The State of California is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis. Communities like Santa Cruz, which attract people both for its natural beauty as well as its proximity to high-wage employment areas, are being particularly hard hit.
The City of Santa Cruz is looking at new ways we can address the diverse housing needs of our community. As we move into the future smart growth is needed to address the diverse housing needs of our community. By working together, we can develop housing solutions that support the quality of life and environmental integrity of our unique town. While we will never be able to house every person who desires to live in Santa Cruz, we can and will find ways to ease the burden of finding affordable and reliable housing.
The Santa Cruz City Council wants to hear your thoughts on the housing crisis. There are several ways to share your ideas and suggestions; please check back frequently for an update on opportunities to join the conversation.
Where Are We Now
- Seeking Community Input and Community Ideas to Solve Crisis
- Input will help develop a Housing Strategy
- Housing News
Where Are We Going and How You Get Involved
Schedule of Events
Part of engagement is the communities involvement in the following schedule of events. More detailed event information will be provided as it is ready including specific topic information.
|Date:||Topic||Time/Location||What we heard:|
|July 26, 2017||Introduction to Housing Engagement Plan||7pm/Civic Auditorium||Rent Control, Minimum Affordable Housing Percentage|
|August 16, 2017||Citizen Jane Screening and Panel Discussion||5:30pm/Food Lounge 1001 Center Street #1|
|September 9, 2017||Community Kickoff Event||TBD/MAH|
|October 4, 2017||Housing Engagement Brown Bag Lunch||Courtyard Conference Rm, 809 Center Street|
|October 11, 2017||Housing Engagement Brown Bag Lunch||Courtyard Conference Rm, 809 Center Street|
|October 18, 2017||Housing Engagement Brown Bag Lunch||
Courtyard Conference Rm, 809 Center Street
|October 25, 2017||Housing Engagement Brown Bag Lunch||Courtyard Conference Rm, 809 Center Street|
|November 1, 2017||Housing Engagement Brown Bag Lunch||Courtyard Conference Rm, 809 Center Street|
|November 8, 2017||Housing Engagement Brown Bag Lunch||Courtyard Conference Rm, 809 Center Street|
- Attend Housing Engagement Workshops and Meetings
- Write/E-mail a Council member
- Sign-up for E-Notifications on meetings
- Questions about events? Email!
Housing Related Resources
The General Plan can be thought of as the Constitution for a city. It is a comprehensive, long range document that defines the City’s philosophy and policies on growth and preservation, highlights what is important to the community, and prescribes where different types of future development can and should go. Having an adopted General Plan is a state requirement, and the City of Santa Cruz adopted our General Plan 2030 in 2012.
The Housing Element is one of the required elements of a General Plan. It sets the City’s housing policies and programs and makes sure that the City has enough land zoned to accommodate our “fair share” of the regional housing. A key piece to understand here is that it is not a direct role of the City to construct housing, rather the City’s role is to make sure that our programs and policies allow for our fair share of housing to be constructed. The Housing Element is required to be updated every 8 years, and the City of Santa Cruz adopted our current 2015-2023 Housing Element in 2016.
Various Housing Programs
There are various housing programs, resources, and types of assistance available for city residents. Are you a homeowner, renter, or in need of housing? See what assistance might be available to you by visiting the Economic Development Department’s Housing Division page. For stories relating to housing in Santa Cruz, and to learn about our projects and programs visit Choose Santa Cruz – Housing
How long is the MLK March?The march will go from Cathcart to Cooper Street - less than half of a mile.
What should I bring with me to the MLK March?
- Comfortable Shoes
- Layered clothing to account for inclement weather conditions
What are the current medical cannabis regulations?
A medical marijuana dispensary is defined in the City’s Zoning Ordinance as a nonresidential occupancy that is limited to the cultivation, production, acquisition, and dispensing of medical marijuana. The use is not permitted as an accessory use to any other principal, special, or conditional use, nor may it be permitted as a home business within any district of the City. Medical Marijuana dispensaries are allowed in the Community Commercial (CC), Thoroughfare Commercial (CT), Industrial (IG), and General Industrial Performance District (IG-PER 2) zoning districts and require approval of a Special Use Permit by the Planning Commission. The siting criteria includes a 600-foot setback from any residential zoning district, any other medical marijuana dispensary, any public or private school, a public park with a children’s playground, an alcohol or drug recovery or treatment facility, or any residential facility providing mental health/social rehabilitation services. The existing siting criteria restricts where medical marijuana dispensaries can locate to a small section of the Harvey West industrial area and another small section in the west side industrial area.In 2010, the U.S. Attorney General directed Federal drug enforcement agencies to cease enforcement of Federal Narcotic restrictions, including property confiscation, when medical marijuana dispensaries were operating within State and local regulations. The City experienced a surge of applicants requesting permits to operate medical marijuana dispensaries, and as part of the 2010 ordinance revision, the City Council limited the number of dispensaries to two. That limitation also provided a period of time to evaluate impacts from those uses on the neighborhoods in which they were located. The Santa Cruz Police Department reports that there have been no impacts related to calls-for-service from the existing dispensaries.