Council approves final report on Anderson property election bid

January 21, 2003
Santa Paula City Council
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe City Council unanimously agreed to receive a final report as the last step to certifying a measure for the June ballot that would open up a 32.5-acre parcel to development.Owned by Santa Paula-based Del Financial, the parcel, located at the corner of Peck and Foothill roads and outside the voter imposed CURB, had failed to make the November ballot due to a legal notice technical problem.Owner Scott Anderson has again gathered enough signatures to put the measure on the June ballot.City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz told the council that action options include adopting the ordinance to adjust the urban growth boundary line without an election, or to order a special election.Acting City Attorney Karl Berger had previously advised the council not to grant Anderson 2002 election ballot placement due to the probability of a lawsuit by the Pinnacle Group, the Arizona-based developer and sponsor of voter rejected Measure F.But on Jan. 6th, Berger told the council that they could simply allow Anderson to be brought into the CURB without an election, but would be facing probable lawsuits by proponents of Measure I, which established the CURB in 2000.Bobkiewicz recommended that the council opt for the third option, a report on the impacts of the proposed measure before council adoption or order of a special election funded by Anderson.Area rancher and Measure I proponent Ken Chapman agreed with Berger that council adoption of the measure as an ordinance is “fraught with possible legal challenges, but as far as the project itself it is doable, should be done and would be an asset to Santa Paula.”Measure I took such decisions away from the council, and if such action was possible, “Measure F would have been a done deal. . .obviously, it is not a legitimate course of action. In this case, moving the CURB line is the authority of the electorate.”
“SOAR would definitely go to court on that,” said Richard Main. “I’ve lived across the street from that parcel for 20 years; if it is well planned and done right I don’t think anyone in the community is going to propose development,” although development issues would have to be studied.Anderson said he is prepared to absorb the cost of the special election to put the issue to voters.“I heard people say last year they were for,” Anderson’s development and are now against it, said Councilman Rick Cook. “We’re already hearing about housing, traffic and development. . .I don’t know where the [public] speakers are coming from. We’re going to make Anderson go through hoops.”Cook noted that Anderson’s request is to move the CURB line, “not for a development. . .I feel sorry for Anderson, I’m sure he’s already hearing I told you so.”Chapman and Main made it “very clear that they are not opposed to the project,” said Councilwoman Mary Ann Krause. “What they are concerned about is us moving forward and adopting this as an ordinance. The support for this [measure] from the community is overwhelming.” She urged a report to ensure that Anderson absorb any associated costs.“I disagree, I don’t see anything in here about development,” said Cook, but Mayor John Procter suggested that the matter be confined to agenda specificity.Vice Mayor Gabino Aguirre requested information to “take a long view to the development of our community,” including affordability and impacts of the pending Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, but Bobkiewicz noted that the impacts of the proposed project would not be able to be weighed at this time.

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