By Greg Rowe
UC Davis recently released its draft 2018 Long Range Development Plan for guiding campus growth through 2030-31. Unfortunately, it lacks important detail and substance. Most important, the plan falls short of housing 50% of the anticipated 39,000 student enrollment called for in resolutions adopted by City Council, Yolo County Board of Supervisors, ASUCD Senate and the local Sierra Club.
The LRDP says 18,318 students will ultimately live on campus, or 47% of 2030 enrollment. This is 1,182 short of the 19,500 that would represent 50% residing on campus. This is not insignificant; each 1% shortfall means another 390 students seeking off campus housing in Davis and other cities after freshman year.
The LRDP extolls the "richness" of the future campus experience and UCD's great strides toward sustainability but contradicts itself by refusing to vigorously pursue the higher density housing that would represent genuine public land stewardship. The 3-story Webster and Emerson Halls, for example, will be replaced by facilities only one floor higher, a tragic missed opportunity.
The LRDP does not make it clear that much of UCD's strategy for increasing housing capacity consists not of building new on-campus apartments, but increasing the number of students in each bedroom at West Village. It's also interesting that the LRDP aims to preserve most of UCD's current 1,000 acres of open space, more than double the City's 485 acres of parks and greenbelts. The City of Davis, meanwhile, has been far more aggressive in taking meaningful steps toward improving the student housing crisis.
Learn more by reading the LRDP and its EIR on the UCD "Campus Tomorrow" website. Speak out at the May 3 public hearing and submit written comments by May 29. Otherwise, UCD will continue abusing both students and its host city.