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VENTURA : Council Will Review Policy for Avenue

At the request of property owners who want to upgrade their storefronts, the Ventura City Council has agreed to review a 20-year-old policy for widening Ventura Avenue.

The current plan, conceived about 20 years ago, requires property owners investing more than $2,000 in building modifications to make room for a nine-foot expansion on each side of the street to comply with a decades-old city plan.

The City Council had adopted a plan earlier that called for widening Ventura Avenue from 66 feet to 84 feet between Thompson Boulevard and Vince Street in anticipation of increased traffic.

In October, the city’s transportation committee talked about how the policy might be hurting area businesses and requested that the issue return to the City Council for review.

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“It has been almost 20 years since the last transportation study was completed,” Councilman Jack Tingstrom said Monday. “Maybe we want to change it, maybe we don’t. . . . This is just to say, we want to look at it.”

Ventura Avenue area residents want the city to create an Avenue Specific Plan that would study upgrading the area, including widening sidewalks and improving streets.

“I am in favor of it,” Avenue resident Maxine Culpd told the council Monday. But “this is only one step [toward] some of the things we have hoped for on the Avenue.”


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