City starts annexation paperwork for Limoneira’s East Area 2

August 31, 2011
Santa Paula News

The city and Limoneira Company are now going through the early stages of the process of annexing East Area 2, the approximately 94.5-acre commercial/industrial property component of their planned residential development.

The city will be the lead agency and prepare the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on the proposed annexation, which includes property brought into the city’s sphere of influence by a wide majority of voters in 2008 and some other small islands. 

The property in question includes an approximately 32-acre parcel that includes residential in a rural setting in the county’s unincorporated area just east of the Santa Paula Creek Bridge to Hallock Drive. Just east of those is open space known as the Santa Paula East Gateway Specific Plan, four parcels - three of which are already within city limits.

The fourth parcel, according to the report by Planning Director Janna Minsk, is outside the city, but would be brought in through the annexation. Also included would be land “islands” of unincorporated land now or potentially surrounded by city-designated property.

The owners of all the affected parcels known as the East Gateway Specific Plan propose that the property be master planned for utilities and other infrastructure and amenities to allow future mixed use/commercial/light industrial development. The parcels will be designated different zones depending on their proposed use. 

The city has taken the first step in preparing the EIR by issuing a notice of preparation, a document that underwent a revision to change the pre-zoning of several parcels.

Minsk said residents and property owners in the area just east of the Santa Paula Creek Bridge off of East Telegraph Road were notified of and attended a June neighborhood meeting to discuss annexation issues. “We had 10 to 12 people show up” from the small rural neighborhood mixed with commercial and light industrial enterprises that met with city, Ventura County and Limoneira Company representatives.

“It seemed to go quite well,” said Minsk. She noted that most parcels in the area are already hooked into the city water system and receive response from Santa Paula fire and police; once the annexation is finalized, property owners - now utilizing septic tanks - would be required to hook into the city’s sewer system.

East Area 2 ranges both north and south of Highway 126. The annexation would require approval by the Local Agency Formation Commission.

East Area 1, more than 500 acres located just east of Hallock Drive on the north side of Highway 126, is targeted as the future home of about 1,500 residential units, schools, parks, retail/office/commercial and cultural development.

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