.Street Talk: Question of the Week

“How do you feel about new 12 story buildings Downtown? Should approval of buildings taller than 8 stories be put to a public vote?”

Ted Crespo, 60, heavy equipment operator

I think it’s ruining some of the charm of Santa Cruz. But then again, I like “old.” Maybe they should figure out a way to do it on the outer limits. The people should definitely have a say-so, that’s how it should work.

Maya B, 17, student

They should find another place to do it. Taking out small personal businesses for a big building is not that cool. It’s our city, so we should have an opinion and vote to approve it.

Kaleo Kaluhiwa, 60, psychotherapist

My initial opinion is to take it to the voters. This town is changing so much, and the rate of change is accelerating, it’s massive. Given the way parking and traffic already is Downtown, how is it even possible?

Marissa Arslan, 44, Restaurateur, Arslan’s Turkish Street Food

I support affordable housing, so if gets people off the streets where they can live peacefully, I support that. But it’s a matter of infrastructure, and how it will impact the quality of life in the area. In general, I want people to vote, but will it really sway things? Can we get the population to vote as it should?

Ron Castellon, 39, Business owner, Hammydownz vintage retro and funky finds

If there’s a limit of 5 to 8 stories high, they should stay with that. The problem is that they will build up but it still doesn’t make housing more affordable. It’s good in theory to put more people in a taller building, but where are you going to park all those cars?

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Amy Krauss, 40, Asst Professor Feminist Studies, UCSC

The most important thing is affordable housing, so maybe 25% isn’t enough to warrant building so tall. My thing isn’t to keep things the way they are necessarily, but that we take care of each other better. I was surprised that the Empty Homes Tax failed, so I’m not sure I trust Santa Cruz voters to do what they need to do.


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