What will the Focus Groups do for the General Plan Update?

In December 2015, the Board of Supervisors approved a General Plan Update Scope of Work provided by the consulting firm Mintier Harnish. This Scope of Work specified the formation of several issue-area Focus Groups. As stated in the Scope of Work, the purpose of the Focus Groups is to provide technical and policy input on draft General Plan documents. Focus Group participants include representatives from existing boards and commissions, as well as local and regional stakeholders with expertise in a given issue area.

In consultation with Mintier Harnish, County staff established the following seven Focus Groups:

  • Agriculture
  • Climate Change
  • Economic Development
  • Housing
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Transportation and Infrastructure
  • Water

In an effort to ensure that Focus Groups include a variety of perspectives and expertise, yet afford opportunity for all members to have ample time to talk and to address topics in a more in-depth way, Mintier Harnish recommended that each Focus Group consist of no more than 10 to 12 members.   After the Focus Group issue areas were identified, County staff from various divisions and agencies, including the Resource Management Agency Planning Division, Public Works Agency Transportation Department, Watershed Protection District, Agriculture Commissioner and County Executive Office, identified candidate issue-area experts to participate as Focus Group members. This list was then supplemented by input and suggestions made by stakeholders throughout the County.

The ultimate selection of Focus Group participants resulted from an iterative process based on the willingness and availability of identified experts to participate and the desire to balance membership among various interests. It should be noted, membership in Transportation & Infrastructure Focus Group was expanded to include representatives from each of the ten cities in the County as well as issue-area experts.

When will the General Plan Update interact with the Focus Groups?

The General Plan Update will interact with the Focus Groups at 5 points in the General Plan Update project. These points of engagement include review of the following public draft documents:

Evaluating Alternatives

The Planning Division will host individual meetings with all seven General Plan Update Focus Groups to discuss options for future growth and to explore policy issues related to each Focus Group. The input received from Focus Group members and the public will be summarized in a Draft Alternative Concepts Report, which will be presented at a joint work session of the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.

All meetings will be held in the Pacific Conference Room at the Ventura County Hall of Justice and are open to the public. 


All focus group meetings will convene in the Pacific Conference Room located at the Ventura County Hall of Justice, 800 S. Victoria Avenue in Ventura. Meetings will be held on March 19 and 20, 2018 as follows:

Monday, March 19, 2018

  • Water Focus Group (8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)
  • Climate Change Focus Group (10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Agriculture Focus Group (1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
  • Open Space and Recreation Focus Group (3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

  • Transportation and Infrastructure Focus Group (8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.)
  • Economic Development Focus Group (10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
  • Housing Focus Group (12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.)

Public Review Draft Background Report

Focus Group meetings were scheduled to review the Public Review Draft Background Report. All Focus Group meetings were open to the public and following discussion between Focus Group members, the public was invited to provide comments and ask questions. All meetings were held at the Ventura County Government Center in Ventura, CA.

The schedule of Focus Group Meetings were held as follows:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

  • Transportation & Infrastructure Focus Group
  • Water Focus Group
  • Climate Change Focus Group

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

  • Agriculture Focus Group
  • Economic Development Focus Group
  • Open Space & Recreation Focus Group

Notes taken by staff were presented to the Ventura County Planning Commission during Work Session No. 2 and are available online at the Planning Division’s Archived Planning Commission Documents or vcrma.org/planning/hearings-agendas/planning-commission-hearings along with all other public comments on the Public Review Draft Background Report.

Focus Group and TAC Kick-Off Meeting

The Planning Division held a kick-off meeting on April 7, 2016, for the General Plan Update’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Focus Groups. The TAC is comprised County staff and was formed to assist the Planning Division in providing data, information and feedback during the four-year General Plan Update process. The Focus Group members represent a variety of disciplines and expertise that provide input on public review draft documents at key points throughout the General Plan Update process.

During the kick-off meeting, Focus Group and TAC  Members received an overview presentation of the General Plan Update work program before separating into breakout sessions that corresponded with the seven Focus Group topic areas. Information collected in this meeting is summarized in the Assets, Issues, and Opportunities Summary Report which was presented to the Planning Commission on June 8th 2017 during Work Session No. 2.

April 7, 2016 Presentation to Focus Group and TAC Members

Who are the Focus Group members?

Click here to view the roster of Focus Group members for the General Plan Update (last updated June 28 2016)

Can I attend a Focus Group meeting?

Yes. The public is welcome to attend and will be given an opportunity to comment. Focus Group meetings ensure that Focus Groups include a variety of perspectives and expertise, yet afford opportunity for all members to have ample time to talk and to address topics in a more in-depth way, Mintier Harnish recommended that each Focus Group consist of no more than 10 to 12 members.

Focus Group meetings will be announced within the General Plan Update website and e-blasts to the project’s Interested Parties List. Not on the Interested Parties List yet? Sign up here.