We are building a local climate movement to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy and grow a local food system. Our vision is just and resilient communities in Ventura County.


350 Ventura County Calls for Strong Climate Action Plan

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Meetings 2nd Thursday of the Month at Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, 5654 Ralston St. in Ventura. Meet and Greet 6:30pm Meeting 7pm

Central Coast Climate Bus Filling Fast!

A bus has been chartered by 350 groups of Ventura County and Santa Barbara for a 24 hour round trip to San Francisco for the CA Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice Day of Action on September 8.  The seats recline and there’s wifi.

The San Francisco Day of Action  is the movement’s response to Gov Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit Sept 12-14. World leaders will pour into SF on the heels of Rise for Climate showing up in force with climate, labor and justice movements united in a message that elected officials must take action.

An historic coalition of justice, labor and climate leaders has the power of diversity, numbers and a creative voice of our collective commitment to climate justice and each other.

Buy tickets here. There is a sliding scale for all income levels. 


The pickup location in Ventura is at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura on Ralston at 11:30 pm next Friday, September 7. Two more stops in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, then north for morning arrival at the Embarcadero in SF. There is a designated bus pickup area at the Civic Center between 3-5 pm. You will know where to show up at the time specified by your bus captain Amber Bassett. You’ll get back to the UU around midnight. Your car is safe in the back parking lot for the day.

Pack your food and drink, including items you can leave on the bus. The chairs recline a lot, but you can bring pillows for your neck and your back, a blanket, hoodie, warm socks, maybe earplugs if you need to withdraw from the vibrant, soul-filled conversation of other returning riders. Pack whatever helps make the ride home more comfortable that you can feel OK leaving with your bus driver for the day. There is plenty of room for walkers and wheelchairs and strollers.

There will be great San Fran food trucks at the Embarcadero and at the end of the march at the Civic Center where a Resource Fair of partner organizations, campaigns, and projects will showcase the work that they do, how they educate people about climate change and just transition, and where people can get involved in art, technology and economic structures for humanity’s regeneration. We all long for knowledge and meaningful activity as we try to intrepret the implications of the climate crisis. There might be connections at the Resource Fair that shape your path forward. That is the purpose of that part of the event. No schwag, just solutions.

Join a never-before-attempted army of street mural painters covering maybe 30,000 sq ft of asphalt encircling the Civic Center with 5,000 paintbrushes and 200 gallons of paint mixed in small pots to be offered to those marchers who want to help finish the mural. Art organizer David Solnit believes it will make the Guinness Book of World Records.  

The march needs us. The mural painting needs us. The moment needs us to step out and shout for climate justice and a fair transition to a safe world. This could be the most inspiring and fun thing you have ever done for yourself.

Thousands have been learning songs from The Peace Poets up and down the coast during the past three weeks. Be with them singing. Click here for Rise Songbook & Lyrics. You need scroll no further down than the wonderful chants from The Peace Poets: The people gonna rise like the water, We’re gonna calm this crisis down. I hear the voice of my great grand-daughter singing ‘Keep It In the Ground’.

Sliding scale charter bus tickets now as low as $5 as well as $20, $50, $85 and $100 in order to fill all 55 seats on the bus.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite at RISE FOR CLIMATE MARCH SAN FRANCISCO:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rise-for-climate-march-san-francisco-tickets-48614002791

If you want to go and there’s an obstacle, ask for help. Arrangements can be made to pay for your ticket if you have cash and no credit card. If you are uneasy going alone we can find a trip buddy!  All generations of riders are needed. Contact Jan Dietrick, jdietrick9@gmail.com or text or phone 805-746-5365.

If you are going?  but NOTon the Central Coast Climate Bus, you are still strongly urged to RSVP ASAP so the organizers can get a count. Driving and public transportation are going to be almost impossible as you get closer to the starting point at the Embarcadero. Let Roadrunner do the driving!

PS Be a climate rider on the bus leaving from Ventura, Santa Barbara or Isla Vista!
PSS Make a tax-deductible donation for 350’s Rise for Climate campaign! 

PLEASE share this page widely! 

Events

Volunteer to Promote CA Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice

Join the team working on Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice goals for a better world by tabling with local RISE organizers. Contact Amber Bassett at enerpiece@gmail.com  or message Amber on Facebook. Join us flyering and tabling at events throughout Ventura County.

Rise Ventura HANDOUT for volunteers is a DIY 4×5 handout that cuts into 4 per page. Print double-sided or the front works by itself or you can put anything else you want to put on the back.

There are different approaches for different personalities and styles for talking to strangers. Some prefer what organizers call “Tabling”.

This is called ‘Tabling’.

This is ‘Flyering’.

Some have an easy time just walking through crowds smiling and handing a flyer, i.e. “Flyering”.

These girls are ‘Canvasing’ to engage people on the street.

People who want to stretch their limits will ask permission to stand outside of public places and do “Canvassing” with or without a petition, clipboard for signups, or a hat for donations.

Whatever way someone is able to participate, it will likely leave lifetime memories about these historic events and bring new friends, support, inspiration and understanding about what the present human condition is asking of us.

Front of 4×5 Handout                                                                                           Back of Handout

 

Here is the PDF Master for making copies to cut into four handouts to give to friends, family members, coworkers and neighbors, or people standing in line at the cash register:

Rise Ventura HANDOUT for volunteers

Events Take Action Volunteer

Bus with Us to San Francisco’s March for Climate Jobs & Justice

CHARTER BUS TO SAN FRANCISCO FOR RISE FOR CLIMATE MARCH SEPTEMBER 8

Two comfortable Charter Buses are reserved for a 24 Hour round trip from Ventura to San Francisco. Help make this the biggest climate action in history on the West Coast and have an unforgettable time.

Take part in street art, music, chants and merriment. Sliding scale charter bus tickets: $20, $50, $85 and $100. TICKETS AVAILABLE ON EVENTBRITE PAGE: RISE FOR CLIMATE MARCH SAN FRANCISCO: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rise-for-climate-march-san-francisco-tickets-48614002791

This march powers the demand for a just, equitable and a resilient 100% renewable energy economy that rapidly expands economic opportunity, creates family sustaining jobs, and protects vulnerable communities, workers, and future generations.

Depart from Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura on Ralston 12:30 AM. Leave from San Francisco around 4 pm and get back to Ventura late that night, i.e. early early on Sunday, Sep 9, 2018, around 12:30 AM.

Buy tickets herehttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/rise-for-climate-march-san-francisco-tickets-48614002791

Come to the RISE ART FOR CLIMATE tour stop on August 25 to make signs, banner flags and be part of the team that will lay out a street mural representing Ventura and its rise from the disaster of the Thomas Fire that we want to be part of the street murals to be painted on September 8.

Events

Art Making & Concert with David & The Peace Poets on Tour

350 Artivist Director David Solnit is leading art-builds in CA cities to prepare for the Rise for Climate March in San Franciso, September 8.

 

RISE ARTS WITH DAVID & THE PEACE POETS AT THE BUGFARM IN THE OILFIELD
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25, 3-9 PM AT THE BUGFARM IN THE OILFIELD, 108 ORCHARD DR, VENTURA

In this 12 minute video reknowned artivist David Solnit explains why art helps the climate movement and how he works with groups to tell their stories with art:  https://www.stencilarchive.org/node/1632

VENTURA RISE ARTS PROGRAM

3-5 pm RISE ARTS training and production of signs and banners with David Solnit on tour (all materials provided!)
5 pm David will teach us how to make a street mural to bring to San Francisco for the big March on September 8
Bring some snack of supper supper, OR, bring something to share for potluck buffet with your plate and fork; we’ll at least have beans, rice, & homemade kombucha and lemonade for all.
7:30-9 pm The Peace Poets on tour for RISE ARTS will do an outdoor concert preparing us with songs and chants about rising for climate, jobs and justice.

The Peace Poets on RISE Arts for Climate California Tour will stop in Ventura and Isla Vista on August 25 and 26.

