Affordable Housing in Camarillo

By Logan McFadden

The Camarillo City Council met on July 8, 2015. The Municipal Code which currently addresses “bachelor apartments” is being amended to define Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Facilities. An SRO provides affordable housing for residents who do not need or cannot afford a large apartment. The SRO is a small unit from 200 to 400 square feet. The Council members heard a presentation which noted that other communities are establishing similar guidelines. Vice Mayor Mike Morgan expressed that the units would be too small to comfortably accommodate a kitchen, bathroom and bed plus ‘walking around’ space. A young resident spoke during the public hearing and said that an SRO is definitely needed in the community. The motion to amend the Municipal Code failed by a no vote of 3 to 2. The Mayor directed staff to re-consider the SRO amendment to increase the minimum size to 300 square feet for one person and 450 square feet for a maximum of two people. Councilmember Jan McDonald requested that the staff include floorplans showing a space configuration for each of the units. The code change will be discussed and voted upon at a future Council meeting.

During public comments, two residents spoke negatively about the current landscaping guidelines enforced by the City. They specifically requested an increase from a maximum of 50% of an area covered by artificial turf to 100% as an effective solution to water conservation. Drought friendly plants are also included as choices for landscaping. The homeowner must submit a landscaping plan and receive a free permit from the City. Mayor Little stated that following the Council meeting a discussion on landscaping guidelines would convene in the administrative conference room. He invited the two residents to join the discussion.

The Ventura County Civic Alliance presented the 2015 State of the Region Report. The report is a good resource for statistics on a variety of employment, housing and other community information. The report includes statistics on the following:

Agriculture
Voter turnout
Economy
Projected growth
Employment growth
Employment by sector – The county is creating fewer high paying positions
International trade
Earnings by education level
Air quality
Home Ownership
Multifamily housing
Housing affordability
Water usage
Youth smoking
County crime rates
City crime rates
Homelessness

To download a free copy of the report: HERE

Camarillo Council Meeting Archive

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Logan McFadden is a Citizensjournal.us city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District.

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