Sunday Commentary: The Public Thinks City Is Headed in the Right Direction – Is That a Good Thing?

Davis City Hall with an old style bicycle statue out front

Davis City Hall with an old style bicycle statue out front

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – Normally it would be good news for the city that the vast majority of residents think the city is headed in the right direction.  According to the most recent satisfaction polls, about 69 percent say the right direction and 30 percent the wrong direction, which tracks with the last poll from 2019.

We know that national surveys are not trending in the right direction and the support for national institutions is plunging to record low levels.  But sometimes, an overly positive outlook is due to the public being unaware of the community’s problems rather than the city doing a good job.

This reminds me of polling from 2014 when two-thirds of the community thought city finances were good or fair even though the structural deficit was sufficient to require a rise in sales tax—and even after it passed the city still had at least a $7 million and some would say at least $10 million gap between what it was spending and what it needed to spend on infrastructure.

The city actually faces very serious challenges and I would argue—along with apparently less than a third of everyone else—that we are headed not only on the wrong track, but that we are headed for real peril.

The problem is clearly that the city is not adequately communicating to the community the extent of the challenges that we face.  To some extent I get it, if you are an elected official, it is not in your best interest to tell the community that we are in trouble.  That’s generally not a good way to get reelected.

But there are policy implications for it.  While the voters in 2014 were willing to increase the sales tax, they have not been willing to help improve city revenue otherwise.  The Nishi Project with the R&D space was voted down.  The roads tax was voted down.  Two innovation centers were voted down in 2020 and 2022.

Only small percentages recognize the severity of the budget and quality and conditions of the roads.

But it’s worse than that.  The citizens are primarily concerned with nuisance issues—homelessness, crime, downtown parking.  Concern about homelessness has shot way up from 7 to 14 percent.  Crime from 4 percent in 2019 to 10 percent.  But we still live in one of the safest communities in the country with an extraordinarily low violent crime rate.

What worries me perhaps most is the fact that the community seems to think, despite recognizing some challenges, that everything is all right.

For instance, 30 percent cite, as their top concern, lack of affordable housing.  Worse than that, on the satisfaction ratings, affordability of housing is listed only at 23 percent satisfied.  With HALF the respondents saying they are very dissatisfied with the affordability of housing.

Those are similar numbers to what we saw in 2019.  But what are they doing about it?  You would think if the voters were concerned about affordable housing that they would support ways to build more housing, especially affordable housing, and we really haven’t seen that.

But here’s the disconnect.  They still view the track of the city as being positive not negative.

And yet, the lack of affordable housing has serious impacts.  We have seen a slow decline in the number of families with children that can move into Davis.  That is putting pressure on the schools and ultimately going to lead to declining enrollment despite our efforts to prop up both enrollment through inter-district transfers and revenue through a series of parcel taxes.

The voters don’t seem to connect the lack of affordable housing and the decline of enrollment to the eventual quality of life.  Some have pointed out that I have been complaining about this for over a decade—but that’s part of the problem, this is a slow burn.  We are the frog in a pot of water that is slowly getting heated up.

I had a conversation with a person who was involved in the Save Our Schools push from 2008 to 2010.  At that time, it was an immediate crisis that was going to force school closures and programs being cut.  The parents got together and through the Davis Schools Foundation raised the money to bridge the gap until a parcel tax could provide annual revenue to fix it.

Since then, the situation has only gotten worse.  We have gone from $100 per year parcel tax in 2007 to nearly $1000 today.  People don’t understand that a slow and constant decline in enrollment makes it hard to maintain quality of programs.

The community gives mediocre marks to the maintenance of streets, 62 percent—it is a net positive of 24 percent, but if we were grading this in school, it would be a D-.  The management of city finances similarly gets a plus 24 but mediocre, and the performance of the council is also a mediocre 60 percent and a plus 21.

I am not going to defend some of the council’s priorities with respect to spending—increasing employee compensation, for instance, and the purchase of a ladder truck.

But a big problem with the city’s finances is the lack of revenue.  People complain about the parking downtown, but, more and more, where are they going to go even if they go to downtown?  Empty store fronts.

The city has been sitting on their Downtown Plan since before the pandemic, and, even if it they approve it, it is not clear where the revenue comes from to revitalize the downtown.

In the meantime, the voters continue to fail to leverage the billions coming into the university in order to help spinoff technology startups, and provide innovation space for companies that are wanting to expand but lack the space in Davis.  The city got lucky keeping Schilling Robotics, but have lost a number of companies that lacked the space to expand and countless companies that moved to the area—but not Davis because there was no landing space.

This is a community that is increasingly out of the price range of young families with children—even those teaching at the university.  We just have yet to see the full effect of that slow transition away from the vital community this place was a generation ago when I moved here.

Then again, maybe some of this is starting to show up elsewhere in the polling.  The confidence level has plunged in the last three years.  While 58 percent still are confident in the ability of Davis’ leaders to solve difficult problems, the disagreement number has increased from 28 percent to 41 percent, closing the rating from a plus 30 to a plus 17.

With elections around the corner, that can’t be a settling thought for the incumbents.

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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68 Comments

  1. Bill Marshall

    I am not going to defend some of the council’s priorities with respect to spending – increasing employee compensation for instance,

    Yet, you have been front and center to support increases in DJUSD employee compensation… or other DJUSD spending… but, you’re right… the latter “is for the kids”… and the City cares not about them… see,

    The city actually faces very serious challenges and I would argue – along with apparently less than a third of everyone else – that we are headed not only on the wrong track, but that we are headed for real peril.

    Safe [sic] Our Schools push from 2008 to 2010.  At that time, it was an immediate crisis that was going to force school closures and programs being cut.  The parents got together and through the Davis Schools Foundation raised the money to bridge the gap until a parcel tax could provide annual revenue to fix it.

    But a big problem with the city’s finances is the lack of revenue. [is that not the same with DJUSD?]

    The problem is clearly that the city is not adequately communicating to the community the extent of the challenges that we face.  To some extent I get it, if you are an elected official, it is not in your best interest to tell the community that we are in trouble.  That’s generally not a good way to get reelected. [guessing you believe DJUSD is better at that type of communication]

    This is a community that is increasingly out of the price range of young families with children – even those teaching at the university. [implicit bias? Do you consider yourself as being part of a young family with children? Should older folk with no dependent children pony up more $$$  to ‘solve this’? Donate their homes (@ $0 cost) to families with young children?]

    We have gone from $100 per year parcel tax in 2007 to nearly $1000 today. [how much of that is City, compared to DJUSD?  No matter, the DJUSD parcel taxes are ‘for the kids’, whereas City parcel taxes just support the ‘over-compensated’ City employees]

    Got it… clear where your priorities lie… just wish you’d admit your ‘slant’… the City and DJUSD both have fiscal/facilities/maintenance challenges… including reasonably compensating their employees… yet you trend towards saying “City bad, DJUSD good”…

    Whatever…

    I support having young families, with children coming to Davis to work and live (been there, done that)… throughout my professional career, supported minimizing/eliminating ‘deferred maintenance’, and even repeatedly pointed out the financial foolishness of that… now, can we have a REAL discussion, without ‘villainizing’, about how to get there?

  2. Eileen Samitz

    David,

     I find it astonishing that you continue to ignore that two decades of UCD neglecting to produce the on-campus housing that it needed for its students, which in turn pushed over 70% of its enormous student population off campus, which in turn has absorbed a disproportionate amount of Davis housing.

