This is always an exciting time of the year on the waterfront. The weather starts heating up, and activity on and around the harbor starts to bustle. On the northeast coast, the spring is officially the start of the boating season as the ice in the harbors starts to melt. Along with that, local yacht clubs hold their ceremonial opening days, signaling the start of the boating season. Here on the west coast, we are blessed with year-round boating, and great fishing and sailing throughout the year, not just the summer. What a place to boat! Even with the year-round boating, the local yacht clubs still hold a ceremonial opening day. I was fortunate to be invited to the opening of the Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club. As is tradition, the boats are all dressed up, the flag officers are dressed in their finest yachting attire, and the cannon is ready to announce the season. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon and welcome in the “boating season.”
As I discuss local boating, I also want to recognize a local celebrity in the sailing world, who lives here in Mandalay Bay – Dick McNish. Dick has a well-known regatta named after him, the McNish Classic, which is in its 42nd year and is run out of the PCYC. Dick participated in his 21st Newport to Ensenada race, a race in which Dick has earned trophies in the past. He sails his 88-year old wooden classic, Cheerio II, once owned by Errol Flynn. Dick and his crew finished the race this past weekend. Way to go!
We held the second installment of the Harbor Academy in April. It was well attended, and by all accounts went very well. (View a video of the presentation here.) The topic of this session was Planning and Development in the Harbor. While I provided an update for all of the on-going projects in the Harbor, the main message of this session dealt with the process to plan and develop in the Harbor. In the past, the process included public participation, but that participation was normally after a potential developer had been identified and had created a preliminary project.
The process we rolled out at the Harbor Academy included an up-front “visioning” process, which will be used in the future when we begin planning for a new development in the Harbor. This visioning will be a public, open process where we discuss the parcel(s) and take input into what should be developed. This process will hopefully reduce most of the opposition we have historically encountered as we take a project through the permitting process.
The next Harbor Academy presentation is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9th at the Channel Islands Yacht Club. The topic will be “Patrol & Maintenance.” Please register for the event by clicking here.
Planning and Development in the Harbor
We continue to work on the legal documents associated with the three projects on the Peninsula, and we are getting closer to getting them to the Board of Supervisors. There is a group publicly contending that the County is stalling these projects purposefully – that could not be further from the truth. No one is as anxious as myself to get these projects started. We anticipate the Casa Sirena project to begin the four-month demolition process in October 2019.*
Finally, the City of Oxnard recently held a community meeting regarding the Fisherman’s Wharf proposed project. This meeting was part of the City’s process in evaluating the application to change its Local Coastal Plan to allow for a mixed-use project with residential at that site. (Watch a video of the meeting here.) I recognize there are considerable concerns regarding this project, but believe that the positives to get this dilapidated center developed into a vibrant mixed-use development far outweigh the increased traffic the project will bring. I have stated in public meetings that I would be more than willing to meet on Victoria Ave. and discuss traffic impacts with anyone who wants to share their views in real time.
As always, live every day to the fullest.
Mark Sandoval, Director
Ventura County Harbor Department
Editor's Note: this message was published on April 30, 2019.
*This sentence was added on May 1, 2019.