News Briefs

Supervisors to host cannabis listening sessions

Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is seeking feedback from county residents on any changes needed to local laws regulating cannabis, including retail sales, outdoor and indoor commercial production, on-site consumption and more.

A series of public meetings are planned at the following times and locations: March 18, 5:30-7pm, Aptos Village Park, 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos; March 19, 5:30-7pm, Watsonville Civic Plaza Community Room, 275 Main St., 4th Floor, Watsonville; March 20, 5:30-7pm, Highlands Park, 8500 Highway 9, Ben Lomond; and March 27, 5:30-7pm, Sheriff’s Office Community Room, 5200 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz.

Residents are invited to join to provide insights and feedback. Meetings will be hybrid, with visitors able to attend either in person or via Zoom at

For information on local cannabis regulations, licensing, taxes and more, visit

Survey on aging well blueprint closes soon

The County of Santa Cruz’s Human Services Department is developing a Master Plan for Aging in partnership with the Seniors Council and local cities, and a survey to collect feedback for the effort called “Age Well Santa Cruz County” is closing soon.

“The County of Santa Cruz is dedicated to promoting the well-being of older residents and people with disabilities,” said Alicia Morales, Director of the Human Services Department’s Adult and Long-Term Care Division. “Age Well Santa Cruz County will be a blueprint for implementing strategies and partnerships that promote healthy aging for all.”

The State of California developed a Master Plan for Aging (MPA) that was released in 2021. The MPA is a 10-year blueprint for advancing a California for all ages and abilities. 

Individual counties, including Santa Cruz County, are now creating local MPAs to ensure people of all ages and abilities in their communities are engaged, valued and afforded equitable opportunities to thrive as they age, how and where they choose. 

To initiate Age Well Santa Cruz County, a local survey was launched Jan. 8 to collect community feedback focused on aging in the county. The survey is supported by a Steering Committee of engaged community members and outreach efforts to maximize community participation will take place widely. 

Results from the survey will inform the local MPA’s goals.

Age Well Santa Cruz County will partner with organizations, businesses, clubs, agencies and individuals throughout Santa Cruz County to ensure as many people as possible participate in the survey. The survey will be available online through March 31 at and

For more about the survey, contact [email protected] or 831-454-4397.

County addresses unpermitted short-term vacation rentals

The County of Santa Cruz’s Planning Division is stepping up efforts to address the growing issue of unpermitted vacation rentals. This move aims to mitigate the adverse effects of unregulated short-term vacation and hosted rentals on housing availability in the county.

Unpermitted short-term vacation and hosted rentals in Santa Cruz County can exacerbate housing affordability, limit available parking, and increase noise levels, impacting neighborhoods. The enforcement process, previously reliant on complaints, now involves actively identifying unpermitted and non-compliant properties on vacation rental platforms in collaboration with County Sheriff and Auditor-Controller departments.

Santa Cruz County is experiencing a severe housing availability and affordability crisis. Regulating short-term vacation rentals allows these units to be available for long-term rental housing and is one of many programs the County is utilizing to address the crisis.

Property owners can obtain permits, valid for five years, through the Planning Division and are encouraged to schedule a zoning appointment with Planning staff to review the permit submission requirements: Short-term rentals are regulated by sections 13.10.690 and 13.10.694 of the Santa Cruz County Code.

Property owners failing to comply with permit requirements will face citations, with escalating fines for subsequent violations. Persistent non-compliance could result in the posting of a notice of violation and the imposition of associated fees and penalties of up to $2,500 per violation after 90 days and revocation of permits.

Permits may be denied renewal for significant violations of the vacation rental ordinance. The public can report unpermitted and non-compliant vacation and hosted rental properties online at

Previous articleLetter to the Editor | Published March 15, 2024
Next articleMountain Community Theater brings the laughs with ‘Odd Couple’ productions
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here