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Crime, drug use and brush fires are widespread in this area. The river flow is dangerous during winter rains and has claimed lives; public safety personnel have rescued several homeless people from the rising water in the past at significant risk and expense.
Trash and waste generated primarily by illegal encampments is accumulating at an alarming rate. Illegal camps degrade river and beach water quality with bacteria, nitrates, nutrients and trash. Stringent regulations to protect public health and the environment include legal mandates that result in penalties for noncompliance.
Owners of the property in the Ventura River have been mowing the arundo (invasive non-native plant species) that grows in the river. The clearing of the arundo must be done in late summer/fall for environmental reasons, and the upcoming winter rains make this the appropriate season to remove debris and illegal encampments.
During the trash and arundo removal from the river bed, the County and social service providers have made every effort to be sensitive to the needs of those who are camping there and who may not be aware of resources to help them end their homelessness. Social service providers seek to assist individuals to find appropriate housing in Ventura, or unite them with family or friends if they desire, and get them the medical attention and other services they need to mitigate the impact on our community. While it is not illegal to be homeless, it is illegal to camp on public or private property without written permission.
Support local charities (see list below) that provide meals, medical attention, case management and housing services to get people focused on long-term solutions. Reducing homelessness also requires all of us to say, “No,” to panhandlers, and yes to charities. Residents can also volunteer for programs and initiatives that keep our community Safe and Clean by signing up for service opportunities on the Volunteer Webpage.
An ADU is an Accessory Dwelling Unit. It is a separate unit on a property that has a single-family home, apartment, or other residential use. ADUs can go by many different names, including granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units, and more. The key difference between an ADU and other types of structures, such as pool cabanas, is they have living space, bedroom(s), and a kitchen. An ADU can be attached to the main home, the garage, or can be a standalone structure.
A JADU is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit. A JADU is different than an ADU in that they have to be part of an existing home and they have size restrictions. They can share the use of parts of the home, such as the bathrooms, and can have simpler kitchens with smaller appliances. JADUs are only allowed on a property with a single-family home on it, and the property owner has to live in either the single-family home or in the JADU. Development costs for a JADU are typically lower than an ADU.
If your property is in a residential zone (e.g., R-1, R-2, R-3) or mixed-use zone that allows residential and has an existing residential use on it, then the answer is yes.
You can check the zoning of your property using the following link: https://map.cityofventura.net/java/map/.
Single-Family Properties - All single-family homes can have one ADU. Additionally, properties with single-family homes that are owner-occupied can have one ADU and one JADU with a recorded statement that the property owner will occupy one of the units.
Multi-Family Properties – There are a few ADU options for multi-family properties. You may select one from the following three options:
You may also need an Administrative Coastal Development Permit for an ADU that is in the Coastal Zone. Contact the Planning Division for more information if you think that your proposed location may be in the Coastal Zone.
If you are building a new ADU that will be detached from the main residence or building(s), the ADU needs to be at least 4 feet from the side and rear property lines and maintain the front yard setback required in the zone of the property. (See Example Illustration).
A minimum 10-foot separation is needed between the new ADU and the main residence or other structures.
Setbacks do not apply when converting an existing accessory structure, like a garage, pool house, or detached recreation room into an ADU. Enlarging or modifying an existing structure for an ADU would require meeting the setbacks.
An ADU that is attached to the main residence must follow the same setbacks as the main residence.
Existing accessory structures such as garages, sheds, and barns can be converted into an ADU when following the appropriate guidelines.
Maximum heights only apply when building a new ADU or expanding an existing structure for an ADU:
One parking space (tandem, covered, or uncovered) is required on the property, in addition to the parking required for the main residence/unit(s), except if any of the following apply:
No, the City’s zoning regulations and overlays cannot prevent you from building an ADU or a JADU. For example: if the Hillside Height Overlay restricts the height of structures on a property to less than 16 feet, the ADU can still be up to 16 feet tall, and a variance is not required.
Generally, the design of the ADU should be compatible using similar colors and materials to the main residence or building(s) on the property.
ADU’s are not allowed in the high and very high fire hazard areas; however, JADUs are allowed.
You can begin the ADU process by speaking with the Planning Division to get information on whether your property allows an ADU and the applicable requirements.
Plans will then need to be created by a design professional to submit to Permit Services, along with the permit application and fees.
The AUMA allows individuals 21 years or over to possess an ounce or less of leaf marijuana or up to 8 grams of concentrate.
The AUMA, allows individuals 21 years or over to grow up to 6 plants indoors per residence, regardless of the number of households living in a residence.
Ventura County Environmental Health (VCEH) is the primary health agency responsible for ensuring that the water purveyor operates the public potable water system free of actual or potential sanitary hazards, including unprotected cross connections. Ventura Water is the water purveyor responsible for ensuring that the consumer has properly installed and tested the backflow assembly. Ventura Water works in conjunction with VCEH to implement a cross-connection control program and conduct enforcement of backflow and cross-connection requirements. You may receive multiple notices from the County of Ventura reminding you to test your backflow device.
Please contact the County of Ventura Environmental Health Department (here) to update owner information for your backflow device. Your certified backflow assembly tester may also be able to assist you in updating owner information. We recommend updating owner information to avoid non-compliance and missed notices.
Yes, the public may view records on the County of Ventura Citizen Access at https://vcca.ventura.org/
The City of Ventura requires all backflow assembly testers to be certified with the County of Ventura Environmental Health Department. Residents and business owners can find a list of certified testers here.
Cross-connections are the links through which it is possible for contaminating materials to enter a potable water supply. The contaminant enters the potable water system when the pressure of the polluted source exceeds the pressure of the potable source. The action may be called back siphonage or backflow.
The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act sets the overall public health standards for public drinking water systems. The federal government has delegated authority for overseeing drinking water standards in the state to the California Department of Drinking Water. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations requires every water purveyor to administer a cross connection control program that protects the potable water supply from potential sources of contamination.
Backflow means a physical process by which contaminants can enter the potable water supply.
Many planned and unforeseen occurrences can cause a pressure drop that may lead to a backflow or back siphonage incident. This includes firefighting efforts, main breaks and repairs. If a pressure drop occurs in the water distribution systems, any connection to a non-potable water source could be siphoned back into the customer’s drinking water piping, polluting the water within the home, and even into the water mains in the street, polluting the public water system. The only way to prevent such incidents from occurring and to maintain safe drinking water is to use backflow prevention devices and to make sure that they are correctly installed and adequately maintained.
A backflow assembly is a device that allows water to flow in one direction but never in the opposite direction. Its sole job is to prevent drinking water from being contaminated due to backflow.
Non-compliance with Ventura Water’s backflow and cross-connection may result in the issuance of fees and/or termination of water service.
Any individual, corporation, sole proprietor, partnership or any entity that wishes to conduct a business within the City of Ventura must secure a business license. City law states that no person shall engage in business or transact and carry on a business, trade, profession, calling, or occupation in the City without having procured a license from the City to do so or without complying with any and all applicable provision of Title 3 of the City ordinance relating to business license. (A separate license is required for each branch or location of business.)
Yes, because your business is within City limits
Sub-contractors are required to have their own business license as they are not your employees
Yes, you may have to hold multiple licenses. Licenses are site specific. If you have three locations from which you operate, you will hold three separate licenses. If you are a mobile business, with only one fixed base of operations, then only one license is required.
Seasonal licenses are primarily for seasonal events such as Christmas tree sales, 4th of July fireworks sales, holiday related events. You determine the start date of the business period and the license will be active for 4 months from the beginning of that month. The charge is $25 for each “season”.
Yes, business licenses are not transferable to the new owner when a business is sold
Phase III, Part 2: Public Meeting – July 18
Finalists applying for commercial cannabis business permits will present at a Public Meeting on July 18, 2022 @ 6 pm in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall. Each applicant will have ten minutes to present and address the online submitted questions or community concerns related to the location or application submitted prior to July 13. There will be an in-person comment period for each applicant directly after their presentation. Note: There will not be an opportunity for follow up/responses or question/answer sessions at the meeting.
All feedback from the public meeting will be provided to the City Manager for use in his final decision.
The community is invited to get involved and share comments or questions on proposed locations and applicants by joining the in-person meeting or sharing feedback online (see How to Submit Public Comment above).
Phase IV: City Manager’s Final Selection – August 2022
The City Manager will receive a report from City staff on the final applicants, including feedback from the public meeting, and will use this information to make a final decision pursuant to SBMC Section 6.420.230 (a)(5). Applicants may appeal Phase IV of the process.
Application Period 1 Closed August 11, 2021
Phase I: Determination of Eligibility
Phase II: Criteria Evaluation and Scoring
The City's consultant reviewed and scored Sections A-D of each application (Sections listed below). A description of the evaluation criteria being scored in this phase can be found in the Application Procedures & Guidelines (pgs. 8-10).
Phase III (Part 1 – Selection Committee): Further Evaluation, Interviews and Scoring
The Staff Selection Committee will conduct interviews using the evaluation criteria for Sections E-H of each application (Sections listed below). A description of the evaluation criteria scored in this phase can be found in the Application Procedures & Guidelines (pgs. 10-12).
How to submit public comment
The public may provide public comment (including comments, questions, and concerns) in two ways:
Written submissions at any time –
All written comments, questions, and concerns should be sent to the Cannabis Program staff at: firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to: City Hall; Cannabis Program; 501 Poli Street; Ventura CA 93001. All written submissions will be addressed in the manner described below under “What happens with my comments?”.
Public Meeting –
The public may attend the Public Meeting, tentatively scheduled in 2022, to verbally express their site-specific concerns. Only the top applicants will be invited to attend the Public Meeting and the applicants will have an opportunity to respond to the specific concerns.
What happens with my public comment?
Verbal comments at the Public Meeting
For written submissions to email@example.com – see below.
Public Records Act Requests
The City will not be posting evaluations or scores to protect the confidentiality required during the evaluation process.
Per City Council Resolution No. 2021-009, the Application Period 1 will only allow applications for commercial cannabis business permits in the non-Coastal Zone. Up to 3 retail permits and 10 industrial-type permits may be awarded during this application cycle.
The window for Application Period 2 is pending a final decision from the CA Coastal Commission. We anticipate this will not happen until 2023.
The City is currently conducting the first commercial cannabis business permit application period to allow up to 3 retail and 10 industrial-type permits. The window to submit applications is currently closed until the next application period which is not anticipated will open until 2023.
If you are looking for a delivery license only and are a cannabis business based in another city (not Ventura as you may not have a cannabis business here without first obtaining a commercial cannabis business permit), you may apply using the instructions on the Business Tax page at https://www.cityofventura.ca.gov/1556/Apply-for-Business-License
Sign up for our Notify Me feature to have updates sent directly to your email. When you Sign In and subscribe, not only will you receive Cannabis Updates, but your email address will be included in a list that will be used to notify subscribers when the application documents are released.
Where 2 or more accesses serve adjacent single-family residential property, the minimum distance between the nearest points of the 2 accesses shall be at least 20 feet. Where 2 or more accesses serve the same or adjacent non-single family residential development, the minimum distance between the centerlines of access should be preferably at least 200 feet on streets with design speeds below 30 miles per hour (mph) and 300 feet on streets with design speed above 30 mph. If adjacent driveways cannot be separated by these distances, the should be combined into a single joint access. For corner and double frontage residential lots, 1 access on each frontage may be permitted if it is determined by the City Engineer that 2 driveways are needed to provide safe access for traffic entering and leaving the lot because of site distance and geometric design consideration.
In addition to commercial lenders, the City offers help in financing façade improvements, code compliance issues, and start-up costs. The Business Assistance Program offers low-interest loans totaling up to $125,000.
The City's Economic Development and Revitalization Division can assist you in finding an appropriate location for your Ventura business operation. When considering a business location, keep in mind zoning regulations. This information can be obtained by calling the City's Planning Division at 805-654-7893.
Bicycle Theft Prevention:
Register your bike!
In cities where bicycle registration is mandatory, thefts of bikes are less likely to occur since they are not as easy to sell as un-registered bikes.If your bicycle is registered with the City of Ventura we can quickly pull up your information from our database if your bike is recovered. The registration records are kept in our in-house records management system and are checked when a bicycle is recovered.Bicycle Registration also aids in identifying the owner of a bicycle in case of a crash. Many bicyclists don't carry identification with them - this is especially true for children. It could take hours for emergency personnel to make positive identification and contact a parent if a child is hurt, or scared or confused.Please fill out the Bicycle License Application to register your bike.Questions? Please contact Crime Analyst Karen Heath Karayan at 805-339-4357 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It shouldn't hurt to be a kid, but children continue to be hurt every day. For these youngsters, there is no hope unless each one of us realizes that our most important duty is the protection, welfare, and growth of our children.
Child abuse can leave a scar that is carried throughout life. In fact, statistics show that the abused child all too often grows up to be an abuser. Studies suggest that 85 percent of convicted felons were abused as children. Breaking the cycle of abuse will not only protect our children, but will reduce crime now and in the future.
Without individual and community concern and involvement, there are really three "victims" of child abuse: the child, the abuser, and the community. Each of us can make a valuable contribution to the protection of children and the prevention of abuse. Our concern and involvement are critical - it may save a life.
Child abuse is legally defined as:
Indicators Of Child Abuse
Below are some indicators of child abuse that can help you recognize an existing or potential problem.
Neglect is essentially the negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child by a parent or caretaker under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child's health or welfare.
Indicators of neglect:
The law requires certain professionals to report suspicion and/or knowledge of child abuse, which includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and cases of severe emotional abuse that constitute willful cruelty or unjustifiable punishment of a child. Community members also play an important role in protecting children from abuse and neglect. The life of a child may be saved if YOU become involved and report cases of suspected child abuse.
Involvement does not mean physical intervention or snooping on your neighbor. It simply means not ignoring the obvious. Fear of involvement has resulted in family tragedies in which neighbors reported they knew what was going on, but declined to get involved.
If a member of the community, who is not required by law to report, does not want to identify him or herself, the report may be made anonymously.
After Your Report
Many people are under the misconception that if a family is reported for child abuse, the parent will always be arrested and the child will be taken away from the family. Although this may occur in serious abuse cases, the family is usually referred to services such as counseling or parenting classes. In neglect cases, the family may be referred to public assistance agencies. However, the goal of child protective agencies is to try to keep the family unit intact unless the child is in danger. The goal of all of us is to protect our children and help them grow up healthy and happy.
To report suspected child abuse, contact your local:
Police or Sheriff's Department;
County Welfare Department; or
County Juvenile Probation Department
Child Abuse Council
For further information on this program and other crime prevention material, write to:
Crime and Violence Prevention CenterOffice of the Attorney GeneralP.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Child Safety Seats
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics reveal that approximately 90% of child safety seats are installed or used incorrectly.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) can help you fit your seat and install them properly. Safety seat installation is done by appointment and you can find your local CHP Office by visiting the CHP's website at: http://www.chp.ca.gov/. The officer will inspect your child's safety seat for any problems, check for recalls, show you how to properly install it in your vehicle, go over correct usage, and cover basic child seat safety information with you.
For answers to your child safety seat questions you can also view the California Department of Public Health website or contact your local health department.
Domestic violence is more than just a "family problem" - it is a crime
In California, it is a crime for any person to threaten, beat, sexually assault, or otherwise harm another person, even if they are married.
Battering is not exclusively a crime against women, but women are the majority of victims; thus, this is primarily directed to the battered wife or woman.
Although there are few statistics on the incidence of domestic violence, we do know that:
Their husbands or boyfriends kill approximately 30 percent of female homicide victims in the United States.
Females are much more likely than males to be killed by their spouse.
Domestic violence affects at least one out of every four American families.
Why Do People Stay in Abusive Situations?
Once violence has begun, it continues to increase in both frequency and severity. Understanding the psychological consequences of the violent relationship can help the woman take power and choose constructive alternatives, as well as aid those who intervene to help her.
