In a very controversial agreement, the City agreed to pay $2.3 million to buy this property.
Quoting, in part from a previous article in the Ventura Breeze written by Rebecca Wicks:
“Harbor Community Church has filed a lawsuit against the City of Ventura signaling the start of the next round in the fight over the church’s controversial homeless program. The program, which provides meals, showers and religious worship to a primarily homeless population, has been accused of being the source of a significant uprising in criminal activity in a once quiet residential neighborhood.”
“On May 14, two days after the City Council meeting, the church closed Operation Embrace. On May 15, temporary City Attorney Juli Scott reported Harbor Church pastor Sam Gallucci sent her an email stating he was going to consult with church elders to decide whether the church would sue. The following day the church filed a lawsuit and restarted its services. “
“The suit argues the church’s First Amendment freedom of religion rights have been violated and also cites the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.”
“In a very controversial agreement, the City has agreed to pay $2.3 million to buy the property at 3100 Preble Ave. with Harbor Community Church agreeing to leave Ventura.”
The lot has been cleared, Brad Starr, P.E. Engineering Services Manager City of Ventura Public Works Department told the Breeze “The City is preparing a plan for the sale of the property that was the Harbor Church. The property will be sold for the development of 4 single family residences. The price is to be determined by high bid at this time. The schedule to start selling the property is at the end of January.”
“The zoning is R1-7, therefore single-family homes with minimum 7,000 square foot lots. This was the original underlying zoning for this property. A Tract Map has already been recorded with the County of Ventura that split the lot into 4 parcels and addresses have been assigned by the City.”
The selling of these lots will certainly not re-coverer the $2.3 million paid for it plus the expense of demolition and legal fees.