Speak now or forever* hold your peace…

After 4+ years of back and forth with the city of Ventura; the time has finally arrived!!

The Refinement to the current City of Ventura General Plan is FINALLY up for a vote before the City Planning Commission this Wednesday at 6pm. After that vote, it goes before the city council to be ratified.

* most likely many years before another opportunity comes along to amend this document and then may be too late! This is your LAST CHANCE for input on this document.

We are pleased to report that most of the items the Montalvo Community has been pushing for during this time, we’ve got!!

• 204 Parcels within Montalvo Neighborhood Area that are currently zoned R-1– 6 change from Residential Neighborhood Medium to Neighborhood Low Land Use designation to reflect the Montalvo Community Councils request in preserving the neighborhood character;
• Three parcels within Moon Drive Overlay and three parcels within the Montalvo Neighborhood Area change from Residential Neighborhood High to Neighborhood Medium Land Use designation to reflect the Montalvo Community Councils request in preserving the neighborhood character;
• Three parcels within Montalvo Neighborhood Area that are currently zoned Commercial Planned Development (CPD) within existing commercial development from Residential Neighborhood Medium to Commerce Land Use designation;
• Restrictions on Adult Businesses & Homeless Shelters;
• Overlay Zones that reduce Commercial Building Heights in several areas to
cap at 3 stories (down from 6).
A FULL list of items can be fund here (pages 16-20)

There is only one major UN-resolved concern in the Staff Report (pg. 16)
As currently proposed, the commercial building height cold be as high as 45’+ along Victoria Ave. with the properties that share a rear property with the Alameda Ave. property owners. Any future building heights above 36′ would have a significant impact on privacy and sunlight for these existing single story homes. This is our only chance to protect them. See our 2016 shade study graphics for reference.


General Plan Amendment Case No. GPA-2-18-43787 Public Hearing Date of 04/11/18 6pm

  1. ATTEND the Planning Commission Meeting Wednesday April 11,2018  6pm
    Council Chambers, 501 Poli Street. Meeting Agenda Can Be Found Here
    ~ BE THERE to support your community and council for the things we ARE getting
    and to ensure that those promised items stay in the document until ratified by the
    city council.                              &
    ~ FILL OUT a comment card to address the Commissioners
    ~ FILL OUT a speaker card to address the Commissioners
  2. WRITE your Planning Commissioners; Deadline April 11, 2018 5:00p,
    -2 pages maximum (including exhibits); Number of copies to be submitted (15)
     Address: 501 Poli St,. Council Chambers, Ventura, CA 93001
    -eMail them at pc@cityofventura.ca.gov
  3. CALL your Planning Commissioners; Deadline April 11, 2018 5:00p,
    -Phone: 805-654-7893
  4. (Bonus way! Share this info with your neighbors ASAP!!)
    you do not to be in the Montalvo boundaries!
The Planning Commission has adopted Protocols for how their meetings are run. These Protocols are available at: https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8414

If you want to avoid this type of living situation, do one or all 3 of the aboveIMG_3670

The MCC has submitted a letter (below) and will speak at the Planning Commission Meeting this Wednesday.  If you are a concerned resident, please join us to make your feelings known.  This will be the final opportunity for public comment before the General Plan will be adopted. -Thank you!

Your MCC Board submitted this letter today (04/09/18)

Ventura City Planning Commission Councilmembers
City Hall 501 Poli St
Ventura, CA 93001

RE: General Plan Refinement Project No: 12142
General Plan Amendment Case No. GPA-2-18-43787
Public Hearing Date of 04/11/18


Dear Planning Commission Councilmembers and Planning Staff,

The Montalvo Community Council has reviewed the latest iteration of the General Plan Refinement, Public Comment Letters and Staff Report before you. We are thankful to the Planning staff for multiple meetings with our board and assisting in community engagement during this long multi-year process.  We feel that the Council and Staff have honored our community concerns related to the heights of future neighboring commerce buildings along the Victoria Corridor.  We look forward to future development that is compatible with our neighboring Single Family Residential homes.

