Commentary: Speaking of the Need for Housing for Families

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Yesterday’s commentary, responding to a letter talking about the need for housing that works for families, got me thinking for awhile on the need for housing for families in Davis.  I can speak from personal experience here, because I am that family that needs affordable places to live in Davis if we are going to be able to stay here.

The letter argues that the projects, which they include as Lincoln40, Plaza 2555 (across from Playfields in South Davis) and Nishi, would be “predominately 4- and 5- bedroom enormous apartment suites.”

They write: “Since these mega-dorms use a rent-by-the-bed format targeting students, this is not a design that works for families and local workers.”

Instead they argue: “These 3 new multi-family projects in the City need to be inclusively designed with 1,2, and 3- bedroom traditional apartments so that anyone can rent them, families, or workers, or students. I urge Council to direct City Staff to clarify that new multi-family projects need to be predominately, if not entirely 1,2, and 3- bedroom traditional apartments offering market rental housing for all.”

As I noted yesterday, I agree with the comment that the dorm format is not designed for families.  But why wouldn’t the format work for local workers?  Non-college students are looking for shared housing.  Especially if they are young and not married.

I do agree that these projects are not conducive for families.

As I expressed yesterday, I don’t necessarily view this as a problem.  Right now the shortfall of housing is forcing students into single-family homes which are rented, and has choked families out
of the market. By providing housing for students, the overall rental vacancy rate will be increased and therefore housing will be more available to families attempting to move into town.

But today I want to go further than this.  I do not generally personalize politics in Davis, but I do find it ironic that many of the people making these arguments are folks who have owned homes in Davis for years.  Many of them either have no kids or their kids are grown.  In other words, the exercise is largely one that is academic.

I find it interesting that, therefore, people who own homes and have no families would be putting forth the argument that we should oppose Lincoln40 because it does not provide housing for workers and people with families.

On the other hand, I have a family with three kids and, as many people know, we rent.  Five years ago we were fortunate to be able to move from an apartment in West Davis to a rental home in South Davis.  We live in a neighborhood.  We are surrounded by families with children and, as many of my friends were complaining about lack of trick-or-treaters, we had many.

I have been largely supportive of student housing.  Twenty years ago, I came here as a graduate student and ended up staying.  I largely view the student housing projects as a good thing for families like mine because it eliminates the competition for single-family homes and reduces the pressure for students to pile ten to a home in order to find a place to live that they can afford.

But here is the bottom line – when I was in my 20s, I would have loved to have lived next to campus.  For most of my stay as a student, I lived in West Davis and either had to drive three miles or bike it.  By the time you factor in walking to a parking space, either way you were looking at about a 15-minute commute home.

However, at this point in my life, I would not want to move my family into an apartment complex.  I would not want to live next to campus in apartments.

What I want is to have housing, whether it is affordable rental housing or for-sale housing, that is in a neighborhood where we have a yard, other kids around, and a community of people.  There are a lot of people who of course have different tastes, who like a more urban lifestyle, but I moved to Davis because I like the atmosphere – the college town, the suburban feel, the neighborhoods, the parks, the greenbelts.  That is what I’m looking for.

I think a lot of people who have not been students for a long time, not been young working adults for a long time, and don’t have families make a lot of assumptions about what people want.

At this stage in my life, I am either going to end up renting a house in Davis or buying a house in Woodland.  Frankly, I would love to stay in Davis – the community is great and the schools have done wonders for our kids.  But, increasingly, that seems unlikely as this community has become unaffordable for working families like my own.

I don’t want to see Davis vastly change.  I still support Measure R.  I still oppose most peripheral development on the outskirts of town.  But somehow, some way, we have to find a way to provide housing for the people who attend school here, who work here, and who live here now but cannot stay much longer in their current location.

Lincoln40 could be a very nice place for college students to live, but that is not what I need for my family.  But creating sufficient housing at Lincoln40, and other locations in town, could free up the single-family homes for me and my family to move into.

If you own your home, you are not speaking for my family and me when you argue that there needs to be family housing at some of these apartment complexes.

—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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108 thoughts on “Commentary: Speaking of the Need for Housing for Families”

  1. Roberta Millstein

    But why wouldn’t the format work for local workers?

    Careful now, David.  You’ve said that workers may stay in a job for 10 or 20 years.  So, if those workers like the apartment format at Nishi and stay there 10 or 20 years while they stay in their jobs (or even change jobs but stay in their apartment), that’s a lot of exposure to poor air quality.

  2. Ron

    From article:  “On the other hand, I have a family with three kids and, as many people know, we rent.  Five years ago we were fortunate to be able to move from an apartment in West Davis to a rental home in South Davis.  We live in a neighborhood.  We are surrounded by families with children and, as many of my friends were complaining about lack of trick-or-treaters, we had many.”

    So, it seems that students aren’t, in fact, displacing those in single-family houses in your neighborhood.  And, that you lived in an apartment complex in Davis, prior to that.

    For equivalent-age structures, apartment units should be less-expensive than a single-family rental, partly due to the inherent unfairness of the local property tax structure and impact fees (which results in less  costs for apartment units), maintenance for the entire structure and yard, etc. 

    It’s really a pretty ridiculous argument to suggest that traditional apartment units (e.g., 2-3 bedrooms) are not intended for small families.

    From article:  “But here is the bottom line – when I was in my 20s, I would have loved to have lived next to campus.”

    No one (who isn’t a new student) is going to want to live in a megadorm, sharing a 4-5 bedroom unit with students.  For those sharing a room in a megadorm, it’s even worse. I suspect that even most students will move out before they finish their degrees. (And then, they will then be competing for other living arrangements in town, or out-of-town.)
     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “So, it seems that students aren’t, in fact, displacing those in single-family houses in your neighborhood.”

      Not in my neighborhood. But to that end, I would make the point – there are seven affordable townhouses here, I believe everyone now has a family with kids. In other words, affordable housing works.

    2. Ron

      I should note (before someone else does) that the impact fee structure apparently favors multiple-bedroom units, regardless of whether it’s a house or apartment unit.  (One of the reasons that we’re seeing megadorm proposals with 4-5 bedrooms.)

  3. Tia Will

    In other words, the exercise is largely one that is academic.”

    It is not at all academic for those for whom the home in which they raised their children but from which they have downsized, is a major and needed source of income from them best met by rentals to students.

    I think a lot of people who have not been students for a long time, not been young working adults for a long time, and don’t have families make a lot of assumptions about what people want.”

