Update on Fisherman’s Wharf Project as of April 23, 2019
In October 2017, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) told Ventura County and the developer, Channel Islands Harbor Properties, LLC (CIHP), that a Local Coastal Plan Amendment (LCPA) from the City of Oxnard was required before the CCC would consider their request for an amendment to the harbor’s Public Works Plan (PWP).
In March of 2019, the City agreed to start its public review process of the County’s LCPA. During this review process, the City will decide if they will approve or deny the County and developer’s request for an LCPA.
If the City approves the County’s LCPA, the City will no longer have any jurisdictional say about what the project should be or put any conditions on it. The County and developer can then proceed to obtain approval for a PWPA from the Coastal Commission to build the 400-apartment complex at Fisherman’s Wharf. Though the community will have another opportunity to stop this project at the Coastal Commission, it could prove more difficult if the County has an approved LCPA from the City of Oxnard.
Current Stage of City’s Decision Process on County’s LCPA
The public review participation process will consist of 3 meetings.
The first of these meetings occurred this past Monday, April 22nd. This was the Community Workshop. Over 250 people attended the workshop to hear the developer’s project presentation and to ask questions and comment on the project.
The next public meeting will be with the City of Oxnard’s Planning Commission. There are 5 members on the Commission. The meeting is anticipated to be sometime in June 2019.
The third and final meeting will be scheduled in July 2019 with the City Council members and the decision will be made at this meeting based on recommendations of the City Planning Staff, the Planning Commission and public input.
Video by Dan Pinedo
The Responsibility of Public Decision-Makers
The City Council members should deny the County’s and developer’s request for an LCPA. The current project is inconsistent with 20 of the City’s Local Coastal Plan policies. The developer’s illustrations of the project are misleading. The developer must be required to provide an accurate rendering of the project including all elevations. There is no reason the developer cannot do this.
It is the responsibility of elected and government officials to verify that the project is what it claims to be, a mix use development that will attract tourists and provide genuine public access to the harbor waterfront and park.
The proposed project is fortress-like complex, one would expect to see next to a freeway in LA, plopped on to 6.3 acres, (the size of 6 football fields) of public visitor serving and harbor related waterfront land. It will be 55 feet tall and 2 city blocks long with a two-story wall around it.
It will deter and impede public access because it has serious issues of parking, traffic and safety. It reduces visitor-serving facilities in favor of residential amenities. It is inconsistent with 20 of the City’s Local Coastal Plan policies. It is inconsistent with the City’s HCI ordinances.
No one should be intimidated by suggestions from the County that if this project is not accepted, the community must live with a deteriorated Fisherman’s Wharf for another 5 years. This is especially ironic because the County as the owner of Fisherman’s Wharf is responsible for its maintenance and the three extensions of the Exclusive Right To Negotiate (ERN), that have denied other possible developers the opportunity to propose projects.
Channel Islands Harbor is one of only 12 small boat harbors left along the California coast. It is a rare and valuable asset of the City of Oxnard and Ventura County. It should benefit all not just a privileged few who can afford to live there.
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We are your friends, neighbors and boaters. You’ve seen us educating and advocating for issues that impact our Harbor and Beaches. We speak up at Board of Supervisor Meetings. We circulate Petitions and write Letters to the City, the County and the Coastal Commission.
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