2017-08-11 / Editorials

County takes a look into the future—wants your help

What will Ventura County look like in 2040? Will it have autonomous cars, high-rises or a whole new job sector in an industry that hasn’t been invented yet?

To say the least, foretelling the future is a difficult task, but Ventura County officials have begun collecting information and hearing from residents in an effort to update the county’s general plan in order to better understand what the future holds for its 857,000 (or so) residents.

So what is a general plan? It “represents the community’s view of its future and expresses the community’s development goals,” according the county’s website on the matter, www.vc2040.org.

Last done in 1988 (a fortuitous year for L.A. sports fans), the general plan is required by state law and usually ranges from 15 to 25 years. In essence, it takes a look at where we are and where we’re headed. It aims to outline those things that are of most importance to residents and how they envision the county in the years to come.

The county’s general plan will be broken down into four broad topic areas: • Resources (conservation, open space) • Hazards (noise, safety) • Land Use (land use, housing) • Public Facilities and Services (circulation and traffic)

The county’s existing general plan also has a document that includes the goals, policies and programs for all topic areas. The plan is further subdivided into nine geographic zones from Ojai to Oak Park.

Right now, however, the county is reaching out to residents to hear about their vision for this great swath of California real estate we call home. What do we like? What don’t we like? There are a variety of ways to engage the county and make your voice heard.

“We are excited to make the update process open and accessible to anyone who wants to be involved and share ideas,” according to the county’s website. “The general plan update will help shape the next 20 years of Ventura County’s growth and change. The outcome of the update will have a real impact on the quality of life in the county. Some of the questions we will be addressing include: How can the county enhance public services and infrastructure? Where should new residential and commercial development be located? How will the county deal with its continuing water quality and quantity challenges?”

Big questions, indeed, and well worth asking and discussing.

To learn about where and when public meetings will be held on the general plan update, visit www.vc2040.org.

Crystal balls aren’t required.

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