Santa Cruz's Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Dividing up lots around the county; studying the Greenway plan

Good morning and happy Groundhog Day! It’s Wednesday, Feb. 2, and back east, Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning another six weeks of winter. Here’s hoping that means some more rain for Santa Cruz County — but it won’t be today, with the forecast calling for continued sunny skies and breezy conditions, with highs around 60.

Speaking of forecasts, local planning officials think it will take some time for property owners to figure out how to use the new law that allows for subdividing or building duplexes on their lots, Lookout’s Grace Stetson reports.

Meanwhile, Lookout’s Max Chun reports, the county board of supervisors voted to study an initiative seeking to lock in a pedestrian and bike path for the Santa Cruz Branch railroad line — before choosing to either adopt the initiative without a countywide vote or to place it on the June ballot.

We’ve also got news on the so-called gateway to Big Basin Redwoods State Park officially changing hands and a new grant that aims to expand broadband access for low-income families across the county, so let’s get to all those headlines.

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Are Santa Cruzans dividing up their lots?

Capitola in December 2020
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Senate Bill 9 allows California homeowners and property owners to either subdivide their lots or build duplexes. How much of an impact has it made locally since going into effect Jan. 1? Lookout’s Grace Stetson talks to local planners.

MORE ON LOCAL HOUSING NEEDS: City eyeballs the math for housing needs ahead: A staggering 3,400 more units required by 2031 (Lookout)

Supervisors to study Greenway initiative before adopting it or placing it on the June ballot

Pedestrians walking on a paved path.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The initiative would change the county’s general plan away from using the Santa Cruz Branch Line for rail and toward a bike-and-pedestrian path. Read more here from Lookout’s Max Chun.

RELATED: How Santa Cruz’s rail-trail debate created a standoff with Roaring Camp (Lookout)


‘Gateway to Big Basin’ property sold to conservation nonprofit

Fire-damaged redwoods line either side of Highway 236 towards the entrance of Big Basin.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Sempervirens Fund announced it had completed the $2.4 million purchase of 153 acres along Highway 236 in Boulder Creek. More here on the property and what it means for Big Basin.

PREVIOUSLY: Why a Boulder Creek land purchase has conservationists so excited (Lookout)

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$500K grant to expand broadband access

A boy attends online class in the bedroom he shares with his sister
(Anne Wernikoff / CalMatters)

As many as 4,000 households could benefit as Santa Cruz County seeks to bridge the digital divide highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grace has the details.

EARLIER: ‘Last mile’ of digital divide still affecting thousands of Santa Cruz County kids (Lookout)

California school officials could mandate searches of backpacks, lockers under shooting threat

A row of school lockers
(Via Pixabay)

State Sen. Anthony Portantino decided to introduce another gun safety bill this year in response to the Nov. 30 school shooting that left four dead and seven injured in Oxford, Michigan. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times look at the proposal.

FROM DECEMBER: No credible threat in school-violence ‘challenge,’ but one middle school student is arrested (Lookout)


Around the county ...

Santa Cruz Warriors explore new arena project with housing
(Santa Cruz Local)

Santa Cruz police department awaits wave of new recruits (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
County fair begins search for 2022 theme (The Pajaronian)

That’ll get you off to a good start this hump day. We’ve got some good stuff coming later, so keep tabs by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also get Lookout delivered right to your phone and inbox by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

And if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Enjoy your Wednesday! I’ll see you again tomorrow.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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