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East Ventura County Focus

THOUSAND OAKS : Fiore to Propose Land Buy Near Old City Hall

September 21, 1993|STEPHANIE SIMON

The 27-acre hilltop property above the former Thousand Oaks city hall on Hillcrest Drive should be purchased by the city and at least partly preserved as open space, Councilman Alex Fiore plans to tell fellow council members tonight.

Fiore plans to ask the City Council to authorize acquisition of the property, which he describes as "the most sensitive ridgeline in Thousand Oaks."

The list price for the property has plunged in the past year, from $1.2 million to $650,000, Fiore said. "With this depressed economy, the time might be right to consider acquisition," he added.

The city could use money paid by developers of the Dos Vientos housing project in Newbury Park to purchase the land, site of the annual Fourth of July fireworks show, Fiore said.

After purchasing the property, the city could reserve the most scenic portions for open space and annex other parts to the city hall lot at 401 W. Hillcrest Drive.

Thousand Oaks is counting on the sale of the old city hall to help finance the $64-million Civic Arts Plaza, but so far the city has had trouble finding a buyer. A citizens committee is drafting recommendations on possible uses for the property.

The 27-acre parcel above the abandoned city hall, now vacant, is zoned for commercial development.

"But you can imagine the hue and cry if someone came in with a project there," Fiore said. "The ridgeline is visible from every part of the city. It would be a travesty if we didn't attempt to try to control that property."

At tonight's meeting, the council will vote on whether to authorize staff to begin negotiating for the property. Any purchase agreement would have to return to the City Council for final approval.

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