Commentary: Why Not Student Housing in Town?

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It caught our attention last week when a planning commissioner made the argument that student housing would be better off on campus.

Specifically, Marilee Hanson stated, “Once again it’s a single use type of project. We have lots of people that need housing in this town, and if you build traditional apartments then in the future, or even currently, anyone can find those apartments to be useful. Projects like this and like Sterling and some other ones that are being proposed are taking up all the land in town that is zoned for housing, and they’re being taking up with a design that will never be workable or attractive to working families, people with children, and small households…

“We don’t have a lot of land left in town for multi-family housing and I’m very concerned that every single site is apparently being used for dorms. I think dorms are a great thing, but the really best place for dorms is on campus. I do think we’re enabling the university by constantly approving these projects when I really don’t see the university doing much. They will continue to not do much, if we continue to let them get away with it.”

These are similar arguments that were made against Sterling earlier this year.

Marjorie Beech, a nearby resident of Rancho Yolo, argued this spring that Sterling is a “mega-dorm that belongs on UCD campus – not 150 feet away from my single-family home and the homes of the other 259 single-homes 150 feet away from this mega dorm.  This belongs on the UCD campus, not right across the street from our single homes – it’s not acceptable.”

Eileen Samitz has consistently argued that “whatever rental housing is built should be designed to available to all, not just designed for students with single room occupancy format.”

The question is why?

We grant the argument that student housing for the most part is better on campus.  As we noted yesterday, we continue to support the 100/50 option where the university is housing half its overall student population on campus.  Currently it houses just under one-third.  At the same time we pointed out that even if both Sterling and Lincoln40 come on line, the city is asking the university in effect to house 85 percent of the needed 10,000 additional beds.

What is particularly interesting to me is that the model that Sterling first, and now Lincoln40, are proposing is drawing fire.  Now perhaps it is simply people looking for an excuse to oppose student housing, and that cannot be dismissed.

Sterling Apartments is planning to build a series of two- to five-bedroom apartments that are bed leases with single occupancy.  That means that, instead of leasing by the apartment, they have separate leases for the beds, plus each room comes with a separate bathroom which makes it more dormitory style than family apartment style.

Opponents of such projects have tried to paint these as unusual – our analysis in the past found otherwise.  Prior to Sterling, the 2016 Apartment Vacancy and Rental Rate Survey found, “Of the 9,058 market rate apartment units reported by survey respondents, only 11 percent, around 950 units in total, were reportedly rented under bed lease arrangements.”

They continue, “On average, bed-leased units typically contain one bed per bedroom; although some complexes allow multiple beds per bedroom. Sixty-three percent of the leased beds reported by respondents were located in four-bedroom units, while 24 percent were in three-bedroom units and 12 percent were in two-bedroom units.”

The city’s Director of Planning and Sustainability Mike Webb told the Vanguard in an email, “I believe first and foremost that the applicants are trying to be responsive to market demands on the unit designs and lease models.”

One of the questions we asked was why not just a series of single bedroom apartments rather than rent-by-bed?  He responded, “While some single bedroom units may be desirable in the market I would think the idea of having common space within a multi-bedroom unit is attractive from a social perspective. “

From a financial position, Mr. Webb does not think this advantages the applicant or disadvantages the city.

He said, “As for the City, we have been clear that larger bedroom count units would not be avoiding City charges.”  But they are discussing ways that Development Agreements can provide a “interim mechanism to ensure proportionate impact fees are charged until such time that an updated impact fee schedule is adopted.”

The Sterling Fiscal Analysis indicates, “The larger bedroom units are charged that same rate as the smaller 2-bedroom units in the City’s impact fee schedule. However, the fees are appropriate for the project even with the larger bedroom units.”

There are two factors here.  First, “The project is limited to the equivalent of one person per bedroom with single-occupancy bedrooms which cap the total resident population. The project’s impacts on City facilities would be similar to other apartment projects with fewer bedrooms where residents double up in bedrooms.”

Additionally, “The Sterling Apartments Project is targeting a university student population who generally place less demand on City parks than a typical family.”

We will explore in coming days or weeks why developers feel this design is advantageous.

Here we are trying to figure out why having a small number of new student-oriented housing projects is a bad idea when there is a 10,000-bed need in the community.

Eileen Samitz made the argument earlier this week that “rental housing for non-students such as  workers, families can only be provided in the City.”

But there is another problem with this argument – right now the entirety of the single-family home rental market has been eaten up by students.  This is the mini-dorm problem and homeowners are converting single-family homes into quasi-dorms.

There is a huge impact from the shortage of student housing:

  1. Single-family homes are being converted to mini-dorms
  2. This produces parking problems
  3. This produces noise and nuisance problems

So while the Sterlings and Lincoln40s of the world are for students, it will hopefully help to free up other housing for families and other non-students.

In fact, I would argue that if non-student renters are a concern, building more and denser housing both on-campus and near campus seems to be the ideal solution.

