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City Sets Out to Save Hillsides in Simi Valley

Simi Valley officials are drafting an ordinance to protect scenic hillsides that surround the city from overdevelopment, a spokesman for the city’s community development department said Thursday.

The ordinance would ban residential, commercial and industrial development on hillsides with slopes of 20% or more, planner Sam Freed said. A public hearing on the measure is likely to be held by the city’s Planning Commission early next month, he said.

Now in effect is a 1978 ordinance restricting only residential development on hillsides with slopes of 20% or more. But the city’s evolution in the past decade from a sleepy bedroom community into one of Ventura County’s fastest-growing cities spurred officials to draft a more restrictive ordinance, Freed said.

“There is a strong community feeling in the city to protect the hillsides and prevent the ridge line from overdevelopment,” Freed said.

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The ordinance would not govern projects approved before the city updates its general plan in September, Freed said.


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