Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 30th
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to the Editor

What are the Top Three things of 2010? Can you pull them out of your mind? Can you articulate the great things that happened to you over the last year? Some years, it’s challenging to do that. Some years are just filled with, well, stuff that sucks. Still, things tend to grow from the depths of manure, so maybe it’s not all bad. But 2010 ... it’s time to let it go. The year certainly had its challenges—the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the Gulf oil spill, a slow road to repeal the ban on gay marriages, the mood-swinging economy and, alas, stunning PR triumphs for Sarah Palin. But there were amazing victories, too. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was finally repealed—actually Santa Cruz found itself with a local hero on that front in the form of Jeffrey Kongslie-Correa, whose valiant efforts in that realm raised the level of awareness on the cause. And despite economic strife, portals like Downtown Santa Cruz held its own and found itself birthing a few new retail outlets that are doing quite well

So now, we look ahead. What are our intentions for 2011? What would we like to manifest—personally, professionally? What would we like our city officials to focus their attention on? How do we want to feel in December, 2011, as we look back over the year, much like we’re doing now? All good questions to ponder.

But ... without you, the readers, we wouldn’t be here and I want to take this time to thank you for checking in with us every week. It’s because of you that we go to print. It’s because of your interesting endeavors that we have something to write about. It’s because of the great—sometimes not-so great—actions that locals take that give us plenty of brain candy to digest into stories.  Thank you for making us stronger. Thank you for fueling us with inspiration. If we were all in lounge right now, I’d say, “drinks on the house” and I’d salute you all.

As the year draws to a close, GT wishes you all great cheer and ... moments that find you looking around (your life) and noticing all the fantastic things in it. (What you focus on, grows.) So, wave goodbye to 2010 and get ready to welcome 2011 with a big fat kiss.

Thanks for being here ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

Vacation Rentals 101
Regarding the article on the debate over the area’s vacation rentals, after attending both recent Planning Commission meetings, I appreciate the complexity of drafting a reasonable set of rules/guidelines, but I'm surprised at how restrictive decisions can be reached with so little data (not exact count on existing VRs, lack of Sheriff Department data on disturbances). One hopes that a phased approach will prevail, where ministerial permitting, TAT payments, Sheriff logs kept, focus on the troublemakers and not the entire VR owners, many of us engage local property managers with great screening procedures, have clear house rules.
Traveling down a restrictive path will stifle home value appreciation, resale hindrances, burdensome bureaucracy for Planning staff, and more unhappy citizens than this problem warrants. Start more simply, please!
Carol Nakamoto
Santa Cruz

Vacation Rentals 102
Apparently some members of the Board of Supervisors are way too eager to pass this flawed legislation that will threaten homeowners’ rights and violate fair use of property. What is disturbing is the lack of objective data that is driving this slapdash ordinance. The Live Oak area homeowners would be subjected to absolute tyranny if one disgruntled neighbor does not want a vacation rental 300 feet away. The Live Oak area from 7th-41st would be subjected to a lopsided $2,500 fee but if you live on 6th ave, its only $250? How is that fair? Please explain! Can anyone justify that difference except that it is one Supervisor's district? The only police data that indicate problems are the student rentals on the Westside. DON'T FORGET! Live Oak Supervisor John Leopold was elected by the heavy support from public employee unions, and now it's time for him to pay them back by new fees or increases of existing fees to help back-fill public employee salaries and pensions. Reject this ordinance until it is evenly applied to the entire county, and fair to all.
Longtime Live Oak Resident

Holiday Deadlines

GT offices will be CLOSED Thursday, Dec. 23 through Friday, Dec. 31 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s.  

Best of The Online Comments

On the Debate Over ‘Vacation Rentals’
Our home has three vacation rentals immediately next to us. We have NO problems at all! I am shocked at your one sided opinions and urge you to find some facts to support your comments as I do not believe you will have any. We have lots of problems with the long-term rental home which houses UCSC students! Shall we close UCSC?
Happy Neighbors

Every weekend it's the same thing...a noisy party, just different people. I'm tired of calling the police when it's after midnight and the renters are still in the hotub (which is right next to the fence that our bedroom is on), drinking, screaming, and puking. The landlords are profiting off of our misery. We have called them everytime we have to call the police to let them know what's going on and they don't care.
Dina Blair

Santa Cruz County should be "thanking vacation rentals home owners" for providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue at a time when the County budget needs tourist dollars the most. We do not need an overbearing ordinance to make everyone's lives more difficult, and sets neighbor against neighbor. We already have laws to address problem situations. The ordinance would be discriminatory, invasion of property rights, and creates huge unecessary turmoil amongst our local home owners, drives tourists away, decreases support jobs, discourages investment in property in Santa Cruz County, and will lower property values, all for the sake of a minority of a few complaining wealthy home owners, who don't need this option.
Home Owner

This is outrageous. Vacation rentals are a business. The logic that this is encroachment on your private home owner rights is obtuse at best. As the owner and operator of a business you are expected to operate under certain conditions which are more strict than a primary residence. This should not be a surprise to anyone. VR owners do not have a right to make money at the expense of the neighborhood. You do not get to run a business and pretend you are just a simple home owner.
Responsible Business Owner

If I hear one more person say that vacation rentals are "proliferating" because of the "advent of the internet" I AM GOING TO THROW UP IN MY MOUTH. I can't belive so many journalists are regurgitating Leopold's FALSE one-liner. Vacation rentals are not taking over....the whiners are.
SC Whiners

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