing and provide for a larger percentage of their student population. Unfortunately, statistics like this are being used in furtherance of a position that no new rental housing should be built in town. That the housing problem is UCD’s to solve, and only theirs.
        Also, much of the acreage of UCD is actually farmland. It would be more accurate to compare the actual core campus acreage where housing is likeliest to occur. UCD conserves their prime farmland just as the city of Davis and Yolo County do.

        1. Frankly

          That is a point I made too.  How much of Grok’s “Davis is flush with land” argument fails to consider the fact that UC Davis is the top ag and food science university in the world?

        2. Grok

          Frankly – That is only half the argument, the other half is UC Davis provides less housing than all of the other UCs and the other UCs do it with much less land. UC Davis can easily build more housing like the other UCs and maintain plenty of ag research land.

        3. Tia Will


          UCD conserves their prime farmland just as the city of Davis and Yolo County do.”

          Heaven forbid that I should “put words in anyone’s mouth”. So I will pose this as a question. If you believe that UCD has the right, or should conserve their prime farmland, should not the city and county have the right to do the same ?


          1. Don Shor

            I realize you addressed your question to Frankly, but since you were quoting me I’ll also answer. I believe each agency should make every effort to conserve their best farmland and focus development where it is unlikely to encourage further peripheral development (sprawl) onto prime farmland. So you develop on existing poorer soils (near the hospital, for example), or where development has already occurred. In other words, conservation of prime farmland is one of the guiding goals of planning for UCD, the city, and the county, but not an absolute determinant.

        4. Frankly

          UCD’s farmland is for its business.  The farmland around Davis is not for its business… except those NIMBY fools in town that think EVERYTHING is their business and demand their farmland moat to encircle the town to keep out those NIMBY-undesirable people from living here.

          UCD has a legitimate reason to preserve its farmland because the Glide family owns much of the adjacent farmland and has made it clear in their estate trust that UCD will never own a square inch of that land.   So this is all the farmland that UCD will ever own adjacent to the campus.

          There is no equivalency here.  Fail.

        5. Frankly

          Frankly – That is only half the argument, the other half is UC Davis provides less housing than all of the other UCs and the other UCs do it with much less land. UC Davis can easily build more housing like the other UCs and maintain plenty of ag research land.

          Grok – I think you are relatively new posting here (welcome!).  This stuff has been debated for three+ years.   The point here is that all the UCD land that would be reasonable for building student housing is just going to inflame other NIMBYs in town.

          The arguments against more peripheral housing around Davis are clearly irrational, selfish and entitled… irrational in that the traffic and people impacts are going to happen regardless as UCD population grows.  Irrational in that impacts are going to happen if we don’t build more housing and have more commuters.  Irrational in that these same complaints are going to happen if UCD builds the housing instead of Davis.  Irrational in that Davis gets these impacts without any tax revenue benefits.   The selfish part is the NIMBY effect… opposition will be from any neighborhood next to the new housing development.  The entitled part is Measure J/R.  Fools that really should be precluded from blocking needed development are giddy with their entitled sense of power with Measure J/R.

        6. Grok

          I may be new posting here, but I am certainly not new to this debate. I will certainly agree that Davis politics are painful because there are many different interest groups who are involved and they often want different things. One can see this as a negative because it makes it much harder to get things done, but I would prefer to see it as a positive. Davis is lucky to have so many engaged citizens and if we are willing to work together to see each others point of view, we can come up with ways to move forward, and the outcomes can be better for everyone.

          So please don’t write people off as just irrational, selfish NIMBYs. I wont write you off as a right wing reactionary pro growther.



        7. Frankly

          So please don’t write people off as just irrational, selfish NIMBYs.

          Unfortunately, there are many that are.

          I wont write you off as a right wing reactionary pro growther.

          Well I have lived in Davis and have for 40 years, so I don’t think I would have if I was that.  How many for you?

          There is always a line of reason.  We can see those that are far outside the line and they are deserving of those labels.

          What I reject is the blocking of the needs from dynamic and organic change occurring.

          I would not support a big housing development just for the sake of growing the city.  But Davis is clearly in need of more housing.  Clearly in need of more commercial space.  You and others are blocking the filling of those needs because you (yes “you”) don’t want Davis to change.

          Take the labels.  I think you know that you deserve them.

        8. Grok

          I am not going to get into a name calling fight with you frankly. The point is not that you are any of those things, the point is we are not going to make any progress by putting people in boxes and applying labels. Who cares if someone has lived in Davis 15 years like the Mayor or 80 years like John Whitcombe. I would Trust Rob over Johnny any day.

          I hope you have a great evening.

          You should probably also read the guidelines for comments page.


      1. Eileen Samitz


        No one fails to recognize this. It is just ridiculous to anyone to try to claim that with over 5,300 acres UCD does not have enough land to build adequate housing to support their own growth on campus. Yet, UCD can magically find land on campus for their pet projects like an art center and yet another music recital center both under construction. I mean please….

        1. Grok

          Quilo, You can’t be in the education business if your students don’t have a place to live. The Other UC’s are creating that housing themselves.

      2. Tia Will


        The above neglects that UCD is an ag school and therefore has large amounts of land dedicated to crops and animals.”

        While this is certainly true, it neglects the fact that UCD saw fit to use some of its land for the Mondavi Center and for the new museum. Now I greatly appreciate both of these facilities, but I do think it is fair question why the university has enough land for these pursuits, but not enough to house their students ?

