Santa Paula Council: Williams Homes 1 Limoneira/Lewis 0

By Sheryl Hamlin

Development on Historic Hardison House Approved

After several reductions in size and one lawsuit, Williams Homes has prevailed at the City Council level with a new site plan consisting of fewer homes, larger lots and the use of a planning tool called a “Remainder Parcel” to segregate the Hardison house, barn and other structures from the tract to create a farmstead compound.

From Chris Williamson’s presentation, a summary of the new project is shown below:

  • About 2.2-ac. area – Hardison House and Barn area extending to Ojai Rd. – removed from VTTM No. 5928, becomes Remainder Parcel.
  • Barn remains in current location, two accessory structures relocated to Remainder Parcel. .
  • Remove 4 home parcels, Dogwood St. reduced to 20-ft. wide (no parking on either side). .
  • Ojai Rd. frontage dedication for possible widening. .
  • Williams Homes nominates Hardison House structures and grounds for landmark status.


Source: Williamson Presentation

The project was approved with the addition of sidewalks along Ojai Road, a feature suggested by Vice Mayor Gherardi, which had been eliminated to create a historic streetscape for the house. In commentary, Gabriel Zamora, architect, representing the newly formed Santa Paula Conservancy, said he felt that a design for sidewalks could be worked out.

Several citizens spoke in favor of the project with no one speaking in opposition, although there was a letter from Mitch Stone and Judy Triem, who had prepared the original historic report and had suggested the origianl barn relocation concept. Mr. Williams addressed the concerns in the letter as follows:

Source: Williamson Presentation

The challenge now is to find a buyer for the farmstead who will continue its maintenance as a historic home. The conditions will be recorded on the deed so that a new owner is aware of the history. There will be a plaque in the development about the home and its history, as well.

To download the entire Williamson presentation, click here.

To read the staff report, click here.

To read all previous articles with pictures about the project click here.

Limoneira/Lewis Present Elevated Multi-Lane Hallock Road Extension Construction Project

Limoneira/Lewis presented what could only be called a “concept” item to the City Council on May 15, 2017 relating to possible options for the construction of the multi-lane road extension of Hallock Drive into East Area 1.

Read about this road here and see drawings for the elevation. Note that this road was never presented to the Planning Commission nor is not detailed in any of the EIR documents for the East Area 1 project, although there is a mention of the road.

Now, it appears that Limoneira is trying to create a construction plan that would not shut down the businesses in the area and force all the heavy traffic through Palm and/or Peck Roads via Harvard. John Ilisin, interim Public Works Director, said the project might take 151 working days; however, there is major infrastructure related to water and gas lines which must be considered carefully.

The GM of Sawyer Petroleum said the plans would “shut down their business”, while the owner of J.D. Clark, a third generation industrial business in Santa Paula said he was a civil engineer and did not see how they would solve the bank problem. The problem he is describing can be seen in the diagram below where the road rises from about 300’ to 315’ in the north-south direction with the east-west Telegraph Road meeting in the middle at about seven feet in elevation.

Source: California Public Utilities Commission

Tim Jones of Limoneira/Lewis repeatedly asked Vice Mayor Gherardi for help with Caltrans, who responded repeatedly saying it would be easier to create a temporary road off of Hallock for traffic diversion, even if it meant buying or leasing some land.

Council voted to received and file and suggested follow on work on the diversion road.

No one on the dais asked about the aesthetics of this road, or if the lighting would disrupt the dark skies of the Heritage Valley, or if the road would be visible from State Route 126, or if there would be structural damage to the historic packing house during construction or why the main entry was not at Padre Lane which is already level with Telegraph, all of which should have been considered by the Planning Commission, had this item been presented to them.

The rest of this meeting will be covered in subsequent reports. Note that NO VIDEO is available for this meeting, which is the second time in recent history this has happened.

For more information about the author visit Sheryl Hamlin dot com.

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