Neighbors Push Back against Russell and Howard Field Development

Russell Fields

In pushing to extend their on-campus housing to 90 percent of new students over the next decade, UC Davis is looking at developing the athletic fields along Russell Boulevard with potential three-story apartments.  That proposal has had considerable pushback, including on Tuesday where several residents of the adjacent neighborhoods asked the city to push back against the university.

One resident, a retired professor, noted that currently the fields are alive with sports and activities and that the university is planning to perhaps reposition them on the far end of West Village.  “We owe it to the community to provide support to maintain those fields for the reason they’ve been there for decades,” he said.  He said this is a shared interest and “something we’d like to have the city support.”

Former Assemblymember and County Supervisor Helen Thomson also objected to housing on the Russell Field area, calling it “an attractive already-busy entrance to the campus.”  She noted the sports and intramural activities, and that even the Aggie Band practices there.  “With this amount of housing on those fields, all of that will be lost to (the) site and use,” she said.

She expressed concern about additional traffic to the “already-congested and very narrow intersection of Howard Way and Russell Blvd.”  She described a number of “near misses” between cars and bikes at this intersection.

Former Supervisor Helen Thomson
Former Supervisor Helen Thomson

Helen Thomson asked that the council formally agendize a discussion of this issue at the next council meeting “so that you can hear what is being proposed and make your comments as well.”  She wants council to support the neighbors “in asking that the campus not put housing on those fields.”

Steven Roth followed up, stating that most people support the university’s intention to build more housing on campus, but “the concern is that it doesn’t need to be done by eliminating Russell and Howard Fields.  There is an existing site that was agreed to in a very very long and participatory process in establishing West Village.  The university is proposing to unilaterally eliminate the site at West Village and instead transport it to where we would eliminate Russell and Howard Fields.”

He argued there is no reason to lose those fields.  He argued that “it creates an atmosphere where the university feels like it’s turning its back on the campus and, frankly, it feels like it’s becoming more of an Isla Vista situation where you have students who don’t have to go downtown.”

Colin Walsh makes a presentation during his public comment
Colin Walsh makes a presentation during his public comment

Colin Walsh said he’s a big fan of the university building more housing, including on West Village and in West Davis.  He asked the crowd there for this issue to raise their hands, and he asked, “Why are we here?  We know that the council doesn’t have direct power over this but you’re meeting (with the university), you can apply pressure.”

Eileen Samitz noted that UC Davis has the largest campus, with over 5300 acres of land, and yet “has the least amount of on-campus housing.”  She cited a 2002 study noting that a significant amount of on-campus housing was needed on all of the campuses and, in particular, UC Davis was to provide 38 to 40 percent of on-campus housing.

“Instead, UCD continued to neglect its student housing needs and its commitment to our community and to their students, and what little they have built has been freshmen dorms that just house the students for the first year and then the students are forced off campus to find housing elsewhere – that ends up being primarily in Davis.”  She said that results in “a disproportionate amount of our rental housing being used by UCD housing needs due to UCD’s gross negligence in providing student housing, that’s causing the same kind of problem in nearby cities as well…”

Sunny Shine
Sunny Shine

Ms. Samitz further noted that, given the amount of land UC Davis has, “they should not be paving over the green space of Russell Field and Howard Field which is loved…”  She added that “the last thing we need right now is to have more traffic on Russell Boulevard, particularly since it’s been narrowed… An apartment complex on Russell is going to exacerbate these issues.”

She claims her group has identified 100 acres of alternative areas where high-density and high rises can be built to accommodate student housing needs.

Sunny Shine also spoke out as a member of Friends of the Russell Boulevard Fields.  She expressed concerns about the traffic impacts and the increase in cars from putting apartments there.  This would add 800 cars to an already-congested intersection.  She believes that intersection is extremely dangerous now and this would make it more so.

“It is so dangerous, I see it every day,” Ms. Shine said.  “Someone’s going to get hurt.”

While the city doesn’t have direct jurisdiction, the university has asked for input from the city, and the council has appointed a subcommittee to hopefully work with the university as they go forward with their long-range planning.

—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. Barack Palin

    Is there some reason UCD can’t build these at Orchard and Solano Park?

    Are they tearing down the old apartments or just remodeling them?  There’s a lot of space out there and I doubt there would be much pushback to taller housing given the location.

    1. DTDavisite

      UCD is planning on building at Orchard and Solano. The amount of housing being proposed on Russell fields could easily be built there by going just one floor taller.

    1. Frankly

      Yes Biddlin.  I am standing with UCD giving the finger to the foolish Davis NIMBYs.   I wonder how many of these people crying about this development have been opposed to all other projects.  It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside thinking about all the infill green space owned by UCD developed into multi-story housing.

        1. David Greenwald

          I have the opposite thought here – it was almost as though UC Davis is saying, oh you want us to put housing on campus, we’ll select the most unpalatable location we can imagine.

        2. Frankly

          I doubt that.  I doubt that UCD would wast time and effort with the same childish behavior that Davis NIMBYs have displayed.  I believe that this was always an option they would have on their plate should the city prove to be incapable of working with.