    I think that the assumption making is far more universal. Some who have been through these stages of life may have forgotten and thus make assumptions, or may have vivid memories of what it was like for them and thus be very empathetic to the wants/needs of others. However, it is equally true that young people who have not yet born the responsibility of providing for oneself and a family are not knowledgeable about the needs/wants of those who are currently raising their families and certainly not familiar with the needs of those who are older still and may be just getting by while doing what they can to support adult children and/or grandchildren.

    If you own your home, you are not speaking for my family and me when you argue that there needs to be family housing at some of these apartment complexes.”

    No one should be speaking for anyone else on these issues. Can we at least agree that individuals goals /preferences/ and needs are as unique and varied as the individuals they represent ?

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Can we at least agree that individuals goals /preferences/ and needs are as unique and varied as the individuals they represent ?”

      Yes we agree on that. My point was that those advocating for housing for families need to keep in mind the type of housing most families desire.

      1. Ron

        David:  “My point was that those advocating for housing for families need to keep in mind the type of housing most families desire.”

        Again, it also depends upon the size of the family (and perhaps age of the children). 

        As a side note, apartment complexes often have amenities such as swimming pools, which are pretty popular with kids, in general. Houses often don’t.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          I don’t believe you have kids, so perhaps this is not an issue that you are aware of. We used to live in a three bedroom apartment when we first had kids. We had a swimming pool (some are maintained better than others). But the kids had no playing space outside. So they could play in the parking lot (not a good idea) or we had to take them to the park. Apartments are just not conducive for kids. Some people have no other choice but my choice is going to be a house in Davis or a house somewhere else. That’s what a lot of people my age with kids are doing.

        2. Ron

          And again, you mentioned that those families around you are living in Affordable housing.  (I’m assuming that you are referring to the Affordable housing program.)

          Again, another reason to be concerned about the megadorm proposals, which essentially shortchange the Affordable housing program, as discussed in my other comments on this page.

        3. Roberta Millstein

          I don’t believe you have kids, so perhaps this is not an issue that you are aware of. We used to live in a three bedroom apartment when we first had kids. We had a swimming pool (some are maintained better than others). But the kids had no playing space outside. So they could play in the parking lot (not a good idea) or we had to take them to the park. Apartments are just not conducive for kids. Some people have no other choice but my choice is going to be a house in Davis or a house somewhere else. That’s what a lot of people my age with kids are doing.

          I don’t believe you have asthma, so perhaps this is not an issue that you are aware of.  People can be in their teens and twenties with undiagnosed (or diagnosed) asthma.  Such people are very sensitive to small particulates in the air, and their asthma can worsen as a result of exposure that might not be dangerous to others.  Or, some seem to develop asthma as a result of exposure to poor air quality who might not have otherwise done so.  The rate of asthma is increasing in this country.  Exposure should not be brushed off as inconsequential by those who may simply be unfamiliar with these facts, even as they are well aware of other diseases that they themselves may suffer from.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “I don’t believe you have asthma, so perhaps this is not an issue that you are aware of.”

            Well aware of this issue, my wife has asthma.

        4. Howard P

          Alan… you can’t bulldoze Olive Drive, per se… the concrete is too damn hard!  But, we could raze and bulldoze all the properties adjacent to it…

          [Cement was cheap when the Lincoln highway was built… today, that concrete has over twice the strength of normal sidewalks, and freeways (?) today… and thicker!]

        5. Roberta Millstein

          Well aware of this issue, my wife has asthma.

          Then perhaps ask her if she would live in an area that is exposed to increased particulate matter, and if she is OK to subjecting young adults to the same thing, young adults who may or may not know they have asthma, and who in all likelihood would not know about the air quality concerns at the location.

          And if you say, do we really know that the PMs are high, the answer is, that is why we need the testing.  But the tests that were done did not look good.

        6. Roberta Millstein

          But hey, look, David, you’re in good company!

          Robert Phalen, who directs the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory at the University of California Irvine, is not an obvious ideologue like Honeycutt, but his research findings would support a deregulatory agenda for air pollution. “The relative risks associated with modern [particulate matter] are very small and confounded by many factors,” he wrote in a 2004 study. “Neither toxicology studies nor human clinical investigations have identified the components and/or characteristics of [particulate matter] that might be causing the health-effect associations.” Phalen has argued that the air is currently too clean, because children’s lungs need to breathe irritants in order to learn how to fight them. “Modern air,” he said in 2012, “is a little too clean for optimum health.”

          https://newrepublic.com/article/145582/scott-pruitt-declares-war-air-pollution-science

  4. Ron

    David:  “But to that end, I would make the point – there are seven affordable townhouses here, I believe everyone now has a family with kids. In other words, affordable housing works.”

    If you’d like to see more Affordable housing, then I would think that you’d be concerned about the 4-5 bedroom megadorm proposals, which result in a lower contribution toward the Affordable housing program.

    As discussed yesterday, the Affordable housing program is apparently based upon the number of units in a proposed structure, regardless of the size of the unit.  (Larger, but fewer number of units = less contribution toward the Affordable housing program, compared to a traditional apartment complex.)

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “If you’d like to see more Affordable housing, then I would think that you’d be concerned about the 4-5 bedroom megadorm proposals”

      I like how you presume to tell me what I want. As I explained in this piece, where these projects are going is not where I would want to live at this point in my life. Now maybe others would and Tia is right to tell me not to speak for others, however for me, I don’t want to live in an apartment and I want to live in housing that is integrated into a neighborhood. I’m fine with the proposed projects being predominantly student housing.

      1. Ron

        David:  You left out the remainder of my quote, which states that the 4-5 bedroom megadorm proposals result in a “lower contribution toward the Affordable housing program”, for the reason described in my post above.  (Prior to that, you mentioned that “affordable housing works”, for families – including those in your neighborhood.)

        Regarding “telling you” what you want, I did not do so.  But, I think you’d agree that no one can really speak for anyone else, including those who might have a similar number of children, for example.  (We can generally observe, speculate, communicate with others, and try to envision our own reactions to a situation, but that’s about it.)

         

        1. David Greenwald

          I suspect this is going to largely be a non-issue when the council redoes its fees.  I also do not believe that fees determine number of affordables built.  More often there seems to be a project proposal with a given number and then they figure out how to fund it.

        2. Ron

          David:  “I suspect this is going to largely be a non-issue when the council redoes its fees.”

          Well, they didn’t do so prior to approving Sterling, and may not do so in time for the Lincoln 40 megadorm, Plaza 2555, Nishi (if they ignore Dr. Cahill’s warnings), . . .

          As a side note, let’s hope that they get the proposed parcel taxes properly allocated before the election, to ensure that single-family homeowners don’t continually pay a disproportionate share of costs, and to ensure that sufficient funds are raised to ensure that the city’s financial situation doesn’t become even worse.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You would have liked Sterling to have included more affordable housing on site?

