Commentary: Why Housing is a Bad Idea on Russell Fields

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Russell Fields
Russell Fields

On Tuesday night a number of neighbors and other community members came to public comment to oppose the idea of the university building housing along Russell Boulevard over existing sports fields.

This figures to be a tricky issue from the standpoint of residents and the city.  After all, the city has no direct jurisdiction over what the university decides to do.  Moreover, many of the same people opposing housing at this location have been leading the way to pressure the university to take on more on-campus housing in general.  The old mantra of: be careful what you wish for (or ask for, in this case) seems to hold here as well.

Moreover, I think the focus on traffic impacts are wrong here.  That seems to be the go-to issue for neighbors, but I have to question the traffic impacts here.  First of all, it wasn’t long ago that the university built and densified housing along Russell at the corner of La Rue and Russell.  But that development didn’t create more traffic problems.

Why?  For one thing, during peak hours, the people living in those halls do not empty onto Russell.  Instead, they are walking and biking to their classes.  Moreover, most of them are not driving into downtown for their social activities – instead, they walk or bike.  It is hard to know how many even have cars, but as someone who spent years driving that corridor before and after those facilities were built, there wasn’t a huge difference in the traffic.

The fact of the matter is that fewer students have cars these days than 10 or 20 years ago.  Those who have cars will not drive onto campus and will not be contributing to peak hour congestion.  Their commutes will not be onto Russell, but rather the back way onto campus.

While I understand the concerns about the intersection of Howard Way and Russell, I think, if anything, building more housing adjacent to campus alleviates rather than exacerbates that problem.

So why do I still oppose housing there?  Because it doesn’t really make sense to pave over functional and aesthetically pleasing athletic fields to build housing in that spot.

While I think the amount of developable agricultural land around campus is considerably less than the 5300 acres pushed by some, there seem to be better places to put housing on campus.

The most logical place is to simply extend West Village.  You have a large and vacant field, you have the infrastructure already in place, and you have the ability to put a large number of beds in a relatively small piece of land.

There are two other areas to consider.  One is on the south end of campus near the football stadium.  If you are looking for a location to put higher density housing without huge impacts on the existing residents, that area might be worth considering.

Finally, while the university seems to shun the notion, I still think a high-density student housing development at Nishi makes more sense than other locations.  I understand concerns about air quality, but building in a filtration system and making the facility a one-year housing area would mitigate a lot of those concerns.

Focusing that development back toward campus would alleviate a lot of the concerns about traffic impacts on Richards, plus the developers would be able to put some of their money once again toward creating additional traffic solutions.

Whether you agree with the idea of housing on Nishi or not, all three make a lot more sense than paving over existing sport fields that are often teeming with activity, especially on the weekends.

More and more I see building three-story housing buildings as a waste of space.  If Cal Poly was able to put 2700 beds on 30 acres of land, then UC Davis should certainly be able to figure out a way to put 10,000 beds on less than 100 acres of land and create open space, recreational areas and retail for the population there.

That is what UC Davis really needs to do to address their portion of the student housing crisis that is afflicting Davis.

I get those who argue we can’t demand that UC Davis build housing and then criticize where they build it.  At the same time, I think it’s a short-sighted argument that locks in bad land use policies.

I see that argument akin to complaining about a rising crime rate and then turning around to complain when the police violate the constitutional rights of those accused of crimes.  Violating rights isn’t necessary for curbing crime rates, and building in bad locations isn’t necessary for solving a housing crunch.

In this case, it is not like the university doesn’t have not only other available land, but also better locations.  Leaving the open space along that corridor contributes to a lot of positive qualities, including a sense of transition to the university.

Filling in those spots with three-story buildings would dramatically change the nature of that corridor.  It would be one thing if the university were landlocked and unable to add housing in other locations, but West Village and the other locations just make a lot more sense.

Can the city influence the university here?  That is the point that remains to be seen, but right now, I would focus the university on densification at existing on-campus locations like Solano and Orchard Parks and building out West Village more completely.

To me, the Russell Field and Howard Field locations should be a non-starter.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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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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291 thoughts on “Commentary: Why Housing is a Bad Idea on Russell Fields”

  1. ryankelly

    The empty area near the football stadium is flood mitigation similar to Toad Hollow, North Star and the drainage pond in West Davis.  I don’t believe it can be built on.  Nishi is not going to happen soon, if ever.  The same people opposing the development of Russell Fields, opposed Nishi at near hysterical levels.  So your only workable solution is West Village, which has no connection to the City and will force people into their cars to grocery shop, and visit the downtown.

  2. quielo

    As a newcomer this does not make any sense. If the students are located adjacent to downtown they will be more likely to patronize the downtown area and expand revenues at the local shops. restaurants, and of course, watering holes. Why would they want to live out in the “south forty”?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      As a newcomer, there seems to be some issues that you are not appreciating here including existing usage (not saying that to be dismissive).

      1. quielo

        “As a newcomer, there seems to be some issues that you are not appreciating” I understand that though I also understand that having residents with disposable income near places where they can spend it is a very simple and desirable goal. Since I live not far away I can see the advantages of routing resident traffic on to Eighth and away from Russell. While I have read all the comments smell strongly of horse manure except that the people who live on College Park like to look at the fields. 

         

        Increasing the height/density is also a good idea but going over three stories is a significant cost driver.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          My understanding is that you can go up to four and five stories and then you have a significant cost driver in terms of going to steel frames.

        2. Grok

          My understanding is that you can go up to four and five stories and then you have a significant cost driver in terms of going to steel frames.

          While I am sure this is true to some extent, one only needs to look to the new academic buildings being built on campus to find examples of buildings that have a steel frame construction. there are also other examples of taller residential buildings at several other UCs.

          It would be far less expensive to plan ahead now and build 9 or 10 story buildings at the Regan site, rather than under build now and be faced with another shortage in 10 years, and fewer locations available to build on.

    2. DTDavisite

      Building on the Russell Fields to build housing does provide certain advantages with access to the Downtown for the relatively few students who live in the new buildings, but keeping the much loved athletics fields located at the core of campus keeps these fields accessible for a much larger group of students and community members. Part of the great value of these fields is that they are at the core of the campus and that can not be replaced by moving them to far West Village.

  3. DTDavisite

    I would focus the university on densification at existing on-campus locations like Solano and Orchard Parks and building out West Village more completely.

    I think this is exactly right. When Save Russell Blvd. Fields met with University officials a month ago it became clear that the University saw taller buildings in the future of the Core of campus. As scores of alternative locations for housing were discussed it became clear the University is planning on growing to be much larger, and to accommodate that it needs to start building much taller now.

    For example, the University is planning on redeveloping the Regan hall dorms. This is an excellent location for students to live near the core of the campus It has access to shopping and great athletic facilities. Rather than building the 3 story buildings the University is proposing, this is a perfect location to build as tall as Sproul Hall at 9 stories.

     

     

     

  4. DTDavisite

    In addition to the lovely views and transition provided by the Russell Blvd Fields, there is a very functional reason their location is far better than the proposed replacements at the far side of west village. Currently 70% of UCD Students live off campus. Of those a majority live in Central, East and South Davis. For all of these students trekking to the far side of West Village will discourage participation in the IM programs or at best will encourage driving.

    Russell fields are a precious resource by the core of the campus. Because they are by the core, thousands of students are better able to access them. Thousands of students participate in IM and PE classes on these fields weaving healthy athletic activity into their regular routines.

        1. Mark West

          The University has been consolidating the athletic facilities to the west side of campus, making the fields on the North edge mostly redundant. Why continue to maintain grass fields when they are not needed? Aren’t people being encouraged to remove the grass around their homes for the very same reason? Remember the drought?

          This is a great location for student housing, and an opportunity to better utilize the valuable space at the entrance to the campus. The ‘wants’ of the neighbors are of no consequence.

        2. DTDavisite

          Mark,

          While it is true there are fields on the La Rue Corridor, they are already well used. The LRDP proposes replacing the Russell fields in far West Village. The one new field proposed on La Rue is proposed to replace the dairy barn, but University officials admitted at the August 3rd meeting at the International House that it was very unlikely the dairy barns would move in the life of the LRDP because of the great expense and past grant funding.

          You also need to consider that there are 9,000 more students coming to UCD and they will need housing, academic facilities and athletic fields. There are many other, better places for the housing than on Russell field

        3. Mark West

          DTD “There are many other, better places for the housing than on Russell field”

          I agree, the housing should in the City, but if the University is going to build the housing, they will build it where it best fits the University’s goals and plans. Those demanding that the University build more student housing should be celebrating now, not hyperventilating about the proposed location.

          More housing near the core of campus makes sense. If you don’t like it, too bad.  You don’t get a vote.

        4. Roberta Millstein

          Mark West writes, “The ‘wants’ of the neighbors are of no consequence.”

          The myth that putting housing on Russell fields affects only the neighbors needs to be dispelled.  It will increase traffic at the intersection of Russell and College Park, affecting the neighboring intersections at Oak and A (maybe even B) and thus affect all who pass through that intersection, whether as driver, pedestrian, or biker.  It makes the fields less accessible to students.  It changes the look and feel of one of the entrances to the university, affecting all Davis citizens and members of the university.  The neighbors are just one constituency.

        5. Mark West

          Roberta Millstein “The myth that putting housing on Russell fields affects only the neighbors needs to be dispelled. 

          What myth. Building housing anywhere affects everyone, just as not building housing anywhere affects everyone. The impact of more housing on Russell fields will be negligible to the vast majority of residents of Davis, and will really only ‘affect’ those who hyperventilate whenever they don’t get their way. It is your own fault if you choose to be ‘affected’ by this decision.

          “It will increase traffic”

          Not in any noticeable way. The incremental increase will be insignificant compared to the number of people who currently use the corridor and any additional trips will be spread throughout the day. If you don’t like the traffic on Russell, use another street. If you live in college park and don’t have another option, that is the trade off for choosing to live on a street with restricted access.

          “It changes the look and feel of one of the entrances to the university, affecting all Davis citizens and members of the university.”

          So what? The world changes and we adjust. The campus has undergone considerable changes over the years with no adverse impact on anyone except perhaps the nostalgics. A year after the buildings are up, most won’t remember (or care) what it looked like before. The students will appreciate the housing, however, and isn’t that what this is about? More housing for students?

        6. Roberta Millstein

          I say: “The neighbors are just one constituency.”

          Quielo says: “but apparently the only one that matters to some people”

          I say: “Which people are those?”

          Quielo says: “You.”

          What???  I have been very clear in spelling out how I see students, other university users (staff, faculty), and Davis citizens in general affected by building housing on the Russell fields.  So, on what basis do you think that I care only about the people on College Park?  Why would I care in particular about those people?  I don’t live there.  You’re just making things up to try to spin your argument.  Sorry, it won’t work.

        7. Roberta Millstein

          Mark West, it is essentially impossible for me and the rest of the people who live north of Russell (no, I don’t live on College Park) to get to campus without crossing Russell.  And traffic is one of the only impacts that I described.

        8. Mark West

          RM: “it is essentially impossible for me and the rest of the people who live north of Russell…to get to campus without crossing Russell.”

          That is what stop lights are for, so you can get across a busy street. Putting student housing one the North edge of campus will not change that situation one iota. You will still have the traffic lights.

          “And traffic is one of the only impacts that I described.”

          What other impacts? There are no direct impacts of any significance to you or others in the City. The only people directly impacted by this proposal will be the students who will have a place to live once the housing has been completed. Indirectly, the residents of Davis will have a greater financial burden to pay for the city services required of these new residents, but that is true no matter where on campus the housing is built. Every other ‘impact’ is a product of someone’s overactive imagination.
           

        9. Grok

          Mark, what is your angle on this? I am having a hard time understanding why you are so passionately in favor of building on the Russell fields that you need to be rude to other posters.

        10. Frankly

          Grok’s apparent definition of “rude”: when a poster challenges his strongly held beliefs.

          I looked…. but I did not see anything rude posted by Dr. West.

          Maybe direct, but not rude.

          I will give you my angle.

          I think good a well-designed community is busy but not too congested with common open-space interspersed between dense commercial and residential.   I think a well-designed city the size of Davis needs to change from thinking it can all be centered downtown in the core area, to one that builds more self-contained neighborhoods.

          I think the core and near-core area residents like their big lots and privacy.  I think they like having fewer cars driving through their neighborhoods.  I get that.  Makes sense to me.

          THEN WHY THE HELL DO THEY BLOCK PERIPHERAL DEVELOPMENT!?

          It is actually laughable watching all your core area NIMBYs squirm about the Russell field housing.  I predicted it as your were previously working to prevent any peripheral development.   I said so.  I said it will fun to rub your noses in it when it happens.

          Nose, meet rubbing.

          1. Don Shor

            I think a well-designed city the size of Davis needs to change from thinking it can all be centered downtown in the core area, to one that builds more self-contained neighborhoods.

            In fact, Davis is supposed to have a strong downtown retail area and strong neighborhood shopping centers.

        11. Mark West

          Don Shor: “In fact, Davis is supposed to have a strong downtown retail area and strong neighborhood shopping centers.”

          How has that worked out? Is the downtown a retail core? Are the neighborhood centers ‘strong?’

