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Ventura County Perspective

Growth and SOAR

November 29, 1998

Re "SOAR Buys Us Time," editorial, Nov. 8.

In reading about the newly approved Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources measures, I was annoyed that the article ignored the reason that most of the families live in these smaller bedroom communities. We all moved out here because city life didn't provide the parks and large backyards that the smaller communities of Ventura County provide.

In a perfect world there would be enough space for all of those to build their stacking apartments and others to build their large open parks. But alas, the world is not perfect and we are forced to compromise. Unfortunately, I do not believe that SOAR is in the residents' best interest.

Trust me, I do understand the need for conservation and the need to make sure that the children we raise today have a clean and safe place to grow up in, but I have noticed a vast improvement to the local economy since the building of a plaza in my area.

It seems to be mostly about supply and demand: There was a high demand for updated stores that were willing to spend the extra money to provide better service and more options. The other local stores are trying to put a better foot forward but it doesn't work out as pleasantly as SOAR supporters claim. It is very difficult to shop and run errands when there is massive road construction to make room for an expanding plaza in an area that is already too small for the stores it contains.

Let them build a new community and let the old ones be. The people there are very happy with their small-town life.

COLLEEN CRONIN, Agoura

*

Having lived in Thousand Oaks for almost 20 years I have seen changes in the size of the city and its maturity from small town to a more sophisticated city.

The recent passage of the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources initiatives was a great protector for the slow and steady development that has kept this area such a great place to live.

Recently this area has seen the expansion that comes with time to a city. Some of the developments have made me worry that we are growing too large too quickly. Dos Vientos, Lang Ranch and a new business complex on every other empty hillside were all indicators that SOAR's time had come.

I just hope we can keep the quality of life here in the Conejo Valley. SOAR is a step in the right direction.

BRIAN E. FILLMORE, Thousand Oaks

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