Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ojai Ridgelines Slated For More Protection

On Tuesday the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation of Supervisor Steve Bennett to extend ridgeline protections to more of the valley’s scenic viewsheds and ridgelines.
"The Ojai Valley’s scenic views are one of the valley’s most precious assets. Over the last few years a number of large homes have been developed in a manner that has not appropriately addressed their visual impact on the valley. This Board action means the county will identify expanded ridgeline areas for protection and craft guidelines that will better blend development into the natural setting,” said Bennett.
Communities with spectacular viewsheds often adopt ordinances to preserve the unique, natural scenery. The results can be seen in Montecito, and along the beautiful Highway 1 drive up the coast to Monterey. While development is still permitted, there are often restrictions that require use of natural colors, place more of the structure off of the most visible ridgeline, and limit grading and road cuts.
The county planning department will begin this effort next fall. There will be public hearings to receive input from valley residents and property owners. The timetable for completion of the new regulations will be determined after the initial review of the planning department is completed in September.

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