          The plan didn’t work, something that has been obvious for years, yet we did nothing to address the problem. In part, because people continued to argue that the downtown had to be ‘saved’ so we couldn’t allow large retails stores anywhere else in town. The same argument, in fact, was made a couple of months ago in the discussion about the commercial center at the Cannery where the discussion centered on the importance of maintaining the size limits on the stores there – to protect the downtown. It was, and is all nonsense, but there are many who still want to believe…

          1. Don Shor

            “How has that worked out?”
            The Marketplace appears robust. The shopping center where Nugget is located appears to be doing well. The one in South Davis is rebounding, as far as I can tell. The East Davis shopping center where Symposium is located is holding its own. I can’t speak to the condition of the one on Arlington.
            Yes, the downtown is a retail core. Davis has far more retail stores in the downtown than other local cities do. But I suppose you could address your question to the owners of Davis Ace as to how things are going.
            “The plan didn’t work.” Says Mark.

        12. Frankly

          Don – I think the problem with the downtown is the lack of public-side redevelopment funds.  I see the life-cycle of city core downtowns that don’t revitalize like the City of Napa… to become “old-town” and an entertainment district.  I don’t know if that is really a bad thing for Davis as our primary paying customers to the downtown these days are students seeking entertainment.   Frankly, without Davis Ace downtown it would already be a retail wasteland with about a dozen more pizza and Thia restaurants.

          But we are not really revitalizing (maybe the Brinley sale will start some of that happening) and we are not building other locations around town.  So we lose the retail… it actually goes away.  How is that helping your “save the Davis downtown” goal?

          A few commercial vacancies in a city is not a bad thing, IMO.  It forces the landlords to make improvements.  The improvements revitalize the area and attract more people to shop.

          I am in favor of regional shopping districts but they need to be bigger with more options.

          I think Davis should consider a small factory-store mall on 113.

        13. Mark West

          Don: “But I suppose you could address your question to the owners of Davis Ace as to how things are going.”

          The plan worked great for the downtown property owners, Don. Just ask the Brinley heirs. I’m sure they are quite pleased with the artificially high property values we gifted them. Same for the owners of Ace, they are certain to benefit when they or their heirs divest of all the land they own downtown.

          As for the Ace store, they exist now because they evolved with their new reality by adjusting their pricing and improving their customer service. Something that every successful business needs to do now and then. They did not need the City to protect them from competition, but I’m sure they were happy to accept the benefits all the same. Too bad it came at the cost of the City’s fiscal sustainability and paid out of the pockets of the City’s residents.

        14. Matt Williams

          Frankly said . . . “I think Davis should consider a small factory-store mall on 113.”

          Are you serious Frankly?!?!?  In the face of the burgeoning of internet shopping you are advocating investment in a bricks and mortar retail mall?

        15. Mark West

          Don: “Where do you want to add another shopping center, Mark?”

          That ship sailed long ago, Don. What I want is for us to get out of the mindset that we need to protect existing businesses and property owners from competition. That approach failed the City and residents in the past, and will continue to fail us if we proceed along the same route. Just ask the owners of all those businesses that have left the old Brinley properties. We can start the process by removing the store size limitations in the neighborhood centers and removing other zoning restrictions on the commercial and retails space around town and see how the market responds.

          We can also change the mindset by ignoring the calls for protection coming from the owners of the existing hotels in town. The best operations will survive without any problem, the marginal ones will survive by providing better value to their customers, and the bad ones will either improve or close allowing a better business to open in their place. It works just the same with retail and other commercial properties. The City should not be deciding which properties owners or businesses need to be protected from the marketplace and instead, should be streamlining procedures to speed the process of opening new businesses in town.

        16. Grok

          This shopping discussion is a bit off topic but I will bite. the pessimism exhibited in Mark’s post fails to recognize Davis success.

           That approach failed the City and residents in the past, and will continue to fail us if we proceed along the same route. 

          I have been to cities across the country with peripheral big box stores, dead downtowns, and devoid of neighborhood grocery stores. Looking around Davis and seeing the mostly thriving neighborhood grocery stores and vibrant downtown I have to say Davis has some great successes to be proud of.

           

        17. Adam Smith

          I have been to cities across the country with peripheral big box stores, dead downtowns, and devoid of neighborhood grocery stores. Looking around Davis and seeing the mostly thriving neighborhood grocery stores and vibrant downtown I have to say Davis has some great successes to be proud of.

           

          Sorry, Grok.  You are “giving” Davis way too much credit here.    Davis has all the big box stores around it – they’re just in Dixon, West Sac and Woodland.     Much of Davis’ population makes weekly (maybe more frequently) trips to all of those destinations to do their shopping (Heck, my family used to drive to Sacramento to go to Trader Joes before one located here). Surely you’ve seen all that data about our miserly per capita sales.      We’re not capturing the sales in Davis and we’re losing lots of tax revenue.

          Frequently local retailers are  leaving DT Davis.   Davis downtown is well on its way to being essentially an entertainment district, with a a few spaces reserved for some service businesses and perhaps an outlier retailer like Ace.  What’s holding downtown Davis together? The proximity of  UCD and its 35,000 students, many of  whom are located physically close to downtown, or have to pass through downtown to commute to UCD.     It is this physical proximity which allows downtown to survive as an entertainment center (but not as a retail center).     Of course,  placing all the new students out on the West Village isn’t going to help downtown much.  Maybe the Stonegate Center or University Mall will become more viable entertainment centers  if UCD builds more in the  West Village.

        18. Grok

          A $30+ million annual deficit is nothing to be proud of.

          Mark, that’s fine to bring up, but it does not exist in a vacuum. Yes there has been a cost, and yes it needs to be dealt with but Davis is far from a failed city. Davis is a nice place thanks to all of the people who had the vision to lay the ground work to make Davis what it is today. Davis can overcome this and continue to be a great place.

  5. Tia Will

    I am wondering what the students think about the location of their housing and  maintenance of the playing fields. Has any kind of survey been done of those who will be most directly affected ?

    1. DTDavisite

      You raise a good point Tia. The housing on Russell field was added to UCDs Long Range Development Plan in May and there was only 1 public showing of the plans and that public showing had very short and minimal public notice. So the answer is no, there has been no survey, and most students are probably unaware of the proposal.

      This is really a problem because we are reaching the end of the draft plan phase and will begin the CEQUA phase with in the next 2 months.

       

  6. Biddlin

    Sorry, guys, but this is chickens coming home to roost. The city has been [griping] about urban sprawl and uncontrolled growth, blocking every attempt to build any meaningful housing projects, while all the time telling UC that they needed to provide student housing. Here it is. You asked for it, so don’t act surprised when they deliver it in spades.

    [moderator] edited to remove word that triggers the filter

    1. Frankly

      You got it Biddlin.

      Unbelievable how pompous and entitled these people are.   Fail to listen to people telling them what the consequences of their myopic tantrums of refusal will be.  And when they arrive they just throw another myopic tantrum of refusal.

      David should be admonished for joining them.

  7. Roberta Millstein

    Moreover, I think the focus on traffic impacts are wrong here.  That seems to be the go-to issue for neighbors, but I have to question the traffic impacts here.

    You have to understand that at many times during the day, this intersection is already very impacted.  It won’t take much additional traffic for it to become intolerable and dangerous.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        It would make it very inconvenient to live there.  Every time you wanted to drive downtown or drive to the freeway, you’d have to go out of your way (north) before you could go south.  Plus, in order to drive to the Chancellor’s house or the international house, you’d have to pass through College Park, which is a dark and narrow street with a lot of bikes on it not set up to handle traffic.  I have said that the neighbors are not the only constituency, but it’s also not fair to ask them to bear that much of the burden.

        Also, as I said yesterday, the traffic at this intersection is because of what’s on Russell, not what’s on College Park. Re-routing won’t help the volume of traffic at that intersection.

      2. quielo

        “Every time you wanted to drive downtown or drive to the freeway, you’d have to go out of your way” Wow a whole block, what a hardship! People in cities all over the world will be weeping in commiseration though perhaps we could ease the burden by placing a statue of a college park driver in a local park?

         

        Thank you for this post. I had understood that you, and others, felt the interests of thousands of students was secondary to the interests of a few rich fat cats in college park and you have helpfully validated that opinion.

        1. Roberta Millstein

          As I said, moving the bollards would not help the increased traffic at the already very congested intersection, which would affect everyone who passes through it.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          quielo, there are only a relative handful of houses on College Park.  I bike up that street regularly at different times of the day and almost never encounter a car.  So, eliminating cars to and from College Park will have a miniscule, undetectable effect.  In contrast, the proposal to put housing on Russell Fields will add many cars to the intersection and Russell Blvd more generally.

        3. Mark West

          “the proposal to put housing on Russell Fields will add many cars to the intersection and Russell Blvd more generally.”

          No, it won’t. That is the point of putting housing next to the core of campus (or place of work), so there will be no need to use a car for the daily commute.

          The problem is the lack of housing locally increasing the number of people who have to commute into town to get to the campus daily (students and employees). Build more local housing and there will be fewer people driving with more of them joining you on their bikes or riding the bus.

        4. Matt Williams

          Roberta, help me understand your point about traffic at the Russell/Howard/College Park intersection. Isn’t it true that a significant numbers of sophomores, juniors and seniors who currently drive to campus from their non-Davis housing, will be attracted to the Russell dormitories, and as a result no longer be part of the traffic volumes on Russell and Howard?

        5. South of Davis

          Roberta wrote:

          > there are only a relative handful of houses on College Park.  

          Looking at Zillow it seems that there are about 40 million dollar homes on College Park (Roberta must have big hands).

          It you take an average number of car trips (keeping in mind that the $1mm+ homeowners have more gardeners and cleaning ladies than the rest us living in lesser sub $1mm homes I bet about 200 cars go in and out of College Park every day…

          Is is just me or does anyone else find it funny that Roberta (who has made about 100 Vanguard  posts asking UCD to build housing on campus) is now opposed to UCD building housing on campus)…

        6. Grok

          Is is just me or does anyone else find it funny that Roberta (who has made about 100 Vanguard  posts asking UCD to build housing on campus) is now opposed to UCD building housing on campus)…

          That is not how I read what Roberta has written at all. She can correct me if I am wrong. Roberta is focused on what a bad choice it is to build 3 story apartment buildings and parking on the Russell fields. Just because building in the one place is a bad choice in no way suggests all of the other available places on campus are also bad choices.

        7. Roberta Millstein

          Matt Williams asks, “Isn’t it true that a significant numbers of sophomores, juniors and seniors who currently drive to campus from their non-Davis housing, will be attracted to the Russell dormitories, and as a result no longer be part of the traffic volumes on Russell and Howard?”

          First of all, these are apartments, not dormitories.  Second, as I know you know, UCD is increasing enrollment significantly, so there will be no reduction in traffic, only an increase as the added students (in effect) are placed adjacent to a busy intersection.

          South of Davis, a traffic study would settle the issue. Maybe someone should do one.

          And Grok, yes, I am in favor of UCD building more housing, just not on the Russell fields.

        8. Matt Williams

          Roberta, when multi-location retail businesses analyze their annual (periodic) performance, they use a method called “same store sales” to eliminate the confusion that including the sales of new stores or acquired stores causes in the analysis.  Total sales are the aggregation of same store sales and new store sales and acquired store sales.

          I believe that “same store sales” concept applies to UCD as well, especially with respect to your statement “UCD is increasing enrollment significantly, so there will be no reduction in traffic, only an increase as the added students (in effect) are placed adjacent to a busy intersection.”

          The added students (and their incremental impact on traffic) are like the new stores and/or acquired stores.  Especially given the significant numbers of students that are being added, total traffic (“total sales” in the example) will clearly rise.  However, my statement applied to the traffic volumes generated by the existing students (“same store sales” in the example.

          Bottom-line, we need to pursue all the available options for minimizing the automobile traffic generated by students.  Having the proposed housing south of Russell be dormitories rather than apartments is one of those available options.  Moving apartments to another location doesn’t reduce traffic, it only moves it.

          For the record, I do not find Roberta’s posts at all surprising. My experience observing Roberta in the Open Space and Habitat Commission have given me a solid appreciation of how much she values Open Space . . . and the current fields south of Russell are very clearly open space. In fact, I would be surprised if Roberta were not working hard to preserve that open space.

          Attacking Roberta personally is pure and simple ad hominem in action.

      3. ryankelly

        The bollards could be placed so that I-House and the Chancellors house could still be accessed from Russell.  Residents on Elmwood and Oeste don’t seem to mind going north before going south.  It’s the College Park residents who are complaining.  They could make a change or not.  Either way they can’t block all development on campus, just because they don’t want to change the way they get to the freeway.  Putting student apartments at west Village will likely increase traffic on Russell more than it will at Russell Fields.  In the end, it is up to the University to decide where to build and it is a waste of time to write letters to the editor and involve our City Council.

        1. Grok

          it is a waste of time to write letters to the editor and involve our City Council.

          The City Council doesn’t agree with you on this as evidenced by the fact they established a special subcommittee to specifically work with the University on issues relating to the LRDP

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I do understand that as I drove through the corridor for nearly 15 years, but I don’t think adding student housing is going to significantly add to that because a lot of students don’t have cars and most will not be driving into campus or off campus during peak hours.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        I see ample room for parking in those pictures.  If students won’t have cars, why is the parking there?  Plus student hours are all over the place, not predictable.

        1. ryankelly

          And now you’re worried about the convenience of residents of College Park.

          The residents are complaining about how dangerous the intersection is.  Moving the bollards resolves that. They won’t have to deal with that intersection after that.

