Sparkuhl Ranch: Oaks’ residents question Council about development

February 01, 2017
Santa Paula News

An old project brought new concerns when residents of the Oaks neighborhood told the City Council they object to Sparkuhl Ranch.

Seven speakers told the council at the January 17 meeting that the proposed development of 19 homes immediately behind Cliff Drive is unacceptable.

The Planning Commission in October allowed the developer a 1-year permit extension. First approved in 2005, the council will make the final decision on the project, a planned development.

Jim Fitzpatrick told the council “all the rock that needs to be processed” has not been addressed.

“I am retired and live 1,000-feet,” from the proposed development, “I would have to listen to rock crushing month after month” that Fitzpatrick said must be considered.

Since there is so much in the Oaks, he suggested that rock be used as perimeter fencing.

The roads in the Oaks are already showing wear and trucks carrying rock would further damage the streets another speaker told the council who asked if there is an alternative route that could be used.

The limited access was also questioned.

Donna Nelson said many are concerned about dust, traffic and Thelma Bedell Elementary School students that walk to and from the campus, just blocks away.

As it is Nelson said students must be careful to avoid traffic. 

Construction vehicles said Pam Strautman would create “A tremendous amount of construction vehicles, probably for years,” will traverse the streets.

As Forrest Drive is particularly narrow, Strautman said Cliff Drive would be the probable route. 

“We have no sidewalks in the Oaks, children will be sharing narrow streets with large construction vehicles,” as well as future traffic from the finished homes.

“It is already very difficult to get out of the Oaks,” and residents take alternate routes, “anything to avoid” trying to turn south onto Highway 150 and bypass the “choke points” such as 10th and Santa Paula streets.

Karen Collins said her concerns also included public services such as water, police and fire. 

“It just seems we have a lot of little piecemeal developments happening all over without considering if the city can support the development,” and she added, the report on the Sparkuhl project is now 12 years old.  

Several other speakers also voiced their concerns.

Vice Mayor Ginger Gherardi asked staff to prepare an update of the project, noting Sparkuhl Ranch “predates all of us on the council…”

“Not all of us,” noted Councilman John Procter, who was on the council in 2004. 

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