YOU CAN HELP THE RISE FOR CLIMATE CAMPAIGN

  1. RSVP and SHARE at the FACEBOOK page:  ART BUILDS FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE AND A BETTER WORLD
  2. BRING FRIENDS!
  3. VOLUNTEER AT THE RISE ARTS EVENT: We need help directing people to parking, greeting and explaining what’s happening where on the property, maintaining the refreshment room, hanging out with The Peace Poets, helping David with the sign making.
  4. BUY YOUR TICKET ON CHARTER BUS TO SAN FRANCISCO HERE: Sliding scale round trip tickets from $20 to $100.
  5. VOLUNTEER FOR THE BUS RIDE by email to Bus Captain Amber Bassett at enerpiece@gmail.com.
  6. Be part of the Ventura Rise Arts Street Mural Team. Be trained with the team how to literally hit the ground with chalk to layout a design that tells our story.

The purpose of the RISE ARTS CALIFORNIA TOUR is to mobilize for the historic Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice March in SF. Stopping Ventura on 8/25 and in Isla Vista on 8/26 touring artivists will lead sign, flag and banner-making (all materials provided) and how to plan, coordinate, and paint a street mural in preparation for helping paint the world’s largest street mural in SF on 9/8. Touring with long-time artivist from the Bay Area David Solnit are The Peace Poets, the foremost grassroots movement song group from the Bronx, NY, with roots in the immigrant rights movement, sharing and teaching their mix of singing, hip hop, and spoken word for a better world.

If you can’t make the Art-Maker Event, here is a Rise Arts Toolkit with design ideas for DIY signs and flags for YOU  to bring to San Francisco to March for Climate Jobs and Justice on Sept 8. https://riseforclimate.org/rise-art/

The Ventura street mural training will be in The Bugfarm parking lot next to the oil well just across the bike trail. The Peace Poets will perform a little later in the driveway down from where the mural layout activity. Parking is therefore limited near The Bugfarm.

Here’s David painting a street mural with friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Events

Contact Your State Legislators on These Three Bills

YES ON #SB100 

100 PERCENT CLEAN ENERGY FOR CALIFORNIA

This bill moves the state to 100 percent renewable and carbon free power by 2045. Click here to learn more and sign Climate Hawks Vote petition: http://act.climatehawksvote.com/sb100
It is also easy to make calls to your legislators offices from the Sierra Club’s webpage:  https://www.sierraclub.org/my-generation/make-call-and-tell-your-ca-state-rep-pass-sb100

NO on AB 813 that would regionalize the grid

This bill favors the big energy generators and not local control of clean energy.

This is similar to what some folks pushed on California in the 1990’s, when Enron took advantage of the speculative energy market which cost California millions of dollars. This bill will see energy jobs leave California which working class unions strongly oppose.  California would import dirty energy like coal power from neighboring states. The bill would cede local control of CAISO (California Independent System Operator) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and once done cannot be un-done.

Former Chair of the PUC Loretta Lynch has been explaining dire warnings about the state losing control of the grid operating system to FERC especially at a time when those commissioners are appointed by the president. Experts have explained to us that there is no market advantage in this proposal that we do not already have.

Explanation from 350 San Diego why we don’t want this bill:  https://sandiego350.org/public-policy-team/oppose-ab-726-ab-813-regionalgrid/
Those in Senator Henry Stern’s district, go to his site, and tell him why he needs to change his mind. His yes vote in Judiciary Committee was unnecessary and unwise.
For Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson’s, constituents, go to her site and let her know we appreciate her wisdom and courage to vote NO even though she had to cross Governor Brown.

NO on SB  237 that would harm viability of Community Choice Energy

This bill would allow any commercial or industrial business to get their electricity from Direct Access providers with no requirement that the electricity be renewable.  This could cause mass defection from CCAs as C&I customers seek the cheapest available electricity.  The CCAs would be left with stranded power procurement contracts that could bankrupt them.  This gut and amend bill from Sen. Hertzberg would kill existing CCAs in California.   Let your legislators know this is a NO, especially Senator Stern and Assembly Member Irwin.

Events

Our Comment to ARB on its 2030 Plan for Carbon Sequestration

Dear Shelby Livingston:

The California 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan Concept Paper has many elements right, but the way it prioritizes its proposed responses is way off.

Climate change has revealed itself to be an existential crisis with each new season of natural disasters and record high temperatures. Resilience works only for those with the resources to be resilient. To preserve California for all and for California do its part in the global response, we must focus our energies on mitigating the changes to our climate.

The paper does not even refer to the possibility of returning atmospheric CO2 to 350 ppm, and lacks a sense of urgency about the need to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentration. We are living in a world today that is on the brink; the “multi-benefits” referred to in the concept paper will be meaningless if we no longer have a livable planet. For a plan to move us in the right direction, it must go past economic benefits and focus on ecological benefits and make climate benefits paramount. Building up water holding capacity and productivity, increasing tree canopy in neighborhoods for better quality of life, as well as the immense benefits of supporting biodiversity and species conservation, are all secondary to GHG reductions and biological carbon sequestration.

Regarding the plan’s approach to farmland, the suggested actions omit the benefits of providing incentives as well as an immediate tax on methane emissions for farmers to reduce the practice of animal agriculture and to move toward increased plant [output] production for direct human consumption. There also must be a tax on chemical fertilizer and tillage activity related to its release of CO2 from the soil. A public education campaign regarding climate benefits of plant-based diets is relevant to how our working lands can be used to feed more people. This needs to be included in the plan, as decreasing animal agriculture will provide parallel benefits of reduced animal GHG production and reduced pollution of land and water from animal waste.

Methane emissions are not addressed with the urgency required to avert catastrophic runaway global warming. We call on ARB once again to use the best science when calculating methane’s Global Warming Potential, i.e. the 20-year interval GWP of 84. Animal agriculture contributes roughly half of California’s methane emissions including almost 2 billion lbs. per year associated with dairy and livestock, equal to the GHG emissions from 19 coal-fired power plants and representing in just 2015 a contribution of 0.0033 degrees C to the warming of the entire planet. Please start doing the correct math for methane emissions as part of ensuring that this plan have an overriding priority on sufficient, accurate, transparent measuring and monitoring tools for goals and targets that will reduce all GHG emissions and draw down COto 350 parts per million by 2050, the goal that we believe is essential to restore the world’s climate.

 

As residents of Ventura County, California’s most drought affected area, 350 Ventura County sees that it will be essential to highlight the intersection of water conservation and storm water management with biological carbon sequestration and cooling, (as well as for resilience to protect from drought and floods.) Avoidance of extreme drought and flood is not the only goal of climate action, much better water planning and management is a prerequisite for carbon sequestration and restoration of small water cycles (Water for the Recovery of the Climate A New Water Paradigm; Michal Kravcik).

And the people of California need to understand and embrace this work. To that end, it will be essential to use all marketing tools available to educate and engage the public about both emissions reduction and biological carbon sequestration, as well as the benefits of a plant-based diet and reduced food waste. A budget must be included to communicate climate mitigation goals and targets to all residents, and offers exemplary actions that will make the biggest difference for both individuals and groups in all levels of society.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this concept paper.

Sincerely,

350 Ventura County Climate Hub

Read the 17 page Concept Paper for CA 2030 Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Implementation Plan and other background on their process for development of this policy:  Natural and Working Lands Sector.

Here is a recording the workshop on May 19 about the Implementation Plan:

https://fte.water.ca.gov/owncloud/index.php/s/CkgdDxWX7QObxF0

Events

Climate Action Policy Cover Letter from 41 Co-Signers

Numerous signers of the following cover letter were among over 110 attendees at the Ventura College Climate Action Summit on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 to hear Dr. Omar Clay present the latest science about climate change. A panel reported on local action. Kimberly Rivers, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas (CFROG) encouraged people to tell Ventura County what they want in the General Plan Update and Climate Action Plan. There was serious discussion about the most important policies to be advocating.

 

April 12, 2018 (signatures updated to 41)

Dear Ventura County Supervisors and Planning Commissioners,

The 350 Ventura County Climate Hub submits policy suggestions for the Climate Action Plan and intersecting chapters covering water, wastewater, storm water, housing, transportation and environmental justice.  Our scope follows the CARB Scoping Plan to achieve the state’s climate goals.

