Boom! Oxnard City manager responds to County demand to change Coastal Plan for Fisherman’s Wharf redevelopment

By George Miller

City Manager replies with rejection/repudiation of Harbor Dept. demands to make its plans conform


The County wants to tear down most of the existing Fisherman’s Wharf (shown) and replace it with a dense, nearly 400 unit complex. Photo: George Miller/

The once Idyllic Oxnard “Fisherman’s Wharf” waterside development at Channel Islands Blvd. and Victoria Ave. is the object of a battle between the City of Oxnard and neighborhood residents vs. the Ventura County Harbor Department.  The latter wanted to have a developer put a large apartment complex and some retail shops in an area which now has numerous scattered buildings, some occupied with shops, a theater, some other uses, including a working fish processing namesake wharf, lots of scenic promenade, trees and plenty of parking.

Summary of the situation:

  • An 800 unit proposed complex was talked down to a little under 400 units and approved by the County Board of Supervisors in June on this County-owned and controlled site (even though it’s 100% within Oxnard city limits).
  • Multiple groups of local residents fought it fiercely, signing petitions, attending meetings, writing letters and making arguments against it.
  • In September, the Coastal Commission rejected the County/Developers’ proposal, primarily because it would overly restrict public access, in their judgment and because it didn’t conform to the Oxnard Local Coastal plan, which is up for review and revision anyway, didn’t provide adequate “visitor-serving” capacity and needed additional traffic studies. The Commission ruled that they wouldn’t approve it unless changes were made.
  • Oxnard indicated an unwillingness to go ahead with it.
  • Lyn Krieger, Harbor Department Director, sent a curt letter and attachments to Oxnard Planning Director Ashley Golden demanding that the City promptly change its Local Coastal Plan to conform with its 2030 General Plan, which she thought would clear the way for the project approval by the Coastal Commission.
  • But, not so fast. The City reviewed its options and concluded that it didn’t have to and even if it did, there were other problems with the Plan vs. the specifications, or lack thereof, in Kreiger’s/developers plan. So, here is Oxnard City Manager Greg Nyhoff’s response to VC Harbor Director Lyn Krieger: Ltr Lyn Krieger re Local Coastal Plan Amendment Process
  • Meanwhile, the site is rundown, blighted and mostly abandoned. It looks like the Harbor Department is not spending much money and effort on it.


Also relevant (addresses “urban village” designation, which the project claims to be):

Planning commission study session:  City of Oxnard Housing_Element_Staff_Report

Bottom of page 3 to top of Page 4:

Supplement 2, Table S-2.2, Vacant Parcels for Above Moderate RHNA, lists smaller
vacant parcels and Table S-2.3 lists the proposed uses within the Teal Club Specific Plan,
including the requirement for 148 affordable units as required by the Urban Village land
use designation.

and yet….



The actual approved coastal plan:
Page 63


the City provides the

following coastal policies related to the Channel Islands Harbor.

Local Coastal Policies

  1. The harbor is administered by Ventura County and within the city limits of Oxnard. The City

shall encourage the protection and expansion of facilities for commercial fishing, sport fishing,

recreational boating, and other harbor-related activities within the Channel Islands Harbor, by

working cooperatively with the County to prepare and process a Public Works Plan, to review

and comment on proposed amendments to the Public Works Plan and, where consistent with the

policies of the City’s LUP, to implement those provisions of the Public Works Plan applicable

to the harbor segment, pursuant to Section 30605 of the Coastal Act.

23. New multi-family residential and planned unit residential development shall be limited to a

density of no more than 18 units per acre.


But in the

2030 General Plan


Search for Urban Village


Page 63

The 2030 General Plan has four major themes: 1) development within the

CURB anticipated by the 2020 General Plan, 2) development or

reinvestment within CURB with an “urban village” concept, 3) transition of

the area south of the Oxnard Transit Center from industrial to mixed use

(Downtown East Transit Oriented District), if feasibility studies support the

concept, and 4) participation in the restoration of the Ormond Beach

wetlands. The urban villages would incorporate private and public

redevelopment, mixed land uses, affordable and workforce housing, and

transit connectivity and are intended to be a key strategy for meeting GHG

emission reduction targets and implementing the Southern California

Association of Governments regional Sustainable Community Strategy

(SB 375). The Urban Village theme replaces the 2020 General Plan Infill

Area and Major Study Areas approach.


Urban Villages are

implemented with a specific plan, a strategic plan similar to the Central

Business District Strategic Plan, or by the Ventura County Harbor Public

Works Plan.


Some local residents were told that a general plan within a city coastal zone must conform to that city’s local coastal plan, not the other way around. That statement will soon be tested legally.

