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CFROG supporter John Davis pens a compelling piece for CounterPunch about how Ventura County is falling far short of truly capturing public input for the General Plan Update. SUBSCRIBE to CFROG emails to stay informed about our efforts to expand public input and ensure Ventura County hears from people in the county who want Environmental Justice and Climate Action to be major parts of land use in the coming decades in Ventura County.
an excerpt - "Since I believe I have been defrauded of my rights to legitimately provide input to the process by a patently specious outreach program conducted as window dressing to the machinations (and low-grade word-smithing) conducted in the vape-filled rooms of the County Planning Commission on a document initially drafted by a planning consultant, I feel empowered to propose a draft of my own five-point Guiding Principles for The People’s Paradise (F.K.A. County) of Ventura."
Read the entire piece on CounterPunch HERE.
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Tomorrow, Thursday, June 8 at 5:30 your Ventura County Planning Commission members will meet for a Work Session to review various draft documents that are laying the foundation of the General Plan Update.
This is an important process for YOU - the public - to get involved with - land use planning governs so much of where we live, work and play. CFROG is monitoring the process in terms of oil and gas activities - we want to see strong, clear and enforceable language in this land use constitution document.
The commission will be asked to review the following documents -
1. Vision & Guiding Principles -
The Commissioners will review the vision and guiding principles as drafted by staff. This draft document was released for public review one week ago and this is the first opportunity for the public to comment on it. HERE is a link to the document on the county GenPlan website.
CFROG will be asking the commissioners to include a strong Environmental Justice principle, which is currently lacking in land use planning policy and we feel is an important component for oil and gas project analysis in the county.
Photo: Rosenmund Drill Site in Oxnard - Environmental Justice issues have not been analyzed for a nearby project in Oxnard - How many oil and gas wells should be added in prime farmland? How many oil and gas wells should be approved next to disadvantaged communities already overburdened by pollution?
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Back on April 14, 2017, CFROG submitted comments to the Draft Background Report. These comments are to ensure the Background report is an accurate "snap shot" of Ventura County in order to establish a baseline as the General Plan Update Process moves forward. Here's an excerpt of our comments...
Keep Our Air Clean!
General plan updates should be watched ! Local Action for Local Impact.
The Ventura County General Plan Update is underway - this is important - conservation minded, those who want more bike paths, folks concerned about Climate Change - should all be paying attention and participating in this public process. CFROG is mobilizing to make sure oil and gas land use/permitting policies put public health and the environment over oil and gas industry interests. The General Plan sets that policy - with this letter CFROG is hoping to activate the Ojai Valley to get involved - and understand what is at stake.
(Letter to the Editor, Kimberly Rivers, CFROG, Exec. Director, Printed Friday, May 19 in the Ojai Valley News)
Longtime Ojai Valley residents can probably recall smog days. Just a couple of decades ago air in the valley on those days was so poor that children were kept inside at school to limit exposure to the toxic air. Thankfully, county planners created air emission rules in the Ventura County General Plan (GenPlan). From Casitas Springs to Upper Ojai, projects that exceed limits (5 lbs./day ROC/NOx) are found to create a significant impact, and an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is triggered. That rule has helped to clean our air. But the Ojai Valley is still in “severe non- attainment” for air quality according to state and federal standards. The 5-lb. rule must be maintained, and actual air emissions from all sources across the county must be reduced.