    UCD’s negligence and poor planning continues, in that they just started construction of their replacement Orchard Park graduate student project after a 7-year delay on Russell Blvd. near Hwy 113. The new Orchard Park project will have less beds than it was planned to have in its recent UCD LRDP, and it is a much lower density that it could have been. It is only 4-stories at most, when directly across the street from it is a 7-story student -oriented project at Davis Live. Keep in mind that Davis Live was built by and is run by a private company, so the land was not free, but with UCD the land is free dramatically reducing the cost of building the housing. The advantage of on campus, is that the cost of the housing can be controlled long-term, unlike in the City. Also, it is more sustainable planning keeping the classes close to the students for convenient travel, and eliminating traffic, circulating and parking issues for the City.

    UCD is quickly approaching its recent UCD LRDP defined 40,000 student campus population maximum, which was not supposed to happened until 2033. This year, UC admitted more student than ever before. So, the real question is, will our City leadership continue enabling UCD to absorb our housing, pushing our workforce and families out of Davis? This situation created by UCD is particularly egregious, when UCD is the largest UC with over 5,300 aces with a 900-acre core campus. UC San Diego is building 15-stories student housing project, and even Berkely, with virtually no land, has committed to 50% on campus student housing.  All of the UC’s except UCD have committed to building at least 50% on campus housing on campus.

    Now becomes apparent, the ultimate insult of UCD’s negligence. Gov. Newsom allocated over $500 million for CA university student housing. Did UCD apply for any of it? NO, UCD did not apply for these state funds for student housing. So, why hasn’t the Vanguard written about this?

    Further, in the article, look at what the $500 million resulted producing by campuses other than UCD. UC Fresno alone built 3,800 student beds. As a result of the success of this program, Newsom is going to invest another $750 million in interest free development loans for student housing for a total of $1.4 BILLION for CA student housing.

    Below is the article in today’s Enterprise with the details. The article even mentions how these funds have been used to keep the housing costs affordable for the students. UC Irvine has been a model for success for on-campus student housing building 6-story student housing which the students love, plus they offer student housing below market rate! So, if UC Irvine can do it, why can’t UCD?
    How much student housing does $1.4 billion buy? (davisenterprise.com)

    So, the obvious question that needs to be asked is: Why is UCD sitting on the sidelines with all of this public money available for student housing? Why isn’t the Vanguard covering this very apparent and important issue?  Why isn’t UCD applying for this State money for student housing? With pushing more of their student population off-campus to prematurely exceed 40,000 well before 2033, it appears that UCD intends to continue pushing students off campus, in which case our community will never be able to accomplish gaining more housing for its workforce and families.

    In short, we will never have enough housing for our workforce and families until the City leadership and Staff, get a backbone to stop enabling UCD to continue pushing its students off campus. UCD’s continues negligence is a serious disservice to their students, as well as the Davis community, and surrounding communities. All of which are negatively impacted by UCD’s long history of negligence to produce adequate student housing. UCD certainly has the land, and now they have been spurning the resources to produce the needed on-campus student housing.

    1. David Greenwald

      “In short, we will never have enough housing for our workforce and families until the City leadership and Staff, get a backbone to stop enabling UCD to continue pushing its students off campus.”

      I don’t buy the notion that we would have adequate housing that is affordable but for the university’s expansion. I’ll have to see more evidence to substantiate that.

      1. Matt Williams

        David, you don’t need evidence to understand that if 10,000 UCD students who currently live in rental housing in the City were relocated each and every year into on-campus student housing, 10,000 beds of freed-up rental housing would be available to the Davis workforce and families.

        1. Richard_McCann

          Why not let the private sector build 10,000 beds at much less cost per bed in Davis? UCD has shown that it’s not a particularly effective manager of housing at West Campus and with its slow progress at other sites. The prevailing wage requirements killed single family housing in West Campus. And what about housing for faculty and staff? UCD has almost 1 employee for every 2 students. The easy solution is that Davis allows for more housing rather than trying to stop the inevitable roll of increasing student populations and the intractable problems to building on campus housing. That’s what markets are for.

        2. Matt Williams

          There are at least four reasons not to, Richard.  The first is that the City of Davis isn’t generating the outsized demand for rental housing, the University is.  And second, relieving the University of the costs of housing its guests shields it from the responsibility for the true costs of its product.  Third, by encouraging its students to live in the City it is creating a situation where the City’s workforce and families are being outbid by students for rental housing.  Fourth, by encouraging its students to live in the City it is creating a situation where single family residences are being purchased to be converted into mini dorms, thereby reducing the available inventory of homes for sale.

          Arguably, cost per bed is not as meaningful a metric in the student housing market.

        3. Richard_McCann

          Matt

          The City and UCD are intertwined. No UCD and Davis looks like Dixon. It is a synergistic mutually beneficial arrangement. UCD provides employment, economic activity and cultural events. In return, Davis houses those who work and attend UCD. As for cost, we don’t ask any other companies or even government agencies to pay for housing their employees. The state government does not pay a penny to Sacramento for housing state employees, and the state government doesn’t pay a penny of property tax to the city or county. No one is calling to force the state government to do so. (In fact, the City of Sacramento fought unsuccessfully to keep state offices from moving to West Sacramento in the 1990s.)

          Students coexisted for decades with families and other households without getting into a bidding war. The primary reason why we have this bidding war now is because we have explicitly constrained the market from providing the housing to meet the increasing demand. So the solution is to let the market meet the demand. It’s not that UCD is creating the situation where homes are being purchased for commercial rental–UCD has since its inception relied on the City to provide at least half of the housing for students. The problem is that the City hasn’t kept up with providing enough supply so buying houses for mini-dorms has become financially viable. This is a case of whether its a supply or demand problem. Without imposed constraints, its a supply problem. It looks like a demand problem because we’ve curtailed new housing development–we’ve brought this on ourselves.

          Cost per bed is very important. West Campus had problems getting to full rentals because of rents were so expensive. The lack of housing has made it economic for students to now rent there despite the cost. What the state budget is offering would at best create 1,000 new beds on campus, but at a significant cost. This article shows a range of $91,000 to $600,000 per bed: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/california-student-housing-projects-17294927.php

    2. David Greenwald

      “Why is UCD sitting on the sidelines with all of this public money available for student housing? Why isn’t the Vanguard covering this very apparent and important issue? Why isn’t UCD applying for this State money for student housing? ”

      We have covered several of these bills over the last few months.

      From the CalMatters article: “An estimated 3,800 more college students will soon have affordable campus housing after state lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom agreed to pump a portion of California’s $300 billion budget into a student program to ease a residential crisis gripping the state’s public universities and community colleges.”

      That’s not exactly a game changer. That’s about 400 students per campus. 800 if you count the money for the two year bill. I’m not sneezing on it, but as I said, it’s not a game changer.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        David,

        It can be a game changer if UCD would stop blowing off the financial help that the State  offering to build more student housing. It also would help if you would acknowledge this instead of constantly expecting the City instead of UCD to fix the housing impact problems that UCD is causing.

    3. Richard_McCann

      Eileen

      You are proposing to disenfranchise students from having a role in our community by pushing them on to campus. I don’t object to building more housing on campus (and UCD is doing that), but one of the necessary steps in a college education is becoming an adult in a broader community. That means residing IN the community and being part of the discussion. Your advocacy pushes for a form of segregation that exclude young people from being involved in our community.  Students have always been residents in our town, and the student enrollment has been between 45% and 55% of the city population since 1960.

