Letters to the Editor

May 26, 2006
Concerned seniors To the Editor:I have visited Santa Paula for over 30 years and lived here for approximately 25 years... 55 years total! My husband flew into Santa Paula Airport around 1936, started a business at the airport in 1940, and so has had a few more years here than myself.We have noticed that the city has slowly gone into a decline due to lack of growth and money! Our streets need repair, the city needs to raise the wages of law enforcement and fire personnel. We need to keep the city doors open every Friday, not just every other Friday. We need more jobs and opportunities for citizens. We need more schools and parks. We need more city personnel to keep our city clean... we need money!We as senior citizens know that change is hard to accept, but it is obvious that the city cannot go on without growth! Please consider voting YES on Measure E-6 (Fagan Canyon Initiative). We believe that Centex Homes have presented us with many benefits and this would be the right way to go.Bob & Sally PhelpsSanta PaulaTeacher Appreciation WeekTo the Editor:On behalf of all the certified teaching staff, we would like to thank the parents and site administrators who acknowledged our “dedication and commitment” during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8-12, 2006.It is disappointing that the top District administration chose to ignore the teachers. On May 9th, the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Month was not awarded to a teacher, but to an administrator.The District administration traditionally hosts an ice cream social for employees, but it is always held during Classified Appreciation Week (May 15-19). The Union considers this mainly a classified event since full time classified employees are given paid release time to attend.A colleague from Bedell School suggested that during Teacher Appreciation Week the District give every teacher a box of pencils or a ream of ditto paper. Typically, supplies are unavailable and teachers supplement by purchasing supplies on their own.Teachers were overlooked by the district in August, when the annual “Back to School” get together was canceled. This would have been the time teachers were acknowledged and awarded certificates for their service.The Union will now recognize our teachers at an annual B-B-Q on June 9th. Two teachers who are retiring at the end of this year will be the main honorees. One of the retirees is Mrs. Lydia Valencia, who has taught in Santa Paula since 1972. Other honorees will include 23 teachers with 20 or more years of teaching in our district.In a recent memorandum, the Superintendent acknowledged three administrative appointees for their “dedication and commitment”. How disappointing that the certificated employees, who work directly with the students, go essentially unnoticed.Carolyn IshidaPresidentSanta Paula Federation of Teachers Local #2071Misleading exaggerationTo the Editor:Once again, the facts about Fagan Canyon are being exaggerated to scare citizens into thinking that traffic will be overwhelming if the project is approved. The NO ON FAGAN signs posted throughout the area state 26,000 CARS, THAT’S CRAZY. Yes, that is crazy and misleading. 26,000 cars would mean every house would have at least 12 cars, and that is not going to happen. Let’s talk about facts.Page 21 of the Environmental Analysis of the Transportation and Circulation section of the Fagan EIR states: “As shown in Table 4.6-10, the project would generate 26,616 daily vehicle trips, including 2,158 trips during the morning peak hour and 2,650 trips during the evening peak hour. Note that these figures include those trips that originate and end within Fagan Canyon (i.e. from a residence to a school).”Even though the EIR states the project will generate 26,616 daily trips, many of those will be contained within the canyon and will NOT affect any existing city streets. The EIR states 4,808 trips would be generated in and out of the canyon during peak hours. Only 4,808! The project may generate over 10,000 trips in and out of the canyon for the entire day, which could mean up to a 15% increase from the 110,000 trips now generated within the city, significantly less than 26,000 being advertised. The 15% increase in traffic will be shared by the four access roads in and out of the canyon. No single street should be impacted with anything more than a 10% increase in traffic. Considering the improvements to existing streets that will be provided by the developer, this is an acceptable increase for all the positive impacts the project will provide.Santa Paula needs a shot in the arm. Adams Canyon slipped through our fingers. Don’t let Fagan slip through also. Vote YES on E-6.Roger BrooksSanta PaulaDo it rightTo the Editor:Confused about how to vote on Measure E-6?It’s no wonder that you may be confused due to the conflicting and emotional arguments from both sides, but please think about this. If you vote yes on E-6 and you are wrong, there is no turning back. You will be stuck with this project and all of its problems forever. If you vote “NO” on E-6 and you are wrong, you will still have a number of good developers coming along with better projects that will leave you with no doubt that they are good for you and good for Santa Paula. Don’t be sold by the deceptive statements made by anyone. Check out the facts. This matter is too important to you and your family to make a mistake that is