By Gretchen Wenner
One of Oxnard’s premier neighborhoods, where boats nose up to million-dollar homes and the ocean beckons just beyond the harbor, has a problem borne of its marine environment: Sea walls are getting old. The reinforced concrete walls that protect Mandalay Bay’s 743 homes were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They had a projected life span of roughly 40 years — time that’s about up.
A group of homeowners is advocating pre-emptive repairs that would cost a fraction of the estimated $118 million needed for total replacement. A recent evaluation found some stretches are at risk of catastrophic failure, but targeted resurfacing could keep the structures standing 25 more years or so.
The challenge is determining who pays for the repairs, expected to cost millions of dollars.
Bill Scarpino, a resident and member of the Channel Islands Waterfront Homeowners Association, thinks the city owns the sea walls and is responsible for maintenance, just as it is for a public street. He has a folder stuffed 4 inches thick with old city resolutions and court rulings that he says prove it.