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MOORPARK : Council Postpones Vote on Housing Plan

The Moorpark City Council has postponed a vote on a 236-unit housing development after one its members declared a possible conflict of interest.

Councilman Patrick Hunter halted debate on the proposal Wednesday when city staff informed him that he lives close enough to the planned community to be affected by a decision. Residents nearby have complained that the proposed low-cost housing could diminish the value of their own houses.

“There was some discrepancy in the distances and we were worried that the rules forbid my consideration of the project,” Hunter said. “That’s why we stopped rather abruptly.”

The rules are meant to prevent council members from voting on projects that could have either a positive or negative impact on their own property. Hunter brought up the possible conflict nearly three hours into the debate on the proposal by Urban West Communities and Moorpark Investors Ltd.

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More than a dozen neighbors of the project objected to the plan to build the housing along Mountain Trail Street for fear the less expensive residences would undercut property values in their neighborhood.

Initially mapped for luxury residences, the developers changed the proposal as housing sales sagged in the last four years. The new housing would include triplexes and several clusters of single family residences more affordable for the average home buyer.

The City Council will again consider the proposal at a special council meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday.


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