Our first guiding principle is to aim to do our part to achieve a stable climate. We ultimately demand that there be accountability for climate action toward goals supported by science, i.e. beyond the political goals provided in the VC2040 GPU Background Document.  Simply put, carbon dioxide levels must be restored to 350 parts per million. Global desertification with the reduction in small local rainwater cycles must be reversed to aid in sequestering legacy carbon currently in the atmosphere and ocean and to halt the spread of mass migration.

Our second guiding principle is that we can’t set goals without baselines provided by a comprehensive, reliable inventory of our emissions and our carbon sequestration capacity.  The county’s “Climate on the Move” is a good start in assembling data regarding current inventories produced by local jurisdictions. The assembled inventories need further work before we can develop what we believe is the most cost-effective mix of measurable goals and targets.

We know with certainty, however, that the GHG emissions from tailpipes must be drastically reduced to meet legally binding state targets.  California must achieve a 32 per cent reduction in per-capita driving by 2030 (relative to 2005) if we are to meet our responsibilities to stabilize the climate.  A big part of the needed reduction will need to come from car-parking reform. The first step should be a simplified demonstration project of a Dividend-Account Parking System at county employee parking lots. This project would educate owners of parking lots concerning this potent measure to incentivize decreased driving.

A second urgent issue is the water shortage. Our input to the Water Chapter is cross-referenced in the Emissions and Carbon Sequestration sections of the Climate Chapter.  At the Planning Department’s Water Focus Group on March 19, water district leaders were looking for wide latitude in terms of strategies, but much stronger county leadership to help them plan for the worst case scenario. This scenario, obviously, is that there isn’t enough state water in the long term to share with Ventura County.

The water shortage is vital from a climate action perspective.  Beyond our biological and economic need for water and for field supported tiered rates is the need to collectively achieve greater conservation.  We want to point out this fundamental reality: we cannot sequester carbon or contribute to a reduction of extreme surface temperatures and flooding without very different county management of rainfall and irrigation. Therefore, we ask that you read our suggestions for the Water Chapter with an open mind. These policy suggestions need much more research and discussion; however, they help us imagine the kind of paradigm shifts that we envision, such as wastewater recycling for potable use; building codes that allow dry toilets and increased greywater use; upland restoration of small water cycles; and regenerative farm practices that simultaneously hold water and carbon.

These examples of policy for various systems–parking, wastewater, storm water, and biological agricultural–illustrate what we believe are three overarching principles:

  • Inconvenience. Some powerful strategies require radical changes in behavior—many may say ‘inconvenience’. Many of our suggestions are in this category.
  • Reversals of policy and practice. Some essential strategies require the reversal of certain long established zoning patterns, ordinances, codes and accepted practice.
  • County leadership for broad community engagement and involvement. The most powerful strategies require a radical new level of community engagement. For example, we heard a county water management staff person say that the restoration of small water cycles in the uplands that we propose can only be “done by the grassroots”. So be it. We must have county leadership to mobilize the grassroots! That must be the motivating spirit of the Climate Action Plan.

We have heard Supervisor Bennett say on more than one occasion how unique this county is—the mix of geographic features and social identity can be leveraged to accomplish visionary policy not possible in most localities. Despite some friction on some issues, there is a framework and a tendency for the cities to look to the leadership of the county.

Ventura County’s size and diversity of ecosystems gives it potential as a model for demonstrating how to reduce emissions and sequester carbon by expanding soil-carbon sponges in urban, agricultural, and open spaces.  You will see in the Carbon Sequestration section of our policy input Goal A referencing the CA Department of Conservation “Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment Tool” (to be completed during 2018 for use by all counties). The team testing the tool in Merced County has offered to present it to us. We would like to collaborate with the Planning Department and any other interested organizations on such a workshop on mapping and carbon sequestration tracking, as well as the relationship between the Water Management Plan and a Carbon Sequestration Plan.  We also want to work with the Planning Department on a workshop about parking policy to reduce per capita driving.

To conclude, county leadership at an entirely new level is necessary to achieve the VC2040 vision and guiding principles along with a scientifically and legally defensible Climate Action Plan integrated into the General Plan. That leadership must involve the cities, the water districts, and other institutions. It must engage the people and the youth in climate action now, not starting in 2020, to address the monumental intergenerational injustice of global warming.

Our work over five years building a climate action coalition is expressed with this illustration of potentially radical and inconvenient, but necessarily transformative policies that require your leadership. We pledge to continue to examine policy options among all stakeholders*.

Signed:

Jan Dietrick, Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub; Group Leader Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Ventura

Kitty Merrill, Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub; Chair 7PEAT Committee, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura

Cindy Piester, Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub; peace and climate activist, Ventura

Todd Shuman, Senior Analyst, Wasteful and Unreasonable Methane Uprising; Coordinating Team,  350 Ventura County Climate Hub, Camarillo

Sigrid Wright, CEO/Executive Director, Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara

Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions

Susan Cousineau, Ecologist and research lead for Slow Food Ventura County, Camarillo

Pat Browne, Nurse and Community Garden Organizer, Camarillo

Michelle Nosco, Executive Director, Arts for Earth Foundation, Ventura

Michelle Ellison, Clean Energy Advocate, Ojai

Ron Whitehurst, PCA, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries; Chairman of the Board, Ventura Food Coop; Coordinating Team 350 Ventura County Climate Hub, Ventura

Vicki Paul, Citizens’ Climate Lobby and CCL Mentor to Pacific Island Territories, Ventura

Faith Grant, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Thousand Oaks

Tom Seigner, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Thousand Oaks

Arturo Guido, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Oxnard

Adam Vega, Community Organizer, CAUSE; Californians for Pesticide Reform; The Abundant Table, Camarillo

Kristofer Young, DC, Functional Medicine Chiropractor, Ventura Chiropractic & Massage

Ally Gialketsis, Food Recovery and Hunger Relief Activist, Ojai Valley

Jeannette Welling, Climate Activist, Thousand Oaks

Diana H Goodrow, Ventura County Coordinator, WIN/CAWA, Oak View

Carol Gravelle, Clean Energy Advocate and Graphic Designer, Camarillo

Steve Sprinkel, Ecological Farming Association Board Member; President, Ojai Center for Regenerative Agriculture

John W. Roulac, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer Nutiva; Co-producer Kiss the Ground Film

Janet Murphy, Climate Activist, Moorpark

Robert Jefferson, Small Business Owner, Thermo Tools Vacuum Forming and Fabrication, Ventura

Kristin Storey, Educator in Oxnard, resident of Ojai

Mary Olson, Peace and Climate Activist, Ventura

Carol Vesecky, Carbon Grower and Director, Biointensive for Russia, Ojai Valley

Tim Nafziger, Oak View

Kathy Bremer, Ventura

Anthony Krzywicki, Co-Coordinator, Green Party of Ventura County

Brett Levin, Masters of Environmental Management Candidate, 2019, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Vickie Peters, Member Ojai Valley Green Coalition, Ojai

Mike Bullock, Statewide Climate-Transportation Activist, Oceanside

Noah William Aist, 15 year old college student and bicycle commuter

Patty Pagaling, Director, Transition to Organics Ojai

Pat Browne, Nurse; Community Garden Leader, Camarillo

Tomás Morales Rebecchi, Organizer with Food and Water Watch, Board Member Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas

Jackson Piper, Urban Planner, residing in Newbury Park

Alan Weiner, Group Leader 350 Conejo Valley

Emmma Aist, 17 year old Community College Student and Apprentice Biodynamic Chicken & Veggie Farmer; Ventura

Christopher Ball, Biological Pest Control Technician, Ventura

Elizabeth Garcia, Biological Pest Control Technician , Oxnard

Ventura Land Trust, Executive Director, Derek Poultney

 

(Signatories to this letter do not necessarily endorse every specific recommendation that is being submitted. Greater consensus will be achieved over the coming months.)

