Sierra Club Yolano Group 2018 Council Candidates Part 2 – Land Use & Housing Development Questions

by Alan Pryor

The Sierra Club Yolano Group recently provided a questionnaires for Davis City Council candidates in which we asked for written responses on a wide range of environmentally-related issues of importance to our local electorate and our members in the following general categories:

  1. Land Use & Housing Development
  2. Energy Use and Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
  3. Waste Management
  4. Water Management & Conservation
  5. Transportation Management
  6. Toxics in the Environment
  7. Other Environmental Concerns
  8. Financial Contributors

An introductory article (Part 1 of the series) in the Davis Vanguard explaining the process and listing all of the questions together can be found at https://www.davisvanguard.org/2018/04/sierra-club-yolano-group-2018-questionnaire-davis-city-council-candidates/.

Because of the extraordinarily large number of candidates vying for the 2 available seats and the amount of space it would require to report all of the responses in a single article, we are reporting the answers in one or two general categories per day. This is the 2nd in this series (following the introductory article) and will have questions and answers on Land Use & Housing Development. Additional articles with answers in other categories will be provided in subsequent articles in the order of the categories given above.

This article asks questions about the following issues in order:

  • Peripheral Development
  • Downtown Core Redevelopment
  • Amount of UCD On-Campus Housing
  • Large Apartment Complexes Rented by the Bed

This candidate responses are in the same order for each question to facilitate review. In this first article the responses are arranged arranged alphabetically by last name. The first two names will be subsequently lowered to the last two slots in the next article which practice will continue throughout the series.

Sierra Club policy only allows endorsements of candidates up to the number of seats being contested – or two in the case of the current Davis City Council race. Given the obviously strong environmental credentials of most of the candidates, and in all fairness, we are unable to limit our support to only two candidates from this very qualified field in this election. Thus, the Sierra Club Yolano Group must take “No Position” in this race. That said, there are some notable differences between the candidates in general and on specific issues so we provide Davis voters and our members with the questions and the candidates’ responses for their consideration.


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Issue – Peripheral Development

Questions

Do you support the development of Nishi2, the West Davis Active Adult Community, and/or the Mace Ranch Business Park sites in Davis as proposed and why or why not?

Do you support the renewal or modification of Measure J/R when it is scheduled to expire in 2020? If you support modification, what changes would you suggest making to the ordinance as it is put to voters?

Answers

Ezra Beeman –

Nishi 2.0, No. Air quality issues need to be resolved before going forward with a project. I also want to see it meet our low income housing target of 35%, and potentially be denser and more sustainable, if safe.

WDAAC, No, as currently proposed. This project is evolving and it should be part of a comprehensive general plan update to see if the community supports the project.

MRIC, No. Loss of prime farmland at a critical location that many believe defines the eastern boundary of the city. It would add tremendous traffic to an already overloaded Mace interchange, an interchange that was not designed to handle this additional traffic. It would be an auto magnet for its employees, worsening our GHG goals.

I support Measure R without reservation. I would also work to improve the planning process so that the City did not approve developments without there being better evidence that they will pass. This will require a much more community focused approach to the planning process

Mary Jo Bryan –

Yes I support Nishi and the West Davis Active Adult Community;

Nishi – I do support the current ballot measure to change the land designation of the Nishi property, even though the location has some issues.  There are two main reasons.  (1) our single-family homes are perfect for raising families but are full of students, and (2) we have students that are homeless and living in cars.  Nishi, with its proximity to the university will help alleviate this need for student housing.

West Davis Active Adult Community: Yes, the development provides housing to meet an internal need of housing in the city. The developer reached out to a large cross section of the community and listened to citizens comments, explained the project and hopefully the voters will approve the development on the November ballot. If the voters do, it will be the first annexation approved under Proposition J/R

The City of Davis’ existing General Plan was adopted in 2001, amended in 2007, and in January 2017, a citywide General Plan update began with a series of public meetings and workshops that broadly represent the diversity of interests in the Davis community at large.

