Study Session Tuesday for proposed Peck/Foothill development

February 12, 2016
Santa Paula News

There will be a study session Tuesday for a development that has been in the works for more than a decade that is being contested by nearby residents.

The February 16 session will be held at 5 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers, 970 E. Ventura St. where developers of the Del Financial-Anderson-Hagaman project as well as citizens will gather to address the proposed project located at the corner of Foothill and Peck roads.

At the January 19 City Council meeting they asked that such a session be staged after discussions between Planning Department staff and the applicants.

According to Planning Director Janna Minsk’s written report to the council, “Staff provided several suggestions to the applicant, which the applicant team is analyzing, including downsizing the project size by eliminating lots along the northern property line, preparing visual simulations of the site and the proposed road improvements to Foothill Road, and conducting a study session with the council to further discuss possible project revisions prior to continuing the public hearing.”

The applicants “Requested to have a study session,” then schedule a hearing when the possibly abridged project would be ready to be considered by the council. 

City Attorney John Cotti told the council the study session would provide an opportunity outside council meeting parameters to “see public concern and the applicant’s responses…”

Then, he noted, any changes would be incorporated into the project and re-noticed for a future hearing. 

A Planning Commission majority approved the 32-acre project in April. 

The steep hillside parcel, now unincorporated county land, must be annexed into the city; aside from the 79 homes in the original plan is a three-acre public park, walking trails and five acres of open space.

Development of the parcel was approved by voters in 2003 but never built due to the death of developer Scott Anderson, the real estate crash and numerous studies required before construction.

At numerous hearings members of the public have voiced a variety of questions and concerns ranging from traffic impacts to air quality issues resulting from grading and the thousands of truck trips required to move 750,000 cubic yards of dirt; water availability and geotechnical issues have also been questioned.

Among the responses of the developer is that construction will stabilize the hillside as well as eliminate flooding that comes with each rainstorm.

The regular council meeting to follow the study session — moved one day due to the President’s Day holiday — will start at 6:30 p.m. 

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