My View: Are We Really Going to Debate about Whether There’s a Housing Crisis?

Matt Williams makes an interesting point, but he makes several critical mistakes in attempting to explain away the student housing crisis.

He shows that housing difficulties have existed for the past 23 years.  He argues that the housing shortage “is the status quo.”  And acknowledges that “it is a very serious long-standing problem.”

I think he’s exactly correct to say that “the Davis apartment vacancy rate is not 0.2%, but rather minus 30%.” He explains, “By that I mean that Davis has a substantial number of people in the market for an apartment who simply can’t find one to rent.”

But he argues this is not a crisis, but rather status quo.  The problem is that status quo can be a crisis.  And the other problem here – and this is not reflected in these numbers – is that it is a problem which is getting worse.

In 2000, UC Davis enrollment stood at 25,000 – that number is now over 36,000 and projected to climb over the next 10 years.  The problem right now is that, while student population has grown at UC Davis, on-campus housing has not kept pace and neither has housing in the city.

When the city of Davis approved Sterling Apartments, that marked the first market rate apartments approved in Davis in about 15 years.

If you watch the vacancy rate over time you will see it has not fluctuated much – it peaked at just over four percent, and for most of the time it has been less than one percent.  But, as Matt Williams correctly points out, that vacancy rate is misleading because it is not picking up those students who have decided to live outside of town, it is not picking up the impact on mini-dorms and doubling up of rooms, and it is not picking up housing insecurity.

To say that a housing shortage is the status quo misses the fact that the problem is getting acutely worse as the student populations grow and housing stock does not grow.

This is indeed a crisis, but it is one of a slow boil.  The analogy I would use is that of a frog in boiling water.  When you get thrown immediately into hot water, it is easy to recognize the problem.  And when you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, it simply hops out.  But if you put a frog into a pot of room temperature water and slowly increase the heat, it ends up cooking because it doesn’t recognize the danger until it’s too late.

We are not in a status quo situation, we are in a pot of boiling water, we just didn’t realize it until recently.

Matt Williams states that if there is a housing crisis for renters in this community now, “that crisis has existed for two decades, and we have done nothing about it.”  In some ways I agree, and the problem is that I think the crisis has gotten worse – which his own data demonstrates as he estimates about a 20,000-bed demand increase over the last 23 years with only about 5000 additional beds of on-campus housing.

The irony here is that Mr. Williams is largely playing a game of semantics – whether there is a “crisis” or this is simply a continuation of the status quo, he acknowledges that we have a shortage.  In fact, most opponents of Nishi also acknowledge there is a shortage.

So what is the solution?

UC Davis is doing some of its part, it is increasing on-campus housing from 28 percent of its student population up to 48 percent over the next decade.  UC Davis is planning to add about 9050 beds.  I caution people on that figure, however, because while they commit to that over the next ten years, they only have a direct plan for 5200 of those beds in the next three years, with an unspecified plan for the next 3800 over the following seven years.

I have argued that this is a good start.  It gets us within shouting distance of the 100/50 goal of the city which would have called for 10,000 new beds.  That gets us to 48 percent on-campus housing for all students, compared to a 50 percent goal.

Should we try to squeeze additional housing out of UC Davis?  Go for it.  The city continues to push for 50 percent.

The city has done its part as well – at least on the city council side.  The council has approved housing for Sterling and Lincoln40 – though the latter is tied up in litigation.  It has approved housing for Nishi, pending the Measure R election.

Critics argued that the city approving housing would take the pressure off of UC Davis to do their own.  But the opposite appears true – each time the city has approved more housing, it has created more and not less pressure on UC Davis.  UC Davis has increased their projected housing from 6200 beds to 8500 to now over 9000.

I agree with Matt Williams – we have not come up with a clear projected number of beds we need to add.  We started with 10,000.  If the three projects approved plus Davis Live and Plaza 2555 all come on line, we are looking at around 4500 beds in town to go with 9000 at UC Davis.

Now, 14,000 to 15,000 beds over ten years could bring us back close to 5 percent vacancy – again, we don’t know for certain.

Where Mr. Williams and I clearly disagree is over Nishi.  He believes we should hold out for 5000 to 7000 beds there.  I disagree.  I think 2200 beds gets us close to what we need, it is a project that the developers are committed to and willing to do, and it makes a difference.  The idea that the developers would come back with a third project after getting rejected twice is itself wild speculation.  The idea that they would approve more density is even wilder.

Is this a crisis?  We can waste our time debating semantics all day – the fact is that it is an acknowledged housing shortage and it is getting worse.  Unless folks in this community understand that there is a problem, and have a sense of urgency, they are not going to make the needed sacrifices.

Instead they will cling to the status quo and resist all calls for change.  The people who will suffer are not the voters of Davis, but rather the vulnerable college students.

—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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45 Comments

  1. Matt Williams

    First, let’s get the semantics out of the way.  The New Orleans levee system was in a state of Crisis after Hurricane Katrina.  The California levee and dams system, which State and Federal and local governments are currently investing billions of dollars into, with billions to come, is not a Crisis.  It is the Status Quo.

    David is disingenuous when he says I am trying to “explain away” the student housing situation. He knows better.  It is the use of the word “crisis” as a hyperbolic political spin word that I am calling out. The use of the word “crisis” has taken on the same stench as the use of the word “maxi-dorm” had taken on beginning in late 2016 and all through 2017.

    With that said, David is drinking kool-aid when he says,  “If the three projects approved plus Davis Live and Plaza 2555 all come on line, we are looking at around 4500 beds in town to go with 9000 at UC Davis.  14,000 to 15,000 beds over ten years could bring us back close to 5 percent vacancy – again …”

    The 9,000 beds from UCD are what they need to cover their 90-40 commitment going forward.  Very few, if any of those 9,000 on-campus beds will go toward reducing the 10,000-bed unmet Multi-Family Housing demand.  They will simply prevent the 10,000-bed number from increasing.

    Further, if the full 10,000 bed unmet need is met, then we will still be at a less than 0.5% Vacancy Rate.  In order to get up to 5% we will have to add 5% more beds to the Multi-Family Housing supply, which right now is 11,131 units according to the State of California Department of Finance numbers I received yesterday.  That means just under 35,000 beds if you use the City of Davis’s 3.14 residents per unit number presented to the Finance and Budget Commission in January.  5% of 45,000 (10,000 plus 35,000) is over 7,000 beds (over 2,200 units).  That is what is needed over and above in order to get to a 5% vacancy rate. 

    That is not kool-aid.  That is serious juice. If you are going to label something as a “crisis” then treat it as a crisis … don’t treat it with band-aids.

      1. Matt Williams

        David, you are approaching this issue as a political competition, full of sound bites and posturing.  As a result you are following in the steps of the “mega-dorm/maxi-dorm” rhetorical model.  Both “mega-dorm/maxi-dorm” and your use of “crisis” are intended to create fear.  As Paul Staley said in his KQED commentary on homelessness,

        It has become customary to speak of Homelessness as a “crisis.”  But is it?  To my ears the word”crisis” implies a critical point in time … a moment when a shift in circumstances forces people to make decisions of consequence.  By this definition homelessness is not a crisis.

        It is serious, but is has also been a problem for decades.  It is the opposite of a crisis.  Is the status quo.  And that actually makes it something far worse.  It is the brutal reflection of who we are as a society.  We draw attention to a situation by calling it a crisis, but the problem with this label isn’t just its lack of an expiration date.

        Although the word “crisis” conveys urgency, it can also mask the entrenched nature of a problem’s underlying causes.