When the City of Ventura adopted the 2005 General Plan, followed by the Victoria Avenue Corridor Plan & Development Code in April 2009, a portion of the Victoria Corridor and neighboring Montalvo was still part of the unincorporated area under county jurisdiction. During these planning phases, the Montalvo residents were not a part of the planning/development conversations for this area. It was only after the Montalvo area became incorporated into the city in September 2012, that the area residents became familiar with The Ventura General Plan & The Victoria Corridor plan and their respective proposals for our little community. Since then, the citizens of the Montalvo area have been working with the city Planning staff and councils to remedy the General Plan for future growth to be congruent with our little 65+ year old neighborhood.

At the meeting on September 12, 2016 the City Council voted 5-1 to approve staff recommendations for the general plan refinement with amendments. One important amendment made to item number 5 was to “incorporate the Montalvo Community Council’s recommendations.” We want to thank the staff for following the council’s instructions and making our community’s requested changes.

We (and the community we serve) are most pleased and grateful for the majority of the changes made to the General Plan during this refinement process. We felt compelled to address the recent resulting public comments and staff report now before this agency.

1) Building Heights along the T4.5 Victoria Ave. within the Moon Drive Overlay area.

We agree with the staff report that a 24′ overall building height limitation would be limiting to commercial development.  “2 ½ story structures with a maximum height of 30 feet.”  overall height limit, matching the neighboring R-1 zoning description, would be acceptable for future development.  We also do not object to a 15′ minimum ground floor height as long as the overall building height does not exceed 30′.  Our goal is to mitigate privacy and sunlight concerns for the R-1 Alameda Ave. property-owners and residents. The community would like to see any future development on the portion of Victoria Ave. that shares a property line with those on Alameda Ave., be compatible with one another, rather than looming over them. Even with a 30’ height limitation, roofing pitch, elevator bulkheads and other rooftop mounted equipment atop commercial buildings will add significant height and shadowing well above the 30’ limit that will affect the Alameda properties. Our primary intent for the General Plan in this area is to mitigate that building heights be compatible with current single story homes in the area. Please see attached Exhibits A-C that express our sunlight and privacy concerns. The current Moon Drive Overlay Resolution 84-85, required alley widths of 20’ and setbacks of 5’ also aid in mitigating these concerns.

2) Kim Ingram (IS-MND) Comment Letter Dated 03/09/18

On 01/24/2017, Mr. Kim was kind enough to attend our public MCC community meeting and presented/lead a discussion with the attendees about his future plans for developing his three Alameda Ave. property parcels into a future Senior Care facility. Most in attendance were engaged in the discussion and generally supportive of Mr. Ingram’s plans for his parcel and welcomed the idea of this type of facility in our neighborhood.

The community is supportive of Mr. Ingram’s project and understands the impact that the current proposed General Plan Refinement would have on his future development plans.  We did not take his project into consideration during our back and forth with the city. We would have no issue with the Planning Commission making amendments for these parcels of the Moon Drive Overlay to accommodate Mr. Ingram’s requests and defer to the Planning Commission’s judgment on this matter. We would ask that a 3-Story limitation be applied, as was in Mr. Ingram’s proposal to our community last year. Our hope for this area has always been to actas a transitional area bridging the Commercial and Island View Apartments adjacent to single family residences.

We do not object to future commercial development along Victoria Ave. We just want to ensure that what will come in the future is compatible with its neighbors who have been here much longer.

It’s been a long process working with the different agencies assisting us in our transition since our little community was annexed into the city back in 2012. We as a community would like to express our sincere thanks to City Planning Staff (especially Mr. Holt, Mr. Lambert & Mr. Ward), the City Council General Plan Refinement Ad hoc Committee, the City Planning Commission and the City Council (past and current members) for working with us to refine the General Plan to a document that promotes thoughtful and reasonable growth while remaining sensitive to our 65+ year old community.

Respectfully submitted on behalf the MCC Board.

Central Ventura County Fire Safe Announces Dates for Free Chipper Days

Yard Waste Flyer

Central Ventura County Fire Safe Council
Contact: Jenise Wagar-Hernandez, 805.804.7735
For Immediate Release – March 28, 2018
Central Ventura County Fire Safe Announces Dates for Free Chipper Days
The Central Ventura County Fire Safe Council (CVCFSC) is pleased to share the calendar for 17 Chipper Day events that will assist homeowners throughout western Ventura County with a free and easy way to create defensible space around their homes.

