Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

John LeopoldSAfter months of discussion, changes will finally get under way at the East Cliff Village Shopping Center this month. What will these changes look like, and did any of the community input from earlier meetings play into the plans?

The East Cliff Village Shopping Center was once a vibrant shopping center that met a broad set of needs in the Live Oak community. With the increase in development on 41st Avenue in Capitola, the center has gone through a long period of decline. In conversations with hundreds of community members, there has been a constant refrain asking why the center has not been redeveloped. Over the years, plans have been introduced and then dropped by developers. After recent community meetings, there are now some changes under way that reflect input from community members.

In two meetings in April and June, more than 250 people came to the Simpkins Family Swim Center to share their thoughts on what the East Cliff Village Shopping Center could look like. Oftentimes when a development project is being considered, a specific proposal is presented to the community and people express either support or opposition. This time, working in collaboration with the developer, we decided to try a new approach. At our first meeting we invited community members to talk about what they would like to see at the site and what kinds of development would be acceptable.

Presentations were made by the developer and by an economist working for the county on the Transit Corridors Plan. The economist talked about what his research shows about the kinds of businesses that are needed in the area and those less likely to be successful. He said smaller format grocery stores, food service uses and complementary retail stores could be economically feasible. He also talked about how mixing land uses (e.g., adding office and/or housing) can help improve the overall economic viability of neighborhood-serving retail centers, and noted that the new generation of neighborhood shopping centers are less auto-oriented and tend to be better integrated into the existing urban fabric.  

Community members were asked what characteristics they would like to see in the center, their thoughts about the placement of buildings, and the height and scale of existing and potential future buildings on the property. In addition, they were asked for their thoughts about establishing residential, office and/or medical uses at the center, whether there are specific commercial or service uses that people would patronize, and if there are events that people would like to see there.

There was a lot of agreement on a mix of uses, possible second stories as long as they are set back from East Cliff Drive, and support for a medical clinic. Nearly every group expressed interest in creating a community space such as a plaza for outdoor seating—for the farmers’ market, and possibly for movie nights or a bandstand. Many also spoke about incorporating housing.

A second meeting followed where development ideas were presented with examples of what a revitalized shopping center could look like. Key elements articulated by the community from the first meeting were reflected in what the developer brought back to the community. Overall, people were excited about how a revitalized shopping center would enhance the neighborhood.

Soon after the second meeting, a lease was signed for a 9,000-square-foot family health clinic, run by the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Center. The addition of a family health clinic has been identified by the community and the Health Improvement Partnership as a priority in Live Oak. The owner is also looking for grocery tenants and is considering the construction of an office/retail building on a portion of the site. 

Comments (1)Add Comment
East cliff shopping center is a nice topic ... but
written by Nick Hastings, September 03, 2013
I live in John Leopold's district and I would like to mention that the district is larger than East Cliff or Live Oak. Those of us who live outside of those areas would appreciate an occassional glance in our direction.

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I have a question that is not really part of the first district but, rather, is a county wide issue, which is this: What are John's views on the impact of the University's announced closing of Shakespeare Santa Cruz?

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover