Guest Commentary: Housing Demand Is Still High, and University Commons Would Provide Relief in a Superb Location

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By Don Gibson

Davis has not solved the housing shortage. The best way to address this shortage, given the community demands for limiting peripheral growth, is to densify the urban corridors such as Russell Boulevard with projects like University Commons.

The city has approved new apartment complexes in the last few years, yet none have tenants. Worst yet, multiple projects have been held up for years in lawsuits delaying the production and ultimately increasing the costs which get passed along to renters.

The demand for housing in Davis and throughout California has hit breaking points. People experiencing homelessness has risen throughout the state, while rents and housing prices have only continued to go up. The pressure is so high that last year California instituted its first statewide just cause eviction law and rent increase cap (5% + CPI).

Here, I wanted to put numbers using data found on why the issues are so stark here in Davis and are often lost to the non-student members of the community.

Overcrowding, Increasing Rates of Density, and Numbers of Mini-Dorms for Students.

Published a year ago, the “UC Davis Student Housing Affordability and Insecurity Report for 2017-18” by Dr. Robert M. Saper, which I collaborated on, found stunning results. We performed a comprehensive scientific survey of UC Davis undergrad and graduate students accessing their housing issues, such as their rental rates, overcrowding, and student homelessness.

We found that the majority of undergraduates are more likely to live 2 people per bedroom than in a room for themselves. Dr. Saper found that undergraduates in Davis live 1.62 people per bedroom, and these are often older units not designed for two people. Worse, about 4.6 % of students live more than 2 people per bedroom. To put it in comparison, the non-undergraduate renter is approximately 1.22 people per bedroom.

Figure 1) Distribution of occupant densities in the private Davis rental market: Continuing undergraduates and graduates in all unit types (with overcrowding thresholds).

The rise in population in Davis, without following up with rental units, led the per-unit density to increase radically. Using census data, I found that in 2001, renters lived an average of 2.17 people per rental unit. In 2018 that has since expanded to 2.94 people per unit or a 35% increases.

Figure 2) The number of renters per unit in the private Davis market has risen steadily since 2001.

Often called “Mini-dorms” these overly packed homes and apartments are rightfully a source of concern for long term residents and are, responsible for problems from trash, noise, and many more cars parked on the street.

Dr. Saper was able to quantify the number of Mini-dorms in Davis. The survey found that there were 1,716 Mini-dorms, or apartments and homes with at least 2 or more people living per bedroom. Additionally, he found that there were approximately, 199 Mini-dorms with more than 2 people per bedroom living in the unit.

These overcrowded homes are directly a result of a lack of supply. Undergraduates do not want to live in overly dense apartments and houses. Its simply that there are not enough places for people to live, and forcing many to cram into space not designed for high density. The best way to reduce the number of Mini-dorms is to provide additional housing for the student community.

Just recently, the Vacancy Survey found that Davis vacancy rate is 1% the highest since 2014 but came with a 5.5% increase in rent. The average increase was just 2% below the new statewide mandated rent cap. Demand remains incredibly high, and the increased vacancy rate is likely from people now commuting by car to Davis.

Dense Development Close to Campus

Another study from Dr. Saper in 2018, “Turning the Curve on Affordable Student Housing” quantified the increase in the growth of commuters to UC Davis. From 2008 to 2017, an additional 3,000 people, staff and students, lived outside of Davis and commuted daily to UC Davis. The vast majority of these drive single-occupancy vehicles. If those new commuters were able to live, attend school, and work in Davis, they could have been saved longer commutes, which likely added tons of CO2 emissions over that time.

Generation Z and UC Davis students are far less likely to own cars. According to the UC Davis transportation survey in 2017-2018, 71% of those living within 1 mile of campus use their bike to commute to campus. Compared to those living 5 to 9 miles away, it jumps to only 10% using a bike and 78% drove a car

Although lowered parking requirements have been called an experiment, reducing the incentive to drive is a move in the right direction to minimize carbon dependence and reducing car traffic. Mixed used development would allow those living there to access amenities without having to jump into a car and drive across town.

University Commons is one of the best locations for dense growth. The densification of the Russell Boulevard corridor allows residents to have access to multiple bus lanes and live across the street from campus, lowering an individual’s traffic impacts.

On-Campus vs Off-Campus Student Housing

Lastly, a significant concern brought up by many, is to place the growing student population housing on campus as opposed to in the city. UC Davis does need to play a role in helping provide housing; however, this does come with some downsides.

