Landlord and designer Alexis Navarro stands in front of his "Casita L.A.," a new ADU he designed in East L.A.
An accessory dwelling unit in the carport of an existing three-unit property.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Civic Life

ADUs, military surplus for SCPD and an interim city manager: 3 takeaways from Tuesday’s city council meeting

A compromise between the City of Santa Cruz and the California Coastal Commission on parking requirements for so-called in-law units was one of the highlights of this week’s city council meeting.

Missed Tuesday night’s Santa Cruz City Council meeting? Here’s a quick look at some of the key decisions:

Compromise on ADU parking

The council unanimously approved a deal between the City of Santa Cruz and the California Coastal Commission on parking spaces for accessory dwelling units, better known as ADUs or in-law units. The city wanted to eliminate a requirement of one off-street parking spot for each bedroom of ADU units located in the coastal zone — something the commission, which has veto power over such changes within that zone, nixed.

The compromise: only ADUs within 500 feet of the coast must have off-street parking — though exceptions remain for areas with limited parking.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, with Councilwoman Renee Golder absent. Council plans to have a second reading of the proposal during its Aug. 24 meeting, after which final approval will be up to the coastal commission, whose primary focus in this area is on preserving access to the coast.

Military-grade equipment for SCPD

The council voted unanimously to require its approval for the acquisition of military-surplus weapons and other equipment for the Santa Cruz Police Department.

“It’s a good step in not accepting equipment the community would not approve of,” Councilmember Justin Cummings said.

Police Chief Andrew Mills noted that such surplus does not necessarily mean weapons; equipment can vary from radios to helicopters.

Interim city manager tabbed

The council announced plans to appoint city water director Rosemary Menard as interim city manager.

Current city manager Martin Bernal is retiring at the end of this month. The council will vote on the appointment at its Aug. 24 meeting; if approved, Menard will take over Sept. 1 and will hold the role until there’s a permanent hire.

“Rosemary brings an incredible wealth of experience to the role of Interim City Manager. She has a proven track record as a visionary leader and strategist. She also holds a deep commitment to meaningful community engagement in charting a course for the future,” Mayor Donna Meyers said of Menard, who has more than 40 years’ experience in city government. “We are confident Rosemary will be able to quickly step into this role and provide effective leadership during a critical time of recovery for the City.”