        2. Grok

          The residents are complaining about how dangerous the intersection is.  Moving the bollards resolves that. They won’t have to deal with that intersection after that. – RK

          It is a huge assumption to think they are only complaining about the danger of the intersection out of self interest. What I have heard said is that the intersection will also be dangerous for the student drivers in the new apartment complex proposed for Russell Fields.

        3. Matt Williams

          Grok, the simple solution to that student safety problem is to make the complex automobile free, the same way the current dormitories on campus are automobile free.

        4. Grok

          the simple solution to that student safety problem is to make the complex automobile free, the same way the current dormitories on campus are automobile free. – Matt Williams

          That is not what is being proposed by UCD.

        5. Matt Williams

          UCD is not proposing what you are advocating for either, but that isn’t stopping you from fighting for the adoption of your alternative.  Fighting for making UCD complexes automobile free, the same way the current dormitories on campus are automobile free is no different than what you are fighting for.

        6. Grok

          Fair enough. UCD can house a whole lot of students by building taller on the other proposed sites without building on Russell Fields. The more they can build without adding cars the better.

          2 incremental opportunities I see for reducing personal cars:

          Local grocery stores could run a weekend shuttle to large student housing complexes. I have seen this done on other campuses. The store gets shoppers and the students get a free ride.

          Allowing students to live in dorms past their first year. UCD currently does not allow students to stay in a dorm after 1 year. While many students prefer to move to apartments there is a smaller and completely unmet need for dorm style living past the first year.

        7. Grok

          One other thing Matt – and this is really an aside. have you noticed that despite the ways the campus has grown over the years, the car free central section of the campus has had almost exactly the same foot print?

        8. Matt Williams

          Grok said . . . “Allowing students to live in dorms past their first year. UCD currently does not allow students to stay in a dorm after 1 year. While many students prefer to move to apartments there is a smaller and completely unmet need for dorm style living past the first year.”

          This is the most important initiative.  Dorm rooms don’t have kitchens, and therefore the students don’t need to grocery shop.  They eat at campus cafeterias and restaurants, which are located within walking/biking distance of their dorms.  If thousands of dorm rooms are built in West Village then cafeterias/restaurants will need to be located there.  If thousands of apartments with kitchens, then supermarket shopping will need to be made available.  Right now there is no close by grocery shopping near West Village.

          I had not noticed that footprint observation.

      2. Grok

        David, I agree with you in part and disagree with you in part regarding traffic.

        I think you are right that Housing on Russell fields will have little impact on morning traffic. students are more likely to be headed onto campus than off in the morning.

        In the afternoon and evening however students may very well choose to leave by car to go shopping, go to a part time job, visit friends or go play sports at the new IM fields on the far side of West Village (or leave by car for any number of reasons). These type of trips will correspond with times that already have heavier traffic on Russell.

        In regards to parking: there is a fair amount of parking included in the new apartment development, although it is reduced from a typical apartment style development. There is another factor to consider however, the University has indicated that one of the ways they intend to reduce parking is through a car share program or zip cars.

        Car share or zip cars have more trips per car because they can be used in serial by students. So when you see the parking on the diagram that Roberta described as “ample” please consider that the available parking will actually produce many more car trips and thus more traffic than the same amount of parking would if it were a traditional parking lot.

        1. Matt Williams

          Grok, I agree with you in part and have questions about other parts regarding traffic.

          I agree with you that Housing on Russell fields will have little impact on morning traffic. students are more likely to be headed onto campus than off in the morning.  It may also be the case that significant numbers of sophomores, juniors and seniors who currently drive to campus from their non-Davis housing, will be attracted to the Russell dormitories, and as a result no longer be part of the traffic volumes on Russell and Howard.

          Regarding your “choose to leave by car to go shopping” point, if these are dorms (like the current on-campus dorms, why would the students be using a car to go shopping?  Won’t they use public transportation rather than a car?  Regarding “go to a part time job, visit friends or go play sports at the new IM fields on the far side of West Village” won’t their go-to transportation for these activities be pedestrian (walking to downtown or University Mall), bicycle or UNITRANS?  Regarding your “leave by car for any number of reasons” point, will cars even be allowed in these dorms?  They aren’t in the current on-campus dorms.  There clearly will be ZipCar trips to go on out-of-town excursions/vacations, but will those be frequent enough to impact traffic volumes, and will these kind of excursion/vacation trips correspond with times that already have heavier traffic on Russell?

          In regards to parking: you say there is a fair amount of parking included in the new apartment development.  That seems inconsistent with dormitory living.  Can you point us all to the info and/or graphics that shows that parking?

          Thanks for any help you can be with these questions.

        2. Grok

          Hi Matt,

          I think the first thing that may help understand this is the university is not proposing dorms for Russell fields, what is proposed are 3 story apartment buildings that will house about 1,000 students. Think the Colleges on La Rue but bigger and built on Russell. The apartments will have kitchens and not be part of the dinning hall service.

          In regards to a graphic, the only graphic I am aware of online that demonstrates the parking is what David has posted with this article. The University administration passed a graphic out at a community meeting on August 3rd that shows the parking, but they have not posted it online.

          Bob Segar also discussed the parking and the availability of Zip cars or other car shares at the August 3rd meeting, but unfortunately that meeting was not recorded at the request of the University.

          I think your right in part about the use of Zip cars or other car shares, but I think they will also be used for larger shopping trips to Target and Walmart. Exactly how they will be used is open to considerable conjecture because it is a new model for University housing in Davis. What can be said about Zip cars for sure is it is a business model that is successful when the cars are used.

          I definitely agree that the traffic generated by the proposed apartments will be different from that of students commuting to campus, but there will certainly be car trips added to the already congested Russell.

          Not to be overlooked in this discussion is the new car trips that will be created by moving the IM fields to Hutchinson near Bee Biology road. That will be much further for students coming from the majority of student housing in Davis than the Russell fields are. I am really not clear what traffic patterns will emerge from that, but I would expect more students to either decline to participate in IM sports or Drive more frequently.

        3. Matt Williams

          Grok, thank you for the info.  Can you point me to the source, or is it all verbal (and unrecorded) at this point?  Dormitories would seem to make much more sense at that location than apartments, unless the apartments are 100% bike-ped.

          Target shopping I can see, and that should be pretty easy to support with UNITRANS.  Walmart shopping means road trips to Dixon/Woodland/West Sac.  Incenting public transportation makes a lot of sense.  Incenting any use of automobiles (other than Zip Cars) not so much.

          Time will tell on the other transportation specifics.  UNITRANS and bicycle support for Intramurals would be far preferable to automobile travel.  Thinking outside the box, the location of the IM Fields may be more ideal if it is just to the south of Russell in West Village.  That way Routes K and P and Q, which go east and west along 5th and Russell would be immediately adjacent to the IM fields.

        4. Grok

          Matt,

          Here is the link for the Russell fields page on the University website. The diagram there is different from what was handed out at the August 3rd meeting in that it lacks the foot prints of the buildings and the proposed parking.

          http://campustomorrow.ucdavis.edu/app_pages/view/85

          As to the details of a traffic and parking plan for the Russell fields I agree there are things that can be done, but there is also the question of what the students will actually do. It is really a lot of conjecture at this point, I think it is likely there will be some amount of increased cars on Russell because of the apartments, but how much I really don’t know. No traffic studies have been done yet that I am aware of.

          As to the IM fields, I think running busses there from South Davis, East Davis and Central Davis is going to be a much bigger challenge without a connection at one of the hubs on campus. Students will probably drive. Keeping the Russell fields where they currently are and building taller buildings on the other sites already designated is a much easier answer.

           

           

        5. Matt Williams

          Grok, thanks again.  I was familiar with the Campus Tomorrow page, but given the 40,000 foot conceptual nature of that, I thought you had access to something with some more beef to it. It is what it is though.  One thing that the graphic from your link does clearly show is that the proposed residential footprint will have a considerable setback from Russell, so the green edge of the campus will still be the dominant visual image as someone drives up or down Russell and also as on turns south on Howard Way.

          I agree with you that it is a lot of conjecture at this point.

          Based on my experience with the Howard Way parking garage in the early evenings and on weekends, the East Davis and South Davis Intramural participants already drive, parking either in the Howard Way garage, or in nearby residential neighborhoods.  You are right that the UCD students who live in those areas will be further incented to use their cars, but they will probably no longer traverse Russell, rather use the Hutchinson exit of CA 113 to access the West Village fields.

          Again, as you pointed out, there is a lot of conjecture in any speculations we make at this point.

        6. Grok

          I have a little more information from the August 8th meeting. From the hand out:

          under the LRDP proposal Howard Field is reduced to a 100′ on the east end and a 200′ on the west end. Segar said this small field would no longer be landscaped for any type of sports. In my opinion if built as proposed the dominant feature on what was once Howard field will undoubtedly be the 3 story apartment building.

          The western most building on Russell field will only be set back 75′ from Russell. this building will run parallel to Russell for 250′ after which point there will be a 350′ set back for the central building. The Eastern most building built on Russell is proposed to be 225′ from Russell. It is unclear if this field will be a suitable playing field or if it will be landscaped. The field will be too small for a regulation Soccer, or Rugby Field as it is frequently used for now. While there would still be some open space where Russell field was, the view will be vastly diminished and the 3 story apartments on the field on 2 sides will have a significant impact on views.

  8. Eileen Samitz

    I agree with much of this article except that the traffic issue is a problem since there would be plenty of car and bike traffic generated by the proposed housing projects on the Russell and Howard Fields further impacting an already traffic impacted and narrowed Russell Blvd., which is yet to get worse with further narrowing at the east end.  Also, the air quality issues are not solved for residential, so Nishi is not a good site for student housing for many reasons including that.

    The real issue here is that here are plenty of options of other sites that UCD has either on or near the core campus which have been pointed out to UCD’s planners a number of times by our citizens group Citizens for Responsible Planning, during the ongoing LRDP process. Furthermore, what needs to be done is much higher density housing than the mear 2-3 floor apartments and some 4 level dorms that UCD has been building. Local developers only do wood construction which is only permitted up to  building 4 stories so UCD, needs to do better than this and reach out further than these local companies who don’t do steel construction like so many other campuses have done.

    UCD claims to do sustainable housing but low densities like what they have building compared to other campuses is just ridiculous. Also they can’t have it both ways. They try to use the excuse that they want to preserve their ag land (which does not seem to matter when they want to build a new music center and a new art center), well then they need to go up a lot more which works well on campus, and not so well in the city. Orchard Park which has be laying dormant for over 2 years now is the next obvious site which needs to go much higher than 4 stories.  It is critical UCD does not blow-it on that site now and plan it for much higher density student housing and the same for all additional housing they build on-campus from now on.

     

     

    1. quielo

      “Furthermore, what needs to be done is much higher density housing” Is the City of Davis going to take that advice and build “much higher density housing” in the City? If not why give advice to the University that we are not following ourselves?

        1. Misanthrop

          I lived for many years in an apartment and realized that my aspirations of home ownership in Davis were opposed by the no growth scene that was driving prices high by opposing new supply as the university continued to grow. Luckily we were able to buy during the crash and got an old Streng starter home on a .2 acre lot. A good place to raise the family.

        2. South of Davis

          Misanthrop wrote:

          > got an old Streng starter home on a .2 acre lot.

          You probably ended up with one of the nicer Streng homes if you have a .2 acre (8,712 sf) lot since most of the modest “starter” Strengs (that sold for about $25K each in the late 60’s early 70’s) in East Davis/Ivy Town were built on lots smaller than .16 acre (7,000 sf)…

        3. South of Davis

          Eileen wrote:

          > I live in a small triplex townhouse on one

          > of the smallest lots in my neighborhood. 

          Are you the landlord that owns all three units (and will make a lot more money every month if you can stop the construction of new homes and apartments in the area)?

          1. Don Shor

            No, she is not. Please stop trying to make all of these issues personal when you refuse to divulge your own identity and property holdings.

        4. South of Davis

          Don wrote:

          > Please stop trying to make all of

          > these issues personal

          No one needs to answer any questions that I ask, but if we are having a debate about development (or the $15 minimum wage) a person with rental units (or sub $15/hour employees) will tend to have different views when changes to city laws “personally” hits them in the pocketbook.

          > when you refuse to divulge your own identity

          > and property holdings.

          I have posted many times that I own a home in Davis and a home “South of Davis”.  When home prices tanked in 2011 I was forced in to becoming a “landlord” (but unlike most other “landlords” in town I am not against development)…

    2. South of Davis

      Eileen wrote:

      > The real issue here is that here are plenty of

      > options of other sites that UCD

      We now know that Eileen  does not want development on the south of campus (Nishi) or the north of campus (Russell Fields) I’m wondering if Eileen can post that she is in favor of development on ALL other sites on campus?

        1. South of Davis

          Grok wrote:

          > how about you post a list of sites on campus that you

          > think are good places for housing?

          Just like I am not going to tell you (or anyone else on the list) where a “good place” for a storage shed in your back yard is I am not going to tell UCD where a “good place” for housing is.  I’ll let them make the decision and build it anywhere they want on land they own now (or if they buy Nishi or even those little dumpy homes across from Central Park that look even more dumpy now that the nice new stuff is next to them on B Street)…

  9. Eileen Samitz

    quielo,

    As I also said, high density housing works well on campus, and not so well in the city. This is because of most of our existing residential housing in neighborhoods is one and two story and imposing very high density housing near these neighborhoods does not work for many reasons. This is not an issue on the campus.