From the student perspective, one of the appealing features of coming to Davis is to live in a college town, and not just on-campus. The incorporation of the student community across all of Davis has been a relative success in promoting positive community integration. Contrast this with Isla Vista next to UC Santa Barbara, the segregation of the student community led to many problems such as rundown services, graffiti, and the safety of their residents.

Additionally, property tax revenue from the UC Davis campus does not go to the City of Davis, even though those living on campus still use many city services like roads and trails. The student population causes less of an impact than permanent residents primarily for the fact that a majority of students leave town for 3 months of the year. Thus, student residents may be more likely to be revenue positive for the city through the property tax revenue their rent supports.

Now due to the recession, Davis is estimated to be facing anywhere between $10 million and $22 million deficit this fiscal year. The deficit will be hard on local government and should put greater scrutiny on the longer-term tax implications of pushing student housing to be an exclusive campus issue.

Finally, the Davis community made the responsible decision to be cautious of outward sprawl. Yet 20 years of no new apartment complexes has caused a housing crisis, hurt DJUSD enrollment and city budgets, and led to thousands of more commuters.

University Commons development is the right type of project moving forward for Davis. Providing new student friendly apartments will open up space for other renters and potential buyers. The project is right next to campus; those living there would not need to drive a car. And building up and not out, respects Davis’ preference for infill verses peripheral growth.

Don Gibson, Ph.D., is a graduate of UC Davis 2019 and former Chair of Joint ASUCD-GSA Housing Task Force 2017-2019


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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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84 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: Housing Demand Is Still High, and University Commons Would Provide Relief in a Superb Location”

  1. Todd Edelman

    Relief

    the [Low-parking] Alternative’s greatest flaw is that it doesn’t look into what it would happen if there were more housing in the same footprint, replacing not only residential parking but also retail parking in both structures and at surface. This would result in hundreds more people living closer to their destination then they currently do. This would [obviously further] decrease VMT…]

    If we don’t need so much parking, we should use it for something else: Less parking should mean more housing. Parking is a convenience, housing is a necessity. Parking is nice, housing is nicer. We have a responsibility to both the City and to our regional partner SACOG to take reasonable measures to decrease VMT, and we can decrease it if hundreds more people can live a short and safe distance by foot, bike or bus to the UC Davis campus, and to the other destinations in the area.” – Excerpted from my comments on the DEIR in December 2019.

    The relief could come in the form of apartments instead of parking for part of the planned structure, at least for the outward facing sections. Obviously a surface parking lot in view of expensive apartments and across the street from a university with a housing need is a crime against common sense, the environment and every student struggling for housing. If parking is so important to TJ’s and others, they need to grow up and help pay for some underground parking, a shopping shuttle, deliveries, extensive curbside pick up etc.

    1. Keith Echols

      I guess you’re assuming these people in these higher density units with no parking work in Davis?  Are these units for students (WHY?).   Because unless you work in Davis; driving is kind of necessary.  Now a multi-level parking garage to go with those residential units might work….but then you have traffic issues to mitigate.

      1. Todd Edelman

        Keith wrote: 

        assuming, driving

        There cannot be an entitlement to automobile storage. However, people should be allowed to drive when it makes the most sense for a particular trip, or a particular type of job. For the proposed University Mall and other projects I have in Davis I have consistently said that people with certain types of jobs can have parking. This can mean, for example, a few slightly oversized-spaces for typical contractor trucks and vans.

        Everyone else who needs to use a car should be able to make use of onsite car share with classic car rental options, and then a range of options from their own bikes, bike share, electric-assist cargo bikes available for residents, transit, possibly a shuttle to Davis Depot because that ensures a seamless ride at both ends unless a transit line terminates at the Depot).

        If all this doesn’t work for them then they don’t have to live here.

        BEST would be if the gas station at the corner of Russell and Anderson was moved near an egress point to 113 and this included a significant amount of parking that would otherwise be at University Commons. This would free up this highly-visible corner for a variety of commercial uses, and eliminating the direct street access for motor vehicles will make cycling much safer on the way to campus as part of the impending de-sign of this intersection that’s part of the Anderson Complete Street Project!!

        1. Ron Oertel

          Todd:  “Supposedly”, it’s still going to be a retail mall, as well.

          “Supposedly”, it’s also supposed to house non-students, as well. The type that Davis is “supposedly” trying to house.

          Supposedly.

        2. Keith Echols

          I don’t understand what the reasoning behind your comments about automobile usage and residential units.  Residential units are created to be marketed to people to use.  Most people drive to work.  Only a select few walk or bicycle to work.  The rest are students; limited car use is fine for many students so limited residential units on campus is fine.  But for the rest of Davis?  People drive to work so housing created services their needs.

