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East Ventura County Focus

MOORPARK : Low-Income Housing Proposal Withdrawn

November 18, 1994|SCOTT HADLY

Bowing to developers' wishes, the Moorpark City Council backed away from an ambitious plan that could have eventually required 15% of homes built in almost all new developments in the city to be for low-income families.

With estimates showing the city in need of more than 2,000 affordable units, the council decided a year ago to make home construction for low-income families a top priority. But the council has since cooled to the idea, voting Wednesday to send the proposal back to the committee that took a year to develop the idea.

"We've talked a lot about this issue during my six years on the council," Councilman Scott Montgomery said. "I don't know if an ordinance is necessary right now. We're moving on a lot of different fronts, and we're successful on a lot of fronts."

Montgomery cited city plans to use redevelopment money to build 50 low-income homes at Gisler Field in the city's downtown area. Montgomery also agreed with developers' complaints that the proposal was too onerous for developers.

The ordinance, modeled after one in Carlsbad, would have exempted developments of seven homes or less, but would have required those smaller developers to pay into a low-income housing fund. Montgomery estimated that in the smaller developments the requirement could have added as much as $20,000 to the cost of the other homes in the development.

But Councilman Bernardo Perez, who served on the committee that drew up the plan, said objections to the specific numbers in the proposal were premature.

"We were simply trying to craft an ordinance right for Moorpark," he said. "These were beginning numbers. Nothing was meant to be definite. These were points that we could have built on."

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