Santa Cruz County supervisors approved an eight-month time line today for rewriting plans and rules regulating new broadband infrastructure. Originally proposed by Aptos supervisor Zach Friend, the goal is a comprehensive set of policies that shortens the approval process and ensures that broadband is an integral part of future new construction projects.
At Friend’s suggestion, the board agreed to tie broadband infrastructure plans to economic development goals. While working out the implementation details of the new broadband construction policies, staff will also be developing a master plan for new infrastructure that reflects development priorities in the county’s economic vitality strategy.
The vote was split along the same lines as last time. Bruce McPherson and Neal Coonerty joined Friend in voting yes, as did an ambivalent John Leopold who repeated his desire to keep a greater level of control over broadband construction, particularly by large corporations. “It’s not a good idea to give up our rights”, he said, calling it “a slippery slope”.
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