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Capitola to kick off zoning code update April 30

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 11.40.25 AM Ron Graves

By Jondi Gumz, Santa Cruz Sentinel

CAPITOLA >> The task of updating a zoning code adopted in 1975 will kick off with a joint meeting of the City Council and the Planning Commission at 6 p.m. April 30 in City Hall.

The Planning Commission will hold special meetings at 6 p.m. on the third Monday and third Thursday of the month to discuss 18 key issues identified by planning staff, such as protecting residential neighborhoods, village hotel parking and accommodating high-quality development on 41st Avenue.

Under this timetable, the Planning Commission would complete its deliberations in July with City Council discussions continuing through October.

“If we need more time, we’ll adjust the schedule,” said Richard Grunow, the city’s community development director.

Each council member and planning commissioner has been asked to complete a questionnaire by April 20 on how to resolve the zoning issues. The results from that survey will be presented at the meeting April 30.

If there is agreement, it could speed up the review process.

“This is an example of the city reaching out to the public,” said council member Jacques Bertrand.

There’s a vacancy on the five-member Planning Commission, which consists of T.J. Welch, Linda Smith, Ed Newman and Gayle Ortiz.

Ron Graves, who served about eight years as a planning commissioner and 32 years on the council, said he stepped down so council member Stephanie Harlan could select someone new.

She had said during her campaign she wanted to encourage residents to get experience on city boards before running for council. Applications were due April 16.

“I enjoyed the planning commission,” said Graves. “I enjoyed working for Stephanie.”

Though they did not always agree, “we’ve become close friends,” he said.

He said he plans to attend council meetings to share background information on issues.

Because of where he lives, he had to recuse himself from discussions about the city parking lot at 424 Capitola Ave. Now he’s free to speak his mind on a proposal to build an 80-room hotel at 420 Capitola Ave. and move the police department and City Hall to the Monterey Avenue end of the city property.

Link to original article: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/20150416/capitola-to-kick-off-zoning-code-update-april-30

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