Commentary: Community Divided on Growth, but Largely Opposes Russell Fields Development

Share:

Russell-LRDP

While there are clearly people who believe that the Russell Boulevard fields are a good area for additional housing, the general consensus seems otherwise.

Tonight, we will see UC Davis’ Bob Segar make a presentation about the university’s current plans – will they finally eliminate Russell Fields from development considerations?  They have already scaled it back.

The city’s report seeks, “Request UC Davis commit to more aggressive accommodation of on campus housing commensurate with anticipated growth and to balance community-wide housing needs.”  The report asks for 100 percent of first year students and 50 percent of the overall student population to be housed on campus.

At the same time, the city will “continue to pursue consideration of all infill and apartment housing proposals within the City (with emphasis on student oriented housing proposals within 2 miles of campus in order to facilitate ease of access).”

That part is probably more controversial, as are provisions about a more housing intensive Nishi and UC Davis keeping connectivity possibilities from Nishi to the campus in the LRDP – which had been removed previously.

On the other hand, the city seems to back the idea of the preservation of Russell Fields.  The language: “Recognizing the community interests expressed in preserving the physical and cultural attributes of the Russell Fields as a key City/Campus edge and ‘shared community space,’ request that UC Davis withdraw the proposed conversion of field areas to housing from the LRDP and shift housing units to other areas of campus.”

As we have noted, some have suggested that the city strengthen that language to include all development on the fields, not just housing.

The Vanguard generally supports these three planks of policy.  We believe that UC Davis should house a greater percentage of the student population.  Russell Fields does not seem to be the best location for more housing.  And, finally, we agree with the need for the city to continue to develop infill housing for students.

Despite this, there remain some clear differences within the community.  The most vocal advocates for campus housing seemingly oppose new infill development for students, believing that the city is allowing the campus off the hook for policies that have increased student populations without supplying those students with housing.

At the same time, there are those who see the opposition to housing at the athletics fields as a desire by the community to put housing growth away from the community.  They point to provisions that denied West Village access to Russell Blvd. as evidence of this.

While that argument has some merit, the city proposal actually threads this needle a little better – supporting the preservation of the Russell Fields while at the same time supporting infill housing and clearly housing at Nishi – which has become a lightning rod.

My preference has been to oppose development along Russell Blvd. for a number of reasons – a key one is, I believe, the need to create a buffer between the university and the community.  I think that is important because UC Davis is not an urban campus and the fields create that separation.

Beauty is of course in the eye of the beholder – one commenter views the fields as “an ugly setback,” while another public commenter calls them a beauty and a community treasure.

That said, there are some concerns I have about the current push.

First, it is still not clear to me how much developable land there is on campus and near the city.  There are conflicting reports about the ability for the university to develop further west from West Village.  While there is not a formal agreement that we have found, clearly West Davis at one point was just as active in pushing back on West Village as central Davis was in pushing back against Russell Fields.

Second, we need to consider the fact that the university will probably continue to grow past 2027 and, therefore, we need to think about where they can accommodate housing.  The idea that there are 5300 acres of developable land is not accurate – it might be helpful to identify what land is developable and what land is not – either because it is too remote or has other uses (like research).

Third, and just as importantly, I see no inherent contradiction between the idea that UC Davis increase its on-campus housing share to 100 percent of new students and 50 percent of all students and the idea that the city needs to look for infill spots for more student housing.  I disagree with the idea that developing a few apartment complexes “lets UC Davis off the hook.”

Fourth, I see notions that UC Davis is not taking responsibility for providing its own housing needs.  I disagree with that.  UC Davis has increased its commitment to provide for 90 percent of new student growth with on-campus housing.  The city is pushing the university further here – as it should – but the university is pledging to do more than they have done.  Now the key will be the ability for the university to follow through on its commitments.

I disagree that it is unfair to UC Davis students to be “forced” off campus after their freshman year.  It is not clear to me that we even know what the preference of students is.  Do students want to remain on campus or do students want to live in and become temporary members of the community?

Bottom line is there seems to be a general consensus regarding Russell Fields, but a lot of community discussion is needed on the rest.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

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.

Related posts

97 thoughts on “Commentary: Community Divided on Growth, but Largely Opposes Russell Fields Development”

  1. Barack Palin

    While there are clearly people who believe that Russell Fields in a good area for additional housing, the general consensus seems otherwise.

    And you know this how?

    1. South of Davis

      BP wrote:

      > And you know this how?

      The same way he (and the rest of the left leaning media) “knew” the “While there are a small number of uneducated white deplorable men that support Trump the country will be sending Hillary back to the White House)…

      Not to give David a hard time but just like people that surround themselves with like minded people on the far right I’m not surprised that David has a left leaning world view since it does not sound like he spends a lot of time in the South with “deplorable” NASCAR fans or even the small number of right wing GOP hunters and and gun lovers or the giant majority of people in town that don’t care at all what UCD does with the fields (and have no idea that anyone is even talking about them)…

      1. Alan Miller

        the giant majority of people in town that don’t care at all what UCD does with the fields (and have no idea that anyone is even talking about them)…

        It is very important to listen to the majority of people who have no idea what is going on and what’s more don’t care.

    2. Barack Palin

      There’s no way David can know the general consensus on this issue.  I think he puts the assertion out there because that’s what he wants, no building on the fields.  As always there’s a few loud activists who are being heard but in no way does this represent the consensus of Davis.

    3. quielo

      They don’t is the short answer and the question presupposes everyone has an opinion of some kind which I believe is fallacious. Most people in Davis likely don’t care.

      The obvious answer from looking at the map is to build high density housing on Toomey and Howard fields and turn Russell from anderson to “A” into a bike/bus/emergency access corridor. The continue this around “A” and eliminate car access from the north and East of the core campus. this would also reduce traffic at Richards.

  2. Grok

    First, it is still not clear to me how much developable land there is on campus and near the city. 

    Actually, the University has done a reasonable job of identifying developable, or redevelopable land on campus. I believe there are more places they could add housing, but even just the places they have identified are an important start. The problem is the university continues to plan to build relatively low density housing so even with the addition of many new acres the University does not house as many students as it should. The only place I object to of all of the many places identified to build housing is the Russell and A Street fields, and that represents only about 3% of the housing in the plan.