        I’m focused on addressing the underlying causes of the problem.  You are focused on maximizing the effectiveness of your political spin in support of the Nishi developers, as well as a small cohort of UCD students who are using this issue to audition for post-graduation employment and an opportunity to pad their resume. What has transpired in the back of Council Chambers during the housing items is, for the most part, theater.

        1. David Greenwald

          Not sure your point here.  Also not sure where you are coming up with “maxi-dorm.”  Eileen and others have called the new housing mega-dorms which I believe are misnomers.

          Disagree with Paul Staley.  Things that have been long-running can (A) intensify and (B) become a crisis.

          You can focus on addressing the underlying causes.  We have an election in three days where the voters can approve 2200 much-needed beds or punt the problem down the road at least two more years.

          You’re engaging in paralysis by analysis.

        2. Matt Williams

          You are right Greg Rowe’s early use of the term maxi-dorm evolved into the term “mega-dorm.”  My point is the same though.  You are approaching this as a staunch advocate for one side of a political contest, which is a bit puzzling given the restrictions on 501(c)(3) organizations

          Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

          Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

          On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

          As Yul Brynner might say, “It’s a puzzlement.”

    1. Jeff M

      The New Orleans levee system was in a state of Crisis after Hurricane Katrina.

      Wrong.  The levee system was in a state of crisis before the hurricanes, but it was ignored by people that can only seem to act on reaction.

      Thank you for posting this, because it hits the nail on the head for most of what is wrong with Davis.  We are a community of emotional reactionaries lacking experience or capability for planning for the future.  I think maybe because so many of us are at an age where the future vision is the end of our natural lives, we don’t have much skin in the future game, and thus we put our effort into protecting the present.

      But that is selfish.  My perspective is that I got mine as an adult and my focus should be on the next generation and not myself.

      What REALLY frosts me is the cohort of retired government employees living in Davis on their million dollar pensions and full healthcare covered by taxpayers playing the NIMBY game.  That is the epitome of selfishness.

      1. Howard P

        Wasn’t exactly ignored… a big part of it was due to “benign neglect”…  not acknowleging ‘signs’ of problems… probably on a ‘deferred maintenance’ list that wasn’t funded…

        Locally, because of the factors that led up to the failure of the N.O. levees, the Feds adopted new standardswhere they started from the presumption that all levees were compromised, and for flood insurance purposes, they “failed” all levees, unless it could be ‘proven‘ that levees built in the ’20’s, 30’s were constructed to post-Katrina standards… yeah, like that was possible…

        Trying to keep on topic… ignoring problems result in crisis… getting back to semantics… the New Orleans levees were “status quo”… had they been dealt with as a crisis, perhaps the magnitude of human (and property) loss would have been much less…

        Guess we should consider “climate change” (inherently ‘status quo’… been happening for millions of years) and “global warming/climate change” as ‘status quo’… so why are we enacting water conservation, emissions reductions, etc., ASAP?  No ‘crisis’ there, right?

        We have a housing and affordability problem… that is real… VERY real to those seeking housing, and/or affordability… by all means, let’s sit on our hands, do nothing, and accept the ‘status quo’… or wait until a messianic developer comes up with a “perfect project” that satisfies everyone, in every respect…

        1. Jeff M

          This is the essence of the argument against direct democracy.

          Ex Intel CEO Andy Groove wrote the book Only the Paranoid Survive and the main point is that waiting for something to happen will result in bad things to happen.

      2. Howard P

        How many folk in the

        cohort of retired government employees living in Davis on their million dollar pensions and full healthcare covered by taxpayers playing the NIMBY game. ?

        Out of 68,000 folk?

        You lie/dissemble much here… “million dollar pensions”… have to assume you mean an “annuity value”… how much is the interest rate you assume, years of distribution?  “full healthcare” … Mediare pays for retirement health care after an eligible employee reaches 65… are you covered by medicare, at taxpayer expense?  It is true that many government employees are covered by Supplement to Medicare… will give you that one…

        Now, to the “biggie… where you either lie, or have no clue… I suspect the former…(my better angels would tell me to go with the latter, but they take Saturdays off) I do not play the NIMBY game… can’t… against my principles… I’ve lived, in Davis, in housing that was built in someone else’s back yard… I’d have to be a hypocrite to espouse the NIMBY approach… are you a IABYEMO? [in anybody’s back yard, except my own?]

