Somis Ranch Farmworker Housing Project (Post Date: 5/22/19, updated 4/16/2020)

UPDATE: Click here to view the public notice of the Scoping Meeting for the EIR, scheduled for April 22, 2020.

Click here to view the Plan Set for the Somis Ranch Farmworking Housing Project (dated: November 1, 2019).

Ventura County's Somis Ranch webpage will be updated as the project progresses:
https://www.vcrma.org/somis-ranch-farmworker-housing-project.

Somis Ranch Partners, LLC, together with associated non-profit affordable housing providers, submitted a formal application to the County of Ventura for a farmworker housing community on May 17, 2019. This is a private development proposal in the unincorporated area of Ventura County, located at 2789 Somis Road, northwest of the intersection of Somis Road/Lewis Road and Las Posas Road/Upland Road.  

The permit will be processed by the County of Ventura. The City of Camarillo is not a permitting agency in this process. However, we recognize that this project is immediately adjacent to our City limits and have created this webpage to better inform our community about this project and communicate about ways to stay engaged in the permitting process for this project.

This is a 100% affordable rental project for farmworkers who qualify as lower income, which is classified as 80% of area median income (AMI) and below (currently $83,700, for a family of four). The project will be managed by a qualified affordable housing provider, who will be responsible for verifying resident incomes initially and annually.

Summary of the project:

  • 360 rental units constructed on approximately 18.4 acres of a 36.34-acre parcel. Remaining approximately 17.9 acres will stay in agricultural production.
  • Mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units; ranging from 576 square feet to 1,104 square feet.
  • Development will include two 3,000-square foot community centers, tot lots/playgrounds, play fields and basketball courts.
  • Architectural style is Spanish Colonial, with white smooth stucco walls and s-tile roof.
  • Residential buildings will be three-story apartment buildings and two-story triplex buildings.
  • Project will be developed in three phases: Phase 1 will contain 100 units; Phase 2 will contain 100 units; and, Phase 3 will contain 160 units.
  • The development will be served potable water by Ventura County Water Works District No. 19.
  • Fireflow may be provided directly to the development or through proposed fire water storage tanks and pumps in the vicinity.
  • Wastewater generated by the development will be treated by an on-site package treatment plant (see project description for details).
  • Total vehicle parking spaces provided: 654 spaces.
  • Total bicycle parking spaces provided: 379 spaces.

Background:  The parcel was originally a 40-acre parcel zoned A-E (Agricultural Exclusive). The City purchased 4.64 acres which will be used for the City’s desalter. The 4.64-acre parcel was annexed into the City in December 2017, with subsequent approval of LAFCO in April 2018. As part of the project, the City of Camarillo will construct a new access road/entrance to the property and improve an existing entrance from Somis Road (State Route 34). A shared access agreement between the City and the property owner has been established, which will allow the future farmworker housing project to utilize the access road and entrances. 

SOAR: This project does not require a SOAR vote. Voter approval is only needed if the General Plan land use designation is amended from an Agriculture, Open Space, or Rural land use designation. A farmworker housing complex is an allowed use in the Agricultural Exclusive (AE) zone, and there is no proposed change of land use designation with this project.

Status of Project: The project was submitted on Friday, May 17, 2019. The project is incomplete at this time (see link to Determination of Incompleteness below, under "Resources"); however, the applicant is initiating the EIR process which will include several technical studies that will help to inform Ventura County and the community about the project.

Timing: A Request for Propsals for the EIR was initiated by Ventura County in January 2020. Proposals for the EIR are due on February 7, 2020. Ventura County anticipates selecting a consultant by the end of February. The hired consultant will be required to prepare an Administrative Draft EIR within 90 days of consultant selection.

Scoping Meeting: The Scoping Meeting has been scheduled for April 22, 2020: PUBLIC NOTICE. The consultant/applicant was encouraged to hold the Scoping Meeting at the Camarillo Library, or other location near the project site. Due to COVID-19, the Camarillo Library is closed and the meeting will be help via Zoom video conference.


Questions/Comments: The Ventura County Planning Division Case Planner assigned to this project is Justin Bertoline (justin.bertoline@ventura.org).

Resources:
Application
Project Description
Plans Submitted with Original Application
Traffic Study
Construction Noise Analysis
Determination of Incompleteness Letter from County of Ventura