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Santa_Cruz

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  1/7/2016
Santa Cruz- paradise on earth
I have spent my entire life working toward living in Santa Cruz County and in 2005 finally made it. While there are people living here and all of the commensurate social issues that accompany humanity, this is an area with a welcoming political environment, perfect climate, rich culture for a smaller area,

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  7/14/2015
Santa Cruz
I have owned a home in Soquel (right next to Santa Cruz) for 24 years and spent lots of time in SC. First, noise is JUST LIKE everywhere else. Second, if you have skills and are willing to work you will not be unemployed. Third, roads are acceptable but not great. Fourth, I have never seen a discarded needle but the party crowd and homeless crowd comes to the beach and just like SF it is not always pristine. Fifth, there is no feral cat problem. Sixth, drought is not an issue if you use a yellow/mellow, brown flush it down strategy. Seventh, affordable housing issue is real if you are not making $$. Seventh, most people who rent pay taxes on that income, the assertion is ridiculous. Eighth, crime is in fact high due to out of town partiers and local homeless/addicted population. Positives -- incredible beauty, climate, clean air, Silicon Valley 35 min. away, with a quickly vanishing older hippie population. Downtown is still funky and weird, stay away from it if you don't like it. Basic message is just stick to those areas you really dig and you will love the area. Be sure to bring skills and a desire to work.

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  6/2/2015
Santa Cruz Summary of Issues
We are from Intermountain West and wished we would have researched Sperling's info beforehand. We have never seen anything like the lack of care/concern (i.e., apathy) from city/county leaders relating to multiple problems. If we knew what we know now, we would have NOT moved here.

The noise pollution is horrendous. More vehicles than not are rundown, mufflers have holes in them so VERY loud. Some think it's "cool" to turn up vehicle's audio system, noise blasting from vehicles, all hours of the day/night.

Unemployment: The employment rates are higher than national average. Very strange given we are so close to Silicon Valley. Either city/county leaders don't want to attract good paying jobs or they don't care given "tourist and students" provide the most money and they don't have to work for it since both come year after year regardless.

The roads within city limits is laughable. We have never seen anything like Ocean Avenue. It is literally like driving on a dirt road in the backwoods with all the cracks & mediocre patch-work repairs. Riding a beach cruiser along it was like taking our bikes up in the mountains---bumpy, vibration, all the screws needed tightened afterwards. It's unacceptable. This is one example of many roads needing repaired. Where is all our local taxes going?

Contaminated beaches (3 of 10 of CA's beaches are right here in Santa Cruz County, tourist council dirty little secret). Cowell Beach, at the wharf, ranks #1 according to multiple reports. Capitola Beach, east/west of the jetty and, then Rio Del Mar beach. Go to California Coastkeeper Alliance, Beach Report Card and local news for more information.

Homelessness downtown, along San Lorenzo river, along West Cliff Drive etc. is heartbreaking and scary at times when he/she confronts you asking for money. We've seen multiple times, homeless people urinate right out on the sidewalk by Trader Joe's parking lot and the movie theater on Riverfront (Regal Riverfront Stadium 2). Trash along the river (delicate ecosystem for birds and marine life), which flows right into the ocean at Cowell Beach, making the already contaminated area even more so.

Illegal drugs, cigarette butts & marijuana use. Seen many used IV needles strewn along West Cliff Drive, beaches and by Seabright Beach (along East Cliff). The amount of discarded cigarette butts just thrown in/around parking areas on West Cliff Drive (which either blows right into the Pacific Ocean, affecting marine life negatively, or into private property which tobacco has been known to kill plants). Drug dealers regularly cruise along West Cliff trying to make their next deal. Pathetic.