Events

Suggested Policies for Housing Chapter VC General Plan Update

Suggested Policies for Housing Chapter of Ventura County General Plan Update 

These policy suggestions focus on serious justice issues regarding homelessness, lack of available affordable housing, and the intersection with water and climate policy and implications for 'community character'. We sought input from several design experts and a dozen advocates for the homeless and homeless people, but we have not had time to consult enough to say these represent more than our research. We do not intend that these suggestions conflict with the policy recommendations of the Ventura County Task Force on Housing or the organization Housing for All. They are a draft that we want to share because we did considerable work on it and we think there are some very important observations. Compiled by Jan Dietrick, Cindy Piester, with help of Kari Aist


GOAL A – Provide shelter for the homeless

 

 

 

POLICIES

  1. Call for State Declaration of Emergency on the county’s homeless crisis.  Urge the Governor to declare the homeless crisis a state of emergency and ask for a concerted effort and resources to tackle this crisis in an effective manner.
  2. Fairness to those evicted. Survey discriminatory eviction practices and allow those evicted legal representation in court.
  3. Immediately and urgently establish four campgrounds, one in each of the four major geographic areas of Oxnard, Ventura, Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley, and Santa Clara Valley, no more than two miles from public transit corridors for immediate, unqualified use by homeless people and provide needed social services including at least one nutritious meal daily in an included community dining tent, and with provisions adequate to provide enough to eat for every individual present at the campground.
  4. Container homes. Fast track the development of a community of small container homes in each of the four major geographic areas of Oxnard, Ventura, Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley, and Santa Clara Valley, no more than two miles from public transit corridors, to provide immediate, unqualified transitional shelter for homeless people using a Housing First model to ensure shelter and then needed social services with a community garden and a small container kitchen for the provision of nutritious vegan food featuring locally and regeneratively grown produce.
  5. Small backyard houses. Assist homeowners to build small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, if they agree to host a homeless person or family.
  6. Community land trusts. Support groups working to acquire successor parcels from development corporations to build collective housing that may include community gardens and other shared resources.
  7. Mentally ill homeless. Work with appropriate service providers to establish full time housing for those who are mentally ill.
  8. Mental Health Triage Services by the RISE program should include immediate housing assistance. RISE teams will be adequately staffed and supported to ensure housing for all homeless people as part of their case management.
  9. Continuum of Care by cities.  Help to ensure a continuum of care and particularly assist City of Ventura to provide full time year round permanent shelter to house the homeless.
    Prohibit criminalizing the mentally ill. Work with Criminal Justice System and Mental Health Services System to stop criminalizing the actions of the mentally ill.  Join with Ventura Court Superior Judge Ryan Wright and the California State Judges Association, in calling on the State of California to provide adequate beds in California’s State Hospital system rather than allowing the mentally ill to languish in jails.
  10. Citizen Oversight Committee. Create a Citizen Oversight Committee outside of the Sheriff’s Department to receive and review reports of harassment or other mistreatment of mentally ill and homeless people by law enforcement.

PROGRAMS

Housing First. A program in Utah demonstrated that public provision of free housing for the homeless is less expensive than the provision of services.The idea of Housing First is that housing comes first, services later. HUD estimates the annual cost of services for the homeless as between $30,000 and $50,000 per person. Housing costs a lot less than providing services. https://www.npr.org/2015/12/10/459100751/utah-reduced-chronic-homelessness-by-91-percent-heres-how

RISE delivers the county’s mental health triage services to connect services to people who had traditionally fallen through the cracks, including service-resistant and homeless populations. It does crisis prevention and crisis resolution services for lower level crises and coordinates with crisis teams for moderate to severe crisis response. RISE teams are assigned to each of the four major geographical regions – Oxnard, Ventura, Thousand Oaks/Simi Valley, and Santa Clara Valley and seek out clients where they live or congregate including shelters, community centers, libraries, parks, etc. in close partnerships with community service organizations, faith-based centers, and law enforcement in each region to maximize the effectiveness of outreach and engagement efforts. Rapid Response Assessment Teams staffed by Behavioral Health Clinicians are available to the East and West County to provide “quick strike.” Coordinators dedicated to homeless clients have been assigned to the two largest regional outpatient clinics in Ventura and Oxnard to ensure that the particular needs of these clients are addressed after they commence outpatient services.

JUSTIFICATION

Urgency is required to house the homeless. The increasing numbers of displaced homeless people (including the mentally ill homeless) and the lack of ongoing resources to stably re-house them require immediate and extraordinary action. There is no low income housing available, which necessitates the provision of campgrounds and container home communities that can be established immediately.

Criminalization of the mentally ill, who now fill our jails and prisons, began with the debacle of deinstitutionalization and is felt more than anywhere in our criminal justice system. With the closure of California’s State Hospitals, the cost shifting of care and treatment of vulnerable mentally ill populations to the counties, and the roadblocks to hospital admission by those who have been charged with crimes (even though the primary offense is mental illness) has resulted in the Counties carrying an unfair burden that should be borne by the State. http://correctionalnews.com/2017/08/29/ventura-county-jail-expansion-aid-mentally-ill-inmates/

 

GOAL B: Affordable housing for all.

POLICIES

  1. Housing Stock Occupancy Survey Do an in-depth survey to better understand and mitigate housing affordability and associated zoning issues
  2. Rent and Income Survey Conduct weighted surveys of rent and income in conjunction with the above Housing Stock Occupancy Survey that reveal how many adults are living in rental units in order to be able to afford the average rent and determine what percent of personal and family income is required for rental housing to understand how rent is calculated for workers trying to survive. Find out how housing stock is purposed, who is benefiting and who is suffering as a result.
    Revise formula for Base Rent and how the policy is applied. To ensure equity and fairness across the county, examine the formula for determining Base Rent and the tax linkage for Investor/Owners who benefit from the Low Income Housing Credit Program.
  3. Keep our housed population housed. Develop strategies that address critical affordability factors and homeless prevention.
  4. People with no income need a place to live. Stop just lowering the income limit that does not actually help the very poor who consequently remain homeless.

JUSTIFICATION

Ventura County critically needs affordable safe housing by people of all income levels including those with zero income as well as those in the lower middle income range between $30,000 and $60,000 a year.  Housing here is a major justice issue, particularly for our disadvantaged communities.

An in-depth Housing Stock Occupancy Survey can be done in cooperation with all elected officials, perhaps aided by data from sources such as the census and Air BnB, to more accurately determine true vacancy rates.  It is not clear, currently, what percentage of housing stock is actually owner occupied. Nor is it clear what percentage is investor owned and either sitting vacant as an investment or used as high end vacation rental property rather than for its properly zoned use as residential housing stock.  The increase of high end investors profiting from our resources and directly impacting housing affordability puts budgetary stresses not just on residents, but also on the county and municipalities as they struggle to provide affordable housing without impacting farmland and density issues.

Vacancy rate surveys are currently done through a sample portion of the whole inventory and only with landlords who choose to participate, so there is no actual way to show that a significant number of housing units are sitting unoccupied for the purpose of profit investment and/or vacation rentals rather than for intended zoned purpose of residential housing.

Low vacancy rates stimulate the demand for expensive tax credit housing and regular market rate construction and also justify high rental and for sale prices which inflates affordability factors for ordinary working families, forcing them out of the area or leaving them at greater risk of homelessness. It is clear that investors stand to benefit by withholding inventory while the unnecessary and unreasonable burden this places on residents is ignored. This may explain Ventura County’s economic stagnation if adults are spending their money on rent and have no money left to buy goods and services.

The Base Rent Policy for a property is currently determined based upon the median income for the metropolitan Ventura County which is adjusted annually by HUD. This puts low income renters living in Oxnard and lower income areas at a tremendous and continuous disadvantage. Their base rate is determined and is frequently raised on the basis of the higher income wage earners, such as in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. This is not equitable or fair.

GOAL C: Publicly fund low-income housing as necessary to fully meet the need.   

POLICIES

  1. Affordable housing ordinances. Adopt ordinances designed to increase the local stock of affordable housing, to ensure economically diverse housing developments to fully meet needs.
  2. Enforce 15-percent inclusionary requirement of affordable to lower- or moderate-income housing. Establish a formal policy of a 15-percent inclusionary requirement of affordable to lower- or moderate-income housing for all new developments of 15 units or more, rather than the payment of a fee in-lieu of meeting this requirement which the Board of Supervisors now allows on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Support mixed developments with enough low-income housing. Encourage mixed development to include units to address the need of low, very low, and extremely low income people near where people work; help ensure design and permitting to protect them from frivolous CEQA lawsuits lodged by wealthy interests.
  4. Public funding for housing. County will obtain the land and financing, then build and manage housing to fill the need for low, very low and extremely low income people.