    The University plans to redevelop Orchard park and add the undeveloped land between Orchard Park and the freeway and move the green houses from the area east of the domes to extend Orchard park there too. This adds several acres to the project, but there is relatively little increase in student housing despite the additional land because there is not a significant increase in the density of the housing. This is an excellent place for student housing and the University should not squander the investment and the land on lower density housing. Building lower density housing on this part of central part of the campus will seem like a massively wasted opportunity in 15 years if the school keeps growing at anything close to this rate.

    Looking at the LRDP, the University plans to redevelop Solano Park, and extend it, moving the Enviromental horticulture building and some of the surrounding area adding several acres to the project. But with all of the new land added for housing there is relatively little increase in students housed, because there is not a significant increase in density. To be sure, it needs to be livable and the current residents need to be planned for and treated well, but this can be done. This is an excellent place to build student housing, and the University should not squander the investment and the land on lower density housing. Building lower density housing on this part of central part of the campus will seem like a massively wasted opportunity in 15 years if the school keeps growing at anything close to this rate.

    The University also plans on redeveloping Regan dorms and the Cowel building again adding land to housing, but here too the density is underwhelming. This area central to the campus is an ideal place for the University to build student housing that is as tall as Sproul Hall at 9 or 10 stories. The central location makes this the best location for the tallest new housing buildings, but instead the university seems intent to build lower slung buildings, even at the core of campus. If the University doesn’t build much taller buildings here this will probably feel like the biggest waste of all in 15 years.

    As to West Village, David claims this is contentious with some, but I want to point out that all of the new housing being added in West Village is from the previous LRDP and that plan has even been adjusted to accommodate Neighbors concerns. Those who opposed building in West Village will have to say if it is enough, but removing a connection to Russell Blvd. was a very significant compromise on the part of the University. The University also removed 20 acres of land from consideration for development in West Village that was in the previous LRDP. Further, the largest land area to be developed in the new plan will have the lowest density housing of the entire current LRDP.

    So while I believe there are more places the university can build than they have identified, even just the land the University has identified for development could be used to build much more housing than is currently planned.

     

    1. Ron

      Excellent, Grok.  Like Edison and Eileen, you have helped identify appropriate sites for increased density on campus.

      Those who focus on Nishi or Russell Fields are missing the overall point – increased density on the sites you’ve identified.  Edison and Eileen have repeatedly referenced a company that provides high-rise housing at no cost to Universities.  I understand that other universities have pursued such options.  I wonder if UC Davis has even contacted that company.

      Possible sites within the city should not be essentially “reserved” exclusively for students, by design.  In addition, there’s the unresolved concern regarding master leases and outright purchases.

      Perhaps more importantly, appropriate sites within the city will probably be needed to meet our next round of SACOG “fair share” growth requirements.  (Some try to deny this, but it seems pretty obvious that it’s a concern.) Building now does not provide any “credit” to meet such requirements, and may very well encourage SACOG to assign a higher number during the next round. (I realize that there’s some controversy, regarding the last point.)

      Again, on campus – “density, density, density”.

      1. Don Shor

        (Some try to deny this, but it seems pretty obvious that it’s a concern.)

        I think I’ll find a graphic of a red herring to just post whenever SACOG gets mentioned.

        1. Ron

          Don:

          I’d suggest that you’re purposefully trying to downplay this issue, and have repeatedly done so.  I find this highly irresponsible. I realize that your “agenda” is to push for more housing in the city.

          The physical size of the city is limited, with a limited number of buildable sites.  What’s going to happen when we run out of buildable sites, within the city?  No consequences at that point?

          You’d better know with certainty, before you continue spouting off.

          1. Don Shor

            I’d suggest that those who mention SACOG have the burden of proof of its significance, which they — including you — have never presented. I don’t think you actually know anything about SACOG.

            The physical size of the city is limited, with a limited number of buildable sites.

            And you oppose building rental housing on those limited buildable sites. So you’re part of the problem.
            I have no agenda. I am concerned about the very low apartment vacancy rate in town. The solutions to that include housing on campus and in town. You support one, but not the other. I support both. The consequences of failing to build rental housing and student housing are already upon us.

        2. Ron

          Don:

          The “proof” is that SACOG establishes such requirements for every city.  There is no evidence whatsoever that they make exceptions. I have read about SACOG, same as you.

          The “evidence” from SACOG will be presented again, in about 4 years. Your approach leaves the city with no options or plan. What a foolish thing to suggest.

           

        3. Ron

          O.K., everyone.  Don is saying that SACOG is meaningless, and has no consequences regarding funding for projects, etc.  He’s suggesting that we pay no attention to such requirements, and develop no plan for it.  Just use the vacancy rate, when making plans for the city.

          “Excellent” advice.

          1. Don Shor

            Don is saying that SACOG is meaningless, and has no consequences regarding funding for projects, etc. He’s suggesting that we pay no attention to such requirements, and develop no plan for it. Just use the vacancy rate, when making plans for the city.

            Garbage, Ron.
            The city is in compliance with SACOG requirements, as I believe every city in the state is. The requirement is that the cities submit their plans. They do that.
            Please provide evidence that SACOG has enforced anything against any city in California anywhere, any time, ever. A link, a document, anything. Please provide evidence that SACOG has ever required, or could require, any city to build any specified number of housing units.
            I have said the apartment vacancy rate is a useful data point that tells us what the situation is, and what the trend is. The consequence of the lack of housing in town and on campus is the mini-dorm conversions, the students living in campers, the higher rental cost in town. That impacts those who can least afford it. The solution is rental housing in town and student housing on campus.

        4. Ron

          Don:

          Yes – the city is currently meeting (and perhaps exceeding?) SACOG fair share growth requirements, as a result of the Cannery, etc.  We don’t have another “Cannery” in the pipeline.

          I will try to find something, regarding what happens when cities fail to meet SACOG fair share growth requirements.  I understand that SACOG makes recommendations regarding funding for transportation projects, etc.

          However, as you’ve noted, apparently no city has yet “dared” to defy SACOG fair share growth requirements.  Therefore, there may not (yet) be an example.

          Are you suggesting the Davis become the first “test case”?

          I’d suggest that it’s a lot more prudent to try to adhere to the requirements. And, that requires planning in advance, and undeveloped sites in the future (4 years from now).

