The hotel plan could include land in downtown Santa Cruz
SANTA CRUZ >> Santa Cruz City Council took a wide range of actions on Tuesday.
Go to a brief report:
The plan of the hotel could include the land of the city
A six-story hotel is proposed for 324 Front St. in downtown Santa Cruz. (BCV Architecture + Interiors)
On Tuesday, city council approved the start of a potential sale of two public plots to a developer for an upscale hotel project on Front and Laurel streets downtown. Part of the property is now a city parking lot.
The vote was 4-2, with board members Justin Cummings and Sandy Brown against. Council members Renee Golder, Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Deputy Mayor Sonja Brunner and Mayor Donna Meyers voted in favor. Councilor Martine Watkins was absent.
The six-story building has been proposed for 324 Front St. The developer is SCFS Venture, a New York-based company affiliated with a New York-based hotel real estate investor. Eagle Point Hotel Partners and Santa Cruz-based Lawlor Land Use developer Owen Lawlor.
The developer owns the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union building at 324 Front Street and the parking lot south of it. The city has a strip of approximately 4,600 square feet between this parking lot and Laurel Street, as well as a 4,400 square foot portion of a parking lot north of the credit union building. The developer wants to buy these two plots in the city.
Santa Cruz executives have started considering a possible sale of two plots in the city to a hotel developer. (City of Santa Cruz)
The hotel project includes:
- 228 rooms
- Retail space and cafe on Front Street
- Meeting rooms and ballroom
- A restaurant and bar that opens onto the San Lorenzo Riverwalk
- A gym, spa, and rooftop pool
The developer would be required to construct a public walkway connecting Front Street and the Riverwalk on another city lot just north of the proposed hotel.
The architects envision a second-floor lobby for the proposed hotel at 324 Front St. in Santa Cruz. The name of the hotel is undecided. (BCV Architecture + Interiors)
Tuesday’s resolution exempts the city’s two plots from the state’s obligation for local agencies to prioritize land sales for affordable housing, open space and other state purposes. The plots meet the exemption criteria due to their small size. As required by state law, the resolution also directs city staff to notify the availability of plots to local, regional and national parks and recreation authorities.
The resolution does not guarantee the sale of the land.
A few residents who spoke during a public comment expressed frustration with the potential sale of public land for a luxury hotel.
Council members against the resolution – Brown and Cummings – wanted the city to prioritize city land for housing and negotiate with the developer to drop the hotel plan and instead create market-rate housing with more 20% units at affordable prices.
“I think we’ve all run on a platform to say we want to provide more affordable housing in our communities,” Cummings said. “And if we use public land, that’s the problem is that the public is really upset that we are selling their land for the production of what will be a private luxury hotel.”
Santa Cruz Economic Development Director Bonnie Lipscomb said the lot sizes were too small to attract an affordable housing developer.
Lipscomb said the sale of the city’s plots could provide money for city-sponsored affordable housing projects. Lipscomb said hotel tax revenue from the project could reach $ 2 million per year, part of which could be used for affordable housing projects.
Council members who voted in favor of the resolution were generally enthusiastic about the hotel proposal as it would attract more people and tourists to the city center and help generate money for the city through taxes. hotel and other means.
City staff look for accommodation and services for the homeless
City leaders began to search for locations for homeless services, including shelters and warehouses. A city bill that limits when and where homeless people can camp requires city leaders to provide at least sleeping places for at least 150 people and a daytime storage schedule.
Anyone interested in selling or renting a property to the city for uses such as shelter, a safe night-only sleep program, showers, laundry facilities and storage is requested to submit a request for qualificationsFor the demand for qualifications, city leaders are also looking for organizations that can manage these homeless service programs.
The municipal bill is expected to be considered at the June 8 council meeting. To submit public comments, send an email [email protected] or enter city comments Web page “Ordinance on camping services and standards”.
The Junior Guards program resumes in June
The City of Santa Cruz and Little Guards Junior Lifeguard Ocean and Beach Safety Competition program will resume with four two-week sessions starting June 14.
- The sessions will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is limited to one session per participant.
- Children aged 6 to 17 are eligible.
- An information meeting for parents will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday. June 5 on the cement bleachers of Cowell Beach between the wharf and the Dream Inn.
Details are on the city’s website and in the city summer activities guide.
Salary scale increased for the next city manager
City manager Martin BernaI am expected to retire at the end of July. (Kara Meyberg Guzman – Santa Cruz Local File)
City manager Martin BernaI am expected to retire at the end of July, and city leaders have started a nationwide search for his replacement.
Bernal’s total salary in 2019, including benefits, was $ 284,868, according to the California Transparent Database. On Tuesday, council voted 4-2 to change the pay of the next city manager to include:
- A 10% salary scale increase
- A decrease in employee pension contributions from 12% to 10%
- A contribution from the city to a deferred compensation plan
Council members Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, Renee Golder, Deputy Mayor Sonja Brunner and Mayor Donna Meyers voted in favor. Council members Justin Cummings and Sandy Brown voted against. Councilor Martine Watkins was absent.
Cummings said his “no” reflected public comments the council has recently received. Brown said she wanted the board to increase the salaries of lower-paid employees.
The estimated cost of the change is about $ 3,000 per month and brings the position closer to the median salary of city managers. Bernal has voluntarily postponed cost-of-living wage increases since 2017, according to the staff report.
The Council unanimously approves the road safety plan
On Tuesday, the city council approved the “Local road safety plan», Which identifies collision trends and formulates safety recommendations. The council previously adopted a “Vision Zero” policy: a goal of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries from city streets by 2030. The plan allows the city to apply for more grants to fund projects road safety.
Trends identified for 2015 to 2019 include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has become a factor in crashes, dropping from 15 crashes in 2015 to 26 in 2019.
- About 20% of city crashes involved a cyclist or walker.
- Over 90% of collisions took place within 250 feet of an intersection.
- About 20% of collisions involved aggressive driving. Aggressive driving includes violations of speed, road signs, or dangerous road signs and following too closely. Almost half of these collisions were rear end collisions.
- For collisions on main streets and intersections, street lighting was a factor about a third of the time.
The plan identified the following priorities for the next five years:
- Improve visibility and lighting
- Reduce aggressive driving
- Improving road safety for the homeless and other vulnerable groups
The recommendations included:
To provide information to city staff on traffic improvements and road safety:
- Submit specific complaints and ideas about Community request for the service portal. Residents can request road signs, lights, pothole corrections, and report hazards to bicycles and walkers. Residents can access the portal on a website or a mobile application from google play or Apple.
- Send an email to Claire Gallogly, [email protected] with broader ideas on road safety improvements throughout the city.
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