Santa Paula Planning Commission: Car Wash and Airport Update

By Sheryl Hamlin

A festive mood prevailed at the May 23, 2017 Santa Paula Planning Commission. Why? For the first time in months, there was a full collection of Planning Commissioners with the addition of Margaux Bangs and Earl McPhail who had been appointed previously by the city council.

There were two items on the agenda: 1) a concept review of a proposed buildout of a commercial property located at the southeast corner of Harvard and Laurie Lane and 2) an update and request to extend the permit for the Airport condo development.

17-CR-02 Harvard Blvd./Laurie Ln. Retail Development Concept Review

The staff presentation provided by Deputy Planning Director James Mason shows an aerial view of the site currently.

Source: James Mason, City of Santa Paula Planning Department

The property is divided now into three parcels of .64 acres each, but the applicant proposes to reconfigure into three parcels A) 48,000 sq. ft, B) 15,000 square feet and C) 7,000 square feet. Parcel A will be a car wash, Parcel B a Jiffy Lube and Parcel C is yet to be determined.

The applicant is the master developer who lays the foundation for individual business to own or lease the parcels upon which a business is built. In the case of the car wash, the applicant, Cardiff Development Partners, who developed the corner where now Starbucks in Santa Paula enjoys a loyal following, is working with the owners of Water Drops Car Wash, a full-tunnel, automated car wash system operated by only one employee.

Current Conditions Source: James Mason, Santa Paula Planning


The Cardiff plan calls for entrance to the car wash on Laurie Lane including a lane for sixteen (16) cars to queue into the tunnel. After wash, there will be 25 vacuum stations along Harvard, so there will be no wait for a vacuum and a customer can stay without pressure to move. Egress will be to Harvard Boulevard.

There was discussion about this ingress and egress plan from several commissioners. The applicant, Mr. Rick Chancellor, Cardiff Partner stated that they had considered a 180 degree variation but felt it was best to keep the vacuum stations away from the residential. Later in discussion, Commissioner Sommer suggested that when Cardiff return with their application they include decibels and hours of operation because of the proximity to the housing.

During the discussion, there was consensus about Parcel C among the commissioners. A market would need liquor and this category is full on Harvard while there are plenty of fast food restaurants, so perhaps something a bit more in the category of fast food upscale could work. Commissioner Bangs suggested a Baja Fresh, a family friendly restaurant where families enjoying the adjacent park might use.

Parking was also discussed. Parcel A will be isolated from Parcels B and C, but the applicant suggested that there be a cooperative arrangement where the parking is shared between Parcels B and C because the Santa Paula criterion for parking is very limiting.

There was also discussion about multiple car washes in the area without consensus on the concentration of this type of business.

The applicant said there would be 50 jobs created on this corner as well as a sales tax component, which he did not quantify, because Parcel C is not yet identified.

Conceptual Site Plan Source: James Mason Santa Paula Planning

Note that the two locations in Oxnard for the car wash are bounded by fast food and markets, but NO housing. Look at the Google Maps for Oxnard:

Water Drops at 1811 East Channel Islands Blvd, Oxnard

1401 West Gonzales Blvd, Oxnard

There were no residents in the audience who came forward but presumably all within a certain distance would be noticed in writing when the formal application is submitted.

17-MM-02 Airpark Project Extension

The Airpark Project has been extended several times. According to Deputy Planning Director Mason, pre-recession development is still on hold, but that a change in ownership in this project with a new and better project is in the works.

The attorney representing the owners said they are ready to move and hopefully will not take the full year for the re-conceptualized project which will attract aviation uses to the airport.

The extension was approved.

Video and Materials

To listen to the audio and download the agenda and staff reports, click here.


For more information about the author visit Sheryl Hamlin dot com

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