not reversible. Wisdom says, if in doubt, don’t do it. I strongly urge you to vote NO on E-6 if you have any doubts about it at all. This is our last chance to do it right.Larry SagelySanta PaulaYes on E6To the Editor:I URGE THE PEOPLE OF SANTA PAULA TO VOTE “YES” ON “E6.I moved to Santa Paula when I was five years old and have lived here for more than 40 years. I consider myself an “native” of Santa Paula. I choose to live here because I love the community in a way more than mere words could convey.Over the last several decades have I watched while our town has become less and less friendly toward ANY type of significant housing growth. The following are only a few of the repercussions of this:It has become increasingly difficult for business owners to maintain a customer base that will allow them to meet their expenses and earn a decent living. As a result we are at a disadvantage from a consumer standpoint, having few, if any, choices in banks, grocery stores, department stores, boutiques, art galleries and cultural events. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - the customer base needed for local business and culture to prosper!I have seen our city struggle to maintain its public service. I have seen some of the best and brightest of our civil servants leave for other jobs that offer a more competitive wage. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - $44 million in “fair share” developer fees, to pay for necessary Fagan Canyon AND Santa Paula sewer and water infrastructure upgrades and extensions as well as fund increased fire and police services through Santa Paula!Traffic up and down Ojai Road and in the community at large is horrendous at peak hours. This is due to commuters from beyond our city as they travel through to their destination, and to a general increase in autos per household. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - $6 million in up-front Santa Paula road improvement funding to help reduce traffic in Santa Paula neighborhoods from new development AS WELL AS from the city’s inevitable growth over the next 10 to 15 years!Our city has not built a new school since 1964 . A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - Two brand new public elementary schools in Fagan Canyon AND $11 million toward a new high school for all Santa Paulans!The schools, parks, roads, public buildings, historical attractions are in DESPERATE need of upgrade and increased maintenance. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - The $54 million “Santa Paula Community Revitalization Plan” to provide additional developer-funded improvements to existing Santa Paula schools, parks, roads, and infrastructure improvements!Most of our citizens work outside of Santa Paula in other communities. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - Nearly 5,000 new jobs including the creation of a local employment program to encourage and promote the hiring of Santa Paula residents when developing the Fagan Canyon! New jobs will also come from the overall economic improvement and thriving local businesses!Our community lives in fear of losing its charm, open spaces and agricultural lands. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - Over 1,100 acres of natural open space, agricultural lands and protected slope areas within Fagan Canyon AND Over 60 acres of new public-access parks and recreation fields!Our community lives in fear of urban sprawl. This fear has left us without homes for local youth to remain in or return to Santa Paula as adults. These young adults could be an active and productive part of our community. A YES ON E6 WILL PROVIDE - A wide range of no more than 2,155 homes built over 10 years and priced for Santa Paulans, including 204 homes reserved for sale or rental to low-income households, and 121 homes reserved for moderate-income households! Homes for newcomers as well as adult children of long time Santa Paula residents.Living life, making decisions and assumptions based on FEAR is no way to live. It is in essence a form of death. As it stands Santa Paula is dying of a slow, painful and depressing death. When a person is ill and prescribed a treatment, the logic used in making a decision on treatment is “Do the benefits outweigh the risks”. Santa Paula is ill and we have a chance at treatment. I for one believe that the benefits outweigh the risks.Here and Now we stand at a potential turning point. Centex Homes has offered Santa Paula a “win-win” proposition. Centex is in business to build and sell homes. Santa Paula can grow at a reasonable pace, providing our community an opportunity to thrive and prosper. Developers have come and gone, been chased away by the fears of some of our citizens, myself included at times. For the last ten years we have not adequately addressed our housing and community needs. I urge every voter to move toward a brighter future for our home, our community... OUR SANTA PAULA!To the future of our beloved community,Cyndy Zakrajshek-SmithSanta PaulaMissed opportunity to educateTo the Editor:Living on South Mountain Road outside of Santa Paula city proper, I do not have a dog in the fight re: Measure E-6 (Fagan Development). I am astonished, however, that the Editor/Rule Maker of the Santa Paula Times has chosen to not permit the voters of Santa Paula to express their opinions about the issue for a full 13 days (May 25-June 6) before the election.Most decisions on any issue are reached during