        1. Frankly

          If I am not mistaken, the building of those ego shrines was funded by outside donations.  Certainly the Mondavi Center was.  It almost bankrupted the Mondavi family.

    3. Don Shor


      The core campus is a little over 1000 acres, depending on how you include the South Davis portion. The map above calculates to about 1056 acres.
      The part of the campus west of 113 is about 3300 acres measuring from 113 to Road 98. The developable part of that is probably about 640 acres unless you’re going to move the airport and
      fill in the wild area along Putah Creek.
      So the comparable area of UCD for buildings and housing is about 1700 acres.

      1. MrsW

        Seems like South Campus could be part of the discussion, particularly now that we have Whole Foods downtown.  There are a number of buildings between Putah Creek and I-80 and the water treatment plant is there, so there is already some infrastructure.  What if UC Davis created place(s) for students to have “small houses” and/or a trailer park in South Campus?  They could even require incinerator toilets.

      2. Grok

        Don’t over look the 1,500 acre UCD Russell Ranch that is less than 5 miles from the main campus. Davis has considerable Agricultural research area available.

        1. Don Shor

          You want to develop housing on Russell Ranch? I didn’t include that in the acreage totals because I consider that a total non-starter. It would be completely irresponsible planning.

        2. Grok

          Don, I appreciate the way you were pointing out developable land. I was only pointing out that there is extensive Ag research area land available beyond that.

    4. Adam Smith

      All of these locations, except UC Merced, are much different than UC Davis .    All of these campuses are located in  much more urban, highly developed locations, with strong local economies and very expensive off campus housing as options for students.     Arguably, Santa Barbara is not very urban, but is a coastal community with significant physical  barriers to development and very, very expensive real estate due to its location.

      UCD, with Davis, Woodland, Dixon and West Sacramento offers students many proximate alternatives at reasonable prices (excepting the those located in the city of Davis).


  3. Topcat

    Poly Canyon Village, built long after I graduated from Cal Poly, houses 2700 students with apartments, amenities, restaurants and retail on 30 acres.  It consists of nine 4- and 5-story buildings (so you don’t have to go to steel frames) and 618 apartment units with plaza and other space.

    Since the issue of the “affordability” of the apartments seems to be a foremost concern, What would the cost of apartments be for a “Poly Canyon Village” type development?  Also, what is the difference between what we see in West Village and the “Poly Canyon Village” model?

        1. David Greenwald

          It depends how you calculate.  The university seems to have a different model for charging than a private apartment.  A private apartment has a set rent and the more people that live in that dwelling, the less it costs.  The university seems to only slightly lower the cost for a private to a shared dwelling.  Now I know some apartments are going to a rent by bed model, and I’m not sure how those compare to the situation that’s most familiar to me.

        2. South of Davis

          David wrote:

          > It looks like $935 for a single room

          That would be $2,805/month for a three bedroom apartment

          At current interest rates you can get a $630,000 home loan for less than $2,805/month.

          Grok wrote:

          > How does that compare to other apartments in the area?

          Here is a nice three bedroom SLO home (with a two car garage) for $2,300/month


  4. Eileen Samitz


    Thanks much for these great statistics which reveal that UCD has an the embarrassingly lowest amount of on-campus housing out of all the UC’s despite having the largest amount of land of more than 5,300 acres. Meanwhile, keep in mind that the majority of that small amount of on campus housing is freshman dorms housing the students for only for first year, so the result is they are essentially housing even less students or the entire 4-5 years that they attend UCD. This is why the emphasis of what UCD needs to built now is a lot more on-campus apartments.

    1. Grok

      I don’t have the same elegant complete data to show, but looking at other UC Campuses one thing that is very clearly different from Davis is other campuses have significant UC owned housing options for students past the first year. The most egregiously unmet need at Davis is non-first year dorm space. It seems like there is space for new dorm buildings near Trecero t. Also, the Regan Hall complex that is being redeveloped in the new LRDP should be much larger dorms.

  5. Eileen Samitz

    David you stated:

    “UCLA doesn’t have that luxury and therefore has accommodate far more students on campus.”

    Well David, UCD has the luxury of having 5,300 acres of which they can certainly spare for a lot more high-density on-campus housing. UCD certainly doesn’t use that excuse that they don’t have enough land to spare when they want to built yet another art center or another music recital center as they are right now, do they?

    There is absolutely no excuse why UCD cannot build a lot more high density apartments on-campus. Yet, you continue to argue for Nishi in denial of the poor air quality health impacts, the traffic gridlock and costs to Davis residents, not to mention the lack of affordability of the housing that was proposed (“A” or “a”). So you can keep trying to make excuses for UCD, but the fact is UCD needs to step up and take responsibility for their own housing needs on their land using their water, their own waste water and on-campus safety (police and fire) and other services rather than try to continue to hoist their growth issues onto our community.

      1. Eileen Samitz


        This is where UCD needs to get their priorities straightened out and providing much more housing on-campus, as the other UC’s and other teaching institutions have. This is clearly one of those priorities for their students needs.

        1. David Greenwald

          I don’t think there is a question that UCD has not prioritized this, the question is how much we can reasonably do to change their actions.

        2. quielo

          “I don’t think there is a question that UCD has not prioritized this, the question is how much we can reasonably do to change their actions.” I completely agree that is the question and without an answer nothing is going to change. 


          If it was up to me I would put micro apartments between the Binning tract and the Golf Course with a bunch of paring and a transit center. Let people who drive from Dixon take the 113 to Covell and go north on 99D while people from Woodland can exit 29 and go south on 99D. The direct bus goes to campus from there. It would be nice to have a covered bike path in the area as well. Thers is already medical, food, coffee and shopping in the area and no doubt someone will open a cheap beer place as well.

