Please engage ASAP in Planning Commission review of Objective Standards

We apologize for the last-minute nature of this blog post (and request), but we have only recently become aware that the Santa Cruz Planning Commission will this Thursday (June 30, 2022) review the city planning staff’s latest efforts to establish Objective Standards by which development proposals can be assessed. As you may recall, the absence of these standards made assessing Novin Development’s fast-track application for 831 Water Street very challenging — and their continued absence also leaves the door open for other out-of-scale developments to be proposed.

While we support the city’s desire to belatedly put comprehensive Objective Standards in place, it appears to us that the staff’s proposal this Thursday would — at least in certain areas of the city — once again imperil adjoining single-family neighborhoods in an effort to squeeze every last floor and unit into adjoining developments.

We hope that the current process can result in standards that allow us to accommodate reasonable growth, something our group continues to support. But we hope that it can be done in a manner that is also respectful of the interests and rights of ALL of our citizens.

Toward that end, we are asking that you — as a subscriber to the 831 Responsible Development web site — engage in this process by writing and calling in (and weighing in) at this Thursday’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

We strongly believe that Commissioners should direct staff to reduce the impacts of tall developments placed immediately adjacent to existing residences. Specifically, we believe it is inappropriate to locate MU-H zoning immediately adjacent to existing R-1 zoning. The proposed zoning maps, particularly along Water Street and Soquel Avenue, show MU-H zoning concentrated immediately adjacent to existing residential properties, unlike the proposed zoning on Mission Street.

In short, we are asking you to ask Commissioners to direct staff to re-zone proposed MU-H parcels to MU-M where these parcels adjoin existing R-1 zoning.

Time is of the essence, so please review the following sites and submit your communication to commissioners ASAP.

As always, THANK YOU!


Info on meeting:

Let your voice be heard:
While it’s difficult to determine the precise deadline for submitting written comments in time for this Thursday’s meeting, it’s still important that you do so … as your comment becomes part of the record — and we expect this item to go to the City Council. At a minimum, though, please try to find time to call into the meeting this Thursday and let commissioners know your feelings about the staff proposal.

Letters — before or after this Thursday’s meeting — can be emailed to the Planning Commission at Info on Zooming or phoning into the commission meeting is on the agenda page, above.

Thank you again!