The Aptos Village Appeal

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Today the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will be hearing a citizens appeal about the proposed Aptos Village Project, a mixed use development project slated to be built along the Soquel Avenue Corridor in central Aptos, across the street from the Safeway shopping center. The project was originally approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2012, however the developer, Barry Swenson Builder, has recently made a series of design changes that require further Board approval, including the addition of 6 more residential units, and a new east-west street that will run through the center of project. In total, the project will create 69 new units of residential housing, with 15 storefronts, and 4 new restaurants. The centerpiece of the project revolves around relocating the old Aptos Apple Barn, which will host New Leaf Market as the anchor tenet, to be located on a large, central town green.

The citizens appeal is being led by one Becky Steinbruner, an Aptos resident who isn’t shy about her ultimate intention to stop the project. She is appealing it on 13 specific points, which include considerations about the drought, traffic flows, public safety, and parking, among others, with the end goal of delaying the project for as long as possible. She and other locals opposed to the project demonstrated their opposition en masse 2 weeks ago during a community meeting held by 2nd District Supervisor Zach Friend, Project Developer Barry Swenson Builder, and representatives from the County Public Works Department and Soquel Creek Water District.

In preparation for the appeal, Supervisor Friend worked with the County Department of Public Works to systematically address, and in his eyes debunk, all of the claims made by Ms. Steinbruner, which can be read in his letter to the board here.

Many have also outwardly wondered why neighborhood opposition to the project is just now coming to a head. Having been previously approved, and been the subject of over 22 separate community meetings, the Aptos Village Project does seem to have a fair level of community buy in. Both the Santa Cruz County Business Council and the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce have written letters to the Board in support of the project, arguing that the project is exactly what is needed in Aptos, pointing to the 2010 Aptos Village Community Plan, which calls for revitalizing the corridor.

What do you think, should the Aptos Village Plan move forward? Are there ways to improve the project? Vote and offer your comments below.

Approve Design Changes for the Aptos Village Project

The Aptos Village Project is a mixed use development project located in central Aptos that was approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2012.

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