JUSTIFICATION

Developers do not appear to be coming in with projects providing enough low income housing.

 

GOAL D: Ensure sufficient new and renovated housing near transit corridors and jobs to help workers make ends meet and to reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled.

POLICIES

  1. Eliminate side and front yard setbacks, so housing can be built to the sidewalk to use lots more efficiently.
  2. Commerce in residential areas. Allow markets, restaurants, and other neighborhood businesses to locate along major roads in residential areas.
  3. Mixed housing in shopping centers. Allow parking spaces in shopping centers to be converted to mixed housing that may be 3-5 stories and have elevators.
  4. Residential and commercial redevelopment on abandoned Zone M parcels. Encourage high-density redevelopment of “brownfields” or abandoned industrial land that is compatible with existing or expanded industrial activity.
  5. Priority of transit over roadways. Protect and increase transit service as a higher priority over building roadways and do not build roads out ahead of development.
  6. Enhance bikeways and footpaths. Encourage non-automobile travel through continuous feedback to meet needs of bicyclists and pedestrians.

 

GOAL E – Zoning will support housing in proximity to jobs and services

POLICIES

  1. Housing near job centers. Encourage developers to build housing near job centers to reduce vehicle miles traveled.
  2. Incentivize mixed-use development. Offer bonuses to developers that result in a diversity of housing units to address the needs of people who want to work and live in a local community.
  3. Farmworkers prefer housing in communities, not in buffer zones. No building of farmworker housing to be allowed in buffer zones.  Prioritize new housing is built as infill and not on agricultural land, open space, or near polluting agricultural or industrial activity.
  4. Expand opportunities for residences co-located in commercial and industrial properties. Allow reasonable introduction or expansion of caretaker residence dwelling and needed employee housing on land zoned for commercial and industrial.

GOAL F – Eliminate blanket restrictions for height, square foot, layout, offsets, or functionality of buildings.

POLICIES

  1. Green Building Committee. Create a consultative body to develop policies that apply the latest knowledge and best practices to maximize energy and water efficiency and minimize pollution in communities.
  2. Education and engagement of neighborhood groups. Work with existing residents and neighborhood groups to learn about the benefits of situating development near transit, stores and services and to express how various options meet their needs.
  3. Taller buildings allowed that include elevators. Allow 3-6 story buildings in transit corridors with complete streets and mixed use to reduce use of cars and make sure that buildings have elevators for accomodation of mobility impaired people.
  4. Variety of housing types. Promote diversity by including a variety of housing types, unit sizes, rents and prices.
  5. Eliminate minimum off-street parking requirements. Establish minimum requirements with maximum parking spaces allows, and restrict single level parking facilities on grade.
  6. Livable streets. Make streets livable by adding stop signs and slowing traffic, and adding trees, plants, lights and signage.
  7. Accessory dwelling units. Encourage infill and building of Accessory Dwelling Units as authorized by California State Law on Jan 1, 2018.
  8. Allow community arrangements that may have private rooms or suites with shared kitchens, bathrooms, showers, storage and/or communal meeting space.

 

GOAL G – Establish codes, performance characterization and incentives for zero net energy (ZNE) goals for all buildings.

POLICIES

  1. Prioritize plan-check and permitting for Zero Net Energy projects.
  2. Mandatory building disclosure and performance characterization. Benchmarking will be mandatory on larger buildings and evolve to incorporate a wider range of structures towards public disclosure of performance information and comparisons.
  3. Zero Net Energy targets for existing buildings. Identify increasingly aggressive performance targets for existing buildings and adapt energy codes to apply broadly and deeply to building alterations.
  4. Integrate building design at the community microgrid scale. To balance load in a part of the grid or microgrid, zoning and codes will specify features of that can be of value to the local grid infrastructure that assure a reliable and affordable grid.
  5. Make public and school buildings exemplary. Public buildings and schools will demonstrate options, viability, management strategies, market development, and credibility of Zero Net Energy policy, including costs and financing.
  6. Codify appliance standards where possible. To achieve Zero Net Energy standards, equipment and plug loads must be regulated.

 

GOAL H – Align incentives and codes with state regulations to minimize net water use for all new buildings.

 

POLICIES

  1. Reduce water demand. Equipment will meet EPA Water-Sense standards and landscaping will be designed to accommodate and thrive on rainfall and minimum irrigation.
  2. Produce alternative water sources. Provide incentives for building systems that harvest rainwater, stormwater, or sump-pump (foundation) water, greywater, refrigeration condensate, rejected water from water purification systems, reclaimed wastewater, and other reuse strategies.
  3. Allow wastewater treatment for reuse or injection to original water supply. Where possible, allow a closed loop water system within a watershed or aquifer that supplies water to the building and infiltrate stormwater to the original water supply.
  4. Stormwater retained on-site and infiltrated back to groundwater. Require low-impact development practices, also called green infrastructure, that use landscape features to minimize water loss due to runoff and allow water to infiltrate, which may include bioswales, rain gardens, and permeable pavement

PROGRAM

Net Zero Water Building Strategies Program Provide a clearinghouse of strategies for achieving a closed loop system for buildings where a water supply is located within the watershed or aquifer or where an alternative water supply can offset the use of freshwater.

 

GOAL I – Encourage building designs and materials for fire resistance.

POLICIES

  1. Allow non-standard fire-resistant designs. Streamline permitting for natural, fire-resistant building materials, including cob, adobe, rammed earth and wattle of existing sticks, or bamboo covered with a daub mixture of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and/or straw.
  2. Assure more preventive consultation about closing ducts where embers may enter and vegetation around homes that is not so flammable.

 

GOAL J – Assure fire protection and emergency services in rural and mountain areas.

 

GOAL K – Eliminate racist, discriminatory or otherwise unfair and illegal harassment, excessive force or brutality by sheriff deputies.

POLICIES

  1. Sheriff accountability and citizen review. Establish an outside Citizen Oversight Committee to receive and investigate allegations of harassment of the homeless, mentally ill, recovering alcoholics and drug users, women, youth or anyone based on their race, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status.
  2. Excessive use of force. Investigate incidents of significant use of force or police brutality for potential internal discipline.

Events

VC350 Climate Hub Recommended Policy Input from Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology for Agriculture Chapter of GPU

 Input for Policies Agriculture Chapter – VC2040 General Plan Update

 

GOAL A – Engage land managers in the statewide carbon sequestration accounting framework for tracking storage of above and below-ground carbon.

 

POLICIES

  1. Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment Tools. Collaborate with state agencies and non-governmental organizations to deploy appropriate available tools and protocols  for defining baselines, setting targets, and measuring changes in carbon sequestration.
  2. Maps. Develop plans and strategies using maps to identify vegetation densities layered with carbon density and site suitability.
  3. Collaborate to set and track targets. Form partnerships with Cal State University Channel Islands, University of Santa Barbara, Ventura County Community Colleges and non-governmental organizations to plan and evaluate the system for setting and tracking carbon sequestration targets for different land uses and cropping systems.
  4. Mitigation ratios tied to carbon density. 4:1 minimum mitigation ratios will be applied to impacts to healthy forest, multi-strata agroforestry, riparian cottonwood stands, coastal wetland and riparian habitat, and carbon-dense deep-rooted perennials to protect the county’s existing and expanding carbon sinks.
  5. Adaptive management. Use a plan-do-reflect-improve process to meet carbon sequestration targets with a monitoring program to detect the needed information for evaluation that links back to the plan and monitoring, tuning in to new technologies and climate protection science to find continuously higher-level, more comprehensive goals that match the scale, variety and unpredictability of climate hazards.

 

PROGRAMS

Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment tool to be completed during 2018 for use by all counties. Short slide presentation here.

Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program (FMMP)
Strategic Agricultural Lands Conservation(SALC) Program

Merced County Collaboration is a model for land use, land management and conservation activities.