The most frequently asked question concerning a battering situation is, "Why does she stay?" While reasons range from children, love, guilt, fear, pride, embarrassment, financial dependence - or a combination thereof - it is very possible that the woman is locked into a violence cycle.
Three-Phase Theory of Family Violence
The family violence cycle consists of three phases:
1. Tension-Building Phase
During this phase, the woman senses her mate's increasing tension. He is "edgy" and perhaps challenges her and/or tells her she is stupid or incompetent. The woman may internalize her appropriate anger at his unfairness, and experience physical effects such as depression, tension, anxiety, and headaches. As the tension in the relationship increases, minor episodes of violence, such as pinching, slapping, or shoving, increase.
2. Acute-Battering Incident
The tension-building phase ends in an explosion of violence. The woman may or may not fight back. Following the battering, she is in a state of physical and psychological shock. The man may discount the episode and underestimate the woman's injuries.
3. Loving Reconciliation
During the last phase of the family violence cycle, both parties have a sense of relief that "it's over." The man is often genuinely sorry for what happened and is fearful that his partner will leave him. He apologizes and may "shower" her with love and praise that helps her repair her shattered self-esteem. He tells her he can't live without her, so that she feels responsible for his well being and guilty for her actions. She blames herself for her actions and for what led up to the abuse.
If You Become a Victim of Domestic Violence
Everyone has the right to be safe from threats and beatings - but you must take that first step. Once you recognize that it isn't your fault and it is possible to change your situation, seek the help you need.
Call the police or sheriff.
Make sure you are safe from another beating. Whenever you believe you are in danger, leave your home and take your children with you. Also, take important papers such as your birth certificate and vehicle registration.
Get medical attention. Don't try to treat yourself; you may be injured much more seriously than you realize.
Seek assistance. Whether or not you file charges against your batterer, you may need to talk to a professional about your situation. Contact your local battered women's shelter, women's support group, or victims' assistance center.
Save all the evidence (proof) you can. (You may even want to take photographs of your injuries.) Whether or not you file charges now, you may later change your mind and will then need proof that you have been assaulted.
If you need help, look in the yellow pages of your telephone directory under "Women's Services and Organizations."
If nothing is listed, look under the name of your city or county for departments of family services, social services, health, or welfare. These agencies can offer help to you or refer you to someone who can help.
Check the white pages of your telephone book under the heading "Crisis." Many areas have crisis hot lines that are answered 24 hours a day.
Remember that your local police and sheriff's departments are there to help you. You should always have their numbers handy for an emergency.
Other sources of help and/or referral are the Salvation Army or your private physician or attorney.
Also, look in the yellow pages under "Attorney Referral Service," "Legal Assistance" or "Bar Association" if you have a low income and need a lawyer.
No victim of sexual assault shall be required to participate or agree to participate in the criminal justice system, either prior to examination or at any other time (Penal Code 13823.95 (b))
A person who was arrested may be released on bond or some other form of release. If you are a victim you should not rely upon an arrest as a guarantee of safety
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office offers information for victim help: http://www.vcdistrictattorney.com/victims/ http://www.vcdistrictattorney.com/faqs/
Ventura Police Department Emergency, call 9-1 -1After hours Ventura Police Department, 805-650-8010
Interface: Children and Family Services, 800-339-9597
Battered Women's Hotline, 805-656-1111
Ventura County Victim Services, 805-654-3622
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence
Campus Sexual Assault Resources - CA Attorney General https://oag.ca.gov/campus-sexual-assault
VINElink National Victim Notification Network: https://www.vinelink.com/vinelink/initMap.do
Statistics uncover a frightening picture of elder abuse in California. One of every 20 elderly people will be a victim of neglect or physical, psychological, or financial abuse this year.
By the year 2020, the number of elderly in California is expected to double to 6.6 million. Already, there are 4.8 million Californians over 60 years of age.
As the elderly population increases, so will the incidence of elder abuse . . .if we don't take action. As a community, we must recognize the seriousness of this problem and take steps to prevent it.
There are four general categories of elder abuse:
Financial (fiduciary) Abuse
The following cases illustrate the four generally recognized types of elder abuse. Some cases involve more than one type of abusive behavior, such as the abuser victimizing the elderly person both physically and emotionally. (The victims' names have been changed.)
Annie Wilson, 76, was assaulted several times by her son who was living with her at home. Neighbors reported these incidents to the police, but the victim and her son denied everything, claiming instead that the neighbors were assaulting them!
The abuse continued until finally the son knocked his mother down, hurting her badly enough that she needed hospitalization. Although Mrs. Wilson still didn't want to press charges, the injuries were severe enough that the son was arrested and charged with felony elder abuse.
Bertha Anderson, a deaf, legally blind, and wheelchair-bound woman in her 60's, told a neighbor that she was afraid her husband was going to kill her. His behavior was bizarre and he was threatening her with a gun. The neighbor called county adult protective services, and a social worker arranged to pick the woman up and drive her to a local women's shelter.
Mrs. Anderson revealed that her husband never let her go out and had kept her virtually a prisoner. He had refused to take her to an eye doctor, so she lost the sight in one eye due to cataracts. Following surgery for a broken hip, her husband refused to allow her to receive the therapy she required to walk again.
With the help of the social worker, Mrs. Anderson obtained a low-income apartment adapted for a wheelchair and qualified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and In-Home Support Services. She also got involved in recreational and social programs sponsored by the Blind Aid Society, and received appropriate medical care for her eyes and injured hip.
Robert Evans has a history of alcoholism and his mental condition is such that he is very forgetful. The 67-year-old man had previously suffered a fall, resulting in a broken hip. Unable to shop for himself, he was befriended by three women who offered to help him with shopping and cooking.
The women quickly gained his trust and began asking him for money. Mr. Evans wrote checks to the women, but a short time later would forget that he did so. They kept asking for more money, and not recalling the previous check, he would write another.
Tellers at Mr. Evans' bank became suspicious of the large amounts of money being withdrawn from his account and asked the police department and county conservator to investigate the situation. A freeze was placed on the account, but more than $17,000 had already been removed. Eventually the three women were arrested and charged with fiduciary elder abuse.
Rita Reates is a confused and incontinent 91-year-old woman who is cared for by her granddaughter. On one occasion she was found in saturated adult diapers, and on another, she was restrained with ropes around her waist and had several small cuts over her eyes.
While the granddaughter appeared to care a great deal for her grandmother and tried hard to meet her needs, Mrs. Yeates required around-the-clock care. Her doctor stated that she needed nursing home care. Adult protective services staff investigated and successfully placed Mrs. Yeates in a nursing home.
What You Can Do
We all have the right to be free from abuse and neglect. If an elderly person you know is being victimized, it is important for you to take action to stop it. Without intervention, abuse almost always escalates. Because victims are often reluctant to report it, an elderly person's well being may depend on you to recognize and report suspected abuse.
Reporting Elder Abuse
Reporting suspected elder abuse is simple. Call the local Long-Term Care Ombudsman or local law enforcement to report abuse in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home or board and care home.
Abuse occurring anywhere other than a long-term care facility should be reported to the county Adult Protective Services agency (APS).
If you suspect abuse that seems to be life threatening, don't hesitate. Call the police or sheriff's department. They will notify any other agency that may need to be involved.
Crime & violence Prevention CenterCalifornia Attorney General's OfficeP.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.
Ventura Police Department 650-8010
Adult Protective Services 805.654.3200
Ombudsman Program (One Caring for Many)
Almost one-half of all Americans over 65 years old will spend some time in a long-term care facility. Ombudsmen help assure the highest quality of life and care possible for our elderly in long-term care facilities throughout Ventura County.
The Ombudsman's Mission
The Ventura County Ombudsman Program is founded on the principle that elderly persons unable to care for themselves are entitled to dependable and consistent care.
The Ventura County Ombudsman Program's mission is to assure the highest quality of life and care possible for those elderly persons in long-term care - most of whom are frail, vulnerable, and unable to represent themselves.
Who is an Ombudsman?
An Ombudsman (om-budz-man) is a specially trained and certified individual, either volunteer or staff, who advocates for quality care for elderly residents in Ventura County's long-term care facilities.
All Ombudsmen complete 36 hours of initial training, 15 hours of field service, and 12 hours each year of continuing education. He or she is certified by the California Department of Aging and accepts assignment to skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities throughout Ventura County.
To ensure quality care, the Ombudsman coordinates with licensing and regulatory agencies as well as law enforcement. The Ombudsman Program derives its authority from The Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 3001 et seq., and Human Resources Code, Chapter 101, Subchapter C. 40 T.A.C.
Certified Ombudsmen fulfill vital services to our elderly by:
Providing pre-placement counseling for those considering long-term care options.
Identifying, investigating, and resolving complaints by or on behalf of the residents in either nursing facilities or board and care homes.
Providing services such as community education, direct caregiver and law enforcement training to assist in protecting the health, safety, welfare, and rights of residents.
Informing residents about obtaining services.
Representing the interests of residents before governmental agencies.
Providing support group services to the resident's family members and loved ones.
Please call an Ombudsman when...
you are facing long-term care decisions for yourself or a loved one and would like information on Ventura County facilities and long-term care options.
you suspect elder abuse or neglect within any long-term care facility throughout Ventura County.
you have had to place a loved one in long-term care and are experiencing trauma and guilt.
you are confused about laws governing residents' rights, elder abuse or neglect.
you would like to become a volunteer and help ensure a quality life for our frail elderly in long-term care.
you need any information regarding long-term care.
The Ombudsman Program is administered by:
Long-Term Care Services of Ventura County, Inc.1841 Knoll Dr.Ventura, CA 93003www.OmbudsmanVentura.orgTelephone (805) 656-1986,FAX (805) 658-8540.
All services are free and confidentialServices are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a weekCall 805-656-1986 for emergency number
Did you know that on average approximately 70% of residential burglaries occur during the daytime? Did you also know that on average more than 60% of the incidents are the result of doors, windows, or garage doors, being left open or unlocked?
Below are some helpful crime fighting burglary prevention steps you can take to help combat crime and make a difference in our community.
Burglary Prevention Tips & Neighborhood Safety
Use common sense - don’t be an easy target
LOCK and close your doors and windows. Yes, even when you’re home
Do not leave your garage door open or unlocked if you are not in the immediate area.
Immediately report any and all suspicious activity by calling our 24-hour, non-emergency number at 805.650.8010 or 911 in the event of an emergency
If you have an alarm set it!
Install quality locks on doors and windows and USE them.
Lighting is one of the best deterrents to nightime burglary - indoor and outdoor lighting is important.
Beware of solicitors. Door-to-door sales people in the City of Ventura must have a business license issued by the City and to have registered in person with our department. The following link provides information on door-to-door permits, licenses, and the process. http://www.cityofventura.net/businesslicense#door
Don’t let strangers into your home - this includes workers and others - if you are not with them.
Photograph your valuables and engrave your property with a form of identification, such as your driver’s license number.
Start and participate in Neighborhood Watch Program by calling 339-4423.
If you are going to be out of town have family, friends, or neighbors check on your home or place of business. You can also call our Volunteer Coordinator at 805.339.4320 and ask for a Vacation to Check to be conducted while you are gone.
Suspicious Activity - What to Look For
Solicitors going house to house
Suspicious/unfamiliar subjects walking or loitering in the area
Suspicious/unfamiliar subjects parked in a car on the street, alleyway, side of a home, etc.
Subject parked on the street and talking on a cell phone.
Subjects casing homes
Occupied suspicious vehicles that appear out of place and are not normally parked in the area, or you are not familiar with the vehicle
Anyone carrying property that seems suspicious or out of place
Lock Crime Out Of Your Home
Making your home safer from crime doesn’t always mean having to install expensive alarms - effective home security starts with properly locked doors and windows and visible, well lighted entryways.
All exterior doors should be either metal or solid wood. For added security, use strong door hinges on the inside of the door, with non-removable or hidden pins. Every entry door should be well lighted and have a wide-angle door viewer so you can see who is outside without opening the door.
Strong, reliable locks are essential to effective home security. Always keep doors and windows locked - even a five-minute trip to the store is long enough for a burglar to enter your home.
Use quality keyed knobs as well as deadbolts. Deadbolts can withstand the twisting, turning, prying, and pounding that regular keyed knobs can’t.
When choosing a deadbolt, look for features such as:
* a bolt that extends at least one inch when in the locked position, to resist ramming and kicking;
* hardened steel inserts to prevent the lock from being sawed off;
* a reinforced strike plate with extra-long mounting screws to anchor the lock effectively.
Most deadbolts are a single cylinder that operates from the outside with a key and from the inside with a thumb latch. Double-cylinder deadbolts require a key to open the lock from both outside and inside your home. These locks are especially effective for doors with glass within 40 inches of the lock - an intruder cannot break the glass and unlock the door by reaching through.
Some jurisdictions do not allow double-cylinder deadbolts - check with your local law enforcement or building code authority before installing a double-cylinder deadbolt. As an alternative, security glazing can be applied to glass panels in or near the door, or shatterproof glass can be installed, although these options can be expensive.
Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors can offer easy entry into your home. To improve security on existing sliding glass doors, you can:
* install keyed locking devices that secure the door to the frame;
* adjust the track clearances on the doors so they can’t be pushed out of their tracks;
* put a piece of wood or a metal bar in the track of the closed door to prevent the door from opening even if the lock is jimmied or removed.
Most standard double-hung windows have thumb-turn locks between the two window panels. Don’t rely on these! They can be pried open or reached easily through a broken windowpane. Instead, install keyed locking devices to prevent the window from being raised from the outside. Make sure everyone in the house knows where to find the keys in case of an emergency. Again, some jurisdictions have restrictions on this type of lock, so check with your local law enforcement before you install them.
An easy, inexpensive way to secure your windows is to use the "pin" trick. Drill an angled hole through the top frame of the lower window partially into the frame of the upper window. Then insert a nail or eyebolt. The window can’t be opened until you remove the nail. Make a second set of holes with the windows partly opened so you can have ventilation without intruders.
Lighting is one of the most cost-effective deterrents to burglary. Indoor lighting gives the impression that a home is occupied. If you are going to be away from your home, consider using automatic timers to switch interior lights on and off at preset times.
Outdoor lighting can eliminate hiding places. Install exterior lighting near porches, rear and side doorways, garage doors, and all other points of entry. Entryways to your home always should be well lighted. Place lights out of reach from the ground so the bulbs cannot be removed or broken. Aim some lights away from the house so you can see if anyone is approaching, or install motion-sensing lights that will turn on automatically as someone approaches.
Shrubs and LandscapingYour home’s walkways and landscaping should direct visitors to the main entrance and away from private areas. The landscaping should provide maximum visibility to and from your house. Trim shrubbery that could conceal criminal activity near doors and windows. Provide light on areas of dense shrubs and trees that could serve as hiding places. Cut back tree limbs that could help thieves climb into windows, and keep yard fencing low enough to avoid giving criminals places to hide.
Burglars and Pest Control
Tenting your home for pest control applications can make you vulnerable to burglary. The crooks know that no one will be in the residence, and that it’s likely the owners have left most of their possessions inside. In addition, several days may pass before a break-in is even detected and reported.
You’d think the big skull and cross bones signs all around your property indicating the presence of toxic poisons would deter anyone from entering, but that is not always the case. Although not common, we do receive reports of incidents that have occurred under these circumstances, and in fact responded to a similar call recently where entry was made by breaking a back window.
What to do? A few extra precautions can go a long way:
Take the smaller of your most valued possessions with you.
Alert your neighbors, ask them to watch for, AND report, any suspicious activity.
Call 339-4320 to request a "vacation" check. Our Volunteers in Policing will put your address on their route and check on your residence periodically as their time allows.
If you have any type of security system in place, be sure to advertise it with a lawn sign or other indicator that may discourage bad guys.
If you have access to an RV, you might consider staying in it on your property so you can keep an eye on things. If you will be parking it on the street, be sure to call our Traffic Division at 339-4401 to get a waiver so you don’t get cited or towed under the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance.