For me the General Plan Update and the 2020 voter decision about Measure R share similar timelines, and also should share a similar future.  They both need broad citizen input through public meetings and workshops.

We are updating our General Plan because our society and community are very different now than they were in 2000-2001.   What our citizens feel about those differences must inform both the General Plan Update and the future of Measure R.

Dan Carson –

Any project that would come before me as a City Council member must meet three tests to gain my support.  It must constitute sound land-use policy, mitigate any environmental impacts it would cause, and be fiscally positive for the city.

As discussed above, our city faces a critical shortage of rental housing. I support the Nishi apartment project because it would provide housing for 2,000 residents in a location next to campus and near downtown that would not create traffic or other problems for our existing city residents. It also includes an innovative privately subsidized affordable housing program for students. The plan to allow Unitrans buses (but not cars) to travel through the project by way of a new railroad under-crossing to campus could help address traffic congestion at the Richards Boulevard tunnel. Of course, the UC Davis campus must also increase its commitment to providing on-campus housing for its students.

I am awaiting some further steps in the approval process before I can support the West Davis Active Adult Community project, which proposes a mix of several types of housing primarily for seniors, plus some additional housing for families. The project, located by Sutter Davis Hospital and the University Retirement Community, includes a critically needed affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors. I am supportive of the concept behind this project because of the shortage of housing for our aging population. However, as chair of the Finance and Budget Commission, I will not formally endorse the project until the city has completed a contractual agreement in the next few months with the developer. I want to be certain that the agreement maximizes the fiscal and other benefits from the project for the citizens of Davis.

A review by the Finance and Budget Commission, which I chair, found that the Mace Ranch Innovation Center (MRIC) project, as originally proposed, would have provided a significant net fiscal benefit to the city in the millions of dollars annually.  However, the project is now on hold and could change significantly if it is ever resubmitted to the city.  I support economic development as a strategy to address our city’s $8 million a year fiscal gap.  But I cannot take a position on the MRIC project until a redesigned and specific project has come forward, until any additional environmental review has been conducted, and until an updated assessment of its fiscal impact has been completed.

As I have said publicly for years, I support the existing requirement for approval by Davis voters of proposals to annex agricultural and open space lands to the city for new housing or commercial development.  I voted “yes” for both Measure J and Measure R. I am hopeful that voters will approve annexation proposals that benefit the city and respect our shared Davis values favoring smart and sustainable development.  I also believe there are further opportunities to provide additional housing and commercial space within the city limits through smart and sustainable infill projects. Finally, while I personally do not have any specific proposals to amend the existing language of Measure J/R, I welcome any suggestions that may come forward from Davis citizens to improve the measure. I also will assess how the update to the General Plan that the city will soon begin informs future decisions about renewal of Measure J/R. A measure as important as this one to the future of our city warrants an inclusive and collaborative discussion before it is sent back to the voters for renewal.

Linda Deos –

I support Nishi2 because of its close proximity to UCD, the type of housing proposed (including the affordable component), the mitigation being done to address the air quality issues, and the traffic flow through campus. I support developing the site proposed for the WDAAC if there are more of the smaller homes built or other entry-level type housing with only single car garages, the folks living in the senior affordable housing have the same access to the clubhouse as the other residents, that part of the development is set aside for cooperative housing, and that transportation is provided for residents wishing to go downtown. I am weary of developing a Mace Ranch Business Park at this time. I believe it would better to have something like this located closer to the university and downtown. There is also critical habitat in that area that needs to be protected.

I support renewal of Measure J/R in 2020. I see this measure as a balance between representational democracy and direct democracy.

Eric Gudz –

Nishi2 – ​Yes​!

WDAAC -​ Inclined to Support

Measure J/R – ​Yes on Renewal

Davis is in desperate need of housing. While we need to work with the University on increase their supply of on-campus housing, we also need to supply housing for the people who work and want to live in this wonderful town. This problem is not unique to college towns, either. I want to make sure we relieve some of the pressure on the housing market so that we can retain talent, create space for the people that are already a part of our community but cannot find a place to live, and allow the next generation of Davis residents to have the same opportunities that we have all had.