          It has always been the threat of this type of development that has contributed to my support of peripheral development.   People in this town are so effing blind.  They throw emotional tantrums about some immediate change but either will not or cannot think about the consequences.

          Go around to the great communities in the nation and they have neighborhoods and parks interspersed.   Because of the Davis NIMBYs and Measure R blocking and opposing every attempt at peripheral development, all the open space inside the town will becomes ripe for development.   The NIMBYs in their emotional tirades to prevent change are causing BAD change.

          How can you help people that cannot see get the picture?  It is impossible with Measure R because they know they don’t have to listen.

          1. David Greenwald

            What I don’t understand is you have the vacant area around West Village, you’ve already reached agreement there – so why would tear out athletic fields that are heavily used rather than West Village which will have no objection?

        3. ryankelly

          I can tell you that these fields are not heavily used.  They are empty most of the day.   The University is building athletic fields out in West Village that can be used instead.  Since people are saying how accessible West Village is, there shouldn’t be a problem with students going out there to play Ultimate Frisbee.

        4. DTDavisite

          I can tell you that these fields are not heavily used. 

          Actually they are, just ask the IM department.

          They are empty most of the day.  

          During the summer. during the winter they are heavily used by PE classes, IM Sports and club teams and frequent special events on the weekends.

          The University is building athletic fields out in West Village that can be used instead. 

          What is proposed for west village is not comparable.

          Since people are saying how accessible West Village is, there shouldn’t be a problem with students going out there to play Ultimate Frisbee.

          West village is an easy bike ride to the core campus and thus a great place to live. West Village is a long bike ride from South Davis and East Davis were large numbers of students live and thus is not a great place for IM sports.

          Having the fields centrally located by the core campus is a better use of the land because it will be used by more students.

  2. Jim Frame

    I wish UCD were more forthcoming about their developing plans for the area.  Searching on the LRDP site reveals precious few details about their thinking.  I wasn’t even able to find the sketchy graphic at the head of this article on the LRDP site.

    If done right, I think housing on Russell would be a smart move.  Sticking it way out in West Village discourages bike and pedestrian access to the core campus and downtown.  UCD has the ability, through design and contractual means, to build housing that would add very little car traffic to the city’s road network.

    And what happened to Toomey Field?  I thought that’d be an ideal location for another Aggie Village, but one with more restrictive car regulations.

    I’m finding UCD’s planning and outreach efforts pretty disappointing.

    1. DTDavisite

      I agree Jim about UCD not being forthcoming regarding their plans. this housing was add tot he LRD right before spring finals long after most of the public forums where the UCD leadership sought student input

      I don’t agree with this though:

      Sticking it way out in West Village discourages bike and pedestrian access to the core campus and downtown. 

      West village is far closer and more bikeable than most of the student oriented apartment  apartment complexes that already exist in Davis. It could be a great place to live as a student.

      1. Jim Frame

        I find Davis residents support of UCD to be lacking to the point of disgust.

        It’s hard to support something when you can’t find any information about it.  The blocky graphic — which isn’t even on the glitzy LRDP website — doesn’t provide enough information for people to evaluate even the rough concept.

        1. Frankly

          Why would UCD need to provide any information for “people” to evaluate even the rough concept?

          Why would you think that would be in UCD’s best interest?

          Is there a law that says UCD needs to do this?

          Does the city have any leverage or control over what UCD does on its own land within code?

          What if Davis wanted to build 5-story dorms with the minimal setbacks on Russel?

          I think they should.

          You seem to be criticizing UCD for their lack of reasonable consideration of the people in Davis when the people of Davis have clearly demonstrated a lack of consideration of UCD.   That is the type of thing that I really dislike.  It demonstrates a level of entitled elitism that drives me crazy.  In my world you should expect respect and consideration only after first being respectful and considerate.

      2. Jim Frame

        Why would UCD need to provide any information for “people” to evaluate even the rough concept?

        It’s called “good public relations.”  You should look into the concept sometime.  I’m sure there are some introductory-level materials available.

        Garnering community support – or at least trying to limit community opposition – is in UCD’s best interest.  It’s not a legal thing, it’s a common sense thing.


        1. Frankly

          You make it sound like Davis is in the superior position and it would be good for UCD to “reach out”.

          Did Davis feel the need to reach out to UCD over the innovation parks?

          Why is it in UCD’s best interest to try and cooperate with what is a proven majority of selfish, self-centered and uncooperative?

          I say it is a big waste of time.

          The City of Davis blew their wad and have no more leverage.

          I understand public relations, but I also see where time is wasted in trying to get business done.

  3. ryankelly

    College Park could move their bollards to block off the street at Russell and use 8th as their access.  That would help the traffic at Howard and Russell and resolve some of their concerns without denying housing to students.

    1. hpierce

      Like Ryan’s idea…  better yet, keep the northern bollards, in place, add the bollards on Russell… two goals are accomplished… a showcase of a “car-less” neighborhood, and a symbol of how we feel about ‘growth’…  let’s start a petition!

