Santa Paula Times

Ballot measure petition for Adams Canyon custom estates to be launched

October 05, 2005
Santa Paula News

It’s been the focus of ballot measures in the past, and now the owner of Adams Canyon is hoping to garner voter approval for a scaled back development.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesIt’s been the focus of ballot measures in the past, and now the owner of Adams Canyon is hoping to garner voter approval for a scaled back development. Slated for development since Arnold Dahlberg purchased much of the canyon in the 1970s, “I want to finally get it done,” he said Thursday. “This is the logical route to for the city and us because I believe now we can get it done.”Arnold Dahlberg and his associates have started the petition process targeting up to 495 clustered estate home sites of approximately one dwelling unit per 13 acres, a resort/spa, golf course and 100 acres of active and passive public parks in Adams Canyon, located more than four miles from downtown. Voters overwhelming rejected a 2002 ballot measure for 2,250 dwelling units in Adams Canyon, with critics claiming that the proposed development of all high-end housing could shut out most Santa Paulans from ownership opportunities. Opponents also cited concerns regarding flooding and canyon access.“We’re looking at how the townspeople said ‘Too much’ and we know some things that have to be done for the community,” said consultant Roger Campbell of Fillmore. “Schools, parks and the economy are huge issues, and the people don’t want a huge number” of homes in the canyon.Campbell said that the proposal includes a “minimum of 40 acres for a school site or other public purposes” that could benefit from affordable housing being built on the parcel. “It would be determined by the community” who would best benefit from the property “and benefit the community,” he added.“I have the experience to do this,” noted Dahlberg, who has been a prize-winning developer for decades.
Access to Adams Canyon would be via Foothill Road, which would also offer a connection to Fagan Canyon, the scene of a proposed development of about 1,900 dwellings and two elementary schools, among other amenities.President/CEO of The Pinnacle Group John Lang has been meeting with city residents and groups about the plan, which he said would provide a high property tax return to the city without negative impacts, notably traffic. Minimal grading would be required due to the estate home layout, he added.Lang said that after each home site is sold it would have to go through the Planning Commission for approval, and such a development would “make a very positive impact on the image of Santa Paula. We’re also looking for a spa/wellness center resort which would attract a very interesting group of people” to the planned facility of up to 200 rooms.Campbell said that supportive community members would start collecting petition signatures to qualify the Adams Canyon’s measure for the decision of Santa Paula voters well in advance of the targeted June election.“I’ve said it before.... I bought Adams Canyon from an old man, and now I’m that old man,” said Dahlberg. “But this time I believe we’ll make it, that the Santa Paula community will support this plan.”