WAGON WHEEL-demo planned/EIR out

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WAGON WHEEL-demo planned/EIR out

Postby schafphoto » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:26 pm

Image
The last 3 days to comment on the Wagon Wheel Junction EIR and planned Demolition up here in Oxnard.

The Wagon Wheel is pictured and outlined on WIKIPEDIA here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagon_Whee ... California

Your comments are needed in this fight to save this mid-century motel, bowling alley, and two restaurants. The Oxnard city leaders are having a hard time finding worth in mid-century motels and restaurants.

I will post a sample letter and contact info next.
Thanks
-Schafphoto
Last edited by schafphoto on Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby schafphoto » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:29 pm

Sample letter:

OXNARD VILLAGE SPECIFIC PLAN PROJECT

FAX TO: (805/385-7417)
Draft E I R #2006101099
The City of Oxnard, Development Services, Planning Division
305 West Third Street, Oxnard,
California 93030

Contact: Ms. Kathleen Mallory

The Wagon Wheel Motel is a unique architectural specimen, worthy of restoration. The Wagon Wheel’s adaptive reuse should be looked at as an opportunity to have an authentic gateway feature that embraces local history and memorializes an Oxnard pioneer – Martin V. Smith – instead of yet another endless stretch of 18 foot high cinderblock wall, like every other community from Orange County to Silicone Valley.
The Wagon Wheel maintains its integrity from its period of significance (1947 through 1965), and therefore qualifies as an historic resource. It should be adaptively reused consistent with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The Environmental Impact Report and 2 peer reviews find that the Wagon Wheel Motel, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, bowling alley and the El Ranchito restaurant are potentially eligible as a City of Oxnard Landmarks. The Oxnard Cultural Heritage Board has found the four buildings eligible for City of Oxnard Historic Landmark status. The San Buenaventura Conservancy has also found these buildings worthy of preservation and inclusion on their list of 11 Most Endangered Historic Resources.
These structures are eligible on the basis of Oxnard landmark criteria #2. (Is identified with persons or events which are significant in national, state or local history). And #8 (It is one of the few remaining examples in the County possessing distinguishing characteristics of an architectural or historical type or specimen). In this case the significant person associated with the structures is Martin V. Smith, the most influential developer in the history of Oxnard. No better monument to Smith exists, and many of his projects have already been demolished or redeveloped. The Wagon Wheel structures are an excellent example of the themed roadside motel, and development from the pre-Holiday Inn era. Mid-century roadside Americana is being demolished or redeveloped at an alarming rate leaving few intact examples. The Wagon Wheel was Martin V. Smith’s pioneering development, featuring unique architecture, a western theme, and an ever-expanding destination for weary travelers on the 101. These qualities still exist, although since the property was closed, in 2005 no maintenance or care has been given to the buildings and they have suffered recent vandalism fallen into a state of cosmetic disrepair. Their tourism value is fantastic, because like Farmer’s Market on Fairfax in Los Angeles, the Wagon Wheel is authentic, not a themed mall, but a truly American resource, that with restoration will become more and more desirable over time as other structures of this type are razed. The Environmental Impact Report, referencing the historic resource peer reviews, states that the four buildings are historic resources and therefore their demolition cannot be mitigated. The project could be modified to maintain the Wagon Wheel or one of the EIR alternatives could be accepted. The EIR lists a range of feasible alternatives, they all include preservation of the historic resources and adaptive re-use thereof, any of the alternatives are favorable to the project, which would demolish all structures on the site.

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WAGON WHEEL CONTACT info

Postby schafphoto » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:47 pm

Image

Fax yourself by Friday the 18th or return to me via Email by July 17th to schaf@west.net

I will hand deliver to the Clerk's office in Oxnard for inclusion in the EIR comments whatever comments I get. THANK YOU ALL!!!

If you are the kind of peson that is curious about 950 page EIR documents where three historic consultants disagree in their peer-reviews then all that is downloadable from the Oxnard planning department: Oxnard village Specific Plan:

http://developmentservices.cityofoxnard ... urceID=364

Image The Wagon Wheel July 2008

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:41 am

schafphoto

Thank you for letting us know about this issue.
I have sent out a mass email to our entire member list.
Hopefully you will get some support from our membership.

Fight the good fight and know we support you!
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.
If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:43 am

Here is our previous thread started by Adrienne on this subject:
http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... agon+wheel

And an additional mention and notes from Lynx from some time back:
http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... agon+wheel

Let the Wheel keep rolling!!!!!!
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.

