Let SOAR Sunset

Do you know what it really says and means?

order arial, abortion sans-serif;”>By William “Bill” Hicks

We all love open space until we’ve become a target of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors.SOARBoundaries

Both those private property owners that are unfortunate to have property contiguous to existing designated open space and those that are in production agriculture that want to modify their property have been targets of county supervisors’ methods of securing even more property designated as open space that once were private property.

Certainly, SOAR (Save Our Open Space and Agricultural Resources) should be redefined as SOS (Save Open Space) because it has little benefit to agricultural private property.

If you have property that is contiguous to designated open space and you want to modify your property, you will likely have to give up some of what is your property in order to get approval for that modification, if you are fortunate enough to get approval at all.

If your land is zoned production agriculture and you want to designate parcels of your property to your heirs, you will likely lose a portion of that property to open space.

If you have property that has hillsides they’re not allowed to be put into production or cultivated in order to save hillsides from development. Even when that property is the best consideration for planting avocados, you will have objection from county supervisors.

The cost of housing in California is some of the highest in the nation. May I suggest that we have enough open space and an inadequate supply of housing that adds to the quotient of supply and demand and the cost of housing?

I doubt that you will find anyone that wants to reduce the current amount of our open space. You will find an advocate of existing open space with me.

But SOAR has been used as a weapon against private property owners. One of the highlights of our nation is a Declaration of Independence that originally was worded “Life, Liberty and Property.” Let’s not lose sight of these words when considering the continuation of SOAR.

As currently written SOAR has wording that is used to deny private property rights in a heavy handed manner. I have witnessed this at County Supervisor meetings in the past. I am by no means contrary to keeping the continuation of SOAR as long as it is modified safeguarding the rights of existing private property owners, both rural and Agricultural.


William “Bill” Hicks
Newbury Park


Bill lives in Newbury Park and follows politics very closely

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