100-Year Flood Event. A flood event that would occur on average every 100 years, or that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year.
500-Year Flood Event. A flood event that would occur on average every 500 years, or that has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring in any given year.
Accessibility/Accessible. A term that describes the usability of a facility, product or service by people with disabilities.
Accessory Building or Use. An activity or structure on a property that is incidental and subordinate to the main use of a site. For example, a small business office within a store might be considered an accessory use.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Shall have the same meaning as “accessory dwelling unit” defined by Government Code section 65852.2(j), as may be amended.
- Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU). Shall have the same meaning as “accessory dwelling unit” defined by Government Code section 65852.22(h), as may be amended.
Acre-foot (AF). The amount of water necessary to cover an acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot, or 43,560 cubic feet, which is equivalent to 325,828 gallons.
Acres, Gross. The entire acreage of a site, including but not limited to easements, streets and rights-of-way.
Acres, Net. The portion of a site that can actually be built upon. The following generally are not included in the net acreage of a site: public or private road rights-of-way, easements, public open space, and flood ways.
Active Fault. A fault is a fracture in the crust of the earth along which rocks on one side have moved relative to those on the other side. Most faults are the result of repeated displacements over a long period of time. A fault trace is the line of the earth’s surface defining the fault. An active fault is one that has ruptured in the past 11,000 years (California Department of Conservation).
Adaptation. The adjustment of natural or human systems to a new or changing environment.
Adaptive Reuse. The practice of converting obsolete or historic buildings from their original or most recent use to a new use.
Adjudication. With regard to water rights, a legal decision that allocates water to parties in proceedings and is overseen by a court-appointed watermaster.
Adverse Impact. A negative consequence for the physical, social, or economic environment resulting from an action or project.
Aesthetics. Regarding viewpoints and landscapes, refers to the visual resource and appeal due to characteristics such as lighting, setting conformance, architectural style, color, or openness.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. Taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.
- Disparities in Access to Opportunity. Substantial and measurable differences in access to educational, transportation, economic, and other opportunities in a community based on protected class related to housing.
- Disproportionate Housing Needs. Generally refers to a condition in which there are significant disparities in the proportion of members of a protected class experiencing a category of housing need when compared to the proportion of members of any other relevant groups, or the total population experiencing that category of housing need in the applicable geographic area. For purposes of this definition, categories of housing need are based on such factors as cost burden, severe cost burden, overcrowding, tenure (own vs. rent), homelessness, and substandard housing conditions.
- Fair Housing Choice. Individuals and families have the information, opportunity, and options to live where they choose without unlawful discrimination and other barriers related to race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability. Fair housing choice encompasses:
- Actual choice, which means the existence of realistic housing options;
- Protected choice, which means housing that can be accessed without discrimination; and
- Enabled choice, which means realistic access to sufficient information regarding options so that any choice is informed. For persons with disabilities, fair housing choice and access to opportunity include access to accessible housing and housing in the most integrated setting appropriate to an individual’s needs, as required under Federal civil rights law, including disability-related services that an individual needs to live in such housing.
Affordable Housing. Housing that is capable of being purchased or rented by persons whose income level is categorized as very low, low, or moderate within standards set by the California Department of Housing and Community Development or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Air Basin. A geographic area that exhibits similar meteorological and geographic conditions. California is divided into 15 air basins.
Air Pollution. Air pollution refers to any chemical, physical (particulate matter), or biological agent(s) that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. This can occur indoors or outdoors and often has harmful health effects. Car emissions, chemicals from factories, dust, pollen and mold spores may be suspended as particles. Ozone is a major component of air pollution in towns and cities, causing smog.
Airport Area of Influence. An area defined for each airport that encompasses all areas within the boundaries of the 60 dB CNEL aircraft noise contour and the approach and transitional surfaces at altitudes of 500 feet or less above the relevant airport elevations.
Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC). A commission authorized under the provisions of California Public Utilities Code, Section 21670 et seq., for the purposes of promoting compatibility between airports and the land uses surrounding them and are established, with limited exceptions, in each county where a public-use airport is located.
Airport. An area used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft.
Ambient Noise Level. The composite of noise from all sources; the normal or existing level of environmental noise at a given location.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public.
Alternative Energy. A form of energy that is not derived from fossil fuels.
Alternative Fuel. A fuel for internal combustion engines that is derived partly or wholly from a source other than petroleum and that is less damaging to the environment than traditional fuels.
Annexation. The process by which land is incorporated into an existing district or city, with a resulting change in the boundaries of the annexing jurisdiction.
Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT). The annual average number of motor vehicles traversing a given roadway over a 24-hour period.
Aquifer. A subsurface geological formation sufficiently permeable to conduct groundwater and capable of yielding usable quantities of water to a well or surface water spring.
Archaeological Resources. The fossilized remains of plants and animal life.
Area Plans. The land use plans for specific geographic subareas within the unincorporated area. The area plans govern the distribution, general location, and extent of uses of the land for housing, business, industry, open space, agriculture, and public facilities.
Areas of Interest. A plan adopted by LAFCO which divides the county into major geographic areas reflective of community and planning identity. Within each Area of Interest, there is to be no more than one city (but there will not necessarily be a city in each Area). Areas of Interest also serve as planning referral boundaries of the County Planning Division.
Attainment Area. An area which is shown by monitorial data or which is calculated by air quality modeling to be in compliance with any national ambient air quality standard.
Attainment Status. Attainment status for a pollutant indicates whether or not an Air District meets the standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (federal) or California Environmental Protection Agency (state). Continuous air monitoring ensures that these standards are met and maintained.
Average Daily Traffic (ADT). The average number of motor vehicles traversing a given roadway over a 24-hour period.
A-Weighted Sound Level (dBa). The sound pressure level in decibels as measured on a sound level meter using the A-weighting filter network. The A-weighting filter de-emphasizes the very low- and very high-frequency components of the sound in a manner similar to the frequency response of the human ear and correlates well with subjective reactions to noise.
Below Ridgeline. Areas below an imaginary horizontal plane that extends from points along a ridgeline as it transverses the subject property.
Best Management Practices (BMP). The practice, or combination of practices, that is designed to achieve sustainable groundwater management and have been determined to be technologically and economically effective, practicable, and based on best available science.
Bikeway. Facilities that primarily provide for bicycle travel. The following are categories of bikeways:
- Class I Bikeway – A bike path that provides a completely separated right-of-way for the exclusive use of bicycles and pedestrians with crossflow by motorists minimized.
- Class II Bikeway – A bike lane that provides a striped lane for one-way bike travel on a street or highway and is typically designated by bike lane signs and markings.
- Class III Bikeway – A bike route that provides a shared use area with pedestrian traffic or motor vehicle traffic (i.e., paved shoulder) and is typically designated with a bike route sign.
- Class IV Bikeway – A separated bike lane, or “protected bike lane,” with a physical barrier between the bike lane and the adjacent travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks. These may be one-way or two-way. These bike lanes can be separated from motor vehicle traffic by raised medians, concrete curbs, landscaping, on-street parking, bollards, flexible delineator posts, or by a change in elevation between the bike lane and travel lane.
Bikeshare. A service in which bicycles are made available for shared use to individuals on a short-term basis for a price or for free. Many bike share systems allow people to borrow a bike from a “dock” and return it at another dock belonging to the same system.
Biological. This term refers to the life or processes of living organisms.
Biological Control. The action of natural enemies (e.g., predators, parasites, diseases and antagonists) that reduces populations of pest insects, mites, weeds, and diseases, generally through human intervention and often targeting specific life stages and during a particular season. It can be an important component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs.
Biological Resources. A term that includes plant and animal species (including those defined as “special-status species”) and their habitats, plant communities, and ecosystems that include habitat linkages and wildlife corridors.