What I think we should explore is whether these structures produce greater efficiency than we would have with more traditional structures.  I also would worry that if you build general apartment housing near campus – the complex is probably going to be nearly all students anyway.

More on this soon.

—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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107 thoughts on “Commentary: Why Not Student Housing in Town?”

  1. Jim Hoch

    The best place for students is on the 40 acre tract on Pole Line which is currently blighted. Converted to student housing it would provide an economic engine for both downtown and the stores across the 80 in the center with Common Grounds. 

    1. Don Shor

      From your article:

      Since taking ownership of the property, the Schams have focused on cleaning up the mobile home park, which was often the site of drug and crime issues.

      What’s the crime rate in Rancho Yolo, Jim?
      Your vendetta against Rancho Yolo is bizarre. Rancho Yolo is not blighted. You are making unfounded assertions again.

  2. Jim Hoch

    “Your vendetta against Rancho Yolo is bizarre”, BTW “markedly unusual in appearance, style, or general character and often involving incongruous or unexpected elements; outrageously or whimsically strange; odd:”

    You certainly entitled to your opinion Don. I personally find it bizarre that people keep posting about trying to force UCD to build on-campus housing when they have no ability to force UCD to do anything and years of this approach has yielded nothing. Yet in the victory of hope over experience they persevere.

    Let me make the following points:

    The trailer park, at 40 acres, is the only single property in Davis where redevelopment can markedly improve the economic and social characteristics of the city.

    Since an oft-stated goal of The Vanguard is the economic re-vitalization of downtown is there a better way to accomplish this than to have a couple of thousand students passing through downtown everyday going to and from campus? They may even buy some some plants from that nursery on 5th.

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      I disagree, under state law, the city has no ability at all to do what you suggest. Why do you keep pushing it? I agree with Don.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          There are specific laws protecting Mobile Home parks, this was the problem we had with Royal Oak which really was blight unlike Rancho Yolo which is nowhere even close to as bad as Royal Oak was.

        2. Howard P

          Oh… and Royal Oaks was not the original name of the mhp… it was Barthels mhp, at the end of Barthels Lane, next to the very old City sanitary sewer plant…

          Barthels Lane is now known as Research Park Drive.

          The ‘street’ names within the mhp were the names of their children.

          A bit more creative than the names of the streets in Rancho Yolo…

          Rancho Yolo is a under-utilized, yet very precious diadem… it is a ‘niche’… it would be silly to re-develop it.

          You want affordable “ownership” housing?  We need more MPH’s… the ‘tenant’ owns the ‘building’, but not the land on which it sits… much like Aggie Villa… there, the ‘owners’ are actually 99-year leaseholders… UC owns the fee title to the land.

        3. Richard McCann

          Jim. you’re simply wrong and uninformed. First. very few mobilehome parks (MHPs) are considered “blighted.” The vast majority are as pleasant to live in as any other neighborhood. Municipal authorities are famous for using the term “blight” to plow under thriving neighborhoods so that developers can make more money. There is now a push to rename Justin Herman Plaza in SF because Herman infamously “redeveloped” the Western Addition very poorly.

          Second, Rancho Yolo in particular is a thriving, well kept neighborhood. There are several other neighborhoods in Davis, particularly where mini-dorms are common, that are in worse shape. Why aren’t you targeting those instead? I believe you are confusing this with the Royal Oak MHP, which was recently sold and is now being revamped substantially. Royal Oak had continuous problems for a while. but those are now being resolved.

          And third, it is VERY difficult to move tenants out of an MHP. Housing laws adopted in the late 1970s essentially made thees permanent housing developments. The owners of an MHP in Palo Alto attempted to do just what you propose, but were rejected. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/05/18/a-great-great-day-palo-altos-buena-vista-mobile-home-park-is-saved/

          And Jim, note that you will find my other comments generally agree with your premise about moving forward on housing policy. But now you’ve turned down a path that I don’t agree with.

        4. David Greenwald

          Howard:

          “Remember that Royal Oaks is not in the City… in the County…”

          Please note it’s Royal Oak (or touché!)

          That said, the issues were the same.  The county was limited in what they could do, eventually they were able to force the old owners to sell the property and the new owners were considerably better.  Talk about blight – it’s night and day.

          Lovely that Jim has completely taken the conversation off course here.

        5. Mark West

          “Lovely that Jim has completely taken the conversation off course here.”

          The conversation will only go off course if someone responds to the original comment making the responders equally responsible for the creation of the tangent. Who were the first two responders?

        6. Jim Hoch

          I thought the topic was housing students in the city?

          While some people may critical my preferred location I will note that all locations that have been proposed have come in for criticism. Note that when Sterling was proposed the trailer denizens showed up and declared that students bicycling down 5th would be a sign of the coming apocalypse and make their lives not worth living.

          I am familiar with the Palo Alto case and not sure of the relevance. The city was pursuing eminent domain and while they settled I don’t see any reason to think they would have not been successful had they moved forward. Am I missing something?

          The concept that a city needs to prove “blight” was rejected a decade or two ago. In California many municipalities have used EM and transferred title to a developer. If the units are higher density and affordable by design (small a) I don’t see an obvious roadblock. Perhaps an attorney who works in this area could comment.

    2. Tia Will

      is the only single property in Davis where redevelopment can markedly improve the economic and social characteristics of the city.”

      As a friend and acquaintance of a number of the residents of Rancho Yolo, I believe that they might strongly disagree with your comment about improvement of the social characteristics of the city. How do you see replacing the current residents of Rancho Yolo with students as a social improvement ?

      1. Jim Hoch

        Apologies Tia,

        Did not see this until now. It’s not a replacement. with 40 acres there is an abundance of space for senior and student housing. Granted the dilapidated RVs parked next to some of the trailers would no longer have a space.

        Here is a nice summary of the options. Note the density figures below include an abundance of parking which would mean either higher density or more green space in Davis.

        https://placesjournal.org/assets/legacy/pdfs/explaining-residential-density.pdf

  3. Mark West

    The role of the Planning Commission is to implement the CC’s policy, not to write their own. With the approval of the Sterling project, the CC indicated that it approves of ‘bed leased,’ student-focused redevelopment projects as being appropriate for the City. If the members of the PC were paying attention to that decision, they would not be repeating the same arguments that the CC recently rejected. The problem here is not that the PC Vice Chair has an opinion (which may be freely stated) but that the opinion ignores the CC’s policy decisions and attempts to replace those with a new policy more reflective of the Vice Chair’s personal opinions.

  4. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    It is disappointing that you seem to want to make “an issue” out of what is not an issue. Greg Rowe posted a very well documented response two days ago disagreeing with your objections that Planning Commissioner’s should not make comments that involve factors and overall concerns regarding a project proposal.  But contrary to your opinion, pointing out these concerns is the job of a Commissioner so, it is really of concern that you continue to try to make this attempt to disqualify the very valid comments that were made regarding Lincoln40. It is interesting that you avoid mentioning concerns raised like the traffic and circulation impacts, access and egress issues, and the toxic plume issue regarding the Lincoln40 project.

    What is of as much concern is the misleading and very antagonistic headline of your article today. Seriously David? Whether it was intended or not, the headline makes it sound that the Davis community is against all student housing which is ridiculous. You seem to care about civic and socio-polical issues, yet this headline is a real divider. It is pretty bad. You should change it to “Should Davis build luxury, expensive rental housing exclusively designed for students?” because that is the issue. While at it add to the title, “which create enormous impacts on the community and enviroment”.

    Your title not only completely misses the real concerns at hand, but instead just creates division. Pretty offensive and pretty bad form.  The issue is about rental housing should be inclusive of students and non-students. UCD has far more land and the resources to provide far more housing for their own growth, yet you are “hopeful” that building mega-dorms will free up rental housing in the City. But, it will not. It will only allow UCD to continue to minimize the number of beds they are planning for their massive growth. You are supporting UCD’s inaction and irresponsibility and are simply facilitating it in articles like this.

    1. Howard P

      “comments” are one thing… apparent attempts as to directing policy, directing the scope/conclusions of the DEIR, particularly where the City has no control over implementing what was described as the environmentally superior project alternative (thus, no ‘alternative’ available to the City at all), is quite another thing.

      The [commissioner] was borderline out of line…

      The [commissioner] is free to vote against the project… free to vote against the recommendation of approval of EIR [and state substantive reasons why] and very free to lobby the CC to reject the application.

      But, if a line was not crossed, it was definitely straddled.

      [moderator] edited

      1. Ron

        Howard:  “comments” are one thing… apparent attempts as to directing policy, directing the scope/conclusions of the DEIR, particularly where the City has no control over implementing what was described as the environmentally superior project alternative (thus, no ‘alternative’ available to the City at all), is quite another thing.

        I’m assuming that you’re describing the situation in which one of our council members successfully proposed “removing” an on-campus alternative (for Sterling), and “replacing” it with an “alternative” in Woodland.

         

        1. Mark West

          Making that type of decision is the responsibility of the City Council, Ron, and it wasn’t done by one member, but by agreement of the majority. That is why it is stated above that the City Council makes the policy (not the Planning Commission).

        2. Ron

          Mark:  Regardless of “who” makes this type of decision, it is political-gamesmanship at its worst.  And, it essentially invalidates the “objectivity” of EIRs.

        3. Howard P

          What Mark said… goes to scope of responsibility… and legal discretion.

          Your response, Ron, is assuming far too much… wrong again…

          [moderator] edited

        4. Mark West

          “Regardless of “who” makes this type of decision, it is political-gamesmanship at its worst.  And, it essentially invalidates the “objectivity” of EIRs.”

          It was not gamesmanship, it was a rational decision of the CC majority following careful deliberations. What is political gamesmanship is your attempt at attributing nefarious intent on a member of the CC. It is clear that you do not want an objective EIR but rather one that supports your predisposition, which demonstrates your answer to David’s question regarding the EIR’s purpose.