the final two weeks of consideration. In two weeks’ time even Mr. Johnson’s publication could have helped educate some potential voters.Vince BurnsSanta PaulaEditor Note:Due to the volume of Letters to the Editor being received about Measure E6 a deadline needed to be established to insure all letters would run prior to the election.Yes on Adams almost wonTo the Editor:It is a big letdown to the voters when elected officials and their few followers do not represent “all local citizens” as they were elected to do. Adams Canyon with a perfect setting would be in serious planning now if they (the two) would have stayed neutral. Didn’t the sidewalk podium with no audience say “bombed out speech”? The yes votes almost won.Now with Fagan Canyon projects coming upon us, it is back to the drawing board again. A lot of the local citizens are desperately worried about the future winter storms and brush fires in the mountains, and more so, the much much more traffic problems. Each household may have four vehicles. Mom, Dad and two teens. Take a trip down any street today and see the traffic and the street parking in our neighborhoods. It “ain’t gonna” be fixed after it is done. Where will we park when we “Shop Santa Paula”?Crime and gang increase hasn’t been mentioned. Where will the water come from in a drought year? How about the landfill trash? How about our antique sewer system?Yes we do need homes that people are more proud of. We do not need apartment complexes. My gawd, look at them going up in the past year and haven’t stopped. “Santa Paula, bring in your low-income and welfare,” the big sign should say. There are some here in our city to welcome them.Fagan Canyon if developed uncrowded with a maximum of 400 to 480 homes may be needed but if there is no population control it becomes a nightmare for the police, fire, and medical and traffic and the citizens. If a geologist who has no dealings with the developer did an environmental checkup, it would be a plus. We would (almost all) feel better.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaP.S. Adams Canyon was the goldmine shut down. But it will come back, but county gets the ore ($$). S.P. gets (¢¢).Issue: The direction of Santa Paula’s growthTo the Editor:Most Santa Paula citizens want to see growth not only for availability of housing but for economic growth. Economic growth alone is not worth destroying the quality of life and causing irreparable harm such as gridlock traffic, no street parking, air pollution, worse than L.A. ever was, and water rationing, etc. Most of us had visions of spreading the growth among Adams Canyon, Fagan Canyon, and East Area 1.What we now have is two or more competing visions of what we want for the future of Santa Paula..You have heard most of the compelling arguments put forth in the Opinion pages of the Santa Paula Times. I would like to commend the Johnsons for their outstanding balanced coverage in the Opinion pages of the S.P. TimesThere are several points that have not been given enough attention or even mentioned.All of these points are my opinion based on various factors. First, I believe the City administration has had undue influence by the developers involved, resulting in potential profit for the developers. Second, Santa Paula attracts low-income people who want housing, resulting in multiple families living in single-family homes and garages. So far it seems that the City has not enforced the zoning and health and safety laws and ordinances. This will continue into Fagan Canyon. The City has unrealistic parking ordinances that do not allow for at least four off street parking areas for each residence. Third, I have not seen any “due diligence” done by the City that fairly gives the public some view of the corporate health of Centex. Fourth, substituting reliance on “legally binding contracts” instead of exercising good judgment before entering into such agreements is a road fraught with potential for peril.It seems that Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), Latino Town Hall and Committee 2000 have members in one or more of these groups and appear to share the same goals. There is not a problem with that per se. But in my view, two or more council members have been or are associated with these groups and have attended some of their meetings gives me pause for concern. Their association becomes more interesting when members of these groups strongly protested the bringing in of Adams Canyon into the Santa Paula sphere of influence (within the CURB boundary). It is my opinion that because of the lack of sufficient water in our aquifers to support Fagan’s Centex 2,155 home development, Adams Canyon Development and East Area I, that it was not in CEDC interest to have competition for the limited amount of water that the court decision allotted Santa Paula. A recent flier sponsored by SOAR had two city councilmen urging a no vote on Adams Canyon. These two council members certainly have a right to express their personal opinion as individuals, but I have concerns about the appearance of potential conflicts when they express their opinions as City Councilmen. At least one of these council members had at least two members of CEDC campaign for them in prior city council elections. Now if CEDC does not participate in the development of Fagan Canyon in the building of low cost housing, then my concerns will be for naught. This is just one reason why Fagan Canyon should