VENTURA : Bank Offers Harbor Village Settlement

Ventura Port District commissioners have under consideration the first written settlement proposed by the Bank of America in a longstanding dispute over the ownership of a large portion of Ventura Harbor Village.

Commissioners, who declined to comment, first discussed it at a closed meeting last week. But district lawyer H. Jess Senecal said he is drafting a counterproposal.

At issue is ownership of about two-thirds of Ventura Harbor Village, including an ice plant, boatyard, restaurants and shops. The village was originally developed by Ocean Services Properties, now in bankruptcy.

In what has become a long and complex legal trail, Bank of America, representing the original developer, is opposing in court claims by the Ventura Port District to an interest in the village buildings and leases.

The port and the bank are vying over the market value of bonds originally issued to cover the cost of building and operating the village. The port seeks to regain control of the village through purchase of the bonds.

A hearing on possible settlement of the lawsuit is scheduled for next week in Ventura County Superior Court.

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