        5. Ron

          From SACOG:

          http://www.sacog.org/about-sacog

          “SACOG provides transportation planning and funding for the region, and serves as a forum for the study and resolution of regional issues. In addition to preparing the region’s long-range transportation plan, SACOG approves the distribution of affordable housing in the region and assists in planning for transit, bicycle networks, clean air and airport land uses.”

          Other information can be found on that site, as well.

          Note to Don:  Glad to see that you do support student-oriented housing primarily on campus.  (I initially missed that in your response.)  The city’s subcommittee is proposing something entirely different (student-oriented housing within 2 miles of the university).

           

        6. Matt Williams

          Here you go Don.

          https://iptrolltracker2.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/aredherring_edit.jpg

          Of course it is possible that the herring in question will complain that he/she is being “outed” and you will have to take a swim around the pond with that.  If that does happen, feel free to recite the Serenity Prayer.

        7. Ron

          Matt:

          Yes – much more useful for you and Don to post images, rather than links and analyses regarding actual SACOG requirements.

          I’m not planning to respond much to you on the Vanguard, anymore.  However, I have reported your actions the other day directly to David Greenwald. Perhaps you’ll find that humorous, as well.

        8. hpierce

          Don… thank you for the factual links in your 11:11 post… others seem prone to make up faux news, or make potentially libelous statements, who have no clue on facts…

          Thx…

          1. Don Shor

            SACOG is not going to be the issue. The governor has fired the first salvo against communities that try to limit growth. A subsequent urban liberal governor may well take this further, as the issue for them is the constraints on affordable housing caused by delays, zoning restrictions, and other impediments to growth. The is the legislative analyst’s review of the governor’s proposal. Note that the LAO proposes that it go even further.
            First, here is where it stands with respect to enforcing housing allocation:

            Some Communities Do Not Comply With Housing Element Requirements. State law requires HCD to review each community’s housing element for compliance with state requirements. In recent years, HCD has found that most (around 80 percent) housing elements comply with state laws. (Despite this, only a minority of communities actually meet their home building targets.) A minority of communities, however, have either adopted a noncompliant housing element or failed to submit their housing element to HCD for timely review. Communities without an approved housing element face limited ramifications. Noncompliant communities are ineligible for various housing-related state grant funds, which represent a very small share of local government resources. Courts may also suspend a local government’s permitting authority until its housing element is approved, although this may have limited effect on communities less inclined to development.

            Here’s the analysis: http://www.lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/3470

            Note that growth opponents in Davis are basically saying that Davis should restrict growth so that the city won’t be required to grow even more. That approach will be out the window. Focusing narrowly on the SACOG fair share allocation process is probably misdirected, since SACOG basically has no enforcement mechanism.

            In keeping with past voter decisions, IMO Davis should plan to grow to meet internal growth needs, reduce the rental housing shortage, and accommodate the expected growth of the university that isn’t being met by the UCD long-range plan. To the greatest extent possible, that means higher-density infill. It may require annexation of some land, which is much more difficult. If that occurs, respecting the city and county land-use values would mean annexing poorer soils, which basically means north/northwest Davis. Or, of course, the city and residents could revisit Covell Village.

        9. Ron

          Don:

          Whether it’s SACOG fair share growth requirements, or some other requirement from the governor/legislature, I’d suggest that we find out what those are (and where Davis stands), BEFORE embarking upon an action to meet those requirements.  And, we’ll need undeveloped land to meet those requirements when that time comes. If there are a number of cities that aren’t meeting the goals, I’d also suggest examining what they’re planning to do about it, when the time comes. (Perhaps they’ll rebel against it, as a group.)

          Regarding SACOG, I understand that you think it has no meaning or consequences.  Therefore, perhaps the city should send in a “joke” plan (say, 5-10 new units) and see if they approve it.  Then, let’s see what happens.  Sounds like a plan.

          1. Don Shor

            perhaps the city should send in a “joke” plan

            No, the city should continue to submit their housing plan to the agency as required by law.

            … BEFORE embarking upon an action to meet those requirements.

            We should seek to meet our housing needs, while keeping to the values expressed by the voters and in the General Plan.
            My main point is you and others should stop using phantom SACOG requirements to obstruct housing.
            I would also make a point that SACOG-type regional planning agencies exist for a reason. The words ‘fair share’ actually mean something. Davis is not an island. We can’t just keep exporting all of the impacts of UCD growth to nearby communities. Good planning will accommodate that growth in keeping with our values.

            I understand that you think it has no meaning or consequences.

            I await any evidence otherwise from you or anyone else. So far, I’ve done more research than you have on this. I urge you to stop using an argument for which you have no evidentiary basis and no evident expertise.

        10. Ron

          Don:
          Also, from the link you provided, it seems that the governor’s “plan” is simply a proposal, at this point (as you’ve already acknowledged).

          I recall seeing a list on the Vanguard regarding the factors that SACOG uses when determining “fair share” growth requirements. I don’t have time to search for it, right now. However, I recall that one of the factors is the presence of a university.

          If UC Davis handles most of its housing needs, perhaps SACOG won’t push this upon the city.

        11. Ron

          From Don (two separate postings on this page):

          “I would also make a point that SACOG-type regional planning agencies exist for a reason. The words ‘fair share’ actually mean something.”

          “And the proof is that those (SACOG) “requirements” have absolutely no consequence.”

          So, which is it? The requirements exist for a reason, but should be ignored? (We’re currently meeting the requirements.)

           

          1. Don Shor

            The requirements exist because a need has been perceived by legislators. The implementation of the regional planning agency is such that there is no enforcement that really matters. Funds can be blocked, but my next question would immediately be which funds and for what. Nor do I have any evidence that any funds have ever been blocked to any city in California for failing to build housing.
            We are not ignoring the requirements. I believe (I looked it up once) that the City of Davis files the appropriate paperwork with SACOG.

            You seem to believe that Davis should not grow at all in spite of UCD growing. My point is that regional growth is what regional planning agencies are trying to address when the make the allotments. You and others seem to be arguing that we should keep current growth as low as possible basically to game the system — someone has told you and others that past allocations are a factor in determining future ones. Whether that is true, I have no idea. I don’t find evidence of it, but there are a LOT of factors considered in the process of allocating fair share housing.

