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    The Road to Tyranny by Don Jans

    Open Letter to the Thousand Oaks Council – Killing Open Space in Our City


    By William Hicks

    I live in Newbury Park and have seen this “Borchard Wetlands.” Although the Army Corps of Engineers has not designated this area as a “wetland,” there are some serious concerns in any attempt to develop this land. This is not a perpetual wetland; at best it is a wetland when we have a generous rain season. At worse, it’s a place where mosquitoes are a vector of disease. In order for this to even come close to be developed for housing of any sort, diverting that seasonal standing water would be its first challenge; maybe not unsurmountable, but a really big challenge. I’m not an engineer, but my guess is that the same developer who put together The Dos Vientos Project may have some answers. The perennial creek that runs through Dos Vientos/Western Newbury Park was effectively rerouted and possibly the same method could reroute the alleged “Borchard Wetlands” to the Baranca on the North side of Newbury Parl/101 Freeway.  This will not be cheap and adding Sacramento regulations of solar panels on any future housing will assure future projects will NOT be affordable. Maybe our City Council can negotiate a way to get that requirement removed in exchange for actual affordable housing. Then there’s the 4X increase in lumber we’re experiencing that could be reduced by opening up Forestry practices that once were used at the quaint little town of Scotia California.

    I’m not a proponent for the overly generous open space policies of both Ventura County and Thousand Oaks. I saw no major loss to my quality of life when Dos Vientos became a part of Newbury Park and I saw no loss of  beauty in Westlake Village when homes were built on hillsides. I have no desire to over develop what now is designated open space, but it should not be the sacred cow in all instances. What I do find acceptable is single family detached wall communities much like I left the San Fernando Valley over 40 years ago to find in Newbury Park.

    Where I do agree with The City Council is that we don’t have to make a 35-50 year GP’s and consider any changes to the GP in smaller bites that can have change orders depending any changes in State Politics. That sounds like the most sober approach to our future as a city. Who Know’s, after a recall election we may not have the same demands we currently are receiving under the current State administration.

    The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.

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

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