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MAYOR WANTS GROWTH LIMITS IN HANDS OF VOTERS.

Byline: Enrique Rivero Daily News Staff Writer

Hoping to hand ``the keys of the city's growth'' to the residents, Mayor Andrew Fox is proposing an ordinance giving voters the last word on how big Thousand Oaks will grow.

In a proposal to be discussed Tuesday by the City Council, Fox wants the city to place an ordinance on the November ballot that would require a citywide vote an any General Plan amendments that would push the city's population beyond the 135,000 projected in the plan.

``Any amendment to the General Plan would require a majority vote of the people to increase the population or density past our General Plan guidelines - it's that simple,'' he said Friday. ``That really puts the keys of the city's growth in the hands of the people but doesn't handcuff the City Council every week. It allows the council the ability to make land-use decisions.''

Under the proposal, the council would have to reduce densities and commercial space elsewhere in the city when approving amendments that could create greater population or commercialization than now allowed, or submit the proposed changes to a vote of the people.

The proposal comes partly in response to the Conejo Recreation and Park District's rejection of a council proposal for a joint city, park and county ordinance prohibiting development on parkland without a vote of the people.

Park board members said the city's existing policies are strong and effective and offer enough protection.

The impetus behind the council's latest concerns about growth stemmed from a proposal by Planning Commissioner Linda Parks for a November ballot initiative that would allow voters to consider zone changes involving open space.

Parks - who was spurred by public outcry against the Sport X regional athletic facility proposed by private developers for Conejo Creek Park South - said she doubts current planning laws would allow an ordinance like the one Fox is proposing.

But she praised the mayor for attempting to deal with growth control.

``I'd be surprised if our city attorney would find it legal, but I'm glad that (Fox) wants to show that we need to do something about growth,'' she said.

The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Forum Theatre at the Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 4, 1996
Words:380
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