On Wednesday, the Planning Commission narrowly approved the planning applications for the Sterling Apartments. A large number of community members came to voice their opinion on the project. Yesterday, we illustrated the views of the ASUCD President and the Graduate Student Association Rep.
Today we will show some of the neighborhood views.
Marjorie Beech, a resident of Rancho Yolo said:
It does not provide housing needs at Davis, it provides student housing needs which UCD should be providing. Second, it does not make Rancho Yolo Residents happy because basically what happened is we had a negotiating team that met with Dinnerstein and got what they could.
I will tell you of the 260 single-family residences, 150 feet from this mega-dorm – I doubt that very many people are happy with what has become the “vision.” The only thing is that the original project was such a mega-building that 200 units less is a slight, as they even said in their presentation, it’s a slight change.
It’s a mega-dorm that belongs on UCD campus- not 150 feet away from my single-family home and the homes of the other 259 single-homes 150 feet away from this mega dorm. This belongs on the UCD campus, not right across the street from our single homes – it’s not acceptable.
Of course the elephant in the room is the fact that UCD is providing all of 28 percent housing according to Bob Segar – who came and spoke at Rancho Yolo not too long ago. While UCD expects Davis and the surrounding cities to provide for the bulk – 77 percent of their student housing. There are UC’s that are at least proposing to do 50 percent of student housing on campus in the next ten years.
UCD is only committed to 40 percent which equals another 3000 to 4000 students. That is what 4 to 6 more Sterling Apartments that expect to be housed in residential areas in Davis because they are not willing to do what they need to do.
Nobody’s perfect. UCD is fabulous institution. Davis is the best place ever to live. As is California. There’s a lot of growth now – they need to respond to that growth by committing to 50 to 60 percent of providing for their student housing on campus. We are paying the price in our community for them not doing what we need to do. I know that’s an axillary issue, but it has everything to do with what we’re talking about tonight.
But in no way should there be a mega-dorm across at that density- that is very high density in a very small space.
I know that you’ve had a lot of presentations including from a lot of Rancho Yolo people who are not here tonight. I think that from the beginning, the developers have had their hand held by our planning department. They have been urged to do the Gold LEED – and now they’re saying they wanted it from the start – well they didn’t. You all remember that.
They proposed a huge project, knowing in my opinion full well that it was going to be brought down to size. Now it looks like they have given us something, but that’s not a gift. They and the planning department and Eric (Lee) have called it a family housing apartment complex – full well knowing it’s a dormitory. Sure.
It’s also not affordable, that’s the part I keep hearing in these comments just now – what makes it affordable? Is $1200 a month, affordable? Is a high school in Davis who moves out of home going to move over to Sterling and pay over $1000 a month for a room with a private bathroom when they have a home? No.
Are buses included in the word, traffic? Yes. One of these meetings was held at 5:30 on a weeknight, it took me 25 minutes to get from my home in East Davis, not Rancho Yolo, to this building. And the cars coming in the other direction were even more dense – they were pouring out of the structure at UCD.
Every other Sterling Project that I’m aware of, including the one in Reno – where my cousin’s daughter pays an exorbitant amount of rent, it’s right next to campus. It’s walking distance. It’s across the street. They’re either right next to campus or across from campus. This is like a fantasy – let’s all call it affordable and it will be affordable.
Why will it be affordable? They’ve been paying staff for a year and a fraction to push this on the city of Davis. They’re going to have to tear it all down (the existing building) – that’s going to be expensive. They’re going to have to put it all in – that’s going to be expensive. Of course it’s not going to be affordable –especially with the actual affordable component as part of it. It’s going to be expensive.
With the young people who are going to pile into the houses, we lived almost at the corner of 8th and Anderson for twenty years – that’s not going to change. Because they’re paying $500-$600 a month. They’re not paying $1200 or more. They’re not even paying for their own water – which of course I think they should be paying for their own water here – that’s a good thing.
Sterling, Creekside, Paso Fino, Chiles, and Cannery all affect the only three outlets from East Davis which are of course Russell, Eighth, and Covell. The General Plan says re-zoning is for when it is for the good of the neighborhood – not for the good of the students, not for the good of the university, for the good of the neighborhood – otherwise it should not be re-zoned.
But let’s stretch that and say it’s all for the good of East Davis, Central Davis, and South Davis – but it’s not. There’s nothing in it that would justify changing the zoning. It just makes me resentful, because those of us who are not salaried – like the Sterling people or you, are spending so much time fighting it. It’s like fighting if you will, our current national government.
You feel pretty helpless like its fait accompli – like we’ve gotten it this far, ah, let’s be done with it. Let’s vote for it – we’re finished. It’s smaller – good job. I still say, if it’s going to be built at all, it should be built by a company that is not a big box – not a national for profit company but a company that makes apartments – apartments where my friend who is looking for housing could live. She can’t live there.