Burglars Hate Dogs
It’s true. At least they hate coming across dogs at their victim’s residences. Interviews with crooks show that having a dog, or at least appearing to have a dog, is one of the greatest deterrents to a break-in.
If you have ever considered owning a dog, here’s one more good excuse. Ventura County Animal Control has a wide selection to choose from who would love to be given charge of your home.
However, if you are not interested in actually owning (and feeding, and playing with and cleaning up after) a real live dog, here are some other ideas you might consider:
Put up a "Danger, Dog on Duty" sign. Cheap, not messy, and just might be convincing.
Get a couple of big, emphasis on BIG dog bowls, fill one with water and put them in your yard.
Peruse your local do-it-yourself or electronics store (or the internet) for a doorbell that, when rung, sounds like a doberman pincher launching into attack.
Even higher tech, and probably proportionately higher priced, is a nifty motion sensing gadget that begins barking as someone approaches your house and then gets louder and more frantic the closer the person comes. Search for "electronic watch dog".
"Cluster" mailboxes are those that house mail receptacles for several residences. These are common, but not exclusive to, apartment and condominium complexes. They make particularly attractive targets for thieves, as once the back of the box is breached, all of the individual sections become accessible and mail from many households can be taken in a very short period of time.
The information contained in both incoming and outgoing mail can often be used for fraudulent purposes, most notably Identity Theft type crimes.
To minimize your risk:
Make sure your mail is picked up every day, the sooner after it arrives the better.
Do not leave outgoing mail in a cluster mailbox. Use public mail receptacles as they are more secure, or perhaps mailing from your place of employment would be a good option.
Most banks will allow you to arrange to pick up your checks from the bank in person instead of having them mailed to your home.
Shred your mail before disposing of it in the trash or recycle bin.
Securing Door Hinges
We recently had a report of someone removing the hinges from a garage door in order to gain entry and steal valuable tools. Although most people don’t give a second thought to the securing their door hinges, it is an important part of your overall home security plan.
This is particularly true for doors that swing outward. On this type of door, the hinge pins are typically exposed on the outside of the house. This could allow an intruder to tap the hinge pins up and out, and lift the door off its hinges, removing the door without unlocking it.
Here are some suggestions from the California Attorney Generals Office describing how to rectify problems with outward swinging doors:
Have the hinges remounted on the inside of the frame so that the door swings inward.
Install a set of hinges with non-removable hinge pins.
Install a locking pin in the existing hinge plate. Here is how: Once this is done, as the door closes, the pin in the jamb will penetrate the hole in the door and the door will be held in position even if the hinge pins are removed.
Remove the center screws from the plates of each hinge.
Insert a “headless” screw, bolt or nail into the doorjamb through the hole in the hinge plate.
Leave 1/2 inch of the screw, bolt or nail protruding.
Drill a 3/4-inch hole through the opening in the opposite hinge plate on the door.
Identity Theft involves acquiring key pieces of someone’s identifying information such as name, address, date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name, etc., in order to impersonate them. This information enables the identity thief to commit numerous forms of fraud, including taking over the victim’s financial accounts, purchasing automobiles, applying for loans, credit cards, and social security benefits, renting apartments, establishing utility and phone services as well as many other creative theft schemes.
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Mail & Telephone:
Promptly remove mail from your mailbox upon delivery.
Deposit outgoing mail in Post Office collection mailboxes or at your local Post Office. Do not leave mail in unsecured mail receptacles.
Never give personal information over the telephone, such as your social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, credit card numbers, or bank PIN number. Protect this information and only release it when absolutely necessary and only to someone with whom you are familiar.
Never give information to solicitors who try to obtain your personal information or credit card numbers.
Credit Cards & Wallets:
Shred pre-approved credit applications, credit card receipts, bills, and other financial information you don’t want before discarding them in the trash or recycling bin.
Empty your wallet of extra credit cards and ID's. Cancel the ones you don't use and maintain a list of the ones you do use.
Order your credit report from the three credit bureaus once a year to check for fraudulent activity or other discrepancies.
Never leave receipts at bank machines, bank counters, trash receptacles or unattended gas pumps. Keep track of all your paperwork and when you no longer need it, shred it!
Memorize your social security number, all PIN numbers, and passwords. Do not record them on any cards or documents carried in your wallet or purse.
Sign all new credit cards upon receiving them. Without your signature your card company may not cover any fraudulent charges on your card.
Save all credit card receipts and check them against your monthly statement.
Notify your credit card companies and financial institutions in advance of any change of address or phone number(s).
Never loan your credit cards to anyone.
Never record your credit card number or financial account numbers on a postcard or on the outside of an envelope.
If you apply for a new credit card and it does not arrive in a timely manner, call the bank or issuing card company and report the delay.
Report all lost or stolen credit cards to your card company immediately.
Closely monitor expiration dates on your credit cards. Contact the credit card issuer if replacement cards are not received prior to the expiration dates.
Internet and Online Services
Be very careful when disclosing checking account numbers, credit card numbers or other financial data on any website or online service location, unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.
When you subscribe to an on-line service, you are commonly requested to supply a credit card number. When you enter any interactive service site be aware of con artists who may ask you to “confirm” your enrollment service by disclosing passwords or credit card numbers used to subscribe.
Make sure your anti-virus definitions are up to date on your computer.
Install a firewall to help protect your computer from intruders.
Beware of e-mails asking you to confirm, or "click here" to confirm your account information. It is always best to visit a site directly rather than clicking on a link provided in an e-mail.
What to do If You Become a Victim
Keep a log of all your contacts and make copies of all documents. Set up a folder to keep a detailed history of this crime.
Contact all creditors, by phone and in writing, to inform them of the problem.
Notify the U.S. Postal Inspector if someone tampered with or stole your mail.U.S. Postal Inspection Service for Ventura: 1-626-405-1200.
Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338).The FTC helps victims by providing information to help resolve financial and other problems that could result from identity theft.
Alert your banks to flag your accounts and contact you to confirm any unusual activity. Request a change of your PIN number.
If you have checks stolen or bank accounts set up fraudulently, report it to your bank and cancel the account(s). Make sure your bank enters your closed account into Check Systems. If necessary, notify one of the following check verification services of your closed or fraudulent accounts.
National Check Fraud Service: (843) 571-2143
SCAN: (800) 262-7771 --- TeleCheck: (800) 710-9898 or (800) 927-0188
Cross Check: (707) 586-0551 (call after 30 days).
Contact every merchant who accepted a fraudulent check and send them a copy of your Affidavit of Forgery and police report. This will help defuse creditors and avoid negative credit ratings.
Contact the Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline (800) 269- 0271.
Contact the State Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles to see if another license was issued in your name. If so, request a new license number and fill out the DMV complaint form to begin the fraud investigation process.
Obtain description of suspect, if known.
Obtain witness information, including names and phone numbers.
Report Identity Theft to Credit Bureaus
Call each of the three Credit Bureau Fraud Units to report your identity theft. Ask to have a Fraud Alert/Victim Impact statement placed in your credit file asking that creditors call you before opening any new accounts. Request a copy of your Credit Report from each of the three credit bureaus.
EquifaxP.O. Box 740241Atlanta, Georgia 30374To order your report: 1-800-685-1111To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285
ExperianP.O. Box 9530Allen, Texas 75013To order report: 1-888-397-3742
Trans UnionP.O. Box 390Springfield, PA 19064To order your report: 1-800-916-8800To report fraud, cal1-800-680-7289
Federal Trade Commission | 1-877-438-4338
California Department of Consumer Affairs
Privacy Rights Clearing House
U.S. Government Accounting Office
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators
Consumer Affairs Identity Theft Protection
Bank ATM Skimmer Devices
Our department occasionally receives reports from individuals who have been victims of an ATM “Skimmer” device scam. It is believed the criminal(s) install equipment onto legitimate bank ATM's in order to steal both the ATM card number and the PIN. The perpetrator(s) sit in a nearby car receiving the information transmitted wirelessly from the equipment installed on the front of the ATM. (Please see some example photos below or we also recommend doing a search on the Internet for “ATM Skimmers” which will yield a number of image results).
The equipment used to capture the ATM card number and PIN is cleverly disguised to look like normal ATM equipment. What’s known as a "skimmer" is mounted to the front of the normal ATM card slot that reads the ATM card number and transmits it to the criminals sitting in a nearby car. In many cases, a wireless camera is disguised to look like a leaflet holder and is mounted in a position to view ATM PIN entries. The thieves copy the cards and use the PIN numbers to withdraw thousands from many accounts in a very short time directly from the bank ATM.
In many cases it seems the device is attached to the front of the ATM by Velcro or double sided tape and can be easily removed. In order to ensure the ATM is authentic, the user should take hold of the card receiver and give it a tug. If it is fake it should dislodge from the ATM machine and come off. Also, it is suggested to put your hand over the keypad when you enter your PIN so it can't be seen by a camera.
The VPD wants to remind you to be cautious when using any ATM machine. If something about it looks suspicious, don’t use it. If you see what you suspect is a “skimmer”, report it immediately to the bank and to law enforcement.
Additional ATM safety tips:
Be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. If you observe or sense suspicious persons or circumstances, do not use the machine at that time.
Have your ATM card ready and in your hand as you approach the ATM. Don't wait to get to the ATM and then take your card out of your wallet or purse.
Be careful that no one can see you enter your PIN at the ATM. Use your body to "shield" the ATM keyboard as you enter your PIN into the ATM.
To keep your account information confidential, always take your receipts or transaction records with you.
Do not count or visually display any money you received from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
If you are using a drive-up ATM, be sure passenger windows are rolled up and all doors are locked.
If you leave your car and walk to the ATM, lock your car.
What Can I Do TODAY to Protect My Computer?
Get an Anti-Virus Program
An anti-virus program protects your computer by scanning your computer and all in-coming traffic for viruses. If it detects a virus, it will either delete it, or quarantine it for you to review individually and determine what you want done with it. Make sure your program is turned on
Set to "auto-update" including the "virus definition file" so it stays current with downloads available from the web and knows what new viruses to look for
Set to "auto-scan" your whole system at least twice a month
Get an Anti-Spyware Program
An anti-spyware program helps protect your computer from spyware that monitors your online activities and collects personal information while you surf the web. Make sure you set your program to "auto-update" including the "spyware definition file" so it stays current with downloads available from the web
Run your anti-spyware program at least once per week
Set Up a Firewall
A firewall filters and blocks traffic coming into your computer according to the rules you set. Some folks use the one that comes with their Windows or Mac operating systems, others download separate software. Whichever you prefer, make sure to use only one firewall, all others should be turned off for effective protection.
Review and modify the settings that determine what in-coming traffic is allowed onto your computer so they are set to your personal preferences.
When you are alerted about blocked traffic, most firewall software (although not Windows at this time) will give you a recommendation as to how to proceed with the blocked content.
Parental Internet Safety from the District Attorney
The DA's Office has a section on their website with very comprehensive and useful information regarding how to help keep your kids safe on the internet
"Cyberbullying" is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyberstalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is not called cyberbullying.
Our department understands and takes seriously the importance of recognizing, educating, and helping to prevent cyberbullying. Our School Resource Officers (SROs) often provide presentations on cyberbullying to local Ventura Unified Schools. The presentation is presented at school in the form of a Power Point however, you can view the presentation below as a .pdf. Additionally, if you or your child are interested in attending a presentation please contact a SRO for more information.
Ventura PD SRO Cyberbullying presentation
Here are some helpful cyberbullying websites:
What is Cyberbullying
Stop Cyber Bullying
Cyber Bullying Research Center
Spotting Hoaxes and Urban Legends on E-Mail
This information comes from the National Cyber Alert System.
Identifying Hoaxes and Urban Legends
Chain letters are familiar to anyone with an email account, whether they are sent by strangers or well-intentioned friends or family members. Try to verify the information before following any instructions or passing the message along.
Why are chain letters a problem?
The most serious problem is from chain letters that mask viruses or other malicious activity. But even the ones that seem harmless may have negative repercussions if you forward them:
they consume bandwidth or space within the recipient's inbox
you force people you know to waste time sifting through the messages and possibly taking time to verify the information
you are spreading hype and, often, unnecessary fear and paranoia
What are some types of chain letters?
There are two main types of chain letters:
Hoaxes - Hoaxes attempt to trick or defraud users. A hoax could be malicious, instructing users to delete a file necessary to the operating system by claiming it is a virus. It could also be a scam that convinces users to send money or personal information.
Urban legends - Urban legends are designed to be redistributed and usually warn users of a threat or claim to be notifying them of important or urgent information.
How can you tell if the email is a hoax or urban legend?
Some messages are more suspicious than others, but be especially cautious if the message has any of the characteristics listed below. These characteristics are just guidelines--not every hoax or urban legend has these attributes, and some legitimate messages may have some of these characteristics:
it suggests tragic consequences for not performing some action
it promises money or gift certificates for performing some action
it offers instructions or attachments claiming to protect you from a virus that is undetected by anti-virus software
it claims it's not a hoax
there are multiple spelling or grammatical errors, or the logic is contradictory
there is a statement urging you to forward the message
it has already been forwarded multiple times (evident from the trail of email headers in the body of the message)
If you want to check the validity of an email, there are some web sites that provide information about hoaxes and urban legends:
Urban Legends and Folklore
Snopes: Urban Legends Reference Page
Symantec Security Response Hoaxes
McAfee Security Virus Hoaxes
PHISHING (fish´ing) (n.) The act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a Web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information.
PHONE or VOICE PHISHING – also called “VISHING”, is similar to the above strategy. But since so many folks have become wary of clicking on the links included in these types of e-mails, the sender gives you a phone number to call.
It is illegal to park in the following locations:
No parking zones marked by a red curb, no parking signs, or no standing signs.
In front of a private or public driveway.
In front of or within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant.
Within marked or unmarked crosswalks. A crosswalk is considered to be in the extension of sidewalk boundary lines across a street or at any location where crosswalks are marked with white or yellow lines.
Anywhere within an intersection including the corner curb area.
Within 7'6" of a railroad track.
For the purpose of advertising or selling.
For the purpose of maintaining or repairing automobiles.
In handicapped parking spaces without displaying the proper placard or license plate.
Where a vehicle will obstruct or block a handicapped parking space.
Within three feet of a handicapped access ramp.
In the striped loading zone next to handicapped parking spaces.
Straddling the markings or lines designating a parking stall.
What Do Green, Yellow and White Painted Curbs Mean?
Green Zones are limited term parking, usually 20 or 30 minutes, as marked on the curb. In any limited parking zone, you can receive a citation if you exceed the maximum limit by one minute or more. To avoid a citation, you must vacate the parking space within the time limit specified in order to let other members of the public use these high-demand spaces.
Yellow Zones are for commercial vehicles to load and unload merchandise for up to 20 minutes only. Yellow zones are usually found in commercial areas and are for the use of adjacent commercial establishments.
White Zones are for loading and unloading passengers for up to three minutes only and are usually used in such places as airports, hospitals, and bus and train stations.
Blue Markings reserve parking spaces for disabled persons and are provided in off-street parking lots.
Can The Back of a Vehicle Overhang the Sidewalk When it is Parked in a Private Driveway?
The California Vehicle Code strictly prohibits vehicles from parking on sidewalks or overhanging the sidewalk and causing an obstruction, especially when parked in a driveway. The sidewalk must be kept clear at all times.
The Grandparent Scam typically works as follows: … The victim receives a phone call from an individual(s) posing as their grandchild and claiming to be in jail and in need of money for bail, or in the hospital, or that they have just been in an accident. The imposters usually claim they are in another state or out of the country and need money wired to a “so called” bail bondsman, attorney, or other individual to help bail them out of jail or pay for medical bills. The amount the perpetrators ask to be wired has varied from $500 to $5000. Many times these perpetrators also call victims using phones with static so as to help convince the elderly person their grandchild/relative is truly calling from a distant location.
