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7-11 advice to be mulled by SUHSD – Star

Third Avenue property owned by the Sweetwater Union High School District is vacant with the exception of shrubs and debris.

The Sweetwater Union High School District has reignited efforts into discussing what to do with one of its vacant properties.

The district reestablished its District Surplus Facilities Advisory Committee, also known as the 7-11 committee, last fall to consider and make recommendations to the school board regarding their two-acre property at 453 Third Ave.

California’s Education Code 17388 requires that “before any sale, lease, rental of any excess real property, except rentals not exceeding 30 days,” the district appoint an advisory committee to advise them in the use or development of the property.

The committee is called the 7-11 committee because California education codes requires that no less than 7 and no more than 11 members serve on the committee.
The district’s committee has 11 members.

California Education Code says that members of the committee must include “the ethnic, age group, and socioeconomic composition of the district; the business community such as store owners, managers or supervisors; landowners or renters, with preference to be given to representatives of neighborhood associations; teachers; administrators; parents of students and persons with expertise in the environmental impact, legal contracts, building codes, and land use planning, including, but not limited to, knowledge of the zoning and other land use restrictions of the cities or cities and counties in which surplus space and real property is located.”

At the committee’s Dec. 18, 2017 meeting, committee members voted to recommend that the school board declare the Third Avenue property as a surplus to the district’s educational needs because the district has no need for it.

“We haven’t really been doing anything with (the property),” said Moises Aguirre, the district’s assistant superintendent, facilities and operations. “The property itself has no improvements; it’s just a vacant lot.”

Aguirre said the property, near St. Rose of Lima parish, is too small to be used for another school or any other district use.

In addition to recommending classifying the property as surplus, the committee also recommends that district sell the property to provide revenue. In a report the committee recommended that the district uses the funds from a sale “for vocational training or construction trades including but not limited to plumbing, pipe fitting, electrical, carpentry, roofing, and painting; and specifically, to ensure services are inclusive of students with special needs.”

If the board declares the property as a surplus, it has a 45-day window to offer the property to a public entity at fair market value, Aguirre said. If the district gets no response from a public entity than it can pursue a buyer for the property, Aguirre said.
Formerly, under previous superintendents, the district had planned to turn that property into what was called the Colony project, a mixture of residential and commercial property.

But plans for the Colony never materialized and that property has remained vacant.
The district’s board of trustees on Jan. 22 will consider whether or not to follow the recommendation of the advisory committee.

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