City Wants Answers, Action from the University on the Housing Front

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The city of Davis has stepped up with support for some additional student housing, but UC Davis continues to drag their heels and now the city council has authorized $100,000 for the city to take the next steps.

In response to a letter from Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter dated April 14, in which he basically summarizes the university position as “our response remains unchanged,” staff has recommended a new study.

Staff, following review of the letter, “believes this letter highlights the need for the City to pursue a number of actions to further illustrate and reinforce the prior questions, clarifications, concerns and requests that the City Council has put forward to UC Davis in the last several months regarding the LRDP [Long Range Development Plan], which remain largely unanswered.”

Staff recommends a response prepared by both staff and legal counsel that would come back on May 16.

Staff writes, “In light of the response received to the City’s correspondence to date, coupled with the continued forward progression and expected Fall 2017 release of the LRDP Draft EIR, staff believes it is prudent to begin preparation of our own series of analyses of potential impacts of the LRDP on the City. These areas of study and potential impacts include transportation, parks, greenbelts, and City services, as outlined in the City EIR scoping comment letter to UC Davis.”

Mayor Pro Tem Brett Lee said, “I think that UC Davis is making an effort to increase on-campus housing, they’ve talked about tearing down some two story complexes and turning them into three story and four stories – predominantly three stories – and they’ve also talked about taking rooms and, instead of two people in the room, tripling them up.”

He said, “I just find it noteworthy that for an existing place that they plan to tear down and then rebuild, I find it somewhat surprising that they would tear down a two story complex and replace it with a three story complex.”  He added that “with a great shortage of on-campus housing it seems a lost opportunity.”

Lucas Frerichs said the RFQ (Request for Quotation) is going out this summer for the replacement of Orchard Park.  He said, “The plan for the replacement of Orchard Park contains three-story replacement for the existing two stories that are there.”

He pled with the university to “consider a higher density replacement for Orchard Park on that site.  There are very few neighbors nearby.”  He said, “I think if there is any place on the campus that is rife for a higher density replacement for existing student housing it is absolutely the Orchard Park site.”

During public comment, Jean Jackman noted, “It greatly puzzles me, how the university can invest and thoughtfully and beautifully develop these two new buildings (International Center and the Scrubs Café in the new Vet Med Administration building) and yet – with UC Davis owning more land than all other UC campuses, they provide the least amount of student housing when it is so badly needed.”

She noted, “Rents are going up, mini-dorms with many cars are ruining neighborhoods and causing bad feelings, students have to live in other towns and drive long distances, polluting the air to get to campus.

“Perhaps it is time for tough love for UC Davis.  Because we do love our university, but we need their demonstration of love for maintaining the quality in our town,” she said.

Dan Carson pointed out that when the council asked for the timing of new housing, Interim Chancellor Hexter, in his letter, “gave you a list of campus projects that doesn’t quite line up with the UC System capital improvement plan he also told you to read. He provided no information at all about when thousands of new students they plan to admit are going to show up.”

He said, “I guess we are left to assume that the housing will show up years later, if at all, after enrollment is increased. Most of the new housing beds, curiously, are proposed for the very last year of the plan, raising doubts about the campus commitment to actually deliver them, given all the broken promises in the past.

“You asked him about the density of the on-campus housing they are proposing. No answer,” he said. “You asked him what reasons they have for not building more housing than they are proposing. No answer.”

Mr. Carson continued, “The constructive dialogue Chancellor Hexter calls for in his letter just isn’t possible if campus officials are going to bob and weave and duck legitimate inquiries by our city representatives into their plans to increase the campus population – including students, staff, and others – by 24 percent over the next ten years.   That’s their numbers, not mine.”

Greg Rowe said the LRDP “is going to do absolutely nothing to address (the housing needs), all they’re going to do is house 90 percent of the incoming students.”  He added, “By my calculations the number of students living off campus in the city will actually increase over time between 2017 and 2027 under the LRDP.  So they’re doing nothing to really solve the current crisis for all those students cited last week.

“UC is proposing to simply tread water and do nothing for additional housing between the 20-21 academic year and the end of the LRDP in 2027-28,” he said.  “That’s just simply unacceptable.”

Alan Pryor pointed out, “UC Davis has stopped being a good neighbor years ago when they knowingly violated the terms of our joint Memorandum of Understanding re: adding student housing on campus. Their behavior has gotten worse in recent years as they have gobbled up whole apartment complexes with Master leases and small industrial park space for office use. Now they even want to start exporting their research laboratories to the City with all the attendant problems associated with them.”

He added, “The reason is very simple…money!! It is cheaper to lease an entire apartment house or office complex in town than build one on campus because of prevailing wage clauses and construction standards and maintenance costs.”

Robb Davis said, “What we ask for (in the December letter) is we ask for an understanding for why greater density, greater height in particular, are not possible.  But we also said, if they’re not, please help us understand your business model.”

He said they want to “deepen our understanding of the constraints faced by the university and the opportunities.”  The mayor said, “My disappointment is that we’re no closer to understanding some of the reasons why than we were previously.”

Mayor Davis said that a respectable partnership is what the city wants, but they need to understand the university’s rationale and the university has refused to explain it.

“We are not seeking to be in an adversarial relationship,” he said.

—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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121 thoughts on “City Wants Answers, Action from the University on the Housing Front”

  1. Colin Walsh

    I live 3 or 4 blocks from Orchard Park, and I could not agree with Lucas more – Orchard Park is an excellent site for taller buildings, and increased student housing. Building less than 6 stories at Orchard Park is a missed opportunity, an opportunity that will likely not come around again for over 50 years.

     

  2. Todd Edelman

    The City of Davis and UC Davis are already in “…an adversarial relationship.”. It seems to me that the University’s lawyers are waiting for the City to formally acknowledge that.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I view it somewhat differently – not adversarial, just asymmetrical. I don’t think UC Davis sees the city as an adversary, but rather as the little step sister.

      1. Mark West

         “but rather as the little step sister”

        and as a consequence, some on the City’s side have bruised egos (including some of the activists).

        1. Howard P

          That would be every taxpayer/donors in California (who largely fund the UC system), and every taxpayer in Davis (who somewhat uniquely fund the City)… hope that answers your insightful question.

    2. Howard P

      [responding to David’s 8:50 post]

      “little-step sister” is not a bad analogy… but perhaps, in a ‘freak of nature’ way, both entities are like con-joined twins… joined at least at the hip, but probably share some vital organs… definitely two different “parents” on one side of the equation… University Farm (aka UCD) needed Davisville… Davisville became Davis, in part due to University Farm, but the primary driver was to provide fire suppression, water, sanitary sewage, drainage, other municipal services for the residents of Davisville.  The relationship between UCD and the City is not as simple, historically and currently, as some may think.

      Am struck by the possible analogies/metaphors one could make with the other thread(s) including “custody” rights and responsibilities.  We’ll have to see ‘who is the adult here’… hard to judge, at this point.  Some of those “at-risk” are arguably, our ‘children’… whether students, workers, etc.

  3. Richard McCann

    In all of this discussion, I’m not sure how comfortable I’m with the notion of UC has a housing agency. Beyond providing dorms for neophyte students who are not yet self sufficient, I’m not sure why UC should be left to address the housing issue. We don’t ask this of any other entity in our society, so why an institution who’s primary mission is education. UCD has mixed success on providing housing on campus, and across the UC system married-student housing has been a poor stepchild, often with slumlike conditions.

    Can someone make a compelling case as to why UCD should be a housing agency in addition to an education institution? (Using a rationale beyond the selfish proposition that you don’t like the impact of increased housing demand within Davis.)

    1. Eileen Samitz

      Richard,

      There are many reasons why UCD should be providing a lot more on campus housing but here are just a few for starters.

      1) UCD providing student housing for its own needs is called for in its current 2003 LRDP.

      2) UCD has plenty of land with over 5,300 acres.

      3) In contrast, the City has limited land left and cannot provide the enormous housing needs for UCD especially because UCD is trying to bring in more than 6,000 more students so quickly. 4,500 of these students would be non-residents which UCD is milking for triple tuition, yet UCD is trying to get away without providing the on-campus housing for them.

      4) All the other UC’s are building high-density housing on campus to provide long-term dedicated housing for their students because is also controls costs long term as well. The Regents members were praising UC San Diego and UC Irvine for their spectacular plans to bring on far more high density on-campus housing and they were encouraging all the UC’s to do the same.

      5) On-campus housing is far more sustainable since it reduces the commuting needs of many thousands of students reducing the impacts on Davis and surrounding communities and our environment in general.

      6) UCD has plenty of financial resources with more than $1 Billion in endowment money alone (which is not all ear-tagged). I know that I get donation requests for UCD as an alumni as an email or in the mail almost monthly to “GIVE” and it does not designate what it will be used for.

      7) UC apparently has more resources then they are being honest about to build far more on-campus housing on the campuses like the $175 million in reserve that was revealed in the media this week by another State audit of UC.

      8) UCD does not even need to use its capital financial resources either. It can do public-private-partnerships like all the other UC’s are doing, therefore the costs are defrayed for UCD to do the construction.

       

       

       

       

       

       

      1. Mark West

        “1) UCD providing student housing for its own needs is called for in its current 2003 LRDP.”

        The LRDP is a planning document, much akin to the City’s General Plan and area specific plans. They provide guidelines for the location and type of future developments, but not a blueprint for exactly what will happen. There are plenty of items listed in planning documents that may never come to pass, as they are there for planning purposes only.

        “2) UCD has plenty of land with over 5,300 acres.”

        This argument assumes two things. First, that housing is the highest priority use for all that land, and second, that the land is not currently being used for other purposes. Both of these suppositions are false. The bulk of those 5000+ acres on campus is already in productive use addressing the priorities of the University, much of it being used for agricultural research, which unlike housing, is one of the primary responsibilities of an Agricultural University.

        “3) In contrast, the City has limited land left and cannot provide the enormous housing needs for UCD especially because UCD is trying to bring in more than 6,000 more students so quickly.”

        This argument is false. There is virtually unlimited land available for City expansion, we only need to annex it.

        [3b] “4,500 of these students would be non-residents which UCD is milking for triple tuition, yet UCD is trying to get away without providing the on-campus housing for them.”

        Completely irrelevant, and only useful to drum up ill will towards students, non-residents, and of course, the Unversity.

        “4) All the other UC’s are building high-density housing on campus to provide long-term dedicated housing for their students because is also controls costs long term as well. The Regents members were praising UC San Diego and UC Irvine for their spectacular plans to bring on far more high density on-campus housing and they were encouraging all the UC’s to do the same.”

        Everybody else is doing it, so UCD should as well. [Like lemmings and cliffs…]

        “5) On-campus housing is far more sustainable since it reduces the commuting needs of many thousands of students reducing the impacts on Davis and surrounding communities and our environment in general.”

        A person living on campus without a car will have essentially the same impact on the environment as one living off campus without a car. The primary issue is not where within the City/University they live, but their chosen mode of transportation.

        “6) UCD has plenty of financial resources with more than $1 Billion in endowment money alone (which is not all ear-tagged). I know that I get donation requests for UCD as an alumni as an email or in the mail almost monthly to “GIVE” and it does not designate what it will be used for.”

        This argument goes back to the false rationale of argument #2 above, with the assumption that housing is the highest priority for the Unversity. It is not, and should not be.

        “7) UC apparently has more resources then they are being honest about to build far more on-campus housing on the campuses like the $175 million in reserve that was revealed in the media this week by another State audit of UC.”

        That was the Office of the President and has nothing to do with the Davis campus. Just more spaghetti to throw against the wall. [See 3b above]

        “8) UCD does not even need to use its capital financial resources either. It can do public-private-partnerships like all the other UC’s are doing, therefore the costs are defrayed for UCD to do the construction.”

        True, UCD could choose this route if it wanted, but “defrayed” costs are still costs and the projects use University resources all the same. It all comes back to a matter of priorities (the Unversity’s, not Eileen’s).

        1. Howard P

          Mark’s reply to pt 6 is interesting… as UCD Alumni, we get those calls, letters, e-mails a lot, too.

