We’re a Little Different
The Channels Islands Waterfront Homeowners Association (CIWHA) is lead by an All-Volunteer Board of Directors and Committee Members, which are voted on by the homeowners annually.
The Homeowners Association dues are $50.00 per year. However, with only about half the homeowners honoring their annual obligation ( 743 households X 50% = 371.50 households X $50 = $18,575.00 per year) the Association only collects approximately $18.575.00 per year. That does not provide much income for major projects and wish lists. Those funds are held and managed by the CIHWA Board of Directors for small regular billings, communications and small projects or the hiring of consultants if needed. Please refer to the annual budget in your newsletter or refer to the website www.channelislandsca.com
So how are major projects like seawall studies, monitoring and repairs, landscaping, water quality, dredging and such things paid for ?
On your property tax bill you will notice an Oxnard Waterway Maintenance District itemization. This amount runs approximately $500 to $1200 per year for each home in Mandalay Bay. These funds are not managed by the Homeowners Association. These funds are managed by the City of Oxnard requiring a vote by the Oxnard City Council for use. When thinking about this process you might recall back to your early school years when you learned how a Bill is turned into Law with the Schoolhouse Rock Jingle “I’m Just a Bill on Capitol Hill”.
So here’s how this works
- If the HOA Board or homeowners have a request for certain projects or capital improvements, the Board, acting as a liaison representing the homeowners to the City of Oxnard, must reach out or petition the Department of Public Works
- If the request falls under a pre-approved budget item such as regular landscape maintenance, the Public Works staff member may opt to assist in the request.
- If the request falls outside of a pre-approved budget item, such as capital improvements to landscaping, seawalls, water quality or dredging etc., and the Department of Public Works deems the request viable, they must prepare a report and submit the request to the City of Oxnard Public Works and Transportation Committee for approval. The Committee is comprised of Chair and 2 Council Members and is typically attended by the Public Works Director, City Manager and City Attorney’s office representatives. The meeting is usually held every other week. For times and to download the agenda please refer to the City of Oxnard Website www.oxnard.org and click on City Meetings and Agendas then Public Works and Transportation Committee. Public comments can be forwarded to the City Clerk for distribution to the Committee. You may also register to speak on non-agenda items or items slated for the day’s agenda.
- If the item is approved by the Public Works and Transportation Committee, the request is elevated to the City Council for review and approval. The City Council typically meets every other week. Please refer to www.oxnard.org for times and to download agenda items. Public comments can be forwarded to the City Clerk for distribution to the Council. You may also register to speak on non-agenda items or items slated for the day’s agenda. The Council’s recommendation will then be executed in the manor deemed appropriate by the Council, which could mean request for additional reports, proposals, contracts and so forth.
Can the funds in the Waterway Assessment District be spent without a request from our Board or homeowners ?
The answer is “Yes”
If the Department of Public Works and Transportation deems a project or maintenance item should be completed without a request form the Board of Directors and deems the funds should be paid from the Waterway Assessment District, the Department of Public Works and Transportation may go through the process and have the allocation of funds approved without notification to the Board of Directors.
This is one more reason the Board of Directors endeavors to watch for related agenda items and may request your support for and or against various items as related to our community.
What if there are not adequate funds in the Waterway Assessment District to pay for a project, as an example seawall repairs and replacement ?
Seawall repair and replacement have been a topic of discussion at our Annual Meetings. In 2020 the City presented a proposal on solutions and preliminary costs for the repair and replacement of the seawalls. At the 2021 Annual Meeting the City is scheduled to present a Geo Study on the solutions described at the 2020 meeting. The preliminary costs presented in 2020 appear to exceed the funds in the Waterways Assessment District. Should the City opt to move forward with one or more of the presented solutions, the City would then need to provide means of financing for both the City’s and the homeowner’s portions of the project. The City could elect to have the project completed in phases as funds allow, or there could be future discussion from the City on the possibility of creating an additional Assessment District or Community Facilities District(CFD) with the possibility of effecting a Bond to cover the costs. Any option for an additional Assessment District, CFD or Bond would require extensive communication from the City and would require a vote by homeowners and or residents registered to vote in Ventura County with details of the required process communicated to the community in advance. Under such circumstances the Board would be active in providing communication to homeowners in an effort to present information and or tools to better understand any options the City may declare.
In summary, the CIHWA Board of Directors serve as a liaison between the homeowners and the City of Oxnard. The CIHWA Board may offer recommendations but the final decision on any project, expenditure and authorization to allocate funds lie solely with the Oxnard City Council. This makes your voice and participation critical to the continued success of our community.
The Board of Directors endeavors to monitor Committee and Council meeting agenda items and may request your support for and or against various items as related to our community.
City Council and Committee Meetings can be viewed on the Oxnard YouTube channel or the Community Access channel from your cable provider.