        3. Ron

          David:  In general, I support including Affordable housing on site within proposed developments (rather than paying in-lieu of fees).  I am not convinced that it needs to be in a separate building, as was the case with Sterling.  (However, that starts leading to a different topic, and is a moot point for Sterling, regardless.)

          Yes, I would prefer that the Affordable housing program not be “shortchanged”, by creating larger (but fewer) number of total units (as discussed elsewhere, on this page). This is an issue with megadorms, due to the 4-5 bedroom units.

          I understand that Lincoln 40 has NO Affordable housing included, on-site.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            That wasn’t my question. My question was: you would have preferred Sterling to have had more affordable on site?

        4. Ron

          David: I already answered that. I would have preferred a development that was suitable for a range of population (which might have accommodated a larger number of total units), and an appropriate amount of Affordable housing, based upon the number of market units.

          That is, assuming the site was not suitable for commercial/industrial development.

        5. Ron

          Or, another social services organization (my first “choice”).

          Just saw your other post. Yes, I answered your question. If you have some point to make, then do so.

  5. Don Shor

    The issue is that student renters overwhelm the local rental and start-up/move-up housing market, and have for at least a couple of decades. I find old conversations on the Vanguard from 2008 and 2009 where I am pressing the need for rental housing due to the very low vacancy rate. In those conversations, other participants (including one then-councilmember) informed me that UC would likely not meet their projected enrollment. Well, they met it, increased it substantially, overshot the increase, and added less housing than they needed to for even their prior shortfall.

    Meanwhile in the past decade I believe we have added The Cannery, New Harmony, some small housing developments, and almost no rental housing. So student renters continue to move into the homes that folks like David Greenwald would have been buying if they weren’t being turned into mini-dorms sprinkled throughout the community.

    Off topic note: Google Image search tells me that the lovely stock photo David uses for these columns is from River Crossing Student Housing, Indiana University, South Bend Indiana.

     

      1. Don Shor

        (Even the Cannery includes it.)

        The ones at The Cannery aren’t completed yet, although I see they’ve held the lottery.
        https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/254c4c_70be46929e85467f8765bf7f4144b449.pdf

        Also, I believe this illustrates the complete absurdity of the current “Affordable Housing” policies in Davis.

        We
        received a total of 141 applications for
        the 61 available units. One application
        withdrew and 24 failed the credit
        criteria leaving 116 applications for
        further processing. Demand far
        exceeded units available; especially in the lower
        income categories.
        With the goal of filling Bartlett Commons with
        tenants who have a tie to the community, the
        Davis City Council adopted a leasing guideline
        which awards 0 to 3 points to each application.
        On September 7, 2017, we conducted a random
        draw for the 74 applicants who scored 3 points, then a separate random draw for 20 applicants who
        scored 2 points applicants, then a separate random draw for the 15 applicants who scored 1 point. The
        7 applicants who scored 0 points did not qualify for the random draw. We will process the applicants
        with a 0 score after we have processed all applications that qualified for the City leasing guideline.

        Please tell me how many young adults in their 20’s are going to be able to get into something like that? What we have in Davis is a whole housing market that carefully and purposefully discriminates against young adults who need to rent here. We have senior housing, “affordable housing” with complex criteria for qualification, and a bunch of neighborhoods with high-priced single-family homes. But when someone proposes something specifically targeted at student renters and young adults who are in that same demographic, we get all these objections.
        Did anyone object to the housing restrictions at URC or Eleanor Roosevelt Circle?

        1. Ron

          Don:  “Please tell me how many young adults in their 20’s are going to be able to get into something like that?”

          Please tell me how these megadorm proposals (in which a 4-5 bedroom unit is shared with students) will appeal to “young (working/non-student) adults in their 20’s”.

          Don – from your cited section, above:  “Demand far exceeded units available; especially in the lower income categories.”

          Please tell me how “shortchanging” the Affordable housing program (by approving megadorms, as discussed above) will help those in lower income categories.

          1. Don Shor

            Please tell me how “shortchanging” the Affordable housing program (by approving megadorms, as discussed above) will help those in lower income categories.

            Econ 1, Ron. Add supply when there is demand.

        2. Ron

          Don:  You’re changing the argument.  You’re the one who essentially implied that these megadorms would appeal to non-students/workers.

          The megadorms are designed to accommodate UCD’s plans, nothing more than that.  (And, there’s consequences to the city as a result of blindly accommodating that plan – including sacrificing spaces that might be used to accommodate both student and non-student renters.)

          1. Don Shor

            Don: You’re changing the argument. You’re the one who essentially implied that these megadorms would appeal to non-students/workers.

            The megadorms are designed to accommodate UCD’s plans, nothing more than that. (And, there’s consequences to the city as a result of blindly accommodating that plan – including sacrificing spaces that might be used to accommodate both student and non-student renters.)

            Any increase in rental supply will help the situation, Ron. And although you like to misuse the term “mega-dorm” the fact is that not all of the units in these projects are the same. The proposal in South Davis, for example, contains single-bedroom flats and studio apartments as well as some smaller units along with the multi-bedroom suites. Sterling will contain a mix of studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 4-bedroom and 5-bedroom units.
            Young adults will live where they can find a place to rent.

        3. Ron

          Don:  These types of developments are large-scale, primarily multi-bedroom units (some double-occupied), leased by the room, essentially functioning as a dormitory.  You provided the actual breakdown in unit types for Plaza 2555, which confirmed that it is being proposed as primarily a multi-bedroom facility.  I am sorry that you and David don’t like the term “megadorm”, but that’s what these structures are.

          And again, the city should not be blindly sacrificing sites (and incurring unreimbursed impacts) just to accommodate UCD’s plans.  That “sacrifice” disproportionately impacts those whom you claim to be most concerned about (e.g., local workers).

          Rather than moving into a megadorm, it’s far more likely that local workers will find some other arrangement (either in the city, or outside of the city). More often than not, I suspect it will be outside of the city, as megadorms displace more sites (while ironically and simultaneously shortchanging the Affordable housing program, as discussed elsewhere on this page).

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “I am sorry that you and David don’t like the term “megadorm”, but that’s what these structures are.”

            Neither you nor Eileen have bothered to research the use of the term, so I don’t know how you can state that.

  6. Sharla C.

    The many rental houses in my neighborhood are primarily housing students.  These rentals are slowly changing to home ownership and are being removed from the rental market altogether.  On my cul-de-sac, 2 out of 5 houses were rentals two years ago. Now they are all owner occupied.   Another house around the corner was just sold to a young couple who bought the rental house as-is with much work ahead of them.  But there are another four other student rented houses around the corner within 1/2 a block.  Think about this.  In one block, which included a cul-de-sac, we had 6 houses rented by student groups and one more rented by a family (who was displaced when the house was put up for sale).  We are now down to 4 student rentals.  It would be good to have places for single students to live and allow families and couples to re-populate these older neighborhoods.

