As our name states, members of 831 Responsible Development are not at all opposed to new developments in the city we all love. In fact, in individual and group discussions, it’s clear that — to a person — we understand that the city (and county and state) need to consider new developments that help address the shortage of affordable and attainable housing for individuals and families.
That’s why we strongly support the development of new housing in Santa Cruz — and strongly support the development of new housing at 831 Water Street. In fact, a member of our group recently survey several dozen others to determine if there is consensus about a project we could support. The results, described here, indicate that a project that is no larger than 3 stories tall (still very tall) would receive great support.
We only ask city decision-makers to advocate for a project on this site that grows the city’s housing inventory and gets done in a manner that is reasonable, responsible, and respectful of the residents who already live and work near the project. And gets done in a way that is safe.
Unfortunately, at its current size and scale, there is nothing reasonable, responsible, or respectful — or safe — about this particular proposal. We simply cannot support a development that would be overwhelmingly large (and tall), overwhelmingly impactful to its neighbors, overwhelmingly impactful to a key (and already challenged) intersection in our city, etc.
We want to believe the best in people … that the developer will do the right thing and redesign the project in a way that reduces its impacts and becomes a better fit with that area of our city. Should the developer decline to do the right thing, we want to believe that our city leaders will.
Our affirmative vision for this site: Please see a summary of the answers that participants gave when one of our members surveyed several dozen others in an effort to determine if there is consensus in our group about the need for new housing and the scale of development the survey participants would support at 831 Water Street.