The city of Ventura has taken a big step to secure its future as a business center for the 21st century.
After a marathon session, the City Council gave preliminary approval for a plan that will eventually lead to the creation of a 55-unit executive housing development called La Viera, preserving some 200 acres for open space and trails.
Los Angeles-based Regent Properties is the developer of the project, which should provide the high-end housing that’s been sorely missing in Ventura for years.
It also will provide much needed construction jobs and a bigger tax base for Ventura to fund municipal operations.
And it gives Ventura the sort of housing that attracts major employers. The city has been losing out to Thousand Oaks and Santa Barbara, which offer better housing alternatives.
The vote in favor of the project at the Nov. 30 meeting is just one next step in a process. Ventura still needs to streamline its process for permitting projects and it needs to pay attention to the housing needs of its middle and professional class.
But the preliminary approval of La Viera is an important move in the direction of a brighter economic future.
Court delays mega-project
The California Supreme Court has given Ventura County a bit longer to weigh the longer-term impacts of the proposed Newhall Ranch mega-project in the Santa Clara River Valley.
A divided court concluded that the current plan by Newhall Land & Farming Co. may not meet environmental standards under AB 32.
Most observers think that the Newhall project will eventually go forward but with changes that better adapt the project to California’s new environmental rules.
The move gives Limoneira an additional window to bring its Gateway housing project to market in Santa Paula.
And it may provide for a better long-term vision for the Santa Clara River Valley, which runs through both Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Congrats to Cal Lutheran
Finally, a shout out to the California Lutheran University women’s volleyball team on bringing home the first NCAA Division III championship in CLU history.
The Regals won their sixth consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title to gain a berth in the NCAA tournament with a No. 9 ranking. Then they knocked off Colorado College and No. 1 Washington University in St. Louis on their way to the championship.
They finished the year 31-5 and earned all 63 first place votes in the final American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
Way to go Regals.