  5. Ron

    From article:  “The larger bedroom units are charged that same rate as the smaller 2-bedroom units in the City’s impact fee schedule. However, the fees are appropriate for the project even with the larger bedroom units.”

    This is an opinion, which is likely inaccurate.

        1. David Greenwald

          In the opinion of city staff, the fees are appropriate for the project…  If council disagrees with that, they can change the policy.  They didn’t.  Simple enough.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          David,

          Actually, the is an impact fee problem and it needs to be addressed. The developer impacts fees are outdated and enormous projects like these mega-dorms will continue ripping off the City if they are not updated now. City Staff has now been asked by Council to agendize updating the developer impact fees.

          The problem is that the City’s developer impact fees currently are charging the same for a 2-bedroom apartment as a 5-bedroom apartment which is ridiculous. The City needs to recover updated and properly adjusted developer impact fees relative to the multiplied impacts that come with enormous projects like these mega-dorms which are comprised primarily of 4- and 5- room bedroom apartment “suites”.

          The same problem exists that for for sale housing units where developers can be  charged the same for a 3-bedroom 1,200 sq. ft. housing unit s as a 3- bedroom 3,000 sq. ft housing units. Which do  you think the developer is going to build?

          This is a major problem that developers have raised as well because while there is a desire for smaller more affordable housing units,  the outdated developer impact fee schedule is not charging fairly or properly to encourage smaller housing units to be built.

          The need for updating these developer impact fees has been complained about long enough. It is critical they be updated now due to the multitude of projects being proposed and before the City loses any more revenue on these outdated fees.

    1. Howard P

      which is likely inaccurate.

      Why?  Citations?

      Whether a person occupies a 80 sq foot room or a 160  SF room, what is the difference in impact?

      Will cook up some more spaghetti for you, later.

      1. Ron

        Howard:  When someone makes a statement (especially one that defies common sense), it’s up to THEM to provide evidence. (Except on the Vanguard, apparently.)

        1. David Greenwald

          If you call someone’s statement inaccurate, you need to be able to back that up. An accusation automatically has its own burden of proof.

        2. Ron

          David:  YOU made (or referred to?) the statement.  Back it up. (Honestly, I’ve forgotten “which” inaccurate statement you’re referring to, at the moment. There’s more than one.)

          Go ahead and state at least one of them again, for all to see.

  6. Ron

    From article:  “But there is another problem with this argument – right now the entirety of the single-family home rental market has been eaten up by students.”

    This is almost certainly “factually incorrect”, and defies common sense.

        1. Ron

          You tell me, if development fees should be the “same” for a multi-bedroom unit.  (Actually, this isn’t something to be analyzed on a blog like this.)

    1. Howard P

      Two observations…

      SF has a different rental %-age… not the same as City-wide 55-45 for all residential units… which has been fairly constant for many years.

      The quoted text is about SF rental units… I know for a fact that the entirety of the SF rental market is not students… so, you are correct, Ron… to a limited extent… but it is a good bet that 30% +/- of current SF rentals are occupied by students… be they undergrad, or post-grad…  many post-grads have also established a family… spouse and often, kids.  SF rental housing fits the latter, big time.

  7. Ron

    From article:  Eileen Samitz has consistently argued that “whatever rental housing is built should be designed to available to all, not just designed for students with single room occupancy format.”

    The question is why?

    Well, for one thing – when the “college enrollment” bubble inevitably collapses, there may be a substantial number of apartment complexes which don’t appeal to non-students (including those in the local workforce).

    1. David Greenwald

      That’s your assumption, you can’t base current planning decisions on some sort of far out assumption when right now, there is a shortage of housing.  Are you argument UC Davis should also not build new housing based on this?

    2. Don Shor

      When college enrollment becomes more competitive, UC Davis will have a very strong competitive edge due to the fields for which it is renowned worldwide. What percentage of applicants do they accept here each year? All they have to do is accept a higher percentage. The so-called college enrollment bubble will affect second-tier colleges. I doubt UCB, UCLA, UCSD, UCD, UCI will have any difficulty filling spaces.

      1. Ron

        Don:  I’ve posted articles which showed that enrollment among California students was DROPPING, before the UC system received money earmarked to (slightly) increase the number of California residents.

        I can only imagine what will occur, if something starts “affecting” the International student “market” (which is being pursued by other university systems, as well). (Political issues, economic issues, development of better universities in home countries, etc.)

        1. Don Shor

          I can only imagine what will occur, if something starts “affecting” the International student “market”

          What will happen is that UCD will enroll a higher percentage of applicants.
          UC controls the enrollment. There isn’t going to be a shortage of students here.

        2. Ron

          Don:  You don’t know that.  How many International students are willing to pay in excess of $40K per year, to attend UCD (in the long run).  There’s other university systems competing for those same students.   It’s all about the $$$.

          By the way, did you see how much UCD is going to pay Katehi to teach ONE course? (It’s close to her previous salary, as Chancellor. This has been reported in multiple media sources – which I can post, if needed.)

