Camarillo Springs Recovery Moves Forward

By Logan McFadden

At the April 22, order 2015, case Camarillo City Council meeting, stomach the Council presented a certificate of recognition and appreciation to the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief organization for its volunteer work in the Camarillo Springs neighborhood. The area experienced mud slides in late 2014 during heavy rain storms. Southern Baptist has 4,000 volunteers from all over California. The national organization has 65,000 volunteers who help people all over America to clear away the debris, the mud and the ashes in the aftermath of a disaster. The group provides a hot shower and a hot meal while making God’s love real to those who desperately need it. The Council members expressed deep gratitude on behalf of the residents and the City. The homeowners now have cleared lots and access to rebuild.

Cmarillo Springs Before Cleanup

Cmarillo Springs Before Cleanup

The Council heard public comments from some of the residents in the Camarillo Springs neighborhood. The agenda included a vote on extending the Emergency Proclamation to May 13th at which time the Council will consider an additional 30-day extension, if necessary. The Council voted unanimously to confirm that the City sponsored NRCS (National Resource Conservation Service) project has been completed and concurrently stated that any further work will be the responsibility of the Homeowners Association. The NRCS project was funded with a $750,000 federal grant. The City Manager, Bruce Feng, assured the homeowners that the remaining re-location of K-rails would be completed.

Same street after cleanup

Same street after cleanup

The Council has received the Camarillo Springs final soil engineering report from Geo Dynamics. The Camarillo Springs Common Area Association is reviewing the report and risk assessment conclusion. The HOA’s attorney has advised the homeowners not to sign the indemnification required by the City before reconstruction permits are issued. The City Attorney, Brian Pierik, stated that he is reviewing the release clause with the intent of working out language that is acceptable to the homeowners.

The Council directed staff to send a letter requesting the County Board of Supervisors to include the City of Camarillo in developing a Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) governance format for the Santa Rosa Valley groundwater basin. HERE The GSA application deadline is June 2, 2015. Camrosa Water District serves Camarillo and will submit an application. Ventura County will also submit an application to ensure that the SGA has regional management oversight.

A representative from the Ventura Regional Sanitation District gave a presentation highlighting the District’s landfill services. The landfill has a 460,000 ton permit. Disposal rates for the City have not been raised in six years. The landfill also provides power generation and methane gas recovery.

The Council was updated on massage business and practitioner licensing, operational regulations, and code compliance. The City has issued 37 licenses; 16 to stand-alone businesses, 15 to day spas and six to chiropractors. All massage therapists have the proper certification. There have been no citizen complaints and upon inspection of 13 stand-alone businesses, only a couple of problems were found. One operation was not in compliance with Municipal Code 5.16. The business was shut down within two weeks. This action indicates that no major changes are needed to enforce the Code. The Code is enforced through random monitoring and compliance tools ranging from a citation to revoking a business license. An area of concern is the over concentration of massage businesses in the same area in the City. Councilmember Kevin Kildee said that most large shopping centers have a non-compete clause in the lease which limits that center to one massage business. The current Code requires only limited changes in terminology.

The Council voted unanimously to authorize the City Manager to execute an Animal Services Agreement with the County of Ventura. The current agreement is 30 years old and the City entered into the agreement in 1987. The agreement covers shelter services, field services, and animal nuisance hearings. Ambassadors go door-to-door to check licenses and vaccination compliance on Saturdays and Sundays. The Council elected to retain the licensing process through the City. The new agreement is projected to cost $301,081 for fiscal 2015/2016. The cost for 2014/2015 was $206,300. Mayor Little asked why the City would be paying more. It turns out that Camarillo has not been paying its fair share of total cost to Ventura County for several years. The County has instituted a new billing methodology and an “a la carte” menu option of services. Camarillo’s “fair share” is 11.2% of the County’s animal services budget. The new agreement is binding for five years plus the option to renew annually for five years. Councilmember Kevin Kildee stated that the Ventura County shelter is operating well and has programs to support pet adoption. Councilmember Jan McDonald stressed that the shelter has a 90% no-kill record and asked the County to strive to reach 100%.

Logan McFadden is a city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District and a Convention of States District Captain.

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