As far as WDAAC, I’m inclined to support it but need more facts and feedback from the community. I like the idea of housing our growing older community and opening up some of our housing stock for younger families but have not learned enough about the impacts yet. I’m concerned that the project is focused too much on single story units. Additionally, I am not prepared to fully support a project until a final EIR has been completed.

Concerning Measure J/R, urban growth boundaries are a key element of Davis’ successes. However, fewer and fewer people have access to the Davis we love. We should consider some adjustments that give project proponents a better idea of what kind of development we want on our periphery– like setting certain standards for projects to qualify for a Measure R/J vote. Our development must remain community-driven but we also need to work to reduce uncertainty by updating the general plan with stronger guidelines we can follow and better communication with project proponents. In Davis, I think we can do both.

Larry Guenther –

Nishi2 and WDAAC.  No.  They need to be more dense and provide more housing.  If we are going to exchange agricultural land and/or open space for development, that development should robustly address several issues of the City.

I do not yet have a position on the Mace Ranch Business Park sites.

I support renewal of Measure J/R in its current form.

Gloria Partida –

I support Nishi2. The others I am not sure of. I think that measure j/r was needed when voted in but I do believe needs to be modified. It has now caused a shortage of housing and I believe that when it comes up for renewal it will not pass and we will be unprotected against poorly designed growth. The modification I propose is that we draw a line with well delineated metrics around what the building should contain. If projects do not meet these metrics then the project would go to a vote. We should also delineate as part of the modification where and how much we should grow.

Luis Rios –

I believe the people of Davis make the decisions on developments, not developers or investors. I support housing for students, seniors and retirees in the appropriate locations. My students that work on my campaign are in support of student housing since its an urgent need for them. They support Nishi 2. Many students I work with are low income, first-generation college students and are in need of financial aid and other services. They support Nishi 2. I support the development in West Davis because the housing crisis is so severe that many seniors and residents cannot afford to buy homes. I support Measure R/J because the people decide on future developments. I would support housing for middle-income families and residents.

Mark West –

I support Nishi 2, though I believe that Nishi 1 was a much better project.

I do not support the West Davis Active Adult Community as I don’t support age restricted housing or the addition of a new subdivision of detached single family homes on the periphery.

I do support the Mace Ranch Business Park as necessary for our economic development efforts and fiscal future, but believe that it should incorporate high-density workforce housing on site.

I believe Measure R is a major impediment to meeting our housing and fiscal challenges. It has resulted in leapfrog developments south of Woodland and on campus, thereby failing to protect farmland as promised, and has been used to block all housing and commercial development on the periphery, leading to our housing shortage and severely limiting economic development. I cannot support the continuation of a policy that significantly harms the majority of residents in town, and believe that Measure R should be repealed.


Issue – Downtown Core Redevelopment

Questions

Do you support increased height of buildings in the downtown core to allow for more mixed residential/commercial uses? If yes, what is the maximum height in structures that you would support?

What do you think should be the maximum height in transitional areas adjacent to the downtown core or in other parts of Davis?

Answers

Ezra Beeman –

I think we need to engage our community and determine what it wants, and then implement it. If the community wants to maintain and build on the downtown as our entertainment center, then it will conflict with more people living downtown, due to noise from the nightlife, etc.

My feedback from the community thus far is that the community does not want more congestion downtown, quite the contrary. Many in the community, based on my canvassing, actively avoid going downtown because it is overly congested.

I am concerned that if we go much higher than 3 stories, we may lose our small town feel and the ambiance of our downtown. I have lived in major Cities, and I moved to Davis for its small-town charm, among other things.

I think we can accommodate any necessary growth through more organic, gradual growth, that preserves our neighborhoods, including downtown. Otherwise, why live in Davis?

