Killing the Corridors Plan, or Did They?

It’s been about a month since the current Santa Cruz City Council decided to kill the famous Housing Corridors Plan, which would have allowed for taller, mixed use buildings along the four main transportation corridors throughout the City: Ocean, Water, Soquel, and Mission Street. This is basically urban planning 101: when you are constrained based upon available land, it’s both more efficient and sustainable to build denser, mixed use buildings closer to transportation. This type of construction is also much more conducive to rental housing, as the zoning tends to reward smaller units, which certainly represent a cheaper and more accessible housing product when compared to the single family homes that make up over 80 percent of the City now. Don’t believe me? Ask the Sierra Club about infill housing, affordability, etc.

It’s ironic, but certainly not coincidental, that this new Council majority–who supposedly ran on the platform of affordable housing–would have such a hard timing actually doing anything but killing it. Keep in mind that while this same Council has been in power they haven’t built single new unit of affordable housing, or made any movement on this issue at all. So thankfully the State legislature is stepping in to save our bacon, by passing SB330, which would enact a moratorium on downzoning throughout the State, precisely because of NIMBY politicians like ours.

How do we know they don’t care about housing? Actions speak louder than words, and there has been zero action. What’s even more telling? When asked about their accomplishments recently, two of these Councilmembers touted getting a resolution in support of the Green New Deal passed through City Council as their signature accomplishment while on Council.

Wow. You managed to pass a non-binding endorsement of a stalled piece of federal legislation through a small coastal city where it will have exactly zero impact on anything, especially people’s lives. Impressive.

Hollow words, hollow policies, hollow people. Thankfully you can read more about how SB330 actually does something here