Settlement means City is marketing property itself

The City of Taft has dissolved its agreement with the master developer for the Sunset Rails Development along Rails to Trails.

The Taft City Council approved a settlement agreement with Geary Coats and Sunset Rails LLC after a closed session discussion in May.

The city is now in charge of marketing the property along Rails to Trails between Tenth and Second Streets. 

It was an amicable split, City Manager Craig Jones said, and the agreement will keep Coats involved in the development, although now as an investor only and not working for the city.

"Times change," Jones said. "It doesn't really make sense for either party to continue the agreement."

The settlement agreement includes a payment of $89,644, money already owed to Coats, according to city documents, and the option to purchase two parcels totaling one acre of land for 80 cents per square foot.

Coats announced plans a year ago to build on property at the northeast corner of Tenth and Supply Row but there has been no movement on the project.

"He's still involved. He just won't be acting as the city's master developer," Jones said.

Without a master developer, Jones said, "The city is free to develop the land as the city sees fit."