City of Port Hueneme
Hueneme (original settlement)
Location in Ventura County
|Street grid established||October 1, 1888|
|Incorporated||March 24, 1948|
|o Mayor||Sylvia Muñoz Schnopp|
|o State senator||Hannah-Beth Jackson (D)|
|o Assemblymember||Jacqui Irwin (D)|
|o U. S. rep.||Julia Brownley (D)|
|o Total||4.67 sq mi (12.10 km2)|
|o Land||4.45 sq mi (11.53 km2)|
|o Water||0.22 sq mi (0.57 km2) 4.70%|
|Elevation||13 ft (4 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||5,004.94/sq mi (1,932.50/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1652778|
Port Hueneme ( wy-NEEM-ee) is a small beach city in Ventura County, California surrounded by the city of Oxnard and the Santa Barbara Channel. The name derives from the Spanish spelling of the Ventureño phrase wene me, meaning "Resting Place". The town's name was officially changed to Port Hueneme in 1939 and was incorporated March 24, 1948. Both the Port of Hueneme and Naval Base Ventura County lie within city limits.
Port Hueneme has a south-facing sand beach, known for its surfing. The beach has a wooden fishing pier and is about a mile long between Ormond Beach downcoast and Point Hueneme Light at the harbor entrance shared by the naval base and the port. The Waterfront Promenade, also known as the Lighthouse Promenade, provides a paved public access along the shoreline with two historic sites at view points: the 1872 Wharf and the Oxnard Packing House.
Thomas Bard learned of the submarine canyon at Point Hueneme and took advantage of the canyon depth to construct the Hueneme Wharf in 1871 here. The existing street grid of the town was formally laid out in 1888. Until the construction of the Montalvo Cutoff that brought the railroad to nearby Oxnard, the wharf was the principal means of transportation for that portion of Ventura County lying south of the Santa Clara River. Hueneme was the second largest grain shipping port on the Pacific coast between 1871 and 1895.
A 650 foot pier was built in 1956 as a construction trestle for a sewer outfall pipeline. The fishing pier is now 1,250 feet long after having been modified over the years.
On January 31, 2000, Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean due to a mechanical failure between Port Hueneme and Anacapa Island. The harbor served as the staging ground for recovery of the wreckage. The victims' families later approved the construction of a memorial sundial, designed by Santa Barbara artist James "Bud" Bottoms, which was placed on the beach closest to the crash site. The names of each of the victims are engraved on individual bronze plates mounted on the perimeter of the dial. The sundial casts a shadow on a memorial plaque at 16:22 each January 31.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.1 km²). 4.5 square miles (11.5 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (4.70%) is water.
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Port Hueneme has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Port Hueneme had a population of 21,723. The population density was 4,651.2 people per square mile (1,795.8/km²). The racial makeup of Port Hueneme was 12,357 (56.9%) White, 1,111 (5.1%) African American, 295 (1.4%) Native American, 1,299 (6.0%) Asian, 119 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 5,224 (24.0%) from other races, and 1,318 (6.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,360 people (52.3%).
The Census reported that 20,854 people (96.0% of the population) lived in households, 869 (4.0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 7,080 households, out of which 2,832 (40.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,267 (46.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,121 (15.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 440 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 458 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 53 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,760 households (24.9%) were made up of individuals and 775 (10.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95. There were 4,828 families (68.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.52.
The population was spread out with 5,781 people (26.6%) under the age of 18, 2,705 people (12.5%) aged 18 to 24, 6,258 people (28.8%) aged 25 to 44, 4,593 people (21.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,386 people (11.0%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 103.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.
There were 8,131 housing units at an average density of 1,741.0 per square mile (672.2/km²), of which 3,422 (48.3%) were owner-occupied, and 3,658 (51.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.0%. 9,747 people (44.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 11,107 people (51.1%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,845 people, 7,268 households, and 5,000 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,912.9 inhabitants per square mile (1,895.4/km²). There were 7,908 housing units at an average density of 1,778.5 per square mile (686.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.27% White, 6.06% African American, 1.69% Native American, 6.33% Asian, 0.50% Pacific Islander, 21.84% from other races, and 6.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 41.02% of the population.
There were 7,268 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. Twenty-four point one percent of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.42.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 13.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 16.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,246, and the median income for a family was $46,056. Males had a median income of $30,314 versus $25,703 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,311. About 9.8% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.7% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.
The business district is on Channel Islands Boulevard on the north side of the city separated from the original downtown by the Naval base.
Under the legalization of the sale and distribution of cannabis in California, the city developed a model program as the only city in Ventura county to initially allow multiple types of marijuana businesses, including cultivation, manufacturing and retail sales. Local governments may not prohibit adults from growing, using, or transporting marijuana for personal use but commercial activities, such as growing, testing, and selling cannabis within their jurisdiction may be regulated by each city by licensing none or only some of these activities. Five percent of gross revenues from these businesses is collected by the city per agreements that allow them to operate in the city.
This has helped with a deficit city budget. The city was able to produce a balanced budget without dipping into reserves in 2019 for the first time in many years partially due to the cannabis revenue. Businesses are required to contribute one percent to community activities. The retail shops are required to have armed security on the premises during hours of operation with some businesses deciding to have a guard nearby 24 hours a day. Security video feed from the shops must be accessible to the police at all times.
By the end of 2018, the city had four recreational marijuana storefronts. As one of the few cities with retail, the city found that about 10 percent of the customers are from Port Hueneme with approximately 50 percent from the adjacent city of Oxnard. About 15 percent were from Camarillo and 10 percent from Ventura with the remaining 15 percent of customers coming from other areas. During a city sponsored workshop in 2019, the chief of the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, which regulates the industry said, "I think you have a lot to be proud of this city. This city has shown if it's done right, it really works well."
The Port of Hueneme, shared with Oxnard Harbor District and Naval Base Ventura County, is the only deep water port between the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of San Francisco, and the only Navy controlled harbor between San Diego Bay and Puget Sound in Washington state.
The harbor is a shipping and receiving point for a wide variety of goods destined for the Los Angeles Basin and beyond, including automobiles, pineapples, and bananas. Agricultural products such as onions, strawberries, and flowers are shipped. The city receives about $2 million in tax revenue annually from the port.
In 2014, the beach at Port Hueneme had been eroding for the 60 years since it was built as a commercial port, with jetties that block the natural flow of sand. After the US Navy took over the port during World War II, the government had the responsibility to put back the sand that had disappeared. Funds were lacking until 2013 when it was announced that nearly $12 million in funding would be available to replenish the sand at the beach, the money coming from various branches of the government. Furthermore, there is a continuing, expensive routine to prevent ocean water from sitting on the city streets.
Since 1998, the city of Port Hueneme holds an annual theme-based beach festival at 550 East Surfside Drive. This 2-day event is held in mid/late August. Entertainment includes live music, rides, games, attractions, food/ vendor booths and exhibits.
Prior to the "Hueneme Beach Festival", the HHD Board of Directors ran the 'Port Hueneme Harbor Days Festival & Parade' with food, bands, entertainment, kids attractions, vendor booths, and activities, such as kite-flying contests, sand sculpture contests, metal detection contests, and a long time ago, bathing suit contests. HHB was started in 1950 and ended in 2001, after 51 years of successful operations. The demise came from a lack of city support, and financial troubles such as an increases in fees for insurance, and food handling regulations. There are pictures of the early Hueneme Harbor Days Festival at the local history museum.
This South facing beach offers pitching waves year-round from a multitude of swell directions. As a result of great surf, Port Hueneme surfers are territorial and localism has been known to be a problem.
Academic Libraries: Oxnard College