February 3, 2023
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Minus a plus for South Coast organization advocating workforce housing


Craig Minus was recently elected president of the Coastal Housing Coalition Board of Directors as the organization marks a decade of advocating and creating opportunities to increase workforce housing on the South Coast.

The appointment comes at a critical juncture as the supply of workforce housing has significantly decreased in the past several years, according to the organization.

“The lack of affordable workforce housing is negatively impacting many aspects of life on the South Coast,” Minus said in a statement. “Those impacts include worsening freeway congestion caused in part by those unable to live and work in the same community, difficulty for employers to attract and retain employees due to the high cost of housing, and a reduction of civic involvement when workers are forced into long commutes. I am committed to working creatively with our partners regarding workforce housing solutions to ease these challenges.”

“Workforce” is commonly defined as households earning 120-200 percent of the area median income.  For example, in the city of Santa Barbara where the 2015 area median income is $75,400, the CHC is focused on households earning $90,480 to $150,800 per year.

“We can’t forget about our workforce households, many of which add to the civic and economic stability of our region. Some households have the resources to afford housing in our marketplace,” Minus said. “For others, our community offers subsidized solutions to make housing available. The workforce households are often caught in the middle – not able to afford market rate housing and ineligible for housing subsidy programs.”

Minus has a deep background in real estate and urban planning. Since 2007, he has worked for The Towbes Group, the Santa Barbara-based real estate investment, development and property management company, where he currently serves as director of project management.

Minus is well versed in processing projects throughout the South Coast, including Willow Springs Apartments, Sumida Gardens Apartments, Sansum Clinic Medical and Surgical Center at Foothill Center, Fairview Business Center, and ATK Aerospace Systems, among others. He has also worked as a land planner for B3 Architects and Berkus Design Studio and as a transit planner for the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District.

The Business Times named Minus to the “40 Under 40” list in 2009. He was recently honored with the 2014 Government Affairs Award by the Home Building Industry Association of the Central Coast, where he was a board member. Minus earned bachelor’s degrees in environmental studies and geography from UC Santa Barbara and his master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Weigh in on naval land use

A third round of public workshops is set concerning the Naval Base Ventura County Joint Land Use Study.

A draft study was released on July 17 for a 30-day public review and comment period ending on Aug. 17. The workshops are set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Camarillo Public Library at 4101 Las Posas Road and 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center at 800 Hobson Way.

The Ventura County Transportation Commission, Naval Base Ventura County, local jurisdictions, agencies and organizations in the region, prepared the study to address compatibility planning around naval bases, including Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, and San Nicolas Island.

The goal of the study is to reduce current and potential compatibility issues between the naval base and surrounding areas while accommodating new growth and economic development, sustaining economic vitality, protecting public health and safety, and sustaining the operational missions of the naval base and the Point Mugu Sea Range.

Farewell to Foster Freeze

The developers of San Luis Square, a new mixed-use development from San Luis Obispo-based PB Companies, are one step closer to completely reshaping several lots at the corner of Marsh and Higuera streets that includes the old Foster’s Freeze location.

Company partners Ryan Petetit and John Belsher are working to finalize the designs for three new four-story buildings with a mix of commercial and office space, with as many as 48 residenences on the upper floors.

The restaurant and retail-driven development has garnered mostly positive feedback from the city’s Architectural Review Commission and surrounding neighbors. However, the city’s Jack House Committee is concerned the project is overbearing and that its redwood trees could be damaged by the new project’s underground parking.

• Contact Elijah Brumback at ebrumback@pacbiztimes.com.