March 2011  

Limoneira, East Area I, LAFCO And The Future Of Santa Paula


The Limoneira Company was founded in 1893 in Santa Paula, California and for the past 118 years has been working on its mission to preserve and promote its tradition, heritage and legacy in agriculture, community development and stewardship to maximize value for its shareholders.  Limoneira's objective is to provide high-quality products and services.  While in pursuit of that objective, Limoneira strives to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and fairness in its relationships with its employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and community.  Furthermore, it is its obligation to protect and expand its asset base to assure long-term profitability; to be responsible trustees in the protection and improvement of the environment; to provide leadership and resources for the betterment of the community; and to encourage and support the development of its employees.  


In 2004, at the urging of Santa Paula's City Manager, Limoneira executed a Letter of Cooperation with the City of Santa Paula to sponsor and begin the massive undertaking of changing Santa Paula's sphere of influence, expanding the eastern boundary of the City of Santa Paula, moving the existing CURB line (Community Urban Restriction Boundary) to the east, annexing the East Area 1 property into the City of Santa Paula, and planning, organizing and entitling a Master Planned Community for the benefit of the overall Santa Paula community.  The City of Santa Paula reached out to Limoneira at that time because, even then, it was felt that Santa Paula's future prosperity lay in balanced growth, and that the best place for the City to grow was to the east. 


The road to responsible and balanced growth is long and, at times, trying.  Our process involved conducting over a year of public outreach within the Santa Paula Community, to decide what benefits should be incorporated in the City's expansion area based on input provided by our entire community.  Once these benefits were identified and decided upon, a specific plan was created and a development agreement was negotiated between the Limoneira Company (the developer) and the City of Santa Paula.  


The East Area 1 plan is a positive game changer for Santa Paula.  It includes new schools, parks, recreational playing fields, hiking and biking trails, public safety buildings, water, water storage facilities, many different types of residential housing, senior living facilities, commercial property, light industrial property, an outdoor amphitheater and a new community center.  Add to this Santa Paula's perfect weather, spectacular vistas towards the ocean and islands to the west, the beautiful Santa Clara Valley to the east and majestic Santa Paula Peak towering above the property to the north, and the vision for successful growth becomes complete.  The bottom line is that people will want to live in this new part of Santa Paula.  The economic benefit of the project for Santa Paula is immense and the quality of life addition to the community of Santa Paula is great as well.   


The specific plan, as well as a thirty year development agreement, required an arduous process governed by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) which led to a comprehensive Environmental Impact Review (EIR) for the project.  As one can imagine there are many impacts (literally hundreds . . . maybe even thousands) to our environment with a project of this size, and we not only studied these impacts to determine what they were but also mitigated each one to the best of our abilities.  For over four years and millions of dollars of expense, all reimbursed by the Limoneira Company, the Santa Paula City staff and experts conducted and managed the Environmental Impact Review (EIR.) For years experts studied and mitigated, studied and mitigated, studied and mitigated.  The Santa Paula City staff employed the "best and the brightest" experts to evaluate the environmental impacts of this project.  We are proud of the job that was done on the EIR as well as our collective ability to achieve equitable solutions for the mitigation of all impacts identified.  The process was long, complicated and expensive but, in many ways, lots of fun.  As one might imagine, finding equitable mitigating solutions for the many impacts created by a project of this size between the City of Santa Paula, the Limoneira Company and the County of Ventura was challenging.  However, collaboration and good faith negotiation by all allowed us to accomplish a well-conceived, well-designed, properly mitigated master-planned community for Santa Paula's future. 


After completing the EIR and putting some finishing touches on the specific plan and development agreement, the Santa Paula Planning Commission and City Council unanimously approved the project!  The next hurdle was getting the project accepted by the voting community of Santa Paula in a SOAR vote.


On June 3, 2008, Measure G went to the polls during a special election to satisfy the City of Santa Paula's SOAR (Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources) vote requirement.  Measure G asked for voter's approval to move the CURB line from Santa Paula Creek to Haun Creek and build a development consisting of more than 81 acres.  Measure G passed with an 81% approval and Santa Paula voters celebrated the fact that the East Area 1 project would soon become a reality.  This extremely successful result is, to this day, unprecedented in California land entitlement and development history and demonstrates the effective collaboration between Limoneira, the City of Santa Paula, the County of Ventura, the many agencies involved in the EIR and, ultimately, the citizens of Santa Paula.   


The final entitlement hurdle is now to complete and satisfy all of the terms and conditions governed by LAFCO - the Local Agency Formation Commission.  LAFCO is responsible for the orderly path of development and is a California State-wide organization with specific county representation.  Ventura County LAFCO commissioners will have to vote to approve the East Area 1's inclusion into the City of Santa Paula's sphere of influence and to annex the East Area 1 property into the City of Santa Paula.  To better understand LAFCO's role in the entitlement process their stated objectives and authorities are included.


