The City Council hopes to soon find a business or grower interested in both refurbishing the historic Joel Congdon House and farming the surrounding 28-acre property previously known as the Kinoshita Farm.
Acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, the council voted this week to prepare a bidding process for proposals involving the farming operation and renovation of the historic home for public use.
The council delayed taking any action to extend an agreement with J & W Farms, which has farmed strawberries on the land since March 1993. The city's lease with J & W Farms expires in about two weeks, and city officials had proposed extending the agreement to Sept. 15.
But several Orange County growers interested in leasing the farm and renovating the house asked the panel of five to reconsider the proposed six-month contract extension. They said a July 1 deadline would be better, because then whoever wins the contract would have time to plant a fall crop.
City Manager George Scarborough said staff members will discuss the proposed extension date with growers and bring the issue back to the council in two weeks.