Santa Paula: East Area 1 Progress Report and Planning Commission Un-Appointment

By Sheryl Hamlin

Mike Penrod of Parkstone Companies presented an update of the East Area 1 project. Click here for previous articles about this project. There was no presentation in the public packet, although Mr. Penrod spoke from one slide which was projected. The annotations have been added for this article.


East Area 1 Status Presentation, Penrod

Mr. Penrod described the first deliverable phase which includes the following features:

  • 640 units including 100 market rate apartments, condos and single family residences.
  • Commercial Component including a Learning Center which Limoneira will build and rent to the Ventura College District, California Lutheran University and Cal State CSI and another building whose tenant will be the Ventura County Health Care Agency.
  • Civic Center: sports area and a K-8 school with land reserved 20 years for a high school. He noted that parking had been added to the sports area.
  • Soccer Fields: refurbished for water management
  • Parks: they will take the summaries of the park ideas to the Park and Recreation Commission and then to council for adaption.


There are two serious issues with traffic movement: the intersection of 126 and Halleck Drive and the bridge over the creek. Caltrans insists on a roundabout at Halleck and 126 even though study after study, he said, show that such a configuration does not work nor does it improve safety. The other is the bridge over the Santa Paula Creek and the steelhead protection.

City Manager Fontes explained that delays caused by third parties will not penalize LImoneira per the Development Agreement. As to the schedule, Mr. Penrod said 2018 would see the sports field and homes built and sold. Before homes are sold, they plan to spend $80 million “before the first flush” in infrastructure, he said. Note that Santa Paula has budgeted $200,000 in fees from this project due by 6/30/2017, so this amount should be verified because Mr. Penrod reiterated that the bridge and Caltrans could disrupt the schedule.

Historic Resources

Mr. Penrod said that in reponse to “rumors” of historic resource destruction as reported here, they will not be destroying the palm trees along Padre Lane and the Pump House. The Packing House is being remodeled, he said, but he did not indicate that this is not owned by Limoneira. He did not mention the other resources on the list for potential demolition.

Planning Commission Un-Appointment Tie Vote

In a rather unique procedural vote, the council was asked to vote on their pick for the replacement of Commissioner Wacker who recently died. Three candidates, Ed Bond, Jack Pitluk and Maxine McKaig, applied, but only four council members interviewed them.

Thus when asked to vote, there were two votes for McKaig (Procter and Hernandez) and two for Jack Pitluk (Gherardi and Crosswhite). A tie. What to do?

Council Member Tovias agreed interview the three candidates so that the full council can vote the next time. So, this dramatic appointment will be continued.

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