GROUP OUT TO BATTLE SPRAWL; SIMI RESIDENTS JOIN COUNTY EFFORT TO PRESERVE OPEN SPACES.Byline: Michael Coit Daily News Staff Writer
Little farmland remains in Simi Valley Simi Valley (sē`mē, sĭm`ē), city (1990 pop. 100,217), Ventura co., SW Calif. in an oil, fruit, and farm region; laid out 1887, inc. 1969. , but there's plenty of open space to save from development, say organizers of a new group affiliated with Save Open-Space and Agricultural Resources.
Simi Valley SOAR was formed this month by residents who have previously spoken against projects in the east county that either threaten to gobble up to capture in a mass or in masses; to capture suddenly.
See also: Gobble land next to east Ventura County's cities, or have already done so.
The new group aims to bolster the countywide SOAR push for an initiative that would require voter approval before lands set aside for open space and agriculture can be rezoned for development. Simi Valley SOAR also plans to seek local voter approval for an urban boundary initiative that would require voter approval before land can be annexed for development, organizers said.
``We're trying to take advantage of the momentum SOAR is creating,'' said Kevin Conville, a steering committee steer·ing committee
A committee that sets agendas and schedules of business, as for a legislative body or other assemblage.
Noun member. ``When we start petitioning in March, we will have both the countywide initiative and the Simi Valley initiative to sign.''
SOAR was formed in Ventura and successfully campaigned for a measure in 1995 that requires voter approval for any amendment to the city's General Plan that would convert agricultural land for some other use.
Similar SOAR groups have formed in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks, residential city (1990 pop. 104,352), Ventura co., S Calif., in a farm area; inc. 1964. Avocados, citrus, vegetables, strawberries, and nursery products are grown. and now Simi Valley, with other groups coming together in Camarillo, Moorpark, and the Santa Rosa Santa Rosa, city, Argentina
Santa Rosa, city (1991 pop. 80,629), capital of La Pampa prov., central Argentina. It is a modern city and road junction surrounded by a rich agricultural and cattle-raising area. and Las Posas valleys, said Steve Bennett The name Steve Bennett refers to more than one person:
The goal is to have a SOAR group in each of the county's 10 cities to seek voter approval for municipal initiatives that would complement the countywide initiative being sought, Bennett said.
``Now is the best time because of the synergy of the countywide initiative,'' Bennett said. ``(Simi Valley is) a big step forward because it's a big city.''
If Simi Valley residents weren't aware of SOAR's countywide effort, many more will be after a recent mailing to some 15,000 residences that included a two-page letter from the group's executive committee and a membership card seeking donations. Also included is a brochure titled, ``You can make Ventura County the first in Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, to Stop Urban Sprawl
Agriculture remains the county's top grossing industry, with about 100,000 acres in crops and orchards and generating more than $1 billion in sales, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Ventura County Agricultural Land Trust, a private nonprofit group established to help farmers hold onto their land.
But the county loses about 1,100 acres of farmland annually, according to a University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States). study. The county's rich soil allows farmers to earn an average of $1,143 for each irrigated acre, according to the same study.
As SOAR proponents push their initiatives, a group of government and business leaders are pushing an alternative.
The Agricultural Policy Agricultural policy describes a set of laws relating to domestic agriculture and imports of foreign agricultural products. Governments usually implement agricultural policies with the goal of achieving a specific outcome in the domestic agricultural product markets. Working Group has proposed scenarios for county growth through the year 2030. Freezing city boundaries and their General Plans would preserve 104,500 acres. On the other extreme, allowing urban expansion would preserve 69,500 acres of farmland.
Conville said Simi Valley SOAR is seeking a necessary alternative.
``There's nothing to keep the city of Simi Valley from annexing land outside its boundary for development,'' he contended. ``This is not a no-growth style initiative. It's a proposal that any development outside the city limits be approved by the residents.''