Santa Cruz County Local News: Land Use & Development


All Local Land Use & Development News articles contributed by our local media allies and other local newsrooms.

Image caption: The 1965 law known as the Williamson Act has been responsible for keeping about half of California's farmland out of the hands of developers.
The Williamson Act: How the Law That Protects California’s Farmland Works

The Williamson Act, passed in 1965, now keeps more than 16 million acres of farmland out of the hands of developers. Here's how the law puts the brakes on the development of California agricultural properties.

Image caption: Does California’s signature environmental law protect the state’s scenic beauty, or cause more problems than it solves?
CEQA: The Surprising Story of CA’s Key Environmental Law

The California Environmental Quality Act, CEQA, is both the state’s signature environmental legislation, and is also often named as the villain in the state’s housing shortage. But the story may not be that simple.

Image caption: The Baldwin Hills area in South Los Angeles is one region where a state conservancy would keep open land accessible to the public.
California’s 10 State Conservancies: How They Protect Parks and Open Land

How California’s 10 state conservancies buy up open land and shield it from developers to preserve the natural environment for public use.

Image caption: Since 1972, the California Coastal Commission has ruled over the state’s shoreline.
California Coastal Commission: Where It Comes From, What It Does

What is the California Coastal Commission? How one of the state’s most powerful agency protects public access to the state’s scenic coast from Mexico to Oregon.

Image caption: How California reclamation districts turned millions of acres of wetlands into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush.
Reclamation Districts: Turning ‘Swamps’ Into Farmland

California has used reclamation districts to turn millions of acres of unusable swamps into fertile agricultural land, starting in the earliest days of the Gold Rush. Here’s how it happened.

Image caption: Zoning laws tell you what you can and can't build on the property you own. How does government get away with that?
How Zoning Laws Shape California and Society

Zoning laws determine what can be built and where. These laws have shaped California, but are they really just tools for social engineering? The history of zoning is closely tied to racial segregation, as well as the state's shortage of …

Image caption: Lighthouse Field in Santa Cruz, which might be a huge resort if not for the Coastal Commission.
The Public Shore Protectors

The future of 1,100 miles of spectacular coastline is in the hands of the California Coastal Commission, which is beloved by coastal environmentalists, notorious among those who favor development, and little-known in the inland parts of the state.

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05/23/2024
Image for display with article titled A Call to End Homelessness

Nearly 300 people marched the streets of downtown Santa Cruz May 18 to help end homelessness.

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05/23/2024
It’s been almost a half-century since I first heard the term “peripheral canal” uttered by William Gianelli, who was then-Gov. Ronald Reagan’s top water official. The project, in one form or another, had already been kicking around for decades.

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05/22/2024
UC Santa Cruz is developing housing for upper division undergraduate students and staff in the Delaware Addition on the Santa Cruz Westside.

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05/20/2024
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.

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05/19/2024
Following a $10.6 million construction project to rebuild, the Capitola Wharf is set to reopen on August 14.

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05/17/2024
Image for display with article titled 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.

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

05/17/2024
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.

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05/14/2024
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.

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05/13/2024
The Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission has informed some residents of two mobile home parks in Live Oak of a need to move their units 1 to 4 feet due to encroachment over lot boundaries.

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05/10/2024
Image for display with article titled Watsonville Kicks Off Ramsay Park Renaissance Project

Watsonville city officials gathered Friday to break ground on a major renovation and upgrade for Ramsay Park.

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05/09/2024
Image for display with article titled Second Apartment Complex Proposed on Almar Avenue in Santa Cruz

At a community meeting Tuesday, developers unveiled plans for a three-story building that could bring 38 affordable homes to the Westside.

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05/09/2024
The California Coastal Commission granted a two-year extension to the controversial City of Santa Cruz ban on overnight RV street parking.

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05/08/2024
Image for display with article titled Teacher Housing Plan Detailed on Swift Street in Santa Cruz

After years of losing teachers to areas with lower housing costs, leaders of Santa Cruz City Schools are trying to keep staff by offering less expensive homes. 

California Local Pin Marker From Santa Cruz Sentinel...

05/07/2024
The California Coastal Commission is set to consider an appeal of the City of Santa Cruz ban on overnight parking mandated by the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance.

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05/07/2024
While it might be reopening in August, Capitola is still in the process of developing a long-term vision for the iconic wharf.

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05/05/2024
Image for display with article titled Lake Lompico: A Labor of Love

The Lompico Pond Restoration and Demonstration Project involves a group of dedicated outdoor enthusiasts who have been meeting on the last Saturday of every month to restore a small mountain lake.

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05/04/2024
The Capitola Aptos Rotary Club presented a check for over $90,000 to County Park Friends which is fundraising for the Treasure Cove Inclusive Playground at Jade Street Park.

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05/03/2024
Image for display with article titled Watsonville Celebrates New Housing Complex

Dozens of people gathered Friday to celebrate the opening of a 53-unit housing complex, the latest in Watsonville’s drive to provide housing for all income levels.

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05/03/2024
Image for display with article titled Into the Woods: Watsonville to Plant Thousands of New Trees

Over the next two decades, the city of Watsonville plans to add thousands of trees to its landscape, create a plan to take care of them and train crews of young people to aid in that effort.

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05/02/2024
Image for display with article titled Scotts Valley Water District Well Replacement Project Restarts

Construction of Scotts Valley Water District’s 1,500-foot-deep Sucinto Well is underway.

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