Monday, September 10, 2012
Tomorrow night, the Santa Cruz City Council will make some important decisions. If you have a position on whether or not the City should invest $4.1 million dollars of its financial reserves in a new basketball arena, to be located at Front and Spruce Streets, on the fringes of downtown, you had better be there.
There are lots of land use questions involved in this deal. The proposal is to build a 2700-seat arena with no dedicated parking. In addition, an existing private parking lot will be eliminated. Beach employees now parking at Front and Spruce Streets will be given free parking at the City’s downtown garage at Front and River Streets, a garage currently relied upon by downtown employees and the customers of downtown businesses. The normal environmental review process has been truncated, noise issues are of very real concern to the neighbors, and preconstruction work has already begun, even before official approval.
What may be most fascinating to City residents who care about how their financial reserves are being deployed, is the fact that the proposed deal with the Golden State Warriors is not really a “loan” to the Warriors. It’s actually more like a “joint venture” agreement. The City would essentially be going into the basketball and arena business, and the City will get the entirety of its $4.1 million dollars back only if that business does well. Decision time is tomorrow night. There are links at kusp.org/landuse.