September 26, 2023
Watsonville residents’ enter needed on housing plans

Watsonville must problem 243 extra housing permits by the tip of this 12 months to satisfy state targets for housing manufacturing.

New housing potential

On March 29, a group advisory committee on the Common Plan met to develop methods to get residents’ enter on future improvement in Watsonville. The committee included residents and leaders from the town, nonprofit teams and companies. Committee conferences are open to the general public.

Metropolis employees stated they needed to prioritize “infill first” throughout the metropolis limits for the subsequent housing cycle. Infill improvement basically means redevelopment of present properties, relatively than constructing on uncooked land. 

Metropolis employees highlighted some potential areas for infill improvement in Downtown, south of Downtown, across the airport and alongside Freedom Boulevard and East and West Lake avenues.

“What you take a look at housing websites, the low-hanging fruit is present heaps zoned for residential,” Meeks stated in an interview.

Watsonville residents’ enter needed on housing plans

A slide from a March 29 metropolis assembly reveals areas of potential “infill” improvement of constructed areas in Watsonville. (Metropolis of Watsonville)

Downtown redevelopment

Areas recognized as “alternative websites” in Watsonville’s draft Downtown Particular Plan from June 2022 may accommodate practically 4,000 new housing items. If adopted, the Downtown Particular Plan would information future improvement Downtown in keeping with broad imaginative and prescient and targets within the Common Plan.

These embrace many websites Downtown, two of that are metropolis managed together with “Mansion Home Block” at East Lake Avenue and Predominant Avenue and “Gottschalks Block” at East Lake Avenue and Rodriguez Avenue, in accordance with the draft Downtown Particular Plan. An environmental affect report is being drafted for the the Downtown Particular Plan, and the plan has not but been accepted, metropolis employees stated. 

In Watsonville’s draft Downtown Particular Plan from June 2022, Alternative Zones in purple signify “vacant and underutilized websites” the place private and non-private house owners have expressed curiosity in redevelopment. (Metropolis of Watsonville)

Watsonville Parking Lot 14 close to Second and Rodriguez streets in Downtown Watsonville has been recognized as an “alternative zone” for potential improvement, in accordance with a draft Downtown Particular Plan. (Tyler Maldonado — Santa Cruz Native)

Metropolis limits improvement

Watsonville voters accepted Measure U in 2002 to ascertain an city restrict line that basically restricted housing improvement and recognized potential development areas.

Within the 20 years since Measure U was adopted, 207 of the 1,850 projected housing items in Measure U development areas have been accepted or developed, in accordance with a metropolis employees report.

​​The Committee for Deliberate Progress and Farmland Safety has pushed for agricultural land protections since 2018. The group launched its personal report on the impacts of Measure U that basically blamed sluggish housing improvement and job creation on metropolis mismanagement. The report’s authors have stated the town incorporates loads of vacant land for industrial or residential improvement.

Two measures on the November 2022 Watsonville poll basically requested voters whether or not to increase or add flexibility to the city restrict line. As a result of Measure Q was accepted by voters, the city restrict line will stay intact by way of 2040.

A map reveals areas of potential improvement in Watsonville. (Metropolis of Watsonville)

Measure Q’s adoption in 2022 additionally opened development areas for housing inside or close to Watsonville, together with Buena Vista, southeast of Atkinson Lane and “Villages”, an space put aside for senior housing. Of those, solely Atkinson Lane shall be thought-about on this Housing Factor.

The world primarily recognized and zoned for brand new housing improvement close to the town limits within the upcoming housing cycle is southeast of Atkinson Lane. 

If the town can’t meet its present housing targets throughout the metropolis limits, the group may resolve in a referendum to increase into the realm west of the East Lake space south of Corralitos Creek. 

Tips on how to become involved

A Might 3 workshop will happen on Zoom from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It’s anticipated to be led by Meeks with consultants Sargent City Planning and Circlepoint. 

“Suggestions offered throughout this course of will assist form what Watsonville turns into sooner or later,” Meeks stated.

Public workshops in summer season and fall are anticipated to result in a Housing Factor plan in 2024 with potential adoption in spring 2025. (Metropolis of Watsonville)