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CSU Wants Real Estate

February 01, 1990

The arguments regarding a university at Taylor Ranch have left out the most important discussion of all: Why do they need 465 acres? When you consider the very small area that Yale covers, that Annapolis covers only 338 acres (and that includes a huge football field and stadium, a large cemetery, Dewey Field and Woren Field, besides a large basin for its training ships, plus student buildings and housing) you just have to wonder, why so much land for Ventura?

I think the answer can be found in the Wall Street Journal of Jan. 3. An article tells how the universities in many states "are going into the real estate business to make money." The University of Virginia is building a 102,000-square-foot building for the headquarters for the State Alcohol Beverage Control Board on university land. One of the county supervisors complains that, "What they want to do violates county zoning and master plans. Private developers couldn't get away with it, but they can because as a state agency they are exempt from local regulation". In Washington, D.C., the university has become known as the "Real Estate University." Stanford operates a 71-acre shopping center; University of Miami, a marina; University of Washington at Seattle, two parking garages and six office buildings.

Has this happened with CSU? Yes, it has. This same university at one time owned about 400 acres near Somis. The land was bounded on the south by California 118, on the west by Price Road, on the east by Aggen Road and on the north by La Loma Avenue. Under the Brown Administration, the state needed money so asked for "surplus" land from all the agencies that was not using the land, in order to sell it. Since CSU had not built yet, the land was sold in 1979 to developers. Will the state do this to Taylor Ranch?

ANN L. DAVIS

Ojai

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