Rancho Cañada Larga is a working cattle ranch. It’s 6500 acres, west of town, just outside the city boundaries. It’s also for sale. Asking price is $27,650,000.

From their real estate agent’s website:

One of the last undeveloped major land parcels in California, Historic Rancho Cañada Larga has 6500 contiguous acres of rolling hills, streams, oak groves and pasturelands. Of the 18 legal parcels offered, 17 have certificates of compliance. The gently sloped valley floor of Cañada Larga has hundreds of potential homesites. New owner could potentially develop the property or donate the development rights to a conservancy for a possible tax benefit. Of the 18 legal parcels offered, 17 have certificates of compliance. Owned by only two families since the late 1800s, this historic ranch is currently used only for cattle grazing. There are several premier locations on the ranch with ocean views, Ojai valley views, and prime building sites for smaller ranches.


“Hundreds of potential homesites.” If you do the math, assuming hundreds of million-dollar homes, plus several ten-million dollar ranchettes, you can see why developers, real estate attorneys, and real estate agents are desperate to annex Cañada Larga and turn it into housing. It’d make a handful of people very wealthy, but the community would lose a priceless asset.

The special interests who stand to make millions of dollars are close to having a majority on the City Council. I am the only candidate in District 3 who does not talk about the need for “executive housing.” We need housing, both market-rate and affordable. But we must also preserve our open spaces.

Executive housing does not attract new businesses, nor prevent businesses from moving elsewhere. In Ventura, our biggest business is now The Trade Desk. With a market cap nearing $30 billion, it’s more more valuable than Edison, Kellogg, and Southwest Airlines. They started here, and they’ve grown into having 24 offices worldwide, from London to New York to Shanghai. But as they grow, they’re investing in downtown Ventura, where they are expanding their global headquarters. They appreciate all the things that make Ventura unique, and that includes our open spaces.

And we all know how Patagonia feels about this.

We should not annex Cañada Larga so that it can become yet another sea of generic McMansions. One of Ventura’s greatest strengths is its unique character; looking like 300 other mid-sized cities is a terrible economic strategy.

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