        Rant on, Mc Jeff…

         

        1. Jeff M

          What is the present value of an inflation-adjusted annuity that pays 70%, 80%, and even 90% of a six-figure salary for someone that retires in their mid to late 50s?

          Then add the value of their non-pension retirement benefits.

          I should have written “multi-million dollar retirement benefits”

          I live in West Davis and have supported every large development project that the city has been presented over the last 15 years because the city needed them.  Even though I dislike being around too many strange people for the most part.  My irritation should never trump the needs of the community except when I am irritated at others for not supporting the needs of the community.

        2. Barbara Ruhmann

          “full healthcare” … Mediare pays for retirement health care after an eligible employee reaches 65… are you covered by medicare, at taxpayer expense?”

          Um, my pension check from UCD (FAR from the million dollars) shows the deduction from my check to pay for Medicare. It is NOT a freebee at taxpayer expense…

          That’s all…

      3. Matt Williams

        I agree with Howard … benign neglect.  By Jeff’s criteria Pearl Harbor was in a state of crisis in November 1941.  What both Pearl Harbor and the Louisiana levee system were was “vulnerable.”

        With that said, I agree with your second paragraph … specifically that “we are a community of emotional reactionaries lacking experience or capability for planning for the future.”

        I received an e-mail earlier this afternoon that addresses a number of areas where “planning for the future is sorely lacking.”  The e-mail read as follows:

        Right on point with your 5:01 am comments.

        Tell me, why has there been zero discussion/demand for reform of the Gray Davis blanket requirement for prevailing wage on public sector funded projects when it comes to schools?

        How much of the housing problem is directly attributable to the intended/unintended consequece of this overtly pro labor legislation?  And to think that every shop, vocational and auto class has been run out of every district across the state.

        Talk about two, directly negative outcomes for a community and its students.

        Definitely food for both thought and community discussion.

        1. Jeff M

          By Jeff’s criteria Pearl Harbor was in a state of crisis in November 1941.

          False equivalency.

          Hurricanes happen.  Always have always will.  Japan surprise bombing an American military port… never happened, and never will again.

          1. Don Shor

            False equivalency.

            That’s putting it mildly. The pre-Katrina state of New Orleans flood control dated to a major flood that happened from a hurricane in the 1960’s. They had warnings, known history, plans that were botched and sidetracked, and plenty of evidence of the risk of a future hurricane. I don’t recall Pearl Harbor being bombed before WWII.

  2. Tia Will

    Matt

    Perhaps  Yul Brenner could not differentiate between a “political campaign” with candidates for political office, and a non partisan local policy issue.

        1. Ken A

          I’m wondering if Matt can tell us what “party” is in favor of Measure J and what “party” is against it in what he feels is a “partisan battle”…

        2. Matt Williams

          par·ti·san
          ˈpärdəzən/
           
          adjective: partisan; adjective: partizan

          1. prejudiced in favor of a particular cause.

          Ken, you are applying a very narrow meaning/definition of the word partisan.

          To answer your question, no party or parties, but definitely more than one cause.

      1. Tia Will

        Matt

        “What most people would consider” is irrelevant. It is what the law specifies that determines what is appropriate and what is not.