not be developed as proposed. Also this is why the proposed proposition to be on the ballot in November, limiting acreage of a development the council can approve on its own without going to the voters, is necessary. Let me make it clear I am not accusing anyone of doing anything wrong, I’m just not comfortable with this relationship if CEDC gets involved in developing in Fagan Canyon. Remember, Centex can come back in the future with an altered proposal and we will have to go through this same controversy again. The city administration erred when they denied, on false grounds, the proposed proposition that would require the city refer to the voters any development larger than a specific amount of acreage. The Second District Court of Appeal believed this was a wrong decision by a lower court. I personally believe that Centex clearly demonstrated the lengths that it will go to, in suppressing the right of the voters to have their say. They filed suit against the city to squash the referendum by the voters. This referendum was necessary to stop the City Council from giving final approval of an exceptionally large development. They knew that a large segment of the citizens would be adversely affected by this decision. Yet the steadfastly refused to allow a vote. The “anti slap” provisions in the state law were written to preclude heavy handed and rich developers from suppressing public vote and opinion. The decision as to whether or not Centex violated that provision is still pending. I have grave concerns that Centex will have unreasonable influence on this and future city councils for the next 10 to 15 years, to the detriment of the voters, if Fagan Canyon is approved.On the next issue of overcrowding and parking. The reality is Santa Paula, like other communities in border states, is a magnet for low-income population. This is going to continue for the foreseeable future. This means we have to accept the reality of the situation and strictly enforce single-family residence and health and safety codes. Parking regulation should be rewritten to require a minimum of four off street parking spaces for each resident. The way the parking ordinance is now written to favor the developers in limiting the space for each dwelling, thus greater profits promoted by higher density and high rise developments. Good for them, bad for the people who buy these residences. Santa Paula is not alone in this overcrowding and lack of adequate parking, other cities have shown a reluctance to deal with reality to the detriment of their citizens. We cannot provide adequate housing for all who want to come to our city.For economic reasons, among others, we must have a balanced demographic (economic) community.The third issue of what kind of partner Centex would be for future development over the next 10 to 15 years. Has the city done any “due diligence” research to see how Centex stacks up to other comparable corporations in order to determine who they are and their corporate health as it relates to dependability? If so, I haven’t heard of it. I have no expertise in this area so I rely on the reported opinions of firms that do have expertise. This research certainly is not exhaustive or extensive, but it does give me some insight that I thought worthy of sharing.From an investor’s point of view I checked with the publication of Investors Business Daily and they expressed their informed opinion that, compared to 23 other firms in the Building Resident/ Commercial Group, their overall rating was a D+.Another source was Fitch, one of the three major bond-rating agencies (Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s are the others). They rated Centex corporate bonds with a BBB+. For Fitch the ratings are AAA (Highest quality), AA (High quality), A (Upper medium grade), BBB (Medium grade) and BB(predominantly speculative). For grade B and below, some states do not allow institutions with other people’s money to buy them. These grades are based on the likelihood of issuing firms to default on the bonds.In fairness to Centex, these ratings mentioned above are subject to change either up or down depending on various conditions. One of those conditions, out of Centex’s control, is that the house building market is in a downward trend, for how long we don’t know. The market prices of homes, especially in Ventura County, are extremely high and out of reach of most people. Thusas mentioned above, you will have multiple families living in single family residences, just to have enough people to make the house payment, enormous tax bill payments and special district fees.In my opinion, these views of Centex’ s corporate health are not too impressive.Further, Centex has adopted what I feel are high-pressure tactics by emphasizing the alleged highly speculative $100 million in benefits the Santa Paula community is supposed to gain, while not adequately addressing the very damaging and negative impacts mentioned above. This strikes me as being akin to a used car salesman trying to emphasize the admirable qualities, of a “junker” and downplaying or ignoring the negative factors.The fourth and last issue is that we should not allow good judgment to be substituted for reliance on so called legally binding contracts. Not to mention the reasons stated above. Remember, some of the same people who pushed to alter our constitutional voting rights, by getting the Department of Justice involved, are the same people supporting