Countywide : Easing of Anti-Smog Rules to Be Studied

Ventura County supervisors on Tuesday agreed that the county should consider easing rules that require small businesses to promote ride-sharing and other anti-pollution measures.

Voting unanimously, the board agreed to seek further information on how the county could implement a program allowing businesses with between 50 and 99 employees to skip ride-sharing and instead contribute to a fund to get smog-spewing junk cars off the road.

The proposal was made by Supervisors Vicky Howard and Susan Lacey, who had expressed concerns that the county's 1991 codes were too restrictive on small employers.

The county's Air Pollution Control District is expected to return to the board in two weeks with more details on ways to ease the county's tough ride-sharing ordinance, called Rule 210.

"I don't think we were as wise as Solomon in the way we approached it," said Supervisor Maggie Kildee.

Also on Tuesday, Supervisor John K. Flynn suggested that the board consider other options, such as adopting incentive programs to encourage motorists to stay off the roads during peak hours. He also suggested implementing education programs to inform residents of the county's air-quality problems.

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