LAFCO's stated objectives are to:


Encourage the orderly formation and expansion of local government agencies


1)      Preserve agricultural land resources

2)      Discourage urban sprawl


LAFCO's stated authorities are to:


Regulate boundary changes


1)      Establish spheres of influence

2)      Conduct reviews of public services and special studies

3)      Initiate special district consolidations and dissolutions

4)      Act on out of agency service agreements between public agencies and between public __ _agencies and private parties


For the past three years the Santa Paula City staff and LAFCO staff have met and worked on satisfying the many terms and conditions that exist, to satisfy LAFCO's objectives.  The biggest hurdle to clear initially was the establishment of a Greenbelt Agreement between the cities of Santa Paula and Fillmore.  Following two years of constructive interaction between Santa Paula, Fillmore and the County of Ventura, a Greenbelt Ordinance between Haun Creek to the west and Sespe Creek to the east was successfully negotiated and implemented between these two cities, and unanimously approved in 2010 by the Supervisors of Ventura County.  Interestingly, when the concept of a Greenbelt was first conceived in Ventura County (circa 1970) the first Greenbelt boundary established between Santa Paula and Fillmore, in those days formed with a handshake, was between Haun Creek to the west and Sespe Creek to the east. 


The Santa Paula City staff has worked diligently with their internal team, as well as their many hired experts and consultants, and the LAFCO staff to find reasonable solutions to all the issues identified by LAFCO.  I've attended several meetings over the past three years and they have been positive, constructive and solution-oriented.  I maintain that collectively we haven't encountered a situation where an equitable solution wasn't found for all issues discussed to date.


When the East Area 1 project was scheduled for its LAFCO hearing on January 19, 2011, the Santa Paula City staff and I, along with all of our advisors, were convinced that all issues identified by LAFCO in our three years of interaction, collaboration and negotiation had been addressed to the satisfaction of LAFCO's staff, and that we were prepared to address any concerns brought forth by the LAFCO Commissioners during the upcoming hearing.  You can imagine how surprised the Santa Paula City staff, Santa Paula City Council, and everyone at Limoneira was when, just two business days before the East Area 1 scheduled LAFCO hearing was to take place, the City of Santa Paula received a copy of a 54 page LAFCO staff report sent to LAFCO Commissioners identifying "issues" related to the East Area 1 project - many of which were either surfacing for the first time ,or addressing issues previously identified, discussed, negotiated and, in our minds, resolved.  It was at this point that the City of Santa Paula determined it was in the best interest of all parties involved for Santa Paula to "request a continuance" (postpone) the LAFCO hearing in order to provide adequate time to respond to the issues raised in the LAFCO staff report.  A new LAFCO hearing date has now been set for March 16, 2011, and Santa Paula's city staff is well prepared to address each of the issues and concerns listed in the recent LAFCO staff report.  As mentioned earlier I maintain that collectively we haven't encountered a situation or an issue where an equitable solution couldn't be found for all issues involved in the East Area 1 project, and I am confident that we will do so for all issues raised now and in the future.


Like most cities in California, Santa Paula is experiencing the effects of the national and state recession.  And, like most cities in California, Santa Paula is trying to overcome budget shortfalls.  The East Area 1 project is a crucial part of the community's recovery from this difficult economic time.  The revenues generated from new property, and sales taxes, as well as many up-front development fees provided to the City per the terms of the East Area 1 development agreement, will provide needed revenue.  In addition, the many jobs created throughout the development and build-out of the East Area 1 project will allow the Santa Paula community to roll up its sleeves and get back to work.  Companies will establish themselves within the East Area 1 project further enhancing job and wealth creation and further enhancing Santa Paula's prosperous future.  These results won't all come at once, but they will begin in time for positive impacts to be felt soon, if not immediately.


The Limoneira Company's mission involves community development, and we stand prepared and fully committed to work alongside our many friends in the Santa Paula community to make the East Area 1 project successful, and the City of Santa Paula prosperous.  Our company has the capital resources to successfully execute the development and build-out of East Area 1 and we stand committed to doing so while keeping the City of Santa Paula moving forward - financially and spiritually.  We stand fully committed to this project.  We stand fully committed to the welfare of the Santa Paula community and the City of Santa Paula.  Finally we stand committed to delivering on the many commitments and promises made to Santa Paula, to LAFCO and to Ventura County.  For 118 years our word has been our bond.


Harold S. Edwards

President  & CEO

Limoneira Company

Water - The New Oil 


Water - the new oil. By 2030, nearly half the world's population will inhabit areas with severe water stress, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Limoneira owns significant and valuable water rights. The company employs rigorous procedures to protect this valuable agricultural and urban resource.