      As for rising enrollment, this is to be celebrated! UCD is continually listed as among the top 10 universities in providing economic opportunities to disadvantaged students. To oppose higher enrollment is to oppose the fundamental progressive agenda.

      If UCD is so bad for Davis, we only need to look at how our town differs from Dixon and West Sacramento, which is what Davis would be without the university. UCD has bestowed great benefits on us and those were best when we worked cooperatively. That relationship soured beginning in the 1990s when a resentful group of Council members were elected. It’s time for us to get back to a healthy friendship rather than being adversarial.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Richard,

        Quite the contrary, it is local families and workers being disenfranchised. UCD’s negligent behavior of avoiding building the on-campus housing needed for its own growth is irresponsible and opportunistic, as well as a disservice to their students, the Davis community, and surrounding communities.

        On-campus housing is the only way to control housing costs for the students long-term. The more on-campus housing the better because it also practices sustainable planning by minimizing traffic, circulation and parking issues. That is exactly why all the other UC’s are building at least 50% on-campus student housing.  That is all UC’s except UCD, which is inexcusable, since UCD has the largest campus with over 5,300 acres and a 900-acre core campus. It is even more inexcusable that UCD has not applied for any of the State funding available to build more on-campus student housing.

      2. Matt Williams

        Richard, for most UCD students, going to college is their first full-time job … a job they are paying tens of thousands of dollars each year to have the privilege of having.  Lots and lots of folks covet having that job, but didn’t “make the cut.”  Nowhere in the annual UCD course catalog do you find a course that covers “having a role in the City of Davis community.”  That is a “nice to have” as opposed to a curriculum requirement.

        At Wharton the professors used an expression “stick to the knitting.”  Having a UCD student have a role in the City of Davis community” is the antithesis of “stick to the knitting.”  Further, of the approximately 17,500 UCD students who live within the City Limits, how many actually “have a role in the community”?  Laying your head on your pillow in a Davis apartment isn’t a role. Shopping for groceries isn’t a role. Being a part-time waiter or bartender isn’t a role. The Bob Blacks of the world, who actually have a role are few and far between. They are the exceptiojn, and the exception does not make the rule.

        In the final two sentences of your first paragraph you appear to be arguing that the right of UCD students to live in the City Limits is rooted in the City’s and UCD’s history and tradition, and that the right to such residence in the City Limits is an essential component of each student’s contract with UCD.However, in doing so you are overlooking the simple fact that none of the students actually have a contract with the City … only with UCD.

        The idea that Eileen’s advocacy pushes for a form of segregation is absurd.  You don’t apply that standard to the guests who stay at any of the hotels in the City.  UCD’s students have free access to all the amenities of the City of Davis if they choose to avail themselves … just as the guests of the city’s hotels do.

         

        1. Richard_McCann

          At Wharton the professors used an expression “stick to the knitting.”  Having a UCD student have a role in the City of Davis community” is the antithesis of “stick to the knitting.”

          I absolutely disagree. (And your professors derived this adage from a false pronouncement by Milton Freidman that corporations should stick to just generating the greatest return for shareholders. That principle has led to a multitude of woes that we are now suffering in America.) There are many unwritten rules and guides in our society. What is in the UCD course catalog is a very incomplete description of what we expect young adults to learn. Just as going to a paying job is not the sole expectation that we have in our society, going to class isn’t the sole expectation of UCD students. The first thing is that they will no longer be coddled at home–that they need to emerge as participants in society. We have decided that they are old enough to vote, so they should be learning how to exercise that right and responsibility. (The demise of high school civics doesn’t help here.) Every citizen has a role whether they work as a bartender or run for City Council. We should not be belittling those that are less involved–we should be facilitating and encouraging their participation.

          The City’s existence as it is comes entirely as a product of its relationship with UCD. Again, look at Dixon or West Sacramento as what the alternative would be. The state through the UC system has invested billions of dollars here that have flowed through Davis. Davis is an agent of state government just as UCD is. Davis doesn’t exist separately unto itself as a “nation” with borders. The state has the power to dissolve Davis, just as it recently considered for Bellflower and Vernon. There doesn’t need to be a contract for someone to have a right to live in Davis–all citizens of California have a right to live here and we in Davis have no right to exclude them. That ended with abolishment of the segregation and the various tools such as deed covenants.

          As for your defense of Eileen’s call for disenfranchisement of students, living in a community for at least 4 years is not being a “tourist” or “guest”–the comparison is what is truly absurd. They are not “guests”–they are valid residents and citizens as much as anyone else. What’s your boundary? Are you saying that post-docs and untenured assistant professors who are likely to move on are also “guests” with no voice in the community? That so many current residents of Davis are also UCD alumni is a testament to the fact that students are not guests but rather initiates to our community. This type of statement is reminds me of how I joke that I finally got my “Davis residency card” after I had been here 20 years because so many like Eileen have argued that only long-time residents should have the real voice in the City’s governance.

        2. Ron Oertel

          We have decided that they are old enough to vote, so they should be learning how to exercise that right and responsibility.

          No one is preventing them from voting.  Why are you claiming otherwise?

          We should not be belittling those that are less involved–we should be facilitating and encouraging their participation.
          The City’s existence as it is comes entirely as a product of its relationship with UCD.

          That is a false statement.

          Again, look at Dixon or West Sacramento as what the alternative would be.

          What exactly do you have against those towns?  Also, they are vastly-different from each other, so why would you put them in the same category in the first place?

          Davis is an agent of state government just as UCD is.

          That is a false statement.

          Davis doesn’t exist separately unto itself as a “nation” with borders.

          It has borders, of which you often remind others of.

          The state has the power to dissolve Davis, just as it recently considered for Bellflower and Vernon.

          You’re stating that the state is “threatening to dissolve Davis”?

          There doesn’t need to be a contract for someone to have a right to live in Davis–all citizens of California have a right to live here and we in Davis have no right to exclude them.

          Who is making any claims otherwise?

          As for your defense of Eileen’s call for disenfranchisement of students, living in a community for at least 4 years is not being a “tourist” or “guest”–the comparison is what is truly absurd.
          They are not “guests”–they are valid residents and citizens as much as anyone else.

          If you’re referring to those who live on campus, they don’t live in Davis.

          What’s your boundary?

          You don’t know where the city’s boundaries are?  Look at a map.

          According to the state, housing specifically targeted at students is not a “city need” in the first place. If it were, they’d fully-count it. I’d suggest you contact them, if you have concerns regarding that.

          Were it not for this fact, the city’s housing element would have been approved by now.

        3. Matt Williams

          Richard, you appear to be saying that “staying focused” or “having focus” is a bad thing … possibly simply for the reason that Milton Friedman applied it in a specific setting.  Is that correct?

          You and I have very different expectations of what “we expect young adults to learn” from their four years getting a degree.  Going to college is a job, but it is a job that does not result in any wage payments for undergraduates.  The students are paying for the right to learn not being paid.  More than anything an undergraduate degree is an indicator that the person has the ability to get a job “done.”

          UCD is like Trackside … a transition from childhood to adulthood.  You appear to be willing to jump ahead right into adulthood … skipping any kind of orderly transition.  I completely agree that “they need to emerge as participants in society.”  Actually that is a misstatement … UCD absolutely is a society in and of itself … and an important component of society as a whole.

          You have a very different concept of “role” than I do.  Do passengers on a cruise ship or a train or a bus have a role?  If you say “yes” what is that role?  The employees of the cruise ship or train or bus have roles.  They deliver the service.  Passengers are recipients, not givers.  Similarly, UCD undergraduate students are recipients not givers.