            I am saying that you and others who consistently obstruct growth are saying that all of the impact of UCD’s growth should fall on other communities. That’s the impact of your position: more students and staff living in Dixon and Woodland and driving in to Davis. If we wish to plan that way, there is a process Davis can go through with Woodland to partner in the allocation of fair share of housing. Can’t do it with Dixon because they’re in Solano County, which is a different regional planning agency. But if we are going to be responsible, Davis will recognize the growth impacts of the university we host and plan for it, either by working with Woodland or by allowing some new rental housing growth in town. Or by annexing some land for it.

            Just saying no all the time doesn’t cut it. Your argument, fundamentally, is with UCD. The impact of blocking all growth falls hardest on those who can least afford it. And using the excuse of a regional planning agencies process for allocating fair share of housing is a process of undercutting the fundamental purpose of regional planning in the first place.

        12. Ron

          Don:

          I would suggest that you’re the one who has been advocating ignoring SACOG regional growth requirements, by continually stating that there are no consequences for ignoring them.  I’m simply advocating that we plan for them, which includes not using up undeveloped land (that we’ll likely need) to meet the next round of requirements, in about 4 years from now.

          Regarding the university, it’s time for the city to let the regents know that UC Davis is refusing to adequately step-up, as other universities (such as UC Irvine) are doing. I understand that UC Irvine is contracting with the company (that specializes in high-rise housing) that’s been repeatedly referenced on the Vanguard, to build 5 separate projects (in a timely manner), on campus. It’s time for the city of Davis to show some backbone.

          I think we’ve run this conversation to a natural conclusion, for now.

        13. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Yes – much more useful for you and Don to post images, rather than links and analyses regarding actual SACOG requirements.”

          Both Don and I have posted extensive links and analyses regarding actual SACOG requirements.  You simply have chosen to ignore the information provided because it didn’t fit into your heavenly firmament.  Here’s a link to one of those past posts from September 23rd.  Since you are unlikely to click on the link, here is the content of that past post.

          vvvvvvvvvvvvv September 23, 2016 post vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv

          Ron said . . . “And, there are future SACOG requirements to consider.  (We don’t get any “credit” for excess development that occurs prior to the next round of requirements, around the year 2020 or 2021.) “

          Here’s “the rest of the story” for the 2021-2029 SACOG housing need requirement for Davis, which must be reported to the State and SACOG in 2023.  The needs requirement will be met through a combination of development on entitled sites including some which have received certificates of occupancy or building permits since January 1, 2021.  Given the application, entitlement, design and build times that the recent large projects have experienced, a 48 month duration from application to certificate of occupancy is a reasonable approximation, so any project that starts its application process after January 1, 2017 is likely to still be somewhere between building permit and certificate of occupancy as of January 1, 2021.

          With that said, how Davis meets its assigned need is not the key issue when it comes to RHNA.

          What is much more important is what SACOG determines Davis’ actual allocation isSACOG’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation FAQ Sheet explains the allocation process as follows:

          Generally, what factors are used to determine the RHNA?
          State law requires SACOG to consider the following factors, to the extent sufficient data is available, when developing its RHNA methodology:

          (1) Existing and projected jobs and housing relationship;

          (2) Opportunities and constraints to development of additional housing, including:

          — (2a) Lack of capacity for sewer and water due to federal or state laws, regulations or regulatory actions, or supply and distribution decisions made by a sewer or water service provider that preclude the jurisdiction from providing necessary infrastructure for additional development during the planning period;

          — (2b) Availability of land suitable for urban development or for conversion to residential use, the availability of underutilized land, and opportunities for infill development and increased residential densities (SACOG may not limit its consideration based on the jurisdiction’s existing zoning ordinances and land use restrictions);

          — (2c) Lands preserved or protected from urban development under existing federal or state programs, or both, designed to protect open space, farmland, environmental habitats, and natural resources on a long-term basis;

          — (2d) County policies to preserve prime agriculture lands within an unincorporated area;

          — (2e) Distribution of household growth assumed for a comparable period in the regional transportation plan and opportunities to maximize the use of public transportation and existing transportation infrastructure;

          (3)  Market demand for housing;

          (4) Agreements between a county and cities in the county to direct growth toward incorporated areas of the county;

          (5) Loss of units contained in assisted housing developments;

          (6) High housing cost burdens;

          (7) Housing needs of farmworkers;

          (8) Housing needs generated by the presence of a private university or a campus of the California State University or the University of California; and

          (9) Any other relevant factors, as determined by SACOG.

          Looking at those factors:

          (1) the demise of Measure A and the Distributed Innovation Center strategy means that the number of incremental/additional jobs added within the existing Davis City Limits between now and January 1, 2021 is likely to be very small.  All jobs that are outside the Davis City Limits are “credited” in the SACOG allocation to the Unicorporated portions of Yolo County, of which UCD is a part.

          (2a) is not a constraint given the City’s investments in both water and wastewater capacity.

          (2b) is the real Elephant in the Tent because by 2021 the amount of “land suitable for urban development or for conversion to residential use” within the existing City Limits will have been reduced to five sites, Nugget Fields, Wildhorse Ranch, north of Sutter Davis Hospital, the Lincoln 40 site, and the Families First site.  Once any of those five sites is actually built out, it no longer is available to be part of the allocation assignment algorithm (as is the current trajectory for The Cannery).  Table 46 of the 2013-2021 Housing Element submission lists 30 sites that are “local resources to address housing needs.”  The four Red Light sites are all in the unincorporated portion of Yolo County, so until and unless they are annexed to the City, they only count toward the County’s RHNA allocation.  Of the 10 Yellow Light sites, three are in the unincorporated County, one is Wildhorse Ranch, one is the Hyatt House/Davis Diamonds site, and the remaining six are all very small, and as such would not add in any significant way to the RHNA allocation calculation.  Of the 16 Green Light sites, a few have been entitled and built out, but most are in the same impeded status they were in both 2008 and 2013. As such they will not qualify under the “land suitable for urban development or for conversion to residential use” standard used in calculating the RHNA allocation.  The PG&E site and the Nishi site are two good examples in that category.  For a myriad of reasons SACOG is highly unlikely to consider either of those sites when calculating Davis’ RHNA allocation.

          (2c) does not apply in our urbanized setting.

