1. Traffic – An issue that is growing worse each year. Traffic congestion affects every area of our city. I would support a variety of means to reduce or divert congested traffic . Unless measures and remedies are taken now, things will only become compounded on 41st Ave., the Village area and other areas.
41st Ave and various feeder streets. The growth of traffic and congestion in areas like 41st, Capitola Road, have become ridiculous. This is just not a Capitola problem and directly involves Highway 1 and the entire Santa Cruz County. More students at UCSC and more growth and land development in Aptos is only going to fuel the problem. We need to engage developers, the State, County, Santa Cruz and other municipalities, and the University of California for remedies. We need to review the potential use of a commuter rail train that could bring people from one side of the County to the other, completely bypassing Highway 1. We need to discourage using our Village and Capitola back streets as "short cuts " for drivers.
I would fully support a seasonal ban of cars on the Esplanade to be replaced during the summer months with pedestrian use only,,creating an out door friendly strolling environment, similar to what Santa Monica has done. Eventually, a plan could evolve over a 5 to 10 year period focusing on a permanent closing of the Esplanade, and a large portion of the village from vehicles. I would encourage a plan that would eventually divert all autos away from Capitola Village. Significant additional parking is required for residents and business owners in the village area.This would be a long term project but I have ideas on how it could be achieved.
2) Cell Phone Towers – I do not like them. The proliferation of 5G devices is staggering (See article link below).I would like to stop any permits of transmitting towers away from schools and concentrated residential areas. I believe there are too many towers now within our city, and would discourage by whatever means possible any more installations. I would also look into the ability to tax the rental income of these towers and also divulge the amount of money property owners receive from them. I would also explore the feasibility of locating cell towers on buoys offshore. A device like Ocean Power Technologies Power Buoy can be studied not only for stationing cell phone stations but also for providing electrical power . We have an ocean, we may as well look a garnering clean power from this resource. The most current long awaited research on cell tower related cancer. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cellphone-5g-health-20160808-snap-story.html
3. Beach, creek and ocean pollution – to make this a focal point of stopping and reversing the frequent high levels of bacteria and other pollution that have closed our beaches at times. We need to apply filtration systems, pumps, and devices to keep Soquel Creek water clean and apply necessary measures to lower the pollution levels of our beach and ocean. Part of this is to utilize devices that will deter the hundreds of seagulls and other bird life off our beach, keeping the Soquel lagoon and Creek water filtrated.
4) Crime and Gang activity – In mid July of this year we experienced our first gang related shooting. This is unacceptable. We cannot bury our heads in the sand on this impending threat. One priority I have is to address the potential and existing growth of gang activity in the city limits by increased efforts county wide, special training of our police in this area, support police confrontation of gang members or suspected gang members, in their process of confrontation and arrest. To make Capitola a zero tolerance for graffiti, gangs and violence.
5) To make city decisions as fair and transparent as possible.
6). Rispin Mansion, Library and City Hall Relocation - The City will be using 10.5 million dollars for the construction of a new library on the existing library site. Two developers proposed to develop the encased Rispin Mansion into a Boutique Hotel. The cost was estimated at 10 million dollars.
My proposal; The existing library location is a hazardous T intersection of Wharf Road and Clares Street. Traffic back up lines can be 15 cars deep at times in both directions on Wharf Rd. There is a "blind" spot coming southbound on Wharf Road, making exiting the library parking area a challenge and a danger. Library goers including children, parents with their babies, senior citizens, handicap people, all will have to task of crossing one of three or more pedestrian lanes at the T intersection. Add in skateboards, bicycles, and the like, and the problems intensify. Current plans call for a "blinking" light crosswalk. I contend this is not sufficient.
The bottom line? It's a bad location for a library and if it is utilized for the new library it WILL KILL many other much needed uses for that site.
IT'S JUST AN EXPENSIVE BAD IDEA!
For a further review please go to THE LIBRARY DISPUTE tab or click here
7. Capitola Village 2020. To lead a direction of Capitola Village in a new era with creative ideas that will require some "out of the box" thinking and vision. . Read more at my Capitola Village 2020"", to come shortly, check back.
8. Maintain Capitola's charm. To recognize the need to preserve the disappearing Capitola cottages - provide owners with incentives to keep and maintain them.The charming beach cottages and buildings left from a different era of Capitola are priceless. They were the very reason many people were attracted to the quaint charm of Capitola. Many have been destroyed and only to be replaced by box buildings or mini mansions that sit empty most of the year. Unfortunately the maintenance of these properties can be a financial burden. I would propose a program to owners as an incentive to keep rather than sell their properties which would include low interest rate improvement loans. So owning a historical property will be an asset rather than a burden.
9. Capitola Mall and 41st Ave. To address the decline of 41st Ave. and Capitola Mall. A sitting empty former Marie Calendars makes no sense . This whole area needs revitalizing. There exists a very real possibility that the Capitola Mall may be unsustainable and we must work with the owners to address this looming problem, find solutions and insure they have the leverage and cooperation they need during these trying times of mall closings.
