The Lompoc City Council approved moving forward with annexation of a pair of land parcels just west of the city boundary on Tuesday.
The council voted 4-1 to continue the process of annexation for two specific parcels in the so-called Bailey Avenue Corridor as requested by the land owners. Mayor Bob Lingl provided the lone vote of the dissent for the project, which has been under consideration for at least 20 years, while the rest of the council expressed a need to continue Lompoc’s growth.
“I think it’s about time we get this project going,” said Councilman DeWayne Holmdahl, who made the motion that was ultimately approved. “We need the houses. I’m getting tired of Santa Barbara sending all their low-cost housing people here to Lompoc. We need some nice housing.”
Tuesday’s vote was more about continuing the process, and not necessarily the project, said Thomas Figg, a consultant who was representing the two property owners who are favorable to the annexation.
There are a total of five property owners involved in the entire Bailey Avenue Corridor, which consists mainly of agricultural fields between Z Street and Bailey Avenue.
The next step for the property owners will be to submit application to Santa Barbara County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).
The decision made by the Council on Tuesday differed from the city staff’s initial recommendation to include all five of the properties in the annexation process. The other three property owners have either opposed annexation or declined to be involved in this current process.
The project as it was approved Tuesday will add about 182,000 square feet of commercial space to Lompoc and more than 600 homes.
Lingl said he opposed the move on grounds that the city needs to begin building the roughly 1,500 homes in the area that have already been approved but haven't yet been built. After that, he said, the city should look at expansion.
In separate action, the governing board unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with the Lompoc Girls Softball Association for Thompson Park field renovations.
The Council had approved appropriating $209,648 for the renovations on Dec. 15, 2015. The work will be performed by the LGSA, Lompoc Parks and Recreation Men’s League, and Granite Construction, Inc.
The Council also approved re-appropriating about $23,000 in funding to fund four programs for the city’s recreation department.
Those programs, and their expected costs, include about $4,590 for a “Movies in the Park” series this summer at Ryon Park, $11,783 for a summer drop-in program for children at the Anderson Recreation Center, $1,250 for scholarship programs, and $8,000 to offer four free swim days at the Lompoc Aquatic Center.
City staff had initially requested that the funds come partly from the general fund and partly from money that had been budgeted for this year’s 805 Criterium, which has since been canceled in Lompoc.
With the 805 Criterium not expected to return in 2017, either, city staff instead asked that the funds be redirected fully from that budgeted item.
After that change, the Council unanimously approved the request.
Lingl opened the opened Tuesday’s meeting by presenting four proclamations.
He presented the first two proclamations to Ann McCarty, executive director of the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center, recognizing April as Child Abuse Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
He then joined with Lompoc Public Library Director Sarah Bleyl to recognize April 10 to 16 at National Library Week and brought up Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh and Fire Chief Kurt Latipow to also proclaim April 10 to 16 as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.