 

BACKGROUND

The following is the list of land types used by the state’s Land Management and Multi-Benefit Assessment tool for the purpose of defining existing and potential carbon sinks with partial data filled in for Ventura County:

Forest/Woodlands (federally owned)

Forest/Woodlands (non-federally owned)
Shrublands

Grassland – 200,000 acres

Grazing land – 198,000

Wetlands – 1500 Mugu Lagoon, historically 3,000, could be three times that countywide in the 3 watershed estuaries and riparian areas?
Barren

Orchards (woody perennial crops-fruit and nut trees)  43,500 acres

Vineyards – some of the 43,500 above?

Annual vegetable crops (conventional, i.e. artificial N inputs) 37,300 ac
Annual crops (regenerative/sustainable/organic/biodynamic) 8,200 ac
Non-woody perennial crops  100 acres herbaceous perennials
Irrigated pasture

Urban and built up 106,000 (how to inventory trees and community forests)

 

GOAL B: Increase biological carbon sequestration on farmland, grazing land, and other non-forested, non-wetland, natural and working lands

POLICIES

  1. Obtain baseline data for above and below-ground carbon on farm and grazing land. Set and track achievement of targets for carbon sequestration on working lands, prioritizing study and truth-testing on rangeland carbon farming, silvopasture, multistrata agroforestry, and other enterprises with high carbon density.
  2. Managed grazing as a beneficial use. Categorize as a beneficial use those acreages where managed grazing is practiced to slowly build a soil-carbon sponge.
  3. Partnerships. Facilitate local partnerships to study carbon sequestration achievement to verify targets and strategies for expanding carbon sinks on working lands.
  4. Science-based technical assistance. Study and promote knowledge and understanding about best practices for building soil-carbon sponges, including on-site water harvesting, green growth, and healthy soils in integrated natural systems.
  5. Reward carbon farmers. Collaborate with stakeholders to create a program to reward land managers who preserve and enhance natural and working lands including trees, vegetation, and soils to reach their potentials for carbon sequestration..
  6. Restoration of small water cycles. Promote best practices for restoring small water cycles by appropriate stormwater harvesting to support revegetation, particularly of native species, to include healthy trees which are “nature’s most efficient carbon sinks” and provide a vital role in small water cycles.

PROGRAMS

Healthy Soils Initiative – a collaboration of state agencies led by California Department of Food and Agriculture to promote the development of healthy soils on farm and ranchlands through grants for innovative practices that contribute to building soil organic matter to increase carbon sequestration and reduce overall GHG.

Carbon Farming Rewards Program – A collaboration of local organizations to develop, test, demonstrate, and document achievements in carbon sequestration. Identify working lands with above average potential for carbon sequestration including deep-rooted perennial grasses by applying compost, and support increasing availability of local compost for application to prioritized lands for carbon farming. Reward appropriate achievements on an annual basis using the most simple, common sense metrics, toward short- and long-term targets for carbon sequestration inviting all owners or managers of working lands of two acres or more in size potentially including as a secondary priority public lands, regardless of the number of property owners and regardless of when or by what strategy the carbon was sequestered.  

JUSTIFICATION

Healthy soil is the best medium for growing healthy, resilient, disease and pest resistant plants in part because the interaction of soil microbes with plant roots supports an optimal soil-carbon sponge and provides the cation exchanges and symbiosis with fungi that screen out toxic minerals and optimize plant mineral content for highest nutritional value..  (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/soils/health/).

Health of agricultural soil relates to its ability to build and retain adequate soil organic matter via the activity of plants and soil organisms. Adequate soil organic matter ensures the soil’s continued capacity as a vital living ecosystem with multiple benefits for producing food for animals and humans. The multiple benefits of healthy soil include:

  • Provides nutrients that support plant growth, biodiversity and yields.
  • Increases water infiltration, reduces runoff, able to hold up to 20 times its weight in water; assists flood management.
  • Sequesters carbon reducing greenhouse gases
  • Reduces sediment erosion and dust
  • Improves water and air quality by reducing emissions of criteria pollutants and the persistence of pesticides in soil and water.
  • Improves habitat for wildlife and beneficial organisms including a diversity of soil-borne organisms that constitute a quarter of the world’s species.

 

GOAL C – Promote biological pest management.

POLICIES

  1. Eliminate county use of toxic pesticides. The County will not buy or promote the use of (Danger Label)  pesticides.
  2. Training in biological pest control. The Agriculture Commission will sponsor an on-going training program for biological pest control for all crops grown in the county.
  3. Biological pest control expertise and technical assistance at all agriculture teaching, research and extension institutions. The Ventura County Cooperative Extension, 4-H, Master Gardeners, Ventura County Community College District and the School Districts will employ people who can teach biological control and help practitioners release the potential of natural systems on farms, landscapes, and gardens.

PROGRAM

San Franciso Integrated Pest Management Ordinance of 1996

Cities of Irvine and Santa Monica

 

GOAL D – Expand and localize the agricultural economy

 

POLICIES

  1. Value-added processing. Support new local processing of food, fiber, and flowers.
  2. Production and processing of and manufacturing with industrial hemp. Advocate for and explore the development of industrial hemp through education about the health, environmental, and economic benefits and building a community of individuals, businesses and organizations with production, processing fiber and seeds, manufacturing into food, paper, fabric and construction materials, and marketing know-how.
  3. Tourism. Promote rural, ag and nature tourism that includes resorts, farmers’ markets, tours, and other leisure and hospitality businesses that attract visitors to enjoy nature.

JUSTIFICATION

Industrial hemp has been prohibited for irrational reasons over seventy years. The California Industrial Hemp Farming Act (Senate Bill 566, Chapter 398, Statutes of 2013) was signed into law to authorize the commercial production of industrial hemp in California. The Act became effective on January 1, 2017, due to a provision in the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Proposition 64, November 2016).

As directed by this Act, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is developing a program to administer this new law and administer a registration process, fee structure, regulations, and other administrative details as necessary to provide for the commercial production of industrial hemp in accordance with the Act.

 

GOAL E – All organic waste streams will be processed for compost or mulch.

POLICIES

  1. Mandatory recycling or composting of food and yard waste. All food wholesalers, retailers and food service operations will separate food for recycling or composting and prevent biodegradable materials from going to the landfill.

 

GOAL F – Promote local regenerative agriculture

POLICIES

  1. Regenerative agriculture certification programs. Promote regenerative agriculture certification programs that reduce GHG emissions and/or enhance carbon stocks or increase sequestration agriculture practices that also help preserve agricultural productivity and ecological health.
  2. Property tax waiver. Waive property tax for land that is farmed according to the Regenerative Agriculture Certification Practices and/or the USDA Certified Organic Program for the first three years of transition to and first three years after the land is certified for the first time.
  3. Marketing local regenerative products.. Promote local, regenerative food and ag products
  4. Farmers’ Markets. Promote local farmers’ markets to provide communities with local food grown by regenerative practices.
  5. Regenerative agriculture education. Promote awareness through the public schools and community colleges about the importance of local regenerative agriculture methods for climate mitigation and resilience
  6. Teach farming skills in public schools. Offer a Regenerative Farming Technology course in the high schools.

PROGRAM

Regenerative Agriculture Certification Program

Regenerative Farming Skills School Curriculum

Soil Foodweb Practitioner Certification Program

Certified Farmers’ Markets

Food Forward and other gleaning organizations

Food to Compost/Food to Energy Program (example Monterey Regional Waste Management Facility)

JUSTIFICATION

Regenerative agricultural systems represent a higher social and environmental value than systems labeled sustainable or organic, because they aim to release the potential of whole natural systems using such practices as low or no tillage, diverse cover crops, in-farm fertility minimizing external nutrients, no toxic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and making the most of crop rotations. Regenerative systems hold the greatest potential for achieving climate mitigation and resilience through improvements in carbon- and water-holding capacity.

From Drawdown: Regenerative agriculture worldwide is estimated to be at 108 million acres that will increase to a total of 1 billion acres by 2050. This rapid adoption is based in part on the historic growth rate of organic agriculture, as well as the projected conversion of conservation agriculture to regenerative agriculture over time. This increase could result in a total reduction of 23.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide, from both sequestration and reduced emissions. Regenerative agriculture could provide a $1.9 trillion financial return by 2050 on an investment of $57 billion.

