In two letters to the Santa Cruz City Council, our citizens’ group has described the many reasons why city officials should reject the density bonuses and the ‘streamlined’ SB35 approval process currently applied for by the developer proposing a 5- to 6-story project at 831 Water St. Our initial letter was sent to council members on July 19; it was subsequently updated on August 8 to speak to the relatively few changes the developer made to his project in a resubmitted application.
The updated letter can be viewed here.
As our letters make clear, members of our 831 Responsible Development citizens’ group continue to express a strong desire for projects that add badly needed affordable housing in Santa Cruz — and, in fact, we support such housing on this very site.
However, we absolutely cannot support adding such housing at a scale that would completely overwhelm entire areas of our city. We believe the proposed density-bonus-driven design for 831 Water St. project would create numerous health and safety issues due to the transportation, parking, hydrology, geology, fire easement, and other concerns the proposed development seemingly ignores. The fact that the proposed development is also indifferent toward the cultural heritage of the area where it would be built is another reason for the city to send this particular project proposal back to the drawing board.
Please read our most recent letter (here it is again), share it with other city residents, and join us in asking our City Council members to work with our Planning Department staff to let this developer know that a project with so many significant problems will not be permitted to take advantage of a streamlined approval process he believes he’s entitled to.
A big thanks to you all — our web site’s loyal subscribers — for your amazing support! Together, we can encourage this developer to do what others in our city have done: Work with our neighborhoods to plan and add badly needed housing in a way we can all celebrate!