letters to the editor

Concern over Scotts Valley’s housing plan

I’m puzzled by the Scotts Valley Council’s exuberance to change our Housing Element and modify the Town Center proposal to include more than 600 houses. I also understand Gov. Newsom’s affordable housing edict. I also find it troubling that the City is fine with bypassing some of the environmental (CEQA) laws and due diligence in the name of speed.

The traffic level on Mt. Hermon Road from 4:30 to 6 p.m. is already level F. Just assume 600 homes in Town Center, each with two cars. Hypothetically, we could have 1,200 more cars merging into level F traffic flow. It seems intuitive that such a proposal would end up costing the City in the long run (even with exorbitant developer fees): road repair, water, sewage, additional police and fire, and overcrowded SkyPark, with minimal property and sales tax to offset expenses.

The first time I came through Scotts Valley in 1980, there was a four-way stop sign at Mt. Hermon and Scotts Valley Drive. I’ve watched the City grow, and I’m not against change. I am, however, against poor judgment and our community’s total degradation. 

When the Town Center was proposed, it was a different time and place. It included a neighborly magnet, family-friendly retail, and a handful of apartments on the top. I understand those days are gone, but it’s wrong to blatantly swap that project for an entirely new one and call it the same name.

David Leland
Scotts Valley

We welcome letters to the editor and commentaries on all topics of local interest. Email your submissions to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s name and hometown (for publication) and phone number (for verification). Submissions may be edited, and will be published as space permits. Letters are limited to about 300 words, commentaries to 500 words.

Previous articleNews Briefs | Published May 17, 2024
Next articleScotts Valley makes progress on parks plan


  1. David,

    It’s not Governor Newsoms policy. It is state law. Cities must comply with their mandated housing element or face loss of state funds – which would be catastrophic. In regards to planning the city can guide and work with developers, however if they deny the builders permit- the builder can invoke a “builders remedy” and bypass the city completely. Do some googling about the City of Belvedere.

    That said the vast majority of traffic on Mt Hermon Rd is not local. The city has conducted numerous traffic counts and found most traffic is bound for the San Lorenzo Valley. Which is exactly what was intended when the Mt Hermon bypass was built in the 1970s. Before that SLV bound traffic used Conference Drive. Crazy huh.

    I miss the 80s too. But nostalgia isn’t a rational argument in the face of housing needs – and In guarantee you NO house is as impacted by SV growth as ours will be.

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - Yes


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here