While summer is officially behind us, there is still much activity in and around the Harbor. The weather is still warm, and the beaches and harbor areas are still relatively crowded, particularly on the weekends. Now is a great time of the year to get out and enjoy the Harbor, eat at one of our great restaurants which offer outdoor dining, and participate in one or more of the activities offered in the Harbor, such as kayak, stand-up paddleboard, bicycle, surrey and electric boat rentals, parasailing, sport fishing, whale watching and trips to the Channel Islands. Remember to practice social distancing and wear a mask when appropriate.
The big announcement this month is that the very popular Sunday Farmers’ Market in the Harbor will be expanding. The operator has requested to add a market on Wednesdays, and the County is more than happy to oblige. The Farmers’ Market provides an outdoor alternative for purchases of produce and other fresh foods, as well as a wide variety of non-food items. We are extremely happy with the professionalism of the operator, Raw Inspiration, Inc., and welcome a second market in the Harbor. The operator is still working through some permit requirements, but look for the Wednesday Farmers’ Market in the near future.
The Harbor Visioning is going great, and I could not be happier with the Steering Committee. The diverse backgrounds and desires of the committee members has led to great discussions and ideas. The facilitation team led by Sargent Town Planning, has learned the intricacies of the Harbor in a short period of time, and is doing a great job managing the process.
We have entered the part of the process where we are seeking public input, and have developed and posted an initial public survey to garner widespread (hopefully) input regarding the Harbor, including likes and challenges of the Harbor as it exists today. I would appreciate it if you would take the time to complete the survey. Please take the survey by clicking on this link. It is important to make your views known to us as we work to develop a vision which we hope will be widely supported.
The biggest development news this past month is very positive, and it involves the biggest eyesore in the Harbor, the former Casa Sirena Hotel and Lobster Trap Restaurant, which have been boarded up for eleven years. While this pandemic has greatly impacted families and businesses, it has also impacted the development world. Although there will be some delay of the construction due to the pandemic, the developer has committed to starting the demolition of the hotel and restaurant in the second half of next year. There is no structure in the Harbor more of an eyesore than these decaying buildings, so this is very welcomed news.
As always, live every day to the fullest.
Mark Sandoval, Harbor Director
Ventura County Harbor Department
Editor’s Note: this message was published on October 2, 2020.