Write our Future!

Letters to the Editor on the General Plan Update

On August 6, the VC Board of Supervisors decide what policies will go in the county’s Draft General Plan Update. Adding strong environmental policies will become more difficult after that, so now is the time to speak up.

Following the release of the Preliminary Draft of the VC General Plan 2040 update, 350 VC Climate Hub submitted recommendations on changes to reflect the increased urgency with which our county must respond to the Climate Crisis.

We need people from throughout the county to let the VC Board of Supervisors know that care for our environment is essential, and that they need to incorporate those recommendations to build  strong policies for environmental sustainability in the VC General Plan update.

Letter-writing will make a big difference in the campaign to add strong environmental policies in the General Plan Update.

Click on the topics below for guidelines on writing letters to the editor, where to send them, talking points and topics to choose from.

How to Write a Letter to the Editor

Where to Send it 

Top Priorities – The Green 13


Other Topics


All-Electric New Housing

Electric Transportation

Make Polluters Pay

Regenerative Water and Agriculture

Increase Green Space

Water – Slow it, Spread it, Sink it

Grey Water

Water Resilience

Sunset Oil Production by 2040

Cut Green House Gas Emissions

Carbon Tax on Oil and Gas Extraction, Flaring and Leakage

Strengthen Environmental Policy in the General Plan Update

Housing and Zoning




350 Vision for a 20 Year Constitution for Ventura County

MORE INTERESTING THAN YOU THINK!  These documents we’ve just turned over to the county are a lot more interesting than people imagine! Think of them like a Sci-Fi for Ventura County set around  2030 when whatever the County decides to do now will be coming to maturity. If you see the year 2030 differently, now is the time to write that vision down and email it to Clerk of the Board <[email protected]>. For distribution to the Supervisors. Subject line: vc2040 on (your passion) so they can consider your ideas on August 6.

These Policy and Program Recommendations to the Ventura County Planning Commissioners for the “General Plan Update” will be discussed at a third work session on June 20, 8:30 to 4, County Administration first floor, 800 Victoria, Ventura.  Discussions are about the county’s priorities until 2040 (this week’s focus on ag, water and the economy).  Learn about the process at  Link to watch the Planning Commission meetings on this page:

Documents we submitted:

Economic Vitality to be discussed on Thurs 6/20  350 VC Climate Hub EconVit comments June 19 2019 FINAL

Water Resources to be discussed on Thurs 6/20 350 VC Climate Hub WATER comments June 18 2019 FINAL

Agriculture to be discussed on Thurs 6/20 350 VC Climate Hub AG Comments June 17 2019 FINAL

Hazards and Safety was discussed on 6/13 350 VC Climate Hub HAZ comments GenPlan June 12 2019 FINAL

Conservation and Open Space was discussed on 6/13 350 VC Climate Hub COS GenPlan June 11 2019

Public Facilities, Services and Infrastructure was discussed on 6/13  350 VC Climate Hub PFS GenPlan Comments June 12 2019

Circulation, Transportation, Mobility and Land Use was discussed on 6/6  350 Submission to Planning Commission on LU & CTM

20 YEAR OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD POLITICAL WILL AT THE COUNTY AND TO THE CITIES: The current General Plan is over 25 years old . All aspects of the update intersect with climate. That is where we focused our input along with equity and the housing crisis. Our recommendations are extensive but not complete; some are revolutionary. Many solutions are new or strange to the general public, so we need to communicate our restorative visionary proposals — some are already happening and  many more can only happen through building political will and showing how they are smart investments. It is easy to build our movement by sharing the link and ask friends to sign up on the webform to learn and to get involved.

AUGUST 6: The VC Board of Supervisors will hold one session on August 6 to review all input and give guidance to the planners for the Environmental Impact Review to be done this fall.  In other words, it’s not over on August 6, but what we do until then could make a big difference, not just to build political will with the Supervisors, but with leaders in all the cities who are affected by the Supervisor’s decisions.

WHERE IS THE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN? This Plan includes within it a Climate Action Plan. Policies and programs in every Element relate to climate change and are tagged for inclusion in “Appendix B” along with a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. The goals and targets for GHG Emissions are found in the Conservation and Open Space Element. Environmental Justice is also a requirement of the plan. We have compiled those policies and will be preparing comments on them to the Board. Healthy Communities policies are also spread among many of the Elements.  We need a volunteer to put all of those into a googledoc so we can see how that theme is covered and see what we might recommend.

