The Santa Cruz County Business Council approved and submitted the following letter to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors supporting the mixed-use Aptos Village Project on May 1st, 2015. The Board voted unanimously to continue moving forward with the project. To learn more about the project click here. To read the latest update about the project status click here.
Dear Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, The Santa Cruz County Business Council has had strong input from our membership, who include most of the large employers in our area urging you to approve the most recent set of modifications, and the final design permit of the Aptos Village Project. This project directly meets the needs of the Aptos community as outlined in Aptos Village Plan of 2010 in creating a centralized commercial and residential town centre, mitigating the potential traffic and neighborhood impacts, and in revitalizing an underserved commercial corridor. Furthermore, the project developer, SCCBC Board Member Barry Swenson Builder, has continuously demonstrated its commitment to community engagement and public input, having held 9 separate public hearings and over 22 neighborhood meetings. The time to move forward in the development process is now. It is our belief that further delay will only hinder the final implementation of the project, while the project itself is unlikely to undergo any significant changes as a result of more public input.
The Santa Cruz County Business Council has written to you previously in support of this project, and believes this most recent set of modifications do not significantly alter the plans. The Aptos Village project, in its current form, would provide substantial benefits to the Aptos community, including the development of 69 much needed housing units, updated retail space that is expected to generate $1.6 million in new tax revenue and over 800 local jobs, and easier pedestrian access to the surrounding areas.
Additionally, careful consideration has been put forward to mitigate any additional water use and traffic impacts that may arise as a result of the development. Barry Swenson Builder has worked closely with both the Soquel Creek Water District and the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Works to ensure project viability on both fronts. The project will be built utilizing the most water efficient appliances and fixtures available, while also offsetting 100 percent of what they expect to consume. The project designs also call for the addition of a left hand turn lane at the intersection of Soquel Avenue and Trout Gulch Road, and an additional road to run parallel to Soquel behind the project’s retail front, which will further improve traffic flow in the area.
We urge you to approve the new modifications, and please continue to support this project as it moves toward breaking ground. This project has widespread community support, and will no doubt promote greater economic vitality in the Aptos region.
Gary W. Merrill
Santa Cruz County Business Council