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John Leopold Letter

What Is Happening In the Sky

We were all surprised by the temporary flight path change last month, which was due to a mistake by an FAA contractor. The vendor erroneously published a new SERFR version before it was due to go online. To resolve the problem of two different published charts for the SERFR route, the FAA moved the Southern Arrivals to SFO to the BSR path until the error could be corrected on March 1. The procedure used was not the one recommended by the Select Committee; it was a temporary use of the BSR track in which the planes flew level and noisy, similar to SERFR. The jet path returned to the SERFR route on March 1. A slightly modified SERFR3 procedure is scheduled to be published and used beginning March 29, which may bring some noise relief. The FAA is designing an Optimal Profile Descent (OPD) for the BSR track, as recommended by the Select Committee, to be implemented when Class B (commercial) airspace is modified. The FAA told us this will happen in August 2018.  Unfortunately, with these latest problems we can’t be sure when the return to BSR will happen. I am communicating with the FAA and our members of Congress to monitor progress. Reporting excessive jet noise is still important! The website (HERE) provides a simple way to report noise to the FAA from a smart phone or other device.

Parks Strategic Planning

Last year the Parks Department began a strategic planning process to better meet the needs of our community. Meetings were held throughout the county to gather information from residents about their priorities for parks in the unincorporated area. Parks staff has been working to compile this input and is now ready to share their draft plan with the community.  The Draft Strategic Plan is available for public review on the Parks Department website click HERE. You are also invited to join the Parks Department on Tuesday, March 27th at the Simpkins Family Swim Center at 6:00 p.m. to provide your input on this draft and help to plan the future of the County’s parks system.

Metro Fare Discussion

The Santa Cruz METRO has been through a lot in the last couple of years. With strong support from the community, Cabrillo College, the University, and voters through passage of Measure D, the bus system is now in a a much better position. As the system continues to look at long-term sustainability, the METRO Board is investigating a restructuring of METRO fares and will be holding meetings around the county to gather input.   Your voice is important in this discussion. Please join the METRO on March 12 for a discussion at the Simpkins Family Swim Center any time between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.  As the fare restructuring analysis progresses METRO will be posting additional information on their website HERE.

Pleasure Point/Portola Drive Commercial Corridor Survey

The Planning Department has hosted three community meetings to help set design standards for any new construction in the area. The discussion has also included suggested changes to the streetscape. You can review any of the meeting materials by clicking here.  There is also a survey that you can complete in to help strengthen community input. If you live, work or play in the area, I encourage you to visit the County Planning website and fill out the survey and share your input. Your opinions are valuable.
The survey is scheduled to be live later this week, I will post the link on my Facebook Page when it is live.
Nissan Update


The comment period has closed for the Draft EIR for the proposed Nissan project. Staff has indicated that they think that they will have a Final EIR done by the end of March or early April. When the Final EIR is released, I will send a notice out to the community. I want to thank everyone who shared their perspectives on the Draft EIR and I look forward to your continued input as this issue develops.

Accepting Civil Grand Juror Applications

The Civil Grand Jury is a historic institution and serves an important role in our society. Serving on the Civil Grand Jury gives you a unique opportunity to have a significant impact on the lives of Santa Cruz County residents. The 19 members of the Civil Grand Jury are an independent body empowered to investigate the operations of city and county governments as well as other tax-supported agencies and special districts. They also respond to citizen complaints on government issues.

For applications and more information, please visit the Superior Court’s website or visit either the Santa Cruz or Watsonville Courthouse to pick up an application. All applications must be received by 3:00 pm on Friday, April 20, 2018.

Report Graffiti

Just a reminder that you can report graffiti wherever you see it and whenever you see it.  Together we can ensure that our streets and neighborhoods remain vital public spaces by having unsightly graffiti removed through a joint volunteer effort initiated our County Public Works Department and the Volunteer Center with support from Graffiti Protective Coatings, Inc.  Please call the graffiti hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-526-1185.  It’s quick, easy and confidential.