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Nissan Project Update

As the economy continues to improve, there are new development proposals
occurring throughout the district. One that has generated a lot of interest is a proposal to site a Nissan dealership on the corner of Soquel Drive and 41st Avenue. The County has received extensive comments on the Initial Environmental Study for the project and the Planning Director originally extended  the comment time by a week. 
After receiving a number of comments and due to the applicant's intention to modify the project, the consideration of the project has been pulled from the May Planning Commission agenda. The Planning Department intends to review the comments received and evaluate the modified project before a public hearing is held. I will work to ensure that the project is effectively reviewed and that community members are well informed about the details of the project and the process for evaluating the project, including when any community meetings might be held or public hearings set.
Envisioning Live Oak
This past month, residents had two great opportunities to share their ideas and thoughts about the development of two former redevelopment Agency (RDA) properties. The community came out in inspiring numbers two weeks in a row and hundreds of residents shared their vision for these two sites.  Both meetings to discuss the 17th & Capitola Road and 7th & Brommer properties included contextual presentations and engaged community conversations in small groups and as a larger group. 
It was heartening to hear how residents care about our diverse community, neighborhood character, vibrant locally scaled commercial development, affordable housing, neighborhood parks and how to integrate these two properties into the fabric of our community. 

I am hopeful that these two engaging conversations will effectively inform the next steps in this process. The County will develop an RFP that shares this community process and we will seek a developer who is willing to develop these sites in ways that reflect this thoughtful community input. 


I will continue to share this process with you and I hope that you continue to stay engaged. The websites will continue to be updated with content from the meetings, and the process as it unfolds. 

For information about the Capitola Road site click HERE
For information about the 7th and Brommer site click HERE
Roads Update
There's some good news in our transportation picture - the State Legislature passed an important Transportation Funding bill in April.  This legislation is expected to provide, when fully implemented, about $6.5 Million per year to the County for local roads (fiscal 2017 funding is expected to be close to $1.6 million.)  This funding has been sorely missed since it was cutback following the 2008 recession.  Together with the anticipated $2.6 million per year from Measure D, these funds will greatly help the effort to maintain and improve our local roads, especially our rural roads. The Santa Cruz County Department of Public Works is also working hard to obtain emergency funding to repair the historic levels of damage caused by this winter's storms.  Even with state and federal support, the County's share to fund the emergency work will be in the range of $10-20 million.  

The County has obtained approvals from Caltrans and the Federal Highway Administration to make emergency repairs to Soquel-San Jose Road (SSJ). We have been monitoring the site closely for earth movement, and determined the earth is still moving.  The April rains were not helpful in this regard. There are also underground seeps that are contributing to the soil instability. We have earth moving equipment working on site to assess the stability of the soils and prepare for filling if that option is determined to be feasible. The Department of Public Works is pursuing two solutions concurrently and will likely take the one that can be accomplished first.  One option is to install a ready-built steel military-style two-lane bridge over the gap.  It would be in place for two to three years while we engineer and build a permanent repair to the roadway.  The other repair option is to pack dirt fill into the gap, and pave with asphalt.  This could be accomplished more quickly, but requires that the area dry out and that the underground seeps not create instability for the fill.  We'll know more in a week or two as the area dries out and we can further test the fill option. The uncertainty of conditions makes estimating an opening date difficult.  The County is working on both options simultaneously so that we can use either one to open the road as soon as possible. We anticipate the road opening in two to four months, depending on when the ground stabilizes and other factors.  Repairs are underway on Skyland Road, and will commence in the next week on the one lane section of Laurel Glen Road.  Extensive patching work continues on Highland Way as well as an emergency culvert repair.


Your County, Your Parks

The Parks Department is holding a series of strategic planning public meetings throughout the county, and would like to hear from you, our neighbors!  Your input will be instrumental in creating a document that will help guide the County of Santa Cruz Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services' work over the next decade.  What does the community want to see in our county parks?  Please join me on Thursday May 11th, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Live Oak Community Room at the Simpkins Family Swim Center, located at 979 17th Avenue, in Santa Cruz  as we look into the future of our parks, programs, and facilities.  Childcare and Spanish translation services will be available.  For more information on the strategic plan or to RSVP for the meeting, please click  here.   If you are unable to attend this session, you an provide your input by using our  quick survey!
  





  














Help To Fight Hunger in Our Community
It can be challenging to afford healthy nutritious food.  CalFresh, formerly known as food stamps, is a nutrition benefit proram that helps struggling families pay for food year-round.  While many families in our community utilize CalFresh to help put food on the table, many more are eligible but don't even realize it.  In 2015, 18,865 Santa Cruz County residents were eligible for CalFresh, however, they did not receive the benefit.  That's a lot of families struggling to feed their families when they don't need to be.  

CalFresh benenfits can be used to purchase food from participating grocery stores and farmers markets.  Families with children, single adults, couples and individuals who are homeless may also receive CalFresh if they meet income and residence requirements.  If you or anyone you know is interested in receiving these benefits, please apply online at:  www.GetCalFresh.org  or by either calling 1-888-421-8080 or visiting a representative at the Santa Cruz County's Customer Service Center at 1020 Emeline Avenue.  May is CalFresh Awareness Month.  Events taking place in our District include a CalFresh Outreach and Application Assistance at Harbor Light Church, 2008 17th Avenue in Live Oak from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm on Monday, May 15th, additionally there will be outreach from CalFresh every Saturday at the Santa Cruz Flea Market and at the Live Oak Farmer's Market at 15th & East Cliff Drive every Sunday in May.


CANCELED

   Wednesday, May 3 
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Porter Memorial Library



Wednesday, May 10
5:30-6:30 p.m.
People's Coffee
1200 17th Avenue
Live Oak



CANCELED

Wednesday, May 17
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Loma Prieta School
23800 Summit Rd. 
Summit Area





STAFF
831-454-2200
Not paid for with County Funds