If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

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WAGON WHEEL & Arthur Froehlich

Postby schafphoto » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:58 am

The latest news on that cool Wagon Wheel Bowling Alley is that it was designed by Arthur Froehlich. So not only is there a Wagon Wheel site on Wikipedia, but I started a Arthur Froehlich site as well. The A.F. site needs contributions and links to other Froehlich designed buildings to bolster the argument that the bowling alley was designed by a significant architect.

-Schafphoto
Image

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Oxnard Wagon Wheel Property

Postby sotresphotography » Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:24 am

Thanks for the email about this property...I have already faxed the document per the instructions...Thanks for the heads up again.
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!!"

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letter

Postby modernvintage » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:44 am

done and faxed, thanks for the information

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Fax

Postby schafphoto » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:45 pm

I'd love to see your comments too. so if you decide to fax, shoot me one at 805-652-0076.

thanks
-schaf

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:08 pm

if you have issues faxing the oxnard office - PLEASE fax schafphoto
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.

If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

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Postby Perks » Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:50 pm

Will fax first thing tomorrow a.m. As I grew up in Oxnard, the Wagon Wheel is very near and dear to me. I hope the City does the right thing.
Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner
Perkins Realty Group

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Postby Adriene » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:29 am

So nice to see all the support for the awesome Wagon Wheel!! So important this doesn't go down without a fight!

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Postby Nathan » Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:22 am

Everyone – if you see only one preservation fight this year, see this one!

Seriously, why in the name of heaven would a book called “Los Angeles Neonâ€￾ include two signs from Oxnard, which is sixty miles north? (There even used to be a ‘zine called 60 Miles North about that very fact.)

The Wagon Wheel images are in LAN because this place is just that good. (Some might argue it’s because the author grew up in Santa Barbara, and those people consider anything south of Carpinteria to be Los Angeles.)

Anyway, I’m faxing a mightily reasoned and impassioned plea and urge you all to enlist everyone you know to do the same. I’ll buy the first round at the newly restored, adaptively reused, landmarked Wagon Wheel!

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Postby nichols » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:27 am

OK, I just sent mine.

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This is an example of what PCH had dotted .....

Postby darkamor » Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:26 pm

This is an example of what PCH had dotted all along it's route (great places to stop n' eat) and it makes me sad to see what keeps being torn down / replaced (good grief, I still want to slap the eediot who built the Hyatt Regency and ruined everything about the corner of PCH and Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach) .....

:evil:

~(^)~

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A GREAT TURNOUT!!!!

Postby schafphoto » Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:56 pm

I personally forwarded 25 great letters to the city of oxnard today, plus a couple i know that came from individuals in Oxnard and on the Oxnard Heritage Board, and a last minute letter from Wayne Donaldson at the SHPO.
That's over 30 letters!!!

Yahoo! I think we have a chance of saving this.

-Schafphoto

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I scent an LL get-together weekend at the restored WW?

Postby Slim and Gabby » Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:37 pm

Oh,
I'm so glad you let us know about this! My letter is in, and really hope this will turn the tide. There are so many of us on the 101 corridor fighting similar fights.

I'll be first in line for the party at the restored WW....with a morning of hot thriftin' after.....
Pen-gu-ins is pracatically chickinz, and I hates to see chickinz cry so much, I has to put’em outta ther mizzery!

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posted (along with others @ work)

Postby darkamor » Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:53 am

I'm pleased that there were enough So. California Uber Alles transplants here @ work who joined me in sending off our letters (this Oxnard gem deserves to be saved and used for commercial purposes) ......

Wouldn't it be nice not to rely on memories and instead revisit favorite places ?

:D

~(^)~

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Restoration

Postby retrocool » Wed Jul 23, 2008 2:28 pm

Awww man they wan to demo this place, every time I drive up North I see that place and I tell my wife Wow! look at that. It always looks so cool, but I don't ever remember seeing it open. This place needs to be restored.

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Some RECENT pics from Wagon Wheel

Postby veronykah » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:33 pm

Strangely not too long before I got the email about the Wagon Wheel demo I went up to Oxnard with a few people and took some pics of the place...these are as of June 13th 2008...

www.gwencalavera.com/Oxnard

Enjoy!

