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Zoning- The Fight for Public Housing 1950s

In December of 1950, the Sunset and Mayflower neighborhoods were annexed into the city of Bakersfield. The community had secured enough votes to be added to city boundaries, guaranteeing city services like sewer, street lights, paved roads, and trash pickup. The contract for Oro Vista was signed in early 1950, but the opening would not happen until 1954. The Bakersfield Realty Board supported Proposition 10 of 1950, which would require a majority of electors of a county or city to approve public housing. Oro Vista was planned in the Sunset community, adjacent to Adelante Vista.


A local Bakersfield realty agent sued on the bases of Proposition 10, and effectively stalled the building of Oro Vista in 1951. In January 1951, the City of Bakersfield entered in to a cooperation agreement with the Housing Authority of Kern County, and later rescinding the agreement in March 1952, with the support and petition of the Bakersfield Realty Board. The Bakersfield earthquake happed in August of 1952. The city entered into a second cooperation agreement, reaffirming their cooperation in October 1952. The lawsuit and appeal carried into 1954, when it was established that Oro Vista was not subject to Proposition 10, since the contracts and loans were issued in 1949, and again in early 1950.

A separate injunction in 1954 also accused the City of Bakersfield of rezoning against the interest of the majority of the population. Mayflower and Sunset was Zoned R1 (One Family) to R2 (Two Family) housing. The second lawsuit determined that the State of California, under the Health and Safety codes and The Housing Authority Law, had the power to change zoning without the opinion of the electorate of the city or public referendum, not limited to the interference by municipal or county administration

By February 1954, families had already started to move into Oro Vista.