Goleta Purchase of Ellwood Acre Delayed

Supes Question Appraisal of Land

The City of Goleta will have to wait to purchase a one-acre property near Ellwood Mesa, after the Board of Supervisors said a presentation given on the proposed purchase was incomplete. The city was looking for $350,000 for the Doty property, located northeast of the Ellwood Mesa area. The total appraised cost was $595,000, and the owners received an offer for $575,000. Goleta offered to buy it at a price of $425,000. The city plans to make the land open space, and the 2006 appraisal suggests only one property would work on the land.

City manager Dan Singer said it was a real opportunity to protect open space, calling the land a “treasure.” But the board, led by Supervisor Brooks Firestone, was hung-up on how the land was appraised. Firestone called the application incomplete. “We have to ask questions,” he said. He encouraged others to put pressure on the city to give what he called a factual presentation.

Supervisor Janet Wolf was the only dissenting vote, and an earlier motion she made to give the city $250,000 upfront was voted down by the board, 3-2. “I cannot support this without knowing what this property is really worth,” said Supervisor Joni Gray, who said she would take a visit out to the land to see for herself what they were talking about. “The greatest legacy we can leave is property.”

The money comes from CREF (Coastal Resource Enhancement Fund) funding money oil companies pay to extract oil in the county. Goleta paid $47,000 to have a chance at the property first, and has until November of this year to complete the purchase. In the meantime, the board set aside the $350,000 until Goleta comes back before the board.


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