Guest Commentary: Solano Park, UCD’s Opportunity to Start Building Higher-Density Student Housing

UCD’s Orchard Park on-campus student housing is 4-story, eleven building complex on 19 acres with only 1,500 student beds which could have had twice as many beds had the project been 7-stories like the privately built “Identity” project directly across the street on Russell Blvd. near Hwy. 113.

By Eileen M. Samitz

While a recent article by UCD Chancellor May opened with his goal for UCD to be a good neighbor to Davis, there’s much more UCD can, and needs to do to reach that goal.

Historically, in 1989 UCD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Davis, in which UCD promised to not have “sharp” enrollment increases to avoid impacting the City,  that it would provide more on-campus housing to accommodate its student’s needs, and that it would not exceed 26,000 students by 2006.

None of these promises were kept. UCD enrollment continued to accelerate, but for the next two decades production of on-campus student housing did not keep pace with the expanding student population. Instead, UCD executed “master leases” with the owners of local multi-family housing complexes, which reserved those apartments exclusively for UCD students. Because UCD is tax-exempt, this practice allowed the owners of those properties to then claim a property tax exemption, thereby depriving the City and County of much needed tax revenue.

UCD has a long history of missing on-campus student housing targets. In November 2000, the UC Board of Regents  released a report titled “UC Housing for the 21st Century,” which assigned  UCD a  goal of 11,143 on-campus beds by 2012, but UCD missed that goal by 1,835 beds, Then, UCD’s 2003 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) anticipated that UCD would house 10,800 students on-campus by 2016, but missed that target by 1,400 beds.

Then, in 2011 UCD launched the ”2020 Initiative,” with the intent of enrolling 5,000 more students by 2020, of which 4,500 would be non-residents so that UCD could obtain the four-fold tuition charged to non-California students. Yet, UCD chose to not build the classrooms and hire the staffing needed first, despite these recommendations made by faculty and staff.

Worse yet, UCD did not build on-campus housing for these non-resident students, most of whom came from distant states and countries. The logical step would have been to build the classrooms, add the staffing and create on-campus housing for students so far from family and friends, but that did not happen.

In 2015 UCD invited community input for an update of its LRDP. The public and the City of Davis urged UCD to plan for much more on-campus student housing, but the first draft of the 2018 LRDP proposed building far less student housing than needed to make up for the combination of past construction shortfalls and expected enrollment growth.

In response, UCD agreed to build more housing before the 2030-31 academic year, but was only planning to build enough new housing to accommodate 100% of new student population growth from 2018 through endpoint of the updated LRDP in 2030. This may appear to be a major achievement, but it does not come close to providing a remedy for the deficits of on-campus student housing that should have been built prior to the 2018 LRDP.

During the 2018 LRDP revision process, resolutions were passed by the Davis City Council, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, and even ASUCD, urging UCD to build far more on-campus housing. Due to UCD’s initial unresponsiveness to these efforts, the Davis City Council indicated its intent to initiate a legal challenge to the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the LRDP.

It was only at that point that UCD finally agreed to somewhat higher housing goals subsequently embodied in the MOU among UCD, the City and the County. The MOU still fell short, however, of reaching the target of housing 50% of student enrollment on campus by 2030, as advocated by the City, County and concerned Davis citizens. Due to pressure by the City and County, UCD also finally agreed to phase out the practice of “master leasing” local apartment buildings.

Meanwhile, all the other UCs have committed to providing at least 50% on-campus student housing, except UCD. Yet, UCD is the largest UC with over 5,300 acres and a 900-acre core campus. UCD should provide more beds than planned for in the 2018 LRDP, as other UCs have committed to achieving. UCD can accomplish this by simply building far higher density housing on campus, as is the case at other UC campuses. UC Irvine is exemplary with its 6-story Mesa Towers complex, as is UC San Diego, which is building a 16-story to 23-story student housing complex.

