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    Santa Paula Planning: Proposed Family Motel and Housing Plan

    By Sheryl Hamlin

    The September 24, 2019 meeting of the Santa Paula Planning Commission included a review of a proposed “family motel” to be located on the corner of 12th Street and Harvard.

    Planner Arroyo explained that she was related to the owners of the restaurant on this property which closed earlier this year and that she is on title. There was no objection from the commission. Below is a picture of the current condition. The property is surrounded by residential, pictures of which are in the staff report.

    Current conditions: source staff report

    Planner Arroyo introduced the applicant who described the project to the commission. The object of this presentation was to solicit feedback from the commission prior to the actual submittal of the project.

    Applicant Presentation

    The applicant explained that the project will consist of two buildings. Building B is two stories with balconies and contains 22 units. Building A is two stories and contains the lobby, three suites and a manager’s unit. There is no elevator but there is a ramp.

    There are kitchens on the first floor units to attract longer term guests. There is a designated park in front of Building A.


    Commissioner Herber commented on the driveway on the back side of homes and suggested the applicant speak to all property owners.

    Commissioner Ikerd said this was a “nice addition to a troubled area”. Good to have new technology in the project, he said. He reminded the applicant that this is not a high-end city, so prices must reflect this.

    Commissioner Fourage was concerned about the water usage of the palm trees shown on the rendering, although noting the use of faux grass. The applicant plans to discuss this with the landscaper. He also asked about the signage on Harvard.

    Commissioner Vasquez asked if the motel were pet friendly. The applicant said that maybe only Building A.

    Commissioner Dunkel asked about the privacy between the motel and the homes. The applicant suggested drapes.

    With Santa Paula’s limited TOT (Transit Occupancy Tax Income), another source would be a positive addition. TOT was not discussed at this meeting.

    To download the staff report, click here: Staff Report

    Director Mason reminded that the kitchen units require a CUP (conditional use permit).

    Housing Plan and Other Planning Updates

    Director Mason indicated that the General Plan is on hold until the results of the grant are known in November. This is a multi-million dollar grant that will allow the city to rebuild Harvard.

    The Regional Housing Needs Assessment will be completed soon. The prediction is 1500 to 1700 new units over 15 years. There will be a plan to develop these units which will consider every possibility including higher densities. The lowest the “affordable” developers will build is $375,000 which is not sufficient for the population in need of housing which includes workforce housing, multi-generational housing and higher density. The city will be given its quota by the end of October as well as what development procedures must be changed to adapt to this plan.

    Read the article about the self-storage project which was also discussed here.

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