UCD Responds to County Resolution

Share:

It was a month ago that the County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution calling for UC Davis to adopt a 100-50 plan.

Pointedly, the resolution noted, “UCD’s student housing goals have not been met, with UCD accommodating only about 29 percent of Davis-based students during 2015-16.”

The resolution called on UC Davis to revise their LRDP (Long Range Development Plan) to increase capacity “to accommodate a minimum of 50 percent of the UCD total student population in campus housing commensurate with UCD’s growth, no later than the 2027-2028 academic year and preferably well in advance of that date.”  It also called on it to “accommodate 100 percent of campus enrollment growth including all new incoming students.”

While UC Davis did not oppose the resolution, UC Davis representative Marj Dickinson did state at the June 6 board meeting, “There is a housing crisis in Davis.”  She added, “It did not happen overnight and it didn’t happen because of one single dorm.  There is a challenge – the university is going to grow, we are under very strong encouragement from the legislature – a kind word – to increase our total enrollment of students.”

A letter dated July 7 from Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter notes, “As a separate jurisdiction with a focus on countywide planning issues, I appreciate the interest from the Board of Supervisors in the important planning efforts for the future of UC Davis.”

For their part, the Interim Chancellor writes, “UC Davis continues to move aggressively to supply new housing for our students.”

Restating the letter to the county from early June, the Interim Chancellor states, “Currently, we are actively pursuing the construction, design and planning for housing over 3,000 additional students on the Davis campus. We are in the midst of one of the most, if not the most ambitious student housing construction program in the history of the campus.”

He added, “And we continue to examine options for increasing housing capacity beyond the current projection in our draft plan, consistent with the spirit of County Resolution 17-78. Within the upcoming 2017 LRDP EIR and consistent with the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, UC Davis will consider all of the items specified in County Resolution 17-78.

“As we bring on new housing supply, we are also trying to meet goals for affordability and environmental quality,” he writes.  “As you note in your June 19,2017 transmittal, our UC Davis staff were able to attend the Board of Supervisors meeting on June 6, 2017 and at that time, provided our latest LRDP update for the Board.”

The Interim Chancellor continues, “Previously, our planners provided an extended update and presentation to the Board on March 7,2017 and earlier provided an initial overview of our LRDP process to the Board on October 27,2015.

“The California Department of Finance recently issued a statewide population projection identifying Yolo County as the county with the highest rate of growth through the year 2060. As your June 19, 2017 letter indicates, Yolo County representatives are considering a new effort whereby Yolo County might convene a housing and transportation planning group with representation from local municipalities.”

Ralph Hexter concludes, “Such an effort, separate from the UC Davis 2017 LRDP EIR effort, could help this sub-region prepare for the high rates of expected population growth and potentially develop a better understanding of the evolving planning issues within our area. I have asked Bob Segar and Marj Dickinson from UC Davis to represent the campus on this subject.”

The letter does not address the concerns raised by the board, nor does it address any new ground.

During the June meeting, Supervisor Provenza said that the reason he brought this was “concern for the impacts of communities in Yolo County.”  He said that in Davis, the lack of housing “really creates a situation where people can’t afford to live there.  Where if they do live there, they are quadrupled up in very small apartments.

“It’s a very desperate housing situation,” he said.  “Where students are being pushed further and further from campus.

“Fifty percent is a reasonable goal, most of the other universities have set that goal,” he said.  “We actually do have to do what the other universities have done which is set that 50 percent as a number as an alternative in the EIR.  Set that limit at 5 or 6 stories – which I think is the only way they are going to get to that number.”

As recently as last week, UC Davis would not commit to 50 percent of overall students and 100 percent of new students.

“We are trying to refine that to get beyond 90 to 100 percent,” Matt Dulcich told the board back in early June.

He noted, “Getting to 50 percent would be another 3900 (over and above the 6200 beds).”  He simply stated at that time, we are “open to considering it.”

Over the weekend, Bob Segar, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Planning and Community Resources, said that the RFPs (Request for Proposals) are “written with minimum targets” and that they are looking for “innovative ways that we can house more students.”

Mr. Segar didn’t dismiss the possibility of going to 50 percent of overall students housed on campus and 100 percent of new students housed, but said, “The way we got that number (90 percent) — and I don’t know if it even matters — was historically, 90 percent of students have lived either on campus or in town. So when we said we’ll take 90 percent, the intention of that statement was we’ll take all the growth.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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

Share:

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

20 thoughts on “UCD Responds to County Resolution”

  1. Roberta Millstein

    So, a response from the Interim Chancellor, and nothing new.  Do you know of any plans to try to get an audience with the incoming Chancellor?