GLOSSARIES ARE GREAT: For some of the above submissions we created a GLOSSARY at the end. They are amazing!  It is easier to agree on a policy when everyone is talking about the same thing! Much appreciation to all who read the drafts, made contributions, and signed on (dozens of co-signers can be seen on each of the seven cover letters).  Email vcclimatehub if you want to be added as an endorser of any or all.

350 VC CLIMATE HUB AGENDA FOR JUNE 20 MEETING: Monthly meeting June 20, 6:30-8:30 at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Ventura: choose our top priority recommendations to communicate to the Board of Supervisors. How can we share with public officials and community leaders  the new possibilities we each imagine and that we are all working so hard on in our various paths of service?

Were you in the Chamber January 31 of this year when we asked the Planning Commission to support the Wildlife Protection Corridor Plan?  August 6 with the Supervisors should draw similar excitement! Photo thanks to Kathleen  Wilson of VCStar.






Ag Policy Work Session with VC Planning Commission Thursday

Agriculture Policy Work Session July 20

County Planning Commission

The public is invited to the last of three Planning Commission work sessions for the Preliminary Public Review Draft of the 2040 General Plan Thursday, June 20th 8:30 a.m into the afternoon. You might be able to speak between 11 and noon

Here is the greatly revision we sent in about the Goals for Agriculture for the County. 350 VC Climate Hub AG Comments June 17 2019 (1) (1) (1)

Check it out. Endorse how we put the most important goals first. Endorse the awesome new words in the Glossary and how we added Regenerative along with Sustainable to Goal that includes the following recommendations for policies about pesticides:

  • Integrated Pest Management Practices The County shall encourage and support the use of Biologically Based Integrated Pest Management that relies on monitoring, natural biological controls, cultural practices, and soft pesticides with the use of regulated pesticides bearing the poison label as a last resort [to reduce pesticide use and human health risks]. Proposed revision by 350
  • Least Toxic Alternatives The County shall monitor and support the consideration of biologically-based and organic alternatives before approving permit applications for use of high risk pesticides that have the signal word “Warning” or “Danger” on the EPA Label. Proposed New by 350
  • Dangerous Pesticides The County shall take such actions that foster an end to permit applications by 2030 for the use of highest risk pesticides that have the signal word “Danger” on the EPA Label. Proposed New by 350


We revised the Food Security goal as follows because we know that equitable access to fresh local healthy food means farmers should use organic methods:

GOAL 4: To ensure equitable access to fresh, locally and increasingly organically grown, and healthy agricultural products for residents throughout the county. [Source: New Goal]  (formerly goal 4)

How about these policies?

Small Farms and Specialty Products  The County shall support locally owned and operated small farms and ranches, the growing of specialty products and innovative and high-value crops, and specialized animal facilities and rearing methods through programs that enable them to compete with large and non-local farms. (RDR, JP) [Source: New Policy]

If you like these idea, let them know!

Restoration Economy The County shall recognize and support local businesses and organizations contributing to the restoration economy through the management of working lands, forests, peatland and grassland for economic and environmental benefits including carbon sequestration.

Maritime Economy The County shall recognize and support local businesses and organizations contributing to the maritime economy for their many contributions to the community and, because of the capacity of the oceans to sequester twice as much carbon as on land, to the future of the planet.

Email YOUR recommendations to:

Planner Susan Curtis <[email protected]>,
Planning Commission Staff Meighan Batinica <[email protected]> for distribution to the Planning Commissioners, and to
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors <[email protected]> for distribution to the Board of Supervisors who will consider all of the input in August to go into the next draft.


Climate Plan Preliminary Draft Work Session Ventura County Planning Commission

The public is invited to two more Planning Commission work sessions for the Preliminary Public Review Draft of the 2040 General Plan. The second work session will be held on Thursday, June 13th, and the third will be on Thursday, June 20th. All begin at 8:30 a.m; likely last into the afternoon.

