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By Eric Johnson
Published May 20, 2024

Construction of multifamily housing developments is set to skyrocket in the next half decade. Construction of multifamily housing developments is set to skyrocket in the next half decade. Image credit: Sundry Photography, Shutterstock

Here Comes the California Housing Boom

For California Local members who are tired of the state's endless housing crisis, this week's edition of The Newsletter brings good news. And as always there's somethiing for everyone who would like to know what's up in their own neighborhood just below, in our carefully curated News Digest. And yes: A featured local nonprofit, and a recipe!

What You Should Know About the State's Ambitious Housing Plans, and How to Get Involved

Here at California Local we see what’s coming out of most of the newsrooms in ten Northern California counties and select important stories to include in our News Digest (see below). In doing so over the past couple of months, our friend and colleague Chris Neklason noticed two phrases appearing everywhere, as cities and counties raced to complete the “housing element” of their “general plans.” 

We understand that not all of you are familiar with those two terms, and may not yet be aware that California is already experiencing the start of a housing boom. Folks in Santa Cruz, where Chris lives, are well aware of this fact, as downtown is in the midst of a dramatic transformation, and the same thing is happening here in Midtown Sacramento. In these two articles, Chris explains how this works, and how you can help shape the way it will all play out on the ground.

The Coming California Housing Boom

New six-story apartment buildings in downtown Santa Cruz loom large over a funky one and two-story plaza one block away which is home to Redwood Records, The Bagelry (est 1977) and the world renowned Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Suddenly, a lot of housing is being built across the state.

How California Manages Housing as a Public Resource

207 units of market rate housing in Santa Cruz almost ready for occupancy in May 2024
Like the 33 million acres of forest in California, the nearly 15 million units of housing in the state are tended and managed with future generations in mind. Meet the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.

Savory cherry sauce perfect for grilling season

Savory cherry sauce with sweet onions makes a wonderful accompaniment to grilled pork.
New! Savory cherry sauce with sweet onions goes great with pork, chicken

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Santa Cruz County's Homepage

Our overview page for Santa Cruz County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to to catch up on the latest news in California and Santa Cruz County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Get to Know a Group

Watsonville Wetlands Watch logo Watsonville Wetlands Watch

Watsonville Wetlands Watch works to preserve, restore, and foster an appreciation of wetlands in the Pajaro Valley. It serves as an educational and volunteer program that teaches students about environmental changes and stewardship.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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Tahoe Daily Tribune logo California State Parks Foundation Calls on the Legislature to Restore Library Parks Pass Funding

California State Parks Foundation responded to Governor Newsom's revised 2024-2025 budget and raised concern about the elimination of funding for a popular state park access program, the California State Library Parks Pass.

The Pajaronian logo Community Bridges Celebrates New Downtown Mural

Dozens of people gathered in downtown Watsonville Friday afternoon to celebrate the completion of a new large outdoor mural at Community Bridges at the corner of Main Street and West Lake Avenue.

Santa Cruz Local logo How to Find Home Insurance in Santa Cruz County

As thousands of Santa Cruz County homeowners are losing home insurance, a state official and insurance professionals this week offered advice for finding, keeping and affording policies.

The Pajaronian logo Public Invited to Participate in Downtown Mural Project

Work continues on the installation of large tile panels in the eighth phase of the ongoing mosaic mural project, titled Watsonville Brilliante, which has covered much of the parking structure at the corner of Second and Rodriguez streets.

Press Banner logo Scotts Valley Makes Progress on Parks Plan

Scotts Valley City Council held a special joint study session with the Parks and Recreation Commission on May 1 to envision the full scope of recreation options for the city.

Santa Cruz Local logo How to Get Involved in Budget Hearings in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Watsonville

Local governments across Santa Cruz County are crafting their budgets for the coming fiscal year, with some due at the end of June.

Press Banner logo Community Spirit Soars at Inaugural Ben Lomond Village Alliance Meeting

Last month the fledgling Ben Lomond Village Alliance was introduced to the community and businesses of Ben Lomond.