        1. Biddlin

          “Agreed, and poor people are better off in Rio Linda than Davis.”

          Only because of more compassionate neighbors. The cost of not living in N.Natomas is steeper than you apparently know.

        2. Misanthrop

          I do find a certain irony that people who live in or near the least dense part of the city, College Park, think that high density housing is the solution for others.

        3. Misanthrop

          “Agreed, and poor people are better off in Rio Linda than Davis.”

          Are you sure or are you saying that rich people in Davis are better off with poor people in Rio Linda.

        4. Grok

          I do find a certain irony that people who live in or near the least dense part of the city, College Park, think that high density housing is the solution for others. – Misanthrop

          The majority of people who are active with Friends of Russell Blvd. Fields do not live in College Park. I have Personally lived in student housing that was 30 stories tall.

      1. South of Davis

        Misanthrop wrote:

        > Are you sure or are you saying that rich people in

        > Davis are better off with poor people in Rio Linda.

        As a former poor person who spends a lot of time with friends of my wife who grew up upper middle class and have advanced degrees from prestigious schools I can tall you that there are a LOT of Davis residents who are happy Davis is not growing and that that the poor guy with the Camaro is moving to Rio Linda after his rental is sold to a couple that met as grad students at Cornell…

        1. South of Davis

          Matt wrote:

          > Why did you choose to use “grad students at Cornell”?

          Since I’m married to a woman who has a similar educational background as a well know former Davis School Board Member and “Volleyball Mom” many people assume I must have also gone to one of the “HYPe schools” Harvard Princeton or Yale (and have a grad degree).  Believe it or not I have heard people in town make “Ted Cruz” style jokes about “Lesser Ivies.  I recently heard someone talking about a Cornell grad that moved in next to him (he had young kids so this is not your neighbor)  and another (well educated) Davis resident said “At least Cornell is better than having a neighbor that went to Sac State”.  UCD grads in town often make Sac State jokes but not as often as the HYP grads (who also make Cornell and Brown jokes)…

          http://wonkette.com/529541/ted-cruz-humble-man-of-the-people-refused-to-study-with-anyone-from-the-lesser-ivies

        2. quielo

          “UCD grads in town often make Sac State jokes” could be a sense of insecurity at not being accepted at a top UC school. The quielo himself has a Ge.D. from one of the premier correctional institutions on the west coast.

        3. South of Davis

          quielo wrote:

          > could be a sense of insecurity at not being

          > accepted at a top UC school.

          I got in to Cal out of High School but decided I needed to get out of Northern California and went to another (“lesser”) school (looking back I should have gone to Cal and when my nephew got in to Tufts, Brown, USC and Cal I was happy that I was able to convince him to go Cal, my sister and brother in law were also happy due to the lower cost, but I really think that Cal is one of the best schools to go to if you are planing on spending the rest of your life living and working in the Bay Area).

          P.S. “Ge.D.” looks a lot more impressive after your name than “GED”…

    1. Mark West

      Eileen: “As I also said, high density housing works well on campus, and not so well in the city.”

      This is a non-sensical argument. High-density housing works the same, whether on campus or in the City. The only difference is when it is in the City, the City gains revenues from the construction and operation.

      “most of our existing residential housing in neighborhoods is one and two story and imposing very high density housing near these neighborhoods does not work for many reasons.”

      The problem is the inefficient use of land in our existing neighborhoods. That is something we should be working to correct. If we are serious about preserving farmland (as most here claim) then we need to densify housing across all neighborhoods.  It is one of the critical ways that the City can evolve to fit with the new reality.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Mark,

        No, it is not at all the same. Perhaps you don’t understand this because you have not worked on many planning issues. There needs to be compatibility when adding in new project near existing neighborhoods. That’s part of good planning. The City winds up also with short term revenue from construction for long term costs, particularity with apartments complexes due to the high infrastructure demands including wastewater treatment and City services.

        On your second point, the City is doing more density in new projects, but is all about the degree of increasing the density that is important and making sure that the project works where is is located in terms of compatibility, traffic, etc.  So it is not as simple as you try to make it.

        But as I mentioned earlier, much higher densities belong on campus where there is not the same compatibility problem that there would be in the City plus UCD would be more efficient in providing more on-campus housing. It just does not make any sense to pave over the Russell and Howard greenfields, and I guess I am rather surprised that you would be in support of that.

        1. quielo

          Anywhere you build housing you will have ” high infrastructure demands including wastewater treatment and City services”  High density can ameliorate some of these problems by requiring shorter runs of new sewers for example. So in your opinion Eileen, where in Davis is most suitable for high density housing?

        2. Mark West

          Eileen: “It just does not make any sense to pave over the Russell and Howard greenfields, and I guess I am rather surprised that you would be in support of that.”

          You prefer they pave over existing farmland? That seems to be the case with your continuing claims of ‘over 5000 acres of land…’ nonsense. If the University no longer needs these fields, then yes, that is exactly where the housing should be placed, not on some hidden piece of farmland out of your daily view.

          “There needs to be compatibility when adding in new project near existing neighborhoods.”

          I agree, but it is the existing neighborhoods that are in need of changing. Poor planning decisions of the past should not be allowed to continue ‘just because’ there are existing buildings (or neighbors). Current projects should reflect current land use efficiencies, not past ones. The more we build up, the less pressure there will be to expand outwards. Existing neighborhoods (and neighbors) will evolve and adjust.

          “The City winds up also with short term revenue from construction for long term costs, particularity with apartments complexes due to the high infrastructure demands including wastewater treatment and City services.”

          Utter B.S. and you know it. The problem is the runaway costs of total compensation of City employees, not anything to do with high-density housing. Stop repeating this fallacy.

          ” So it is not as simple as you tryo make it.”

          Actually, it is simple. You want to maintain the poor land use decisions of the past, and push our housing shortage off on the University to fix. If you were actually interested in addressing the housing shortage, we would not be having this disagreement.

        3. Frankly

          It just does not make any sense to pave over the Russell and Howard greenfields, and I guess I am rather surprised that you would be in support of that

          With all due respect Eileen, I don’t see you as being qualified to lecture others on what makes sense or does not make sense.  You have been on the extreme side of the debate for many of these city development projects.

          Maybe you should have put more energy into supporting the peripheral development projects so that this pressure to develop along Russell Blvd. would have disappeared.  Have you not had to accept logical consequences for your actions before?

        4. Grok

          over 5000 acres of land

          Is actually an underestimate because it does not include the Russell ranch or the Wolfskill ranch which are both used for Ag research. There is room on the Main campus to build more housing.

          Even better, there is room in Solano Park, Orchard Park and Regan to build denser and taller housing to accommodate far more than the 1,000 students that would be housed in the relatively low density apartments proposed for the Russell fields. There is just no need to build on those fields.

          1. Don Shor

            But it’s a vast overestimate with respect to actually developable land that UCD has. We’ve been through this before.

            From our previous conversation:
            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.

        5. Grok

          Don, I agree with your post regarding available space, but my perspective is that is shows there is a fair amount of space available on campus, certainly enough space for UCD to build enough student housing to be in line with the other UCs.

        6. hpierce

          Utility rates are set to cover the cost of service for a given use… water and sewer are enterprise funds… not intended to have any net effect on GF… your logic on those fails Eileen…

    2. Frankly

      Seems like the best solution for our city or maybe the university to buy out enough of the old core area residents and their big lots so we can density the core.   This is simply a battle between those privileged core area resident property owners that like the core area as their little retirement hamlet or else like having forced scarcity of property to keep their values high.

      Selfish, selfish, selfish they are.

      1. Grok

        Frankly, your “best solution” is literally to gut the city. Of course I am not surprised to see you take such an extreme position since I have previously seen you argue to expel people from Davis in Mass because of they have a point of view that differs from yours.

        1. Frankly

          I don’t mind at all if people live here with points of view different than mine.  In fact I celebrating having a lot of subjects for debate.

          But when they have Measure R and use it to pursue their selfish desires at  cost to the well-being of the community, then I say we should give them a full-paid cruse to somewhere else but one-way.

        2. Grok

          I dispute both of these points.

          cost to the well-being of the community

          The community is better for the many efforts of those that have opposed certain specific projects. For example. We just had an amazing celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Davis farmers market in Central Park. I remember well when that park was a gravel lot and people had to fight to save it from becoming a strip mall.

           their selfish desires

          Was creating central park and the home to the farmers market selfish or was it good for the whole community? I think there can be no doubt that it was good for the whole community.

      2. Eileen Samitz

        Mark West,

        Regarding your comments from 12:21pm (my apologies for the delay, but I just got home)

        1) What you are not responding to is that UCD certain has and will build on ag land when they want to. So please, with UCD owning 5,300 acres, we all know that have plenty of options to build on. UCD has the most land with the least amount of on-campus housing and there simply is no excuse for that.

        2) I agree that’s ok to increase our densities to the extent of how much and if it works. But it all needs to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and that the traffic can still work.

        3) It is pretty clear that you have not worked on many planning issues and you do not understand this issue.

        4) We are having this disagreement because you do not understand, nor seem to care, about the impacts on the City caused by UCD trying to continuing to neglect their responsibility to their students, and our community, to provide the on-campus housing that they promised our City almost three decades ago. UCD’s negligence is causing serious negative impacts on our City and that needs to stop.

        1. Mark West

          Eileen: “1) What you are not responding to is that UCD certain has and will build on ag land when they want to. So please, with UCD owning 5,300 acres, we all know that have plenty of options to build on. UCD has the most land with the least amount of on-campus housing and there simply is no excuse for that.”

          I responded, you just didn’t like my response. The University will build where it wants. Right now, it wants to build on fields near the core of campus. It does not matter how much land the University has, or if you think there are other sites that could be used for housing because the University has chosen to use that other land and those other sites for different purposes.

          “2) I agree that’s ok to increase our densities to the extent of how much and if it works. But it all needs to be compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and that the traffic can still work.”

          No, the surrounding neighborhoods need to adjust to the new reality of our necessity for greater land use efficiency. Greater densities and taller buildings are the results of our decisions to not expand the City’s borders.

          “3) It is pretty clear that you have not worked on many planning issues and you do not understand this issue.”

          I understand the issue just fine, thank you, but I appreciate your desire to educate. Perhaps someone else will benefit from your generosity.

          “4) We are having this disagreement because you do not understand, nor seem to care, about the impacts on the City caused by UCD trying to continuing to neglect their responsibility to their students, and our community, to provide the on-campus housing that they promised our City almost three decades ago. UCD’s negligence is causing serious negative impacts on our City and that needs to stop.”

          The City’s past poor decisions on housing are the cause of the City’s housing problems. The University’s decisions may have exacerbated some of those problems, but the core issue is our own failure to supply sufficient housing for our residents. Your continuing efforts to put the blame elsewhere does not help solve the problem, but, in fact, helps perpetuate it. Your negligence is causing serious negative impacts on our City and that needs to stop.

      3. Tia Will

        Frankly

        This is simply a battle between those privileged core area resident property owners that like the core area as their little retirement hamlet or else like having forced scarcity of property to keep their values high.”

        No more selfish than those developers who want to add 20-30 units in order to make more money for themselves and their investors all the while claiming that they are making a significant contribution to increasing density. Even you clearly stated that you did not consider Trackside to be a “significant” project. So please, enlighten me how providing housing for 20-30 already wealthy individuals or families in “luxury” apartments is going to significantly improve our housing situation.

    3. Misanthrop

      But if we did peripheral development in the city we could design it however the community sees fit. Too bad that Measure R thing gets in the way of Peripheral development around the city so instead you advocate for peripheral development on campus.

      1. Grok

        But if we did peripheral development in the city we could design it however the community sees fit.

        That’s just not true. Any development in Davis is dependent on developers submitting the proposals. UCD has far better ability to control the design process.

        1. Adam Smith

          Right again Grok.  And today, UCD wants to  build on Russell Fields, but you and Eileen don’t think they know best in that instance. What makes you think you’ll like what they choose to build as they build peripherally?

  10. Frankly

    So the NIMBYs and the downtown merchants and downtown landlords have worked together over the last several decades preventing peripheral commercial expansion to protect their core area hamlet, sales and property values.  And so EVERYBODY has to drive down Russell Blvd. or else Covel Blvd. and then eventually cut south, or from South Davis and to the north, to where the vast majority of the retail and much of the office infrastructure exists.

    And now the NIMBYs are back in action trying to prevent any housing density increases because it will cause more traffic.

    One of the great reasons to support peripheral commercial expansion is to reduce the congestion from everyone in town having to drive downtown for their retail and office location.

    You cannot have it both ways.

    The NIMBYs don’t seem to get this.  They seem to unable to process any vision of the future due to their fear of change.  And as is always that case of people so afflicted, they end up creating a much bigger mess.

    The retail is leaving the downtown and most of them are just closing down or moving to other communities where the rents are less and their business actually pencils out.

    The traffic gets worse even without any densification because the university is growing and more people are congesting into an area that remains the same.

    I will never understand these core area NIMBY people.  They really seem beyond foolish.  They don’t live on the periphery but they reject peripheral development.  They use the argument that they like Davis small and condensed.  But then they reject attempts to add density to the core area too claiming that the traffic will be worse.

    These people are out of control.  They consistently prove that they are irrational and incapable of accepting any change.  They are foolish, and in fact destructive forces within our community.

