Channel Islands group fights proposed Hotel approach on the Peninsula Casa Sirena lease

The Harbor Department/Ventura Board of Supervisors sneaked a controversial project onto the Tuesday, July 7, 2015 meeting agenda in the confusion of the long 4th of July holiday weekend (when lots of people are on vacation), in an attempt to avoid public scrutiny, says Mike Mercadante of CICA (Channel Islands Community Association).  Read his letter below and see if you agree. If so, you may wish to respond and/or come to the Tuesday meeting. You might want to come even if you disagree.

Casa Sirena site pic 1

Existing abandoned, dilapidated Casa Sirena hotel complex on Peninsula Road, Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard.

The Mercadante letter:

On July 2, 2015 the calendar for the Ventura County Board of Supervisors was posted at 2:00pm with Item 41 a proposal for the development of the Hotel on the Peninsula Casa Serena. While most of the community has great enthusiasm for the replacing the 10 year decline of the harbor, our concern is the manner in which the project is being handled.

Posting a topic of great community interest on the eve of a three day 4th of July Holiday that’s requests BOS approval of a lease and an exemption from environmental study with no material content for review, no public review process, without a time certain agenda, and without ample opportunity for the community to prepare their response is at best bad form and a worst intentionally deceptive by the Harbor Department. This is clear avoidance of community engagement which shows contempt by both the board of supervisors and harbor department for the community’s right to engage in the process.

Making matters worse, years ago the Board of Supervisors eliminated the Ventura County Planning Department from oversight of Harbor Department Projects and bypasses meaningful oversight of the City of Oxnard’s planning process for Harbor development projects.

HARBOR DEPT — ITEM 41.  Approval of, and Authorization for, the Harbor Director to Execute an Option Agreement, and Agree to Enter into and Authorization for the Chair to Execute, a Long-Term Lease, for the Construction and Operation of a Replacement Hotel Complex and Restaurant on Parcels F and F-1 in the Channel Islands Harbor with Bright Peninsula Road, LLC; Authorization for the Harbor Director to Submit the Projects to the California Coastal Commission, and Find that the Approvals are Exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.

1)      Address an email to the Clerk of the board COB [email protected] , your letter will get entered into the record of the meeting.

2)      Subject “Harbor Department Item 41

Additional email contacts for the Board of Supervisors if you choose

Email Contacts for Oxnard City Council

Other Contacts

COPY THE TEXT BELOW INTO THE BODY OF YOUR EMAIL MESSAGE

Attention: Clerk of the Board

Since the Ventura County Board of Supervisors is acting — in place of the Ventura County Planning Department — as the entity that approves development projects in Channel Islands Harbor, we submit the following requests to allow for the appropriate of public review input on development projects within our Community prior to a lease being granted.

Specifically, with regards to Item 41 on the Agenda for July 7, 2015:

HARBOR DEPT — ITEM 41.  Approval of, and Authorization for, the Harbor Director to Execute an Option Agreement, and Agree to Enter into and Authorization for the Chair to Execute, a Long-Term Lease, for the Construction and Operation of a Replacement Hotel Complex and Restaurant on Parcels F and F-1 in the Channel Islands Harbor with Bright Peninsula Road, LLC; Authorization for the Harbor Director to Submit the Projects to the California Coastal Commission, and Find that the Approvals are Exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.

I request that the Board of Supervisors order the following with regard to this item:

  • As a matter of policy, all agenda items pertaining to Harbor development should always be classified as time certain to allow for public attendance and comment.
  • Order that all Harbor development-related items be scheduled at least a week in advance.  In this instance, five days’ notice over a long holiday weekend is exclusionary; it simply doesn’t allow all interested parties to prepare and participate.
  • The Board of Supervisors should require a community review of the project prior to approval by the Board and submission to the California Coastal Commission
  • The Board of Supervisors should invite the Oxnard Planning Department and Ventura County Planning to participate in the community review of the project prior to submission to the California Coastal Commission
  • During the public review prior to going to presentation to the Coastal Commission, the community should be presented with the Basis for the Harbor Departments Claim for exemption from the California Environment Quality Act.
  • Approval by the Board of Supervisors of a Long-Term Release and Exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act without public review and third party expert review would represent a significant breach of the Community’s trust.
  • My views are aligned with CICA and request that you actively engage them in the process of resolving Community Issues.

We formally request that you do not approve Item 41 as it stands without these modifications and that you advise the Harbor Management of the need for proactive Community Engagement.

Regards

“Your Name”

Address

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CasaSirenaAerialPhoto

Casa Sirena complex is on the left, top of the peninsula in this Aerial Photo (NOT where the red circle is)

Upcoming/Live Meetings
Name Date    
Board of Supervisors Addendum – 7/7/2015 July  7, 2015 – 08:30 AM Agenda
Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting – 7/7/2015 July  7, 2015 – 08:30 AM Agenda

HARBOR DEPARTMENT

41. Approval of, and Authorization for, the Harbor Director to Execute an Option Agreement, and Agree to Enter to Enter into and Authorization for the Chair to Execute, a Long-Term Lease, for the Construction and Operation of a Replacement Hotel Complex and Restaurant on Parcels F and F-1 in the Channel Islands Harbor with Bright Peninsula Road, LLC; Authorization for the Harbor Director to Submit the Projects to the California Coastal Commission, and Find that the Approvals are Exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. RECOMMENDATION NO. 2 REQUIRES 4/5THS VOTE CEO RECOMMENDS APPROVAL AS PROPOSED

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Relevant articles:

Protest Letter on Ventura County/Oxnard proposed Channel Islands Harbor management agreement

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