Santa Cruz Local logo Cannabis Dispensary Approved at Former Emily’s Bakery in Santa Cruz

A proposed cannabis dispensary at the former Emily’s Bakery on Mission Street was approved by the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday despite school administrators’ arguments that it was too close to a high school and a middle school. 

Hilltromper Santa Cruz logo Introduction to Arana Gulch

Remnant of an ancient ecosystem in the middle of town.

Good Times logo River Rescuers

On the asphalt levee of the San Lorenzo River, a half mile from where the river mouth spills into the ocean, a huddle of mustard yellow shirts awaits instructions.

Good Times logo Jewel Theatre’s Upbeat Adieu

Country and western classic tunes rocked the theater on opening night of Always … Patsy Cline.

Good Times logo Giant Dipper Celebrates a Century of Thrills

The great roller coaster arose amid screams above the golden strand of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk—a tooth-loosener, eyeball-popper, and one long shriek.

Benito Link logo Tri-County Collaborative Receives Grant

The $1.28 million will be used for education programs, data surveillance and services aimed at preventing fentanyl overdoses.

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Recent Local News

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• Pacific Station North Groundbreaking Held

On May 20, a groundbreaking ceremony was held on the now-cleared site of the former downtown Santa Cruz Metro station to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new transit hub and 128-unit affordable apartment complex.

(05/20/2024) → Lookout Local

• Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Executive Director to Depart

The board of the Museum of Art and History is beginning the search for a new executive director as current director Robb Woulfe announced his departure.

(05/20/2024) → Lookout Local

• UC Santa Cruz Academic Workers Strike

On May 20, UCSC academic workers and students walked out of classes in protest of the UC system administration handling of pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

(05/20/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Researchers Document Tool Use by Sea Otters

UCSC researchers, with teams from the University of Texas and Monterey Bay, studied local sea otter use of tools such as rocks and other items.

(05/20/2024) → Lookout Local

• New CASA Volunteers Sworn In

18 new volunteers were sworn in as as Court Appointed Special Advocates following their 35 hour training.

(05/19/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Capitola Wharf to Reopen

Following a $10.6 million construction project to rebuild, the Capitola Wharf is set to reopen on August 14.

(05/19/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Planning Commission Considers Food Bin Project

In its May 15 meeting, the City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission considered changes made to the five-story project and recommended approval by the City Council.

(05/17/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Resilience Parcel Tax Measure Signatures Submitted

Group behind Water and Wildfire Protection Act, which would add a $87 annual parcel tax in Santa Cruz County, has submitted signatures to the county clerk for certification.

(05/17/2024) → Lookout Local

• Santa Cruz County Project Roomkey Study Released

A case study of the impact of the California Housing and Community Development's pandemic Project Roomkey program in Santa Cruz County was released.

(05/16/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Santa Cruz City Council Approves Dispensary

In its May 13 meeting, the Santa Cruz City Council voted 6-1 to approve a controversial medical marijuana dispensary on Mission and Laurel Streets.

(05/14/2024) → Lookout Local

• Santa Cruz Downtown Library Project Images Released

In the May 14 City Council meeting, the economic development department shared updated renderings of the library/housing/parking project at Cedar and Lincoln Streets, with construction to begin in early 2025.

(05/14/2024) → Lookout Local

• New Government Center Opening in Watsonville

In advance of the opening of the new Santa Cruz County government center on Westridge Drive in a few weeks, the Human Services Department announced it was moved in and ready to provide services.

(05/14/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel
  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Statewide News

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• Why UC Grad Students Are Going Out on Strike

The job action starting today at UC Santa Cruz isn’t about pay, but instead is in response to how UC deployed police to clear pro-Palestinian encampments on campuses.

(05/19/2024) → CalMatters

• These California Schools Connect Kids to Community Services. Will They Survive Budget Cuts?

