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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

City Moves on Bowling Options

October 27, 2000

THOUSAND OAKS — City staff members will explore options for a public-private partnership to would bring a 50-lane bowling alley to Thousand Oaks to replace the Conejo Bowl, which left town five years ago.

Councilman Mike Markey brought the issue to the council this week after years of talks with local developer Oz Entertainment. His request to study the feasibility of building a public bowling and recreational facility was approved 4 to 1 Tuesday, with Councilman Dan Del Campo dissenting.

Markey said the high cost and low availability of land in the city, combined with bowling already being a low-profit business, has deterred a facility from being built. He asked that the city look into getting involved, whether by acquiring the land and operating a facility or helping to underwrite the cost for a private developer.

Mayor Dennis Gillette, though a supporter of Markey's proposal, expressed some hesitation about the idea.

"We did have two bowling alleys in the Conejo Valley and now we have none, and there must be a reason for that," he said.

Meanwhile, an attempt by Councilwoman Linda Parks to reduce parking fees for disabled patrons of the Civic Arts Plaza failed on a 3-2 vote.

Parks said she has encountered several handicapped residents who said they can't afford the $5 to park in the structure for theater events. Parking on Thousand Oaks Boulevard makes the trek to the facility difficult, particularly for people in wheelchairs, Parks said.

Her proposal was to reduce the fee to $2 for disabled residents, at a cost to the city of roughly $13,000 each year. Only Del Campo voted with her.

"It doesn't seem like this would be something that's objectionable to the council, but apparently it is," she said at Tuesday's meeting.

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