          Next time, I’ll reply that we’d be willing to donate $1,000 if it would be used solely to build student housing on campus… will share with all the response to that reply when it happens…

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Since I was tending to domestic chores this afternoon I just got a chance to check in on the Vanguard. Wow looks like Mark is quite impatient about getting responses so, good heavens,  let me get right on this before he gets anymore upset.

          Responses to Mark West’s 1:23 pm commentary:

          1) UCD providing student housing for its own needs is called for in its current 2003 LRDP.

          Per Mark: “The LRDP is a planning document, much akin to the City’s General Plan and area specific plans. They provide guidelines for the location and type of future developments, but not a blueprint for exactly what will happen. There are plenty of items listed in planning documents that may never come to pass, as they are there for planning purposes only.”

          Mark, oh really? Why does UCD have a plan if you don’t use it? Particularly when they want to bring on thousands and thousand of students with no rational plan on where to house them? UCD is not following through with its plans and commitments to the students to provide student housing that they need and the students understand that now since they wrote a resolution given to Interim Chancellor and the rest of the UCD administration supporting the City’s resolution for more on-campus housing with the 50/100 plan.

          2) UCD has plenty of land with over 5,300 acres.

          Per Mark: “This argument assumes two things. First, that housing is the highest priority use for all that land, and second, that the land is not currently being used for other purposes. Both of these suppositions are false. The bulk of those 5000+ acres on campus is already in productive use addressing the priorities of the University, much of it being used for agricultural research, which unlike housing, is one of the primary responsibilities of an Agricultural University.”

          Here we go again Mark. How convenient that UCD wants to “preserve” all of its 5,300 acres when it wants to.  Except when they want to build another music recital center or an art center.  So no. UCD has plenty of land and needs to better use what they are developing and redeveloping like Orchard Park which needs so go far higher than 3 floors.
          Incidentally, what is your position on Orchard Park being only 3 stories Mark?

          3) In contrast, the City has limited land left and cannot provide the enormous housing needs for UCD especially because UCD is trying to bring in more than 6,000 more students so quickly.

          Per Mark: “This argument is false. There is virtually unlimited land available for City expansion, we only need to annex it.”

          Mark, so it is ok for the City annex farm land in an unlimited capacity, but not for UCD to use some of its own land for its own student housing needs. I mean…come on…

          [3b] 4,500 of these students would be non-residents which UCD is milking for triple tuition, yet UCD is trying to get away without providing the on-campus housing for them.

          Per Mark: “Completely irrelevant, and only useful to drum up ill will towards students, non-residents, and of course, the Unversity.”

          No Mark, not true. However, I sense that you are not willing to acknowledge what the UCD 2020 Initiative is all about. But you may choose to not acknowledge what it is.

          4) All the other UC’s are building high-density housing on campus to provide long-term dedicated housing for their students because is also controls costs long term as well. The Regents members were praising UC San Diego and UC Irvine for their spectacular plans to bring on far more high density on-campus housing and they were encouraging all the UC’s to do the same.

          Per Mark: “Everybody else is doing it, so UCD should as well. [Like lemmings and cliffs…]”

          Mark, if rational planning means calling UCD and all the smart UC’s “lemmings” then we need to chance the UCD mascot from that mustang logo to a lemming. I think that would be kinda cool and funny too. I still miss the Bossie, Bossie, Cow, Cow logo which was SO cool for UCD which the students loved too. It was SO Aggie-spirited.

          5) On-campus housing is far more sustainable since it reduces the commuting needs of many thousands of students reducing the impacts on Davis and surrounding communities and our environment in general.

          Per Mark: “A person living on campus without a car will have essentially the same impact on the environment as one living off campus without a car. The primary issue is not where within the City/University they live, but their chosen mode of transportation.”

          Mark, I mean seriously? You are saying someone living on campus who can walk or bike within minutes to class has the same impact on the City of Davis, surrounding communities and our environment as students who commute? For the record, you are not correct on this and I am disappointed to see you try to make this argument. Maybe you are joking with this comment. I hope so.

          6) UCD has plenty of financial resources with more than $1 Billion in endowment money alone (which is not all ear-tagged). I know that I get donation requests for UCD as an alumni as an email or in the mail almost monthly to “GIVE” and it does not designate what it will be used for.”

          Per Mark: “This argument goes back to the false rationale of argument #2 above, with the assumption that housing is the highest priority for the Unversity. It is not, and should not be.”

          Mark, well here we go with the need to “agree to disagree”. And let me tell you that I know that many UCD students disagree with you too and have made that very evident.

          7) UC apparently has more resources then they are being honest about to build far more on-campus housing on the campuses like the $175 million in reserve that was revealed in the media this week by another State audit of UC.

          Per Mark: “That was the Office of the President and has nothing to do with the Davis campus. Just more spaghetti to throw against the wall. [See 3b above]”

          Well Mark. sorry but to start with, you are incorrect. UCOP does have plenty to do with the UC campus. $175 million is a lot of “spaghetti”. And just wait and see if the UC students agree with you on this. I can see why you have taken the positions you have. You need to better understand what the situation really is. If so, you may actually understand more about why many students and non-students want UCD to build far more on campus housing.

          8) UCD does not even need to use its capital financial resources either. It can do public-private-partnerships like all the other UC’s are doing, therefore the costs are defrayed for UCD to do the construction.

          Per Mark: “True, UCD could choose this route if it wanted, but “defrayed” costs are still costs and the projects use University resources all the same. It all comes back to a matter of priorities (the Unversity’s, not Eileen’s).”

          Mark, so wow…so its fine for UCD to use millions to build a new art center and a new art museum, but is is not ok to use any of its millions out of more than a billion dollars at their disposal for student housing? Sorry Mark, but again. We just need to agree to disagree, again.
           

    2. Mark West

      “Can someone make a compelling case as to why UCD should be a housing agency in addition to an education institution?”

      I have been asking much the same for the better part of a year and so far no one as presented a rational explanation for why housing is the University’s responsibility. The best anyone has been able to come up with is that (to paraphrase) ‘other campuses do it so UCD should as well.’

      Putting more housing on campus makes Davis a more expensive place to live as it adds more residents demanding services but little or no new revenues to compensate. Using the University’s failure to build housing as an excuse not to build more apartments in town, as is a common refrain from some, adds to the cost of living in Davis, particularly impacting those residents who can afford it the least. We have a housing shortage in Davis and the appropriate response is to build more housing in town.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Mark West, I’ll just quote myself from the last time you said this:

        There are many advantages to students being on campus.  It allows them to be much more integrated in the life of the campus – going to talks, being part of clubs, participating in all of the various activities occurring on campus, not to mention making it easier for them to go to classes or office hours.  They can “just run back and get” that thing they forgot.  (Happens all the time).  Even though Davis is not a big town, being off campus makes all of these things just a little bit harder and so a little less likely to happen.

        Plus dealing with landlords and leases is an extra burden on students.  It is time-consuming and stressful.  How do I know this?  Because they tell me.  I hear their stories.  They are not good stories.

        Of course, not all may choose to live on campus.  That’s fine.  But we should have reasonably priced and well run places to live on campus for all of those who do, and yes, it is the campus’s responsibility to provide and promote these in order to promote the best opportunities for their students to learn and experience everything that campus life has to offer.

        And then you said:

        I don’t disagree with your points about convenience, Roberta, but I also don’t see them as adding up to any sort of ‘obligation’ on the part of the University or taxpayers.

        And then I said:

        You don’t see the university as obligated to provide the means for students to best take advantage of everything that the university has to offer, including both traditional academic work and all of the other learning and experiential activities?  Well, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that.  Universities like UCD claim to strive for excellence.  This is how one strives for excellence, by providing the best opportunities possible for students to engage.

        And then you didn’t respond.

        1. Mark West

          Roberta:

          If you take note of my comments over time you would see that I adjust my position based on what I learn from others. I consider it a process of evolution that comes from my interest in always learning new things from others. When I run across someone who’s response is to cut and paste something they have said before I know they have no interest in learning. Your repeated comments are of no interest to me.

          “You don’t see the university as obligated to provide the means for students to best take advantage of everything that the university has to offer, including both traditional academic work and all of the other learning and experiential activities?”

          Tell me, please, where exactly did I say that? Oh, yeah, I didn’t, you just decided that is what I think. Thanks for telling me what is on my mind.

          For the record, I never lived on campus, either as an undergraduate, or in graduate school, but that fact never stopped me from fully partaking in everything that the campuses had to offer. Anyone who blames living off campus for their ‘missing out’ is simply lazy.

          “They can “just run back and get” that thing they forgot.”

          I didn’t respond to this before, but I will now. The professors I respected the most were the ones who said, your work is due at the start of class so if you turn it in even 1′ late you won’t get credit. The one I have in mind stood at the door collecting papers as we walking in. Once he started lecturing, nothing more was accepted. If he assigned a 20-page paper, he would count out the first 20 pages and hand the rest back to you. You quickly learned to follow directions and get your work done.

           

        2. Ron

          Mark:  If you take note of my comments over time you would see that I adjust my position based on what I learn from others. I consider it a process of evolution that comes from my interest in always learning new things from others. When I run across someone who’s response is to cut and paste something they have said before I know they have no interest in learning. Your repeated comments are of no interest to me.”

          I find this rather amusing, from someone who has repeatedly said to me that “others have tried repeatedly, to help you learn”.  (Something to that effect.)

        3. Roberta Millstein

          Mark West,

          If you take note of my comments over time you would see that I adjust my position based on what I learn from others. I consider it a process of evolution that comes from my interest in always learning new things from others. When I run across someone who’s response is to cut and paste something they have said before I know they have no interest in learning. Your repeated comments are of no interest to me.

          I repeated my comments because you said that you hadn’t received any response to your question.  I repasted mine to show that, in fact, you had received at least one response, from me.

          “You don’t see the university as obligated to provide the means for students to best take advantage of everything that the university has to offer, including both traditional academic work and all of the other learning and experiential activities?”
          Tell me, please, where exactly did I say that? Oh, yeah, I didn’t, you just decided that is what I think. Thanks for telling me what is on my mind.

          You seem to have missed the question mark at the end of the sentence.  I was inviting you to respond.  But you did not respond.  I am still curious to know why, if having students live on campus promotes academic excellence, the university would not be obligated to provide housing.

          For the record, I never lived on campus, either as an undergraduate, or in graduate school, but that fact never stopped me from fully partaking in everything that the campuses had to offer. Anyone who blames living off campus for their ‘missing out’ is simply lazy.

          Living on campus is not for everyone.  But it is simply a fact students who live on campus are more engaged in the life of the campus.  Of course, there are exceptions; there are always exceptions.  But again, if the university wants to promote excellence, it should provide enough housing, priced reasonably, for students to live on campus if they choose.

          “They can “just run back and get” that thing they forgot.”

          I didn’t respond to this before, but I will now. The professors I respected the most were the ones who said, your work is due at the start of class so if you turn it in even 1′ late you won’t get credit. The one I have in mind stood at the door collecting papers as we walking in. Once he started lecturing, nothing more was accepted. If he assigned a 20-page paper, he would count out the first 20 pages and hand the rest back to you. You quickly learned to follow directions and get your work done.

          I was talking about students who want to show me something during my office hour and run back to their dorm to get it, which happens more often than you might think.  This being 2017, I have all my students turn their work in online.

        4. Mark West

          “I find this rather amusing,”

          Why is that amusing, Ron? I will admit to even learning something from you, though the frequency of that event would need to be recorded on a geologic scale. In my experience, you have never demonstrated the ability or even a passing interest in learning. I guess you just prefer the sound of your own voice and that of those who think like you.

        5. Mark West

          “I repeated my comments because you said that you hadn’t received any response to your question.”

          Actually, if you read what I said, my statement was that I have not received a rational explanation. I still have not. I have seen responses, but none that rise to the level of rational explanation, just lots of opinions and speculations. Universities may choose to provide housing, but it isn’t a responsibility for it to do so. It is, however, a responsibility of cities.