        1. hpierce

          Actually, several ‘someones’… if not at the car-less level, at least at the “let’s start a internet survey” level.  Am thinking it’s an idea whose time has come!

    2. Jim Frame

      College Park could move their bollards to block off the street at Russell and use 8th as their access.

      But that would mean that they’d have to traverse — ewwww — Eureka to get to their houses.

      It’s been awhile since I’ve walked down “South Eureka,” but I always got a kick out the house on the east side of the street that had a prominent “College Park” address sign in front.  (So close, yet so far away…)


    3. Roberta Millstein

      ryankelly, I don’t think that would help the traffic much.  There’s not that much traffic going in and out of College Park.  Most of the traffic comes to and from Russell.  No one is talking about denying housing to students.  They are just talking about putting it elsewhere on campus.

      1. ryankelly

        It would resolve the neighbors complaints about traffic on Russell.  I don’t see neighborhoods like Elmwood Drive complaining about this – only College Park, it seems – yet they are just as close, but with access to 8th Street.  College Park should consider it.

        1. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly, I’m not sure I’m following your logic.  If you put bollards at Russell and College Park, the neighbors on College Park wouldn’t care about the traffic on Russell anymore because they’d no longer be able to get to their street from Russell?  So, you make things more inconvenient for them so that they don’t have to deal with traffic?  It doesn’t weigh out.

          In any case, the traffic issue isn’t just about the neighbors at College Park.  I bike into campus that way and I see long lines of traffic to get through that light, and a lot of other cyclists turning into Howard to get to campus.  It’s already a bit crazy with people parking in the parking lot and the buses and the pedestrians.  If you put housing there it would be that much busier and crazier.

        2. ryankelly

          It wouldn’t be inconvenient for them to switch access from Russell to 8th.  They would still have bike and pedestrian access to the University.   It was their choice to close off they street at the north end.  They could have just as easily closed it off at the south end.

          Your reasoning is flawed.  If the apartments were devoted to students, then where is the traffic on Russell in the morning coming from that you are so worried about?  Students would already be on campus and have no need to pull their cars out onto Russell.


        3. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly, it would be more inconvenient.  Russell is the closer and faster access to the freeway and to downtown if one has to drive.  Biking and walking aren’t always options, whether because of mobility reasons or because of the nature of the task.

          It’s not just traffic in the morning.  The traffic is all day.  People come and go depending on when their classes are.  Students with cars will be leaving campus to go do whatever they wish whenever they wish, adding to the already congested traffic (e.g., the traffic on Russell already often backs up to Oak).

        4. ryankelly

          So your stance is that there is no solution for the problem that the residents of College Park say that currently exists and any suggestion that may require a change in habit is unacceptable.  I would say that going down 8th would be just as fast and may be easier.  If they didn’t have to drive on Russell, then the traffic wouldn’t bother them so much and they would be able to avoid what they describe as a dangerous intersection (their view, not mine.)  Other streets along Russell have an 8th street option and I don’t see them lining up to complain about building housing on a portion of available University land.

        5. quielo

          “If you put housing there it would be that much busier and crazier.” Anywhere you put housing will increase traffic. Maybe they just need to get a little more philosophic about it?

        6. Roberta Millstein

          ryankelly, you ask, “So your stance is that there is no solution for the problem that the residents of College Park say that currently exists.”  Right.  My stance is that because of the traffic problems – for neighbors and for anyone else who uses that intersection – and other reasons (the fields are currently well used and well loved), student housing should be put elsewhere on campus.

        7. Roberta Millstein

          quielo, no.  The needs of the people who live on College Park are just one reason and not even the most important one.  Also impacted are all the many drivers, bikers, and pedestrians who use that intersection regularly, all the students who use that field regularly, the citizens of the City who enjoy seeing the fields, and the campus more generally, which benefits from having such a lovely entrance to campus that attracts new students and sets a tone.

  4. DTDavisite

    I object to the characterization that it is only neighbors who spoke out.

    You included quotes in your article  from Eileen Samitz who lives nowhere close to the fields.

    You also include quotes and a picture of Colin Walsh who identified himself as living on Buchanan St. which is within 2 blocks of West Village, but you failed to mention that in the article.

    Further, you omitted any reference to the faculty adviser for the UCD Rugby clubs who spoke out about concern for the fields as well and he doesn’t live in that neighborhood either.

    I am not sure where the other 40 or 50 people who attended the meeting in support of the speakers live, but math alone suggests they are form more than just College Park.

    1. David Greenwald

      “I object to the characterization that it is only neighbors who spoke out.”

      I’m a little grumpy since I didn’t sleep last night, but I don’t see where I stated or even implied “only” neighbors spoke out – it was predominantly neighbors however and the title of the article is clearly accurate. If I had a bit more sleep, perhaps I would have been more artful.

      1. DTDavisite

        Sorry if I was overly blunt.

        To say “Neighbors Push Back” in the title, but then quote 2 people who are not neighbors without identifying that they are not neighbors seems like a significant omission. Especially when you quote Walsh about West Village, but fail to mention he lives within 2 blocks of West Village.

