Land Use and Community Character
The County of Ventura has land use regulatory authority over most unincorporated land in the county. In contrast, the County lacks land use authority within the city limits of Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura. The County lacks land use authority over land in the unincorporated area that is owned/managed by the state or federal government (e.g., state parks, national parks, Bureau of Land Management areas, and tribal lands), except for portions of state parks and other state land located in the coastal zone. Under state law the County has land use authority over land owned/managed by special districts in the unincorporated area (e.g., school districts, cemetery districts, water districts), subject to limited exceptions.
The purpose of the Land Use and Community Character Element is twofold. First, this Element includes policies establishing land use designations that identify the type and intensity of uses permissible in unincorporated areas. These designations are shown on the Land Use Diagram, which graphically illustrates the boundaries for distinct land use designations. The intent of these land use designations is also described through text and a table of accompanying development standards. Second, this Element includes a series of goals and policies identifying the County’s philosophy for future change, development, and natural resource protection. The focus of this section is to preserve agricultural, rural, and open space lands while directing growth to cities and unincorporated communities.