          1. David Greenwald

            The property is across the street from the university, no one who lives there needs to drive to the university. BTW, have you seen modeshare of people who live in Davis – a lot of them don’t drive to the university.

  2. Alan Miller

    . . . or, there will be an economic collapse, people will stop wanting to live in dense, disease-spreading housing situations, and UC Davis will semi-permanently offer much of its content online, allowing students to not even live here, and eventually figure-out they don’t even need to pay UC tuition to get an education . . .

    . . . or not, who knows?

      1. Alan Miller

        True-ish.  While I think that’s true in Hong Kong and Singapore – most Americans are so stubborn with their “land of the free” suicide pact (where you most likely kill others – it’s a virus-defined suicide pact that kills within a society – so individuals can live while killing the vulnerable – yipeeee!) – that enough don’t take the precautions necessary to make the density not a factor.  Therefore, in America, density is dangerous.

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t think UC Davis can semi-permanently offer much of its content online. Moreover, I believe that the experience of educators trying to do that is not likely to lead to this becoming a more permanent arrangement.

      1. Alan Miller

        I have several friends who have got entire college degrees online.  While it’s true that you can’t learn to become a vet without in-person labs, much of what UC Davis does is easily done online – not doing it well probably has much more to do with lack of a chance to prepare in advance – and it’s also true you don’t need to pay outrageous UC tuition to get the same education – maybe a better one – unless it’s a specialty lab item like vet.

        The Community Colleges and State Colleges are not opening up but UC is.  Why?  Are the laws about virus transmission different when you pay higher tuition?  (“D*mmit, Janet!” – Rocky Horror Napolitano Picture Show) From the article I read, the implication is they have to do it to keep the lucrative football season from collapsing.  I say:  F*ck football!

  3. Keith Echols

    Once again a student (or in this case former student) confuses the city of Davis with UCD.  I’ve had these kids come to my door trying to promote various student housing measures over the years.  I’ve asked them over the years; why should I as a property owner care about student housing?  They always give me some ready made for them answers about students supporting local businesses and reducing traffic…etc…..But that doesn’t really make sense if UCD was forced to push more students to live on campus (as they’re beginning to with some of their residual development plans.  Students are a pestilence.  Davis should grow with working adults and not poor college children where the majority of them will move away anyway.

    1. Don Gibson

      Students are a pestilence.  Davis should grow with working adults and not poor college children

      Keith, I rarely post on the comments section of the Vanguard even for the articles I write. That line you wrote was an incredibly hurtful thing to say. There are honest disagreements about land use planning in Davis but calling half of the population of a city a pestilence is beyond intolerant.

      1. David Greenwald

        I agree Don – it’s hard to imagine Davis without the university and the students. Hard to imagine the Vanguard without the university and the students for that matter.

        1. Keith Echols

          Palo Alto is a beautiful example.  Students are well segregated from the city proper in most neighborhoods.  Berkeley isn’t too bad either.

          1. David Greenwald

            I have to disagree on both. Moreover, the students are a great part of this community.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Why are they a great part of this community?  I’m open to listening to reason.

          No UCD without them.

          Like any other group, they are not “monolithic”.

        3. Keith Echols

          Ron,

          No UCD without them

          See, we’re again, confusing UCD and the City of Davis.  The discussion isn’t about UCD.  It’s about students in the city of Davis.  I contend that the more of them we push onto the campus, the better it is for the city.

      2. Keith Echols

        Oh lord.  I’m sorry I did not realize this corner of the internet was a safe space.  Seriously, it never crossed my mind that my comment would actually hurt someone’s feelings.  It was not my intent to hurt anyone’s feelings.  It was intent at showing my dislike for having students in the community.  I should be entitled to that belief.   Frankly your response surprises me.  I had hoped for debate and not hurt feelings.   Like I said if your feelings are really hurt…then I sincerely apologize.

        1. Ron Oertel

          I suspect that no one was “hurt” by Keith’s comment.

          Man, I’ve got to stop defending all these Keiths!  Even when they’re underlying point is valid.

          But yeah, I wouldn’t have worded it that way, nor do I look at it that way.

          It’s more of a question of who is going to take responsibility for costs, how do they get across the street (compared to a campus alternative), the loss of a mall that was originally intended to serve more than the folks who live upstairs from it, parking, etc.

        2. Ron Oertel

          And, a lot of that (e.g., traffic and circulation) is noted as a significant and unresolved concern in the EIR, as I recall.