    And we give them Measure R.

    So we are also fools.

    1. Grok

      And now the NIMBYs are back in action trying to prevent any housing density increases because it will cause more traffic.

      Frankly, you must not be even reading other peoples posts anymore because people seem to be arguing for increasing housing density on Campus – just not at Russell fields.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Adam Smith,

          Not sure what you are talking about. I am saying that UCD needs to build much more on-campus high density housing. Are you trying to say that this is peripheral development? If so, you have got to be kidding…

        2. Adam Smith

          Eileen –

          In what way is placing housing on farmland on the periphery of the university land not peripheral development?    The Russell Field tract would be infill.  But west of West Village…..it’s peripheral.

          I’m not opposed to it…just making an observation.
           

           

    2. Misanthrop

      Its pretty simple Frankly. Many of these people think that more people are bad. They drank the Paul Ehrlich/ E.F. Schumacher Kool-aid from the 70’s. They aren’t interested in UCD fulfilling its mission to help those who would help themselves. Especially if it means giving up anything they hold dear in their lifestyle. They think they can hold back the tide of humanity if we don’t grow and that Davis should remain a town designed for when the world had only 5 billion or 4 billion people. They closed the gate behind them when they got homes and demanded that anyone who came after them be granted fewer resources.  They are afraid of newcomers while they age in place as the median age of homeowners makes the City of Davis a senior community because lack of supply has driven up prices so that most young people can’t afford to buy here. The sad part is that their biggest impact is to increase commute miles while they demand Platinum level bike and energy efficiency. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Misanthrop,

        Quite the contrary, many of us are simply asking for UCD to fulfill the “mission” they committed to almost three decades ago agreeing to build on-campus housing that would not impose impacts caused by UCD on our City for the university’s housing needs.

        So UCD needs to fulfill its mission to help itself, and its students, and its promises to our City many years ago by building much more high density housing on-campus, which UCD is capable of doing like other California universities have done, and are continuing to do.

         

        1. Misanthrop

          Eileen you are smarter than the average bear and have always had an ace up your sleeve. You were against Covell Village but for Cannery a smart position since Cannery was inside the city and there would be little that could stop it. Now you want to get UC to step up and therefore there is no reason for the city to grow.

          But here is the problem, Davis is literally thousands of beds short just for the students, not to mention all the others who would live here if we added enough supply to balance the market. Both UC and the City are a generation behind in housing development so while you claim that you are being reasonable by insisting UC address its housing problem you are keeping the city’s’ market imbalance in place by refusing to support the massive amount of new housing that the city needs because of the lack of construction since the imposition of Measure J. All the while its a sellers rental market and the renters are getting treated like dirt. Standing in the way of city growth only extends the timeline to fixing the shortage and extends the suffering of the 2/3 of the population in Davis that rents.

        2. Grok

          Misanthrope, it is absolutely inappropriate to blame Eileen for the fact that UCD has built the least housing for its students of Any UC and that there is a housing shortage across the state of California. Now UCD is proposing to bring thousands of additional students without providing adequate housing for them and Eileen is willing to stand up to them and say enough is enough, do your share. If you really care about solving the student housing shortage in Davis you would join her efforts rather than belittle them.

        3. Matt Williams

          Eileen Samitz said . . . “many of us are simply asking for UCD to fulfill the “mission” they committed to almost three decades ago agreeing to build on-campus housing that would not impose impacts caused by UCD on our City for the university’s housing needs.

          So UCD needs to fulfill its mission to help itself, and its students, and its promises to our City many years ago by building much more high density housing on-campus, which UCD is capable of doing like other California universities have done, and are continuing to do.”

          I personally do not feel it is unreasonable to ask UCD to do any of that.  I believe Eileen and her supporters are doing the community a service by asking and re-asking UCD to step up and do its part . . . and if UCD actually does what it has most recently said it will do, then that is a major step in the right direction, but I also believe that UCD’s most recent commitment only covers a fraction of the community need for multi-family and senior housing.

          It is a both/and situation.

        4. South of Davis

          Grok wrote:

          > Misanthrope, it is absolutely inappropriate to blame Eileen for the

          > fact that UCD has built the least housing for its students 

          Davis does not “just” have a housing crisis for “students” it is even HARDER for a “family with kids” to find a nice rental home, condo or apartment…

        5. Grok

          Davis does not “just” have a housing crisis for “students” it is even HARDER for a “family with kids” to find a nice rental home, condo or apartment – SOD

          Agreed. The University has made the problem worse by taking out master leases on 3 apartment complexes in town thus making them student only. UCD trails all other UCs in providing housing to its students and needs to do better.

  11. Misanthrop

    Weird article. You are against peripheral development except by the University and for infill densification except by the University. You are for preserving Class I soils except by the University. I think you need to come up with some sort of consistent position.

    1. quielo

      While I am new to this discussion it seems there is an interest in supporting the historic core which leads to opposing to many retailers yet it seems the best way to support downtown is to bring people into proximity. Building the hotels next to downtown, building student housing in proximity is also good for downtown. I don’t see sending students out to the west village is supporting the core.

      1. Grok

        West Village is a very pleasant 1.5 mile bike ride across campus to downtown. That is really quite reasonable.

        One of the best things that could be done for downtown is build parking with pedestrian access over or under the rail line to down town on the proposed Lincoln 40 lot on Olive Dr.

  12. JosephBiello

    I think Davis is in for a big shock as the university increases in size over the next decade.  It seems that Davisites (and, unusual for Mr. Greenwald, he too)  is thinking small on this issue.  These new dorms on Russell look like a great solution, and won’t increase automobile traffic COMPARED to the amount of increase you will see if the increasing student population is spread around town.

    I’m sorry to say, but with the university offering a solution, Davis residents have to start saying, “yes, and….” offer more suggestions.  Yes, build on those fields (since they are close to core campus, downtown and the MU),  and continue building in West Village…. and open up West Village to Russell at Arthur…. and get higher density housing at Solano and Orchard parks…. and, let’s put some speed bumps on Miller and A st (like Oak) …. and, maybe College park should have access from 8th, not Russell.

    The aesthetic charm of a large grass field in that location is not going to cut it as an argument to stop housing there.    It is all so much NIMBY that even a cautious resident like myself no longer believes any of these arguments against development.

     

    1. HouseFlipper

      Quite the contrary JB. The folks arguing for the Russell fields seem to recognize that with increased numbers of students on campus, the University needs to think bigger and build taller. The Russell fields need to be saved because with more students there will also be an increased demand for athletic fields.

        1. Mark West

          My Dad, Uncle and a couple of their friends all camped along Putah creek for a year while they were undergraduates, hitchhiking into town every day. They couldn’t afford/find a place in town so did what they needed. Different era, similar problems. Davis doesn’t really change.

      1. JosephBiello

        HF,   it is not for Davis residents to decide where IM sports should be.   I agree with building taller – but there is no real compelling reason to save Russell Fields.  “IM sports” is not a compelling reason, there are other locations.

        Looking from Campus to town, those fields are a really prime location for housing – close to downtown, unlike West Village.   Walkable to downtown unlike anything east of LaRue.

        The arguments against this housing are grasping at straws.  I empathize with NIMBY, I really do, but NIMBY is not enough of a good reason to continually stop development in this town – and now at the university.

        1. Grok

          JB – Nice try but I am pretty sure no one posting in opposition to building on Russell fields on this article lives in the neighborhood. Please keep your attempted insults to yourself.

    2. Eileen Samitz

      JosephBiello,

      I would have to say that it is UCD that needs to stop thinking small. UCD needs to build the on-campus housing to support the needs of their students and to follow through with the promises made to our City to provide on-campus housing needed for their growth. With more than 5,300 acres, there are plenty of other on-campus site other than paving over the Russell and Howard greenfields.

      1. Biddlin

        But you don’t have any standing to dictate what UCD builds or needs. You ceded any influence in the conversation years ago with continuing resistance to growth. I don’t quite get why you think you should have any say in this?

        1. Grok

          You ceded any influence in the conversation years ago with continuing resistance to growth.

          These lies about Eileen are really getting old. just look at Don and Eileen’s posts yesterday detailing all of the developments she has supported.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Biddlin,

          This is about UCD building the on-campus housing they have committed to, to our City and to their own students. It is UCD resisting growth on-campus, and I am not understanding why you are not concerned about that.

          Regarding your second point, since UCD’s negligence to build on-campus housing for its own needs is impacting our community, it give me and our entire community the right to speak up.

        3. Biddlin

          ” With more than 5,300 acres, there are plenty of other on-campus site other than paving over the Russell and Howard greenfields.”

          You can’t dictate terms on their land.

          “…it give me and our entire community the right to speak up…”

          You have the right to speak up, but don’t expect to be listened to. The city of Davis christened and launched this ship with its failure to grow with the times. Cities, like mine, are the beneficiaries of the university’s growth and your city’s intransigence. Thank you for that.

        4. South of Davis

          Eileen wrote:

          > It is UCD resisting growth on-campus

          Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that UCD wants to build on campus and it is Eileen and others that are “resisting” the “growth on-campus”.

        5. Ron

          SouthofDavis:  “Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that UCD wants to build on campus and it is Eileen and others that are “resisting” the “growth on-campus”.

          I think you know better than that.  Eileen is a leader in the effort to encourage the University to build more housing on campus.  Encouraging the University to save Russell Fields does not take away from that fact.

          Seems like some of you are against housing on campus, and are trying to “goad” Eileen and others into responding, using whatever arguments you can think of.

          It’s unfortunate that those who support more housing on campus (such as Eileen) have to take on the dual challenges of convincing the University to assume responsibility and costs of providing housing, while also fighting those who (for whatever reason) are opposed to the effort.

          I’d suggest to Eileen that it’s not worth her time to respond further to those who simply oppose the effort to encourage on-campus housing, and are looking for arguments instead.  It’s time to move on.

        6. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “I think you know better than that.  Eileen is a leader in the effort to encourage the University to build more housing on campus.  Encouraging the University to save Russell Fields does not take away from that fact.”

          Biddlin, I personally agree with Ron’s comment above.  I believe Eileen’s thorough illumination of her belief that UCD has 5,000 available acres to build on tells her that there are many, many alternatives for UCD other than Russell.  Therefore, her argument that Russell should be pulled off the table doesn’t damage the buildability of any of the other 4,900 “available” UCD acres.  Whether you agree or disagree with that argument, it does make logical sense in the reality that Eileen has consistently argued for . . . specifically that UCD should build, build, build.

      2. Grok

        The city of Davis christened and launched this ship with its failure to grow with the times. – Biddlin

        You completely ignore that UCD owns the least student housing of any UC and even though they have increased the amount of planned housing their Long Range Development Plan is to fall further behind.

      3. JosephBiello

        Eileen – this site is walkable to downtown.   Other than Solano Park – and Nishi, there is no other such site.

        I could argue that the “greenfields” as aesthetically unpleasing as the 40 foot of grass that separates most houses from the street.  They serve people, sure, but not enough to justify their existence.    Don’t you see that there is no real “entrance to the university” from the city side?  The university looks in on itself from Russell, from 1st St…. the entrance from Hutchison is purely utilitarian (with a parking garage welcoming you to campus.   The entrance from College park is a bus stop.

        Those 5300 acres are most West of 113 and, (please correct me if I’m wrong) residents near West Village fought access to west village from Russell – thereby secluding that property even further from the city.

        NIMBY.    But, I would submit to you that the traffic will not be bad from that development (if it ever gets built) nor will the aesthetics.

         

         

         

        1. Grok

          JB – Take your NIMBY insults elsewhere Eileen lives no where near Russell fields.

          The value you place on walking to downtown is the same reason these fields are valuable as is – they are central to student life in the middle of campus. The whole campus benefits from the fields as they are now. If 1,000 apartments are built it will really only benefit those relatively few students.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          JoshephBiello,

          Walk-ability to downtown is not really a necessity since students generally ride their bikes from all over town to get from town to the campus, and to the downtown. So it really is not compelling reason to pave over the Russell and Howard fields.

          These fields act as a green buffer as well as an inviting entry to the UCD campus from the (north) City side of the campus. Between the “tunnel” effect of solid urban walls and the traffic impacts that would result if high-rises were put there, and the obvious enjoyment and use of these fields for the students to recreate, the Russell and Howard fields should not be paved over.

          The issue of West Village was primarily due to UCD wanting to connect West Village with Russell Blvd. which would have imposed significant traffic impacts. But that got resolved when UCD agreed to not make that connection.

      1. Matt Williams

        I agree 100% Grok.  Building only 3 stories is a very inefficient use of land.  In the graphic you posted earlier (see http://campustomorrow.ucdavis.edu/app_pages/view/85) the teal-colored location marked as “Academic” would be an ideal location for a high rise dorm as tall or taller than Sproul Hall.  It is a perfect location for pedestrian access to both the UCD Quad and all the Downtown Davis businesses.   The Academic building could be located at a whole litany of other locations on campus . . . especially one of the locations where “temporary” Surge buildings currently exist.

  13. Ron

    First, let’s acknowledge and appreciate the fact that the University is starting to assume greater responsibility to accommodate its own growth plans.  (It’s easy to lose sight of this fact, when specific locations are discussed.)

    However, it’s a mistake to characterize the location of campus housing as something that only affects a particular neighborhood.  Russell is already congested, and any proposed development on that busy corridor will impact all residents.  And yes, Russell Fields provide a much-appreciated, attractive amenity in an already-dense area for students, faculty, and other nearby residents.