Biopesticides. The naturally occurring substances that control pests (biochemical pesticides), microorganisms that control pests (microbial pesticides), and pesticidal substances produced by plants containing added genetic material (plant-incorporated protectants).
Brownfield. An area with abandoned, idle, or underused industrial and commercial facilities where
expansion, redevelopment, or reuse is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.
Building Coverage. The amount of a lot that is covered by buildings, which is expressed as a percentage.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). State law that requires state and local agencies to evaluate and disclose the significant environmental impacts of discretionary actions and to avoid or mitigate those impacts, if feasible.
- Streamlining. Making a regulatory permitting or compliance process more efficient or less cumbersome. When used in reference to CEQA, streamlining means limiting or focusing the scope of environmental review for projects that meet certain criteria (e.g., streamlining for infill projects, per CEQA Guidelines Section 15183.3; or tiering and streamlining GHG emissions analysis for projects consistent with a climate action plan or GHG reduction plan, per CEQA Guidelines Section 15183.5).
- Tiering. Using the analysis of general matters contained in a broader environmental impact report (EIR), such as a program EIR prepared for a general plan or other programmatic action, with later EIRs and negative declarations on narrower projects; incorporating by reference the general discussions from the broader EIR; and concentrating the later EIR or negative declaration solely on the issues specific to the later project (CEQA Guidelines Section 15152).
Candidate Species. Any species that is under review by a state or federal agency to be listed as threatened or endangered, pursuant to either the Endangered Species Act or CA Fish and Game Code Section 2081.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2). A naturally occurring gas that exists in the earth’s atmosphere. CO2 is also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and biomass, as well as land-use changes and other industrial processes. It is the principal man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) that affects the earth’s radiative balance. It is the reference gas against which other GHGs are measured and, therefore, has a global warming potential of one.
Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e). CO2e is the measure of how much heat trapping potential a given type of greenhouse gas has on average over a 100-year time period, based on its molecular structure compared to carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 has a baseline of one, while other gases can be tens to thousands of times higher. The carbon dioxide equivalent for a gas is derived by multiplying the tons of the gas by the associated global warming potential. Carbon dioxide equivalents are commonly expressed as “metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents” (MT CO2e). Different molecules decay at different rates, causing their heat trapping potential to decline over periods of decades to centuries.
City Limits. A political boundary that defines land that has been incorporated into a city.
Climate. Climate, in a narrow sense, is usually defined as the “average weather,” or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands of years. The classical period is three decades, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.
Climate Action Plan (CAP). A planning document that lays out a set of strategies and policy recommendations intended to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change within a given entity, agency, or jurisdiction. The Ventura County 2040 General Plan also serves as the County’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) by including a GHG Strategy that includes policies and implementation programs that identify and reduce GHG emissions, and a Climate Adaptation Strategy that identifies climate adaptation measures that address the County’s vulnerability to climate change.
Climate Adaptation. Adjustment or preparation of natural or human systems to a new or changing environment because of climate change that moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
Climate Change. Any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among others, that occur over several decades or longer.
Climate Vulnerability. The extent to which a natural or social system is susceptible to sustaining damage from climate change and is a function of the magnitude of climate change, the sensitivity of the system to changes in climate and the ability to adapt the system to changes in climate.
Cluster Development. Description of a development technique that groups properties or units on a development site (subdivision and/or individual property) in order to maximize available land for open space, recreation, or agricultural use. (Also referred to as compact development.)
Collectors. A roadway facility that provides local access to the overall roadway network. Collectors channel traffic from local roadways into the arterial network. Intersections are permitted with all public roadways. Collectors have two lanes or more. See Minor Collectors.
Community Noise Equivalent Levels (CNEL). The average A-weighted noise level during a 24-hour day, obtained after addition of five decibels to noise levels occurring in the evening from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and the addition of 10 decibels to sound levels measured in the night between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Community Wastewater Treatment Facilities. A wastewater treatment plant that treats liquid waste which is received from off of the plant site. Such facilities include public agency-owned plants and privately-owned plants, and, may include accessory biosolids composting operations. (ADD. ORD. 4092 – 6/27/95; AM. ORD. 4123 – 9/17/96; AM. ORD. 4214 – 10/24/00)
Complete Street. A roadway facility that safely provides adequate access and capacity for all modes and users within the shared right-of-way.
Congestion Management Agency (CMA). A countywide agency that is responsible for preparing and implementing a Congestion Management Program (CMP). Ventura County Transportation Commission is the CMA for the Ventura region.
Congestion Management Program (State) or Process (Federal) (CMP). A program that the federal government requires of every county in California with a population of 50,000 or more to qualify for certain state and federal funds. CMPs set performance standards for roads and public transit and show how local agencies plan to meet those standards.
Conservation. The management of natural resources to prevent waste, destruction, or neglect.
Conventional State Highways. A conventional state highway refers to any highway which is acquired, laid out, constructed, improved or maintained as a State highway pursuant to constitutional or legislative authorization Routes of the state highway system serve the state’s heavily traveled rural and urban corridors, that they connect the communities and regions of the state, and that they serve the state’s economy by connecting centers of commerce, industry, agriculture, mineral wealth, and recreation (Streets and Highways Code, Division 1, Chapter 2, Article 3, 300)..
Criteria Pollutants. The criteria pollutants are the six principle pollutants harmful to public health and the environment for which the Environmental Protection Agency has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The pollutants are: carbon monoxide (CO), lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).
Critical Habitat. A term defined and used in the Endangered Species Act. It is a specific geographic area(s) that contains features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and that may require special management and protection. Critical habitat may include an area that is not currently occupied by the species but that will be needed for its recovery.
Critical Overdraft. As defined in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a basin is subject to critical overdraft when continuation of present water management practices would probably result in significant adverse overdraft-related environmental, social, or economic impacts.
Cultural Resources. A term most frequently identified with prehistoric (archaeological) or historic items. These can include prehistoric and historic districts, sites, structures, artifacts and other evidence of human use considered to be of importance to a culture, subculture, or community for traditional, religious, scientific or other reasons.
Dam. Any artificial barrier, together with appurtenant works, which impounds or may impound or divert water, and which either:
- is or will be 25 feet or more in height from the natural bed of the stream or watercourse at the downstream toe of the barrier, as determined by the CA Department of Water Resources, or from the lowest elevation of the outside limit of the barrier, as determined by the CA Department of Water Resources, if it is not across a stream channel or watercourse, to the maximum possible water storage elevation, or
- has or will have an impounding capacity of 50 acre-feet or more.
Day/Night Noise Level, Ldn or DNL. The average A-weighted noise level during a 24-hour day, obtained after addition of 10 decibels to levels measured in the night between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
Decibel (dB). A physical unit commonly used to describe noise levels. It is a unit for describing the amplitude of sound, as heard by the human ear.
Density. The amount of development per acre permitted on a parcel based on the General Plan and zoning ordinance.
Density Bonus. A density increase over the otherwise maximum allowable residential density for a qualified housing development.
Desalination. The process of removing salt (sodium chloride) and other minerals to obtain fresh water suitable for consumption, irrigation, or industrial uses.
Development. The subdivision of land; construction or alteration of structures, roads, utilities, and other facilities; installation of septic systems; grading activities; depositing of refuse; disposal of any material; dredging or mineral extraction, debris or fill materials; and the clearing of natural vegetation with the exception of agricultural activities. This does not include routine repair and maintenance activities.
Development Impact Fee. A fee that a local government imposes on private developers, usually on a per dwelling unit or per square foot basis, to pay for infrastructure improvements necessitated as a result of the development.
