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Public’s Right to Decide Land Use

* Re “A Plan and a Price Tag,” Ventura County editorial, Dec. 24.

For more than 150 years, agricultural lands have remained just that, despite passing through many hands via inheritances or sales. The owners farmed or pastured their lands as that was their purpose.

Until a developer looked at it. Or might look at it.

All of a sudden, that land, long agricultural, became something else. It’s not the growers who are “cashing in"--although they do realize much more upon a sale to the land speculators your newspaper is supporting than they had thought their land was worth.

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I don’t hear anyone telling the farmers not to farm, or the cattle raisers not to pasture their animals. The land they purchased or inherited remains available for those purposes.

What’s the problem here? Who are those “other people” whose money you accuse the public of stealing? Do they have some inherent right to pave over their farmland? Is sprawl their right?

Or does the public have the right to keep property zoned at its traditional uses? Does the public not have the right to ensure intelligently planned growth, or no growth, if it so desires?

Do the wants of a few outweigh the needs, the aesthetics and the desires of the many?

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ROGER G. PARISEAU Jr.

Oxnard


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