Fagan Canyon. That was a phony issue that was resolved in the favor of the sanctity of the voter’s rights, by a vote of the people. That, even though we were right, cost the city 600 to 700 thousand dollars. Centex is a huge corporation with endless supply of money. We can’t hope to compete with them in a protracted legal battle.For all the reasons above, plus additional ones stated in the Santa Paula Times Opinion page, we should not go with the Fagan Canyon project as proposed or Centex. Because there is too much money to be made, we can and should seek another developer and a smaller project for Fagan Canyon. Unfortunately, some of the same people described above supported and actively promoted the demise of the prospect of the development of Adams Canyon. That just leaves East Area I, promoted by the very trustworthy Limoneira Corporation. They have done business in the vicinity for many decades and it is in their best business interest to see that their development succeeds, where everyone benefits - not just the developers!I submit these opinions as an individual and I am not representing any particular group in doing so. I urge all who read this to accept or reject as you will, and make up your own mind and then vote.Doug SorensenSanta PaulaRead between the linesTo the Editor:Question:
Why is my voter ballot printed in another language other than the English American that I speak? If this is legal, then why is it not printed in German, Italian, Greek, Czech, Japanese, Swede, Dane, Dutch, etc. so those who emigrated to this U.S.A. legally can have a chance to read? Oops, I forgot. They read English American 100%. Their choice.Ken ZimmetSanta PaulaSanta Paula think soberly - say NO!To the Editor:So, Santa Paula is close to allowing an asphalt plant be built in the Hallock Road area. It seems not many of us have been made aware of the intended plant, or the subsequent fallout that will affect us all. But, the cat is out of the bag.... “Ugly is coming to town!”An asphalt plant is not just an unsightly annoyance. The combined impact on our community will be horrific and obvious, but will not be easily quantified. This plant will harm our environment, our health (especially that of our children and elderly), our property values, the water we drink and the odor of the air we breathe.I escaped the big city and its ugly smog by moving to Santa Paula in 1970. Here, as a young police officer, I worked many all-night shifts patrolling throughout the city. Most nights, the skies were clear and the air we breathed was fresh and clean. Where I came from you don’t take that for granted!Note... I said “most nights.” At that time, there was a garbage burn site at Palm Avenue between the freeway and the river. I remember the night burns of garbage. The smoke and odors would often be picked up by erratic air currents, carried above the city and then dropped at random in various neighborhoods. This phenomenon will not be more discriminate today. At times, we will all be dosed with these foul odors and pollutants.One of the few blessings, through those long nights of patrol, was the stillness and the quiet. There were so few sounds you could almost hear the peace and calm. On patrol, one was alert to every noise and learned quickly, in the hush of the night sounds and noises carry clearly over great distances. Six nights a week this 20 hour a day plant will be heard over much of the city. Think conveyors, mixers, trucks and loaders noises.Property value!!!! There is a small horse ranch adjacent to our home. We seldom notice the smell of the horses, so we consider the odor level minimal. Yet, when our small parcel was appraised three years ago, there was a five thousand dollar devaluation assessed for a “minimal issue.” So in reality, what will the hard devaluation be, that’s applied to all the properties within a few miles of an asphalt plant, with “huge issues”?Bear with me for one more important thought. The designated site, which suffered flooding in January of 2005, is located at the confluence of Santa Paula’s two pristine waterways, the Santa Clara River and the Santa Paula Creek. My dictionary defines ‘pristine’ as 1) “Remaining in a pure state; uncorrupted.” I believe the placement of an asphalt plant at this site would be blatantly corrupt. “We” are the guardians of these waters. Santa Paula, please think soberly and say... NO!Marty PettitSanta PaulaWelcome donationsTo the Editor:As you know, there was a gathering of food last Saturday by the U.S. Mail Carriers of Santa Paula. And what a terrific job they did with the very large amount of donations that Santa Paula families placed by the mailboxes.Much of this food was taken to the Community Assistance of Santa Paula (CASP) offices on Mill Street, where it will be sorted and given to the needy families of Santa Paula.We are very grateful for the help of the carriers and others who were involved in the Food Drive. Please accept our thanks... and how much we appreciated their help.Ruth ColbathManagerCommunity Assistance of Santa PaulaTrust in the votersTo the Editor:As I drive around town, I see the many billboards paid for by the developers of Fagan Canyon. They have a phone survey campaign. They have walkers. They are building a database of all our names. All of their propaganda is condensed into quick and catchy sound bites. It is an advertising campaign that the developer admits they spent a million dollars on.I think to myself, if