I am definitely ready for the summer! It looks like it is going to be a great one. As more people are getting vaccinated and new cases have sharply declined, the County is postured to go from the orange tier to the yellow tier in a couple of weeks. We are hearing masks are not needed outside, at least for those of us who have been vaccinated. In addition, pretty much everything is open, albeit not at maximum capacity, but things are looking much more normal.
Here at the Harbor, it should definitely be a much more normal looking summer. Registrations for our Junior Lifeguard Program went very well, and all the slots were filled in a few hours. In addition, we are busy planning for our usual summer events, particularly the very popular summer concert series at Peninsula Park. Get ready for the tunes. We are planning to have the July 4th family parade and related events on Harbor Boulevard, and we are working on our regular car shows. I know that the Maritime Museum here in the Harbor is open and busy planning events. Summer is just around the corner, and I think it will be a great one.
With regards to development, we are in May and one month closer to seeing the demolition of the boarded-up Casa Sirena hotel and adjoining restaurant. The developer has committed to begin demolition by the end of the year, and we are getting closer. In addition, we have just begun to paint most of the buildings at Fisherman’s Wharf. We will probably be criticized by some for throwing good money after bad, but we do not know when we will be at the point to get another developer lined up, so we need to keep it looking as good as possible, within reason.
Related to future development, I am certain we will have the final visioning report to the Board of Supervisors the first week in June, and we plan to follow that up immediately with a couple for Requests for Proposals for development of parcels in the Harbor. We plan to continue to work closely with the City of Oxnard so that when we agree on a proposed development/developer, it should go through the process smoothly, without the conflict which has plagued Harbor development for the past decade or so.
As always, live every day to the fullest.
Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department
Editor’s Note: this article was published on May 10, 2021.