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2010 Cañada Larga Campaign
Please attend one or both of these public meetings to voice your opposition to expanding the City limits at this time. You may listen, speak, or submit a comment on a card.

City Council to Discuss Cañada Larga Annexation

An email to City Council would be extremely helpful even if it's just to say something like: "Don't annex Canada Larga and North Avenue. The City needs to concentrate its limited resources on revitalizing areas that are already within our City limits."

E-mail address for Mayor and Council Members: council@ci.ventura.ca.us

Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers: Planning Dep't discusses scope of EIR and whether to include 1600 unincorporated acres in a study of the Westside.

Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers: City Council decides whether to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the 1600 acres of potential expansion areas in Canada Larga and North Avenue that are not currently within the City's incorporated boundaries

Westside Community Plan Proposes Annexing 1600 Acres

A jolt hit local environmental groups and other concerned citizens when the city expansion plans contained in the Westside Community Plan were revealed.

The plan proposes annexing the 800-acre unincorporated North Avenue Area plus an additional 800 acres of the agricultural Canada Larga Valley. The proposal surprised residents because the recently adopted 2005 General Plan contains policies clearly stating the community's desire to focus on infill development, near existing infrastructure, before expanding the city limits.

Community members were also shocked that such a large scale city-expansion proposal was being slipped through in an under-the-radar "area community plan." An area community plan receives far less publicity and public scrutiny than does a general plan update.

In the North Avenue Area the Westside Community Plan has designated the Brooks Institute site as a "Special University District Zone" and the old PetroChem site as a "Urban Center Zone." These zones represent two of the highest density zones allowed. (The most recent PetroChem proposal presented 1100 residential units and supporting commercial development on the 100-acre river site.) Citizens have serious concerns regarding the dire consequences of placing these high-intensity development zones directly adjacent to the Ventura River's fragile ecosystems and in a hazardous flood way.

In the agricultural Canada Larga Valley the Plan has designated that "no more" than 100 executive style homes will be built.

This means the city, under the guise of revitalizing the City's existing incorporated Westside Community, is leapfrogging out to annex a total of 1,600 acres all in pursuit of the dream of estate homes for fewer than 100 executives and high-density development on the PetroChem parcel to purportedly aid Brooks expansion.

The same city that embraced a 2005 General Plan with a guiding principle of "Infill First" now proposes to blatantly violate its own rules. Brooks/PetroChem is miles outside city limits. Rather than revitalizing the existing Westside, Downtown and Midtown the City wants to bring downtown-type density way beyond the city's current boundary. Vacant business sites exist throughout the existing incorporated Westside Community as well as the city's Arundel Industrial park, along the Thompson and Main corridors, and out in the Auto Center. There is no reason to leap out into the former oil fields of the North Avenue Area. The City needs to concentrate its limited resources on revitalizing areas that are already within our incorporated boundaries.

It is interesting to note that in the majority of former Westside Plans (that this new plan is supposedly "built on") the Westside residents did not call for annexing the North Avenue Area, but wanted to focus revitalization efforts on the existing Westside Community inside our city limits. Community comments show that residents value and want to preserve the unincorporated, predominantly industrial North Avenue Area for the job opportunities that it provides to residents.

This new community plan is being driven by desires of two property owners (PetroChem/Canada Larga) rather than the methodically wrought consensus vision of this city presented in the 2005 General Plan document. If these two persistent property owners get their way, the city will assume the fiscal responsibility to service 1600 additional acres that are known to have costly public service and infrastructure deficits.

Additionally, annexing the agricultural Canada Larga Valley to the city allows valley property owners to use a loophole in the County SOAR ordinance to escape a SOAR vote.

These property owners expect the entire city to pay for changing the rules and then for providing services forever.

The Westside Community Plan is inconsistent with the Ventura General Plan policy to focus on infill development before expanding the city limits. It is a bad plan for the hillsides/ open space/ Ventura River watershed and it is a bad deal for the citizens of the city.

Diane Underhill, President

Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation


Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation
Ventura, CA 93003

(805) 665-3820

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