Alternatives for shuttered Cemex Plant in Davenport presented

Davenport Cemex Plant Meeting

DAVENPORT, Calif. - What to do with the former Cemex Plant in Davenport, that's what Santa Cruz County residents came together to talk about Tuesday night.

A meeting showed residents some of the ideas planned for the property.  

The public was presented with four different choices to weigh in on. Though the opinions Tuesday won't determine a final decision on what to do with the land, officials say it is a step closer to finally doing something with the former Cemex plant.

"We keep saying it's only the biggest thing to happen in the last hundred years because the cement plant was here for a hundred years and it colored the town in many ways and now we have an opportunity to break into something new and different," said Noel Garin Bock, chairperson with the Davenport North Coast Commission.

The plant was closed back in 2010. Since then, Santa Cruz County has worked with a design firm to come up with ways to develop the land into something viable for the coastal community and alleviate traffic and parking issues.

"One of the things we're hoping is actually this site will absorb some of the parking so that we get the parking out of the town and onto the site," said Santa Cruz County supervisor Ryan Coonerty.

The four proposed alternatives include Eco Lodging, recreational use, senior housing and clean technology use, with a focus on not only residents but also tourists. Something people living in Davenport are leery about.

"The thing that we're most concerned about is being inundated with tourism and traffic," said Garin-Bock.

But members of the design firm behind the proposals were quick to point out that the alternatives presented Tuesday were not final and that there's still more details to be worked out.

"We're purposely coming to you before we have all the information because we want to get your gut instinct," said a design team member.

Residents say they're keeping an open mind to change and they hope the spirit of their coastal community remains.

"I've been here for thirty years and I want to be here for ever, this is where my home is and we all feel very strongly about maintaining our lifestyle," Garin-Bock said.

No actual decisions were made Tuesday night. The county Board of Supervisors, planning commission and Coastal Commission will all be involved in selecting the final alternative for the plan.


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