Community Remains Opposed to Russell Fields Proposal as LRDP Open Hearing Looms

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Russell-Field-Map

While UC Davis has cut back on their plan for developing the Russell Fields in the latest draft LRDP, they have not eliminated it.  For residents, not just in the adjacent area, but throughout the community, this is not enough.

As the university laid out on its Campus Tomorrow site, “The Plan retains the full east to west dimension of Russell Field between California Avenue and Howard Way as a large open space for campus recreation and intercollegiate athletic programs, as well as other campus functions. The Plan also retains Howard Field in its entirety.”

However, “the Plan designates a portion of Russell Field immediately north of the Marya Welch Tennis Center as a potential site for student housing. In response to the reduced size of Russell Field and A Street Field, and in consideration of the recreational needs associated with any potential enrollment growth, the Plan includes a new 8-acre recreational facility in West Village.”

This has drawn strong opposition from the community.  A Change.org petition already has 799 supporters as of press time.  The petition argues that the plan “would greatly diminish athletic space at the core of campus and open space between campus and the city.

“These intramural (IM) fields provide valuable space for IM and club sports and other activities important to health and physical and mental well being of students and other Davis residents and are central to student life because of their central location,” it states.

“We the undersigned call for the continued use of Russell, A St., Howard, and Toomey fields in their current location and form as open fields suitable for athletics, events, and many varied activities, not the least of which is their pure beauty and value as open space,” states the petition.

In a letter to UC Davis Planners, Lindsay Hedgecock, President and Captain of UC Davis Women’s Ultimate Club Team and a UC Davis undergraduate student, writes, “For many people, Russell Fields are the first thing they see when they visit the UC Davis campus and leave a powerful impression of the university as an open and welcoming place.

“These fields are a staple both of the university and the City of Davis. The fields provide an open communal space unlike any other on campus for students and community members to enjoy, and contribute to the physical and mental well-being of the people that use them,” she continues.

She adds, “While the need for added student housing is undeniably an important issue, there are many other viable places in Davis to build student housing. Moreover, the option to build current housing up rather than completely new buildings is a worthwhile possibility to consider.”

Ms. Hedgecock explains, “We use the entirety of Russell and Howard Fields to accommodate the hundreds of people that travel to Davis for…[Ultimate Frisbee] tournaments. Without half of Russell fields, hosting these tournaments may not be possible, and these tournaments are by far our largest source of team fundraising.”

But not everyone agrees. For Matthew Palm, “UC Davis is wisely replacing some parking and a former campus health center with badly needed student housing.”  He calls the location “perfect for students to walk and bike to groceries, campus and nearby religious and cultural resources.”

He writes, “The idea is being fought very passionately by a group of people who believe West Village, Orchard Park and Solano Park are better areas to concentrate students. This is ironic because Orchard Park abuts Highway 113 and Solano Park and environs are adjacent the railroad tracks that might be carrying oil through town.”

Mr. Palm states, “In online comments to other local media outlets, Davis NIMBYs reacting to the Long Range Development Plan are self-righteously decrying UC Davis as exploiting students. In the same breath, these NIMBYs are demanding that this supposedly corrupt-beyond-repair institution also be the students’ landlord.

“Seriously?” he asks.  “You can only masquerade your agenda as being about student welfare for so long. The students themselves are no longer buying it.”

But Mr. Palm seems to be the exception rather than the rule here.

Dr. Donal Walsh, Professor Emeritus of Human Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, former Associate Dean and former Departmental Chair, has reportedly been repeatedly rebuffed by the UC Davis administration in his efforts to work with them to plan for a proper rugby pitch.

Dr. Walsh has been the faculty advisor for the Men’s Rugby club for over 40 years and in a letter to Robert Segar dated October 4, 2016, he writes,  “Your proposal for the rugby field indicates a considerable lack of understanding of just what is needed.” “Please consult with me about what is indeed needed for a rugby field—you do not seem to know much at all about the game.  I do, I have international recognition.”

His letter continues, “To be a top University and produce top students the University MUST provide good sporting facilities.  Good means not only high quality but also readily available.  Readily available means close to the center of campus.

“Russell field, as currently structured provides a very good element for students to readily get to some sporting activity because it is at the center of campus.  This is specifically valued in the current operative LRDP. The value that was placed on these fields is expressed in the current operative Long Range Development Plan, which states: ‘The integration of athletic activity with academic pursuits is a valued characteristic of the campus,’ and it sets as an objective to have ‘site formal recreational and athletic facilities with reasonable access to student, faculty and staff participant populations.’”

He concludes, “That shift in University values alone is of critical concern.”

Colin Walsh added, “With a projected enrollment increase of almost 7,000 students over the next 10 years, UC Davis can and should do more to house its students, but housing alone is not enough. UC Davis also most have enough academic space and proper athletic and recreation facilities. Russell and A Street Fields are an important part of that equation.”

He stated, “UC Davis is proposing housing 400 students in the Russell Blvd. neighborhood, but less than 200 students will live in the housing being proposed actually on the Russell field. The University can certainly incorporate these 200 beds into other already proposed developments, and preserve the fields for athletics and other activities.”

