Senate Bill 211, authored by state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, and co-authored by Assembly members Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, would allow Santa Cruz County residents to vote to establish an open-space district.
The council unanimously voted to oppose the bill in August, arguing that it creates an unneeded layer of government.
“It takes local control away from land-use and gives it to a county agency,” Councilman Dene Bustichi said of the bill.
An open-space district would provide money and resources for certain areas of the county to be designated as open space — protected from development and reserved for uses like agriculture or recreation.
The subcommittee was formed to look at the reasons the council objected to the bill and ways that could change. So far, the committee is made up of Bustichi, Councilwoman Donna Lind and two members of the Scotts Valley Water District board of directors, Joe Miller and Ken Kanegaard.
“Basically, we’re going to meet to come up with suggestions for changes to the bill so we can support it,” Bustichi said.
Lind said she hopes the subcommittee can explain the city’s apprehensions about the bill to the legislation’s authors.
“Hopefully, we’ll find a way to make it more workable for Scotts Valley,” Lind said. “I’m not sure that’s possible, but we want to keep an open dialogue.”