SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION)
UPDATE 6/25/2020 1:30 p.m. The Santa Cruz City Council has approved a plan for a new downtown library in a mixed-use space that includes affordable housing and a parking garage.
The project was approved with a 4-2 vote Tuesday night after a year-long vetting process done by the Downtown Library Advisory Committee when there was opposition to a project design approved in 2018. The Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce said the project approved Tuesday night has nearly the same design.
The mixed-use space will include at least 50 affordable housing units and a maximum of 400 parking spaces. It will be built on parking lot 4 off Cedar Street.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Santa Cruz City Council is expected to discuss developing a mixed-use project and moving the downtown library to the ground floor.
If the project is approved, the mixed-use project would be developed on parking lot 4 near Cathcart, Cedar and Lincoln Streets. The library would be moved to the ground floor, and it would include a minimum of 50 low-income housing units and a parking garage.
Measure S; which provides bond funding to modernize, repair and upgrade library branches around the county; was improved in 2016, and because of the condition and complexity of the downtown branch, the City said it created the Downtown Library Advisory Committee. In September 2018, the DLAC recommended a mixed-use project incorporating the library, and the Council approved it.
Because there was opposition to the project, the City Council said it voted to put a hold on the decision and create a subcommittee to investigate alternatives in May 2019. After a year of reevaluating options, the Downtown Library Subcommittee said it feels it has met its goals and recommends moving forward.
In its report, the subcommittee says the library and parking garage will not impact the general fund. The project costs include $27 million in Measure S funding and $37 million in parking district funding. More funding may come from the City's Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
The project is expected to be discussed at Tuesday night's council meeting at around 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held through teleconference only.