          (2d) applies in the unincorporated Yolo County areas around Davis, but does not apply within the current Davis City Limits.

          (2e) is an unknown

          (3) Market Demand for housing in Davis is massive and will be even more massive in the future, but its largest component comes from a jurisdiction outside the City Limits, and as such it is unclear whether SACOG RHNA will point that Market Demand factor at UCD (and West Village) or at the City, or both.

          (4) is definitely a factor, but is proportionally very minor when compared to other factors in our overall community (City/County/University) housing market

          (5) might exist for Davis if Slater’s Court or Rancho Yolo or Davis Mobile Estates were redeveloped from their current affordable state, but until and unless that happens Davis shouldn’t be losing any units contained in assisted housing developments.

          (6) high housing cost burdens definitely apply in Davis for new construction.  How that factor plays out in the RHNA allocation calculations is not clear.

          (7) applies in the unincorporated Yolo County areas around Davis, but does not apply within the current Davis City Limits.

          (8) like Market Demand this issue is massive and will be even more massive in the future, but again it is unclear whether SACOG RHNA will point that Market Demand factor at UCD (and West Village) or at the City, or both.

          Bottom-line, in my opinion, the high allocation assigned by SACOG for the 2013-2021 RHNA was very much a function of the impending or completed entitlements granted to Chiles Ranch, the Cannery, and Grande . . . and was an anomaly.  I believe Davis’ allocation will drop back from 2013’s allocation of 1,066 units (for a 9 year period) back to something closer to 2008’s allocation of 498 units (for a 7.5 year period).  Given the evaporation of “land suitable for urban development or for conversion to residential use” it is possible that the next allocation will actually be lower than 498.  Time will tell.

        14. Ron

          Matt:

          I’m not sure if the (original) communication (where you obtained this) included some responses from Eileen, which weren’t resolved between the two of you.  In any case, I recall that there was such a communication.

          [moderator] edited.

        15. Ron

          Matt:  “Bottom-line, in my opinion, the high allocation assigned by SACOG for the 2013-2021 RHNA was very much a function of the impending or completed entitlements granted to Chiles Ranch, the Cannery, and Grande . . . and was an anomaly.  I believe Davis’ allocation will drop back from 2013’s allocation of 1,066 units (for a 9 year period) back to something closer to 2008’s allocation of 498 units (for a 7.5 year period).  Given the evaporation of “land suitable for urban development or for conversion to residential use” it is possible that the next allocation will actually be lower than 498.  Time will tell.”

          You have no basis to conclude that Chiles Ranch, the Cannery, and Grande were the CAUSE of the SACOG allocation of 1,066 units.  I understand that these developments helped meet such requirements, and was a primary justification to approve these developments.

          In any case, even your estimate of 498 units is significant.

        16. Ron

          Matt:

          You’re the one who challenged me.  You also noted that your opinion was merely a “guess”.

          If you have evidence to back up your claims, go ahead and post it.

        17. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “In any case, even your estimate of 498 units is significant.”

          Let’s drill down into the significance of that 498 number.

          If you read Table 41 of Amendment to Housing Element 2013-2021 (PA #14-49; GPA #05-14 you will find that the first 264 units of the 498 are discharged through the inventory of Underutilized Site and Accessory Dwelling Unit possibilities scattered throughout the City.   In addition per the 2008 Housing Element Steering Committee Report there were 382 individual lots scattered through the city that were identified as “PRIMARY SITES – Currently Planned and Zoned For Housing” … all of which can be used as credit toward discharging the RHNA requirement.  A quick look at the City’s Building Permits Issued report shows that less than 82 of those 382 SFR sites have been issued building permits.  The primary reason for that was the Recession, but it has been estimated that more than half of those 382 sites are being held as investment properties (often by out of town owners), so it is not unreasonable to expect that over 200 of the 382 will still be “zoned and vacant” when the next RHNA cycle comes around.

          Bottom-line Ron, your knowledge level with respect to SACOG and RHNA is similar to your knowledge level with respect to CEQA.  You have an abundance of feelings and exposure to hearsay, but precious little knowledge.

        18. Ron

          Matt:

          I have no known concerns regarding the numbers that you’ve added up, here.  However, your own analysis (above) notes significant, unknown factors.

          It would be a disservice (and pure “guesswork”) to try to determine what the next round of SACOG requirements will be.

          You might want to ask others regarding the relationship between SACOG and the developments you mentioned (e.g., the Cannery, Chiles Ranch, Grande).  Your argument that SACOG “fair share” growth requirements were adjusted upward to “accommodate” these developments has no apparent factual basis.

          Regarding your (insult), I’ve come to expect this from you, at this point. But, what’s worse is that you “pretend” to know the facts, and spread misinformation that others might mistakenly trust.

        19. Matt Williams

          Ron, regarding your speculation about the Cannery, Chiles Ranch, Grande, read the SACOG regulations. They are self explanatory. Come back after you have read them and give us your interpretation of what they say about the calculation formula.

          With that said, the numbers are the numbers Ron.  They simply stand in reflection to your “what about” approach to all issues. You have provided no objective information to support your position.  The numbers I have provided are part of the public record of both the City and the State.  Of course they are subject to interpretation … which is exactly why I said, “Let’s drill down into the significance of that 498 number.”  Did the information from the public record accomplish that goal?  Yes it did.  Did it provide absolute prognostications for future events? No it did not.  It didn’t even attempt to do that.  Evidence was shared.  Nothing more, nothing less.

          As an aside, if your commitment to “what about” were adopted by all people the human race would quickly pass into extinction because no one would be able to procreate because of the “what about” uncertainty that bringing a child into the world entails.

        20. Ron

          Matt:

          Again, you’re the one who put forth the argument that SACOG numbers were adjusted upward to “accommodate” the Cannery, Chiles Ranch, and Grande”.  You have presented absolutely no evidence to support that claim.

          You’re focused on the 498 number, without acknowledging the significant unknowns that you mentioned in your own analysis. You referred to some of these as the “elephant in the tent”.

          Regarding your final point, you’re (once again) making an off-topic statement which has nothing to do with what I’ve actually stated. (I agree that it’s an “aside”, all right.)

