South Whittier School District has entered into a lease agreement in regards to district owned land for a development plan that will take place in-between Carmela Elementary and Option’s Preschool.
The district will be leasing approximately 5.1 acres of land to Lessee for a monthly rent starting at $400,000. The corporation Lessee is a long-time family owned real estate company that is based out of Torrance. The development plan for the property is to create a market-rate multi-unit family residential community with amenities. Although the land being leased is in-between Carmela and Option’s Preschool, the agreement does not include those properties and those properties will not be affected.
The $400,000 monthly rent that will be acquired by the district from this lease agreement will be used to support two areas within the district. First, revenue will go towards the education of students in the South Whittier School District. Second, the district is currently projecting deficit spending in future years, and the revenue will help close that gap. Projected deficit spending is partly due to a decline in enrollment. The district is also not responsible for any costs of the property or development, all cost will be undertaken by Lessee, and rent may escalate through out the term of the lease agreement.
Prior to the lease agreement being signed, the South Whittier School District had to comply with the Education Code requirements that were necessary. The Education Code has a specific process that public schools must follow before pursuing any real property, otherwise known as “surplus property procedure”.
The district had to form an “Advisory Committee” that is made up of members of the community. These individuals conduct public meetings and hearings to review the property needs and the specific properties owned by the district. They must also prepare reports and recommendations to be presented to the District’s board. Once the board receives and considers the Advisory Committee’s report, during a public meeting, the board can decide to declare a property surplus and initiate the process necessary to pursue a long term lease.
South Whittier School District complied and put together an Advisory Committee that held public meetings regarding the review of the property on March 29, 2011, April 25, 2011, and May 16, 2011. On July 19, 2011 the committee presented to the board of trustees recommending that the property be declared as a surplus property and to pursue a long term lease agreement. The board accepted the committee’s report and declared the property surplus in an open meeting on August 27, 2014.
Since the board of trustees declared the property a surplus property, they have held several open sessions that discussed information regarding the property by consultants, district personal, and Lessee. In these meetings the public had the opportunity to hear presentations, the board’s consideration, as well as provide their input.
For more about the land lease please click here.