APTOS -- With construction on a long-delayed affordable housing development set to wrap up in the spring, plans for an adjacent park with an amphitheater, picnic area and playground are slowly inching forward.
In July, crews broke ground on Canterbury Park, an affordable- to moderate-income development in the Seacliff area of Aptos. The development, at the intersection of Sea Ridge Road and Canterbury Drive, is perched on a hill that overlooks the beach and the first affordable housing project in Aptos with units for sale.
Prices range from $299,000 to $361,500, and construction will likely be complete at the end of April.
Work originally was slated to begin in spring 2011, but the groundbreaking was pushed back several times, partly because some of the funding for the project came from the county's now-dissolved Redevelopment Agency.
The complex features 19 two-, three- and four-bedroom townhomes, two of which are still available, according to Dennis Lalor, president of South County Housing, the nonprofit developer behind the $11 million project.
"It has been fun to work with the buyers of these units," said Debra Frey, owner of Intero Real Estate Services. "These are local residents who would not otherwise have a chance at home ownership. They are all very grateful for the opportunity."
Meanwhile, plans to build a community park on an adjacent lot are inching along. In 2007, the county purchased the 1.5-acre plot from South County Housing, but the lagging economy stymied the project. But the county has since dusted off those plans, thanks to some recently acquired state funding.
Those funds were used to hire an architectural firm to finish the design and construction of the first phase of the project, and a conceptual design was unveiled at a community meeting in November. Bob Olson, a county parks planner, described it as a "pretty good turnout," and that the department plans to apply for a development permit in the spring.
The first phase calls for installing the basic infrastructure, including a play area, walking path and temporary portable restroom. But it will take time to obtain all of the necessary permits to begin construction, so crews likely will not break ground until the summer of 2014.
Once completed, the park will be landscaped with drought-tolerant plants, with 15,000 square feet of turf serving as the centerpiece.
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