By Sondra Murphy
A long-anticipated meeting between residents of the Ojai Valley and the Federal Emergency Management Agency took place Tuesday at Matilija Auditorium, drawing about 200 people out in the rain to hear the latest developments on floodplain remapping efforts and levee certification processes. Ventura County 1st District Supervisor Steve Bennett served as moderator of the meeting in reviewing FEMA’s methods and answering questions from the community. Bennett said that FEMA has been working for the past 18 months on remapping the floodplains of this county, prompted by a 2005 federal mandate, and has just begun efforts in the Ojai Valley. In addition, a recent letter was circulated by the county Board of Supervisors to those living near the Live Oak Acres Levee stating it would not meet new FEMA standards being enforced. The change is expected to rezone the neighborhoods into a floodplain, increasing meeting attendance from those in that neighborhood.