Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ’s
ECONOMIC IMPACTS TO CONSIDER WHEN EVALUATING THE CONEJO SPECIFIC PLAN
Traffic – 41,948 daily car trips = Level F: The project’s EIR (Environmental Impact Report), using Caltrans figures, states the traffic on the freeway will reach the worst Level of Service “F” by 2030…even with the alternative lane “improvements” being offered by the developer.
The 101 freeway is our County’s only major north-south transportation corridor. The following developments along the 101 have already been approved, but are still yet to be built:
~ Springville development of 1,440 medium and high density residential units (between Las Posas and Central) generating 21,000 daily car trips
~ Sakioka Farms 400 acre industrial/business development (between Del Norte and Rice Rd) generating 78,000 car trips
~ Wagon Wheel development project of 1,500 residential units (Oxnard Blvd. and 101) generating 10,000-15,000 car trips,
~ River Park development half-built, half-empty (between Vineyard and Oxnard Blvd.) projected to generate another 20,000 daily car trips.
With all this development along our 101 freeway corridor we will achieve and should consider a new level of service designation “G” = Gridlock. It is imperative we consider the economic impact and continual “hassle” of longer employee commutes, delayed deliveries and lost shipping productivity due to constant traffic congestion.
NBVC – Military Influence Area buffer zone: As the #1 employer in Ventura County, Naval Base Ventura County provides 19,000 military and civilian positions and pumps nearly $2 billion into our local economy annually.
Over 300 acres of the The Conejo Creek Specific Plan is within NBVC’s “Military Influence Area (MIA)” This MIA has been identified by the Department of Defense as a critical buffer for protecting the Base from urban encroachment. Noise complaints from new residents within this buffer zone area could reduce the effectiveness and limit the operations of our local NBVC.
The Conejo Creek development would be within 1500 feet of the Pt. Mugu Runway 21 inbound flight path, at the point where the jets rev-up their engines to lower landing gear and make wing adjustments. Over 6,600 new residents (a concentrated 10% increase in our Camarillo population) will have indoor and outdoor conversations and activities interrupted on a regular basis. Just ask the Woodside Greens and Camarillo Springs residents!
However, we can strengthen the Base, in fact be the beneficiary of other Base Realignments and Closures, if the Dept. of Defense is convinced of our long-term commitment to encroachment prevention. Ag land surrounding the NBVC is a win-win situation.
Jobs – Empty buildings don’t create jobs. As a community we are already job heavy and filled with commercial real estate vacancy signs. The 7,500 mostly industrial jobs the Conejo Creek Specific Plan is estimated to create are only viable if a single large, regional employer is found for the industrial “campus” to be sited next to the Conejo Creek.
Housing & Population: In addition, the City of Camarillo has met it’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers through 2021. In fact, the Conejo Creek development would significantly exceed the population forecasts for Camarillo. Even without the Conejo Creek development, the planned cumulative population increase is more than the Southern California Association of Governments projections.
Camarillo Sanitation Facility – A levee already planned and being funded would protect our Sanitation Facility from flooding more immediately: Protection of the Sanitation Facility from flooding has been touted as a community benefit of the Conejo Creek development. However, the widening of the existing creeks and the dredging of the proposed 2 mile long, 300 foot wide, 10 – 20 foot deep bypass channel through areas of riparian habitat and documented species of concern will take years for Army Corps of Engineers application and permitting…leaving the City of Camarillo with a significant storm water runoff liability exposure in the process.
A levee around the Sanitation Facility has been designed and is already being funded with a $2 per month sanitation fee and would protect the Sanitation Facility nearly immediately.
Agriculture – The third largest sector of employment and revenue in our County: In 2010, approximately $1,856,684,000 in farm sales were generated in Ventura County. With this development our local agricultural economy would lose another 740 acres of farmland (Ventura County has been averaging a loss of 550 acres of farmland per year since 1984) further tipping the scales of agricultural viability in Ventura County.
Tourism – The economic engine of the future: With the implementation of the Ventura County Lodging Association’s marketing program to promote tourism within our County, the Conejo Creek development will certainly impact the “first impression” appeal of Ventura County.
According to the EIR, “Because the Specific Plan is located in the eastern gateway to the City via the main travel corridor, U.S. 101, it would also change the perceived character of the City from agricultural to more urban.”
Beautiful open space viewsheds, so increasingly rare in So. California, are a vital component in attracting visitors to our area. Our Camarillo Gateway farmland “view to the sea” as you descend the Conejo Grade is the first scenic open space opportunity to feel “out of town”.
More dense development? It is in our community and in our County’s best interest to evaluate the socio-economic ramifications of this large, dense development. 1,500 of the 2,500 units will be multi-family housing at 18+ units/acre. It is as if the entire (still to be completed) Village at the Park development were to be completely filled with 2 and 3 story apartments and condos.
Our present economic engines and future economic opportunities, not to mention the quality of life that attracts businesses to our area, must be safeguarded and protected.