Channel Islands Harbor Visioning Process Concludes

A visioning process that will help shape development in the County of Ventura-managed Channel Islands Harbor has reached its conclusion.

At the June 22, 2021 Board of Supervisors meeting, Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval, on behalf of the Channel Islands Harbor Visioning Steering Committee, presented the Channel Islands Harbor Vision Report. The report can be view by visiting this link.

“I would like to thank the Steering Committee and the hundreds of residents who provided feedback throughout the entire process,” Director Sandoval said. “We worked diligently to be clear in this report as to what community members have said they want, and reconcile it with what our experience has led us to believe is likely attainable since the Harbor functions as a financially self-supporting ‘enterprise.’  I believe there are opportunities to meet all objectives.”

Development of Opportunity Parcels

The bulk of the Vision Report examines what the Harbor Department has identified as six current “opportunity parcels” which are available now for development. Development ideas for these parcels were provided by the Visioning Steering Committee, local stakeholders, business representatives and residents. The report summarizes the ideas.  For example:

  • For the parcel that includes the old Whale’s Tail restaurant, ideas for redevelopment include a marine education center and aquarium, dining, and a bed and breakfast.
  • For the Fisherman’s Wharf parcel, ideas for redevelopment include the recruitment of a civic anchor, a boutique hotel, integrated waterfront living opportunities, a public market, a performing arts center, among other items.
  • For the Anacapa Boat Yard site, ideas for redevelopment include a hospitality center, to include a retro-trailer and small houseboat bed and breakfast development.

A rendering of a Fisherman’s Wharf concept.

All development ideas for each opportunity parcel can be viewed in the report.

Public Realm Improvements

While much of the focus was on the redevelopment of opportunity parcels, the Vision Report also outlines major improvements recommended for public areas of the Harbor. Ideas include wider, comfortable waterside promenades, a multi-use trail on the perimeter of the Harbor, and reconfiguring Victoria Avenue to be more pedestrian and visitor friendly.

Next Steps

Director Sandoval said the Harbor Department would like to build on the momentum of the visioning process and issue Requests For Proposals on several of the developable opportunity parcels within the next few months.

“The Harbor Department looks forward to working with our business and community partners to attract developers to execute the vision created through our inclusive process,” Director Sandoval said.

About the Visioning Process

The Channel Islands Harbor Visioning Process was led by Sargent Town Planning and its distinguished team of urban planning consultants, real estate economists, coastal policy experts, and public engagement specialists. The team worked closely with a diverse steering committee comprised of representatives from the County of Ventura, the City of Oxnard, the Harbor business community, and residential representatives.

Editor’s Note: this story was published on June 30, 2021.