If you have visited Channel Islands Harbor in the last five or ten years, you likely noticed the state of disrepair Fisherman's Wharf is in. It's quite sad to see the corner that was once a bustling destination for visitors and locals alike look as if it wants to fall into the sea.
Channel Islands Harbor spent many years as the poor stepchild in Ventura County. It was one of the best assets, but ignored by many politicians and policy makers. It has taken a lot of investment on the part of private industry to pump life into it, and Harbor management has been challenged to attract viable developers to venture into projects on leased land that requires percentage rents to be paid to the County.
After a few failed attempts by various parties to redevelop Fisherman's Wharf, the perfect scenario seems to have presented itself. The trio of Thomas R. Tellefsen, Peter Mullin and Geoff Palmer are proposing a rebuild of the project that adds many public amenities and retains the flavor of the original nautical theme.
Thomas Tellefsen is the principal of Tellefsen Investments, a private asset and investment management firm in Pacific Palisades. Peter Mullin, amongst many interests, is the owner of the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard where a portion of his collection of French Art Deco era cars is on display. Geoff Palmer of G.H. Palmer Associates has been in the business of building luxury apartment units for many years.
Specifically, the proposal to revitalize Fisherman's Wharf includes refurbishing the landmark lighthouse, restoring or rebuilding many of the existing buildings, redesigning the waterfront to include a wide promenade and outdoor dining options, increasing the retail space by about 9,000 square feet, creating a public park, and providing approximately 390 luxury residential units. (Some of the previous proposals included up to 800 apartments.)
The Oxnard Chamber has studied the redevelopment proposal for Fisherman's Wharf and thoroughly supports it. The County Board of Supervisors has given the project a green light.
It's important to note that the County of Ventura owns Channel Islands Harbor and the land immediately adjacent to it up to the Channel Island Boulevard Bridge, where the City of Oxnard takes over.
Unfortunately the project has hit a couple of bumps in the road. The city of Oxnard recently amended its 2030 General Plan to require "urban villages" have specific plans (a very costly regulation!). And there seems to be some squabbling over who has the permitting authority for the site. Historically the County has had that role.
In addition to that hiccup, there is a small group of very vocal Oxnard residents that believe incorporating apartments in the project constitutes the "taking" of public property. Hello! The entire peninsula in the harbor is apartments. The project does not pencil out if the apartments are not a component. In addition, the old adage of "rooftops drive retail" is a big factor in sustaining the restaurants and retail not only at Fisherman's Wharf, but throughout Channel Islands Harbor.
Last year when the project was in front of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for approval and many opponents spoke against it, Supervisor Steve Bennett noted other proposals had come forward in recent years, this was a quality project, and if this one doesn't move forward the site will likely continue to decay and deteriorate.
The Oxnard Chamber will continue to strongly support the proposal to bring new life to what should be a beautiful part of our community. Your support is welcome, too!
New venue and new keynote speaker!
The September 14 Knowledge & Networking lunch will feature the State of the Port report. The Port is one of the biggest economic engines in Ventura County. It is owned and operated by The Oxnard Harbor District, created in 1937, as an independent special district (business enterprise) and political subdivision of the State of California. Its mission is to operate as a self-supporting Port that enforces the principles of sound public stewardship maximizing the potential of maritime-related commerce and regional economic benefit.
The Oxnard Harbor District’s policies are set by a five-member Board of Harbor Commissioners elected at large from the District. Day-to-day business operations of the Harbor District are administered by the CEO & Port Director and professional staff. The Harbor District, by its charter, can acquire, construct, own, operate, control or develop any and all harbor works or facilities necessary to efficiently accomplish its mission. It prepares and controls its own budget, as well as fiscal activities. It is responsible for all Port construction and operations.
Port of Hueneme CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas will be the keynote speaker. A proven leader, Kristin Decas repeatedly demonstrates her ability to build vision and implement strategy through open, collaborative processes that foster results.
Since beginning her tenure with the Port of Hueneme in February 2012, the Port has realized several successes. Tonnage totals have grown every year since her arrival from 1.3 million tons for FY 2012 to over 1.575 million metric tons in 2015 marking the Port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception in 1937. Kristin championed the first annual Port Banana Festival, drawing over 10,000 visitors to the Port. Port of Hueneme related activities generate $1.1 billion in annual economic impact and create more than 10,200 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs.
