Harold Edwards, CEO and President of the Limoneira Company, explains to the city council members and the public what their plans may be for development of the Teague McKevett Ranch. Photo by Don Johnson

East Area 1: Homes, destination hotel among Limoneira plans

February 16, 2005
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesA handful of people took Limoneira Co. up on their offer to tour East Area 1, approximately 500 acres east of the city, that Santa Paulans will be asked to vote on for development. Limoneira and elected officials, as well as members of the public, spent part of Tuesday afternoon at the site overlooking Highway 126 and just east of the Limoneira Mercantile. The Mercantile is slated for a soft opening later this month.Among those who took the tour was City Clerk Josie Herrera, who noted that she grew up in Santa Maria, an area very similar to the “beautiful and serene” East Area 1. Also taking the tour were Mayor Mary Ann Krause and Councilmen Gabino Aguirre and John Procter; Krause and Aguirre are on a special committee with Limoneira Board President Alan Teague and Director Rob Sawyer studying East Area 1 development.Limoneira President/CEO Harold Edwards told the group that the site could possibly feature 1,500 homes, a destination resort, assisted living facility and a Ventura Community College and high school campus.Also a possibility is a Metrolink and excursion train station.Herrera noted that Limoneira, which has been working with the city and community on the East Area 1 Master Plan, is considering a March 2006 ballot measure to move the property from the City Urban Restriction Area (CURB) to city control.“It’s a pretty piece of property,” said Peter Wright of Santa Paula who was on the tour. One idea he embraced was the possible development of a hotel on top of the hillside, which would offer “a fantastic view of the ocean,” among other amenities.
Limoneira Vice President of Operations/Real Estate Ron Hendren said the area would also include parks and play areas, and the preserved housing and stately row of palm trees would serve as an area gateway. “We would like to preserve if anyway possible,” he noted.Limoneira is also studying extending either Santa Barbara or Santa Paula streets to the new development. “We would like to extend at least one of the streets, but we’ll have to look at the cost… building a bridge across Santa Paula Creek would not be cheap, but it would tie the east end into Main Street” and the central business district.Hendren noted that more public meetings would be scheduled and that the joint City Council/Limoneira Board committee is continuing to meet. “Limoneira wants more input from the citizens of Santa Paula to see what they would like and get it all put together… it’s a win-win for the city and the community,” Hendren noted. “Just the Mercantile alone is adding about 100 new jobs, and when we get more industrial plus the housing plus apartments and other facilities out there, it will be a win-win.”The development of East Area 1 reflects Limoneira’s goal of being on the cutting edge of area revitalization, said Hendren. He added that Teague-McKevett [later purchased by Limoneira] has been a profitable ag operation for Limoneira Co., but that development of East Area 1 will help the city overall.There are many personal ties to the future of East Area 1 and bettering the future of Santa Paula, said Hendren. “Alan Teague is a Santa Paula native and was the mayor at one time, I was born here, and Harold is back, so we’re taking a very aggressive stand on revitalizing Santa Paula; we’ll do anything in that process we can.”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.