The Oxnard City Council this week backed away from its insistence that a marina be built along with a housing development at Ormond Beach.
The council, voting unanimously Tuesday over the strenuous objections of environmentalists, some members of a citizen advisory group and neighbors of the proposed project, repeated its overall support for the project. It said it will continue to work with Irvine-based Baldwin Co. toward construction of the residential and commercial development.
The resolution said the city will support the development even if building a marina proves unfeasible. It had originally made building a marina a condition of approval.
The council wants a marina as a way to fight blight along the beachfront. However, opponents dislike the marina plan at least as much as the housing development.
The resolution does not legally bind the city to allow the development there.
Oxnard officials said they were seeking to allay concerns over opposition to the project, especially the marina, voiced by the project's manager, Steven D. Zimmer.
Contrary Opinions Heard
"We eventually want to see that a quality marina project gets built there, but I've sat in on public hearings where I've heard a lot of opinions to the contrary," Zimmer said after the meeting.
Opponents argued that the council's action would pressure the city's Planning Commission, which is reviewing a proposed update of Oxnard's General Plan, into approving changes in zoning that would pave the way for the controversial development.
It would convert about 2,900 acres of agricultural land into sites for at least 8,135 homes.
Among those who have voiced concerns are the U.S. Navy, whose Pacific Missile Test Grounds are south of the proposed development; Southern California Edison, which operates a power plant near the proposed marina; environmentalists concerned about the wetlands, and some members of the General Plan Advisory Committee, which drafted the General Plan update.