          “You seem to have missed the question mark at the end of the sentence.”

          Oh, I saw it. The presence of the question mark, however, didn’t change it from a statement that you were trying to attribute to me. Tell me what you think as I am plenty capable of thinking for myself, thank you.

          “if having students live on campus promotes academic excellence, the university would not be obligated to provide housing.”

          Is that the only way you can think of for Universities to promote ‘academic excellence?’ Does the quality of education you (personally) provide your students differ for those who live on campus versus not? Are you for some reason unable to promote excellence in those students who do not live on campus?

          “But again, if the university wants to promote excellence, it should provide enough housing, priced reasonably, for students to live on campus if they choose.”

          It is interesting that you added the caveat ‘priced reasonably’ to your statement. The only way the University can do that is by subsidizing student housing, so now you don’t just want more housing on campus, you want it subsidized (by taxpayers).

          Market rate housing in town is simply a better deal, it costs taxpayers less, provides housing for any resident (not just students) and it improves the City’s fiscal position. Housing on campus costs more to build (and is paid for by taxpayers), it increases the demand for City and School District services without adding revenues to compensate, does not address the broader housing shortage in town, and harms the City’s fiscal position.

          As I said before, you have not provided a rational explanation for why we should want the University to become a ‘housing agency’ as Richard phrased it.

           

    3. Eileen Samitz

      Mark,

      The problem with your concept is that whatever apartments the City would add, could just be master-leased by UCD since that has been their scheme for years now rather than building the needed on-campus housing which is the solution. The City gets no property tax then from tax-exempted UCD and instead gets all the impacts and the costs. So it does not help the situation. The real solution is for UCD to build far more high-density on campus housing which would be dedicated for students and control costs long term. Costs can not be controlled long term in the City and it would be a constant competition between students and non-students to acquire the rental housing. None of that works as a solution.

      Meanwhile, UCD has created this entire mess by making matters worse when they decided to bring on 6,000 more students with no rational plan to housing them in time nor to catch-up with teh backlog of on-campus housing needed that exists now. Katehi’s illogical “UCD 2020 Initiative” to bring in 5,0oo more students by 2020, yet doing nothing to have housing for them is ridiculous. Looks like Interim Chancellor Hexter, who was in charge of implementing the UCD 2020 Initiative plan, is carrying the torch for this irrational plan.  The “plan” is to add 5,000 more students to UCD by 2020 with 4,500 of them non-residents to extract triple tuition out of the non-residents for revenue. This is not planning, this is “anti-planning” by UCD. It is a pathetic joke that UCD claims to “embrace” sustainable planning when they do the exact opposite.

      Meanwhile, the UCD students are complaining voraciously that the campus is already overcrowded and they cannot even get admission to the class they need to graduate in four years.  When Katehi was here, UCD’s graduation rate within four years was a pathetic 55% . That in turn costs the students more in expensive tuition to extend their time at UCD and their extended need for housing. So the whole system backs p because UCD can not even handle the 35,000 student population now no less add 4,000 -5,000 more by 2027-2028.

      UCD does need to take responsibility like the other UC’s are and as the Regents want them to as the Regents members cheered on all the UC’s to create as much high density housing in the January Regents meeting. UC Irvine and UC San Diego were two that have incredible student housing plans in process racing towards 50% total student population housing on-campus. Meanwhile, UCD continues to stall… standing in the starting gate. While UCD pushes their students to “accomplish” academically, UCD needs to learn to practice what they are preaching and try to accomplish taking responsibility to provide far more housing for their students on their 5,300 acre campus. Even the students have been voicing the need for on-campus housing as well as the City.

       

       

      1. Tia Will

        Eileen,

        the campus is already overcrowded and they cannot even get admission to the class they need to graduate in four years”

        I am really glad that you brought up this point. While it is not directly related to the housing issue ( although students needing housing for longer than the anticipated four years is a problem), I think that it illustrates the larger systemic problem with the recent administration of UCD. That is a general lack of student centered planning in favor of pushing and highlighting the high profile projects favored by Chancellor Katehi. I have been aware of this problem for over 5 years as it affected members of my family and renters personally.

        Lack of instructors and sections for the admitted number of students is a problem that is exclusively of the universities making but which affects the city both directly and indirectly as well as having obviously adverse consequences for the students.

        1. Mark West

          “they cannot even get admission to the class they need to graduate in four years””

          I’m sure this happens, but for most, it is due to the student’s lack of planning more than anything else. If it takes you longer than four years to graduate, it is because of the choices you made, such as taking a smaller load of units or leaving that required course to the last quarter.

          “Lack of instructors and sections for the admitted number of students is a problem that is exclusively of the universities making but which affects the city both directly and indirectly”

          That’s a stretch. It only ‘affects’ the City in the most indirect of ways, and then only if you see having students stay in town longer than four years as a burden. I’m sure those who don’t want students living in town at all will agree with your logic.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          I’m sure this happens, but for most, it is due to the student’s lack of planning more than anything else.

          In fact, it happens all the time.  Most classes have wait lists.  Many majors have specific classes that must be taken, yet are not offered all that frequently.  Perhaps you are thinking of your own experience, but things are different today, at least at UCD and many universities around the country. Any student on campus can tell you about problems that they had trying to get the classes that they need to graduate on time, how they had to go to professors to beg to be let into classes that are already full/over-full.  (I, of course, am on the other end of that conversation – it is one I have multiple times every quarter).

        3. Mark West

          “Most classes have wait lists.  Many majors have specific classes that must be taken, yet are not offered all that frequently.”

          And most students understand that is the situation and plan accordingly. Really no different then back in the ice ages when I went to school. It is called personal responsibility, much like not leaving your work at home the day it is due.

           

        4. Howard P

          Mark, happens a lot more than UC or the State U wants to admit… daughter enrolled @ Cal Poly SLO… 2001… couldn’t get into the normal freshmen classes due to shortages in class ‘slots’… because those are pre-req’s for other classes, she had to become a 5th year senior… not her choice, Cal Poly’s… she had a strong GPA, and has since gotten her Master’s, first in the family to do so… in a highly technical, medical field.  Her credentials were so impressive, she was hired at a top 10 medical hospital, even though the job description required a MS, which she had not yet achieved.

          Definitely not a ‘slacker’…

      2. Mark West

        Eileen –

        You didn’t respond to any of my comments, just continued with the same laundry list of false and misleading statements. In that regard, you appear to share proclivities with Roberta. When you want to have a real discussion, please let me know.

        Mark

         

      1. Tia Will

        Hi Richard

        Just as an addition to Eileen’s comments, the following occur to me.

        1. Part of the answer to your question lies in the nature of UCD. For me one answer lies in the word, public. Yes it is true that the primary mission is education, but it is public education. It is supported by our tax dollars and charged with educating our children.

        2.We have accepted a number of roles that one might usually ascribe to a city, to the university. They have for example their own fire department and their own police department although neither of these is their “primary mission”. So there does exist precedence for other functions of UCD other than just education. While one might be tempted to exclude these functions as a matter of safety, I would counter that students are much safer if they do not have to commute, especially by car.

        3. I also feel that it is a fairly arbitrary standard to declare that only first year students can benefit from the relatively paternalistic nature of dorms. I feel that there is a wide variety of degrees of maturation at various ages and levels of education and that providing only for freshman on the basis of “self sufficiency” is a weak argument. Some sophomores are ready for greater responsibility, some are not but are kicked out anyway.

        4. Given that so many UCs are successfully housing more of their students, can you articulate what makes you uncomfortable about requesting the same from UCD ?

        1. Ron

          Tia:  “While one might be tempted to exclude these functions as a matter of safety, I would counter that students are much safer if they do not have to commute, especially by car.”

          Not sure of the statistics, but I would imagine that the more “dangerous” commute for students is via bicycle, through city streets and intersections.  (With some of the resulting risk experienced by pedestrians.)

        2. Matt Williams

          Tia, your comment caused me to ponder the following:

          Regarding your 1, over the past decade arguably the primary mission of UCD could be seen to be research rather than education.  Of the $25.6 billion total annual budget only $6.6 billion is devoted to education, which jumps up to $8.5 billion when the $1.9 billion from alumni/private support is added in.  $7.3 billion is devoted to the delivery of healthcare.  $9.3 billion to some sort of research.  $0.5 billion comes from “other sources.”

          Also regarding your 1, the $25.6 billion breaks out into approximately $9.6 billion from public sources ($2.6 billion of State general funds, $3.0 billion in student tuition $4.0 billion in government contracts and grants) and $16.0 billion from private sources.  Many would argue that the student tuition payments are private as well.

          Your point 2 is an interesting one; however it has a meaningful inaccuracy.  Specifically, UCD is part of the unincorporated County, not part of the City, so the policing choice was between being patrolled by the County Sheriff or by its own Police force.  Further, to the best of my knowledge, the decision about fire districts is determined by LAFCO.

          Fire protection districts are formed through a petition signed by no less than 25% of the proposed districts registered voters or through a resolution of application adopted by the city or county the district resides in. A Notice of Intention must be filled with the LAFCO Executive Officer prior to circulation of the petition beginning (Government Code 56700.4). Once formation proceedings have been initiated a noticed public hearing must be held. The LAFCO Commission may approve, modify, or deny the proposed district formation after receiving public testimony. If approved an election is called and if a majority of qualified voters of the district vote in its favor, the district will be formed (Health and Safety Code 13829, Government Code 57176).

          You are probably correct about student safety; however, when you were in the 19-25 year-old age cohort, did you give much consideration to your safety when going to and from classes and/or university activities.  At that age, most kids think of themselves as indestructible.  Witness the high proportion of night-time bicycle riders who ride with no light and/or dark clothing.

          I agree with your point 3.

          I’m not the least bit uncomfortable with the normal workings of the housing market for all students after their Freshman year.  Some will want to exercise their free choice to live on campus, some will want to exercise their free choice to live off campus.

           

           

           

           

    4. Colin Walsh

      The rest of the UC system, with the exception of Berkeley has done a much better job of providing housing than has UCD.  Rather than just accepting UCD’s neglect of its students, we should look to the rest of the UC system to see the other campuses successes.

      1. Howard P

        There are more ‘factors’ involved than a UC campus’ policy… many ‘host’ communities are land-locked… some of those and others have constraints as to ability to serve by water or san. sewage.  Some have transportation gridlock.  You can’t assume all is equal across the UC campus system.  It is not that simple.

        That said, UCD should be doing much more, due to OUR community needs/impacts, service to their students/faculty/staff, regardless of other UC campus practices.  Equating UCD/Davis to other campuses/host cities, is at best simplistic, and at worst, ludicrous.

        A good test of UCD meeting student demand for housing… when they have a 2-3% vacancy rate of on-campus housing… not counting units down for renovation, etc.

        1. Howard P

          Which administrator do you or others want the info on?  It’s pretty much all there on the Transparent California link I shared…

          Am pretty sure I’m getting a ‘yellow card’ or ‘red card’ for disclosing public records…

        2. Howard P

          For full info, on current (actually only up to 2015, now) UCD, City, DJUSD, other public employees and/or retirees, there’s,

          http://transparentcalifornia.com/

          Did not intend to single Hexter out, but was appropriately edited…

          For retirees, in particular, it is also a source for ‘mining’ info for telemarketers… but they’re doing that already…

    5. Greg Rowe

      In response to Richard MaCann:  You’ve asked some good questions, Richard. Let’s see if I can provide some good reasoning.  In November 2002 the UC Board of Regents issued a report titled UC Housing for the 21st Century.  The report analyzed the need for student housing at all the UC campuses, and described the negative impacts that can occur in UC campus “host” cities such as Davis when a campus does not provide sufficient housing to meet student needs.  The three points quoted below from the report’s Executive Summary address your question.  It should first be noted that the report stated UC Davis was to provide on-campus housing to 38% of enrolled students by 2012, with a goal of 40% (neither goal was met).