          1. Don Shor

            Don: You don’t know that. How many International students are willing to pay in excess of $40K per year, to attend UCD (in the long run). There’s other university systems competing for those same students.

            I don’t know exactly what will happen, any more than you do. I will say that the first time someone brought up the enrollment bubble on the Vanguard, it was a few years ago (before you were active) in arguing that Katehi would have trouble meeting her 2020 Initiative enrollment goals. I’ve been reading about the changes in higher education for several years now. UCD has had no trouble meeting the goals of the 2020 Initiative, nor meeting the extra enrollment demand placed on it by the legislature. The shift to international students was, in my opinion, largely motivated by finance and budget issues: they make more money on them. But do you really think UCD is going to have trouble maintaining the projected enrollment that is in the LRDP? I think not, because, as I’ve said, in the college market UCD is very well positioned. Attractive to students from all over the world, famous for agriculture and engineering and veterinary science (and more). UC Merced might have enrollment issues. UC Davis probably won’t.
            Really, the only question I have for the longer term is whether UCD is going to try to continue to increase enrollment indefinitely, or will allow things to level out a decade or so from now.

            I sure hope her lectures are really, really good.

        3. Ron

          Don:  “I sure hope her lectures are really, really good.”

          O.K. – I finally laughed.  Thank you.

          Howard:  The “reason” I brought up Katehi is because UCD’s pursuit of International students appears to be directly related to their pursuit of $$$ (and failure to control costs, as was analyzed in multiple state audits).  Most of the enrollment growth (and accompanying housing needs) are driven by UCD’s pursuit of International students.

        4. Tia Will

          I agree with Don about the relative ongoing demand for slots in the UC system. First the prestige of the institutions will play a role in continued demand. Secondly if there is further back lash regarding coming to the US as opposed to some other country for higher education based on the political climate, California is likely to be relatively spared compared to other states.

          As for it being “all about the money”, I might have agreed until recently. With the current political climate, I believe that now it is also about student safety for many families. US is increasingly being considered a “high risk” country by many. While this is very sad, it is also likely to lead to more domestic admissions.

  8. David Greenwald Post author

    From the article: “But there is another problem with this argument – right now the entirety of the single-family home rental market has been eaten up by students.”

    Ron: “This is almost certainly “factually incorrect”, and defies common sense.”

    So Ron has chosen without facts to back him up, and accused me of being “almost certainly factually incorrect.”  Fortunately I have a solid basis for my statement.

    In 2010, we had 25,869 housing units in Davis

    of those 57 percent are rental units or 14,745

    We also know that there are 12,949 non-family households

    That means that around 88% of the rental units are rented by students or non-family members

    That was in 2010, the campus population has grown by 6000 since then, which means that number is actually probably higher now.

    So I submit while I do not have data to definitely prove the statement, that the data available leads me to believe that my statement is more likely than not to be accurate.

    1. Ron

      David:  Here’s your quote, which contradicts the information you’ve posted, above:

      From article:  “But there is another problem with this argument – right now the entirety of the single-family home rental market has been eaten up by students.”

      Now, even though you’re still denying this inaccuracy, let’s get into your other statistics (which aren’t linked to any source)>

      Are the 25,869 housing units composed entirely of single-family rental dwellings?

      How do you know that 12,949 of those are occupied by “non-family” members.  (Also, does that mean that these single-family dwellings are occupied exclusively by students?)

       

      1. David Greenwald

        I stand by my comment if somewhat exaggerated by saying “entirety” when I should have said “overwhelming majority”

        Are those 25,869 housing units composed entirely of single-family rental dwellings?  No.  That’s the total number of housing units in the city as of 2010 census.

        How do we know the 12,949 are occupied by “non-family” members?  Because we have that data as reported in the census.

        1. Ron

          David:  You didn’t exaggerate.  You flat-out made an inaccurate statement.  Based upon your quick response, it appears that you already knew that your statements are incorrect. Even worse, you’re digging your own hole, deeper.

          Your statistics regarding the total number of units (25,869) includes single-family dwellings that aren’t even rented out (at all).  Your 57% figure includes those same single-family homes.  In other words, it’s meaningless, regarding your quote.

          In order to perform ANY type of analysis, one would have to start out by citing the number of RENTAL units.  Then, you’d have to break down the number of single-family rentals (assuming that’s what you’re interested in – to support your quote).  Beyond that, it is not possible to differentiate between students (and non-students), based upon reported census data (regarding “non-family” members occupying a household).

           

           

           

           

        2. Howard P

          Ron… the next census data (Fed, I assume) will not be out until 2022.  Deal with that.

          Current census data (2010, released 2012) is on-line…

          There is other data, but I gave up spoon-feeding years ago… except when really warranted…

        3. Ron

          Howard:  Suggest that you direct your comment to David, who inappropriately cited the Census (among other, much more significant errors). I have nothing to “deal with”.

        4. David Greenwald

          Ron – your comment suggests you don’t understand the data I posted.  I’m not sure how I could have been more clear.  Other than repeating myself, I’m not sure what to say.

          There were 25869 housing units, 57% of those were rentals.  What part of that are you not understanding?

