TAFT, Calif. - An agreement between an oil company and a developer means Taft may soon see a building boom.
It's one of the strange facts about Taft, the thing that makes it thrive is the same thing that limits its growth: The oil industry.
Oilfields surround Taft on all sides making it hard to find land for new development.
"We are trying to work with them and get out of that landlocked situation so that we can grow a little bit," said Mayor Paul Linder of Taft.
A developer who wants to put hundreds of new homes on this land on the west side of Taft has come to an important agreement with the company who owns the oil beneath it.
"The developer wants to develop the surface and oxy wants to protect their interests and their availability to get to those minerals," said Mayor Linder.
City officials said the homes that are going to be built are long overdue and they will help reduce the number of people who work in Taft but are forced to live in Bakersfield.
"We would like to take a thousand of those people off the highway everyday," said Mayor Linder. "And bring them to our community where they can enjoy a real quality of life."
The agreement will allow the oil company to still be able to access any oil under the homes even after they are built.
A 30-acre chunk of land will be used to build about 100 new homes.
When the development is complete there could be as many as 400 new homes.
"The ability for us to be able to add roof tops not only helps our tax base but will also make companies realize that our population is larger so they may come in and take a second look at us," said Mayor Linder.
Developers hope to have the first models up by June and the first homes ready for moving in could be done by Fall.