          Your definition of role when you say “every citizen has a role” is so all encompassing that it is an amorphous nothing as a definition.  I’m not belittling anyone.  I’m simply making an observation about the relevance of sphere of influence in looking at role.  Bottom-line, the role of UCD students is to get a chance to shout out that resonant four-letter word “done!”

          Your observation about the City’s existence is indeed historical fact, but for the past 40 years, the University has essentially told the City and its residents that they are irrelevant. The City of Davis hasn’t declared itself a “separate nation” … UCD has over and over and over and over again.  UC Berkley contributes upwards of $5 million per year to the City of Berkeley.  UC Santa Cruz contributes upwards of $3 million per year to the City of Santa Cruz.  How much does UCD contribute to the City of Davis to offset the burdens it imposes on the City?

          You are traveling in Mr. Peabody’s Wabac Machine.  Look at the current UCD behavior, and then tell me whether UCD is living up to the description that you have provided.  The simple fact is that UCD isn’t.

          You are confusing “guests of the City” with “guests of the University.”   Non-undergraduates almost all get paid a wage by the University.  They actually do have a role in delivering the university’s product.  As I said before UCD undergraduate students are recipients not givers.

      3. Richard_McCann

        Eileen

        As an professional economist, I can tell you that building on campus housing is not the only way to control housing costs in Davis. Where we build housing, on campus or in town, will have an identical impact on housing prices. Where students live so long as it is relatively local (within the Davis sphere of influence) is fungible from the perspective of the market.

        I don’t know what you’re describing as disenfranchisement, but if its families and workers who desire to live here are being disenfranchised by our community’s unwillingness to allow enough housing to be built to meet demand. That DJUSD is attracting so many out of district students highlights the moat that we are maintaining for our personal privileges. And I’ll repeat–Sacramento isn’t demanding that the state government build enough housing for its employees–it’s accepting its role in supporting an institution that supports the vitality of the rest of Californians. This is our obligation because UCD is the difference between what Davis is and what other surrounding communities are. And I believe we all value that difference.

        1. Ron Oertel

          [edited]

          That DJUSD is attracting so many out of district students highlights the moat that we are maintaining for our personal privileges.

          This is not the reason that DJUSD is poaching students from out-of-district.

          And I’ll repeat–Sacramento isn’t demanding that the state government build enough housing for its employees–it’s accepting its role in supporting an institution that supports the vitality of the rest of Californians. This is our obligation because UCD is the difference between what Davis is and what other surrounding communities are. And I believe we all value that difference.

          If the state believed that housing specifically targeted at students was a “city need”, they would count it as such. (And, the city’s housing element would have been approved by now).

          They (the state) also wouldn’t be funding student housing on campuses throughout the state (which UCD declined, per Eileen’s comment).

          The facts don’t even logically support your “opinions”.

        2. Eileen Samitz

          Richard,

          You do not have to be a professional economist to understand that student housing costs can, and are controlled long-term on-campus on university owned land as opposed to the off-campus housing market costs. Again, this is why all the other UC’s (except UCD, shamefully) are committing to building to least 50% on-campus student housing.

          Furthermore, on-campus student housing is far more sustainable planning since it locates student closer to their classes which is more convenient for them to access, while the significant benefit of significantly reducing traffic, circulation parking impacts on the local communities.

          UCD has been pushing 71% of its large student population off campus, which in turn, is pushing our local families and workers out of Davis housing, as well as other surrounding communities. So, that’s where the disenfranchisement of workers and families comes in, because they are being displaced from their own community due to UCD’s continued irresponsibility and negligence to build more housing on-campus.

          Again, UCD’s negligence is inexcusable given that UCD is the largest UC campus with 5,300 acres with a 900-acre core campus, and now with the added feature of State money now being available to build the additional housing on-campus.

        3. Matt Williams

          Where we build housing, on campus or in town, will have an identical impact on housing prices.

          I respectfully disagree Richard. On-campus housing has access to State and Federal funding that off-campus housing does not have access to.  Further, frequently UCD students have better access to financial aid for room and board costs if they live on-campus than if they live off-campus.  Any such financial aid brings down the cost (net price) of housing for the students being granted the aid.

          Further, the net cost of on-campus housing is further reduced by the fact that students who live on campus do not need to incur the costs of car payments, car insurance, parking costs, gasoline, etc.   All of those “avoidances” impact housing prices.

          This is our obligation because UCD is the difference between what Davis is and what other surrounding communities are. And I believe we all value that difference.

          Once upon a time that difference may have been due to UCD, but as time has passed since 1990 the proportion of the value increment that is attributable to UCD has consistently trended down.  For Landon and me, that proportion is so small it is nothing at all … and Landon is a UCD alum.  If it weren’t for my concern about UCD’s largely absent role in the community, UCD would be a non-entity in our lives.  I suspect that more and more each year the number of Davis residents who have similar disconnect grows.

        4. Matt Williams

          Actually I misspoke in my comment above.  Occasionally we do walk the dogs in the UCD Arboretum.

          We used to go to the Mondavi, but we have found their choice of events is less and less appealing over the years. We haven’t been there in four years.

        5. Richard_McCann

          I respectfully disagree Richard. On-campus housing has access to State and Federal funding that off-campus housing does not have access to.  Further, frequently UCD students have better access to financial aid for room and board costs if they live on-campus than if they live off-campus.  

          The prevailing wage requirements for construction more than offset the supplemental state and federal funding (which is actually pretty limited for the amount of housing required.) And where a student resides has no impact on financial awards (having recently put 2 students through college.)

          Students who live in the community nearby don’t need a car. I made it all the way through college and the first round of grad school living off campus more than three quarters of the time without a car. Davis is compact enough with a campus centered transit system so that a student does not need a car to commute. In fact, the current commuting is driven almost entirely by out of town students, not in-town ones.

          When you live in a house, you don’t use and enjoy only the incremental additions that you might have made in the last year–the experience is the whole of the legacy of attributes of the house. In fact those older attributes such as the shade trees might be the most enjoyable. For Davis, the characteristics of the community that distinguish us from Dixon and West Sacramento, even the relatively comity that you and I enjoy, is the legacy of the existence of UCD regardless of what it is providing anew today.

          I see the lack of appreciation of what UCD has provided our community, and even hostility in blaming UCD for our woes, has driven UCD away. It’s like we’ve turned on a good friend who was expecting a mutual relationship and of course they’ve turned away from us in response. A belief that our friendship would remain locked in a mythical time when it was somehow “optimal” is unrealistic. Instead  of trying to build a moat around our town and telling the friend that we share a house with that we need to build a wall down the middle, we should be asking how do we repair what we had with realistic expectations.

          You may say that relationship will never change, but I’m an optimist that has had success making things happen that others said would never happen (e.g., closing a nuclear plant, decommissioning dams, converting ag water pumps from diesel to electricity, transferring mobilehome park utility systems to utility companies.) The most important ingredient is understanding the perspective of the other party and trying to address their greatest concerns. You don’t start by accusing them of being solely responsible for the problem and demanding that they come up with the entire solution.

        6. Ron Oertel

          The prevailing wage requirements for construction more than offset the supplemental state and federal funding (which is actually pretty limited for the amount of housing required.)

          Are you claiming that it offsets the “free land” on campus, as well?

          Actually, we have never seen any analysis of any of this, on here.

          And where a student resides has no impact on financial awards (having recently put 2 students through college.)

