This week of June 1st newsletter is to give you the latest update on local issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to visit the County website about COVID-19 by clicking here which will be updated when anything NEW is announced.
Voting unanimously, the Board of Supervisors approved a Stage 2 variance application under the State's Resilience Roadmap at a special meeting held last Friday, May 29th. The State approved this variance on Saturday. The variance allows local restaurants to offer limited indoor/outdoor dine-in services, with modifications to protect the health and safety of staff and customers. Barbershops and hair salons are also allowed to offer limited services. The variance application included current epidemiological data, information on community readiness, and several plans related to COVID-19 response, including "triggers" for implementing restrictions should the community prevalence of COVID-19 increase. Read the variance application here. While the County is aligned with the State Resilience Roadmap, it may not move toward further levels of opening than the State allows. Businesses resuming operations must design worksite-specific plans, train employees, and implement control measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. No further County approvals are needed before operations resume. You can read the new SIP order here.
The new Shelter In Place order went into effect last Tuesday. It aligned most of the restrictions with those in the state order. There are still limited beach closures and restrictions on the use of hotels and vacation rentals. The county has put together a Frequently Asked Questions document. I encourage you to read it here.
The Board is considering two items tomorrow at my request to help our local restaurant business community begin the recovery process. First is a proposal to let businesses use their parking lots for outdoor dining to help allow for expanded capacity while maintaining State mandated spacing requirements. You can read about that here. The second initiative is to facilitate businesses using County-owned property if they do not have parking lots of their own. The first effort with this will be in Soquel Village using the County owned parking lots. You can read about that here. I encourage you to visit our local businesses they need our continued support.
There is a new art project underway on the Pleasure Point bathrooms. Friends of Tushar Atre funded a mural in his honor. Tushar was tragically killed earlier late last year and lived in the Pleasure Point area. Recently, the Sheriff made an arrest of four people in connection with that crime. The artist of the project is Jeremiah Kille. He expects to be done with the project in the next couple of weeks. The project was funded through the County Parks Department's Just-in-Time process that allows community-initiated and funded art projects on public properties with an approval process. You can read more about the program here.
The County will hold a drawing among prospective Measure J-eligible home buyers for a new 4-bedroom, single-family Measure J home in Soquel. To enter the randomized drawing, prospective buyers must meet the Measure J eligibility criteria for this home. For more detail on these eligibility criteria, including current income limits, please see the County Planning Department Housing Division's Affordable Housing Guidelines. Application will be accepted only from June 15th through June 19th. Find out more about the guidelines and the process by clicking here.
Last Wednesday I held a Zoom Town Hall to talk about the temporary housing for un-sheltered Transition Aged Youth at the Seventh Day Adventist site in Soquel. We talked about security, fire services, and the program itself and how long it will be there. You can view to it
There is a weekly press conference with County health officials on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. You can watch it on the County's Facebook site by clickinghere.
Telephone Town Hall at 6 pm Wednesday
I will be hosting a virtual town hall at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday with Dr. Marm Kilpatrick, a professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Kilpatrick studies infectious diseases. He is also a science adviser to the Santa Cruz Economic Recovery Council and will talk about COVID-19 and how the community can re-open safely and sustainably.