        5. Ron

          David:  O.K. – thanks for clarifying.

          How many of the 14,745 rental units are single-family rental dwellings?

          How many of those (single-family rental dwellings) are occupied by the 12,949 “non-family” members?

          How many of the (subset) of 12,949 “non-family members” are students? (Those in single-family rentals.)

          If you can answer those questions, then we’ll see how inaccurate your initial quote actually was.

        6. David Greenwald

          I don’t have the break down of single to multi-family available, but I’m not sure why it matters.  A unit is a unit.  You either live in a house or an apartment.  I don’t see how the breakdown has a bearing in this case.

          I’ve presented the data that back up the comment, Howard understands it, and we often don’t see eye to eye, so I’ll let the data stand and readers can judge.

        7. Ron

          David:  “I don’t see how the breakdown has a bearing in this case.”

          Because it was YOUR inaccurate quote, regarding the “entirety” of the single-family rental market.  (At times, I feel like I’m communicating with a certain political figure, of the “presidential persuasion” – when confronted with facts.)

        8. David Greenwald

          If you believe my quote is inaccurate then please back it up with data, otherwise you are making false accusations. I showed you where I got the data from.  Prove me wrong if you believe I’m in error.

  9. Howard P

     Because we have that data as reported in the census.

    David is factually correct, Ron.   Are you saying the 2010 census was “in error” (YOUR words)?

    “Inappropriately”?  Why?  Cite sources/justification.  Looks appropriate to me, and David well knows he and I come from very different ‘places’.  We have very different world views.  Yet, here, in this issue, we are very close.

    We are talking ‘facts’, not philosophy. Not “dogma.”

    1. Ron

      Howard:  “The quoted text is about SF rental units… I know for a fact that the entirety of the SF rental market is not students… so, you are correct, Ron… to a limited extent… but it is a good bet that 30% +/- of current SF rentals are occupied by students… be they undergrad, or post-grad…  many post-grads have also established a family… spouse and often, kids.  SF rental housing fits the latter, big time.”

       

        1. David Greenwald

          “But there is another problem with this argument – right now the entirety of the single-family home rental market has been eaten up by students.”

          And if you read this comment as was intended, what I was really trying to say is that the excess capacity of the rental market has been eaten up by students.

        2. Howard P

          David… check/qualify your numbers… distinguish between MF and SF… I strongly suspect that 88% SF rentals to students, is nowhere near defendable… I could be proven wrong…

          Meant as a friendly counsel.

  10. Ron

    David:  You’re right the entire rental market isn’t students, it’s about 88% or so, give or take.

    Assuming that this is correct, you’re advocating to INCREASE this percentage, with dormitory-type structures that really aren’t suited for anyone but students.

    Still wonder what will occur, when the “enrollment bubble” eventually pops.  (Perhaps this is another reason that UCD has demonstrated reluctance to build sufficient housing on campus.)

        1. Ron

          Sterling – maybe, maybe not (depending upon how long it takes, compared to an “average” student’s time at UCD).  Lincoln 40 hasn’t even been approved. The current batch of students will be gone, if Lincoln 40 is approved and eventually constructed.

        2. David Greenwald

          Sterling could be ready by 2019 at the earliest, probably 2020.  So a student entering in 2017-2018 could benefit their third or fourth year.

      1. Ron

        Don:  I posted an article regarding the “enrollment bubble” across the country, within the past few days.  There’s more than one such article.

        Again, enrollment across the UC system was recently DROPPING, among California residents. (I’ve posted articles regarding this, as well.)

        Anyone who believes that UCD is so “special” that it won’t be affected is fooling themselves.

        1. Don Shor

          Yes, I know what you posted. I read similar articles five years ago.
          There is not going to be a burst bubble that will lead to a glut of housing in Davis.
          86,000 students applied to UCD in 2016.

          A record high of 86,041 prospective students have applied to study at the University of California, Davis, for fall 2016.
          Freshman applications grew by 6.1 percent, or 3,937, to a total of 68,519, while transfer applications increased by 14.2 percent, or 2,174, for a total of 17,522. Both increases outpaced UC systemwide average increases.

          Meanwhile, what percentage do they accept?

          In fall 2015, UC Davis enrolled 5,385 new freshmen and 2,971 new transfer students. Total enrollment was 36,104.

          You do the math.
          I think they’ll have no trouble filling the seats in the lecture halls.
          It would be foolish beyond measure for the city or for campus planners to consider that UCD is likely to suffer an enrollment drop anytime in the next couple of decades.

        2. Ron

          Don and David:

          Again, much of the planned (hoped-for) enrollment growth is due to UCD’s pursuit of International students.  This is relatively new, and is much more subject to risks.

          In addition, the article I cited referred to demographic changes (in the U.S.) which may be permanent (e.g., lower birth rates).

          Nothing “grows” forever (including enrollment). I don’t doubt that (near-term) enrollment will increase. However, a lot of things can happen (regarding the “International” student market in particular, beyond that).

