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Under the 2030 General Plan and Zoning Map this parcel could support 10 new single-family homes. The proposed development requires a General Plan and zoning change to allow 40 condos located in ten 3-story buildings of overwhelming mass and density in this rural, single-family residential neighborhood. It also requires variances contained in a Planned Development permit which would allow the project to exceed height restrictions and limits on building adjacent to slopes.
This is inconsistent with the City Council and Planning staff’s repeated assurances about their policy that infill density will ONLY occur along transportation corridors with the intent to preserve existing neighborhoods. (See statements in 2-14-17 Corridor Plan Update Report from City Planning Department).
This is NOT a pedestrian-friendly location. This project site is a very difficult over-half-mile walk to the nearest bus stop, along a busy street with dangerous sidewalk where numerous accidents occur and then through two successive freeway onramp interchanges. The neighborhood elementary school, De Laveaga, would be a 2.7 mile one-way trip interacting with three freeway onramps, a long and extremely dangerous route to bike or walk. There are no grocery stores, parks, medical offices or other businesses nearby. This will be a car-dependent development which is at odds with the City’s General Plan that has numerous policies supporting development that reduces the overall number of vehicle trips so the traffic crisis is not worsened.
The 40-unit condo project is out of character with the existing development. It is proposed for a parcel on a rural road adjacent to a peaceful memorial park and crematory. The other parcels on the street are zoned commercial agriculture or residential with 1 acre minimums. If the Planning Commission and City Council allow rezoning of this parcel it will signal to all Santa Cruz neighborhoods that the City is not only proposing to increase density in the transportation corridors, but that it will approve developer’s other proposals to quadruple density above the 2030 General Plan zoning designations.
If the City really intends to preserve family neighborhoods and only increase density along the transportation corridors, then this parcel should NOT be rezoned allowing a 40-unit development on a street with 49 single-family dwellings.
From the General Plan: “Residents need access to parks, open space, and other places where they can relax and socialize. They also need stores nearby so that they don’t have to drive across town to do laundry or buy a few groceries” (Land Use Element, pg. 36).
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