UC Irvine’s Mesa Court part of their Middle Earth complex of student housing including
three 6-story building of beautiful student housing that the are hugely popular with the
students. https://educationsnapshots.com/projects/4672/uc-irvine-mesa-court-towers/
https://lajolla.com/news/new-student-housing-construction-ucsd/

In contrast, UCD’s new student housing has been low-density housing of 4 stories generally, like the recent Orchard Park on-campus housing project which used 19 acres with 11 buildings to only yield 1,500 beds. Had it been 7 stories like the privately built “Identity” student housing project immediately across the street from Orchard Park on Russell Blvd. near Hwy. 113, it could have doubled that number of beds, like the other UCs are building. (on-line images)

UCD’s Orchard Park on-campus student housing is 4-story, eleven building complex on 19 acres with only 1,500 student beds which could have had twice as many beds had the project been 7-stories like the privately built “Identity” project directly across the street on Russell Blvd. near Hwy. 113.

It is unfortunate that UCD has lost these recent opportunities to build far higher density student housing to help their students and relieve pressure on the Davis housing stock. Instead of aiming to house just 48% of future enrollment on campus, providing on-campus housing for at least 60% of UCD’s 39,000 target student population would go a long way toward improving the supply of off-campus housing and relieving upward pressure on rents.

Our City’s Housing Element has policies reaching out to UCD including:

  • Encourage UC Davis to seek state funding that is available to provide affordable student housing.
  • Encourage UC Davis to maximize on campus housing by producing more high-density housing.
  • Encourage more efficient and sustainable land use, which would be achieved if future on campus student housing at UC Davis is a minimum of 7 stories in height, beginning with the Solano Park redevelopment project.
  • Encourage UC Davis to provide on-campus housing to more than 50% of the student population.

The continued reluctance of UCD to commit more resources to housing is pushing workers and families out of town. Davis is a geographically small city of less than 10 square miles and is built out at this point, with very little land left to develop, compared to UCD with over 5,300 acres and a 900-acre core campus. Despite this shortage of land in Davis, the city extended itself by approving over 4,000 student mega-dorm beds, which are predominantly 4-and 5- bedroom apartments designed exclusively for students.

But this housing format does not provide the multi-family housing needed by workers and families because they are predominately “rent by the bed.” Further, the California Department of Housing and Development (HCD) has pushed back on giving the city Regional Housing (RHNA) credit for these mega-dorm units due to their exclusionary design and lack of traditional affordable housing.

However, the redevelopment of Solano Park student housing on campus is in the planning stages and is the perfect opportunity for UCD to build a much higher density student housing project. Building taller pays for itself due to construction economies-of-scale, and because of the significantly higher revenue from so many more units and beds. The City is currently reviewing multifamily-commercial mixed-use projects of 5-, 6- and 7-stories downtown so there is no reason why UCD can’t be building these higher densities. Also, what about the long-promised UCD on-campus housing for faculty and staff?

The “Identity” project is a good example of higher density student housing that UCD needs to emulate. Yet it was built by a private developer who had to pay hefty City development fees, pays property taxes, and had to purchase its land, which was expensive. However, UCD has none of these expenses, so there is no reason why they can’t build higher densities like private builders and the other UCs. Gov Newsom has allocated $1.4 Billion for California University housing, but UCD has not applied for any of it so far. https://calmatters.org/education/2022/07/student-housing-affordable-dorms/

Now it the time for UCD to step up and practice the sustainable planning concepts that it teaches by moving forward on the long-promised faculty and staff housing on campus and redeveloping Solano Park to be a complex of at least 7-stories. This would be real sustainable planning that would reduce traffic, circulation, and parking impacts, while conveniently locating UCD students closer to their classes. At the same time, it would help UCD shore up its shortage of on-campus housing and alleviate pressure that UCD’s housing needs are creating for Davis.