        I do agree there were a lot of folk there who probably lived in the neighborhood

      1. Don Shor

        Eileen has an extensive network of friends and associates that she can mobilize at a moment’s notice. It is best to hear her concerns about a project if she has any. Fortunately, she is not shy about making her concerns known publicly, and accepts the blowback that comes with doing so. So I give her credit: she is willing to risk public approbation for her positions because she cares about the city’s growth and planning issues. At this point we probably disagree about more than we agree on with respect to specific projects. But I know she will be courteous as we discuss issues and won’t flame me in public about it.
        You should follow her example in many respects.

        1. hpierce

          As a person, I definitely know that Eileen is well meaning, and a wonderful person… I like her, and when we run across each other (infrequently) it is always a great encounter.  And I say that, even though she and I view things, particularly development proposals VERY differently… we both opposed/had strong reservations about Covell Village but for VERY different reasons… I thought many of her arguments were false/ludicrous, she didn’t grasp my objections to the project.  But that doesn’t take away, one iota, from my respect for her as a person.

          Yet, I often disagree with her logic/positions.  When we meet, we both seem to know there are certain subjects we will not discuss.

          Eileen is no prophet, but she is a damn good person.


        2. Frankly

          Eileen is no prophet, but she is a damn good person.

          Listen, she puts herself in this position just like I put myself in the other position.  I think the difference might be what she and her no-grow friends would say about me and others with my views behind closed doors.

          I’m just more transparent about my disgust of certain behavior.

          Just talk to my family members that I love.  They behave badly and I don’t hold back telling them so.  I behave badly and I expect the same.

        3. hpierce

          Frankly, Frankly, I don’t understand your response to my post… the content was basically similar, except you seem to feel a need to be a bit more snotty about it.  I thought I made clear that I oppose [often, strongly] many of someone’s opinions/positions, but equally hold that they are entitled to express them… that is not “bad behavior” … is your “disgust” against the first amendment?

          Listen! [quoting you]

          Should those of us who disagree with your opinions, or your often disagreeable way(s) of expressing them, think that you are a ‘bad person’, unworthy of being ‘heard’? [doesn’t mean we need to be persuaded]

          You are well on your way to on getting onto my list of “masters of self-inflicted wounds”.

          Friendly comment, Frankly… you will be listened to more, if you turn the “tone” down a notch or two.  The same applies to me. I freely admit that.

        4. Frankly

          Thanks for the advice hpierce.

          It is my opinion that there is a group of people in Davis that are highly active in their agenda to block development and they are successful in part because they enjoy some lofty perch of respect that they are somehow saving Davis from the evil developer.

          In my opinion they are people behaving badly.  They are actually destructive to Davis’s future… not saving it from harm.

          I can respect them as a person, but they need to be taken down to the level of the gutter techniques they use to get their way.

          It is this topic and only this topic that I see this need.

          Think about all the time and writing spent on the topic of the need for rental housing and the need for commercial space to grow our economy… all the writing on the state of our City finances.   After all of that time and writing… and what happened?

          It all got killed by the lies.

          No, having respectful dialog with the enemies of change isn’t a winning strategy… that was already proven.  They went to the gutter to get their way, and they need to be taken to task for it.

      2. Frankly

        I will demonstrate respect for Eileen and any other leading NIMBY if she ever responds to my repeated questions to list the developments that she has actually supported.

        Why has she not responded?  Because there isn’t really anything on her list.   She might point out support for some rainbow and unicorn project that has never been proposed.  She is smart that way… making up things she might support that lack feasibility so she can say she is not a 100% puckered-up old stasis NIMBY.

        I have no respect for the irrational and cruel.  And her Nishi toxic air campaign was beyond anything that anyone with half a brain should have accepted.   She is really no different than Mike Harrington in my book.  Neither are worthy of respect when it comes to working for the benefit of Davis’s future.  They are not caring people in this topic.  They are selfish people in this topic.

        Caring people would give up some of the things they value for the greater good.

        1. Don Shor

          if she ever responds to my repeated questions

          Why should she, or anyone, respond to an anonymous blog poster who repeatedly insults her and everyone else? If you act respectful, you might get a dialogue. When you do nothing but fling insults, you won’t.

        2. Frankly

          She supported The Cannery, among other developments.

          That is not what I remember.  And no she has not responded to list what she has supported.

          Why should she, or anyone, respond to an anonymous blog poster who repeatedly insults her and everyone else?

          Right Don.  Everyone else.  Thanks for your objectivity and lack of hyperbole.

          Or maybe it is just those that lead in blocking development projects that are necessary for the city and that would keep Davis from becoming a crappy mess.

          Like I wrote when Measure A failed, I have lost respect for THESE people of Davis.  I have lived here 40 years and it is about time others like me started calling them on their destructive blocking and methods.   They are making Davis a worse place not a better place.  They are giving UCD every reason to ignore their whiny objections and build whatever and where ever they please.