  7. Eileen Samitz

    Sharla: “It would be good to have places for single students to live and allow families and couples to re-populate these older neighborhoods.”

    Sharla,

    It would good if UCD would do this.
    [moderator] edited.

     

     

     

  8. Alan Miller

    I am either going to end up renting a house in Davis or buying a house in Woodland.  Frankly, I would love to stay in Davis –  . . .  But, increasingly, that seems unlikely as this community has become unaffordable for working families like my own.

    I’m sure Woodland is waiting on pins and needles for the first day of the Woodland Vanguard.  I wonder if Woodland has a dark underbelly?  Stay tuned.

  9. Eileen Samitz

    David: “I find it interesting that, therefore, people who own homes and have no families would be putting forth the argument that we should oppose Lincoln40 because it does not provide housing for workers and people with families.”

    Wow, David. What a discriminatory comment this is.  I find it not only completely wrong but offensive as well.  Your condescending statement declares that those who don’t have children cannot possibly understand what we who have children want or need.  Not only is this ridiculous but it is divisive as well. Well David, you are not Black or Hispanic so how can you possibly advocate for social justice such as profiling by police? As a Caucasian man, how can you possibly understand?

    The hypocrisy of your statement is astonishing. One of the primary reasons I have raised the issue of the need for more inclusive by-design rental housing (i.e. traditional 1-, 2-, and 3- bedroom apartments) for families and local workers because I have friends and have heard from many others impacted by this problem.  This is precisely why I am advocating for 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments which are inclusively designed, instead of a mega-dorm format like at Lincoln40 and Plaza 2555.  The traditional 1-, 2-, and 3-  bedrooms apartment formats can be rented by students or non-students, so these apartments serve all, not just some. However, your position is to advocate for exclusionary housing designed specifically for students which does nothing to help families and workers.

    While you have had the advantage of having a high enough salary to move up from renting an apartment to renting a house now, not everyone can do that. Single mothers and lower income families do not have the privilege you have, so you have no right to discard their needs.

    I cannot believe how hypocritical and divisive the Vanguard has become. What a disappointment to see the progression of you stating that you have more expensive housing that you can afford now, but tough luck on other families or workers needing apartments who do not have the higher income that you have.  The Vanguard, sadly, has fallen quite a way from its original intent.

  10. Sean Raycraft

    The Vanguard has always been a place where people can freely discuss the local politics scene, and as far as I know, its always been contentious, as politics tends to be. Now, as far as Eileen’s hyperbolic commentary, ill just say I find its somewhat comical shes complaining about David somehow not caring about single moms trying to make it in Davis, given her reactionary stances on housing issues dating back to forever.

    Ill address Eileen directly here. I am someone who sees, every day the devastating impact of the rental housing crisis here in Davis. As I wrote about in some depth in the article I wrote some time ago, co workers, people who work multiple jobs and students are literally now homeless because they cannot find housing. I know plenty of people who would not give a damn if they had to share a kitchen with 5 other people if they just had a roof over their head, and a pot to piss in. People, right now, are being harmed, and instead of taking the actions needed to build enough housing for there to be a healthy rental market, here is Eileen somehow saying that dorm style housing somehow hurts single moms. Somehow.

    Well, if these mega dorms as you describe them are catered to students and the working poor, (as seemingly they would be) doesnt it stand to reason that said housing would free up other opportunities for families to move into those single family homes currently being used by students, or those one two and three bedroom apartments being used by students. More rental housing will improve the market for everyone looking in the market, instead of heading further down the road into market failure, which in a sense is what we have already. Literally people working two jobs cant find a place to live. Its time we re adjust our priorities as a community on the no growth ever housing debate

    1. Roberta Millstein

      I thought Tia addressed this well yesterday; she wrote:

      This [additonal student housing opening up other types of housing] is what we hope will happen, but I think it is far from certain for several reasons:
      1. There is nothing to stop a wealthy family from purchasing a “four year home” for their student and renting out bedrooms to other students which has been going on for at least the past 40 years. Some of these homes get put back on the market when the wealthy student graduates, some do not and persist as investment properties for the family with continued student rental. I know, I have one.
      2. There is nothing to stop individuals or families flush with cash and fleeing the Bay Area from purchasing homes here for themselves or as investments – this is a major dynamic driving the market in Sacramento and suspect it is the same here.
      3. Largely because of #2, this is a regional problem, not a problem that we will be able to ameliorate unilaterally in Davis. This is of course true whether we build dorms or single family dwellings.

      1. David Greenwald

        I don’t believe there is really a such thing as certainties in life, but to the extent that there is – one thing I do think is fairly certain is that not adding housing will harm all of the above.  Providing more housing within the framework of our community on the other hand gives us a chance of addressing some of the shortfalls.

      2. Sean Raycraft

        Tia does a good job describing many aspects of the housing crisis here. There are no single silver bullet policy answers that will fix this problem. With that said, more housing at practically any rental level will help.

      3. Roberta Millstein

        David and Sean, I’m just hearing statements of faith from you, not a genuine response to what Tia has said.  It seems highly likely that we could add a lot more housing and be in exactly the same situation we’re in terms of vacancy and high prices, only with a lot more congestion and all of the problems that go along with that.  I think we need to work to address these problems (I’d like to see a returned push for a higher minimum wage, for example) but I am doubtful we can build our way out given the regional pressures.

        1. Don Shor

          I am doubtful we can build our way out given the regional pressures.

          The region will build its way out of it. Note all the construction in Woodland, Dixon, and West Sacramento. The question is what share of that demand Davis will provide.

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          Roberta: It’s not a statement of faith, it’s a statement of logic. I don’t see any other way to deal with a housing shortage other than provide more housing. Do you?

        3. Ron

          David/Don:

          Without getting into the need for student housing (which belongs on campus), your statement ultimately underlies the need to make a choice:

          Do communities such as Davis continue to approve all of the housing needed to meet “market demand” (in terms of potential rentals and sales, at a price in which it could conceivably be built, and subsequently sold or rented).  Which, in the case of Davis, would probably require a LOT of housing to be built, with no end in sight for the future, as well.  (And, with no guarantee that prices would drop significantly, especially since other communities are not exactly “cheap”, anymore.)

          (I was hoping to avoid commenting today, but will at least make this one.)