        3. Grok

          I don’t think there is a question that UCD has not prioritized this, the question is how much we can reasonably do to change their actions.


          David, I think this is a very fair question. There is a lot that can be reasonably done to change their actions.


          The city council recently initiated an LRDP subcommittee. It is very important that this subcommittee work to pressure the University. Please write to Rob Davis rdavis@cityofdavis.org and Rachel Swanson rswanson@cityofdavis.org and ask them to prioritize UCD building more housing as an issue to take up with the University.


          For years the City Council has had no specific subcommittee or appointed liaison with the University. It has only just recently been proposed be Council member Lee that the City form a subcommittee to meet with the university on a regular basis. This subcommittee should be formed ASAP and they should work with the University on the housing issue, and pressure the university to do more.


          Poeple should write and call their City Council members and encourage them to do so.



          Individuals should write letters and call the Campus Planning and Community Resources Office


          Main Office

          376 Mrak Hall

          University of California, Davis

          One Shields Avenue

          Davis, CA 95616


          Robert Segar

          Assistant Vice Chancellor, Campus Planning and Community Resources



          Skip C. Mezger

          Campus Landscape Architect



          Christina De Martini Reyes

          Assistant Landscape Architect



          Chris M. DiDio

          GIS Specialist



          People should write to the acting Chancellor

          Ralph J. Hexter

          Mrak Hall, Fifth Floor

          University of California, Davis

          One Shields Avenue

          Davis, CA 95616

          (530) 752-2065


          People should write to the UC Regents



          Write to your state representatives.


          Write to the Davis Enterprise.


          The Vanguard should right and publish well researched articles that point out the issue.


          finally encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.

        1. quielo



          Archimedes said, in the Doric speech of Syracuse : “Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”


          Given a lever you can move UCD. Moralizing or reproaching or building imaginary sandcastles is not a lever. If you can find a lever you can solve the problem.

  6. cornford

    Mark West
    Talking of smokescreens Mark West, I’d turn your argument on its head.  While some fast growth advocates are sincere in wanting to address the student housing problem, for many years in Davis (and long before the low vacancy rate and fast growth of the UCD student pop.) there has been a concerted lobby, led by people like Mark West, that want all kinds of development almost without regard to the environmental or infrastructural costs.
    Indeed if Nishi had passed it would have made a minor dent in the student housing deficit, and student housing was not one of the prime reasons why many supported Nishi.  Thus people like Mark West hide behind the student housing deficit issue, absolving UCD largely of any responsibility for student housing so they can promote their other growth agendas  on behalf of their own and other interests.
    Finally, let me ask Mark West and David and their flock this:  So you think the city has little alternative but to take prime responsibility for the building of student housing?  If so, then may I ask  not just where you would put this housing, but how many units you think it is desirable or feasible for the city to build to accommodate UCD’s growth?  Where is your limit?  1,000 units, 1,500, 2,000 or more, or do you even have  any limits???

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t know why you put me with Mark, we don’t really agree on this. I have suggested that the city could find 30000 to 4000 beds in town to alleviate some of the pressure and work with the university on ways to accommodate the rest.

      1. South of Davis

        Davis wrote:

        > I have suggested that the city could find 30000 to 4000

        > beds in town to alleviate some of the pressure

        If just half the homeowners were to rent a room to a UCD student we would have beds for 7,000 students.

        I wonder what “excuse” most people have for not helping to lower the vacancy rate in town (and making a little extra cash)?

    2. Mark West

      cornford:  “Thus people like Mark West hide behind the student housing deficit issue…”

      Please demonstrate where I have hidden my views behind any such issue. I have been very forthright about where I stand on economic vitality, housing, and environmental issues, despite your best efforts to label me with your inaccurate claims and accusations.

      Davis has an obligation to our residents to provide decent housing, jobs, and economic opportunity with the overriding requirement that the community pay our bills. We have failed on all accounts. We as a community have a ‘no on everything’ mindset, where we first oppose every potential change, then demand that someone prove that our worst fears will not be realized before we reconsider.  As a consequence, we fail to act when action is required, making our problems that much worse.

      The rental housing shortage is not new. Neither is the University’s failure to supply sufficient housing.  Eileen has been very good about telling us all about the University’s failure at living up to its promises about student housing. What has changed?  Why, given the history that Eileen has clearly spelled out, does anyone believe that the University will do better this time? Any proposed solution that requires the University to live up to its promises on housing is not a real solution, but rather another excuse not to act. The only real solution to the problem is to build more apartments in the City.

      The ‘if we don’t build it, they won’t come’ approach to housing doesn’t work. The people who need housing are already living in our community. They are crammed too many into too small apartments and turning our neighborhoods into mini-dorm complexes.  Our community is being destroyed from within as mini-dorms take over the homes that typically would go to our young families and those needing more affordable options. We have already seen significant damage to the community as Matt pointed out several times with his analysis of the demographic changes over the past decade.

      The activists in town love to argue in favor of things that will never happen as an excuse to not address real problems. Sue Greenwald, for example, made a career of arguing in favor of infill over peripheral development, as long as that infill occurred at the PG&E site, which she knew would never happen in her lifetime.  The same, I think can be fairly said about all of you now arguing vociferously about where and when the University needs to build more housing to fix our rental housing shortage. Not a solution, just another excuse not to act.

