U-Haul new tenant at old Levitz Furniture in Oxnard

After standing vacant for 13 years, the former Levitz Furniture building at 2420 N. Oxnard Blvd. is being converted into a U-Haul dealership, says an Oxnard planning official.

The company has applied for a special-use permit to make the modifications that will bring it up to date with fire and building codes, said Asst. City Planner Tom McClaren.

Plans are to provide storage space as well as trucks and hitches for rent; and because the property is so large, the company is also proposing storage space for recreational vehicles, said McClaren.

Other improvements will include landscaping and a fence to block access to the railroad tracks that divide the property from the Food4Less complex on Esplanade Drive.

There will probably also be someone living on the property full-time to discourage break-ins by homeless campers, which has been a problem since the building was vacated in 2005.

But the project probably won’t get to presented to the City Council for approval before next summer, said McClaren, due to understaffing in Oxnard’s Planning Dept.

“What should take nine months is taking 12 to 15 months because we don’t have the staff,” McClaren said. “So we’re probably looking at a year and a half before the project is up and running.”

Study shows economic impact of Channel Islands Harbor

In 2016, businesses and tenants at Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard contributed more than $159 million in economic impact and more than 900 jobs, this according to a report presented to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors at its June 18 meeting.

Jobs, earnings, sales and taxes were all factors taken into consideration when determining the numbers. The study, developed by the California Economic Forecast, a Santa Barbara-based research firm, was commissioned by the Ventura County Harbor Department.

“This study reinforces the role of the Channel Islands Harbor as a regional economic driver,” said Ventura County Harbor Department Acting Director Suzy Watkins. “Our business owners and lessees deserve the credit, as they chose to locate their businesses here and have put in their time, money and energy to make them a success.”

Highlights of the study show that since 2012, Channel Islands Harbor business activity has outperformed overall business growth throughout Ventura County, at 6.3 percent annually, and that two proposed developments including the Hyatt House and redevelopment of Fisherman’s Wharf could increase economic activity by 60 percent.

To read the study, visit http://www.channelislandsharbor.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Channel-Islands-Harbor-2016-Economic-Impact-Study.pdf or tiny URL: https://tinyurl.com/ybnu3a6w.

Workshop for Oxnard residents interested in running for city council

Learn how to potentially become a city councilmember at one of several workshops being held in Oxnard Districts 1, 2, 5 and 6 ahead of this November’s election.

“The sessions are an opportunity for anyone who may have thought about running for City Council but didn’t know what to expect or how to go about it, to come get more information and ask questions,” said Oxnard City Clerk Michelle Ascencion. “The new district-based election format should prove easier for candidates to focus their campaigning efforts, rather than having to campaign citywide in an at-large election. South Oxnard is particularly ripe for emerging leaders, since those seats are wide open for potential candidates to step up and represent their district.”

The sessions will be held on Thursday, July 5 (Hueneme High School cafeteria, 500 W. Bard Road, Oxnard), and Thursday, July 12 (Oxnard Performing Arts Center Thousand Oaks Room, 800 Hobson Way, Oxnard), at 6 p.m. For more information, call 805-385-7805.

Oxnard winery fined $70,000 by EPA

Herzog Wine Cellars has settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the tune of $70,000 over a 2015 violation of the Clean Water Act.

Herzog, also known as Royal Wine Corporation, was fined for a violation stemming from an inspection of the winery that found that the wastewater produced while cleansing and sterilizing vats did not meet regulations put in place for acidity, therefore having the potential to damage the city’s sewage system.
The winery fixed the issue in 2016 and has since installed a water treatment system, adding in a statement that it has worked closely with regulators throughout the process.

Oxnard gym, school of potential tuberculosis exposure

Visitors to an Oxnard gym may have gained more than muscles last week when a guest was confirmed to have tested positive for tuberculosis, and a student at an Oxnard middle school, in a related, has also been confirmed to carry the disease in a related case.

Oxnard officials say that an individual attending Rio Vista Middle School had a form of contagious tuberculosis. Contagious tuberculosis, also known as the TB disease, means that the virus is active and can be spread. A TB infection, as distinguished from TB disease, is different in that the virus there is inactive in the host’s body and is not contagious.

An investigation is underway, headed by Ventura County Public Health. Students and staff who test positive will receive treatment. TB is curable.

In a related case, a member of 24 Hour Fitness at The Collection has also been confirmed to be carrying the contagious disease. The individual visited the gym between March 12 and June 4, 2018. The gym is reviewing records for members who may have come in contact with the individual, and they will be contacted.

The Public Health Department has established a telephone line for anyone with questions regarding tuberculosis exposure. For more information, call 805-385-9444.