           

           

        4. David Greenwald

          For the most part I think that the market should dictate what kind of housing is developed within the existing boundaries of Davis and that going outside of those existing boundaries raises the stakes, it means that the voters have to approve it and so far they have no been willing to do so.  Will that change?  I don’t know.  At this point I think everyone admits we have a shortage of housing, the question is whether you believe it should go.  The difference between your position and mine is that I’m fine with some of that housing going into town.

        5. Howard P

          Ron… if I take your statement literally, as written,

          Without getting into the need for student housing (which belongs on campus), your statement ultimately underlies the need to make a choice:

          I’d think you mean that NO students (unless living with parents/relatives) should live off-campus, in the city… perhaps you meant that additional (increase in) students should be accommodated on-campus… perhaps you meant the former… please clarify if you have a mind to…

        6. Ron

          David:  “For the most part I think that the market should dictate what kind of housing is developed within the existing boundaries of Davis and that going outside of those existing boundaries raises the stakes, it means that the voters have to approve it and so far they have no been willing to do so.  Will that change?  I don’t know.”

          Allowing the market to dictate city planning is not something I would advocate.  In general, developers will pursue what’s most profitable for them, even if it doesn’t align with the city’s needs (e.g., commercial development, housing that may not be as profitable, etc.).

          Regarding whether or not voters will eventually approve an external development, your advocacy (if followed) certainly increases the likelihood.  (Especially as sites within the city are used up to meet “market demand”.)

          David:  “At this point I think everyone admits we have a shortage of housing, the question is whether you believe it should go.  The difference between your position and mine is that I’m fine with some of that housing going into town.”

          The local “housing shortage” is driven by UCD.  The difference between your position and mine is that you are willing to unquestionably sacrifice space in the city that may be needed for other uses, including housing for everyone.  In addition, you downplay the impacts (financial/non-financial) of your advocacy.

          Your underlying advocacy is that the city should continue to attempt to meet market demand, regardless of consequences.  You’ve made your preference pretty clear.

          It should also be noted that there’s nothing preventing traditional apartments from satisfying a large part of the demand resulting from UCD’s plans.  (In fact, I suspect that many students don’t want to live in a megadorm.)

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “Allowing the market to dictate city planning is not something I would advocate.”

            Let’s take a different example, a company wants to come into town and open a restaurant in a vacant store downtown, do you believe that the council should block that because they already have enough restaurants? Or because it’s a Chinese restaurant, and the council wants Japanese? I see a real problem with the city micromanaging the type of business that comes into town.

            “The local “housing shortage” is driven by UCD.”

            Davis would be Dixon without UCD. So I’m not sure the point of that comment.

            My underlying belief is that we need to provide housing right now because the current situation is untenable and UC Davis has agreed to do what they are willing to do for better or worse.

            “It should also be noted that there’s nothing preventing traditional apartments from satisfying a large part of the demand resulting from UCD’s plans.”

            There’s also nothing prevent any number of things from satisfying a large of the demand except that to date, few have stepped up with money to propose those.

            “In fact, I suspect that many students don’t want to live in a megadorm.”

            I found it interesting how many students showed up at the Sterling meeting, I didn’t hear a single student complain about the type of apartments proposed. In fact, to this day, the only people I have seen even raise it as an issue are adults who own their own houses in town.

        7. Ron

          David:  “I see a real problem with the city micromanaging the type of business that comes into town.”

          I see a real problem with destroying existing facilities built for a different need by taxpayer-funded organization, changing industrial/commercial zoning, sacrificing sites that might be used to house a broader range of populations, failing to property allocate costs for the developments that are being proposed, failing to acknowledge the impacts of housing 5,000 additional students within the city, etc.

          In other words, allowing “the market” to dictate city planning.

          David:  “Davis would be Dixon without UCD. So I’m not sure the point of that comment.”

          I’m not sure of your point, either.

          David:  “I found it interesting how many students showed up at the Sterling meeting, I didn’t hear a single student complain about the type of apartments proposed.”

          I suspect that they either haven’t fully thought about it, and/or don’t plan to live there themselves (but have bought into your general argument that the city should take on the responsibility to meet UCD’s market demand).  The really ironic thing is that none of these proposals will likely be built before many of the current batch of students graduate.  And frankly, I’m not hearing much from students regarding other concerns and priorities that the city has, nor am I hearing much about their advocacy on campus for more student housing.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “I see a real problem with destroying existing facilities”

            Unfortunately we have limited available space and the 0.2 percent vacancy rate is creating a huge market demand for student housing. THis is exactly the problem with bottling demand for years.

            “I’m not sure of your point, either.”

            Howard seemed to get it.

            “I suspect that they either haven’t thought about it, and/or don’t plan to live there themselves”

            You suspect wrong. The students are much more concerned with things like living on couches and cars and dealing with landlords who fail to maintain their places. This is just another example of someone who is not living a particular position not being able to understand the needs of the students in this case. I talk to students all the time, in fact when I lectured at UC Davis yesterday, one of the questions I got was about what the city was doing about student housing. They are very worried about their living situations. We had students talking about fears of being homeless and you think living in a nice spacious five bedroom apartment wit their own bathroom is going to bother them? Really?

        8. Howard P

          David… your 11:40 post.

          If the CC can determine what they like or don’t like, to make decisions on specific items, we are screwed big time.

          We are a nation of laws, not whims (I hope).  I think that was actually your point…

          As to another ‘point’… if Davis didn’t have UCD, Dixon AND Davis would both be more like Zamora.  Cheap shot at Dixon… actually a nice little city…

        9. Ron

          Howard:  “If the CC can determine what they like or don’t like, to make decisions on specific items, we are screwed big time.”

          Right.  It’s not like these types of proposals disregard existing zoning/plans.  Oh, wait – they do!

          Never mind.

           

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            That’s not the be all and end all which is why there is the ability to change and modify zoning and planning to accommodate new times and new needs.

        10. Ron

          David:  Right – the needs of “the market”, and the “needs of UCD”.

          The “needs of the city” (including existing residents) – apparently not very important, to some.

        11. David Greenwald

          How do you define the needs of the city, Ron?  Who gets to decide?  You’ve taken a very blanket view as to what the needs of the city are but it’s not a universal view.

        12. Ron

           

          David:  “Unfortunately we have limited available space and the 0.2 percent vacancy rate is creating a huge market demand for student housing. THis is exactly the problem with bottling demand for years.”

          It’s exactly the problem with expecting the city to continuously respond to UCD’s need, at the expense of its own goals and needs.