Eileen Samitz is a former Davis Planning Commissioner and served on the 2001 General Plan Update land use committee and the subsequent Housing Element update committee. For more information she can be contacted at citizens@dcn.org.

About The Author

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

Related posts

39 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    Your ongoing efforts are (or should be) appreciated by everyone (including students).

    There was a time when I might have responded by saying, “who cares what UCD does to address the problem it’s creating for its own students”?

    However, I have since observed that many (including those on the council) believe that it’s the city’s responsibility to do so, and despite having no say in enrollment numbers, and without considering the impacts of taking responsibility to house UCD’s students.

    And despite the fact that the state does not consider student (megadorm-style) housing to be a “city need”.

    I have also witnessed some of these students at council meetings, which sometimes appear to be organized by another party (other than students) – which does appear to sway the council.

    Bottom line is that I’ve come to realize that your efforts are far more-important than I first believed them to be.

    Of course, the city could take an entirely-different approach, similar to the question I first asked above.  But this is apparently not in the cards.

     

     

  2. Tim Keller

    I agree that the on-campus housing could be much higher and building lower is a missed opportunity.

    That said, I recently saw the plans for Nishi and was SHOCKED that the buildings planned for that development are only 3 stories tall!

    That is also a significant wasted opportunity.    A development sandwiched between the university and the freeway has no reason to not be significantly denser.

    1. Don Shor

      That said, I recently saw the plans for Nishi and was SHOCKED that the buildings planned for that development are only 3 stories tall!

      That is also a significant wasted opportunity. A development sandwiched between the university and the freeway has no reason to not be significantly denser.

      It would be challenging to mitigate the freeway noise and pollutants for taller buildings. That was a key issue in the campaign.

      1. Tim Keller

        It would be challenging to mitigate the freeway noise and pollutants for taller buildings. That was a key issue in the campaign.

        Im aware that it was an issue, but it was always a dumb issue, only argued by people who didnt want the project built anyway.   Like when you run out of your primary arguments against something and then want to keep talking for some reason….

        We have existing neighborhoods JUST as close to the freeway, (I lived in one for 5 years) there and there are people living directly adjacent to freeways throughtout Sacramento, los angeles and pretty much everywhere…  The “its too close to the freeway” was, is, and will always be a stupid argument.  Because its done all the time.

        Nishi is about as much a “wasted high density housing opportunity” as the U-Mall.

        1. Mark West

          “Nishi is about as much a “wasted high density housing opportunity” as the U-Mall.”

          Yes it is, but you cannot blame the developers for that. The voters rejected the higher density Nishi project. Elections have consequences, especially those involving Measure J. Any attempt to increase the density now would require a third Measure J election, adding to the list of expenses for the developer. A few million here and a few million there soon adds up to a nonfeasible project.

  3. Ron Oertel

    The following is a key observation regarding this article:

    However, the redevelopment of Solano Park student housing on campus is in the planning stages and is the perfect opportunity for UCD to build a much higher density student housing project.

    In other words, it is not too late for them to pursue a denser, taller project.

     

  4. Ron Oertel

    UCD’s Orchard Park on-campus student housing is 4-story, eleven building complex on 19 acres with only 1,500 student beds which could have had twice as many beds had the project been 7-stories like the privately built “Identity” project directly across the street on Russell Blvd. near Hwy. 113.
    Privately developed “Identity” is a 7-story in Davis is directly across the street from UCD’s Orchard Park on Russell Blvd.

    In comparing the photos accompanying the two captions above, the 7-story “Identity” development is certainly a lot more attractive than the 4-story Orchard Park development – which appears to be something right out of the Soviet Union.

