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Casa Sirena Project Update

Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap

Last Updated 5/18/2023

The scheduled demolition of the Casa Sirena & Lobster Trap property began in December 2021 and was completed in June 2022.

From January 2023 to May 2023, a construction project to replace the revetment surrounding a portion of the Harbor's peninsula took place.

The completion of the revetment project now clears the way for Brighton Management to build a Hyatt House, which will feature 210 rooms in a 55-foot structure and occupy approximately 203,000 square feet along the Channel Islands Harbor waterfront.

The original Casa Sirena hotel, constructed in 1972, had 197 rooms with additional space for meetings. The proposed development of the site will include a new Hyatt House Hotel and a restaurant of up to 5,000 square feet, similar to, but not smaller than, the former Lobster Trap Restaurant which was located nearby.

Fisherman's Wharf Project Update

Fisherman's Wharf

Update posted 5/22/2024
Channel Islands Harbor Fishermans Wharf

At its May 21, 2024 meeting, the Ventura County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a one-year lease option agreement with Robert Dahl, a German-based strawberry farmer and developer. In 1992, Dahl founded the flagship Karl’s Village and has since expanded operations to 7 other locations in Germany.

Harbor Department Director Michael Tripp said he was pleased with the Board of Supervisors’ decision to allow the Harbor Department to move forward with Dahl’s project and is excited with the overwhelming positive support from the community.

"We worked very hard to get community acceptance of this project, with more than 20 community workshops that led the Karls' team to substantially modify the project based on the public input received,” Director Tripp said. "At the meeting, it was very gratifying to hear all of the positive public comments."

Director Tripp said the one-year lease option agreement allows Dahl’s team to move forward with finalizing plans for the project, as well as secure any necessary permits from the California Coastal Commission and the City of Oxnard. If Dahl’s team satisfies the requirements and conditions outlined in the one-year lease option agreement, a subsequent 30-year lease will take effect.

“Based on their track record of successfully developing properties, the reuse of several of the existing buildings, Dahl’s willingness to conform with current zoning, and the project’s goal of providing low-cost visitor-serving amenities to families of all economic backgrounds, I firmly believe that this proposed project will be a great fit at Fisherman’s Wharf and will be an attraction that generations of families will want to visit," Director Tripp said.

Karls' project at the Channel Islands Harbor is a strawberry and maritime dual-themed village that will have a mix of retail shops, a café and bakery, restaurants, an artisan market, a small hotel, park areas and children's playgrounds and recreational experiences. 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.

“We imagine that a Karls at the Channel Islands Harbor would revitalize the wharf area with dining, retail, recreation, and education & recreational activities for people of all ages and families of all economic backgrounds,” Robert Dahl said. “Our goal is to create a lively space that creates value for everyone along the water.”

Fisherman’s Wharf Project Timeline

May 2022: The Harbor Department released a Request for Proposals for the Fisherman’s Wharf parcel. Four proposals were reviewed by Harbor Department staff, and the Harbor Advisory Committee.

September 2022: A public meeting was held on three proposals for the Fisherman’s Wharf parcel.

November 2022: The Harbor Department announces its intent to enter into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with Karls.

February 2023: Due to some public opposition to the project, 12 community workshops were held to give the public a better understanding of what was being proposed by the Karls group.

April 2023: Harbor Department enters into an Exclusive Right to Negotiate with Karls.

January 2024: An additional 10 community workshops were held to give the public an opportunity to provide feedback on a revised project by Karls.

May 2024:  The Ventura County Board of Supervisors approves a lease option agreement and lease for the Karls project at Fisherman’s Wharf

Whale's Tail Project Update

Whale's Tail

Update posted 4/29/2024
View of the Whale's Tail from the water

The Ventura County Harbor Department is seeking a developer to redevelop the parcel where the Whale's Tail restaurant formerly operated. Interested parties should contact Harbor Department Lease Manager Jeff Arnold at 805-973-5955.

Learn more about the property here.


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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