      1. Roberta Millstein

        Why useless?  On other campuses, it sounds like the chancellors have led the way toward the push for more on-campus housing.  If Chancellor May were on board (and I haven’t heard any reason to think he is or isn’t), that could make a huge difference.  I guess meeting with Dodd and Curry might help, and I’m not opposed to that, but then you’re going to have to contend with the autonomy battle that the UC is engaged with right now.

        1. Jim Hoch

          Dodd and Curry are in a place where they could tell UCD what to do, especially in the current environment, with JN under attack from all sides she may not want to fight another battle.

          Dodd and Curry are supposed to help their constituents while May has no duty towards the city at all.  They are the only stick you have.

        2. Roberta Millstein

          I’m not suggesting a stick.  I’m suggesting that the right sort of conversation with the new Chancellor could make a difference.  Not a combative conversation, but letting him know how the community sees the issue and why they find this important.  Different person, maybe a different way of seeing things.  (Or maybe not — but worth a try, IMO).

        3. Jim Hoch

          “I’m not suggesting a stick.” Sharp objects and blunt instruments have been very effective throughout the history of interpersonal relations so I would not discount them at this point. 

          “you’re going to have to contend with the autonomy battle that the UC is engaged with right now” This is also my point. the UC system is in an adversarial relationship with their largest source of funds. This is an ideal time to ask for something. My ask would be a prohibition on taking property off the city tax rolls through the use of master leases. Your ask would be the on-campus housing. The tax issue would be system wide while yours is a single campus and therefore more achievable. Ideally you would get Dodd and Curry interested in this issue. They know what to do, likely it would be a discussion of housing and what is the proper policy about Chancellors moonlighting. Dude might get religion and decide to build some housing. I don’t see any awareness in these comments on what Dude’s interests are and why he would want to acede to your requests. Why does he care what the city wants? I can assure you he has some level of interest in what the legislature thinks though what that level is I don;t know.

        4. Roberta Millstein

          Sharp objects and blunt instruments have been very effective throughout the history of interpersonal relations so I would not discount them at this point. 

          It’s just not how I do things.  Others may seek to use them if they wish.

          the UC system is in an adversarial relationship with their largest source of funds. This is an ideal time to ask for something. 

          And I have mixed feelings about this.  I don’t like what the UC has been doing with funds, but I also don’t like the idea of the legislature taking charge of the UC.  This is a separate issue that I’d rather not get into here — but my point is that I don’t want to go to daddy and mommy for one thing and then find that daddy and mommy have taken over completely.

          I don’t see any awareness in these comments on what Dude’s interests are and why he would want to acede to your requests.

          David very eloquently made the case in a recent commentary of how the current policy is hurting students.  “The Dude” (incoming Chancellor May) has expressed an interest in, and a track record of caring about, students who are disadvantaged.  These are the students who are most hurt by the lack of housing and the lack of reasonably priced off campus housing in particular.

           

      2. Howard P

        Let’s see… new sheriff in town… am thinking he might meet with city folk, listen (or appear to), and then check in with his deputies before responding…

        I’ll start the betting line… with an organization like UCD, with the Segars, etc. (‘deputies’), chances of a sea-change anytime soon (say a year)… am thinking 5% likely

        1. Robb Davis

          FWIW–the City Manager and I have already met with the incoming Chancellor.  I discussed this at a CC meeting in May (or June–don’t have my notes in front of me).  We reiterated the position that the City Council has taken and asked for the same information we have requested in the past: a better understanding of 1) the financial issues related to housing 2) the challenges of achieving greater density, and 3) why the EIR is not including a higher density alternative. We continue to make the position of the City Council known at each opportunity.

  2. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    This article is very informative and I agree with your comments. While it is helpful to see the comments by Bob Segar and Matt Dulcich which say they are not ruling out the “50/100” plan, the reality is “actions speak louder than words.” The “50/100” plan needs to be added to their Draft EIR analysis (which is in progress) now if they are sincere about providing the actual minimum amount of on-campus housing needed.

    Furthermore, I also agree that Interim Chancellor Hexter’s letter. again, adds no new information of UCD making any progress towards the minimum of the “50/100” plan which is needed to even begin to address the student housing problem that UCD has created due to years of inaction.

