Santa Paula: Agreement Reached in Historic Hardison Property Lawsuit

By Sheryl Hamlin

Item 2.10B on the Consent Calendar of the March 20, 2017 Santa Paula Council meeting was described as follows:

Approval of a Settlement Agreement in San Buenaventura Conservancy, et al. v. City of Santa Paula, et al. – Ventura Superior Court Case No.56-2016-00487940-CU-WM-OXN

An item on the Consent Calendar is deemed non-controversial and unlikely to generate commentary, so the approval is simply a voice vote en masse of all items on the Consent Calendar. There was one speaker, so the item was pulled from the Consent Calendar and moved to the top of the Order of Business. When the item was called, Council Member John Procter recused himself due to the fact he was a member of the estate which sold the property to Williams Homes.

Sheryl Hamlin spoke about the need to avoid litigious solutions in the future by implementing a more robust Historic Preservation process and ordinance. She also thanked the citizens who had been involved in collecting information about the historic value of the house.

There are five previous articles on this property:


Settlement Summary

The settlement creates a new subdivision with 36 homes. It also creates a Designated Remainder Parcel (DRP) shown in the right hand corner of the conceptual drawing consisting of the Hardison Home, the barn (in situ) and the outbuildings (on new foundations). The DRP parcel is completely fenced with a block wall on the east side and metal fences on the other three sides with a single entry from Ojai Road, essentially creating a compound. It is important to understand that with the use of the DRP, a segregated Hardison Farmstead is created, which is not part of the Williams Homes HOA.

According to California Law, a Designated Remainder Parcel is:

A designated remainder or any omitted parcel may subsequently be sold without any further requirement of the filing of a parcel map or final map, but the local agency may require a certificate of compliance or conditional certificate of compliance.

There are no definitions or rules of use in the Santa Paula Municipal Code for a Designated Remainder Parcel.

The Staff Report, written by John C. Cotti, city attorney , makes the following statement, which is the only clue as to the next steps in the process:

The agreement at Section 3.15 requires the City to process and thereafter publicly consider the revised Project within 180 days of the agreement’s approval. Notably, however, by approving the Agreement, the City does not prejudge the revised Project and remains free to take whatever action it deems appropriate.

To download the reports and watch the video, click here.

There were no questions or comments from council nor did Mr. Cotti indicate if the settlement agreement had been signed by the other parties in the suit. To view the suit at the county, click here.

For more information about author, click sherylhamlin dot com

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