Ventura

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VenturaA community surrounded by breathtaking vistas, fertile agricultural land, and bordered by the Pacific Ocean and two rivers, Ventura is intimately connected with its natural environment. This connection to our local resources is reflected in the community’s environmental ethic and the City’s environmental sustainability programs.

In 2007, the Ventura City Council passed the “Green Initiative”, an environmental action plan designed to reduce environmental impacts from the City’s municipal operations. The initiative included reducing energy and vehicle fuel use, developing a green purchasing policy, educating employees about green practices, and forming a green team to help implement these programs.

Since putting these green practices into action, the City has enjoyed much success, including reducing municipal electricity use by 15%, reducing vehicle fuel use by 20%, and reducing carbon emissions by 16%. These efficiency efforts have saved over $2.1 million in four years, clearly demonstrating that environmental sustainability makes financial sense and reflects a smart, efficient government.

Ventura is pleased to partner with California’s leading green communities to serve as a positive example for other local governments and to strive towards the common goal of moving our communities towards a sustainable future.

Links

City of Ventura Official Site

Contact Information

jyahner@ci.ventura.ca.us

Certification Status

Certification is awarded when cities complete at least one (Silver), two (Gold) or all three (Platinum) activities in their Action Plan in each of the 10 challenge areas and upon peer review by other participating cities. Ventura’s self-reported progress in each challenge area is shown below.

Silver Award ENERGY EFFICIENCY & CONSERVATION Gold Award WATER & WASTEWATER SYSTEMS
Silver Award GREEN BUILDING Platinum Award WASTE REDUCTION & RECYCLING
Gold Award CLIMATE-FRIENDLY PURCHASING Silver Award RENEWABLE ENERGY & LOW-CARBON FUELS
Gold Award EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION Gold Award LAND USE & COMMUNITY DESIGN
Silver Award URBAN FORESTRY & CARBON OFFSETS Silver Award PROMOTING COMMUNITY & INDIVIDUAL ACTION

Action Plan

Energy Efficiency & Conservation
Silver

City Streetlight – Energy Efficient Retrofits

Utilize Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant and CEC low-interest loan funding to convert 500 highpressure sodium streetlights to LED.

Public Works

Gold

City Facilities – Energy Efficient Upgrades

Use CEC low-interest loan funding, conduct HVAC  upgrades at City Hall and conduct energy efficient lighting upgrades at City parks and facilities.

Public Works

Platinum

Community Non-profit Energy Efficient Lighting Program

Utilize EECBG funds to provide free energy efficient lighting retrofits to 20 nonprofit organizations in Ventura.

Public Works

Water & Wastewater Systems
Silver

“Smart” Irrigation Meters in Parks

Upgrade park irrigation systems to “smart meters” that use weather based information to maximize watering efficiency and calculate annual savings. In addition, all new developments and capital improvement projects overseen by the Parks Division are required to install smart meter irrigation systems.

Community Services and Parks

Gold

Stormdrain Trash Excluders

Install 50 stormdrain trash excluders per year on Ventura’s Westside to eliminate all trash and litter flowing directly into the Ventura River from the City’s stormdrain system.

Water

Platinum

Water Conservation and Low Water Use

Partner with local environmental non-profit organizations to facilitate Watershed Education and Ocean Friendly Gardening classes that promote water conservation, including the use of native low water use plants.

Water

Green Building
Silver

Green Business Code
All new residential and commercial structures are reviewed for compliance with the 2010 California Green Building Code (CalGreen)

Promote “Smart Growth”
Promote smart growth by expediting the permitting and development process for mixed used projects along transit corridors.

Community Development

Gold

Energy Star Recognition for Ventura City Hall

In recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the Ventura City Hall, obtain Energy Star certification to highlight the energy efficiency improvements (lighting upgrades, HVAC improvements) made to the century old building, such as. These improvements resulted in over 80% of the energy used coming from renewable energy.

Public Works

Platinum

Property Assessed Clean Energy

Pending federal approval, participate in California First (AB 811) PACE program to fund residential and commercial energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Public Works

Waste Reduction & Recycling
Silver

Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling

Require all new construction projects to develop a solid waste management plan. Work with contractors to increase diversion rate to at least 60% of construction and demolition waste from the landfill.

Public Works

Gold

Business Assistance Program

Expand/enhance free environmental assessments to businesses to help them reduce solid waste, increase recycling, properly dispose of hazardous waste, purchase green, reduce energy use, and conserve water.

Public Works

Platinum

Commercial Food Waste Composting Pilot Program

In partnership with the City’s franchise waste hauler and local composting facility, develop a pilot program to collect and process food waste from local businesses.

Public Works

Climate-Friendly Purchasing
Silver

Fleet – Closed Loop Used Oil Program

Used oil is recycled and then purchased from the same supplier, thus closing the loop on oil procurement process.

