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.