Below are a few of our frequently asked questions regarding Harvest at Limoneira.
What are the benefits to the Santa Paula Community with Harvest at Limoneira?
Limoneira worked extensively with the Santa Paula City Council and citizens of Santa Paula to develop a plan that met the needs of the community. As a result, the project was approved by 83% of Santa Paula’s voters in the 2008 SOAR vote. Harvest at Limoneira (Formerly known at The Gateway and EA I) delivers a number of benefits for all Santa Paulans:
A recurring surplus to the City General Fund is projected for all years of development and after build out of the Harvest at Limoneira project. The total net City benefit over the 7-Year period is projected at about $7.0 million in undiscounted dollars
40% of the land is being preserved as agriculture and open space. The hilltops north of the neighborhoods and the hilltops most visible from the highway will remain in agricultural production and a recreational trail will run alongside Harvest’s edge. This is defined further below:
Parks and Open Space
Santa Paula Creek Sports Park (37 Acres) -Approximately 23 acres of the Santa Paula Creek Neighborhood will be improved with active sports facilities and parking. The remainder of Santa Paula Creek Sports Park will be improved with passive facilities such as picnic tables and benches
Santa Paula Creek Neighborhood Park (0.7 acres improved)
Foothill Neighborhood Park and Trailheads (2.1 acres improved)
Santa Paula Creek Linear Park (includes hiking trails-20 acres improved)
Haun Creek Linear Park (includes hiking trail-11.6 acres improved)
Southerly Detention Basin Soccer Fields (14.3 acres improved)
Open Space Preserve (includes hiking trails-79 acres)
On-site Agricultural Preserve (55 acres)
Off-Site Agricultural Preserve (34 acres)
A Variety of Housing types from Entry level to Executive
1,500 units of varying types and price ranges allowing for a wide spectrum of housing opportunities
100 Public Benefit Housing Units available to firefighters, police, hospital staff, teachers, faculty, city and county employees
$6.5M Contribution to City’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund for moderate, low and very low income households
100 Assisted living units for seniors
Two (2) new potable water tanks for Santa Paula totaling approximately 5 million gallons to increase storage and water pressure to Santa Paula city users
$5.5 million contribution to City Waste Water treatment facility providing funds to defray sewer costs
Public Safety Improvements
New Public Safety Facility (up to $4.75 million) -1.5-acre site to house a fire station, including shower and exercise facilities, with office space for police department personnel
$750,000 provided for police services
Infrastructure and Traffic Improvements
New Santa Paula Street Bridge- a new bridge will be built extending Santa Paula Street from its current terminus west of the Project boundaries, across Santa Paula Creek, to the new extension of Santa Paula Street through the Project to the new extension of Hallock Drive
Santa Paula Street Drainage Improvements
Santa Paula Street Improvements-Santa Paula Street will be improved with curbs, sidewalks, gutters, pavement and landscaping the City’s existing right-of-way on both sides of Santa Paula Street from 11th Street to the new Santa Paula Street Bridge
SR-126/Hallock Improvements-Assistance with widening and reconfiguration of the intersection of SR-126 and Hallock Drive will be undertaken
12th /Santa Paula- Funds will be available for a new traffic signal that will be installed at the intersection of 12th Street and Santa Paula Street. The intersection will also be reconfigured for improved traffic flow
SR-150/10th /Santa Paula- Funds for the reconfiguration and widening of the intersection of Ojai Road (SR-150)/10th Street and Santa Paula Street will be available
Palm/Santa Paula Street- Reconfiguration of the intersection of Palm Avenue and Santa Paula Street will take place
A New K-5 Elementary School with funding is planned on 10.8 acres. If the State of California provides additional funding, the school will become a K-8 School
An 8.3-Acre site is being reserved for a Santa Paula Unified High School Site
A Learning Center is being planned and discussions are underway with Ventura Community College, California Lutheran University and California State University Channel Islands
Who is building Harvest at Limoneira?
Limoneira interviewed over 40 potential partners to assist in realizing the potential of this new community for the benefit of all of Santa Paula and selected development partner The Lewis Group of Companies for their experience and integrity
The Lewis Group has been building communities for over 50 years and is recognized nationally for their quality
What types of housing will exist in Harvest at Limoneira?
A variety of housing choices based on The Lewis Group’s extensive marketing research will be available. Based on market conditions and buyer preferences the housing would likely include entry-level condominiums, single-family homes and executive homes.
At the inception of the project, planners surveyed Santa Paulans and reviewed existing Santa Paula neighborhood architectural styles to develop the form-based code used in the project’s Specific Plan. This ensures that the look and feel of Harvest at Santa Paula will be consistent with the overall community’s authenticity
Has the plan changed from what Santa Paula Citizens voted for?
Nothing has been changed in the Specific Plan’s conditional uses other than setbacks to accommodate a unit type that was already approved in the specific plan. The setbacks for this unit type had not been included, so a change was made to remedy this. The project continues to meet the goals that the city originally set for the project
Why is there no low-income housing in Harvest at Limoneira?