Silvopasture according to Drawdown “far outpaces any grassland technique for counteracting the methane emissions of livestock and sequestering carbon under-hoof. Pastures strewn or crisscrossed with trees sequester five to ten times as much carbon as those of the same size that are treeless, storing it in both biomass and soil.”

County or regional certification. The most reliable and accepted certification programs are locally controlled rather than by CDFA or USDA because of greater transparency and shared values.  The National Organic Program has been weakened and obfuscated to the point that hydroponic vegetables can be labeled organic without being labeled hydroponic.

 

GOAL G – Promote local and global agricultural climate preparedness and food security and equity

POLICIES

  1. Agricultural resilience. Promote peer-to-peer networking to develop agricultural resilience, including alternative crops or adopting new agricultural land management strategies.
  2. Local farm product distribution over exports. Promote local food and ag products by supporting local farmers’ markets, farm to schools and hospitals, and other markets for local agricultural products.
  3. Avoid exporting to places that can grow their own. Promote awareness of the full impacts our exports may have on the development of agricultural climate preparedness, food security and equity in other countries.
  4. Cost of farmland. Reduce the high cost of land for food production.
  5. Food hubs and food cooperatives. Encourage growth of food hubs and coops with at least one in each of the four major geographic areas of the county that support local farmers for their natural resource stewardship, job development, contribution to public health, food system equity and climate resilience while providing wide access to fresh quality local food, especially in neighborhoods recognized as food deserts.
  6. Urban gardens and farms. Promote urban agriculture through encouragement of amended zoning codes and provision of recycled water to allow and support urban farming and gardens in appropriate areas of every neighborhood.
  7. Neighborhood garden sales. Do not legally categorize as “farmers’ markets or farm stands” regular events where neighbors convene to sell surplus produce, similar to yard sales.

PROGRAMS

Farm to School

Community Gardens

Food hubs

JUSTIFICATIONS   Changing temperature and rain patterns, especially drought, require new strategies, and may result in higher food prices. The farmer population is aging; young farmers cannot afford land. Venturans depend on imports for over half of the food supply while freight costs for commodities exports will rise Ventura County’s exports are produced with cheaper fuel relative to most other countries. We can monitor the potential harm our exports could have on farmers in other places so that all communities can be food secure while doing their part to sequester carbon.

 

Events

350 VC Climate Hub Suggestions for Policies – Water Resources Chapter of General Plan Update

350 Ventura County Climate Hub Suggestions for Policies

Chapter 10 – Water Resources, General Plan Update 

Includes Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Management, because the climate cannot be stabilized without drawing down legacy carbon already in the atmosphere and carbon cannot be sequestered without water to grow soil microbes, plants (and animals). Water is life.

GOAL A: Prevent risky development in floodplains through agreement among all jurisdictions toward the required zoning and setbacks specific to each watershed to prevent inappropriate development in floodplains and relocate at-risk development avoiding investment in new or rebuilt levees that will not hold up under new flood predictions.

POLICIES

  1. Anticipate increasingly extreme weather due to climate change with increasing state restrictions and plan for worst case scenarios to assure that development in floodplains does not rely on levees or put human life at risk.
  2. Conduct a comparative cost-benefit analysis of rebuilding levees versus relocating homes and businesses and make cost-effective decisions for avoiding flood risks.

Background/Justification – The cities in Ventura County are in need of guidance and oversight to stop approving development in floodplains, particularly along the Santa Clara River. The Santa Clara River levee rebuild (SCR1) will cost the county $42 million and the engineer said it will be sacrificed in a 100 year event. It makes more sense to invest that money to slow the flow of upland sources and move the inappropriate development out of harm’s way.

 

GOAL B: Restore small water cycles in eroded and desertified landscapes and open spaces to recharge aquifers, maintain the integrity of ecosystems, support restoration of soil-carbon sponge and revegetation with perennials and grasses that sequester carbon, preserve the physical integrity of receiving waters by managing stormwater runoff at or close to the source, reduce flooding and stream channel degradation from erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, increase water supply, assure protected habitat for re-establishment of trout and beaver, and enhance the recreational and aesthetic value of natural resources.

POLICIES

  1. Provide a collaborative framework representing all stakeholders and authorities to develop a low impact development plan with small and large scale water restoration projects.
  2. Maximize groundwater aquifer recharge through stormwater management to supply a minimum of 30 percent of total water use.
  3. Encourage development of upland watershed management plans that rely on local resources and labor, natural cycles, innovative treatment techniques and energy-saving methods to convert watershed processes toward bioretention, infiltration and interflow that support natural and vegetative covers and allow the natural supply of sediment to reach receiving waters.
  4. Promote best practices for restoration of small water cycles across jurisdictions that identify sites suitable for a wide range of small cumulative on-site water management measures including upland catchments and diversions to restore small water cycles that support increased vegetation for carbon sequestration, beaver, and movement of trout.
  5. Require pervious or permeable pavements on all appropriate new parking lots over some minimum size.
  6. Set low impact development goals and strategies such as disconnected hydrologic flow paths, reduction of impervious areas, functional landscaping, and grading to maintain natural hydrologic functions that existed prior to development, such as interception, shallow surface storage, infiltration, evapotranspiration, and groundwater recharge.

PROGRAMS

Rain for Climate Program. To help achieve a countywide Climate Action Plan goal to draw down a target amount of CO2 equivalent GHGs, develop and promote specific, common-sense recommendations for water conservation, to provide a best-practices repository for stormwater management and rainwater harvesting, stories, tips and successes building on experiences of community members that have implemented water conservation and soil-carbon sequestration solutions, tools and guidelines for stormwater and rainwater harvesting solutions, and learning experiences for individuals, organizations.

Business Carbon Sink Collaborative . To facilitate learning and achievement among businesses toward water conservation and carbon sequestration objectives by providing justifications for water conservation and carbon sequestration as economic opportunities and investments and by providing current lists of vendors and products for residential and small-scale commercial water conservation, stormwater management, and revegetation projects.

Justification-Deforestation, erosion, urbanization and the the conventional management of working and natural lands damages natural land-based water cycles. California is experiencing a chain reaction of degraded open space, depletion of groundwater, decimation of vegetation, effects from wildfires and extreme heat, increased albedo effect, and a major contributor to global warming. A global program is required beyond the cessation of greenhouse gas emissions to restore local hydrological cycles with practices that build the soil-carbon sponge to support perennial vegetation.

 

GOAL C: Develop local water supplies, including groundwater recharge and recycled water, in a countywide sustainability master plan with resource strategies to maximize local water resources that will limit use of imported water to ten percent of total water use.

