Category Archives: City News

Ventura Community Councils

Reasons to get involved with your Neighborhood Community Council:

  1. Connect with your neighbors
  2. Learn what’s happening in your area
  3. Get updates and information from City staff
  4. Participate in projects that make a difference in your neighborhood

College Area Community Council:
Next meeting:  Wednesday, July 24 at 7 PM at CAPS TV, 65 Day Road (east side, Ventura College Campus). CACC will be hybrid (face to face and on Zoom) quarterly in January, April, July and October each year. The remaining months will be on Zoom.

Downtown Ventura Community Council:

East Ventura Community Council:
The East Ventura Community Council (EVCC) will meet virtually on July 18 at 7 PM. Visit the EVCC website for the Zoom meeting link. The agenda includes the East Ventura police report, followed by a presentation from Jeff Hereford, the City Transportation Engineer, on project details of grant funding to design and construct a “neighborhood greenway” along Thille/Medford/Waco and Darling. This project was identified as a high priority project in the city’s recently adopted Active Transportation Plan.

The purpose of the EVCC is to encourage residents to understand East Ventura problems, needs and expectations, and to recommend, initiate and/or participate in the development and implementation of programs or solutions. The EVCC facilitates communication between the community and government or other service agencies.

Midtown Community Council
Next Meeting: July 11, 2024, 7PM, Cooper Hall at Grace Church, 65 MacMillan Ave.

Pierpont Bay Community Council:
Meeting times: 7PM, Ventura County Credit Union, 2575 Vista Del Mar Dr, Ventura, CA 93001, 7:00 PM Pacific. Meetings will also be live on zoom – see website.

  • Thursday, July 18, 2024
  • Thursday, September 19, 2024
  • Thursday, November 21, 2024
  • Thursday, January 16, 2025
  • Thursday, March 20, 2025
  • Thursday, May 15, 2025

Montalvo Community Council:

Westside Community Council:
Meetings: First Wednesday of every month. Bell Arts Factory – Community Room, 432 N. Ventura #101, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM.

City Request Phone Numbers

  • Pothole Hotline:  805-652-4590
  • Streetlights/SCE Outages: 800-655-4555
  • Graffiti Hotline: 805-654-7805
  • Report tree limb obstructing a sidewalk, traffic sign, streetlight, or public right of way: 805-677-6519
  • Replace the garbage can or recycling bins: Contact E.J. Harrison & Sons at 805-647-1414.
  • Report illegal dumping: 805-677-3999
  • Report an abandoned vehicle: 805-339-4432
  • Report an abandoned shopping cart: 888-992-4778

City releases third episode of Ventura Voices Podcast, featuring full details on X Games Ventura

The City of Ventura released the third episode of its new podcast, Ventura Voices. The latest episode features an in-depth interview with Ventura’s Economic Development Manager, Meredith Hart, and Visit Ventura’s President and CEO, Marlyss Auster. Community members can listen to the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music, or watch it on the City’s YouTube channel.

In this episode, Meredith and Marlyss are enthusiastic about returning the X Games to Ventura for a second consecutive year. They discuss the significant economic benefits this event brings to the community and highlight new features of the 2024 event, including an expanded event floor plan, musical performances, new sporting events, drone shows, a free shuttle and parking sites, plus a variety of free community events throughout Ventura.

“It was exciting to give an inside look at what it takes to host one of the most thrilling sports events in the world right here in Ventura and what’s new this year with X Games Ventura,” said Meredith Hart, Ventura’s Economic Development Manager. “Hosting the X Games requires a true team effort, and we are proud to partner with Visit Ventura and other local organizations to ensure a successful event that benefits our local businesses and community members.”

Episode three of Ventura Voices also underscores the significant economic impact of the event, drawing visitors and offering opportunities to support local shops, restaurants, and service providers.

Last year’s X Games event drew 52,000 attendees, generating approximately $6.4 million for Ventura County’s economy, with $5 million spent in Ventura. The event staff contributed significantly, accounting for more than 2,700 hotel nights and over $900,000 in hotel spending. More participants are expected this year, with plans for 5,100 hotel nights.

Tune in to learn more and receive a special discount code for listeners. X Games Ventura returns to the Ventura County Fairgrounds from June 28-30, 2024.

To learn more, listen to featured episodes, or suggest ideas for future podcasts, visit

Neighborhood Community Councils

The City of Ventura has seven Neighborhood Community Councils and any resident, business owner or property owner can join their area group.

