My View: The Voice of Opposition to University Commons Is Inherently Couched in Anti-Student Terms

The second part of the University Commons item is coming back to the council on Tuesday after a nearly month-long interlude following a whopping 100 public comments in the meeting in July.  What is quickly forgotten is that two-thirds of those comments were in support of the project.

There are legitimate considerations here—the height of the building, the impact on the neighborhood.  In our previous columns, we noted that, despite the seven-story height, the impact on the surrounding area is quite a bit smaller than one might think.

It will be up to the council to determine if seven stories is too big.  It will be up to the developer to determine how much ground they can and still have a viable project.

A point we have raised is the broader implications here—it is fine for the community to push back against the neighborhood project, but it is important to have all of the facts at hand.  The point we have raised repeatedly here is that (A) the site as currently configured is not viable and likely to remain empty without an influx of new capital investment;  (B) The cost of construction and the reality of redevelopment push away from a commercial-only configuration;  and that leads to (C) Some sort of mixed-use site.

What we can’t determine without access to a lot more fiscal analysis modeling is how much leeway the developer actually has.  Can they separate the apartments from the parking garage and lower the maximum height?  Can they reduce the size and still have a viable project?

We can’t answer those questions, but we do believe, as previously written, that the overall impact from the size and massing of this project is quite a bit less than critics are contending.

But aside from legitimate questions, we dip back into this anti-student rhetoric that greatly concerns me.

The thing is that, while I understand the concern that Will Arnold has that this would be the fifth student-oriented housing project that they could potentially approve, this project is basically across the street from the university and is surrounded by other student housing.

To me, that suggests that this project should probably be student housing as well.  And if we are concerned that there is too much student housing—I think most students would disagree—then we should start looking at potentially repurposing some of the other apartments that are further away.

There is nothing that says that, for example, Sterling Apartments cannot be repurposed into more traditional rental configurations if in a few years we find, shockingly, that we have too much in the way of student housing.

Meanwhile, we see another op-ed in the local newspaper from Eileen Samitz raising the specter of “mega-dorms.”

She calls the project, “A monolithic mega-dorm fraught with problems.”

She raised some of the issues mentioned in the first part of this column.  She added that it “would create enormous impacts in the already heavily trafficked Russell Boulevard corridor and beyond.”

In fact, with relatively small numbers of vehicles and catering to a student population, the EIR found that it was actually unlikely to impact traffic in this area.

But she continued: “The many problems include a ‘rent-by-the bed’ group housing format, including four-bedroom apartments unsuitable for families. The city has approved four mega-dorms in the last few years; there’s no need for a fifth.”

Later she writes that “the council should not approve an exclusionary high-occupancy student bed rental project but instead make the developer provide traditional, smaller apartments to accommodate workforce and families.”

As we can see clearly in the first four paragraphs of her op-ed, a good portion of her complaint is that this housing is for students rather than other groups in town.

The problem of course—and she recognized it back when Davis Live Housing was approved with her support, the location here means that the tenants are invariably going to be students.  I think again we need to recognize and embrace that, and if it true that the city has already approved four student housing projects, which they have—Lincoln40, Sterling, Nishi, and Davis Live—maybe instead of arguing we don’t need a fifth, we should be looking at ways to create housing for workforce and families.

However, the location of the workforce housing seems likely to be the new URP mixed-use site, the downtown, and DISC—if any of them get built.

As I have argued previously, the economics of apartments in Davis and their layout make them less than conducive for family housing, we should be looking at affordable housing for families if that is the chief concern.

The other problem here is that there does not seem to be any sort of recognition of the non-viability of the current configuration.

Samitz’ recommendation is, “The developers need to come back with a compatible project, such as the environmentally superior alternatives of either: a) retail-only, which was first sought by the developers; or b) the reduced mixed-use allowed by the current zoning for 53 apartments with retail.”

She argues that the these are environmentally superior alternatives—which I would question.  But, regardless, she does not cite any sort of analysis that these are viable.  The developer has already stated that the economics of today suggest that a commercial-only redevelopment project would not be fiscally viable.

Can they do a reduced mixed-use alternative?  I’m skeptical.  We have seen the analysis of just how much redevelopment costs these days with demolition and construction fees.  We understand this to be a very expensive project and so, without that analysis, it is hard to know how much smaller they can go and still get the financing.

