SANTA PAULA, CA-The planning commission and city council here have approved the Limoneira Co.’s plans for the former Teague-McKevett Ranch property, known as East Area I, and have placed the project on the June 3 ballot. The locally based Limoneira Co.’s plan would develop 400,000 sf of light industrial and commercial space in the city, along with 1,500 homes, a civic auditorium and open-air amphitheater and a fire station. It would also dedicate 60 acres of land for education and joint-use recreational facilities, create parks and preserve 200 acres of open space.

The city’s actions followed a two-day hearing on the project in which the council and the planning commission certified the EIR for the development, approved a development agreement and specific plan, called for a special municipal election on June 3 and authorized an application with the Ventura County Local Agency Formation Commission to initiate annexation proceedings for the East Area I property. The development site is on the eastern edge of the city, between California routes 150 and 126.

The project requires a public vote in order to amend the city’s urban restriction growth boundary to include East Area I. Harold Edwards, president and CEO of the Limoneira Co., says that the firm plans to “dedicate time and energy to making sure we have done our part to involve the community.” He says Limoneira’s top priority now is “to talk to residents about the benefits of the project and encourage them to vote on June 3.”

Limoneira is a 115-year-old land, farming and development firm that played a major role in the development and growth of California’s citrus industry. The company, through its affiliated entities, partnerships and strategic alliances, owns more than 7,000 of acres of agricultural land and commercial property in Southern and Central California.

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