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Council Postpones Home Allocation Decision


After moving boldly two months ago to clamp a first-ever population cap on Ventura, City Council members were in a more timid mood this week as it came time to divvy up the 185 new homes that will be allowed built each year during the next decade.

Rather than adopt an allocation system for builders, council members decided to let the new figures sink in.

"I need more time to digest this," Mayor James Monahan said Monday as officials sat down to discuss how to divide up building allotments while maintaining the city's new 102,000-resident population cap. About 92,000 people now live in Ventura.

Developers representatives and others had waited in the wooden-paneled council chambers to argue for their share of future building permits.

Over the objections of the council's two strongest slow-growth advocates, council members postponed action until Oct. 30 to give them time to schedule an informal public workshop on the issue.

"We've got to face it sooner or later," Councilman Don Villeneuve argued, urging the council to complete the action Monday.

"We've already had . . . seven nights of public hearings on this," added Councilman Richard Francis, referring to the adoption in August of the Comprehensive Plan that set the population cap.

Monahan and council members Nan Drake, William Crew and John McWherter voted for postponement. Monahan and Drake face reelection next month. The new plan limits the city's population to 115,000 over 20 years.

It sets the city's population cap at 102,000 in the year 2000, unless the city or its contracted water districts are able to build a pipeline to import state water, or find other means of increasing the local water supply.

If the water supply is increased, the 10-year cap grows to 105,000.

Working backward from the number of new homes that a population of 102,000 would support, city planners have calculated that a total of 1,850 homes can be constructed over 10 years.

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