      1. Tia Will

        We have already seen significant damage to the community as Matt pointed out several times with his analysis of the demographic changes over the past decade.”

        I see this differently.

        Matt has pointed out significant changes in the community with his analysis of demographic changes over the past decade. Whether or not these changes are causing significant “damage” or not is a matter of individual opinion. I do not share the doom and gloom view of decreasing students in our classrooms or increases in the number of college students displacing young families. I see these as natural reflections of anticipated changes affecting a community whose demographics are largely university driven.

        Davis has an obligation to our residents to provide decent housing, jobs, and economic opportunity with the overriding requirement that the community pay our bills”

        I agree with this statement. And I find it incomplete. Davis also has an obligation to provide a safe, healthy environment for all of its citizens, both those in already existing homes to the degree possible, and certainly for those in homes still to be built. I do not agree with Mark that there are large numbers of people ( maybe a few) who have a “no growth” mindset. I do however, believe that there are significant numbers of people who feel that new projects should meet the needs not only of those who will live on site, but will also meet the environmental and safety needs of the entire community.

        1. Mark West

          If your goal is for Davis to reflect the wants of the retiree (and soon to be) community, with the protection of their perceived ‘quality of life’ being paramount, then the demographic shift is a good thing.  If however, your goal is for Davis to respond to the needs of all of its residents, with a vibrant and evolving community being paramount, then you will understand that the demographic shift is an indication of our failure.

          Davis is not a retirement community, so our policies should reflect the needs of the entire community, not just the wants of the old and wealthy.

  7. Eileen Samitz


    July 27, 2016 at 9:40 am

    “How does that benefit UCD?”

    Seriously? You sound like someone who perhaps is a current or former UCD administrator or someone very interested in much more development in Davis, perhaps being a developer, or development-related, or in real estate. Might that be the case?

    1. Misanthrop

      I actually agree with Samitz. UC needs to build more on-campus housing and UC needs to clear any of its own decks that don’t see building housing as a part of the mission. Measure R means Davis isn’t going to build the housing this community needs. Where we differ is I believe we need a crash program to build what we need both on campus and off.

      I think there are some sad unintended consequences of the defacto no growth proclivities of Davis and that UC building more housing contradicts those proclivities. UCD building more is still peripheral development and much of the land they wisely bought in the 90’s is prime ag land. West Village like much of Davis sits atop some of the best farmland in the world. In an ideal world we would recognize that we should build our high density housing on class II soils first as a priority not whether its public or private land.

      Another thing that makes me sad is that forcing all the new housing onto campus makes Davis a less democratic city since UC is not part of Davis. Building only where students can’t vote in the city further exacerbates this ugly dynamic. Over the years I have heard many arguments why building where students can’t participate in Davis politics is  a good idea. I remain unconvinced and find the unwillingness to make voting participation a priority shameful.

      Finally, I remain unconvinced that the financial costs and benefits of building housing on the Davis periphery cannot be made a positive for the city’s finances. Many other communities seem to be able to make it work and Davis has higher prices due to lack of additional supply while demand for a UC education continues to increase. I recall reading that the problem isn’t on the revenue side its on the spending side. I would like to see those who understand the details  bring a discussion to better understand the micro dynamics of Davis as opposed to the macro dynamics upon which this opposition is founded.

      1. quielo

        My understanding from people in the university business but not with UCD is that UCD is one of the few UC campuses with room for major new programs and they are trying to grow their empire. Also the possibility of an open Chancellorship has to entice certain top executives. Therefore unless they can be convinced they have to build housing to maintain student growth, maintain harmony with the adjoining community, or further their educational mission, nothing will change.

        I have already suggested that DJUSD could be a useful lever in negotiations.

        1. hpierce

          Last sentence is an interesting thought, and may well have merit to pursue.  Likelihood of success is probably 5-9%, but I’ve won a bunch of money over the years by trying the long odds… I just don’t do it on a regular basis.

          Why not pursue that avenue?  Can’t hurt, might be productive… little risk, high potential gain… damn good wager…

        2. Don Shor

          I have already suggested that DJUSD could be a useful lever in negotiations.

          How? I can’t remember how you suggested bringing the district into this issue.

        3. quielo

          If you look above you will see”

          “Is it possible to refuse to accept on campus children to DJUSD by changing interdistrict policy?
          Is it possible to legislate minimum levels of on-campus housing at the state level?
          Is it possible to build housing on-campus that supports the educational mission of UCD? That is, some aspect of the housing is tied to university research?”

          To expand on this by denying DJUSD schools to visiting profs and grad students it may make UCD less attractive as a destination and cause pain in the C-Suite. Likely the most effective path is to bundle a number of sticks and offer a carrot. For example new units could be designed with a rooftop cultivation area complete with grazing goat. This may incent engineering, and agriculture to support it. In addition offering space for building with a transit hub near the Binning tract would solve some parking and access issues for them.

          Just complaining is highly unlikely to result in positive actions.

          1. Don Shor

            “Is it possible to refuse to accept on campus children to DJUSD by changing interdistrict policy?

            No. They aren’t inter district transfers. The campus is in the Davis school district. The school district boundaries are not the same as the city boundaries. The district has to accept any eligible student who resides within the district boundaries. These are the district boundaries:

        4. quielo

          Thank you Don, this is an area I know little about. according to the state boundaries are drawn by the county committee unless the district is chartered by the municipality. Has the concept of making DJU a city chartered district?


