Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Ventura Hilton Hotel

The City of Ventura has circulated notice of an MND (Mitigated Negative Declaration) for the hotel project on the corner of Figueroa and the Shoreline Drive across from the fairgrounds entrance at Surfers' Point.  Originally Embassy Suites, this is now a Hilton hotel.

Surfrider commented on this in 2009 when it was first proposed, with the primary concern that this new hotel would rely on city infrastructure (promenade seawall) that the city could not afford to maintain.  The past document did not account for sea level rise, which is required under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act)

The current document is quite thorough on the future risk of sea level rise.  For example it states:

During a 100-year storm event, waves running up through the Park could enter the first floor of the hotel, potentially breaking through the south facing doors and windows, damaging facilities and potentially endangering hotel guests and workers. Even under current climatic conditions, this type of damage is not unprecedented; for example, recent damage to the Ventura Promenade immediately upcoast where the Promenade was undercut, and planters and seat walls were destroyed by wave attack during the severe 2015-2016 El NiƱo, requiring emergency rock revetment installation.

The document further states that:

the first-floor uses are limited to retail, parking, restaurant, lobby, and meeting rooms, not hotel rooms for overnight occupation, which may be subject to coastal flooding damage and threats to life and property. As discussed further below, future conditions under increased sea level conditions may exacerbate coastal flooding and wave run-up impacts. Mitigation measures identified below would reduce the risk of structural damage, injury, or death associated with 100-year storm events, making impacts less than significant with mitigation.

Suggested mitigation for this scenario include structural reinforcement, elevation of utilities, and worker evacuation training.

In 2009 Surfrider commented that the City collect fees on coastal development to ensure funding to maintain and repair the promenade and seawall into the future.  This planned beachfront development is entirely dependent upon Ventura's aging infrastructure for protection from future storm events.

The project includes realignment and improvement of Promenade Park:

The MND is downloadable here:

Earlier comments are on this blog here.