Public Works

Office Supplies – Environmentally Preferred Purchasing

Continual implementation of Green Purchasing Policy (October 2009) by working with City staff to purchase only 100% post-consumer recycled paper, remanufactured ink and toner cartridges, and general office supplies, etc.

Purchasing / Public Works

Gold

Green Seal Certified Janitorial Supplies

Custodial contract requires only Green Seal environmentally friendly cleaning products for use in facility buildings.

Public Works

Office Supply Company Partnership

Partner with office products supplier to identify “green” alternatives for commonly purchased office products and promote the consolidation of purchases resulting in fewer deliveries (saving fuel) and less packaging.

Purchasing / Public Works

“Warm Mix” Asphalt

Utilize “warm mix” asphalt in City paving projects, which decreases the emission of harmful fumes and reduces the energy used to heat traditional “hot mix” asphalt.

Public Works

Platinum

Partner with Chamber to Promote Green Businesses

Partner with the local Chamber of Commerce to create a directory to identify all green businesses in the city and provide resources to encourage local businesses to purchase environmentally friendly products.

Public Works / Community Development

Renewable Energy & Low-Carbon Fuels
Silver

EV Charging Stations and Electric Vehicles

Install 11 public accessible electric vehicle charging stations. Also, purchase 3 plug-in electric City vehicles and install 3 additional electric vehicle charging stations for municipal fleet use.

Public Works

Gold

Renewable Methane Production at Wastewater Plant

Develop project at wastewater plant to accept fats, oils, and grease (FOG) and food waste to increase methane production and energy production from co-generation unit.

Ventura Water

Hydropower Study

Conduct a study to determine the feasibility of generating electricity by using hydropower from water output from storage tanks.

Ventura Water

Platinum

Community Pool Solar Thermal Project

Install a solar thermal water heating system at Ventura Community Pool.

Public Works

Efficient Transportation
Silver

Purchase Alternative Fuel and Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Implement the INVERS online motor poor reservation system.

Reduce fuel usage and vehicle miles traveled by 5% annually.

Public Works

Gold

Update Bicycle Master Plan

Updated Bicycle Master Plan, including the following features:

Create a bike route system with trailblazing signage.

Require new bike path connections with new development.

Include bike racks and lockers with new development.

Improved connection of community to regional bike trail.

Public Works

Platinum

Efficient Transportation Programs

Develop a community-wide car and bike share program.

Promote and participate in bike to work and school days and bicycle mentoring program.

Public Works

Downtown Parking Management

“Un-bundle” parking from new developments to encourage the use of public transportation, ride sharing, biking and walking.

Require new mixed-use developments to provide common transportation amenities such as transit passes, bicycles, personal mobility devices, scooters, neighborhood use vehicles, and shared cars in proportion to the size of the development.

Public Works

Land Use & Community Design
Silver

Increase Usage of Bioswails

Detecting funding to retrofit city streets to treat stormwater with bioswales.

Public Works

Gold

Green Street Demonstration Project

Use up to 18% of paving budget to develop “green streets” and develop a “green streets” demonstration projects.

Public Works

Platinum

Complete Community Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reduction Study

Develop and complete study that evaluates how land use, buildings, and transportation contribute to community GHG emissions.

Public Works

Urban Forestry & Carbon Offsets
Silver

Set Goal for Tree Planting

Increase the number of trees planted in public parks and open spaces to 250 annually.

Parks, Recreation, and Community Partnerships

Gold

Quantify Carbon Sequestration from City Trees

Conduct a study to quantify the amount of carbon sequestered by public street trees.

Parks, Recreation, and Community Partnerships

Platinum

Develop Community Tree Planting Program

Develop programs to incentivize and encourage residents and businesses to plant trees on private property.

Parks, Recreation, and Community Partnerships

Promoting Community & Individual Action
Silver

Recognize Community Environmental Leaders

Recognize outstanding businesses and schools through the City’s green business Environmental Excellence Award in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Green School Award program.

Public Works

Gold

Support Chamber Green Task Force

Partner with Chamber of Commerce to develop a Green Task Force to support and promote green business practices.

Public Works / Community Development

Develop Green Business Certification Program

Develop a Green Business Certification Program to recognize local businesses that incorporate environmentally friendly practices in their operations.

Public Works

Platinum

Community Environmental Workshops

Provide community classes and workshops for Ocean Friendly Gardening, stormwater pollution prevention, composting, recycling, water conservation and other environmental topics.

Public Works / Ventura Water

Develop Environmental Social Media Campaign

Maintain a variety of social media outlets to highlight upcoming events and other environmentally related information, including Facebook, Blog, Twitter, Community Access Programming (CAPS) local TV, and website.

Public Works / Ventura Water