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Casa Sirena Project Update

Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap

Last Updated 12/2/2020

The replacement of the Casa Sirena Hotel and Lobster Trap Restaurant is moving forward, albeit slowly. The replacement of these decrepit buildings with a new Hyatt House Hotel and adjoining restaurant are part of a three-project plan at the end of Peninsula Road. The marinas will be rebuilt and the protective rock revetment will be replaced at the same time the hotel and restaurant are rebuilt. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has stalled the development process by about 18 months. The good news is that the hotel developer has committed to begin the project by the end of 2021.

The demolition and rebuild of these major projects simultaneously will take a herculean coordinating effort. As a result, there are joint agreements that must be executed regarding construction phasing and coordination, as well as agreements regarding funding and responsibilities for shared space. It is anticipated that these agreements, as well as the hotel project ground lease, will go to the Board of Supervisors in March 2021.

The demolition of the hotel structures must occur before the other two projects can get underway. The structures must be removed before the rock revetment can be replaced, so that construction equipment can get to the shoreline to remove and replace the rocks. While it is feasible to handle the rock revetment replacement from water, it would significantly increase the cost of the project and would create a tremendous negative impact to the recreational water use in the Harbor. Correspondingly, the rock revetment must be completed before the marina rebuild can proceed.

It is anticipated that hotel/restaurant abatement and demolition will take four months and then the revetment removal and replacement will take six months. After the revetment is replaced, it will take roughly 20 months to open the hotel/restaurant.

If all goes as planned, the new hotel/restaurant is scheduled to open in mid-2024.

Fisherman's Wharf Project Update

Fisherman's Wharf

Update posted 12/2/2020
Rendering of proposed development at Fisherman's Wharf

On June 14, 2016, the Board of Supervisors approved Public Works Plan Amendment #7, which allows for development of a mixed-use project at Fisherman's Wharf. The proposed Public Works Plan Amendment #7 is posted online, along with the Consideration of Environmental Factors. Click here to view reports.

The Fisherman’s Wharf proposed project is again moving through the process. The County has requested an amendment to its Public Works Plan in order to accommodate the project. In order for the Coastal Commission to approve the amendment, the City of Oxnard must also amend its Local Coastal Plan.

On March 6, 2019 the County submitted information to the City of Oxnard to complete the application for a Local Coastal Plan amendment. The most significant issue is whether residential units will be allowed at that location. The City of Oxnard’s 2030 General Plan, which was adopted in 2011, recommends mixed use (residential and commercial) for that area, so the County is hopeful that the City will amend its Local Coastal Plan to be consistent with its adopted 2030 General Plan.

On August 22, 2019, the Oxnard Planning Commission recommended denial of the County’s application to amend its Local Coastal Plan, which is needed to move the project to a hearing at the Coastal Commission.

On November 7, 2019, the Oxnard City Council denied the County’s application to amend its Local Coastal Plan.

In December 2019, the County submitted an appeal application to the California Coastal Commission to override the City of Oxnard’s denial.

On August 12, 2020, the Coastal Commission denied the override.

Fisherman’s Wharf is an extremely important area of the Harbor, as it is the primary gateway to the Harbor, and therefore its redevelopment is crucial. As a result, the development of this area is one of the primary topics being evaluated as part of the Channel Islands Harbor Visioning Process.

Whale's Tail Project Update

Whale's Tail

Update posted 12/2/2020
View of the Whale's Tail from the water

We are currently seeking a developer/operator for the Whale’s Tail Restaurant. This site is also being discussed in the Harbor Visioning Process, and it is possible that this site could change or expand uses including hospitality or other visitor-serving uses. The development/operating agreement will be a standard ground lease, where the developer/operator will fund the renovations in exchange for a long-term lease.

Jetty and Breakwater Project at the Channel Islands Harbor

Much Needed Repair Work Starts at Channel Islands Harbor Entrance

Update posted 5/10/21

Aged jetties and the offshore breakwater at the Channel Islands Harbor entrance will receive much needed repairs in the coming months.

The Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has funded a project to conduct repairs to two parallel entrance jetties and the protective offshore breakwater near the entrance of the Harbor. This week, Connolly Pacific mobilized equipment – a crane-equipped barge, support vessels, and a storage barge – and the project is underway.

Due to the nature of this project, the Corps, the Harbor Department, and Connolly Pacific continue to coordinate safety concerns. For public safety, measures are incorporated including posted signs and limiting access within construction site. Also, the Harbor Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard are assisting in monitoring the working zone to ensure safe navigation in the channel.

The Project

Repair work will consist of replacing approximately 30,000 tons of new armor stone and resetting armor stone as needed. Repairs will be conducted by a barge-mounted crane, barges carrying rock, and other various support vessels. The project is estimated to last until mid-September 2021, but could change depending on weather. Work will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, during the life of the project.

Why Is It Needed?

The project is needed to ensure navigational safety and to prevent further degradation of the structural integrity of the jetties and breakwater. If no work were scheduled on the jetties and breakwater, eventual Harbor closures could result, which would result in a loss to recreational and commercial operations. The last time major maintenance was completed was 1996 to address damages from the 1982-83 storm season and the 1994 Northridge earthquake, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that this important project is taking place this year,” said Mark Sandoval, Ventura County Harbor Department Director. “This project is protecting and preserving the Harbor’s recreational and economic value.”

The repair project not only benefits the Channel Islands Harbor, but neighboring communities as well. The detached breakwater serves to suspend littoral transport and create sand trap up coast of the Harbor entrance channel. This material is used to nourish the eroding shoreline down coast from the Port of Hueneme, and provides protection to private, public, and Federal lands from further erosion.

Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor

Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor is Complete

Update posted 5/10/21
Dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor

Navigating the Channel Islands Harbor will continue to be safe and down coast beaches will receive an influx of much-needed sand thanks to a dredging project that is complete.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started dredging the Channel Islands Harbor in mid-October 2020. Equipment was staged at the Harbor in early October. The dredging project was completed in February 2021.

The hydraulic dredge “H.R. Morris” staged and conducted maintenance dredging of the Channel Islands Harbor entrance on a 24-hour basis. The dredging activity took place in various locations in and around the harbor entrance and sand trap area of Hollywood Beach.

The Army Corps typically dredges every two years, and has done so for decades under legislation that authorized the small craft harbor and sand trap to be built in the early 1960s. The harbor was designed to trap sand to prevent loss to the submarine canyon off of Port Hueneme and to provide dredged material for beach replenishment for downcoast beaches. The replenishment provides vital shore protection for downcoast facilities, including the Naval installations at Port Hueneme and Point Mugu, the Port of Hueneme, the City of Port Hueneme and our own Silver Strand beach.

It is estimated approximately 2 million cubic yards of sand was pumped from the harbor down to the beach at Port Hueneme, which erodes over time due to normal sand migration along the coast. The last time the harbor was dredged was December 2018 to February 2019.

Dredging Project Made Possible with Federal Funds

Congress allocated $13 million in federal funding to the Army Corps to complete the dredging project at Channel Islands Harbor. Additional matching federal funds are allocated through the Navy budget.

Ventura County Harbor Department Director Mark Sandoval said funding for the dredging projects couldn’t have been made possible without the support of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, whose district includes the Channel Islands Harbor.

“The Harbor Department would like to thank Congresswoman Brownley, who has steadfastly fought alongside local leaders to secure funding for these critical projects in Ventura County,” Director Sandoval said. “This project is vital to the beaches down coast from the Channel Islands Harbor which are subject to continual erosion, and to maintaining safe navigation in and out of the Channel Islands Harbor.”

Please check back regularly for continued updates.
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