    1. Howard P

      Well, Tia, it is clear that a ounty Office, ostensibly “non-partisan” has definitely become “partisan”… I have no doubt that Measure J is, as well, but there are more than one factions in both parties… doesn’t mean it isn’t “partisan”…

      And the term “partisan” can be construed by some, inluding me, to be dismissive of us NPP … we are very close to being the second most dominant “party” in CA, while both other “parties” are declining…

      1. Howard P

        Not scientific, but a snapshot… yesterday the list of Davis poll workers was published in the Emptyprize… breakdown of ‘partisan’ affiliations:

        DEM = 56%;  REP = 19%;  NPP = 29%; other (GRN & LIB) = 2%

        Including poll setup, election day hours, it’s at least 17 hours… for which they are compensated $130-155  ($7.65 to $9.12/hr)…

        1. David Greenwald

          “Although nonprofits cannot endorse or oppose a candidate, they can take a stand on ballot measures, as it is considered lobbying rather than electioneering.”

  3. Ken A

    We are not in a “crisis” when housing around UC Davis is almost half the price of the housing around Cal, UCSF, UCLA and UCSB.  The cost to rent an apartment (or bed) is also almost half the price of renting at many other top 50 schools like Stanford, Harvard and Columbia.

    With the exception of the tiny number of people that have a sudden job transfer that moves them to Davis mid quarter he only people that have a “crisis” finding housing are the poor planners that show up in Davis a week before school starts hoping to rent an affordable apartment in between Downtown and Campus.

    Nobody is forced to attend UCD and anyone that does not want to deal with housing in Davis can always go to Sac State or UC Merced (just like anyone that does not want to pay the crazy rents for crappy apartments around Cal or UCLA can go to UC Davis where they will have a better selection at lower prices).

    1. Howard P

      For the community it is a “problem”… to an individual, it is a “crisis”… I was one of those who had a sudden (3  weeks) job change that moved us back to Davis… don’t believe I was “tiny”… 100% of my reality… vacancy rate for any rentals in Davis was 0.2% (0.002).  Had to commute from San Rafael to my Davis job for a week, to get a unit to move into. Rates were high, as it was a “sellers market”.

      A matter of perspective, and empathy for others, to be sure.  Could make a probably accurate guess about your level of empathy for others…

      1. Ken A

        I actually do have “empathy for others” and unlike others who feel the best way to help a poor family buy a home or poor kids rent a home in Davis is to go to city council meetings and demand that we build more “affordable” homes and apartments I feel the best way to help a poor people buy a home or rent an apartment is to point out that there are a lot of nice places with homes and apartments that cost half as much as the homes in Davis.  I grew up on the Peninsula and I could move back down there and become a housing “activist” and demand that Palo Alto do something to get the median home price under $1mm so I can buy one or I can just move to Davis and buy a nice place for under a million and be happy.  I want my kids to go to college and if I can’t afford to help them and if they don’t have the money I’ll tell them to work for a while and save up money so they don’t have to sleep in their car (I worked the year between High School and College and worked at least 20 hours a week all through college when going to class and 40+ hours a week every summer).

        https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2017/12/28/real-estate-matters-palo-alto-median-home-price-reaches-all-time-high

        P.S. I’m fine if apartments are built at Nishi, the Mace Curve and Covell Village, but I don’t think that me heading down to a city council meeting to talk from 1-3 minutes sharing my views will increase the chance of new apartments in town.

        1. Jeff M

          I think the Bay Area is in a different situation for the most part.  It has been a supply vs. demand issue like Davis, but unlike Davis it has been mostly from the demand caused the need for highly-compensated tech workers.  There are signs that the Bay Area housing markets have hit some limit as there are stories of companies and workers going elsewhere.  But these are people that have launched to a professional career and are making coin… and can make decisions for what they want to do and where they want to live.

          The issue in Davis is different in that the demand is driven by the lack of low-income housing for students.  These are students that don’t have a choice… don’t have options yet.  And the lack of student housing supply then hits our low-income service workers… generally also young people trying to launch.

          I see a glaring different moral argument for building housing in Davis when compared to that situation in most communities in the Bay Area.  That argument is that Davis’s refusal to accept new rental housing hurts students and young people not yet launched to a professional career.   There is a real absurd irony here given the largest employer in the city exists entirely for preparing young people to launch into professional careers.   Davis voters seem bent to work against that goal.

