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330-Acre Project in Camarillo Advances


Developers seeking to put more than 1,000 homes on strawberry fields at the foot of the Conejo Grade have received the go-ahead from the Camarillo Planning Commission.

If approved by the City Council, the development would be built on one of the largest remaining pieces of farmland in the city. Called Village at the Park, the project would cover 330 acres bordered by the Ventura Freeway to the north and Pleasant Valley Road to the south, east of Lewis Road and west of Calle de la Rosa.

Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously recommended changing the land's zoning to allow for the first phase of the project, which would ultimately include 1,060 homes, a 55-acre park, retail space, a five-acre YMCA site and 10 acres for a new elementary school.

The commission's recommendation will be forwarded to the Camarillo City Council, which approved the project's environmental impact report in September 2001 and is expected to approve the project at an upcoming meeting.

Commissioners received their first look Wednesday at details of the proposed development, viewing sketches of housing styles and floor plans for the subdivision's 672 single-family homes, which would range in size from 1,760 to 3,575 square feet.

Dennis Hardgrave, a representative of the developers, said architects had designed the homes to de-emphasize garages along the fronts of the houses and make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly. "We wanted to create character and a sense of identity in the neighborhoods," Hardgrave said. "This project will add a great deal to the community."

The commission opted to postpone a recommendation on the subdivision maps and floor plans until its Sept. 17 meeting, to give the city planning staff a chance to fine-tune the project requirements.

In addition to the single-family homes, developers plan about 380 townhouses and apartments. Although specific plans are yet to be ironed out, Camarillo Planning Director Bob Burrow said the city hopes to work out an agreement that would designate some of the homes as affordable housing. "We don't have an ordinance, but we do have a policy that says we strive for that," he said.

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