       
      “Housing that is built to meet student, faculty, or staff housing needs also alleviates the need to provide housing in the community for these same groups. In other words, adding housing in support of the educational mission of UC also adds to the state’s housing stock” (p. 2).
       
       
      “Added demand for housing in communities surrounding UC campuses results in rising rental and home prices.  Where University-affiliated housing is in short supply, the only choice for students, faculty and staff is to compete in these nearby markets or make decisions to live considerable distances from the campus”(p. 2). 
       
       
      “…the construction and financing costs of hew housing will need to be integrated into total campus growth plans in such a way as to ensure that each campus has assessed all needs and developed a coherent strategy to satisfy the multiple demands being faced by the University” (p. 10). 

      A more recent and relevant quote related to your question comes from the website of the Georgia Tech student housing office; i.e., the university from which the new Chancellor is coming:  “Research of college and university students across the nation shows that students who live on campus are more satisfied with their college experience, earn better grades and are more likely to graduate than their commuting peers.”

      Another factor to consider is that UCD’s draft LRDP states that 10% of UCD students commute from surrounding cities, including Winters, Woodland, West Sacramento, Dixon and Sacramento. I’ve been told by several elected officials representing Winters and Woodland that residents in those towns are getting upset about the high number of UCD students taking up apartments that could otherwise be occupied by families. In addition, there’s the environmental impact (emissions of criteria air pollutants and GHG) resulting from student commuting.
       

      1. Howard P

        Is there a link to the full report that you could provide?  Your excerpted cites are interesting, and ‘on point’… given everything, I’m in a ‘trust, but verify’ mode.  Sometimes, context is everything…

  4. Eileen Samitz

    I also appreciate that Lucas pointed out that Orchard Park needs to go taller. In fact all of their proposals for any the the housing that they are planning are not tall enough including the low density’s planned for the replacement of the Emmerson and Webster Hall demolitions. It just becomes more and more evident that UCD is trying to get away with neglecting to provide far more on-campus student housing that is needed. The evasive responses in in the Interim Chancellor’s recent letter are a testimony to UCD continuing to avoid providing the needed housing for their own growth. It is disgraceful behavior by UCD and a huge disservice to their students.

    UCD has been trying to “hide-the-ball” on this issue and now it evident their shell-game is not working of pretense that they are “trying” to build enough student housing for their own needs. They need to step-up like all the other  UC’s are and build the 50/100 plan at minimum and focus primarily on constructing high-density apartments on-campus to catch up on that huge deficit instead of only one year freshman dorms. They have plenty of land with 5,300 acres and can do public-private-partnerships like the other campuses are doing so successfully.

  5. Greg Rowe

    Howard P:  I downloaded a PDF of the report a year or so ago, but have found recently that it is no longer available on line, at least as far as I can tell. Perhaps UCOP deleted it.  Sometime during the last week Don Shor, I believe, provided a link to it that he has.  I’d be happy to email the report to David Greenwald, who can perhaps post it.  The report was written by an appointed task force of 3 Regents.  It is also interesting to read the 2nd year housing brochure issued by the Georgia Tech student housing office.

    David: please let me know if you’d like me to email the report to you.

  6. Roberta Millstein

    Mark West, my reply to you from April 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm has now been released from the spam filter, should you choose to read and/or reply.

  7. Roberta Millstein

    Mark West,

    Actually, if you read what I said, my statement was that I have not received a rational explanation. I still have not. I have seen responses, but none that rise to the level of rational explanation, just lots of opinions and speculations. Universities may choose to provide housing, but it isn’t a responsibility for it to do so. It is, however, a responsibility of cities.

    Here is, in essence, the argument I gave:

    The University is committed to promoting academic excellence and a rich diversity of campus experiences.

    Housing students on campus significantly promotes academic excellence and a rich diversity of campus experiences.

    Thus, the University should provide affordable opportunities for students to live on campus.

     

    You might disagree with the argument; you might find one of the premises to be false or think there is another consideration not mentioned.  But it is fully rational.  Declaring someone else’s argument to be irrational without engaging with it is just a smear attempt.

    Oh, I saw it. The presence of the question mark, however, didn’t change it from a statement that you were trying to attribute to me. Tell me what you think as I am plenty capable of thinking for myself, thank you.

    No, I wasn’t trying to attribute to you – I was genuinely trying to ask a question.  I’m fairly certain that you don’t know what’s in my head.  And the fact that I asked it a second time, and pointed out your lack of response, is evidence that I was looking for an answer.

    Is that the only way you can think of for Universities to promote ‘academic excellence?’

    I never said that.  But it is one important way.

    Does the quality of education you (personally) provide your students differ for those who live on campus versus not? Are you for some reason unable to promote excellence in those students who do not live on campus?

    Students who live on campus are, for the most part, better able to take advantage of the education I am offering, yes.  (Of course, situations differ – for some, it may be necessary to live off campus.  I am not saying that students should be required to live on campus, only that they be given the opportunity).

    It is interesting that you added the caveat ‘priced reasonably’ to your statement. The only way the University can do that is by subsidizing student housing, so now you don’t just want more housing on campus, you want it subsidized (by taxpayers).

    Yes, I do think that the university should subsidize it.  And yes, taxpayers too, because of general interest in promoting higher education in the state.  However, in recent years taxpayers have been paying paying for less and less of a university education.

    1. Ron

      Roberta:  “Yes, I do think that the university should subsidize it.”

      Actually, I’m not sure that this is necessary.  Others have pointed out that other UCs are using public-private partnerships, in which the developer pays for the cost of the development, ultimately being reimbursed by the rent collected.  Other commenters have also pointed out that the “prevailing wage” argument (which Mark seems to be referring to) may not always apply.  (Of course, an argument can theoretically be made that “prevailing wages” are fair, regardless.) And of course, Mark is disregarding the fact that UC already owns the land (and pays no property taxes on it).  (Unlike private developers in the city, UC does retain control of the development in the long-term, and is supposedly not in the business of making a “profit”.)

      The bottom line is that Mark has no real basis to state that on-campus housing is “more expensive” for taxpayers, than housing in the city.  As has been pointed out repeatedly (not just by “slow growthers”), housing in the city is generally a long-term money-loser, for cities. 

      Of course, there’s impacts (other than financial), which would also result from attempting to accommodate UC’s enrollment plans.

      1. Ron

         
        Also – as I mentioned the other day, development impact fees (for developments in the city) are supposed to be based upon the cost of providing services for new residents, and not the “type” of facility.  However, the fee schedule that the city is currently using does not accurately reflect this. 

        In fact, apartment unit is charged significantly less than a single family dwelling, regardless of the number of bedrooms (and presumably, new residents who occupy those bedrooms).  There is also no differentiation in the amount of fees for apartment units, for any unit beyond 2 bedrooms.  (In other words, a 2, 3, 4, or 5 bedroom apartment is charged the exact same fees, and are significantly less than the fees charged for a single-family dwelling – regardless of the number of bedrooms in the single family dwelling.)  Interestingly enough, Mark participated in the comments which followed this evidence, and is therefore apparently aware of it.
         
        https://www.davisvanguard.org/2017/03/sterling-comes-back-revised-proposal/#comment-354891

         

        1. Matt Williams

          Ron, your comment focuses on fees.  The provisions of the law that governs those fees focuses on costs.  How are the incremental costs of providing storm sewer services to a new development (whether single family or multi-family) impacted by the number  of bedrooms or the number of residents?

          The simple answer to that question is that they are not.  Storm sewer costs are determined by a combination of lot size and lot coverage (by impermeable surfaces).  A 1 acre lot with 50% coverage by a one-story single family residence will have the exact same storm sewer costs as a 1 acre lot with 50% coverage by a five-story multi-family residence.

          The take away is that each category of fees has different costs, and while the incremental costs for some some are truly are by person, others are not.  That is why the State requires a current Development Impact Costs analysis when Development Impact Fees are changed.

        2. Ron

          Matt:

          Not sure why you’re only mentioning “storm sewer fees”, since there are many other costs associated with new residents.  (You mentioned some of these the other day, and noted that many of them would probably be about the same – regardless of “type” of residence.)

          Of course, some costs might actually be higher for those living in apartments, such as those associated with water delivery and household sewer), given that apartment dwellers have no direct financial incentive to conserve. Although single-family households may use more water (on average) for landscaping, such usage does not cause an increase in household sewer impacts. (Of course, many apartments have community pools and landscaping, regardless.)

          The level/amount of police and fire responses may be different (on average), for apartment complexes, as well.

          In any case, none of the points you made disputes my original statement. So, I’m not sure what’s driving you to respond.

          Again, Mark is the one who stated that it’s “cheaper” (for the city) to house students in the city, vs. on campus. (Wondering why you don’t challenge that statement, instead of the factual statement I provided.)

        3. Matt Williams

          Ron, as I pointed out in several past comments in earlier threads, when you look at the City of Davis Development Impact Fee table (see http://cityofdavis.org/home/showdocument?id=1799) you will see six categories of Fees:

          Roadways
          Storm Sewer
          Parks
          Open Space
          Public Safety
          General Facilities

          The impacts for several of those six are approximately per person, but not all of them. Bottom-line, there isn’t a broad brush that can paint all Development Impact Fees the same way.

          Water and Sewer do not have Development Impact Fees. They have connection Fees which matches the size of service requested to the Connection Fee charged.

          For the record, the 2017 specific language in California Law 66001 (4)(b) says:

          In any action imposing a fee as a condition of approval of a development project by a local agency, the local agency shall determine how there is a reasonable relationship between the amount of the fee and the cost of the public facility or portion of the public facility attributable to the development on which the fee is imposed.”

        4. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Again, Mark is the one who stated that it’s “cheaper” (for the city) to house students in the city, vs. on campus. (Wondering why you don’t challenge that statement, instead of the factual statement I provided.)”

          Mark didn’t say it was “cheaper” for the city to house students in the city vs. on-campus.  What he said is that the costs of providing services to on-campus students are still real and tangible, since the students come into the City Limits and consume services, but with no offsetting revenues to defray the cost of those services.  On the other hand the services costs of off-campus students are offset by revenues received by the City from the owners of the housing.

          With that clarification made, what is it about Mark’s statement that you feel is inaccurate?

        5. Ron

          Matt:   “What he (Mark) said is that the costs of providing services to on-campus students are still real and tangible, since the students come into the City Limits and consume services, but with no offsetting revenues to defray the cost of those services.

          This is a false statement.  Students will patronize local businesses (and pay associated taxes), regardless of location of housing (off-campus, or on-campus).

          Matt:  “On the other hand the services costs of off-campus students are offset by revenues received by the City from the owners of the housing.”

          All available evidence shows that this is a false statement.  (If you clarified this by stating that the costs are “partially” offset by revenues, then it would be more accurate. It would be even more accurate to state that such costs generally exceed revenues collected, in the long run.)

           

        6. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . .  “This is a false statement.  Students will patronize local businesses (and pay associated taxes), regardless of location of housing (off-campus, or on-campus).”

          Your definition of true and false is unique.

          There are two keys to your false statement argument.  “Associated taxes” have both a rate component and a volume component.  You are indeed correct that the tax rate for students will be the same regardless of where they live will be the same, since the rules of what is taxable are universally set by the State.  What is markedly different is the volume of taxable sales for a student whose residence is on-campus vs. off-campus student.  On-campus students will eat a higher proportion of their meals outside the City Limits than off-campus students do.  On-campus students will purchase a considerably smaller portion of taxable grocery items than off-campus students do (e.g. campus dorms provide toilet paper, etc. at no charge).

          So, when a student moves their residence from off-campus to on-campus they are reducing the City’s “associated” sales tax revenues.

          Further, when you look at the 2016-17 City Budget, only $16 million of the General Fund Revenue comes from Sales Tax, while $28 million comes from Property Taxes.  On-campus student residents contribute nothing to the various Property Taxes, while off-campus student residents do pay a full share of Property Taxes.

        7. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “All available evidence shows that this is a false statement.  (If you clarified this by stating that the costs are “partially” offset by revenues, then it would be more accurate. It would be even more accurate to state that such costs generally exceed revenues collected, in the long run.)”

