May 2024 Director’s Message

Spring is in full swing and there’s a lot to be excited about at the Channel Islands Harbor from a project and redevelopment front. I want to share with you some updates regarding a project at Kiddie Beach, future parking lot projects, and redevelopment at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Kiddie Beach Parking Lot Rehabilitation Project

Construction crews have been diligently working on the completion of the Kiddie Beach Parking Lot Rehabilitation project, which has been delayed in part to the rainy weather.

The complete project consists of resurfacing the parking lot, reconstruction of the southern exit onto San Nicholas Avenue to address drainage concerns, new curb stops and striping to enhance the ingress and egress of parking spaces, and sidewalk and ADA path improvements near the restrooms.  The project also includes the installation of pedestrian lighting, exterior restroom lighting, and an electric vehicle charging station – many items you can see being worked on right now.

To add to the project, our Harbor Department maintenance team is working to give the public restrooms a refresh by cleaning and painting the interior, installing new fixtures, and more.

These improvements will provide upgraded amenities to the Harbor, enhancing the functionality and safety near the Harbor’s public waterways and improve public access to the Harbor and nearby County public beaches.

I’m excited to share with you that the entire project should be completed by the end of the month!

Future Parking Lot Projects

Once Kiddie Beach project is complete, the Harbor Department plans to focus our efforts to the Silver Strand Beach parking lot. We plan to slurry seal the parking lot and add new striping to the parking spaces. The layout of the parking lot will not change, but it should look close to brand new, just in time for the summer.

Further down the road, the Harbor Department would like to make improvements at Channel View Park, which is located across the Harbor entrance on the Hollywood Beach side.

Fisherman’s Wharf Redevelopment

At its April 25, 2023, meeting, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors approved and authorized the Harbor Department to enter an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with Robert Dahl, a German-based strawberry farmer and developer. In 1992, Dahl founded the flagship Karl’s Adventure Village and has since expanded operations to 7 other locations in Germany.

The 12-month ERN allowed Dahl’s development team to form its ownership entity, begin construction and design analysis, work with the community to gather more feedback regarding features of the project, and secure funding and negotiate terms of a long-term lease agreement.

A year has passed since the ERN was approved and the Harbor Department will go back before the Board of Supervisors on May 21, 2024, with a recommendation to approve a one-year lease option agreement and subsequent 30-year lease, upon satisfaction of requirements met during the one-year period. If the recommendation is approved by the Board on May 21st, Dahl’s team will move forward with performing environmental reviews, and create architectural plans, among other items.

As a reminder, Dahl’s plan is to construct a strawberry and maritime dual-themed village which would have a mix of retail uses such as toy and bookstores, children’s and adult clothing stores, a country and maritime themed kitchen and home goods store, food markets, a café, restaurants, as well as a small hotel, playgrounds, park areas and children’s rides. In addition, Dahl’s team intends to construct a pedestrian pier along the waterway to enable the community to have ample walking access at the property.

As you can see, projects are moving forward at the Harbor. I appreciate the community’s patience as we prepare the Harbor for a more prosperous future.

Michael Tripp, Director
Ventura County Harbor Department

Editor’s Note: this story was published on May 1, 2024.