I would like to commend The Times for its attention to the potential impacts that the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources measures could have on affordable housing in Thousand Oaks and Ventura County. It is time to focus on what ballot box planning measures really do and not be taken in with simplistic answers.
Richard Francis said in an Aug. 19 article that housing wouldn't be a concern if SOAR passed. He said that each SOAR measure contains "an exemption for affordable housing."
What these measures contain are exemptions for low- and very-low-income housing. In Ventura County that means apartments and condominiums. Where are these units to be built? Within existing neighborhoods or would it require changes in zoning in our already-developed communities? How accessible would this measure make housing for most families in the county? Would these measures preserve agriculture but end up hurting the very people who rely on agriculture for their livelihood? Is SOAR another acronym for NIMBY?
As voters we deserve to know all the facts before voting.
* Opponents of the Ventura County SOAR initiative seem to need a lesson in arithmetic, multiplication to be specific.
If each couple has two children then there will be just enough children to replace them and no additional development of farmland is required for their progeny to stay in Ventura County.
If they have more than two children, then they are contributing to an already overpopulated world and deserve no special accommodation from the rest of us.
* Like most residents of Ventura County, I am deeply concerned about preserving our open space, our agriculture and our quality of life.
I am also deeply concerned about what is a very well-meaning but horrific proposition, SOAR. I am writing this to express my views about the impact passage of this proposition would have on our county, our city and our lives.
* The SOAR proposition, in essence, would steal property rights from rightful owners. It denigrates the very freedoms our country was founded on.
* The proposition would be challenged in court. This will be expensive and that cost will be paid by you, the taxpayer.
* Passage of SOAR would allow voters from outside your own area to decide your own fate, both in terms of growth and economics.
* The proposition would place critical decisions in the hands of non-qualified people. This would result in chaotic and mismanaged land use, defeating the very core of what the initiative is attempting to do.
* Passage of SOAR would have a devastating effect on our economy. Jobs would be lost--maybe yours.
* SOAR would be highly inflationary. Passage of the initiative would result in fewer homes and higher prices for existing ones. While this may sound good, no one would be able to afford to buy your home, and without a buyer, you couldn't sell.
I know that our leaders care about our lives as well as their own. They live here too. I know they are not willing to allow development or developers to ruin our beautiful lands. If we, the voters, pass this initiative we will be making a huge mistake.