The con works because the scammers prey upon the emotions of caring and trusting elderly individuals who are concerned about the safety and well being of their grandchild. The individuals who have reported incidents to the VPD said they were suspicious about the phone call but their worry and anxiety for their grandchild overshadowed their doubts. Furthermore, some of the individuals who complied with the perpetrator’s request did so because they feared the criminals could have additional personal information on them or other family members and might retaliate in some fashion. Others, unfortunately, said they were too embarrassed initially to report being a victim of this type of crime.
We want to remind community members to never blindly follow directions from someone on the phone that requests personal information or money. Please take the time to verify the story and its authenticity. For example, you could ask the caller a question that only a relative would know the answer to. If you are suspicious do not send money, hang up the phone, and report the incident to the police.
You can also report scams online to the National Consumers League’s Fraud Center at www.fraud.org. They maintain a national repository of information and will insure your information gets to the proper investigating authority. If you are the victim of a crime please report it immediately to the Ventura Police Department at 1425 Dowell Dr., Ventura, CA, or call 805-339-4400.
Lotto Scams - Mystery Shopper - Check Fraud
Although there is some variation to each particular scam, the premise of each is fairly consistent – that is, in one form or another you are asked to send money or cash a fraudulent check.
In most cases the scam works as follows: the victim receives an official looking letter claiming to be from a recognized financial institution, state lottery, sweepstakes organization, or other entity. The letter normally congratulates you on your winnings, states you have won a prize, or have been selected to take part in some sort of promising opportunity. You are also asked to cash an enclosed check, which appears valid and legitimate, in exchange for a forthcoming payment, or so they may process your payment for an additional prize when you send money. The victim may also be asked to send money via wire or money gram to cover the initial “taxes, fees, or legal costs” associated with said prize.
In another form of related Lottery Scams, suspects will claim that they have a winning lottery ticket but that they are not legal residents of the United States and therefore, cannot turn the ticket in to get their winnings. The suspects will then offer to sell the "winning ticket" to the victim for a substantial amount of money, but still less than the ticket is supposed to be worth.
In this case, the victim loses the cash and ends up with a worthless, fake lottery ticket.
Regardless, these types of scams work when you send money via wire, and/or cash the enclosed check/lotto ticket. Although it may take weeks for the forgery to be discovered the check you deposit into your account is fraudulent and will bounce. Meanwhile if you also wired money you could potentially be out twice.
Whatever the set-up, the results are always the same for the victim – they end up losing hundreds or thousands of dollars in these scams. Be advised that YOU are responsible for checks or money deposited into your account. When a check or money order bounces YOU will owe the bank the money you withdrew and the scammer will have the additional money sent in his/her pocket.
Below are some helpful tips to recognize a possible scam:
Ask yourself these questions:
Does it look to good to be true? Then it probably is.
Did you initiate contact with this company? For example, are you being notified that you won a contest you never entered? Unsolicited offers are often questionable.
Are there errors or inconsistencies in the information provided? For example, does the letter list a company address in one country/state while the check issued is from a company in a different country/state?
Does the text reflect a poor command of the English language? Here’s an example from another letter, “We are therefore with great pleasure to notify you that your e-mail address once again, happened to come out top number (1).”
Are they asking for money or personal information?
Are they insisting you must “act now” or lose a good opportunity?
Most of these questions sound obvious and a good dose of common sense is usually good enough to keep you from being a victim. However, the crooks that perpetrate these kinds of scams only do so because they are successful at it and it pays for them.
The letters, e-mails, and phone calls often sound legitimate and can be very convincing. If in doubt, shred the mail, hang up the phone, delete the e-mail, or refuse to open the door to your home to someone you don’t know and trust.
I Scam Dead People
OK, I don't really scam dead people, but some crooks do. There was a guy in Florida who, using names and social security numbers of 160 deceased folks was able to acquire 700 credit cards from 15 different financial institutions, charging nearly 2 million dollars over a three year period. Phew!
This is an extraordinary case, but using someone's death to perpetrate crime is not terribly uncommon. Thousands of credit cards and checking accounts are opened every year in the name of folks who have already left this mortal world.
Bad guys scan obituaries and funeral service notices for information like:
Names of descendants relative (mother's maiden name?)
Anything else they might be able to use for fraudulent purposes.
Sadly, there are even cases of really brazen thieves watching for dates and times of services and then burglarizing relatives homes while they are honoring their loved one. In this case, it would be prudent to ask a neighbor or friend to stay at the house during services to keep an eye on things.
It's unpleasant, but important to be aware of these types of crimes and to take precautions to guard against them. The Identity Theft Resource Center has compiled fact sheets on a number of types of scams and fraud, including one on Identity Theft and the Deceased.
Gold Bar - Jewelry Scam
The "Gold Bar" or "Jewelry" Scam is fairly common and has occurred in several jurisdictions within Ventura County. A typical scenario might go like this:
One of two Spanish speaking suspects lures the victim, who is often elderly, into a conversation about the suspect having a family member in dire need of medical attention. Suspect #1 offers to sell the victim a "gold bar", or high priced jewelry, in order to get the money needed to obtain medical treatment. Suspect #2 comes along and confirms that the "gold bar"/jewelry is real and very valuable.
The suspects then accompany the victim to the bank where the victim makes a substantial withdrawal and hands the money over to the crooks for a worthless piece of concrete painted gold, or fake jewelry.
Resources & Helpful Websites
Identity Theft-Frauds-Scams: You hear about them all the time. Everyone knows somebody who's been a victim, or has been a victim themselves. It's a nightmare for those who get ripped-off and a nightmare for those who investigate these types of crime.
Fraud.org (Check it out!)
You can report scams online to the National Consumers League’s Fraud Center at www.fraud.org. They maintain a national repository of information and will insure your information gets to the proper investigating authority. If you are the victim of a crime please report it immediately to the Ventura Police Department at 1425 Dowell Dr., Ventura, CA, or call 805-339-4400.
Technological advances help the bad guys cover their tracks pretty well so they are near impossible to tie to their crimes. And jurisdictional enforcement issues can involve city and state police, the FBI, the FTC, US Postal Service and many, many other agencies.
How to make sense of it all?
Call 1-800-876-7060. They take reports, analyze the incidents, and then forward them to the appropriate investigating agency.
They also have lots of great tips and information on their website, so be sure to have a look!
Some Helpful Websites:
www.fraud.org (National Consumers League’s Fraud Center)
www.ic3.gov/default.aspx (Internet Crime Complaint Center)
www.idtheftcenter.org/ (Non profit ID Theft Center)
www.scambusters.org (Helpful Scam Buster Website)
www.ftc.gov (Federal Trade Commission)
www.fraudsandscams.com (Use the Drop Down Link to Check out Many Common Scams and Frauds)
http://da.countyofventura.org/special_prosecutions/victim_services/va_br... (Ventura County DA's Office Crime Prevention Handbook for Seniors)
Recommendations for Renters
California’s Megan’s Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so members of our local communities may protect themselves and their children.
Megan’s Law is named after 7 year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kanka Family sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have a form of Megan’s Law.
The State of California's Department of Justice Sex Offender Tracking Program maintains the registered sex offender database. The database is the basis for the information displayed on the Internet website. By law, persons convicted of specified sex crimes are required to register as sex offenders with a local law enforcement agency. Prior to release from prison, jail, a mental hospital, or on probation, sex offenders are notified in writing of their duty to register and a copy is forwarded to the Department of Justice.
Ventura Police Department registers and tracks approximately 220 sex offenders for the City of Ventura. Registered sex offenders are required to update their information annually, within 5 working days of their birthday. Transients (homeless) must update every 30 days, sexually violent predators every 90 days, and any time a registrant changes their address or becomes homeless. If the registrant is in violation of the update requirements, the Internet website will show the registrant as being in violation.
California Penal Code 290 requires mandatory registration as a sex offender for persons convicted of the sex offense listed in Section PC 290(a)2(A) through PC 290(a)2(E). Even if the offense is not listed in these sections, the person may be ordered by a court to register as a sex offender if the criminal offense committed was sexually motivated. Section 290 applies automatically to the enumerated offenses, and imposes on each person convicted a lifelong obligation to register.
Megan’s Law Website provides the citizen with a photo of the sex offender, physical descriptors, addresses (in most cases), convicted sex offenses, scars, marks and tattoos, and known aliases and parks, schools and a map of up to a 2 mile radius search. Not every registered sex offender will appear on the Internet website. Approximately 25% of registered sex offenders are excluded from public disclosure by law. This is based on the type of sex crime for which the person is required to register. Any person who is required to register as a sex offender is prohibited from entering the Megan’s Law Website.
The website also has an email address and phone number for the Department of Justice to report any information about a sex offender. The Department of Justice will forward any information to the proper law enforcement agency that the sex offender is last registered with.
Informational Websites and Phone Numbers
State of California Megan’s Law: www.meganslaw.ca.gov
Sex Offender Registry for other states: www.fbi.gov
Operation Predator: www.ice.gov
Office of the Attorney General: www.oag.ca.gov
Missing Persons / Children websites: California Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit- www.caag.state.ca.us/missing (International missing, most wanted)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: www.missingkids.com 1(800) THE-LOST
Amber Alert: (800) 222-FIND
National Runaway Switchboard: (800) RUN-AWAY www.nrscrisisline.org
Interface: www.icfs.org (800) 339-9597
Association of Missing and Exploited Children's Organizations: www.amecoinc.org
The CyberTipLine (Child Pornography Tipline): (800) 843-5678
Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you're away from it, even for "just a minute."
Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it's in front of your home.
Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or at least out of sight.
Remove portable electronic devices such as smart phones and GPS navigation systems, including suction cup or bean bag type mounts. (Even the visible appearance of a suction cup ring on the glass windshield can be an enticement to a thief to break in and look for the GPS system.)
Park in busy, well-lighted area.
Carry the registration and insurance card with you. Don't leave personal identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.
When you pay to park in a lot or garage, leave just the ignition or valet key with the attendant. Make sure no personal information is attached. Do the same when you take your car for repairs.
Add Extra Protection:
Install a mechanical locking device — commonly called clubs, collars, or j-bars — that lock to the steering wheel, column, or brake to prevent the wheel from being turned more than a few degrees. Use it!
Investigate security systems if you live in a high-theft area or drive an automobile that's an attractive target for thieves. You may get a discount on your auto insurance.
What About Carjacking:
Carjacking - stealing a car by force - has captured headlines in the last few years. Statistically, your chances of being a carjacking victim are very slim, and preventive actions can reduce the risk even more.
Etch the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the windows, doors, fenders, and trunk lid. This helps discourage professional thieves who have to either remove or replace etched parts before selling the car. Copy the VIN and your tag number on a card and keep it in a safe place. If your vehicle is stolen, the police need this information.
Approach you car with the key in hand before getting in. Look around and inside before getting in.
When driving, keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up at all times.
Be especially alert at intersections, gas stations, ATM's, shopping malls, convenience and grocery stores — all are windows of opportunity for carjackers.
Park in well-lighted areas with good visibility, close to walkways, stored, and people.
If the carjacker has a weapon, give up the car with no questions asked. your life is worth more than a car.
Tips on how to avoid car break-ins:
Do not leave valuables in plain view.
Do not leave windows or sunroof open.
Do not leave doors unlocked.
Do not leave keys in the vehicle.
Do not leave the garage door opener in plain view.
Do not leave out items with personal information.
Do not move valuable items to the trunk while in public view.
Slow Down and use common sense before you leave your car.
The number of participants in Ventura Water’s Customer Assistance Program is limited by available funding. Once the number of qualified participants is reached, additional applicants may be placed on a waiting list. In this event, you will be notified if and when you are accepted into the program.
After approval, your discount will be applied within 30 days.
Ventura Water will contact customers when it is time to recertify your application to remain in the Customer Assistance Program. You must notify Ventura Water within 30 days if you no longer qualify for the program.
Party areas may be reserved during our scheduled Recreational Swim times and you and your guests may occupy that area for the entire Open Swim, which is typically 3-4 hours.
Yes, anyone entering the facility must be paid for as our lifeguards are responsible for the safety of all patrons whether they swim or not.
Additional entries may be purchased up to 2 days before your reserved party date.
No, your guests can bypass the line and provide their names to the party host located at the exit doors to enter.
Yes, please stop in to look at the pool features and picnic area. We are open most days from 7 a.m. - 8:30 p.m., Monday - Friday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Yes, we require that all fees are paid at the time of reservation.
All fees are non-refundable; however, you may move your party to a different date, availability permitting, with 72 hours notice.
The intent of the inspections and fuel management is to reduce the risk, severity, and intensity of wildfire.
There are several codes and state statutes that require defensible space in Fire Hazard Severity Zones, including the California Fire Code, California Government Code, California Public Resource Code and Natural Resources Code that govern defensible space and fuel management in the fire hazard severity zone areas.
The letter is a reminder to maintain vegetation year-round. If you receive a letter, it does not mean that you are not in compliance or that there is a violation on your property. Please follow provided guidelines.
You do not have to clear 100 feet. You have to maintain 100 feet of vegetation and clear all dead and dying vegetation in accordance with the adopted standards.
You must maintain all vegetation within 100 feet of your property or to the property line. View our Fire Hazard Reduction Program guidelines to ensure that your property is maintained to the California Fire Code and City of Ventura requirements.
Inspections occur annually in mid-May. Ventura Fire Department inspectors will inspect properties in the high and very high Fire Severity Zones. Inspections take approximately one year to conduct.
No, you must maintain 100 feet of vegetation or just that vegetation up to your property line.
Inspections will not be scheduled. The inspections will be conducted in a time efficient order based on geography. Inspectors will start in one area of the city and will complete all inspections in that space prior to moving to the adjacent neighborhoods.
The Ventura City Council directed staff to implement a billing program as a method to recover the costs associated with administering the Fire Hazard Reduction Program. This fee was approved at the City Council meeting on May 24, 2021. Watch that meeting here.
All property owners in this program receive a bill after the initial annual required inspection, regardless of if their property passed the inspection or not.
The Ventura City Council directed staff to implement a billing program as a method to recover the costs associated with administering the Fire Hazard Reduction Program. This fee was approved at the City Council meeting on May 24, 2021.
Yes, all property owners involved in the Fire Hazard Reduction Program will receive a bill after the initial required inspection. Maintaining your property year-round will eliminate the need for re-inspections and additional fees.
We expect that you will receive the bill 2-3 weeks after your inspection has occurred. Fire inspections are billable at $38.97 for the frist required annual inspection, including associated fees. Non-compliant property owners are subject to additional inspections and can be cited for subsequent fees. Fire Recovery USA, a third party service, is responsible for administering all defensible space billing on behalf of the Ventura Fire Department.
When you receive the bill there will be various payment options. Please contact Fire Recovery USA at (888) 640-7222 or info@firerecoveryUSA.com with any additional questions regarding your bill.
Fire Recovery USA will follow through with the collections process for unpaid bills.
Homeowners Associations, or HOAs, will get the initial inspection bill for landscaping in the common areas. If there are further problems in personal backyards of these properties, we will contact the property owners to discuss further action.
Please email FHRP@cityofventura.ca.gov with your property address and the new mailing address. We can only update you address in our inspection system. Please permanently change it through the tax assessor’s office.
SB 1383 is a state law aimed at reducing the amount of organic waste, including food waste, sent to landfills by 75% statewide and to recover 20% of edible food statewide that would otherwise be sent to landfills. The SB 1383 regulations require all businesses, multi-family properties, and residents to subscribe to organic waste collection services. The regulations became effective January 1, 2022.
Food waste includes meat, bones, poultry, seafood, shells, dairy, eggs, pasta, grains, coffee grounds, fruits, vegetables, and other inedible and edible parts of food.
When referring to SB 1383 requirements, organic waste include yard waste, food waste, and plant fibers such as paper and cardboard. All of these materials are currently recycled across the City in some capacity. Single family homes have curbside yard waste collection service AND existing state law, Assembly Bill 1826, requires large generating businesses such as restaurants and hotels and others to recycle food and yard waste. Paper and cardboard are also recycled city-wide in curbside and commercial recycling programs.