Kristin was recently selected as Top Port Director of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals.
The Knowledge & Networking Lunch will be Thursday, September 14 from noon to 1:30 at the Courtyard by Marriott on Esplanade Drive. Click here to go to the online registration or call the Chamber office at 805-983-6118. Click here to go to the online registration or call the Chamber office at 805-983-6118.
California’s housing crisis is a big focus of attention at the State Capitol as studies highlight two elements of the crisis that are inextricably linked—supply and affordability.
The Department of Housing and Community Development estimates that California must build at least 180,000 units a year to keep pace with demand, not accounting for the backlog of approximately 2 million units that has accrued over the last several decades.
The supply shortage has sent home prices and rents soaring, resulting in many individuals and families being priced out of the market and leading to overcrowding, homelessness, substandard housing conditions, and an exodus of Californians to other states.
For every $1,000 increase in a California home, 15,000 buyers are priced out of the market, according to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders.
Based on pending legislation, lawmakers are concentrating on things like local land use, funding affordable housing, or expedited permit processing.
Local Land Use Decisions
The Legislature will grapple to define the scope of the state’s role in local land use decisions. One of the driving issues in the crisis is the reluctance of local governments to approve new housing projects due to “not in my backyard” (NIMBY) resistance.
Several bills have been introduced to hold local governments accountable for meeting their affordable housing elements. Such bills include SB 167 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) and AB 678 (Bocanegra; D-Pacoima), both supported by the California Chamber of Commerce.
These bills require a local agency to make relevant findings if it denies a housing development, clarify provisions of the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), and impose added penalties on agencies that violate the HAA by failing to make appropriate findings.
Another CalChamber-supported bill, AB 943 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles), seeks to increase the vote required to pass an ordinance that would reduce density or stop development or construction of parcels located less than one mile from a major transit stop, in an effort to limit the NIMBY effect.
AB 1397 (Low; D-Campbell) further attempts to ensure that sites contained in a local government’s housing element can realistically be developed to meet the locality’s housing needs by requiring that such sites have sufficient infrastructure available to support housing development.
Funding Affordable Housing
Another focus is funding for state subsidies to develop affordable housing. The two bills getting the most attention are:
Other proposed funding methods include taxes:
Both these tax bills have been identified as job killers and have not moved through the legislative process at this juncture.
While the state places significant focus on funding, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office report, it would have to raise upwards of $250 billion to subsidize itself out of the housing crisis—a feat that cannot be accomplished.
Several bills aim to streamline permit processing, which is much needed to stimulate development; however, the bills’ limitations or prevailing wage requirements make them unlikely to have much impact on the ground. Other bills attempt to relax rules for granny flats (accessory dwelling units) and home additions.
Fortunately, three “wrong way” bills have been taken out of the equation.
Three potential key factors in addressing the housing crisis that do not appear to be getting much attention are the potential for Proposition 13 property tax and CEQA reform, and revival of some version of California’s redevelopment agencies.
Although there is no silver bullet to tackle the housing crisis, the Legislature will need to consider all available and possible avenues to increase supply to address the state’s housing crisis—the stimulation of actual construction being of the utmost importance.
Louinda V. Lacey presents a recap of housing bills at the CalChamber Capitol Summit.
Kristin Decas selected as Top Port Director of the Year for 2017 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP)
Kristin Decas, Port Director & CEO of the Port of Hueneme in California, was selected as Top Port Director of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).
While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in itself, only a few members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. All honorees are invited to attend the IAOTP’s annual award gala at the end of this year for a night to honor their achievements.
With over a decade of professional experience in the Maritime-based Trade, Transportation and Infrastructure Industry, Kristin has certainly proven herself as an accomplished professional and expert in the field. As a dynamic, results-driven leader, she has demonstrated success not only with the Port of Hueneme but with every position she has ever held. Since beginning her tenure with the Port of Hueneme in February 2012, the Port has seen Tonnage totals have grown every year since Kristin arrived from 1.3 million tons for FY 2012 to over 1.575 million metric tons in 2015 marking the Port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception in 1937. Kristin led the first annual Port Banana Festival which drew over 10,000 visitors to the Port. Port of Hueneme related activities generate $1.5 billion in annual economic impact and created more than 13,633 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs.
