So the per capita income in Ventura is $32,930, and according to Mr. Hamilton, “Not everyone is at a stage of life when they can move over to homeownership.” What I would like to know is how an income of $32,930 can qualify you to buy a house that is priced over $400,000, and yet they keep building houses with that being about the lowest price?
Managing the numbers
Re: VC Reporter article, April 9, “It’s a numbers game — The devil is in the details regarding Ventura’s proposed housing construction application moratorium.” The article stated the city’s former Residential Growth Management Program (RGMP) allocated 400 residential units per year. This number may be misleading, if not flat-out incorrect.
It is possible that just prior to the RGMP being eliminated in 2005, the allocation number was increased, however for most of its existence the RGMP was a biennial program with housing unit allocations given out every two years with the numeric cap of “up to” 500 units every two years. This would make the yearly allocation approximation only 250 units a year, not 400.
The former RGMP was designed so all economic levels could be served with new housing units. In fact, the former RGMP exempted 100 percent affordable projects from the process. These are the projects that most developers are reluctant to build because profit is driven by market-rate housing rather than affordable housing.
Granted, the RGMP was only a tool, and a tool is only as good as those who use it — but it was created to help manage growth so that natural resources like water and good air quality, as well as necessary infrastructure like sewer, roads, police and fire capacity, would not be overwhelmed by unrestrained growth.
It is a numbers game, but the trick is to manage the numbers in a way that benefits the community.
At the April 15 meeting the City Council voted to support a new growth-management allocation program, and this is good news because we need such a tool. With paced growth we can make planned improvements to inadequate infrastructure, allowing us to properly ingest bite-size pieces rather than doing nothing and choking to death on the whole cow.
So make no mistake, in the long term we need a good growth-management plan in Ventura. However, in the short term, during this unprecedented drought, there is an equally pressing matter — that is: Our existing available water supply is not sufficient to serve our existing residents and businesses.
The Council needs to make the tough decisions on both the long-term and the short-term problems. They are two separate problems. A new growth management program is good and needed, but we also need an immediate water-connection moratorium to survive these severe drought conditions.
In the middle of a prolonged drought, adding 4,000-plus new residential units to a deficit water supply is simply irrational and not in the community’s best interest.