The Aptos Village Meeting on April 22 was held at the Rio Sands Hotel by the Rio del Mar Beach. It was standing room only, with the room full to its limit, an estimated 150 people. The meeting was headed by 2nd District Supervisor Zach Friend and Mary Gourlay with Barry Swenson Builder. Extensive information was provided by Ron Duncan and Bruce Jaffe from the Soquel Creek Water District, and also Jack Sohriakoff, a senior traffic engineer with the county Public Works department.
At the beginning of the meeting, attendees were asked to write their questions down on cards, so they could be asked in an orderly and efficient fashion. Nevertheless, remarks by Friend, Gourlay and the other speakers would be peppered with spicy questions from the crowd throughout the evening.
Audio Recording of the Aptos Village Meeting on April 22
The meeting opened with remarks from Supervisor Friend, who was quick to point out that the purpose of the meeting was not to discuss approval of the Aptos Village project, as it’s an “entitled project.” It has already gone through the entire approval process and was approved in 2012.
This meeting was intended as a way to receive public input on some modifications to the initially approved design, which the builder has submitted to the county for approval. Also, the meeting was designed to be a way to publicly discuss what will happen during construction, what will those impacts be, and how the county can communicate to make people’s lives in the area “less miserable” during construction. Also open for discussion were the water, traffic, and public safety impacts of the project.
Video from Aptos Village Meeting
Supervisor Friend explained that when the county initially approved the project, it allowed the builder some room to change a few things around within approved parameters. The county supervisors will be meeting to consider approval of the builder’s proposed “design modifications” at its meeting on May 5th, 2015, and members of the public are certainly welcome to attend.
After opening remarks from Supervisor Friend, Mary Gourlay went over a project map and explained what each building is. Considerable time was spent discussing the “design modifications” made to the project since it was initially approved.
Slides from the Presentation – Barry Swenson Builder
After the opening remarks by Friend and Gourlay, Supervisor Friend read through the questions that had been collected from the crowd. Many of the questions reflected the community’s concerns around the drought and the project’s water usage, as well as the impacts on traffic – both during construction and forever more. Other questions involved parking, affordable housing, site drainage and runoff, and more.
Supervisor Friend brought the meeting to an end a few minutes before 8:00 PM, but he and the other speakers remained after the meeting to answer questions from those who stayed late. More meetings are expected to be held in the future as the project progresses.
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