Feral cat problem (certain residents feed such all the while these "wild" animals are using others property as their personal liter box). Many complain about dog owners not picking up waste, well, the feral cat problem here in Santa Cruz is beyond belief. Cats have been known to kill MILLIONS of birds, plus urine and feces is more toxic than canine. Can you imagine a pack of dogs being allowed to roam free to use the area as they feel fit? Can you imagine? Well, that is what city/county officials have allowed feral cats to do is roam free while using private properties as he/she feels fit. Do NOT dare bring it up with the residents who believe the feral cat (even fixed then released back into the community) is a problem. Huge arguments then the "complainer" will be labeled within the neighborhood as an animal hater and blacklisted within the neighborhood. It's such a disturbing issue.

Drought: The lack of concern for conservation unless fines are levied against residents. There are still people within the city/county who have thirsty lawns--it should be banned in the West. California is in its 4th year of gut-wrenching, historic drought. Multiple long-term residents even had the nerve to say, "Not that big of a deal. It's been dry before." Nope, nothing like this. We believe he/she has NEVER traveled to the Central Valley (Modesto/Bakersfield areas) where the farmers are sucking more ground water from the aquifers then being replenished to water thirsty almond and pomegranate farms (pretty much the same Big Agriculture corporations). The amount of greed at the expense of the environment is disgusting.

Lack of affordable student housing. University of California, Santa Cruz last year (fall of 2014) admitted 700 more students even though the housing in/around the college is dismal. There's greedy homeowners renting 1400 square feet homes to 8-10 students, causing HUGE parking issues, partying concerns, and noise disturbances. Most of the students are renting such houses for $5000+ and on multiple occasions we have found out the homeowner was reporting such property as their "primary" residence. Reason, we believe, in an attempt to avoid paying appropriate taxes, which costs ALL of US money. City obviously doesn't care to come up with a plan that would solve such issues or track such illegal business practices.

Short-term, vacation rentals, illegal rentals: City needs to come up with a plan to track such properties given it reduces such available housing to students and professions wanting to live/work in the area. All a person has to do is go on Craigslist's Housing section to see how many people are sub-leasing properties or leasing places short-term for the biggest amount of money in their pockets. It would be interesting to know if such person(s) are paying appropriate taxes on such arrangements--I highly doubt it, which again costs all of us. Then, the illegal rentals in "Tuff Shed-like" units where there's no full kitchen or leasing out closets/garages. It's going on more than anyone would like to admit.

Crime and vandalism: On multiple occasions, we have been awakened to gunshots coming from the Natural Bridges area. Tagging of street signs, large dumpsters, fences and businesses. There's been multiple gang related stabbings and shootings since moving here a year ago. For such a small town, this type of violence and crime should be lower, but it reminds of inner-city statistics. Don't even get us started with Salinas & Seaside (Monterey County) 40-50 miles south of Santa Curz, it's the killing fields.

Think long and hard about what type of quality of living you want compared to cost of living, including expensive food prices (we live very close to many produce farms, yet, cost of food is the same or more than 100 miles away). Sperling has the statistics that CANNOT be refuted.


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  6/1/2015
Apathy
We are from Intermountain West and wished we would have researched Sperling's info beforehand. We have never seen anything like the lack of care (apathy) from city/county leaders relating to multiple problems. If we knew what we know now, we would have NOT moved here.

The noise pollution is horrendous. More vehicles than not are rundown, mufflers have holes in them so VERY loud. Some think it's "cool" to turn up vehicle's audio system, noise blasting from vehicles, all hours of the day/night.

Unemployment: The employment rates are higher than national average. Very strange given we are so close to Silicon Valley. Either city/county leaders don't want to attract good paying jobs or they don't care given "tourist and students" provide the most money and they don't have to work for it since both come year after year.

The roads within city limits is laughable. We have never seen anything like Ocean Avenue. It is literally like driving on a dirt road in the backwoods with all the cracks & mediocre patch-work repairs. Riding a beach cruiser along it was like taking our bikes up in the mountains---bumpy, vibration, all the screws needed tightened afterwards. It's unacceptable. This is one example of many roads needing repaired. Where is all our local taxes going?

Contaminated beaches (3 of 10 of CA's beaches are right here in Santa Cruz County, tourist council dirty little secret). Cowell Beach, at the wharf, ranks #1 according to multiple reports. Capitola Beach, east/west of the jetty and, then Rio Del Mar beach. Go to California Coastkeeper Alliance, Beach Report Card and local news for more information.