Merline Williams, a Davis resident, in a editorial in the Davis Enterprise wrote, “The broad, open playing fields are at once a community treasure and an irreplaceable campus resource. Historically, these fields stand as evidence of a ‘good neighbor’ relationship between the city and the university.”

She added, “It is hard to imagine, why the university is planning to destroy the Russell fields by replacing them with multi-storied apartments and parking lots, depriving students and residents of accessible, quality outdoor activity space and ruining the welcoming visual introduction to the campus and the city. It is true that the university needs to build more student housing on campus, but it has several alternative sites and the brand-new West Village, designed for student housing.”

Tonight marks the last scheduled Fall LRDP Outreach session.  It will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at the Davis Senior Center.  In the fall of 2017, the campus will submit the LRDP update to the Regents for consideration as the official and final LRDP.

—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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75 thoughts on “Community Remains Opposed to Russell Fields Proposal as LRDP Open Hearing Looms”

  1. AlphaFerg

    Ah, that age-old decision between student housing so they don’t get pushed out of town, and niche sports like ultimate Frisbee and rugby. What could be more important? I really don’t know!

    1. Odin

      Yet those of us on Olive Drive are about to have 700 students in a 5 story building plopped down in our poor neighborhood and no one gives a cr*p but those of us who live over here.  Ghandi statues and frisbee fields deserve more attention than poor folk. /s

      1. Frankly

        So Odin… as a teacher you seem to not like being around students very much.   Are you a NSIMBY?

        Really, you have noticed that you live in a college town right?   In fact, it is one of the largest campuses in the US… number 62 out of the top 300 in this list… http://www.matchcollege.com/top-colleges.

        I bet all those other cities hosting large colleges and universities have lower income residents living among the students… who also tend to be low income.

        1. Odin

          Just to note Frankly, I am not against student housing and am not against it being on Olive.

          What I am against is the fact that Lincoln40 caters to students from wealthier families.  They want it to be 5 stories making it the tallest building in the downtown area, and the city wants to rezone the property from medium to high density which defies everything in the Specific Plan for Olive Drive.

          Lower the building to 4 stories, make it affordable to EVERY student, and maintain the current density at medium and I’m on board.

          We’re also talking about an additional 700 commuters accessing the unmitigated Richards/Olive interchange which would create a traffic nightmare unlike anything you have to put up in your own neighborhood.   So am I NIMBY about that, heck yeah, lives are at stake. (and don’t dare give me one of your “hyperbole”s, it’s just your opinion man).

           

           

        2. Odin

          You don’t find Copa Cabana styled pools with outdoor barbecues, yoga rooms and fancy exercise facilities at most other student oriented apartments in town.  Also, check out progress910.com for an idea on other developments of Highbridge properties for an idea of the clientele they seek as occupants.  Also note they advertise Progress910 as luxury end apartments.

        3. Chamber Fan

          They own the Grove in West Davis, last I checked you could get a bed there for $500 or $600.  I wish people wouldn’t misrepresent this stuff.

        4. Odin

          The Grove is a complex already built that Highbridge purchased and doesn’t have all the amenities offered at Lincoln40.  So between all the fancy amenities Lincoln40 offers and the fact that the complex will be brand new, I don’t think it’s a far off guess that they are “luxury” end apartments.

        5. Frankly

          What I am against is the fact that Lincoln40 caters to students from wealthier families.

          So you are student economic class-biased?  That is your issue?  You reject the Lincoln40 project because it will not cater enough to the lower economic class student?

          I’m sorry but I don’t believe you.  I think you are against any and all dense student housing in your “backyard” and are attempting to mask it with silly classism arguments.   This is not unlike other frequent posters that oppose the Trackside development in their backyard.

        6. Odin

          “So you are student economic class-biased?  That is your issue?  You reject the Lincoln40 project because it will not cater enough to the lower economic class student?”

          Yep, why not when we don’t cater to low-income students.

          Your bias sits with the wealthy.  You’re one of those alt-right folks who believe poor people are poor because they lack effort or desire to do well.  I’m only replying to you because you replied to me, otherwise I never read your misguided posts anymore, they’re a waste of time.

        7. Matt Williams

          Odin said . . . “So between all the fancy amenities Lincoln40 offers and the fact that the complex will be brand new, I don’t think it’s a far off guess that they are “luxury” end apartments.

          […] we don’t cater to low-income students.”

          Odin, what are the fancy amenities that Lincoln 40 is going to offer that other student apartment complexes (like The Lexington) do not offer?  The apartments proposed appear to be “market-rate” apartments . . . priced to be competitive with other student apartment complexes in Davis and West Village on the campus.  Do you consider West Village or The Lexington to be “luxury” end apartments?

          I fully expect Lincoln 40’s apartments to be expensive, but that isn’t because of luxury, but rather because of the costs of construction, entitlements, and land acquisition. To illustrate that let’s compare the costs for The Lexington to Lincoln 40.

          Starting with Construction Labor costs.  The Lexington’s construction labor costs were lower in comparison to Lincoln 40’s.  Is there anything Lincoln 40 can do to bring its Construction Labor costs down?  Not if they are going to pay the current level of customary wages .