It would be one thing if we still had redevelopment money.  Without it, we really have limited options and, if this project does not get approved, it seems likely that we are looking at a shopping center across from the university that consists of Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and maybe not much else.

Criticizing student housing across from the university just doesn’t make sense to me.  Even if you structure it as “traditional” apartments, who do you think will live there?  Students.

This is a university town, and I really do not understand why people are so opposed to putting student housing in the town.

—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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39 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    There is nothing that says that, for example, Sterling Apartments cannot be repurposed into more traditional rental configurations if in a few years we find, shockingly, that we have too much in the way of student housing.

    Although I don’t know the configuration/breakdown of Sterling, how do you (for example) “repurpose” a 5-bedroom apartment unit, each with its own bathroom, into a “more traditional” configuration?  (Essentially a student boarding house.)

    And, what would be the cost of doing so?

    By the way, Sterling is almost as butt-ugly from the outside as this one.

    And what’s happening with all the student lease cancellations? Do you have a status update?

    1. Tia Will

      On an even more basic level, is there any evidence of any developer showing any interest in “repurposing” such a student-centered project to a more traditional rental configuration. Please remember that the completely serviceable and much more attractive Family’s First buildings were torn down specifically to build high-end student housing for profit.

      1. David Greenwald

        The proper time to revisit that question would be at the point at which everything is built out and you have expansive vacancies.  Right now, that’s way premature and Sterling is set to be the first new student apartment building opening in town in nearly 20 years.

  2. Ron Oertel

    However, the location of the workforce housing seems likely to be the new URP mixed-use site, the downtown, and DISC—if any of them get built.

    What’s holding up “URP”?

    What’s holding up Chiles Ranch?

    By the way, some consider the local workforce to include those working at UCD. Just yesterday, another commenter was making a similar comment regarding that. Which is one of the arguments for a more traditional configuration at University Mall.

    At one time, some of the megadorm supporters were claiming that these megadorm configurations would appeal to young professionals. We don’t hear that argument very much, anymore.

  3. Ron Glick

    “the council should not approve an exclusionary high-occupancy student bed rental project but instead make the developer provide traditional, smaller apartments to accommodate workforce and families.”

    Does she mean projects like Covell Village that she opposed?

    1. Ron Oertel

      I don’t think that the Covell Village proposal primarily consisted of “traditional, smaller apartments”.

      In any case, it appears that the city of Davis is throwing in the towel, regarding retail.  Might as well, since students have less money to spend than other types of residents.  (I still don’t understand how International students can come up with $45,000/year in tuition, though.  Do their governments pay that cost, for example?)

      Any housing at a commercial mall is already a compromise.

      But, David apparently “disagrees” with the EIR, regarding this:

      ” . . . the impact on the surrounding area is quite a bit smaller than one might think.”

      Personally, I think these developers took one look at who comprises the majority on the council, and decided to push forward with what they want based upon that. As a result, the concerns of the planning commission (and the issues discussed in the EIR) have been rendered irrelevant.

      1. Don Shor

        In any case, it appears that the city of Davis is throwing in the towel, regarding retail.

        No they aren’t. The U-Mall proposal increases the total retail square footage of the site.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Don:  Obviously, it’s not maximizing the use of commercial space (whether it’s retail, or something else).

          If there’s a problem with retail, throwing more housing at a dying industry isn’t a solution (from the city’s perspective).  The city has been getting shortchanged on development fees with these megadorms, for one thing.  (Something that was brought up a long time ago.)

          Nor have they figured out whether or not the city will get SACOG “fair share” growth credit regarding this type of housing.

          Both of these issues are a concern regarding multi-bedroom apartment units in particular.

          And then, there’s the fact that students have less money than other types of residents.  So sure, if you want another pizza parlor at this site, then you’re all set.

          On the other hand, if you want some nicer restaurants, higher-end shopping options, etc. – this isn’t going to achieve that.

          It’s not “Davisville” – it’s “Dormville”.

          As far as impacts are concerned, I recall that one of the major issues is the impact on Russell, from all the new students trying to cross that street.

          1. Don Shor

            “there’s the fact that students have less money than other types of residents.”

            Young consumers are much preferred by many types of retailers. They have more discretionary income in some categories and haven’t locked into purchasing patterns the way people over 30 have. They are more persuasible to change than older consumers.
            Gen Z shoppers are more likely to shop brick and mortar than Millennials, are less price conscious, want easy access to product information, and don’t want to wait in line. Retailers that address those preferences will succeed.

