CAMARILLO, CA – On Tuesday, June 28th, the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA) Board of Directors voted to support the SUSTAIN VC initiative over the proposed SOAR initiative on the November 8, 2016 ballot.
In reviewing the proposed initiatives, VCEDA has considered the potential impacts of each and has determined that SUSTAIN VC provides clear goals and policies that promote the longevity of local agriculture and strengthen this sector of our economy. In comparing the two initiatives, VCEDA believes that SUSTAIN VC will maintain the public’s desire to fight urban sprawl while strengthening policies necessary to sustain agriculture over a 20-year period. Expiring in 2036, SUSTAIN VC has a reasonable time horizon similar to the original countywide SOAR Initiative.
SUSTAIN VC goes further than SOAR in that it:
- Protects agricultural land and ensures that agriculture stays economically viable;
- Promotes water infrastructure and sustainable sources of water for local agriculture;
- Allows 225 acres of agricultural land to be converted to food processing, reducing the amount of local produce being trucked out of the county, creating and keeping thousands of local agriculture jobs;
- Improves and focuses upon the safety of our children by reducing the conflicts where farmland is adjacent to public primary and secondary schools;
- Requires a study to investigate the economic impacts of the measure on middle class housing and rent affordability, job growth, and on traffic due to the need to commute to jobs outside Ventura County.
Agricultural lands comprise over 200,000 acres or 18% of Ventura County. The SUSTAIN VC initiative was written by local farmers who want to keep farming in the County and continue the legacy of their families for future generations.
Equally, SUSTAIN VC has strong protections for open space. The protections for open space built into SUSTAIN VC are exactly the same as SOAR 2050. Over half of the County open-space lands are protected into perpetuity (624,000 acres). Another 20% (230,000 acres) of private open-space lands are subject to strict guidelines that require a public vote for development.
VCEDA is recognized as the regional voice of business on issues affecting the economy in California and Ventura County. Established in 1949, VCEDA is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization recognized as the regional voice of business on issues affecting Ventura County’s economy. VCEDA provides members the advocacy, intelligence, networking and support necessary for success in today’s business climate.
For more information about VCEDA, including upcoming events and membership, contact Info@VCEDA.org or (805) 676 – 1332.