I was visiting Berkeley this past weekend, and as I rode the bus through downtown, I made a point of looking at the heights of existing buildings and new construction, in an effort to imagine the visual (and psychological) impact of the many new projects in the pipeline for Santa Cruz, a much less “urban” kind of city than Berkeley.
I don’t think most folks here grasp what an eight-story building taking up the entirety of parking lot 4 will look and feel like. It will dominate everything around it. Regardless of the upper story “set backs,” the mixed use/library/garage/housing is going to be an irreversible and very costly mistake. YIMBYs and housing advocates should think long and hard about the brute they want to release into our fragile environment. Let’s leave that central location for a future town plaza, renovate the library where it is, build housing elsewhere, and acknowledge that adequate parking exists all over downtown. Vote Yes on Measure O in November.
As for the city’s plans for 16-story buildings in an “extended” downtown, that’s a whole other nightmare to contemplate.
These letters do not necessarily reflect the views of Good Times.To submit a letter to the editor of Good Times: Letters should be originals—not copies of letters sent to other publications. Please include your name and email address to help us verify your submission (email address will not be published). Please be brief. Letters may be edited for length, clarity and to correct factual inaccuracies known to us. Send letters to [email protected].