Building a New House in Ojai and Ventura County

Building in the City of Ojai is a fairly straightforward process.  The town itself is quite small, only 4.4 miles, beyond those boundaries you are in the unincorporated area of  Ventura County – a bit more challenging building process.  Call us to help you navigate the building process.

Geography

Ojai is located at 34°26′57″N 119°14′48″W

The city is generally at 745 feet (227 m) above sea level.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which only 0.35% is water, and the rest is land.

Ojai is situated in a small east-west valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. It is approximately 15 miles (24 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean coast.

Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a “Pink Moment” occur as the sun is setting. The fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs, over 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above sea level at the east end of the Ojai Valley. Nordhoff Ridge, the western extension of the Topatopa Mountains, towers over the north side of the town and valley at more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Sulphur Mountain creates the southern ranges bounding the Ojai Valley, a little under 3,000 feet (910 m) in elevation. The Sulphur and Topatopa Mountains are part of the Transverse Ranges system.

The Ventura River flows through the Ventura River Valley, draining the mountains surrounding Ojai to the north and east and emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Ventura. The Ventura River was once known for its steelhead fishing before Matilija Dam and Lake Casitas were constructed, eliminating habitat for this trout species.

The climate of Ojai is Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers, sometimes exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), and mild winters, with lows at night sometimes below freezing. As is typical for much of coastal southern California, most precipitation falls in the form of rain between the months of October and April, with intervening dry summers.

Getting your Building Permit

by Otis Bradley

Permit Checklist

Permits vary widely in different locations.  It is important to develop a list for your project – start by checking in with your local building department.  Remember the Building Department may only tell you part of the story.  Research the following items and try to start putting a schedule together.  My Builder 20 group often discusses permit issues.  Jim in Wisconsin tells me he can get a permit in 5 days, while others of us suffer with months even years in the permitting process.  In my local area building departments in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Malibu, Ojai, Ventura County, City of Ventura, Santa Barbara and County of Santa Barbara all treat building codes and zoning regulations in different ways.

Access

Air Rights

Archaeologists

Bridges

CC&R’s (Private Restrictions)

Cell Phone Access

City Planning

City Zoning

Civil Engineers

Coastal Commissions Continue reading “Getting your Building Permit”

I hate my Builder !

“The Fed Up Zone” as my friend the Landscape Architect calls it …

Seems there comes a time in every job when the Client is fed up !
Fed up with making decision
…. and more decisions
…. endless decisions

“I thought that’s why I hired an architect and an interior designer”

Fed up with spending money
…. and more money  (they all cost more for one reason or another)

Fed up with the permits, and the mess and the finish colors and the tile details

Fed up with the builder
… cause he hasn’t finished
… cause he asks too many questions
… cause those bills are so big !

And the Builder ….
is sick and tired of bending over backwards to try to solve all the problems…
… the constant changes from the client, the architect and the designer
… trying to make sense of a plan
….. tired of asking for the  specifications

Sometimes all you can do is grin and bare it!  Work through to the other side!