Kristin’s prior role before serving the Port of Hueneme, she served as CEO and Port Director for the Port of New Bedford, MA, the nation’s number one value fishing port. When she obtained this position in 2007, Kristin inherited a $200,000 deficit and she impressively cleaned up not only the financial problems but the physical landscape of the Port as well. Kristin generated a healthy profit for the Port and also played as a key asset in developing a new terminal to support commerce and offshore wind energy projects. Under her leadership the Port of New Bedford realized significant growth in cruise and recreational boating activity.
The President of IAOTP, Stephanie Cirami, stated “Choosing Kristin for this award was an easy decision for our panel to make. In a male dominated industry, Kristin is talented, bright, beautiful and brilliant at what she does and we felt she would make an amazing asset to our organization. We are looking forward to meeting her at the gala and know we will be seeing more amazing things from this amazing woman.”
Kristin graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Vermont in 1991 and with her Masters Degree in Environmental Policy and Law from the University of Denver in 1997.
Throughout her illustrious career, Kristin has received many awards and accolades and has been recognized worldwide for her outstanding leadership and commitment to the industry. For 2018 she is being considered for the “Female Visionary of the Year Award” and the “Top Female Executive Award” by the International Association of Top Professionals. For 2017, she was selected as Top Port Director of the Year by IAOTP. She was recognized by the Trade Administration officials for her impressive work in promoting economic development through international trade promotion, and for her service on scores of federal level shipping and port committees. She was awarded a high profile appointment by the U.S. Department of Transportation to both the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) and the U. S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC). Kristin was elected by the board of directors of the American Association of Port Authorities AAPA, a trade association representing more than 130 public port authorities in the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, as the association’s Chair for 2014-2015. Kristin was the first woman to run both the Port of New Bedford in its 50 year history and the Port of Hueneme in its 75 year history. She is also the 4th woman to chair the AAPA in its 103 years.
Looking back, Kristin attributes her success to her training, her perseverance, mentors she has had along the way, and her passion for what she does. When she is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. For the future, she will continue to grow as a professional and continue to strive for excellence in whatever position she is in. For more information on Kristin please visit: http://www.portofhueneme.org/about/kristin-decas/
The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an international boutique networking organization who handpicks the world’s finest, most prestigious top professionals from different industries. These top professionals are given an opportunity to collaborate, share their ideas, be keynote speakers and to help influence others in their fields. This organization is not a membership that anyone can join. You have to be asked by the President or be nominated by a distinguished honorary member after a brief interview.
IAOTP’s experts have given thousands of top prestigious professionals around the world, the recognition and credibility that they deserve and have helped in building their branding empires. IAOTP prides itself to be a one of a kind boutique networking organization that hand picks only the best of the best and creates a networking platform that connects and brings these top professionals to one place.
For More Information on IAOTP please visit: www.iaotp.com
Channel Islands Harbor has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, the Ventura County Harbor Department announced. The achievement celebrates businesses and destinations that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year.
Ventura County owns and operates 310 acres comprising the Channel Islands Harbor. The majority of the Harbor is operated by businesses who have been granted long-term leases by the Board of Supervisors. On TripAdvisor, the Channel Islands Harbor is highly rated in the “top things to do” and “good for peace & quiet seekers” categories in Oxnard.
“Receiving this recognition is a credit to all lessees and businesses who make the Channel Islands Harbor a great place to live and visit,” said Ventura County Harbor Department Director Lyn Krieger. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by our visitors. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on visitor reviews, the achievement is a remarkable vote of confidence to our success and commitment to service excellence.”
