Casa Sirena Project Update
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
Update posted 12/2/2020
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
Update posted 12/2/2020
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.
Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor
Dredging at the Channel Islands Harbor is Complete
Update posted 5/8/19
Navigating the Channel Islands Harbor will continue to be safe and down coast beaches received more than 1.5 million cubic yards of much-needed sand thanks to a dredging project that was completed in March 2019.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages the project every two years and dictates the schedule, which started on December 8, 2018 and ended on March 17, 2019. Originally scheduled to be complete by the end of February 2019, the project experienced time delays and reduced production due to weather conditions and mechanical breakdowns.
The amount of sand transported requires the use of a suction dredge, whereby the sand is moved through a large pipe to its destination. There is no other feasible dredging method for a project of this magnitude.
The total volume of sand moved after the final survey was 1,560,000 cubic yards.
How Often Does Dredging Happen and Why Is It Important?
The Army Corps typically dredges every two years under legislation that authorized the small craft harbor and sand trap to be built in the early 1960s. The harbor entrance was designed to trap sand to prevent loss into the submarine canyon off of Port Hueneme. That material is then moved mechanically past the canyon to provide sand replenishment for down coast beaches.
The sand bypass and replenishment protects and provides benefits to Silver Strand beach, the Port of Hueneme, naval bases at Point Mugu and Port Hueneme, City of Port Hueneme, and neighboring wetlands. Beaches erode over time due to normal sand migration along the coast. Without dredged materials, all of these areas would be vulnerable to flooding and continued erosion.
The last time the harbor entrance was dredged was December 2016 to February 2017.
Dredging Project Made Possible with Federal Funds
Congress allocated $12.3 million in federal funding to the Army Corps June 2018 to complete dredging projects in Ventura County at Channel Islands Harbor, Ventura Harbor, and the Port of Hueneme.
Funding for the dredging projects was made possible with the support of Congresswoman Julia Brownley, whose district includes the Channel Islands Harbor.