          David:  “The students are much more concerned with things like living on couches and cars and dealing with landlords who fail to maintain their places. This is just another example of someone who is not living a particular position not being able to understand the needs of the students in this case. I talk to students all the time, in fact when I lectured at UC Davis yesterday, one of the questions I got was about what the city was doing about student housing. They are very worried about their living situations. We had students talking about fears of being homeless and you think living in a nice spacious five bedroom apartment wit their own bathroom is going to bother them? Really?”

          You were asked “what the city is doing about it”?  Really?

          Again, where is their advocacy, at UCD?  They certainly rose up regarding other issues (pepper spray incident, Katehi, oil pipeline in another state, protests against Milo, . . .).  If the situation is that desperate (and surrounding communities are for some reason “off limits” to them – at least temporarily), they might want to step up their efforts on campus.  Rather than “working with” (aligned with, and repeating the same arguments from) the same administration that states that there’s “nothing they can do” about their OWN housing and enrollment plans.

          As a side note, you seem to be incorrectly assuming that I was never a renter, and/or that my views were somehow “different” then, regarding endless growth and development as a sustainable “goal”.  Perhaps unlike you, I’ve witnessed communities that were made worse by pursuing endless growth and development. Also, even with limited funds, there would be no way that I’d move into a megadorm as a non-student.

           

        13. David Greenwald

          “It’s exactly the problem with expecting the city to continuously respond to UCD’s need, at the expense of its own goals and needs”

          There is a problem with this comment and it is the use of the word “continuously” because the reality is that the city hadn’t responded to UCD for probably two decades in between major market rate apartment complexes and by the time they did respond it was a full-blown housing crisis.

        14. David Greenwald

          “As a side note, you seem to be incorrectly assuming that I was never a renter”

          No, the assumption behind my comment is that you are (A) not currently a renter and (B) not currently a student.

        15. Ron

          David:  “How do you define the needs of the city, Ron?  Who gets to decide?  You’ve taken a very blanket view as to what the needs of the city are but it’s not a universal view.

          Well, that’s actually a good question.  In general, it’s the community as a whole.  And, I’d suggest that for the most part, it’s a community that chooses to grow slower than what the “market” might allow, and one that makes careful choices regarding land use.  (That is, unless the council experiences a “disconnect” with the community’s goals, as a whole. Unfortunately, it seems this is occurring, to some degree.)

          In any case, I’d suggest that your advocacy is very narrow, and to some degree – harmful.

          I’m done with commenting, for now.

           

        16. Mark West

          “How do you define the needs of the city, Ron?”

          With roughly 55% of Davis residents being renters, many of whom are facing housing insecurity issues given the vacancy rate, I doubt that the anti-housing/anti-development doctrine holds much attraction anymore. The conversation has changed over the past four years as is evident on this site. Our responsibility now is to stop arguing and start implementing solutions.

          There is no ‘silver bullet.’ Complex challenges require complex, multifaceted solutions. The solution to the housing crisis in Davis involves lots of small steps of building high-density housing projects throughout all of the neighborhoods. The environmentally sound approach to this challenge is, simply put, ‘yes, in my backyard.’

          https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/11/the-budding-romance-between-developers-and-environmentalists/544589/?utm_source=nl__link6_110117&silverid=MzM3MTY4MTQzNjI3S0

        17. Ron

          Saw this, couldn’t resist:

          David:  There is a problem with this comment and it is the use of the word “continuously” because the reality is that the city hadn’t responded to UCD for probably two decades in between major market rate apartment complexes and by the time they did respond it was a full-blown housing crisis.”

          Underlying your statement is the expectation that the city must continuously respond to UCD’s plans, without being a partner (or having any say) in those plans.  And, that the city must make its own needs and goals subservient to UCD’s.

          As a side note, there is a housing “crisis” statewide, partly as a result of the prior “crisis” (in an opposite direction).  “Crisis” planning is never good.

           

        18. David Greenwald

          You’ve injected the term continuously, there is no such underlying statement.  At this time, the city needs to do what it can do to alleviate the situation.  The first response from the city btw, was to ask the university, formally, to build more housing.  The second response has been to build more housing itself.  That is a responsible action on the part of the council.  What you advocate would be irresponsible.

        19. Ron

          The term “continuously” is correct.  It is irresponsible (and will override any city planning) to fail to deal with this problem in a more permanent manner.

          Perhaps ironically, it’s in the best interest of renters themselves, to realize this – and to advocate for a more permanent solution. Otherwise, UCD’s needs will continue to displace the city’s needs, including those of existing residents. Unfortunately, some on the council apparently don’t understand this, either.

        20. Ron

          Perhaps a formal agreement (which might not occur, short of a “settlement”).  As other cities have done, with their adjacent UCs. (Pretty sure that you know this, already.)

          “Temporary” solutions might involve more activism directed at UCD, especially from their own “customers” (students). And, existing renters might want to take note of the impacts that UCD is having, on their own situation. Before they too, are displaced.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Let’s say you do get a settlement, you think think it’s going to be for a lot more than 60-40 housing on campus? I just don’t see that as realistic.

        21. Ron

          I have no idea why you think that’s the case.

          I see the possibility of a more permanent solution (to address future plans, as well).

          That is, unless you advocate going through this in the future, as well.

        22. Ron

          Don:  “Such as” those contained in the settlement agreements between other UC’s and their adjacent cities (which you already know about). (For example, “matching” enrollment plans with the creation of on-campus housing.)

          1. Don Shor

            So, specifically, you want the City of Davis to sue UC Davis to force them to build more housing on campus.
            How much more? How many net beds do you wish to force them to commit to? How long do you see that process taking? And exactly what leverage do you feel the City of Davis has in filing this lawsuit?

        23. David Greenwald

          If you had, Ron, I wouldn’t have questioned you on it.   Regardless I don’t see this as a practical or viable matter and it distracts from the matter at hand.

        24. Ron

          David:  Of course you don’t see the value of this possibility.  That’s because you focus on “crisis planning”, with the “only solution” being exactly what the developers advocate, regardless of the impact on the city (and renters, for that matter).

          Now, I realize that you and Don see yourselves as “experts” in legal matters, air quality, and financial issues, along with the ability to predict the future (e.g., regarding UCD, and perhaps the outcome of the next Nishi election – if the city ignores Dr. Cahill’s warnings).  However, I’m a little less confident in my abilities, so I’ll just leave it at that, for now.

           

          1. Don Shor

            Now, I realize that you and Don see yourselves as “experts” in legal matters, air quality, and financial issues, along with the ability to predict the future (e.g., regarding UCD, and perhaps the outcome of the next Nishi election, if the city ignores Dr. Cahill’s warnings). However, I’m a little less confident in my abilities, so I’ll just leave it at that, for now.