Funding is provided by a grant from the Cooperative Fire Program of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Pacific Southwest Region, through the California Fire Safe Council. The CVCFSC is working with the Ventura County Fire Protection District, and Fire Departments from the cities of Ventura, Santa Paula and Fillmore to implement the project.

According to CVCFSC Project Manager Charlotte Crocker, “We are honored to receive this
federal grant to expand our fire mitigation and education efforts . This project gives us a unique opportunity to collaborate with local Ventura County fire agencies. In light of the recent Thomas Fire we are proud to be able to offer such a valuable service to residents, supporting them in their efforts to make their property fire-safe”. Sustained high temperatures and drought conditions over the past five years have created dangerous fire conditions and chipping is a great way to clear your property of potential fire hazards. In addition, the grant provides funding for a community education and outreach campaign designed to teach residents ways to keep their property safe and to mitigate damage from potential fires. Youth workshops are currently underway through a partnership with the City of Ventura at Montalvo Elementary, DATA and Westpark Community Center and sessions are being planned in Piru, Fillmore and Santa Paula in
conjunction with the Santa Clara Valley Boys and Girls Club.

The dates for the Chipper Days are available on the CVCFSC website at www.cvcfiresafe.org

Two types of Chipper Days will be offered:
Curbside– Residents are asked to pile yard waste in a location easily accessible by the chipping vehicle. Residents must pre-register for free timeslot at www.cvcfiresafe.org
Drop-off- Simply drop off eligible yard waste at the location designated. Residents are asked to sign up for a time slot at www.cvcfiresafe.org. The first 25 to sign up on-line will receive a free homeowner toolkit backpack.

There are specific requirements related to the type of material that can be chipped, so residents are encouraged to visit the website for details. Residents may call 805.402.6092 for more information.

Mound Well No. 3 (Montalvo Project) UPDATE

At the last MCC public meeting we mentioned we would share the latest on this project.
Any questions, please reach out to Don Nielsen directly.

From: Nielsen, Don [mailto:dnielsen@cityofventura.ca.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 11:36 AM
To: John Richey
Cc: Dejarme, Chris; Holt, Iain
Subject: (External):RE: Mound Well No. 3 (Montalvo Project)

Hello John,

You are correct in your assessment that many of the City’s projects were put on hold due to the Thomas Fire, which has resulted in us not being able to make substantial progress on the project; this in term resulted in no new updates being sent out. At this time, the approval document is still being updated to incorporate the changes as required by the hearing officer and pending the revised site plan. I do know that Public Works did go to the City Council to request the funds for the project – this does not mean any building permits have been issued, it is just funding.

In terms of the noise issue, the Administrative Hearing Officer placed a new condition on the project which requires that the project demonstrates compliance with the City’s Noise Ordinance (SBMC Ch. 10) and the Industrial Performance Standards (SBMC Sec. 24.470), and which ever one is the most restrictive shall apply.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

Donald Nielsen

Associate Planner
City of Ventura
805.654.7560 f

From: John Richey
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 10:52 AM
To: Nielsen, Don
Cc: Dejarme, Chris; Holt, Iain
Subject: Mound Well No. 3 (Montalvo Project)

Good Morning Don,

I was hoping you could give us any updates we can share with the Montalvo Community in regards to any updates or the questions/concerns raised during the public comment portion in the Administrative Hearing for Mound Well No. 3 At City Hall 10/17/2017. I imagine and understand that the Thomas Fire has possibly tabled many projects for a time.

I was in attendance at that meeting, and sound concerns for the pump (not addressed in the 2017 CEQA Report) were raised to staff at that time with no answers available at that time. We were advised that if we wanted updates concerning the pump noise levels, updated CEQA report, etc, we could reach out to you. I have your card in hand from that meeting. I was also told by some residents who made requests to you post meeting, they have yet to be updated. I am requesting that I be added to that information distribution list for this project, and that if you can, please share any updates/findings so we can keep our concerned community updated. Nor can I find a recording of that meeting on the city site to share.

