APTOS -- If you've ever wanted to make your mark on Santa Cruz County's map, now's your chance.
As part of the Aptos Village town center, a new road will soon be built between Aptos Creek and Trout Gulch roads, parallel to Soquel Drive -- but it's a street with no name.
So residents have until noon Dec. 17 to either vote on one of four names county officials have thought up, or submit their own. The votes will be tallied, with a final decision made by Christmas, according to 2nd District Supervisor Ellen Pirie, whose district includes Aptos.
"This was sort of my crazy idea for the community to decide what the name should be," she said.
In older documents, the new street was named Valencia Street, an extension of an already existing street by the same name. But the landscape in the area has since moved around and the new street no longer connects with its predecessor, so "we're going to do a whole different name," she said.
There are already four suggested names on the county's website, three of them with historical significance. Pirie said she developed with the help of local historian Sandy Lydon and Carolyn Swift, director of the Capitola Historical Museum.
The first, "Rafael Castro," pays homage to a landowner whose more than 6,000-acre parcel included the land where Aptos Village now stands. "Sawmill Road" honors the sawmill that once was located on Aptos Creek, while "Apple Barn Street" venerates the long-standing apple-packing shed that most residents now know as a place to shop for antiques.
The fourth, Aptos Village Way, "delivers exactly what it says -- nothing more or less," according to the site where residents are asked to vote.
County planners approved the Aptos Village project in June, and the Board of Supervisors gave it a unanimous thumbs up several months later, clearing the way for construction to begin next year. The 11.5-acre, mixed-use development -- bordered by Soquel Drive to the south, Cathedral Drive to the north, Trout Gulch Road to the east and Aptos Creek Road to the west -- will include commercial and residential buildings, a common area and new county park.
The first phase is expected to start in the spring and, among other things, involves moving the Apple Barn from Trout Gulch Road to the new street. After it undergoes a remodel, the historic building will serve as a grocery store.
Follow Sentinel reporter Kimberly White on Twitter at Twitter.com/kwhite95066
To cast a vote, go to www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/AptosVillageStreetNamingBallot.aspx.
For information, call 454-2200.