          P.S. – “Applications” can be quite different than “enrollment”.

          1. Don Shor

            But Ron, they can just go back to accepting more resident students. They accept something like 10% of applicants. Bump that up to 12% or 15% and you’ve filled the spots if there is a decline in applications. They can fill the seats. There is no reason whatsoever for UCD to be concerned about declining enrollment anytime within the period of the LRDP. From a fiscal standpoint they’re very unlikely to let that happen. So I don’t know why you keep bringing this up.

        3. David Greenwald

          It doesn’t matter how they got to that enrollment growth, the point is if they are plnaning on adding students they have to build the housing.

  11. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    So while you argue that a majority of the rental market is “eaten up” by students, you continue to argue that the rental housing built should be designed exclusively for students which leaves nothing for non-students to rent.  That type of planning is not inclusive or logical. In fact, it is quite the contrary and encourages UCD to sit back and do nothing to help the situation. In fact, it encourages UCD to slow down as well.

    Why are you so against rental housing for non-students? What you are advocating for (student-only housing) is not fair and it is pretty darn discriminatory. Why not rental housing for all, students, non-students including families and working folks?

    1. Don Shor

      In fact, it is quite the contrary and encourages UCD to sit back and do nothing to help the situation. In fact, it encourages UCD to slow down as well.

      This is false. They have said exactly what they are going to do and on what approximate timeline. They are not sitting back nor are they slowing down. They aren’t going to grow or build as fast as you, or all of us, would like. But this notion that building apartments in town for student-age renters is going to cause them to build less or build more slowly has no basis.
      UCD has said what they are going to do. They’ve been very specific. They’ve said where they’re going to build and what they’re going to build. We all wish they would build more. But the suggestion that building apartments at Lincoln or Sterling will cause UCD to change their plans is not borne out in the LRDP:

      The LRDP Draft Planning Scenario provides capacity to accommodate 90% of enrollment growth in campus housing and 40% of the Davis-based students in campus housing by 2027-28. When compared to 2015-16, the Plan provides capacity to accommodate an additional 6,200 additional students, as well as an additional 500 faculty and staff in campus housing.

      http://campustomorrow.ucdavis.edu/slide3

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Don,

        I disagree. UCD is not planning nearly enough housing which will result with even more students being pushed off campus with their inadequate “40/90” plan. This has been explained many times and the numbers of students being pushed off campus actually increases with their current plan. Plus, UCD has been formally asked by the City Council, their own students and now the County that they need to add the “50/100” plan to teh LRDP EIR. Yet, UCD continues to drag it heels and try to minimize the amount of student housing that they will plan.

        Futhermore, even when they do “move forward” it is with inadequate planning. Here UCD is going to the expense of demolishing the 3-story Webster Hall, only to replace it with 4-stories! An astonishing waste of land and resources by UCD and wasted opportunity to build at least 5-stories.

        All the other UC’s making the most use of their land and going 5-floors and higher, except UCD which continues to try to avoid producing its own needed housing to support their students. UCD’s irresponsibility towards their students housing needs is outrageous.

        1. Don Shor

          I didn’t say they were planning ‘enough’ housing. I want to make this clear: they have said what they are going to do. They have stuck to that (90/40). It is false to say they will build less or build more slowly if Lincoln is approved, or because Sterling was approved. Their plans are very, very clear. You don’t like their plans. You want them to build more, taller, denser, and provide 100% of the growth they are causing. But this should NOT be a reason to oppose housing projects that are being proposed by private developers on private land in the city limits.
          I’ll say this again, over and over if necessary: even if they went to 100% of new enrollment and 50% of total enrollment, we would still need more private housing in town to make up for past deficits. So please stop opposing private development projects that would help with the current and medium-range housing shortage that exists and will continue to exist regardless of whether UCD goes to 90/40 (likely) or 100/50 (unlikely).

        2. Ron

          Don: I understand that Eileen and others are involved in efforts to encourage UCD to build more housing on campus.  The LRDP is still in draft form. Unlike you, some are not giving up on those efforts. (I recall that you were pessimistic even before the LRDP process started.)

          If the city approves massive complexes that are really only suitable for students, then that does provide UCD with an “excuse” to not build sufficient housing on campus.  In addition, such mega-dorm structures (within the city) effectively prevents other uses for a given site, including “regular” apartment complexes that would appeal to a wider population (including students, workforce housing, etc.). (Not to mention other potential/needed uses, e.g., as mentioned regarding the former “Families First” site.)

          Of course, UCD can legally reserve housing for its own students, as well. (Something that the city cannot do.)

        3. David Greenwald

          “If the city approves massive complexes that are really only suitable for students, then that does provide UCD with an “excuse” to not build sufficient housing on campus.”

          Actually all the city is proposing is 15% of the housing made being off campus, given that you see Davis is only proposing 62% that still leaves almost a quarter of the need unaccounted for.  So there is no actual excuse. The citizens planning to build more housing than those two projects.

