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Developer’s Assurances Keep Project Alive--for Now

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A troubled 216-home development in northern Moorpark won yet another reprieve Wednesday night from a divided City Council that is showing growing impatience with the project’s slow progress.

On a 3-2 vote, the council put on hold an effort to rezone the project’s land--a move that would have drastically cut the number of homes that could be built on the hilly area between Walnut Canyon Road and Grimes Canyon Road.

The delay gives developer Paul Bollinger more time to secure funding for his long-delayed project, which first won city approval in April 1996.

Council members have complained that in the year since then, Bollinger has made little progress. One major investor pulled out last month.

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Council members were also alarmed that the property’s owners still have not signed a development agreement with the city.

Bollinger responded that he is negotiating with another potential investor--Shea Homes of Walnut, Calif. And he produced a statement signed by the property owners declaring their willingness to accept the conditions in the development agreement.

That was enough for Councilman Chris Evans to suggest giving the project more time.

“He may not be able to pull this off,” Evans said. “But then he might.”

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Council members Bernardo Perez and Debbie Rogers Teasley joined Evans in granting the delay. Mayor Pat Hunter and Councilman John Wozniak voted against it.

Hunter and Wozniak, showing their impatience with the project, called on the council to move forward with the zone change.

Noting that the city had already given Bollinger many chances to line up financing, Hunter said: “This process has almost become humorous. There are no deadlines, no lines in the sand . . . and that places the city in a terrible position to negotiate anything with anyone.”


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