          The county committee has the power to establish trustee areas, rearrange the boundaries of trustee areas, abolish trustee areas, adopt one of the alternative methods of electing governing board members, and increase to seven or decrease to five the number of members of the governing board in any school district or community college district. (EC 5019) It has no authority, however, in a situation involving a school district governed by a board of education provided for in the charter of a city or city and county

          1. Don Shor

            Davis is not a charter city, if that’s what they mean. There’s no other school district that would logically take the students if DJUSD attempted to coerce this. The housing is not in Solano County, so they wouldn’t be assigned to Dixon school district.
            The reality is that parents who live on campus don’t pay property taxes directly, nor indirectly through their rent. They don’t pay the parcel taxes. They are basically like inter district students in that regard: the district gets the ADA funding for the child, but nothing more. Increasing the number of school-age kids living on campus would increase costs to Davis property tax payers.
            More to the point, though, I don’t like the idea of using students as pawns in Davis growth battles. If they’re in the district, IMO they are welcome here. They tend to bring diversity and enhance the district in many ways. My kids were at Valley Oak, which is where the kids from Solano Park and Orchard Park attended, and it was the most international school in the district.

        5. quielo

          Don, I also find the UCD kids to be desirable school mates and I believe in the end they will remain in DJU. That being said for there is no reason the university should not pick up the parcel tax equivalent for them. I would calculate it by dividing the amount of parcel tax generated by the city of Davis divided by the number of city students and applying that to each UCD kid. I understand the guidance to say that some school districts are chartered by cities, that is they align to the city boundaries, and the county loses control over these. This may or may not be a productive path however it is better to find a way forward than to just complain. It may excite some of the freeloaders on the periphery but that is not a bad thing.

          1. Don Shor

            That being said for there is no reason the university should not pick up the parcel tax equivalent for them.

            I don’t believe there is any legal way to compel that.

        6. Tia Will


          they are trying to grow their empire”

          I think that you have this right. And I do not see this as desirable. I believe that UCD should be adhering more closely to its primary mission of the education of the qualified students of California than in “empire building”. Sadly, I do not believe that this has been the case under the recent administration.

  8. MrsW

    I am starting to come around to the “Yes In My Backyard” folks who say ANY housing is good housing for California: SF Activities say please build in my backyard

    Also, with respect new housing– New housing is not affordable for students or low income folks of any kind.  New housing needs to entice people who can afford it, out of it, making old housing available.  UC Davis is tearing down their old housing.  The only old housing in Davis is within Davis’ city limits.  A gazillion unaffordable dorms is not helpful.

    1. hpierce

      Again, last sentence is an important point… but the UC mantra is, ‘our mission is education/research’… anything else, housing, parking, etc. is not related to the ‘mission’ and either is superfluous, or has to AT LEAST pay for itself… or, preferably, turn a profit.

      1. Davisres007

        Actually they build sewer plants and sewer lines, water lines, streets, & traffic signals; also modern, complicated buildings.  They provide police and fire.  To provide needed student housing seems to qualify as meeting their mission to educate.

    2. South of Davis

      MrsW wrote:

      > I am starting to come around to the “Yes In My Backyard”

      > folks who say ANY housing is good housing for California

      I clicked the link and it seems like most of the YIMBY people are renters who for the most part support development if they want to pay lower rent.

      Here in town most of the renters I know voted Yes on A since they know that more apartments and condos mean lower apartment rents and lower home and condo prices.

      Most of the home and apartment owners in town I know voted No on A since stopping all development means higher apartment rents and higher home prices (and even more money if you rent a room or storage space in your garage)…


  9. Eileen Samitz

    Ms.W and South of Davis,

    If anything, this story actually strongly supports the many reasons why UCD housing for UCD needs, needs to be built on campus especially since UCD has 5,300 acres, and our City does not have anywhere near that amount of land. This story actually explains why the more housing built on campus the better. I would also say that if anyone is a NIMBY, it’s UCD.

        1. South of Davis

          MrsW wrote:

          > I just realized that I beleive UCD only knows how to build luxury housing.

          > Is that a valid assumption?

          Do you consider stuffing two people in a 165sf box with a bathroom down the hall “luxury housing”.  The new dorms on campus look like public housing (but each housing unit is MUCH smaller and the bathrooms are down the hall)…


        2. MrsW

          Any new development that would result in a per bedroom cost of greater than, say, $500 a month is not affordable.  If a single room is $935 a month, it must be luxurious.  Sharing a room for $720 a month ($1440 a bedroom!) is not affordable.  UCD would have to bring the price down considerably, to be affordable.  I don’t think they can do it, if they stick to their current practices.

      1. Tia Will


        The more housing built anywhere, the better!  Including on campus.  California needs housing. Including Davis.”

        I think that this is a case of “be careful what you wish for”. I have watched what this ” build as fast as you can” attitude has produced in 3 separate areas during my lifetime, and in none of them have the results been optimal.

        My first example is the small town I grew up in, Gig Harbor. In the 50’s this was a fishing / farming community in which there were folks from a wide range of economic backgrounds from those who were very wealthy to those who were essentially subsistence farmers and fishermen. There was growth from a population of 2,000 to the current “greater Gig Harbor area” population of approximately 70,000. However, this has not solved the problem of unaffordable housing. The town became a haven for the very wealthy and has changed from a fishing farming community into one of luxury homes. Whether this is better or not depends of course upon one’s point of view, but it is clearly a case where building more did not result in more affordable housing.

        My second example is Los Angeles. This is a clear example of building beyond capacity to sustain without worrying about the adverse consequences of such expansion.

