Grass Root Groups are Victorious
David really can beat Goliath
Two very important victories for “grass roots” organizations have been in the news this week.
First is the victory for those who were opposed to the Knolls planned residential development in Santa Susana (VC Star, November 13, 2013 “Board kills Knolls development”). The residents had been fighting the development for 10 years. The Ventura County Planning Commission had voted 3-2 to recommend that the board approve the project and County planners also recommended approval. Despite this the Ventura County Board of Supervisors on a vote of 3-2 rejected the development. In voting against the project, Steve Bennett said, “The character of the community will be changed by this project.” Linda Parks and John Zaragoza agreed and also voted against the development.
The second victory was a celebration to mark the 10 year anniversary of the state of California purchasing Ahmanson Ranch and protecting it from proposed development (VC Star November 10, 2013 “Saving Ahmanson Ranch”). The article states, “Saving Ahmanson Ranch, slated for 3,050 homes, 400,000 square feet of commercial space and two golf courses, from development was a true grass-roots effort.”
In the past, we have been successful in fighting two previous proposed developments slated for the Conejo Creek properties. So with our past victories and the Knoll and Ahmanson Ranch successes, we should take heart that these grass-roots movements have and will continue to “beat city hall”.
It has been a very long battle, and we still have a long way to go before the proposed Conejo Creek development comes before the Camarillo City Council, but we can prevail again if we continue to pack City Hall at each and every step. The Environmental Impact Report is now being revised because of the finding of a spawning endangered Steelhead in the Conejo Creek. As soon as the EIR hearings resume we will let you know so we can make the city motto, “The People are the City” a reality.