Ojai mayor and city council candidates answered issues about short-expression rentals, housing, targeted traffic and weather alter at two on-line boards hosted by the Ventura County League of Gals Voters on Tuesday.
Many queries submitted by residents centered on the city’s short-term rental ban, which supporters say can help hold additional housing obtainable for citizens.
“From a fundamental economics position of see, demand from customers and source, if you divert household housing into quick-expression housing you are lessening the housing supply, which exacerbates our very affordable housing issue,” explained existing city councilmember and mayoral candidate William Weirick.
Weirick and Betsy Stix, a instructor, are working for mayor of Ojai. The town is also holding its initially district-based mostly election in District 4. Current city councilmember Suza Francina and real estate broker Jeri Becker are running for that seat.
Ojai election 2020:
All four reported they assist the brief-expression rental ban for the reason that it preserves the variety of lengthier-phrase rentals in the metropolis, though Becker talked about the risk of revisiting the coverage.
Becker claimed she has witnessed other cities use “three strikes” procedures for small-phrase rentals, which consider absent a short-term rental owner’s license after they’ve violated ordinances a few situations.
“The upside of obtaining quick-expression rentals is we could basically get some earnings from this if we in fact appropriately controlled it. It is one thing that need to quite possibly be introduced again to daily life listed here in city. We are mainly a tourist economic climate and tourist town. We like advertising the magnificence of our valley and sharing it with people who want to visit,” she stated.
Candidates differ on how to maximize housing
Candidates also expressed worry around the lack of economical housing in the city. They differed on how the issue really should be dealt with, from extra accessory dwelling units to loosening setting up and growth codes.
“If you operate in a restaurant, a hair salon or are a solitary mum or dad, you really should be able to live right here, in any other case we grow to be but another lovable town of 2nd properties for affluent persons who reside in other places,” reported Stix.
She supports prolonged-phrase homesharing applications and accent dwelling units to expand the quantity of available units in the city, and said she remodeled her individual home to hire out portion of it to a roommate for below current market-fee.
Weirick wishes the metropolis to husband or wife with agencies like the Spot Housing Authority of the County of Ventura to build inexpensive housing projects on town-owned land and would like to see cost-effective housing involved in the redevelopment of the Chaparral Higher University assets.
Becker supports making the enhancement system shorter and a lot more cost-effective by loosening metropolis codes, and claims the Town Council and Arranging Fee has “dissuaded” housing projects in the past. She claimed permitting three-tale properties in some components of the city could encourage economical housing, which her opponent disagreed with.
“You criticize the Planning Commission and City Council for having a potent stance versus the type of development that could ruin our modest city, and that’s very uncomplicated for you to say thanks to where by you live in the metropolis,” mentioned Francina. “You will under no circumstances be influenced by a few-tale properties where by you stay in Persimmon Hill. It is pretty easy to not be a NIMBY when it’s not next to where by you reside.”
NIMBY is an acronym for “Not in My Again Lawn,” and refers to citizens who oppose developments around their houses.
The two Metropolis Council candidates also differed on the city’s Maricopa Highway active transportation project, which decreases the lanes on Freeway 33 to deliver a lot more house for bicycle and pedestrian use. The proposal is now in a six-thirty day period demonstration period of time.
Becker is involved around no matter if the demonstration will accurately display the impacts of the lane reduction, given that it is happening in the course of COVID-19. She also acknowledges the problem of nearby inhabitants who believe the job could raise site visitors on neighboring streets.
“I’m incredibly open-minded to see what the demonstration provides. I don’t want to see visitors pushed into these neighborhoods, nobody wants to see their quiet neighborhoods turned into a freeway since people today bypassed the freeway due to the fact we decreased the lanes.”
In accordance to Francina, in its place of speaking about the outcomes of the lane reduction, the metropolis should really target on the penalties of employing cars and trucks rather of other varieties of transit.
“People are very involved about the unintended outcomes of eradicating a car or truck lane and earning a safeguarded bike lane. The reality is that there are unintended consequences for getting established a lifestyle the place every person is chauffeuring their little ones everywhere, every person drives in all places,” she stated.
Achievable open council seat
Weirick’s term as town councilmember finishes in 2022, which suggests if he is elected mayor there will be a further open seat on the metropolis council. Both of those Weirick and Stix ended up asked how that opening should really be stuffed if he is elected mayor, and if the seat really should go to a lady. Suza Francina is currently the only female on the five-member Metropolis Council.
According to Weirick, a special election to fill his seat would expense the metropolis somewhere around $30,000.
“I would definitely guidance a capable lady to serve the unexpired phrase if I am elected mayor,” he stated. “I think it helps make more feeling in my level of watch for a skilled woman to serve the unexpired term and to do that by appointment due to the fact of the finances of a specific election.”
Stix emphasised that if she’s elected mayor, there would not be a need for a special election.
“Bill’s phrase goes until 2022, so if I’m elected I will choose the mayor’s seat and then we’ll all be equipped to operate together, so there is not going to have to be any form of election or final decision,” she claimed.
The $30,000 value “is really a lot of dollars for a exclusive election,” she mentioned.
Candidates also discussed tourism, metropolis funds and the impacts of COVID-19. To see the whole discussion board, go to https://my.lwv.org/california/ventura-county/candidate-boards.
Erin Rode addresses housing, real estate and enhancement for The Star. Attain her at [email protected] or 805-437-0312.