OXNARD : City Council Amends Payment for Land

The Oxnard City Council has amended a previous deal with developer Donald T. Kojima, agreeing to pay him $100,000 out of reserves immediately and extending the time the city has to pay the remaining $655,000 it owes him.

Oxnard purchased 40.89 acres near Camino del Sol and Lombard Street last year from Don and Susan Kojima for $5.32 million.

The land was intended to be swapped for another parcel, where an affordable housing development would be built. Oxnard paid Kojima $4.56 million right away, agreeing to pay the remaining money by August, 1996.

But the affordable housing development has taken longer than anticipated to materialize, and Kojima has asked the city for money. Both parties have agreed to extend the deadline for one year, with the city paying Kojima $100,000 of the money it owes him.

Council members approved the amendment 3 to 0 Tuesday. Oxnard Mayor Manuel Lopez was absent, and Councilman Dean Maulhardt abstained due to a possible conflict of interest. His family owns an adjacent property.

The project was originally conceived as a way to relocate the 1,100 residents of the dilapidated Oxnard Mobilehome Lodge by building them an affordable housing development.

But the homes now being proposed would be too expensive for almost all those residents--mostly poor farm workers--to ever afford, and the City Council has said a change of strategy is needed.

Oxnard will continue to look for ways to lower costs on about 115 homes for poorer residents. But the project will no longer be seen as a replacement site for the residents of the Oxnard Mobilehome Lodge.

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