        My third example is Orange County where the unfettered growth turned prime agricultural land into entertainment parks, strip malls, and mile after mile of fast food establishments and gas stations. Now if your livelihood depends upon these types of establishments, or if you happen to love strip malls, I suppose this could be seen as a positive. But to me it is a rampant expression of short term thinking and lack of sustainable planning.

        1. MrsW

          I think that this is a case of “be careful what you wish for”.

          You’re right, but it’s not just the physical environment–we should also be careful of the social environment we are creating.  The System is rigged against young people.  Young people are using loans to pay exorbitant rents during college and then, because they are paying those loans off well into adulthood, they continue to pay exorbitant rents well into adulthood and their professional lives.  Is it any wonder that they are starting to rebel and starting to sue communities to make them build their fair share of housing?  What kind of housing will be built, when decisions are out of the community’s hands and made by the courts?

          For myself, I don’t want to see willy-nilly growth either.  But zero growth?  If we care about younger generations and immigrants (who will be paying our social security by the way), we will remove or lower these obscene barriers to joining the landed class.

  10. Grok

    This Vanguard blog and comments are really only focused on one side of the equation, housing. I would instead argue that there are 2 other important elements; student enrollment and academic instruction. UCD has to have all 3 to be successful, enrolled students, academic instruction for them, and a place for them to live. It is the job of UCD planners to keep these 3 parts in balance.

    Enrollment = Academic Instruction = Housing

    At UCD this equation is already being balanced by having 25,000 students live in the City of Davis. While at times housing so many students has created stresses on the Davis community, for the most part the students are good neighbors and it has generally benefited the city. Clearly though Davis is already bearing a greater burden for student housing than any other UC adjacent community and as the student housing need has increased in recent years, so too has the related problems.

    Currently UCD has announced its intentions to significantly increase enrollment. Adding to the enrollment part of the equation dictates that the academic instruction and housing parts must also increase. If the University is planning appropriately, they can make those increases because they have the ability to control all 3 parts of the equation.

    Some are arguing here that the City of Davis needs to house the additional new students because new housing cannot be added by the University fast enough. If that were true, then one would expect that academic instruction would face similar challenges. New academic facilities likely take even longer to build than new housing. If UCD is planning ahead, they can add more housing and they can add more instruction at the same time.

    I suspect what is more likely the case is the University is planning on expanding academic instruction to keep up with enrollment, but not expand housing fast enough and that is just irresponsible. Should Davis be forced to jump to building more housing every time the University plans to expand enrollment? For far too long UCD has over depended on the City to provide housing for the students and lags behind all of the other UCs. Davis has reached a certain level of saturation and it is time UCD does more.

    After all UCD controls the equation. UCD is increasing enrollment and UCD will have to provide more academic instruction. UCD should also provide more housing.

    The Irvin LRDP increases student housing to 50% of students. Davis can do better than its paltry 25% of undergrads. It’s time to stop offering excuses that give the University cover for their negligence and pressure them to do the right thing, increase enrollment, instruction and housing together and in balance.

    1. Ron

      Grok:  “Should Davis be forced to jump to building more housing every time the University plans to expand enrollment?  For far too long UCD has over depended on the City to provide housing for the students and lags behind all of the other UCs.  Davis has reached a certain level of saturation . . .”


  11. ryankelly

    I discussed this with a friend over the weekend.  His opinion was that UCD should just reject all international and out of state students and that would lower enrollment by 30% (his understanding of the percentage of international student enrollment, not mine).  That California needs to devote its University admissions to California residents only  and not put pressure on the cities where there are campuses.   I think this view this isolationist view – that foreigners are flooding the U.S. and using up resources that should be going to American citizens – is in part indicative of the current National political scene.

    I do agree that students should be housed more on campus to relieve pressure on the City’s neighborhoods, but I don’t think that this housing should be placed in the most inconvenient place to protect the status quo for neighborhoods that hug the University.  I also am appalled at the urge for sprawl as long as it is on University land.  This seems really hypocritical. (Do we really want to build a student “city” between campus and Dixon?)  It is apparent that some have lost track of the slow growth ideals.  The idea that developing 5,000 acres of University land would be OK – just so that the City of Davis doesn’t grow an acre – seems really out of step with the ideals of sustainability and smart planning.

    1. MrsW

      We don’t have much (any?) influence on UCD planners, but we can influence City of Davis’ planners.

      A number of my elderly neighbors say they would move out of their large homes, if they could buy something 1/2 the size and senior-friendly for 1/2 of what they could sell their current home.  They would like a place in Davis where they can age-in-place.  Davis could encourage that kind of development and create movement in the housing marketplace, thereby making older properties available.


      1. South of Davis

        MrsW wrote:

        > A number of my elderly neighbors say they would move out of their large

        > homes, if they could buy something 1/2 the size and senior-friendly for 1/2

        > of what they could sell their current home.

        The reality is that a “new” 1,500sf home in town would cost about the same as a 30 year old home in town would sell for (since a typical home that a senior has owned for 30 years will need ~$50K-$100K of work to update it for a typical 30 something professional couple).

        P.S. At least people over 55 can keep their low tax basis when they buy a smaller home in the county thanks to Prop 60.