Mary Jo Bryan –

This is a matter to be addressed by the currently in-process update of the Davis General Plan.  My personal opinion is that four stories and mixed use in the core is appropriate.

Decisions about the transitional areas adjacent to the downtown, need to be made by the citizens of Davis.  Until the General Plan is updated the height restrictions should remain at three stories.

Dan Carson –

The city has begun the process of writing a new plan for our downtown that could extend to the year 2040.  I concur with the idea of allowing increased height in our urban core for mixed use projects as well as for some projects that may be housing-only.  In some places, heights could in theory go to five or six stories.

However, these land-use decisions should be guided by sound land-use planning principles, including careful consideration of transition areas adjacent to existing residential neighborhoods. They also must be subject to a realistic evaluation of whether such high-rise projects could actually pencil out in the current or future housing and commercial real estate market environment.  We must also be mindful of the impacts of more intense development downtown on existing businesses as well as on the availability of parking.

We should be creative in thinking through the intriguing possibilities for our downtown. For example, I believe we should explore the possibility of redeveloping the parking lot adjacent to the Amtrak station into a high-rise housing project that could potentially be attractive to persons who commute daily by train to Sacramento and the Bay Area and were interested in living car-free in our downtown. Such a project might even provide a revenue stream that could support the expansion of the parking now available there and support our downtown retailers and restaurants.

Linda Deos –

Yes. I don’t have a maximum height other than I want to follow form-based planning. I also want to honor the process currently underway by the team working on a new downtown core plan before making any concrete decisions.

Eric Gudz –

Yes, I fully support increasing the height limits of buildings in downtown to 6 stories. The lack of housing in our community and the rapid increase in our commuter base are some of the biggest factors that threaten our sustainability and environmental goals, and we need to be thinking about how we can reduce VMT and vehicle trips as a means of GHG reduction into the foreseeable future. I believe transitional areas would be best served at a three-story limit to allow for a smooth gradient from some of our 1 and 2 story neighborhood communities, which allows us to get real about our housing, economic, and sustainability issues while respecting and balancing the concerns of our neighborhoods communities surrounding downtown.

Larry Guenther –

Yes, I support increased height of buildings downtown.  We are currently updating our Downtown Plan and as an elected representative I would enforce whatever restrictions the community as a whole imposes.

My personal experience leads me to believe that, if designed correctly, 6 stories in the central downtown would significantly reduce our carbon footprint and would address our needs for the long-term future and would maintain a beautiful downtown.

Again, in my experience limiting height increases to two-stories above the shortest adjacent building can be done without destroying the existing feel of a neighborhood if designed correctly.  Appropriate step-backs and architectural details beyond the scope of this questionnaire need to be implemented.  The devil is definitely in the details.

Gloria Partida –

Yes I think we should build up as high as our fire service can support.

Luis Rios –

I support the redevelopment of the downtown area. Smart growth planning is needed to ensure mix-use residential and commercial use. In planning, there must be specific businesses identified and pre-approved so that planning will lead to productive and revenue-oriented businesses. In smart growth planning, residential space can be part of redevelopment with three-story structures. Davis needs to maintain a sense of small-town character within redevelopment phases.

Smart planning in adjacent areas means stakeholders, neighbors and residents must have a voice in transitional areas. Three-story structures should be the maximum height for all of the downtown core area. It is important not to drastically change the profile of the downtown area and preserve a sense of a smaller community.

Mark West –

I do support increased building heights, and not just in the core but also at our neighborhood retail centers and infill projects near transportation centers. The 1961 Core Area Specific Plan called for mixed use buildings up to 8 stories tall in the core, and I agree with that limit. 4-6 stories is probably more reasonable at the neighborhood centers and transition zones dependent on the individual situation. The Trackside parcel is in the downtown core, as specified by the General Plan and the Core Area Specific Plan.


Issue – Amount of UCD On-Campus Housing

Question

UCD has recently committed to building new on-campus housing for an additional 8,500 students. However, at least 10,000 new beds will be required to meet the UC system-wide goal of housing 50% of students on campus.