          I am pissed off about the fact that 3+ years of effort to help Davis get to a point of balanced and reasonable economic vitality has been killed.  Those that are leaders of the killing are in my cross-hairs.

          And I think you know that it would not matter if I was able to post with my real name or not.  In fact it is a cheap and lazy shot to keep accusing me of hiding behind a pseudonym.

          1. Don Shor

            And no she has not responded to list what she has supported.

            And then there’s this:

            In my world you should expect respect and consideration only after first being respectful and considerate.

            “That is not what I remember.”
            Then you remember wrong.

          2. Don Shor

            Eileen Samitz
            August 26, 2016 at 8:20 pm
            Ron and Marina,

            Thanks for the kind comments, because yes, I am not against all development, and bad planning and projects that impose significant impacts on any neighborhood really bothers me.

            August 26, 2016 at 10:10 pm
            Name a development that you support.

            Eileen Samitz
            August 27, 2016 at 11:11 am
            Frankly and South of Davis,

            For the record I supported Wildhorse, Eleanor Roosevelt Place, Carlton House and Cannery.

            And Grok, thank you for the very kind and generous words you posted regarding me earlier in this thread, they are much appreciated. But just to clarify, Mace Ranch came a while was before I was involved in City planning issues.

        3. hpierce

          Frankly… Eileen supported the original project @ what is now Cannery [with some reservations], back when Covell Village was also on the table… except for details, she has not opposed the current version.  Generally supported.  I think Pevagen might help you.

          One of the major disagreements I had with Eileen, was that I strongly believed that the old Hunt/Wesson site, along with the southern portion of Covell Village [south of channel A] were ripe for development (but phased), but as ONE PROJECT… with access to J, L, a couple of connections to Pole Line [@ Donner and Picasso].

          Neither the NIMBY’s nor the pro-development could even come close to supporting that concept.  I still believe it would have been a rational, logical approach.  That ship has sailed.  So, in my opinion, we will have to deal with sub-optimal ‘solutions’.  C’est dommage.

        4. Eileen Samitz


          I just got a chance to read the Vanguard article and comment’s and you raise a question which I did answer before but will answer again. I have not opposed all projects and have supported projects including, Cannery, Wildhorse, Eleanor Roosevelt Circle, Carlton House, and even the Mace Ranch Innovation Center (but as commercial only as originally promised).

          I am sorry to see how angry you constantly are with whomever does not agree with you. But you need to understand that one main purpose of the Vanguard is to have a dialog amongst community members to try to discuss the issues before Davis and share concepts to try to find solutions. So if  you want to participate, it’s fine to disagree but your insults are unnecessary and only diminish the points you are trying to make. So I hope you can start focusing on the issues instead of airing your frustrations.

          Finally civility is what we expect on this blog and other public venues and understand respect is a two way street. I hope you will start treating others like you want to be treated.

        5. Frankly

          Thanks Eileen.  Somehow I missed that response from you.  It does change my opinion of you and your positions related to this topic.  I wish I had caught that earlier because it would have caused me to tone down my criticism of you.

          I don’t remember your participation early in the VG, but I have been posting since day one and most of my interest (other than a few social and political issues) has been in support of fixing the big problem of Davis significantly lacking in local economy.   Yes it is my business to help improve the small business economy in the state, but my interest is more about Davis and with a focus on young people.

          It is good to know that you have supported these other developments.  I cannot label you a NIMBY in that case and I apologize for making the mistake.  Maybe there is some common ground we can discuss.

          We absolutely disagreed with Nishi and I am still not happy with the tactics used to defeat it.  It was the old FUD campaign.  I don’t respect it.  So I reserve the right to be critical of that and your participation in the campaign and the use of that technique.

          Got to get to work now helping small business thrive and grow jobs.

        6. Frankly

          Ahh, Frankly, that explains a lot when you said you’ve been in town for 40 years… you’re a “newbie”… will have to cut you some slack for that!

          LOL!   Ok, got me on that.

        7. Misanthrop

          “Cannery, Wildhorse, Eleanor Roosevelt Circle, Carlton House, and even the Mace Ranch Innovation Center (but as commercial only as originally promised).”

          Drops in the bucket of what is needed.

      3. Tia Will


        Eileen Samitz has a full-time hobby opposing all development”

        Not true. Eileen was an advocate for a project I opposed, namely The Cannery.

    2. Marina Kalugin

      your math stinks as it is never math alone….

      those who can afford to live on College Park and surrounding areas are the weathiest folks in town…they are the developers and plumbers and realtors  they are media tsars….like the DE and DV….,..those who make their living in this town off of development….and that includes those who own their own businesses which more often thrive off of more developments..

      1. hpierce

        Frankly and Marina… do either of you have data to back up your assertions?  Suspect ‘hell no’..

        Marina said [previous thread] that Bob S supported the neighborhood against Woodbridge… another false statement… Bob S was a part owner and advocate for Woodbridge… how long is your nose Marina-occhio?