          Continuing with Construction Materials costs.  The Lexington’s were lower by comparison to Lincoln 40’s.  Is there anything Lincoln 40 can do to bring its Construction Materials costs down?

          Continuing with Governmental Entitlement costs.  The Lexington’s were low in comparison to Lincoln 40’s.  Is there anything Lincoln 40 can do to bring its Governmental Entitlement costs down? Only if they bypass the City of Davis entitlement process, which we all know can’t be done.

          Continuing with Land Acquisition costs.  The Lexington’s were lower in comparison to Lincoln 40’s.  Is there anything Lincoln 40 can do to bring its Land Acquisition costs down to The Lexington’s levels? In a word, “no.”

          Continuing with Property Tax costs.  Thanks to Proposition 13, The Lexington’s are low by comparison to Lincoln 40’s.  Is there anything Lincoln 40 can do to bring its Property Tax costs down to The Lexington’s levels? In a word, “no.”

          Bottom-line, if any new construction project wants to be affordable, their only options are only to do so by pricing their rentals at a loss.  Do you think it is realistic to expect them to price their rentals at a loss?

          In closing, it is a simple financial fact that every higher economic class UCD student has the ability to outbid every lower economic class student for each and every apartment in Davis.  In a limited supply housing market that means lower economic class students are going to be pushed out of Davis until and the aggregate supply of student housing in the City and on the UCD campus is increased.  Is that an outcome that you want to happen?

          Adding the units at Lincoln 40 will mean a large number of higher economic class UCD students will not be outbidding lower economic class students for existing Davis apartments. That means fewer lower economic class student will be forced to live outside Davis. It is also important to note that adding apartment units on the UCD campus, as Eileen Samitz and others have argued needs to be done, will also mean a large number of higher economic class UCD students will not be outbidding lower economic class students for existing Davis apartments.

        8. Odin

          Matt, not many student oriented apartment complexes in Davis have fancy exercise rooms, yoga facilities and a copa cabana styled pool with bbqs.   I think progress910.com is the best example of Highbridges developments and proves my point that they prefer luxury over affordability.

          You make the comparison to the Lexington yet it was built many years ago so I don’t understand your juxtaposition.  Of course anything built years ago, including and especially Slatters, cost less to build at the time.  In ten years you’ll look back and say the same things about Lincoln40 as compared to other developments so what is the point?

          Anyone who thinks developers don’t consider maximizing their profits is naive at best, so instead I ask — How can this developer make this affordable for everyday students?  Why can’t they build a complex that fits in with both the socioeconomic level of Olive Drive and the character of Olive Drive?  Why does it have to be 5 stories?  Why do they have to cram so many kids in such a small space?  Why 5 bedroom units?  Why on Earth do they believe only students want to live there with all those amenities when they can’t legally do so?  Why do they really think wealthier students will be happy to go without their cars with the proximity to SF and Sacramento without any proof that will be the case?

          So, if you are asking me to pity developers over low-income students and UCD employees, you will get none of it.  These folks are out of SF, they’ve got tons of money, influence, and power.  I doubt they will suffer much from making Lincoln4o affordable for the majority of students as they should.

          Chamber Fan: the EIR folks were there as well as the architect. If there was someone there who could address the costs I didn’t meet them, so can’t answer your question.

        9. Odin

          CF, I didn’t think the architect was in the position to explain costs and neither were the EIR people.  From what I saw, the correct people weren’t there to pose the question to, therefore went unanswered (unless, like I mentioned, they were there but I didn’t notice).  I’m not really sure if anyone knows the unit rate at this point.

        10. South of Davis

          Matt wrote:

          > Adding the units at Lincoln 40 will mean a large

          > number of higher economic class UCD students will

          > not be outbidding lower economic class students

          > for existing Davis apartments. That means fewer

          > lower economic class student will be forced to

          > live outside Davis.

          Great post Matt.  Odin needs to realize that the only reason that the mobile homes on Olive are affordable is because we allow new construction in town.  Malibu, CA has not allowed less new construction than Davis and look what has happened to the price of mobile homes:

          http://www.malibumanufacturedhomes.com/paradise-cove-mobile-homes-malibu

        11. South of Davis

          Odin wrote:

          > What I am against is the fact that Lincoln40

          > caters to students from wealthier families.

          EVERY big new apartment built in Davis by private developers without government subsidies has catered to students from wealthier families.  When Interland built Tanglewood in the early 90’s it was one of the nicest and most expensive apartment in town and a lot of rich kids lived there.  When the Youmans family built the Lexington apartments about ten years later it became one of the nicest and most expensive apartments in town and lots of rich kids lived there.  Every time a rich kid in Davis moves to a nicer newer apartment it opens his kind of nice apartment for a middle class kid when he moves his affordable dumpy apartment will be ready for a poor kid.

          > I doubt they will suffer much from making Lincoln4o

          > affordable for the majority of students as they should.

          What is the rent per month for a 2 bedroom apartment  that you feel is “affordable for the majority of students”?

        12. Matt Williams

          Odin said . . . “So, if you are asking me to pity developers over low-income students and UCD employees, you will get none of it.”

