One of the area’s top economists told a panel discussion group July 20 that he thinks putting more residential units on State Street above commercial property might help solve the corridor’s perceived diminishing image.
Mark Schniepp, head of Goleta-based California Economic Forecast, also said startup businesses throughout the Central Coast are a boon to the economy because they create jobs and generate much-needed tax revenue for local municipalities. However, he also predicted another recession in the next few years.
“The more startups, the better,” he told an 805 Entrepreneurs Meetup group at the Funk Zone Impact Hub. He said various startups from San Francisco to Los Angeles are making a big difference in boosting the economy.
However, Schniep said, he thinks the SOAR regulations in Ventura County are hurting the economy because they limit most economic growth. SOAR stands for Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources.
He said regulations like SOAR make it very difficult for developers to desire to move to Ventura County. He said it also makes it hard for employers to help workers find housing.
As for State Street, Schniep said more vacant retail spaces are on the county’s most popular commercial corridor than have been there in the past quarter century. If that trend continues, it will be devastating and a “huge, tragic, disruptive force” on the economy.