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VENTURA : Stricter Residential Controls Proposed

Planners in Ventura took the first major step Friday toward revising the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance by proposing tighter controls on residential development and a ban on front-yard parking.

These are some of the changes being proposed:

Density reviews would be established for all residences before building permits are issued. The reviews would make it more difficult for developers to build illegal units. Basements that could be easily converted into independent units, for example, would have to be redesigned.

Transitional zones would be abolished. Developers in low-density zones now can build more units than otherwise allowed if the properties are located next to higher-density or commercial zones. This practice is called transitional zoning and is not allowed in the proposed ordinance.

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To maintain open space and privacy in small beach lots, these properties would no longer be allowed to have an accessory structure added to the main building.

The number of units allowed for residences built in commercial areas would be reduced from two units for a 1,600-square-foot lot to one unit.

Parking would not be allowed between a residence and a street, unless it was in a parkway leading to a garage. This provision is designed to prevent placing parking places in the front yard, which planners say has become a common practice in the city.

The draft ordinance will be reviewed by the council in a series of upcoming public study sessions, the first of which will take place April 5 at the Community Meeting room in City Hall.

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After the council’s recommendations are added to the ordinance, a series of public hearings will follow before the final draft is presented to the council for final approval.


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