CSUN purchases land from Conejo Valley School District

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The University Corporation at CSUN has purchased 10 acres of land from the Conejo Valley School District to accommodate future university needs.

The land, located west of Highway 23 between Moorpark and Thousand Oaks, a quarter mile from Highway 118, was declared surplus land by the Conejo Valley School District and sold for $545,000 to CSUN.

The land was purchased with The University Corporation’s real estate fund, said Jane DeLorenzis, director of Contracts and Licensing for The University Corporation, including real estate.

Without any short-term plans for the newly acquired property, the land is currently in escrow and holds agricultural benefits and the potential for lease, DeLorenzis said.

“We really don’t know if the university has owned land like that,” DeLorenzis said. “There really isn’t an identifying purpose for (the land).”

In the 1960s, the Conejo Valley School District purchased the agricultural land and reached a greenbelt agreement with Simi Valley, Moorpark and Thousand Oaks, said Jeff Baarstad, assistant superintendent for business with the Conejo Valley School District.

“The greenbelt agreement means (the land) can only be used for open space, a golf course and agricultural reasons,” Baarstad said.

However, a committee of teachers came to a recent agreement that the land was no longer needed, he said.

The Conejo Valley School District notified surrounding institutions and regions about the surplus land, Baarstad said.

Upon purchasing the 10 acres of land, The University Corporation informed the Conejo Valley School District that there were no plans to use the (land) in the next 10 to 15 years.

The University Corporation proposed ideas for land usage, including suggestions about constructing a Satellite Union, which could be intended for student and faculty use 25 years from now, Baarstad said.

“Property in Southern California is going to be much harder to get in the future,” Baarstad said.

The University Corporation saw potential in the land and took advantage of the opportunity to buy it, DeLorenzis said.

Some CSUN students expressed mixed emotions about the university buying land without first having plans for it.

“I think it would be better to put the money (to use) on campus,” said Samantha Hathaway, junior liberal studies major. “Maybe they should sell it. We could have really used that money.”

Antonio Gonzalez, junior political science major, said he feels the purchase was a waste of money.

“They should spend the money on something that will benefit students now,” Gonzalez said. “It sounds like a waste (of money) because they don’t know what to do with it. In the long run it sounds like a good idea, but there are programs now that need some help.”