        1. Marina Kalugin

          Bob Schneider was also part of the Sierra Club  – a leader at the time…you think you know something hp but you may only know part of the story..
          when I return home from my ER and health trip to PV, I may look for my many boxes of Woodbridge documents..
          Actually, I will look for my initial docs which I got from the CC and the planning commissioners and my friends who were on the Davis planning staff back in the 70s and 80s …..and when I did my due diligence on the Ricci farm,  before buying the house on El Macero Dr….which abutted the farm…
          I purchased the house in Aug of 1989 and did my due diligence.
          The orignal buyer of the Ricci farm was a Sac developer who wanted to build something like 220 houses on the 26 acres…
          I have already shared much of this on other threads…. I even have VHS tapes of speaking at the various meetings in those days…
          My name at the time was Marina Rumiansev….and I was one of the leaders of the neighborhood group that tried to buy the property….way too much to waste time on today….
          but, it will be fascinating when I find all those boxes and I hope the VHS tapes are also still around…
          as the evidence will be much more interesting…than those newcomers like hp and  frankly and others even know
          for those who missed it, my father  Nicolai N. Kalugin of GFDS Engineers in SF, was the Managing Structural Engineer for the first married student housing on campus….Orchard Park…
          and I grew up in a family of Engineers –  mostly in SF…and I tagged along to the jobs where my dad was the Managing Structural Engineer…
          In the early 60s, I tagged along to that project…my dad would NEVER EVER trust anyone else to make sure the laws were followed …and because he was the one who ultimately was responsible, he would visit the sites at all crucial points in the construction process.
          Thus, when it was time to apply to university, I already was focused on UCD or UCSB….my dad was the structural engineer over the camponile and student union at UCSB and I flew down with him several times to make sure that construction was up to snuff..
          Due to my top of the class at Lowell HS and my top of the charts on the SATs, though English is my  3-4 language and the US is the third country we landed at,  UC Berkeley was encouraging me to go there….
          of course, UCB at the time was the place where I would hitchhike to protest against the war and or support people’s park…it was the “local” school across the pond and UCD and UCSB were the schools that those who grew up in SF really wanted to attend.
          not only that, UCD had over 5000 acres of farm land, it had an AIRPORT and it had horse back riding and so much else…and it was closer that any other UC to Tahoe ….I mean, really wtf would I want to head to UCB>>>>>>>.
          so I arrive in 1970, when many of my dearest friends at Lowell, who worked so hard didn’t get in….I was known to hardly attend a single AP class yet somehow I managed to ace my classes and I made some truly smarter choices and applied to the Russian program rather than premd……more later….when I have more time….
          Marina Kalugin Rumiansev

          [moderator] This is all way off topic. Please stop doing this.

          1. David Greenwald

            “who ever had time to read the “commenter rules””

            When you register you’re actually agreeing to the user agreement which includes the commenter rules.

        2. Frankly

          No data, only my history of knowing people that lived on that loop and would tell me the demographics of the neighborhood.  But I no longer know anyone living there and have not for at least 10 years.   So I do not know.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    wow…this time the neighbors are really gonna have a difficult time….the UCD doesn’t need the neighbors okay…

    and also, unlike the CC and planning commission and city departments, there is no one to pay off….

    wow, in this case I don’t think these neighbors have a leg to stand on…

    but there are some things they can do…

    too bad our exceptional chancellor is now a chancellor emeritus…and the interim is not quite so adept at thinking outside the box.

    also, the chances of getting someone of Katehi’s caliber after what was done to her is not likely for many a year…

    1. hpierce

       unlike the CC and planning commission and city departments, there is no one to pay off….

      Freaking put up or shut up! That was a false and arguably libelous charge! Provide data, or shut the hell up on that type of slander/libel… or seek professional help…

  6. Mark West

    We demand that the Univeristy build more housing for students, but OMG, not where we have to look at it. How can we retain our fantasy that the City isn’t growing if you put all those new students out front where we have to see them? Hide them away some place out back so we can go on believing that they are not really there.

    Just more Davis nonsense.

    1. quielo

      My favorite part of the article was “even the Aggie Band practices there”. Of course if you wrote that UCD was going to tear down apartments on Russell so that the Aggie Band would have a place to practice there would have been 40 people protesting against the noise and demanding they leave the apartments there.

  7. ryankelly

    David, The University has planned and has talked about building on Russell Fields and Toomey for a long time.  I think I recall Sue Greenwald even suggesting that Toomey Field be converted to housing at one time.

  8. Marina Kalugin

    and jeesh, some of the same folks who were griping about campus not providing enough housing are now griping against this…   and some of the wealthiest folks in town live near to that location…  wow….those developer types who complained about NIMBYS elsewhere are now having a new project in their backyard…..truly fascinating..

    and, yes mr rk…for those who listen to the buzz, this is not news to anyone…..the UCD has been talking about this for years, and perhaps decades….and I have been on the opposing side if when I was every asked or/if when I saw anything mentioned.

    my ex who is now 70+used to play soccer on those fields and they were always full and still are.

    so did my regent’s scholar son….   Miller Dorm had these great Tshirts…with the logo of “Miller  – all of our GOOD players are studying”..   loved it…. and the brainy coed  CLUB  teams all enjoyed playing as they didn’t have to be the best at sports….

    of course, the developer pals of the UCD stand to make a fortunate  by building there….

    and, then UCD can also point to fixing what so many were griping about so recently..

    of course, the UCD is now installing artificial turf on the new fields….I guess they are not keeping up with the research of the harmful health effects of the artificial turf…..

    sigghhhh…sorry for so much off topic…… yet some may understand why I bring up those points….


