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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 10th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 31

DJ Farms inches closer to development

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

Guadalupe City Council members were expected at their Oct. 9 meeting—after the Sun went to press—to finalize the resolutions needed to move forward with the DJ Farms housing project. The 209-acre parcel of farmland at the intersection of Highway 166 and Highway 1 has stood undeveloped for years.

The project was first introduced to the City Council back in 1994 when the city annexed the land. However, due to changes in city staff, project developers, and an uncertain economy, the project stalled several times.

The original plan included the addition of new headquarters for the police and fire departments, and a City Hall building.

However, in a recent interview with the Sun, Mayor Lupe Alvarez said the council made the decision in May of this year to refurbish the historic City Hall building on Obispo Street.

“It will cost $1.6 million to be fixed up and brought up to code,” Alvarez said.

MKL Development, a Santa-Monica based company, which bought the DJ Farms project back in 2004, would also be in charge of refurbishing City Hall. The company is proposing that for every house sold in the DJ Farms development, MKL would contribute $2,000 from the sale.

“That means we would have to sell every home to get the $1.6 million,” Alvarez said.

Guadalupe City Administrator Tim Ness and City Attorney David Fleishman have been working to ratify the development agreement.

Over the course of its existence, the DJ Farms project has raised several concerns. According to Alvarez, those concerns have been addressed.

In a 2007 article in the Sun, it was reported that the project posed a potential threat to water and sewer capacity.

“There are no water issues and we have enough capacity to build,” Alvarez said.

The project has also raised concerns about parking space. Alvarez said the project has been scaled down to alleviate parking issues. Originally, DJ Farms was expected to create 980 primary residences and 126 secondary residences. However, the revised plan calls for 802 primary residences and 48 secondary residences.

The plan has also been modified to include 250,000 square feet of commercial space, as opposed to the proposed 275,000 square feet. The project still includes 12.5 acres for the addition of a school.