          Personally, I have nothing but respect for those who are able to gain entrance into UCD. (Other than those who purposefully align themselves with development interests.)

        3. Keith Echols

          David,

          I’m perfectly capable of being very clear when I’m being offensive.

          I say what’s on my mind and tend not to tiptoe on the egg shells of fragile egos.  But I do not intend to hurt anyone.

          Frankly as a guest writer Don should be embarrased at his response.

          Instead of reacting to how “hurtful” my response was he should have either ignored it or done the professional thing and tried to convince me otherwise….this is an internet comment section after all.

          I guess I could have written: I find the student element to Davis population of little value.  They contribute much less in terms of taxes compared to most residents and all the while cause disruption through out the community in multiple neighborhoods at varioius times throughout the year.   Single family home neighborhoods tend to see value decreases due the number of rental units in them (there is enough demand in the Sac region to not need student housing to bolster home values).  As UCD’s population has  spread out so have the students across the neighborhoods in Davis.   I do not want them in town.  Or I could simply write much more susinctly “pestilence”.

  4. Devin Lavelle

    New rule: Only people who have lived in Davis since at least 1905 may complain about college students. Everyone else must acknowledge that they chose to live in a college town accepting both the benefits and challenges that reality brings.

    1. Keith Echols

      Devin,

      Some had less choice than others.  Cities and communities change over time.  No one has a right to live where they live outside of their means to posses the land.  I’ve argued this BS about this being a college town so get used to having belligerent students around multiple times with various belligerent students.  The sense of entitlement by UCD and it especially it’s students is astounding.

       

      1. Mark West

        Keith Echols: “Students are a pestilence.”

        “The sense of entitlement by UCD and it especially it’s students is astounding.”

         

        Your sense of entitlement is astounding.

  5. Sean Raycraft

    Wow… I wish I could say I’m surprised by a Davis NIMBY saying unkind things about Davis students. Keith, I’ll try and be nice here. This town is fueled by students. Student tuition to pay the salaries of UC staff, student labor that does most of the research, work in the retail stores and restaurants, student buying power that fuels much of our downtown restaurants and coffee shops, students who pay all kinds of sales taxes. Without students, this town would be Just another economically depressed valley town next to a freeway.

    Keith, the housing crisis is real. This town‘s housing market is hostile to people of my generation. So much so that the Davis school district has to import A substantial number of kids from neighboring towns to meet its enrollment needs.

    By your comments today, you have made it abundantly clear that you don’t care about anything In the Davis community beyond the value of your home. I for one, actually appreciate that honesty. I’ve been saying that about a substantial percentage of Davis folks for years now. Thanks for expressing it.

    1. Keith Echols

      Sean,

      Bahahahahha!!!  Me a NIMBY????  I’m a former residential developer!  I’ve developed more homes than Davis has approved in the past 15 years!  Btw. I could give you a professional grade lecture on the housing crisis across the state…I used to get paid for it.

      I’m all for the right kind of development.  Hey, I like having UCD here.  It’s great, I enjoy hearing lectures and performances.  I like professors.  I just don’t like students.   Arguing for UCD and their students is pointless.  It’s not like they’re going anywhere.  I just want most of them on campus.  As for their buying power?  There’s a reason why there is a glut of coffee, pizza, taquerias and various other cheap food restaurants in town (and don’t get me wrong, I love the stuff but I’d like better offerings).  It’s because that’s what is supported here.  Jesus, Winters has more adult restaurants than Davis!  But the argument about no UCD/Students isn’t relevant…again they’re not going anywhere.

      I’m all for more development that enriches the community.  Working professionals have money spend for sales tax revenue.  Building out more retail (destination retail) and bring people to Davis to spend their money….again brings money into the city via sales tax which then provides funding for more parks, rec facilities, street improvement….etc….  Business parks for business to locate in Davis to attract their tax revenue as well as their working professionals.

    2. Ron Oertel

      Sean:  “So much so that the Davis school district has to import A substantial number of kids from neighboring towns to meet its enrollment needs.”

      I think I’ll “pass” on commenting on that again.  For now.

  6. Sean Raycraft

    So we are largely in agreement about the long term needs of Davis, excepting your hyperbolic comments about students. As you may know, NIMBY stands for “Not In My Back Yard”. It’s commonly used to describe folks who swear up and down that they are fine with development, so long as it’s not going to ruin their view of a tree, or increase traffic along this road, or occasionally have to see a person of a different socio economic class on their walk to the dog park. Personally, my *favorite* type of NIMBY is the self proclaimed progressive who doesn’t want that affordable housing complex built around the corner because “it would ruin the character of the neighborhood”.