Top four reasons to get involved with your Neighborhood Community Council:

  1. Connect with your neighbors
  2. Learn what’s happening in your area
  3. Get updates and information from City staff
  4. Participate in projects that make a difference in your neighborhood

Find Your Neighborhood Community Council

While the seven City Council districts don’t perfectly align with the boundaries of the seven Neighborhood Community Councils, below is the general correlation, as well as meeting and website information for each:

Westside Community Council

Downtown Ventura Partners

Midtown Community Council

  • Meetings are the 2nd Thursdays each month @ 7pm via Zoom
  • Midtown Ventura

College Area Community Council

East Ventura Community Council

  • Meetings are the 3rd Thursday of each month @ 7pm on Zoom
  • East Ventura

Montalvo Community Council

  • Public meetings are held quarterly on the 3rd Tuesday of February, May, August, and November @ 6:30pm
  • Montalvo Community Council

Pierpont Bay Community Council

The City of Ventura secures grant for VenturaWaterPure

Water recycling project awarded $48 million in federal grants to date

The City of Ventura has announced that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) has awarded the City an additional $30 million under its WaterSMART large-scale water recycling program to support the VenturaWaterPure project.

USBR Commissioner Camille Touton and Senator Alex Padilla announced this historic award in a formal ceremony alongside the Metropolitan Water District, Pure Water Southern California, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. These agencies received $159 million funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“Securing our water future goes beyond infrastructure; it’s about investing in our community’s resilience and prosperity in the face of environmental unpredictability,” stated Ventura Mayor Joe Schroeder. “The USBR funding is vital to the City’s long-term goal of drought-proofing our region. It offers much-needed support amidst inflation and rising costs. The assistance will contribute to our mission to deliver affordable, safe, and reliable water to our ratepayers while staying dedicated to environmental stewardship and ensuring a resilient water supply for all Ventura residents.”

VenturaWaterPure joins the many communities throughout California and globally in delivering purified recycled water, including San Diego, Monterey, Pismo Beach, and Orange County, which has operated a potable reuse facility for the last 40 years. VenturaWaterPure is a multi-benefit program that will recover, treat, and reuse water currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. This will create a new, local, drought-resilient water source that meets legal and regulatory requirements and is resilient to changing climate conditions.  

“VenturaWaterPure is expected to deliver up to 20 percent of the City’s annual demand when fully operational,” said Ventura Water General Manager Gina Dorrington. “We are honored to receive this grant alongside leading water and wastewater agencies. This support allows us to continue progressing and delivering drought-resilient water supply.”

Federal support and financial backing continue to grow for VenturaWaterPure. In addition to the newly awarded $30 million grant, the program has received $18 million in funding from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and a $173 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These funds strengthen Ventura’s efforts to invest in locally developed water supply infrastructure.

“Grants like this are crucial in helping offset project costs, ensuring the successful implementation of VenturaWaterPure while minimizing the financial impact on local Ventura Water ratepayers,” said Ventura City Manager Bill Ayub. “The City remains committed to exploring all options, including pursuing outside funding and identifying cost-saving opportunities throughout the design and construction phases of the project.”

The history of the VenturaWaterPure Program began over two decades ago with a legal settlement with Heal the Bay and Ventura Coastkeeper – Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation in 2012.

VenturaWaterPure Program also supports compliance with federal and state regulations to divert wastewater discharges away from the Santa Clara River Estuary, restoring the area’s natural hydrology and environment, protecting endangered species by reintroducing natural habitats and preserving coastal ecosystems. 

The VenturaWaterPure Program continues to move forward on critical components such as the ocean outfall, with the next step being to initiate the design of its Advanced Water Purification Facility. Meanwhile, Ventura Water is simultaneously preparing for critical structural upgrades to its reclamation facility through a membrane bioreactor project. 

Learn more about the history, benefits, and environmental partners of this program at 

Ventura Voices podcast series, connecting residents with City leaders

As a community member, have you ever wondered what’s happening in Ventura and how can you stay informed on hot topics or upcoming projects? The City of Ventura is proud to launch a new podcast series designed to connect residents, businesses, and community members to important conversations with City staff and community leaders.

Ventura Voices offers a convenient, on-the-go way for people to stay informed about the latest developments, projects, and initiatives. Each month, the City will release new episodes tackling a different topic that impacts Ventura, such as housing, homelessness, water, golf, parking, roads, and more. Listeners can find the latest episodes on Spotify or watch the podcast video version on the City’s YouTube channel.

“Topics of interest become clearer through meaningful conversations. We know that the work the City does impacts people, and we want to dive deeper into complex projects, programs, and services,” said Heather Sumagaysay, City Communications Manager and podcast co-host. “Ventura Voices aims to provide direct access to City leaders and subject matter experts who can talk about the initiatives shaping Ventura’s future as well
as help people understand the municipal decision-making process.”

The first episode features an interview with City Manager Bill Ayub. Ayub shares his journey from law enforcement to city management, emphasizing the importance of leadership in uplifting communities and motivating employees. During the conversation, Ayub delves into the City Council’s goal-setting process, addressing how the City explores financial opportunities, tenant protections, homelessness, sustainability, enhancing public services, VenturaWaterPure, and more.