        4. David Greenwald

          “So please stop opposing private development projects that would help with the current and medium-range housing shortage that exists and will continue to exist regardless of whether UCD goes to 90/40 (likely) or 100/50 (unlikely).”

          It is also kind of futile to oppose those projects. The councils not going to vone them down under these conditions.

    2. David Greenwald

      “it is quite the contrary and encourages UCD to sit back and do nothing to help the situation. In fact, it encourages UCD to slow down as well.”

      You missed my analysis yesterday which showed all the city is doing is picking up about 15% of the 10,000 UCD student housing need with Sterling and Lincoln.  UCD has committed to 62,000 (or 62% of that need).  The rest of the fight is going to be over the last quarter or so.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        David,

        I just read it and while I have not had a chance to think through some analysis of that concept, but the concern I have been having is that the size of Lincoln40 with 708 beds is an enormous impact in that Olive Drive and Richards Blvd. vicinity, so I am not understanding how it can possibly work as proposed. The traffic, circulation, and environmental impacts are enormous. Plus, the starting point is to evaluate this plume issue.

        The bottom line is that UCD needs to make far more progress and add far more beds then they are proposing, and now, otherwise the City and surround cities will continue to be impacted.

        Another issue is, what is UCD’s perceive maximum student population into the future Will UCD add another 7,000 to 10,000 students for the next LRDP?  Where would those students be housed? Meanwhile, UCD has over 5,300 acres of land and is the largest UC, Yet, UCD is providing the least amount of student housing other than Berkeley which has a much smaller campus which is almost completely built out.

        The City cannot afford to allow the decades of  UCD’s opportunistic behavior towards the City continue. This includes not only the endless UCD housing demands that they keep trying to deflect to the City and surround cities, but UCD also denying the City of property taxes from commercial property owned and leased by UCD in the City, as well from the apartments UCD is master leasing in the City.

        1. David Greenwald

          I appreciate that you’ve read it.

          I think you ask an interesting question as to what the maximum population as for the University or if there is one. And I do think that that has pretty profound consequences for the community. I don’t have that answer

  12. Mark West

    We (individual commenters) have no influence over what housing the University builds. The City Council has little or no influence over what housing the University builds. The Yolo County Board of Supervisors has little or no influence over what housing the University builds. Spending time here discussing/arguing about what housing the University should build is a complete waste of time.

    The only thing that the Davis community can influence is the amount of housing that the Davis community builds. If we want to address the housing crisis in Davis, then our discussions should be focused on building more housing in Davis. If you want to argue about what the University ‘should’ do, go somewhere else, because all you are doing here is wasting everyone else’s time.

    Any housing we build in Davis will help alleviate the current shortage, even if it is a type of housing that you do not like. Building multi-family housing will have a greater impact on the shortage than any other type of housing construction. If we actually want to improve the situation for all of those people in town looking for appropriate housing, then we would be focusing on building more multifamily housing in Davis (all types). That is what we need to do, not continue arguing over Eileen’s fantasies about what she thinks the University should do.

     

     

    1. Ron

      This is otherwise known as:

      When UC says “jump”, the city asks “how high”.  (With some pro-development type individuals more than willing to provide an “answer”, regardless of other needs that the city has, suitability of such developments in existing neighborhoods, ramifications regarding traffic, financial costs, etc.).

      Also known as “planning to accommodate UCD” (and ensuring that the city’s needs are subservient to those of UCD), without being a partner in UCD’s plans, and without considering the needs of the city and its existing residents. (And ultimately, putting student housing in a less-than-ideal location for all parties – including students, themselves.)

        1. Ron

          Already discussed, many times.  Some impacts are alluded to in my response, above.  In addition, “using up” locations that might be better-suited (and zoned for) other uses/needs, including (but not limited to) housing that might better-accommodate the local workforce.

          Are you sure that you want to get on this merry-go-round, again?

          How many more of these repetitive articles are you planning? (Same time/station – tomorrow, the next day, the day-after-that . . .)

          What happened to your earlier effort/articles, regarding the LRDP? (There were a few of those, before you started continually harping on what the “city” needs to do about the needs that UCD is creating.)

        2. David Greenwald

          But I’ve always held a balanced view on the need for growth.  The university needs to go up to 100/50, the city should approve student housing projects that come before it.

        3. Ron

          I think we all understood what your position is.  I would argue that it’s not good policy to encourage (or approve) proposals which are exclusionary, by design.  (For reasons already discussed.)

          In addition, the city really should examine broader issues such as density, traffic flow, impacts on surrounding neighborhoods, costs (including financial and “opportunity” costs). (Just a partial list.)

        4. Ron

          If all the city is doing is planning for UCD’s expansion plans, then all other planning considerations and needs that the city has become subservient to UCD’s plans.

          Planning via vacancy rate (with the rate primarily driven by UCD’s actions). (Hey, what could possibly go wrong with that approach.)

    2. Jim Hoch

      Mostly agree. The UC reports to the state legislature. I have several times suggested that reaching out to Dodd and Curry would be a possible avenue of approach. This has been rejected in favor of continued lamentation.

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