Category Archives: City News

ParkMobile app provides convenient way to pay for on-street parking in Downtown Ventura

Using her mobile device to pay for Downtown parking.

ParkMobile, the leading provider of smart parking and mobility solutions in the US, is partnering with the City of Ventura to allow drivers to pay for metered on-street parking spaces Downtown using their mobile devices. Beginning July 17, customers can register for free through the app for iPhone, Android or online at Parkmobile.IO.

The ParkMobile app allows motorists to park, pay for parking via their mobile device, and not be required to stop or wait in line at a pay station to pay for or add time. Drivers can set up alerts via email, text message, or in-app notifications to remind them when their parking time is about to expire. A 35-cent transaction fee, in addition to parking rates, is charged per parking transaction and per parking extension.

Drivers can also load an account balance using ParkMobile Wallet so that future parking transactions are deducted from that balance. To sign up for ParkMobile Wallet, users simply choose the Wallet as the payment method via the mobile app; a 15-cent transaction fee is charged per parking transaction and per parking extension.

To set up an account, users simply download the ParkMobile app, follow the prompts and enter a credit card number. Users are required to enter a four-digit zone number from the green ParkMobile stickers on the meters. Drivers can also access the system by calling (877) 727-5932 to activate the payment service by phone. Paying by coin or credit card at the pay stations remains an option. Local parking enforcement can view driver’s mobile payment on their handheld device.

There are 344 on-street metered parking spaces, and 2,900 free parking spaces Downtown. All net revenue from the parking pay stations goes back into Downtown and funds a Police Officer who is dedicated to making downtown a safer and cleaner place to visit, as well as other improvements. The pay stations help to create turnover and open parking spaces allowing customers to find parking close to merchants.

City of Ventura lifts temporary Leaf Blower Emergency Ordinance

“May I come out of the closet now?”

The Ventura City Council terminated the temporary leaf blower emergency ordinance during its regular meeting on July 9, 2018. The repeal is effective immediately and the use of gas, electric, and battery powered leaf blowers in the City of Ventura is allowed.

The temporary leaf blower emergency ordinance was adopted by the Ventura City Council on December 18, 2017, shortly after the start of the Thomas Fire. During this time, air quality in the City of Ventura deteriorated and became a potential health issue. The use of leaf blowers allows for debris such as fallen ash and soot to be airborne. The City Council declared both a state of local emergency and a local public health emergency due to the Thomas Fire.

For information on the Thomas Fire Rebuild, visit www.cityofventura.ca.gov/thomasfirerebuild.

City Council Meeting report

Does the location of the Hillmont Psychiatric Hospital bring some homeless into Ventura?

by Richard Lieberman

The City Council voted on July 9 to approve moving ahead with plans to open a year-round homeless shelter. The council voted 7-0 in favor of moving ahead with city and county officials in drafting terms of the proposal. The shelter will be located at 2323 Knoll Drive, a 4-story property owned by the county. The county would lease the space to the city for a possible $1.00 per year.

Ventura Count, City of Ventura, and Oxnard released a request for proposal looking for an operator to run shelters in both cities.

Plans for Ventura call for a 55-bed facility and flexibility to offer more in an emergency. The county has offered $600,000 toward the property and has agreed to offer more in operating costs. Amounts to be determined later depending on the cost to run it.

Members Christy Weir and Mike Tracy raised the question of the possibility of the county providing a larger share. “The county has a bigger budget and gets state funding for mental health and related services,” said Weir.

Tracy added “much of the county’s homeless population gets sent to Ventura because the jail, psychiatric facility and county medical center are all located in the city. This is a regional problem. They’re not Ventura’s homeless, added Tracy. Many council members said they want Ventura residents to get priority and had some doubts about how much the facility would cost the city. “ The city doesn’t have millions of dollars to do this.” Tracy said.

City and county staff are working to meet an ambitious timeline to open the facility within months. Supervisors expect to see a report on the buildings condition on July 17th.

City Council adopted a resolution re-confirming the continuing existence of a local emergency and a local public health emergency. On December 4, 2017, the city experienced a devastating fire disaster in the city. The city’s Emergency Operations Center was activated at approximately 9:00 pm and a state of local emergency was declared by the City Manager as the Director of Disaster Services at 10.05 pm. On December 11, 2017 the city council adopted Resolution No. 2017-055 which confirmed the existence of a state of local emergency in the city. This action was required by the State Emergency Services Act for the emergency status to continue. It must be re-confirmed at least every thirty days thereafter until terminated.

The council reviewed an Update on Implementation of the Tertiary Treated Flows Consent decree, the Proposed Potable Reuse Project and State Water Interconnection. Kevin Brown, Ventura Water General Manager presented a report on provision of Ventura’s water supply. This report covers water supply augmentation and reliability, beneficial reuse of effluent, improvement of water quality and explanation of why use direct potable reuse water supply. Brown said, “In a nutshell this is about diversifying the city’s water supply.”

