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Guest Commentary | On city planning for Downtown Santa Cruz and Measure O

By Santa Cruz Sentinel | October 25, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.


By Stephen Svete


A fundamental rule of good city planning holds that community stakeholders should be involved at the project conception. A central tenet of public financing is that a taxing entity must spend money in a manner consistent in both spirit and detail with the bond voters’ approval. On both counts, the city’s mixed-use concept for Cedar Street’s Lot 4 fails...


The need for affordable housing is indisputable, and its development warrants careful sensitivity to scale and context. Ideal sites are dispersed surface parking lots and other underutilized properties. Urban form and compatibility should all be analyzed in each project, not only to ensure that the integrity of what remains of Santa Cruz’s historic and aesthetic sense of place remains intact – but to ensure the quality of life of future downtown residents, visitors, and the community writ large.




Stephen Svete is a career urban planning consultant. He is an American Planning Association certified professional and holds a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Neighborhood Development credential from the U.S. Green Building Council.



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By Editorial Board | editorial@santacruzsentinel.com | Santa Cruz Sentinel October 5, 2022 at 5:00 a.m. Measure O – City of Santa Cruz Our Downtown Our Future – General Plan and Downtown Plan Amendmen