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Controversial Ventura hillside development pre-application approved in 4-1 vote

Concerned citizens gathered at City Hall on Nov. 30 to observe the Ventura City Council’s 4-1 vote on Regent Properties’ controversial pre-application. Regent Properties plans to build luxury homes on Ventura’s hillside. The purpose of the pre-application is to present Regent’s concept of development on the hillside to the City Council. If Regent’s pre-application was denied,…
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Foothill Dragon Press

December 9, 2015

Juli Marciel (left) and Ann McDonald (right) oppose Regent's pre-application to build on Ventura's hillsides. Credit: Ryan Moore/The Foothill Dragon Press

Concerned citizens gathered at City Hall on Nov. 30 to observe the Ventura City Council’s 4-1 vote on Regent Properties’ controversial pre-application. Regent Properties plans to build luxury homes on Ventura’s hillside. The purpose of the pre-application is to present Regent’s concept of development on the hillside to the City Council.

If Regent’s pre-application was denied, Regent would have been forced to go back to the drawing board, but since approved, Regent will be able to go on to create a plan with specifics for development on the hillside. Regent’s pre-application presentation consisted of the concept of their development and the six criteria that are required for their pre-application to get approved.

Citizens had varying opinions on Regent’s pre-application.

“I feel the city needs to have higher-end housing for the doctors that are going to come in for the new hospital,” community member Sandra Labe said. Other people came to oppose Regent’s pre-application.

 

 

“I have a lot of issues; one is that it seems like a clear violation of the hillside management program,” community member Scott Fish said. “It’s not going to flow with the community.”

The City Council meeting, as usual, started with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then proceeded with Regent Properties presenting their pre-application.

Once Regent finished their presentation, Council Members asked questions of the Regents representatives for clarification on several parts of their pre-application.

After the Council members finished questioning the Regent representatives, people who filled out speaker cards could voice their opinions on the topic at hand before the City Council members announced their vote on Regent’s pre-application. After the concerned citizens voiced their opinions, the City Council cast their votes.

The pre-application was passed with a supporting vote from Mayor Cheryl Heitmann, Deputy Mayor Erik Nasarenko, Councilmember Neal Andrews and Councilmember Carl E. Morehouse. The only council vote that did not support the pre-application was from Councilmember James L. Monahan.

Councilmembers Christy Weir and Mike Tracy were exempt from voting on the pre-application because of a conflict of interest.

After Councilmember Monahan voted against Regent’s pre-application, he stated his reasoning for voting against it.

“I am in favor of building homes in the hillside where it is permitted, but I’m not in favor of changing our existing plan,” Councilmember Monahan said during discussion.

Regent now is able to create a specific plan that describes where and how they plan to develop the 55 houses proposed in the pre-application. This plan then will undergo an environmental impact survey process that will tell Regent if they need to modify their plan to adhere to regulation.

–Ryan Moore

Background Photo Credit: Ryan Moore/The Foothill Dragon Press

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