Solutions go far beyond a "General Plan" The issues are economics and how malls in general and how the Capitola Mall can buck the national trend of mall closings. They have to reinvent themselves or they will close. I have spent a good portion of my career in mall marketing and advertising, so I am very familiar with their needs and operations.This challenge will require experience in the regional shopping center scope. I believe I am the only candidate with this experience.
10.The guides and sages of Capitola.
To recognize and continue the work of past Capitola people who have guided our City into the charming and desirable place it is today.
11. Consistency in parking ordinance. Somehow, the once long and firm standing parking regulations for Capitola businesses have completely changed from a few years ago,. Many of the new programs to me are vague, very subjective, confusing, and impossible to police .
I would want to see a program like our first "in-lieu" parking program that provided merchants a fair opportunity to expand seating in their business while adding thousands of dollars to the city. Unfortunately, in this program, records were not maintained to keep track of collected monies or where they were spent. This program aided the City to purchase the Pacific Mobile Home Park (now the main parking lot behind City Hall), the property on McGregor ( Currently a skateboard park and the shuttle bus program. Such non transparency will never be tolerated if I am on your Council, but lets also revisit the original in-lieu because it was very simple, clear, fair and provided funding to the City, and opportunity for businesses to expand.
12. The Capitola Shuttle. Upgrade the current shuttle program. Replace the current "prison buses" with fun attractive resort type electric carts or cart trains. Look at expanding the months of services.
13. Something for young ones. Create something in the Village for kids. All too often young families arrive in Capitola only to find there is nothing for their young ones to do, except enjoy the beach on sunny days. There was a time in Capitola Village when we had a carousel, skee ball, and a bowling alley for the cold overcast days and just for fun. I would like to explore concepts to keep young ones entertained and occupied, to make their memories of Capitola treasurable.
14. Gondolas for Capitola. I would help promote aa seasonal program to have gondolas ferry [people around Soquel Creek and under the bridge, between the Shadowbrook and the bridge. These have proved to be great tourist draws in other areas and our Venice background makes for a charming romantic experience.
15. Water Saver Program. Thousands of gallons of water are flushed out to sea each week by "waiting for the hot water". I would promote a program where the City buys and installs instant hot water and recirculating water devices to businesses and residences, in exchange for an annual check of potential water leaks and waste in the respective places.
16. A seasonal yacht harbor. There has come the need as more expensive and larger boats arrive each summer to provide better mooring , anchorage, slips and services. I would like to explore the use of temporary piers and slips as used in other locations. These could be brought out each summer for the yacht guests.
17. Recognition of first Capitola inhabitants. Many native American remains and artifacts have been found in Capitola. I would commission to have a realistic interactive bronze statue of Capitola's first people, the Ohlone tribe.. Estimated to have been here some 2,000 - 5,000 years ago, there are no descendants left from our area. Such a landmark art piece would allow for people to have their photos with it, be an education for many, and as said, be a commemoration to one of the many original tribes and indigineous people that once flourished in California. Placed somewhere near the footing of the Stockton bridge it would have good exposure, and be a draw for annual vacationers to take their pictures with.
18. Save our Crumbling Cliffs! One of the most challenging of tasks is the state of our crumbling sand stone cliffs. We need to explore every avenue on this, work with the Coastal Commission which at times has been more of a detriment than help. Read more informationat the menu section "Eroding Cliffs"
19. Tone Down Events. As always, I prefer to hear the ocean. I have always believed Capitola will be discovered and people will come for just being Capitola. I think it is time to review the many events that keep crowding our calendar. I believe Capitola has been exploited to the hilt and people and merchants here are suffering from festival fatigue. Many residents sadly choose to leave during these events.
I would like to review and get more opinions both from residents and merchants on this. The first Art and Wine Festivals for me were much more fun because they just showcased local artists. At the last Art and Wine Festival I interviewed many traveling merchants who expressed disappointment in sales. I also believe a separate earlier race for qualified local runners should be allowed before the general Wharf to Wharf race.
20. Esplanade Fresh Fruit and Vegetables.
I would support the idea for a fresh fruit and vegetable stand near the Esplanade. I was never at a European beach/village area that did not have one. They really contributes to a fresh summer feeling. This has also gone very well at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.
21. Purchase Open Spaces - I would advocate the City to purchase properties and keep them as open spaces for a more green park community. The value of a community can often be measured by its number of parks. These properties do not even have to be within city limits. We have to come to grips with our future. It is certain that more development means more traffic congestion, more highway lanes, more carbon monoxide in the air. So do we want to become another Los Angeles, or set a whole new trend? I say let's break the mold and try something different. The choices for the future of our area is not five years from now. The choices must be made now.
22. Install Shark Cams - Over the past several years we have witnessed extremely rare behavior by sharks, in particular the great whites. This activity has caught the headlines and is on many peoples minds as they head to the surf. In the past several months great whites have been spotted off the cement ship and near the Santa Cruz pier. A quarter mike from the Capitola pier a fisherman's boat was attacked by an estimated 15 foot great white.