Designated Disadvantaged Community. An area identified by the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pursuant to Section 39711 of the Health and Safety Code or an area that is a low-income area that is disproportionately affected by environmental pollution and other hazards that can lead to negative health effects, exposure, or environmental degradation.
For the 2040 General Plan, Designated Disadvantaged Communities are areas within which census tracts scores are at or above 75 percent as identified by the CalEnviroScreen (https://oehha.ca.gov/calenviroscreen) online mapping software by California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), or areas with median household incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income or with household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low income by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s list of state income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093.
Disadvantaged Unincorporated Community (DUC). Pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 244 (2011), a fringe, island, or legacy community in which the median household income is 80 percent or less than the statewide median household income. These communities are identified in the General Plan Housing Element.
Discretionary Development. Any development proposal, project, or permit that requires the exercise of judgment, deliberation, or decision by the decision-making authority as part of the process of approving or disapproving a particular activity, as distinguished from situations where the decision-making authority merely has to determine whether there has been conformity with applicable statutes, ordinances, or regulations.
Dwelling Unit. A room or group of rooms (including sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation facilities, but not more than one kitchen), which constitutes an independent housekeeping unit, occupied or intended for occupancy by one household on a long-term basis.
Earthquake Fault Zone. Earthquake Fault Zones are regulatory zones around active faults. The zones are defined by turning points connected by straight lines. Most of the turning points are identified by roads, drainages, and other features on the ground. Earthquake Fault Zones are plotted on topographic maps at a scale of one-inch equals 2,000 feet. The zones vary in width, but average about one-quarter mile wide (California Department of Conservation).
Easement. The right to use property owned by another person or entity for specific purposes or to gain access to another property.
Ecosystem. The interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings. In the context of in-stream beneficial use assessment application, a complex system composed of a community of fauna and flora, and considering the chemical and physical environment with which the system is interrelated.
Ecosystem Function. The interaction between the components (e.g., plants, animals, water, air and soil) or processes (e.g., water cycle, nutrient cycle) of an ecosystem. Ecosystem function is measured through changes in the types, numbers, and distribution of plants and animals that occupy the ecosystem and by changes to the water quality/quantity and soil types within the ecosystem.
Effluent. A discharge of pollutants, with or without treatment, into the environment.
Emissions. The release of a substance into the atmosphere, including particulate matter and gasses.
Emissions, Fugitive: Emissions that are not physically controlled but result from the intentional or unintentional release of greenhouse gases, most commonly from the production, processing, transmission, storage and use of fuels or other substances, often through joints, seals, packing, gaskets, or other equipment.
Emissions, Vented. Emissions, including methane, that is released due to equipment design or operational procedures.
Encroachment. Any obstruction or protrusion into a right of way or adjacent property, whether on the land or above it.
Endangered Species. A species listed as Endangered by the State or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Generally, any native species or subspecies of a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, or plant that is in serious danger of becoming extinct throughout all, or a significant portion, of its range other than a species of the Class Insecta determined by the Secretary of the Interior or Commerce to constitute a pest whose protection under the provisions of this Chapter 35 of Title 16 of the U.S. Code would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to man.
Environmental Justice. According to California Code Section 65040.12, environmental justice is the fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, adoption, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Equity. The fair, just, and equitable management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract; the fair, just and equitable distribution of public services and implementation of public policy; and the commitment to promote fairness, justice, and equity in the formation of public policy. A focus on equity expands opportunities for betterment that are available to those communities most in need, creating more choices for those who have few.
Equivalent Noise Level (Leq). The average A‑weighted noise level during the measurement period.
Erosion. Erosion is the process of removal and transport of soil and rock by weathering, mass wasting, and the action of streams, glaciers, waves, winds, and underground water.
Essential Facilities. Structures or buildings that must be safe and usable for emergency purposes after a natural or human-induced disaster to preserve the health and safety of the general public. These facilities include:
- Hospitals and other medical facilities having surgery or emergency treatment areas.
- Fire, police, and sheriff stations.
- Tanks or other structures containing, housing or supporting water or other fire-suppression materials or equipment required for protection of essential or hazardous materials facilities or special occupancy structures.
- Emergency vehicle shelters and garages.
- Structures and equipment in emergency-preparedness centers.
- Stand-by power generating equipment for essential facilities.
- Structures and equipment in government communication centers and other facilities required for emergency response.
Existing Community. An area designated as Existing Community in the 2040 General Plan and identified in the Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources (SOAR) initiative. These areas identify existing urban residential, commercial, or industrial enclaves outside of incorporated areas and urban centers. The Existing Community area designation applies to areas that include uses, densities, building intensities, and zoning designations that are normally found in incorporated areas or urban centers, but which do not qualify as urban centers.
Expansive Soils. Soils that expand or swell (increase in volume) when wet and contract or shrink (decrease in volume) when dried.
Expressways. An arterial highway for through traffic which may have partial control of access, but which may or may not be divided or have grade separations at intersections (Streets and Highways Code, Division 1, Chapter 2, Article 2, 257).
Extreme Heat Days. An extreme heat day is a day in April through October where the maximum temperature exceeds the 98th historical percentile of maximum temperatures (based on daily temperature data between 1961-1990).
Extreme Storm Events. Extreme storm events refer to the increase in precipitation intensity and variability, increase in wind speed, and increase in ocean temperatures that increase the number and intensity of tropical storms that can increase the risk of flooding, drought, erosion, turbidity, debris in reservoirs, nutrient and pollutant loading, and wildfires.
Farmland of Local Importance. A category of the Important Farmlands Inventory that consists of local soils that are listed as Prime or Statewide Importance. This farmland is not irrigated and includes such dry land crops as beans or grain.
Farmland of Statewide Importance. A category of the Important Farmlands Inventory that generally includes lands with a good combination of physical and chemical features for the production of agricultural crops. The criterion is basically like that of prime farmland but there is no minimum soil depth limitation and no permeability restriction. Land must have been used for irrigated agricultural production at some time during the four years prior to the mapping date.
Farmworker Housing. Housing occupied by farmworkers or agricultural employees, including their family members.
Fault. A fracture in the earth’s crust accompanied by displacement of one side of the fracture with respect to the other side. This term is used in the following contexts:
- Active Fault. A fault that has had surface displacement within the last 11,000 years (Holocene Time). Faults that lack evidence for Holocene displacement at a particular locality may be determined to be active based on data from another locality.
- Fault Hazard Area. Land within about 660 feet of active faults. These areas generally require the evaluation of the fault hazard prior to any planned development for human occupancy.
Feasible. Capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, legal, social, and technological factors. Whether something is “feasible” in the context of the General Plan policy, program or other provision in which the term is used shall be determined by the County based on substantial evidence.
Fire Hazard Severity Zone. California law requires California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention (CAL FIRE) to identify areas based on the severity of fire hazard that is expected to prevail there. These areas, or “zones,” are based on factors such as fuel (material that can burn), slope, and weather. There are three zones, based on increasing fire hazard–medium, high, and very high.
Fiscal Year. The period designated for the beginning and ending of financial transactions, which begins on July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year.
Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The FIRM is the basis for floodplain management, mitigation, and insurance activities of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Uses of the FIRM for insurance activities include enforcement of the mandatory purchase requirement of the 1973 Act. The risk zones shown on the FIRMs are the basis for the establishment of premium rates for flood coverage offered through the NFIP. At present FIRMs have been published for virtually all communities in the nation having flood risks.
Floodplain. The area adjacent to a watercourse or other body of water that is subject to recurring floods.
Floodway. See Regulatory Floodway.
Floor Area-Ratio (FAR). The ratio of allowable building space per land area on a development site.
