Ventura Harbor Commission met on Feb. 17 and touched base on the harbor’s five-year objectives and the quarterly update.
VENTURA一 The Ventura Harbor Commission met on Feb. 17 to touch base on the harbor’s long-term goals, five-year objectives, and the quarterly update. The five-year objectives were approved in a Feb. 5, 2020 harbor commission meeting after an initial workshop led by General Manager Brian Pendleton on Sept. 14, 2019, and a series of meetings with the commissioners. The Harbor Commission’s objectives can fit into seven categories; Harbor Dredging, commercial fishing, Harbor Village, Harbor parking, and traffic circulation, Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center, master tenant, and development parcels five and eight, and a public and civic engagement plan. The commissioners are looking to hold a follow-up workshop this fall.
The Harbor Commission is looking to ensure that annual dredging occurs at the entrance of the federal harbor and in the inner harbor as needed. The harbor commission will support and advocate for funding for the Army Corp of Engineers for the dredging, they are also participating with the California Marine Affairs Navigation Conference in support of state and federal assistance. In a milestone for the project, it just received a bump in funding from congress pushed by Congresswoman Julia Brownley. The harbor’s annual dredging began on Feb. 11 and will be completed in March.
Public and Civic Engagement
Part of public and civic engagement is developing a stronger community and a closer working relationship with stakeholders, business partners, and civic leaders. They are still participating in COVID-19 messaging and coordination with businesses and are keeping an eye on COVID-19 impacts.
There are five strategies under commercial fishing focused on supporting current commercial fishing through stakeholder engagement, diversification, and infrastructure improvements. Ventura is looking to reactivate its commercial fishing association, continue to improve the commercial fishing services offered by the district, utilize the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise grant, and complete permitting and legislative approvals for the VSE project. Major milestones, the crane manufacture for the fish pier is undergoing final inspection and is set to be completed in the next two months. Permits were obtained for fishermen’s storage units and should be completed by June 2021.
Master Tenants and Development Parcels Five and Eight
The harbor commission is looking to evaluate parcels five and eight and engage with master tenants. Construction was set to start on the dock replacement at the beginning of 2021, there have been bi-weekly meetings with Portside’s commercial leasing team.
National and State Parks Agency Collaboration
The harbor commission is looking to maintain the Channel Islands National Park Service presence at the harbor and enhance ecotourism. The harbor looking to secure long-term leasing for the National Park Service, and a lease agreement with General Service Administration. They are finalizing leasing space and will be looking towards preliminary discussions with NPS for long-term facility needs and master plans for a visitor center.
Harbor Parking Study and Traffic Circulation
The objective for harbor parking is to increase and maximize visitor parking and traffic circulation. Strategies for the objectives are, evaluate pedestrian, bicycling, and parking around the harbor and make improvements and management plans for parking and traffic circulation. For 2021 a consultant will conduct traffic counts and parking analysis and the first-ever Beach Bus to harbor.
To maintain and improve the harbor, there was a complete repainting of the harbor, a Village Sign Program was approved in October 2020, and a refurbishment painting of the village parking lot with parking lot signs added to the project for quarter 3 2021. There is an annual tenant meeting, the meeting for 2021 was canceled due to COVID-19 but a tenant survey was distributed for marketing input.