Homelessness downtown, along San Lorenzo river, along West Cliff Drive etc. is heartbreaking and scary at times when he/she confronts you asking for money. We've seen multiple times, homeless people urinate right out on the sidewalk by Trader Joe's parking lot and the movie theater on Riverfront (Regal Riverfront Stadium 2). Trash along the river (delicate ecosystem for birds and marine life), which flows right into the ocean at Cowell Beach, making the already contaminated area even more so.

Illegal drugs, cigarette butts & marijuana use. Seen many used IV needles strewn along West Cliff Drive, beaches and by Seabright Beach (along East Cliff). The amount of discarded cigarette butts just thrown in/around parking areas on West Cliff Drive (which either blows right into the Pacific Ocean, affecting marine life negatively, or into private property which tobacco has been known to kill plants). Drug dealers regularly cruise along West Cliff trying to make their next deal. Pathetic.

Feral cat problem (certain residents feed such all the while these "wild" animals are using others property as their personal liter box). Many complain about dog owners not picking up waste, well, the feral cat problem here in Santa Cruz is beyond belief. Cats have been known to kill MILLIONS of birds, plus urine and feces is more toxic than canine. Can you imagine a pack of dogs being allowed to roam free to use the area as they feel fit? Can you imagine? Well, that is what city/county officials have allowed feral cats to do is roam free while using private properties as he/she feels fit. Do NOT dare bring it up with the residents who believe the feral cat (even fixed then released back into the community) is a problem. Huge arguments then the "complainer" will be labeled within the neighborhood as an animal hater and blacklisted within the neighborhood. It's such a disturbing issue.

Drought: The lack of concern for conservation unless fines are levied against residents. There are still people within the city/county who have thirsty lawns--it should be banned in the West. California is in its 4th year of gut-wrenching, historic drought. Multiple long-term residents even had the nerve to say, "Not that big of a deal. It's been dry before." Nope, nothing like this. We believe he/she has NEVER traveled to the Central Valley (Modesto/Bakersfield areas) where the farmers are sucking more ground water from the aquifers then being replenished to water thirsty almond and pomegranate farms (pretty much the same Big Agriculture corporations). The amount of greed at the expense of the environment is disgusting.

Lack of affordable student housing. University of California, Santa Cruz last year (fall of 2014) admitted 700 more students even though the housing in/around the college is dismal. There's greedy homeowners renting 1400 square feet homes to 8-10 students, causing HUGE parking issues, partying concerns, and noise disturbances. Most of the students are renting such houses for $5000+ and on multiple occasions we have found out the homeowner was reporting such property as their "primary" residence. Reason, we believe, in an attempt to avoid paying appropriate taxes, which costs ALL of US money. City obviously doesn't care to come up with a plan that would solve such issues or track such illegal business practices.

Short-term, vacation rentals, illegal rentals: City needs to come up with a plan to track such properties given it reduces such available housing to students and professions wanting to live/work in the area. All a person has to do is go on Craigslist's Housing section to see how many people are sub-leasing properties or leasing places short-term for the biggest amount of money in their pockets. It would be interesting to know if such person(s) are paying appropriate taxes on such arrangements--I highly doubt it, which again costs all of us. Then, the illegal rentals in "Tuff Shed-like" units where there's no full kitchen or leasing out closets/garages. It's going on more than anyone would like to admit.

Crime and vandalism: On multiple occasions, we have been awakened to gunshots coming from the Natural Bridges area. Tagging of street signs, large dumpsters, fences and businesses. There's been multiple gang related stabbings and shootings since moving here a year ago. For such a small town, this type of violence and crime should be lower, but it reminds of inner-city statistics. Don't even get us started with Salinas & Seaside (Monterey County) 40-50 miles from here, it's the killing fields.