          Odin, I’m not asking you to do anything other than to add up the cost numbers and realize that current costs are significantly higher than historical costs, and therefore the monthly rental costs needed to recoup those costs will be significantly higher than the monthly rental costs of other older units/complexes . . . and as a result the other older units/complexes are going to be the ones that are affordable for the low-income students and UCD employees.  In addition, the availability of additional beds means fewer of those older units are going to be gobbled up by the higher-income students.

          In fairness to you, your assessment of The Lexington shows you understand the new costs vs. old costs part very well.  With that said, that cost differential is the answer to your “How can this developer make this affordable for everyday students” question.  The simple financial fact is that unless they price their product at a level that is below their costs (guaranteeing them a loss each and every year) new construction will never be affordable for everyday students.  We just can’t get atound the fact that new costs more than used.

        13. Odin

          “No, my bias sits against the selfish and fools no matter what economic class they claim to belong to.”

          So, why again are you against parcel taxes?  Seems to me you’re being selfish, and a foolish tax NIMBY, with that one so touche.

        14. Frankly

          So, why again are you against parcel taxes?  Seems to me you’re being selfish, and a foolish tax NIMBY, with that one so touche.

          Our parcel taxes are already some of the highest in the state.

          But every measure for Davis developed land is way below the norm for any comparable city.

          So it is you land and development NIMBYs are the only side to justifiable denigrate as being selfish.

    2. Grok

      Alpha – its not a decision between housing and sports. It is a decision about where to put the housing. The campus is 5,300 acres and hundreds of acres are designated for building or rebuilding housing over the next 10 years. There is no need for the administration to destroy a much used, and much loved resource to build the housing. The fields can be saved, and housing can be built.

      The University can actually keep the fields and build even more housing than is currently proposed.

       

      1. AlphaFerg

        And that’s a good response. I’m mainly questioning why rugby and ultimate Frisbee are even being considered or have a voice in this. There are plenty of other fields both on campus and elsewhere that those activities could take place—and UCD is planning an 8-acre recreation facility out in West Village.

        1. Alan Miller

          Because people inexperienced in politics often bring up bad arguments to defend good causes.  By bad arguments, I mean ones that are easily attacked by the opposition and take the focus off more legitimate arguments.

        2. Grok

          Alpha, You will note Dr. Walsh’s quote above

          Good means not only high quality but also readily available.  Readily available means close to the center of campus.

          All you have to do to understand the importance of having athletic facilities in a central location is go to any of the many IM games or club practices and see the piles of bikes and backpacks. With the fields in a central location thousands of students bike to their games and  practices and fit athletics in with their other activities on campus.

          70% of students live off campus. A majority of them live in South Davis, East Davis, Central Davis and North Davis. For all of these many students the far side of West Village is distant from their houses. Moving part of the fields to the far side of west village marginalizes this activity and will discourage participation and/or encourage using cars.

          Building housing for 200 hundred students on fields that are currently used by thousand of students certainly is not a choice friendly to the most students.

        3. Alan Miller

          Our town has lost it’s effing mind and it’s heart.

          There are stupid planners and politicians at both the University and City who want to move sports facilities, i.e. young people prone to bike, to the outskirts or outside of town/campus, thus turning it into a “must have a minivan” facility.

          Oi!  What has become of our precious “Davis Way”!!!???!

  2. Tia Will

    Odin

    As someone who has favored some development projects and opposed others, I understand your frustration. However, I think that the sentiments of your 6:58 post are misplaced. From my point of view neither the CC, the city staff nor the Enterprise nor Vanguard have avoided the subject of housing project location. Lack of agreement should not be confused with lack of attention or discussion.

    Also, as for “lack of caring”, this is also not accurate. A number of those of us in the Old East Davis neighborhood, and other neighborhoods have cared enough to meet on a number of occasions and make suggestions and give input to the developers of the Lincoln40 project. These were listened to respectfully and in some cases I saw adjustments that had been made on the basis of input from these meetings. I know that this is not the outcome you want, however, I would like you to understand that there are others who do care about your neighborhood and are willing to put our time and energy into helping to make this a better project.

     

    1. Odin

      Unfortunately Tia I feel you are in the minority.  Many of your neighbors want to see Lincoln40 approved to take pressure off their own neighborhood with Trackside.  Signs everywhere in your neighborhood about respecting zoning laws, yet Lincoln40 pretty much guts medium density zoning and height restrictions for Olive Drive so why shouldn’t we get the same respect?

      David, from what I hear your family will profit from Lincoln40.  You’re bias is evidenced here.

      1. Odin

        Also, I want to make sure to recognize, and thank, that you and others DID attend the scoping meeting regarding Lincoln40.  I’m speaking about this town in general.

      2. David Greenwald Post author

        David, from what I hear your family will profit from Lincoln40.  You’re bias is evidenced here.”

        Completely untrue.  We have no investments whatsoever and will not benefit in any way from its passage.

