The proposed development on part of the Ventura hillside has been an issue in the community in the last few months. Last November at the Poinsettia Pavilion, there was a public meeting held by the Ventura City Council discussing whether or not to move forward with development plans.
When the grassroots organization The Neighbors for the Ventura Hillside heard the proposal, they had concerns. According to the organization, the proposal created by Regent, the developers pushing for development of the hillside, had two major problems.
The first was that building on this part of Ventura’s hillside would block existing drainage and the second was that the development would build on almost 50 feet of fill. Fill is dirt used to level out areas so that developments can be built.
Last Monday, a meeting was held at City Hall discussing the pre-application Regent proposed. Regent is pushing for the City Council to approve the pre-application so they can proceed and make an application outlining the exact construction they’re planning to do.
While the Neighbors for the Ventura Hillside is opposed to the development of the hillside, the degree to which they oppose it varies from person to person. Cherie Eulau, a social sciences teacher at Foothill and member of Neighbors for the Ventura Hillside, says that she is not entirely opposed to development on the hillside.
“There are some people in the group who would not like to see any development up there,” Eulau said. As to her own personal opinion on the matter, Eulau says that she would be fine with development happening near places “like where the water tanks are right now,” where the ground has already been leveled.
The goal of the Neighbors for the Ventura Hillside is to convince the City Council to reject Regent’s pre-applications. The pre-application gives a broad idea of what Regent’s plans are for development.
The population of Ventura will not be not voting on this issue. Only members of the City Council will vote on it and two members of this group cannot due to conflict of interest, both living near the area where construction would happen.
Amongst the ranks of the Neighbors for the Ventura Hillside are several Foothill alumni. One alumnus, Spencer Halliwick, has graduated from law school and worked on the petition language for the Neighbors of the Ventura Hillside. The petition created by the organization is to try to convince the city council to reject Regent’s pre-application.
Other alumni such as Kazu Koba ‘15 and Aysen Tan ‘14 have made a video about the specific area in which development is planned. Another Foothill alumnus created the group’s Facebook page.
Awareness around Foothill’s student community is limited.
“I don’t think we know much at all,” Foothill senior Karina Cole said.
“I think that’s good because we have an expanding city, it is important to expand the area that it resides in,” Sean Ward said, a Foothill sophomore.
The various opinion on the Foothill campus reflect the myriad of opinions in the larger Ventura community.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly implied that the proposed development is for above Mint Ln. The proposed development by Regent Properties is on the land above Ventura High School and is by Ventura’s iconic “V”. A map can be found here. A previous photo depicted houses on Aliso Street, a hillside neighborhood, which is not where the current development is proposed. This note was added Sept. 23, 9:16 a.m.”