Council asked to place moratorium on downtown mixed-use projects

July 30, 2003
Santa Paula City Council

The Santa Paula Downtown Merchants Association wants the City Council to hold off on any mixed-use projects in the downtown business district until a downtown plan is adopted.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Santa Paula Downtown Merchants Association wants the City Council to hold off on any mixed-use projects in the downtown business district until a downtown plan is adopted.Cheryl Baudizzon represented the Board of Directors of the Historic Downtown Santa Paula Merchants Association and presented the letter to the council at the July 21st meeting.The association first surfaced with concerns about mixing housing and retail when the Becker Group proposed converting the second story of a Main Street building into six studio apartments.Since then, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing announced their interest to build low-income housing on surplus Blanchard Community Library parking lot space. The proposal swelled to include retail and low-income housing on Main Street.
Baudizzon noted that after attending meetings with developers and studying the issue, the association board is “concerned that the City of Santa Paula does not have a Downtown Plan that deals with residential development in the downtown area. This is a concern due to the number of projects that seem to be coming forward,” that mix low-income residential with commercial-retail.The letter from the merchants association asked that the council place an “immediate moratorium on any residential development in the downtown area until the city has studied and revised the Downtown Implementation Plan and the Central Business District zoning.”The Downtown Implementation Plan was adopted in the early 1990s and does not address issues now facing the city, according to SPDMA President Debbie Johnson.The moratorium would cover the areas bordering Main Street from Railroad Avenue to Ventura streets and Ojai to 7th streets.“We’re just asking for a study so the city can get input from people,” said Johnson, co-owner of the Santa Paula Times. “If the city hires a consultant to update these plans that’s exactly what they will do, get suggestions and do a study,” on the viability of mixed-used development in the downtown business district.



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