      2. Grok

        Thanks Ron, in fairness to the University, none of the sites I posted above are anything new that I came up with. They are all sites the University themselves have identified for development or redevelopment. The University just needs to do a better job of following through on its sustainable planning goals by building more housing on these sites by building a little taller. The other UCs are doing it, so there is no reason to believe Davis can’t do it too.

        1. Ron

          Indeed, Grok.

          Also, it’s going to take some backbone from the city, to push back on a (still) somewhat reluctant university. (This is a pattern that has apparently played out in other university cities, as well.)

  3. Tia Will

    Do students want to remain on campus or do students want to live in and become temporary members of the community?

    The answer to this question as written is “yes”. The problem is that we are missing any concrete numbers of how many students have which preference. If the answer were to be ( for example) 90% on campus to 10 % off, that would lead us to very different recommendations than if that ratio were to be flipped. So without data, we just don’t know. Has the university done a poll or survey of where senior class members would want to live if there were both options available?

    This is just as true when applied to the idea of how many are in favor or opposed to building at any given location, Russell Fields or elsewhere. We don’t know what proportion of the population feels in favor vs what proportion are opposed for the simple reason that we have not asked.  No factual input opens the door wide for speculation which is all we seem to be working with at present.

  4. South of Davis

    Tia wrote:

    > Has the university done a poll or survey of where senior class

    > members would want to live if there were both options available?

    The university has a lot of data about this and most kids after a year in the dorms to meet people can’t wait to get off campus so they don’t have to deal with an RA looking over their shoulder watching everything they do…

  5. Frankly

    I think it is probably true that with respect to building on Russel Fields the NIMBY and NOE people will obviously oppose it, but also a number of reasonable and rational Davis voters will also oppose it.

    God I hate Measure R.  It gives power of influence over city direction to people that have no capability for visualization.  It is like letting all the low GPA students design the curriculum for the school.

    Welcome to Davis… aka the Sinking Ship of Old Fools.

  6. Chamber Fan

    Ron: Why don’t you show us an example of a negative consequence exacted by SACOG for not following growth guidelines.  Otherwise you’re just parodying others.

    1. Ron

      Chamber Fan:

      You apparently didn’t fully read the communications from Don and me, above.  Apparently, no city has yet dared to defy SACOG fair share growth requirements.

      From SACOG’s website (and as noted in my previous comments), “SACOG provides transportation planning and funding for the region . . .”  I’d suggest that we not purposefully become the first “test case”, via pursuit of unwise development decisions, now.

      Here’s some other information, regarding funding (directly, and indirectly) provided to communities via SACOG:

      http://www.sacog.org/funding

        1. Ron

          Don:

          As soon as a city (such as Davis, as you’re apparently advocating) defies SACOG, I’ll try to be the first to ask you about it.  I guess you’ll acknowledge the problem, after it occurs.

          Remind me to never go to a casino with you. You sound like the “betting type”, even when consequences have already been presented to you, in advance. What part of “controls funding” don’t you understand?

          1. Don Shor

            The whole premise of what you and others have been saying about SACOG basically boils down to: if we grow now, they’ll make us grow even more in the future. Nobody has provided evidence for that, at least not that I’ve seen, but I haven’t delved deeply into the methodology SACOG uses to make its regional fair share housing allocations. But SACOG basically issues regional housing allocations, then requires a city to provide a planning document that shows how they are planning to meet them. Every city has to do that, and every city does. Think about that. Is Davis the only slow/no-growth city in California?
            The one occasion that I looked through SACOG enforcement documents on line, that was the only thing I found: whether or not a city was in compliance with having submitted the planning document. SACOG is basically a paperwork-compliance agency that does regional planning. Remember MRIC? They provided an analysis of that project in the form of a letter to the City of Davis as to whether it met, and to what degree, the regional blueprint. They didn’t say ‘you have to do this’.

            Where do you have ANY evidence that SACOG acts to force cities to actually build housing?

          2. Don Shor

            Interesting note: Davis could join with Woodland to become a housing ‘sub-region’ and meet housing allocations that way, if there was a desire or need to do so.

        2. Ron

          Don:

          From above:  “SACOG approves the distribution of affordable housing in the region and assists in planning for transit, bicycle networks, clean air and airport land uses.”

          Perhaps you think that approval is “automatic”.

          1. Don Shor

            I believe they have never rejected a city’s plan, nor compelled any city to add housing. Do you have evidence otherwise?

  7. Michael Harrington

    What’s odd is that the CC has not forcefully pushed back on UCD trying to build housing on these fields.

     

    From the City’s perspective, those playing fields are like a high quality park, maintained 100% by another agency, at no expense to the City.   Sure, it’s for UCD activities, but the fields are a beautiful viewshed right in the heart of town, and city residents often use them too for informal activities and fun.

    The Mayor is on the LRDP subcommittee, which apparently has been meeting in private, often just the Mayor himself because CC Member Swanson misses so many meetings now, and recently we learned that the Mayor has two substantial employment related connections to UCD.  There are fairly high energy optics there that suggest at least a political conflict of interest, if not a legal one.

    The City Attorney was flat wrong with her analysis of the conflicts involving Lucas and Trackside, and if she has given the Mayor a clearance here, she might well be incorrect.

    (Lucas had business partners in Trackside, including silent ones, and I complained that he had to recuse himself from ALL votes of ANY of the projects these local business and developers were bringing to the CC;  he sold his shares shortly after I wrote to the CC and City Attorney.)

    At the least, we deserve a full and active 2-member subcommittee that is openly taking positions to benefit the city, rather than the half-baked private/secret meetings between the Mayor with representatives of his employer.  Swanson should commit to attending, or remove herself.  The Mayor should recuse himself from the LRDP and any votes involving UCD.

    1. Chamber Fan

      Not sure what else you want them to say: On the other hand, the city seems to back the idea of the preservation of Russell Fields.  The language: “Recognizing the community interests expressed in preserving the physical and cultural attributes of the Russell Fields as a key City/Campus edge and ‘shared community space,’ request that UC Davis withdraw the proposed conversion of field areas to housing from the LRDP and shift housing units to other areas of campus.”

    2. Don Shor

      At the least, we deserve a full and active 2-member subcommittee that is openly taking positions to benefit the city, rather than the half-baked private/secret meetings between the Mayor with representatives of his employer.

      And people wondered what I was referring to when I criticized the ongoing character assassination on the Vanguard.

