Simi Valley church plans development in greenbelt

first_imgSIMI VALLEY — Just down the hill from the Reagan Library sits a cactus and brush-covered slope of 140 acres surrounded by horse ranches, avocado orchards and farmland — and a debate is building over its future. On one side is Cornerstone Community Church, which wants to build a garden-like religious complex its leaders say will fit well into the Tierra Rejada Valley greenbelt just west of Simi Valley. On the other side are some community leaders who are concerned about the size of the project and its impact on the greenbelt, which was set up by Ventura County and the cities of Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks and Moorpark to preserve open space separating the cities. Some of those officials also have expressed concern about a church request for an exemption from greenbelt requirements and requirements of the county’s Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources initiative. The church leaders say they might not be subject to these rules because of federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act protections and have asked county officials to consider that federal law in the development application. The proposed development — which was recently submitted to the county and is months away from any kind of vote — would include a new church complex with a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a multipurpose hall with a capacity for 1,000 people, a Bible college and headquarters for the Children’s Hunger Fund, now based in Pacoima. “We are proposing to do something green in the greenbelt,” said Rick Parkinson, project manager for the proposed development, adding that the buildings (with mission-style architecture similar to the Reagan Library) would be on less than 3 percent of the property. “From our point of view it would complement the theme of the greenbelt.” The site is just east of the area where a paintball park is now located, and the land is zoned for open space with one home for every 40 acres. The Reagan Library is at the top of a hill to the southwest. Besides the paintball park, the site for the proposed project is surrounded by open hills, with nearby nurseries, a private preparatory school, farmland, hillside homes and the library. “Our desire is to be a blessing to the community,” Parkinson said. “No portion of the area that we are proposing to develop is visible to the Reagan Library. It’s a little valley. It’s difficult to see this site unless you are right upon it. You can’t see it from the 23 Freeway.” Mark Lunn, a spokesman for county Supervisor Peter Foy, who represents the area in question and has a ranch in the Tierra Rejada Valley, said Foy would not comment at this point because the issue hasn’t been fully reviewed by county staff. But some local officials are voicing concerns. “This would be a huge complex in the greenbelt when we are all looking at how to protect the area,” said Linda Parks, chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors and a leading backer of the SOAR controls and the Tierra Rejada greenbelt restrictions. Parks is also a member of the Local Agency Formation Commission and is working with city officials in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and Moorpark to tighten the Tierra Rejada Valley greenbelt restrictions. “I’d be very surprised if any of the public agencies support (this church development proposal) because our goal is to preserve that area,” Parks said. “This is the antithesis of open-space preservation.” The church was established 13 years ago with a Bible study group in Simi Valley of about 20-30 people and has grown into today’s church with a weekly attendance of 3,000-4,000, with four services from Saturday evening through Sunday morning. — Eric Leach, (805) 583-7602 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Clash over land leaves 2 dead in Moulvibazar

first_imgMoulvibazarTwo people were killed and 40 others injured in a clash between two groups of villagers over a disputed land at Pammadpur in Moulvibazar district town on Saturday, reports UNB.The deceased were identified as Shafiqur, 22, son of Mobabark Ali and Abdul Malik, 55, son of Warish Mia of the same village.Quoting locals, police said, Lebas Mia and Elaich Mia were in loggerhead for long over a land.As a sequel to previous enmity, supporters of the duo attacked each other around 9:30 am that left two people, belonging to Lebus group, dead on the spot and 40 others from both groups injured.Later, some of the injured were taken to Moulvibazar 250- bed hospital and others to Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital.On information, police rushed in and brought the situation under control, said Rashedul Islam, additional police super of the district.Additional forces have been deployed to avoid further trouble, added Rashedul.last_img read more

Some Houston Renters Are Experiencing PostHarvey Sticker Shock

first_img X Jen RiceApartment building at Market Square Park in downtown Houston.Deborah Whisnand has lived in an apartment complex in the Greenway-Upper Kirby neighborhood for close to 18 months.When she signed the lease, her monthly rent was $1,300. But when she recently got her renewal notice, she was shocked.“The 12-month lease, which I certainly was willing to do – I’m not going anywhere – was just under 20 percent higher,” Whisnand said. “Just under $1,600.”She was expecting some sort of an increase, just like she’s gotten at previous apartments, but not of this magnitude.“That’s quite a large amount, no doubt,” Bruce McClenny, president of, said.Rents have increased after Hurricane Harvey, he said, simply because occupancy levels have gone up more than usual.“Maybe we see 12,000 to 14,000 units rented in a year,” he said. “And we had 17,000 to 18,000 rented in a matter of two to three months.”McClenny said average rents for class A apartments have risen by more than $70 across Greater Houston since Harvey.He expects landlords to try and maintain the higher rent levels, but they might have to come back down when the many displaced homeowners move back into their repaired houses next year. Share Listen 00:00 /01:10 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:last_img read more

KMC undertakes drive to collect property tax arrears from defaulters

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has taken up a special drive to collect property tax arrears from defaulters.A civic team comprising senior officials of the Assessment department visited two premises on Topsia Road and put up distress warrant on the walls. KMC will take legal action against the owners if they fail to pay the arrears within the stipulated date. The drive has been initiated after the civic authorities failed to collect house tax arrears worth more than Rs 50 crore. There are around 7.60 lakh assesses living in the areas under the jurisdiction of KMC. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe civic officials visited 71, Topsia Road and 83/2/1, Topsia Road. The officials said that the two firms housed at 71, Topsia Road have not paid house tax dues worth Rs 71 lakh. The civic authorities said the owners have cleared 50% of the dues on Monday and gave an undertaking that the remaining amount will be paid by Friday. The owners of four firms housed at 83/2/1 Topsia Road have not paid house tax arrears worth several lakhs. The civic authorities have put up distress warrant and legal action will be taken against the owners if they fail to pay within the stipulated time. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedCivic officials said the defaulters have been requested to pay their dues several times but despite reminders, the officers refused to respond. They alleged that the defaulters wait for the waivers’ scheme and if it is implemented then the defaulters can square up the arrears by paying only the principal amount, while the penalty and interest amounts are waived. The officials said unlike in the past when property tax payers had to stand in long queues to pay tax, the system of online payment has been introduced now. Property owners can go to any e-counter and pay the tax and rebate is given if the tax is paid within the stipulated time.last_img read more