    I understand that other areas for housing on campus would have fewer impacts on the city, and would preserve a much-appreciated amenity.

     

    1. Don Shor

      I understand that other areas for housing on campus would have fewer impacts on the city

      Actually, it would probably just move the congestion to some other street.

      1. Ron

        Don:  “Actually, it would probably just move the congestion to some other street.”

        I understand that West Village, for example, does not connect to Russell, is adjacent to Highway 113, and is not nearly as congested.  Not sure about the impact of other locations proposed for housing on campus.  (In any case, no other locations would require the reduction of Russell Fields.)

        1. quielo

          It’s well located if you want the students to shop in Woodland instead of Davis. They can get on the 113 @ Hutchison and drive to Woodland or Dixon faster they can get to get downtown.

        2. Ron

          quielo:

          I understand the point, but not sure that it will make much difference.  (Especially when compared with the reduction of Russell Fields, and impact on traffic in a congested area.)

          Actually, if traffic gets much worse along Russell, that could also reduce visits (and commerce) within the downtown area.

          In any case, I think the “bigger” news is that the University is responding.  Not sure why some (pro-development types) are so “worked up” about an effort to preserve an amenity, and to locate housing where it has fewer impacts on all residents.

          I hope to stay out of this dispute.

        3. Don Shor

          West Village connects to Hutchison, which connects to Russell. There is no location where you will house thousands of students that will not have a traffic impact.
          Bottom line: any growth anywhere increases traffic somewhere. Push people out of town, you increase the traffic at Richards Blvd. Build along Russell, you increase traffic there. Build in West Village you increase traffic onto Hutchison, then onto Russell.
          Growth always increases traffic. The only question is how that traffic is going to be distributed. The voters chose not to approve housing at Nishi, and much of the objection was due to traffic increase there. People don’t want Sterling Apts. because it will increase traffic down Fifth Street.
          Yet if those folks are living out of town, and more will have to, where will they drive in to Davis from? Where will they enter? Where will that congestion occur?
          The university is going to increase enrollment. So the question is which streets and neighborhoods are going to bear the brunt of that?

  14. Tia Will

    Frankly

    But when they have Measure R and use it to pursue their selfish desires at  cost to the well-being of the community, then I say we should give them a full-paid cruse to somewhere else but one-way.”

    What I am wondering is why you do not seem to feel the same way about those who “selfishly” want to maintain more of their own disposable income instead of being willing to pay more in the form of taxes at the cost of the “well being of the community.

    1. Misanthrop

      Speaking for myself, more taxes to subsidize the lifestyle of those opposed to generating revenue through growth is a non-starter for more. The last sales tax increase was supposed to be a bridge to more economic growth but, at the rate we are going, it will expire before anything close to increasing revenue enough to make a difference gets built.

    2. Frankly

      Why would I pay more taxes… or more importantly why would any family in Davis pay more taxes… just so you don’t have to deal with acceptance of organic, natural and beneficial change.   How about this… I will help pay for your therapy that will help you better cope with this organic, natural and beneficial change.  At least then it would be an investment in positive improvement.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Misanthrop and Frankly,

        Come on you guys…you are so over the top at this point. None of what you are saying is true, nor what Tia was talking about.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Misanthrop and Frankly,

          I just read my post and realized it may not be clear. What I was saying was that none of what you guys were saying was true, including how you were trying to “spin” what Tia was saying.

      2. Frankly

        Talk about over the top.

        What does Davis lack that other comparable cities lack?

        Certainly not a local rate of taxation?

        It lacks commercial space.  It lacks rental housing.  And it has a huge oversupply of NIMBYs.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Frankly,

          We have an under-supply of UCD on-campus housing.

          What do we lack? What about recruiting a Sears store to sell appliances which I have been complaining about for years, yet nothing was done by the City to pursue it. Sears was interested in coming here to have a small store like Woodland at one time. Imagine the sales tax from the sales of appliances that would help our City’s fiscal situation?

          How about the City helping to pursue more complimentary retail instead of duplication to bring in what we don;t have , rather than knocking out an existing business?

          Regarding the Nimby issue Frankly, the biggest NIMBY is UCD, not Davis folks.

        2. Matt Williams

          Eileen, Sears had a retail appliance store in Davis for well over a decade in the El Macero Shopping Center.  Sears decided to close that store in 2006.  Each year Sears saw decreased revenues from the products and services they offered . . . sale and repair of appliances.  They also accepted returns of products purchased at any Sears location.  Their declining revenues were happening even before the Great Recession hit.

        3. Misanthrop

          Or a Ross. Remenber Ross. Eileen didn’t you oppose Ross?

          I really don’t see opposing extension of a tax that was put in as a bridge to economic development when there has been no economic development as over the top. I think its fair to say that taxing ourselves to make up the shortfall caused by lack of economic development subsidizes and allows a political perspective I disagree with to persist without consequence.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Actually the complaint is abou the location, not building the housing. My sources are now telling me that this proposal will come off the table.

        4. Biddlin

          “Actually the complaint is abou the location, not building the housing. My sources are now telling me that this proposal will come off the table.”

          And the complaint for the next location?  Does your sense of entitlement know no bounds?

        5. Grok

          And the complaint for the next location?   – Bidlin

          There has been nothing but full throated advocacy expressed on this blog page for building, and even building bigger at all other currently proposed locations on campus.

          Does your sense of entitlement know no bounds?   – Bidlin

          What are you even talking about?

           

    3. Mark West

      Tia: “why you do not seem to feel the same way about those who “selfishly” want to maintain more of their own disposable income instead of being willing to pay more in the form of taxes…”

      Why should anyone be expected to pay more in taxes just so you do not have to deal with more of ‘those pesky humans’ moving into town, living in your neighborhood, walking on your sidewalks and breathing your air? You have used your disposable income to acquire a ‘quality of life’ that you now seem to believe you deserve to keep, regardless of how that effort impacts those around you.

      We all live in Davis, not ‘Tia-land’, and our decisions should be made based on the needs of all those who live here, not just those who have the disposable income to live beyond their needs.

        1. South of Davis

          Eileen wrote:

          > You are over-the-line as well with your condescension.

          Looking at just numbers the average Davis home has gone up in value by about $200K in the last five years (over $3K/month).

          Now that most retired Davis residents that still have a mortgage can rent a room to cover their mortgage “and” annual property taxes it makes since why many would not want any more housing built (more students = more demand and with no supply you get “more money”)…

      1. Grok

        Like I raised earleir. What is it that motivates Mark West to get so worked up that he is willing to be so rude to other commenters while advocating for the destruction of these fantastic beloved resources to the community at Russell Fields.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          South of Davis,

          Just to confirm, I am not renting any rooms out in my very small town house. I really can’t believe your condescending comment, or even trying to go there…cripes…

        2. Matt Williams

          Grok, my personal belief is that while the details of their respective positions are radically different, Roberta (driven by, amongst other things, her principles regarding preservation of open space) and Mark (driven by, amongst other things, his principles about our generation not leaving massive unpaid public sector debt for our children’s and grandchildren’s generations) are remarkably similar in their willingness to fight passionately for their principles.  Everything that I know about both of them causes me to see each of them as unselfish/altruistic.

        3. South of Davis

          Eileen wrote:

          > Just to confirm, I am not renting any rooms out in

          > my very small town house. I really can’t believe

          > your condescending comment

          I did not say you were renting out rooms, but I know many other people that “are” renting out rooms (who are happy about the no growth votes) and even more that have been logging on to Zillow and giving a high five to their spouse when their modest little Davis home goes up in value by another $20K.  Most of the people I talk to are not in to “saving farmland” and will come right out and say they are voting No and Nishi (or anything else that will stop development to “keep their home values going higher and higher”)…

  15. Eileen Samitz

    Adam Smith and Matt Williams,

     

    Adam Smith
    September 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Eileen –

    In what way is placing housing on farmland on the periphery of the university land not peripheral development?    The Russell Field tract would be infill.  But west of West Village…..it’s peripheral.

    I’m not opposed to it…just making an observation.

    Report comment
    Matt Williams
    September 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Eileen, I would make a similar observation to Adam.  Do you define West Village as infill?

    I think that any building on campus has nothing to do with “infill or peripheral” growth since UCD is not in the City. Furthermore, UCD needs to provide the on-campus housing as they have promised for almost three decades. UCD needs to stop neglecting their responsibilities and commitments and trying to continue to defer their housing needs onto our City. It is unfair to their students and unfair to our community.

    1. Grok

      UCD is the one bring in all of the additional students.

      UCD is the school that owns the least student housing of all of the UCs.

      It is Time UCD steps up and builds housing. They are already proposing to build housing in West Village. What we are saying is they should build taller and house more students like the other UCs are doing.

      1. Adam Smith

        I am glad that UCD is contemplating adding housing.  I simply pointed out that this is highly dense, peripheral building.    I don’t think there is any other way to classify it.   You and Eileen appear to be very defensive about having pointed out.   I don’t understand why.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Adam Smith,

          What UCD is “contemplating” is not dense enough and not peripheral. In the case of the Russell and Howard fields, it is simply the wrong location for a number of reasons. UCD is not in the City so the “peripheral” spin a few of you pro-growth guys are so interestingly trying to spin (which looks to be a rather co-ordinated effort) is technically and legally incorrect. Nothing defensive, just trying to keep the conversation honest, and not “spinning off” somewhere.

        2. Matt Williams

          Eileen, can you provide a link to (or the text of) the citation for your assertion that either the use of peripheral by Adam or the use of infill by me is “legally or technically incorrect.”

        3. South of Davis

          Eileen wrote:

          > What UCD is “contemplating” is not dense enough

          I’m wondering if Eileen would be OK with UCD buying Nishi and building 5,000 units on the site (would that be “dense enough”).

          >  the “peripheral” spin a few of you pro-growth guys

          > are so interestingly trying to spin (which looks to

          > be a rather co-ordinated effort) is technically and

          > legally incorrect.

          I don’t care if UCD or the city of Davis ever build another building, so I am not “pro-growth” (I also don’t care if UCD and the city start building tomorrow so I am not “anti-growth”).  I think I have a pretty good grasp of the terms peripheral and infill and I have not noticed anyone using them in a way I would call “technically and legally incorrect” like Matt I would be interested in a link to the technical and/or legal source with the proper use of the terms.

    2. ryankelly

      Really? It is not peripheral because it is not in the City?  Do you also feel that ag land owned by the University is different than ag land bordering on the City? It seems like “no growth”  for the City has become a habit – an automatic response – rather than a thought out philosophy.

       

      1. Eileen Samitz

        ryankelly,

        Yes, really. Ag land owned by the university is different than ag bordering the City. It it seems like you are implying that it is better for the City deal with using ag land near the City for UCD’s housing needs, rather than UCD using any of its more than 5,300 acres of land to deal with its own housing needs which it has been neglecting for almost three decades.

        Oh yes, but let’s remember that UCD is currently building yet a new multi-million dollar music recital center and a new art center on UCD’s ag land, rather than the needed on-campus housing for their students.

        1. ryankelly

          Neither the music recital hall, nor the art museum is being built on ag land.  Older buildings were torn down to make room for the music recital hall and the Art museum was a parking lot prior.

          This reminds me of the strategy you used to campaign against Nugget and the KDVS radio tower. Both have turned out to be valued assets to the community.

        2. Don Shor

          So I’m curious. If UCD doesn’t agree to any more housing than they’ve promised recently, what then? Their current verbal promise is that they will commit to house 90% of their new enrollment going forward. What if they decline to provide any more housing than that?

    3. Matt Williams

      I understand your perspective Eileen, but that doesn’t answer the question of whether West Village was (or was not) infill.  Wikipedia describes infill as follows.

      In urban planning, infill is the rededication of land in an urban environment, usually open space, to new construction. Infill also applies within an urban polity (a group of people that are collectively united by a self-reflected cohesive force such as identity or community), to construction on any undeveloped land that is not on the urban margin. The slightly broader term “land-recycling” is sometimes used instead. Infill has been promoted as an economical use of existing infrastructure and a remedy for urban sprawl.

      When I look at West Village, I don’t see a single aspect of the Wikipedia description of infill that West Village meets. Further, the community of Davis clearly does include the University and El Macero and Patwin and Binning Ranch and North Davis Meadows . . . all one has to do is look at the DJUSD borders to know that is true.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Matt and ryankelly,

        FYI

        Definition of “infill development” from the City of Davis General Plan:

        “Urban development or redevelopment on vacant or “underutilized” urban-designated land within a city’s boundaries, consistent with City policies, as an alternative to accommodating growth through expansions of City boundaries.”

        I mean, come on guys, this information is not hard to find..

         

         

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Matt,

          Wow, so are you saying that you are not willing to accept our General Plan’s definition? I believe that you have claimed that you have read the General Plan, and since you are a recent Davis resident after living in the County for a while (in El Macero) yet you tried  running for City Council, I find your response a bit concerning which seems to demean our City’s definition of “infill”. After all, you could have easily found our City’s definition before trying to challenge me with “Wikipedia”. So why aren’t you willing to accept our citizen-based General Plan Matt?

        2. hpierce

          Eileen/Matt… “snottiness alert”… you are both better than that… Eileen, the El Macero crack was particularly ‘cheap’… you are better than that!