          If parents are supporting them (with free housing, or other assistance) it can impact eligibility for financial awards – assuming it’s disclosed.

          When you state that “you” put 2 students through college, this implies that you were providing them with assistance.

          When you live in a house, you don’t use and enjoy only the incremental additions that you might have made in the last year–the experience is the whole of the legacy of attributes of the house. In fact those older attributes such as the shade trees might be the most enjoyable. For Davis, the characteristics of the community that distinguish us from Dixon and West Sacramento, even the relatively comity that you and I enjoy, is the legacy of the existence of UCD regardless of what it is providing anew today.

          Dixon and West Sacramento have houses and trees, as well as a “legacy”.  You’ve already acknowledged living in West Sacramento yourself, at one time. So, perhaps you should stop “looking down on” those places. (Typical Davis elitism.)

           

        7. Richard_McCann

           Again, this is why all the other UC’s (except UCD, shamefully) are committing to building to least 50% on-campus student housing.

          This is incorrect. UCD has an MOU that includes financial penalties for failing to meet deadlines with the City and County to meet 100% of new student housing. The last calculation I saw showed that this would house 48% of student housing needs. (A 2% difference is not significant enough to accuse them of falling short.)

          https://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/CityManagersOffice/Documents/PDF/CMO/Press-Releases/2018-09-25-UCDavis-City-County-MOU-final.pdf

          You do not have to be a professional economist to understand that student housing costs can, and are controlled long-term on-campus on university owned land as opposed to the off-campus housing market costs.

          I don’t understand this statement. The problem is that the cost to construct housing on campus is much higher than private sector costs due to various legal requirements. A non-economist may not understand how a well functioning market controls consumer expenses through matching of supply and demand. When supply is highly constrained as it has been in Davis for two decades due to growth control measures and overly burdensome permitting processes, then housing prices get out of line. But even so, the rents in West Campus are still above the market rents in the private sector despite having been open for more than a decade. An economist understands how its not simple to get to a desired solution simply by assuming that a single party can act and perform in a particular way. Many non-economists do not understand the complexity of these situations–that’s why I have a job in the field.

          If you read the story that I posted you will see the amount of money available would have a minimal impact on the overall student housing demand in the community.

          Students who live in Davis, and especially those that can live in neighborhoods near campus, have a minimal impact on traffic. Davis does not have student-related traffic problem near campus (and there’s no impact on the Mace traffic which is driven almost entirely by tourist travel between the Bay Area and Tahoe). It may have a staff-related traffic problem near campus, but that can only be solved by one solution–more housing in Davis.

           

        8. Ron Oertel

          I don’t understand this statement. The problem is that the cost to construct housing on campus is much higher than private sector costs due to various legal requirements.

          Again, no analysis has actually been performed regarding this.

          A non-economist may not understand how a well functioning market controls consumer expenses through matching of supply and demand.

          You’re underestimating folks’ level of understanding.

          Bottom line is that costs are not directly related to the price that housing costs (both rental, and for-sale housing).  If it was, then housing built some 50 years ago would be selling for maybe $12,000, and renting for $300 per month.

          The market determines the price of housing, not costs.  And if it’s priced too high, it won’t be rented. And if developers determine that they won’t be able to get the price they want, they won’t even build it in the first place.

          Is West Village “vacant”, due to high rental prices for example?  Is Sterling?

          If not, your argument is totally invalid.

          When supply is highly constrained as it has been in Davis for two decades due to growth control measures and overly burdensome permitting processes, then housing prices get out of line.

          Again, surrounding communities moderate those prices.  Probably more-so for non-student housing.

          But even so, the rents in West Campus are still above the market rents in the private sector despite having been open for more than a decade.

          I previously put-forth the rents at West Village, vs. Sterling.  As I recall, they were comparable.

          In any case, are there lots of vacancies at either of these properties?  If not, then they’re not “overpriced”.

          An economist understands how its not simple to get to a desired solution simply by assuming that a single party can act and perform in a particular way. Many non-economists do not understand the complexity of these situations–that’s why I have a job in the field.

          You’re an environmental consultant – not a housing market expert.

          If you read the story that I posted you will see the amount of money available would have a minimal impact on the overall student housing demand in the community.

          Again, no analysis was actually performed.  In addition (per a comment from Eileen), UCD did not even apply for that money in the first place.

          It may have a staff-related traffic problem near campus, but that can only be solved by one solution–more housing in Davis.

          Or, on campus.  Or, in Woodland.  (Again, let us know when you can bring down Davis housing prices – especially for property near campus – to a level which competes with places like Woodland.)

          And, let us know when you can control what Woodland does.  (I single-out Woodland not because of any personal connection, but because “North, North, Davis” is the obvious place that new staff are moving to.)

          And again, it’s probably an easier/faster commute to UCD from “North, North, Davis” than someplace like DiSC would have been.

          Again, let us know when you can control what Woodland does.

           

  3. Ron Glick

    “In short, we will never have enough housing for our workforce and families until the City leadership and Staff, get a backbone to stop enabling UCD to continue pushing its students off campus.”

    Actually we will never have enough housing until we decide that we need to stop bickering over who is doing what and all start pulling in the same direction until supply and demand balance at more affordable prices.

    1. Eileen Samitz

      We will never have enough housing unless UCD stops continuing to create an endless student housing demand that UCD are fully capable of providing on campus.

      1. Ron Glick

        I don’t see UC stopping enrollment increases. Demand for a U.C.D. diploma is too great at all levels; state, federal and international. The undergraduate enrollment alone has doubled in the time I’ve lived here. You are complaining about a provincial problem in a global marketplace. Good luck with that. We are already way behind the curve on housing production. Insisting on only one solution will never allow us to catch up from 20 plus years of underproduction.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Ron G… it’s not just students… there is faculty, staff as well…

          And vendors, DT employees, etc., etc., to meet day-to day needs of all “them UCD folk”…

          Focusing on just ‘students’ is silly “silo thinking”…

          Much broader than that…

        1. Mark West

          “AND Davis becomes a 100,000+ population city”

          The population of Davis in 2020 was just under 69,000 people. To become a city of 100,000 will require roughly 45% growth.

          Fear mongering.

        2. Ron Glick

          Census data during the pandemic puts us at 69,000. What is the number of the population when the surrounding unincorporated areas are included and the campus is in session? We are already near 100,000.

          Why 100,000 is some sort of bugaboo number I don’t know. Its as random as any other number. The question isn’t what the population number is. The question is how do we get the infrastructure we need to have a good quality of life for however many people are here?

          The big failure of the Boomers in this area and in many places was that they decided to fight growth instead of accommodating it by planning and building the infrastructure needed to support it.

          1. Don Shor

            June 1986: City of Davis voters approved Measure L, an advisory measure to “grow as slow as legally possible.”
            On March 8, 2005, the City Council adopted an updated resolution directing staff to implement an annual City growth guideline of 1% based primarily on internal housing needs.*
            source: https://www.cityofdavis.org/home/showpublisheddocument/4505/635803249723500000

            If Davis actually were to add 1% population each year, we’d eventually reach 100,000 residents — in about 40 years.

        3. Richard_McCann

          Matt

          I know of three university towns that are more than 100,000 and still small quiet cities. Visit Ann Arbor, Eugene and Bellingham (OK, only 90,000). And I’m sure there are others. Trying to find an arbitrary “threshold” is impossible.

          It’s more important to grow in a way that preserves what we want. We need to maintain intimate neighborhoods and disperse our small businesses around the community.

