Average apartment rent in Ventura up 9.1 percent

Thinking of changing your living situation with, perhaps, a new rental in Ventura? No so fast, bargain hunter; affordability may be a thing of the past, as a new report shows a 9.1 percent increase in rents over last year.

According to the report from ApartmentList.com, an apartment rental marketplace, while rents in large cities such as San Francisco, Miami and San Jose are either stabilizing or decreasing, rents in smaller cities, such as Ventura, are on the rise and have seen a sharp spike over the past three months.

The median cost for a one-bedroom apartment in California is $1,750, according to the website’s aggregate of listings, $2,180 for two, up 3.7 percent over last year. In Ventura, the median prices are $1,580 and $2,000, respectively, up 9.1 percent.

Comparatively, Camarillo’s one- and two-bedroom median rents were $1,680/$2,200, a 2.9 percent increase over last year; while in Oxnard, one- and two-bedroom medians were $1,350/$1,900, a decrease of 1.3 percent. The median price of a two-bedroom apartment in Thousand Oaks was up 5.6 percent over last year at $2,040.

To view the full report, visit www.apartmentlist.com/rentonomics/national-rent-data/.

Protected bike lane opens in Ventura

Whether zipping off to work or out for an afternoon ride, cyclists in East Ventura have a new, safe option to travel, thanks to the launch of a new protected bike lane on Telephone Road.

The lane stretches the length of road between Kimball Road and Clinton Avenue and features a single-lane dedicated bike path with clear markers and pylons separating vehicular traffic.

On Tuesday, April 11, the city of Ventura and the Ventura Bike Hub christened the new lane with its first ride, attended by city staff and volunteers.

“Physically separated lanes are a key component to getting more people to ride as well as making it safer for the people who already ride,” said Tobias Smith, BikeVentura program director. “Nothing says bikes belong here and are a viable and equitable means of transportation or recreation more than a really nice dedicated facility.”

For more information, visit www.vccool.org/hub.

Ventura Botanical Gardens launch photo contest

Spring has sprung on the hillsides across Ventura County, and there is no better place to witness the splendor than at the Ventura Botanical Gardens. To capture the fleeting beauty, the Gardens have launched their “Spring Bloom” photo contest.

Photographers of all ages may submit their favorite photos from the Ventura Botanical Gardens taken in 2017 via Facebook, using the hashtag #VBGinBloom, for a chance to win in two categories: People’s Choice, chosen by the most “likes” on the social media website, and Judges’ Choice selected by a panel of professional photographers. Each winner will receive a prize.

“This contest is an opportunity to engage the entire community in the beauty of the Gardens,” said Barbara Brown, board president. “With this year’s rains, we’re hoping that there are lots of flowers to shoot, but even if there isn’t, there are always the spectacular vistas of the coastline and agriculture.”

For more information, visit www.venturabotanicalgardens.com.

Ventura College Foundation announces scholarship recipients

The 10-year-old tradition of awarding scholarships to worthy students of Ventura College continued this week with the presentation of the Phoenix Scholarship Award Ceremony, held today, April 13.

Last year, the Foundation received 772 applications, sifted through by 40 trained volunteers who read and evaluate each submission. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Foundation’s Promise program, which has served 12,000 students, providing more than $3 million in enrollment fee support.

For more information on the Foundation, visit www.venturacollege.edu.