Capitola Wharf to reopen in August

The Capitola Wharf sustained further damage in storms in late December 2023.

A crew repairs the Capitola Wharf in January. (Jesse Kathan — Santa Cruz Local file) 

6 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 / Online and at 420 Capitola Ave. 

The Capitola Wharf is expected to reopen in August, and the Capitola City Council on May 9 is set to consider a two-year plan for activities on the wharf.

In August, the wharf will have a new arch entryway and public art, as well as new bike racks, benches and restrooms.

Capitola Boat & Bait was closed in January 2023 following severe storm damage and was approved for demolition in February 2024. City staff might grant Boat & Bait a lease of for a temporary structure for a bait shop, boat rentals, and food and drinks, according to a city staff report.

A proposed temporary plan for the wharf that starts in the fall would include:

  • Live music.
  • Food trucks.
  • A beer or wine garden.
  • Fishing and boat rentals.
  • Art and marine science classes.

—Jesse Kathan

To participate: Join on Zoom or call 669-900-6833, meeting ID 833 2817 3113, passcode 678550. To comment ahead of the meeting, email [email protected]. Public comment will not be accepted from Zoom. The meeting will be streamed on YouTube.

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Housing and construction updates

Cienega Heights is an 80-unit apartment complex at 1515 Brewington Ave. in Watsonville with its first tenants expected in July. (MidPen Housing) 

Santa Cruz Local’s Housing and Construction page and an affordable housing waitlist page have been updated. 

  • 1515 Brewington Ave., Watsonville, Cienega Heights: An 80-unit apartment complex is expected to finish construction in June. Applications for 42 income-restricted apartments opened May 1 and will close May 22. Thirty-four of the 42 units are reserved for farmworker households.
  • 841 Capitola Road, Live Oak: A three-story, 28-unit housing complex is proposed. An earlier version of the project had 40 units and took advantage of a state rule known as the Builder’s Remedy. Workbench developers said May 2 that they decided to reduce the proposed units.
  • 300 Ingalls Alley, Delaware Addition Phase II: A 169-unit housing project is proposed near Swift Street and the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line. The Santa Cruz City Council on April 30 approved the lease of the units to UC Santa Cruz for rental to students, staff and faculty.

—Stephen Baxter, Jesse Kathan and Nik Altenberg

Read Santa Cruz Local’s Housing and Construction page


RV parking law appeal

John Daugherty stands by his RV on Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz

John Daugherty repairs his RV on Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz in 2021. (Stephen Baxter — Santa Cruz Local file)

9 a.m. Friday, May 10 / Online and by phone

The California Coastal Commission on May 9 is set to consider an appeal of the City of Santa Cruz’s ban on overnight parking of RVs. 

The Coastal Commission approved a one-year pilot of the program in May 2023, and the city began enforcing the ban in December. The Santa Cruz City Council approved a permit to extend the program for three more years in February, and denied an appeal from homeless advocates in March. Now, advocates are appealing to the Coastal Commission to deny a permit to continue the ban’s enforcement.

In the appeal, advocates argue that enforcement of the ban has restricted people living in vehicles from accessing the coast. The commission is set to decide if the appeal raises a “substantial issue” that requires further consideration. Commission staff recommended denial of the appeal.

—Jesse Kathan

To participate: Join a livestream or call 415-904-5202 to listen to the meeting. To request to comment during the meeting, submit this form by 5 p.m. Thursday.


Countywide cleanups set for May 11

Volunteers plan to remove invasive species during a community work day at Cascade Ranch on May 11. (Amah Mutsun Land Trust)

Saturday, May 11 / Multiple locations across Santa Cruz County

A countywide cleanup day is planned for May 11 where volunteers will remove trash from local waterways, roads, parks and beaches. 

More than a dozen local agencies and organizations are organizing clean ups across the county including at Cowell and Seabright beaches, Boulder Creek, San Lorenzo Park, Salsipuedes Creek and the Pajaro River. 

To participate: Read more about planned cleanups and find one near you

Work with Amah Mutsun on North Coast 

9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11 / Cascade Ranch, 3100 Highway 1, Pescadero

The Amah Mutsun Land Trust and Pie Ranch are inviting volunteers to remove invasive plants from Cascade Creek. The event will take place on the ancestral land of the Quiroste Tribe. 

The CZU Lightning Complex Fire in 2020 contributed to an increase of invasive species along Cascade Creek, leading to a loss of biodiversity and other negative impacts. Healthy creek and river ecosystems sequester carbon, absorb heat and can buffer vulnerable species from extreme temperatures.

Poison oak and other plants to be aware of like stinging nettle, thistle and blackberry brambles are likely to be present. The work will require navigating rough terrain and the event is recommended for those age 16 and older.

The Amah Mustun Land Trust is a nonprofit run by the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, a tribal group of about 600 descendants of Indigenous peoples who were taken to Missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during colonization.

To participate: Register online.

—Nik Altenberg

Santa Cruz Local journalists wrote these briefs and previews for our weekly newsletter. Want to receive these local updates, a preview of recent articles and more in your inbox each Sunday? Sign up for our free newsletter.

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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. They hold a master's degree in science communications from UC Santa Cruz.

Website | + posts

Nik Altenberg is a copy editor and fact checker for Santa Cruz Local. Altenberg has a bachelor’s in Latin American and Latinx Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

Website | + posts

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