Kaiser’s Medical Office: Traffic An Unresolved Issue – TPG Online Daily

Dry Wall Contractor

Pacific Medical Buildings of San Diego is proposing a 160,000-square-foot specialty medical office building is proposed at 5940 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, for Kaiser Permanente.

This outpatient facility is to include advanced medical services, a 24-hour urgent care clinic, medical offices and a 730-space parking garage on the two-lane freeway frontage road. The property is 4.98 acres, occupied by 10 to 12 businesses, according to Martin Gonzalez of Gonzalez Towing, which tows vehicles for police agencies and is looking for a new location. Other businesses at this location include a concrete company, landscaping service, plumbing and a dry wall contractor.

The project has been in the works since 2018 and the goal is to begin construction in late 2022. The site was proposed for 100 units of housing in 2008. It’s zoned for multi-family residential, so a zone change for the medical facility must be approved by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. The developer says the building will create 300 healthcare jobs. The traffic analysis calculated the medical facility would reduce vehicle miles traveled by 20,000 miles a day, as Santa Cruz County residents would no longer need to travel to San Jose or Gilroy for Kaiser specialty services.

People who live in the surrounding neighborhoods say the contemplated traffic mitigations are inadequate and that the proposed medical building, while worthy, belongs in the county’s medical corridor, which has bus service and more lanes to accommodate traffic.

Traffic backs up on Nov. 23 on the Soquel Avenue frontage road by the freeway. • Photo Credit: James Joyce

During Zoom meetings with neighbors, questions arose about a county-placed barrier on 40th Avenue and Deane’s Lane blocking vehicles from 40th Avenue and affecting circulation, which prompted a lawsuit by the city of Capitola. Capitola did not question whether the county had complied with statutory provisions in its General Plan, and the court ruled in favor of the county in 1990.

The county’s 1994 General Plan reports: It appears infeasible to mitigate the Highway 1 southbound ramps/Soquel Avenue intersections with limited intersection improvements without significant realignment of Soquel Avenue and some right-of-way.

Here is the decision in the lawsuit on the traffic barrier:

The city of Capitola appeals from the trial court’s denial of a writ of mandate which would have required the board of supervisors of the county of Santa Cruz to remove a traffic barrier on a street within the county’s jurisdiction. We conclude the County is authorized by Vehicle Code section 21101, subdivision (f) to maintain the traffic barrier and affirm the judgment.

Statement of Facts

The traffic barrier at issue is located entirely within the county on 40th Avenue where it intersects Deane’s Lane. The barrier blocks all through traffic, but area residents have access to the street from the north. The city limit is just south of the barrier. The City had planned various road improvements in …….


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