The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
As the first recreational harbor in Ventura County, Channel Islands Harbor has become one of the largest in California, after Marina Del Rey and San Diego in Southern California. It now includes over 300 acres of land and water, but the initial development included only a small portion of the current harbor area. Additional construction took place over the years, including the west channel of the harbor, along Harbor Boulevard and Peninsula Road. Development of the harbor has been largely accomplished through leases with private developers, who have constructed eight marinas (not including the three constructed by the County) comprising over 2200 boat slips, two hotels, two yacht club buildings, two boat yards, three shopping areas, two freestanding restaurants, a Maritime Museum, over 100 condominiums and 485 apartments. In addition, public agencies have provided parks, restrooms, the public launch ramp and parking for the public. For more information on Channel Islands Harbor visit www.channelislandsharbor.org.
The California Chamber of Commerce is reminding employers with 10 or more employees that they are required to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports, and payroll tax deposits to the Employment Development Department (EDD).
The requirement began January 1 for employers with 10 or more employees. All remaining employers are required to begin reporting and paying electronically with their 2018 payroll or as soon as they report having 10 or more employees, whichever happens first.
Unemployment Insurance and Electronic Reporting
AB 1245 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova, Statutes of 2015) requires electronic reporting for unemployment insurance reports submitted to the EDD. It also requires employers to remit contributions for unemployment insurance taxes by electronic funds transfer.
Any employer required under existing law to electronically submit wage reports and/or electronic funds transfer to the EDD remains subject to those requirements. For more information, visit FAQs – E-file and E-pay Mandate for Employers.
The EDD encourages employers to enroll in e-Services for Business to meet the requirement.
For more information about the e-file and e-pay mandate, please visit: www.edd.ca.gov/EfileMandate
Benefits of Electronic Filing and Payments
File and Pay Electronically with e-Services for Business
Employers can use e-Services for Business to comply with the e-file and e-pay mandate. e-Services for Business is a fast, easy, and secure way to manage employer payroll tax accounts online. With e-Services for Business, employers can:
This mandate contains a waiver provision for employers who are unable to electronically submit employment tax returns, wage reports, and payroll tax deposits.
The EDD began accepting waiver requests from employers in July 2016. To request a waiver, employers must complete and submit the E-file and E-pay Mandate Waiver Request (DE 1245W).
Here are the ways to obtain a DE 1245W:
Waiver requests can be submitted by mail or fax:
Employment Development Department
Document and Information Management Center
P.O. Box 989779
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9779
Fax: (916) 255-1181
Employers will be notified by mail if their waiver is approved or denied. An approved waiver will be valid for one year. Upon the expiration of the approval period, an employer must start to electronically file and pay, or submit a new waiver request to avoid a noncompliance penalty.
Penalties for Not Complying with the E-file and E-pay Mandate
Penalties will be incurred for noncompliance with this mandate. To avoid the penalties, enroll in e-Services for Business.
When your business has an issue that you cannot solve on your own, who do you call? Of course, it depends on the subject matter, but chances are, your Oxnard Chamber membership is a direct line for assistance and the appropriate resources. Many companies join or renew their membership and forget to utilize the chamber benefits. Some businesses use their membership to increase their sales of goods or services, or for networking, or to learn more about new business laws and regulations. Nevertheless, having a business advocate organization working on your behalf can prove that your Oxnard Chamber membership provides a significant return on your investment.
The Oxnard Chamber Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) meets the second Monday of every month at noon at the Oxnard Chamber office. Led by Oxnard Chamber board members Tom Cady and Stacy Miller, the committee meets on proposed legislation, local elections and measures, and other issues such as energy, transportation, land use and water. The BAC is open and transparent and often has legislative aides in attendance, as well as the City and County representatives.
Once an agenda item has been vetted and voted on through the BAC, it is then forwarded to the full Oxnard Chamber Board of Directors as an “Action Item” at the next scheduled board meeting. As chair of the board of directors I’m repeatedly impressed by those around the table who represent a myriad of industries in the Oxnard community and contribute to a thoughtful and methodical discussion on any particular item.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for Nancy Lindholm, President & CEO, and Oxnard Chamber board members to spend hours at a city council or county board of supervisors’ meeting on your behalf. Moreover, we’ve also taken several trips to Sacramento to express our positions on a variety of topics. There are residents and other organizations who have strong opinions on local issues, however advocating for a member in good standing and whose business benefits the community is a roll the Chamber is proud to take on.
It’s reassuring to know that the Oxnard Chamber is your business advocate. Now, who are you going to call?