  5. Richard McCann

    Eileen may be correct that UC Davis should have built taller student housing at Orchard Park, but we know that state construction costs are significantly higher than those for the private sector. In addition, adding stories is not a linear increase in costs. What is financially feasible across Russell Boulevard may not pencil out on campus. That’s why the staff housing proposed for West Campus has not been built. And it’s why the University of California is not a particularly desirable landlord.
    In comparison, it appears that most large public universities house only about 30% of their students on campus. For example, Penn State houses 30%, Michigan 28%, Maryland 37%, and Washington 31%. All of these schools have substantial foreign student enrollment just like UCD. The University of California is the exception, not the norm.
    There’s also a misleading assertion that UCD has 5,300 acres in which to accommodate student housing. Of that, 4,400 acres is used for agricultural research and the value of that land far exceeds any other farmland in Yolo County or California. The findings from one of the leading global agricultural research institutions are disseminated around the world. And within the 900-acre core campus, more than 100 acres are dedicated to the Arboretum. We should be looking elsewhere for additional housing for our community.
    Even so, UCD should not be building faculty and staff housing in any case. Doing so disenfranchises these community residents from decision making in Davis. On campus residents have no say in the governance of the University of California. UC was not set up to provide permanent resident adults with the services and amenities that cities deliver.
    Further, faculty and staff living on campus cannot build equity in their housing, an opportunity that city residents have if they can own their home. Advocating for building permanent resident housing on campus is advocating for blocking wealth building by a younger and more diverse population than the current Davis homeowners.

    1. Matt Williams

      Further, faculty and staff living on campus cannot build equity in their housing, an opportunity that city residents have if they can own their home. Advocating for building permanent resident housing on campus is advocating for blocking wealth building by a younger and more diverse population than the current Davis homeowners.

      .

      The faculty and staff who live in Aggie Village build equity.  As you pointed out in your other comment about Aggie Village, having housing where a limited amount of equity is allowed to be built by faculty and/or staff members is part of UCD’s cost of doing business.

    2. Ron Oertel

      Eileen may be correct that UC Davis should have built taller student housing at Orchard Park, but we know that state construction costs are significantly higher than those for the private sector.

      I’ve heard this claim, before.  Do you have any numbers to prove it?  A comparison of the total costs?

      Also, how do total costs compare when considering that UCD has no cost for land?

      And why would the city of Davis “care” about what UCD’s costs (to address its own impacts) are in the first place?

      In addition, adding stories is not a linear increase in costs.

      Right – the rent received “more than makes up for” an increase in the number of stories (up to a point).

      What is financially feasible across Russell Boulevard may not pencil out on campus. That’s why the staff housing proposed for West Campus has not been built. And it’s why the University of California is not a particularly desirable landlord.

      It’s more likely that UCD does not want to assume the cost of serving residential units, on campus.  And would prefer to dump that cost and impact on a willing city.

      There’s also a misleading assertion that UCD has 5,300 acres in which to accommodate student housing.

      Is anyone proposing building beyond the 900-acre core campus?

      UC was not set up to provide permanent resident adults with the services and amenities that cities deliver.

      UCD apparently does not want to assume those costs or impacts.

      Further, faculty and staff living on campus cannot build equity in their housing, an opportunity that city residents have if they can own their home.

      Is that actually the purpose of housing?  To “build equity” (and thereby make it more expensive for newcomers)?  I understood that you are “against” that type of thing.

      And are they actually “limited” to campus housing – or can they purchase in the community if they so choose?

      Also, can other community members live on campus, or is that limited to those with a connection of some type to UCD?

       