      3. Tia Will

        Odin

        Many of your neighbors want to see Lincoln40 approved to take pressure off their own neighborhood with Trackside”

        Have any of my neighbors told you that this is their motivation ?  If not, I highly doubt it. The reason is not because I think that my neighbors and I are any more altruistic or high minded than anyone else. The reason I doubt it is that no “pressure” will be let off our neighborhood by the acceptance of the Lincoln40. The target populations of Trackside and Lincoln40 are two entirely different groups. Trackside was aimed at folks desiring luxury apartments ( for adults) as I think the developers thought would make the project less objectionable to the neighbors when “reassuring” at one meeting that students were not the targeted group. On the contrary, Lincoln40 is specifically targeting students and planning on rental by the bed. Whether or not one wants to use the term “luxury” for this kind of accommodation or not is, for me, not the point. I probably would have been more supportive of Trackside had it been geared to students as I see them as an “at need” population in our community for housing, while I do not see those wealthy enough to afford a “luxury apartment” in a 30 or so unit building as an “at need” population.

        1. Odin

          Tia,

          Where I am confused is that you seem to accept Lincoln40 as is.  I’m not just concerned about affordability, but also traffic concerns that have not been addressed, socio-economic effects on my neighbors have not been addressed, additional pollution has not been addressed, parking issues, etc.   Included in that, I admit, is how much the character of this neighborhood will be lost.  Despite the dump people think this side of town is, the folk here are the friendliest and most affable I’ve known in town (and I’ve lived all over this place).

          The plans laid out at the scoping are deceiving.  Look past the fancy drawings and it’s 6 acres of pavement, and considering parking will not only be a profit maker, and considering one of their biggest issues will be to appease the city regarding parking, they’ll want to put in the maximum amount of spots possible which will require removing many more trees than they are currently leaving (which ain’t many).  And did I mention the amount of spots they’ll have to sacrifice when they put in Hickory Lane under-crossing?

        2. Matt Williams

          Odin said . . . “considering parking will not only be a profit maker, and considering one of their biggest issues will be to appease the city regarding parking, they’ll want to put in the maximum amount of spots possible.”

          Odin, the City’s Beyond Platinum Bicycle Plan very clearly establishes goals for reducing the proportion of cars to as low as possible and have residents maximize their use of Public Transportation and bicycles.  That is City Policy.  There is no reason why there needs to be any parking spaces for Lincoln 40 residents.  The only parking needed will be a small number of spaces for visitors, a small number of handicapped spaces, and approximately 20 Zip Car spaces for the students’ occasional (weekend and vacation) travel out of town.  Look at the Aggressive Transportation and Parking Demand Management Alternative of the Sterling EIR (see page 5.0-25 of LINK).  Staff’s description of that formal/legal alternative reads as follows:

          Under this alternative, the project site would be developed with the same number of student and affordable housing units as the proposed project, but with fewer parking spaces.

          This Aggressive Transportation and Parking Demand Management Alternative would maintain a similar number of units, layout, and building design as the proposed project. The alternative assumes no changes to the affordable housing component of the project with the same units, parking, and other requirements as the proposed project. For the student market rate component, the alternative assumes the same number of units and same residential building footprint with the following restrictions or requirements to aggressively discourage car use and vehicle trips by residents.

          Measures to reduce car use would include a maximum of 50 pay-per-hour visitor parking spaces; no more than 50 resident permit parking spaces; owner-managed (or contracted) car-sharing services on-site, which requires use of only electric vehicles; and number of vehicles to be determined based on market demand. The alternative assumes a one-story (two usable parking levels) parking structure to accommodate the above-referenced parking, permit parking, and car-share parking. Additional developer incentives and facilities to promote bicycle and transit use would be provided.

          There is no reason to believe that Staff will not include a similar Aggressive Transportation and Parking Demand Management Alternative in the Lincoln 40 EIR.  Further, for such a plan to work, a grade-separated crossing of the UPRR from the north end of Hickory Lane to the Amtrak Parking Lot is essential prerequisite so that bicyclists and pedestrians from Lincoln 40 (and Olive Court and The Arbors and Cesar Chavez and The Lexington) have a safe and convenient route to both Downtown and UCD (see conceptual graphic below).  In the Sterling EIR the Aggressive Transportation and Parking Demand Management Alternative reduces the automobile parking from 545 spaces to no more than 100.  Applying that same logic to Lincoln 40 the currently proposed 239 spaces would be reduced to below 50.  For Sterling the EIR estimates the 1,454 external car trips per day would be reduced down to 463.  Using similar math, in a Aggressive Transportation and Parking Demand Management Alternative with the grade-separated crossing Lincoln 40 should see external car trips below 250 per day, and it is quite possible that the reduction of existing external car trips from Olive Court and The Arbors and Cesar Chavez and The Lexington will be more than 250, so the net change in car trips on Olive will be a decrease.

          Settling for an outcome that is any less than that is unacceptable in my opinion . . . and I would argue that achieving that outcome will actually improve the quality of life at Slaters Court.

          https://www.davisvanguard.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Olive-Drive-Grade-Separated-Bike-Ped-Path-to-UCD.jpg

  3. Matthew

    Of all the people… Ultimate Frisbee? We are going to continue a pattern of sidelining student housing to the margins of town for ultimate frisbee?

    This community is walking self-satire. Absolutely ridiculous.

    1. Grok

      That’s a funny expression to use here – “sidelining.”