One thing to note - In the recycling business, the term “organic waste” or “organics” has a meaning different from the term “organic” in farming. In farming, an “organic” product is one grown without chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.
How you separate and collect your food waste is up to you! You can collect your food waste in a small container (pail with a lid or tupperware) in your kitchen and store it on your countertop or under your sink. You can also store your food waste in a bag in your freezer, which can help avoid odors for certain foods that are not meant to be left at room temperature.
Most residents with a yard waste cart have already received their food waste pails which were provided courtesy of E.J. Harrison & Sons as of January 2022. Residents without a yard waste cart will receive their free pail when their complex or property is provided with food waste collection service by E.J. Harrison & Sons.
However you choose to separate and collect it, food waste must be placed in a bag of your choice, secured by tying or folding down, and placed into the correct cart. Residents with a yard waste cart, should place bagged food waste in the yard waste cart. Residents without a yard waste cart, should place bagged food waste in the designated food waste recycling container, when directed by their property manager or E.J. Harrison & Sons.
NO. All food waste must be bagged and secured before being placed in the yard waste container. Food waste that is placed unbagged in the yard waste bin will contaminate the yard waste materials.
After collection, the bagged food waste will be separated at Gold Cost Recycling and Transfer Station and sent for processing at certified organics processing facilities. Material sent to these facilities must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into products like organic fertilizer or renewable energy. Due to the need for clean organic material, commingled organic material (yard waste and food waste together) will not be accepted at this time.
UPDATE 2/3/22: After a successful first month of the program, Harrison and its partners at Agromin have approved the use of folded-shut paper bags in addition to the tied plastic bags that have been accepted since residential food waste recycling began. In Ventura and other customer cities, they observed that the bags are not easily subject to breaking and causing contamination in the yard waste materials so the program can move away from the plastic-bag-only requirement. When possible, the City and Harrison Industries will continue to adapt the program to produce the lowest environmental impact as more resources become available and as we observe the program for longer periods.
It is still important to remember that any bag you choose must be properly secured. If you are using a plastic bag, please tie the bag before placing it into the appropriate container. If you are using a paper bag, please fold down the top a few times so that it is secure before placing it into the appropriate container. It’s also important that you do not place liquids in your bag so that the integrity of the bag is maintained as best as possible. Food waste naturally has some liquids, but please keep all other liquid forms out such as juice, broth, and oil.
Bagged food waste material collected from the yard waste carts will be separated from yard waste at Gold Cost Recycling and Transfer Station, and sent for processing at certified organics processing facilities. All bags and other residual trash and debris will be disposed of at the landfill. Material sent to these facilities must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into products like organic fertilizer or renewable energy. Due to the need for clean organic material, commingled organic material (which is when yard waste and food waste are mixed together) will not be accepted at this local facility.
Ultimately, we’re working toward developing a program where food waste and yard waste can be commingled with soiled paper and other bio-based materials. There is progress to permit a local facility known as the Limoneira facility, being permitted that will be able to accept commingled material. When the Limoneira organics processing facility is complete, we will be able to eliminate the need for bagging food waste. Until then, City staff have determined that this short-term solution is the most responsible choice for our community and the environment at large.
Any bag of your choice is OK, including paper, plastic, and compostable plastic. After a successful first month of the program in Ventura and other customer cities, Harrison Industries observed that the bags are not easily subject to breaking and causing contamination in the yard waste materials so the program can move away from the plastic-bag-only requirement. When possible, the City and Harrison Industries will continue to adapt the program to produce the lowest environmental impact as more resources become available and as we observe the program for longer periods.
After separation, all bags will be disposed of at the landfill.
Once placed into the existing yard waste container, the bagged food waste material will be separated at Gold Cost Recycling and Transfer Station and sent for processing in Simi Valley. Material sent to this facility must be clean and free of other debris as it will be processed and turned into organic fertilizer or renewable energy.
NO. Currently, our local processing facility does not accept compostable food ware, such as compostable plates, cups, utensils, or napkins. If these items are added to the bagged food waste or loose yard waste material, it will contaminate the material. While these items might be labeled “compostable”, these items should be disposed of in the landfill.
The City will continue to look for local opportunities to recycle compostable materials and we will publicize these changes as they happen.
Separating your food waste should not cause odor or attract pests any more than putting food scraps in your trash. The same materials are being collected, just in a different container.
Below are some tips to help prevent unwanted odor or pests:
Drain excess liquids from food scraps before putting them in the collection container.
Line the bottom of the collection container with napkins or plant trimmings to absorb excess moisture.
Delay adding dairy products to the container until collection day, freeze or refrigerate until pick up day.
Wash the container regularly with soap and water.
Sprinkle baking soda in the container.
Yes. Some types of food waste such as meat, bones, seafood, grains, snack foods, and citrus are not ideal for a backyard compost bin, but these items can be processed through the food waste recycling program. Any food waste that does not go in your backyard compost bin must be bagged and placed in the appropriate container.
Backyard composting is still encouraged as a great option to divert waste from the landfill, avoid the environmental impacts of transporting organic waste, and create a finished product that you can use in your garden. Click here to receive a coupon for a discounted backyard compost bin.
When organic material, such as food and yard waste, is landfilled, it decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) and produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.
Methane is a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide over a 20-year horizon.
Organic waste comprises two-thirds of our waste stream and food waste alone is the largest waste stream in California. Landfills are responsible for 21% of the state’s methane emissions and they are the THIRD largest producer of methane.
Recycling organic waste will curb methane emissions by preventing the anaerobic breakdown of the material.
Learn more here: https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/organics/slcp/
No. The kitchen pails are provided to assist with in-home collection of your food waste and should not be placed on the curb for collection by the waste hauler. Residents with a yard waste cart should add their secured bag of food waste to that cart. Residents without a yard waste cart will be instructed on how to participate once their program is set up.
According to State law, SB 1383, and Section 6.500 of the City’s municipal code, food waste in the trash container is considered contamination and it is not allowed. The City is required to inspect containers for contamination via route reviews and waste audits. These will be conducted on a regular basis by E.J. Harrison and Sons and, on occasion, by the City. If contamination is found, the City and E.J. Harrison & Sons will educate customers as needed. Starting in 2024, the City is required to issue notice of violations if contamination is found. If issues of contamination are not resolved, the City is also required to issue fines in accordance with Section 18997 of Senate Bill 1383 regulations and Section 6.500.5110 of the City’s municipal code. Educating the public on proper use of the containers and participation of the program is our highest priority.
A geographic information system (GIS) is a system that creates, manages, analyzes, and maps all types of data. GIS connects data to a map, integrating location data (where things are) with all types of descriptive information (what things are like there). Source: https://www.esri.com
A hate incident is any noncriminal act including words directed against a person(s) based on that person’s actual or perceived race, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. Example of hate incidents include:
Hate crimes and incidents not only affect the victim but also the community. Our country, constitution, and national character are based on tolerance and respect for the rights and needs of the individual. Hate crimes and incidents directly attack those founding principles; breeding fear, distrust, and uncertainty.
Hate crimes can be prosecuted either as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the acts committed. Local hate crimes and hate incidents are tracked by the Ventura Police Department.
Historically, hate crimes go unreported; thus, many are not prosecuted. The Ventura Police Department, the City of Ventura, the County of Ventura, and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office are all committed to apprehending and prosecuting perpetrators.
Additionally, the California Victims’ Bill of Rights Act- Marsy’s Law- gives you these important legal rights:
Report the crime to the Ventura Police Department. If the crime is in-progress, call 9-1-1. If you are reporting after the crime has been committed, please call the 24/7 non-emergency number at 805-650-8010. If you wish to stay anonymous while reporting, please report through the Ventura County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
If hate crimes are not reported, they may continue.
To better prepare for unpredictable droughts and climate change, the State is working towards a shift to conservation as a way of life. In May 2018, two long-term water-use efficiency conservation bills (SB 606 and AB 1668) were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The laws establish a more comprehensive framework for conservation and water use efficiency, including water use targets for water suppliers, like Ventura Water. The bills also include local drought planning and additional requirements for managing water for the future. There are no immediate impacts to Ventura Water customers and many details for implementing the new laws will be determined over the next several years
Once water use targets are set in 2022, Ventura Water will work to decide how to best meet the targets - through water-wise rebates, infrastructure improvements, outdoor watering guidelines and/or other efforts. In the meantime, Ventura Water will continue to offer rebates and services to help customers use water wisely, including incentives to remove your turf, free smart irrigation controllers and high efficiency sprinkler nozzles, free in-home water surveys, discounts on rain barrels, a recycled water mobile reuse program and more.
Starting in 2023, Ventura Water will be required to submit a calculated urban water use target to the state. The urban water use target will be based on water use efficiency standards for indoor and outdoor water use, and system-wide water loss standards. Ventura Water will be required to meet its urban water use target by 2027.
There are no immediate impacts to customers. Over the next several years, water use targets will be set for Ventura Water’s overall service area (not on an individual basis) based upon the framework outlined in the laws. Once targets are established in 2022 and implementation begins in 2023, Ventura Water may work with individual households and businesses to increase water efficiency through rebates, services, programs, or other means.
No, individual water users will not be fined for not meeting the city-wide water use target. Ventura Water is responsible for meeting the target over its entire service area.
No. There is nothing in the laws that specifies when or how often a person may shower or do laundry. The new laws provide an overall framework for setting and meeting water use targets at the water provider level. While the framework does include a goal for individual indoor water use of 55 gallons per person per day beginning in 2022, this applies on an overall system-wide basis (and not an individual basis) and will not be enforced on an individual basis.
Each year, local water agencies like Ventura Water will be responsible for ensuring our aggregate water use meets our target. Ventura Water will continue to pursue infrastructure improvements that will reduce water loss and minimize system inefficiencies. Additionally, Ventura Water will continue to offer water wise rebates and incentives to achieve water use targets.
Water efficiency standards for indoor and outdoor water use are being developed through research and public input. The indoor calculation will initially be based on a provisional standard of 55 gallons of water a day per person in each household. The outdoor calculation is still being determined, but will account for local climate and the number of irrigable acres, including residential and commercial outdoor landscaping in the service area. Variances for special circumstances will also be allowed.
In 2025, the indoor standard is provisionally* scheduled to change to 52.5 gallons of water a day per person. In 2030, it is provisionally scheduled to change to 50 gallons of water a day per person.
*The state set the provisional standards based on national research conducted by the Water Education Foundation. Prior to implementing the final standard, the state will be conducting a study to determine an appropriate California standard.
Based on industry estimates, many households already meet this standard. The Alliance for Water Efficiency has an online water calculator that will help customers estimate how much water is used in their household. Households with water-efficient appliances are likely using 55 gallons or less per person per day.
Remember, the state water efficiency standards will use this calculation to develop an aggregate goal for water agencies. For example, a local water agency with 1,000 connections that estimates it’s serving a population of 2,500 people would have a water efficiency standard based on 2,500 X 55 gallons per day, plus the outdoor and system water loss calculations that are still being determined.
Yes. By 2022, the state will adopt water use efficiency performance measures for various commercial, industrial and institutional (schools, parks, etc.) water users.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure. These meters are also referred to as smart meters. Smart meters provide wireless communication between the meter at your home or business and Ventura Water (your local water utility).
It uses a radio network to transmit customer usage data allowing wireless electronic readings and eliminating the need for manual readings.
Many meters in the City of Ventura are old and due for replacement. Upgrading meters will provide the following benefits to our customers:
Yes, approximately 32,000 water meters for Ventura’s residential and commercial customers will be replaced.
No. The look of your water bill will remain the same for now. If you have question or concerns about your water bill, call Ventura Water's Customer Care at (805) 667-6500.
Because new meters are more accurate there is a possibility that your bill may change due to a more precise measurement of your water use.
Installation of the AMI meter upgrade is being funded through current rates.
Yes, measures are in place to ensure your information is secure and kept safe at all times through state-of-the-art data encryption.
The R900 radio devices have been in production since 1999.
Over 9.0 million Neptune R900 radio devices are deployed on water meters today throughout North America. In addition, over 100 million900 MHz radio devices are deployed on water, gas, and electric meters across North America.
There have been no documented cases where the R900 devices have interfered with third-party devices.
An outfall is needed to discharge concentrate generated by the new Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), as part of the VenturaWaterPure, potable reuse project. Additionally, the outfall will support wet weather flows that exceed the AWPF capacity and in event of an AWPF shutdown.
The outfall will be designed to mitigate any potential impacts to the environment and wildlife. The impacts were evaluated in the Ventura Water Supply Projects Environment Impact Report, and the City will comply with all identified mitigation measures.
It is anticipated that the construction of the outfall will take place in 2023 and 2024. Work activities in Marina Park are anticipated to begin after Labor Day 2023 and end by Memorial Day 2024.
A very thorough evaluation took place prior to selecting the Marina Park location, including a study to evaluate the use of existing outfalls that were previously abandoned. Ultimately Marina Park was the only location that avoided subsurface obstructions and fault lines, provided enough construction workspace, and would increase the overall protection for the pipelines offshore. Additional information on that evaluation is discussed in the Ventura Water Supply Projects Environmental Impact Report.
Any impacts to Marina Park are expected to be temporary. During construction of the outfall, a portion of the park will need to be closed. Construction in Marina Park is anticipated to last approximately 9 months. More information on specific impacts in the park will be available soon, however public access to the beach will be maintained during construction. After construction is completed, the park will be restored to its pre-construction condition.
Impacts to the Pierpont community will include those consistent with typical construction activities, notably increased traffic of heavy construction equipment and noise. To mitigate these impacts, work activities will only occur between the hours of 7am and 5pm, and sound barriers will be placed around work sites.
The City is currently finalizing the route of the conveyance pipeline from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility to the ocean outfall in Marina Park, with a focus on minimizing disturbance and disruption to the Ventura community. All pipeline construction work will occur within public roadways or already disturbed areas. Additional details on the finalized route will be available soon.
The Ocean Outfall allows for the disposal of concentrate generated by the new Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF), diverts wet weather flows that exceed AWPF treatment capacity, and provides an emergency backup disposal in case the AWPF is offline. All discharge from the outfall must comply with permits that will be issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The required proof of residency information on the application shall include, a valid Department of Motor Vehicle Driver’s License and the vehicle registration information showing the address of the registered owner. The cost of the permit is $20. Permits will need to be renewed every 2 years upon expiration. Four limited time visitor parking permits may be issued for up to seven consecutive days 4 times per year. For questions about the program please call 805-654-7769.
Once you complete the form, please either fax it to 805-641-2775 or drop it off at:Parking ManagementRoom 120Ventura CA, 93001
Complete the Residential / Visitor Permit Application (PDF).
Potholes should be reported to the City's pothole hotline at 805-652-4590.
Call the City's Graffiti Hotline at 805-654-7805 or e-mail us at email@example.com If using a Smart phone, sending a picture helps identify the graffiti and ensures quicker response for abatement.
Most of the street lights in the City are owned and maintained by Southern California Edison (SCE). Please contact SCE at 1-800-655-4555.
Call 805-652-4525 for more information on the City's sweeping schedule.
Call the City's illicit discharge hotline at 805-667-6510 during regular business hours Monday - Thursday; otherwise, please contact police dispatch at 805-650-8010.
Call the City at 805-652-4525.
Please call 911 if a traffic signal is not working, or malfunctioning; otherwise, if you have concerns with timing or other issues you may either call and leave a message at 805-654-7769 include your name, phone number and issue.
Questions or concerns about a traffic sign can be reported by leaving a message at 805-654-7769 or online through
For pay station maintenance issues call 805-652-0767.
Contact the City's Tree Hotline at 805-677-6519.
Contact E.J. Harrison & Sons at 805-647-1414.
Contact the CarTrac hotline at 888-992-4778. You may also submit a pickup request at https://retailsolutionsus.com/pickuprequest/.
Place in brown waste barrel provided by E.J. Harrison & Sons. You can contact them at 805-647-1414.