VC Harbor Dept. Fishermans Wharf project update 10-6-16

Past articles on this subject:
Lyn Krieger, Director of the Ventura County Harbor Department sent a demanding, legalistic letter to Oxnard Planning Director Ashley Golden, insisting that the City…

Oxnard Says No to Amendment in Fisherman’s … –

 Oct 3, 2016 – Oxnard Says No to Amendment in Fisherman’s Wharf Apartment Project … The Coastal Commission had sent The Ventura County Harbor Dept. a letter that … Above: Excerpt from Krieger 9-1-16 letter to Oxnard Planning Dept.

Oxnard Fisherman’s Wharf Redevelopment Hits Coastal Commission …

 Sep 5, 2016 – Proposed Fisherman’s Wharf redevelopment site plan. … Photo: George Miller/ … which recently submitted a letter to Ventura County Harbor Department Director Lyn Krieger … “The incomplete letter from the Coastal Commission is a pretty standard part of the process,” Krieger explained.

Fisherman’s Wharf- Public Land For Public Use! |

Jul 24, 2016 – Neighbors collected about 4000 petition signatures to help stop the Fisherman’s Wharfredevelopment into a 390 unit apartment complex, …

Ventura County approves Fisherman’s Wharf redevelopment – The Log

Petition to Say No to Apartments at Fisherman’s Wharf …

Apr 17, 2016 – Petition to Say No to Apartments at Fisherman’s Wharf. Added by Debra … Headlines free SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us …


5 days ago – WANTED: Reporters, ad salesperson: [email protected] Home · Columns …Fisherman’s Wharf proposed redevelopment. Plenty of … | Tag Archive | Fisherman’s Wharf

She has big objections to the Fisherman’s Wharf downscaled redevelopment proposal on next week’s VC Supv. agenda The following is so well stated I am …

Recommendations for Channel Is Harbor Fisherman’s Wharf …

Nov 6, 2015 – Existing Fisherman’s Wharf view from Channel Islands Boulevevard and Victoria, Oxnard. Photo: … She has big objections …

Channel Island Harbor agreement loses 4-0 in … –

Mar 27, 2015 – Tags: Channel Island Harbor management agreement, Channel Islands HarborCommission, … was absent, working on behalf of Naval Base Ventura County retention in DC). … get the County of Ventura to agree to in the time remaining (Agreement extension expires 3-18-15). …HARBOR DEPARTMENT.

Oxnard, Ventura County, release proposed new … –

Mar 16, 2015 – Channel Islands Harbor’s 50+ year-old management agreement between Oxnard and senior partner Ventura County, which owns the harbor and land and makes the development …Agreement is in its third extension. … in the last ten years, but gave no reason why or what the Harbor Dept. did about this.

Protest Letter on Ventura County/Oxnard proposed Channel Islands …

Mar 22, 2015 – Oxnard, Ventura County, release proposed new 10 year Channel Islands Harbor agreement … KADYTV: Oxnard council shoots down new harbor agreement; Consultant … Oxnard projects In Channel Islands Harbor finally move forward- … By David Finn 


George Miller is Publisher of and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard

Get Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dotty Pringle
Dotty Pringle
3 years ago

They almost dropped the ball…thank goodness for the reading of the fine print and who pointed it out.

Lyn and County Supervisors have a friend, Andi Culbertson
who does all the public works for CI Harbor but packages it up so it looks like it’s supported by the Ventura County Public Works.

William "Bill" Hicks
William "Bill" Hicks
4 years ago

As an outsider to Oxnard City may I say that the County has had too much power over more local decisions that Cities have to work out between City Managers and their Constituents.

Charles Muller
Charles Muller
4 years ago

Oxnard should have control over its own territory, The county doesn’t seem to care about quality of life, just revenue and crony deals. Why do Fisherman’s Wharf, Casa Sirena and Lobster Trap look like bombed out war zones for decades?

Debbie Mitchell
Debbie Mitchell
4 years ago

Watching the planning commission meeting online last night, hearing about the California laws that will force continued density on the cities makes it even more important to protect the recreational resources for all of not just Oxnard, but the Inland areas as well. We have such a diamond in the rough. Island Packers could expand here. They offer special programs for k-12. The beach parks are filled to capacity on holidays. I understand the crash held off potential investors but we need to truly look at the bigger picture.
Thank you citizensjournal for reporting on this!

Steven Nash
Steven Nash
4 years ago

The City of Oxnard is 100% in the right in rejecting the PWP as the guiding document for Fishermen’s Wharf. The County needs to back off and allow the City to finish its LCP and amend its GP, as needed.

For too long, the City has kowtowed before the County. No more. We need to assert ourselves as a sovereign political entity and the ultimate local land use decision makers, not subservient to petty County bureaucrats.