What should the City do, if anything, about this proposed shortfall in on-campus housing build-out by UCD?

Answers

Ezra Beeman –

I will fight for a binding agreement with UCD to deliver housing for half of its students on campus in a safe, affordable and sustainable manger. That is one of my top priorities.

I would achieve accountability by quantifying the costs of its current and historical policies on the City of Davis, and be prepared to seek a legal remedy, if necessary. My research had found that there are precedents in Santa Cruz, Berkeley, etc. that should enable this approach to succeed.

However, it takes 3 votes, and I will be a reliable vote in this regard.

Mary Jo Bryan –

The city and county should continue to meet with, and continue to civilly pressure the university chancellor to increase the numbers on the Long Range Plan to the system-wide goal of housing 50% of students on campus.

Dan Carson –

Creating a better and more effective two-way working relationship between the City of Davis and the UC Davis campus is an issue that I have been involved with as a Davis citizen for more than 15 years.  It is one of my two top campaign issues because the campus will soon be announcing plans for another big wave of expansion.  The city was informed last year that the campus population would grow by 24 percent over the next decade under the plans that are now being drafted.  As you have noted in your question, the 8,500 student beds that are being promised by the campus still falls short of the goal I support of having the campus provide half of the overall student population on campus.

The campus benefits immeasurably from its relationship with the City of Davis, and our city’s fascinating civic culture is very much due to having UC Davis at our hub.  However, an expansion could add significantly to the city’s housing, traffic, parking and budget problems.

I have long advocated publicly that we pursue the successful approach taken in Santa Cruz and Berkeley. Those cities have collaborated with their respective campuses and reached binding and enforceable agreements that provide mutual benefits and have resulted in better town-gown relations.  For example, UC Santa Cruz signed a binding agreement with its host city that committed itself to expanding housing, with some lag time, as its enrollment grows. Under the agreement, enrollment Is to be capped until that obligation is met.

I was one of the leaders of West Davis Neighbors, the citizen group that sued UC Davis in 2003 for, among other reasons, the refusal of the campus to commit to mitigating the impacts of its growth on the City of Davis. From my vantage point as a UC Davis MBA graduate, and as a resident of Davis, I think the path is clear. With hard work on both sides, an inclusive and respectful process, and new city and campus leadership to create an atmosphere of good will, I believe we can achieve a win-win scenario in which the campus provides real assistance to the city in dealing with the impacts of university growth and the city helps the university succeed as a world-class institution.

Linda Deos –

First, I would continue to dialog with UCD as to our concerns with the lack of housing for students. If dialog doesn’t work, I would support taking stronger measures to “encourage” more on-campus housing – e.g. suing.

Other communities have taken this step and have been successful in addressing the impacts caused by the university to their respective communities. One area I’d like to explore is the possibility of UCD paying into an impact fund that could be used for housing assistance and/or infrastructure.

Eric Gudz –

We have a few tools at our disposal to leverage these negotiations towards more favorable outcomes of the city. First and foremost, we need to utilize and empower more of the organic student organizing power that already exists on campus and who are plugged into the LRDP process. Many of these groups, including the ASUCD, the Graduate Student Association, the Solano Park Activists, the Student Workers Ending Racial Violence (SWERV), The Student Renters Coalition, the Student Housing Brigade, and the Davis College Democrats are on the front lines for this fight already and are prepared to add more pressure where it counts with the senior administration. I have exclusive access to all these circles and organizations on campus and they have proven to be quite effective during the tuition hike rallies and the fire Katehi movement.

While these options are very effective, I intend on utilizing more diplomatic channels through my transportation research connections as well as the network I’ve built up over the years with Transportation and Parking Services and the School of Environmental Science and Policy.

Larry Guenther –

  • Showing UCD that ignoring the housing problem is not in their best interest for attracting students to a world-class University or for the needs of those students.
  • Partner with other UC municipalities to bring pressure to bear at the Regent level.
  • Last resort: lawsuit a la Santa Cruz & Berkeley

Gloria Partida –

The city should continue to press the University to meet the 50% goal.

