April 3, 2024
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Lloyd Properties donates 860 acres on Ventura hillsides to conservation trust


Owners of the Lloyd Ranch in Ventura donated 860 acres of agricultural and open space to the Rancho San Buenaventura Conservation Trust.

Gary Brummett, president of Lloyd Properties, said he is proud to partner with the conservation trust to preserve part of the Ventura hillsides, an area that has been eyed by developers for many years.

“It provides a public benefit in perpetuity that preserves open space and recognizes the agricultural heritage of the land,” he said in a news release.

The Lloyd family has a long history in Ventura County. Ralph B. Lloyd helped develop one of the region’s most lucrative oil fields on Ventura Avenue in 1914.

Today, Lloyd Properties owns more than 2,100 acres of land on the Ventura hillsides. Yet, how to handle the Lloyd property and the greater Ventura hillsides has been a contentious issue.

Regent Properties aims to build 55 high-end homes along the hillsides despite prolonged opposition — one of several hillside projects that have been vigorously debated.

“The Rancho San Buenaventura Conservation Trust was established to protect what matters most to the citizens of Ventura County: our quality of life,” Richard Atmore, founder of the Rancho San Buenaventura Conservation Trust, said in a news release. “The trust is grateful to Lloyd Properties for their partnership and donation. Working with Lloyd Properties allows the conservation trust to move forward in meeting its mission and goals, and we look forward to working with a number of other volunteers throughout the community to move these goals forward.”

Atmore started working for the Lloyd Ranch more than 30 years ago, first as a ranch hand then later as land superintendent of the Lloyd Ventura hillside properties.

The Lloyd family also donated what is now Arroyo Verde Park and the Ventura Poinsettia Pavilion.

As farmers get closer to retirement, they are left to weigh the consequences of preserving the land, passing it along to family or selling it to developers.

As more land is protected from development through donation or measures like the Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources initiatives, the supply of developable land diminishes, which artificially inflates the cost of housing, economists argue.

While there are about 11,000 approved housing units in the Ventura County planning pipeline, only a fraction are expected to come to fruition this year.

Only a significant policy change would cause significant numbers of new homes to be built and the probability of that happening is “approximately zero,” said Bill Watkins, head of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at Cal Lutheran University.

“Young people, regardless of educational attainment, will also find home ownership an insurmountable challenge without relocating,” Watkins previously told the Business Times.

• Contact Alex Kacik at akacik@pacbiztimes.com.