            So you advocate a course of action about which you know nothing, with no basis and with an uncertain outcome, on behalf of some vague “city needs” that, in your mind, supercede the critical housing needs of many hundreds of your fellow citizens.
            Skip the sarcasm, Ron. If you are advocating for a policy that has such adverse consequences for so many people, you owe it to all of us and to them to tell us the basis of your advocacy.
            How many beds do you want the city to try to force UCD to provide above what they’ve committed to?
            Compared to Santa Cruz, what leverage do you feel Davis has in such a lawsuit?
            Are you aware of the terms of the Berkeley agreement?

        25. Ron

          Don:  “So you advocate a course of action about which you know nothing, with no basis and with an uncertain outcome, on behalf of some vague “city needs” that, in your mind, supercede the critical housing needs of many hundreds of your fellow citizens.”

          I can’t remember – are you referring to yourself, here?  🙂

        26. Ron

          Don:  Neither you, nor I know.  In fact, the outcome of such things sometimes can’t be accurately predicted, even by experts.  That’s why we have a legal system, to sort these things out. In any case, it’s just something to consider.

          In any case, your advocacy (and David’s) is often rather narrow, and fails to address the impacts on the entire city (as a whole – including existing renters).

          1. Don Shor

            it’s just something to consider.

            I’ll put that up there with

            we’ll try

            in the annals of great urban planning quotes.

          2. David Greenwald Post author

            “Neither you, nor I know.”

            A lot of things fall into that category but are highly unlikely

        27. Ron

          “File it” wherever you’d like to, Don.  I know that you’ve already put it in the “circular file”, since you’re “so knowledgeable” regarding legal issues, financial issues, air quality, predicting the future . . . Plus, a “spokesperson” for renters (even though you fail to see the consequences of continuing to blindly accommodate UCD’s plans), and an expert in plants – on the side! Really impressive.

          Again, it should be noted that the legal actions ultimately resulted in an “agreement”.  This implies that it was something that both sides could live with.

          Now, back to that “crisis planning”, and damn the consequences.  

    2. Eileen Samitz

      Sean,

      Your post misconstrues what I said in my comment. Since you work at the Vanguard I understand your reaction to any criticism of the Vanguard, but David’s statement that no one other than someone with children (i.e. family) can understand what families need is simply not true. I have explained why he is completely wrong to make such a statement. I also explained that one of the main reasons I am raising this issue is because of friends, with and without children needing more rental housing. The solution is to build rental housing, like traditional 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom apartments which allow students and non-students to live in them, unlike the mega-dorms proposed.

      The reality is that mega-dorms will simply demotivate UCD to build more on-campus housing that is needed and will not help non-students, families and local workers, because UCD will just build slower and less on-campus units as they add more students. So, there is nothing inclusive at all about building 5,000 mega-dorm student beds in the City which will not help improve the vacancy rate for non-students. It is disappointing that the Vanguard does not have concern for the needs of our families and local workers, but is only focusing on the student housing needs.

      1. Sean Raycraft

        OK, a couple things. One, I dont “work for the Vanguard”. I am a member of the editorial board, yes, but I in no way get any money from the organization. I donate money to the Vanguard every month and when I have some extra money because I believe in the mission of the Vanguard, that being independent local journalism and transparency in governance. I want to make that crystal clear.

        Two, people are free to criticize me, the Vanguard, David, all they want in this space. Just know that I will be happy to trade barbs in a vigorous and civil debate about issues we all care about. That is after all, what the Vanguard is really about, not just what David writes about. Now that we have established that, lets talk about housing.

        I get it. You and me and everyone else wants the University to build more on campus housing. Hey, they have the land and resources right? Of course they do. But they arent going to do it, or at least, they arent going to do it to the satisfaction of the no growth ever types. Even if they did, there *still* would be a massive rental crisis in town. About a month ago, I wrote an article about the housing crisis in town, and the rotten affects of it, and most importantly, who gets hurt the most. Primarily, the working poor. I have members (Im a shop steward, and I work at a grocery store here in town) that are literally homeless now because of the housing crisis. I see these folks, and customers every day who are now homeless, who have more than one job, stay in hotels, or Air BnBs or couch surf. Its no way to live, and I cant ignore it. More importantly, I *wont* ignore it. These people are often totally powerless, and their voices are never heard at the decision making tables or in the halls of power.

        So here is what I want. I want there to be a 5% rental vacancy rate in town. I want reasonable rents, I want a community that people from all income levels can feel they are a part of. I dont think thats unreasonable. I think there are a whole lot of people in town who live comfortable lives who would rather argue about semantics than actually accomplish something to help the entire community. For instance, providing some relief to the housing market pressures by building more housing. If that means “mega dorms” then so be it. If that means it blocks someones view from their 800k house I could not care less. Davis shouldnt be only for the wealthy, and that is rapidly what is happening.

        1. Sean Raycraft

          To clarify further, I dont want you to stop commenting or advocating for what you think is right, quite the opposite. Robust debate about issues is how we get better policies in the end.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Sean,

          What you don’t seem to understand is that I am also advocating for the working poor as well as all workers needing rental housing to provide more traditional apartment type units which can provide housing for them also. These mega-dorm units will be expensive and get more expensive into the future because they are including amenities to justify charging more. You cannot control rental costs off-campus, but you can control rental costs on-campus into the future. These mega-dorms do not help provide housing for workers or families due to their design.

          Where we disagree is primarily you are assuming that the production of these roughly 5,000 student beds will help improve the vacancy rate, but it will not particularly for the non-students including our families and workers.  UCD will continue to delay and reduce if anything, the number of units that they will produce while continuing to increase their student population. So the vacancy rate will not improve for workers and families since those same units occupied now by students will continue to be occupied by students.  Yet, the new multi-family being proposed is exclusionary by design, not offering the rental housing design needed for non-students.

           

           

    3. Matt Palm

      Sean is right! Demographic filtering is what this is.  Students taking up houses are going to be taking up those “mini-dorms” instead.  This will reduce pressures in bidding wars for regular housing units for families.  Not a bad idea at all.

      The minidorms are coming either way, the question is if they are in complexes built for the population, or if they come as illegally converted houses. Davis residents should opt for the former for habitability reasons, and the reasons Sean provides.

      1. Ron

        Matt:  “Students taking up houses are going to be taking up those “mini-dorms” instead.”

        Matt:  “The minidorms are coming either way”

        Two conflicting arguments presented.  I agree with the second one.  No one is going to leave a relatively inexpensive older house (with more “freedom”) to live in a shared sardine can.

        You know the rest of the drill regarding dormitories belonging on campus, so let’s just leave it at that.

  11. David Greenwald

    Ron: You know what disadvantages affordable housing even more than dense apartments?  No apartments.  Housing on campus.  I suspect council will act to close the beds/ units loophole, but make no mistake, notbuilding housing is the sure way to reduce funding available for affordable housing.