  9. Marina Kalugin

    ps….those who hide against their phoney names take more potshots at those of us who use our real names…and manage to also get away with more garbage by the mod and owner than those of us who speak out and speak the truth….

    1. Biddlin

      Again, Marina:

      “Debating Moderator Practices. An article’s comments section won’t be used to debate these guidelines or a decision of the Content Moderator. Concern about the removal of a comment should be addressed in an email to the Content Moderator.”

      “Review of Content Moderator Decisions. Concerns about Comment Moderator decisions should be addressed to the Editor of The Vanguard. A response will be provided to the complaining party. The Editor may consult the Editorial Board on these issues”


      You really ought to read them!

  10. hpierce

    Marina, you frequently make up stuff or lie, and then challenge folk to “fact check” you.  I will attempt to ignore your “facts”/assertions… not worth the effort to correct…

  11. Eileen Samitz


    Thanks much for posting the my original reply to Frankly which I had assumed he read. Also much thanks for helping to keep the discussion on the Vanguard civil. It may seem to be a thankless job, but many readers and folks who post like me really do appreciate all the time and work you put into this task.


    Although I still am not certain who really are, I am certain we have talked before and appreciate that although we may not agree on everything, we have mutual respect. Also, I really appreciate your input because I do want to understand others views, which may or may not change my view, but it’s all about sharing information everyone having a chance to have their say. We are fortunate to have the ability to do that here in Davis.

    Our common denominator for pretty much everyone posting on the Vanguard is is we all want what is best for our community, even though we don’t all agree on what that is sometimes.

  12. Marina Kalugin

    PS.  who ever had time to read the “commenter rules”….. and yet I had way more life /death stuff on my plate…including my life and death and including the lie and death of the UCD>>>.

    and, much of the truth I post is to help some understand who I am and what I have been involved in in this town and why and when.

    even those of lower bran function who harrassed me when I posted how chuckie of chuckie C engineering didn’t follow proper engineering rules back in the early 90s and that is why the Woodbridge sidewalks were falling apart….

    even when the A on Nishi folks were posting Chuckie’s support of the Nishi project etc…

    and, I was out on health leave and just didn’t have time to go for a walk to take pictures…and by the time I was well enough to go for a walk around the block, the sidewalks WERE fixed…of course I didn’t have my phone with me…if anyone understands what I was posting about and why, they could have walked that sidewalk and noticed the areas where the white sections were of the recently fixed sections…

    only a few months before I posted about those sidewalks on the Nishi threads, I had to pay $600 for the sidewalk repair outside the house I helped my son buy in Sac… his fixer near the UCDMC was built in 1927…  and the sidewalks were put in in 1935….and they are WAY better than most sidewalks in most of Davis…

    it was a tiny spot and hardly anything compared to the horrible sidewalks throughout this town..

    and, the fact that Woodbridge sidewalks are much newer than the old old davis areas which were put in place some many decades earlier show that chuckie and co  took shortcuts….

    follow the money and learn the truth….or don’t ….do I care? I am moving to a country with way better health care…fortunately for me, I have options…and I now do not need to waste my time on this kinda nonsense…


  13. Marina Kalugin

    PS>   for those who do not know…  the pictures of both who are featured live either  on College Park…. or on an adjacent street….some many decade ago I was friends with one of them in the 70s and some years later got to know the other….

  14. Biddlin

    “who ever had time to read the “commenter rules”…..”

    740 words. It took me less time to read than it does to report your off-topic and impertinent posts, most days.

  15. Mark West

    We have a $30+ million annual deficit, so the CC allocated their limited time to listen to the community’s complaints about the Univeristy’s approach to housing and about a previous decision on art. No wonder we have a $30+ million annual deficit.

    How about we focus on the business of the City including how we are going to house our residents, maintain our infrastructure, invest in the future, and pay our bills, instead of wasting time on the side-show.

  16. Tia Will


    Why would UCD need to provide any information for “people” to evaluate even the rough concept?

    Why would you think that would be in UCD’s best interest?”

    Perhaps to pave the way for more bilaterally respectful and collaborative processes. You can point fingers all you like in both directions, but it will take willingness to collaborate on both sides to make it happen.

    1. ryankelly

      Tia,  Again, this is a moral judgement on your part.   Why not look at where collaboration is happening: the water treatment plant, the Fire Department, mutual aid for emergency services, outreach and research by University professors and educators, student volunteerism, etc.  It is only when the University tries to build housing near the boundaries of the City that there is no cooperation.

      1. Frankly

        And when the university is counting on the City to support the building of innovation parks to support technology transfer.  There is also no cooperation there even with clear mutual benefits.