Food Desert. A geographic area that has limited access to affordable, healthy food options needed to maintain a healthy diet. The USDA defines a food desert, or “low-access community,” as communities of 500 people where at least 33 percent of the community lives more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store. For rural communities, the distance is 10 miles or more.
Food Hub. An integrated food distribution system that coordinates agricultural production, and the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and marketing of locally or regionally produced food products.
Food Insecurity. A condition that refers to difficulty accessing healthy food. The USDA describes low food security as reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of the food available, with no or some indication of reduced food intake; very low food security refers to multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.
Food Security. A condition that refers to adequate and consistent access to healthy foods.
Fossil Fuels. Carbon-rich deposits in the earth, such as petroleum (oil), coal, or natural gas, derived from the remains of ancient plants and animals and used for fuel.
Free Flow Speed. The speed that a motorist travels on a given roadway as the density of vehicles on the roadway approaches zero.
Freeways. Freeways are highways where the owners of abutting lands have no right or easement of access to or from their abutting lands or in respect to which such owners have only limited or restricted right or easement of access (Streets and Highways Code, General provisions, 23.5). A freeway is a divided arterial highway for through traffic with full control of access and with grade separations at intersections (Streets and Highways Code, Division 1, Chapter 2, Article 2, 257)..
Frequency (Hz). The number of complete pressure fluctuations per second above and below atmospheric pressure. Normal human hearing is between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. Infrasonic sounds are below 20 Hz and ultrasonic sounds are above 20,000 Hz.
Fringe Community. Any inhabited and unincorporated territory that is within a city sphere of influence.
Frontage. The frontage, or front, of a lot is usually defined as the side nearest the street.
Functional Classification. See “Roadway Functional Classification.”
Geographic Information System (GIS). A computerized tool for gathering, managing, and analyzing geo-spatial data. GIS analyzes spatial location and organizes layers of information into visualizations using maps and 3D scenes.
Global Warming Potential (GWP) Values. The use of values to apply a weight to gases that are determined by researchers to have increased greenhouse gas effects relative to the most common greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. These values are determined using specific methodologies, such as those described in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (2014).
Goal. A statement that describes in general terms a desired future condition or “end” state. Goals describe ideal future conditions for a topic and tend to be very general and broad.
Greenbelt Agreement. A joint resolution between interested cities and the county to protect open space and agricultural lands. Cities commit to not annex any property within a greenbelt while the Board of Supervisors agrees to restrict development to uses consistent with existing zoning.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG). Any gas that absorbs infrared radiation in the atmosphere. The principal greenhouse gases associated with global warming and climate change that are commonly included in GHG emissions inventories include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory. A quantitative analysis of activity-based, community-wide GHG emissions generated by residents, businesses, or other sources, typically measured for a period of one calendar year and organized by sector. The County of Ventura’s GHG inventory applies to the unincorporated area.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mitigation. The reduction of human impacts on the climate by reducing greenhouse gas sources and emissions and enhancing greenhouse gas sinks.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Strategy. A strategy to identify and reduce community GHG emissions from existing and future activities and sources within the unincorporated area of the county. The GHG Strategy also serves to identify the County’s local fair-share contribution to meeting statewide GHG emission reduction goals pursuant to state legislation, policies, and guidance.
Gross Acre. Amount of land, including but not limited to easements, streets and rights-of-way, designated for a particular use.
Groundwater. Water under the earth’s surface, often confined to aquifers capable of supplying wells and springs.
Groundwater Basin. An aquifer or system of aquifers that has reasonably well- defined boundaries and more or less definite areas of recharge and discharge. Refers to subsurface deposits and geologic formations that are capable of yielding usable quantities of water to a well or spring. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act defines “basin” as a groundwater basin or subbasin identified and defined in Department of Water Resources Bulletin 118 or as modified pursuant to Section 10722 of the Act.
Guidelines for Orderly Development. A policy document adopted by the County, cities, and Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to establish a collaborative commitment to encourage urban development to occur within cities whenever and wherever practical; enhance the regional responsibility of County government; and facilitate orderly planning and development in Ventura County. The intent of the Guidelines is to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the cities, the County and LAFCO regarding urban development within the Spheres of Influence of the various cities and Areas of Interest.
Habitable Structure. A building or structure suitable for living, sleeping, eating or cooking.
Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridors. Areas of contiguous natural habitats or undeveloped land of sufficient width to facilitate the movement, migration, foraging, breeding, and dispersal of multiple wildlife or plant species between two or more core habitat areas. The boundaries of the Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridor areas and the Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridors overlay zone are coterminous.
Hazardous Building. A substandard, unsafe or dangerous building as defined in the codes adopted by reference in the Ventura County Building Code.
Hazardous Material. Any material that because of its quantity, concentration, or physical or chemical characteristics, poses a significant present or potential hazard to human health and safety or to the environment if released into the workplace or the environment. Hazardous materials include hazardous substances, hazardous waste, and any material which a handler or the administration agency has a reasonable basis for believing that it would be injurious to the health and safety of persons or harmful to the environment if released into the workplace or the environment (California Health and Safety Code Section 25501). Such material may be classified as poisons, corrosive chemicals, flammable material, explosives and oxidizers and reactive materials or substances when tested in accordance with the criteria in California Code of Regulations, Title 22.
Hazard Mitigation. A sustained action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and their property from hazards and their effects.
Hazardous Waste. Any waste or combination of wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, physical or chemical, or infectious characteristics, (a) may either cause or significantly contribute to serious illness or death or an increase in serious irreversible or incapacitating reversible, illness (Hazardous Waste Control Act), or (b) may pose a substantial present or potential threat to human health or the environment when improperly managed. These substances may be poisons, corrosive chemicals, flammable materials, explosives and oxidizers and reactive materials or substances when tested in accordance with the criteria in California Code of Regulations, Title 22.
Health. A complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease.
Health Equity. Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to attain his or her full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.
Health Disparities. Differences in health and mental health status among distinct segments of the population, including differences that occur by gender, age, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, education or income, disability or functional impairment, or geographic location, or the combination of any of these factors.
Historic District. A group of buildings, properties, or sites recognized as historically or architecturally significant. These may be designated at the federal level, managed by the National Park Service, at the state or local levels. Federally designated historic districts are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In some counties or jurisdictions, historic districts receive legal protection from certain types of development considered to be inappropriate.
Historical Resources. The material and nonmaterial expressions of human adaptations that characterized the post-contact or historic period. These resources include historic event or activity sites, historic archaeological sites, standing architecture and other significant properties and documents and other sources of historical information, objects of material culture, and secondarily, the more nonmaterial cultural qualities such as folklore, social organization, and value systems which are associated with these properties.
Hydroconsolidation. A process of collapse and compaction that occurs in silty to sandy sediment (soil) with a low density when the soil is saturated for sustained periods and then the water is subsequently removed.
Incompatible. The characteristic of different uses or activities that are not permitted to be located near each other because it is likely to create conflict. Some elements affecting compatibility include intensity of occupancy as measured by dwelling units per acre; pedestrian or vehicular traffic generated; volume of goods handled; and environmental effects including noise, vibration, glare, air pollution, or radiation.
Industry. A group of enterprises that produce similar products or provide similar services.
Infill Development. Development of vacant or underutilized land (usually individual lots or leftover properties) within areas that are already largely developed.
Infill Opportunity Zone. A specific area designated by a city or county for mixed-use development that is within one-half mile of a major transit stop or high-quality transit corridor in the regional transportation plan (Public Resources Code, Section 65088.4, subdivision (c)).
Infiltration. The process of water on the ground surface entering into sub-surface soil.
In-Lieu Fee. A fee paid by a housing developer for the purpose of affordable housing development, in lieu of the developer satisfying a requirement to construct such affordable housing.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM). An ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.
