The 2040 General Plan was shaped by an extensive community engagement program to ensure all community members had the opportunity to be involved in the 2040 General Plan update process. The County gathered community input through the following methods:
- Public Opinion Survey
- 25 Community Workshops and Open Houses
- 26+ Community Presentations
- 9 Educational booths, pop-up's and kiosks
- Project Website – www.VC2040.org
- General Plan Advisory Bodies
- Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
- 7 Issue Area Focus Groups convened for 27 meetings
- Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee
- 18+ Meetings with Municipal Advisory Councils and the Piru Neighborhood Council
- 14 Public Hearings and Work Sessions with the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission
- Prepared English-Spanish bilingual materials and provided bilingual staffing during all project phases.
A summary of the General Plan Update Project's community engagement activities was provided to the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing on September 1, 2020 as part of the Board's hearing materials. Click hear to view the Community Engagement Summary from the September 1, 2020 public hearing. Many of the materials noted below which were produced as part of the County's General Plan Update Project can be accessed on this website's Document Library.
Public Opinion Survey
In the Fall of 2017, the County conducted a survey to provide objective, statistically reliable measures of residents’ opinions on a number of key issues to be addressed in the General Plan Update project. The results of the survey were combined with information gathered through other public input methods to help develop the 2040 General Plan.
Workshops, Open Houses, and Informational Sessions
Pre-Scoping Public Workshops
In April 2015 the County initiated a project to review the 1988 Ventura County General Plan and prepare a General Plan Update work program to consider options for updating that Plan. As part of this project, the County held three public workshops on April 22 and 23 of 2015. At each workshop, County staff and consultants briefed community members on the basics of General Plans, including their structure, content, timeline, and the reasons the County was contemplating a General Plan Update. They then described three workshop exercises to gather community input on major assets, issues, and opportunities in the county. The Work Program Options Report, published on June 26, 2015, discusses the results of these community workshops.
"Assets, Issues, and Opportunities" Community Workshops
From July 13 to August 11, 2016, County staff facilitated 12 community workshops throughout the county. During the workshops, over 250 participants learned about the General Plan Update and discussed their views on the community’s major assets, current issues, and opportunities. Six of the community workshops were conducted in coordination with the County Municipal Advisory Councils while the remainder were provided to areas without a Municipal Advisory Council or similar organization.
In addition to in-person events, the General Plan Update used an online questionnaire to facilitate remote participation. The online questionnaire received 136 responses and provided background information and questions commensurate with the in-person community workshops. The results of this workshop series are described in the Assets Issues and Opportunities Summary Report, which is available on the Document Library webpage.
Interactive General Plan Update Booth at the Ventura County Fair
In addition to the 12 community workshops, from August 3 to 14, 2016, the County hosted a booth at the Ventura County Fair to inform residents about the General Plan Update project and gather input. The booth was in the Agriculture building alongside exhibits showcasing the county’s natural resources. During the Fair, County staff provided information on the General Plan Update project’s purpose, process and ways to get involved. It featured informational posters in both English and Spanish.
General Plan Update Information Booth at the Ventura County Government Center
County staff hosted an information booth at Ventura County Government Center’s Hall of Administration from October 31 to November 4, 2016. The information booth included materials to inform residents about the General Plan Update project and gather input. The booth provided information on the General Plan Update project’s purpose, process, and ways to get involved. It featured informational posters in both English and Spanish.
"Vision and Guiding Principles" Community Meetings and Open House Events
From July 17 to August 12, 2017, County staff held seven community meetings and four open house events to provide information on the proposed Vision and set of Guiding Principles. The County conducted open house events in coordination with the six Municipal Advisory Councils and the Piru Neighborhood Council. Open house events were facilitated as pop-up information booths with County staff present to answer questions and provide information about the General Plan Update project. The Open House events were conducted in local libraries and parks for communities that did not have a Municipal Advisory Council or neighborhood council to host a community meeting.
