Volunteers Gather 85,000 Signatures!
After months of effort, passionate and hard working SOAR volunteers have gathered more than 85,000 signatures, putting SOAR on the November 2016 ballot in Ventura County as well as in seven cities throughout the county. Here is the status on getting SOAR on the ballot as the official July 5 deadline to put initiatives on the ballot approaches.
Volunteer Efforts Reap Rewards
Camarillo – Volunteers collected signatures twice and, after fighting off a last minute challenge by a developer, the Camarillo City Council voted to put the City SOAR on the ballot. The Camarillo SOAR not only renews the City Urban Boundary Restriction Boundary (CURB) around the city, it also gives voters a right to vote on farmland that was once part of the massive Conejo Creek project proposed in 2015 (if it is considered again for development).
Ventura County SOAR – Volunteers collected 35,354 signatures and the Board of Supervisors voted to put SOAR 2050 on the ballot. The County SOAR protects open space, agricultural and rural land in the unincorporated county, giving all voters in Ventura County, even those in the cities, a say if those unincorporated lands are proposed to be rezoned for urbanization.
Fillmore – Volunteers collected sufficient signatures and the Fillmore City Council voted to put the City SOAR on the ballot. The City Council also voted to put on a competing measure that would end SOAR protections in 2030.
Moorpark – Volunteers collected sufficient signatures and the Moorpark City Council voted to put the City SOAR on the ballot.
Oxnard – The Oxnard City Council voted to put two city-sponsored measures on the ballot, SOAR 2050 and a competing measure that would only be effective until 2030.
Santa Paula – Volunteers collected sufficient signatures and the Santa Paula City Council voted to put the City SOAR on the ballot.
Simi Valley – Ventura County Elections Division found 37% of the signatures on the Simi Valley SOAR initiative were invalid even though 60% more signatures were submitted than needed. Simi SOAR leaders may challenge the decision, and are comfortable knowing they have time and hundreds of volunteers to collect signatures for a future election, since SOAR does not expire until 2020 in Simi Valley.
Thousand Oaks – Volunteers collected 12,241 signatures that were certified for the ballot. After a judge’s ruling confirmed that the SOAR petition was in compliance with all legal requirements, the City Council voted to put the City SOAR on the ballot. The City SOAR includes renewal of the CURB and the Parks initiative that protects city parks and open spaces.
Ventura – Volunteers collected 10,634 signatures and the City Council voted to put the City SOAR on the ballot despite concerns raised by the city attorney about how the initiative referenced other documents. The City initiative includes both the SOAR initiative that protects open space and agricultural land in the city, and also renewal of the Hillside Protection Area initiative.
Please connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to get up-to-date information and find out about ways to assist our SOAR effort! As the countdown to the November election nears, we’ll be asking for your help!