Let us be proactive with this menace and install shark cams at the end of our pier or cliffs to monitor any activity and help ensure a safer place to enjoy our waters.
23. Motorcycle Noise - Many people have expressed the need to control noise pollution from vehicles, particularly motorcycles. When one or more are revving up or zooming up one of our hills, the noise can be deafening. If bike riders cannot conform to California noise level laws, let us make an effort to cite them. A decibel reader much like a speed sign can be installed n weekends at busy locations.A camera may be legal to be installed to photo snap the noise maker. Although it may be illegal to issue a citation based on this, it is worth looking into and at least install decibel warning signs like the digital speed signs we are all familiar with.
24. Capitola Save the Otter Program. Capitola has a friendly family of otters. As they frolic in our kelp beds and entertain us with their antics, they are not without threats. Otters are being killed or dying at a record rate following a miraculous comeback of only 30 in Big Sur. Be it pollution, shark attacks or shootings, otters face a questionable future. We can do something. We can form a group for people of all ages to adopt a particular otter and learn about their otter and its family members, its personality and habits. As otters bond (the hold hands at night while sleeping), so can their human friends and and learn about protecting our special celebrities off our shore. Join me in helping the otters of Capitola .
25. Enhance Senior Services - There is an opportunity to work with our seniors in respect to adding more meals, exercise and fun programs at the Senior Center. It should cost that much more but some phone calls and organization. When a handful of seniors show up for dinner then something needs improving.
26. Measure D.year 2008 and the new Measure F. In 2008 a 1/4 percent sales tax increase narrowly won. It sounded good, but no caps or specifics were given to earmark the funds. Consequently, many people feel the funds were not used in the best manner or interest, and actually may have been wasted. How to prevent this with the coming Measure F, the continuing 1/4 percent sales tax on the November ballot? Council members must be vigilant. Although uses have been identified, the wording and causes are broad. I would have liked Measure F to identity specific areas and items that could or could not benefit from the tax increase. These funds are not a blank check to our City. As a council member I will be uphold the tax payer's interst in monitoring these funds by making all activity very open and transparent and listen to the electorate and businesses .
27. Aquifer Adoption - In order to create awareness and education of our County's water, I propose a program to Adopt an Aquifer. School students as well as adults can take part in learning about our water resources and aquifers. The aquifer serving Capitola is named Purisima. Understanding an aquifer is a first step in protecting our vital natural resource.
28. Rebate incentive for solar Hot Water Heater. Adopt a program wheereby the sun is used to heat hot water heaters instead of electricity. a number of cities and communities have adopted this program. One in particular Palo Alto, can easily be replicated. Click on image to the right for more information.
29. Power from our ocean. We have an ocean with a potential abundance generate electricity through waves, currents and tides. There are a number of firms that are harnessing this energy. Among the Ocean Pacific Technologies with their Power Buoy. I would invite these firms to Capitola for consultation. We have an opportunity to be one of the first California cities to focus on ocean energy resourses and become a contractor in selling this energy. I would also like to establish an annual event whereby inventors large and small could present their ocean energy concepts, hopefully gaining international recognition. In 1895 Capitola was the chosen spot to advance a power generating wave wheel by Gerlach of Santa Monica. Mounted on the Capitola pier, the Gerlach wheel would pump water up nearby hills that would flow down through generators.For additional ideas, go to the Capitola Ocean Energy section of this site.
30. Proposal for Affordable Housing in Capitola
This concept would replace the prevailing concept of building separate “granny units”, by creating attached or structure inclusive units.
Capitola neighborhoods have been for some time evolving into “vacant second home or investment homes”. This is common in areas like Carmel where 45 percent of the homes remain vacant most of the year. And as in Carmel, many people have opted to tear down their original bungalow house and replace it with a 2000 to 3000 square foot structure. As one drives through Capitola neighborhoods, it is quite common to see these larger houses that have replaced smaller cottages and houses. Some areas are beginning to created “ghost town” appearance with rows of uninhabited houses.
What I propose is to allow owners of these properties to take a portion of their house, and convert that into a studio or one bedroom units. By taking a 200 to 400 sq. ft. area for instance and making it into a completely separate unit, one is solving a couple issues. First, it is creating an affordable rental unit. It is providing the owner with some income. It is providing the owner with a presence at their house for security. It helps eliminate the vacant look of an area of empty houses.
Such units should not be within the vacation or transient overlay area unless they are permitted only for long term use. The concept is to generate affordable long term housing. There should be little or no problem with parking. Most structures have a single or double drive way that again can service the new studio tenant.
This idea is not a fit for everyone. But if say 300 owners opt to do this, then the City has created 300 affordable units.
e your paragraph here.
My observation, ideas, thoughts
and views for a better Capitola
Parking problems, nothing new to Capitola.
The congestion and future of Highway 1 and 17 we are now facing. Do we need more development? Development = more lanes.
Bob Edgren for Capitola City Council