Step Taken to Make Reagan Library Officially Part of Simi Valley

SIMI VALLEY, CA (AP) - A recent move by a Ventura County commission may mean the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum can officially call this town home.

Although the library's address says Simi Valley, it is actually in unincorporated Ventura County just outside the city limits. Last week, the Ventura County Local Agency Formation Commission took the first step toward annexing the land by putting the library officially into the city's sphere of influence.

"We've recognized for a long time that this is the appropriate thing to happen," City Manager Mike Sedell said.

The annexation process could take anywhere from six months to a year.

The city's sales tax revenues would be boosted by placing the library within city limits, but officials said the added money would likely be offset by the city services provided there.

Annexation also should help protect open areas around the library because the city has more stringent standards for development than Ventura County, officials said.

Library representatives have not weighed in publicly about the proposal, but a meeting earlier this year between city and library officials was fruitful.

"Library officials have made known to LAFCO that the library wants to be annexed by Simi Valley," said Everett Millais, LAFCO executive director. "The library is desirous of not having a lot of development going on next to the library property."

Development is a particularly sensitive issue in the area because the land west of the library has been set aside as the Tierra Rejada Greenbelt, a largely rural area of farms, horse ranches and nurseries.

Reagan himself was said to have chosen the hilltop site for his library and burial site in part because of the natural beauty of the area with panoramic views across the rural countryside to the Pacific Ocean.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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