Countywide : Campus Site Group Will Begin Search

Representatives from Ventura County cities, environmentalists and university officials will meet Friday for the first of four planned meetings over the next two months to try to pinpoint acceptable locations for a new Cal State University campus.

The 30-member site selection advisory committee, which will meet in Oxnard, hopes to narrow the choices of locations for a four-year campus from the 30 sites being considered.

"Our hope is that we can get down to three or four good sites that are all acceptable to the university and the local community," said Brian Boxer, the consultant with EIP Associates of Sacramento who will lead the environmental impact study on the final proposed sites.

New sites may also be added as the committee works, Boxer said. The committee is expected to recommend the final sites to the Cal State Board of Trustees by Oct. 1.

Boxer's firm should recommend a single site to the trustees by July 1, 1991, university officials said.

Cal State trustees decided in Long Beach on June 18 that the Taylor Ranch west of Ventura, formerly the preferred site for the campus, will be among the final three or four studied, but will be evaluated for assets and drawbacks along with the other sites.

Trustees withdrew their support for the 465-acre ranch property after uncooperative owners threatened a lengthy court battle over the property.

Trustees were also discouraged by community opposition to the site and by the Ventura City Council, which has been divided on the issue.

The advisory committee was formed to avoid similar conflicts with the community, officials said.

Advisory committee members will be asked on Friday to consider and comment on the proposed campus, which will serve up to 15,000 students, as well as on the criteria for picking acceptable sites, Boxer said.

Criteria include requirements that the area be surrounded by residential, business or recreational facilities; that there be housing and employment opportunities for students nearby; that freeway access be within a 10-minute drive; that the area should be free from disturbances such as excessive noise or odor from heavy industry or motor vehicles; that water and sewer hookups be available and that the community approve of the site.

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