Rebuttals by proponents, opponents of Adams Canyon measure filed

March 02, 2007
Santa Paula News

Rebuttals to arguments for and against the Adams Canyon measure have been filed, the last official step for Measure A7 that will be decided by voters through a May 8 special election.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesRebuttals to arguments for and against the Adams Canyon measure have been filed, the last official step for Measure A7 that will be decided by voters through a May 8 special election. The measure centers on amending the city’s General Plan to bring about 6,500 acres of the northwest lying canyon into the city’s urban development boundary.Proponents want the rugged property converted to 495 custom home sites and a minimum 40-acre school site, the required dedication of a road right-of-way between the expansion area and Fagan Canyon, and provision for a minimum 100-acre recreational park, 200 acres of public open space, a golf course and hotel/resort.Mayor Ray Luna and Councilman Bob Gonzales, who authored the argument in favor of the measure, wrote the rebuttal to the argument against it, noting that “Nearly 3,000 Santa Paula citizens signed the petitions” to put the measure on the ballot, and “hundreds have volunteered their time and money to help support Measure A7.”The rebuttal also notes that some area residents oppose change no matter how the community benefits, and that the law, “unfortunately,” does not require that an argument against an initiative to be “factual. Simply put, they will say anything necessary to scare and mislead the citizens to accomplish their goal.” If the city does not develop the canyon the county will, and in doing so reap the benefits, notes Gonzales’ and Luna’s rebuttal.“The development of Adams Canyon, in accordance with A7, will generate millions of dollars to new revenue in the city,” including $12 million in school fees, and generate millions that could be used for road maintenance and offset the cost of the new wastewater treatment plant. Those opposed to Measure A7 do not offer solutions to the city’s budget problems, and Gonzales and Luna urge voters, “Don’t let SOAR keep us poor!”
It is because of SOAR (Save Our Agricultural Resources) that a vote is required to bring the canyon into the city’s urban development boundary. Opponents including James Procter, Anthony Perez, Linda Spink, Eva Perez and Susan Powers, who in their rebuttal question what actual financial benefits would result from developing the canyon.“Last year, Pinnacle developers claimed their proposal would generate $20 million in Santa Paula in annual tax revenue,” a sum that has been reduced by three-quarters. “How can their proposal be suddenly worth $15 million less?” opponents ask.Serious errors and mistruths were stated in the previous financial analysis - prepared for the April 2006 special election - according to the opponents. The feasibility of a resort/hotel is also questioned and, overall, the “financial claims made by this group are highly questionable.”If the county does allow development, it would be limited to 35 ranch homes on large parcels allowed under current law.“Let’s not be naïve. This measure will open up over 6,500 acres for development by the Pinnacle Group,” and there is “simply too much at stake to trust Pinnacle and the flimsy financial reports on projected benefits,” according to the opponents’ group.

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