The lodge plan might embody city land in downtown Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ >> Santa Cruz City Council took a number of measures on Tuesday.

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The hotel plan could include urban land

A six-story hotel is proposed for 324 Front St. in downtown Santa Cruz. (BCV Architecture + Interiors)

On Tuesday, the city council approved the start of a possible sale of two public parcels to a developer for a planned high-end hotel on Front and Laurel streets in the city center. Part of the property is now a city car park.

The vote was 4-2, with council members Justin Cummings and Sandy Brown opposed. Council members Renee Golder, Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Deputy Mayor Sonja Brunner and Mayor Donna Meyers voted in favor. Councilor Martine Watkins was absent.

The six-story building was proposed for 324 Front St. The developer is SCFS Venture, a New York-based company affiliated with a New York-based hotel real estate investor Eagle Point Hotel Partner and Santa Cruz-based developer Owen Lawlor of Lawlor Land Use.

The developer owns the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union building at 324 Front St. and the parking lot south of it. The city has a 400-square-meter strip between this parking lot and Laurel Street and a 400-square-meter section of a parking lot north of the credit union building. The developer wants to buy these two city packages.

Santa Cruz officials have begun to consider a possible sale of two parcels of town to a hotel developer. (City of Santa Cruz)

The hotel project includes:

  • 228 rooms
  • Retail and cafe space on Front Street
  • Meeting rooms and a ballroom
  • A restaurant and bar that open onto the San Lorenzo Riverwalk
  • A gym, spa, and rooftop pool

The developer would have to build a public footpath that connects Front Street and the Riverwalk on another urban lot north of the proposed hotel.

Architects envision a lobby on the second floor for the proposed hotel at 324 Front St. in Santa Cruz. The name of the hotel is undecided. (BCV Architecture + Interiors)

Tuesday’s resolution exempts the two town parcels from the state obligation of local authorities to prioritize land sales for affordable housing, open space and other state purposes. The parcels meet the exemption criteria due to their small size. In accordance with legal requirements, the resolution instructs city officials to report the availability of the parcels to local, regional, and state parks and recreational authorities.

The resolution does not guarantee the sale of the property.

Some local residents, speaking during a public comment, expressed frustration at the possible sale of public land for a luxury hotel.

Council members against the resolution – Brown and Cummings – wanted the city to prioritize the urban land for housing and negotiate with the developer to drop the hotel plan and instead create marketable housing with more than 20% of the units at affordable prices.

“I think we all came across a platform where we said we wanted to provide more affordable housing in our communities,” said Cummings. “And the problem with using public land is that the public is really upset that we are selling their land for the production of a private luxury hotel.”

Bonnie Lipscomb, Santa Cruz director of economic development, said lot sizes are too small to attract an affordable property developer.

According to Lipscomb, selling the city packages could raise money for affordable housing projects sponsored by the city. Hotel tax revenue from the project could reach up to $ 2 million a year, some of which could be used for affordable housing projects, according to Lipscomb.

Councilors who voted for the resolution generally said they were excited about the hotel proposal as it would bring more people and tourists to the city center and help raise money for the city through hotel taxes and other means.

City workers are looking for locations for homeless shelters and services

City guides have started looking for locations for homeless services, including shelter and storage. A proposed city law restricting when and where homeless people can camp requires city guides to provide at least 150 beds and a daily storage program.

Anyone interested in selling or renting real estate to the city, e.g. B. for accommodation, a night sleep program, showers, laundry and storage, is requested to provide a Application for qualificationWhen inquiring about qualifications, the city guides are also looking for organizations that can run these homeless service programs.

The proposed city law will be discussed at the council meeting on June 8th. To post public comments, send an email [email protected] or enter comments about the city “Camping Services and Standards Ordinance” website.

The Junior Guards program will continue in June

The Santa Cruz City Junior Lifeguard and Little Guards Safety and Beach Competition program continues with four two-week sessions beginning June 14th.

  • The meetings take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is limited to one session per participant.
  • Children between the ages of 6 and 17 are eligible.
  • An information meeting for parents will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. June 5th in the cement bleachers on Cowell Beach between the wharf and the Dream Inn.

Details are on the city’s website and in the city Summer activity guide.

Salary range for the next city manager increased

City manager Martin BernI am expected to retire at the end of July. (Kara Meyberg Guzman – Santa Cruz Local File)

City manager Martin BernI am expected to retire in late July and city guides have started a national search for his replacement.

Bernal’s total salary for 2019, including benefits, was $ 284,868 Transparent California database. On Tuesday, the city council voted 4-2 to change the remuneration for the next city administrator to:

  • A 10% raise
  • The contribution to the company pension scheme drops from 12% to 10%
  • A city contribution to a deferred compensation plan

Council members Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Renee Golder, Deputy Mayor Sonja Brunner and Mayor Donna Meyers voted in favor. Councilors Justin Cummings and Sandy Brown voted against. Councilor Martine Watkins was absent.

Cummings said his “no” reflected public comments recently received by the council. Brown said she wanted the council to raise wages for low-paid employees.

The estimated cost of the change is approximately $ 3,000 per month, bringing the position closer to the average wage for city administrators. Bernal has voluntarily deferred the cost of living since 2017, according to the Employee report.

The Council unanimously approved the road safety plan

Tuesday the city council approved the “Local road safety plan, ”The trends in collisions are identified and safety recommendations are made. The city council had previously passed a “Vision Zero” directive: a goal to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. The plan allows the city to apply for more grants to finance road safety projects.

The trends identified for 2015 to 2019 include:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs increased as a collision factor from 15 collisions in 2015 to 26 in 2019.
  • About 20% of the collisions in the city involved a cyclist or a hiker.
  • More than 90% of the collisions were within 250 feet of an intersection.
  • About 20% of the collisions involved aggressive driving. Aggressive driving includes unsafe speed, traffic sign or sign violations as well as being overly obeyed. Almost half of these collisions were rear-end collisions.
  • In collisions on main roads and intersections, street lighting was a factor about a third of the time.

The plan set the following priorities for the next five years:

  • Improve visibility and lighting
  • Reduce aggressive driving
  • Improving road safety for the homeless and other vulnerable groups

Recommendations include:

To provide feedback to city staff on traffic improvements and road safety:

  • Submit specific complaints and ideas about the city Community request for service portal. The residents can request traffic signs, traffic lights, pothole corrections and report dangers for bicycles and hikers. Residents can access the portal via a portal website or a mobile app from Google play or Apple.
  • E-Mail city traffic planner Claire Gallogly, [email protected] with broader ideas to improve road safety across the city.

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Kara Meyberg Guzman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Santa Cruz Local. Prior to Santa Cruz Local, she was Editor-in-Chief of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. She has a degree in biology from Stanford University and lives in Santa Cruz.