By Chris Frost
Oxnard—The Oxnard City Council authorized the Wagon Wheel Project during its July 2, meeting and approved early Quimby Fee credits for parks within the project.
Planning and Environmental Services Manager Kathleen Mallory gave the report, and she told the council they need to consider a Quimby fee credit for the Oakwood Development Project.
"The Quimby Act authorizes a legislative body from a city or county to require the dedication of land or to impose fees for parks or recreational purposes as a condition of the approval of a tentative or parcel subdivision map if specified requirements are met," according to state laws.
The Oxnard Village discretionary plan is 62 acres and was adopted in 2009, she said, and granted development rights for the construction of the project over the next 20 years.
"The village specific plan provides infrastructure plans, guidelines, standards and regulation for 1,500 dwelling units, 50,300 square feet of commercial space and parks, open space, infrastructure, and at the time a transit center," she said. "It also included park space in three parks, 7.4 acres of parks, and open space areas along with 3.7 acres of parks known as the Village Green that is central in the project. It also included a robust and wonderful multi-use path running parallel to Oxnard Boulevard."
In July 2015, the Oxnard City Council approved the first amendment to the development agreement, Mallory said, to reduce fees to offset some development costs associated with the construction of flood levy improvements and some roadway improvements that weren't anticipated in parks B and C.
The proposal calls for the area to be developed and dedicated to the city once parks A, B, and C are completed in the development, although parks B and C were being acted upon because park A wasn't finished.
Upon acceptance of parks B and C, Mallory said the city would grant the developer fee credits for the land and construction credits.
"The fee credits are within and applied against the Quimby credits for the development project," she said. "That is required prior to the occupancy of each residential unit."
"The development agreement also requires the formation of a community facilities district, for the purpose of maintaining the ongoing maintenance and public improvements," she added. "This gives you an idea of generally the parks which are out there. Lot C includes two play structures, a volleyball court, ping pong tables, three picnic tables, and a large pavilion."
Lot B has a historic wishing well, she said, which is a replication of cultural mitigation requirements."
The developer completed the parks, and Oakwood had a grand opening of the B and C lots, approximately 1.9 acres, and are available for public use.
"The Community Facilities District, however, has not collected sufficient funds yet to cover the park maintenance, which is roughly $65,000" she said. "The city does not have the funding available to cover the maintenance costs."
The developer is required to dedicate the parks to the city, she said, but it has not accepted the parks yet.
"We don't yet own the land because we don't want to take over the maintenance because the community facilities district does not have sufficient funding," she said. "Until the city accepts parks in lots B and C, the developer will continue to maintain the parks through the master homeowner's association at no cost to the city."
Corey Harpole from Oakwood Communities said he supports the staff's recommendation.
"We are happy to maintain the parks until the Community Facility District funding is fully placed," he said. "We believe that owning these parks now is a great benefit to not only our existing residents but our future residents."
Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Ramirez said she supports the item.
"It's requested that the developer establish a park for the people who live there and that's a good thing," she said.
Councilman Oscar Madrigal said he's been to the site and it looks beautiful.
"The construction has been going on for a while, and it's starting to take shape," he said.
Councilman Bert Perello asked Mallory if the Community Facilities District will have escalators and Mallory said it would.
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