Yes. During the rainy season, city of Ventura residents can get sand and sandbags (bring your own shovel) at the City's maintenance yard, 336 Sanjon Road (enter at Chrisman Avenue). Sand and sandbags are available while supplies last and will be replenished as quickly as possible. Contact Environmental Services at 805-652-4525 or email Rick Guzman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ban will go into effect July 1, 2021
Food & Beverage Providers that receive a Financial Hardship or Practical Difficulty Exemption will remain exempt from the regulation until July 1, 2022
Food & Beverage Providers- any person located within the City that provides prepared food or beverages for public consumption including, but not limited to, any store, supermarket, delicatessen, restaurant, shop, caterer, or mobile food vendor.
Examples for alternatives can be found our EPS Ban Guide
Prohibits any food or beverage vendor from distributing expanded polystyrene. This includes, but is not limited to:
Prohibits any retailer from selling or otherwise providing any expanded polystyrene product which is not wholly encapsulated. For instance, coolers made only from expanded polystyrene are banned but plastic coolers that have expanded polystyrene sealed within the plastic container are allowed.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
Not generally. See a comparison guide for pricing examples on EPS and alternative products available on www.webstaurantstore.com. The cheapest alternative products can be cheaper than EPS, around the same price, or up to around four cents more expensive per unit. Based on staff research, the increase in cost is roughly $0.01 per unit.
There are two State laws that require organics Recycling: Assembly Bill (AB) 1826 and Senate Bill (SB) 1383.
SB 1383 is a State law aimed at reducing the amount of organic waste sent to landfills by 75% statewide and to recover 20% of edible food statewide that would otherwise be sent to landfills. SB 1383 requires all businesses, multi-family properties, and residents to subscribe to organic waste collection services. The regulations also require some businesses to donate excess edible food. The regulations became effective January 1, 2022.
AB 1826 is the State law that requires mandatory organics recycling for commercial businesses that generate 2 or more cubic yards of solid waste per week. This law has been effective since January 2016 and was originally set up with a tiered approach to target the largest organic waste generators before scaling to most businesses. AB 1826 will be eclipsed by the requirements of SB 1383.
Organic waste refers to food scraps, yard waste, non-hazardous wood waste, and paper.
In the recycling business, the term “organic waste” or “organics” has a meaning different from the term “organic” in farming. In farming, an “organic” product is one grown without chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.
Organics like food scraps, yard trimmings, paper, and cardboard make up half of what Californians dump in landfills. Organic waste in landfills releases:
Recycling organic waste and recovering edible food is a fast track to fighting climate change and improving public health and the environment.
By doing our part to comply with SB 1383, Ventura will help mitigate the climate crisis.
Please contact Donald Sealund with E.J. Harrison & Sons at 805-647-1414 ext. 4318 to sign up for food and green waste collection services. If you do not set up your services, services will be set up for you after the January 1, 2022 implementation date.
The following businesses are eligible for an exemption waiver:
Waivers will be assessed for both food waste and green waste service needs. Businesses may be waived from the food waste collection requirement, the green waste collection requirement, or both, as needed. For example, a business that does not produce any food waste may be waived from food waste collection service but may need to subscribe to green waste service, depending on the amount of landscape waste that’s generated.
No, there is not an exemption waiver for businesses that qualify as commercial edible food generators. All commercial edible food generators are required to comply with edible food donation guidelines. Learn more about the Edible Food Recovery Program.
Please apply for a waiver online here. The City of Ventura will review each application, verify waiver qualifications, and approve or deny the waiver request.
Most businesses have already been issued or denied a waiver. If you believe your business is eligible for a waiver from SB 1383 requirements, please contact the Environmental Sustainability Division by email at email@example.com.
Service costs will depend on each businesses’ collection needs. A 32-gallon food waste cart serviced one time per week will cost $34.93 per month. A 95-gallon green waste cart serviced every other week will cost $18.49 per month. Listed rates current as of 9/1/2021.
No, food waste cannot be placed in yard waste dumpsters. You may have noticed that the residential food waste program allows bags of food waste in the yard waste carts, but yard waste dumpsters and carts are not processed at the same location.
If your questions have not been answered, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Environmental Sustainability Division at (805) 652-4525 to leave a message for a call back.
This is an incentive program to assist residents with repairing damaged sidewalks adjacent to their properties. The City will reimburse 50% of the cost of the sidewalk repairs, subject to a maximum $2,500 per property frontage. Income-qualified residents may receive a match of 75% of the cost of the sidewalk repair, subject to a maximum of $3,750 per property frontage.
For more information, visit our website at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/SafeSidewalks.
The California Streets and Highway Code Section 5610 and Section 18.010.060 of the City’s Municipal Code requires that all sidewalks be maintained by adjacent property owners. The City does provide a level of maintenance for some sidewalks in the interest of public safety. View Section 18.010.060 of the City’s Municipal Code.
Sidewalk “disruptions” up to 1.5 inches, such as a sidewalk panel lifted by a tree root, can often be mitigated by “shaving” the concrete to lower the lift and reduce the potential tripping hazard. This service is provided by the City at no cost to the property owner and can be requested by calling Public Works Streets at (805) 652-4515 or submitting a Service Request.
Income qualifications are based on proof of a discounted utility bill per the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. Information on the CARE program can be found at the California Public Utilities Commission website.
Residents who are property owners or tenants with proof of residency. The sidewalk must be located within the City of Ventura public right-of-way and meet program eligibility requirements with existing sidewalks that are damaged and/or are not compliant with 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
The City’s Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023) included $30,000 to fund the program. The funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis until all funds are expended in the Fiscal Year. The program is paid for using Measure O funding and there is no guarantee the program will be funded from one year to the next.
Applications for each program fiscal year will be accepted beginning in April 2021 until March 2022 and then every fiscal year July 1 through June 30. An application MUST be submitted prior to any permit or work begins in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Residents are responsible to obtain a quote and hire a qualifying contractor(s) to perform the eligible work. The contractor must possess a current City-issued business license, a valid A, C-8, C-12 or C-61:D:06 contractor’s license in the State of California, be registered with the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), and meet all the DIR requirements for public works projects (see Question 8 for additional info).
Residents must submit the application, which includes a work authorization, and permit form, to confirm the sidewalk damage qualifies and obtain approval. The approved application serves as a permit to perform the authorized work. A Public Works Inspector will conduct a pre-inspection and approve the sidewalk repair. Completed work will be inspected for approval by the inspector. The resident may request reimbursement after work is completed, inspected, and approved, and the contractor is paid in full.
Since public funds are being used to pay for this program, State law requires that the project meet guidelines for “Public Works” projects established by the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The guidelines require that contractors working on these Public Works projects are registered with the DIR and that they pay prevailing wages to their employees working on the project.
All work must be completed and copies of all receipts showing payment in full to the contractor(s) must be submitted to the City by June 30th of the program fiscal year, July 1 to June 30. If not already provided, documentation of eligibility for the CARE program (see Question 4) must be submitted as well. Upon receipt of all satisfactory documentation noted above, a reimbursement check will be mailed to the resident.
Property owners are responsible for all repair work on their property or any private improvements in the public right-of-way.
This program does not apply to damaged driveways. The repair of any drive approaches, including the curbs within the drive approach is the property owner’s responsibility. The City does not repair or replace approaches for property owners; however, partial replacement is occasionally necessary when the abutting sidewalk is replaced by the City.
In many cases, public trees can be retained during the sidewalk repair process. Tree roots can oftentimes be pruned to accommodate sidewalk, curb, and gutter reconstruction. The City’s Urban Forestry staff may facilitate selective root pruning on the tree’s root system. The City will make every attempt to preserve healthy trees. Retention and survival of public trees are a priority during repairs. The City Arborist will perform a hazard evaluation at the time of inspection and will make a determination on the tree’s condition. The City’s Tree Ordinance Chapter 20.150 governs public tree removal in the City of Ventura.
For questions specific to trees please call the Parks and Recreation Department Urban Forestry at (805) 652-4541.
View the City of Ventura’s current job opportunities at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs. All job postings are advertised when there are current or expected vacancies within a specific job classification. Job postings contain important information such as details about the position, minimum qualifications, selection procedures and application deadlines. Most job postings are open for a set time period with a definite closing date and time after which additional applications will not be accepted. Other jobs are listed as a "continuous" recruitment without a specified closing date; however, continuous recruitments are subject to closure at any time and without notice.
All applicants are required to submit a City job application and supplemental questionnaire to be considered for the position you are applying for. Applicants are encouraged to submit an on-line job application on the City Career page at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs. Once you identify an open job opportunity that you are interested in click on the "Apply" link near the top of the job posting.
New applicants to the site will be required to create a governmentjobs.com account. Once you have an account, simply follow the step-by-step process to submit your application. Applications must be filled out completely and clearly demonstrate that the minimum qualifications are met for the position you are applying for. Applications are only accepted during the recruitment filing period indicated in the job posting. A separate application must be submitted for each position.
It is important that your City job application show all the relevant education, training and experience you possess. Résumés, CVs and cover letters may be attached to your application but will not be accepted in lieu of a completed job application. Submitting an incomplete application, may disqualify you from further consideration in the recruitment process.
If you need assistance and want to speak with a recruiter, please call the City of Ventura Human Resources Department at (805) 654-7853 and you will be directed to the appropriate team member. You may also contact us via e-mail at email@example.com.
To reset your password, you must follow the governmentjobs.com online instructions for resetting your password or contact NEOGOV customer service at (855) 524-5627. The City of Ventura Human Resources Department is unable to reset your password.
If our current job opportunities do not include any jobs you are interested in at this time, you may sign-up for the online job interest notification and you will be notified by email when new job opportunities open. There are two ways to sign-up for job notifications - either by specific job titles or by job category.
To sign up to be notified by job category, select the “Submit a Job Interest Notification” on the City of Ventura Career page at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs. Then, select all the job categories for which you would like to be notified should a recruitment open and select “subscribe”.
To be notified if a specific job title opens up, select the “Job Descriptions” tab on the City of Ventura Career page at www.cityofventura.ca.gov/jobs. Then, select the job classification you would like to be notified for. Click on the green subscribe button at the top right of the page. Enter your name and e-mail address, then click submit.
Your job interest notification will remain active for one year. After which, you will need to submit a new interest notification.
Every year the Ventura County and City do what is called a Point-in-Time count, where volunteers go out and canvas the City, asking a specific set of questions to homeless individuals they come across. This data is shared with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help secure funding. In 2019 this snapshot showed 555 homeless in Ventura, with 398 of those unsheltered. In 2020 our numbers slightly dropped to 531, with 386 unsheltered. The slight decrease can be attributed to increased outreach, diversion techniques, and shelter beds with staffing that helps connect individuals to housing. You can read more details in the report here.
Within the City, there are a wide variety of services offered to those in need.
Shelters: The Salvation Army has a small shelter for Veterans and adults, The Turning Points Foundation has a small shelter for adults with mental illness, and the City/County has a shelter called The ARCH that has 38 beds for adult men and 17 for adult women.
Food: Seven days-a-week, an individual can get food through Catholic Charities and Family to Family. Many Meals serves dinner on Wednesday evenings, and pantries are open throughout the week at varied locations, including Project Understanding on the east end the River Community Church on the west end.
Healthcare: There is medical care and supportive services offered Monday at the Whole Person Care Pod near River Haven, Tuesday at One Stop at Public Health, and Thursdays at the Whole Person Care Pod on the Avenue at the Sheriff’s Resource Center. The Salvation Army offers eye and dental services at their locations in Ventura and Oxnard.
Local non-profits support other needs like the Family Reconnection Program through Downtown Ventura Partners and Laundry Services through Laundry Love.
You can learn more about what each program does on the City’s Safe & Clean website.
Click here to download a card that lists all the services in Ventura. We encourage you to print it out and hand it to individuals in need instead of offering money.
Every day, whether it’s the City/County outreach worker, the Downtown Ambassadors, VPD Patrol Task Force, the City, or our social service partners. There are great minds throughout the City working on connections and trying to get individuals to accept help.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Martin v. City of Boise that enforcement of ordinances that prohibit sleeping or camping on public property against individuals is unconstitutional when those individuals do not have a meaningful alternative, such as a shelter space or a legal place to camp.
The 2020 point-in-time count found 386 unsheltered individuals in Ventura. Currently, there are three shelters in our City that can house up to 81 people. All shelters are at capacity, and when a spot opens, it is filled near immediately. Due to the shortage of shelter beds compared to the amount unsheltered on our streets, we are bound by this court decision. Enforcement would be illegal. This case was petitioned to the Supreme Court, but it was denied without comments.
Parks are public places that can be used by individuals regardless of housing status all day long. However, the City has a park ordinance where all parks close at dusk. That means that no one is allowed in our parks overnight, to camp, to play, to hang out, which is enforceable for everyone. If you see someone in the park after dark, please call the non-emergency number at (805) 650-8010, and VPD can respond accordingly.
The City of Ventura is unique, compared to other coastal cities, because we are also bordered by two rivers. These open areas have historically been places where individuals who cannot (due to certain constraints) or will not get help, live. These unsheltered individuals choose to live in the river bottom for various reasons, including but not limited to solitude, protection from the weather, economic factors, lack of available housing, addictions, mental illness, friends/family in the area, etc.
Martin V Boise, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case that was decided in 2018, found it unconstitutional, against the 8th amendment, to cite any individual for sitting, lying, or camping on public property if the City does not have appropriate shelter beds available. Due to being bound by this decision, the City cannot ticket or remove individuals from the river bottoms because we have nowhere to relocate them safely.
The City and partners have multiple efforts within the River Bottoms to have a presence with the population, making sure that they are connected to services, are being seen by healthcare professionals, and interact with law enforcement almost daily.
Backpack Medicine goes into the river bottom once a month to connect with individuals in the encampments to offer health care, vaccines, behavioral health care, and time with social workers. This consistent presence of support helps decrease the number of 911 calls and emergency visits from the unsheltered community. It offers connections and outreach to help build trust and work on assisting individuals into housing.
Once a week, the Whole Person Care Pod/One Stop is outside the Santa Clara River Bottom and the Ventura River Bottom near the Avenue to offer a medical clinic, supportive services, and showers to the unsheltered.
Once a month, Safe & Clean, the City/County Outreach Worker, and the Patrol Task Force pass out trash bags to individuals in the encampments and encourage them to bag their trash. The following day the Safe & Clean team picks up the bags and disposes of them properly. The engagement with this initiative is vast, with hundreds of bags being removed each month.
Abandoned encampments and those that pose a significant risk to the waterways are designated for monthly clean-ups. If the camp is active, the Patrol Task Force and Outreach workers connect with the individual multiple times, no less than a month in advance, to let them know about services and the pending clean-up. When a clean-up site is chosen, the individual is told that they can keep any belongings they’d like and tell us where that area is; all other materials left behind are considered debris and are removed. The individual is allowed back to the site if it isn’t in the direct waterway to the River, and we work closely with them to make sure the area stays clean.
Recent fires in the river bottom ignite for three main reasons: warming/cooking fires that get out of control, general proximity to fuel (i.e.,- dry brush), and spread due to environmental factors (i.e.,- wind), or arson. Due to Martin V Boise (see the FAQ: What is Martin v. Boise?) and the lack of available shelter beds for the unhoused in our community, we cannot remove or enforce "no camping" in public spaces because we have nowhere to relocate relocate those individuals safely.
Our response has been and must continue to be to develop creative solutions to help mitigate risk to those in the river bottoms and others in our community. For Example, we've built a recent partnership with the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation to educate those in the river bottoms on general fire safety, fire prevention, and how to keep warm without a fire.
The fact of the matter is, as long as individuals are in our river bottoms, there are going to be fires. With continued outreach and bringing an educational component to the source of the fires, we can help alleviate most of the issues.
