Simi Valley : Reconsideration of Annex OK Rejected

The Ventura County agency that reviews changes in city boundary lines has voted not to reconsider its approval of Simi Valley's bid to annex the 2,700-acre Whiteface area, where nearly 1,500 new homes are planned.

The Local Agency Formation Commission board on Monday rejected a request by the Environmental Coalition's Moorpark branch to conduct a second hearing on the annexation plan, which was approved June 17.

The coalition asserted that the development proposal will harm a sensitive wildlife habitat and create new "islands" of unincorporated land.

But a majority of LAFCO board members concluded that the Environmental Coalition did not present new evidence that was significant enough to merit a second hearing, LAFCO spokeswoman Colleen M. White said.

The Simi Valley City Council will consider a final resolution approving the annexation plan, probably within the next two or three months, said Laura Kuhn, a deputy city planning director. The council approved an environmental review of the Whiteface plan and initiated the annexation in February.

The development is proposed for the Dry, Sand and Tapo canyons next to the 2,230-foot Whiteface Mountain, which is visible throughout the city.

Two Los Angeles developers, Lowe Enterprises and Hermes Development International, plan to build three golf courses, 1,128 houses earmarked for senier citizens and 364 estate-type houses on 20,000-square-foot lots. More than 1,000 acres would be preserved for parkland under the plan.

Eric Taylor, a spokeswoman for the developers, said construction could begin next year.

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