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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | EAST COUNTY / MOORPARK

Council Will Rethink Hidden Creek Ranch

July 15, 1998|REGINA HONG

The City Council tonight will reconsider Hidden Creek Ranch, the largest housing project in the city's history.

Councilman John Wozniak, who joined Mayor Pat Hunter in opposing the project July 1, said he will decide during the meeting whether he is willing to change his position, ending a 2-2 deadlock on the 3,221-housing project north of town.

Wozniak, who opposed the project because of environmental concerns, agreed to meet with the developer again at the urging of colleagues Chris Evans and Bernardo Perez, who favored the project.

Councilwoman Debbie Teasley, a local real estate broker, has abstained to avoid a conflict of interest.

So far, Wozniak has met twice with developer Messenger Investment Co. to discuss possible ways to allay the councilman's concerns about grading and traffic.

Wozniak said he has asked the developer to consider reducing by at least 20% the amount of land to be graded and building a road that would link the project to the Ronald Reagan Freeway.

The developer plans to hand Wozniak a proposal before tonight's meeting with the hope of persuading him to support the project, Wozniak said.

"I have no idea what they'd be willing to offer, so I have no clue at this point" whether he will change his vote, Wozniak said.

If council members do not make a decision tonight, final word on the project will be delayed at least until mid-August, when the council returns from its annual summer break.

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