        1. Eileen Samitz


          Well then the innovation park promised to not try to suddenly jam in 850 high density housing units at the Mace site just needs to come back with what they first promised our community, and not try to morph the MRIC into a enormous housing development crammed onto a site which was deemed “small” to begin for an innovation park. Every square inch of that site needs to be focused on innovation park. Not a smokescreen to try to bring in a high density housing project (with more units than Wildhorse) the real reason for proposing the “innovation park” project. These developers need to focus on what was discussed and understood as the project for months, and innovation park for revenue, not trying to sneak in an enormous amount of high density housing which would bring all the costs long term with it.

        2. Frankly

          I agree with this Eileen.  Too bad Davis did not retain ownership of Mace 391 for leverage to force the developer to comply, or else build 100 acres of innovation park with 200 acres of mitigation.

      2. Eileen Samitz


        All the things you mention here benefited UCD to collaborate. However, UCD has been grossly negligent for many years, and particularly in the last decade when they knew that they would be significantly increasing their student population yet dragged their heels on building the needed on-campus housing.

        UCD has 5, 300 acres, more than any other UC, and they clearly understood the need for this on-campus housing for their own self-directed and accelerated growth over a decade ago. So there is no excuse why they did not plan for it in time and get it built in time to provide the needed housing for so many incoming UCD students. So it is UCD that is not cooperating with our City or being responsible to their students and to our community.

        1. Frankly

          Thinking the same thing.

          Note how much crap UCD got from the West Davis “neighbors” trying to plan and build West Village.

          Don’t disagree with Eileen that UCD has been grossly negligent.  But Davis has also been grossly negligent and still is.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          ryankelly and Frankly,

          Come on you guys. The issue is that UCD has over 5,300 acres and they have plenty of other on-campus sites to build plenty of high density apartments for their own growth.

  17. Tia Will

    also, the chances of getting someone of Katehi’s caliber after what was done to her is not likely for many a year…”

    Well then we do have something to be thankful for as we consider the bigger pictures of how to work collaboratively as a community and university.

    1. Marina Kalugin

      of course, we will likely only have those of the caliber one will find on these threads and boards who think they are of the caliber….  who will even apply……and yes, I don’t consider myself of the caliber, but some here continued to compare themselves to Chancellor Katehi    wow  and this again shows that this person still thinks she is of that caliber……

      go ahead and apply…it is open to ALL   and don’t forget to report back if someone invited you for an interview…….   or not….anyone want to bet??

  18. Tia Will


    Tia,  Again, this is a moral judgement on your part. “

    A question was asked and I responded from my point of view. I did not claim to be putting for the factual information or presenting evidence. I have stated repeatedly that unless I am referencing my professional knowledge or experience, you can assume that to be the case.

    Also I made no comment whatsoever about past collaborations of which there clearly have been some.

  19. Barack Palin

    I just drove past the proposed Paso Fino development and see there are tractors excavating the grounds.  Did Paso Fino get passed and if it did then when?

    1. Barack Palin

      Anyone know when this was approved and I now see it’s only 6 units?

      From the city website:


      Paso Fino Subdivision

      2627 E. Covell Blvd.

      Pending Construction

      Single-Family Dwellings


        1. hpierce

          Actually, the Final map was approved this year… but that is a ministerial action, consent calendar…  but you are correct, David, insofar as the discretionary approvals were, in fact, approved last year… the Tentative Map, Final PD, etc.

        2. Barack Palin

          The last thing that I remember being covered was a proposal to slim it down to 7 units.  I may have missed it but I never saw it go back to council for final approval.

        3. hpierce

          Depends what you mean as “final”… by law, the “final” discretionary approval for a subdivision is the TM (for a subdivision)… the Final Map is ministerial… the CC cannot do anything but approve it, or find, based on facts, that it does not conform to the requirements/conditions of the previously approved TM and the zoning (usually, a FPD)…

        4. Barack Palin

          Okay, I found the article.  I must of been on vacation.  So as it turned out 6 units did pencil out for the developer even though we were led to believe differently.

  20. Edison

    Sorry to be late to the party but I’ve just returned to town. David has again provided an illuminating analysis of the UCD student housing dilemma.  He’s correct that the campus has a number of sites (such as near the football stadium) that would easily accommodate high-rise student apartments. Some commenters have observed that UCD wants to continue with low-rise wood frame construction because of the costs associated with high-rise buildings.  But there is a low-cost/no-cost alternative available for funding large, one-campus housing developments, one with many well-known universities throughout the country have used.  Please check out the website for American Campus Communities.  This is a well-regarded company that builds and manages on-campus housing. They are willing and able to work with any university to make affordable, attractive housing available.  The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is capable of raising funding.  One of the models they employ is to totally front the cost of campus housing, getting repaid over time from the rental income.  This frees up campus capital to be used for academic needs.  Again, just look at the ACC website and watch the testimonials by administrators at well-known universities such as Drexel, UC Irvine.  UCD should expand its horizons and embrace this innovative way of providing on-campus housing.

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