      The funniest part about it is that actually it is the University that is very literally proposing to sideline student housing. They are proposing on putting a building that includes housing and the Rugby field very close together so as the housing would actually be overly near the sideline of the field. Unfortunately, it appears this plan does not actually leave enough room left on the sideline for the Rugby field to meet recognized national specifications for a Rugby field.

      Last spring several of the national championship games were played at Davis as the Men’s and Women’s teams advanced to both win the D1 National championships. With the proposed plan my understanding is those games could not be played in Davis in the future.

  4. Edison

    The various passionate battles being fought in scattered locations throughout Davis over proposed dense student housing projects (Lincoln40, Sterling Apartments, the growth of neighborhood “mini-dorms, etc.”) are symptomatic of the unfortunate divisions  being created in Davis as a result of UCD’s utter failure to construct new on-campus housing on pace with its aggressive plans for enrollment growth.  People living near Olive Drive are convinced no one cares about their concerns, thinking the City feels compelled to displace current residents in favor of dense student housing convenient to campus. When they and others express their opposition to Lincoln40, accusations of “Nimbyism” arise.

    When residents of Rancho Solano and other Davis residents express concerns about the possibility of over 700 students moving into the former Families First site on 5th Street, others again raise the NIMBY charge.   When someone points to the negative effects of multiple students moving into single-family homes near them, they are likewise accused of being insensitive to the needs of students and young people in general.

    The net result is that public policy battles are being needlessly waged in disparate locations throughout Davis, pitting residents of our city against each other, when instead they should be uniting together to confront the real culprit: UC Davis and the growth plans it has hatched in a complete vacuum. UCD is literally bursting at the seams because of its aggressive growth aspirations.  Its “2020 Initiative” was launched by former Chancellor Katehi aims to boost enrollment by 5,000 students between 2013 and 2020, with the particular aim of attracting high tuition paying out-of-state and international students, yet no corresponding plans were made to accommodate the students with more essential classrooms, lecture halls, labs–and most importantly–on campus housing.

    One only  needs to look at how much UCD wants to grow to reach a simple conclusion that Davis lacks the capacity to deal with this many newly arriving students over such a short time span.  With the exception of Santa Cruz (just over 62,000 population) Davis is the smallest “host city” in the UC system.  Even the population of Merced is greater. Most of the campuses are located in large metropolitan areas that can easily absorb large and sudden enrollment increases (LA, Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, East Bay).   Davis, on the other hand, is a relatively small town surrounded by farmland and other relatively small towns. Even if Measures J and R did not exist, Davis could not easily absorb the enormous growth UCD is contemplating in either the “2020 Initiative” or the LRDP (which assumes UCD enrollment will increase from just over 32,000 to 39,000 between 2015 and the 2027-28 academic year).

    To me, the real solution is for UCD to either quickly construct more student housing on the vast acreage it controls, or to immediately suspend the “2020 Initiative” and other enrollment growth plans until the much-needed on-campus is completed.  If this does not occur, I foresee that proposals for high-density student housing complexes will continue cropping up for years to come, needlessly pitting Davis neighborhoods and residents against each other , when in reality we should all be uniting to confront the causal factor–UCD.  Whether intentional or not, UCD seems to be succeeding at one thing: dividing and conquering Davis.  As some have alluded to during the past year, UCD could end up being a university that completely overwhelms its host city. Anyone who shares these concerns should make it a point to attend tonight’s LRDP briefing at the Senior Center, and follow up with comments on the UCD Campus Tomorrow website. If UCD is not compelled to change its ways, we risk losing the values that have made Davis a great place to live.

     

    1. Chamber Fan

      It seems to me that you’re buying into the narrative of putting this all on UC Davis.  Couldn’t we just as easily push this on the city – it’s overly draconian Measure R policy making it impossible to add housing for essentially 16 years coupled wiht its failure to lay out a comprehensible General Plan?

  5. Frankly

    Clearly the students are not welcome here.  UCD, we will take your green space but please find someplace out of the way to put your students.  They are not “our kind” of people.  And besides that, they just irritate me.

      1. Grok

        Let me get this straight. You guys think that the people who have chosen to live near the row of fraternity and sorority houses across from fields thousands of students play sports on, some of them with stadium lights, fields the ROTC and the band practice on, are upset because there are going to be a couple of hundred students living in apartments near them?

        The people I have talked to LIKE being by the campus in part BECAUSE of the students.

        1. Frankly

          I am sure that many of “those people”, based on their support or opposition of new housing at Russel Fields, if given the choice would prefer that those and any other students go live somewhere else.  They still want to benefit from the amenities of living in a college town, just without the “mess” as they see it.

          If they like living among the students they would demonstrate that by supporting the additional housing being built in their backyards.

        2. Grok

          If they like living among the students they would demonstrate that by supporting the additional housing being built in their backyards.

          Actually, some of them have granny flats or rent out rooms.

          People in favor of keeping the fields are actually demonstrating support for the thousands of students who use the fields.

          I don’t disagree that there are people who live in Davis that feel the way you suggest, I just think most of them are not living very close to Russell Blvd fields.

        3. Frankly

          People in favor of keeping the fields are actually demonstrating support for the thousands of students who use the fields.

          No.  Mostly they are demonstrating support for the open spaces in their back yards.

