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CITY LIMIT PLAN STIRS ALARM MOJAVE FEARS NEIGHBORING ANNEXATION.

Byline: Jim Skeen Staff Writer

CALIFORNIA CITY - Looking to better position their community for future growth, California City officials want to dramatically alter the city boundaries - concerning Mojave leaders in the process.

City officials have proposed adding 62 square miles extending south to Highway 58, taking advantage of the Highway 58 bypass route under construction around Mojave, while dropping 63 square miles of uninhabited desert at the far-flung city's northern and eastern edges.

``The growth for California City and Mojave will be by the interchange,'' City Manager Jack Stewart said last week.

The annexation process will begin with two public hearings on Feb. 5 and Feb. 19 during regular City Council meetings. The process will take nine to 12 months.

The land city officials want to annex is located primarily south of the present city limits between California City Boulevard and where the new interchange for Highways 58 and 14 will be built east of the Mojave Airport. The proposed city limit line is four miles east of the airport.

City officials anticipate the Highway 58 bypass now under construction will spur development in that area.

At the same time, the city wants to cut 63 square miles that is undeveloped and will likely be problematic for any future development. The land includes habitat for the desert tortoise, which gets government protection as a threatened species.

No one lives in that area, which extends to the San Bernardino County line, and the city offers no services there. ``There's no rhyme or reason for it to be part of the city,'' Stewart said.

Mojave residents view the proposed 58-14 interchange as part of their community.

``It's not an us versus them kind of thing,'' said Mojave Town Council President Bill Deaver. ``They want to annex 62 square miles. We're saying annex 58 square miles and leave our freeway alone.''

The interchange is within the boundaries of the Mojave Public Utilities District. The area is also part of the territory being studied by Kern County officials for the specific plan for Mojave's development and it is also an area that would be part of any city boundaries should Mojave try to incorporate.

``The 58 will be taken out of the middle of Mojave. Mojave people want the revenue from that freeway in our community,'' Deaver said. ``It's going to be a hot piece of property.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 14, 2002
Words:393
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