Planning, Conservation, Recreation

We support efficient land use planning that balances economic growth, agriculture, housing, public services, employment, and conservation of the environment, including adequate parks and recreation opportunities.
Position In Brief: 

The League of Women Voters of Ventura County promotes efficient land use planning that balances economic growth, agriculture, housing, public services, employment, and conservation of the environment, including adequate parks and recreation opportunities.(1960-62, 1963-64, 1966-67, 1971, 1983-85, 1991, 2007)

Position History: 

2007-8 Appeared  before the City Council in support of Citrus Place housing development in the City of Ventura. Appeared in support of providing adequate affordable housing in Camarillo before the city Planning Commission when considering updates to the General Plan’s Housing Element.

2006 Submitted written comments to the State Lands Commission on the revised draft EIR for the proposed Cabrillo Port offshore of Oxnard.

2005 Submitted written comments to appropriate government agencies on the draft EIR and EIS for the proposed Cabrillo Port, expressing concern about its potential for adverse effect on Ormond Beach,  the safety of the proposed facility and other environmental effects.

2005 Sent letter to League of Women Voters of California, citing concerns about proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility, especially the lack of overall assessment and planning for new LNG facilities in the State of California and the lack of planning for siting such facilities.

2005 Co-sponsored and coordinated an informational meeting for members and public in Ventura County, on a proposed LNG offshore facility in Cabrillo Port.

2004 Supported Measure B, an open space sales tax of 1/4%.

2002 Requested a study session by Ventura County on the County General Plan Update that would be open to the public. 2001    Sponsored a workshop on open space district.

2000 Opposed proposed elementary school site “Emerson Avenue SE-3” in a green belt surrounded by agricultural land. A prime concern was pesticide contamination Opposed measure to build on agriculture land in Ventura. Supported SOAR Measure J in Fillmore and I in Santa Paula protecting agriculture and open space lands. (Letters to newspapers, supervisors). Supported before the Board of Supervisors establishment of a green belt zone between Fillmore and the Los Angeles County line. Spoke to Board of Supervisors’ Measure A Committee supporting the Open Space District plan. Sponsored open space district informational workshop. Co-sponsored Smart Growth conference.

1998 Supported Ventura County SOAR initiative by letters to newspapers, radio interview, and in brochure produced by campaign.

1997 Presented appeal to VC Board of Supervisors to oppose building golf driving range in Tierra Rejada green belt. Wrote letter to Newhall Land & Development objecting to development straddling Santa Clara River.

1996 Supported city councils’ hearing report of Hansen Trust Study. Opposed Olivas Park Extension without complete EIR.

1996 Supported denial of variance to change agriculture land zoning for Oxnard School District to build a school as growth inducing and inappropriate location for a school. Presented report on 3-year study of Ormond Beach. Co-sponsored Ormond Beach development plan to conserve wetlands.

1994 Opposed dropping 40-acre minimum zoning for agriculture. Supported long-range planning for the coast in letter to governor. Objected to increase in fees required to file an appeal of a Planning  Commission decision on the basis of denying right to file appeal to those who could not afford higher fees. Supported Board of Supervisors’ establishment of green belt between Oxnard and Ventura.

1993 Supported green belt, open space at Oxnard City Council. Endorsed signature gathering for initiative supporting wetlands preservation at Ormond.

1993 Objected to County of Ventura changing zoning for agricultural land in Las Posas Valley to allow 150 rural estate lots because of environmental concerns and precedent it would set.

1992 Urged Ventura City Council to deny change of land use from agricultural to recreation (Aggeler Property) in order to support agriculture and save proposed green belt. Asked LAFCO to be the agent to stimulate green belt agreements for agricultural land between Oxnard, Ventura and Ventura County. Opposed approval of development at western edge of Oxnard as not within Oxnard sphere of influence, not proposed for development until 2000 and doesn’t have adequate sewer/water lines. Objected to the City of Oxnard, the action taken by Baldwin Company to grade, drain and store potted plants on Ormond Beach, when this was not permitted. (Eventually, Baldwin completely restored the wetlands, as we urged, and sold the land.) Objected to the Oxnard City Council, the Oxnard High School relocation because of current agricultural use, and the change in the city’s planning document. Commended the Board of Supervisors, the Agricultural Land Trust Advisory Committee and staff for research, discussions, and directions presented in its report for preservation of agricultural lands. Supported concept of private non-profit trust to preserve agricultural lands. (League had a representative.) Through Ormond Beach Observers, objected to a proposal for Hueneme Beach Recreational Vehicle Resort because it would endanger protected species and their fragile ecosystem. Questioned Ventura City Council regarding its liability in case death or suffering resulted from any future flooding of Ventura Beach RV Park (Hubbard Property). See archives for pre-1992.

Natural Resources Position

Land Use Planning, Conservation, & Recreation

Specifics of Position 

  1. Support land use planning consistent with the County's natural features, encouraging a healthful environment and conservation of natural resources such as clean air, water, prime agricultural land, and our coastal environment.
  2. Encourage a viable balance of economic, social and environmental factors for all communities.
  3. Encourage land uses necessary for economic growth and compatible with industries that support a healthful and aesthetic environment, such as agriculture, horticulture, health care, technology and biomedical endeavors, education, and recreation, among others.
  4. Support planning that promotes orderly development, including appropriate redevelopment of urban areas, discourages step-out development, and encourages infilling of existing communities, along with greater densities, flexible zoning, mixed-use housing and parking requirements when appropriate, and improved connection with public transit.
  5. Support planning that provides for housing to meet the needs of all segments of the community.
  6. Maintain identity and delineations of communities.
  7. Preserve adequate open space, the coastline, wetlands, historical and cultural landmarks and aesthetic features, including appropriate public access.
  8. Support local governments in funding public services and improvements with the widest array of funding sources.
  9. Support local governments in providing adequate space and facilities for active and passive recreation opportunities, including public parks, that are affordable to the general public.
  10. Encourage the periodic updating of general plans to recognize the changing needs of the community and support effective and timely implementation.
  11. Support land use planning decisions that are based on careful study and consideration of physical, economic, social and environmental factors. 
  12. Encourage cooperative planning among all levels of governmental agencies, including federal, state, regional, county and city, and with private enterprise, particularly with regard to regional issues such as population, transportation, water resources, public safety and similar concerns.
  13. Promote and support opportunities for citizens to effectively participate in formulating land use plans and in land use planning decisions.
  14. Support local government controls that provide visually pleasing communities through effective zoning, signage controls, and similar measures.

Background  

This position is the result of combining appropriate and related portions of early studies into one overall position. This was accomplished in 1983 when the league affirmed its position in support of orderly development. The position was reviewed and updated in 2007. In that review, the focus was to refine the position to better address the balancing act that has clearly become necessary between the financial needs of the cities and county and the needs of the residents here for jobs and housing with our long standing goal of conserving our unique and healthful environment. In addition, language was broadened and made more general, in order to facilitate application of the position to specific situations.

Concern was expressed in early studies over the continued disappearance of agriculture as an industry and the depletion of oil reserves, both of which threatened to erode the tax base. Members agreed that Ventura County has a potential as a recreation area and that development of recreation as a major industry could provide a relatively high tax yield as well as protect aesthetic surroundings.

Protection of the coastline for recreational use has had continued emphasis, as has the maintenance of open, rural or park-like atmosphere of local communities. Should recreation become a threat to conservation, League would give priority to conservation.

League to which this content belongs: 
Ventura County