        2. Ron

          Jeff:  “But these are people that have launched to a professional career and are making coin… and can make decisions for what they want to do and where they want to live.”

          There are numerous articles on the Internet which conflict with this assertion. For the most part, it’s lower-wage folks who are leaving the Bay Area/California, and moving to other states.

          For example (from article, below):

          “Also, while California had a net loss of people, “it has gained among those with higher incomes ($110,000 per year or more) and higher levels of education (graduate degrees).”

          https://www.sfgate.com/expensive-san-francisco/article/Californians-leaving-Texas-Arizona-Nevada-migrate-12640684.php

           

           

        3. Ron

          Actually, it’s low-wage workers who have less choice.  From what I’ve read, salaries (for lower-wage workers) aren’t that much different in less-expensive areas.  Hence, it makes more financial sense, for them to move. (And, that’s exactly what’s happening.)

          Conversely, higher-wage salaries are primarily found in places like the Bay Area.  Full-time telecommuting from far-flung locales is not always allowed, by employers.

          Most who want to start (or continue) a professional career (outside of UCD, itself) would be wise to look outside of Davis. It’s always been that way. (And, Sacramento is just across the causeway, for those interested in working there.)

        4. Ken A

          This might come as a surprise to Jeff but every single person living in Davis complaining about high rent can go to school or get a job in a city with much lower rent (and at least half the people I know in town are here since they can’t afford to live in the Bay Area just like almost every professor is here since they could not get a job at a position at Harvard, Princeton or Stanford).

          I put the boat in the water for the first time this season over Memorial Day and drove by the Fritz family home that went on the market last year thinking it sure would be nice to have a place on the water with a pier, but sadly even with the recent $6 million dollar price reduction I won’t be buying a place on the water with a pier any time soon.

          I’m happy that I have a place with a garage for the boat even if it is in the “lower rent” area of the West Shore (that is a big move up from the garage where I kept my boat in the 90’s at Lake Berryessa).

          http://www.tluxp.com/featured-real-estate/brushwood-estate-lakefront

  4. Ron

    Unless the city gets serious about pursuing an agreement with UCD, this is all just “pissing into the wind”, regarding student housing (and other impacts generated by UCD).

    The city’s proposed mitigations (in response to UCD’s draft EIR for the LRDP) provide a good outline:

    Proposed Mitigation Measure #1 — The University will commit to housing a minimum of 100 percent of the projected student enrollment of all new incoming students and at least 50 percent of total University campus student population in the LRDP.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #2 — The University will commit to higher densities (e.g. four-plus stories) in redeveloped and new student housing than are currently being provided, taking into account neighborhood context.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #3 – The University will commit to housing students of all incomes, and will incorporate innovative affordable housing models, including cooperative housing.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #4 — The University will develop a construction and financing implementation strategy to ensure the delivery of campus housing units and facilities in a timely manner commensurate with levels committed to by the University in these mitigation measures.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #5 — The University will enter into an agreement with the City to compensate for the direct and indirect impacts of students on city infrastructure and services (e.g. transportation, transit, utilities, water supply, wastewater treatment, stormwater conveyance, parks and greenbelts, community services, recreation facilities and programs, police and fire service).
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #6 – The University will regularly demonstrate to the City (eg. Reporting to the City Council at least annually) that the housing target has been achieved and identify appropriate measures to improve performance if necessary.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #7 — The University will enter into an agreement with the City to compensate for lost property tax revenue associated with the University’s leasing of property within the city limits.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #8 – The University will commit to engaging the City in and assisting in the funding of a collaborative process for joint planning of shared edges and corridors to ensure mutually workable and coordinated results.
     