Prior to the vote to approve the project, the City Council and citizens of Santa Paula understood that Santa Paula was out of compliance with the City’s Housing Element. The proposed draft Housing Element was not accepted by the State of California since the Land in EA 1 was not annexed and part of the City of Santa Paula
To remedy this, the City of Santa Paula formed a working group consisting of Limoneira, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and Low Income Housing Advocates to determine what was needed to assist the City of Santa Paula with their housing element
This group identified parcels within the City of Santa Paula to accommodate high density, affordable housing. Parcels within the city boundaries were located (many adjacent to Harvest at Limoneira and the future sports park) that could take advantage of public transportation and other services and amenities already within the city. A new zoning overlay for these housing types was then created
This plan was reviewed by Santa Paula’s Planning Commission and City Council in 2012 and was approved by the City of Santa Paula and State of California Housing Authority. A letter was received by Santa Paula Farm Worker Housing Committee supporting the proposed housing element
Santa Paula’s Council proposed that Limoneira pay a $6.5 million fee-in-lieu so that affordable housing could be built in these newly identified parcels. These in-lieu fees will be paid with each building permit issued for Harvest at Limoneira. Eighty percent (80%) of these funds will be utilized by Santa Paula’s Housing Authority with the remaining 20% retained by the City of Santa Paula. The total amount (100%) will be used to build affordable housing in Santa Paula and satisfy The City of Santa Paula’s Housing Element
The city of Santa Paula will be able to use these fees for builders of affordable housing (moderate, low and very low income households) as well as for seniors and veterans
Aside from this, developing Work Force Housing has been part of Limoneira’s Mission for 124 years. Limoneira has developed the greatest number of work force housing units in Ventura County and last year added an additional 65 units. These homes are close to worker employment and services
Will there be senior housing in the project?
Over the next year Limoneira Lewis Community Builders will be preparing home sites to sell to builders. Senior housing is still planned for Harvest at Limoneira depending on market demand
There is also the possibility that Senior Housing could be built in The Gateway on the south side of Highway 126 across from Harvest at Limoneira. An additional 100 assisted living units are also planned for an expansion area adjacent to Harvest at Limoneira
What kind of Retail opportunities will there be in the development?
Retail opportunities are planned for The Gateway project across from Harvest at Limoneira on the south side of Highway 126. These retail options will be convenient to residents without diminishing the economic viability of Santa Paula’s Historic Downtown. In fact, Harvest at Limoneira’s Santa Paula Street access will provide increased circulation to downtown Santa Paula
Will it be possible to rent housing at Harvest at Limoneira?
High density residential product including apartments has not been eliminated and may be built if market demand for this housing type exists
Will it be too expensive to live in Harvest at Limoneira?
Sites are being prepared for entry level detached residential product. At this point in time, we expect that these residential units will be attractively priced for the region
Will there only be Single Family Homes at Harvest at Limoneira?
Condominiums are planned for the project in addition to single family homes. The potential for apartments has not been eliminated and will be built if market demand for them exists
It’s interesting to note that in many instances, down payment requirements have been reduced to 3%, and given current rental conditions in Ventura County, it’s often less expensive to own vs. renting on a monthly basis when looking at comparable rental and purchase options
What are the next steps?
Work is being done to obtain grading permits for the fall of 2016, and throughout the remainder of this year, home sites will be prepared to sell to builders. Phase I home sites are currently being prepared. Harvest at Limoneira Commercial property is also in planning stages
When will houses be available to purchase?
We expect that homes will be available for purchase in 2018
What educational facilities exist at Harvest at Limoneira?
A K-5 elementary school is being planned in conjunction with the Santa Paula Unified School District. If funding from the State of California becomes available, a K-8 school will be built
An 8.3 acre parcel has been reserved for High School facilities.
In addition, $1.695 million was made available at the request of the High School for a Future Farmers of America facility in another part of Santa Paula
A learning Center is also planned for Harvest at Limoneira. Discussions are underway with California Lutheran University, California State University Channel Islands, Ventura College and other educational institutions for this facility
Will you be using local labor during the build out of Harvest at Limoneira?
We are making every effort to using Santa Paula labor to help build the project. Where Santa Paula labor isn’t available, we will try to recruit from Ventura County
Will the citizens of Santa Paula be able to use any of the amenities in Harvest at Limoneira?
Santa Paulans will be able to use the parks, trails and open space in Harvest at Limoneira. In addition, there will be a sports park on 35 acres that is available for all to use. The city of Santa Paula will be given $11 million for amenities in this park and is currently working on a joint use agreement with Santa Paula’s school district. Depending on the final agreement and the public’s input, amenities could include numerous sports fields, basketball and tennis courts a gymnasium and/or other facilities.
Why is the project taking so long? What was the process?
Development in California is a lengthy and complicated process. Regulations have been put in place to ensure our safety, environmental quality and many other factors
Harvest at Limoneira has been over ten years in the making. The process for the community development is outlined in our Timeline.