We demand a plan that assures carbon neutrality by 2045

California state law SB 32 requires 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and the mandate under Governor’s Executive Order B-18-55 is “to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and no later than 2045, and achieve and maintain net negative emissions thereafter. This goal is in addition to the existing statewide targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” air-quality-standards-naaqs;

This must also be Ventura County’s goal; we do not want to plan for carbon neutrality by 2050–get it done as soon as possible and no later than 2045.

City of LA adopted a Green New Deal Pathway to cut an additional 30% in GHG emissions above and beyond their 2015 baseline to ensure that they stay within a net zero carbon budget between now and 2045. The proposed GHG reductions in the VC2040 Draft General Plan Update of 41 percent below 2015 levels by 2030, 61 percent by 2040, and 80 percent by 2050 are inappropriate in the context of our community doing its part to respond to the climate chaos happening faster than scientists have predicted.

Remember, Ventura County residents gave the county a mandate (General Plan survey results) to be proactive in responding to climate change. In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the goals and targets we demand will improve air quality, public health and quality of life for our residents. We want a Climate Action Plan that helps us collectively do all we can to mitigate the impacts of climate change and help our communities and young people adapt to an increasingly challenging future.

Our second biggest message that has not been made clear yet in written submission:  We must achieve a significant reduction in per-capita driving in the range of 32%, by 2030, with respect to 2005, if we are going to stabilize the climate at a livable level. We need a plan that quantifies how we are going to do that here.

Email YOUR recommendations to:

Planner Susan Curtis <[email protected]>,
Planning Commission Staff Meighan Batinica <[email protected]> for distribution to the Planning Commissioners, and to
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors <[email protected]> for distribution to the Board of Supervisors who will consider all of the input in August to go into the next draft.

Written recommendations 350 Climate Hub has submitted to date:

350 VC Climate Hub COS GenPlan June 11 2019
Featured recommendations
–  Carbon Tax on oil and gas production, flaring and leaked methane
– Reduce oil production by 40% by 2025
– All-electric (no gas connections) for new construction and renovations immediately
– All new light-duty vehicles purchased by county shall be EVs
– County lead on reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled and demonstrate parking pricing policies

350 VC Climate Hub PFS GenPlan Comments June 12 2019
Featured recommendations:
– COMMUNITY MICROGRIDS and local Distributed Energy Resource development, i.e. commercial scale rooftop and parking lot solar plus battery storage
– PERFORMANCE-BASED DESIGN STANDARDS TO ACHIEVE INCREASED RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY because fire protection and prevention policy must go beyond what is covered in Building Codes.

350 Submission to Planning Commission on LU & CTM
Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled including such as measures as
– Parking lot tax and parking pricing, in particular dividend account parking, beginning with a study and demonstration at the County Government Center, and
– Specific transportation alternatives that may include novel investments in alternative modalities that may increase economic vitality as well as energy efficiency, pollution prevention, and climate impact resilience, including shared vehicles, aerial lift, hyperloop, and self-driving cars.

Additional observations:

  • The DRAFT GENERAL PLAN does not show how these measures will help the county reach measurable goals and targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction or carbon sequestration.
  • We need a Climate Action Plan that looks like a Green New Deal!
  • There are no measurable goals for reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled.
  • There are no goals for reducing emissions from agricultural practices.
  • We need policy to assess the GHG emissions from imported and exported fossil fuels.

To read the Draft that we are commenting on: (42 pages)   All of the above climate-related policy recommendations are to be covered under Appendix B in the 6/13 work session. Work session agendas:

June 13
Conservation and Open Space Element COS
Hazards and Safety Element . HAZ
Public Facilities and Infrastructure Element PFS

June 20 – We will submit recommendations on these Elements Monday June 17.  Email Jan Dietrick [email protected] if you would like to participate or support by signing on.
Economic Vitality Element . EV
Agriculture Element . AG
Water Resources Element WR

The following Elements were covered on June 6 Land Use Element – LU and  Circulation, Transportation, and Mobility Element – CTM

These recommendations are drawing on the work of City of Los Angeles new Green New Deal Plan and other models and our ideas. Consider how you can help draw attention to climate action by writing with what they need to include that is important to you. See email addresses above. Be inspired to call or email the office of your County Supervisor as well.