    Proposed Mitigation Measure #9 – The University will enter into an agreement with the City of Davis to actively participate in and assist with funding the City’s rental registration and inspection program to help address the indirect effects associated with increasingly overcrowded student housing conditions off-campus.

    http://www.davisvanguard.org/2018/05/city-expresses-concerns-campus-housing-plan-lrdp-response-letter

     

    1. John D

      The idea that the issues/relationship must be framed as a series of “mitigations” seems so sad and pathetic – when most would hope the issues could be addressed for the potential mutual benefits to be shared, challenges to be explored, and opportunities for mutual collaboration and joint success.

      1. Ron

        Well, Davis would not be alone in pursuing an agreement with a UC (e.g., see Santa Cruz, Berkeley).  Here’s a brief overview of the agreement between Santa Cruz and UC Santa Cruz:

        http://lrdp.ucsc.edu/settlement-summary.shtml

        Would have to strongly disagree, in describing this outcome (or the proposed mitigations, above) as “sad” or “pathetic”. (I understand that UCD has not even fulfilled past promises, regarding housing on campus.)

         

        1. Howard P

          (I understand that UCD has not even fulfilled past promises, regarding housing on campus.)

          Just curious… if you believe what you say, what would an agreement with UCD do?  UCD is subordinate to UC Regents…

          Ever heard of the “Treaty of Versailles”?  One party was reluctant to sign… those that did, arguably did not have the authority to commit… WWII resulted, when the one party decided it was inconvenient…

          Even if UCD approved such an agreement, the UC Regents are not a party… and they have the true control… attorneys would have a field day, and get rich, off an agreement with UCD that was breached by either side…

          And, why would even UCD enter into an agreement, without concessions/commitments by the City?  Whenever I have entered into an agreement, there has been mutual assurances…  quid pro quo, as it were… the City of Davis has no jurisdiction, no “hammer” over UCD, much less the University of California… reality may “bite”, but is still reality… a threat by the City to approve no new housing, until the UC acts, is kinda’ like “I’m going to hold my breath until I turn blue, unless I get what I want”…  empty threat, and potentially self-destructive… just saying…

        2. Ron

          Howard:  Your questions would be better-directed to an attorney (e.g., regarding the parties that would be involved).  You’re making a lot of assumptions.

          Also, UCD has not even responded to the proposed mitigations regarding their LRDP EIR, yet.

          We have at least two council candidates who support the possibility of the pursuit of an agreement.

    2. John D

      Ron,

      Thank you.  Exactly to my point.

      This is Davis.  We are not Cal.  We are not some beachside destination resort community for Silicon Valley.

      We are a community that is actually still functioning, in many desirable ways, like a small college town.

      Traditionally, we’ve had senior members of university staff – not solely community outreach liasions – as active leaders and engaged members of the Davis Rotary.   STEAC dinners in the Chancellor’s back yard.  Historically, the Davis community has enjoyed a very special and personal relationship with this university.

      How cool is that?

      Need we follow the model of other communities that felt compelled to seek legalistic remedies for what might otherwise be described as difficulties amongst neighbors?

  5. Richard McCann

    First, I want to clarify that after talking with Matt Saturday, I misunderstood the thrust of Matt’s point, and I now see that he sees the shortage as a huge issue for the community. Matt might want to take a course in rhetoric on expressing that point…

    Ken A, you are ignoring the fact that the reason that housing prices are getting so high is due to higher incomes from certain segments of the population. One cannot move to another lower-priced city and expect to get the same income.  Rents are higher in the cities you list because the incomes are higher. And you are ignoring that resistance to moving is about more than just a place to live–its about the anchors that you have in the community as well as your job. When local residents arbitrarily restrict the housing supply on a continuing basis, they throw the housing market out of whack for those who have many reasons, not just a job, for why they want to live in a community. You appear to be arguing that only the wealthy should be allowed to live in Davis because we have restricted the housing supply and driven up prices. That just leads to further segregation and greater disparities and discord in our society.

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