By Michael Hernandez
SIMI VALLEY—“Our property rights are being violated,” said Phillip Shiver, a Simi Hills property owner with 120 acres of ranch land adjacent to the ranch property owned by Wayne Fishback. “The government doesn’t have jurisdiction over our private property and how we enjoy it and what we do with our land. The government has the right to make zoning on the land they own, on public land.
“Wayne Fishback was improving his land. Wayne was doing a farming operation and making the mountains usable for wild animals. He did not bring anything onto his land that was illegal. He brought in dirt and some concrete. He has done nothing wrong. He is a political prisoner.
“This is racketeering. They have become land grabbers,” said Shiver, an 82-year-old former Navy man and 11-year Rocketdyne employee, “They are taking away our land one piece at a time. This taking of people’s land is corruption. They are giving fines, requiring taxes and giving penalties and interest. This is land acquisition from landowners. This is very crooked and very corrupt.”
Shiver has lived in Ventura County since 1970 and has his 120-130 acres of land split up in several parcels. He claims he has been fighting Ventura County zoning issues for 40 years.
Shiver’s comments in defense of Wayne Fishback were made Wednesday to the Citizens Journal prior to the Thursday court hearing at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 21 with Superior Court Judge Jeffrey G. Bennett.
Editor’s Note: This is an opinion article.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].
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