Renaissance Faire Finds New Home, Seeks Ventura County’s OK
The Renaissance Pleasure Faire could be held this spring on a 130-acre site between Thousand Oaks and Moorpark if Ventura County approves a permit for use of the property, officials said Tuesday.
Phyllis Patterson, the fair’s founder and general manager, said a one-year lease has been signed with Watt Consolidated Partnership of Santa Monica to rent the land for eight consecutive weekends beginning May 6.
The site, in the Tierra Rejada Greenbelt, an unincorporated area of eastern Ventura County, is about a quarter of a mile west of the Conejo Creek Freeway (California 23). It is bordered by Tierra Rejada Road on the north, Moorpark Road on the south and east and by hills on the west.
Organizers have been looking for a place to hold the annual event since April, when the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission approved a developer’s request to build a gated community on the fair’s longtime site in Agoura.
Paul Porter, a Ventura County planner, said a conditional-use permit for the site must be approved by Planning Director Keith Turner. The Board of Supervisors could make the decision instead, he said, if the question of whether to issue a permit became “controversial.”
“The site appears from an access perspective to be better than more remote sites” proposed by fair officials, Porter said. He said it could take six months to a year for the county to issue a permit.
“I doubt it would be in time to hold the fair there this spring,” Porter said.
Patterson said, however, that fair officials hope to secure the permit by spring. “We’ve faced more complicated permitting procedures before on worse sites,” Patterson said.
Richard Hare, deputy city manager for Moorpark, said the city will review the permit application with county officials. He said that the site borders Moorpark and that the fair would increase traffic congestion there.
Hare said Moorpark may set conditions for approval of the permit, including that fair organizers pay for street cleanup and traffic-control officers.
Grant Brimhall, city manager of Thousand Oaks, said his city also will evaluate the proposed site because the Conejo Creek Freeway, the main route to the site, is heavily used. “That might not be a big problem,” he said, “because traffic is light on Saturdays and Sundays.”
The property is part of a 390-acre parcel used to grow corn and graze cattle, said Glen Gessford, a spokesman for Watt Consolidated Partnership. Gessford declined to say how much rent the firm would charge the fair.