        4. Grok

          Frankly I don’t hold as pessimistic a view.

          Notable how Frankly’s argument just shifted. First people who live near Russel fields hate students but when that is shown to be untrue he shifts to say they just like money. Now he says people are only opposing it because they like open space in their backyards.

        5. Mark West

          “People in favor of keeping the fields are actually demonstrating support for the thousands of students who use the fields.”

          If you could demonstrate a significant number of students who are publically opposed to the proposed housing projects there might be some justification for this claim. Without that, the best assumption is that the opponents are just using the students as an excuse to push their private agenda.

          Moving the fields will have no impact on student participation in sports as the students will simply adjust to the new location, just as they do now with games played on a variety of different fields around campus. Club sports (including Rugby) use the fields that are made available and generally don’t have the dedicated home field expected by Intercollegiate Athletics teams. They too will adjust to whatever new reality they will face as a result of the proposed development. This isn’t a real issue.

        6. Grok

          I just came from the LRDP open house and there were several students there advocating for the fields. It wasn’t an overwhelming number, but sports teams sent representatives because the open house was held at the same time as their practices.

          What  I take the most issue with from Mark’s post though is this phrase “opposed to the proposed housing projects.”

          first “opposition” – It is not really opposition, it is advocacy for the fields. any opposition is to the location of the housing, not to the idea of student housing. In fact if you read the article above there is simultaneous advocacy for the fields, and for more housing.

          housing projects” – there actually is not really a proposed housing project yet. What we are really talking about is a draft long range development plan that includes space for a possible future proposal for a housing project. There is not even a suggested foot print for what might be built. 

          “projects”  suggests their is opposition to multiple projects. Advocacy for the fields does not effect multiple projects it effects one proposed possible future project location.

          The idea that these are not “Intercollegiate Athletics” is ridiculous. the men’s and women’s rugby clubs are the D1 national champions. The Women’s Ultimate was the national champion about 10 years ago and both the Men’s and Women’s teams are very competitive intercollegiately. The difference between these sports and the University sponsored sports like football and basketball is the students in the clubs pay their own way with the exception of the fields. they are not like the very expensive scholarship sports that are sponsored by the University. And now the University want to shuffle them off to the far end of campus where it will be difficult to get to practice. Meanwhile, what how much did the football team cost UCD last year? I suspect it is more than the cost of all of the club sports combined.

          That Mark has the gall to suggest that, “Moving the fields will have no impact on participation” “They too will adjust to whatever new reality they will face” is outrageous. When is the last time he was on campus at a club practice? He has no idea what the students think about having the fields moved.

           

  6. Eileen Samitz

    Edison raises a good point that since UCD is not taking responsibility for its own ambitious growth, particularly with the “2020 Initiative” not even having the infrastructure it needs in place first, that UCD is trying to continue to push off its housing needs onto the City. In turn, these “maxi-dorms” are being proposed to jam onto existing neighborhoods of primarily 4-and 5-bedroom apartments with individual baths (to be rented by the bed) are not marketable to non-students, so this does not help with providing housing for our workforce and families. This in turn winds up with neighborhood opposition (rightfully so) because these “maxi-dorms” make sense on the campus, not in the City since they are not compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods.

    So UCD is causing division in the community and the pitting of neighborhood against neighborhood as these residents try to deflect these projects. If UCD wants all of the this growth of 5,000 more non-resident students for revenue, well then they need to provide the housing for it on-campus and catch up with the backlog of housing that they should have built over the years. UCD’s inaction to built the on-campus housing is not fair to the UCD students and not fair to our community. UCD is only offering 40% on campus housing with only 90% of incoming students. Meanwhile at least 6 other UC’s are providing 50% on-campus housing and San Luis Obispo is planning 65% on-campus housing. Also. UC Santa Barbara and CSU San Luis Obispo are providing 100% of all incoming students. So why is UCD aiming so low when it is the large UC campus with over 5,300 acres? It is ridiculous that UCD continues to try to be an opportunist like this when they are fully capable of housing far more students on campus.

    And to Chamber Fan and Frankly, in regard to subject of  pitting one group again another, why don’t you two stop trying to pit the students again our community? Both of you are clearly pro-growth and don’t apparently seem to care about the impacts that UCD has been imposing on Davis. But putting more on-campus housing is the best place to add the student housing since it would be permanent, dedicated housing for the students and would reduce the need for commuting by them, and help reduce the traffic and parking impacts on the City as well.

    By the way Chamber Fan,  you are always trying to advocate for overturning Measure J/R, but you have never answered my question of if you are involved in development or real estate, or in any way involved with advocacy for UCD?

     

     

    1. Don Shor

      but you have never answered my question of if you are involved in development or real estate, or in any way involved with advocacy for UCD?

      Actually, I’m pretty sure Chamber Fan did answer that question, and the answer is no.

    2. Matt Williams

      Eileen Samitz said . . . “By the way Chamber Fan,  you are always trying to advocate for overturning Measure J/R, but you have never answered my question of if you are involved in development or real estate, or in any way involved with advocacy for UCD?”

