Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
May 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Supervisor John Leopold

John_LeopoldSThe county began budget hearings. What are the plans for arriving at a balanced budget?
The annual budget process for the County of Santa Cruz began on June 14 and the proposed budget cuts are grim. We are expecting $17 million in cuts and possible layoffs of more than 60 people. Some of these jobs and services may be saved by furloughs of county staff and the cancellation of a 2.5 percent COLA.

I will be working with my colleagues to use the budget principles that were adopted last February as the prism for identifying our priorities. Key principles include prioritizing direct services to the public; preserving our safety net of services for the least fortunate in our community; recognizing savings across departments rather than simply within departments; and leveraging our county dollars to acquire funding from state and federal sources. Progress has already been made to save money by conducting work with existing county staff rather than hiring outside consultants.

While we will finalize the county budget by the end of the month, we can expect to make further adjustments to the county’s budget after Sacramento finishes theirs. The governor’s May Revise included an additional $11 million in cuts to the county. We are working with our state legislators to help them understand the impacts their decisions will have on our local community.

With local residents still feeling the pain of this “Great Recession,” what is the county doing to encourage new economic development?

When I took office as County Supervisor, I was surprised that there is not one person on county staff whose job it is to think and plan for future economic development in the unincorporated areas. Fifty-five percent of the population lives in the unincorporated portion of our county, but a vision of what type of development we want was not being articulated or enacted.

Over the last year I led an effort to hold community workshops in Live Oak and Soquel where hundreds of community residents prioritized economic development as part of the Redevelopment Agency’s (RDA) Five-Year Plan. I have worked with my colleagues and we are finally moving forward with hiring an Economic Development Manager for the RDA Project Area who will work with the community to develop a successful plan. Our board has also given direction to the Planning Department to develop a series of reforms that streamline the permitting process. I have been surprised just how difficult it can be for a business to move into an existing building in a commercially zoned area. If we want to foster good economic development we need a planning process that promotes the county as a place where you can do business.

There have been issues with vacation rentals in some neighborhoods in Live Oak. What is the County doing to address poorly managed vacation rentals?

Home to some of the most beautiful coastline in our county, the coastal neighborhoods in Live Oak are treasured by local residents and tourists alike. These neighborhoods have become increasingly popular for the purchase of vacation homes. As these vacation homes have proliferated, the summer rentals of the past have evolved into a year-round business.

With advances in technology, vacation homes can now be marketed to larger audiences for varying periods of time. This evolution has caused multiple problems for residential neighborhoods in coastal communities. Increased numbers of vacation rentals have stirred discussion about the preservation of neighborhood integrity, decreases in rental housing for local residents, public safety, and increased rents.  The more universal complaints about vacation rentals include loud, late-night parties, traffic, parking, and garbage. A comment heard in coastal communities is that a vacation rental is, in essence, a commercial business in a residential neighborhood. Between 12th and 16th avenues there are approximately 29 vacation rentals.

I am proposing a set of regulations for vacation rentals at the Board of Supervisors meeting on June 22 to preserve the integrity of neighborhoods. Using the example of the two nearby cities and seven counties that have regulations on vacation rentals, I am suggesting that vacation rentals be required to obtain an annual permit, post a phone number for neighbors to call if there are problems and limit the number of guests. There will be several opportunities for public input as the matter is reviewed by the Planning Commission and the Housing Advisory Commission. It is my hope that the issue will come back to the board for consideration in November.

Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by Get a clue, June 21, 2010
So at the begining of the article Supervisor Leopold recognizes the dire straights we are in. And then he proceeds to talk about legislation that will severely restrict, and in many cases, eliminate vacation homes thus losing thousands of dollars in TOT. For whose benefit? The few people who bought their home near a tourist attraction? Wonder how the rest of the county will feel when they have even less money for schools/fire/police. Read his proposal. It is a lot more draconian than his soundbite above. I wonder who is REALLY pushing this.
Realtor
written by Stephen J. Pereira, June 17, 2010
To Supervisor John Leopold,
In recent days, I have had 15 client's who have purchase beach homes from me, call in absolute horror over your recent proposal to limit, or rental of their vacation homes. Believe me when I say they are quite upset, and will be at the meeting on Tuesday, June 22nd to voice their opposition to your blatant move to end vacation rentals... as some of the most ardent have put it, "My family will lose our beach home if we can't rent it for additional income to defray the mortgage costs, taxes, etc., because some bonehead politician thinks it won't have an impact on the property owner's, local business owner's, and the local economy in general, and will lead to nothing but empty homes along the beach!" Who will be able to rent these properties, surely not those in our county who don't have the income to afford these homes...How about those who service the beach rentals, such as maids, pool and spa owner's, local grocery store owner's who depend on the tourists.
You are opening a huge can of worms on this issue, and you will have a fight on your hands.
I live in an area in Seacliff that has numerous rental homes, and we address the issue by getting the phone number of the owner's, the residence itself, and have the owner's issue a warning about late night parties...10:00 P.M. curfew for any outdoor activities, and midnight for any party.
Remember Mr. Leopold, TOURISIM is the biggest dollar producer for our beach economy, and this will surely bring an already depressed Santa Cruz economic condition into a deeper recession.
We'll see you Tuesday!!!
Stephen J. Pereira
Realtor
Bailey Properties
1602 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, California 95060

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’

 

Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

Should Pacific Avenue be a one-way street, two-way street, or pedestrian only?

I would definitely support closing off Pacific Mall to cars. I think that would be wonderful. Jim Grey, Santa Cruz, Builder