Luis Rios –

The City of Davis, under new leadership needs rebuild new relationships with UC Davis. When elected, I will establish good working with relationships and partnerships with UC Davis to move forward on a revised MOU and new agreements. The City cannot afford to have bad relationships. As a UC Davis alumni, I will apply my knowledge and experience on contract negotiations and project management to address student housing for the future of Davis. Relationships take time and efforts must be in place by the right elected council members.

Mark West –

Davis is the host city of a major university and is responsible for supplying the opportunity for appropriate housing for the faculty, students and staff. We should be focused on our own housing shortage and not worrying about someone else’s.


Issue – Large Apartment Complexes Rented by the Bed

Question

The Sterling and Lincoln40 apartment projects have been approved that will only offer residents rent-by-the-bed in predominantly larger 4-5 bedroom apartments?

Do you support this developing trend in student housing in Davis and why or why not?

Answers

Ezra Beeman –

There may be locations where this model is appropriate. Such locations must be agreed by the community in a comprehensive general plan update.

I oppose student-oriented housing being built far from campus and in locations without the infrastructure to properly handle student transit to campus (Sterling). I do support such housing on and near campus; Oxford Circle for example.

Mary Jo Bryan –

The Lincoln40 apartment is nearer to campus and rent-by-bed is more acceptable and reasonable.  All the students I have talked to, prefer rent-by-bed leases.  They believe it reduces the risk associated with roommate instability.

On the other hand, The Sterling apartment complex is almost two miles from UC Davis and should have been approved for traditional apartments available to both students and Davis residents.  With rents so astronomically high and vacant rates so low for all renters, a rent-by-bed concept at that location did not meet the housing need for Davis.

Dan Carson –

Davis is struggling to deal with a critical shortage of rental housing for multiple groups — students, persons working in the city, and seniors.  Our next general plan, which our next City Council will be working on, should strike a balance in addressing our critical shortage of affordable housing affecting each of these segments of our population.

The provision of student housing with rentals by the bed is already present in Davis and would be expanded by some recently approved student housing projects. As a parent of three young adult children, including two relatively recent graduates and one student now in college, I know firsthand that such living arrangements are a practical solution for rental housing for students. For example, such arrangements mean a student need not worry about finding co-renters to secure an apartment that is affordable for them.  It also means that a student or their family is not liable for the failure of co-tenants who fail to pay their rent.

However, we must address the fiscal implications of larger four- and five-bedroom units, which pay development impact fees to the city based on the number of units rather than the number of bedrooms and occupants of that unit.  My colleagues on the Finance and Budget Commission and I recently successfully urged the City Council to impose higher ancillary charges than city staff had initially proposed on apartment complexes with four- or five-bedroom units.  I personally believe these charges will result in a fairer assessment of charges on apartment developers and provide an appropriate incentive for the development of more traditional one-, two-, and three-bedroom rental units.

Linda Deos –

I don’t support the trend of rent by the bed. I think that this model is more expensive for renters and that it artificially restricts rentals to a select market. I support multi-unit housing that is available to all people in Davis – e.g. young professionals, families, students, and seniors.

Eric Gudz –

Yes, for two big reasons. First, as a former student who has had to deal with the real stress of finding housemates and dealing with issues of housemates bailing on their lease and leaving those behind with the rent, this model is a tremendous plus for our student community (which makes up nearly half of our population). Second, the more we have by-the-bed leasing available, the more we can advance the much needed policy conversations of modifying our developer impact fees to a by-the-bed/room metric as opposed to just by the whole apartment metric. We will have more realistic impact fees this way, and it will likely incentivize developers to stick to more studio/1/2 bedroom setups to keep their costs down for profit.

That being said, I support this strategy as one of many options to better diversify our stock of housing in Davis.

Larry Guenther –

No. This is a very inefficient use of space and will surely promote waste of resources, specifically water and energy, by the inhabitants.

Gloria Partida –

I think this is good for students but should not be wide spread. I do not approve of a bathroom for each bedroom. This makes for longer showers.

Luis Rios –

No. I believe future apartment projects should not be built like the cited projects. Apartment living should offer standard rates without any rent-by-the-bed types of living. A sense of community is stronger when apartment homes are self-contained and not tied to individual-lease agreements or vacant rooms.

Mark West –

I neither support or oppose this ‘trend’ as it is simply a market response to the obscene housing shortage in town and the excessive demands that the City places on new development. If we increase inventory and reduce upfront development costs we will see greater diversity in the types of housing and leasing arrangements found in town.


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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14 Comments

  1. Todd Edelman

    Though this is not specifically about transport, “bicycle” etc. is not mentioned once. Consider that without e.g. “the” above replies would still be understandable, whereas without bikes Davis would be impossible.

    Also, Eric Gudz’s concise point about bed-leases makes me curious if some kind of insurance fund based on a tax of all apartments would pay for roommates who evaporate, but, then again, I’ve lived in shared apartments with single leases for at least 15 years total (not right now), and it was usually not problematic to require a deposit equal to one’s month rent that would be returned if someone moved out in a normal manner. Am I missing something here? (And while it’s a sort of first-world problem, I’d like to push for adults to not have to share rooms with other adults with whom they’re not romantically etc. linked. With a combination of small bedrooms and clever design, density/building tall, and not wasting space for cars in the same footprint – Sterling’s (other) big stinky bit – this should be possible. 

    1. Craig Ross

      I don’t really understand your point.  Having individual leases make it easier to kick out a bad roommate or move yourself.  Sharing rooms with others sucks, but sometimes is necessary.  One of the guys the other night talked about living in a four bedroom with 13 people total.  He lived in a living room where a sheet hung from the ceiling was his only privacy.  Now that is bad, but then again, he only paid $400 for that situation.

      1. Todd Edelman

        re:

        kick out a bad roommate

        I’ve done this several times, in consensus with all roommates. With a deposit – not the same thing as a last month’s rent – there’s little risk unless the person acts out, etc. (I should add that never, ever in all my shared households did anyone have doors that locked, or locked their doors… but I’ve never had anything stolen, except during a party.)

        re: 

        sometimes is necessary

        What a great way to start an adult life by being made to share a room at university because you cannot afford your own.  As I understand it, all the subsidized beds at Nishi 2.0 are in shared rooms, right?

        1. David Greenwald

          “What a great way to start an adult life by being made to share a room at university because you cannot afford your own.”

          Sometimes you have no choice.

          “As I understand it, all the subsidized beds at Nishi 2.0 are in shared rooms, right?”

          Corect

        2. Don Shor

          What a great way to start an adult life by being made to share a room at university because you cannot afford your own.

          Hm. I did that. It was called a dormitory.

        3. Ken A

          If you don’t want to share a room in Davis it is not that hard to come up with a little extra money to afford your own room.  We pay our babysitters $15 hour and a couple times a month we pay someone $60-$75 (plus the free dinner they get with the kids) to eat dinner with some kids, make sure they don’t burn down the house for a couple hours before putting them to bed then sit around and study until we get home.  Overall I’m not a huge fan of the many new “gig economy” platforms but it has never been easier to make a few dollars extra a week to afford your own room (if you care)…

        4. Todd Edelman

          re:

          dormitory

          As a middle-class phenomena, outside of certain institutional constructs and family homes with younger kids, this was the set-up only for the first couple of years at university, until sometime in the 2000’s when bunk bed homes started to form in San Francisco and elsewhere, marketed to entry-level tech workers and similar.

          Now it’s not just being improvised, but written into planning agreements.

          Should undergraduate students do it because we did? Oh… this is just in the USA? What’s the situation in other Western countries? Check out this Google search for “why do american students share rooms”

        1. Craig Ross

          A decent place that opens up off cycle will generate dozens of applications so having a listing doesn’t actually equate to reasonable availability.

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