Morning Lookout: Rezoning and redesigning Santa Cruz; Watsonville hospital finish line near
Hello, hello, hello. It is Wednesday, Aug. 24, and depending on our friendly neighborhood marine layer, Santa Cruz County should see mostly sunny skies and temperatures from the 60s to the 90s.
Development was in the spotlight at Tuesday’s meeting of the Santa Cruz City Council, and Max Chun fills us in proposed rezoning and new standards as city planners focus on more, and more affordable, housing.
Down Highway 1 a bit, the finish line is in sight for the public purchase of Watsonville Community Hospital. A celebration is in the works, Hillary Ojeda reports, even as officials recognize that a different set of challenges awaits.
I’ve noted our interviews with residents of the Benchlands, Santa Cruz County’s largest homeless encampment; you can find them all here, and on this day we’re highlighting the voice of Jazmine, homeless since December, after a long hospital stay left her unable to pay her rent. She hates all the dirt, her inability to stay clean, and often sits along the river, pretending she is elsewhere and trying to figure out how to get out. Follow along to find her interview.
I’ve also got the latest on our local food and drink scene with Lily Belli on Food, so let’s get to that and all the headlines.
Redesigning Santa Cruz into 2030: City begins to tackle major rezoning and new design rules
As the state of California asserts itself in affordability planning, the city of Santa Cruz aims to regain some control over the nature of the projects to be built. At the same time, 387 parcels along Mission Street, Ocean Street and Soquel Avenue are up for rezoning, with the big goal in mind: more housing. Max Chun fills us in.
➤ RELATED: ‘Skyscrapers’ in Santa Cruz? 17-story building plans moving forward as city tackles its housing problem (Lookout)
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‘Largest community fundraising campaign in county history’ nears finish line with Watsonville Community Hospital
Santa Cruz County staffers — including top county administrative officer Carlos Palacios — are helping with the complex transition from private to public for the hospital, as locals plan a celebration of the work. Meanwhile, Supervisor Zach Friend warns that the challenges aren’t over, just changing. Hillary Ojeda reports.
And that’s Wednesday morning in a nutshell. Stay up to date with everything going on around Santa Cruz County by bookmarking Lookout, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for good measure.
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Get over that hump, and I’ll see you on the other side!
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