      1. Ron

        Don:  Otherwise known as a conflict of interest by a public official, who works in the international student department. (The same department that the university has elevated in importance regarding enrollment plans, due to the increased funding that it receives from non-resident students.) And, the mayor is in a position to help ensure that the university can continue dragging its feet, at the expense of the city.  (By voting to approve large-scale, student-oriented housing at locations that aren’t well-suited for it.)

        We’ve been through this at length, already. Suffice it to say that we have drastically different opinions, regarding this.

        1. Ron

          hpierce:

          Only for about 10 years or so, as a federal auditor.  You mistakenly referred to laws exclusively, and disregarded policies (and/or lack thereof).

          Do you really want to ask about this, again?  We’ve been through this (with you and Don, already).

        2. hpierce

          @ Ron…

          http://www.fppc.ca.gov/Form700.html

          Robb (and all CC members) have to fill it out every year while assuming office, being in office, and leaving office.  Many City management and some not in mgt. have to do so as well…

          Maybe you should fill out one for yourself… just to see what the criteria are…

          You are not a mandatory “reporter”, right, so you can keep it to yourself…

          Or, do you think there should be a “higher standard”?  [The “Ron” standard?]

          I am very “conservative” about COI… a true COI is abhorrent… Robb is fine…

        3. hpierce

          Saying you are/were a federal auditor does not imply COI credentials… and there is a big difference between having 1 year of experience 10 times, and ten years of experience.  So yeah, I guess we need to revisit implications of COI from those who have not presented credentials… my credentials are having to know and understand COI, and avoid them (because I was/am subject to those regs), for over 30 years… and, morally/ethically, abhor COI for even longer…

          Oh, and I was not mistaken… laws are laws… you cannot point to regulations/policies… to this point, at least…

        4. Ron

          hpierce:

          Robb’s appointment was apparently recent.  Also, please refer to the comments by Mike, regarding the city attorney. (I have no comment regarding that.)

          From what I know of the situation (and what I’ve witnessed professionally as a compliance auditor), there would be a high likelihood of an audit finding based on policy (or lack thereof).

          To answer your other posting, 10 years experience as a compliance auditor. Most audits consider COI as a primary concern.

          As I previously noted, Katehi probably didn’t break any “laws”.

        5. Ron

          Chamber Fan:

          Yes, the mayor has a fiduciary duty to the city.

          This is not the only criteria, regarding COI.

          As a federal auditor, there were significant restrictions regarding any of my “outside activities”.  Each year, we had to report them (and receive approval).  I recall that activities of family members (who might have a connection with an audited organization) was also a concern.

          1. Don Shor

            I recall that activities of family members (who might have a connection with an audited organization) was also a concern.

            So that includes Dan Wolk (father), Sue Greenwald (spouse), Joe Krovoza, Jerry Kaneko (faculty), and Maynard Skinner (Asst Vice Chancellor).
            We’re going to get to a very small pool of candidates for council at this rate.

        6. Ron

          hpierce:  Are you saying that you have a “COI credential”?

          10 years experience as a federal compliance auditor, with most audits considering COI. Is there something confusing about that to you?

          COI is a primary concern of auditors, and is included in education and training.

        7. Ron

          hpierce “. . . you cannot point to regulations/policies… to this point, at least . . .”

          And, in those cases, that also often creates an audit finding.  (Lack of policy.)

        8. Ron

          Frankly:

          I’d suggest that it’s a view that’s simply different than yours.  (Also, there are easier, less time-consuming and less-stressful ways to pursue self-interests, than posting on the Vanguard or getting involved with politics.) (Unless one is a developer, e.g., with better connections than I have.) In any case, I’m not on the council.

        9. Ron

          Don:

          I was providing examples of particular audits, where family members might have a connection.

          Regarding being a council member, only some activities (such as being on the LRDP sub-committee) deal directly with the university.

  8. Marina Kalugin

    Of course…..those fields ARE Davis…they were there when most of us moved here or first visited here or were born here..

    many of us played soccer on those fields, my ex, my sons, and I ….we marched on those fields against the war.

    we marched on Toomey and nearby ….at Graduations …our own …our childrens and our grandchildrens…

    we participated in picnic days and parades.

    Those fields are HISTORIC UCD and Davis fields.

    WE all own them…and they belong to our grandchildren and their children and so on.

    Linda would get it….will Ralph?   will the NAPO?

    How about Bob Seegar, whose brilliant daughter was in one of the Gate classes with one of my sons…?

    The wealthy neighbors who assumed their investments are secure and enjoy that open space are not gonna be happy.

    Most current students are not gonna be happy….

    Alumni and donors aren’t gonna be happy..  Staff and Faculty will not be happy either..

    Guess who is left?    right the developers, realtors, constructions industry et al…  Right?  of course.

    If one is a local plumber and lives in College Park.. now that may be difficult ….do I want my open space or more plumbing work …now there it gets tough.

    Have a good day… fortunately for some, I have many other legal matters to attend to today…so am not going to be around much.

    But my many friends, many who are no longer posting here, hasta la vista   🙂

    1. Biddlin

      “Of course…..those fields ARE Davis…”

      40 years ago, that was true. That pluralistic, bucolic Davis has been dead for at least two decades. Current political, physical and fiscal realities require a deeper and broader view. Nostalgia is the mind’s way of preserving a sweet memory of the past, allowing us to move forward. It is not meant to blind us to the now.

  9. Misanthrop

    Not a word here about Measure R and peripheral development although I suspect that two miles from UCD includes lots of undeveloped land to the west, south and north of the campus that are off limits due to Measure R. Why two miles? My guess is that is what the Mayor thinks is bikeable. I don’t think he has a conflict of interest with UC. I think he thinks we should all give up cars. Viewed through that lens all his proposals make sense. I do respect that he leads by example. I disagree that its practical. Of course, with the future of all electric vehicles blossoming as I write, the mayor may have made a wrong turn into a cul de sac of environmental dogmatism.

    1. Ron

      Misanthrop:  “Why two miles?”

      In addition to what you’ve noted, this will include the Sterling and Lincoln40 mega-dorm proposals.  In addition, the city isn’t really that much larger than 2-3 miles from the University, in any direction.

