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Housing & Economics

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Class 36 enjoyed an overview of the County's economic landscape and housing challenges.

Fred Keeley, as usual, enthralled and educated the class with his historical knowledge of Santa Cruz County. Former 3rd District Supervisor Ryan Coonerty engaged the class in a lively discussion about workforce culture in the wake of covid.

Later in the morning we offered a Tale of Three Cities presentation featuring new housing developments being built throughout the County. Katie Herlihy, Community Development Director for the City of Capitola; Carlos Landaverry, Housing Manager for Watsonville; Lee Butler, Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Santa Cruz; and Jessica De Wit, Housing and Community Development Manager for Santa Cruz all shared their insights. And both Katie and Jessica happen to be current Class 36 members.

After lunch, we had a good panel on Affordable Housing and Workforce Issues. Barbara Mason, the County's former Economic Development Coordinator, arranged all the speakers. Thank you Barbara! Peter Detlefs, Business Services Manager at Workforce Santa Cruz County; Robert Ratner, Director at Housing for Health; Suzanne Ise, Project Planner at Santa Cruz County, and Elaine Johnson, Executive Director for Housing Santa Cruz County all participated in the panel discussion.

After a long day of presentations the Class worked together in teams of 8 engaging in a Neighborhood Design Charrette. Matthew Thompson of Thacher & Thompson Architects

provided guidance on how neighborhoods are designed within planning constraints. It was fascinating to see each group create completely different designs with some groups working quickly and others engaging in a more complex process. Each team presented their designs and justifications.

Overall it was a fabulous day. The staff at the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors (SCCAR) office in Soquel, did a fabulous job preparing the venue for the Class. Katie Conley from Swenson Builders supplied a delicious breakfast and coffee and lunch was provided by the SCCAR.

Thank you to our sponsors!

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