Santa Paula Times

Letters to the Editor

July 02, 2010

Let’s work together for a better community

To the Editor:

I was recently “polled” regarding another Fagan Canyon development. The pollster mentioned 1,900 homes. This number nearly matches the excessive Centex proposal that was clearly rejected by voters. The Centex developer reported spending $1,790,000 in a failed effort to persuade us to approve their project. Voters not only rejected the Centex scheme; they also replaced the council members who promoted it. Only one remains, Gabino Aguirre, and he is facing voters this fall.

Since the Fagan fiasco, voters have approved 500 units for Adams Canyon and 1,500 homes plus stores and offices in East Area One (Limoneira). Unlike the Fagan proposal, both of these developments conform to our existing Plan and have access to the freeway without dumping their traffic onto our two-lane streets.

One thousand nine hundred units are now being proposed for Fagan, in a canyon which is less than half the size of Adams. The number is plainly excessive, and without a magic skyway, there is no way to transport the resulting traffic to and from the freeway without clogging our existing two-lane streets.

When a former Council asked LAFCO to include Fagan Canyon in our Sphere of Influence, the city employed Rincon Associates to recommend specific numbers. The consultant recommended that development in Fagan be restricted to 450 units, citing four limiting factors: Topography, Drainage, Access, and Traffic problems. Our General Plan was thus adopted limiting development in Fagan to 450 units. None of these limiting factors have changed.

All developments pose some problems for existing residents, but I have supported both Adams and Limoneira. Adams is currently on hold until economic conditions improve. But pending LAFCO action, the Limoneira project is ready to proceed. By insisting on unrealistic numbers, Fagan developers lost their place in line.

In fairness to Limoneira and for the sake of our sanity, we need to complete what has already been approved before opening any additional areas. And Council members must insist that all developers somehow relate their proposals to our existing General Plan. If not, why bother to plan?

I am sympathetic to the interests of the owners of Fagan. But they need to realize its limitations, and work out something compatible with our General Plan that will not severely impact existing residences. Four hundred fifty well-planned high quality homes, along with a tourist attraction similar to the Ojai Valley Inn would provide an excellent return for owners and be an asset to the entire community. There would even be room for avocado groves and a university site that would bring incredible gains for both the developer and the entire community. The final proposal will require voter approval, so let’s be realistic, emphasize high quality, and work together.

Delton Lee Johnson

Santa Paula

Casino Night is fun

To the Editor:

An enormous “Thank You” to all of you who helped makes our 4th Annual Casino Night such a wonderful success. The western theme made for a relaxed mood. Studio C offered sweet swing music. The wonderful old Glen Tavern became elegant casinos with first class gaming equipment and celebrity dealers, including our county supervisor, city manager, police chief, mayor and vice mayor. The Inn provided a delicious barbecued chicken and beef dinner. Guests enjoyed tables decorated with succulents and fresh flowers and a beautiful full moon, all which added to the fun.

We are indebted to Rosanna and Tom Jennett for allowing us to transform the lobby and banquet room of their beautiful inn, and to their daughter, Monica, for being so helpful and courteous during all the logistics of planning this event. In addition, she obtained many beautiful gift baskets for our silent auction.

Our dedicated Director Sigrid Wong always gathers up all the details and loose ends and spends many extra hours making certain our events run smoothly.

Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group is most grateful to all sponsors, donors, volunteers, friends and board members for their time and talent. We had a wonderful evening!

Marilyn Harvey

Paul Smith

Cathy Barringer

Corporate Policies Can Promote Bad Business Practices

To the Editor:

During a recent discussion with Times writer Peggy Kelly over the issue of some CENTURY 21® agents being arrested for mortgage fraud, there was never the remotest hint, insinuation, or reference to any local real estate office, company or person.  The context was in how some corporate policies drive business decisions which create opportunities for bad practices.

CENTURY 21® corporation sought to increase its presence in Ventura County several years ago in the growing and diverse community of Oxnard.  Many of the existing franchisees protested their selections and petitioned CENTURY 21® to reverse their choices. They didn’t. However, those agents were not arrested because they are CENTURY 21® agents. They are accused of fraud which is the same as lying, cheating and stealing created by opportunities generated from corporate polices and demands of stockholders. This plays out every day in corporate America and in the media.

CENTURY 21® offices have different names because each office is independently owned and operated. We pay to use the corporate name; but we have our own office policies, procedures and business practices.

Many of the honorable agents and brokers who now serve the Santa Clara Valley have either been CENTURY 21® brokers or have been associated with brokers who have been or are. All of those REALTORS, no matter what banner they now carry, are capable and professional.

It is normal to react defensively to a perceived offense. If anyone is still offended, I am truly sorry.

Kay Wilson-Bolton

CENTURY 21 Buena Vista

Each office is independently owned and operated.