"I think that we have a housing crisis in Santa Cruz, we have a housing crisis in California,” speaker Hooker told the commission ahead of its vote. “We need to deal with it here, and this is one spot where we can actually make a difference and I think we should figure out a way to approve this project, and at the same time mitigate as many of these possible concerns that have been raised.
Our housing crisis is not characterized by the lack of luxury housing. We have plenty of that. Except for required "inclusionary" units, the eighty-nine housing units that the proposed project will produce will definitely not be affordable to any average or below-average income resident. The new housing units, in a prime location adjacent to the beach, will be purchased by the ultra-wealthy, and most of these units will become second-homes. The Commission was asked by one Commissioner, Andrew Schiffrin, to apply local ordinances and state law in tandem, so as to increase the number of dedicated affordable units from ten to eighteen. This effort was rejected. The upshot of the Planning Commission's deliberations was to approve seventy-nine luxury condominiums and ten affordable units.