The Ventura Voices podcast is accessible on any mobile device, tablet, or computer and is another way to learn more about our programs and services from the people who
deliver them.

Stay tuned for new monthly episodes and conversations with City staff and community leaders. To learn more, listen to featured episodes, or suggest ideas for future podcasts, visit

Main Street Moves – Keep Downtown Streets Open or Closed

by Patricia Shallert

During the Ventura City Council meeting on May 21, 2024, the City Council and community members discussed the future of Main Street Moves (MSM), an initiative that involved closing portions of Main Street and California Street to vehicular traffic. The Temporary Business Expansion Special Event Permit, which allowed for the closure, is set to expire soon, so the City Council introduced an agenda item to extend the closure by seven months. This would provide enough time for staff to conduct a thorough study of long-term options and present their recommendations to the Council. The Council acknowledged the importance of considering community feedback and have been carefully evaluating the potential impacts before making a decision.

There have been concerns raised by property and business owners about the possibility of a permanent closure for Main Street Moves. To address these concerns, the MSM staff plans to hold discussions with property owner representatives and conduct a survey to gather current opinions. The results of the survey will be presented to the City Council in a timely manner, ensuring that the perspectives of property and business owners are taken into account during the decision-making process.

To provide some background, in April 2022, the City Council instructed the staff to explore long-term options for Main Street Moves. To facilitate this process, a Temporary Business Expansion Special Event Permit was granted, allowing for the closure of six blocks of Main Street and one block of South California Street. Significant progress has been made since then, and the staff has regularly updated the Council on the advancements in the MSM initiative. Notably, the City Council unanimously approved Citywide Sidewalk Design Guidelines and Standards, highlighting the ongoing progress.

Since the existing permit expires at the end of June, the City Council needs to take action to extend the closure before then if they wish to maintain the current status quo. The staff believes there is sufficient evidence to support the closure, considering the street has been closed for four years already. The proposed temporary closure would continue the existing situation.

In the previous MSM Ad Hoc Committee meeting on May 6, 2024, the importance of understanding the long-term commitment of property owners to the closure was emphasized. Previous attempts to gather feedback through surveys showed limited responses from them. However, business owners showed a higher response rate, with a clear majority advocating for a full closure. To achieve a higher overall response rate, the staff, in collaboration with Downtown Ventura Partners, will develop a survey for property and business owners. The individual responses will be kept confidential to protect participants and ensure the validity of the results. The staff intends to consult with property owner representatives and promptly present the survey findings to the City Council.

If the Council decides to extend the closure until the end of 2024, the staff will facilitate a smooth transition from the Downtown Ventura Organization permit to the City for all business expansion participants. This transition will involve a review of sidewalks to ensure compliance with the requirements of the business expansion area and readiness for the summer season. The requirements will largely remain the same, with only two differences: the addition of a Workers Compensation Waiver of Subrogation for insurance and the discontinuation of the $250 fee collected by the Downtown Ventura Organization. Regarding the California Environment Quality Act process, (CEQA) the staff plans to issue a Notice of Preparation in early June, followed by the release of the Draft Environment Impact Report (EIR) in the fall and the Final EIR before the end of the year.

A lawsuit was filed on March 11 by a group called Open Main Street alleging city leaders violated California’s Pedestrian Mall Law which governs permanent street closures. The lawsuit also claims the city’s actions have caused economic damage to the property owners. The plaintiffs are seeking the immediate reopening of Main and California streets according to the lawsuit.

More information about MainStreet moves can be found on the city site

A collaborative approach to addressing homelessness

On March 26, 2024, the Ventura City Council approved a five-year plan to address homelessness. This plan, developed through collaboration with the County of Ventura, City of Oxnard, and City of Thousand Oaks, outlines a strategy tailored to Ventura’s needs. LeSar Development Consultants played a crucial role by providing extensive research to inform the plan.

The Point in Time Count, mandated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), serves as a crucial tool for communities seeking federal grants to address homelessness. Results from the 2024 Ventura County Homeless Point in Time Count, conducted by the Ventura County Continuum of Care, showed a significant change. The number of sheltered persons increased by 14.7% from 2023 to 2024, reaching 927 individuals, while the number of unsheltered persons decreased by 12.4% to 1,431.

Key action areas within Ventura highlight the need to create permanent housing and prevention solutions to break the cycle of homelessness. These efforts involve securing funding, integrating CalAIM’s Enhanced Care Management (ECM) services, fostering partnerships, and enhancing data tracking capabilities.

