Coveted oceanfront land in Ventura County will become a nature preserve if the board approves a plan to give $25,000 for an environmental study.
Emanuela de la Fuente said she was “shocked,” to learn the plans would be coming to the Planning Commission.
“I’ll definitely be protesting” the plan if approved by the commission on Feb. 24, she said.
The commission is expected to vote Feb. 24.
A new report on the proposal said it would protect the beach and preserve the marine conservation area the county has set aside, the only oceanfront land in Ventura County. It also said the park would provide an “environmentally valuable public use” by providing recreational opportunities associated with oceanfront development.
The report said the project would add a public, recreational park and related service area.
If approved, the project would require public input, according to the report.
It would also extend to the adjacent city of Santa Barbara, said Assistant City Administrator Tim Smith. And it would add to the growing list of proposed beach park projects, he said.
“There is this movement to not only protect oceanfront, but to connect it with the city side,” he said. “We want to do both.”
Ventura County residents also had a direct impact on the proposal.
The commission is expected to recommend an environmental impact report, said City of Ventura Planning Director Scott O’Keefe.
It is expected to require city staff to do an environmental analysis and recommend the final report the commission will review and approve. An environmental study on the project would cost about $25,000, O’Keefe said.
One resident said, “We could really look at this as a positive, instead of seeing it as a potential blight to the community.”
A petition to the county’s planning commission has collected more than 250 signatures from people who want the board to reject the plan.
The board last month rejected a proposal to allow a private developer to build a commercial project, including retail space, a hotel, a restaurant and parking on the 1.65-acre, undeveloped