Huber on Landfill Expansion

HUBER CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE START OF ANNEXATION OF WASTE MANAGEMENT LANDFILL EXPANSION LAND

Simi Valley….Today Mayoral candidate Bob Huber called for the immediate start of the process to annex to the City of Simi Valley the land to be used by Waste Management for expansion of their facilities and commercial development.

“For at least five years the City of Simi Valley has watched the process, yet has not taken any action to make sure the people of Simi Valley have a controlling vote on the use of this property,” said Bob Huber.

The proposed expansion of the Waste Management landfill would more than triple the number of trucks in our community, bringing trash and waste from Los Angeles, which is closing their waste facilities.  It will also develop homes, apartments, office buildings and strip malls.

“Simi Valley will shoulder almost the entire brunt of this expansion; it only seems reasonable that our leaders should ensure we have control over this process.  The city should have taken the lead, rather than allow Ventura County to control the process. Currently, the Board of Supervisors has the controlling vote on the expansion.  This directly affects the people of Simi Valley–not Oxnard, Oak Park or Ojai.  Yet, for at least five years our city leadership has watched the process instead of taking charge of the process,” noted Huber.

Huber said “The irony is that the city council wasted no time in pursuing initiation of the annexation of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library 3 years ago, so that the city could have its prized tourist attraction.  I believe the reasons for annexation of the landfill are as compelling and urgent as a Presidential Library. Most of our council members have said that Waste Management has been a great community partner, which is all the more reason that Waste Management would want to cooperate with any annexation plans.”

While the County Planning Commission will hold a hearing, and possibly a vote in January, this still needs to go to the County Board of Supervisors.  Huber asks that the Simi Valley City Council immediately start the annexation process, and have the City Manager send a letter to LAFCO (Local Agency formation Committee) to alert the County that the City wants to take charge of the final decisions that affect our community.  This is a lengthy process which should have started at least five years ago.  Still, Huber said, we have to start now, before final decisions are made and the people of Simi Valley and their representatives will not have the final vote on this project.

Finally, Bob Huber said, “Our city council needs to be pro-active, not wait past the last minute to act to protect the needs of our community.  This could be one of the largest projects affecting our City, and currently we do not have the decisive vote on it.”

26 thoughts on “Huber on Landfill Expansion

  1. This is one of the dumbest statements I’ve read on this blog: “Most of our council members have said that Waste Management has been a great community partner, which is all the more reason that Waste Management would want to cooperate with any annexation plans.”

    City: “Hey there, you should go along with us applying to annex your property, so then we would have control of the vote on your expansion plan, instead of people who live in Ojai, Ventura and Oxnard who have a history of wanting landfills as far away from their cities as possible.”

    WM: “Sure, sounds great, no problem!”

    What a grasping-at-straws news release.

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  2. I’m totally on board with this idea. I don’t think there’s much motivation at all for WM to cooperate, but I think it’s worth the effort to try. When WM opts not to be agreeable to the idea, no one will be mystified.

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  3. This is a great idea. Once again Bob shows his leadership style through innovative thinking.

    That said, annexation will be a pain, it will be drawn out, but it can be done if the City leadership makes it a priority.

    By opposing the current dump expansion plans and concurrently pursuing annexation the Council could take charge of the City’s future and set conditions which will ensure the City’s high quality of life.

    What’s not to like?

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  4. All great ideas folks, however, you can’t annex the landfill unless the property owner agrees….The Task Force has not just been talking about the EIR but as part of the expansion, if it were to happen, would be the annexation of the site into the city.

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  5. Check out California public nuisance law.

    Civil Code Section 3479 defines a nuisance to include “Anything which is . . ., offensive to the senses . . ., so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property. . ., is a nuisance.”

    Civil Code Section 3480 further defines a public nuisance as one that affects an entire community or neighborhood.

    Civil Code Section 3490 states that no lapse in time can legalize a public nuisance, and

    Civil Code Section 3491 provides for civil action against a public nuisance.

    See where I’m going here? A Council with a backbone can declare that an undesirable project that affects an entire neighborhood (such as Big Sky) negatively to be a public nuisance. And a good City Attorney can make things happen. And nothing says that the public nuisance has to be within the City limits if that public nuisance grows towards the City limits.

    Leverage, folks, leverage.

    Oppose the current dump expansion plans, initiate annexation, and if need be, buy time with a big stick.

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  6. No no no….We, the City, can’t make decision regarding the landfill even if it is annexed. That is governed by the County under California Law. But the City can have a say over the development surrounding the landfill….once it is annexed.
    Mitch, they can get around that(nuisance) with overriding consideration…just like everything else.