We’ve had no new info to share since September 2017: https://montalvocc.wordpress.com/2017/09/

Thank you,

John Richey

MCC Community Meeting (3/20/18)

03-20-18 MCC Agenda
MCC Community Meeting (Open to the public and neighboring communities)
6:30pm – 8:15pm
(**not our usual Four-Square Church meeting place**)
Seed Communities Church 2734 Johnson Dr., Ventura, CA 93003

6:30p Welcome
6:35p-7:00p Ventura Police Department Presentation/Update
– District 6 Crime Report  (SEE BELOW)
7:00p-7:30 Ventura City Council Member Speaker – Christy Weir
– Various issues, including New Voting Districts (Montalvo District 6) & in Pipeline Projects in our district (Johnson Dr.)
7:30-7:50p Discussion on Future Montalvo Community Council Boundary Expansion
based upon the New 2018 Ventura District-Based Election Map
7:50-8:00p Upcoming General Plan Changes  It’s finally here!
-Discuss highlights the proposed General Plan Refinement updates for the Victoria Corridor & Montalvo Adoption By Ventura Planning Commission/City Council
Coming This Spring!
Please read the MCC response to the upcoming
2018 Ventura General Plan Refinement
8:00-8:05p Montalvo Recycling Fundraiser – Dan Farmer
Montalvo Recycled Aluminum Drive (MRAD)
8:05p-8:15p Wrap Up
May 1st Next MCC Public Meeting (Tentative)
MCC Zone 6
New Ventura Election Map Zone 6 (& proposed Montalvo Community Council boundaries)


Northbank Apartments

Large development set to break ground in 2018 at the corner of Johnson Dr and Northbank.

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“…The council approved a zone change that clears the way for 306 apartments to be built at Johnson and North Bank drives. The roughly 8-acre site is near Highway 101, the Santa Clara River and a Motel 6.

The units will range from 668 square-foot studios to three-bedroom units that are 1,759 square feet, according to the city’s staff report.

The council approved the zone change on a 5-2 vote, with Mayor Neal Andrews and council member Christy Weir opposed. Both expressed concern with traffic and Andrews felt the project was too dense.

Weir said the lack of park space bothered her — the quarter-acre public park was small for the number of children expected to live in the complex and and they wouldn’t really be able to walk to any park nearby, she said —  as did the height of the buildings that blocked mountain views from the freeway and the city’s uncertain water supply.

But a council majority and several who spoke agreed the project offered badly needed housing and would help activate a part of the city that has languished in recent years, particularly as The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard has flourished.

“I welcome the addition of workforce housing,” council member Erik Nasarenko said.

Ventura Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Stephanie Caldwell said the addition of residents could help revitalize an area that soon could be home to thriving restaurants, shops and services.

“The city needs a win. We need progress,” she said.

Ravello Holdings, the developer, will include 19 units for low and very low-income populations. In the city’s housing element, its blueprint for ensuring it has enough housing types to accommodate all income levels, the site was identified as having 55 units for the lowest earners. But the city has other sites identified to make up the difference, the December staff report to the Planning Commission notes.

Ravello will also pay $2.4 million in water fees, money that will help the city develop new sources of water. If a development lacks its own water source or rights, the city charges an “in-lieu” fee, which is based on the amount of water a development is expected to use. The fee was $26,457 per acre-foot when it was approved in June 2016.”

-Excerpt from VC Star Article

Full report here:

Design Review Report here:

Opinion piece regarding riverfront access:

“In the near future, many buildings are coming to the corner of Johnson and North Bank Drive in East Ventura (at the Hwy. 101 exit).  A project currently proposed and under review by the city of Ventura contains 300-plus apartments and retail stores in the now empty lot.   The project is adjacent to the Santa Clara River but contains no amenities to integrate or acknowledge the river’s ecological value. In fact, hundreds of acres of the river in the immediate vicinity are held by The Nature Conservancy with the intent of making them part of the future public Santa Clara River Parkway. The Nature Conservancy has been performing riparian and native plant restoration, endangered species recovery, and promoting sustainable environmental practices at this location for years. How often does a municipality have an international nonprofit group gifting a huge asset to them?  It’s more than puzzling that there is no city vision in the building project; it’s a major failing.

Visionary planning on this project would include some amenities consistent with the Santa Clara River Parkway at this urban-nature interface. Obvious examples include:

Multipurpose stormwater detention basin/outdoor amphitheater.  All new building projects are required to contain urban drainage from a 1.5-year frequency storm on-site (to reduce water pollution into surface streams). In this location, the detention basin could be designed as a dry-weather amphitheater and used for public education,  nature programs, outdoor cultural festivals or specialized sports events. Wouldn’t this be a great location to start/end a bike race or hold a bird-a-thon? Revenue from events could support the facility maintenance.