Think long and hard about what type of quality of living you want compared to cost of living, including expensive food prices (we live very close to many produce farms, yet, cost of food is the same or more than 100 miles away). Sperling has the statistics that CANNOT be refuted.

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  4/2/2015
Can't get better weather
Santa Cruz is located on the central coast of California about 70 miles south of San Francisco. The weather is temperate ranging from a January low of about 50 degrees to an August high of 80. Now and then, if the wind is coming from the inland, it will get hot, as much as 100 degrees, but it's uncommon and doesn't normally last more than a day or two. Rainy season falls between Oct. 1st and the end of April. Normal rainfall is 40 to 80 inches, depending on the location. Santa Cruz county is an area of "micro climates." Mountain weather is more extreme, both in temperature and rainfall. If you're looking at this area, be sure to ask about the weather in each location within Santa Cruz county. There can be major differences, even within a few miles.

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  2/4/2015
Weather
It has the most beautiful weather every month of the year.

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  2/3/2015
Panhandlers Delight
The dilemma of under achievement is lack of internal compass? Or as some news pundants like to say is a lack of drive. Lack of opportunity but then again this is a tourist town. Underwhelmingly underrepresented by anything other than The Boardwalk.

The foodservice at the new Warriors Stadium home to the D-league NBA is currently the same lack luster carnival fare you'd get during regular season of the 100 year old beach venue.. All packaged with a small town mentality that serves only those at the helm of the leading employer to the area.. Care to guess what that tastes like?

The river that cuts a lovely path through the downtown is currently off limits to public use or enjoyment beyond simply gazing upon it's sparkling shore. Riding in a kayak, stand up paddle board or worse a motorized boat is strictly prohibited. There was an early spring moratorium on non use and with that water enthusiasts flocked to gain a toe in the water. A bird was flushed from the bushes by an unsuspecting paddle-boarder, and as the bird took flight was attacked mid air by a larger bird of prey. That ended the water use segment of the community enjoyment. A bird died. A moment proudly captured on a cell phone camera and shown to the world as example of mans' messing with mother nature.

Privileges revoked. Options for future use pulled from public discussion. Really. I'm not making this up.

One can't help but embrace the natural beauty here. The homeless and the downtown business vibe have a symbiotic relationship of some weird relationship. Downtown is avoided by many locals, and the tourists who day trip from the city seek the sun and nature, avoiding the downtown enabled except for the occasional meal. The homeless numbering somewhere around ten percentage points of the community are known to use the river discreetly as a toilet, and as a hangout lifestyle marketplace of sorts.



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  1/3/2015
Santa Cruz Area
Beautiful, liberal, college town, progressive, great weather, surfing, kayaking, hiking, walking, creative people. Good organic food, good local award winning wines. It has retianed it's small town feel. Lots of traffic because so many people who live over the hill in Silicon Valley come here looking for affordable housing and then havae to commute over Highway 17 which can be a nightmare if there is an accident or for someone who doesn't know how to drive.
Probably one of the most beautiful places on earth to live but getting more expensive by the day.

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  10/3/2013
There's Good and Bad
I think my experience may be a little bit different than most people's. got lucky in that I already had a solid friend base when I moved to Santa Cruz, as well as an affordable room near the beach at my friend's apartment. While I certainly enjoyed aspects of Santa Cruz, I was very ready to leave after my 9 month temporary stay in the city.

So let's start with the cons: Very rude and intolerant people: For a place that is supposedly liberal, I have never been called a "f*cking f*ggot" more times in my life than when I was walking downtown. It was appalling and there reached a point where I just didn't want to go outside anymore. The tourists: I'm not one of those anti-tourism people and perhaps it's my own fault for living on Beach Hill, but come Friday my neighborhood became a hotbed of litter, stumbling drunks, cat-callers, and just plain disrespect. If you are going to visit Santa Cruz, that's fine (I did as a teen all the time) but have some respect for the people who live there! Jobs: I got lucky in that I found a decent paying job fairly easily, though I was required to commute to our San Jose office twice a week. A lot of people commute to San Jose and it can get tiresome since there are few jobs in Santa Cruz outside of the University or healthcare. Traffic: worst traffic I have ever experienced. I think people are rude in Santa Cruz because the traffic stresses them out. Whoever planned this city most not have been entirely sober because the streets make absolutely no sense. It's hard to just get one mile in the city and don't even think about driving on a Saturday in July or during rush hour.