Limoneira's Water Asset Ownership interests consist of the adjudicated Santa Paula Basin, the nonadjudicated Fillmore Basin, Santa Barbara Aquifers, San Luis Obispo Aquifers, Tulare County Aquifers, Friant Kern District Water Rights, and ownership in 4 Water Mutual Companies.


At Limoneira, managing water is an on-going function consisting of

            �       Irrigation water analysis

       Irrigation monitoring and scheduling

       Fertilization analysis and scheduling

       Groundwater monitoring

       Groundwater protection

       Water basin management

       Well efficiency testing


Examples of efficient water management procedures consist of using drip tape to apply water strategically to the crop to ensure no run-off. This is the most efficient way of __delivering water for row crops.


We use overhead irrigation to establish young plants and pressure regulators on all systems to assure equal distribution of water @ 25lbs per square inch.

Corporate Games 2011 


The 22nd year of the Ventura Corporate Games kicks off on March 30th. Limoneira's 12 internationally-sized bocce courts will be the setting for the Game's bocce ball competition on Sunday, April 3rd. The Corporate Games has developed into the premier business-to-business team sports competition in the tri-county area. Annually, over 60 businesses and nearly 10,000 employees compete in the games.


The Corporate Games is not just about being the best at each event, it is about teamwork, having fun, rooting for others, and being part of a community of local businesses participating in friendly competition. The Corporate Games has proven to be an invaluable tool for maximizing team unity within hundreds of organizations throughout Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The events provide a valuable opportunity for companies and employees to work together and to build team unity and morale, which has become very important with the challenges facing many businesses and employees in the last couple of years. Come on out on April 3rd and root for your team.   




Issue: 14   

Table of Contents

Limoneira, East Area I, LAFCO And The Future Of Santa Paula
Water - The New Oil
Corporate Games 2011
Limoneira Lifestyles Skin Care Is Available At New Retail Locations
Limoneira Winner's Block
Join Our Mailing List


Limoneira Hot Air Ballooning 


Limoneira Lifestyles

Orchard Fresh Gifts




Join Us

for the LAFCO hearing

Wednesday March 16, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.


@ Administration Building Ventura County Government Center


Transportation will be provided if needed. Let us know when you RSVP. Coffee, juice and Pastries will be provided.


Please RSVP if you can attend:

805-421-1144 or


Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad





  • 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 pounds boneless skinlesschicken breast halves



  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
  • 1 cup raw sugar snap peas -- trimmed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper -- julienned
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper -- julienned
  • 1 lemon -- thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper



For the Chicken: Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and thyme. Pour over chicken breasts in nonreactive bowl (such as a stainless steel one, but not one made of aluminum). Cover and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or overnight.


Heat a charcoal grill and cook chicken for 10 minutes on each side, until just cooked through. Refrigerate and chill. Slice breasts diagonally into 3/8-inch-thick slices.


For the Salad: Toss chicken plus its juices, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar snap peas, red and yellow bell peppers, lemon slices, salt and pepper in a bowl. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.


To View Other Delicious Recipes Like This Visit Our Website or Click The Link Below 

Limoneira Lifestyles Skin Care Is Available At New Retail Locations


We are very happy to partner with three new retail locations which are distributing Limoneira Lifestyles Skin Care Products.  


Plum Accessory Gift Boutique:  401 East Main Street, Ventura, California 93001.

This very attractive gift shop in downtown Ventura offers home d�cor, bath and body items and jewelry. Phone: (805) 641-0113. Facebook: Plum Accessory Gift Boutique.


Vanity on Main: 848-A East Main Street, Santa Paula, California 93060.

Vanity on Main is a full service hair salon and day spa located in historic downtown Santa Paula. With its vibrant colors, wrought iron detailing, and wooden floors and beautiful furnishings, Vanity on Main is sophisticated and comfortable. Phone: (805) 921-1821 or visit


The Gift Shop at St. John's Regional Medical Center: St. John's Regional Medical Center - 1600 North Rose Avenue, Oxnard, California 93030.

St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo are divisions of Catholic Healthcare West, a not-for-profit corporation sponsored by several religious communities. Together, St. John's hospitals represent the largest acute-care health organization in Ventura County. St. John's hospitals serve all of Ventura County and beyond, including the cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Ventura, and Somis. Phone: (805) 988-2500



Limoneira Winner's Block   


This month our lucky winner is Bonnie Stauch of Santa Clarita, California. As our monthly winner, Bonnie has won a Limoneira Orchard Fresh or Lifestlyes Gift.   


Congratulations Bonnie!   


For your chance to win, make sure you're on our mailing list to be entered into our monthly drawing. To join click here or visit our website at    


Be sure to check out our other contests and drawings for additional changes to win prizes.