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She's Thinking Green

July 12, 1994

Recently, the city of Ventura has been accepting proposals from developers to convert agricultural lands to residential housing. These proposed projects are massive, with several projects encompassing more than 400 homes. With proposals for more than 2,200 residential dwellings already on file with the city, the potential economic and environmental impacts are severe.

Many Ventura residents would like to see our remaining agricultural lands and open spaces preserved. We do not desire to see our city converted to endless strip malls and housing tracts. Once greenbelts are lost, they can never be recovered.

It is easy to forget that agriculture supports a complex network of jobs in Ventura County, including trucking, machinery sales and repair, agricultural supplies, financial services and field work. With aerospace, oil and gas jobs in severe decline, can we afford to reduce our agriculture-related jobs through land conversion? What concrete plans do the politicians have to replace jobs lost from agricultural land conversion? While a housing development may seem like a panacea to city tax revenues, the long-range impact of this conversion is detrimental to all of Ventura County.

Why is this City Council supporting development on agricultural lands that our planners have set off-limits for development till the year 2010? The answer is simple: money. Developers have adopted a new tactic of submitting proposals for new developments with promises of checks or other incentives to follow.

Sacrificing long-range planning goals for financial promises from developers is fundamentally corrupt and should not be tolerated.

DIANE KUBILOS

Ventura

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