    The bottom line is that the need for the “50/100” plan has been proposed for more than a year, and now there are three separate resolutions asking for it as well as a public petition. In fact, even campus maps have been submitted by the community almost two years ago identifying many sites on the UCD campus where high density housing can, and should be located. So why is UCD continuing to delay adding the “50/100” plan as an equal weight EIR alternative?

    Also, I find it interesting that UCD continues to bring up “transportation” planning as if continuing to push 71% of their total student population off campus as a solution.  Quite the contrary, it is not a solution nor is providing only 40% on-campus housing of their total student population which would wind up forcing even more UCD student off campus than they did this past academic year. UCD’s “40/90” plan is not sustainable planning by any means, in fact it is quite the contrary.

    The solution to the growing UCD student hosuign problem is far more high density on-campus, not trying to increase , rather then decrease the amount of commuting that UCD is currently causing due to their inadequate on-campus housing situation. Plus, it would seem that UCD is now trying to get the surrounding cities to foot the bill for more public transportation from the increased commuting that UCD appears to be expecting to create by not building enough on-campus housing.

    While all the other UC’s are creating solutions by providing at lest 50% on-campus hosuign, UCD still appears to be stalled at the inadequate “40/90” plan. Rather than continuing to delay progress UCD needs to do what UC Irvine did which was they reached out to UC Santa Cruz and learned how they were finding solutions, and implemented those solutions themselves. UC Irvine currently is providing on-campus housing for 44% of its total student population and will be up to 46% within a few years with the two additional American Campus Communities projects in progress racing towards their 50% goal or more. UC Irvine’s on-campus housing programs are hugely successful and in demand and expanding.

    Meanwhile, UCD has not made enough progress and in fact, UCD’s Webster Hall is now closed  for demolition so they will be losing more beds. On top of that problem, UCD is only planning to add one more floor from 3- stories to 4-stories rather than going higher as they can in the Oxford Circle student housing vicinity. Orchard Park has been closed for 4 years and will be closed at least 2 more years, but they need to go much higher at Orchard Park as well due to its prime location for 5 stories or more and the large parcel of at least 18 acres there. UCD needs to stop wasting valuable on-campus footprints on low density projects like they have been doing. Like other UC’s, UCD needs to maximize the beds they can provide, rather then minimizing the number of beds they are providing.

    Meanwhile, UCD can not seem to accomplish what UC Irvine and the other UC’s are accomplishing of a minimum of 50% on-campus housing despite the fact that they are the largest UC with over 5,300 acres and over $1 billion in endowment funding  (which is not all ear-tagged and which few public universities have large endowment funds like this nationwide).

    UCD needs to do the outreach like other UC’s are and propose the needed solutions including adding the “50/100” plan to their Draft  LRDP EIR analysis now, rather than continue with delays and excuses.

        1. Eileen Samitz

          David,

          I was also confused by your comment until Roberta figured out what probably happened with your wording. Just to make sure I understand what you meant to post, I think you intended to post:

          David Greenwald:

          “I am still at a loss as to why UC Davis cannot simply go to 50% and try to figure out how to get there.”

          If so, I completely agree with you.

      1. Don Shor

        I suspect they will tell you that they would need to restart the EIR process if they made that a specific policy change.
        And as Chancellor Hexter put it in his April letter:

        However, the single most critical factor for assuring that all 6200 beds are completed in a timely manner is the approval of the LRDP in March 2018 as called for in our current schedule. Delay in the LRDP approval will result in a delay of the EIR for the 1600-1800 beds at West Village that is included in the draft LRDP and draft LRDP documents. In turn, that would result in delayed delivery of future campus housing projects.

  3. Eileen Samitz

    Don,

    We have been told more than once by UCD reps, that UCD can add to the EIR and that why they need to do it now instead of running out the clock, which is what they appear to be doing. As I have pointed out before, they have been asked to add the 50/100 plan for more than a year, and their response is, “we are looking into it”. So if anyone is delaying an adequate plan for the delivery of future housing projects, it is UCD. UCD needs to stop with the stalling and add the 50/100 plan to the Draft EIR analysis now.

  4. Roberta Millstein

    Robb Davis wrote:

    FWIW–the City Manager and I have already met with the incoming Chancellor.  I discussed this at a CC meeting in May (or June–don’t have my notes in front of me).  We reiterated the position that the City Council has taken and asked for the same information we have requested in the past: a better understanding of 1) the financial issues related to housing 2) the challenges of achieving greater density, and 3) why the EIR is not including a higher density alternative. We continue to make the position of the City Council known at each opportunity.

    Thank you for this, Robb.  This is good to hear.  Did you get any sense of his views at that time?

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

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