A drone view of downtown Santa Cruz, looking south along Pacific Avenue
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: The aesthetics of changing Santa Cruz; city’s Pogonip encampment approach

Hello again, Lookout friends. It’s Monday, May 22, and the forecast calls for morning fog giving way to sunshine around Santa Cruz County, with temps ranging from the 60s near the bay toward 80 in the mountains.

Rested, recharged and raring to go after the weekend? Hit the ground running with Lookout’s latest.
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The new week brings a deep dive from Wallace Baine on the changing face of Santa Cruz, with the aesthetics of ongoing development projects in focus. How to balance design concerns with the need for more housing? It’s a tricky puzzle, and, as you might expect, opinions abound.

Monday also brings the latest edition of In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s weekly newsletter covering Santa Cruz County politics and policy. This week, Christopher examines the City of Santa Cruz’s approach to clearing the homeless encampment at Pogonip, which contrasts markedly to last fall’s very public clearing of the Benchlands encampment along the San Lorenzo River.

The Monday headlines also include a UC Santa Cruz student taking the university to task for an insufficient response to recent antisemitic incidents and a look at a project aiming to democratize the local music business — onward.

Nightmare or riverfront nirvana — or somewhere in between? What’s the next Santa Cruz going to feel like?

The Anton project at Laurel and Front is only the first of several new major construction projects in the area.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Quick, describe the vibe that characterizes what the one-of-a-kind place that is Santa Cruz is known to be. Now, as the housing construction boom begins to change the landscape of downtown, angst is growing about the displacement of the old and the coming of the new. Will downtown’s dramatic facelift obliterate that special Santa Cruz something? Or will the Santa Cruz spirit — however you might define it — in time inhabit the new city now emerging? Wallace Baine seeks answers.

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

After very public Benchlands clearing, Santa Cruz taking quieter approach with Pogonip homeless encampment

a homeless encampment in the forest along Highway 9 in Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Efforts beginning Monday to clear the homeless encampment in Pogonip look quite different from how the City of Santa Cruz moved residents out of the San Lorenzo River Benchlands last fall. Christopher Neely explores in this week’s In the Public Interest newsletter.

PREVIOUSLY: In the Public Interest: A new law-and-order approach to homelessness in Santa Cruz?


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That’s the lay of the land as I know it heading into a new workweek. There’s more coming from Lookout, of course, so I’d recommend you follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay informed with Santa Cruz County goings-on. We also offer breaking news alerts in addition to all of our other newsletters, and you can sign up for all there here.

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Here’s to a good Monday — you’ve got this.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz