Issues involving our library and a proposed garage
in Downtown Santa Cruz
In June of 2016, voters in Santa Cruz County approved
Measure S—a $67 million bond measure—to
“repair, upgrade, and modernize the local library
facilities in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Live Oak, Scott’s Valley,
Boulder Creek, Capitola, Felton, and La Selva
Subsequent to the passage of Measure S, City staff
proposed, as a “modernization” of our Downtown
Library, the construction of a new six-level garage, with
a new library as part of the ground level of the garage.
This garage would completely cover “Parking
Lot #4”, the area bounded by Lincoln, Cathcart
and Cedar Streets—where the Wednesday afternoon
Farmers Market now takes place.
Here is a rendering by
Group 4 Architecture of this proposal:
Many of us were surprised and upset by this proposal, not
having realized that such a proposal was being considered
when we voted in favor of Measure S.
For additional renderings by Group 4 Architecture, see
this page, displayed by a local group's
website (well worth perusing) entitled
Don't Bury the Library.
Over the past two years, a number of issues have arisen.
Some issues involve only the garage, some involve only the
library, and some involve both the garage and the library.
Below is a list of links to pages—on our
website and elsewhere—that are worth reading.
Several of these links also appear in our sequence of six
header images at the top of this page. We
encourage you to check them out. They are more or less in
- Mark Lakeman's presentation
from March 2019.
Mark, whose home is in Portland, Oregon,
talks about the key importance of gathering places, and the
success of the “Downtown Commons” that he helped
create in Portland. You might want to start by listening
to his stories
at the end of his formal presentation. His first story is
- A video of Patrick Siegman's presentation to our
City Council on March 19, 2019.
Siegman, who was working for Nelson\Nygaard and is now an
independent consultant, is one of five consultants who
have advised the city to delay the construction of a new
garage until pricing, commuter benefits, technology and
reform of parking requrements have had a chance to work.
This video is the main feature comprising the second of
Ten Reasons Why Downtown Santa Cruz
Doesn't Need a New Garage. A related
essay by Rick
Longinotti exposes background details about the political
situation, and is worth reading.
Many Downtown business owners are
opposed to the proposal for a new garage, and have
written statements about why they are opposed. Please
this link to read them.
A new organization—the Downtown Commons
Advocates (DCA)—has formed. Its main
coordinator is John Hall, who has moved here from Davis,
where there is the much beloved and highly successful
Here is a link to the DCA's Facebook
Page. The DCA advocates for the creation of a
Downtown Commons on Parking
Lot #4, so the organization is opposed to
the proposal to construct a garage covering that space.
Several Downtown business owners are participants.
Can our existing Downtown library be remodeled and
improved? The answer is YES.
Friday, December 13, 2019, was a lucky day. As outlined
by Stephen Kessler in his latest column (see below), on
this day, Abe Jayson and Katie Stuart of Jayson
Architecture presented their proposal for remodeling our
Downtown library in its current location. To watch and
listen to what they had to say, and to learn about the
details of their presentation, click on
Stephen Kessler writes a column each week for the Santa
Cruz Sentinel. We have posted four, all of which relate to
what he calls the “Taj
Garage”. The most recent one was
published on January 4, 2020. It's called
“Be green now. Save Lot 4. Rebuild the
library.”. You can read them all right
In this Guest
Editorial in the Sentinel, over ten business owners
call for a revitalized library without building a
new parking garage, and creating a Town
Commons with a permanent home for the
Farmers Market at its existing location.