Consequences to No Limits to Open Space — Our Children Will Pay the Price




By William Hicks

Everyone appreciates our open space. A question not answered by the proponents of SOAR is…when will there be enough open space? So far, I see no limits to how much land can be exchanged from private ownership to public land. One of the common arguments in favor of SOAR is we don’t want “urban sprawl” like the San Fernando Valley. Let’s think on that for a while. Is it urban sprawl when homes went into Porter Ridge, Mulholland Drive and other hillside housing projects or just generally poorly planned neighborhoods that were objectionable? Certainly wildlife wasn’t hampered with Mulholland Drive homes when you consider that the major Alpha-Male Mountain Lion has been roaming through those mountains for years. Closer to home, we have Westlake North, Westlake Village and Dos Vientos projects that have some of their houses on hillsides. Has that negatively affected our lifestyle in the Conejo Valley or improved it?

There are consequences to no limits to open space. One example is the often maligned Thousand Oaks Boulevard project that is planned for multiple use. One aspect to it is the cramped up houses alongside businesses. There’s one way this can be accomplished and that’s to go vertical with common wall attached housing. It’s the only way to accommodate a growing population and still not infringe on our hillsides and open space. That really doesn’t present a future, for generations to come, that is equal to what we have here today. Is that what the citizens of Thousand Oaks, and the greater Ventura County, really want for their children?

Check out the map that shows how much property is already designated as open space. I don’t propose that we reduce this designated property. I suggest that you consider that SOAR has served a useful purpose but extending it to 2050 is being short sighted for future generations needs that may affect your children’s lifestyle.






William Hicks is a long time resident of Newbury Park and is retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District

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