Today, there is no residential mental health program for youth in Santa Cruz County. That means that children suffering from a prolonged mental health crisis have to be relocated over the hill. The County received a grant from the State to build a local children's crisis program and started to develop plans to build a new facility at the Freedom Health Campus in Watsonville.
An opportunity to purchase the building at 5300 Soquel Ave has come up. This is the last building in the Sheriff's Center complex that the County doesn't own yet. Staff has determined that this building could be purchased and renovated to create a Children's Crisis Residential Program cheaper and faster than it would take to build something from the ground up. Doors could open as soon as a year from now. The Board will consider the terms of the purchase.
This proposed change to the mobile home rent control ordinance would fix issues with how inflation can be calculated. It would also require the opinion of an expert Certified Public Accountant (CPA), when special rent adjustments are proposed. The goal is to prevent large year-over-year increases in rent for mobile home park residents.
The 2022 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (“CAAP”) includes an inventory of local greenhouse gas emissions and recommends strategies to help decarbonize Santa Cruz County and meet state-mandated greenhouse gas reduction targets.
It identifies that transportation accounts for approximately 70% of total county greenhouse gas emissions, and another 25% comes from building heating, water heating, and cooking. It also defines strategies to meet our emission reduction goals such as building housing along transit corridors and enhancing carbon sequestration through restoration of natural habitats.
State legislation has set ambitious goals of reducing emissions 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 and becoming carbon neutral by 2045. Our goals are shown as the green line in the above graph and our current emissions and trend is represented by the brown line. We will need to take significant action quickly to meet our goals.
Should the CAAP be adopted, next steps include community outreach and developing metrics for each strategy to track progress. The County will track progress on our goals every two years.
State Approves over $115 million for Coastal Rail Trail and Active Transportation in Santa Cruz County
Last week the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved $115.8 million in grant funding through its Active Transportation Program for six projects in Santa Cruz County, including nearly 7 miles of the Coastal Rail Trail.
Approximately $105 million will go to constructing portions of the Coastal Rail Trail. These Coastal Rail Trail projects will provide a new, dedicated, bicycle and pedestrian route between the Boardwalk and the Seacliff neighborhood in Aptos. They are currently in the environmental phase with final design expected to begin in 2024.
Additionally, the City of Watsonville was awarded $6.9 million for its Safe Routes to Downtown Watsonville project that will construct pedestrian and bicycle improvements at several schools and within downtown Watsonville; the City of Santa Cruz was awarded $2.9 million for construction of a multiuse path on Swanton Boulevard and sidewalks, protected bike lanes, and intersection improvements on Delaware Avenue; Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency was awarded $1.8 million for its Safe Routes for Watsonville School Families and Community program that will provide training and education for pedestrian and bicycle safety; and the University of California Santa Cruz was awarded $0.7 million for its “SlugBikeLife” Bike Safety and Education Program Phase 2 to further develop a robust and culturally inclusive bike safety, education, and encouragement program at UCSC.
Statewide, the CTC programmed $1.02 billion for 93 active transportation projects. Santa Cruz County received over 13% of the total funding, representing a generational investment to improve active transportation in our community. The amount of funds are community will receive is truly remarkable given that Santa Cruz County makes up less than 1% of the state population.
One of the main reasons we performed so well is our local Measure D (2016) sales tax, which provides a match to leverage the State Active Transportation Program funding. While other communities have "self-help" transportation taxes like this, not all of them have expenditure plans that are as multi-modal as Santa Cruz's. Our focus on building sustainable transportation options is paying off as the State adopts the same set of priorities.
Road Construction Updates
The Santa Cruz County Sanitation District has announced that there will be traffic delays due to construction for sanitary sewer main improvements. There is potential lane closures at the following locations, weather permitting:
• East Cliff Drive between 14th and 16th Avenues, December 13 thru December 23, 2022, between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm
• East Cliff Drive between 15th and 17th Avenues, December 19 thru December 30, 2022, between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.
Questions may be directed to Ryuun Ernst at (408) 435-5106.
Additionally, there will be a culvert replacement project on Mill Road at Branciforte Drive, Monday, December 12 through Thursday, December 15, 2022, 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weather permitting. The section of road will be closed at Branciforte, with no traffic disturbance.
Questions may be directed to Alex Sandoval at (831) 477-3919.
Maciel Ave. Community Meeting Scheduled for January
A community meeting with the developer of the proposed 1960 Maciel Ave. Project will be held on January 17, 2023, at 6 PM. This will be an in-person meeting at the Sheriff's Center Community Room. This proposed project is a residential development consisting of 21 detached units.
Location: Community Room, Sheriff's Center, 5200 Soquel Ave, ground floor.
Call to Artists for Green Valley Rd. Multi-Use Trail & Bus Stop Project
The County of Santa Cruz is seeking an artist to create a site-specific public art component for the Green Valley Rd. Multi-use Pathway.
This project will replace a dilapidated pedestrian trail with a pervious, two-way, multi-use trail to provide a safe, accessible connection between the City of Watsonville and the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County to nearby schools, parks, social services, and numerous transit stops.
The budget for the public artwork, which includes all costs associated with but not limited to design, materials, travel, insurance, fabrication, installation, and documentation of the artwork, is $72,000.
The deadline for submitting a proposal is January 20, 2023. View the detailed project map and the locations for artwork by clicking the button below.