Acton paintball operation shot down by planners

A cadet, armed with a paintball gun, crouches in a field near Paintball USA in Santa Clarita during a military simulation operation on a Saturday. Samie Gebers/The Signal

A husband and wife who own Paintball USA, and who have been wrangling with county planners these past two years to meet their demands, don’t need an exploding paintball to know they’ve been hit.

Mike and April Schwartz received final word Wednesday that one of their two paintball sites – the one in Acton – was shot down by planners at the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

“We sort of anticipated it,” April Schwartz told The Signal Monday.

The owners were asked to build a road and, essentially, a private municipal water company before allowing the recreational business to proceed.

Regional planners gave the couple until Wednesday June 6 to meet those demands asked of them.

On the agenda, the paintball company was recommended by planners to be denied “due to inactivity” and that’s what planners did.

“The county was asking us to build an access road onto the (Acton) property,” April Schwartz said, adding that a road exists on the property but does not meet the county’s expectations.

Mitch Glaser, spokesman for the planning department, told The Signal Monday: “It was denied due to lack of sufficient information on June 6.

“The (April) hearing was continued to June 6 so that the applicant could submit additional materials that were previously requested but not submitted,” Glaser told The Signal Last month.

What planners want him to submit, Mike Schwartz said, is cost-prohibitive.

Despite last month’s extension, the couple was so put off by the treatment they’ve received, they began thinking of selling their Acton property.

Paintball USA, which operates in Santa Clarita and Oxnard and opens every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosts birthday parties and “corporate team building events” on land leased on Sierra Highway.

Now the Acton site has been shot down, the couple plans to sell the property and open another operation in Ventura County.

“We’re going to sell the Acton property and use that money to purchase another property, possibly in
Ventura County since LA County’s rules are too strict,” April Schwartz said Monday.

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