A group of residents in Ventura's west side hopes Monday will bring more good news in its attempt to get a new neighborhood park.
At its meeting Monday night, the Ventura City Council plans to vote on whether to act on committing up to $600,000 toward the purchase of 2.4 acres known as the "Kellogg property."
The site at Kellogg Street and Ventura Avenue is listed for $1.1 million. The city would seek the $500,000 difference in grants and consider partnering with the Trust for Public Land to acquire the land and design the park, according to staff recommendations.
In March, the Westside Community Council requested the city buy the property and put in a park, a move supported by the city's Parks and Recreation Commission. The City Council agreed in April, pending an environmental study and appraisal and the ability of officials to buy it without using money long reserved for a pool.
A city-requested environmental assessment failed to find serious issues with the property, a former manufacturing site, and an appraisal by Ventura Appraisal Consulting Corp. determined the selling price to be "reasonable."
But even if it acquired the property, the city faces a lack of clear funding for development of the park. For instance, a partnership with the trust could cost more than $200,000 in community outreach and design and other fees related to the purchase.
Miguel Rodriguez of the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, who has worked with residents who support the park, said he hoped the City Council would approve the purchase and "look at it not as a burden but as an investment."
The property is the largest privately owned parcel on the west side, according to the appraisal.
Also Monday, the City Council will:
* Decide whether to move forward on the California Street offramp project, which would move the ramp to Oak Street. The city began work years ago on environmental and other studies necessary before construction. The state put the work on hold in 2003 because of economic conditions but now wishes to resume it, according to Public Works Director Rick Raives' administrative report.
* Decide whether to approve changes to a proposal to bring a concert series to a parking lot behind City Hall. Staff members recommend that the council extend the dates shows can take place to Nov. 30 from Oct. 31. Concert promoters first proposed 12 concerts from July 1-Oct. 31, but it working out fire safety, traffic and noise issues took longer than expected. City staff members are confident the problems have been resolved, according to reports.
* Discuss the city's response to a grand jury report on code enforcement released in June. The report found the city of Ventura was unusually aggressive, used intimidating tactics and played favoritism in enforcing building and zoning codes.
The city had no opportunity to respond to the grand jury's recommendations before the final report was prepared, according to an administrative report prepared by Community Development Director Jeff Lambert. The city's review of the report found "25 of the grand jury's 44 statements of fact are subject to question as being incorrect, incomplete or based on assumptions, not facts." The report failed to include methodology, so the city cannot know how many people were interviewed or how many cases were studied, Lambert wrote.
The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 501 Poli St. in Ventura.