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Cal State Revenue Plan Splits Officials

University: Most Ventura County supervisors support the idea of creating income-generating ventures to develop the campus, but two condemn the concept.

March 20, 1997|FRED ALVAREZ and CARLOS V. LOZANO | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Mary Stephens, executive project manager for the site, said market studies have shown that elder care services would generate the kind of money needed to make the campus profitable. And she said the elderly population would provide a patient base for nursing students.

While some of the proposals for the campus may prove to be controversial, Stephens said it is the price that must be paid for developing a Cal State campus here and now.

"The way we are approaching this is that there is a certain income stream we need, and if we can achieve that some other way, we're open to that," she said. "At this point, we are introducing a lot we know we need to work with the community on. But I don't see any of this as a problem right now; I see it as part of the process."

But where Stephens sees the process unfolding, Flynn sees a project being foisted on Ventura County.

The supervisor said he is deeply disturbed by the level of development being proposed at the hospital site. He is unwilling to support the conversion effort as proposed.

"I'm beginning to wonder if Handel Evans is a developer or a university president," Flynn said of the president of the local campus. "This strikes me as something that's not really a university; it's a way to use land for development purposes. I don't really know what the mission is here. It seems confused."

But Long, whose supervisorial district includes the proposed campus, said she sees the blueprint as the county's first opportunity to discuss what it really wants on that property. She has no problem with the retirement community, but added that she can't see supporting a single-family residential development there.

"I don't think we go out there and build a little city just to keep the university open," Long said. "But I think some interesting partnerships could be formed out there. I see this as a working document to help get us there."

With the exception of Lacey and Flynn, the master plan was shown to county supervisors before its official unveiling Tuesday. Schillo said he is pleased with the work that has been done so far, and looks forward to continuing to work with Cal State officials as the process evolves.

"In terms of the plan, it could be dramatically changed 10 to 15 years from now," Schillo said. "Some of these things will work, some of them won't. There may be other sources of revenue for the operation of the university as we go along.

"This is a preliminary attempt to throw something on the board and see how people in the county respond."

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