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Briefs: Play On, Housing Crunched

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Santa Cruz Shakespeare Artistic Director Mike Ryan remembers walking into a pet store in San Carlos not too long ago to pick up some treats for his dog. When the clerk asked him where he was from, he said “Santa Cruz.”

“She said ‘You know, they used to have the most wonderful Shakespeare festival there,” remembered Ryan at the announcement party for this year’s SCS season on Nov. 15 at Center Street Grill.

D’oh! Such is the challenge of reminding everyone that Santa Cruz still has a wonderful Shakespeare festival, and in fact its successful re-emergence is making UCSC officials look worse than they already did for the way they shut it down in the first place. (But it’s just good business, right? Wink wink! We see what you did there.)

In their 2015 season, which runs June 30-Aug. 30, SCS will expand from two productions to three: Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth and Pierre Corneille’s The Liar (as adapted by American playwright David Ives). All three will be performed in UCSC’s Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen, and the annual “fringe” production featuring SCS interns will return as well, with an extra performance. For more information about their season and new membership program, go to santacruzshakespeare.org. SP

HOUSING CRUNCHED

Santa Cruz City Council approved changes to Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) rules on Tuesday, Nov. 18, reducing required setbacks from buildings and relaxing rules to allow more permitted housing. The changes, which are scheduled to be finalized at a Dec. 9 city council meeting, also offer fee waivers for landlords who create affordable units. The council also OK-ed a two-year grace period for owners of non-occupied units, which cannot be permitted. That will allow landlords to continue renting them out—giving owner more time to either sell their property, move onto it, or abate the ADU, all together. That window could be extended to a third year for certain owners with planning director approval. JP

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