Ok, now the pros. There are still a lot of sweet old hippie people, and I love hippies, who bring a spark to Santa Cruz. This one is just my preference and I know that not everyone likes hippies. The redwoods and the beach are right there if you want them. There are a multitude of health-food stores. There are some amazing restaurants. Gay volleyball on Wednesday evenings is wonderful. Once again, I already had a friend base when I moved there and I only lived there for a temporary job, so my experience is different than most peoples. If you do move to Santa Cruz, you must go to trivia nights and 99 Bottles, ride your bike up to Wilder Ranch State Park, go on the Giant Dipper regularly, try one of the hundreds of great coffee shops, and attend some of the fun events downtown.

Santa Cruz if far from perfect and in many ways I think it is getting worse instead of better. But it's not terrible. It still has a small town feel with an interesting culture. Just prepare for the summer rush of trashy tourists. But when that happens, walk on down to the Penny Ice Creamery and have some amazing homemade ice cream.

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  4/21/2013
santa cruz is too hot
Coming from 11 years in San Francisco and one in Berkeley, the adjustment to the SC climate is not going well. It seems unreasonably warm for April (80F today). In fact, after the usual winter rains stopped, it's been nothing but sunshine and heat. Most people would likely enjoy this, but I miss layers of clothing, fog, and my four o' clock breeze.

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  7/11/2011
Beautiful Place but pricy
Santa Cruz is an amazing place to live but now that i am getting older i am coming to terms that i may not be able to afford it when i start a family. I have lived here all my life & it is truly an beautiful place. You have the best of both worlds you have trees and hiking and beautiful beaches. It is a great place to live but the cost of living is prriiccy.

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  6/27/2011
too cold?
I'm considering a move to Santa Cruz for school, but am concerned it may be too chilly of a climate for me. I like to be warm and I was surprised to see that even summer nights are 50 degrees?? Does it ever get to 80s in the summer? Thanks!

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  6/17/2011
Great Climate
You can't beat the weather in Santa Cruz, CA....almost no humidity, relatively mild winters with rain, but gorgeous spring, summer and fall. Fall is actually the best time of the year here as the weather is usually sunny and beautiful and most of the tourists have gone home. While the summers can sometimes have foggy, cool days (especially in June "June Gloom" and even into the early weeks of July) mostly it's just right.

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  5/13/2011
Forget Santa Cruz...
Other then the wonderful weather and beautiful Monterey Bay, EVERYTHING else here stinks...the natives are total underachievers, real losers, many are total druggies,alcoholics and "tweekers" AND there are SO many homeless per capita it's frightening...and that's the good news!
The bad news is the educational system is horrific,turning out very uneducated students comparatively;It's extremely expensive (the 3rd highest rents in America!)it's a beach town (read:no work) AND there's absolutely NO culture per say!
I've lived here almost 10 years now and curse the day I moved here.

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  3/21/2009
the good the bad and the ugly
If you are not into fast living with lose morals then santa cruz is not the place for you if you are young. i can agree with just about everyone on santa cruz. it is pricey to an extreme, there are crazy mountain bikers. politics are wacko and college kids do run ramped. but i do share a lot of political views as the liberals, i love mountain biking and the crazy politics make the town what it is. it is not what it was when my parents were young there but it is still something different and funky. it will always have a special place in my heart. the crime is kinda high but you only really hear the negative. i have never been bothered. some punk kids tried to break into my house when i was little. but before they could help them selves to the tv they realized someone was home and ran. and yeah there are very aggressive bums but you learn how to live with them. and the locals kind of are jerks. unless you are one of them. i honestly think santa cruz could be better but for some reason when ever i leave i find my self wanting to come back...

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