Council adopted a resolution authorizing the Ventura Water General Manager, to apply for, receive funds, enter into a cooperative agreement, and administer a grant for up to $9,868,544 for the 2018 Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Projects. Reclamation project covers the reuse of potable water. Also authorizes the Ventura water General Manager, to act on behalf of the city to conduct all negotiations, execute and submit all documents including applications, agreements, amendments, and billing statements that may be necessary to accept these grants and complete the project under the grant.

Vacancies on City of Ventura Measure O Citizens’ Oversight Committee

The City of Ventura is seeking residents wishing to volunteer their time to serve on the Measure O Citizens’ Oversight Committee. The Committee’s responsibilities include review of the projected revenues and recommended expenditures for the funds generated by Measure O.

The members of the Committee are restricted to residents and registered voters of the City of Ventura at the time of their appointment and during their term of office. Members may not be an elected official or employee of the City of Ventura, or a dependent of either an elected official or employee.

There are 4 open positions, that will be appointed for terms of 4 years. In order to be considered, citizens must complete an application and have a brief interview with the City Council’s Appointments Recommendation Committee. Committee members will be required to file a Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) disclosing all reportable interests held at the time of appointment and are required to attend ethics training every two years.

Applications are available online at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/935/Recruitments or from the City Clerk’s Office, Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street, Room 204. The application deadline is 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, and may be submitted by e-mail to cityclerk@cityofventura.ca.gov, mailed to the City Clerk’s Office, 501 Poli, Room 204, Ventura, CA 93001, or hand-delivered to the City Clerk’s Office, Room 204 at City Hall.

Council to receive overview of City’s 2021 General Plan Update

On Monday, July 16th, City Council will receive an overview of the initial steps of the City’s 2021 General Plan Update from the Community Development Department covering state legislative mandates, background data collection, and the identification of opportunities and constraints.

The general plan is the city’s comprehensive development framework guiding policies on land use, housing, roads, recreation, historical and natural resources, balance of adequate water supply infrastructure, safety and noise and serves as a basis for decisions that affect all aspects of our everyday lives from where we live and work to how we move about. It is implemented by decisions that direct the allocation of public resources and that shape private development. In short, the general plan is the embodiment of the community’s vision for the future of Ventura. Iain Holt, Principal Planner, will be managing the General Plan Update which was last revised in 2005.

Under California State Planning Law, each city and county in the state is required to update their general plan every 10 years which consists of an interrelated public process of informing the community, development of the plan and environmental review. It must address both existing conditions of the community and State legal requirements associated with general plan preparation.

As part of the initial stages of the civic engagement process, staff would solicit input on the current community vision and General Plan format which will either reaffirm or further develop the Community Vision, Goals, Policies and Actions for the next 20 years and lay out how the city may meet its growth demand and future needs sustainably with adequate water supply and infrastructure while responding to state mandates regarding housing, Climate Action Planning and Environmental Justice as well as our rapidly changing local market for housing and jobs. An interested parties list is being established by city staff, please contact the main planning line at (805) 654-7893 or 7894 to be included.

Interested in running for Ventura City Council?

Be prepared for long meetings when dealing with controversial agenda items.

The Ventura City Council election is months away, but potential candidates who reside in Districts 1, 4, 5 and 6 can start getting ready for the seats up for grabs in the November election by attending a Candidate Orientation Meeting. The meetings will kick-off the Nomination Period of July 16 through August 10, 2018 and will be hosted by the City Clerk’s Office. Two meetings will be held on Monday, July 16, 2018 at City Hall, the first will be at 8:30 am in Council Chambers and the second meeting will be at 4pm in the Community Meeting Room. Candidates only need to attend one meeting, the same information being presented at both meetings.

Eligible candidates running for Ventura City Council must be at least 18 years of age, a registered voter and a resident of their respective District.

One of the first steps for potential candidates is paperwork. Citizens wanting to run for office must pull nominations papers and then return them to the City Clerk’s Office for verification and signature during the nomination period, or by August 10th. Pulling nomination papers can be completed during the Candidates Orientation Meeting. Other required forms include Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement, and Campaign Finance Disclosure Statements (to track campaign contributions, or your own funds, spent for your campaign as established by the Fair Political Practices Commission).

As a reminder, the City of Ventura transitioned to district-based elections in January 2018 after broad outreach and citizen input. Changing to district-based elections resulted in the City being divided into seven geographic districts. Each District will have one City Councilmember who resides in the district and is chosen only by the voters residing in that district. Residents in Districts 1, 4, 5, and 6 will be voting for a Councilmember in their district in the November 6, 2018 election; and residents in Districts 2, 3, and 7 will be voting for a Councilmember in their district in the November 2020 election. All registered voters will vote on all local, state and federal ballot measures and candidates for county, state, federal and special districts.

Serving as a Councilmember provides the opportunity to make a real difference in our community. Individuals interested in becoming a candidate are highly encouraged to attend the Orientation Meeting or schedule a one-hour appointment with the City Clerk’s Office by calling 805-658-4787.

Several candidates have already announced that they are running.