    3. Eileen Samitz

      Richard,
      First, I explained in the article how UCD and all of UCD does not need to pay property taxes, nor development fees and the land they are building on is free. So, that more than compensates any higher costs for labor. Further, all the other UCs are managing to build these high-density projects, so there is no excuse why UCD can’t.
      Second, UCD has a 900-acre core campus. That is the largest in the system. They have plenty of land to accommodate far more student housing to other UCs, but they just need to stop doing vanity project like additional music recital centers, and museums. They sure aren’t having a problem funding the labor cost for those vanity projects, are they? Also, when they do build housing on core-campus land,  they need to stop squandering these opportunities to build much higher densities.
      Third, UCD pushing over 60% of its students off campus is disenfranchising our local workers and families from being able to live in Davis.
      Fourth, All the other UCs are committed to building at least 50% on-campus housing, except UCD which is the largest UC with over 5,300 acres. That is simply inexcusable.  And, also what other campuses do in other states is irrelevant. What is relevant is that UCD is the bottom performer in producing on-campus student housing amongst the other UCs in California. And keep in mind that these other UCs don’t have nearly as much land as UCD, yet they are committed to at least 50% on campus housing.
      Finally, it is UCD who made the long-promised on campus faculty and staff housing and there a significant number of acres reserved for it in West Village. UCD has been kicking the can down the road on this promise for over 15 years. So, this is also inexcusable, particularly because UCD has the land stagnantly sitting there waiting to be developed into faculty and staff housing.

      1. Richard McCann

         

        We have our answer as to why Orchard Park is four stories rather than taller. As I noted, the construction costs per unit rise quickly:

        Asked why not make the buildings taller than four stories, Executive Director of Real Estate Services at Design and Construction Management Mark Rutheiser said taller buildings cost much more per square foot and would have resulted in higher rents. “The highest priority for students is to keep the rent as low as possible. The two main contributors to rental rates are financing and construction cost. The financial markets dictate the borrowing cost with little we can do about it, but we can control the construction cost by building efficient and economical structures.”

        Sheehan added: “Honestly, if you were to compare our rent points with across the street, the (seven-story) Identity project, which a lot of people like to do, that price point is way higher than our price point. It’s about 35% higher.”

        https://www.davisenterprise.com/news/uc_davis/ucd-shows-off-orchard-park-development/article_dba5b690-3d73-11ee-9833-b71dec6bb9be.html

        As I’ve pointed out in response to other articles, other universities house about 30% of their student population on campus. UCD is already exceeded that and still plans to reach 48% according to the Enterprise article.

        As for housing staff and faculty on campus, that’s a mistake for the reasons I described. UCD was responding to the distorted housing market that we have created here. Fix the market conditions and we can empower those faculty and staff in town.

        The 4,400 acres outside of the core have economic value well beyond anything that can be built on. That land should be untouchable. As for the core campus, those “vanity” projects are part of the university’s core educational mission, and the cost of those projects are minor compared to housing projects.

        Your lack of understanding of economic and financial issues leads you to counterproductive conclusions about how decisions are being made.

  6. David Thompson

    UCD seems tone deaf to the needs of many of their students.

    Less UCD housing and the waste of land for housing productivity means higher rental costs for all UCD students.

    UCD should be using its land to attack the constant low vacancy rate in Davis.  The over payment by students and others in rentals amounts to millions of dollars annually. The historically low vacancy rate has been robbing renters for over 30 years.  By the two projects coming forward the vacancy rate will stay low for another 20 years.

    Why do we approve housing plans that leave the poor in Davis with no disposable income and no ability to save?

    I agree with Eileen Samitz that more should be done and now. The planned inefficiency of Orchard Park is a terrible outcome given the state of housing in Davis for renters in particular.

     

    1. Matt Williams

      I would add to David Thompson’s comment that to the best of my knowledge UCD and/or the landlords it contracts the management of student housing to in West Village do not provide any “affordable” units in their complexes.  It appears that UCD does not believe that what HCD mandates for everyone else should apply to them.

      1. David Greenwald

        ” It appears that UCD does not believe that what HCD mandates for everyone else should apply to them.”

        That wouldn’t possibly be because HCD mandates don’t apply to them?

        1. Eileen Samitz

          Matt raises an interesting point. So while UCD is not subject to HCD, Matt still raises an interesting point. It appears David, that you are saying that UCD should have no mechanism to accommodate lower income student for housing on campus. So, then who are you saying needs to provide subsidized housing for lower income UCD students?