General Plan Update Information Booth at the Ventura County Government Center
County staff hosted an information booth at Ventura County Government Center’s Hall of Administration from July 24th to 28th, 2017. It featured informational posters in both English and Spanish.
"Evaluating Alternatives" Community Open Houses
From March 14 to April 4, 2018, General Plan Update staff facilitated six community open house events to inform the public on findings from the evaluation of land use alternatives and prospective policy topics. Over 130 members of the public attended the community events, during which they participated in interactive activities.
Materials were available in English and Spanish at all events, and the final open house was facilitated in Spanish with translation services available in Mixtec.
"VC2040 Draft General Plan" Community Open Houses
As part of the review of the Preliminary Public Review Draft 2040 General Plan, the County held a set of seven community open houses beginning May 2019. These events allowed participants to learn more about the 2040 General Plan and to ask questions of County staff.
Materials were available in English and Spanish at all events, and multiple open houses offered Spanish and Mixtec translation services .
The County General Plan Update project staff also provided public presentations to various community and agency groups, as requested. Groups included the following:
- Graduate and undergraduate classes at California Lutheran University;
- Municipal Advisory Councils in the Casa Conejo, El Rio-Del Norte, Oak Park, Oak View, Santa Rosa Valley, and Somis communities;
- Santa Clara River Watershed Committee;
- Student group from California Polytechnic Institute of San Luis Obispo;
- Partnership for a Healthy Ventura County;
- Piru Neighborhood Council;
- Student group at California State University Channel Islands
- Ventura County Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee;
- Ventura County Cultural Heritage Board;
- Ventura County Economic Development Association;
- Ventura Local Agency Formation Commission;
- Ventura County Community Transformation Leadership Team; and
- Open Space Roundtable.
Project Website (www.VC2040.org) and Online Engagement
To help expand the outreach efforts of the General Plan, the County maintained a project website (www.VC2040.org) to provide information on the process including meeting dates and locations, past meeting minutes, and project documents. The County regularly updated and used the project website throughout the General Plan update process to keep community members informed and involved.
Online Workshop Questionnaire for “Assets, Issues, and Opportunities”: From July 13 to September 1, 2016, the County provided an Online Workshop Questionnaire for community members who were unable to attend any of the 12 community workshops. The questions on the Online Workshop Questionnaire were similar to the exercises from the community workshops.
Online Workshop Questionnaire for “Vision and Guiding Principles”: From July 17 to August 12, 2017, an online questionnaire was made availalble to the public which complemented the content, objectives, and opportunities for input that were made avaialble as a complementary component of the "Vision and Guiding Principles" activities that were avaialble to the public as in-person workshops, community presentations, and pop-up booths.
County of Venutra Social Media on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: The Ventura County General Plan Update regularly posted announcements and public particpation opportuntiies to the County of Ventura's social media channels in order to reach community members already engaged with and interested in staying informed about County-related news.
General Plan Advisory Bodies
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
The TAC consists of County agency directors, deputy directors, and senior management staff who oversee agencies, departments, or programs, and implement policies that the General Plan will address. The TAC was established to provide data, information, and feedback at key points during the General Plan update process.
The County established seven Focus Groups to provide input on the following topic areas: agriculture, climate change, economic development, housing, open space and recreation, transportation and infrastructure, and water. Focus Group members are subject matter experts who represent a variety of disciplines and provide input on public review draft documents at key points throughout the project.
- April 2016 TAC and Focus Group Kick-Off Meeting
- March 2017 Provided input on Draft Background Report
- April 2018 Provided input on Alternatives Concept Report, land use alternatives and policy topics
- April 2019 Provided input on Preliminary Public Review Draft 2040 General Plan
Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee
The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee includes five members, with one member appointed to represent each of the five Board of Supervisor districts. The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee provided recommendations to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors on the 2040 General Plan Update Project. Additional details are available on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee webpage.
