Voters in Lompoc will get to resolve the destiny of land the place a non-public developer has proposed constructing an bold space-themed schooling and leisure attraction.
On Tuesday night time, the Lompoc Metropolis Council voted 4-1 to basically desk a request to place the matter on the March 2024 poll, as an alternative favoring the November 2024 election. Councilman Dirk Starbuck voted in opposition to the merchandise.
Someday within the late spring or early summer season, the Metropolis Council will formally take steps to position the merchandise on the November 2024 poll.
Pale Blue Dot Ventures has proposed the space-themed academic and leisure improvement for 82 acres owned by town, together with Ken Adam Park.
“I believe it is a nice undertaking in a vacuum. I’d like to see it occur,” Councilman Jeremy Ball mentioned. “I’m not satisfied but that it’s possible, and I believe it’s truthful for the neighborhood and for its residents and for the individuals to determine whether or not it could come to fruition.”
“I believe that going to a vote is totally proper, however I don’t have sufficient data to make a great choice but, and I believe the general public wants that point to do it,” Mayor Jenelle Osborne mentioned.
Town acquired the land in 1984 from the federal authorities with restrictions on how the property could possibly be used. Restrictions nonetheless in place require the land be used for schooling, recreation or open house.
Metropolis Lawyer Jeff Malawy informed the council that California voters should resolve whether or not a metropolis ought to change using land operated as a public park to a private park.
“Voter approval of fixing the park use of the location doesn’t require that the park stop operations,” Malawy mentioned. “It doesn’t require the Metropolis Council to approve some other use for the location. It solely permits different makes use of to be established on the location if town decides that it want to approve different makes use of.”
Making the March 2024 deadline would include an especially tight deadline. Pale Blue Dot needed the merchandise on that poll, Malawy mentioned.
One requirement includes an environmental evaluation of the choice to vary using the land the place the park sits.
Turnout sometimes is greater for presidential common elections, just like the one set for November 2024 when a number of native races, together with Metropolis Council and college board races, will seem on the poll.
Since mid-2019, town has been in talks with Pale Blue Dot via a memorandum of understanding prolonged a number of instances. The MOU required that the representatives meet a number of milestones.
In April, the Metropolis Council known as for the monetary feasibility research to endure unbiased evaluation by a monetary guide with theme park income expertise. That guide will report the findings and conclusions probably in November.
Viewers members spoke in favor and in opposition to the undertaking, with one man saying town wants to contemplate the evaluation by the monetary guide earlier than making any choices in regards to the for-profit undertaking.
“Principally, you’re inserting Disneyland up on the hill,” he mentioned. “Anybody seen the value of Disneyland currently?”
Others expressed pleasure in regards to the alternatives the undertaking might present, particularly for teens and the broader Lompoc neighborhood with a concentrate on science, expertise, engineering, math and house exploration.
Will Schuyler urged the council to approve inserting the merchandise on the poll.
“Deliver it to the general public. Allow us to resolve,” he mentioned.
Challenge proponents mentioned the workforce needed to elevate $750,000 by September, however now has secured $1.1 million.
“We’re fairly assured we are able to preserve going,” mentioned Steven Franck, Pale Blue Dot CEO and co-founder.
Pale Blue Dot agreed to cowl all the prices for holding the election, Malawy added.