        2. Ron Oertel

          That wouldn’t possibly be because HCD mandates don’t apply to them?

          HCD mandates (as a result of UCD’s pursuit of growth) also don’t apply to the city, that I’m aware of at least.

    2. Mark West

      UCD should be using its land to attack the constant low vacancy rate in Davis. 

      No, UCD is not responsible for solving the extremely low vacancy rate in Davis, that is the responsibility of the City and its residents.

      The over payment by students and others in rentals amounts to millions of dollars annually. The historically low vacancy rate has been robbing renters for over 30 years.  

      Yes, and I’m sure the landlords in the City appreciate the largesse, but again, this has nothing to do with the University. The shortage of apartments in town (as demonstrated by the vacancy rate) is entirely a function of the City’s abject failure to approve sufficient apartments in town.

       

      1. Ron Oertel

        Even the state does not consider student housing to be the “city’s responsibility”.  That’s why they don’t count the megadorms toward the RHNA targets.

        1. Keith Olsen

          Exactly Ron, if the state really wanted to promote student housing they should count mega dorms toward the numbers.  UCD needs to house more students.

          1. David Greenwald

            Actually I think if the state really wanted to promote student housing – they would start funding it – which they are finally starting to do.

            Allowing student housing to count for RHNA numbers doesn’t solve the problem, it just means that the RHNA would have to go up.

  7. Sharla Cheney

    Interesting ideas to ponder –

    Why is agricultural land being used for research viewed as more appropriate to build on than, say, the land at Covell and Poleline?

    Why was it argued that Nishi was inappropriate for housing (air pollution, noise, etc), but Solano Park is appropriate for high-rise apartments?

    Instead of rushing to build more dorms, could Unitrans be expanded to service Woodland and neighboring communities?

    What are the plans to build the staff and faculty housing on West Campus?  Could this neighborhood connect to Russell Blvd and help redesign that section of the street to be safer?

    1. Ron Oertel

      Why is agricultural land being used for research viewed as more appropriate to build on than, say, the land at Covell and Poleline?

      Why is the land at Covell and Poleline “more appropriate to build on” (in regard to UCD’s needs), than say the 900-acre site on campus?

      Instead of rushing to build more dorms, could Unitrans be expanded to service Woodland and neighboring communities?

      There are no plans to build student-specific housing in Woodland.  But, there’s no doubt plenty of UCD employees living there, with more to come.

      But why would Woodland be a “more appropriate place” to house UCD’s students in the first place, compared to UCD’s 900-acre core campus?

      Yolobus already connects the two locations, including an express line.  Though I suspect that either Unitrans or Yolobus will eventually expand options.

       

       

       

  8. Eileen Samitz

    Sharla,

    1) The research land on UCD is not being developed, not is anyone advocating for that. We are talking about parts of the enormous 900-acre UCD core campus which is already slated for development by UCD.

    2) Nishi is located immediately adjacent to I-80, unlike Solano Park and the land is at point where all the traffic converges to cause back up and far more air pollution. This was all explained during the Nishi debates.

    3) If you are advocating for UCD students to live in Woodland rather than on-campus, I think you should ask Woodland how they feel about that. They are already complaining about the number of UCD students living there.

    4) I also asked about the land reserved in the West Village for faculty and staff in the article. And the whole meltdown over West Village was about strong opposition from the West Davis neighbors primarily because they did not want UCD’s West Village dumping all their traffic onto Russell Blvd. because it is the only road to West Davis on the south side of the City.

    1. Walter Shwe

      If you are advocating for UCD students to live in Woodland rather than on-campus, I think you should ask Woodland how they feel about that. They are already complaining about the number of UCD students living there.

      Students just like everyone else have the right to live where they choose to as long they can find people willing to rent to them. If Woodland NIMBYs don’t like it, that’s tough. That’s reality.