I had a million dollars what would the message be? Would I just tout the benefits of Fagan and diminish the emphasis on the problems it will bring? Or would I present a realistic picture of the project that shows traffic, water impacts, and effects on our rural atmosphere as well?Well, I don’t have a million dollars. I don’t have the ability to combat this massive ad campaign. But I do have one thing, and that is trust in the voters of Santa Paula. I trust the 2,230 plus voters who signed our initiative. And I trust the 1,135 plus voters who signed our referendum. The reason we are voting on June 6 is because of you and your concerns over the problems on Fagan Canyon.Whatever the outcome of this election, Santa Paula has won a victory as a city. We have exercised our democracy! We have had a grassroots movement that was funded entirely by donations and volunteers. We have had successes and setbacks but ultimately our freedom of speech and voting rights are still strong in our town. This vote does make a difference here.We have won the right to vote and now it is time to use it. I urge a NO vote on Measure E-6. If you have any doubts, vote NO. This is our only vote. Personally, I would like to see Fagan come back as a smaller project. I would like to see better access roads from Adams Canyon and Hallock Drive. I would like to see less risky water usage. I would like to see at least 100 acres of developed community soccer fields and ballparks. I would like to see less traffic through our neighborhoods.This vote will show the city council that many people feel the same way. Hopefully, if we win, we will get a second look at Fagan that will be more sensitive to the voters concerns. Hopefully, the voters will mandate that the problems be solved before any massive development can occur. So as I drive though town, I am thankful to all the We CARE and other people who are the grassroots of Santa Paula. I respect the many different viewpoints for and against. It just means ALL OF US CARE about Santa Paula in our own different and diverse ways. God bless the voters and pray that we all have good information to make the correct decision on June 6.John WisdaSanta PaulaTake a closer lookTo the Editor:It doesn’t matter if you are FOR or AGAINST building more homes in Fagan Canyon. Each voter needs to take a closer look at Measure E-6, particularly the Developer Agreement component. You are being asked to do more than simply approve or disapprove building 2,152 housing units in Fagan Canyon. You are also being asked to make the Developer Agreement an Ordinance by Legislative Act.Under the Agreement, the City is obligated to establish Financing Mechanisms (FM) ostensibly to pay for the land, improvements and maintenance of the $85 MILLION in benefits the Developer is providing to the City.From the Development Agreement:“(g) The Trail System, Open Space and all Neighborhood, Community, Linear and Passive Parks (as contemplated by the Specific Plan and as defined in Section 7.5 of this Agreement) areas to be located on the Project Site, whether dedicated to the City, a neighborhood association, or an assessment or some other district, will be provided by Developer in lieu of, and, at Developer’s request, credited against, any and all applicable parkland dedication fees, open space fees or other similar fees. All such credits will be based on the appraised fair market value of the dedicated park land and the actual costs of any and all related site improvements, including, without limitation, playground equipment, park fixtures, restroom facilities. landscaping, and ball fields.”In other words, the developer is obligated to ‘build, improve and dedicate’. The city is obligated to accept their full value in lieu of related fees or create some other Financing Mechanism to pay for it. The “Appraised Value of the dedicated Parkland” is not the current value of the land, but a much higher value it might have with entitlements. This appears to be about $1 million per acre as in the case of the Community and the Linear parks (flood Channel).It doesn’t end there. Traffic, Water and Sewer Improvements, Fire Stations, all have similar FM’s.The bloated $85 million value is a marketing gimmick used to make it appear that buyer (Voter) is getting a huge deal at ONLY $10 MILLION (or so). It is also a way for the developer to get great tax write offs.Another confusing issue arose when the Independent Financial Analysis indicated the city would have unfunded expenditures relating to the Fagan Canyon Project during the first 5 or 6 years amounting to about $1.6 million. The recommendation was that the development be kept revenue neutral by having the developer pay those costs as advances on future fee payments due when Certificates of Occupancy are issued.That is now changed. The City will not have to ‘give it back’ any monies because the reimbursement will now have to wait until the fees are actually due. The first year’s reimbursement is now limited to ‘substantiated expenditures’ not to exceed $484,000, the second year not to exceed a $198,000 cap, after that, all substantiated expenditures will be repaid. Still, the Fagan Project is not expected to generate positive revenues for the City’s General Fund until 2012. Looking at what is going on in the Home Building Industry recently, it could be a lot, lot later.The Financing Mechanisms will have a life of their own lasting for decades to be borne by those that