2015-08-07 / Letters
Council must heed citizens
I attended the City Council Meeting on July 22 where there was a public hearing to consider an urgency ordinance amending water conservation measures because of the drought.
This agenda item took about four hours to complete, and there were 13 developers and their lawyers at this hearing. They pleaded with the City Council not to approve this ordinance.
For me, sitting for four hours was an education. It confirmed for me the power of developers and their lawyers with our city.
As all of us drive through the traffic close to the Springville development, we ask ourselves, “What did the City Council have in mind when they approved this horrific development?”
Who could they have been listening to? It surely was not the residents of Camarillo.
Most of the developers and lawyers who attended this meeting are involved with the Springville development.
Now, with the drought, the city has to take a stand and approve an ordinance that limits more units, including the hundreds planned in Springville as long as there are drought conditions.
Will they listen to the residents or will they be pushed around by developers again?
Please attend the Camarillo City Council meeting on Wed., Aug. 26 to let the council know we are not going to take it anymore.
Harold Hyman Camarillo
Time to halt new development
At the last Camarillo City Council meeting, city staff reported that over 1,600 new housing units are in the pipeline to receive water will-serve letters.
With that new development, Camarillo’s overall water usage is projected to increase 10 percent. Even with a 23 percent conservation reduction achieved by Camarillo residents, this 10 percent increase will mean we do not meet our state-mandated goals for water reduction.
Issuing water will-serve letters to new development will result in greater water restrictions and increased water rates for Camarillo residents.
“Further water reduction measures and severe fines could be imposed by the state if goals aren’t met by next year,” Tom Fox, Camarillo public works director, said at the meeting.
He reports that our community is already losing two trees per week, and with increased water restrictions we would lose a “large percentage” of our urban forest.
Now in a stage 2 water shortage, Camarillo could move to stage 3. Yet the City Council delayed action, directing staff to “work with the developers.”
Working with developers is not fair to the community, and betting on a wet winter is not good policy.
Even when it does rain, most of will run off to the sea. Rain will not make a difference to Wells A and B (two of four city groundwater wells) being impacted by salinity issues.
Gambling on a proposed $50-million desalter pumping from a constrained pool of groundwater good for maybe 25 years will only leave us high and dry in the long run.
Camarillo needs a long-term, sustainable water management plan with input from all stakeholders. The Camarillo Citizens Advisory Board should be included in these discussions. “The people are the city” and we are the ones making the effort to conserve.
We should be the ones being heard.
Merrill Berge Camarillo