          What evidence do you have to support your statement Ron.  To the best of my knowledge there is no such evidence associated with multi-family housing.

          Even if you ignore the 2017 analysis by Bob Leland, and instead use Paul Navazio’s 2007-08 report to the Housing Element Steering Committee, there was no multi-family residential evidence in Navazio’s report.  It was 100% focused on SFRs.  Further, Paul provided a caveat to his “costs eventually exceed revenues” analysis.  He said that was only tru for properties that sold for $450,000 or less.  Properties that sold for more than $450,000 ($550,000 now) generated enough revenue that revenues exceeded costs throughout his 20-year analysis time horizon.

          So, what is the evidence you have to support your assertion?

        8. Ron

          Matt:  “To the best of my knowledge there is no such evidence associated with multi-family housing.”

          Well then, the first place you should start is with Mark’s assertion that housing on-campus costs the city more than housing off-campus.  That’s what I was responding to.  Do you agree with that statement?  And if so, is there evidence to support it, when considering (both) costs and revenues, over the long-term?

          I’ve cited your own “evidence” earlier in this thread, which shows that apartment complex units are charged less development fees than single-family dwellings.  You and others have already acknowledged that development fees are inadequate in the long-term for single-family housing (above a certain threshold) to begin with.

          What, exactly, are you arguing?

           

           

        9. Ron

          Matt:  Your definition of true and false is unique.”

          I have no idea what you’re talking about, here.  Earlier, you also incorrectly said that I was “conflating” two different issues (the amount of rent, vs. the costs of construction).

          Now, you’re reading way more into my response regarding taxes collected when students patronize local businesses, regardless of the location of housing (on-campus, vs. off-campus).

          1. Don Shor

            When students come in to town and buy stuff, part of the sales tax revenues go to the city. When UC develops sites like West Village and provides restaurants and stores there, those sales tax revenues do not go to the city.

        10. Matt Williams

          Ron, for the most part, patronizing local businesses produces no revenue for the City.  Purchasing prepared food generates a small amount of revenue.  Other than that, how do on-campus student residents generate City revenue?

          1. Don Shor

            Ron, for the most part, patronizing local businesses produces no revenue for the City.

            Huh?

        11. Ron

          Matt:

          You’re stating that the taxes that someone pays (when purchasing an item, patronizing a restaurant or bar) does not benefit a city?

          Are you also suggesting that local businesses don’t provide jobs, for residents (or those living on campus)?

          And, are you (for some reason) you’re suggesting that students who live on campus don’t patronize businesses in town? (Are you suggesting that students primarily venture into town for the purpose of causing trouble and costing the city money?)

           

        12. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Matt:  O.K. – thanks.  Still not seeing any point of disagreement, here.

          Maybe we should just “agree to agree.”

          Go back and look at the basis for the costs that determine the fees.  Roadway costs have a very different basis than Storm Sewer costs do.  That is contrary to your assertion.

          I agree that you are making a political argument.  I understand that it is at its heart a political argument, without a clear linkage to the realities of how the specific costs are incurred.

           

        13. Matt Williams

          Ron, you can answer your own question.  Other than sales taxes on prepared food, what taxes do on-campus student residents pay to the City?

          When you buy anything that isn’t prepared (e.g. alcohol at either a bar or restaurant, take out food that isn’t heated) you pay no sales tax.

          The general rule for California is that all sales of tangible property are taxable unless there is a specific exemption. Food is one thing that is generally exempt. Your weekly grocery visits most likely do not have sales tax on the receipt (except for certain things such as candy, pet food, or non-food items). But establishments such as restaurants, diners, bars, and food trucks (or basically anybody selling or delivering food) have a more complicated task in determining whether they should be collecting sales tax on their food sales. There are many factors that must be considered in determining the taxability of food. So if you’ve ever wondered why certain foods are taxed and others not you’ve come to the right place.

          There are really two concepts to consider when determining if there will be sales tax or not; the temperature of the food and where it will be consumed. Let’s run through a few scenarios to make this an easier process to understand. To set the scene, let’s assume you’re visiting a local sandwich shop that is also a bakery.

          Example 1: You buy a hot pastrami sandwich and eat at the sandwich shop.

          Prepare to see sales tax on your receipt. Heated or hot prepared food is taxable regardless if it is consumed on the restaurant premises or taken to-go.

          Example 2: You buy a cold turkey sandwich. You don’t get it toasted and order it to-go.

          Congratulations, you’ve avoided California’s sales tax plus any local sales tax rates. Generally if the food is cold or room temperature and not consumed on premises then it won’t be taxed. However, if you decide to eat at the sandwich shop then you will be paying sales tax. However, if the sandwich were toasted or heated, the transaction would have been taxable regardless of where the sandwich is consumed.

        14. Ron

          Matt:  “Go back and look at the basis for the costs that determine the fees.  Roadway costs have a very different basis than Storm Sewer costs do.  That is contrary to your assertion.”

          “I agree that you are making a political argument.  I understand that it is at its heart a political argument, without a clear linkage to the realities of how the specific costs are incurred.”

          If you have some point to make, go ahead and make it.  I did not put forth a statement that I was making a “political argument”, and I challenge you to find any such statement.

        15. Ron

          Matt:  “Ron, you can answer your own question.  Other than sales taxes on prepared food, what taxes do on-campus student residents pay to the City?”

          It seems that even Don couldn’t believe this assertion, as noted elsewhere on this thread.  Are students exempt from paying sales taxes on items purchased in the city, for example?

          On a related note, I’m not sure how taxes for alcohol are applied collected, or distributed from various establishments (e.g., retail, restaurant, bar). Perhaps you could enlighten me.

        16. Matt Williams

          Don Shor said . . . “Huh?”

          Same question to you Don as I asked Ron.  Other than prepared food, what purchases by on-campus student residents made within the City Limits generate tax?

          For example, what proportion of your customers are on-campus resident students?

          Do on-campus resident students have any reason to buy taxable items at Davis Ace?

          If you analyzed the typical on-campus resident student’s budget, what proportion of that budget would be devoted to off campus purchases?

          Which brings us around to the first question, other than prepared food, what purchases by on-campus student residents made within the City Limits generate tax?

          1. Don Shor

            Other than prepared food, what purchases by on-campus student residents made within the City Limits generate tax?

            Everything they buy from any retailer that isn’t food.

            For example, what proportion of your customers are on-campus resident students?

            No idea.

            Do on-campus resident students have any reason to buy taxable items at Davis Ace?

            Of course.

            If you analyzed the typical on-campus resident student’s budget, what proportion of that budget would be devoted to off campus purchases?

            I have no idea, neither do you, neither does anybody. When students buy stuff from stores in town, which they do, it generates sales tax that goes to the city. It seemed you were not acknowledging that.

            Which brings us around to the first question, other than prepared food, what purchases by on-campus student residents made within the City Limits generate tax?

            All of the non-food items they buy. Do you need a list? Clothing, books, music, gifts, houseplants, bicycles, etc., etc. Retailers in Davis sell to students. Without the campus, Davis retail would be, well, Dixon.

        17. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “I did not put forth a statement that I was making a “political argument”, and I challenge you to find any such statement.”

          Ron, your statement at 9:58 am (see https://www.davisvanguard.org/2017/04/city-wants-answers-action-university-housing-front/#comment-357672) is 100% political.  You have publicly acknowledged that you know that Will Arnold has (two times) called for Staff to take the necessary steps under the provisions of State Law to address Development Impact Fees.  Staff clearly and transparently replied to Will that they were already in the process of doing so.  You also know (and have acknowledged) that Sterling has been approved, so any consideration of Development Impact Fees there is “history.”  So bringing up the issue has no practical purpose (unless you believe Will Arnold and Staff are publicly lying) . . . just a political purpose.

          But let me give you the benefit of the doubt, and ask you, “What non-political purpose did you have in making your 9:58 am comment?

        18. Ron

          Matt:

          Again, no idea what you’re talking about.  The analysis regarding development fees is factual, and is not specific to Sterling. (Are there not other similar proposed developments, under consideration?)

          Again, reading way more into my statements than what’s there.

        19. Mark West

          “Without the campus, Davis retail would be, well, Dixon.”

          Dixon has a much greater per capita sales tax revenues than does Davis, even with the students. One of the reasons our local property taxes are so high is due directly to the lack of sales tax revenues in town. As stated in the General Plan:

          Excluding the grocery and automotive sectors, Davis area retail sales amounted to only 54 percent of community demand. Compared to northern California communities of similar size, Davis is one of the lowest sales tax generators on a per resident basis. Much of the $112 million in sales tax leakage flows to Sacramento and Woodland…

        20. Matt Williams

          Don Shor said . . . “Everything they buy from any retailer that isn’t food.”

          That’s the point Don.  What retailers in the City of Davis do on-campus student residents buy anything from?  Said another way, do students leave their on-campus dormitory saying, “I’m going shopping for _____.”?  If you believe that they actually do that on any kind of regular basis, what retail products do you believe fill in the blank?

          Don Shor said . . . No idea.”

          There is a reason for that.  How many students living on-campus have a garden?   How many students living on-campus even have a window box?  Bottom-line, if any UCD student demand exists for your retail products, it comes from students who live off campus.  Many of them have yards.  Many of them have windowboxes. Many of them have houseplants.   They have a place to store a rake and a spade.  Many even have a place to store a wheelbarrow.  Where do you fit a rake and a spade in an on-campus dorm room?  Will a wheelbarrow fit in an elevator?

          Don Shor said . . . Of course.”

          What does Davis Ace sell that an on-campus student resident will come out the front door of their dorm and hike/bike over to Ace to buy and then schlep it back to their dormitory room?  How will they use whatever they bought once they get it back to their dorm room?

          Don Shor said . . . I have no idea, neither do you, neither does anybody. When students buy stuff from stores in town, which they do, it generates sales tax that goes to the city. It seemed you were not acknowledging that.”

          What do they buy?  An even better question is, what do they buy as an on-campus resident that they wouldn’t buy just as readily if they lived off campus.

          Bottom-line, I acknowledge two things with respect to sales tax.  (1) the amount of sales tax generated by on-campus student residents making retail purchases is somewhere between slim and none, and none has left the building. (2) There is nothing retail that an on-campus resident wouldn’t purchase (and pay sales tax on) that that same person wouldn’t buy if they lived off-campus; however, there are lots and lots and lots of retail items that an off-campus resident wouldn’t purchase (and pay sales tax on) that that same person wouldn’t buy if they lived on-campus.

          Don Shor said . . . “All of the non-food items they buy. Do you need a list? Clothing, books, music, gifts, houseplants, bicycles, etc., etc. Retailers in Davis sell to students. Without the campus, Davis retail would be, well, Dixon.”

          Indeed, retailers do sell to students . . . the students who live off-campus.

          Clothing?  The amount of clothing on-campus resident students buy is miniscule when compared to what they buy on-line and what they buy in whatever hometown they have come to Davis from.  The last time I looked at a dorm room clothes closet, it was pretty utilitarian.

          Books?  Amazon and the UCD Bookstore on campus get the lions share.  Alzada Knickerbocker can tell us whether her student customers come from on-campus or off campus.

          Music?  Again online.

          Gifts?  You might have a point with gifts, but I suspect that Amazon and gift stores in the students’ hometowns get the bulk of the on-campus residents’ gift purchases.  If you were an on-campus resident student, what stores in Davis would attract you as a gift shopper?

          Houseplants?  As I said above.  Student purchasers of houseplants are going to come from the off-campus student resident population. 

          Bicycles?  Bicycles resonates in much the same way Books does, although not too many students buy their bicycles from Amazon.  A lot of them buy their bicycles on campus.  Even more bring their bicycles from home with them.

           

          1. Don Shor

            What retailers in the City of Davis do on-campus student residents buy anything from?

            Lots of them. Ask some. This is completely pointless.

        21. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Again, no idea what you’re talking about.  The analysis regarding development fees is factual, and is not specific to Sterling. (Are there not other similar proposed developments, under consideration?)