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Postby PlanetGlass » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:18 am

I just received a notice that the demolition will be discussed at a public hearing on Sept. 18th at 7pm. It would be great if ModCom-ers in the area would attend to voice our concerns. The public hearing will be held at the Oxnard City Council Chambers, 305 W. Third Street, Oxnard.

More info. about the meeting is available through the city's planning department, 805-385-7858, 214 South C Street in Oxnard.

Laura Friedman

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Postby Nathan » Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:02 pm

Image

When the name Martin “Budâ€￾ Smith is mentioned in Oxnard, there’s no doubt two words immediately come to mind: Wagon Wheel.

There’s a strong sense of nostalgia, particularly with the city’s longtime residents, for the western-themed motel/restaurant/bowling alley hybrid, one of the last vestiges of California roadside attractions left over from the days of the 1950s and ‘60s, and one of the many famous sites developed by real estate giant Smith.

But nostalgia alone may not be enough to increase the numbered days of the Wagon Wheel; a decision last week by city officials rejected an appeal by a local conservancy to save the landmark property off Highway 101 from demolition.

The appeal from the San Buenaventura Conservancy requested that the Wagon Wheel be spared as part of the Oxnard Village development, a proposal to construct 1,500 homes and over 50,000 square feet of commercial space. The conservancy is fine with the project so long as the Wagon Wheel is integrated into the mix; however, plans for Oxnard Village call for the removal of structures already at the 64-acre site.

The 4-1 council vote seemed to answer the question: what is the difference between nostalgia and history?

“When a building gets to be a hundred years old, it reaches a certain plateau, when the community in general, everybody, sort of realizes, ‘Gosh, this is something that is really valuable,’â€￾ says Stephen Schafer, conservancy chair, who filed the appeal. “When you’re looking at something from the mid-century, especially if you grew up with it, it’s hard to say, ‘I can see the historic value in this.’â€￾

Oxnard resident Rebecca Barkley understands this but views the Wagon Wheel as an important, local slice of Americana.

“How often do our residents reminisce about what used to be architecturally in the city?â€￾ she asked at the meeting. “The answer is every day.

“We must rise above temptation to raze this charming, unique icon and put ourselves in the forefront of preservation,â€￾ Barkley continued. “Protection is progressive.â€￾

“The preservation community, locally, feels very strongly about Wagon Wheel,â€￾ said Gary Blum, chair of the county’s cultural heritage board. “It’s an important historic resource we should somehow incorporate into this development.â€￾

Blum and others who spoke at the council meeting suggested that Oxnard suffers from a bit of an identity crisis, refusing to recognize itself, through places like Wagon Wheel, as a corridor for pioneer settlers, an integral piece of the 19th Century American West.

“Oxnard continually seems to struggle with its identity and what it is to the rest of the community and the world,â€￾ Blum stated. “Right now, Oxnard along the 101 corridor is Best Buy and Circuit City and Olive Garden. The only thing uniquely ‘Oxnard’ is the Wagon Wheel, which had over half a century of imprinting on the motorists and visitors what Oxnard was. It was this beckoning architecture that would lure you in for a night’s stay or a meal.â€￾

However, that’s where the line between history and nostalgia gets blurred, according to one council member who, as a lifelong Oxnard resident, recalls the Wagon Wheel as a fond childhood memory.

“For me, to reach an historical level, there has to be something significant with the property,â€￾ says council member Dean Maulhardt.

Maulhardt referenced other Oxnard landmarks restored and preserved, like the Carnegie Library or the Santa Clara Church. Does the Wagon Wheel qualify in their league?

“It does have a lot of nostalgia, but it doesn’t make it historical. It’s probably hard to define,â€￾ he said. “But being old and antique-ish doesn’t qualify.â€￾

On that level, the council’s vote seemed to reflect the Wagon Wheel’s kitschy appearance would conflict with the Oxnard Village’s nod to modern European design. On the other hand, those opposed to the project argue that the Italian and Spanish stylings of the development would fit in no better with the character of Ventura County.

Tim Flynn, the council member who cast the only dissenting vote, pushed for the Wagon Wheel’s preservation. He also made reference to another historic district — in this case, the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego — as an example of what Oxnard could achieve by keeping the Wagon Wheel around.

“I think we have a unique opportunity to do something in Oxnard where we can say it’s not just another shopping mall, it’s not just another business park, not just another Southern California suburban fixture,â€￾ Flynn said at the meeting.

