After hearing 10 hours of debate over two days, Thousand Oaks planning commissioners have again delayed a vote on an environmental report about a $100-million shopping center planned for Newbury Park.
Adjourning shortly after midnight Thursday, commissioners said they still had questions about the project's potential to harm the environment, and set another hearing for this Thursday. Commissioner Linda Parks dominated debate over the Seventh-day Adventist project, expressing concerns about noise and the project's conflicts with the city's General Plan.
Several commissioners said Friday that Parks took her probe too far, refusing to listen to the advice of city experts.
"She just kept questioning them like a district attorney," commission Chairman Irving Wasserman said. "She picked on every single word, comma and period."
Parks apologized Friday for monopolizing the session, but said she had a responsibility to ask questions if portions of the environmental report were unclear.
"I need to make sure that mitigation is sufficient," Parks said. "I want to be confident about all the information before I cast my vote."
Most of the issues discussed Thursday rehashed questions raised on Monday, when commissioners first tackled the document that details environmental effects of the 179-acre project.
One new concern--the failure of the report to examine the possibility that water on the site may be contaminated--caught the attention of several commissioners.
"It's something that we need to look into a little further," Wasserman said.
Still, he said the commission is expected to vote on the document this Thursday.
If the environmental report is approved, the planners will then consider the entire project, which proposes construction of a shopping center, a school campus and a restaurant on part of 458 acres of rugged terrain north of the Ventura Freeway near Wendy Drive.