TRANSPORTATION

Climate adaptation plans aim to protect roads, rail line

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission aims to create a new climate adaptation plan to protect the county’s transportation systems. It will include the rail corridor, pictured here near La Selva Beach. (Kara Meyberg Guzman — Santa Cruz Local file)

9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 / Online and at 701 Ocean Street, Room 525, Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission plans to list potential projects to protect county roads and the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line from climate change. 

A community outreach plan to help inform a new climate vulnerability report is expected to be approved at the commission’s Oct. 5 meeting. 

The report aims to describe how county roads, highways, rail lines and other infrastructure are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. It is expected as an update to a climate vulnerability document from 2013. 

  • If the outreach plan is approved, transportation commission staff and consultants will hold community meetings in October to gather feedback on how to prioritize potential climate adaptation projects. 
  • Outreach in 2024 would seek feedback on a list of possible projects.  
  • Commission staff expect the final report to be published in December 2024.

—Jesse Kathan

To participate: Join on Zoom or call 833-548-0276, meeting ID  854 0691 0971. To comment ahead of the meeting, email  [email protected] by 9 a.m. Wednesday. The meeting will be streamed on Community TV.

SCOTTS VALLEY CITY COUNCIL

Potential design update for Town Center project

Scotts Valley’s Town Center Specific Plan from 2008, left, shows plans for housing in yellow and housing and commercial space in orange. (City of Scotts Valley and County of Santa Cruz)

Scotts Valley’s Town Center Specific Plan from 2008, left, shows plans for housing in yellow and housing and commercial space in orange. (City of Scotts Valley and County of Santa Cruz)

6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4 / Online and at 1 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley

The Scotts Valley City Council on Wednesday will consider whether to hire architects at Urban Field Studio for a design update on the Town Center project.

A contract not to exceed $160,000 would focus on designs for 14 acres at the former Skypark Airport, according to a city staff report. The contract also would include community outreach.

The Scotts Valley City Council initially approved plans for the Town Center in 2008. The plans tried to guide development of housing and commercial projects on roughly 58 acres bounded by Mount Hermon Road, Skypark Drive and Bluebonnet Lane.

New plans for the Town Center are expected to include more homes to align with the city’s 2023-2031 Housing Element of the General Plan. The Town Center could include 657 homes or about one-third of the new homes planned for Scotts Valley in the draft Housing Element.

—Nik Altenberg

To participate: Join on Zoom or call 669-900-9128, meeting ID  832 9573 0901. To comment ahead of the meeting, email [email protected]. The meeting will be streamed on YouTube.

SCOTTS VALLEY

Scotts Valley special elections ahead

A sign on a road reads "City of Scotts Valley Welcome"

Scotts Valley voters will cast ballots in two special elections this fall. (Stephen Baxter — Santa Cruz Local file)

In separate special elections in October and November, Scotts Valley voters will decide on a school-district parcel tax and a measure to help Scotts Valley Fire upgrade its main fire station.

An Oct. 24 special election will decide on Measure V, a parcel tax for Scotts Valley Unified School District

  • Measure V is a $168 annual parcel tax for seven years. It’s expected to raise nearly $1 million annually for Scotts Valley Unified School District. 
  • Measure V needs more than 66% of the vote to be adopted. Property owners age 65 and older and those receiving Social Security benefits are exempt from the proposed tax, according to the measure. 
  • Voters in 2018 approved a similar $108 annual parcel tax for Scotts Valley schools that is set to expire in June 2024. The new tax would start in July 2024. 
  • Ballots were mailed for Measure V in late September.

A Nov. 7 special election will decide on Measure W, which would allow the Scotts Valley Fire Protection District to sell bonds and collect money from property owners for a new fire station.

  • Measure W would allow the sale of up to $22.24 million in bonds to replace Fire Station 1 at 7 Erba Lane with a new, earthquake-safe fire station on fire district land on La Madrona Drive across from the Hilton hotel.
  • The measure would allow Scotts Valley Fire to levy a tax of $27.50 per $100,000 of assessed value to Scotts Valley property owners to repay the bonds, according to the measure.
  • Scotts Valley Fire leaders said the 60-year-old Fire Station 1 is “seismically unsafe” in the official ballot argument. 
  • The measure needs more than 66% of the vote to be adopted. Ballots are expected to be mailed in early October.

More information on the measures and voter registration are on the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s website

—Stephen Baxter

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Reporter / California Local News Fellow | + posts

Jesse Kathan is a staff reporter for Santa Cruz Local through the California Local News Fellowship. Kathan holds a master's degree in science communications from UC Santa Cruz.

Website | + posts

Nik is a copy editor and fact checker for Santa Cruz Local.

Website | + posts

Stephen Baxter is a co-founder and editor of Santa Cruz Local. He covers Santa Cruz County government.