The council’s rejection of the conservancy appeal also meant its approval of the Oxnard Village environmental impact report (EIR), a document prepared by city staff examining the positive and negative effects a building project may impose on its surroundings.

The changes are not all environmental, either. According to the EIR, destruction of the Wagon Wheel would produce cultural impacts. To mitigate these impacts, the EIR proposes a series of media-based measures that would be installed at the site as part of the Oxnard Village plan
as a way of remembering the Wagon Wheel legacy.

Those may include an interpretive display summarizing the Wagon Wheel’s history; an oral history project containing interviews and recollections of those involved with Bud Smith and the Wagon Wheel’s development, and two 30-minute TV specials documenting Smith and the Wagon Wheel, to be broadcast on Oxnard public access.

“It would basically forever record, for posterity, what was there and the factual history of it,â€￾ said council member Maulhardt. “I don’t think it’s a bad idea.â€￾

Schafer, of the conservancy, disagrees. There is no way, he says, to properly mitigate such a huge cultural loss, to any degree.

“I’ve never seen mitigations like TV shows. It’s pretty innovative, but it doesn’t quite hack it,â€￾ he said. “There is no way to mitigate the demolition of the Wagon Wheel.â€￾

Bud Smith passed away in 2001, and his input could have been the final word on the fate of the Wagon Wheel property. According to Maulhardt and fellow council member Andres Herrera, who both knew the late developer, Smith would have been the first person to green-light the Wagon Wheel’s removal.

“For Martin Smith, there is a legacy of the (financial) towers and the (Oxnard) harbor,â€￾ Maulhardt said. “I’m not sure this is one he wants to be remembered for.â€￾

“The world has changed around us, and in this instance … even he (Smith) understood the nature of change,â€￾ Herrera said. “He knew exactly what needed to be done in that area.â€￾

http://www.vcreporter.com/cms/story/det ... nent/6475/

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Suit Filed to Halt Demolition of Wagon Wheel

Postby Adriene » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:25 pm

For Immediate Release

Contacts: San Buenaventura Conservancy

sbconservancy@mac.com & Stephen Schafer



San Buenaventura Conservancy Files Suit to Stop

Wagon Wheel Demolition




Oxnard (March 6, 2009) – The San Buenaventura Conservancy filed suit this week against the City of Oxnard in the Ventura County Superior Court. The suit claims that the City’s approval of the Oxnard Village Specific Plan on the site of Wagon Wheel Junction, violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The project proposes the demolition of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Motel, iconic examples of American mid-century roadside architecture. “This 64 acre project can be feasibly accomplished without demolition of the Wagon Wheel, and CEQA therefore does not allow the demolition,â€￾ said Conservancy President Stephen Schafer,“ The Conservancy did not take the prospect of suing the City of Oxnard lightly, but the rarity and regional importance of the Wagon Wheel merits its preservation for generations to come. We feel that razing the Wagon Wheel will be something that locals view with much regret, and that the concept of adaptive reuse of the buildings – as farmers market, steakhouse, artist studios or tourism center – was always ignored in favor of demolition.â€￾

The Wagon Wheel was built on the site of an old hog farm by Martin V. Smith in 1947. It was Smith’s first small real estate venture, but he would eventually become the most important developer in the history of Oxnard; creating much of Channel Islands Harbor, the Esplanade and Carriage Square shopping centers, Fisherman’s Wharf, and also the two towers at the Oxnard Financial Plaza.

The importance of the Wagon Wheel as an historic landmark on the 101 was made clear in numerous public comments submitted to the city by people from Oxnard and throughout the County and State who stressed the rarity and value of the Wagon Wheel as an authentic cultural landmark. The Oxnard Village Specific Plan is 64 acres surrounded by an 18 foot high concrete sound wall. “The Conservancy’s opinion is that the project can be successful and profitable for the developer and still carve out a little piece of land around the Wagon Wheel to celebrate Oxnard’s most iconic landmark and its most significant developer,â€￾ added Schafer. “We need to reverse the neglect that has happened to the Wagon Wheel since it was closed, and by applying the California Historic Building Code, the buildings can be restored to their mid-century heyday, like the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo.â€￾

The lawsuit requests issuance of a peremptory writ ordering the City to set aside its approval of the project pending compliance with CEQA.

