CAMARILLO : Outlet Mall Builder Agrees to New Study

In a move to revive a bid to build a factory outlet mall in Camarillo, the mall's developer has agreed to pay for an expanded environmental report on the project after a more cursory report was rejected by a Superior Court judge.

Camarillo City Manager J. William Little said Wednesday that the Koll Leonard partnership will pay $20,000 to $25,000 for a full-blown environmental review of the planned mall, as required by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Melinda A. Johnson's decision.

Johnson ruled last week that the Camarillo City Council had sidestepped state environmental laws by approving the 70-store mall without a full report on how the project will affect air pollution, traffic and other environmental issues.

Little said Koll Leonard's decision to pay for a consultant to prepare the report shows that the developer is still committed to the project, which is slated for a 22-acre site on the south side of the Ventura Freeway near Las Posas Road.

"They've definitely expressed a continuing interest in getting the project under way," he said.

Johnson's ruling also said that Camarillo's development agreement with Koll Leonard was illegal because the city's promise to refund sales taxes to lure the developer to town would amount to a gift of public funds.

Little said the city is still considering appealing Johnson's decision about the development agreement.

But the city may decide instead to offer the developer some other financial incentive, such as waiving certain fees, Little said.

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