Aldersgate to hold meeting Thursday on proposed new development

April 05, 2017
Santa Paula News

There will be an interesting meeting Thursday when residents are expected to square off with the developers of a property approved for residential use years ago.

Aldersgate Investment Company is holding the informational meeting April 6 at 6 p.m. at the Community Center, located at the corner of West Main Street and Steckel Drive.†

The meeting will focus on the proposed Arbor Executive Homes, off Cliff and Forest Drives, more commonly known as the Sparkuhl Ranch Project.

The project will be introduced, and there will be time for questions at the meeting, which will also feature architectural renderings for the 19 executive homes on approximately half-acre lots.†

The minimum square footage of each home is 2,600 square feet with starting prices, according to a spokesperson, will be in the low to mid-$700,000ís.

Over strong objections from surrounding homeowners, the then-called Sparkuhl Ranch project was approved in 2005.†

The property does not go right to the creek but to the access to the creek, which becomes unincorporated county area.†

In November the Planning Commission approved another one-year extension for the project, a move that kicked off a new wave of objections from those questioning the development.†

Concerns center on several environmental impacts due to construction and the development itself, increased traffic congestion to the Oaks as well as to Ojai Road and Highway 126, and water runoff, among other issues.

Much comment by public speakers who have appeared before the council since the November 2016 Planning Commission decision has focused on the rock and dirt that would have to be moved for the project, what critics say would be thousands of trips that would batter roads, cause air pollution and cause further traffic problems for residents and school children.

One of the partners in the development told the Planning Commission that the project had been delayed due to many factors including the Great Recession and working with the city on various issues including increasing lot sizes to match those in the immediate area.†

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