City Council: Land use workshops scheduled, utility bill survey set

July 07, 2006
Santa Paula City Council

The Council decided that land use planning workshops will be supplemented by a public questionnaire, and defused a rumor about the professional ties of the workshop facilitator at the July 3 meeting.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Council decided that land use planning workshops will be supplemented by a public questionnaire, and defused a rumor about the professional ties of the workshop facilitator at the July 3 meeting.City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz suggested that four meetings be held to engage the community in land use planning, to “look at the next steps for residential land use.” He noted that a citizen had contacted him to suggest that a public survey be placed in city utility bills to foster input.Bobkiewicz’s recommended topics and schedule of workshops are July 31 to formulate different plans for evaluation, August 8 to analyze infill opportunities, September 20 to evaluate proposed plans, and October 9 to develop recommendations for the City Council that could include a ballot measure to define development. All the workshops - which were the result of a special June 26 Council meeting to address growth issues - will be held at the Community Center from 6:30 to 10 p.m.Mayor Rick Cook said that the only feedback he has received from the June 26 meeting was on the display of an infill map by public speaker John Turturro, who serves on the city’s Planning Commission. “...Some were offended, they didn’t want infill,” or their property to be considered for same, noted Cook.“I can’t stress the importance that these workshops” not be crafted to develop a specific consensus, said public speaker Ken Chapman, who questioned the professional ties of the facilitator. Any such workshops “have to be independent of a particular development” and not a “guided process,” Chapman added.Cook noted that he called the June 26 meeting “so we could start a dialogue, period... hopefully we can come out some sort of game plan” to determine future residential growth. Instead, “I was attacked personally and so was the Council” about the special meeting in a recent letter to the editor, while all the body is seeking is “let’s find out what X really is,” the point of acceptable residential development.
The facilitator, Susanne Jackson, “led the city through the visioning process and the teen center process” and has not been involved in any development issues including Fagan and Adams Canyons, said Bobkiewicz. “I felt very comfortable bringing her on,” and Jackson would be “coming in with the knowledge but not baggage” of involvement with any prior development processes.Vice Mayor Ray Luna asked if Jackson attended any of the numerous community meetings and/or the seven-day planning charrette for the proposed Fagan Canyon development. “She did not,” said Bobkiewicz.Objectivity must be a priority, noted Councilman Gabino Aguirre. The Council has “heard and considered” input on development; although there are mixed signals, with some advocating limited growth while others shun all growth. “But at the end of the session, if we have good answers to that question” the city will be far ahead, said Aguirre.Efforts were made at the June 26 meeting to divorce any discussions on future development from specific developers, noted Cook. “The idea is logical places to go; whatever didn’t work before” is now past, he added. “...If people misunderstood or misconstrued something else” it’s unfortunate, but a “good dialogue” did develop and must be pursued.When it comes to the survey, time is of the essence as “time is running out to put it in the August bill,” said Bobkiewicz, who suggested that an Ad Hoc committee of staff and several Council members be created to approve the final survey, which will be bilingual. A web site will also be created and advertising run on Adelphia Cable Channel 10 to raise awareness of the coming workshops and the results, added Bobkiewicz.Legal size paper would be the optimum form for the survey, suggested Councilwoman Mary Ann Krause, as the top portion could contain the meeting schedule that can be kept when the survey is returned to City Hall.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.