UPDATED: Annexation of the Landfill

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the notion of annexation of the Simi Valley Landfill. Initially, I got pretty excited by the notion. To me, it seemed like this would give the City ultimate control in determining whether or not landfill expansion can proceed as planned. Evidently, that’s not entirely the case. Regardless of whether or not the landfill sits on Simi Valley land or unincorporated land, state law puts landfill regulation responsibilities with the County.

To be clear, the City of Simi Valley will NOT be the ones to determine if the expansion can proceed as plans regardless of annexation. That duty will remain with the County Board of Supervisors.

There are benefits to proceeding with annexation, however. For example, if the land that surrounds the landfill is going to be developed in any way (e.g. a shopping center), annexation would put the City in control of approving or denying those plans. Having said that, has annexation ever been a considering since the landfill expansion was first proposed. The answer is… yes!

Here’s a quote from Mike Smith of Waste Management that appeared in the Ventura County Star this morning:

Mike Smith, director of operations for Waste Management Ventura County, said he believes the company and Williamson “want the same thing — to keep Simi Valley clean and green.”

“We at WM are committed to working with the city of Simi to ensure that the landfill can continue to benefit the city and its residents, regardless of whether the city considers annexation or not,” Smith said. “In fact, we have been discussing annexation with officials from the city of Simi Valley for more than three years.”

Mike Smith, director of operations for Waste Management Ventura County, said he believes the company and Williamson “want the same thing — to keep Simi Valley clean and green.”

“We at WM are committed to working with the city of Simi to ensure that the landfill can continue to benefit the city and its residents, regardless of whether the city considers annexation or not,” Smith said. “In fact, we have been discussing annexation with officials from the city of Simi Valley for more than three years.”

Read the details by clicking here…

If the discussion has been going on that long, I’m definitely curious to know how long this process takes and how quickly it can be resolved. I know Councilwoman Barbra Williamson has been THE outspoken Council Member on this topic. I suspect her battle has been an uphill one the whole time for it to take this long for annexation to make it to the agenda, especially with WM being open to the discussions for that length of time.

When the topic of annexation is behind us, I’d be very interested to hear all the candidates weigh in on whether or not they are for or against the expansion itself. For me, that is the ultimate topic regarding the expansion.

UPDATED: I’m getting a lot of email and messages from folks who believe my facts are incorrect regarding whether or not annexation will provide the city with the power to approve or deny the expansion.

The conversation most frequently referenced is between me and Barbra Williamson in my comments section on the landfill related post on September 7th:

Mike Chandler: 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?

Barbra Williamson: 1) yes
2) yes
3) maybe but I am more thinking yes.

Fair enough.  However, in the Ventura County Star article I referenced earlier in this post, I read the following quote:

Williamson, chairwoman of the Simi Valley Landfill Expansion Task Force, wants the City Council to consider annexing the landfill so the city can have more oversight of the site’s surrounding areas.

“Because technically, by state law, the city can have nothing to do with the running of the landfill itself,” she said in an interview. “That has to be under the jurisdiction of the county. But if in fact there is going to be development in the surrounding area, the city needs to be in the controlling seat.”

Barbra is very approachable and always willing to respond to my requests for clarification (thank you, Barbra!). Via email, she clarified that in fact the County is the single entity that will determine whether or not the landfill can be expanded per the proposal, regardless of whether the property is annexed.

I think the confusion on this fact was based on the comments I mentioned above, but this is the latest confirmation I received on the matter.

14 thoughts on “UPDATED: Annexation of the Landfill

  1. While you do not need the consent of a property owner for annexation, it helps greatly. It says much that the City was already in the process of doing it the right way and engaging the property owner in discussions about annexation – as opposed to trying to force it upon the property owner right before an election.

    The fact that the ultimate decision on the landfill expansion would still rest with the county BOS regardless of annexation is very interesting.

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  2. They left email and phone messages but would not post comments? You should take control of your blog, Mike. It is yours. Just create a template response and use it for each email and phone inquiry, like, “Thank you for your input. Please feel free to use the ‘Leave a comment’ mechanism on the site. Thank you.” It will save you a lot of time, and will increase transparency.

    Do the newspapers amend their Editorials every time someone emails or calls to complain about them?

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  3. Has he ever had control? So basically you just want to make good and sure that Bob Huber approves of your message today? Will he give you a cookie? They a little un sure so they take the discussion offline, or maybe you can give them more info they can use to sharpen there attack?

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  4. Easy, Fanboy. Mike’s answer is perfectly understandable and the extra effort for accuracy is appreciated.

    Now, how the previous poster got his name to link back to the Leaks site, that’s something not seen before on this site. So far, only Ted Mackel has been able to figure out how to use his photo with his posts. Peculiar.

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  5. Jim D, which parts written above, re-stated below, did you fail to read and comprehend?:

    “To be clear, the City of Simi Valley will NOT be the ones to determine if the expansion can proceed as plans regardless of annexation.”

    “Barbra is very approachable and always willing to respond to my requests for clarification (thank you, Barbra!). Via email, she clarified that in fact the County is the single entity that will determine whether or not the landfill can be expanded per the proposal, regardless of whether the property is annexed.”

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  6. She would be smart to put it on the agenda to have the facts stated clearly once and for all, for the newspapers to report, so people are not running around town spreading misinformation. Hopefully experts such as someone from county planning also will be there and can answer broad planning questions on the subject. Let the experts state the facts, not a personal injury lawyer right before an election for personal gain reasons.

    So what if she was erroneous with an initial assessment on a blog? With more time she gathered further information and corrected it, now it is cleared up. And on Monday it will really be cleared up. Except for the political ads, of course, which will probably ignore everything stated Monday and continue with the misinformation campaign.

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  7. Sorry Stu……I may have miss understood the question. Even if the city and Waste come to the agreement that they are willing to be annexed into the city,and in fact it does get annexed…. the COUNTY STILL HAS TO APPROVE THE EXPANSION.

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  8. Actually on Monday night I will ask for a consensus from the Council to bring back (agenize) a discussion of annexing the landfill into the city of Simi Valley. So it won’t be discussed on Monday, because we have to ask for it to be put on the agenda. Then staff will do its homework and bring it back to the Council for discussion and public impute.

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  9. Mike Chandler, you used to have a neat little website with interesting commentary on Simi Valley elections that some people might peek at now and then. But now, it is difficult to imagine an average Simi Valley resident taking much of it very seriously after strolling down strings like this filled with posts by people using fake names disrespectfully incorporating the city manager’s name, or with a photo with a fake dinosaur in the background.

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  10. Mr. Mackel, nothing meant out of disrespect specifically with you, the photo, or everyone’s right to free speech. Just a broad observation that this site is conveying an overall impression of lunacy.

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