least can afford to pay, specifically those living in the low income and workforce housing in Fagan Canyon. Fortunately, you now have a hard won opportunity to decide if this is really such a good deal that it overrides the concerns about traffic and other impacts that the developer is asking everyone to endure.Ken ChapmanSanta PaulaTen Reasons to Vote NO on E-6To the Editor:1. Traffic and noise. The EIR for Phase 1 of Fagan forecasts an additional 26,000 additional car/truck trips per day dumped onto our existing two-lane streets. Assuming an average length of 20 feet, 26,000 bumper-to-bumper vehicles would stretch the 98 1/2 miles from Fagan Canyon to Bakersfield. With three vehicle lengths between them, they would extend the 394 miles from Fagan to San Francisco. Remember, this is Phase 1 with more to come via future council actions.2. Lack of consistency. Citing serious problems of topography, drainage, access, and traffic, a previous council set the maximum number of units for Fagan at 450. The problems remain but this developer has proposed a five-fold increase in units, and his friends on the council have given him all that he has asked.3. Drainage, fills, and safety. Fagan topography is simply not suitable for massive development. The Centex solution: Change the topography. Enough dirt to fill 33 Rose Bowls is to be moved, with fills up to 100 feet deep. It seems reasonable to doubt the stability of such fills. The roofs and driveways of 2,145 houses, plus those of commercial buildings, plus streets and parking spaces would result in enormous runoff that must flow through our town. They plan to construct huge catch basins. But if a clog or sudden storm causes an overflow, many existing homes will be subject to flooding. Not to worry, the developer will be back in Texas. And current council members are not likely to be available. Who pays? We pay.4. Lack of fairness. The developer has consistently enjoyed the full support of city government, including support for legal actions deliberately interfering with our Constitutional right to vote. Centex has said it will be spending at least $1 million to persuade voters during this election. Opponents are being out-spent 500 to 1. There is danger that we will be buried in developer mailings and money.5. Quality of life. Some supporters of Fagan development have raised issues of race and class. Ralph Fernandez, architect, teacher, graduate of UC, Berkeley, and a leader of We CARE has said, “Opposition to Fagan is not about race; it about protecting quality of life for all people.”6. A housing mix that would move us further out of balance. Approval of Measure E-6 would make Santa Paula the permanent low-income focal point of the county and the perpetual dumping ground for the asphalt plants, jails, landfills and other facilities that other communities do not want.7. Higher taxes. High-density housing never pays its way. This is because demand for service always exceeds income from the units. This is the history of development throughout the nation. Who pays? We pay.8. Trash, sewer, and water charges. We are already experiencing regular increases in trash and sewer fees. Voter approval of Fagan would bring constant increases. Water is a finite resource and when demand increases for a limited commodity, price always rises. Fagan would bring a massive increase in demand, and council members will say they have “no choice” but to increase rates.9. Total failure to respect voter rights. This developer and his friends on the council have done all in their power to prevent a vote of the people. The city rejected a perfectly legal initiative signed by 2,790 voters. The Court of Appeal has recently ordered a vote on that initiative but it will not happen until November. In the meantime, the council gave the developer everything that his heart desired. The citizen’s group then collected sufficient signatures on a referendum to compel a vote, but the city again refused. This resulted in another court order to place the matter on the ballot. The cost of interfering with the right to vote can be high, and the courts will now expect the city to pay. All of this would have been avoided by respecting the Constitutional right to vote.10. Irreversible. We will always have additional opportunities to approve development. There are few locations in the world in greater demand than Ventura County, California. But approval of the present ruinous proposal can never be reversed, and quality developers will pass us by. When in doubt, it is well to remember that the most important word in any language is NO. If we have the courage to reject this proposal, far better opportunities lie ahead. I plan to support quality, reasonable numbers, and common sense. PLEASE VOTE NO ON MEASURE E-6. Thank you.Delton Lee JohnsonSanta PaulaWhere the money isTo the Editor:The most famous bank robber of modern times, “Slick” Willy Sutton (who never used a gun) was asked by the Judge, as he was being sentenced: “ Mr. Sutton, why do you rob banks?” “Slick Willy” answered: “Because that’s where the money is”.Today Sutton might answer that question quite differently, because if one carefully examines the Fagan Canyon Development Agreement, it is obvious that the money is in the land, more than at the bank.Example: The 17-acre Community park and the 12.3-acre Linear park are valued in the Development Agreement at 24.8 Million Dollars! These are being “dedicated” to the City - BUT