Some critics have compared the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR) initiatives to communism, referencing Lenin and Marx in the process. In fact, SOAR is a far more democratic process for land use than our current system.
Property owners already have the right to propose developments on land they own. However, they don't have the unconditional right to carry out those developments; they must first get approval from the city council or the county Board of Supervisors.
The SOAR initiatives would require a majority vote of the people before land currently zoned as open space or agriculture could be approved for development. This merely shifts the decision-making authority from the five-member elected bodies to the people--a marvelous democratic innovation.
To describe the democratic process of SOAR as socialist or communist is offensive to me and should be to the people of Ventura County. SOAR is less restrictive than the two-thirds vote needed for local bond measures or the two-thirds vote required to raise taxes. It empowers the people of Ventura County for the next 20 to 30 years on the very important issue of growth.
The only thing SOAR would prevent would be elected officials accepting campaign contributions from development interests with their left hand while voting to approve development with their right (and claiming to be slow-growth while they're doing it).
I encourage every resident to sign the SOAR petitions now being circulated.