The issue of housing is a statewide problem that cannot be ignored. To address the crisis, politicians in Sacramento continue to sponsor bills that encourage development of housing units in cities. In some cases, these bills mandate that development be allowed without concern for local housing ordinances or planning requirements. I have been an active voice in opposing any sort of “by-right” development that would erode local control and oversight. Imagine an eight-story building being allowed to be constructed, without any review or public process, simply because it was within ¼ mile of a transportation corridor. This is what one Sacramento legislator thought would be good for all cities. Fortunately, that bill has thus far been defeated, but other such attempts at mandating development continue.

Thousand Oaks, with the passage of Measure E in 1996, has been in a slow-growth mode, building just over 5,000 total units in the past 21 years. That equates to roughly 240 units per year. This slow and controlled growth has served our city well, and I will continue to resist efforts to override our local control.

That said, and for the health of Thousand Oaks, we do need to add to our housing stock and provide for housing at all income levels. The Blvd. Master Plan provides for that, continues growth, and will not only bring additional housing units online but will also provide the amenities needed for those additional units and that style of living. Other proposals will continue to be considered at other locations within the city as well, but we must maintain our semirural charm.

“No development” is not an option, so we must focus on areas within the city where additional development can be accommodated. Rest assured each project will be closely scrutinized with the public being a large part of the process. Our recently enacted screening process allows the public one more opportunity to be heard on each housing project going forward.

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