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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Editorial: The Domes

The saga of the Domes closure continued with a positive step toward compromise when Domes advocates submitted a new proposal to UC Davis administration April 13.

The proposal calls for the nonprofit Solar Community Housing Association (SCHA) to function as a third-party management group responsible for maintaining the Domes’ property and overseeing repairs. Under the SCHA necessary renovations would cost an estimated $50,000, as opposed to Student Housing’s price tag of $94,000. Both plans would take about five years but the SCHA’s would do so without forcing Domes residents (Domies) to leave.

Drafters of the proposal should be applauded for their efforts to come up with a practical solution. Rather than accepting the closure of the Domes, they have continued to fight, and should be respected for their perseverance.

The plan itself, while not perfect, is innovative and addresses many of the concerns that closed the Domes in the first place. Domies have acknowledged that some structural repairs are non-negotiable, and have planned accordingly.

In addition, by utilizing a third-party manager, residents demonstrate that they are realistic about the large amount of work that needs to be done. The SCHA, which manages other cooperative housing communities in Davis, seems to be a good fit for the Domes’ unique identity and guiding principles.

Administrators are still wary of the safety and structural terms of the proposal, as well as its legal and financial requirements, so all parties involved must continue to be open to compromise if a plan is ever to be approved.

However, their offer as it stands is an impressive demonstration of their passion and willingness to work with Student Housing to come up with a solution that will satisfy everyone. The administration should take them seriously and give their efforts the respect and consideration they deserve.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Even though I have never lived at the Domes, I have always been welcomed in with arms open-wide. I started having hardly any friends and no family while coming to school here as a new freshmen. Sorority groups, clubs and organizations felt fake and have never filled that friend and family loss I have in Davis. I love the Domes and everyone one of the Domies. They openly advertise that anyone is welcome to come eat at 7pm mon-thur and chill whenever. I have made so many friends and talk very highly about these wonderful people. The magical forest of the Domes is unlike anywhere else in Davis and this community cannot be broken.

  2. The UCD administration let the Domes fall into disrepair so that it could utilize a prime piece of real estate at its discretion. I wonder if we followed the money trail, which administrator (or their developer friends) would benefit the most from bulldozing this shining example of sustainability and putting in some high rise dorms managed by an “independent corporation” at student and taxpayer expense. Some day the UC regents and administration must be held accountable for selling off our public education system to the highest bidders.

  3. I am a resident of Davis, and would be appalled if the Domes were evicted this July, I think it is a great testament to the Domes community that they came up with a proactive and practical alternative proposal that would protect this unique Davis landmark that has been behind some of Davis’ best ecological initiatives, Farmers market, Davis Food Coop, Bike Collective etc. I sincerely hope that the University will respond positively and build a future with the students rather than bulldozing through them, literally and figuratively.

  4. The Student Housing estimate was actually over $600,000 for the interiors and over $900,000 for full code compliance. Allowing students and volunteers to work together to find innovative solutions is much more in-line with the mission of the university for education and research.

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