City and County need to bury the hatchet
I have always been a live and let live kind of person. I don't like conflicts. I prefer harmony over anarchy. Unfortunately controversy crosses my path more often than I like. Occupational hazard, I guess.
I have no idea what triggered a recent dispute between the County of Ventura and the City of Oxnard regarding Channel Islands Harbor. However, it's apparent that a lot of beneficial economic development projects are caught in the crossfire.
When I have friends or family from out of town visit me, my favorite thing to do is take them on an electric boat tour of Channel Islands Harbor. For too many years my guests have asked why there is a large shuttered hotel in such a beautiful location. I used to answer, "It's the economy." But that doesn't hold water any more. Now that we are on the verge of the groundbreaking for a new visitor-serving hotel, a tiff between the city and the county looks like it could derail the revitalization of the peninsula in the harbor.
Fisherman's Wharf is certainly another example of the dispute between the two local governments. Here you have a site that was designated on the city's 2030 General Plan as an "Urban Village," which means residential use plus local services for the residents. When that plan was presented, the county embraced it, but the city has done everything possible to derail the project.
The squabble seems to stem from who gets to approve which projects. Historically, the County has granted approvals based on its approved public works plan. Oxnard doesn't seem to like that process any longer and wants to give projects its blessing or denial.
I don't know who should be the approving entity. I just know that a very good proposal to revive Fisherman's Wharf is caught up in the dispute. I am also hearing rumblings that the rebuild of the old Casa Sirena Marina Hotel may be facing permit challenges from the city.
It's time to lock city and the county officials in a room with a professional mediator and come to a resolution.
9/12/2017 03:01:59 pm
Thank you Nancy for keeping our Chamber members informed. I am not sure if Washington D.C. realizes how tired we are of the continual ego squabbling, that stems from emotions and not what is best for Americans. To learn that this childish behavior is now at the local level is even more disturbing. This is why we joined the Chamber, so that you will keep us current about our city officials and their lack of respect for Oxnard citizens. Washington D.C. may not care, but come election time, Oxnard citizens will have a clear understanding of which box to check on their ballots but right now we are just a little busy growing our local economy. Thank you Nancy!!
Pablo F Ortiz
9/12/2017 04:12:01 pm
Phillip Molina, CPA MBA Court Certified Mediator
9/12/2017 06:24:59 pm
I am a Ventura County Certified Court Mediator and I'll be glad to mediate.
9/13/2017 02:10:42 pm
Thank you, Nancy! You do an incredible job as the Chamber's CEO. You're a wonderful advocate for the businesses of the community and this letter is another example of your leadership and support.
9/26/2017 05:10:37 pm
Personally, I would rather see a nice two-story hotel where "Fisherman's Wharf" is located than to have residences or at least keep them to two story. I have never understood why that area is not under full ownership of Oxnard and I feel it needs to be. Ventura Harbor, to my knowledge does not have residential mixed in right on-sight. Why not copy what they have done which has obviously worked for them - more restaurants, fixing the ones that are shuttered and adding more at Fisherman's Village? n
Comments are closed.