A Message From Our CEO Nancy Lindholm
There is bad blood between the City of Oxnard and the County of Ventura. Both sides have dug in and are not budging. Oxnard's denial of a local coastal plan amendment on November 7 was the latest episode in an ongoing battle. The victim was the redevelopment of Fisherman's Wharf, which the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce has supported for more than three years.
The fight is over control. The County owns all of the property adjacent to the water of Channel Islands Harbor south of Channel Islands Boulevard. However, they need Oxnard to amend its local coastal plan to allow residential, mixed-use development at the old Fisherman's Wharf site. If Oxnard issues that amendment, it loses control over the project. So, we have a stalemate.
The fight over control has not only stalled, if not destroyed, the Fisherman's Wharf project, but it has delayed the rebuild of the Casa Sirena Marina Hotel on the Peninsula in the Harbor. There is also fighting over park maintenance and harbor patrol services.
This has gone on long enough! It's like watching a very nasty divorce unfold. The City and County should call in an arbitrator to seek compromises from both sides. This fight has been going on for three-and-a-half years.
The Chamber urges both parties to work toward reconciliation of who has approval and permitting authority in and around Channel Islands Harbor. The maintenance issues also need to be addressed.
It is likely one of the current Oxnard City Council members will be elected to District 5 of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in 2020. How will that person deal with this conflict in their new role?