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SOAR's Effects to Be Discussed at Forum

August 23, 2000|GAIL DAVIS

Whether SOAR growth-control laws will erase or enhance the county's small-town character as it grows will be the topic at a public forum at 5:30 tonight at Poinsettia Pavilion.

The Sustainability Council of Ventura County, a group promoting conserving natural resources, agricultural land and other county assets, will host "Gauging Our Future," a dinner and discussion of past and current studies of the county's growth.

Public comments gathered at the event will help the nonprofit council fine-tune the study it's conducting with students from Cal State Northridge, said board member Robert Chianese.

In a meeting last fall, study organizers were surprised that many people attending the meeting ranked their communities' neighborhood feeling high among reasons they live in Ventura County, Chianese said.

But many expressed concerns that long commutes and other time-stealers would destroy their quality of life, he said, and some believed SOAR laws could hurt their lifestyles. Officials hope the study will reveal why they think so.

The $22,000 study, paid for by the Hayward-based California Urban Environmental Research and Education Center, will attempt to measure growth's effect on the county, he said.

"That's one big question and we think we can measure it," Chianese said.

Cost is $10. Poinsettia Pavilion is at 3451 Foothill Road. For more information, call 662-2432.

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