Farm Talk: Zoning in Ventura County

Paul Ward educates and enlightens us concerning everything we should know about zoning in Ventura County.

Did you know that there are zoning ‘categories’? Paul explains that there are 2 specific categories to be aware of: AE and OS.

AE refers to ‘Agriculture Exclusive’ which allows for most farming activities and also allows for building a primary residence, building a guest-house, a workshop barn or an equestrian barn on the property.

OS is all about ‘Open Spaces’, which you might think would be the easiest to obtain because it allows for more uses such as: a dog kennel business, Wedding venue, B & B and other businesses. The challenge is that you must have a Conditional Use Permit to obtain these businesses and those are not always that easy to get. Often, the neighboring residents get involved because of the potential increase in traffic and noise.

Paul breaks down the description of each zoning category as well as the Conditional Use Permit.

This is a very interesting episode full of excellent information. Tune in to learn more!

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Farm Talk: Zoning in Ventura County

Farm Talk – Zoning in Ventura County

I often get calls or inquiries about the different zoning characteristics or zoning categories, specifically AE and OS. AE stands for Agricultural Exclusive and OS stands for Open Space. People often ask me what is the difference between the two? Because driving around the county looking at various AE and OS properties, it seems that what’s happening on the different zoning types is very similar. In a nutshell, AE or agricultural exclusive is more restrictive, so it allows for farming activities, but it also allows for things such as building a primary residence, having a guest house, having a workshop barn, having an equestrian barn, you might even be able to have some outbuildings related to the farm.

Open space has more uses and you’ll often see that the activities on open space are similar to a AE, even though it has more uses. Some of the uses that OS allows for include a dog kennel business, a wedding venue, a bed and breakfast, even a wild animal preserve. That being said, most if not all of the uses that OS allows for require a conditional use permit. These conditional use permits or CUP’s, as the referred to, are not easy to get. So, you can imagine, if you want to have a wedding venue or open a dog kennel business that your neighbors are going to want to know about it and they’re going to want to have some say in that activity because it’s going to potentially impact them, with more noise and potentially more traffic. So, there would be a hearing for granting a CUP permit, a conditional use permit. The neighbors would have quite a bit of say over these activities. So, even though an open space zoning allows for certain things that an AE zoning does not, I do caution buyers to be aware and do their due diligence up front because you can’t just assume that buying an open space zoning property is going to all of a sudden get you a wedding venue or get you a dog kennel operation. It’s just not that simple.

That’s the basic difference between the AE and the OS, the AE is more restrictive, the OS (on paper) has more uses. However, getting those permits for those uses is quite challenging. If you have any comments, we always appreciate them. Feel free to reach out via email, or message us.