Wednesday, July 20, 2005
County to continue study of airport plan The Ventura County (CA) Star
Supervisors agreed Tuesday to allow further study of a proposal to limit an airspace easement at the Camarillo Airport. The deal calls for the city of Camarillo to take over a county-operated water system dating from the 1950s that needs an estimated $3 million in repairs. In return, developer Chelsea Property Group would be allowed to build a shopping center with buildings reaching 51 feet in height east of the airfield.
But the reception was lukewarm, with Supervisors Linda Parks of Thousand Oaks and Judy Mikels expressing strong reservations over encroachment and safety issues. Supervisor Steve Bennett said he was not ready to give up the easement. By a vote of 4-1 with Parks objecting, the board did agree to the additional study.
Mikels said she was concerned about complaints over noise and fumes from customers eating in outdoor restaurants. The supervisor said she wouldn’t want to worry about the smell “drifting down over margaritas and chips and salsa.”
The Simi Valley supervisor said the county should get a portion of sales tax revenues from the retail complex as part of the deal.
If the easement is changed to allow tall buildings, the developer would agree to build a pipeline connecting the airport area to the city’s water system. The cleanup also would help eliminate sewage problems that have led to fines against the city. Scott Smith, director of the county airport system, said he considered the deal a fair trade because of the need to improve the water system.