Mayor Joe Schroeder commented, “The approval of Ventura’s 5-year homelessness plan by the City Council is a testament to our City’s dedication to creating positive change. Through partnership and community input, we’re taking meaningful steps to support this important community issue.”

Drawing insights from the Navigating Homelessness: A Community Engagement Survey, with over 1,100 responses, the City has initiated impactful programs. Among these is the Homeless Prevention and Diversion Program, launched on February 14, 2024, providing critical rental assistance. Strengthening its street outreach, the City partnered with the County of Ventura’s Human Services Agency to offer essential case management.

Insights from the Business Engagement Survey underscore the community’s commitment to addressing homelessness. Close to 90% of local business owners affirmed their presence in the community, identifying key areas for intervention, including affordable housing, behavioral health services, and substance abuse programs.

Currently, City staff are actively pursuing funding opportunities, recently applying for grants, and exploring avenues to expand ECM services. The City Council approved the homelessness plan and directed staff to implement Planning Commission’s suggestions, with updates to be provided quarterly. This approval fulfills a portion of the sixth cycle Housing Element. The City of Ventura aims to address homelessness with compassion and forward-thinking, with the County of Ventura’s homelessness plan aiding in this mission. The City Council prioritizes tenant protections, doubling foul weather shelter capacity, ensuring ADA accessibility for all shelter beds, and establishing an achievement timetable.

For more information on the City of Ventura’s Housing Services Division and its initiatives, visit

Know Your Zone: City of Ventura hosts community workshop to  educate residents on new Evacuation Plan

With a firm commitment to saving lives, the City of Ventura is spearheading efforts to ensure residents are well-informed about local evacuation procedures. Recognizing the complexity of the various hazards that could prompt evacuations in Ventura, the City has meticulously divided Ventura into 15 evacuation zones, considering factors such as hazard vulnerability areas, population density, and major thoroughfares.

To educate residents on the new evacuation plan, evacuation zones, shelter locations, and transportation assembly points, community members and business owners are invited to join Emergency Services Manager Mack Douglass for a community workshop on Saturday, May 18, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Ventura Police Department, located at 1425 Dowell Drive in Ventura.

The workshop will cover information about the 15 designated evacuation zones, potential shelter locations and transportation assembly points.

“With Ventura’s unique geography, location, and limited ingress and egress routes, it is crucial for residents to be aware of their designated evacuation zones in case of an emergency,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. “By empowering residents with the knowledge and resources needed to respond effectively, we can streamline evacuation processes and save lives.”

The workshop is just one part of the outreach efforts. Additional presentations will be made at neighborhood community councils, ensuring accessibility to all residents. These presentations will cover essential details and provide opportunities for questions and feedback.

Residents are invited to attend the following meetings:

  • East Ventura Community Council: Thursday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom
  • Downtown Ventura Partners: Thursday, June 27, at 9:00 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza

The Evacuation Plan was developed based on feedback from over 900 residents who completed the Emergency Preparedness Community Survey in 2023. Survey responses provided diverse insights on all-hazards evacuation preparedness, including familiarity with current evacuation routes, emergency shelters, transportation options, preferred communication methods, and overall readiness.

The completed Emergency Evacuation Plan is inclusive of diverse populations, recognizing the needs of individuals with visual or hearing impairments, chronic medical conditions, language barriers, disabilities, access, and functional needs.

For more information, please visit

Celebrate spring at the Pollinator Palooza

The community is invited to attend the second annual Pollinator Palooza event on Saturday, May 18, 2024, between 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Barranca Vista Park, 7050 Ralston Street. Free arts and crafts activities and educational programs will be available for participants of all ages to learn about the significance of pollinators!

“We’re thrilled to welcome new and returning community members to this fun family-friendly gathering,” said Recreation Manager Emily Fox. “We’ve built upon last year’s success and have partnered with incredible community groups to showcase the vital role of pollinators in everyday life.”

Get ready to buzz with excitement as participants explore the fascinating world of pollinators through a wide range of engaging and informative activities, including:

Creating bee wax candles
Learning about beekeeping while painting bee boxes
Constructing a seed ball to help our vital pollinators thrive
See native plants and register for a Milkweed plant giveaway
Attending pollinator story time and puppet theatre
Making sun prints, butterfly crafts, and chalk art
Meeting real-life pollinators
Making a mini bee house
Learning from a UC Master Gardens expert
Touring the City’s Cornucopia Community Garden
Participate in our community bike ride at 1:00 p.m.

This event is hosted by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department, with support from the Ventura Water Department, and Environmental Sustainability Division.

Community partners include Bike VC, Channel Islands Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, East Ventura Community Council, MiniNature Reserve, University of California Master Gardeners, Rincon-Vitova Insectaries Inc., Santa Monica Mountain Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Bee Rescue, and the Ventura Land Trust.

Find event details and more at