Re: your editorial, “How will the county grow,” and Joe Howry’s essay, “Crafting county’s future,” published in The Star March 27:
Last week’s “The Road Ahead 2005” and other similar public meetings on the subject of “smart growth,” are simply presentations designed to persuade the public to accept continued population growth.
A few private financial and land development interests are hungry for continued growth to increase their profits, and they don’t care about the harmful effects that too much population can inflict on the vast majority of Ventura County residents.
As was stated in The Star’s editorial, “Ventura County is still a desirable place to live today,” and one of the main reasons for that is that the voters have solidly backed both citywide and countywide efforts to save farmlands and open space.
In Ventura, the voters three years ago soundly defeated a scheme to build 1,400 houses on the hillsides above town. These are the kinds of actions which Ventura County residents have taken to keep this a desirable place to live.
We do not have a responsibility to satisfy an external housing demand.
The idea that our quality of life will improve by continuing the present rate of population growth is false. The “healthy and sustainable future for our county” will be harmed instead of helped by the continued consumption of our fertile farmland and water supply.
The increased traffic and parking congestion will quickly make our new roads obsolete and make our travel more difficult, just as it has in the past.
Mr. Howry raises false issues to divert people’s attention from the harm of excess population, including “don’t be like Santa Barbara,” and “diversity,” which have nothing to do with the basic problem of too many people crowding into our living space.
There is only one way to keep Ventura County a desirable place to live: Inhibit population growth and preserve our farmland and open space.
— Will Thompson, Ventura