Series of educational kiosks.  Public kiosks highlighting the ecology of the river in the immediate area are the minimum inexpensive amenity in this urban-nature interface.  Kiosks could explain topics such as effects of urbanization on the environment, wealth of rare plant and animal wildlife present, surface water and groundwater issues and the connection to the region, such as the estuary.

Eco-oriented commercial areas: seasonal or permanent.  The project should expand on the adjacent existing bike path and linear park by incorporating areas reserved for small business such as bicycle services, farm produce market or entertainment/refreshment vendors. Find out about a similar situation at the Frog Spot on the Elysian Valley bike path along the LA River at www.thefrogspot.org.

Most importantly, this is the ideal time to plan and provide for consistent amenities between the proposed project and the Olivas Park Drive extension. The two locations are extremely close to each other, are both river-adjacent, and have superb potential to add value to the environmental stewardship of the area.  Let’s have a non-vehicular route and Parkway-consistent amenities between the projects such as wildlife and scenic viewpoints, picnic areas, educational kiosks and more.”


Montalvo Community 2017 Highlights

January – Montalvo Community Council Public Meeting 1/24/2017
Presentation by Mr. Peter Goldenring for proposed project for a Starbucks Drive-thru near the north-west corner property of Victoria & Moon (where DW’s Country Cafe currently is). Followed by Q&A DW’s Country Cafe currently is). Followed by Q&A

Mr. Kim presented his proposal for a Senior Care/Dementia Care facility at south-west corner (3 parcels) of Alameda & 8th Street. Followed by Q&A

Some passionate Montalvoites later attended the City Planning Commission Meeting

February –  Montalvo Community Council Public Meeting 2/28/2017
Cpl. Munger of the Ventura Police Department will be gave us a crime update on the area. We asked about how Neighborhood Watch works.

Presentation by Dave Ward, AICP City of Ventura Community Development Planning Manager to present info on the Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance (ADUs) which replaces the “second units” ordinance. Followed by Q&A

March – Montalvo Sidewalks Funded!
The city of Ventura’s proposal for a “safe route to school” in our neighborhood has been funded to the tune of 1.38 million dollars.

May & June – Planning Commission Meeting at City Hall 5/11/17 & 6/15/17
Some passionate Montalvoites attended the Planning Commission Meeting at City Hall and spoke before the commissioners.  They expressed their concern about the possibility of a code change that would allow-drive thru establishments within the Victoria Corridor.   Noise and light pollution, increased traffic, loose trash, individuals loitering, and CO2 emissions were some of the points addressed.
At the June 15 meeting the MCC Board was pleased to hear the passing of a motion which will:
1. Allow for drive-thru establishments (food and services) in the Victoria Corridor by Conditional Use Permit only.
2. Protect the existing Moon Drive Overlay by not allowing any drive-thrus along this section of the Victoria Corridor.

June – Montalvo Community Council Public Meeting 6/6/2017
Commander Payne of the Ventura Police Department will be gave us a crime update on the area.

General Plan Refinement Proposal for Montalvo & Victoria Corridor (latest iteration) presented by Ventura Planning Staff. This issue will be going to the City of Ventura Planning Commission most likely in July, and to City Council in September (it has not yet). This also included height requirements along The Victoria Corridor.

Ventura Community Development Director Spoke about the AutoCenter Specific Sign Plan with Video Presentation and Q&A discussion.

July – Water Rate Increase 7/1/17
Rate increase form Sewer Service now being provided by the City of Ventura

September – New Hill Rd. Library Opens

September – Montalvo Community Council Public Meeting 9/5/2017
A representative from Ventura Public Works made a presentation and answered questions regarding the proposed water well (Mound Well No. 3) project behind the church. The attendees had a brief site visit. We were later invited to a the running Saticoy Pump some weeks later for a site visit. Water Well Information

October – Administrative Hearing for Mound Well No. 3 At City Hall  10/17/2017
Some passionate Montalvoites attended the City Hall Meeting to voice their sound and safety concerns for the project. Water Well Information

November – MCC Shares City of Ventura’s District Map Proposal 11/26/17
Public Hearings at City Hall 12/4/17 & 12/11/17
To be discussed at December’s MCC Community Meeting

December – MCC Annual Community Meeting 12/5/17