Council approves new industrial park in airport safety zone

September 19, 2001
Santa Paula City Council

The City Council reversed itself and approved a project to allow a new industrial complex just east of the city at the Sept. 4 meeting.

The council had delayed a decision after the Aug. 20 meeting where neighborhood residents objected, noting were not notified of the hearing and expressed fears that they would lose their homes.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe City Council reversed itself and approved a project to allow a new industrial complex just east of the city at the Sept. 4 meeting.The council had delayed a decision after the Aug. 20 meeting where neighborhood residents objected, noting were not notified of the hearing and expressed fears that they would lose their homes.The project will be on a 6.9 acre parcel on Montebello Street in the airport safety zone; housing is gradually being removed after a fatal air crash in the area in the early 1990s. The project will also require a zone change to allow for three industrial/warehouse buildings and a graveled outdoor storage area.During public comment at the Sept. 4 meeting, Richard Garcia presented a letter to the council detailing residents? concerns: residents requested a ?full account of the proposed project, not just a letter stating the intent of bringing in a new business.?Residents also wanted to know project traffic impacts, fair appraisals on their homes and a guaranteed relocation agreement from the city.Planning Director Tom Bartlett noted that the houses are ?there today and have been as legal non-conforming, and they can remain there,? until the city eventually obtains the funding to purchase the properties. Any new residential construction is banned in the area, he added.Vice Mayor Ray Luna said the reason there were no residents on hand at the meeting was because the ?people down there have lost their faith in government. . .?
In answer to Councilwoman Laura Flores Espinosa?s question about noise abatement, Bartlett said mitigation would depend on the users of the property and the issue would be addressed as needed.Mayor Don Johnson said the council should be notified as the facility is filled with tenants for review.?I think their concern is five to 10 years from now is getting the fair going rate for their property and relocation in Santa Paula,? said Garcia.Area residents are not opposed to the project, he added, but ?don?t want to be forgotten. . .they pay taxes also.? Owners want assurances that buy outs and relocation will be ?set in concrete. . .? by the council.?We can?t do that,? said Johnson.?My concerns is there will be an airplane crash and then someone will come and say how come you didn?t buy my house,? Cook said.The council approved the project on a split vote; Luna was the lone dissenter.



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