An informational brochure with a history of the Wagon Wheel can be downloaded from the Conservancy website: www.sbconservancy.org


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Postby nichols » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:56 pm

NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Lawsuit Stalls Loss of 1947 Motel
By Margaret Foster | Online Only | Mar. 26, 2009


Drive along Highway 101 in Oxnard, Calif., and you may catch a glimpse of the Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Motel, a kitschy, distinctive piece of classic roadside architecture.

"It's been a visual landmark for travelers for 50 years," says Stephen Schafer, president of the San Buenaventura Conservancy, which this month filed a lawsuit against the City of Oxnard, hoping to save the 1947 building. "Our group feels very strongly that it's an important piece of mid-century Americana."..

http://www.preservationnation.org/magaz ... -1947.html

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Postby nichols » Sun Apr 12, 2009 5:08 am

LOS ANGELES TIMES

OUT THERE
Trying to keep Oxnard's Wagon Wheel in place

The dilapidated post-WWII motel and restaurant sits on 64 acres that have been approved for a 1,500-home development, but a local conservancy files suit to save the landmark that served as the hub of an agricultural city.

By Steve Chawkins
April 10, 2009

It wasn't long after World War II that Martin V. "Bud" Smith, who was destined to become a legendary Oxnard developer, loosed 200 chickens on the city's downtown streets. Each bird wore a band on its leg that said: "I just escaped from the Wagon Wheel, where they serve the finest chicken around."

So heralded, the Wagon Wheel Motel and Restaurant became a Southern California landmark, a popular stop for vacationers seeing the USA in their Chevrolets. Decorated by a Hollywood set designer when westerns ruled the screen, it was a spot where residents would take out-of-towners for a thick steak, where visitors would enjoy cocktails on the barroom's cowhide seats and gaze at the brands of local ranchers burned into the beams above.

Long shuttered, the Wagon Wheel is now a dilapidated hulk, its demolition delayed only by a lawsuit that contends destruction of the ramshackle old resort would violate the California Environmental Quality Act...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me ... 9089.story

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Postby Nathan » Thu Oct 01, 2009 1:39 pm

Judge rejects bid to halt Wagon Wheel demolition

By Scott Hadly (Contact) , Raul Hernandez (Contact)
Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A Ventura County Superior Court judge on Wednesday ruled against an effort to stop the demolition of the historic Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Motel next to Highway 101 in Oxnard.

http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2 ... emolition/

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea ... d=26530590

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:32 pm

i am absolutely disgusted with the comments from the readers from that link.

i hope the SB Conservancy sues and they try to appeal.
if anyone in ventura needs fund to support this effort - please use this forum to ask for as much money as you need.

this is a dark and depressing day indeed to see the wagon wheel go.
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.

If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time

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Sometimes ya wonder

Postby modfan » Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:50 am

If the development community has a clue. Yep they demolish it, build their project and then find, we can't sell/rent any of it (hey there is a real estate recession) because there aren't enough rich people left and it's still too expensive for everyone else and it's overretailed and then what happens....the project remains EMPTY and turning into an eysore and then they demo it AGAIN. I just read that that eminent domain case that went to the Supreme Court a while back from Conn.-they won demoed the homes, built SOME of the project, now it's barely filling up, barely profitable and the rest of the land-VACANT! Whatta waste!

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Thanks For the kind words...

Postby schafphoto » Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:44 pm

November 18 2009, more bad news in the Star and VC Reporter newspapers regarding the 1947 Wagon Wheel in Oxnard.

HOWEVER...the San Buenaventura Conservancy will be continuing the fight. Our CEQA case is very sound, and based on strong case law, but politics knows no boundaries. The Board of directors tonight voted unanimously to appeal. Any support (either words of encouragement or and financial donation would be greatly appreciated since we are an all-volunteer organization and this case is the biggest part of our budget... because we think it is SOOO worth it. Check out our website and click on the PayPal link if you can, or send me a note and let me know what you think at sbconservancy@mac.com

Stephen Schafer

President San Buenaventura Conservancy http://www.sbconservancy.org

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu May 12, 2011 10:14 am

very very sad news.
drove by the wagon wheel on monday and it was gone. some original signage remains. but it looked like a fresh kill with the bull dozers all out and ready to sweep up the rubble. the bowling alley building was still there.
thank you people of oxnard and ventura for putting up a very good fight. i hope that at least you are able to save the historic signage and that someone was able to save a few bits and pieces of the original buildings.
I'm gonna keep on the run... I'm gonna have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime.

If I wind up broke up, well, I'll always remember that I had a swingin' time


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