    1. Ron

      David:  Do you know what disadvantages entire cities even more than denying (or suggesting changes to) applications?  Approving applications that don’t address needs, and make things worse (in a number of ways).

      No idea why you state that housing on campus is a “disadvantage”. Is that actually your position, at this point?

      1. Don Shor

        Approving applications that don’t address needs

        Huh? It’s pretty clear that the housing developments being proposed address needs.
        The upshot of all of your positions on housing proposals that come up is a net result of no new housing. How does that help anyone?

      2. David Greenwald

        Ron:

        A. Student housing is a need

        B.  What I said was building housing on campus disadvantages affordable housing.  Why?  Because any housing put on campus does not have affordable housing requirements that go into the affordable housing fund in Davis.  I’m not arguing that we shouldn’t build housing on campus, I’m extending your logic one step further.  35% of 0 is 0.

        1. Ron

          David:  regarding “B.”, I realized your point, after I posted.  Of course, students don’t generally qualify for Affordable housing, anyway.  The absence of Affordable housing requirements (and no-cost land) should enable cost-effective construction, on campus.  And, the campus is the only place in which housing can legally be reserved for students.

          Regarding “A”, see “B”.

          In a larger sense (beyond the issue of student housing), communities have a choice to make, regarding the amount of (so far endless) growth and development they’re realistically able to handle.  And, part of that entails a willingness to acknowledge limits (which so far, you and others have failed to acknowledge). (Of course, this lack of acknowledgement is even more pronounced in many nearby communities, so at least you’re not alone.)

        2. Eileen Samitz

          David,

          A.) There is a need for market rate rental housing for non-students which you continue to ignore and if anything, you are advocating against providing this needed rental housing. The format of 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom traditional apartments is needed for families and workers, not mega-dorms specifically designed for students. This traditional apartment design is inclusionary and serves both students and non-students, unlike the exclusionary by design mega-dorms.

          B.) As has been said earlier regarding mega-dorms, students don’t generally qualify for affordable housing, plus affordable housing is being undercut by mega-dorms with the unit issues not being properly defined yet (a one-bedroom studio is counted as a “unit” the same as a 5-bedroom suite).

          C.) Students need affordable-housing now and into the future. There is no evidence that these mega-dorms will be affordable to students. They are far more likely to be expensive particularity since most are featuring luxury amenities and the price will continue to rise year by year into the future making them even more expensive. The only way to control student housing costs long term is on-campus, which is precisely why the other six UC’s and some CSU’s are all building at least 50% on-campus housing except UCD. Yet, UCD is the largest UC with over 5,300 acres proposing only 40%, which is completely irresponsible. This overkill development in the City of exclusionary by design mega-dorm student beds will only dial back and delay any on-campus housing by UCD, forcing more students off-campus as they continue to add more students. Yet, you continue to facilitate UCD’s negligence and support actions which enable them to continue their opportunistic behavior toward our City.

          D.) On-campus housing is the most sustainable type of housing for the students. It significantly reduces commuting therefore reducing traffic, circulation and parking issues, and safety concerns (unlike the Sterling mega-dorm which will generate over 1,000 bicycle trips a day back and forth on Fifth St. to and from campus), plus it helps reduce our carbon imprint. Off-campus housing increases the City’s carbon footprint. Studies reveal that on-campus results in much better academic performance by the students as well.

           

      3. Howard P

        Ron… I wish some folk would stop playing ‘games’… “affordable housing”, “impact fees”, concern for folk due to “toxic soup”, impacts to the “worst intersection in Davis”, “additional AQ analysis needed”, “neighborhood concerns”, etc., are excuses to oppose just about any development.

        Admit it… own it…

        Years ago, the proposed siting of a WEAVE shelter in Davis, was opposed by the neighborhood due to ‘severe traffic impacts’… yeah, right.  Women and children escaping a violent environment at 8 bedrooms would destroy Davis as we know it, as they generate so many motor vehicle trips… much more than the average residence of that size.  Or, additional crime [although it was pointed out to staff that by law, they could not speak of the location].

        They [neighbors] felt a need to look for thin, opening wedges to defeat the proposal, when they could not admit they didn’t want “those people” to live there.  Possibly affecting home values.  They (neighbors) failed.  Good outcome.

        Point is, the REAL “issues” were hidden by opponents, under the guise of “facts”… which were actually pseudo-facts.  I see this attitude playing out again…

        1. Ron

          Howard:  Some of the “imaginary” impacts you mention are demonstrated by the financial status of the city.   Others can be seen every time you try to negotiate Richards/Olive, for example.

          Regarding Affordable housing, that’s the only available method to ensure that housing is available for those most in need. (As a side note, the upper income qualification limits are quite generous.)

          There’s no question that student housing is a “need”, created by UCD.  The city needs to ensure that UCD “owns up to that”, or (as an alternative) stop pursuing enrollment growth via high-tuition International students.

          On a broader level, folks like you repeatedly fail to acknowledge limitations, regarding the pursuit of endless growth/development as an ongoing and sustainable “solution”.

    2. Ron

      Just thought I’d let you know that I may/may not participate regarding “tomorrow’s article”, for example.  I strongly suspect that you’re cooking up the same arguments again, resulting in a giant waste of time and energy for anyone who’s stupid enough to continue responding (including me, so far).  Every day, I vow to stay out of this (but haven’t been able to resist pointing out obvious negative consequences of what you constantly advocate).

  12. Ron

    Don:  “The upshot of all of your positions on housing proposals that come up is a net result of no new housing. How does that help anyone?”

    Don:  That’s not true, but I’m not going to waste time responding further to that.

    Your idea of city planning is based entirely upon 3 concepts:  1) vacancy rate, 2) vacancy rate, and 3) vacancy rate.  (With no consideration of the consequences.) Almost entirely driven by UCD.  You further “help” the situation by “predicting” what UCD will do, and by stating that the city has no other options to deal with that situation. Neither of which is necessarily true.

  13. Ron

    By the way, I recall recent (separate) local news broadcasts, stating that Sacramento and Santa Rosa (pre-fire) had vacancy rates of approximately 2%.  Neither of those cities host a UC campus, so it seems that some of this is cyclical, related to the improving economy. Not sure what the vacancy rate is in other nearby communities. Of course, there’s usually lots of concern and controversy, whenever a city proposes dense infill, or expansion. Davis is not unique, in this.

    Not to worry – it will all come crashing down, again.  Cyclical recoveries and recessions are part of the fabric of our economy. (Seems like there’s growing concern about a significant downturn.)

     

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