Ventura City Council Adopts Fireworks Social Host Ordinance

The Ventura City Council adopted a Fireworks Social Host Ordinance during its regular meeting on June 18, 2018.  Under the new ordinance, any homeowner, renter, or person in charge of a residence or other private property who knows or should know of the sale, use, and/or possession of any fireworks on private property are subject to a civil penalty levied by the City of Ventura.

The Social Host is responsible for the sale, use, and/or possession of fireworks on their property by anyone on their property. The ordinance pertains to any person who hosts, organizes, supervises, officiates, conducts, or accepts responsibility for a gathering on private property.

Violators in the city of Ventura can be reported online, by emailing video of the alleged use of fireworks to the Ventura Police Department.  The Ventura Police will be sending out more information on the reporting process in the next week.

“Illegal fireworks are a safety issue,” said Police Chief Ken Corney.  “The new ordinance provides another disincentive to use illegal fireworks.” Ventura police and fire departments will be patrolling neighborhoods throughout the city of Ventura on July 4th to keep citizens and their property safe and enforce the City’s ordinances.

“Put the community first,” said Fire Chief David Endaya.  “Extreme drought conditions and tinder-dry brush are dangerous. I am asking every resident and visitor in Ventura to keep our city safe and be considerate of your neighbors. Do not use fireworks.”

For more information visit https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1345/Celebrate-July-4th-Safely.

What do city council district elections mean?

This Voting District Map and elections information can be found online at www.cityofventura.net.

by Councilmember Christy Weir

District elections mean that registered voters of a district will elect a City Councilmember from their district. The November, 2018 election will be Ventura’s first District Election process, with Districts 1 (Westside) 4, 5 and 6 (East Ventura) electing a City Councilmember for a term of four years. Residents in those districts will receive ballots and can only vote on eligible candidates running in their district.

Current council members with terms expiring in December 2018 are Erik Nasarenko (district 4) and Jim Monahan (district 5). With switching from at-large to district elections, the districts that Mike Tracy and Neal Andrews reside in are not scheduled for a 2018 election, therefore they are not eligible to run at their current address. Residents of districts 2 (midtown), 3 (college) and 7 (Pierpont, coastal) will vote in 2020.

Individuals wanting to run for office must pull and then return nomination papers to the City Clerk between July 16-August 10. A candidate manual will be provided to all candidates, with required forms and deadlines.

City of Ventura 4th of July Street Fair & Pushem-Pullem Parade

The City of Ventura 4th of July Street Fair celebrates its 43-year-old tradition on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, from 10 am to 5 pm in Ventura’s Downtown District, with the theme, “Ventura Strong”. The Independence Day celebration will showcase handmade arts and crafts by more than 200 artisans along eight blocks of Main Street from Fir Street to Mission Park, plus children’s activities, international foods and three stages of entertainment.

Children and adults are invited to dress up for the Pushem-Pullem Parade, sponsored by the Ventura East Rotary Club that assembles at Cemetery Memorial Park (Main and Crimea Streets) at 9 am and begins to parade down Main Street at 9:30 am. Participants will receive a free commemorative button while supplies last.

Visit the Information Booth on Main and California Street from 10:30 am-1pm to purchase tickets for the Ventura Fireworks Show & Family Picnic at Ventura College presented by the Ventura Rotary Club.

Returning this year, and greener than ever, the Street Fair will feature eco-friendly products, information and activities as the Community Environmental Council hosts the “Environment Education Street”. A variety of electric cars will be on display and vendors will have information to educate citizens about how to conserve, protect, and sustain our planet. The City of Ventura Transportation Division will be hosting a Community Bike Ride on July 4th, that will begin at Arroyo Verde Park at 8:30 am and will travel four miles at a family-friendly pace to the Street Fair. Complimentary bike valet service will be available on California Street.

Park for free in the Downtown parking structure, city lots or the Ventura County Government Center and use the courtesy shuttle that runs to the Street Fair every 30 minutes (no smoking or pets allowed, except for service animals). Admission to the parade and Street Fair is free thanks to presenting sponsors, the City of Ventura Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships Department and Ventura County Credit Union, as well as sponsors Ventura Harley Davidson, Players Casino, The Wharf, Ventura County Star, KHAY and Sports Radio 1450, KDAR Radio and Gold Coast Broadcasting.

For further details visit www.cityofventura.ca.gov/streetfairs. This release is available on the City of Ventura website www.cityofventura.ca.gov.

Summer camp registration underway

It’s that time of year when end of year class parties, graduations, teacher gifts, and KIT yearbook inscriptions are taking up children’s time, but not for long! That last school bell is about to sound signaling the start of summer fun. Registration is now underway for City of Ventura Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships (PRCP) summer camps offering full and partial-day camps, keeping youth and teens engaged in a variety of activities each week of summer break.

These camps include; traditional, aquatic, nature and history, sports camps, beach, and creative camps. View the Summer Camps booklet and register online or call 805-658-4726.

Youth scholarships are also available for qualified candidates. For more information view the Youth Scholarship Application and follow the directions. See you at camp!