          Again, reading way more into my statements than what’s there.”

          Understood Ron.  It is a Matthew 14 moment.

        22. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “On a related note, I’m not sure how taxes for alcohol are applied collected, or distributed from various establishments (e.g., retail, restaurant, bar). Perhaps you could enlighten me.”

          In case you missed it

          The general rule for California is that all sales of tangible property are taxable unless there is a specific exemption. Food is one thing that is generally exempt. Your weekly grocery visits most likely do not have sales tax on the receipt (except for certain things such as candy, pet food, or non-food items). But establishments such as restaurants, diners, bars, and food trucks (or basically anybody selling or delivering food) have a more complicated task in determining whether they should be collecting sales tax on their food sales. There are many factors that must be considered in determining the taxability of food. So if you’ve ever wondered why certain foods are taxed and others not you’ve come to the right place.

          There are really two concepts to consider when determining if there will be sales tax or not; the temperature of the food and where it will be consumed. Let’s run through a few scenarios to make this an easier process to understand. To set the scene, let’s assume you’re visiting a local sandwich shop that is also a bakery.

          Example 1: You buy a hot pastrami sandwich and eat at the sandwich shop.

          Prepare to see sales tax on your receipt. Heated or hot prepared food is taxable regardless if it is consumed on the restaurant premises or taken to-go.

          Example 2: You buy a cold turkey sandwich. You don’t get it toasted and order it to-go.

          Congratulations, you’ve avoided California’s sales tax plus any local sales tax rates. Generally if the food is cold or room temperature and not consumed on premises then it won’t be taxed. However, if you decide to eat at the sandwich shop then you will be paying sales tax. However, if the sandwich were toasted or heated, the transaction would have been taxable regardless of where the sandwich is consumed.

          Alcohol falls into the cold or room temperature category. When was the last time a bartender charged you tax on your pint?

          1. Don Shor

            The last time you bought a pint, the bartender charged you tax on it. Alcoholic beverages are not considered food.
            http://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/pub22.pdf

            The relevant passage in that link is:

            Sales of the following beverages are always taxable:
            • Carbonated beverages such as soda or sparkling water
            • Alcoholic beverages

        23. Matt Williams

          Interesting reading Don.  I learned something from it.  My statement /question “When was the last time a bartender charged you tax on your pint?” stands as asked.  I can not ever remember a bartender asking me for the computed sales tax.  What your link shows is that somewhere in the dark background of every bar I have ever bought a pint exists a sign that reads as follows:

          All prices of taxable items include sales tax reimbursement computed to the nearest mill.

          So I have been paying sales tax on my pints without even knowing it.  That means on-campus resident students over the age of 21 do contribute a bit more sales tax than I gave them credit for.  Probably a few under the age of 21 as well.

          Ron, Don has provided you a much more accurate answer than I did earlier.

      2. Matt Williams

        Ron, you are conflating two very different concepts.  The first, from Roberta’s response to Mark, is monthly rent affordability at the individual student tenant level.  The second, if I understand your comment above correctly, is cost of construction affordability for the University . . . with the use of public-private partnerships as a way to bring the capital and expertise needed to construct the housing to the table.

        I agree with your point about public-private partnerships.  The University’s journey down that path at West Village does not appear to have gone well for either party.  Who knows whether that was simply timing, or just an unfortunate marriage.

        The high monthly rents at West Village illuminate how the concepts of Roberta’s response to Mark aren’t solved by simple facilitation of actual construction.  The private part of any public-private partnership isn’t being driven by altruism.  They are in it to make money . . . and they only make money if their annual revenues exceed their annual costs.   New construction materials are costly.  New construction labor is costly.  The entitlement costs of new multi-family construction are significantly higher than the entitlement costs of existing multi-family construction were when they were built.  So the revenues needed to offset those high costs (relative to the rest of the multi-family marketplace in Davis) are going to be higher (relative to the rest of the multi-family marketplace in Davis).

        Given those market realities, the only realistic way the monthly rents in any new construction are going to be affordable is if the public part of the public-private partnership steps up with rent subsidies.

        My speculation, based on that accounting/investment reality, is that the new on-campus construction will be filled with student tenants who have access to financial resources, and the students who need affordability, because they have limited access to financial resources, will seek out rental housing in the existing housing offerings in the City.  JMHO

        1. Ron

          Matt:

          I believe that Mark brought up the subject of costs, to the city.

          Not sure that I’m disagreeing with you, if you’re comparing the cost to rent existing housing, vs. the cost of renting new housing (regardless of location – off-campus, or on-campus).  New housing is going to be expensive to construct and subsequently rent, regardless of where it’s built (unless it’s subsidized).  This is one of the reasons that I suspect that “mini-dorm” conversions (for existing properties very near campus) will likely continue (at least to some degree), regardless of what’s built.

    2. Mark West

      “Here is, in essence, the argument I gave:

      The University is committed to promoting academic excellence and a rich diversity of campus experiences. Housing students on campus significantly promotes academic excellence and a rich diversity of campus experiences.  Thus, the University should provide affordable opportunities for students to live on campus.

      You might disagree with the argument; you might find one of the premises to be false or think there is another consideration not mentioned.  But it is fully rational.  Declaring someone else’s argument to be irrational without engaging with it is just a smear attempt.”

       

      You are correct, this here is a clear and concise argument, so let’s take a look at your premise and conclusion and see how rational it is.

      “Housing students on campus significantly promotes academic excellence and a rich diversity of campus experiences.”

      I agree that those students living close to campus have better access to ‘a rich diversity of campus experiences’ than those living further away. Do you honestly believe, however, that a student living on campus receives a better education than one who lives, let’s say, across the street from campus? Two blocks away? A mile away? At what point in your mind, does the distance from campus create a negative influence on ‘academic excellence?’ I would completely agree that a student living in Davis has better access to campus activities than one living in Natomas, Dixon or elsewhere, but I doubt there is a significant difference between one living in town and one living on campus. Remind me, West Village is how far away from the MU?

      Now, even if your premise was true, that living on campus improves education outcomes over those living elsewhere in town, I still don’t see how that obligates the University to supply housing for all students who want it. There is absolutely nothing in the University of California’s Charter on building housing or becoming a housing agency. The role of the University is research and education, with research being the top priority.

      The University may choose to build housing for some students, but there is simply no obligation for it to do so. I’m not saying that the University should not build any housing, I’m saying that building housing on campus is a bad deal for both the City and the City’s residents (taxpayers), and therefore the City should not be advocating for it.

      Now let’s take your premise and turn it around a bit. Residents in Davis who have an appropriate place to live have better outcomes than those who do not; housing security being a primary concern for most people. Using your logic, the City is then obligated to create sufficient housing to allow all those Davis residents who want it to have an opportunity to find an appropriate and (using your terms) ‘affordable’ place to live. I agree with that logic. The difference here is that the sole purpose for a City to exist is to efficiently supply services, including housing, to residents. No research priority, no education priority (that belongs to the School District), just housing and all the services associated with it.

      So what we have here is that you personally want students housed on campus and out of the City. You are welcome to that opinion, but the fact that you have that opinion does not create an obligation for the University to follow your advice. Thinking that it does is not rational. On the other hand, the City absolutely does have an obligation to create housing for residents and using your logic (if we are being rational), you should be a strong advocate of that action.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Per Mark: “The University may choose to build housing for some students, but there is simply no obligation for it to do so.”

        Mark, I wish you would stop trying to convince yourself of this because it simply is not true.

        Here is language from the current 2003 UCD LRDP, and student housing is most definitely  a UCD obligation. This was also admitted to by UCD in the 1989 UCD – City Memorandum of Understanding.

        Here is some language from the currrent 2003 UCD LRDP still in effect:

        Provide an environment to enrich campus life and to serve the community
        “A rich and varied campus life for students, faculty and staff relies upon a wide range
        of land uses and activities. Instruction and research, student housing, recreation and
        open space, cultural events and programs, administrative and support activity all
        combine to further the mission of the University and to give the campus its character.”

        However Mark, you can choose to live in denial of this, but this is very clear evidence written by UCD themselves that they put in their LRDP.
         

        1. Mark West

          Eileen: “However Mark, you can choose to live in denial of this, but this is very clear evidence written by UCD themselves that they put in their LRDP.”

          The fact that the University administration is willing to plan for student housing, and has someone on staff (or under contract) with the intellectual capacity to write a cogent justification for it, does not create an obligation to actually build it. If it did, then all the housing that was described in the earlier LRDP documents would have been constructed by now. We both know that didn’t happen.

          The Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) is a planning document subject to changing priorities and available resources. It is not etched in stone, nor does it create an obligation to build something just because it is mentioned as a possibility.

           

        2. Howard P

          To be clear, there is a difference between a legal obligation, a “moral obligation”, and a failure to achieve one’s goals.

          With a ‘stroke of the pen’, UC could amend the documents cited, and lower their stated goals… there is no legal obligation regarding housing of students on-campus… that is a fact.

          No court will enforce, with the power of law, failure of UC to follow its planning documents.  Even if they tried it, it would be overturned on appeal.  Those documents are not even a “contract”.

  8. Howard P

    BTW for you who focus on impact fees… a project, such as Sterling, are ENTITLED to credit for impact fees already collected for previous development on the site… so, it is only the INCREMENTAL impact that may be charged, legally.

    1. Eileen Samitz

      Mark West,

      Sorry but your posting trying to let UCD “off” from its responsibilities and its commitments sounds like a lot of “tap dancing”. I am not certain why you feel the need to be such an apologist for UCD’s inexcusable behavior, but knock yourself out.

      The Davis community and surrounding communities know that UCD is an opportunist, particularly when it comes to their attempts to side-step their responsibilities provide on-campus housing or the enormous and increasing number of over 6,000 new students that UCD wants to add, primarily 4,500 non-residents to soak them for triple tuition.

      But, oh no….UCD does NOT want to help provide the housing that these poor students need while they are paying enormous tuition fees at UCD.

      UCD’s current leadership is a disaster and they need to move on from the post-Katehi regime including Interim Chancellor Hexter who was Katahi’s second-in-command to implement the disastrous “UCD 2020 Initiative”.  The UCD campus cannot even support the current 35,000 on-campus student population and the students are furious about the current overcrowding and that they can not even get admitted to the over-crowded classes that they need to graduate within four years. Otherwise, they need to pay for additional academic quarters of expensive UCD tuition for an extended number of quarters and then paying for more housing in Davis for an extended time which only exacerbates the situation.

      ALL of UCD’s inaction in not providing the needed on-campus housing  simply “backs up” the UCD system even more in terms of causing UCD students to pay for extended quarters of tuition at UCD to get to finally graduate. In addition, UCD’s inaction also just backs up the need for student housing which also imposes more rental housing costs to the UCD students….all due to UCD’s negligence.

  9. Eileen Samitz

    Mark,

    You are also incorrect with your belief that”on-campus housing is a “bad-deal” for the City.  In fact, it is the exact opposite. Since UCD will just continue to “master-lease” whatever new rental housing is build instead of building on-campus housing. You seem to conveniently keep forgetting that the City get no property tax from tax exempted UCD on properties that they rent or own in the City. So the City gets beat out of a ton of property tax with these many master leased situations UCD has arranged in the City. Now that’s a “bad deal” for the City.

    Far more on-campus housing is the solution because it would be reserved housing for the students and would control costs long term. That is exactly why all the other UC’s are doing it. But UCD is trying to get away with continuing to neglect their responsibility to their students of providing the needed on-campus housing. On campus housing is also far more sustainable reducing impacts on the students and the communities around the campus.

    So much more on-campus housing is a “win-win” for students, Davis, surrounding cities like Woodland, Dixon, Winters and West Sac, and our environment as well.  One main factor is the close the proximity of the student to their classes and the enormous reduction in commuting that on-campus housing allows. Even the students are advocating for far more on-campus housing as well.

    However, perhaps  Mark you don’t value the need for real sustainable planning by UCD, so again this is where we just need to agree to disagree.