      Eileen, on September 22, 2016 at 11:29 am you asked, “Chamber Fan, or are you a developer or work for UC/UCD? Or are you an advocate for profit in any way for development and/or UC/UCD”

      On September 22, 2016 at 11:40 am Chamber Fan responded, “Not a developer and do not work for UCD.  I am a member of the Chamber.I don’t agree with UCD’s policies but support expanded higher education opportunities for all.  I believe both the city and UCD should do our part to make college possible.”

      On September 22, 2016 at 12:52 pm you replied, “Ok Chamber Fan, Just to clarify my question it includes, do you have any involvement with sale or purchase of real estate?”

      On September 22, 2016 at 2:54 pm Chamber Fan responded,  “No I don’t work in real estate.”

      On September 22, 2016 at 3:18 pm you responded,  “Really? So you have no connection or association with real estate or development or UC/UCD? This seems really odd given your very accusatory posting earlier towards me and your very pro-growth postings.”

      1. Chamber Fan

        Apparently, no one can be in favor of more growth unless they are directly profiting from it.  Additionally, if I were profiting from a legal business, I would have no right to hold my opinion.  Or am I misreading things?

        1. Frankly

          Or if she can pin you to having an economic benefit connected to the project she can invalidate your opinion.  The first step in character assassination is to move the individual into a group on the “bad” side of the good-people / bad-people ledger.

  7. Eileen Samitz

    Chamber Fan,

    Since I had asked this question of a few others with the same constant anti-Measure J/R  postings I thought you were amongst the non-responders who never did answer. So I understand that you are pro-growth and oppose Measure J/R. But now what did you mean that you do not agree with UCD policies? Can you elaborate?

    1. Chamber Fan

      Now that I have answered your questions, I’d like you to address these points: “Apparently, no one can be in favor of more growth unless they are directly profiting from it.  Additionally, if I were profiting from a legal business, I would have no right to hold my opinion.  Or am I misreading things?”

  8. Mark West

    “This has drawn strong opposition from the community.  A Change.org petition already has 799 supporters as of press time.”

    There are roughly 66.5 thousand people in Davis and 36 thousand registered voters. So assuming all those who have signed the petition are registered voters from Davis (yeah right), the 799 supporters represent 1.1% of the residents or 2.2% of the registered voters. What a groundswell!

    When you reach 15%, let me know. Until then, this is nothing more than a few activists getting their knickers in a twist…

     

    1. Westerly

      And, where were these folks when the University built on the fields previously…

      The parking garage.  The expanded tennis courts.  To some extent, the Plant Sciences building pushed back the fields.    30 years ago the fields were nearly 40% larger.

       

       

  9. Tia Will

    Frankly

    Or if she can pin you to having an economic benefit connected to the project she can invalidate your opinion.  The first step in character assassination is to move the individual into a group on the “bad” side of the good-people / bad-people ledger.”

    Which is exactly what you are doing every time that you insist that everyone who favors slow growth is selfish and trying to keep someone else out. It would seem that this rhetorical tactic is not isolated to either the slow or rapid growth sides of our community.

     

  10. Ginger

    My two cents.

    Seems like the Davis city/community and UCD have a rather contentious relationship when it comes to student housing. UCD is growing far too fast to accommodate their student population, and they want the city to pick up the slack. However, that’s proving difficult for a variety of reasons.

    So, they are looking at Russell Fields. To me, and to many, it’s a beautiful symbol of the intersection of the community and the campus. When I moved here nearly two decades ago, I was charmed by those fields the first time I saw them. Watching the student athletes practice, enjoying the Marching Band-uh with my then-toddler, seeing young students holding hands or trudging to class…it was a glimpse into collegiate life and it made me feel connected to the campus.

    I don’t pretend to know the campus well enough to know what other options there are…but, it seems to me, that taking away an open space much beloved to the community is a bit of a poke in the eye for us not providing enough off-campus housing for the students. Maybe I’m wrong, but it smacks of a tad bit of strong arming.

    1. ryankelly

      Unfortunately, A growing number of students will not have that experience, because they are driving in to Davis only on the days they actually attend class after failing to find a place to live in Davis.  No connection for them, because they spend the majority of their time away from the University and outside of Davis.  The University needs to decide who it is supposed to serve – the students or the community.  It seems that some in the community have decided that the community is no longer going to serve more students. The community needs to decide whether they expect the University to serve the students or not and drop the argument that a field of turf grass is some sort of sacred space and that some sort of retaliation is taking place.

  11. Tia Will

    I would love to get beyond the point of deciding who is the “culprit” and our seemingly endless finger pointing to a space where we can recognize that legitimate goals and values are represented by both the university with the desire to educate more students ( a goal with which I agree) and those who do not want to see their city changed beyond recognition by the influx of students who cannot be housed on campus. I would truly like to see us come to a place where mutually beneficial plans could be made in a collaborative process between the city, university and possibly the surrounding communities which also have a growing stake in this issue.

  12. Adam Smith

    The headline for the article is hyperbole.  The “community” is not opposed to housing on Russell Fields.    There are some members of the community who are opposed to housing on Russell Field.  I, for one,  would like to see more infill building in Davis, and believe Russell field is one of the most appropriate sites for student housing  in the city or on university grounds.

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