POLICIES

  1. 30 percent of water to be supplied by groundwater. Provide leadership and facilitation for a countywide program to increase groundwater recharge using storm water and dry-weather runoff to assure groundwater basins supply at least 30% of total water use.
  2. Maximum 10 percent imported water. Limit imported water to 10 percent of total water use countywide and encourage desalinization to replace imported water as it becomes more scarce from the drought impacts of climate change.
  3. 40 percent of water to be supplied by recycled wastewater. Maximize the reuse of recycled water to achieve at least 40% of total water use to enhance reliability and reduce dependence on imported water.
  4. Tiered pricing. Require water districts to adopt appropriately configured tiered pricing structures combined with water budgets for water suppliers to reduce water demand over the long term, not just during periods of drought, to curtail wasteful activities and encourage investment in technologies that use less water, and water conservation.
  5. Track water use by account and provide technical assistance to high users. Establish average use standards per account based on 75 gallons per capita per day and incentivize compliance through billing and use monitoring with provision of on-site technical assistance as needed for accounts that quarterly exceed 30% of average water use or annually exceed 10% of average water use.
  6. Use reduction goal. Set target for water use reduction to exceed the per capita set by SB X7-7 Conservation Act of 2009 (standard of 20% compared to nominal 2005 levels by December 31, 2020).
  7. Water use reduction in new construction. Require adoption of voluntary CALGreen Tier 1 water-efficiency measures for new construction that includes mandatory stub out for greywater.
  8. Water conservation for existing buildings. Set countywide target for water conservation in existing buildings at 30% water use  (compared to nominal 2005 levels by December 31, 2020) by implementing a program for water efficiency retrofit according to CALGreen Tier 1 water efficiency measures.
  9. Storage of rain water. Best practices will be disseminated for storage of rainwater from roots in barrels, tanks and cisterns.
  10. Non-fee based permitting process for rainwater capture and harvesting tanks, cisterns and other projects.
  11. Vector control education. Knowledge and non-toxic methods of mosquito control will be disseminated to minimize breeding in stored water.
  12. Curb cuts and rain gardens in new and existing developments. Street grading will be towards cub cuts and rain gardens for water storage catchments to prevent storm water from leaving the street. The county will cooperate with neighborhoods to regrade and install curb cuts and rain gardens, especially in the middle of culdesacs.
  13. Reduce water use for toilet flushing. Provide rebates for equipment and installation of EPA Water Sense certified toilets, urine diversion toilets (UDT), urine diversion flush toilets (UDFT), and urine diversion dry toilets (UDDT) and dry toilets to reduce or eliminate water use for flushing.
  14. Equipment will be installed so as not to waste water. Condensate from refrigeration and surplus water from filter systems will be put to use for landscaping.
  15. Regenerative farming. Promote use of regenerative organic farming methods to reduce toxins and sediment loads of surface waters and reduce water needs.
  16. No potable water in oil and gas production. Potable water will not be used for oil and gas production.
  17. Protect water from oil and gas production. Protect and preserve surface, stream, wetland, and groundwater resources from oil and gas drilling and produced wastewater transport, disposal or injection.
  18. Capture stormwater. Require that new development capture stormwater for onsite use to extent possible.
  19. Brackish water must be protected from pollution because it is easier to desalinate than sea water. Decontaminate or desalinate brackish aquifers in order to minimize need for imported water.

PROGRAMS

Optimum Basin Management Program (OBMP). A comprehensive countywide monitoring program for surface water, groundwater, and land subsidence, storm water and dry-weather runoff recharge improvements, salt and nutrient management, water quality improvements, the recovery of impaired groundwater for beneficial use, conjunctive use, pollution prevention from wastewater from oil production, and safe yield management to avoid overdraft.

Our Water World. Raise awareness of the connection between pesticide use and water quality and provide information to consumers at the point-of-purchase about integrated pest management (IPM) and less-toxic alternatives that do not pollute water. Provide community outreach / educational events in the stores to promote the availability of less toxic methods and products. Train store personnel in principles of regenerative organic strategies and sales techniques for less toxic products.

Water Demand Offset Expand amount of recycled water through an offset program like the program of Soquel Creek Water District.

Water Wise Survey Program

Landscape Rebate Program

Rebates on Efficient Appliances

Graywater Laundry to Landscape
Private Well Meters
Custom and Measured Rebate Program for Businesses
Meters and Submeters
Submeters
Private Well Meters
Irrigation Equipment Upgrades

California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)

Irrigation system evaluation program

Drip and sprinkler irrigation scheduling calculators

Free material and equipment program: shower heads and timers, bathroom and kitchen aerators, pre-rinse sprayers (for homes and businesses),Table Tents for Restaurants “Drinking Water By Request”, Hotel “Linen Reuse” Cards

JUSTIFICATION

Using water consumes energy to clean and transport water and to handle wastewater. 60 percent of water use occurs indoors, primarily for toilets, clothes washers, showers, and faucets. Low-flush toilets and efficient washing machines can reduce water use by 19 and 17 percent respectively. Low-flow faucets and showerheads and efficient dishwashers can also contribute. Newer technologies can reduce water use within homes by 45 percent.

30 percent of home water use occurs outdoors, while another 10 percent is lost to leaks. Water use for irrigation can be reduced or eliminated by using captured rainwater, shifting to plants that do not require it, installing drip irrigation, or turning off the spigot entirely. Rebates on purchases of efficient appliances and fixtures, can encourage voluntary action.

 

GOAL D: Increase recycled water and greywater use

POLICIES

  1. Increase the use of recycled water. Increase over 2002 levels by at least XX acre-feet per year (afy) by 2020 and by at least xx afy by 2030.
  2. Increase the use of stormwater. Increase over use in 2007 by at least xx afy by 2020 and by at least xx afy by 2030.
  3. Industrial wastewater dischargers. Ensure that dischargers are managed to enhance the ability of water recycling plants to comply with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements; to protect the public, the environment, personnel and facilities; and recovery of wastewater treatment operations and maintenance costs.
  4. Subsidize measures to stop stormwater runoff. Federal fees for discharging stormwater will be spent in cooperation with neighborhoods to capture and harvest storm water in appropriate  and use revenues to incentivize capture and pay for onsite treatment.
  5. Closed loop for industrial effluents. Ensure high quality reclaimed water by requiring closed loop for industrial effluents.
  6. Incentivize use of greywater.  Reduce use of potable water for residential non-potable uses.
  7. Recognize urine in the same category as greywater. Urine is sterile and contains plant nutrients so it must be allowable to collected urine in

Urine Diversion Toilets to combine with other greywater for subsurface fertigation.

PROGRAM

Pretreatment and Source Control. Assure collection of wastewater to regional water recycling plants or to a Non-Reclaimable Wastewater System (NRW System) that exports industrial wastewater laden with high strength pollutants making the water not suitable for recycling at this time and assure that it is not stored near other sources of water.

BACKGROUND/JUSTIFICATIONS

With a local supply portfolio balanced among recycled water, captured stormwater, and groundwater, the county will survive catastrophes.

Pumping less water from faraway sources has environmental benefits. Moving water across the state uses huge amounts of energy. Leaving more water in the Delta, Owens Valley and the Colorado River watershed reduces ecological impacts and the carbon footprint of our water supplies.

Jurisdictions pay millions of dollars annually in federal permits for allowing stormwater runoff. By investing in helping neighborhoods create soil-carbon sponges along streets, those fees are reduced, water is returned to the aquifer and vegetation is supported that sequesters carbon. Culdesacs are generally 80 to 100 feet in diameter allowing space for large rain gardens that require regrading but do not require altering curbside sidewalks. Collaboration should be facilitated with homeowners who want to prevent flooding by redesigning the drainage on their street for stormwater catchment.

 

GOAL E:  Increase water and wastewater efficiency in new developments and retrofits

 POLICIES

  1. Develop an Integrated Regional Water Management Plan for more resilient, diversified and regenerative support of the county’s water resources.
  2. Adopt an Ordinance for Water Efficient New Development http://wdl.water.ca.gov/wateruseefficiency/landscapeordinance/
  3. Adopt Greywater-Ready Building and Safety requirements that assure that landscapes are more fire-resistant and defensible in a fire.Greywater-ready-buildings-model-ordinance.pdf
  4. Provide education about how to realistically size and design rainwater harvesting systems, for emergency rooftop irrigation in high-fire risk areas or for emergency back-up to offset potable irrigation demand. supplemental source to off-set potable irrigation demand.

 

GOAL F:  Reduce water consumption

 POLICIES

  1. Exceed water use reduction goal per capita set by SB X7-7 Conservation Act of 2009 (standard of 20% compared to nominal 2005 levels by December 31, 2020) establishing a countywide reduction target of 30% water use by implementing a program to retrofit existing buildings to achieve higher levels of water efficiency.
  2. Require adoption of voluntary CALGreen Tier 1 water-efficiency measures for new construction.
  3. Incentivize renovation of existing buildings to achieve higher levels of water efficiency; encourage existing buildings to retrofit with CALGreen Tier 1 water efficiency measures. Reduce water used in new construction by 100% in residential and 50% in non-residential development.
  4. Reduce water used in existing non-residential development by 10%.

 

GOAL G:   Increase use of renewable energy in water and wastewater systems

 POLICIES

  1. Use 100% renewable energy for 50 percent of all water production and/or conveyance by 2025 and by 100% by 2030.
  2. Install solar energy arrays at all water and wastewater plants.

 

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