    As far as I can tell, you are perfectly fine with student housing being built, so long as it’s nowhere near your home or in your town. I think that sums up your opinion about student housing in Davis. Am I wrong?

    1. Keith Echols

      Just the other day I was taking my kids out towards the N. Star pond area to look at the ducks.  We went out onto the narrow wooden walk way viewing area.  There were about a ten students hanging out.  No masks on and even worse no sense of social distance.  I don’t care what these kids do on their own, if they want to wear masks or social distance…but as I was trying to weave my way around these kids they kept bumping up close to me and my kids.  I was about to get very angry at them but just told my kids to go and that we’d look at the ducks some other time.   So yeah…I want these kids on campus as much as possible.

      As for NIMBYs?  One project that was about 80 proposed lots on the rural edge of a city we invited the local neighborhood in for a briefing and input.  It was a nice outdoor BBQ.  I thought it’d go well as we had a nice friendly vibe going and were open to making adjustments to the project that neighbors suggested.  But as my partner started talking the crowd attacked him.  They fought him about the project.  Then one of them pointed at me.  I was just sitting on a fence watching, my business partner was the lead development guy.  I was doing mostly financials for the project.  Someone yelled; “hey he’s the money guy!  probably the guy directing things!”….yikes!  I hadn’t expected to be pulled into this.  I also probably shouldn’t have worn a suit.  Anyway we eventually go out of there with the singe marks from the scathing remarks from the neighborhood.  I can’t remember what we did with that project.  It might have eventually been sold to a builder.

      Another time I was at a meeting for the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco.  The Dogpatch is right next to the newly developed (this was 12 or so years ago) Mission Bay area.  There were neighborhood representatives hearing briefings from PG&E, the Mission Bay hospital and from developers.  PG&E spoke and said they had plans to have another power station in the neighborhood and run another power line under the bay.  I think it was the hospital or the developers….I can’t remember now…that said they had to do something which ended up removing something like 7 street parking spots?   That caused the crowd to get up in arms.  They did not want to lose those parking spots.  A new power relay station that was sending 1.21 jigawatts of electricity into the bay was okay….but 7 parking spaces?  That was cause for war!

        1. Keith Echols

          I lived there for 10 years.  My wife and I had three vehicles.  One parking garage spot and 2 street spots that we always had to hunt and search for spots.  One of my vehicles is a full sized pick up truck….not easy to park on the street.

  7. Ron Glick

    “I just don’t like students.   Arguing for UCD and their students is pointless.  It’s not like they’re going anywhere.”

    Back in my teaching days I had this running joke about how nice schools were when the students were not around. The joke is that without the students there was no need to have the school. Alas I wonder, why live in a university town if you don’t like students? For the fruit?

    As for me I like the college kids you find in Davis at all levels from freshmen to doctoral students and even post docs. These are our best kids. Our most talented kids. If you can’t handle having them around I don’t think you would like any young people you would find anywhere.

    When I was on the radio at KDVS I was always amazed to watch these young DJ’s, who would play the dystopian genre du jour, go on to become doctors and lawyers and engineers. They could spin a disk or calculate the area under the curve. They were brimming with talent and young.

    The late Senator Everett Dirksen had a great line once  about the kids in the 60’s. It was something like “Let the kids yell, pretty soon they will have mortgages.”

    Students in Davis are a feature not a bug.

    1. Keith Echols

      Ah yes…the this is a college town what did you expect response.

      Let’s see, at one house I lived in I had some punk kid with a live amped band in his backyard that I could feel the base a block and a half away through my walls and could sing along if I wanted to….this punk said that this was a college town, it’s what students do and that he didn’t care about his neighbors just his art.

      Different house another set of students again another amplified band in their living room could be heard down the block…again, I was told that this is a college town and that I shouldn’t try to change it by insisting these children shouldn’t have their party.

      These are just two of my bigger examples of problems from a college student population.  I have numerous other stories.

      I pay property taxes therefore I have a right to the kind of community I live in.  I’d argue that most students who are transient in nature have less of a right.  The vast majority of these kids won’t be paying mortgages and property taxes in Davis.

      I like these kids too.  I just don’t want to live near them.  I want them to live on campus.  Let them yell on campus.

      1. David Greenwald

        “I like these kids too. I just don’t want to live near them. I want them to live on campus. Let them yell on campus.”