Municipal Advisory Councils and Piru Neighborhood Council
The County’s six Municipal Advisory Councils (Ojai Valley, Casa Conejo, El Rio/Del Norte, Santa Rosa Valley, Oak Park, and Somis) and the Piru Neighborhood Council served as convening organizations for community workshops and provided recommendations to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors on the 2040 General Plan Update project.
- Overview Presentation Provided at Ventura County Municipal Advisory Councils: From May 16 to June 30, 2016, County staff presented an overview of the General Plan Update scope of work, schedule, and roles and responsibilities of the Municipal Advisory Councils.
- Proposed Vision and Guiding Principles: From July 17 to 26, 2017, County staff presented information and received feedback on the 2040 General Plan’s proposed Vision and Guiding Principles.
- Project Update for the 2040 General Plan: From March 13 to 26, 2019, County staff presented information related to the impending release of the Preliminary Public Review Draft 2040 General Plan and the public participation opportunities that would follow its release.
More information about the role of the County's Municipal Advisory Councils in the General Plan Update Project is available on the Municipal Advisory Council webpage.
Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors Meetings, Working Sessions, and Hearings
The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors were engaged in each step of the development of the 2040 General Plan. Their insight and guidance were key to developing the 2040 General Plan. At each of the following meetings and work sessions, the public was invited to provide input.
Planning Commission Work Sessions
- April 7, 2016: Presentation of an overview of the Planning Commission roles and responsibilities, final work program and schedule, and proposed Community Engagement Strategy.
- June 8, 2017: Presentation of the Assets, Issues, and Opportunities Summary Report and the Draft Background Report.
- November 9, 2017: Presentation of the revised Draft Background Report and update the Planning Commission on next steps for the General Plan Update project.
- June 6, 13, and 20, 2019: Presentation of the Preliminary Public Review Draft 2040 General Plan and receive comments from the public and Planning Commission. This review occurred over several meetings. As part of these meetings, the Planning Commission made recommendations on the content of the 2040 General Plan to be used in the preparation of the Draft Program EIR.
Board of Supervisors Work Sessions
- January 23, 2018: Receive and file the General Plan Update project’s Assets, lssues, and Opportunities Summary Report and Public Opinion Survey; provide input on the Draft Vision Statement and Guiding Principles; and provide input on the Draft Background Report.
- August 6 and September 10, 2019: Presentation of the Preliminary Public Review Draft 2040 General Plan and recommended changes based on Planning Commission and public input. As part of these meetings, the Board of Supervisors made recommendations on the content of the 2040 General Plan to be used in the preparation of the Public Review Draft General Plan and Draft Program EIR. The September 10, 2019 Work Session included the review of the policy changes recommended at the August 6, 2019 Work Session and consider outstanding questions.
Board of Supervisors / Planning Commission Joint Work Sessions
- April 17, 2018: Consideration of the Vision Statement and Guiding Principles and the Alternatives Concept Report.
- July 31, 2018: Consideration of Alternatives Report, Chapters 1 - 6.
- November 6, 2018: Consideration of Alternatives Report, Chapters 7 - 9.
Planning Commission Hearing
- July 16, 2020: Following release of the Draft and Final Program EIRs, a public hearing was held with the Planning Commission to provide their final review of the 2040 General Plan and Program EIR. At the hearing, the Planning Commission received public testimony and made final recommendations for any changes needed. The Planning Commission then recommended an action on both documents for the Board of Supervisors consideration.
Board of Supervisors Hearings
- September 1, 2020 and September 15, 2020: Following release of the Draft and Final Program EIRs and after receipt of a recommended set of actions from the Planning Commission, the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing to consider the final documents for the General Plan Update Project. Following public testimony and discussion and requested changes, the Board of Supervisors acted to certify the Program EIR and to adopt the 2040 General Plan on September 15, 2020. The adopted 2040 General Plan will be effective thirty (30) days following its adoption.