Demolition underway at what is slated to become the Riverfront Apartments
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Latest downtown development, push to improve women’s jail & opinion on housing

Hello hello, Lookout friends. It’s Tuesday, May 16, and sunshine will grace Santa Cruz County as the day goes on, heating the mountains into the upper 80s while spots closer to the coast will be in the 70s.

Lookout’s latest awaits, but if you’d prefer to discover at your own pace, right this way.
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To downtown Santa Cruz we go, where demolition of buildings along Front Street is making way for the housing development known as Riverfront Apartments. Wallace Baine has an update on the ambitious riverwalk plans.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, meanwhile, a commission that advocates for fair treatment of female prisoners in the county says it will continue to press the sheriff’s office to permanently reopen the Blaine Street women’s jail. That’s among eight recommendations the Commission on Justice and Gender will present at the meeting, Max Chun reports.

And in our Community Voices opinion section, housing advocates Don Lane and Elizabeth Madrigal outline the importance of the blueprints for meeting state-mandated housing needs known as housing elements. Given their transformative power, they write, it’s incumbent on Santa Cruz County residents to get involved in the process.

COMING THURSDAY: Christopher Neely is moderating a discussion on the housing squeeze in Santa Cruz County, part of Housing Santa Cruz County’s Affordable Housing Month programming. On hand for the Zoom session will be Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley, Watsonville Mayor Eduardo Montesino, Scotts Valley Mayor Jack Dilles, Capitola Mayor Margaux Keiser and County Board of Supervisors Vice-chair Justin Cummings. Get more information here.

Christopher’s look at what’s next for Santa Cruz’s oversized vehicle ordinance is also among the Tuesday headlines, so let’s head there now.

Riverfront, first of three big housing developments along San Lorenzo River, is underway

Demolition begins on the 175-unit Riverfront Apartments in Front Street between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Demolition has begun along Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz for the new complex to be known as the Riverfront Apartments. The Riverfront project represents a big leap forward in the city’s efforts to develop along the San Lorenzo River levee. It is the first of three projects planned for the Front Street corridor along the river between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street. Wallace Baine has more.

RELATED: A field guide to downtown Santa Cruz’s many in-progress housing developments

New housing is coming to our communities — be part of the process

Construction along Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The next six months will be transformative for Santa Cruz County. In that time, each city council and the county board of supervisors (for the unincorporated areas) will be adopting “housing elements” that will serve as a blueprint of how each community meets its state-mandated housing needs. The process is complex, write housing advocates Don Lane and Elizabeth Madrigal. But the decisions will affect everyone. It’s in everyone’s interest, they say, to get involved now. Read their Community Voices opinion piece here.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: Submit a letter to the editor and read what Santa Cruzans are saying about local issues


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Lots to chew on as we embark on another Tuesday ... but wait, there’s more! Among the goodies still coming from Lookout is the latest in Santa Cruz County food and drink news via Jessica M. Pasko. That hits inboxes in a few hours, and you can sign up right here to get that and all of our other newsletters, plus breaking news alerts via email and text. Lookout is also on social media — follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Cheers to a super Tuesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz