Architect Richard W. Smith, who was the planner for the Oak Park development in the early 1970s, was presented with a proclamation at the Ventura County Supervisors’ meeting on August 21. The document thanked Smith, “in recognition of his pioneering use of the concept of environmental suitablility.”
Smith, who now lives in Oakland, spoke to the VC planning division folks on his design of Oak Park. He said it was one of the first private developments in the state to be planned with an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and open space made up almost half of the plan. “The equisite hills of this Conejo Valley-area community were a treasure, and I was on this arrogant crusade to protect them,” Smith said. “…fortunately the client saw it the same way.”
I couldn’t agree more! And, also fortunate, is that Smith is donating his papers and photos on Oak Park, to the Oak Park Library. Thank you, Richard Smith for that, and for your wonderful design that gave us so much open space.
Photo is of Richard W. Smith and Tricia Maier.