The Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources, better known as SOAR, is actually a collection of ordinances and voter initiatives that require a public vote before agricultural land or open space can be developed. Since 1995, SOAR regulations have been enacted for eight Ventura County cities and the County’s unincorporated areas.
The County SOAR initiative, enacted November 3, 1998, requires a countywide public vote before the Ventura County Board of Supervisors can rezone any unincorporated land designated under the Ventura County General Plan as open space, agricultural or rural. A public vote is also needed for changes to a goal or policy of the Ventura County General Plan related to those land use designations. Several cities in Ventura County also have SOAR regulations that establish “city urban restriction boundary” lines, or CURB lines. City voters must approve a change to CURB lines before a city can develop outside an existing CURB line.
The current term for the County SOAR ends in 2020 and a renewal initiative has qualified to be placed on the ballot in November 2016.