City Council to consider amenities at new Harvest at Limoneira Park

March 03, 2017
Santa Paula News

What Santa Paulans can look forward to in the new park at the Harvest at Limoneira development will be revealed at Monday’s City Council meeting where the panel will consider adopting a plan for recreational amenities.

The March 6 meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. with a closed session proceeded by public comment at the City Hall Administration Conference Room.

The council will be updated on labor negotiations and, in a separate matter, hear from City Attorney John Cotti on the lawsuit filed by the San Buenaventura and Santa Paula conservancies over the proposed Williams Development. The council will also discuss whether or not to proceed with litigation in another, undisclosed legal matter.

When the council meetings in open session at 6:30 p.m. it will be in the Council Chambers. The session will be broadcast live by Spectrum Cable and rerun according to schedule; the city will also live-stream the meeting on its website and archive it for later viewing on demand.

During presentations, the council will hear from Davie Deustch, executive director of NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill) of Ventura County. Recreation Supervisor Beverly Ruiz will present the Charlie Castro Award to the Youth Basketball Coach of the Year; she will also recognize the Santa Paula Fire Department for their dedicated fundraising on behalf of the program. 

The council will also consider the plan crafted by the Recreation Commission with representatives of Limoneira-Lewis for the 36-acre park at the new Harvest at Limoneira housing development.

About 23 acres must be devoted to active use in the plan funded by the 

$6 million required from Limoneira Company to construct and dedicate the park. Furthermore, there is an additional $5 million available under the Civic Facility in Lieu Fee that may be used towards additional park amenities. Upon completion and dedication of the park Santa Paula will be responsible for the maintenance. 

Recommended for funding are three soccer/football fields with lights, one softball field with lights, 3 lighted basketball courts, two barbecue pavilions, four horseshoe pits, two restroom facilities, a maintenance shed, trash enclosures, parking lots and landscaping. The total at $5,997,418.80 is just shy of the allotted $6 million and could be spent for hotdogs at the grand opening.

Citizens who met in several sessions and were surveyed determined the basic plan and the added amenities.

Online for additional spending out of the $5 million set aside when the decision was reached not to build a new civic center amphitheater, tot-lot, an additional softball field with lights, more restrooms and barbecue pavilions, an additional storage shed for field users, four tennis courts with lights and a junior Olympic swimming pool. 

The Harvest at Limoneira will also have a swimming pool for resident use only.

According to the report by Recreation Director Ed Mount, “The Commission chose the Amphitheater as the most highly regarded additional amenity. This amenity would be used for outdoor community gathering events such as concerts, festivals, movie in the park and public assembly’s. There would be low maintenance needed to this amenity and it would have the potential of bringing in revenue to the city from out of town visitors.

“On the other hand the swimming pool would be an asset to the Community Sports Park, however, Commission chose this amenity as the 5th priority from the additional amenities list due to the concerns on maintenance and staffing the facility which would be exorbitant compared to what revenue could potentially be brought in. As per staff’s research on other local municipal community pools only one of four pools were breaking even. The others were between 38% and 50% in the deficit. In addition, the majority of users would only be using the pool from May to September.”

If all the added on “wish list” items were folded into the plan the cost would be $5,054.593.40, leaving almost a million dollars for what could be future park maintenance costs.

In other business, the council will review the Mid-Year Budget Report. 

To view the agenda and reports visit:

You can also view the meeting live and later at the link.

City Hall is located at 970 E. Ventura St.

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Tel: 805 525-6048


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