In a split vote, the Thousand Oaks City Council has agreed to move forward with annexation of the 326-acre Broome Ranch.
The City Council voted 3 to 2 late Tuesday to annex the ranch site straddling the city's southwest corner. Councilwomen Elois Zeanah and Linda Parks cast the dissenting votes, in part because of the proposal to place a golf course on the property.
Mayor Mike Markey, who voted for annexation, said the city needs the property to develop a long-awaited equestrian center and to bring the area into the city's system of natural open space.
"It doesn't make sense to sit there and do nothing," he said. The annexation of the ranch is still subject to approval by the Local Agency Formation Commission.
The city and the Conejo Recreation and Park District together paid $2.9 million to help another public agency acquire the Broome Ranch property in 1993.
When it helped purchase the parcel, the council voted to include a golf course and an equestrian facility in future plans for the ranch.
The city began annexation of the parcel in 1995 but later delayed the move in an attempt to have the state purchase the land for a state park, reimbursing the city in the process.
But the state has taken nearly two years to rule on the request, and many city officials say the issue is not expected to be resolved soon. Annexing the property now would save money and help speed development of the proposed equestrian facility in Broome Ranch.
Zeanah and Parks supported an amendment that would have precluded a golf course on the site, but it was defeated by a 3-2 vote.
Council members Andy Fox, Judy Lazar and Mike Markey voted for the annexation.