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Thousand Oaks

T.O. City Council Candidates Speak: Anoiel Khorshid

Anoiel Khorshid, attorney, khorshid4toaks.com

Our City is facing unique and unprecedented issues related to increased development, the water shortage, crime and the homelessness crisis, among others. My wife and I love Thousand Oaks and moved here to escape the high-density, crowded feel of Los Angeles. I’d like to give back to the community that has brought my family so much happiness. I believe, with my background in engineering and law, I am uniquely situated to help the City find the best solutions for the problems it is facing.

As a resident, I see the top three most pressing issues facing the City leaders as 1) balancing demands for development with maintaining the character of the City, 2) the water shortage, and 3) the homelessness crisis.

Maintaining Thousand Oaks’ Character

Maintaining the character of the City while still allowing for the growth that is required to accommodate housing and other community needs is a major challenge we currently face. I will not let “San Fernando Valley-ization” occur in our City and will fight against overcrowding, traffic congestion, increased crime and aesthetic blight. I’ll do this by helping preserve our open space, views and trees and ensure there is a sensible and thoughtful approach to development with the interests of Thousand Oaks’ residents coming first. This requires leaders who understand the nuances and limitations of laws and regulations and can come up with solutions that both meet these requirements while minimizing negative impacts on the City.

The Thousand Oaks 2045 General Plan Update – which has not yet been finalized – will set the policy and vision for the City for the next 20 years. Therefore, now more than ever, it is crucial to have strong leadership, including individuals who have the experience and confidence to push back against those developers whose primary goal is profit and “quantity over quality.” Having grown up in the San Fernando Valley and seeing how the area became overcrowded and unattractive due to poor planning on the part of leadership, one of my central goals is to ensure Thousand Oaks maintains its open space, views, trees and semi-rural character.

The Water Shortage

While the water shortage is a statewide issue and must be addressed at that level, there are things we can do locally to keep our City green. I intend to make this a top priority and will look for new and creative solutions, such as expansion of reclaimed water availability, to help the City maintain its green spaces and increase the permissible level of water usage by residents.

The Homelessness Crisis

As with the water shortage problem, homelessness is also a statewide issue. Until the last few years, the level of homelessness has been relatively low in Thousand Oaks. With that level increasing, I intend to work with regional and State partners to provide for more services to help the homeless get back on their feet in a way that makes sense for the City, including providing temporary housing, job training and mental health care services.

Maintaining Thousand Oaks’ Character

Historically, the City Council has effectively maintained the City’s character. But in recent years, with the increasing interest in our City along with the pressure to allow larger and taller buildings, I feel the leadership could have done more to keep projects in line with the character of the City, including with height restrictions, which are largely responsible historically for keeping the suburban semi-rural character and feel of our City intact. The current leadership has not made these restrictions a priority and has approved projects that are too high, too dense and aesthetically out of character with the surrounding neighborhoods.

Water Shortage

The present leadership has done a good job ensuring the local parks are able to remain green for the residents despite statewide water restrictions. The leadership could improve the situation in the future by expanding reclaimed water use and ensuring the allotment of water usage in public and commercial spaces is allocated to ensure the most benefit to the residents.

The Homelessness Crisis

From publicly available information, the City plans to build a homeless shelter in an existing motel near the Janss Marketplace off Moorpark Road. While the shelter is needed, and it makes sense to utilize an existing building, I feel the location is not ideal due to its close proximity to the City’s largest commercial and entertainment centers.

Thousand Oaks is a special place. I want to keep it that way. I am independent, have never run for office, and am self-funding my City Council run. I promise to stand up for the interests of Thousand Oaks’ residents and focus on what’s best for them and on improving the quality of life in our City.

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