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  7. The City has been looking at pros and cons of annexation for nearly two years. Don’t forget that the dump contains toxic waste from its early days and the City could be held liable under CERCLA and RICRA laws if it doesn’t receive adequate indemnification and that can only come from Waste Management. Bob was quick to jump into annexation, but should study the issue first. Barbra Williamson has been talking to the County, its Supervisors and the City Council for the last couple of years about annexation. This isn’t a new idea, just because an election is coming up.

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  8. Question: What will this get us??

    I began researching other landfill expansion news early this morning to see how other areas handle similar situations. The common point is that a County Board of Supervisors always appears to be responsible for approving or denying a landfill expansion request. And these landfills exist both in city zoned land as well as unincorporated areas.

    I still have more reading to do, but I’m not 100% that annexation would actually put deciding control in the hands of the City. I love the idea, but I’m not sure yet if it’s that easy.

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  9. Very true. I’ve been unable to determine by searching online whether or not this would give the city deciding power in this State. Also, I noticed Barbra’s statement above which suggests California State Law keeps deciding power with the County regarding landfills, so it’s back to my question this morning.

    Do we know what we’ll get with annexation?

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  10. Mike, Annexation gives the city the ability to say what will be built on the surrounding property that is owned by Waste Management. Currently under County control, Waste could ask the county for a permit for let’s say a strip mine and it would be up to the County whether or not Waste would get the permit…under local control if annexed Waste would have to ask permission of the City of Simi Valley, not the County.
    We will have no say in the operating of the landfill, like “tipping fees” or trash rates. Hope this info helps.

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  11. Barbra, could you answer this just to make sure I’m clear:

    1 – Would annexation give the city the power to approve or deny the expansion?

    2 – Is it true that regardless of whether or not the landfill is annexed that the city would never have control over operating specifics, such as “tipping fees”, rates, daily capacity, etc., including the landfill’s service region (LA and beyond)?

    3 – Would annexation have a positive impact on the city’s bottom line?

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  12. Barbra,

    If Huber and you are successful in getting the property annexed, how about getting WM to resurrect the old Unocal project so we can get our local businesses and the Mall more people to shop at their stores?

    Also that project boasted to bring in 7000 jobs to Simi Valley, that would more than make up for the loss over at the Farmer’s building.

    The annexation might erase the terrible mistake of chasing Unocal out of Simi which would have blocked the expansion long ago. 😉

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  13. I don’t have any problem “resurrecting” the old Unocal project, so long as it isn’t the old Unocal design….Agin, if done properly I think it could be one hell of a project and benefit to our community, but I am not willing to accept just any old thing they want to throw at us.

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  14. Sedell Soldier, what part of the landfill are you talking about? The annexation or the entire landfill issue? Yes, I am endorsing Steve, however, this is bigger than Huber or Sojka. This landfill will be here long after all of us are gone, and if we mess this up, our future generations will have to live with it, so this has nothing to do with my endorsing Steve. I really want what is best for SV..not Bob or Steve or Waste…
    So again, what do you want me to bring to the Council in an official capacity?

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  15. Sedell Soldier,
    another thing, remember I have been trying to do this for two and one half years. If you look at my last campaign statement, I even talk about it back then.

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  16. Actually I am not concerned about Sojka giving me a hard time..been there, done that. I will have t think about what you’re suggesting. I don’t know if now is the best time to push that envelope since there are so many other things on the table.

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  17. Barbra,

    If there are only three months before the county votes on this, then we should not waste any more time and start the discussion at the next council meeting.

    People have been talking about this for a long time, you know, you have a ton of blood sweat and tears into it.

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  18. What people???? Look, the land fill isn’t going anywhere. Just because all of a sudden some people have an agenda, where were they two years ago? This will happen but lets not get our tail in a knot.Besides the county voting on this has nothing to do with the annexation. If the county approves or does not approve we can still discuss the annexation.

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  19. I can’t answer for my colleagues with regards to the landfill expansion. And you’re correct, the Task Forces has been in opposition regarding the expansion of the landfill. But remember, the Task Force isn’t in control of the expansion. All of our correspondence to the County and the City has been No Expansion.
    And you’re assuming that the expansion is going to be approved. Quite frankly the Task Force believes otherwise. Even if the County does approve the expansion, there will still be thousands of acres surrounding the landfill that can be and should be annexed.
    If I or the City Council had any “pet” projects regarding this property our golden chance would have been to approve the Unocal project. So again, if you have trusted me this far why throw me under the bus now?

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  20. I know that the Task Force has made a list of recommendations regarding the landfill, but I am not aware of any concessions with regards to the City Council. In fact I am not even aware that they have spoken to Waste Management with regards to the expansion.
    If I let you down Paul, I let myself and everyone else I represent down, and I don’t plan on doing that. Please just be a little patient. We have come a long long way, as this may have actually gone under the radar had it not been for the Task Force, and we are not finished by any means, so keep the faith and let us finish what we have started. 🙂

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