By Cris A. Sabo
Ventura Breeze guest columnist Mr. Robert Chianese in his article entitled: “New policies to keep Ventura number one” stated that the proposed Regent Properties development on Ventura Hillsides is somehow an “assault on the hills”, is “too risky” and would “destroy the character and environment of our hillsides panorama and blights the area”, among other nonsensical and inaccurate statements. Does he really believe that 55 high end luxury homes will destroy the character and environment of our Hillsides?
Mr. Chianese comments could not be further from the truth. Despite Mr. Chianese’s request for residents to support his petition against the development on the basis of keeping Ventura “identifiable” and “in character”, what he is actually soliciting others to support is his own self-interest, which is presumably not wanting any more cars driving past his house when these homes are built four years from now.
I too am a Ventura Hillside resident, but fully support the proposed Regent Properties limited scope, luxury homes development. I have no axe to grind, or financial interest in the matter. I support sensible, smart growth policies that benefits Ventura and the Community as a whole.
The 215 acres above Hillcrest Drive has been zoned for single family homes for many decades and is currently a no trespassing area without any legal public access. The Regent Properties proposed development includes the clustering of 55, architecturally-diversified luxury homes over only 40 acres, directly above Hillcrest Drive, with legal open space planned for the remaining 175 acres including easy public access to nature and walking trails, so that everyone in the Community can enjoy the remarkable ocean views.
The Regent Properties plan includes a sensible buffer between existing Hillside homes and the new development, with improvements to water / flood runoff and geotechnical conditions and limited impact to existing traffic. The proposed development will also help reduce fire hazards in the Hillside area, managing overgrowth, establishing appropriate fire breaks and most importantly, increasing quality graded road access to the area, which is crucial to contain any fire threats that may develop above it, or down the side canyons threatening other Hillside homes.
The Regent Properties development creates an opportunity the City of Ventura and Community needs, will help bring in income and wealth to the Community, increase nearby home values, help create local jobs, help protect and secure the local environment, all the while provide increased public access to our Hillsides.
The proposed development effort is a small, yet important step to help Ventura truly become a better place to live and grow a family.