The city of Ventura has decided that long-term stays at the Ventura Beach RV Resort should be limited to a maximum of nine months, but residents of the west Ventura park said Tuesday that they believed little would change.
The council on Monday voted 4 to 3 to allow campers in half of the park's 144 spaces to stay for up to nine months a year and to allow campers to stay for up to six months a year in the remaining campsites.
Tenants will still have to leave the park for at least a day each month to demonstrate that their vehicles are as mobile and operational as they have been in the past. The city interprets the park permit to require tenants to leave for two weeks after a monthlong stay, but has never enforced those conditions.
Viewed as a compromise approach to public concern over long-term occupancy of the park that flooded in February, the amended permit will become final within a month if park owner Nancy Hubbard does not object.
The new conditions were worked out between Mayor Gregory L. Carson and Hubbard. Council members Cathy Bean, Todd Collart and Gary Tuttle dissented, arguing that the park is designated for recreational use, and extended stays would change the park to a more residential nature.
As word of the proposed settlement made the rounds at the resort Tuesday, some of the affected "campers" predicted little change to their normal routines.
One resident, 56-year-old John Young, said the new rules sound a lot like the resort's old rule that required campers to move away for at least 24 hours once a month.
"I hate the idea of moving out every 29 days," said Young, who was home caring for his 18-month-old son while his wife worked at a supermarket.
"Picking up and moving, only to stay away for 24 hours before returning, is the reason other campgrounds are full and this one isn't," said Young, who was raised in Santa Paula.
But Young said he is prepared to move out quickly if needed.
"I'm ready for the next flood," he said. "All I've got to do is drop that hitch on my truck and I'll be out of here."
Another camper, Julia Wilson, said the resort provided her family low-cost housing.
"It's got all the convenience of a house when you can't afford your own home," said Wilson, 28, who, with her 11-year-old daughter Bobbie McGee, recently returned to the area from Bakersfield.
Before moving into her parents' large motor home at the Ventura Beach RV Resort, Wilson said she and her daughter had lived temporarily in a parking lot off Santa Clara Street and then at a friend's construction yard.