      Misanthrop:  “Of course, with the future of all electric vehicles blossoming as I write, the mayor may have made a wrong turn into a cul de sac of environmental dogmatism.”

      Although we’re on nearly opposite sides of the “growth spectrum”, you do come up with some pretty good lines, at times.

       

  10. Marina Kalugin

    too bad I don’t have time to read and catch up….

    especially Ron.. I knew I liked you from day 1…  even when you didn’t know something…well you showed intelligence and an ability to look at things from all sides…

    That is a skill sorely lacking in most on this board.

    as a federal auditor just as in forensic science one learns to pull a string….some of us, and including DG and Jerry, and Mrs W,  have that ability as an innate skill

    some can learn it while others run into a brick wall

    Our experiences and education color what we see and things are never, ever all black and white…

    For those who do not hold onto fixed ideas, we live and learn…like DG and his family who I am getting to know, and others on this board who I am getting to know..

    The more far out the theory or the crime, the more likely it is true.  Real life is generally much stranger even than the wildest soaps or fiction….

    Most “conspiracy theories” are later found out to be true…..yet even the most brilliant scientists had their heads chopped off for daring to say the earth was round….

    If nothing else, I truly hope that with this new dawn of a president who is not beholden to the entrenched special interests that we are now actually making progress every day towards more understanding rather than less.

    It is never what ya think..  follow the money though…and you could, if ya wanna, learn the truth

     

      1. hpierce

        Actually, tho’ I may disagree with Biddlin on several topics, I’d never question his/her ‘wisdom’… it is not Biddlin who needs to “wise up”… but, there are others who post here who could benefit from the admonition… unfortunately, their lack of knowledge, discernment and/or ‘wisdom’ will prevent them from listening to that advice…

  11. David Greenwald Post author

    UC Davis Updates Proposal for 2017 Long Range Development Plan

    The University of California, Davis is today (December 6) releasing an update to the 2017 Long Range Development Plan. The updated proposal removes housing from Russell Field while preserving capacity to accommodate 90% of enrollment growth in campus housing and 40% of the Davis-based students in campus housing. When compared to 2014-15, the Plan provides capacity to accommodate an additional 6,200 additional students, as well as an additional 475 faculty and staff in campus housing.

    1. Don Shor

      So the only change from their previous LRDP is the removal of housing from Russell Field.
      Per the May 2016 press release:

      With predicted enrollment capacity of 39,000 in 2027-28, the campus could see 6,870 new students and would provide on-campus housing for 6,200 of them, or 90 percent. Altogether, the campus would have space for 40 percent of the projected 2027-28 enrollment capacity.

      So about 700 more students will be seeking housing in the Davis rental market, plus an unknown number of faculty and staff in the regional housing market.
      We now know what UCD is going to provide. I urge that the city plan accordingly.

      1. Biddlin

        ” I urge that the city plan accordingly.”

        The “City” seems to plan with alacrity.

        The execution, not so much. There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip and in Davis, no end of clowns with banana peels.

      2. South of Davis

        The way UCD is (not) moving on the on the Orchard Park redevelopment I think the odds that Trump will ask Hillary to be his Secretary of State are better than the odds that UCD will be finishing construction of 6,200 beds for the 2027-28 school year ten years from now from now…

        1. hpierce

          C’mon… that’s a sucker’s bet… unfortunately…

          UCD has a mantra when it comes to housing and/or affordable parking… “it’s not part of our core mission”… techno-speak for ‘zero priority’.

          Have heard the mantra often…

        1. Grok

          The updated proposal removes housing from Russell Field while preserving capacity to accommodate 90% of enrollment growth in campus housing and 40% of the Davis-based students in campus housing. 

          This quote from campus planners David posted previously shows that the campus still plans on housing exactly the same number of students they were planning for previously. Additionally, that was confirmed on a call yesterday. What I wrote was not a direct quote.

  12. Misanthrop

    Congratulations to Colin and Sunny. Add Russell fields to the growing list of housing projects opposed by the residents of Davis while they continue to complain UCD doesn’t do enough to house its students.

    1. Grok

      Since all of the housing that was planned for Russell Field is being accommodated elsewhere on campus another way to look at this is that the housing project was reconfigured for the benefit of students and residents alike. Council members Frerichs and Arnold did an excellent job of pointing out paths that the campus can take to further increase housing options on campus.

  13. ryankelly

    There were many people who attended open houses and briefings and gave suggestions about the LRDP to campus, wrote letters about their spiritual connection to this turf field, etc.  My idea to relocate the tennis courts and build there wasn’t accepted, but it looks like they found another way.

    Now that this is settled for now, people can stop attacking our City Council representatives and others in the community and questioning their loyalty.

    1. Biddlin

      ” people can stop attacking our City Council representatives and others in the community and questioning their loyalty.”

      I don’t believe “people”  have done so, just trolls.

  14. Misanthrop

    I want to address this idea that UCD house all Freshmen on campus. Some students come from families that live close enough to UCD that their kids can live at home. Making them live on campus would add expense for local kids to go to UCD especially low income kids. There are probably other exceptions that make sense too. UCD has a history of offering spaces to local kids as one of its priorities. I would think the local community would want to support that policy instead of undermining it by demanding every first year student live on campus. Ninety percent seems like UCD is trying to be both prudent and responsible.

    1. Grok

      Misanthrop, I agree that Freshman should not be forced ot live on campus for the reasons you stated. Housing should be available for 100% of Incoming students (Freshman and Transfers) but not be mandated.

      UCD has stated that 90% is because 10% of the students live out of town, so they expect 10% of increased enrollment will live out of town.

    2. Frankly

      If they don’t live on campus or right next to campus they will need a car, and as Freshman they are not allowed a car.

      This is more than aggravating to hear the NIMBY NOE people oppose housing because of the dislike of traffic and then throw out these ideas to back their opposition to housing that would cause more traffic.

      See why there is no credibility in the NIMBY NOE people?  They just flip and flop until they advocate for what they were previoulsy against, and against what they previously avocated for.

      1. Grok

        I think your a little off the mark Frankly. As Misanthrop points out that there are some Freshman that choose to live with their families because they come from the area. He and I agree they should be allowed to do so.

        If you read what I wrote more carefully, you might find that all I did is state what the University has said about why they only plan to house 90% of the increase in enrollment. I do not agree with them that this is the right goal.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for