Depot Hill residents concerned about Monarch Cove Inn proposal to expand
By Jondi Gumz
CAPITOLA >> Finally, Capitola has a new general plan to replace one adopted in 1989.
The new plan, which emphasizes quality of life and preserving residential neighborhoods, was adopted on a 5-0 vote late Thursday night by the City Council, which split over how to allow for a future hotel development on 41st Avenue.
Council members Michael Termini, Dennis Norton Ed Bottorff voted to allow a 2.0 floor area ratio on both sides of 41st Avenue as long as the new development was at least 100 feet from residential neighborhoods. Mayor Sam Storey and council member Stephanie Harlan voted no.
Earlier, Termini proposed to limit the 2.0 floor area ratio to the west side of 41 Avenue, where the Best Western and Fairfield Inn & Suites are located. But he didn’t get support.
“Floor area ratio” is the square feet of the building divided by the square feet of the lot.
Termini, who later said he plans to run for another term, contends the zoning ordinance to be revamped next will be key for a new hotel proposal.
“I’m very pleased to be arriving at this point,” said Storey. “We were talking about it when I started on the council eight years ago.”
He called the plan, posted at www.plancapitola.com, professionally done and comprehensive with a readable narrative by former Capitola Museum chief Carolyn Swift.
Norton found two photos not depicting Capitola and asked the consultant, PlaceWorks, to remove them.
Harlan wants to look at rezoning properties on 38th Avenue. She suggested the general plan rewrite take place every 10 years “so it doesn’t take so long.”
The consultant was awarded the contract for the project in November 2010.
Depot Hill residents spoke during public comment of their concerns about the environmental impact report on a proposal by Monarch Cove Inn, habitat for the sensitive Monarch butterfly at the end of El Salto Drive, to expand from 11 rooms to 41 rooms.
Neighbor Vicki Malandra, a real estate agent, said the report did not take into consideration the uniqueness of the neighborhood and its “one way ingress and egress on Depot Hill.”
Norton said neighbors’ input “would be helpful in the process but this is premature,” urging them to submit comments during the review process.
The deadline to submit comments is July 14. Two council members must recuse themselves because they live too close to the site.