Integrated Regional Water Management. A comprehensive and collaborative approach for managing water to concurrently achieve social, environmental and economic objectives. This integrated approach delivers higher value for investments by considering all interests, providing multiple benefits, and working across jurisdictional boundaries at the appropriate geographic scale.
Intensity. The actual or maximum permitted floor area ratio (FAR) on a site or that is allowed on a site within a designation or zone.
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). Application of information and communication electronic technologies, management tools, and services to improve transportation system efficiencies.
Intermodal Facility. Passenger or freight transportation services that involve or use more than one type of transportation facility (or mode).
Inter-tie. An interconnection permitting passage of utility service (e.g., water or electricity) between two or more systems, such as electric and water utility systems.
Island Community. Any inhabited and unincorporated territory that is surrounded or substantially surrounded by one or more cities or by one or more cities and a county boundary or the Pacific Ocean.
Landslide. The dislodging and fall of a mass of rock, soil, or mixture of both (debris/mud flow) along a sloped surface, or for the dislodged mass itself.
Land Use Designation. A specific geographic designation with associated land use or management policies and regulations.
Legacy Community. A geographically isolated unincorporated community that is inhabited and has existed for at least 50 years.
Level of Service (LOS). A qualitative measure used to rate a roadway segment’s traffic flow characteristics, and acts as an indicator of roadway performance, relative to locally established standards for quality of service. LOS can assist in determining when roadway capacity improvements are needed, using a scale of A through F, which is described below:
- LOS “A” – Free uninterrupted low volume flow at high speeds with no restriction on maneuverability (lane changing) and with little or no delays.
- LOS “B” – Stable flow with some restrictions to operating speed occurring.
- LOS “C” – Stable flow but with speed and maneuverability restricted by higher traffic volumes. Satisfactory operating speed for urban locations with some delays at signals.
- LOS “D” – Approaching unstable flow with tolerable operating speeds subject to considerable and sudden variation, little freedom to maneuver and with major delays at signals.
- LOS “E” – Unstable flow with volume at or near capacity, lower operating speeds and major delays and stoppages.
- LOS “F” – Forced flow operation with low speeds and stoppages for long periods due to downstream congestion. Volumes below capacity.
Liquefaction. The process by which water-saturated, unconsolidated sediments are transformed into a substance that acts like a liquid, often as a result of ground shaking.
Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo). A commission within each county that reviews and evaluates all proposals for formation of special districts, incorporation of cities, annexation to special districts or cities, consolidation of districts, and merger of districts with cities.
Locally Important Species. A plant or animal species that is not an endangered, threatened or rare species, but which is considered by qualified biologists to be a quality example or unique species within the County or region. This term includes any species that is under consideration for a designation of “endangered,” “threatened,” or “rare.”
Local Roads. Roadways that provide direct access to the abutting land and primarily facilitate local travel. Local roadways are not intended for long distance travel and are often designed to discourage through traffic. There are no restrictions on intersections or public access.
Lot Coverage. The proportion of the gross building square footprint (area covered by the first floor of the building) on a lot to the net square footage of the lot.
Low Impact Development (LID). Development that incorporates a combination of drainage design features and pollution reduction measures to reduce development impacts on hydrology (peak runoff flow rates) and water quality.
Low-Income Area. Per Senate Bill 1000, an area with household incomes at or below 80 percent of the statewide median income or with household incomes at or below the threshold designated as low income by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s list of state income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093.
Major Employment Center. A major employment center is a cluster of relatively small employers (businesses with less than 100 employees), that collectively result in very large centralized concentrations of employment, such as a business park.
Major Transportation Terminal. A multimodal transportation hub connecting major transit stops. “Major transit stop” is defined as “a site comprised of an existing rail transit station, ferry terminal served by bus or rail transit service, or the intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods” (Public Resources Code, 21064.3).
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). A Federally-designated agency that is responsible for regional transportation planning in each metropolitan area. The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is the MPO for the Ventura region.
Microgrid. A microgrid is a group of interconnected loads and distributed energy resources within clearly defined electrical boundaries that acts as a single controllable entity with respect to the grid. A microgrid can connect and disconnect from the grid to enable it to operate in both grid-connected or island-mode.
Military Installation. A base, camp, post, station, yard, center, homeport facility for any ship, or other area under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Mineral Resource Zones (MRZ’s). The State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) investigates and designates lands underlain by mineral resources as a Mineral Resource Zone (MRZ) based on the known or inferred presence of mineral resources. The following MRZ categories are used by the State Geologist in classifying the state’s lands:
- MRZ-1– Areas where adequate geologic information indicates that no significant mineral deposits are present, or where it is judged that little likelihood exists for their presence.
- MRZ-2 – Areas underlain by mineral deposits where geologic data show that significant measured or indicated resources are present (2a) or where such resources are inferred (2b).
- MRZ-3 – Areas containing known mineral deposits that may qualify as mineral resources (3a) or areas containing inferred mineral deposits that may qualify as mineral resources (3b). Further exploration work within these areas could result in the reclassification of specific localities into the MRZ-2 category.
- MRZ-4 – Areas where geologic information does not rule out either the presence or absence of mineral resources. The distinction between the MRZ-1 and MRZ-4 categories is important for land-use considerations. It must be emphasized that MRZ-4 classification does not imply that there is little likelihood for the presence of mineral resources, but rather there is a lack of knowledge regarding mineral occurrence. Further exploration work could well result in the reclassification of land in MRZ-4 areas to MRZ-3 or MRZ-2 categories.
Mining. A form of mineral resource development involving the extraction and removal of more than 1,000 cubic yards of material from the same site, through such activities and uses as borrow areas, sand, gravel and rock quarries, etc. Mining does not include extraction and removal of material from construction sites or following floods, landslides or natural disasters where the land is being restored to its prior condition.
Minor Collectors. Roadways that provide local access to the overall roadway network. Collectors channel traffic from local roadways into the arterial network. Intersections are permitted with all public roadways. See “Collectors.”
Mixed-Use. A development project with planned integration of residential and non-residential development within a building with the upper floors used for residential and the ground floor used for non-residential land uses.
Mobility-as-a-Service (MasS). A shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation and towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service, e.g., Uber and Lyft are MaaS providers.
Mode of Transport. One of various forms of transportation, including automobile, transit, bicycle, walking, and horseback riding.
Mode Split. The number of trips that use each of the various modes of transport (typically expressed as a percentage to total trips).
National Highway System. A network of strategic highways within the United States, including the Interstate Highway System and other roads serving major airports, ports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipeline terminals, and other strategic transport facilities.
National Performance Monitoring Research Data Set (NPMRDS). A data set maintained by the Federal Highway Administration. The data set includes vehicle speed data for all roadways designated as part of the National Highway System for passenger vehicles and trucks using vehicle probe data taken from a variety of sources including mobile phones, vehicles, portable navigation devices, and American Transportation Research Institute leveraging embedded fleet systems.
National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). A list of cultural resources determined by the National Park Service to be of historic, cultural, architectural, archaeological, or engineering significance at the national level.
Net Acre. The amount of land designated for a particular uses, excluding easements, streets, and rights-of-way.
Noise Sensitive Use. Land uses where noise exposure could result in health-related risks to individuals, as well as places where quiet is an essential element of their intended purpose. These uses include: residences; schools; nursing homes; historic sites; cemeteries; parks, recreation, and open space areas; hospitals and care facilities; hotels and other short-term lodging (e.g., bed and breakfasts, motels); places of worship; and libraries.
Nonattainment Area. An area or air basin that does not meet California or National ambient air quality standards for a given pollutant.
Nonpoint Source Pollutants. Pollutants that wash off, run off, or seep from broad areas of land or water.