            Obviously, it’s not maximizing the use of commercial space (whether it’s retail, or something else).

            The U-Mall proposal has more retail than the current configuration.
            The nature of the retailers there will change regardless. It is a student-focused mall already.

            On the other hand, if you want some nicer restaurants, higher-end shopping options, etc. – this isn’t going to achieve that.

            There will be no high-end, sit-down restaurant there now or ever. Nor is that likely really anywhere in Davis at the present time, for reasons that real estate professionals could readily explain. Nobody would be foolish enough to invest in a business aimed at an older demographic in a mall that is across the street from the university and surrounded by apartments that are filled with students.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Young consumers are much preferred by many types of retailers. They have more discretionary income in some categories and haven’t locked into purchasing patterns the way people over 30 have. They are more persuasible to change than older consumers.

          Young consumers are a broader category than college students.

          The problem with your claim is that there is actual data which shows that college students spend significantly less (and have less to spend) than other groups.  I believe this data is specific to the city of Davis, itself.  I recall this being discussed at the Finance and Budget Commission, for example.

          In fact, one of the primary complaints that students have is that housing is too expensive for their limited budgets.  That’s why they’re cramming into mini and mega-dorms.

          You don’t need a real estate professional to tell you why a town increasingly overwhelmed by student megadorms is not supportive of anything but student-oriented businesses.

          There are, and were businesses at the mall that appealed to more than students.  But, if this massive proposal goes through, this mall will do nothing but serve those living above it, or immediately surrounding it.

        3. Richard McCann

          On the other hand, if you want some nicer restaurants, higher-end shopping options, etc. – this isn’t going to achieve that.

          That was never going to go in at this site. Over the last 30 years at least, several attempts have been made to invigorate the retail here and every one of them has failed. The only thriving business is a Trader Joe’s that more than most TJs aims at the student market. Time to end the frustration and put a viable economic use on that site.

          It’s not “Davisville” – it’s “Dormville”.

          Not true, unless you believe that has been the case since 1960. As I published on this site (and won’t be able to find unless David creates an index system), the ratio of UCD enrollment to City population has remained at about 50% over that entire period. The only dip was around 1990 with the opening of Mace Ranch and the only peak a decade ago with the jump in enrollment outpacing population growth. Unsubstantiated hyperbole is not useful for an engaged discussion unless you are only interested in trying to gain complete capitulation.

        4. Ron Oertel

          Time to end the frustration and put a viable economic use on that site.

          A megadorm is not a “viable economic use” of the site. Again, the developer initially proposed “sprucing up” the commercial mall, before staff reportedly “convinced” them otherwise.

          As far as the rest of your claims – prove it.  I’ve learned to not take your claims at your word.

          Regardless, is that your goal, to tie UCD enrollment with city population? Putting UCD in the driver’s seat, regarding city decisions? That, by the way, is one of the reasons that the city is experiencing fiscal challenges.

          And if it’s remaining constant (as you claim), then why are some pressuring the city to do even more than it has?

          What does that even mean, regarding the ratio?

        5. Ron Oertel

          Unsubstantiated hyperbole is not useful for an engaged discussion unless you are only interested in trying to gain complete capitulation.

          This, by the way, is a typical statement from you – and does nothing but generate ill will toward you.

          I am sick of it, and I’m not going to let it slide by, anymore. Learn some manners.

        6. Ron Oertel

          By the way, the “megadorm” format is unprecedented, in Davis.  Never before have proposals like this come forth, until recently.

          And, the city has not analyzed their financial (or other) impacts, or the manner in which they may (or may not count) toward SACOG fair share growth requirements.

          They are EXCLUSIONARY, by design.

          THOSE are problems.

          And let’s not forget that housing on campus EXCLUDES anyone but students and those connected to UCD (as it should be).

  4. Eric Gelber

    Even if you structure it as “traditional” apartments, who do you think will live there?  Students.

    So, students will live there regardless of the configuration. So, why not utilize a traditional apartment model, which won’t, by design, exclude other potential renters—e.g., local workforce, young families?

    1. David Greenwald

      I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t.  In fact I expect they probably will as part of some sort of compromise. But I think people are calling for such configurations are kidding themselves as to what the result would be.

