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MOORPARK : Planners Support Mixed-Use Zoning

The Moorpark Planning Commission is recommending that the city allow people to live above shops and businesses along High Street.

The proposed mixed-use zoning is meant to invigorate the downtown, increase the number of affordable rental units and reduce traffic.

“In part it’s a functional problem that we’re addressing,” said Michael Wesner, Planning Commission chairman. “To go to work, or to the cleaners or to a grocery store, people have to get in their car. This would be a way to eliminate all those trips.”

The commission voted unanimously to forward the zoning change to the City Council, which will consider it after the city’s Planning Department draws up a new plan for the downtown area.

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Wesner said cities all over the country are adopting mixed-use zoning laws as a way to refocus activity on downtowns that have been hurt by competition from malls.

In addition to the convenience of living, shopping and working in the same area, Wesner said mixed-use zoning had the potential of reducing crime because people would not leave the area after hours, providing a watchful eye on the area where they live.

The Planning Department will spend the next several months drawing up a new specific plan for the city’s downtown, said Jim Aguilera, director of the Community Services Department. The City Council will then decide whether to adopt the mixed-use zoning change, Aguilera said.


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