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Ventura County OKs Ahmanson Project

November 25, 1998| From a Times Staff Writer

VENTURA — Despite strong opposition from neighbors in Los Angeles County, supervisors in Ventura County on Tuesday voted to move forward with a controversial 3,050-home project at Ahmanson Ranch.

The vote was 2 to 1 with Supervisor Susan Lacey dissenting and supervisors John Flynn and Kathy Long absent. Flynn and Long were at a Los Angeles Board of Supervisors meeting, where they unsuccessfully pleaded with that board to deny the 21,615-home Newhall Ranch housing development.

"The irony is not lost on me that here we are begging supervisors in Los Angeles not to 'L.A.-ize' Ventura County," Lacey said. "And here are residents of our sister county to the south asking us not to do the same thing to their communities."

Representatives of Save Open Space told supervisors that its study found toxic chemicals in the soil at the 2,800-acre project. They implored the county to conduct an independent soil study before considering approval of the massive housing project, which would include 400,000 square feet of commercial space, a 300-room hotel, two golf courses and two schools.

Chairwoman Judy Mikels was unswayed by the group's study.

"It's been dumped here at the last minute without certification and without expert comment," she said. "We need to stay on track and stay focused."

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