    2. Eileen Samitz


      Quite the contrary, higher density (5 stories minimum rather then the 2-3 story apts UCD has) would minimize the amount of land used on campus. No one said all 5,300 acres of UCD land was to be developed, but you seem to imply that the housing “sprawl” for university housing needs to be built in or around the City. I believe that you were pro-Nishi, yet that is prime ag land. So it would seem a bit hypocritical of you to advocate that it is ok to pave over ag land on or near the City, but not any of UCD’s land. Incidentally, UCD has built non-academic projects like multimillion dollar art centers and music recital centers under construction now on UCD prime ag land and even lot of “sprawling” ground level parking lots (instead of vertical parking structures.) Now these UCD sprawling ground level parking lots are a waste of ag land by UCD if ever there was.

      1. MrsW

        I heard a rumor that whatever legal barrier has historically existed to keep the cow barns located kitty-corner from the Rec Pool from being moved and the land redeveloped, will soon be gone.  Does anyone know if the rumor I heard is true?

        1. ryankelly

          I believe there is a plan to relocate the Dairy and the horse facility out along Hutchison, west of Hwy 113 eventually. I don’t know if there is a legal prohibition against doing this. Maybe.

      2. Grok

        Eileen is right. New student housing should be denser. 5 story minimum, but new dorms should be as tall as Sproul hall at 9 stories. If that alone was done to the housing already proposed in the LRDP it would add thousands of beds to the UCD campus even if no housing was built on Russel or Howard fields.

      3. ryankelly

        The cost of building high rise housing is really expensive, which would then make the units really expensive.  Above 4 stories requires steel construction, I believe, and suitable only in urban areas where the land itself is extremely expensive and limited, such as San Francisco.  Though putting high-rise buildings on Nishi might be a solution and address the air quality issue – put commercial on the lower floors and housing on the upper floors, above the pollution.

        Yes, I was pro-Nishi.  I thought it was a project worth considering.  It is contiguous to the City and the University, included needed commercial space, designed with a denser infill with substantial open space and promoting walking or biking instead of cars.  Your the one who keeps repeatedly saying that UCD has 5,000 acres to build student housing on, so they should do that.  Your response above tells me that you have absolutely no clue about UCD planning regarding academic teaching space and facilities. As UCD grows, these peripheral parking lots will eventually be academic facilities or more dorms.  If parking garages are built, then that future opportunity goes away, placing the parking garage in the middle of the campus.  Your focus is on stopping all growth in Davis – an anti-growth activist – so it is understandable that you would have the view that development of housing anywhere but in the City of Davis is just fine.  I don’t support sprawl as a trade off.

        1. Eileen Samitz


          What I am saying is that UCD has access to 5,300 acres, not that all 5,300 acres should be built into housing. I can’t believe that you did not understand that, but now I hope that is better clarified for you.

          So as someone like you who seems so well informed on campus planning if these parking lots can be developed, why has not UCD let us know about that in the proposed LRDP? Why not do that now for the more on-campus housing needed now?

          On Nishi, do you really think building higher housing gets residents away from the air quality health issues. Sorry ryan, but that sounds clueless.

        2. ryankelly

          I believe that UCD wants to reserve key core campus sites for future academic buildings. That’s what I heard.   Academic courses have been recently been taught at the Sac City College site on West Campus right now and it is proven difficult for students to get out there and back between classes.  It is better if classes are held on the core campus.  Just because they don’t include a building on a published plan, doesn’t mean that ideas and guidelines aren’t being formulated and discussed.

          The Nishi pollution was described as settling low in the lower elevation between the railroad and highway. Higher up should be less, no?

  12. Frankly

    I say build 5 story student housing along Russel on UCD land and then stand on the roof and give two fingers to all the fools in town that block peripheral development.

    I don’t think the city has any control over where UCD builds housing on its land.

      1. Michael Harrington

        Ryan:  maybe so, but I am also usually right about the issues.  And the way to accomplish the goals.  A sit in by CC members would be fabulously entertaining, national news, and UC would fold in a week, with signed agreements in a month.  But this CC is so pedestrian …. and timid.  They really don’t realize the power they have.  They are going to plod along, moving in fits and starts, and UCD will mostly win, again.


        Come on, Robb:  make things happen!

        1. ryankelly

          Would you have done something like it as a City Council member?  I think not.   You sound more Trump-like every day.  “We’re going to build a wall and it is going to be a terrific wall! – Trump”  “The City Council should have a sit-in in Mrak Hall.  That’ll get some action! – Harrington”

        2. Michael Harrington

          Ryan:  I came within a few hours of sitting on the Amtrack tracks when Amtrack was going to close the Davis station.  Mayor Wagstaff got them to relent at the last hour, and they knew my plans.   So yes, if it was me, today, on the CC, I absolutely would do it, and I would round up a large presence to join me.

          There is a certain elegance to our CC sitting in Mrak to protest the lack of on campus, affordable housing for all these new students.  I am sure dozens and dozens of townies and students would join them.  Maybe hundreds.  Our FB guy would turn them out.  Imagine the story:  Davis finally has had enough.  If UCD wont take care of its own student housing needs, the City will force them. 

          Hey, we stopped the biolab! There was about a billion dollars of free federal security money on the table for the eating, and UCD was ready to use it to build new empires here, and we, the City Council, stopped them cold in their tracks. You had better believe a CC sit in at Mrak would do the trick, and do it fast.

        3. ryankelly

          I don’t believe you.  You are all words, Mike.  No real action, except maybe to sue, and only then for personal benefit.   I dare you, Mike.  Go hold a sit in to force UCD to do what they are already in the process of planning.

      1. South of Davis

        Grok wrote:

        > Free housing for all of those brave enough to risk it.