        To be honest with you – I don’t think you have the right to tell people where they can and cannot live.

        1. Keith Echols

          To be honest with you – I don’t think you have the right to tell people where they can and cannot live.

          That’s your response?  I have the right to say what I want (weather or not it’s on your blog is up to you).  I also have the right to advocate for what I want and believe in.  Did that get lost somewhere in this discussion of outraged and overly sensitive responses?   This is a discussion forum: I’ve even given my reasons from both a personal and from an economic/community building point of view.  I will continue to advocate for policies and projects that push more students on to campus.  I will continue to advocate for policies and projects that I believe will benefit the city of Davis.   I will continue to try to convince others of the wisdom of my beliefs on the subject.

          1. David Greenwald

            Actually I would argue not really. You don’t have the right to discriminate against people. I appreciate you saying it outloud however because I know a sizable portion of the population thinks as you do, but lacks the courage to say it. But I think this is akin to saying that you don’t want to live next to black people for a variety of reasons.

        2. Keith Echols

          But I think this is akin to saying that you don’t want to live next to black people for a variety of reasons.

          Oh my lord, did you really just say that?  You’re equating my desire to not live near students the same as redlining?

          I have a RIGHT to want what I want.  There’s no thought police; contrary to the beliefs of extremists on both sides of the political specturm.

          I’m going to have a hard time taking anything you say seriouly from now on.

          I have the right to encourage on campus housing.

          I have a right to desire property values to continue to appreciate.

          I have a right to want and advocate housing built that encourages a better economic future for Davis (ie. that target working profesionals)

          Trying to paint me as some horrible discrimitory peron with such a base comparison is personally reprehenible on your part.

           

        3. Keith Olsen

          Oh my lord, did you really just say that?  You’re equating my desire to not live near students the same as redlining?
          Trying to paint me as some horrible discrimitory peron with such a base comparison is personally reprehenible on your part.

          Yup, Keith welcome to the Vanguard.

        4. Keith Olsen

          David, maybe I missed it but Keith Echols never mentioned anything about race, you did.

          I feel your comment is out of line and you owe Keith E. an apology.

          1. David Greenwald

            My only reference to race was an analogy comparing not wanting to live next to students is similar to not wanting to live next to blacks. He responded, “You’re equating my desire to not live near students the same as redlining?” I think that’s accurate. And remember this all started when he called students a “pestilence” – I’m sorry, I don’t think my analogy is off. But it is an analogy.

        5. Keith Echols

          David,

          A more reasonable response than your one step shy of Godwin’s Law would be:  “Keith let’s talk about what your problem with students are”  Here are my ideas and reasons as to why they are good for the local economy (I would disagree of course).  “Are there things other than enacting measures that might mitigate some of the things that you believe students negatively effect the community?”  How about stricter and harsher noise ordinance enforcement?  I do not think you disagree with my desire to encourage more on campus housing for students.

          1. David Greenwald

            You seem to be missing the fact that I was fine with all of this until you equated UC Davis students to “pestilence” at that point, you crossed a line in my view. In fact, I wonder if you are aware of how much of a line you crossed, this is now all over Facebook.

            ” I do not think you disagree with my desire to encourage more on campus housing for students.”

            I pushed for the campus to build more housing, but I am concerned that the cost of that housing far exceeds the cost in town. But I don’t have a desire to limit the students to campus living.

        6. Keith Echols

          Why do you believe I “crossed a line?”  Apprently, I’m not the only one here who doesn’t think I crossed a line but believe you did.

          I guess I could have written: I find the student element to Davis population of little value.  They contribute much less in terms of taxes compared to most residents and all the while cause disruption through out the community in multiple neighborhoods at varioius times throughout the year.   Single family home neighborhoods tend to see value decreases due the number of rental units in them (there is enough demand in the Sac region to not need student housing to bolster home values).  As UCD’s population has  spread out so have the students across the neighborhoods in Davis.   I do not want them in town.   

          I could have said all that but it all describes the same thing taken to hybrbolic extreme: “pestilence”.  Would the paragraph have offended you over the matter or it just the word?

          1. David Greenwald

            Because I believe that referring to a group of people as pestilence is offensive and inappropriate in civil society. Moreover the idea that students should be pushed back onto campus is also offensive and inappropriate in civil society.

        7. Keith Echols

          David,

          My comment was a general comment about a large group that as not personally offensive nor intended to be anything other than a description of my feelings about students.

          Your comment was specifically directed at me and intended to be offensive.

