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OJAI : Council Extends Ban on Guest Houses

The Ojai City Council has adopted a $4.47-million budget and extended a 45-day moratorium on the construction of guest houses for another 10 months to allow planners to find ways to prevent them from being converted into rentals.

The council adopted the proposed $4.47-million city budget for the 1990-91 fiscal year without any changes. Acting as the Redevelopment Agency, the council approved a separate, $1.1-million budget to administer revenues and expenses for the downtown Redevelopment Area.

The city has a general fund reserve of $1.4 million and the Redevelopment Agency a reserve of about $1 million, City Manager Andrew Belknap said.

The city will spend more than $1 million on police services and about $594,000 for street maintenance and other public works expenses. While other cities are facing employee layoffs, Ojai’s budget provides for two new full-time positions--a parks maintenance worker and a new receptionist for City Hall--as well as a 4.8% cost of living increase for all 25 city employees.

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In other action, the council voted unanimously to continue a 45-day moratorium on new guest-house construction for another 10 months. The council also adopted a historic preservation ordinance that creates a new Historic Preservation Commission with more power than the former Cultural Heritage Board to designate and protect historic homes and other cultural landmarks.

A public hearing on a proposed housing tract near Nordhoff Cemetery was continued until Aug. 28 at the request of the applicant, Joseph Macaluso of Ojai. The Planning Commission recommended denial of the seven-home tract by a 5-0 vote June 13 because of the effect on traffic and air quality.


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