          Matt and Eileen really care about the entire community, in my experience… although I have had significant disagreements in views with both… grow up!  Watch the words… I can say that as I know I’ve forgotten/ignored that myself… too often…

        3. Matt Williams

          The simple answer to your question Eileen is “Yes, that is exactly what I am saying”  Additionally, neither you nor the citizen-based General Plan itself use the restrictive “City Limits Only” definition of Davis that such a definition of Infill presumes.  The General Plan defines a Davis Planning Area that is well beyond the current City Limits.  You and I actively support Measure J/R, and that defines an affected area that is well beyond the current City Limits.  You have often voiced your support for the Pass Through Agreement, and that defines an affected area that is well beyond the current City Limits.  You care greatly about the Davis School District and that defines an affected area that is well beyond the current City Limits.  You were an active participant in the community discussions about the Davis Water District and the surface water plant, and that is well beyond the current City Limits.   Most importantly you define the footprint of the Davis housing issues as extending well beyond the current City Limits, as evidenced by the fact that you are weighing in on this issue that exists outside those City Limits.

          Bottom-line, your defining “infill” and “peripheral” based on a standard that is different from the other half dozen standards you apply to Davis, is nothing more or less than an arbitrary “position” that is helpful to the political argument you believe in with your heart and your soul.

        4. Eileen Samitz

          Matt,

          Bottom-line, your defining “infill” and “peripheral” based on a standard that is different from the other half dozen standards you apply to Davis, is nothing more or less than an arbitrary “position” that is helpful to the political argument you believe in with your heart and your soul.

          Bottom line: Sorry, but this is not “my” definition, it is the technical definition you asked me for versus your “Wikipedia”definition which is not an authoritative source is it? You often try to make assertive  comments that are simply not correct. I am sorry if raising the issue that you ran for City Council is considered “a bit sensitive” but I referenced it since this is part of your claim to have “read” the General Plan. It is pretty clear that you did not, or not in enough detail, because this is the first place (not Wikipedia) you should have looked for this definition before challenging me on it.

          And no, I do not agree with your desired or invented definitions of “infill” or “peripheral”.

          jpierce, I appreciate your “snottiness alert” and I know it is coming from a well intended place, but  I am a little tired of “crapshoot” challenges.

        5. Matt Williams

          Eileen, what I hear when I read your words is that you are arguing for a localist perspective on planning definitions versus a more universalist perspective.

          I am willing to accept your referencing the words of the General Plan with respect to local City of Davis jurisdiction (within the boundaries of the City of Davis City Limits).  Those words are what they are . . . both in terms of both scope and limitations.  In fact, what you appear to be arguing is that the City’s definitions apply within the city, and non-City definitions apply outside the city.  It is possible that those definitions are the same, but it is also possible that they are not.  The Yolo County General Plan definitions will be interesting to read.  I will chase them down sometime tomorrow.

          With that said, I accept the gauntlet that you have thrown down vis-a-vis the limitations of Wikipedia, so I will be contacting on Monday the American Planning Association to get them to send me the official definitions of “infill” and “peripheral development” they use in their American Institute of Certified Planners APA’s professional institute that provides the definitive nationwide, independent verification of planners’ qualifications. I expect the APA will also be able to point me to other organizations’ respective definitions.  I’ll keep you posted on what they say.

          Have a great weekend.

        6. Eileen Samitz

          My apologies for posting in a location before Matt’s 4:42 pm posting, but apparently there are limitations on how many responses can be posted in some of these threads.

          Matt,

          You are welcome to research the definition of “infill” all you want. What matters is our City’s definition, which apparently, is what I explained it is, not what you wanted it to be. So while “loyalists” (as you describe me) abide by how our General Plan reads, you can do all the research you want to see how infill may or may not be defined elsewhere. But what matters is what our City General Plan says for Davis, and it is, what it is…

          Have a good weekend.

           

        7. Matt Williams

          Eileen, given that you are restricting our land use term definitions to within the City Limits, does that mean the jurisdictions outside our City Limits have that same discretionary latitude?  If your answer to that question is “yes” then what right do the people who live within the Davis City Limits have regarding the jurisdictions they do not live in?  If your answer to that question is “no” then how do you explain that double standard?

        8. Matt Williams

          Eileen Samitz said . . . “which apparently, is what I explained it is, not what you wanted it to be.”

          The definition of technical/legal terms is not something that warrants a “want.”  They are what they are.  Wanting them to be something is a futile effort given the fact that their formal, official, legal definition is established by the professional organization with the appropriate expertise.  For example, we can want certain medical terms to mean all sorts of things but the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) establishes the correct meaning of medical diagnostic terms, and the American Medical Association establishes the correct meaning for procedural terms.

          Our local application of land use terms is dialectic….edited
          [moderator] edited to remove word that oddly triggered the filter

        9. Grok

          Matt and Eileen, I think the two of you are talking past each other as you argue over the application of definitions. You guys should start over at the beginning, in person and see if you cant come to some agreement. I think there are some fundamental misunderstandings between the 2 of you on this that may not actually be disagreements.

  16. Edison

    Sorry for the late comment 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 that 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 capital.  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 budgets 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 and UC Irvine.  UCD should expand its horizons and embrace this innovative way of providing on-campus housing.  ACC has been able to build innovative, student-friendly housing on difficult parcels at many campuses.  There’s no need for UCD to continue tearing at the vital community fabric of Davis by evicting students into our community after freshman year.  A campus that claims to be innovative and cutting edge should take a hint from other universities that are in the forefront in this regard.

    1. Ron

      Edison:

      Once again, thank you for this informative comment regarding “how” Universities can ensure that appropriate housing is built on campus.

      Seems like the usual crowd of naysayers is attempting to deflect the conversation away from the topic of this article.  I suspect that this will continue.

       

    2. Jim Frame

      I’m under the impression that some form of this model has been in use at UCD for almost 20 years, starting with the La Rue housing.  I believe the West Village apartments were also capitalized by private interests.

      1. Grok

        Jim, I believe your right, but the difference is in scale. For example UCD has made arrangements with Tandem to build 2 and 3 story wood frame apartments on campus. American Campus Communities builds up to 20 story high-rises on other campuses. I think what Edison is suggesting is it is time for UCD to graduate to a bigger more capable company.

    3. Matt Williams

      Edison, how is what American Campus Communities is doing any different from what Carmel Partners is doing at West Village, or Sterling University Housing is doing across the nation?

  17. ryankelly

    Eileen, your message that the University should build more housing for its students and repeated statement that it has 5,000 acres where it can build seems to be your default, go-to message.    No one is spinning anything.  The City also has land on the periphery of the City that has landowners willing to build.  Ownership matters not.  So your opposition to the University’s interest in maintaining a compact footprint and use available land on the core campus before expanding into ag land defies logic.  What’s good for the City, doesn’t seem to be good for the University according to you.  Pressuring the University to build housing that will force people into their cars, put families with young children into high rise buildings, and maintain turf fields for the benefit of neighborhoods bordering the University is over reach on your part.

    1. Eileen Samitz

      ryankelly,

      Ownership does matter. It is astonishing that you would make such an incorrect statement. And you are clearly trying to “spin” which now makes me wonder why. Do you have a relationship with the university or any developers in an advocacy role?

      To respond to your other mis-statements, I am in support of UCD building high density housing on its land to reduce the amount of whatever land it needs to build the on-campus housing needed for its students. This way less land would be used to house all of the UCD students needing to be housed. And with UCD providing this housing on-campus for its own needs, like so many other California universities are doing, would avoid the commuting needs and reduce the local carbon footprint.

      ryankelly: Pressuring the University to build housing that will force people into their cars, put families with young children into high rise buildings,

      Your comment makes no sense because UCD building on-campus housing would take people out of their cars since they would not need to commute to and from the campus.

      Also, are you trying to say that high density housing is not ok for families and children? Seriously?

       

      1. South of Davis

        Eileen wrote:

        > are you trying to say that high density housing is not

        > ok for families and children? Seriously?

        Most (but not all) families with kids and pets want a back yard and don’t want to live on the 8th floor of an apartment building (getting in to the elevator with Fido every time he needs to go to the bathroom is not fun)…

        1. Grok

          SOD you need a better hobby. Spending your day trying to bash Eileen can’t possibly be that fulfilling. Pets are not even allowed in UCD student housing so you clearly have no idea what you are even talking about. Maybe you should get a TV so you can yell at one of the 24 hour news channels.

           

      2. ryankelly

        Unless the University plans to build a shopping center Southwest of the core campus, people will likely drive into town or to Dixon to shop for groceries,etc.  The Davis General Plan encouraged grocery stores within walking distance for this reason.

        What I said was that you are encouraging high-rise buildings for families and children, not high-density housing.  When you disparage people, you should at least understand what you are disparaging them for.  High rise buildings are not healthy for young children and their parents. Seriously.

        I looked over all of your posts here.  With each post, you seem to include a jab or an insult.  You don’t call people “idiots” outright or tell people to “get a clue,” but you seem to imply this almost every time.  You are not the person who decides.  You have your own understanding and your own opinion, but it is not the only one.

        1. Grok

          RKelley, It is unclear who you are talking to.

          In regards to Highrise housing for married student housing, there is a lot of uncertainty as to just what the Universities plans are for this. Don’t assume just because Orchard Park was previously Married student housing that it will be again.

          having lived in married student housing that was 30 stories tall myself I have to say there are pros and cons. A huge pro was that there was a preschool and child care within the building.

    2. Grok

      Ryankelly, your wrong on so many counts:

       Pressuring the University to build housing that will force people into their cars,

      there is no place that is being proposed for housing that will force people into their cars. Westvillage is 1.5 miles from Downtown. I bike the route regularly and it takes longer to drive it.

      put families with young children into high rise buildings,

      Families with Children have been housed in some of the oldest housing on campus. New higher rise apartments will be much safer and have better amenities. Having families together like this also helps build in a network of community support for the families. Just ask any of the many families that have lived in Solano and Orchard Park. Building taller will allow there to be more open space and play areas for the kids.

      and maintain turf fields for the benefit of neighborhoods bordering the University

      These fields are a benefit to the students first and foremost. Their central location makes them accessible more accessible to the Majority of students.

  18. Roberta Millstein

    Why the intersection at College Park/Howard and Russell is busy and dangerous:

    Cars heading east and making a right turn onto Howard compete with cyclists and pedestrians crossing east to get from one part of the Russell bike path to another.  Some are careful, some are not.

    Cars heading north on Howard and making a right turn onto Russell compete with cyclists and pedestrians crossing Russell.  Some are careful, some are not.

    I’ve frequently seen traffic back up to Oak and traffic back up to A, making both of those intersections busier and more dangerous as well.  Plus, the longer people wait at the light (the more cycles they have to wait through), the more impatient they get and the more inclined they are to “go for it.”

    Note that this all has very little to do with traffic from College Park and the residents there.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Don Shor, not all traffic leaving the West Village goes onto Russell.  Some goes north or south on 113, or LaRue to Old Davis Road.  In contrast, the apartments on Russell fields would have no choice but to turn onto Russell.  And again, this is the more problematic (turning) traffic.

        Ryankelly, if you think improved signaling is a panacea, then you haven’t spent much time at the intersection at Russell and Sycamore (I assume that that is the sort of improved signaling you mean).

      1. Grok

        Upgrades to signaling would be great no matter what happens on the fields. There is no need to make the situation worse at the intersection and destroy a valuable beloved resource by building apartments there.

      2. Eileen Samitz

        ryankelly,

        Please do not mis-represent what is being discussed here. There is strong support for much more on-campus housing. But since UCD has plenty of better sites on-campus, paving over the Russell and Howard greenfields is simply not the place for housing.

        1. quielo

          Better for who? is it better to have students in the west village and, as Roberta has described above, encourage them to leave town on the 113 for their needs? Or it it better to have the students near the core, supporting local establishments?

        2. ryankelly

          Quit saying that I am mis-representing as an argument.  I can’t help that you devalue ag land because its owned by the University.  You are just not making sense.

        3. Roberta Millstein

          I haven’t encouraged students to leave town on 113.  Students will go where they need to and where they choose.  The issue is only the route they take to get there.

        4. quielo

          Roberta,

          Just a little honesty would help with this discussion. “I haven’t encouraged students to leave town on 113.  Students will go where they need to and where they choose.”

          If you stick them in a remote location then they will make the obvious decision to have a car and drive around. And if this were to happen you will post about how unreasonable they are to have cars. Planning is the process of making their environment conducive to not having a car and not generating more traffic. You complain about traffic and than force people into situations where they will need a car and then will presumably complain about that.

        5. Roberta Millstein

          quielo, West Village is not a remote location – it is easily bikable and also serviced by bus – and Russell fields aren’t exactly far from 113, either.  So I don’t see either as being more or less likely to encourage car use.

        6. quielo

          Roberta, we must be thinking two different places. I am referring to the west village apartments at 1580 Jade St, Davis, CA 95616.

           

          Using google maps and defining the center of Davis at the Peets on E street. I get walking distance From West Village as 37 min (1.9 miles) via N Quad

          While from the Russell Fields 11 min (0.6 mile)via 3rd St, B St and Russell Blvd

          Earlier you stated that it was a huge hardship for people to drive a block north to 8th street and now you Blythe say “walk another mile and a half each way, not a big deal” Therefore we must be talking about different places.