Onsite Wastewater Treatment System (OWTS). Individual disposal systems, community collection and disposal systems, and alternative collection and disposal systems that use subsurface disposal. OWTS do not include “graywater” systems, pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 17922.12. An OWTS may only be utilized in areas where connection to a sewer utility is not available or feasible.
Open Space. A parcel or area of land that is essentially undeveloped for human use and devoted to an open space use, such as the preservation of natural resources, managed production of resources, outdoor recreation, and preservation of public health and safety
Organic. A labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved . These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
Origin-Destination (O-D). The location pair representing the beginning (origin) and end (destination) of a given trip. Trip, or person trip, is a one-directional movement from one point (origin) to a second point (destination). Term used in transportation planning and analysis.
Paleontological Resources. The fossilized remains of ancient plants and animals.
Paratransit. The range of demand-responsive (or on-request) transit providing service from a trip origin to trip destination.
Park. An open area that offers recreational and green space for residential and visitor use. May also be called an urban or municipal park if within jurisdictional limits; or a public park if publicly owned.
Park and Ride Lot. A facility where motorists can park their personal vehicles in a publicly-provided lot and continue their trip via carpool, vanpool, or transit.
Particulate matter (PM). Also known as particle pollution, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. Dust and other particulates exhibit a range of particle sizes. Particulate matter is measured by two sizes: course particles (PM10), or particles between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter; and fine particles (PM2.5), or particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.
Permeability. The ability of a substance to allow another substance to pass through it, especially the ability of a porous rock, sediment, or soil to transmit fluid through pores and cracks.
Planning Area. Geographic subareas of the county that bear a relationship to Areas of Interest established by LAFCO. They also reflect zones within the county historically used by VCTC for countywide transportation planning.
Policy. A clear and unambiguous statement of a public body that forms the basis for making decisions.
Precipitation. Precipitation is moisture in the form of rain, snow, hail, etc., that has fallen at a given place within a given period, usually expressed in inches or centimeters.
Primary Arterials. Unlike freeways and expressways, arterials serve the neighboring areas. Arterials can include at-grade intersections with other major roadways. By connecting the major activity centers and highest traffic volume corridors, arterials help to provide a network of continuous routes, facilitating both local and regional travel. Primary arterials have six lanes or more.
Prime Farmland. A category of the Important Farmlands Inventory that has the best combination of physical and chemical features able to sustain long-term agricultural production. This land has the soil quality, growing season, and moisture supply needed to produce sustained high yields. Prime Farmland must have been used for irrigated agricultural production at some time during the four years prior to the mapping date.
Program. An action, activity, or strategy to be taken by the County to carry out an adopted policy to achieve a specific goal or objective.
Public Facilities. Includes public improvements, public services, and community amenities, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 66000.
Public Transportation. Travel by bus, rail, or other vehicle, either publicly- or privately-owned, which provides general or specialized service on a regular or continuing basis.
Queue Spill-Back. A term used to describe queuing vehicles that extend to the adjacent upstream intersection.
Rare (Species). A term used to describe a plant or animal species that, although not presently threatened with extinction, is present in such small numbers throughout all or a significant portion of its range that it may become endangered if its environment worsens.
Reactive Organic Gases (ROG). ROGs are photochemically reactive and are composed of non-methane hydrocarbons. These gases contribute to the formation of smog.
Reclaimed Water (Recycled Water). Wastewater that has been treated for beneficial purposes such as agricultural and landscape irrigation, industrial processes, toilet flushing, and replenishing a ground water basin (referred to as ground water recharge). Water recycling offers resource and financial savings.
Regenerative Agriculture. A system of farming and grazing practices that strive to reverse climate change, restore and increase biodiversity, rebuild soil organic matter, improve watersheds, and enhance ecosystem services.
Regional Road Network. The road system in Ventura County that consists of roads classified as Primary (6 lanes or more), Secondary (4 lanes) or Collector (2 lanes), as well as freeways, expressways and conventional State highways.
Regional Transportation Plan (RTP). A minimum 20-year plan that is required by State and Federal law to guide the development of the region’s transportation system.
Regulatory Floodway. The channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height. Communities must regulate development in these floodways to ensure that there are no increases in upstream flood elevations.
Regional Housing Needs Allocation. A projection generated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development of the housing needs of current and future residents of every region in the state, which is in turn allocated to every local jurisdiction by a regional Council of Governments. A local government is required by State law to demonstrate in its Housing Element that its housing needs allocation can be accommodated over the Housing Element’s planning period.
Renewable Energy. A form of energy derived from a natural resource that is not depleted by use and is available as natural flows of energy and materials in the environment, e.g. solar, wind, tide, waves, plant matter, and by-products of human activities.
Renewable Energy Priority Zone. Locations where renewable energy generation and storage systems as defined under Public Resources Code Section 25741 and Public Utility Code Section 2835 are allowable land uses and can be incentivized and streamlined at the discretion of the County.
Renewable Resources. Self-perpetuating types of resources; living or biotic resources and resources that are finite in quantity but can be reused, such as air and water. Other renewable natural resources include solar, wind, biomass, and water resources.
Reservoir. A place where water is collected and kept in quantity for future use.
Resilience. The ability of a social or ecological system to absorb disturbances while retaining the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self-organization, and the capacity to adapt to stress and change.
Right-of-Way. In this General Plan, this term refers to the land used for transportation or utility purposes. This area of land is often used for the construction and operation of a transportation facility and adjacent space.
Riparian. A zone of transitional habitat between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, dependent on the existence of perennial, intermittent, or ephemeral surface or subsurface water. The riparian vegetation community is located adjacent to the bank of a natural course of water. For example, riparian vegetation is composed of plant species normally found near streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and other freshwater bodies.
Riparian Corridor. A corridor of riparian vegetation adjacent to perennial and intermittent streams or other freshwater bodies.
Roadway Functional Classification. Classification system that stratifies roadways by a range of characteristics including access, accessibility provided by the roadway, and land uses served by the roadway and often relates to the physical and operational characteristics of the roadway.
- Primary Roads– Roadways for the purpose of the movement of through traffic with limited access to abutting property (usually 6 lanes or more).
- Secondary Roads– Roadways that connect primary and collector roadways for the purpose of through traffic but generally restrict access to residential areas (usually 4 lanes).
- Collector Roads– Roadways that carry traffic between local roads and have access to adjacent properties (usually 2 lanes).
- Minor Roads– Roadways similar to collectors but do not convey substantial volumes of through traffic, have lower speed limits, have fewer signalized intersections, and provide local access to smaller communities.
- Local Roads– Roadways intended primarily to provide direct access to adjacent properties and do not convey substantial volumes of through traffic.
Safe Yield. Commonly defined as the maximum quantity of water that can be continuously withdrawn from a reservoir or groundwater basin without causing adverse effects.
Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources (SOAR). The County SOAR ordinance requires countywide voter approval of any non-editorial change to the General Plan involving the Agricultural, Open Space, or Rural land use designations, or any changes to a General Plan goal or policy related to those land use designations through 2050.
Scenic Highway/Roadway. Highways and roadways designated by the state or County as scenic based on how much of the natural landscape can be seen by travelers, the scenic quality of the landscape, and the extent to which development intrudes upon the traveler’s enjoyment of the view.
Scenic Resources. Distinctive aesthetic resources that the County has determined are worthy of conservation. The Area Plans for Lake Sherwood, Oak Park, the Ojai Valley, and Piru recognize these resources. Criteria for this distinction include:
- Viewable or accessible from a road
- Absence of major residential development
- Accessible for recreational use
- Percentage of land with steep slopes
- Watershed areas
- Dense vegetation cover (all types)
- Stands of trees
- Abundance of wildlife
- Open space designation
- Percentage of land in National Forest or other government ownership
Scenic Vista. A scenic vista is defined as a viewpoint that provides expansive views of a highly valued landscape for the benefit of the general public.
