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MOORPARK : Owners of Feed Mill Will Appeal Eviction Ruling

The owners of a feed mill in downtown Moorpark have vowed to appeal a court ruling this week enabling the city to evict the mill and tenants of several adjacent buildings from the land it now controls.

“We’re going to continue to defend ourselves and defend all our rights,” said Jeff Foster of Foster Enterprises. “We are appealing the ruling.”

A Ventura County Municipal Court judge on Tuesday said the city was within its rights in evicting the High Street feed mill operated by Foster Enterprises and tenants of several other buildings the company subleases.

Foster failed to pay the monthly rent of $3,200 for roughly two acres occupied by the mill and adjacent buildings for six months after the city took over management of the property from the Ventura County Transportation Commission, which had bought the land from Southern Pacific Railroad.

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Foster eventually paid the rent and began negotiations with the city on extending the lease.

But while he was seeking at least a 10-year commitment, given the mill’s $1-million value, the city was willing to consent to only two or three years.

The city, which is negotiating to buy the property from the Transportation Commission, sees it as crucial to the eventual redevelopment of the city’s historic downtown.

City officials said they were encouraged by the court ruling, but were still willing to negotiate with Foster on extending the company’s lease.

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