NOT GIVEN to the City. This 24.8 Million dollars gets paid back to the Developer by setting off normal processing and/or permitting fees, fees THAT THE CITY WILL NEED TO SUPPORT ITS ONGOING OPERATIONS. This amount is the largest number of all the numbers in the Development agreement. So the Developer IS NOT giving parks to the City. The City is BUYING parks at the Developer’s set price and NOT a bargain basement price: “fair market value” is what the Agreement says.The Ventura County Taxpayers Assn., who exactly DO THEY represent? Have they ever asked YOU for YOUR OPINION? Notice how they DID NOT come out for Adams Canyon; how curious. One cannot help wondering - why?What this City really needs is a good “Truth Squad”. The ability of those who oppose the present Fagan Canyon Plan is financially severely limited in contrast to the over $1 Million in advertising and high-priced spin the Developers have at their disposal, which is their right, but which fact you should carefully think about before voting June 6 on Measure E6.If you have doubts about this Plan and how the City has taken care of its, and YOUR business, blocking votes on two Initiatives, both now having been reversed by the Courts, SILENCING SPEAKERS on some theory that only allows those who agree with the Council and support E 6 to speak at the most recent Council Meeting, send the City Council a “message” down at City Hall - VOTE “NO” ON MEASURE E6.Richard MainSanta PaulaTraffic noiseTo the Editor:Did you happen to read the article on Traffic Noise in Wednesday’s Star? “Traffic noise leaves neighborhood seeking quiet” about homeowners receiving monetary relief from the City of Thousand Oaks because a development has made it impossible to live in their homes. We can only imagine what our City will do after Fagan build out when as many as 1,000 property owners directly impacted by the development demand the City build sound walls and install double insulated windows in their homes at a cost between $14-$17,000, in today’s dollars. Yes, the City is culpable. In Moorpark, the developer of Northpark was prepared to pay $30,000 to each homeowner that was impacted by traffic. Did Centex offer such relief? I think you know the answer. Vote NO on June 6th.Lotar ZiesingSanta PaulaSupport a unique planTo the Editor:Dear Citizens of Santa Paula,I strongly urge you to join me on June 6th and VOTE “YES” on Measure E6.I want to clear up a major misconception... the notion that Centex came into Santa Paula and proceeded to run roughshod over us and orchestrate the approval of some preordained plan is patently false. Believe me, I saw their first conceptual plan and although it was a quality development, to me it was still typical suburbia.When Centex was approached with the idea of conducting a Charrette they were not very receptive at first... they had never done it before. But after some persuasion and research, they realized it was the right course to take.Even as Centex entered into the Charrette process, they did so with some trepidation... it was uncharted territory for them. But despite their initial reluctance, once Centex decided to take on the Charrette process, they did so with a passion and bent over backwards by engaging in extensive community outreach, the likes of which we have never seen before. They gained input from hundreds of Santa Paulans, which provided an outline of community-based principles to be used as guidelines going into the Charrette.Although pleased by this, I was still skeptical that ANY process could sway a corporate giant like Centex and yield an outcome that differed much from their original plan. So you can imagine my pleasant surprise when the final plan that emerged at the end of the Charrette was nothing like the “cookie-cutter” concept they came in with. The Charrette plan was a huge departure from their comfort zone of simply replicating what they’d done in other communities. Fagan Canyon started out as a large monolithic housing tract but, through the Charrette process, evolved into something truly special: the creation of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own personality and purpose. I was blown away. What we ended up with is a unique plan that came from us and we can take great pride of ownership in.A YES VOTE on E6 is a vote for a quality development that recognizes the value of traditional neighborhoods and promotes connection among its residents.A YES VOTE on E6 is a vote that obligates Centex to provide nearly $100 million in much needed benefits to Santa Paula in areas such as schools, parks and road improvements.A YES VOTE on E6 is a vote for much needed housing that will provide the opportunity for our sons and daughters to continue to live here... housing for teachers, police and firefighters... and addresses our community’s long-standing need for a broad range of homes for ALL Santa Paulans. We have not been building enough new homes to meet the needs of our current population, and voting YES on E6 will help solve that problem.But most importantly, a YES VOTE on E6 is a vote to validate all of the hard work we’ve done over the past 3 years to create something exceptional for Santa Paula that will move us forward and give us great benefit.So what are we waiting for? We created it... so on June 6th let’s make it happen!Please join me by Voting YES on E6. The future is ours for the taking.John ProcterSanta Paula

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