      1. Eric Gelber

        The result would be housing that doesn’t, by design or buyer qualifications (see WDAAC), intentionally exclude other segments of the community also in need of relatively affordable housing options.

    1. Ron Oertel

      The problem is that it’s true – with all of the implied impacts, some of which are noted above.  Which, I understand that you’d prefer to ignore.  It’s lazy “journalism”.

      You have periodically focused on actual impacts yourself, in regard to the “minidorms”. But only to support megadorms.

      By the way, do you recall a very questionable “name-calling article” (that you’ve since deleted), by someone who was a student leader at UCD?  Or, all of the other name-calling that some students have engaged in?

      Do you think any of that wins you any “brownie points”?

      Alan is correct (below), that it’s similar to the weaponization of the “racist” terminology, on a broader level.

    2. Tia Will

      David

      This sentiment proves the main thesis of today’s article.”

      This sentiment “proves” nothing. It may be an example of the main thesis of today’s article, but as I and many others have pointed out, there are many other reasons for opposing this project. My objections have nothing to do with not wanting to meet actual student needs.

      1. I do not see the other objections as being as trivial as you do. By the way, you still haven’t dropped by to see the Lincoln 40 as I see it less than one block from my house.

      2. As Eric pointed out, this is basically an exclusionary project aimed only at students.

      3. My biggest objection however is the elephant in the room, COVID-19, and it’s as yet unknown effect on housing needs. I see no reason to approve yet another student-centered project at a time when we have very good reason to think there may be an unforeseeably prolonged decrease in the need for student only housing at a time when we already have several projects under construction, and several others approved.

      1. Matt Williams

        I agree with Tia that the elephant in the room is COVID-19.  My personal opinion is that DISC, if approved, will never get beyond Phase 2 of its 4 phases because of (A) decreased demand for commercial space, and (B) substantial increases in the vacancy rates for already existing/built space.  That is a double whammy increrased available supply coupleds with decreased demand.

        But back to how Tia’s point affects University Commons if it is built.  Imagine that you are a student in the future housing market in a time where UCD has evolved to partially face-to-face instruction.  Because of the substantial vacancies that exist in the post-COVID rental housing market, the example student has lots of choice.  He/she can live in Sterling, or Lincoln 40, or any one of a large group of other apartment complexes … or he/she can live at Davis Live or University Commons.  If I were that student, I would choose the close proximity of Davis Live or University Commons 10 times out of 10 rather than Sterling.  Its location is simply much more convenient.

        The same can be said if I were a young, single UCD employee.  The convenience of being able to walk to work is huge.  It is morally superior as well … with a lighter GHG footprint.

        So I think Tia’s elephant, which is a very real elephant in my opinion, will have a much more significant impact on the apartment complexes that are located away from the campus, but much less of an impact on the apartment complexes immediately adjacent to the campus.

        JMO

  5. Alan Miller

    My View: The Voice of Opposition to University Commons Is Inherently Couched in Anti-Student Terms

    You attribute-to project opponents and weaponize against them the term ‘anti-student’ in the same way you attribute-to non-extreme-progressives and weaponize against them the term ‘racist’.

    I’m in generally in favor of this project, but your article, arguments and your tactics against opponents make me want to join them.

    1. Alan Pryor

      You attribute-to project opponents and weaponize against them the term ‘anti-student’ in the same way you attribute-to non-extreme-progressives and weaponize against them the term ‘racist’.

      Spot on! Seems to me the “anti-student sentiment” expressed here is really “pro-family or workforce housing”. But name-calling is also the way David derides “smart growth” advocates by calling them “NIMBYs” and “no-growthers”. For a supposedly “progressive” on-line publication, there is certainly a lot of “Trumpian-like” name-calling going on here.

        1. Tia Will

          David

          While it is true as written that these words have not appeared in this article, the number of usages in similar articles and comments in the past would have to be filed under,

          “Too numerous to count.”

    2. Matt Williams

      I’m pretty much on the same page as Alan Miller.

      While I understand the premise of the article’s headline, and agree that that headline will resonate with a substantial portion of the Vanguard’s readership, I also think the headline could just as easily read as follows: “My View: The Voice of the developer of University Commons and the voice of the Community Development Department Is Inherently Couched in Anti-Working Professional and Anti-Working Family Terms”

  6. Ron Glick

    A friend wrote me about this story and said “Only in Davis would residents object to student housing directly adjacent to campus…A family project or commercial would generate far more traffic.”