        Since the mainstream media has kids today thinking that cops just love shooting (mostly black) kids I don’t think many will “risk it”…

        1. Grok

          You might be on to Rob Davis’s Plans Mike. He is one of the City liaisons to the UCD LRDP and he was sworn in as mayor by the executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

          FOR has a long history of supporting Gandhian civil disobedience. “For over 100 years FOR members have led the strategic application of nonviolence to political and social change movements worldwide.” http://forusa.org/

  13. Tia Will

    Don and Frankly

    I complete agree with your post Don.

    And to Frankly, I would like to remind you that it was you, not me, who first made an “equivalency statement” with the following post.

    UCD conserves their prime farmland just as the city of Davis and Yolo County do.”

    Your words “just as” first established the concept of “equivalency”. And beyond that, you are defining “business” much more narrowly than I. While it is true that the city does not farm the arable land and thus derive direct economic benefit from it, it is certainly an asset of this area and thus the “business” of all of us how that land is ultimately used.

    Just as the use of land for the building of Mondavi ( privately funded but on university land) pre empted the use of that same land for other purposes such as housing of students, or expanding other departments, use of the land around the city of Davis for housing or industrial parks also precludes its use for other purposes. I believe that it is important that the city keep in mind a holistic approach rather than simply what will be beneficial for favored but limited groups in the short run.

  14. Grok

    As much as possible, Ag land and open space should be respected as the University builds out, that is why for me the first place I see on the UCD maps as the best place to build are the flat parking lots. Every one of these lots could be much more efficient as multi story lots or underground with buildings built over them. Parking could even be expanded and there would still be room for new lots of new housing.
     Take the 5 acre+ lot 25 by the ARC. This prime land in the core of the Campus is being used as a giant flat parking lot. Build a parking structure and add a couple 9 story buildings to the Segundo housing complex.

        1. ryankelly

          For now.  The current faculty, staff and student commuters need somewhere to park until West Campus and other plans are built out.  There is a parking garage built on Hutchinson, after they built the Life Sciences building.  Lot 25 has gotten smaller over the last few years with space given over to a bike lane, separated from the pedestrian walking path, and substantial expansion of bike parking in front of the ARC.  It looks huge on a map, but parking has been reduced by roughly 1/4 – 1/3.

        2. Grok

          No problem, building up will allow them to increase parking, build new dorms and improve the bike path system. Win, win, win. Sure beats building on Russell and Howard fields.

        3. Adam Smith

          Glad to see Eileen and Grok in support of high rise buildings.  It’s the right answer for the downtown core also.  I look forward to their support for that next time one is proposed to the city council.

  15. Tia Will

    building imaginary sandcastles is not a lever.”

    Your are right that imagination is not a lever. But you miss a critical point. Everything that our country has been, is, or ever will be has been based on someone’s imagining of a better future. We did not get to our place in the world by stating that we must leverage someone else into doing something. While it is true that we did sometimes use force ( a lever) to get “our” way, it is also true that this country was built upon individual ideas and aspirations and the concept that just because something does not exist today, does not mean that it can never exist.

    In the future, after retirement, I hope to contribute in more substantial ways to enacting the changes I would like to see. For now, I will work within my area of expertise to effect change and use my voice, my ability to encourage others to see issues in ways they may never have considered as my “lever”.

    1. quielo



      “Everything that our country has been, is, or ever will be has been based on someone’s imagining of a better future.”  Yes but then you have to make it so. Without a plan to implement it’s just a fantasy.

      1. Tia Will

        Without a plan to implement it’s just a fantasy.”

        Agreed. But I am an incrementalist. Experience tells me that the dream or concept must always come first. It frequently will not be actualized by the dreamer, but will catch hold and grow and ultimately be developed by others. The only idea that has no chance to grow is the one that remains unexpressed.

  16. Eileen Samitz

    Adam Smith,

    High rise housing can work on campus because the campus can control the allowance of cars unlike in the City. However, there is no where in downtown that could handle the traffic and parking impacts of  high rise housing.


    1. Frankly

      Maybe instead of telling us will not work (you are an expert at that) you can explain exactly where you support new housing being built… if anywhere.

      I might be wrong, but I think at this point UCD can and will build housing anywhere on its land inside the city and there isn’t a damn thing you or Harrington can do about it.

  17. Jim Leonard

    Interesting comments. Evidence of posters thinking. Not just the boring banter back and forth I am used to reading at this blog site.

    Housing should be put on campus, not Davis. U.C.D. generated problems stay at U.C.D. Transferring U.C.D. problems to Davis is simply selfish.

    Housing should be the second problem addressed by a considerate U.C.D. The amount of students admitted and the likelihood of their staying on campus are (taken together) is the first problem. If more students are taken in than can be accommodated, then the areas outside the campus must get the consequences. If students have enough money to live outside the campus, they will seek to live outside the campus and developers will seek to have those moneys transferred to themselves.

    Mike Harrington is right. We need a stronger council. One that will do what is necessary to protect our town. I’m sure they can do much more than stage a protest at Mrak Hall, although that does sound like an interesting idea. How about something as simple as showing up at U.C. Regents meetings with certain relevant State legislators?  I think there are many, many approaches to the problem once we decide to MOVE. Can DOCILE DAVIS actually do this? I hope so!

  18. Adam Smith

    Who cares if someone has lived in Davis 15 years like the Mayor or 80 years like John Whitcombe. I would Trust Rob over Johnny any day.

    Interesting.  Robb supported Nishi in a full throated way.   I’m guessing you didn’t trust Robb on that one.     Where were you on Nishi?

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