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History of Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation

Martha Zeiher, the Founder of Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation
Martha Zeiher, the Founder of Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation

Martha Zeiher was waving the morning’s Ventura County Star at two co-workers in Kinko’s Corporate Communications Department saying, “We can’t let this happen!” read more


TIMELINE OF LAND PRESERVATION IN VENTURA

2013 – Endorsed Erik Nasarenko’s successful bid for City Council.

2012 - Endorsed Steve Bennett in his successful bid for re-election to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.

2011 - VCHP became a significant partner in Friends of the Ventura River, a coalition of local non-profits, businesses, government agencies, and individuals committed to the health of the Ventura River watershed.

2011 - Endorsed 2 winners in the November City Council election: Carl Morehouse was re-elected and a new councilmember, Cheryl Heitmann won a seat on Council.

2010 - Formed coalition with 9 other community organizations to protect the Canada Larga Valley from annexation and development.

2009 - Endorsed winner, Brian Brennan, in his re-election to City Council in November.


2008 - VCHP joined statewide coalition to defeat Prop. 98 and Pass Prop. 99. (Made 1000 calls & sent 1000 emails)

2007 - Endorsed 2 winners in the November election: Councilmen Bill Fulton & Carl Morehouse were both re-elected.

2006 - VCHP joined statewide coalition to defeat Proposition 90 on the November 7 ballot(Made 1,000 phone calls) VCHP continues to monitor City Council & Planning Commission meetings, to inform voters, and endorse candidates who believe in VCHP’s mission statement.

2005 - Endorsed 3 winners in the November election: Brian Brennan and Neal Andrews for City Council and Mary Haffner, a newcomer and top vote getter for Ventura Unified School District. VCHP has been successful in four out of four of its campaigns: passed Measure P, defeated Measure A, and helped elect City Council and School Board members in two elections.

2003 - VHC: The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy is formed - www.venturahillsides.org - 805.643.8044. The Ventura Hillsides Conservancy is a land trust operating in the City of Ventura for the purpose of acquiring open space through gift, sale, or other lawful means. The organization was founded by citizens in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation to work with land owners, conservation organizations, and public agencies to preserve and restore the hillsides and open space resources in the Ventura region. Produced the Ventura Hillsides Music Festival for seven years: 2003-2009, as a fundraiser for the Conservancy. President: Gary Bednorz, Vice President: Tom Weisel, Executive Director: Matthew Sayles

2002 - MEASURE A defeated by Ventura voters by a margin of greater than 70%.Passage of Measure P led the hillside land owners to place Measure A on the ballot to seek voter approval of a development agreement authorizing the construction of 1,390 homes on the hillsides prior to preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and public hearings. VCHP along with SOAR led the grassroots effort to defeat Measure A and succeeded despite the $1.3 million spent by landowners in the attempt to pass it.

2001 - MEASURE P passed by Ventura voters by a margin of 77%. Measure P requires any residential development proposal for the 9,000 acre Hillside Voter Participation Area be approved by the voters before the extension of city services can occur. Passage of Measure P led the hillside landowners to launch an initiative campaign to place Measure A on the ballot to seek voter approval to sell their land for development. (Measure P does not require a public vote for the extension of city services if the hillside parcel is 40 acres or more and has only 1 primary residential unit.)

2000 - VCHP: Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation began meeting. Two years later, it became a 501(c)(4) organization with a mission to preserve Ventura’s hillsides, open space, Ventura River watershed, and quality of life by actively participating in and influencing the public planning process through public education campaigns as well as supporting like-minded organizations, public officials, political candidates, and ballot measures. Spearheaded the campaign for the passage of Measure P and defeat of Measure A (see below) VCHP President: Diane Underhill Vice President: Claudia Armann

1998 - SOAR: The Save Open-Space & Agricultural Resources initiative was passed by Ventura County voters. The initiative requires that the Ventura County Board of Supervisors obtain voter approval before designating farmland and open space in unincorporated areas.

1995 - SOAR: The Save Our Agricultural Resources initiative was passed by Ventura city voters. The initiative requires that the City Council obtain voter approval before designating land within the city limits from agriculture to any other designation, including residential development.

1990's - THE BEGINNING: Over the course of this decade, Ventura’s population grew to over 100,000. Concerned citizens observed increased traffic, the advance of sprawl, and open space threatened by proposed development.

If you would like to volunteer, make a donation, or assist VCHP in attaining its goals, please call 805.665.3820, e-mail at members@vchp.org, or visit here to join.




Ventura Citizens for Hillside Preservation
Ventura, CA 93003


(805) 665-3820

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