Santa Paula: Parking, Housing, History at Planning Commission

By Sheryl Hamlin

The Agenda of the September 27, 2016 meeting of the Santa Paula Planning Commission was short but instructive of the planning process. The commission is still minus one commissioner due to the death of Commissioner Wacker, although Planning Director Minsk said that the application period has ended with four applicants which the council will interview in the near future.

Public Comments

In public comments Sheryl Hamlin asked about the status of the properties and the century old Canary Island palm trees as described in the 2007 Historic Resources Report for East Area 1 Specific Plan prepared by San Buenaventura Research Associates as follows:

The plan proposes the retention and rehabilitation of four historic elements existing on the property within the new development and on their present locations: the Pump House, the Ranch Manager’s Residence, the palm trees flanking Padre Lane and the Packinghouse. According to the Specific Plan, the barn may be retained and relocated elsewhere on the property. All other existing improvements and the majority of the agricultural features on the project site are proposed to be removed.

Commissioner Sommer said the question was not in the jurisdiction of the commission. Director Minsk said she would research.

16-PD-02 Arana Residence Setback


Located on a cul-de-sac near Peck Road and Foothill Road, the 1500 square foot home built in 1978 (per Redfin) came with a two car garage. Now the owners would like to expand this to a three car garage. This expansion reduces the front yard setback, but there were no neighbor complaints and in fact the owners provided a petition of neighbors supporting the project.

Commission Robinson said he walked the area and concluded that adding parking was a good feature for this neighborhood. Note that the addition will not disturb the public walkway at the end of the cul-de-sac extending to Peck Road.

The application was approved.

16-CDP-04 Garcia Multi-Family Use


Located at 224 and 224½ South Mill Street, the property had been abandoned for a period of twelve months, so the owner had to re-apply for a non-conforming status. The area had been rezoned C-O (Commercial Office) and DR(Design Review)in a previous General Plan Update.

During the discussion Commission Robinson stated that he had toured the area and was impressed by the well-maintained alley, as a model for other neighborhoods. Commission Demers asked if the goal of the city was to transform this area to residential. Director Minsk replied “mixed use, but the demand for housing is high.”

The Garcia plan calls for removal of existing vinyl siding, new windows, stucco and interior renovation. The site must be built to R-4 standards, said contract planner Joyce Parker-Bozylinski.

The project passed unanimously.

Not mentioned at the meeting was Governor Brown’s recent approval of a bill loosening the rules for “granny units” as a way of oleviating the “housing crisis” at the low end of the market. Although not ‘granny’ flats, the market segment in need of housing will be supplemented with this project.

New Business

The Design Assistance Committee (DAC) is defined in the city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance which specified that one(1) Planning Commissioner must actively serve on the DAC. Note that the DAC has met once between June 2013 and September 2016.

John Demers was nominated and accepted. He will serve until his term as Planning Commissioner ends.


The full packet may be downloaded here.

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4 years ago

The minutes from this Planning Commission meeting show no Public Comments.

Steven Nash
Steven Nash
4 years ago

As a planning commissioner for the City of Oxnard, I really appreciate the efforts of a private resident such as Ms. Hamlin to publicize the decisions of her local planning commission.

BTW, as for the statement that “Commissioner Sommer said the question was not in the jurisdiction of the commission” suggests that this commissioner might want to rethink the role her commission serves. At the very least, resident concerns should be directed to staff who can then provide clarity and, hopefully, resolution.