Panhandling is protected on public property in the Constitution under the First Amendment as a “charitable appeal for funds." There are some caveats to this. Aggressive panhandling is illegal. Aggressive panhandling is when someone continues to follow you after you’ve declined and gets combative. If you experience this in the Downtown Area, you can connect with a Downtown Ambassador (dressed in a red shirt), or if in other areas of the City, you can call the police 24/7 non-emergency number at (805) 650-8010. Panhandling is not allowed on freeway onramps or off-ramps because of public safety factors, within 25 feet of a parking pay station, or within 50 feet of an ATM. Please call non-emergency if you are concerned that a panhandler is in violation. For your safety and that of our community, we ask that you say no to panhandlers and instead contribute to the solution by offering support to our local social service providers.
Yes, there is such an ordinance for the Downtown and parts of Avenue area, specific zones within the Harbor, tourist areas, and commercial zones. It is unlawful for a person to sit or lie down on a public sidewalk in those areas where they block access to paths or entrances to buildings. Please call the VPD 24/7 non-emergency number at (805) 650-8010 if an individual blocks access in the above designated areas.
If you own property and you have concerns with individuals blocking access, please make sure to file an Authority Letter (602 form) with the Police Department, so they have the authority to remove individuals from your property.
No, that’s not true. Currently, there are three shelters in Ventura. One at the ARCH, the Turning Point Foundation, and one at the Salvation Army. Turning Point has 14 beds for those who struggle with mental illness. The Salvation Army has 12 beds that are for men, women, and veterans. The ARCH has 55 beds, 38 for men and 17 for women, which has decreased to 32 beds due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements. These beds are always full, and when there is an available bed, it is routinely filled within a day. With 386 unsheltered in our City and only 81 shelter beds, we do not have the capacity needed. The goal is to get individuals who are in the shelters housed, so beds become available for others in need on our streets.
Yes, through One Stop and healthcare for the homeless, which are both County led programs, the City’s homeless population is being offered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Vaccine efforts have started through one stop, backpack medicine, the whole person care pod – which is parked near the river bottoms, and a mobile medical clinic stationed Downtown. The goal is to take the vaccine to the individuals.
You can donate, volunteer, and educate. Our Safe & Clean website is updated frequently with ways you can be involved and be part of the solution. Through the site, you can donate to our local social service groups that have programs with proven track records. Show up for our community by volunteering to serve food at shelters, at local pantries, at One Stop, or with any social service provider.
Show up for our community by volunteering to serve food at shelters, at local pantries, at One Stop or with any social service provider.
Be engaged. Join the Ventura Social Services Task Force or learn what the City is doing at the Safe & Clean, Affordable Housing and Homelessness Subcommittee. Please feel free to check out all the resources on our site to download to share with family, friends, or whoever may be interested.
Advocate for local homeless services and support by reaching out to local legislative representatives:
With park amenities, gyms and pools closed, and trails packed with people, many Ventura residents are seeking other ways to safely exercise while maintaining the required physical distancing. It can be difficult to maintain 6 feet or more of physical distance on many sidewalks, park paths, and bikeways.
Because of this, many people are choosing to walk in the street to maintain adequate physical distancing, exposing themselves to swiftly moving vehicle traffic. The City of Ventura is the Shared Streets for Health and Safety During COVID-19 initiative, which will institute the "soft" closure of some streets to through traffic, allowing these roadways to be used as a shared space for people walking and rolling, while also allowing essential vehicle travel.
The goal is to take advantage of lower vehicle traffic resulting from the Stay Well at Home order issued by Ventura County and the State and allow more people to use our streets while maintaining physical distancing.
While the City is implementing a “soft” closure, local access is still allowed, which means people who live on the street or need to access a destination on the stretch of roadway that is closed, are allowed access. People in cars are encouraged to go very slowly and use extreme caution on these shared streets; other motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes.
Shared Streets will be in effect 24/7, given the limited staff resources to deploy/re-deploy equipment daily.
At select locations along the street, including at the beginning and end of the Slow Street segment, as well as at key intersections, the City will post closure signage on barricades stating, “Local Traffic Only” or “Shared Street” Traffic cones will also be used to mark the change.
Our pilot phase identified the following streets
All these streets already serve many people walking and biking, are low-traffic streets to minimize traffic disruption, and are already a bicycle route and/or are being considered as future bicycle boulevards as part of the Active Transportation Plan effort underway.
Shared Streets may be extended, and additional streets added with positive results and operational capacity. Candidate streets will focus on existing bicycle routes and potential bicycle boulevard streets. You can share your ideas for more streets to add in our program feedback survey HERE.
People are driving less and walking and bicycling more than ever throughout the City. The City of Ventura strongly urges all drivers to drive slowly and safely and to expect to see people walking and biking along ALL streets. Our hospitals are facing unprecedented challenges and don’t need any additional patients. Let’s keep our community safe and strong.
City staff and volunteers will track the program’s effectiveness, monitor the street to ensure physical distancing is observed, and modify efforts on an ongoing basis. City staff will work with community members and partners, including BikeVentura and Channel Islands Bike Club, to assist with outreach, to help monitor, report issues, and replace signs and barricades, as needed. Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on our survey.
The City will monitor the use of the streets, as noted above, but will not seek to ticket or financially penalize those who use the corridors as through streets. Instead, the City will aim to educate and raise awareness of the increasing prevalence of non-motorist use of the roadway and to encourage orderly, shared use of our roadways.
If you have a location-specific maintenance issue, please report it to our Transportation Hotline at 805-654-7769
We’d love to hear your thoughts on how the program is working, what additional streets should be added, etc. Take our survey on this web page. We’ll monitor the comments and use them to adjust how the program moves forward.
Use #SharedStreetsVentura to post photos of your experiences on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
The City of Ventura joins cities around the country in creating safe places to be physically active while we all respond to physical distancing mandates. Some examples of cities that have successfully implemented similar models include Alameda, Oakland, Burlington, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and more.
The 5G antennae (also known as "small cells") will be used to provide spot coverage to relatively small areas.
On September 26, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Declaratory Ruling and a Third Report and Order, referred to as the "FCC Order". The FCC Order implements industry demands to remove barriers and accelerate the transition to 5G deployment, accelerating the United States' transition to 5G cellular networks.
FCC Ruling was effective on December 25, 2018, and includes that:
The League of California Cities is currently challenging the FCC ruling (link).
The City reviews and approves the location of individual wireless applications within parameters established by both federal and state laws.
Collectively, these federal and state laws prohibit cities from:
The City of Ventura currently has the following regulations:
Federal law (Telecommunications Act of 1996) prohibits cities from considering health impacts when taking action on a wireless application if it meets the radio frequency levels established by the FCC.
No, cities cannot regulate the type of technology a cellular carrier chooses to provide. Regardless, fiber optic cable is a wired technology that does not serve wireless roaming devices (such as cellular phones).
Applicants should review the Summary of APP 36.2 submittal review requirements (link). This establishes guidelines to regulate, control, and authorize small wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way to preserve the public peace, health, safety, and welfare. The current process is:
The City would have to issue a permit for small cell wireless facilities both in the public right-of-way and on private sites.
Click here for a map of all pending and approved small cell installation locations.
There is no City appeal process; however, residents and businesses may contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Public Utilities Commission (PUC), or the 5G provider to voice concerns.
The State Water Interconnection Project will consist of a seven-mile pipeline that connects Calleguas Municipal Water District’s system to the City of Ventura’s system. The pipeline will enable the delivery of State Water to Ventura. Since 1971, the City of Ventura has owned rights to a 10,000 acre feet per year water entitlement through the California State Water Project. The State Water Interconnection Project is a viable backup supply option.
The City currently does not have the infrastructure to have its State Water entitlement delivered. The State Water Interconnection between Ventura and Calleguas will allow for a beneficial water exchange, especially important for emergency response and when local supplies are impacted. The connection will also facilitate direct delivery of State Water to United Water Conservation District and direct or in-lieu delivery to Casitas Municipal Water District. Additionally, the connection will allow the City to deliver water to Calleguas during an emergency or imported water supply outage.
The City’s existing local water supplies continue to be challenged by drought, environmental, regulatory, operational, and legal constraints. Due to these impacts, the City recognizes the need for a more diversified water supply. The State Water Interconnection will provide a near-term water supply source to make up for losses in annual yield from existing water sources (Lake Casitas, Ventura River, and groundwater). VenturaWaterPure will provide a rain- independent, locally-owned water source that ensures environmental and legal compliance. The State Water Interconnection Project and VenturaWaterPure provide a diverse and reliable water supply solution to supplement our existing local sources.
The State Water Interconnection Project, as proposed, consists of a 7-mile pipeline that connects the Calleguas Municipal Water District system to the City of Ventura’s system. This project provides regional water supply benefits and cost sharing opportunities with Calleguas Municipal Water District, Casitas Municipal Water District, and United Conservation Water District. In addition, the proposed 7-mile State Water Interconnection Project will deliver treated water to Ventura Water customers.A connection to Lake Piru or Castaic Lake would require approximately 28 to 40 miles of pipeline construction. In addition, a connection at Lake Piru would not provide direct access to State Water. Water would flow from Pyramid Lake, a State Water reservoir, to Lake Piru via creeks resulting in water loss and environmental restrictions. Additionally, both the 28 and 40 mile pipeline projects would deliver raw water to the City. The raw water would need to be treated before distribution to customers which would require a Surface Water Treatment Plant. Due to these challenges, a Lake Piru or Castaic Lake connection would not be a cost effective, time-efficient, or environmentally preferable project alternative.
The City of Ventura relies entirely on local water supplies: the Ventura River, Lake Casitas, and local groundwater basins. In times of minimal rainfall and drought, water levels drop and these supplies become limited. Ventura, like other water providers throughout California, is looking for safe and sustainable ways to meet long-term water supply demands. Supplementing water supply with potable reuse is a proven, drought-resistant locally developed and reliable water supply.
Ventura Water has investigated other options in expanding the use of recycled water such as providing water to local agriculture or groundwater recharge, but these options involved constraints or drawbacks that did not fully benefit the local supply need. Potable reuse was shown to provide the largest amount of supply benefit for the City of Ventura.
Water conservation is always the first step in preserving the water supply. The City has been actively encouraging water conservation, having adopted a 20% reduction goal. Ventura Water offers free surveys, rebates and incentives, and is working to educate the community on ways to reduce water waste and limit usage. However, despite everyone’s best efforts, water conservation alone cannot meet all of the water demands and it cannot provide diversity of our water portfolio.
Wastewater is water that has been previously used by a municipality that has experienced a loss of quality as a result of use. In homes, water is commonly used for washing our food, dishes, clothes and bodies, and for toilet flushing. The used water that goes down the drain and pipes is called wastewater. Because a considerable amount of water is used to carry away a small amount of waste, wastewater is mostly water. In Ventura, wastewater flows through the collection system (pipes) to the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility near the Harbor where it is highly treated to water standards suitable for recycled water uses such as irrigation. A small portion of the recycled water is used on local golf courses and landscaping and the rest is discharged to the Santa Clara River Estuary.
Potable water is drinking water. Potable reuse refers to reused water you can drink after it passes through purification technologies. The water is treated to meet or exceed federal and state drinking water standards and can be used for human consumption.
Water purification produces high-quality drinking water using a multi-barrier advanced treatment process. Though technologies can vary, many systems use water purification that includes three processes: microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light/advanced oxidation. Ventura Water is also investigating additional forms of purification to further ensure the safety of the water. Combined, these purification processes remove salts, bacteria, viruses and micro-constituents like pharmaceuticals and personal care products to produce water quality that is equal to or better than existing drinking water sources.
Ocean or seawater desalination is an option. However, creating pure water from saltwater comes at a price, and the biggest cost is in terms of energy and equipment. It requires significant energy to remove the salt from the ocean water, and there is much more salt to be removed than required to purify recycled water for potable reuse, meaning more equipment to filter out that salt. While potable reuse is anticipated to cost approximately $1,600 to produce an acre-foot of water, desalination can cost in excess of $2,500 to $3,000 an acre-foot, depending on the ultimate size of the full-scale treatment plant and distribution piping.
In California, the permits for the use of recycled water are granted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and its nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB). The Division of Drinking Water within the SWRCB sets and oversees the regulations for Drinking Water. These regulations are among the most stringent in the world. The permits incorporate conditions for the safe use of recycled water. Potable reuse is regulated to the same rigorous state and federal standards required for all drinking water.
Register yourself to participate in the National Testing Network Frontline Written Examination as soon as possible. Visit the National Testing Network page, select Law Enforcement, and sign up for the City of Ventura Police Department.
Testing takes about 2.5 hours and there are three components:
1. Video-based human relations test
2. Reading ability test
3. Written language ability testIf you have already taken the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery or have already completed the National Testing Network Frontline Written Examination, then please submit test scores upon application.
Visit the City of Ventura's Employment Opportunities website and apply online. On this site, you'll find all current City of Ventura job openings and will find more information on if we're currently hiring Police Officer Trainees or Lateral or Academy Trained Police Officers.
The applicant will be interviewed to determine their qualifications. If successful, the applicant will be given a Personal History Statement (PHS) and a list of required documents that will need to be gathered. All applicants must complete and return the POST Form 2-251 to the Police Department.
The first interview panel consists of three city employees who ask the candidate questions about their qualifications, experience, desire to be an officer, and various scenario-based questions.
The most qualified candidates will be invited to a second interview with Ventura Police Professional Standards Unit.
A thorough Polygraph Examination is conducted to confirm information obtained during the selection process.
The background investigation includes checks of employment, police, financial, education and military records, and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, coworkers and friends. You will be evaluated on your past behavior and the extent to which your behavior demonstrates positive traits that support your candidacy for Police Officer Trainee.
Trying to hide past issues, no matter how small, or failing to provide required information, are two of the biggest reasons candidates will fail a background investigation.
Interview with the Chief of Police.
The Medical Evaluation is thorough, and it is essential that you be in excellent health with no conditions which would restrict your ability to safely perform the essential functions of the police officer job. Good physical condition is necessary, as training in the Academy is rigorous. Failure to be in excellent physical condition may delay or disrupt training and result in a dismissal from the Academy.
A thorough psychological evaluation will be conducted.
Candidates selected for hire will enter a 23-week paid Police Academy at the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center in Camarillo, CA.
Learn more about minimum qualifications, benefits, selection plan and online application here.https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/cityofventura
After submitting a written request, Water billing will review your usage history to confirm increased use during the November 2017 - January 2018 billing cycle. Once Water Billing has determined you qualify, you will receive an adjustment as a credit on a future bill within 8 to 12 weeks.
Once Water Billing has qualified you for relief, you will receive an adjustment as a credit on a future bill in approximately 8 to 12 weeks.
Customers may only apply for one billing adjustment for the affected billing period. This billing adjustment will not apply to the premises' eligibility for a billing adjustment every 5 years.
No. Ventura Water staff has already adjusted bills of customers whose homes were destroyed by the Thomas Fire. Customers were charged only up until the date of the Thomas Fire incident at a proportional rate based on the premises' two year usage average.
On March 29, 2022, in response to the third consecutive year of drought conditions throughout the State, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-7-22 directing the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to consider adopting an emergency regulation for urban water conservation. With direction from the Governor, the State Water Resources Control Board unanimously adopted emergency drought regulations on May 24, 2022, requiring urban water suppliers to implement demand reduction actions identified under Stage 2 of the supplier’s Water Shortage Contingency Plans. Additionally, the SWRCB has implemented a ban on the irrigation of non-functional turf at commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) sites, effective June 16, 2022.
For more information, please refer to the State Water Board’s water conservation emergency regulations webpage: bit.ly/conservationreg.
Each year, Ventura Water assesses the City’s water supply sources – Lake Casitas, Ventura River, and local groundwater basins – in the Comprehensive Water Resources Report (CWRR). The report evaluates the City’s water supply and demand, while considering future needs, challenges and uncertainties relating to Ventura’s water supply reliability. The results of the CWRR are used in partnership with the Water Shortage Event Contingency Plan (WSECP) to determine whether the City is in a water shortage event.