    2. Sharla Cheney

      Eileen, You consistently refer to the overall size of UCDavis, not just the core campus.  Solano Park is just across the railroad tracks from Nishi. Students and staff already live in Woodland who drive to Davis and could benefit from increased service. (This could also benefit the hundreds of children who travel to Davis for school.)  Instead of walking off access by West Campus residents from the City, there should’ve been a push to redesign Russell Blvd west of 113 to make it safer.  This was a missed opportunity.

      1. Eileen Samitz

        Sharla,

        1) I consistently always include both the size of the core campus with the size of the campus because both are relevant compared to the size of Davis, so I am not sure what your point is.

        2) Solano Park is not adjacent to I-80 like Nishi is.

        3) It is really astonishing that you are advocating for housing UCD students in Woodland rather than on campus. I don’t think many other people will join you on this,  particularly Woodland residents and environmentalists for starters. Good luck with that.

        4) I cannot say I agree with your suggestion of a redesign of Russell Blvd. west of Hwy. 113 to accommodate UCD’s West Village. That would just cause enormous traffic back up issues on Russell Blvd.. UCD should have designed West Village to face Hutchinson Road as Davis citizens urged them to during the UCD LRDP public input process then, because that would have made far more sense. But, of course, UCD was not willing to incorporate that plan even though would have been a much better design of West Village, and would have avoided the access problem that UCD brought on themselves.

         

         

        1. Walter Shwe

          It is really astonishing that you are advocating for housing UCD students in Woodland rather than on campus. I don’t think many other people will join you on this,  particularly Woodland residents and environmentalists for starters. Good luck with that.

          I don’t really care what Woodland NIMBYs want. There is little they can do to stop UCD students from living in their own backyard besides pressuring landlords not to rent to UCD students. Good luck with any such in vain efforts.

        2. Sharla Cheney

          We would all benefit from expanding bus service to Woodland.  Relying on limited Yolo Bus service is not good. We would all benefit from improving Russell Blvd to be safer. We would all benefit from future families living in West Village having access and connection to the City for schools and shopping. Walling  off a neighborhood from the City is not a good design and seems motivated by spite.  Of course, Eileen will disagree.

        3. Ron Oertel

          We would all benefit from future families living in West Village having access and connection to the City for schools and shopping. Walling  off a neighborhood from the City is not a good design and seems motivated by spite.  Of course, Eileen will disagree.

          “Neighborhoods” outside of city limits are not the same thing as a neighborhood within city limits.

          Not even sure I’d call West Village a “neighborhood”.  Can those who aren’t connected to UCD live there?

  9. Eileen Samitz

    Actually I think if the state really wanted to promote student housing – they would start funding it – which they are finally starting to do.

    Yes, so there is no excuse why UCD is not building far more and much more dense on-campus student housing. UCD can build much higher density student housing starting with Solano Park, which is now in the planning stages.

    1. Ron Oertel

      UCD can build much higher density student housing starting with Solano Park, which is now in the planning stages.

      That’s really what this article is all-about.

      So, anyone opposed to that has no credibility that I can see, if they subsequently complain about a lack of student housing as the university pursues growth.

      And yet, so many other irrelevant comments on here.

  10. Ron Oertel

    David:  Allowing student housing to count for RHNA numbers doesn’t solve the problem, it just means that the RHNA would have to go up.

    The city already allows student housing (megadorms) – they just don’t get RHNA credit for it.  And it “uses up” locations which could have been used to count toward RHNA targets.

    The city was warned about this in advance (multiple times), but chose to ignore those warnings.  That’s a primary reason that the city doesn’t have an approved housing element.

    The state apparently does not view student housing as a city need, nor do they view it as a university need.

     

     

    1. Ron Oertel

      David:  Actually I think if the state really wanted to promote student housing – they would start funding it – which they are finally starting to do.

      Though that part of your comment indicates that the state actually does view it as a university need, rather than a city need.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for