August 2022 Director’s Message

Summer is in full swing and it’s great to see so many people at the Harbor. July was a busy month with the activities surrounding the Fourth, hundreds of people attending our Concerts by the Sea each Saturday, the Sunday Farmers Market, the Streets of Vintage markets at Fisherman’s Wharf, and the many visitors patronizing our restaurants and rental businesses. It’s nice to see the Harbor is thriving with people enjoying landside events and amenities.

I’ve also been impressed with activities on the water. Each day there are dozens of youth sailing, paddleboarding, and kayaking. There’s plenty of research available that shows time outside makes children happier and healthier.

This important outdoors exposure to the Harbor waters would not be made possible without the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Foundation, who offers a sailing camp, and the Channel Islands Boating Center (CIBC), who offers its annual Watersports Camp. I would like to thank both organizations for their hard work in connecting our youth with the beautiful marine environment.

I enrolled two of my family members into the sailing lessons offered at the CIBC.  They had a great time and are quickly developing a love for boating and the ocean.

Development Updates

Two separate Request for Proposals (RFP) were issued earlier this year – one for the property where the former Whale’s Tail Restaurant is located and one for Fisherman’s Wharf – and both periods for receiving applications have closed.

For the Whale’s Tail RFP, the Harbor Department received three applications. Two applications were from developers seeking to build restaurants and one from a developer who is interested in building an aquarium. We’ve met with all three developers and consulted with the Harbor Advisory Committee, a group comprised of city and county officials, local businesses, and residents. We may go forward to the Board of Supervisors soon and recommend entering an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with one of the developers interested in building a restaurant.

For the Fisherman’s Wharf RFP, the Harbor Department received four applications. Three of the developers were interested in projects that were specifically visitor-serving. One developer submitted an application proposing a mixed-used project. To provide clarification, visitor-serving means accommodations, food, and services, including hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, and commercial developments such as shopping, eating, and amusement areas for tourist. A mixed-used would be a combination of visitor-serving plus a residential component. Like the Whale’s Tail process, the Harbor Department plans to consult with the Harbor Advisory Committee to receive feedback. It’s possible that one or more of the proposals will be selected for follow-up information. It’s also possible all proposals are rejected.

We also currently have a Request for Bids out to repair the revetment around Peninsula Road.  This project is necessary for the Hyatt House Hotel, and new Peninsula Anchorage projects to move forward. Bidding for this project closes on August 4, 2022.

There’s no doubt there are plenty of great things happening at the Harbor from a variety of fronts. I hope you make plans soon to come down and enjoy a part of your summer here.

Michael Tripp, Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this message was published on August 2, 2022.