Gov. Gavin Newsom launched the community school initiative with $4.1 billion in grants to connect students and their families to medical care, counseling and other services.

(05/16/2024) → CalMatters

• Should California Doctors Report Domestic Abuse to Police? Here’s How Physician Lawmakers Voted

Pending legislation would lift requirements for California’s doctors to report all domestic abuse cases to police. The Assembly’s three physicians had different opinions.

(05/16/2024) → CalMatters

• California’s Lagging Economy Hinders Efforts to Close State Budget Deficit

As Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislators spend the next few weeks fashioning a state budget that’s plagued by a multibillion-dollar deficit, they can’t count on a booming economy to make their task easier.

(05/16/2024) → CalMatters

• California’s Staggering Budget Deficit Squashes Hundreds of Bills

The state’s multibillion-dollar shortfall shapes which spending bills survived the ‘suspense file’ hearings by the Assembly and Senate appropriations committees.

(05/16/2024) → CalMatters

• $20 Billion: The Delta Tunnel’s New Price Tag

The centerpiece of California’s water wars pits Gov. Newsom against local communities and environmentalists. A new report says the benefits of the tunnel exceed the cost since other water supplies would cost more.

(05/16/2024) → CalMatters
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Government Announcements

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Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/20/2024)

5/20/2024 - First-ever Pitch in Cleanup Event Removes 1,500 Lbs of Litter, Waste

Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/20/2024)

5/20/2024 - Healthy Pets for All Clinics Available Friday (Free pop-up pet vaccination clinics for qualified household available)

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

Reser's Fine Foods Announces Voluntary Recall of Single Batch of Aldi Macaroni 32 oz Salad with Use By Date of Jun/03/24 Due to Unlabeled Wheat Allergen

Reser's Fine Foods is voluntarily recalling a single item with a specific use by date, produced at a regional facility and distributed to ALDI. The product is the Aldi Deli Macaroni Salad 32 oz, with a Use By Date of Jun/03/24 due to an incorrect label. The incorrect label does not include an all
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

United Supermarkets Advises Guests in New Mexico and Texas of Palmer Candy's Voluntary Recall of White Coated Confectionary Items Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

United Supermarkets is advising guests about a recall by its supplier Palmer Candy of its white coated confectionary items due to possible Salmonella contamination. Palmer Candy was notified by its liquid coating supplier that there was a potential for contamination with Salmonella from an ingredie
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/17/2024)

Irvington Seafood Recalls "Crabmeat: Jumbo, Lump, Finger, and Claw Meat" Because of Possible Health Risk

Irvington Seafood of Irvington, AL, is recalling its 1 lb. packages of "Crabmeat: Jumbo, Lump, Finger, and Claw meat" because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly
Image of City of Watsonville seal. City of Watsonville   (05/17/2024)

AB 481 Community Meeting

Image of County of Santa Cruz seal. County of Santa Cruz   (05/17/2024)

5/17/2024 - SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to California Businesses and Residents Affected by the Severe Winter Storms, Tornadoes, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides

Image of United States seal. United States   (05/16/2024)

Mars Petcare US, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls 315 Bags of PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food, 44 lb. Bag Size

Mars Petcare US is voluntarily recalling 315 bags of PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor Dry Dog Food in the 44 lb. bag size only, due to the potential presence of loose metal pieces in the bag. The affected products have a Best By Date of March 4, 2025 and Lot Code 4
Image of United States seal. United States   (05/16/2024)

Update to Palmer Candy Company Recall of White Confectionary Products Because of Possible Health Risk

The recalled confectionary items were distributed nationwide in Walmart, HyVee, Target, Dollar General, and to distributors in Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wy
Image of City of Scotts Valley seal. City of Scotts Valley   (05/16/2024)

Community Wildfire & Insurance Preparedness Workshop

Thank you for attending our event, in case you weren't able to attend you can watch it on our City of Scotts Valley's youtube channel and presentations are loaded on our website.