    2. tkeller

      Actually we will never have enough housing until we decide that we need to stop bickering over who is doing what and all start pulling in the same direction until supply and demand balance at more affordable prices.

      Absolutley agree, 1000% F’ing percent.

    3. Brian Williams

      “ Actually we will never have enough housing until we decide that we need to stop bickering over who is doing what and all start pulling in the same direction until supply and demand balance at more affordable prices.”

      Agreed.  And also stop insisting that projects be perfect before we’ll allow them to go forward.  In the 20+ years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen so many “yes we need more housing, but not like *that*” claims about every single project that’s been proposed that I have trouble believing that people criticizing aspects of any given project are acting in good faith anymore.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I have trouble believing that people criticizing aspects of any given project are acting in good faith anymore.

        I had trouble believing that housing activists were acting in “good faith” when they supported DiSC.

        For me, I start with looking at what land I’d like to see preserved, and how large the boundary of the city already is.

        Nor do I look at the size of the school district, and then determine how large the city should be based upon that. (Though even the “growth activists'” solution won’t work in the long run, unless housing turns over fast-enough.)

        In any case, “enough” housing has never even been defined. The city has a lot of housing. (Also a subjective term.) A large part of the reason that this hasn’t been defined is because the city is not an island. People move in and out all the time.

        On a related note, my “guess” is that the market-rate housing (small units) that will be built on Chiles Ranch starts at $700K.  Is the Vanguard sponsoring any “pool”, regarding this? Maybe a sort of “Price is Right” type of game?

         

      2. Richard_McCann

        Ron O

        It’s fool’s errand to define what “enough” housing is. Central planning with quantified resource allocation for market-based goods has always been a failure. The Communist regimes collapsed because they tried to do this. China only survived the 1980s because the Communist Party got on board with authoritarian capitalism. (Not the best solution, but illustrative.) I wrote about how West Germany with its managed market far outpaced East Germany with its central planning. 
        https://mcubedecon.com/2014/07/06/how-do-we-best-induce-technological-innovation-weve-already-run-that-experiment/

        Instead, we need to determine what we want our future to look like (without input from kibitzers from Woodland) and lay out the parameters for what we want development of commercial space and housing looks like that best fits that vision.

        You’ve already said that gobbling up ag land in Woodland is OK. Leave it to Davisites to determine what we think should happen. (And the amount of ag land in the state is going to shrink significantly–by up to a 1 million acres–due to the new sustainable groundwater pumping law so we should be deciding what needs to be retired in that context.)

        1. Ron Oertel

          It’s fool’s errand to define what “enough” housing is.

          Well, why do you think I asked YOU?

          In any case, you’re the one advocating for it.  How much farmland do you want to sacrifice, and how much will housing prices drop as a result?  If you can’t answer that, you have no credibility regarding your claims in the first place.

          And, what would happen to the tax base, if properties lose value in mass (e.g., as occurred in Woodland during the last housing crash, among other places)?

          Central planning with quantified resource allocation for market-based goods has always been a failure. The Communist regimes collapsed because they tried to do this. China only survived the 1980s because the Communist Party got on board with authoritarian capitalism. (Not the best solution, but illustrative.) I wrote about how West Germany with its managed market far outpaced East Germany with its central planning. https://mcubedecon.com/2014/07/06/how-do-we-best-induce-technological-innovation-weve-already-run-that-experiment/

          What?

          Instead, we need to determine what we want our future to look like (without input from kibitzers from Woodland) and lay out the parameters for what we want development of commercial space and housing looks like that best fits that vision.

          And, you’re just the guy to do it, apparently. (Make sure that you “leave out” anyone from Dixon, while you’re at it.)

          You’ve already said that gobbling up ag land in Woodland is OK.

          That would be a lie.

          Leave it to Davisites to determine what we think should happen.

          It is, in regard to Measure J.  You’re the one who has a problem with that, not me.

          (And the amount of ag land in the state is going to shrink significantly–by up to a 1 million acres–due to the new sustainable groundwater pumping law so we should be deciding what needs to be retired in that context.)

          Probably should figure out where/how we’re going to get food, if that’s the case.  And, how much it will cost.

          While folks like you simultaneously advocate for making this even more-challenging, by purposefully encouraging more sprawl.

           

        2. Don Shor

          (And the amount of ag land in the state is going to shrink significantly–by up to a 1 million acres–due to the new sustainable groundwater pumping law so we should be deciding what needs to be retired in that context.)

          This is not an issue with Yolo or Solano county groundwater basins. Here are the critically overdrafted groundwater basins:
          https://water.ca.gov/-/media/DWR-Website/Web-Pages/Programs/Groundwater-Management/Basin-Prioritization/Files/CODBasins_websitemapPAO_a_20y.pdf
          There is no reason to take land out of farming in Yolo or Solano Counties for the purpose of conserving groundwater.

        3. Ron Glick

           

          Farmland is not limiting in the Central Valley. Water is. I’ve been saying this for years. Luckily we are in pretty good shape here in this part of the Valley because of the aquifer coming from the coast range. Still the notion that we must protect every inch of farmland is based on a misunderstanding of what limits regional production of food. We can move the water much more easily than the land.

           

          1. Don Shor

            I think you are seriously misconstruing the nature, extent, and likely direction of the GSP program.

  4. Ron Oertel

    Odd, how the usual growth advocates weren’t concerned about where DiSC employees would have lived. Or at least, weren’t showing their cards, regarding that.

    In any case, the Vanguard just posted an article from Taormino, noting where a lot of newer UCD employees are living (North, North, Davis).  I have yet to see anyone put forth a coherent response regarding the “problem” with that.  Given that UCD isn’t in Davis, “North, North, Davis” isn’t much farther than parts of Davis (and it’s an easier commute), and that a lot of Davis households don’t have any connection to the university at all, in the first place.

    Not to mention the fact that there’s nothing that Davis can do about North, North Davis’ growth plans. For that matter, most of “North, North Davis” probably supports more growth (or at least, doesn’t oppose it). Good luck trying to implement a Measure J type proposal, there. (Though, maybe someday.)

    Personally, I’ve noticed that the more-resistant a town is to implementing any type of growth control, the more it sucks.

    Had there been a “big demand” for traditional single family housing to meet “internal needs”, the Cannery wouldn’t have had to advertise in the Bay Area.

  5. Matt Williams

    I am surprised that the statistics from yesterday’s article have not been referenced here … so here they are again

    In the Cannery, roughly 80% of the buyers had no relationship to Davis or UCD, although some had grown children living here. Most came from the Bay Area and Marin County, exactly where the Cannery developers heavily advertised. It was an intentional strategy not intended to attract local UCD faculty, staff, and other Davis workers. In the 546 homes, an unbelievably low number of school age children actually live there. Something like 26 new students resulted from Cannery’s 546 homes plus apartments. In the 80’s and early 90’s a “Cannery-type neighborhood” would have generated 300 to 400 new students. Where have all the families with or capable of having babies gone?

    Clearly the Cannery provided new housing, but just as clearly that new housing did not help DJUSD’s enrollment problem.

     

  6. Ron Glick

    My friends who bought a home in the Cannery recently had their first baby. Someone else we know of did the same. Both were young couples who had family money to help with the home purchase.

      1. Bill Marshall

        The data are the data regardless of the anecdote.

        Same author, different thread…

        The data is somewhat plagued by low sample sizes for people of color, with the overall data reflecting the views largely of white residents.

        Sample size issues suggest the need to perhaps follow up with surveys that over-sample people of color to get a better perspective.

        Aren’t polls heavily ‘anecdotal’?  Is not ‘anecdotal’, a form of data?

        Guess it depends whether your views fit the ‘data’… or the ‘anecdotes’…

        I always find it “interesting” when some folk freely use ‘anecdotal’ to support their views, and in almost the same breath, same folk minimize ‘anecdotal’ when it doesn’t support their views… and seek more “anecdotal” “data” from ‘selected’ sources to give credence to ‘data’ they believe should exist.

        Whatever… but I find it amusing…

        1. David Greenwald

          ” Is not ‘anecdotal’, a form of data?”

          You’re asking the wrong question. The point is: If you have aggregate data, a single case does not refute it or even call it into question. The fact that Ron Glick knows two people that hedge against the totality of the data, does not call the totality into question.

        2. Ron Glick

          The data is the data but here is the line that underpins that data:

           “In the 546 homes, an unbelievably low number of school age children actually live there. Something like 26 new students resulted from Cannery’s 546 homes plus apartments.”

          What the data doesn’t tell you is how many children under five are living in the Cannery. Nor does it tell you how many children the people who live there plan on having in the future.

          I do wonder however if the Cannery is too dense to attract people who want to have children and can afford market rate housing in Davis?

          1. Don Shor

            I do wonder however if the Cannery is too dense to attract people who want to have children and can afford market rate housing in Davis?

            That’s my impression. It’s not family housing, it’s retiree housing. People who are buying a house want a yard. Renters may have different priorities.

        3. Ron Oertel

          That’s my impression. It’s not family housing, it’s retiree housing. People who are buying a house want a yard. Renters may have different priorities.

          I don’t believe that’s the “problem” with The Cannery, in regard to (local) families.  The problem was the price.  That is, the locals can’t afford them, but those from places like Marin can (easily).

          That’s the same reason that so many from the Bay Area are moving to the Sacramento region in the first place.

          A good portion of Davis residents were “priced out” of the Bay Area, as well.  That’s been occurring for decades, at this point.

          Even in “North, North Davis”, one of the newest developments has no yards at all.  And yet, the houses are sized for a small/medium-sized family.  I believe there’s another development such as this one planned, as well.  And yet, you still need more than a half-million dollars to purchase one of these “no-yard” houses:

          these.https://www.timlewis.com/communities/revival/

          There’s also apparently no street parking.  I looked at this development in person.  (They’re making some parking spots within the development, itself – other than the garages.)

          Yards are becoming relics of the past, due to cost of water, drought restrictions, etc.  (Some might also “blame” the “youngsters'” interest in computer games, the Internet, as well.)

          But, yards are still available in most of the new developments in “North, North Davis”, for those who want them. (Most people at least want to have a place to have a barbeque, family/friend gathering when the sun isn’t beating them to death, etc. Those who can afford it might even want a pool.) “Traditional” single-family dwellings in this development start at more than $600K.

          I don’t see any realistic scenario in which a “traditional” (new) single-family dwelling in Davis is much-under $1 million. At which point you’ll run into “The Cannery problem”, again.

        4. Richard_McCann

          I don’t believe that’s the “problem” with The Cannery, in regard to (local) families.  The problem was the price.  That is, the locals can’t afford them, but those from places like Marin can (easily).

          Huh. You think maybe a shortage of housing caused by overly strict and obstructionist growth controls has caused housing prices to escalate disproportionately?  See the Father Guido Sarducci School of Economics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8x8eoU3L4

        5. Ron Oertel

          Richard:  “North, North Davis” (as well as places like West Sacramento and Dixon) moderate Davis prices.  That’s what Taormino’s article noted – those places are accommodating a lot of those who might otherwise locate in Davis.

          No one has put forth any coherent reason why this is a “problem”.

          And those places are exactly what you are advocating for.

          Even so, you need more than $600K for a new, traditional single-family house, there.

          It’s up to folks like you to tell us how many houses you think should be built in the farmland surrounding Davis, to lower prices.  And, how much those prices would be lowered, as a result. Put forth some numbers (price, number of houses to achieve that price, etc.).

          Leaving aside for a moment that folks like Keith E. have already noted that developers don’t build in a declining-price environment in the first place.

          Not to mention the impact on property taxes received, if housing values are lowered.  (Woodland/Spring Lake faced exactly that scenario, in regard to the last housing crash.)

          Strange, how the growth advocates weren’t concerned about where the 2,500 additional employees promised at DiSC would have lived.

           

          1. Don Shor

            those places are accommodating a lot of those who might otherwise locate in Davis.

            No one has put forth any coherent reason why this is a “problem”.

            You need an answer as to why it’s a problem that people are living in Woodland and Dixon and commuting to Davis for work each day?

        6. Ron Oertel

          Don: They aren’t commuting to Davis.  They’re commuting to UCD. Why do so many “confuse” the two entities?

          For that matter, there’s already an express Yolo bus, between Woodland and UCD.

          And as I pointed out before, it’s not a difficult or distant commute.  Easier than from some of the far reaches proposed for development, on the periphery of Davis.

          But none of this “justification” matters, since folks like Taormino are going to continue building in North, North Davis – regardless of what Davis does. And regardless of what anyone on this blog says.

          This will also include the 1,600 homes that were “added” to the technology park that failed in Davis, before it was even presented to voters. (With part of the management team then focusing their efforts on a site that was previously-zoned for a commercial-only development, in Woodland. Does that type of “morphing” sound familiar?)

          As I pointed out yesterday (and on other occassions), voter approval of Covell Village would have made no difference regarding Spring Lake, for example. Spring Lake was underway before Covell Village was even presented to voters.

          And those prices will remain cheaper, and they’ll provide yards for those who want them.

          In any case, I’m waiting for Richard’s projections, regarding “building to affordability” – in an environment in which Davis housing prices are being moderated by North, North Davis in the first place.

          So again, I ask – what’s the problem, given the realities (and limitations of anyone on this blog)?

          1. Don Shor

            what’s the problem, given the realities (and limitations of anyone on this blog)?

            What’s the problem with building some of them in Davis?

            Don: They aren’t commuting to Davis. They’re commuting to UCD. Why do so many “confuse” the two entities?

            For that matter, there’s already an express Yolo bus, between Woodland and UCD.

            UCD is not the only employer in the area. And I’d be surprised if Yolo bus carries more than a tiny percentage of those commuting between the two cities. It’s incredibly inconvenient to travel between Woodland or Dixon and Davis for any other point except UCD.

            Also, it doesn’t really matter what numbers anyone provides you. The voters of Davis have made two policy declarations that determine the rate of growth:
            June 1986: City of Davis voters approved Measure L, an advisory measure to “grow as slow as legally possible.”
            On March 8, 2005, the City Council adopted an updated resolution directing staff to implement an annual City growth guideline of 1%.

        7. Ron Oertel

           

          What’s the problem with building some of them in Davis?

          They tried that with The Cannery.

          How’d that work out, regarding fulfilling “internal needs”?  (Whatever those are.)

          Bottom line is that when new, younger, less-wealthy families are looking to move to the area, one of the first places they’re going to look is “North, North Davis”.  Based upon the price differential, alone.

          Assuming they want a “new” house.

          Just pointing out realities.

          As far as the commute, it’s as easy from North, North Davis as it would be from the fringes of the peripheral areas in Davis. (It’s a lot easier to travel down an uncongested freeway, than it is to traverse a city.) Actually, that’s even true when using public transit, as well.

          That’s also the reason that it’s very easy to commute from Davis to downtown Sacramento, when I-80 isn’t backed up.

          If you don’t want people to drive from Woodland (or from any other nearby city) to UCD, ask UCD to make it harder to park, there. (Again, a reason that many people take public transit to downtown Sacramento – it’s expensive to park, there.) Not to mention the fact that many downtown Sacramento employers pay the cost of their employees’ commutes, using public transit.)

          UCD is not in Davis.

        8. Ron Oertel

          . . . peripheral areas in Davis . . .

          Correction – peripheral areas outside of Davis, not in it.

          So again, it seems there’s no problem to be “solved”. (At least, not until Davis can “tell Woodland” what to do.)

          And Woodland is only “one of the “problems”, regarding the growth activists’ arguments.

        9. Richard_McCann

          Don S

          You need an answer as to why it’s a problem that people are living in Woodland and Dixon and commuting to Davis for work each day?

          Two word: “climate change.” Two-thirds of the City’s emissions come from transportation and 95% of those come from interurban travel (more bikes won’t solve this.) We need to do our part in the global community to reduce emissions. A commute from Dixon or Woodland is at least 4,000 mile a year that can be cut 90% or more with in town housing.

          As for the reality of climate change, in 1990 as a climate change skeptic I prepared the economic analysis on the potential costs to California to limit GHG emissions that was used to defeat the Big Green initiative (Prop 128). I continued to follow the climate change science and conducted a couple more studies. A decade later the science had become clear that the climate change threat was large and real. Anyone who denies that it isn’t doesn’t follow the science as closely as I do. All of the potential rationales against the threat have been since dismissed. Any opposition is on par with claims that there was extensive vote fraud in the 2020 election.

        10. Ron Oertel

          A commute from Dixon or Woodland is at least 4,000 mile a year that can be cut 90% or more with in town housing.

          The multitude of assumptions behind these numbers have no basis in reality. But, I’m glad that you brought up Dixon regardless, given “who” asked the original question.

  7. Richard_McCann

    Not to mention the fact that there’s nothing that Davis can do about North, North Davis’ growth plans. For that matter, most of “North, North Davis” probably supports more growth (or at least, doesn’t oppose it). Good luck trying to implement a Measure J type proposal, there. (Though, maybe someday.)

    It’s so odd that someone who lives in Woodland appears to acknowledge that growth controls won’t fly in his town, but then comes to Davis to attempt to impose his desires for growth controls in a town in which he has no discernable connections. He claims that he wants growth controls here to stop population growth globally, but then ignores the growth in his own community, and even appears to advocate for continued growth there in Spring Lake. [edited]

  8. Ron Oertel

    in his town 

    I find it odd that anyone thinks a town “belongs” to them.

    and even appears to advocate for continued growth there in Spring Lake

    If that’s what you’re gathering from my comments, you’re having trouble with reading comprehension.

    he has no discernable connections

    When everyone on here discloses everything about themselves, let me know.

    By the way, even if everything you say about me is true – what difference would that make regarding what I’ve pointed out?

    I’ve asked you this before, and you have no answer.

    And, when are you planning to put forth some numbers regarding how much farmland you’d like to see converted to sprawl, and what the resulting impact on housing prices would be?

    1. Bill Marshall

      I find it odd that anyone thinks a town “belongs” to them.

      I find it even odder that any town/City they don’t reside in, “belongs” to them.  I don’t think Millbrae, San Mateo, SSF belongs to me, even tho’ I resided in all of those…

      By the way, even if everything you say about me is true – what difference would that make regarding what I’ve pointed out?

      Remember Ron O, I ‘spoke up’ for you, several times… but you persist in opining, and ‘hiding your credentials’…

      When I post about City stuff, I’ve disclosed my ‘creds’, to leave it to others to decide if they are valid, in their minds…

      When I post about Engineering/traffic/other technical stuff, I’ve disclosed my ‘creds’, to leave it to others to decide if they are valid, in their minds…

      That’s ‘how I roll’… you have to examine your own conscience, and decide how you ‘want to roll’…

      Reading from another thread, making an analogy, you have less credibility than Biden, Trump, Q-Anon, and the concept of a ‘tooth fairy’… but just my opinion/view…

       

       

       

       

      1. Ron Oertel

        I find it even odder that any town/City they don’t reside in, “belongs” to them.  I don’t think Millbrae, San Mateo, SSF belongs to me, even tho’ I resided in all of those…

        Davis doesn’t “belong” to you, either.  And when you resided in the other towns you’ve listed, they also did not belong to you.

        It also does not belong to folks like Don, and yet he’s not only a commenter – he’s also a moderator for the Davis Vanguard itself – despite not living in Davis. He’s also part of the development team for Nishi. And yet, no one seems to have any objection to him commenting on here, nor do they attack him regularly.

        Regardless, I do support the fact that Measure J limits direct (voter) input to those who reside in the city, regardless of any other connection they might have.  Ironically, others (including YOU) are the ones who object to that limitation.

        Remember Ron O, I ‘spoke up’ for you, several times… but you persist in opining, and ‘hiding your credentials’…

        I don’t remember that at all, nor do I know what you’re talking about.  And (as I’ve asked Richard – repeatedly) what does any of this have to do with the points brought up?

        When I post about City stuff, I’ve disclosed my ‘creds’, to leave it to others to decide if they are valid, in their minds…

        Don’t know what you’re talking about, but you’re only one commenter on here.

        When I post about Engineering/traffic/other technical stuff, I’ve disclosed my ‘creds’, to leave it to others to decide if they are valid, in their minds…

        Yes – you’ve disclosed that (and I do listen to what you have to say regarding that).

        That’s ‘how I roll’… you have to examine your own conscience, and decide how you ‘want to roll’…
        Reading from another thread, making an analogy, you have less credibility than Biden, Trump, Q-Anon, and the concept of a ‘tooth fairy’… but just my opinion/view…

        Don’t know where that’s coming from.

         

  9. Richard_McCann

    Ron O

    Are you claiming that it offsets the “free land” on campus, as well?
    Actually, we have never seen any analysis of any of this, on here.

    Yes, the construction costs are substantially higher and offset the land costs as well based on the per unit cost that are being listed.

    If parents are supporting them (with free housing, or other assistance) it can impact eligibility for financial awards – assuming it’s disclosed.
    When you state that “you” put 2 students through college, this implies that you were providing them with assistance.

    We’re not talking about the trivial number of DHS students going to UCD. This isn’t a relevant consideration. The comment was relevant to students living on their own.

    Assistance is not a 0%/100% choice. There’s a range in between. And the assistance we could provide did weigh into the financial aid filings and eligibility. But neither went to UCD so we didn’t provide housing.

    Dixon and West Sacramento have houses and trees, as well as a “legacy”.  You’ve already acknowledged living in West Sacramento yourself, at one time. So, perhaps you should stop “looking down on” those places. (Typical Davis elitism.)

    You don’t live in Davis–you live in Woodland, so your opinion about relative amenities is irrelevant. That said though, it’s not my opinion (even though we did move from West Sac to Davis for those legacy and current amenities because we could finally afford it)–that difference is reflected in differences in housing prices. Higher real estate value means higher desirability. It’s not about elitism–it’s about market indicators. That means more people want to live in Davis than those other towns. It may not be that Davis is “better” but more prefer it. If people are like you and don’t really see a difference between Dixon, West Sac or Davis, then they can move to those other towns. And if you don’t see a difference I don’t understand as someone living in Woodland why you feel compelled to comment on quality of life issues in Davis.

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