The 2022 CWRR was discussed and reviewed by the City’s Water Commission in March and April 2022 and by the City Council in May 2022. The results of the 2022 CWRR indicate that the City of Ventura’s projected water supply is 17,224 acre-feet (AF) and projected water demand is 14,970 AF, indicating that the City of Ventura is currently not experiencing a water shortage event.
While the results of the 2022 CWRR indicate a local water shortage event is not triggered, on May, 31, 2022, the City Council authorized the expansion of a public information campaign for water conservation and the implementation of Stage 2 Water Shortage Event demand reduction measures to comply with the State Drought Related Emergency Regulation for Water Conservation as adopted by the SWCRB. In response, the City is encouraging residents to take indoor and outdoor conservation measures to voluntarily reduce water use by up to 20 percent. At this time, the City is not implementing Water Shortage Rates, however stricter measures including Water Shortage Rates could be implemented if demand reductions are not achieved.
Currently, the City does not have restrictions on outdoor watering for single family residential customers.
The City will be enforcing the irrigation ban on non-functional turf at commercial, industrial, and Institutional (CII) properties and common areas maintained by homeowners associations.
The State has defined non-functional turf as, “a ground cover surface of mowed grass that is ornamental and not otherwise used for human recreational purposes. Non-functional turf does not include school fields, sports fields, and areas regularly used for civic or community events." Failure to comply may result in a fine of up to $500 from the SWRCB.
Additionally, the following water waste prohibitions remain in place:
On May, 31, 2022, the City Council authorized the expansion of a public information campaign for water conservation and the implementation of Stage 2 Water Shortage Event demand reduction measures. Based on the directions from the City Council, the City will continue to enforce water waste prohibitions, offer water efficiency programs/ incentives, and pursue multi-benefit water supply projects, such as the State Water Interconnection Project and the VenturaWaterPure Program.
Additionally, the City’s Parks department has established watering priorities and has stopped irrigating non-functional turf areas, including the turf areas at City Hall.
Ventura Water will continue to assess short and long-term water supply and demands through various planning efforts including the Annual CWRR and the Urban Water Management Plan to ensure a balanced and stable water future. Staff will also continue to closely monitor any updates or changes to the emergency order by the State Water Resources Control Board.
State law specifically does not allow a city to waive its responsibility to plan for housing growth because of water supply challenges. However, the City has policies in place to ensure new developments is investing in our water and wastewater systems and contributing to future water supply projects.
In 2016, the City adopted a water neutral development policy known as the Water Rights Dedication and Water Resource Net Zero Policy. The Net Zero Policy Ordinance requires new development to offset new or increased water demand through one or more compliance options, including dedication of water rights, extraordinary conservation measures, and/or payment of a fee. The fee proceeds go towards paying for future water supply projects, so that existing rate payers do not absorb the entire cost of necessary future water supplies.
In addition, new developments are required to incorporate water efficiency into building design such as installation of high efficiency plumbing fixtures and water efficient landscaping and irrigation systems.
For development questions or additional information, contact Community Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (805) 654-7869.
Customers can proactively monitor their water consumption through the Web Connect portal. With Web Connect, customers have instant access to hourly water use data, leak alerts, water bills, payment options, and more. You can learn more about Web Connect’s features here.
Ventura Water customers have many ways to stay connected:
Ventura Water is currently working on an on-line application, which will be available soon.
Please have your identification card and the telephone number associated with the account. Then:
You can pay your Ventura Water bill one of four ways:
You can access your online account to view your Ventura Water bill. Please see #2 above for guidelines on how to establish your online account.
VenturaWaterPure is a potable reuse program that will recover, treat, and reuse water that is currently discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary.
This program will divert treated water from Ventura’s wastewater treatment facility to a new Advanced Water Purification Facility, where the water will be treated to drinking water standards and then injected into a local groundwater basin for storage, and later extracted and delivered to customers.
Advanced purification involves multiple treatment processes including biofiltration, ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light, and advanced oxidation. This proven approach, known as potable reuse, is currently used throughout California, other States, and internationally and is regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water.
The VenturaWaterPure Program includes a network of infrastructure designed to recover, treat and reuse water that was previously discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary.
STEP 1. Currently, wastewater from the City of Ventura is sent to the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility where it’s treated and cleaned before being discharged into the Santa Clara River Estuary. In the future, this water will be sent to a new Advanced Water Purification Facility (AWPF) for reuse.
STEP 2. Using a scientifically proven process, the AWPF will treat water to drinking-water standards, creating a reliable, locally controlled, and high-quality water source.
STEP 3. The purified water will then be injected into a local groundwater basin and later distributed to Ventura Water customers.
The VenturaWaterPure program will allow Ventura to meet legal requirements, improve water quality, and secure a new local source of drinking water that is drought resilient. Program benefits include:
VenturaWaterPure will produce approximately 3,600 AFY of new locally controlled water supply by 2025 and up to 5,400 AFY by 2030.
VenturaWaterPure will use a multi-step advanced water purification process to create a high-quality drinking water product.
Treated wastewater from the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility will be sent through ozone and membrane filtration. The water will then be filtered through ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis and disinfected with advanced oxidation and ultraviolet light. This proven approach is currently used throughout California, other States, and internationally and is regulated by the State Water Resources Control Board’s Division of Drinking Water.
Yes. Potable reuse is regulated using the same rigorous state and federal standards as all other drinking water sources. With advanced water purification, water is treated to a level that exceeds current drinking water standards and is monitored extensively to ensure public health and safety.
In California, the permits for the use of potable reuse are granted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and its nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB). The Division of Drinking Water within the SWRCB sets and oversees the regulations for Drinking Water. These regulations are among the most stringent in the world.
Yes. In 2015, Ventura Water partnered with the Water Research Foundation to develop a potable reuse demonstration facility. The facility tested advanced treatment on a small portion of the City's tertiary-treated effluent, which provided valuable data on the performance of purification technologies and opportunities for public outreach and education.
The Demonstration Facility included a system of multiple barriers (treatment components) and extensive testing designed to prove the concept of potable reuse. The Demonstration Facility met all drinking water standards and allowed the public to understand and gain confidence in potable reuse technologies.
Additionally, Ventura Water has recently partnered with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to host a second VenturaWaterPure Demonstration Facility at the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility. The advanced treatment equipment is being loaned to the City of Ventura free-of-cost from the USBR for up to five years. The Demonstration Facility will provide valuable opportunities for water quality testing and community outreach. Samples will be analyzed for common parameters (chlorine, pH, turbidity), biological constituents, viruses, pathogens and more. It is anticipated that the facility will be available for public tours in Winter 2021.
No. Many communities in California and across the nation are implementing advanced water purification systems similar to the VenturaWaterPure Program. Potable reuse is currently being used in Orange County and Los Angeles County. Additionally, water agencies in San Diego, Santa Clara Valley, Monterey, Pismo Beach, Las Virgenes, Carpinteria, and Oxnard are planning to implement potable reuse projects in the upcoming years.
The City of Ventura is required by the Tertiary Treated Flows Consent Decree to begin diverting effluent flows from the Santa Clara River Estuary to beneficial reuse by 2025.
VenturaWaterPure includes several project components including a new advanced treatment facility, an ocean outfall, injection and extraction wells, pipelines, pump stations and more. The total capital costs for the program is estimated at $259 million.
On May 17, 2021, Ventura City Council unanimously approved five-year water and wastewater rate increases. Beginning July 1, 2021, the average Ventura household will see a $7.76 increase on their monthly bill with similar increases over the next 5 years.
Over the course of eight public meetings and nearly a year of deliberation, the Water Commission, in partnership with City staff and a third-party financial consultant, underwent an extensive water and wastewater rate study to evaluate the City’s water rate tiers, water shortage rates, wastewater rate structure, and financing options for major projects.
Rate increases will support both daily operation and maintenance of the City’s existing water and wastewater systems, along with approximately 36 planned capital improvement projects, including the long-anticipated State Water Interconnection Project and VenturaWaterPure Program.
The City must continually invest in our water and wastewater systems to maintain reliable services. The funds generated by water and wastewater rates are used to provide safe drinking water and treatment of wastewater for over 110,000 customers. Water and wastewater rates fund facility and infrastructure operations, maintenance and repairs, cover debt payments, build emergency reserves, and allow investments in capital projects. Rate adjustments are needed to advance water and wastewater projects prioritized in our master planning and capital improvement plans. Adjustments are evaluated normally on a 5-year cycle, and factor in inflation rate adjustments, cost of service changes, drought-related impacts, water quality impacts, and regulatory mandates.
Based on recent plans and studies, it is projected that $400 million is needed in water and wastewater expenditures over the next six years to support our community. To meet this demand, an increase in water and wastewater rates is needed in 2021. The most recent rate study demonstrates a need for an annual rate increase of seven percent for water service and six percent for wastewater service over the next five years. The increase is approximately $7.76 each month for the average homeowner. The changes to rates provide our community with the means to address critical challenges as well as provide new opportunities to strengthen our community’s water resiliency including:
Extensive water supply planning efforts show that our community needs further development of water supplies to have sufficient water resources for the future and for drought. There also are current constraints and insecurity in our existing water supply resources —requiring that supplemental supplies and additional supplies are available.
Existing water sources continue to be challenged and are all dependent on the climatic conditions of our area. New regulations, drought, and climate change continue to threaten the reliability of our water supply. Rates fund key projects that will diversify our water supplies, including adding a drought-resilient supply. More information regarding future supply and demand projections is outlined in the 2020 Comprehensive Water Resources Report.
Yes, rates would change even if we did not need additional supplies to address aging infrastructure, cost of service and inflation, regulatory water quality improvements, operations and maintenance cost changes and more.
Yes. Ventura residents have done a commendable job making water conservation a part of daily life. Since 2013, demand has decreased by about 20 percent due to implementation of our water conservation actions. However, even with water conservation, our gap between water supply and demand continues to be close. It is critical that we have supplies that are resilient to impacts, able to support the community through drought periods, and withstand unforeseen challenges. Factors that impact water supply include:
New development helps to pay for new water. Development and growth projections are part of several planning steps that lead up to rate structure modeling for the future. The following reports consider population changes and demand impacts:
In 2016, the City adopted a Water Rights Dedication and Water Resources Net Zero Policy Ordinance, which requires new development to offset their projected new demands on the City’s water supply by dedicating water rights, implementing extraordinary conservation measures, and/or paying a fee that goes towards paying for future water supply projects, so that existing rate payers do not absorb the entire cost of necessary future water supplies.
Water and wastewater rates are essential for Ventura Water’s management, operations and maintenance of 675 miles of pipelines, 30 pump stations, three water treatment facilities, one wastewater treatment facility, and 27 tanks and reservoirs that serve more than 110,000 residents, businesses, and visitors. Investment in our water and wastewater systems directly translates to value for our customers.
Like all of our life-giving services and necessary assets, our water and wastewater infrastructure must adapt to changes, planned and unplanned impacts, and be repaired and replaced as infrastructure ages.
A few of the longer-term, multi-benefit projects that Ventura Water is leading for our community include:
The last time Ventura Water assessed cost of services through a rates study was in fiscal year 2013-14. Water shortage rates were also evaluated in 2015. Ventura’s water and wastewater rates have not increased in more than three years.
Compared to neighboring communities, Ventura’s rates have remained low. An average single family residential customer in Ventura pays $25.00 less than the average monthly water and wastewater rates compared to nearby areas. A comparison of surrounding community rates is provided here.
VenturaWaterPure includes several project components that involve the Water and Wastewater Utilities. The project components include: a new advanced treatment facility to create a new purified water resource to be injected into a local groundwater basin; an outfall pipeline essential for brine disposal; and pipelines to connect existing treatment facilities and recharge functions. The rate changes, which were unanimously approved by City Council in May 2021 for implementation in July 2021, support the revenue adjustments needed to complete VenturaWaterPure along with many other capital improvement projects.
Ventura Water and the Ventura Water Commission explored every opportunity to minimize impacts to our ratepayers while addressing critical water supply needs. One way to keep rates relatively affordable is by pursuing funding approaches that reduce costs for ratepayers such as State and Federal grants, low-interest loan programs, and cost-sharing among regional partners.
Ventura residents have done an outstanding job of making conservation a way of life and protecting our local water resources. However, VenturaWaterPure is a multi-benefit solution that addresses three key water challenges that conservation alone cannot solve.
VenturaWaterPure was selected after extensive evaluation of numerous alternatives, presented in the certified Ventura Water Supply Projects Environmental Impact Report in 2019.
The following elements of the rate structure were evaluated as part of the Water and Wastewater Rate Study:
Any changes to how Ventura’s water and wastewater rates are structured involves a deliberate series of steps to ensure that rates remain affordable, equitable, and stable.
Raftelis Financial Consultants, Ventura Water’s rate planning consultant, updated the financial plan and established costs of service, which informed the recommended changes to VenturaWater’s rates. Over the Fall and Winter of 2020-21, the Water Commission reviewed the rate modifications based on the completed Cost of Service and Rate Design Study. Milestones ahead include:
Rates are evaluated every five years by Ventura Water, the Water Commission, and City Council. Updates are based on the evaluation.
Ventura Water, in partnership with the Water Commission and financial experts, evaluate and recommend rate changes, with opportunities who public input. Ventura City Council approves the rate changes Council reviewed the Water Commission’s recommendations on Monday the rate changes. Council reviewed the Water Commissions recommendations on Monday, March 22, 2021, and formally adopted the adjusted rates in a public hearing on Monday, May 17,2021.
A new Cost of Service and Rate Design Study was conducted to ensure that the proposed rates are equitable and comply with California Proposition 218 requirements. The Cost of Service Study assessed whether customers by category are paying their equitable portion of the costs for the services they are consuming.
To invest in the right solutions at the right time, Ventura Water conducts ongoing planning and studies that evaluate everything from water demand and supply changes to climate change impacts and new regulatory mandates. Plans often look as much as 30 years into the future. The planning supports Ventura Water’s data-driven process to evaluate and update water and wastewater rate structures every five years.
The data-driven process to evaluate and update rates involves considerations from financial experts, key stakeholders, community members and policy makers.
Ventura Water is committed to transparency and communications throughout the process. The City is required to provide notice to ratepayers informing them of proposed rate changes pursuant to a provision in the California Constitution commonly referred to as Proposition 218.The notice must be mailed at least 45 days before the hearing when the rate change will be considered by City Council for approval. This notice was mailed to Ventura Water customers in April 2021.
Results of the recent rate study have shown that an annual rate increase of seven percent for water service and six percent for wastewater service is needed over the next five years. For the average homeowner, this will amount to about a $7.76 increase to a monthly bill, each year for the next five years. These increased rates remain comparable or even less than in neighboring cities.
Expanded Tier 1 rates: The proposed modified rate structure will expand Tier 1 rates to improve affordability for low-volume water use up to 6 hundred cubic feet (HCF). This means that more residents (51 percent versus 21 percent of Ventura residents) will fall under the most affordable water rate tier.
More precise wastewater charges: The proposed modified rate structure will eliminate the wastewater determination period, meaning that wastewater use will be based on monthly versus seasonal use.
Monthly billing: Beginning in July 2021, Ventura Water customers will be billed monthly versus bi-monthly and a newly designed bill will make it easy for customers to understand their bill.
Yes, you should water your trees whether or not there is a drought. The infrequent rainstorms locally do little to moisten the soil deep enough for trees to benefit year-round. Many of the planted trees in Ventura are from other parts of the world where rainfall totals may be higher. Even native trees need supplemental water now and then. If we water trees regularly and appropriately we can prevent issues that can occur during an extended drought.
Watering your tree with lawn sprinklers will not provide enough water for the tree. Sprinkler water does not soak deep enough into the soil to reach tree roots, and these ground covering plants use up the water before the tree can get to it.
Sometimes these areas are covered by our homes, driveways, sidewalks and other impervious areas, in these cases do the best you can. Watering in a lesser optimal location is better than no water.
If you notice these conditions occurring in your tree, check the soil moisture to see if there is enough to support water uptake. Refer to the question above, "How can I tell if my tree is getting enough water?" for information on checking soil moisture.