        8. Keith Olsen

          Personally I like having students and a campus in any town I happen to live.  They keep a town young and vibrant.  I don’t ever see them as a pestilence though I sometimes don’t like their protesting and politics.

          That said, nowhere did I read or think that Keith E. was acting in anyway racist.

          David, your analogy is over the top.

           

        9. Keith Echols

          you equated my comment to racism.  you layed out an obvious implication.  especially with phrasing ” I appreciate you saying it outloud however because I know a sizable portion of the population thinks as you do, but lacks the courage to say it.”  That’s not a criticsim of my comment.  That’s an attack on me personally.

        10. Keith Echols

          David,

          So it was the word itself “pestilince” that caused you to feel hurt, upset or angry (per the definition of “offensive”).

          Well I wasn’t addressing you or anyone directly.  I’m sorry my words that were not directed at you hurt your feelings.  Given your sensetivities; kind of surprising you host an internet blog and comments section.

          How is my desire for students to live on campus offensive?  Are you imagining me using a bulldozer and running them over to push them back on campus?  I simply support more on campus housing and do not want the city to make concesions to UCD for student housing projects.  Is that offensive to you?

        11. Alan Miller

          I wonder if you are aware of how much of a line you crossed, this is now all over Facebook.

          Oh my God!  It’s all over Facebook!

          Baton down the hatches!  Gramma call a doctor!  Prepare to launch the nukes!

          KE, do you have any idea what happens when “this” is all over Facebook?  Do you?  Huh?  Well?

        12. Alan Miller

          That said, nowhere did I read or think that Keith E. was acting in anyway racist.

          Welcome to the D.V..  Where somehow, some way, someday, it will eventually be all about race.

          Y’know, K.E., I wouldn’t be surprised if you call the police when you see a student mowing the lawn!

        13. Keith Echols

          I’ve called the police 3 times.  Each time on a house (different ones) that had a live band that could be heard over a block away.

        1. Keith Echols

          Most college students are like the “What We Do in the Shadows” types of vampires.

          I tend to get  annoyed by the “Lost Boys” party all night types.

  8. Ron Glick

    “Let’s see, at one house I lived in I had some punk kid with a live amped band in his backyard that I could feel the base a block and a half away through my walls and could sing along if I wanted to….this punk said that this was a college town, it’s what students do and that he didn’t care about his neighbors just his art.”

    Oh to be young and dumb again. Yes of course  there are times when young people act stupidly.

    There is a young man I see frequently now playing his drums by the fence along 113 in Sycamore Park. His drums are quieter than the freeway. I commended him for his brilliance of playing to the freeway.

    He told me it took him a while to figure out his spot.

    You can dismiss my critique as an its a college town dismissal of behavior but that won’t change the fact that there are 30,000 students going to school here. Letting the behavior of some color your animosity towards all is a recipe for unhappiness.

    Racism isn’t a good analogy but ageism seems right on the spot.

     

    1. Keith Echols

      I’ll go for that….I’m getting to be a “get off of my lawn!” kind of guy as I get older.

      Yes of course  there are times when young people act stupidly

      Of course everyone acts stupidly at times.  I still do.  The problem I have is the frequency of which I find the problems with this particular population.

      If your guy in the park isn’t bothering anyone…great, let him do his thing….I’m all for it.  If there’s some raging party at the outskirts of town that isn’t bothering anybody….no problem, I hope everyone has fun.

      I don’t believe in the “college town” stuff.  Palo Alto and Berkeley are mostly just fine….mostly by pricing the students out of town.  There’s no reason the student population can’t be managed better.  Obviously we can’t just simply say No Students in Town!   But we can encourage more on campus student housing.  Discourage the city from supporting student housing in the city.  And do a better job of strictly enforcing city ordinances against disruptive behaviour.

       

       

    1. Keith Echols

      I’d hardly equate the student population as the incoming tide or “the supreme will of god”.   If that were the case there wouldn’t be city ordinances, zoning, voting…etc….   Cnut knew he didn’t have supernatural powers…that’s what the story implies.  Cnut believed in strong administration having created the Earls to administrate parts  of what was left of Wessex and I think Mercia (bare with me, I may be confusing history I’ve read sometime in the past with recent viewings of “The Last Kingdom” tv show).  With Cnut in charge, the students would be properly managed in town and in their own territory at UCD.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Keith E…

        There is only one person that “bare with”, and it ain’t you…  not just picking on that one…

        bare with me

        That out of the way, I saw living on campus as great… I got kicked out of the dorms as an upcoming senior, and didn’t like it much… but survived… would have stayed on campus if I had the choice… so, lived 2 years in off-campus housing… had to learn to shop/cook… darn good education

        When I lived off-campus:

        We did not have loud parties that affected neighbors… we did not trash the place… some do, but in a big minority.