Sea Level Rise. Sea level rise is an increase in the mean level of the ocean. Eustatic sea level rise is a change in global average sea level brought about by an alteration to the volume of the world oceans. Relative sea level rise occurs where there is a net increase in the level of the ocean relative to local land movements. Climate modelers largely concentrate on estimating eustatic sea level change. Impact researchers focus on relative sea level change.
Secondary Arterials. Unlike freeways and expressways, arterials serve the neighboring areas. Arterials can include at-grade intersections with other major roadways and connect other arterials and major collectors for the purpose of through traffic with some access to commercial/industrial developments but generally restricted access to residential areas. Secondary arterials have four lanes or more.
Sensitive. Prone or readily able to be degraded or otherwise negatively impacted.
Sensitive Biological Resources. Biological resources including but not limited to: special status species and the habitats that support them, beaches, dunes, coastal bluffs, rocky outcrops, colonial roosting sites, fresh and salt water wetlands and estuaries, native tree woodlands/savannahs, streams and rivers and their associated riparian and alluvial vegetation, and wildlife corridors.
Sensitive Receptors. Populations or uses that are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution than the general population, such as long-term health care facilities, rehabilitation centers, retirement homes, convalescent homes, residences, schools, childcare centers, and playgrounds.
Seiche. A standing wave oscillating in a body of water.
Service Population. The population associated with a given land-use development (e.g., household population, employee population).
Setback. The minimum distance required by zoning to be maintained between two structures or between a structure and a property line.
Shall. That which is obligatory or necessary.
Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP). Gases with a high global warming potential, or GWP, that remain in the atmosphere for a shorter period of time than longer-lived climate pollutants such as carbon dioxide. In legislation, methane can be referred to as a short-lived climate pollutant.
Should. Signifies a directive to be honored if at all possible.
Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV). A vehicle with a single occupant.
Small Farms. For the purposes of this Plan, small farms are owned and operated by local residents who grow and sell less than $250,000 per year of agricultural products (USDA definition) with a preference for technical assistance from the UC Small Farm Program for those with limited resources, who market direct and not through a wholesale distribution chain, who do not monocrop, and who may be ethnic minority or hobby farmers, retirement farmers or lifestyle farmers on up to 99 acres, i.e. on parcels that do not qualify under the Williamson Act to take 20 to 75 percent off their property tax bill for not developing their land for 10 years.
Smart Grid. An electrical grid consisting of controls, computers, automation, and equipment that will work with the electrical grid to respond digitally to quickly changing electric demand.
Smart Growth. A compact, efficient, and environmentally-sensitive pattern of development that provides people with additional travel, housing, and employment choices by focusing future growth away from rural areas and closer to existing and planned job centers and public facilities, while preserving open space and natural resources.
Soil Health (Soil Quality). The continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans.
Soil Erosion. Soil erosion refers to the removal of soil by water or wind. Factors that influence erosion potential include the amount of rainfall and wind, the length and steepness of the slope, and the amount and type of vegetative cover.
Special District. Any agency of the state for the local performance of governmental or proprietary functions within limited boundaries; a separate local government that delivers a limited number of public services to a geographically limited area. Special districts are a form of government, have governing boards, provide services and facilities, and have defined boundaries.
Special Occupancy Structure. A category of structures as defined in the California Building Code. They are:
- Covered structures whose primary occupancy is public assembly with a capacity of more than 300 persons.
- Buildings for schools through secondary or day-care center with a capacity of more than 250 students.
- Buildings for colleges or adult education schools with a capacity for more than 500 students.
- Medical facilities with 50 or more resident incapacitated patients; but not including hospitals and other medical facilities having surgery and emergency treatment areas, which are Essential Facilities.
- Structures and equipment in power generating stations and other public utility facilities that are not identified as Essential Facilities and required for continued operation.
- Jails and detention facilities.
- All structures with an occupancy of more than 5,000 persons.
State Highway. A numbered state route.
Special Status Species. A term used for species that are considered sufficiently rare and require special consideration and/or protection. Plants and animals categorized as Special Status Species are recognized by federal, state and local natural resource agencies as threatened, endangered, rare, candidate species, species of special concern, CA Fully Protected Species, Locally Important Species, or are species listed as “greatest conservation concern” due to the decline of the species.
See the County Initial Study Assessment Guidelines for specific ranks and groups classified as Special Status Species.
Sphere of Influence (SOI). The probable physical boundaries and service area of a city or special district, as determined by LAFCO pursuant to Gov. Code Section 56425.
Stream. A topographical feature that conveys water over the land perennially, intermittently, or ephemerally through a bed or channel with banks. This term also applies to water courses having a surface or subsurface flow that support or have supported riparian or alluvial vegetation.
Subsidence. Any settling or sinking of the ground surface over a regional area arising from surface or subsurface causes, such as earthquakes or groundwater, or oil and gas extraction.
Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). A Federal law that permits motor carrier operation of 48-foot and 53-foot semi-trailers on the national highway network and allows states to permit these “STAA vehicles” on state and local routes. Designation of STAA routes is premised on engineering and safety standards (i.e., adequate footprint to accommodate truck turn radius requirements, gross vehicle weight, vertical clearance height etc.).
Sustainability. The physical development and operating practices that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, particularly with regard to use and waste of natural resources. Sustainability presumes that resources are finite, and therefore should be used conservatively and wisely with a view to the long-term priorities and consequences.
Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). Senate Bill (SB) 375 requires regional metropolitan planning organizations in California to develop Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS), or long-range plans, which align transportation, housing, and land use decisions toward achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Take. To harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.
Thoroughfare. A general term to describe a road that is either a primary arterial, a secondary arterial, or a collector.
Threatened Species. A species listed as Threatened by the state or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Generally, any species that is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ). A unit of geography used in transportation planning models.
Transportation Control Measure (TCM). A transportation strategy used to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and to make VMT more efficient. TCMs include transportation system management (TSM) and transportation demand management (TDM) elements. Examples include carpooling, transit, and computer-optimized traffic signals.
Transportation Development Act (TDA). TDA funds are generated from a tax of one-quarter of one percent on all retail sales in each county and are used for transit, specialized transit for disabled persons, and bicycle and pedestrian facility enhancements.
Tribal Cultural Resources. A Tribal Cultural Resource as defined in AB 52 are sites, features, places, cultural landscapes, sacred places, and objects with cultural value to a California Native American Tribe(s).
Tsunami. A series of traveling ocean waves of extremely long length generated by disturbances associated primarily with earthquakes occurring below or near the ocean floor.
Unincorporated Areas. Areas of the county outside of the city limits over which Ventura County has direct land use jurisdiction.
Unincorporated Urban Center. An existing or planned community which is located in an Area of Interest where no city exists. The unincorporated urban center represents the focal center for community and planning activities within the Area of Interest.
Unique Farmlands. A category of the Important Farmlands Inventory that consists of lesser quality soils used for the production of the state’s leading agricultural crops. This land is usually irrigated but may include non-irrigated orchards or vineyards as found in come climatic zones in California. Land must have been cropped at some time during the four years prior to the mapping date.
Urban Area. An area designated as Urban in Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources (SOAR) and the 2040 General Plan. These areas refer to existing and planned urban centers which may include commercial, industrial, and residential land uses. This area designation includes all incorporated lands within a city’s Sphere of Influence as established by the Ventura Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), and unincorporated urban centers within their own Areas of Interest which may be candidates for future incorporation.
