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OJAI : New Environmental Report Is Ordered

An Ojai couple who want to build seven houses in a citrus grove will have to redo an environmental impact report on the project to take into account a one-year moratorium on new water hookups, city officials said Tuesday.

Joseph and Josephine Macaluso have already spent more than $25,000 on an environmental report on their proposal to build seven houses in a 10-acre orange orchard near Nordhoff Cemetery on Cuyama and Del Norte roads.

But Ojai Planning Director William Prince said that because of a one-year moratorium on new water hookups instituted by the Casitas Municipal Water District on April 11, the report needs to be revised to indicate that providing water to the seven houses would have an “unavoidable but significant impact.”

Prince said that a hearing set for tonight on the project will be held as planned and that a second session will be held July 18 after the new report is completed. A prior hearing on the project drew a large crowd opposed to the project because of traffic and air quality concerns.

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Joseph Macaluso said he should not have to redo the report because the orange trees he plans to remove from the land use more water than the houses would.


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