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Officials Assail Parkland Site for New Jail


A county environmental document that chooses donated parkland east of Santa Paula as the best site for a new county jail met this week with criticism and strong opposition.

The report states that 100 acres at county-owned Toland Park, which sits in the center of the greenbelt between Santa Paula and Fillmore, is the best site environmentally because it does not take prime agricultural land out of production.

But Supervisor Maggie Erickson, whose district includes the site, said the document considers only environmental and not legal considerations such as the restriction on the grant deed placed by Agnes Toland.

"The land was given to the county to be used for a park," she said, adding that Toland's heirs have indicated that they don't want the park to become a jail.

Erickson favors instead a site on Todd Road, also in her district, but southwest of Santa Paula and near existing industrial buildings.

After a quick review of the document, Supervisor John Flynn said he believed that it supported his earlier suggestion to expand the jail at the county government site, rather than build a new one.

The environmental document released Monday discusses the impact of five sites that have been considered, including Pancho Road south of Camarillo, Portrero Road farther south and Hueneme Road east of Port Hueneme.

The Board of Supervisors will decide on the site after public hearings.

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