        I see UCD students in the neighborhoods as an asset… many got to know our kids, and thought they were influencing our kids to think about college (rather than just Mom and Dad)… becoming part of a community… good education on two levels… whether here or elsewhere… we had good UCD student interactions… the monetary benefit is de minimus to this community… it is the personal interactions… benefits UCD students, and those they interact with, now, and in the future… call it an ‘innovation opportunity’…

        My girlfriend and I left Davis when we graduated… settled here ~ 2.5 years later… 1979… have lived here since…  we had community connections from when we were students.

        Keith E… suggest you embrace the UCD students, unless they are mis-behaving (different issue)… I suggest you try to engage them (the one you did, sounds like a real jerk!)… and think about ‘diversity’, and respect… but it is a two-way street… they need to respect you, as you offer respect to them… worked for us ~ 80% of the time…

        If that doesn’t work, call Davis PD…

        But ‘ghetto-ization’ of Davis is the last thing we need…

         

        1. Keith Echols

          My problems with the students and their unruly behaviour has been consistent for years.  I did not describe one incident with unruly students but multiple ones.  Davis PD responds very slowly.

          Otherwise I don’t really have a problem with them…other than their rental housing looking bad in the neighborhoods.  I’m not fan of their heavy bicycle traffic either but that’s a minor nuisance.  I’m also not a fan of them consistently driving down the street with loud music either….but again minor gripes.  From a city fiscal standpoint, students don’t generate enough city revenue through spending (sales tax)……because…well….students tend to not have a lot of money.  I’d like more selections of restaurants; I’m tired of endless taquerias, burgers, pizza and coffee…because that’s primarily what the student population supports in Davis.

          Respect isn’t really the issue.  I really don’t care what they do as long as they don’t bother me.  I don’t interact with them much.  But even if I did (and I’m sure there are plenty of good and interesting students), it wouldn’t change my feelings about the unruly ones that keep popping up or the city fiscal issues either.

          Students living on campus is hardly “ghetto-ization”.

        2. Ron Glick

          Back when I taught 150 kids a day I would often have interactions with 149 kids that were  okay and one that was being a jerk. What would I take home with me and ruminate over? That one kid. I would replay it in my mind and analyze if I made a mistake or not. I think that is the normal thing we do. Humans can be kind but they can also be awful. Our kind interactions dominate our lives so that the few bad interactions disturb us to the core.

          When we lived downtown drunk college kids would often pour out of the bars  at 2 in the morning. They did dumb things and it was upsetting but I did my best to not let it get to me. I had these partiers on the corner and if they went too late I would go over and hang out in the yard. I never called the cops. I would wait until they noticed there was somebodies dad there and then ask them to lower the volume. Worked every time.

          The biggest problem we had living downtown were the speed freaks “taking care of their aging home owning relative.”

          Of course they were not students.

        3. Keith Echols

          Ron,

          I always ask nicely at first.  One time, I literally brought my 6 and 3 year old boys over with me to ask nicely if the live band could stop (you could hear the music from across and down the street throughout my house but the 6 year old’s room was in the front so he had the worst of it…no way to avoid it) and was told, this is a college town…what did I expect.  The cops came like an hour and half later.

          Keep in mind this is just one incident.  I’ve had many over the years at different houses in Davis.

  9. Alan Miller

    Otherwise I don’t really have a problem with them…other than their rental housing looking bad in the neighborhoods.  I’m not fan of their heavy bicycle traffic either but that’s a minor nuisance.  I’m also not a fan of them consistently driving down the street with loud music either….but again minor gripes.  From a city fiscal standpoint, students don’t generate enough city revenue through spending (sales tax)……because…well….students tend to not have a lot of money.  I’d like more selections of restaurants; I’m tired of endless taquerias, burgers, pizza and coffee…

    Have you considered, say, Zamora?  or Yolo?  or Williams?  or Rumsey?  or Knights Landing?  Or West Sac?  How about Winters?  Or Dixon?  Rio Vista?  Clarksburg?  So many places with so few students.  Methinks, perhaps, you enjoy complaining . . . and what would you have to complain about in Dunnigan?

          1. David Greenwald

            I was once one of those transient residents- 25 years later still here. Never planned it. Just happened

          1. David Greenwald

            One of the issues involving the Innovation Center is the low retention rate for UCD compared with other comparable schools

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