    1. Mark West

      Eileen:

      This really is a simple concept, but I guess you need to have it explained one more time. When we add people in the City’s immediate vicinity, we increase the demand for City services. If those new people live outside the boundaries of the City (on campus or in the County) they do not owe local property taxes to pay for those services. As a consequence, it is the existing residents of the City who must foot that added costs. In addition, the City does not receive any construction fees, impact fees, or other assorted forms of revenues from the new construction or ongoing operations. New costs, but no new revenues.

      Now if that same housing is built in the City, then the City does recover those construction and impact fees (etc.) as well as the increased property taxes reflecting the new construction. We still have the costs associated with the increased demand for services, but we also have offsetting revenues, so the cost to existing residents does not increase. In fact, it will likely decrease.

      Now you are absolutely correct that the University could master lease or outright purchase an existing building, but with new construction, the City could insert language into the Development Agreement that requires payment of the City’s fraction of the lost property taxes if that happens. In addition, if the demand for master leases was as great as you seem to fear, then every apartment in town would already be subject to one as it would be far cheaper to master lease an older building than a new one. So in the end, Eileen, your fear mongering argument simply falls apart on its own intellectual dishonesty.

      “However, perhaps  Mark you don’t value the need for real sustainable planning by UCD, so again this is where we just need to agree to disagree.”

      Oh, but I do value sustainable planning, by both the University and the City. I happen to live in the City, however, so that is where I focus my attention. While I am quite certain that some students want to live on campus and wish the University would build more housing, I don’t see that action as being in the City’s, or City resident’s, best interests. Perhaps if I wanted students segregated away from the ‘good folks’ of Davis, and into separate (and unequal) housing, I would feel differently.

  10. Ron

    Mark:  “When we add people in the City’s immediate vicinity, we increase the demand for City services.”

    Which services?  Do you mean police, fire, water, sewer, etc., – all of which would be paid for by UCD, if located on campus?  Do you mean roadway maintenance (outside of the campus), which will be paid for largely by gas taxes (regardless of where one lives)?

    If you’re suggesting that UCD should reimburse the city for other costs (such as the outsized impact of Unitrans busses on city streets to serve off-campus housing), then I’d definitely agree.  (Of course, that cost can be avoided, by locating student housing on campus.)

    Mark:  “If those new people live outside the boundaries of the City (on campus or in the County) they do not owe local property taxes to pay for those services. As a consequence, it is the existing residents of the City who must foot that added costs. In addition, the City does not receive any construction fees, impact fees, or other assorted forms of revenues from the new construction or ongoing operations. New costs, but no new revenues.”

    See response above, regarding who is responsible for these costs if housing is located on campus.  Also, it should be noted that students will likely help support local businesses (and pay associated taxes), regardless of the location of student housing.

    1. Matt Williams

      Ron said . . . “Which services?  Do you mean police, fire, water, sewer, etc., – all of which would be paid for by UCD, if located on campus?  Do you mean roadway maintenance (outside of the campus), which will be paid for largely by gas taxes (regardless of where one lives)?”

      Police is provided by and paid for by UCD only when the students are on campus.  If a student is at Ket-Mo-Ree, or Burgers and Brew, or the Third Space Art Collective, or Target, or International House, or taking a walking tour of Downtown, or at Trader Joe’s, or jogging/bicyling on one of the greenbelts, or working at an off-campus job, or driving on any of the City streets, or at the Farmer’s Market then Police is neither provided by nor paid for by UCD.

      Fire is provided by and paid for by UCD only when the students are on campus.  If a student is at any of the above places, then Fire is neither provided by nor paid for by UCD.

      Parks and Recreation services follow the same pattern.

      1. Ron

        Matt:  No argument, there.  The same is true of any “visitor” to town (who also may patronize local businesses – some of which you mentioned, and pays taxes associated with such transactions).

  11. Roberta Millstein

    Mark West,

    I agree that those students living close to campus have better access to ‘a rich diversity of campus experiences’ than those living further away. Do you honestly believe, however, that a student living on campus receives a better education than one who lives, let’s say, across the street from campus? Two blocks away? A mile away? At what point in your mind, does the distance from campus create a negative influence on ‘academic excellence?’

    As the distance increases, so does the negative influence, compounded by other challenges of getting to campus (busy highways, need to commute and find parking, etc.).  It doesn’t have to be an either-or.  But obviously, yes, someone who is very close to campus is not in a much different situation from someone living on-campus, EXCEPT for the fact (as I have said before) they have a lot more logistical challenges to deal with (more complicated bills, negotiating leases, etc.) than they do on campus.  In the worst case, they have unscrupulous landlords.  Those things distract from a student’s ability to focus on being a student.

    I would completely agree that a student living in Davis has better access to campus activities than one living in Natomas, Dixon or elsewhere, but I doubt there is a significant difference between one living in town and one living on campus. Remind me, West Village is how far away from the MU?

    It is easier to bike/walk through campus than it is through town.  In spite of how bike friendly Davis likes to think it is, some places are a challenge to bike through.  Downtown in particular.  And yes, there are places in Davis that are significantly further away from campus than West Village.

    Now, even if your premise was true, that living on campus improves education outcomes over those living elsewhere in town, I still don’t see how that obligates the University to supply housing for all students who want it. There is absolutely nothing in the University of California’s Charter on building housing or becoming a housing agency. The role of the University is research and education, with research being the top priority.

    It’s a conditional obligation.  If the University is committed to providing an excellent education and campus life — which it says that it is — then it is obligated to provide the means to those things, which includes making it possible for students to live on campus.  It doesn’t have to be in the Charter to be an obligation.  It is a moral obligation.  It becomes even more of a moral obligation when it becomes clear that students are facing homelessness, living in crowded or unsanitary conditions, etc.

    Now let’s take your premise and turn it around a bit. Residents in Davis who have an appropriate place to live have better outcomes than those who do not; housing security being a primary concern for most people. Using your logic, the City is then obligated to create sufficient housing to allow all those Davis residents who want it to have an opportunity to find an appropriate and (using your terms) ‘affordable’ place to live. I agree with that logic. The difference here is that the sole purpose for a City to exist is to efficiently supply services, including housing, to residents. No research priority, no education priority (that belongs to the School District), just housing and all the services associated with it.

    There is no agreement between residents and the City.  On the other hand, students pay tuition to the University.  They are made promises about the sort of education and experience they should expect.  So, the university is obligated to fulfill those promises made in the glossy brochures, the campus tours, etc.  The two situations are not analogous.  Now, maybe the City is obligated to provide housing for some other reasons besides the reasons that the University has, but that’s a separate discussion.

    So what we have here is that you personally want students housed on campus and out of the City.

    That leap goes beyond the facts in evidence.

    Thinking that it does is not rational.

    That leap goes beyond the facts in evidence.

    On the other hand, the City absolutely does have an obligation to create housing for residents and using your logic (if we are being rational), you should be a strong advocate of that action.

    Not by the same logic.  Maybe by some other logic.  But again, that’s a larger discussion that I’m not interested in having now.  My claim is only that the University is obligated to build more housing on campus.  I’m not taking a stand on the City’s obligations one way or the other.  (You’ll note, e.g., that I did not engage in debates about Sterling).

    1. Mark West

       

       

      “It doesn’t have to be in the Charter to be an obligation.  It is a moral obligation.  It becomes even more of a moral obligation when it becomes clear that students are facing homelessness, living in crowded or unsanitary conditions, etc.”

      It is only an obligation in your mind, not in fact. It simply doesn’t matter that you want something different.

      1. Roberta Millstein

        It is only an obligation in your mind, not in fact. It simply doesn’t matter that you want something different.

        That’s an assertion, not an argument.  I’ve already explained why it’s an obligation, which you have not addressed, only sidestepped.  Now you are the one who is simply repeating yourself.  Let me remind you of your own words: “When I run across someone who’s response is to cut and paste something they have said before I know they have no interest in learning. Your repeated comments are of no interest to me.”

        1. Mark West

          Roberta – I explained why it isn’t an obligation. You disagree. Fine. Your position is supported by your opinion, mine is supported by the facts.

          Have a nice day.

           

        2. Roberta Millstein

          Mark,

          Roberta – I explained why it isn’t an obligation. You disagree. Fine. Your position is supported by your opinion, mine is supported by the facts.

          I love the way you toss around words like “facts,” “reasonable,” and “opinion” in an attempt to bolster your argument, claiming that all the facts and reason are on your side and all the mere opinions on the other side.  But I am not fooled by your rhetorical flourishes, and I doubt anyone else is either.

          Have a nice day.

          You too.

        3. Mark West

          “I love the way you toss around words like “facts,” “reasonable,” and “opinion””

          Roberta – I am not the one trying to assert an obligation that has no basis beyond your beliefs. You have explained why you think there should be a moral obligation on the part of the University to build housing, and I have explained that there is no actual obligation for it to do so. The LRDP is a plan, not a contract. If you believe that on-campus housing is critical for students to gain the full benefit of the University, then I suggest you get the Academic Senate to make just such a proclamation. Then, at least, you will have something beyond your beliefs to stand on.

           

           

           

        4. Roberta Millstein

          Dear Student,

          We are pleased to offer you admission to the University. We promise you an outstanding educational and campus experience. However, please be advised that we have no obligation whatever to see that you have a place to live after your first year. You may have to commute to campus from another town or from across town, rain or shine. You may have to deal with unscrupulous landlords, and you will have to learn how to deal with utility bills and repairs. You will have to spend hours searching for a place to live, but there is no guarantee you will find one you can afford; you may end up homeless. Please ensure that none of this affects your schoolwork or your participation in the life of the campus, lest you be see as “lazy,” which would reflect badly on us.

          Please be sure to pay your tuition bills on time, or you will be unable to register. Speaking of registration, you may not be able to get into the classes you need; many will be full. Be sure that this does not affect your time to graduation.

          Love,

          The University (Mark West’s vision)

        5. Matt Williams

          Dear UCD Faculty member,

          We are pleased to offer you employment at the University. We promise you an outstanding educational and campus experience. However, please be advised that we have no obligation whatever to see that you have a place to live. You may have to commute to campus from another town or from across town, rain or shine. You may have to deal with unscrupulous landlords, and you will have to learn how to deal with utility bills and repairs. You will have to spend hours searching for a place to live, but there is no guarantee you will find one you can afford. Please ensure that none of this affects your schoolwork or your participation in the life of the campus, lest you be see as “lazy,” which would reflect badly on us.

          Please be sure to cash your pay check on time, or you will be unable to continue to receive such checks. Speaking of registration, you may have more students in the classes you teach; many will be overly full. Be sure that this does not affect your relationship with your students.

          Love,

          The University

        6. Roberta Millstein

          Matt, all true.  The difference is that students pay to go to the University, whereas faculty are paid.  Also many students are living on their own for the first time; faculty are typically not.

        7. Mark West

          “The University (Mark West’s vision)”

          I raised my two adult daughters to be self-sufficient and not require a ‘helicopter parent (or professor)’ to solve their problems for them. They both managed to find housing on their own and also experienced all that the University (UCSD) had to offer during their tenures (both graduated with honors). Part of being a college student is learning how to be an adult and deal with adult issues without needing someone to ‘hold their hand’ (even though their parents are there to help if needed). My daughters knew there was help available if needed, they just didn’t need it. It is all a part of growing up.

          I hope everyone is given the freedom to deal with issues on their own as that is the only way they will learn to be truly independent.

        8. Roberta Millstein

          I commend your daughters for their success and for your success in raising them. But conditions continue to worse for today’s students, and they are increasingly under stress, with more needing counseling services every year (http://ccmh.psu.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3058/2016/01/2015_CCMH_Report_1-18-2015.pdf). Some might castigate students for this and tell them to shape up.  But I think that misses the reality that many students face. Instead, I think University should be providing the support students need to succeed in the current economic environment. Again, that is part of the commitment to provide an excellent education and campus experience.

        9. Matt Williams

          Roberta, I acknowledge those differences, but see them as differences in name only.

