County Concedes – Felton Meadow Not Suitable for Development

Felton Meadow on a summer morning. Labeled by developers as a distressed, toxic "brown site" in need of redevelopment. Public agencies spent over $5 million in support of the developer. 4000 valley residents fought back.

The County of Santa Cruz this week conceded what we and the majority of our community have known for 7 years. That “an affordable housing project is no longer feasible on the Felton site and that the County loans with respect to the Felton site will not be repaid by the Developer” South County Housing Corporation.

$5 million and not one bit of public benefit. The ill-fated project defied the written terms and certainly the spirit of the Felton Town Plan and the concerns of the majority of the community. It ignored water and septic issues, endangered species, architectural vernacular, green building sensibilities, and the sincerity of public process.

The next use of the property appears to be recreational. We look forward to watching that process move forward authentically.

Air Quality and Outdoor Burning

Lots of talk about outdoor burning and its impact on air quality in the San Lorenzo Valley. This year’s winter season with its relative lack of air-clearing rainfall was particularly notable.

The Sentinel’s Jason Hoppin wrote about the issue.

Donna Smith of Ben Lomond sent this letter to the Sentinel:

Wow, was your air quality as bad as mine this week? I guess some of you haven’t researched health issues caused by soot particles that are created by wood fires yet: 50 to 70 percent of this toxic smoke is entering your home and lungs. Please join us at to work toward clean air for all of us. 

River Cleanup at Felton Covered Bridge

On Saturday, September 17th at the Felton Covered Bridge, coordinated with Save Our Shores for the Annual Coastal and River Cleanup Day.  Participants came from all over the county. Students earned community service credit on site.

Save Our Shores Coastal and River Cleanups take place in Santa information on those efforts, please visit

International Cleanup Day is the single largest volunteer event on the planet. Volunteers in over 100 countries around the world work together to remove hundreds of thousands of pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways before they enter our oceans. In 2010, 6043 Save Our Shores volunteers removed 14,612 lbs. of trash and 4,760 lbs. of recycling from beaches and waterways within Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties in just 3 short hours. In California, 80,312 volunteers banded together to cleanup 953,476 lbs. of trash and 146,646 lbs. of recyclables, for a total of 1,100,122 pounds (results via