Help Shape the Vision of the 2020 General Plan Update

As the County puts together it’s 2020 General Plan Update, it is asking for public input on the Vision and Guiding Principles. These set the stage for the role the County sees itself playing in nearly every aspect of county life including infrastructure, housing, economic development and the environment.

CoLAB has been at the forefront in helping to shape Ventura County’s 2020 General Plan Update, but we can’t be truly effective without your active participation in this process.  This is why we are asking you to fill out the County’s Vision and Guiding Principles Online Questionnaire, which will provide needed direction for the County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors as they debate adoption of the General Plan Update.

Below you can find changes CoLAB is recommending to the Vision and guiding Principles.  These match the form of the online questionnaire, so you can easily suggest changes that match our values.  Clicking the link below will take you directly to the online questionnaire.  Thank you for your participation in this important process!

VISION STATEMENT

A. To what extent does the Vision Statement below match your values for Ventura County?

We recommend a C or D grade for the vision statement and changing the language as below to commit the county to improving public health and safety and to create opportunities – not just “allow” communities to thrive.

B. Is there anything related to the proposed vision that you think should be added or removed?

CoLAB recommends the following changes to the proposed vision to make it more inclusive of the nees of everyone in Ventura County:

Ventura County is a remarkable place to live, work and play. Our exceptional quality of life and economic vitality is rooted in the stewardship of our cultural resources, rich and natural resources including our world class beaches, fertile agricultural plains soils, scenic mountains, and our diverse communities. talented residents. The General Plan reflects the County’s ongoing commitment to collaborate with Ventura County’s residents, cities, businesses, and non-profit organizations to address our environmental, social, and economic needs in a sustainable manner, to improve public health and safety and allow create opportunities for all safe, healthy, vibrant and diverse communities to thrive.

The quality of life in Ventura County varies depending on income level, job opportunities and housing opportunities. “Exceptional” applies to the entitled class who have all of the advantages and lobby against new housing projects and business ventures in the name of “environmental sustainability.” This vision assumes all is well for everyone so there is no need for change. It doesn’t address the rise in crime rates in the county or the fact that businesses are drowning in local unnecessary regulations. Need to add a commitment to increase economic opportunities and support the diverse communities in their economic advancement.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES – How do these principles match your values?

A.  Land Use and Community Character – We recommend a D grade as it needs to recognize exceptions for agricultural housing and processing.

B.  Economic Vitality – We recommend an E grade with changes to reflect that economic vitality enhances the quality of life of a community.

C.  Agriculture – We recommend a B grade with additions to recognize the importance of water and farmworker housing to agriculture

D.  Circulation/Transportation/Mobility – We recommend an A grade while recognizing that this principle is highly unrealistic given the difficulties in providing transportation to a suburban county with large undeveloped distances between cities.

E.  Housing – We recommend an E grade as this principle does not recognize or seek to solve the County’s housing crisis or recognize its impact on low income families

F.  Conservation and Open Space – We recommend an E grade as there are many conflicts that need to be balanced with natural resource management such as private property rights and public safety concerns.

G.  Water Resources – We recommend a D grade with changes to add development of water resources and balance the needs between water users.

H.  Public Facilities and Services – We recommend an A grade

I.  Health and Safety – We recommend a B grade with a minor word change

J.  Climate Change and Resilience – We recommend a C grade with concern about the vague term “mandated targets” because of the uncertainty of whether it refers to State or Federal mandates.

K.  Healthy Communities – We recommend a C grade

L.  Additions and Removals from Guiding Principles:

A.  Land Use and Community Character

Direct urban growth away from agricultural, rural, and open space lands in favor of locating it in cities and unincorporated communities where public facilities, services and infrastructure are available or can be provided with the exception of agricultural housing and processing.

B.  Economic Vitality

Foster economic and job growth that is responsive to the evolving needs and opportunities of the County’s businesses and work force, economy, while to enhance our quality of life and while promoting environmental sustainability.

Comment: Economic and job growth enhances the quality of life in the community, especially for those that are disadvantaged.

C.  Agriculture

Encourage the long-term viability of Ventura County’s agricultural economy by conserving agricultural lands, supporting a diverse and globally competitive agricultural industry, through the availability of water, land and farmworker housing.

Without a commitment by the County for water, land and farmworker housing, there will be no farming in Ventura County.

D.  Circulation/Transportation/Mobility – No recommended changes

E.  Housing

Provide Support the development of affordable and equitable housing opportunities by preserving increasing the existing housing supply and supporting diverse new housing types.

F.  Conservation and Open Space

Manage the County’s natural resources, such as soils, water, air quality, minerals, and wildlife and its habitat to enhance our quality of life while respecting private property and ensuring public safety.

G.  Water Resources

Manage and develop water resources in a manner that addresses current demand without compromising the ability to meet future demand, and balances the needs of urban and agricultural uses while sustaining and healthy ecosystems health.

H.  Public Facilities and Services – No change recommended

I.  Health and Safety

Minimize risks impacts to residents, businesses and visitors from human-caused hazards such as hazardous materials, noise, air and water pollution as well as natural hazards such as flooding, wildland fires, and geologic events.

J.  Climate Change and Resilience

Reduce Greenhouse gas emissions to achieve mandated targets by federal, state and local regulatory agencies, and increase resilience to the effects of climate change.

K.  Healthy Communities

Promote economic, social, and physical health and wellness by promoting access to healthy foods, education and the arts, by encouraging fitness activities including walking and biking, and integrating Health in All Policies into the built environment.