        7. Roberta Millstein

          quielo, I never said it was a “huge hardship” for College Park residents to have their entry be off 8th rather than off Russell.  Context is everything.  The suggestion was that we could solve the traffic problems as College Park/Howard and 8th by moving the bollards, and my point was that moving the bollards would not solve the traffic problem (because only a small fraction of the traffic comes from College Park), thus inconveniencing the residents of College Park for no good reason.

          It is true that the Russell fields are closer to downtown than West Village.  I can’t deny it.  What I deny is being closer to downtown is the most important consideration or that housing at West Village leads to rampant car use (which was the point at issue – you changed the subject).  Aside from the traffic issue, there is also the existing use of the fields and the benefits to the campus community and general community from having them there.

        8. quielo

          Roberts, what you said was “It would make it very inconvenient to live there” referring to access on 8th rather than Russell. Yet moving a much larger group of people 1.5 miles further in to the hinterlands seems to you to NOT be “very inconvenient”.  

           

          If reducing car use is your consideration then why don’t we put bollards at Russell and Eureka and the College Park residents can walk and bike where ever they want to go?

        9. Roberta Millstein

          quielo, then we’d have to ban car use in Davis for everyone, yes?  Reducing car use is one consideration among many.  I never said it was the only consideration.  In fact, you were the one who brought it up, not me.

          It is always a mistake to look at only one consideration.  Traffic is one consideration.  Car use is one consideration.  Use of the fields and their convenient location is one consideration.  Setting the tone for the university at its entrance is one consideration.  Visual enjoyment of the fields is one consideration.  You have to look at all of them together.  Sorry, I’m not going to fall for your attempt to only look at one issue and then an exaggeration of the issue at that.

  19. HouseFlipper

    What is amazing to me is that no one has posted about the impact building on Russell and A St. fields will have to City of Davis parks. The people who currently use Russell fields outside of IM Sports or PE are going to be far more likely to use centrally located City of Davis parks than bike or drive out to the proposed west village fields. The City of Davis should do everything it can to prevent UCD from sherking its responsibility to provide athletic fields for its students. The city should not have to suffer for the increased use of City parks because UCD builds on its fields. Especially considering they are buidling such small buildings. what a waste.

        1. quielo

          I do know where the parks are and that knowledge leads me to question where you think there is a field in any way similar to the ones on Russell that will be closer than West Village to students on campus.  Humor me and suggest one.

        2. Grok

          Quielo, I am not sure why you are chasing this point? HF’s point seems pretty obvious. For example, I can imagine the pick up soccer game that happens every Sunday morning on the A St. field could happen in pretty much any park in town.

  20. Jim Frame

    I agree with those who say that 3-story apartments on Russell are not big enough.  I think they should start at 3 stories, then step back from Russell, going up to 5 or more stories.

    I believe that UCD could, if it was willing to be innovative, place engineering and contractual controls on resident car usage — including substantial incentives not to have a car on site at all —  that would render additional car traffic from these apartments practically negligible.  I don’t know if they’re thinking that way, though.

    I think that the closer to downtown and the academic core, the more attractive the housing is to residents and the less they need cars.  West Village is far enough out from the downtown and campus core to make people lean toward driving if they have that option.  I know I’d think twice before heading downtown on foot or bike if I lived that far out.

     

    1. Grok

      Jim, Other than paving over Russell fields, I agree with most of what you say. I would also go even taller. The main difference is I would do it at Orchard and Solano parks and not build on Russell Fields. Both of those locations have easy access to shopping and Orchard is awaiting redevelopment now. I also advocate building 10 story dorms at Regan.

    2. South of Davis

      Jim wrote:

      > I believe that UCD could, if it was willing to be innovative, place engineering

      > and contractual controls on resident car usage — including substantial

      > incentives not to have a car on site at all 

      With Uber, Lyft, ZipCar expanding like mad we are going to have a lot less students (and others) “owning” cars but we are not going to have a lot a lot less car trips (just like we have a lot less people “owning” CD players but don’t have a lot less people listening to music)…

      1. Matt Williams

        SoD, I agree with your point, and would expand it.  A student living in on-campus housing who owns a car faces the challenge of parking that car.  Either the student’s housing will provide a parking space or the student will park the car on the street somewhere in Davis.  For the typical student who lives on-campus, the car will sit idle 24 hours a day during most weekdays, and even some weekend days.  Providing a parking space for a car to sit idle gathering dust is a waste of both money and physical space.

        — Money is wasted (one time) in avoidable construction costs .

        — The only way the wasted construction costs are recouped is by raising the monthly rents, which produces a recurring waste of money for many/most/all of the tenants.

        — Money is further wasted for many/most of the student tenants in the form of the money spent on purchasing a car that simply sits and gathers dust, depreciating in value for no logical reason

        — The physical space devoted to parking could be much better used either as additional open space (I suspect Roberta would like that) or additional living units that help with the housing shortage, and also bring down the monthly rent for all the other units because the cost of building the parking space has been avoided.

        — The environment also benefits because the temptation to drive, just for the sake of driving is removed . . . less greenhouse gases and fewer cars on the street.

        — In addition the physical space devoted to “housing” each functional car in the city is much more efficiently and effectively used because the trips from that space each day are rarely going to be one or zero.  Companies like Zip Car and Uber improve their bottom-line by maximizing the number of “turns” that their assets achieve.  A Zip Car that is used three times a day generates more revenue than a Zip Car that is used once a day.  In addition, a single parking space can support multiple Zip Cars at the same time, because a Zip Car that is in motion can “cede” its parking space to a Zip Car coming in to “rest” until its next rental happens.

  21. Misanthrop

    “Misanthrope, it is absolutely inappropriate to blame Eileen for the fact that UCD has built the least housing for its students of Any UC and that there is a housing shortage across the state of California.”

    Eileen is part of the problem and like many others her opposition to building housing has led to the shortage of housing that is the number one cause of poverty in California. Remember she opposed Covell Village that would have added lots of supply to the city.

    1. ryankelly

      But she supports a Covell Village sized development of high-rise buildings Southwest of Davis on ag land owned by the University with restricted access to the City.  Go figure.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        ryankelly,

        Not sure what you are talking about. I never defined how much development should go south of I-80 on UCD land. But, yes that land was being planned by UCD to be developed into a research and development park. So what say you now?

    2. Eileen Samitz

      Misanthrope,

      Maybe I am responsible for the recession and climate change as well…

      Your accusations are so far-fetched it is ridiculous. And then to make it even worse you refuse to acknowledge that the real entity responsible for the shortage of student housing is UCD, which with 5,300 acres has more land yet provides the least amount of on-campus housing. Other campuses have and are continuing to build on-campus housing for their students so there is no excuse why UCD has not provided it also.

      Ad just to provide a little background, Covell Village was one of the worst projects ever proposed with the impacts it would have brought, plus building on over 200 acres of flood plain out of the 389 acres. The state of California now has legislation stating that any city foolish enough to build on flood plain ( and more than half of Covell Village was flood plain) that and any city which floods will no longer get any financial aid to bail it out, literally or figuratively. So Covell Village was a loser from the beginning.

       

       

  22. Misanthrop

    Eileen I didn’t say that you were responsible for all of California’s poverty. The problem is that California is full of people like yourself who in aggregate place other values above housing other people. The result is that California has a massive housing shortage that drives up prices and keeps many Californians in poverty. Jerry Brown tried to start fix it and his efforts just died in the legislature.

    Just recently I heard about an old friend who has been in Davis for over twenty years. The apartment building he lived in got sold and he was evicted so that the new owner could double the rent. This is what the opposition to housing construction does to people.

    1. Eileen Samitz

      Misanthrope,

      Unless you live outside of Davis you apparently have “aggregated” here also. So if you feel bad enough about this, maybe consider moving so that your place can be used by either students or a workforce person(s) or family.

      The cost of housing in California is higher because the climate makes it a desirable place to live. And the cities with a good quality of life are the more expensive ones to live in, like Davis. That’s the way it is everywhere in the country for heavens sake. And we are not going to build out way into less expensive housing in Davis. That is the way it has been for decades and was problem when 1,000 units were built in 1999, yet the cost of Davis housing continued to rise.

      I understand that UCD is trying to force our families and workforce out of our existing rental housing and that has to stop with whatever it takes for our City to do to stop this opportunistic situation which UCD has been pursuing. What UCD is doing is not ok and I have been strongly objecting to this since I found out about this “master lease” situation, which is completely antagonistic to the welfare of our City.

      So the solution is for UCD to fulfill their responsibilities to their students and keeping their promises to our City of providing the on-campus housing needed by UCD’s own growth. This in turn will free up much of our City housing hat City (particularly rental) to make it more available for our families and workforce.  The other California universities are all doing it and so there is no excuse why UCD isn’t doing it with the enormous amount of land they have.

       

      1. Misanthrop

        Now Eileen here is a difference between you and I. I would never suggest that people  move away to make room for others or for any other reason including political differences. I think we should expand the supply of housing to accommodate those who want to live here. Besides are you now advocating that a traditionally married family, with children and young family members in our schools, that have advanced and professional degrees, good paying jobs and income that generates lots of taxes should leave town?

        This is a fundamental difference. I don’t think that accommodating more people or providing housing for people to live in is a bad thing.  I don’t like to see good people move away who would like to stay because we make it impossible for so many to to afford Davis. The University should do more but that alone isn’t the answer. People need to stop opposing almost everything both in the city and  on its periphery and on campus. Davis isn’t land locked we can add supply of housing for people to help address the needs of the community. Its not impossible it simply requires a change in direction. Davis’ housing shortage is a choice not a mandate.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Misanthrop,

          Sorry, but let’s be clear here. It was you complaining that people like me were “aggregating” in places like Davis and that housing cost more here. And now, do not try to try a new “spin” that unless you have an advanced degree that you are not entitled to live here. I grew up in a blue collar family in a blue collar community, and have the utmost respect and admiration for folks in any blue collar profession. So lets not go there.

          So let’s get on the real issue and subject,which is that UCD needs to provide much more on-campus housing for its own housing needs. That’s the direction we need to take.

        2. Misanthrop

          “People who in aggregate…” Not people who aggregate. I think you misread my remark. If not I think you misunderstood it.

          By the way Eileen you don’t get to define what the real issue is. For me the housing issue is bigger than how you see it and includes the city, county, region and state as well.

      2. Eileen Samitz

        Misanthrop
        September 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm

         

        “By the way Eileen you don’t get to define what the real issue is. For me the housing issue is bigger than how you see it and includes the city, county, region and state as well.”

        Ok Misanthrop, perhaps we can agree that any housing shortage is on a larger scale in California, but there is no question that UCD has been grossly negligent regarding the provision of on-campus student housing needed for their own growth.

        1. Misanthrop

          “Grossly negligent” is a little strong for an institution that got sued for trying to meet its obligations. Gross Negligence under the law would be if they didn’t try not that they tried but got slowed down by a lawsuit.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Misanthrop,

          “Grossly negligent” is a little strong for an institution that got sued for trying to meet its obligations.

          I am not sure what you are talking about.

    2. Tia Will

      Misanthrop

      he was evicted so that the new owner could double the rent. This is what the opposition to housing construction does to people.”

      No, this is not “what the opposition to housing construction does to people”. It is what this particular landlord chose to do. Nobody made the new owner increase the rent. He and he alone made that decision. I had not increased the rent of my parents home in oner 10 years despite the fact that I could have charged much more for it. Raising rent is not a compulsory activity.

    3. Grok

      The problem is that California is full of people like yourself  – Misithrope –

      There is just no need to be so nasty.

      [moderator] edited, and posts removed. I think the point has been made.

      1. Misanthrop

        Now that is nasty Grok.

        The housing shortage and the opposition to building to address it is a well documented phenomenon that has been in the news in the Sacbee, S.F. Chronicle and Orange County Register. Davis while on the far edge is not unusual although opposition to housing is usually more prevalent on the coast. I don’t know why lumping Eileen in with so many other people with similar politics is so offensive?

  23. South of Davis

    Misanthrop wrote:

    > The apartment building he lived in got sold and he was

    > evicted so that the new owner could double the rent.

    Does anyone know if the Parkside (across the street from the park on F street) apartments sold?

    They have been remodeling the place over the past year and while it looks great I bet the rents are going to go up.

  24. Roberta Millstein

    David Greenwald
    September 2, 2016 at 7:54 am
    Actually the complaint is abou the location, not building the housing. My sources are now telling me that this proposal will come off the table.

    Just saw this buried in the tons of comments on this page.  Hoping that this is right and that we hear more about this soon.  I do want more housing on campus, just not on Russell fields.

  25. Eileen Samitz

    Re: Roberta Millstein’s comment,

    I agree, and I am hopeful that UCD will take the Russell and Howard fields off the table. I am also hopeful that UCD will be receptive to input from our community of how we can to help with recommendations regarding how significantly more on-campus housing can be added, which is so needed by their students.

    1. quielo

      Eileen,

       

      What are you thinking about here “input from our community”. Are you thinking about random suggestions from individuals or something more structured?

      1. Grok

        Quielo, the University held a community meeting on August 3rd at which they gave a presentation and received significant input. We hope the University will be receptive to that input.

        The University is meeting with the 2×2 Davis City Council subcommittee. We hope they will be receptive to input from our 2 city council people.

        The University is likely to have another Community meeting with the City Council and Davis community. We hope they are receptive to input from that meeting.

        The University has not met with student groups regarding the LRDP since the housing was added at Russell fields. We hope the University sets up a structured process for receiving input.

         

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