On Monday October 11 the Ventura City Council will vote on whether to study the Canada Larga Valley with the intention of annexing the area for construction of executive homes. The 800-acre rural valley is located four miles north of the current City boundary. This issue has been wrapped into the Westside & North Avenue planning process. The annexation issue will be re-considered on Monday night following a legal determination that will allow Councilman Monahan to vote (to break the 3-3 tie)
The map below is from the City of Ventura 2005 General Plan EIR, available for download on the City's website. It shows the current city limits (red line) and the potential expansion areas considered at that time.
Note that the City of Ventura has not pre-designated land use zoning for Canada Larga, which is currently zoned as 'open space' under Ventura County jurisdiction - this provides a 'loophole' in the SOAR ordinance in which voters would need to approve a land-use change. If the property was annexed to the city of Ventura it would be exempt from a SOAR vote.
Although the issue of expanding the city boundaries was discussed throughout the Comprehensive Plan Update process in the early 2000's, City Council at that time voted to concentrate city resources on infill development/redevelopment. Infill is widely recognized as 'smart growth' from a variety of viewpoints. From a watershed perspective it is always wise to concentrate urban development within existing neighborhoods rather than encourage 'suburban sprawl.' Urban/suburban development always has a negative impact on watershed processes, including water quantity and quality. Expansion of the city may also conflict with the City of Ventura's past support of the Ventura River Parkway plan to preserve the lower Ventura River.
The map below is provided courtesy of the property owner, and provides an overview of the areas that will be considered by City Council on Monday night. Note that the canyon had not been considered in the prior planning documents, but a yes vote on Monday night would result in city funds spent to perform analysis on its potential annexation.
A coalition of community groups has expressed their opposition including The Sierra Club,
SOAR, Surfrider Foundation, Wishtoyo Foundation, VCCool, Ventura Audubon Society, Ventura Coastkeeper, Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation
More info: http://vchp.org/blog/
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