          Which way the money flows in a transaction is irrelevant.  The transaction represents the value transferred for the education in the one case and the employment in the other case.  The pricing of a UCD education is established independet of where the student lives while attending classes. If there is a value to a housin component of that education, then students who live at home with their parents should get a tuition and fees discount because they are choosing not to take the housing “value.”  Of course the University gives no such living at home discount.

          Further, if on-campus housing actually does have incremental value as part of the education delivered to students, then the monthly rents for on-campus housing would be priced at a “market plus” level, equal to the market rents for similar amenity accommodations available off-campus (say at Arlington Farms or The Lexington) plus the economic value of the on-campus location.  In fact no such “market plus” pricing exists, or if it exists, the “plus value” of the on-campus location is equal to zero, because there is no meaningful difference between on-campus and off-campus rents.

          Finally, if you questioned a representative sample of UCD students and told them that because they are living on their own for the first time, they are less capable human beings than older human beings who have already lived on their own, what do you think that representative sample would tell you?  I suspect they would tell you that you were incredibly arrogant and condescending.  That would more than likely be their perception, even if it was not an accurate assessment of the person asking the question.

           

        10. Matt Williams

          Roberta said . . . “I think University should be providing the support students need to succeed in the current economic environment. Again, that is part of the commitment to provide an excellent education and campus experience.”

          Your two sentences, Roberta, reminded me of the first meeting of my tenure as a Wharton MBA student.  It was the welcoming meeting conducted by Carol Gassert, the Chancellor-equivalent (Penn used different titles) of the Executive MBA program, before the first class convened.  The average age of the 48 students was 39.  7 of the 48 had PhDs.  2 had MDs.  1 was a PharmD.  4 were JDs.  For the 48 students there were over 60 Masters degrees earned.  So, all in all a pretty worldly group. 

          Carol’s question to us was “What product is Wharton selling you for the substantial amount of tuition you pay?”  Almost unanimously the answers were some form of “an excellent education and campus experience.”  Carol’s response was, “You are all wrong.  The product we are selling you is success after you complete your last class and leave the program”  

          I personally believe Carol was also describing the product UCD sells to the people paying its tuition.

          JMHO

          NOTE: the current tuition for the Wharton Executive MBA program is $81,150 per year for two years . . . $162,300 total (see http://www.cbsnews.com/news/would-you-pay-172200-for-this-mba/)

        11. Roberta Millstein

          Matt, I’ve got some work I must do today, so only time to respond to a couple of points in what you wrote that leapt out at me.

          Finally, if you questioned a representative sample of UCD students and told them that because they are living on their own for the first time, they are less capable human beings than older human beings who have already lived on their own, what do you think that representative sample would tell you?

          I said no such thing.  Rather, I suggested that many (of course, not all) are so swamped with other things – adjusting to the rigors of being at a university; thrust into a new and unfamiliar environment, perhaps on their own for the first time; often working multiple jobs just to make ends meet – that they could better focus on what they are there to do if they do not, on top of everything else, have to deal with landlords, finding a place to live, commuting, etc.

          Carol’s question to us was “What product is Wharton selling you for the substantial amount of tuition you pay?” Almost unanimously the answers were some form of “an excellent education and campus experience.” Carol’s response was, “You are all wrong.  The product we are selling you is success after you complete your last class and leave the program”

          I personally believe Carol was also describing the product UCD sells to the people paying its tuition.

           

          I couldn’t disagree with you more about the purpose of education.  But even if you are right about MBAs, that doesn’t mean you are right about undergraduate education.  An MBA is a professional program – essentially, a training program.  Undergraduate education, when done right, is something else.  Its purpose is to create thoughtful citizens with well-rounded backgrounds, to spark a passion for learning, and to foster the ability to think critically about their world.  But as I suspect that you and I will never agree on this issue, I suggest we not pursue it further, as we are now venturing far afield from the main point at issue.  In your terms, I would say that giving students a reasonable on campus housing option provides them the best opportunity to succeed, however you wish to define “success.”  If you want to define it as obtaining the best job after college, the same point still holds about reducing the burdens on already-burdened students.

          Ok, that needs to be my last comment today.  Back to reading and commenting on a student draft.

        12. Matt Williams

          Roberta, I understand that you aren’t saying that they are less capable, which is why I used the second person plural (generic) “you” and “the questioner” in my phrasing.  I apologize if “you” came across in its second person singular form.

          With that apology made, most college-aged students looking at the criteria list you provided:

          adjusting to the rigors of being at a university,
          — thrust into a new and unfamiliar environment,
          — perhaps on their own for the first time,
          — often working multiple jobs just to make ends meet,
          — having to deal with landlords,
          — finding a place to live,
          — commuting, etc.

          would have the personal perception that they are just as capable of handling those criteria/challenges as any other adult . . . and their perception is their reality, regardless of what our perception is looking at their actions and decisions from the outside.  At that age, they see themselves as indestructible and invincible.

          ———————

          Your thoughts on Carol Gassert’s comments/question do not surprise me, and in large part I agree with you; however, there are many ways to create thoughtful citizens with well-rounded backgrounds, with a passion for learning, and the ability to think critically about their world.  A Liberal Arts education is only one such way.  Using my alma mater Cornell’s various undergraduate schools as a template, all the students who matriculate in the College of Engineering School are choosing a path much closer to Carol Gassert’s.  The same is true of most of the undergraduates in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences … and the College of Architecture, Art and Planning  Any College of Arts and Sciences undergrad who is in a Pre-Med track is much less focused on the three pillars you have listed, and much more focused on her/his GPA.  The same can be said for the School of Hotel Administration and the School of Applied Economics and Management and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR).  The College of Human Ecology is like the College of Arts and Sciences . . . a mixed bag.  Some focused on your three pillars, others on laying the foundation of their career.

          Bottom-line, the ideal education is both-and.  Your three pillars and a technical foundation as well.

          One interesting aside, well documented studies have shown that college athletes get better grades during the semesters where they are actively having to juggle the conflicts between the simultaneous academic and athletic demands on their attention and their time. That conflict forces them to practice a higher level of self-discipline in order to get both setsof demands accomplished. During the off-season of their athletics, the need for self discipline wanes, and so does their academic performance. The same could be said for the UCD students. Self discipline is needed regardless of place of residence.

  12. Eileen Samitz

    Per Mark: “Oh, but I do value sustainable planning, by both the University and the City. I happen to live in the City, however, so that is where I focus my attention. While I am quite certain that some students want to live on campus and wish the University would build more housing, I don’t see that action as being in the City’s, or City resident’s, best interests.”

    Mark,

    I am sorry but your comments here completely contradict each other. There is no logical conclusion that anyone who truly supports sustainable planning, can conclude that more on-campus housing is “not” in the best interests of the City, City residents etc….

    Quite the contrary, far more on-campus housing supports and implements sustainable planning and is in the best interests of the UCD students, the city of Davis and surrounding communities like Woodland, Dixon, Winters, West Sac, and our environment and in general. Clearly, far more on campus housing would significantly reduce so many impacts including commuting which would help reduce our carbon foot-print and support climate action.

    So Mark, please, if you want to claim that you support sustainable planning, I think you need to understand the subject of “sustainability” better before stating your positions regarding this subject. Perhaps it is not intended but your comments made are completely counter to sustainable planning.

     

     

    1. Don Shor

      Sustainable planning by a growing university would include housing for the increased numbers of students, particularly the lower class years. It might also include planning for housing for staff and faculty.

      When UCSD grew rapidly in the 1960’s, it quickly became apparent that housing for those they were trying to recruit was a serious problem. So the city of San Diego worked with UCSD to plan and develop University City to provide some housing that was less expensive than what was available in La Jolla, Del Mar, Encinitas, etc. They also expanded northward toward campus and developed retail and commercial options, since those were considered lacking in the general vicinity of UCSD. That second part of the process was not without controversy, but by then the private land surrounding UCSD had become heavily developed with tech and science-oriented startups and firms.

      Sustainable planning by a small city that hosts a growing university will also include more housing, for students, for internally-generated growth, and possibly even for staff and faculty. Davis was growing rapidly in the 1980’s — at that time it was the fastest-growing city in Yolo County. The voters rebelled. But it isn’t sustainable, by any real definition of the term, to have a campus that is growing in a city that isn’t. If the university is growing, the city needs to grow somewhat as well. Some folks really don’t seem to want to accept that.

      So sustainable planning for Davis will include apartments for students and other young adults, some housing developments, and perhaps even some senior housing for the aging demographic. It’s not 100% up to UC to accommodate the impact of their enrollment growth.
      Even if they go to 100/50, the city still needs to plan for housing. If they stay with 90/40, the city needs to plan for more housing. Better transit would be good. More housing on campus would obviously be good. More housing in town will be necessary.

    2. Mark West

      Eileen – Your opinions are not facts, no matter how often you repeat them.

      A project or idea is not ‘sustainable’ unless it is economically viable. From the City’s perspective, housing on campus is not economically viable. I live in the City, so my focus is on what is best for the City, not what is best for a few selfish individuals who want to segregate students away in separate enclaves. The City needs to build housing to meet the needs of all residents, regardless of the desires of the selfish and entitled.

      Have a nice day.

       

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Economic sustainability (Mark) vs. environmental sustainability (Eileen).  Two different senses of sustainability.

        I love how Mark portrays himself as selfless and others who disagree with him as selfish.  Nice.  I live in the City, too, as do many proponents of on-campus housing.

        1. Ron

          Roberta:  I’m not sure that I would “categorize” Eileen’s responses as limited to environmental sustainability.  (Nor would I assume that Mark’s approach would lead us to economic sustainability.)

  13. Ron

    Don:  “It’s not 100% up to UC to accommodate the impact of their enrollment growth.”

    Don:  “Even if they go to 100/50, the city still needs to plan for housing.”

    Those two statements conflict, assuming that both statements refer to student housing.

    Don:  “If the university is growing, the city needs to grow somewhat as well. Some folks really don’t seem to want to accept that.”

    Some folks refuse to acknowledge that the city is already growing.  Worse still, some seem to refuse to accept that (in general), cities can make independent decisions to limit amounts of growth/development, at least to some degree.

    It’s a battle that will never end, regardless of what UCD does.

    I’m sure that (tomorrow, and the next day), someone will remind us of whatever “category” we’re “deficient in”. (And, that will be “evidence” of a shortage that needs to be “fixed”.)

     

    1. Don Shor

      Don: “It’s not 100% up to UC to accommodate the impact of their enrollment growth.”

      Don: “Even if they go to 100/50, the city still needs to plan for housing.”

      Those two statements conflict, assuming that both statements refer to student housing.

      No, because the ‘100’ of the 100/50 is for the increase in enrollment going forward, not to date. And, of course, they have not agreed to 100/50. They’ve agreed to 90/40, and have very firmly reiterated that.

      Worse still, some seem to refuse to accept that (in general), cities can make independent decisions to limit amounts of growth/development, at least to some degree.

      I’m not acquainted with anybody who would deny that cities can make independent decisions about growth.

      I’m sure that (tomorrow, and the next day), someone will remind us of whatever “category” we’re “deficient in”. (And, that will be “evidence” of a shortage that needs to be “fixed”.)

      Please quit dismissing the impact of the rental housing market shortage. It’s obvious to anybody what category we’re deficient in, and there is no need to put “quotes” around it. Speak to anybody trying to rent in this town.

      1. Ron

        Don:  Again, your statement addressed enrollment “growth”.

        The reason I used quotation marks is because (almost every day) there seems to be an attempt to convince everyone that there is a “crisis” of some type or another.  (Not just limited to rental housing.)  Yes, I believe that some struggle to find housing in Davis at an affordable price, but I still don’t advocate “planning via vacancy rate”, due to other consequences that result from that approach.  (But, I apologize to anyone who found the use of quotes offensive.)

        I do, however, advocate that UCD take responsibility for their enrollment plans.  (And again, UCD is the primary reason for the low vacancy rate.)

        Regarding the “denial” (by some) of a city’s ability to determine it’s own destiny regarding the amount of growth and development (at least to some degree), it seems that you might not be reading the same edition of the Vanguard that I am.

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