The irony of Pajaro evacuations
On Sunday I had the opportunity to attend a press conference about the evacuation of people near the Pajaro River in the community of Pajaro. I was struck by the irony of the situation.
In December the Monterey County Board of Supervisors overruled the Planning Commission and approved an H2A housing project in Pajaro next to the river which will increase the population of Pajaro 15-20%. H2A is defined as a nonimmigrant foreign worker program and does not address the housing concerns of County residents. The Planning Commission after several meetings ruled 7-1 against the project citing flooding as well as other unaddressed issues.
Common sense dictates that a housing project next to levees in disrepair constructed in 1949 should be subject to additional scrutiny because of public safety concerns. The levees are scheduled to be replaced in the next 5-7 years. One is left to ponder how a project in a known flood zone could be overruled by our elected officials contrary to public safety concerns.
And a late breaking update: As I typed this letter a friend of mine in Pajaro forwarded a mandatory evacuation notice. The irony is telling.
—Steve Snodgrass, Royal Oaks
Tree cutting plan destroys natural landscape
I am objecting to the proposed destruction of over 400 trees along Segment 9 of the Rail and Trail Project.
The visual impact of clear cutting is totally inappropriate for our community. The natural tree-lined corridor cannot be replaced with fences and sidewalls. I love walking the rail line; they are a piece of Santa Cruz history. Do not destroy that for generations to come. Those trees take years to grow and minutes to be destroyed.
We do not want to lose the peace, the quiet and the visual beauty of our trees and wildlife. Our neighborhoods and that tranquility are being threatened.
We do not want to lose any more of our scenic views, our trees and natural landscape. The proposed clear cutting will destroy the general nature and rural charm of our neighborhoods along the Segment 9 corridor. The proposed will degrade our quality of life and the lives of all the wild creatures that call these areas home.
Thank you for your time in the matter, please take heed of the neighborhood objections.
We ask the Regional Transportation Commission, City of Santa Cruz and County of Santa Cruz to stand by their residents and deny the proposal for tree clearing along the Segment 9 corridor.
—Ann McKenzie, Santa Cruz