    1. Ron Oertel

      Ron G.  That is factually incorrect, regarding the alternative proposals (e.g., the environmentally-superior alternatives listed in the EIR).  This includes the retail-only option, and the 53 residential unit mixed-used alternative.

    2. Ron Oertel

      And just in case anyone needs a reminder:

      “Brixmor representatives said at the time, and that was the original plan — to spruce up the city’s oldest mall.”

      “It was city representatives, Brixmor staff said, who urged mall owners to consider not just renovating the mall but thinking bigger by adding housing.” 

      (This process and result sure sounds “familiar”, though it’s probably not possible to confirm exactly who was responsible, and who was more than happy to go along with it.)

      https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/planning-commission-unanimously-opposes-university-mall-redevelopment-plan/

  7. Eileen Samitz

     
    David,

    After being notified about this article where you stoop to trying to spin my opposition to the University Commons project by falsely accusing me of being anti-student, I want to respond. Again, this kind of division and twisted propaganda that you try to promote is why I don’t read the Vanguard or participate in it anymore, unless someone brings it to my attention.

    1) First of all, let me point out how your repeated attempts to pit the students against the rest of the community is appalling and you need to stop it. You David, are the divider here, and since we already we have enough division in the country right now, why don’t you stop being a part of it?

    2) If you are going to try to criticize my Enterprise Op-ed  why not attach a link to it so that readers can see the article in its entirety, instead of you trying to “cherry-pick” and spinning a few sentences in it. Here is the link for those who might want to read it for themselves:

    https://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/commentary-a-monolithic-mega-dorm-fraught-with-problems/

    3) For starters, please stop making unwarranted assumptions which make clear that you don’t know the facts. You obviously have not looked at the University Commons EIR or any of the criticisms of the project by many citizens including the Planning Commissioners who voted unanimously 7:0 to deny the University Common project and its EIR. They know a lot more about this subject than you do, clearly.

    Regarding your unwarranted assumption:

    “In fact, with relatively small numbers of vehicles and catering to a student population, the EIR found that it was actually unlikely to impact traffic in this area.”

     Oh, really David? This sounds more like wishful thinking by you. The fact is the EIR does identify “significant and unavoidable” impacts particularly from traffic that this massive project would bring to the ready congested Russell, Sycamore and Anderson area. This is simply intuitive as well with adding 894 additional beds to this large commercial mall.  The commercial component alone would also draw a huge amount of traffic. Do you think anyone believes your illogical assumption here?

    4) And David, regarding this other “spin” attempt by you:

    “Later she writes that “the council should not approve an exclusionary high-occupancy student bed rental project but instead make the developer provide traditional, smaller apartments to accommodate workforce and families.”

    As we can see clearly in the first four paragraphs of her op-ed, a good portion of her complaint is that this housing is for students rather than other groups in town.”

    Ok, so David, first you try accuse me of being anti-student, but then you point out that I did support Davis Live, a student housing project. Just to clarify, I did support Davis Live because it was a small 1-acre residential-only project and it does not have the impacts like University Commons, a mixed-use project, would which have almost twice as many beds and a large commercial component which would draw a ton of traffic.  Also, what about cumulative effects of all of these impacts on an already seriously congested area? If I am anti-student, why would I support Davis Live? But you prefer to continue to make baseless and false accusations.

    But let’s talk about affordability. It is interesting how you continue to avoid the subject of the unaffordability of these mega-dorms. Instead of the personal attacks in this article what about discussing the exorbitant expense of these luxury University Commons units? The new Staff report shows that the market rate studio apartments would be $2,229 per month at University Commons. Do you consider that affordable? That is about 19% more than the average cost of a studio apartment. in Davis. Do you think this affordable for students? I doubt that the student think it is.

    So, David, the obvious question is why won’t you advocate for inclusionary multi-family rental housing with a traditional design for all, including our workers and families as well as these group housing mega-dorms for students only? You keep pushing for all of these unaffordable mega-dorms which are un-suitable for workers and families, but that are unaffordable to students as well.

    Further, since University Commons project is near UCD, why shouldn’t this project provide housing for UCD workers? Why only to accommodate students? This mega-dorm format is counter-productive because it is not flexible. We need housing which, by design, can accommodate workers, families and students. Mega-dorms simply don’t, plus we already have approved almost 4,000 of these mega-dorm student beds in the City.