Urban Development. Development that meets any of the following criteria:
- It would require the establishment of new community sewer systems or the significant expansion of existing community sewer systems
- It would result in the creation of residential lots less than two (2) acres in area; or
- It would result in the establishment of commercial or industrial uses which are neither agriculturally-related nor related to the production of mineral resources.
Urban Enclave. See Existing Community.
Urban Forest. A densely wooded area in an urban area.
Vacant Land. Land that is not actively used for any purpose, including land that is not improved with buildings or site facilities and is sizeable in area to accommodate development.
Vanpool. A vehicle operating as a ridesharing arrangement, providing transportation to a group of individuals traveling directly between their homes and a regular destination within the same geographic area.
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). A measure of the amount of travel for all vehicles in a geographic region over a given period of time, typically a one-year period.
View Corridor (or Scenic Corridor). An area visible from a highway, waterway, railway or major hiking, biking, or equestrian trail that provides vistas over water, across expanses of land, or from mountaintops or ridges.
Volume to Capacity Ratio (V/C). The volume of traffic divided by the capacity of a transportation facility.
Vulnerability. See “Climate Vulnerability.”
Wastewater Collection System. The totality of the pipes, pump station, manholes, and other facilities that convey untreated (raw) wastewater from the various sources to a wastewater treatment facility.
Watershed. The land surface area from which water drains into a common downstream point.
Water Conservation. The reduction in water use through measures designed to help people change their behaviors to use less water.
Water Efficiency. The overall minimization of the amount of water used to accomplish a function or task.
Wetlands. Lands that are transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is periodically covered with shallow water. The frequency of occurrence of water is sufficient to support a prevalence of vegetative or aquatic life that requires saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction. Wetland include marshes, bogs, sloughs, vernal pools, wet meadows, river and stream overflows, mudflats, ponds, springs, and seeps.
Wildland. Land in an uncultivated natural state that is covered by trees, brush, weeds, or grass.
Wildland/Urban Interface. Area where the wildland meets urbanized development.
Wildlife Corridor. (See definition for “Habitat Connectivity and Wildlife Corridors”)
Zoning. The division of the county by legislative regulations into areas, or zones, which specify allowable uses for real property and size restrictions for buildings within these areas; a program that implements policies of the General Plan.
Zoning Clearance. A ministerial permit which certifies that a proposed use of land or structures is consistent with the provisions of any applicable zoning ordinance and applicable conditions of any previously-issued entitlement.
List of Acronyms
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
AB Assembly Bill
ACLUP Airport Comprehensive Land Use Plan
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADUs Accessory dwelling units
AE Agricultural Exclusive zone
AG Agriculture Element
AG C Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner
AICUZ Air Installations Compatible Use Zones
AIR Ventura County Department of Airports
APAC Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee
AQMP Air Quality Management Plan
AWA Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County
BACT Best Available Control Technology
BEACON Beach Erosion Authority for Clean Oceans and Nourishment
C Commercial land use designation
CAGR Compounded annual growth rate
CalCAN California Climate and Agriculture Network
Caltrans California Department of Transportation
CAL FIRE California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
CAMUTCD California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices
CAP Climate Action Plan
CARB California Air Resources Board
CEO County Executive Office
CEQA California Environmental Quality Act
CIWMP Countywide Integrated Waste Management Plan
CMP Congestion Management Program
CNEL Community Noise Equivalent Level
CNRA California Natural Resources Agency
COS Conservation and Open Space Element
CO2e Carbon dioxide equivalent
CPD Commercial Planned Development land use designation
CRPD Coastal Residential Planned Development land use designation
CSAs Community supported agriculture
CSUCI California State University, Channel Islands
CTM Circulation, Transportation, and Mobility Element
CURBs City Urban Restriction Boundaries
CZO Ventura County Coastal Zoning Ordinance
DFIRMs Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps
DOD United States Department of Defense
du/ac Dwelling units per acre
DUC Disadvantaged Unincorporated Community
ECU-A ECU-Agricultural land use designation
ECU-OS ECU-Open Space land use designation
ECU-R ECU-Rural land use designation
ED El Rio/Del Norte
EIR Environmental Impact Report
EO Executive Order
EV Economic Vitality Element; or Electric vehicle
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FAR Floor area ratio
FB Financing and budgeting
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
FD Ventura County Fire District/Department
GHG Greenhouse gas
GIS Geographic Information System
GSA Ventura County General Services Agency
GWP Global Warming Potential
HAZ Hazards and Safety Element
HCD California Department of Housing and Community Development
HCA Ventura County Health Care Agency
HD Ventura County Harbor Department
HR Human Resources
HUD U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
I Industrial land use designation
ICLEI International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
IFI Important Farmland Inventory
IGC Inter-Governmental Coordination
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IR-200 Instrument Route-200
ISAG Initial Study Assessment Guidelines
JADUs Junior Accessory Dwelling Units
JLUS Joint Land Use Study
JP Joint Partnerships
LAFCo Ventura Local Agency Formation Commission
LCA Land Conservation Act
LDR Low-Density Residential land use designation
LIB Ventura County Library
LID Low Impact Development
LOS Level of Service
LRA Local Responsibility Area
LS Lake Sherwood/Hidden Valley
LU Land Use and Community Character Element
MAC Municipal Advisory Council
MCA Military Compatibility Areas
MDR Medium-Density Residential land use designation
MOU Memorandum of Understanding
MPSP Master Plans, Strategies, and Programs
MRP Mineral Resource Protection
MRZ Mineral Resource Zone
MT Metric ton
MU Mixed Use land use designation
N2O Nitrous oxide
NBVC Naval Base Ventura County
NCZO Ventura County Non-Coastal Zoning Ordinance
NEV Neighborhood Electric Vehicles
NFIP National Flood Insurance Program
NHS National Highway System
NV North Ventura Avenue
NWS Naval Air Weapons Station
OA Overarching mitigation actions
OES County Sheriff’s Department Office of Emergency Services
OHD Oxnard Harbor District
OP Oak Park
OS Open Space land use designation
OV Ojai Valley
P State, Federal, Other Public Lands land use designation; or Piru
PCI Pavement Condition Index
PFS Public Facilities, Services, and Infrastructure Element
PI Public Information
PM Particulate matter
PMS Pavement Management System
PR Parks & Recreation land use designation
PSR Planning Studies and Reports
PWA Ventura County Public Works Agency
RB Residential Beach land use designation
RDR Regulation and Development Review
REA Regional Energy Alliance
RHD Residential High Density land use designation
RHNA Regional Housing Needs Allocation
RPD Residential Planned Development land use designation
RMA Ventura County Resource Management Agency
RTP Regional Transportation Plan
RUR Rural land use designation
SB Senate Bill
SCS Sustainable Community Strategy
SCAG Southern California Association of Governments
SGMA Sustainable Groundwater Management Act
SMP Strategic Master Plan
SO Services and Operations
SOAR Save Open Space & Agricultural Resources
SoCalGas Southern California Gas Company
SOI Sphere of Influence
SOV Single-occupancy vehicle
SRA State Responsibility Area
STAA Surface Transportation Assistance Act
TAC Technical Advisory Committee
TCM Transportation Control Measures
TERPS Terminal Instrument Procedures
TIMF Traffic Impact Mitigation Fee
TO Thousand Oaks
UHIE Urban heat island effect
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
USFS United States Forest Service
U.S. EPA United States Environmental Protection Agency
VCAPCD Ventura County Air Pollution Control District
VCFPD Ventura County Fire Protection District
VCLS Ventura County Library System
VCSO Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
VCTC Ventura County Transportation Commission
VLDR Very Low Density Residential land use designation
VMT Vehicle miles traveled
VRWC Ventura River Watershed Council
WR Water Resources Element