    Another important factor, as Tia points out, is that with the COVID pandemic, approving more group housing make NO sense. Plus, it is clear that far fewer UCD students will be returning to the campus due to COVID. This is likely to be a trend with more and more on-line teaching provided, which is also far more affordable for students. The last thing we need now is to approve more group housing with the COVD pandemic.

    5)  Regarding another long-shot guessing attempt by you in the article:

    “She argues that the these are environmentally superior alternatives—which I would question.  But, regardless, she does not cite any sort of analysis that these are viable.  The developer has already stated that the economics of today suggest that a commercial-only redevelopment project would not be fiscally viable.”

    Here you go again with David with another guessing expedition instead of reviewing the EIR. University Commons is environmentally inferior to the other two alternatives that I have advocated for, regarding air quality, transportation and circulation, land use, energy, as well as greenhouse gas emissions per the EIR.

    6) On your unwarranted assertions regarding the fiscal viability of the two alternatives of retail only, or b) the reduced mixed-use with 53 apartments allowed in the zoning:

    a) Brixmor originally came to the City pursuing a retail-only updated project, but was persuaded by City Staff to divert to a mixed-use, so a retail-only project had to be viable.
    b) The Brixmor developers made clear in the Sac Business Journal that they would be willing the downsize the project.

    Bill Brown, executive vice president for development with New York-based Brixmor, said one possibility is scaling back the project called University Commons overall, including the number of new housing units.”

    c) The Brixmor developers also indicted that they were not going to walk away from this project so it is clear that they would negotiate for a more scaled-down compatible project if the City and the Council gives them that direction.

    “We’re there for the long haul,” Brown said.

    Finally, I will set record straight again (which you continue to try to distort) of my position on this issue. My position has always been that I am in support of housing which is inclusionary by design for all to live in, including workers, families and students, not additional mega-dorms because they are exclusionary by design.  The 4-or 5-bedroom massive mega-dorm apartment formats are not usable by our workforce and families.  And they are not affordable.

    Imagine the cost of the University Commons 4-bedroom apartments when a studio apartment will cost $2,229 a month? On top of that, the group bedroom 4-bedroom apartments now comprise 45% of the University Commons project, which was recently increased from 25%, This was done by the developers despite them, repeatedly being asked to remove them, and have more smaller and flexible units instead.  Also, the developers insist on primarily “renting-by-the-bed” despite being asked not to for over 2 years as well.

    1. David Greenwald

      It’s really simple – as I explained in the piece, I think you had a credible case on size and impact, you led with mega-dorm instead. That’s attempting to evoke an emotional reaction in the community not just about the project being too large, but that it was student oriented. You chose those words for a reason.

      1. Tia Will

        David

        I do not doubt that Eileen chose the words “mega dorm” for a reason.

        Just as I do not doubt that you chose the words ” inherently couched in anti-student terms for a reason.

        Are those reasons similar? I don’t pretend to know, but do believe the comparison is obvious.

    2. Keith Olsen

      You David, are the divider here, and since we already we have enough division in the country right now, why don’t you stop being a part of it?

      Well said, I’ve pointed this out to David several times.

  8. Eileen Samitz

    David,

    You have got to be kidding. Your article is not about the facts about the project, it is about pitting the students against the rest of the community. It is clearly divisive. Don’t try to claim that this is about the term mega-dorm. That is complete B.S..  Try sticking to the issue and please, try to find out the facts rather continuing with the unwarranted assumptions that you make.

  9. Richard McCann

    She added that it “would create enormous impacts in the already heavily trafficked Russell Boulevard corridor and beyond.”

    A vibrant commercial retail center will obviously create MORE traffic than a residential development as the parking lot will turn over much more often. And when we consider that the majority of the residents will be walking, not driving, in their daily commute, its hard to imagine how a retail only development could even be close as the “environmentally-preferred” alternative. We already saw with the ARC/DISC analysis that including housing on site for employees improved the environmental impacts.

  10. Bill Marshall

    Unsubstantiated hyperbole is not useful for an engaged discussion unless you are only interested in trying to gain complete capitulation.

    True story, on either sides of these discussions… no matter what topic.

    And even if the folks on here “capitulate”, will not matter one iota, one scintilla, as to future course of actions… any level… to believe so, would be a serious delusion…

    Ignore Com

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