Museum Tower Petition Certified – Council expected to take action on February 28

The Orange County Registrar of Voters has certified the petition asking for a public vote on the Museum Tower project had the legally-required number of valid signatures — in fact, likely more than twice the required number, and the City Council affirmed that certification at its February 14 meeting.

However, the Council decided to defer further action on the matter until its February 28 meeting due to the existence of a lawsuit challenging the validity of the petition filed by the Orange County Museum of Art.   At the February 28 meeting, the Council is expected to choose between withdrawing its approval of the land use change from “Private Institution” to “100-unit Residential” or putting that decision to a citywide public vote.  Whatever they choose, the Museum House project cannot proceed unless and until  voters affirm the Council’s land use change.

For further details, visit the LITS website at LineInTheSandPAC.com.

Although IRS constraints prevented SPON for participating directly in the later phases of the petition effort, SPON commends this remarkable outpouring of volunteerism, and this exceptional demonstration of the tremendous interest the public in general has in the quality of life in Newport Beach.

Congratulations to all on the successful signature collection effort!

Financial Support – Museum Tower Referendum

Question: I’d like to make a donation to help defer Museum Tower Referendum expenses. How do I best do that?

Answer: As a 501c(3) tax-deductible organization, SPON is limited as to the amount it can spend on ballot issues. That threshold has been met. We welcome your financial support, but additional donations cannot be used for referendums or ballot measures until after June 2017.

Because of the massive petition size imposed on us by the Council, Line in the Sand PAC (LITS) has incurred considerable expense in preparing signature-gathering packets for the Referendum . . . in excess of $30,000 and climbing.  We encourage SPON supporters to donate directly to Line In The Sand PAC.

Please know that donations to LITS are not tax deductible. Donations to SPON are deductible, but limited as to use by federal law.

Thank you for your support of either or both organizations. It is very much appreciated.

Important Upcoming Dates

(see Calendar for further details)

February 23 @ 6:30 pm Planning Commission Meeting
Civic Center Council Chambers

February 28 City Council Meeting
Civic Center Council Chambers

  • City Manager’s Insider’s Guide (Preview of upcoming meeting — pending)
  • Agenda, when published, available here (usually by 4:00 pm on Thursday before  meeting)
    • 4:00 pm: City Council Study Session
      • Mooring transfer regulations
      • Harbor programs and projects
    • 7:00 pm: City Council Regular Meeting
      • Action on Museum House referendum petition (repeal approval or call election)
      • Adoption of new harbor building standards (dock construction, etc.)
      • Appeal of Planning Commission approval of residential redevelopment across from Santa Ana Country Club

March 8 @ 9:00 am California Coastal Commission
Ventura, California (Board of Supervisors Chamber)

  • Agenda available here
    • Approval of jurisdiction and appeal map for Local Coastal Program (Item 21a)
    • Expansion of Lido House hotel plans by 4,745 sq.ft. (Items 20b, 20c and 23a)
    • Modifications to development at Crystal Cove State Park (Item 22b)

March 9 @ 6:30 pm Planning Commission Meeting
Civic Center Council Chambers

AutoNation Update

AutoNation application withdrawn — hearing cancelled

At the Council’s October 25th meeting, City Manager Dave Kiff announced a plan to move the November 8 Council meeting to November 7 at the unusual hour of 6:00 p.m., because of the conflict with election night and because it was expected at least three important decisions would have to be made at that meeting:

  • An appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of the  AutoNation Porsche proposal.
  • Approval of the Local Coastal Program Implementation Plan reviewed on October 25th.
  • A 15 year extension of the expiring Irvine Company development agreement for Newport Coast.

However, on November 2nd he announced the AutoNation application had been withdrawn by the applicant, meaning the project is dead and there will be no hearings about it at all. And the notice of the Newport Coast development agreement matter indicates it will be continued to November 22nd.  So it looks like the only matter of possible controversy on November 7 may be the first step of the two step process of approving insertion of the LCP-IP into the City Municipal Code.  Stay tuned…

By way of background, the AutoNation Porsche proposal had been rejected by the Planning Commission on October 6 and neighborhoods in the areas most directly impacted (Cliff Haven, Kings Road, Newport Heights, and Bayshores) had banded together and circulated a petition similar to the one many of you signed for 150 Newport Center.  Their position was that the AutoNation Porsche dealership was too big, did not fit into the maritime nautical vision for Mariners’ Mile and that potential negative impacts on long-established Newport neighborhoods need more analysis, including an environmental impact report (EIR).  A link to their petition is available here.

150 Newport Center Update

Application withdrawn!
Developers withdrew their application for the 150 Newport Center (car wash) condo conversion proposal in advance of the September 27 City Council meeting.  Congratulations to all our friends who helped by signing the petition, attending and speaking at meetings, sharing your concerns with your own personal networks.  A recap of the petition, signed by over 1,600 supporters, can be found here.

Second Matching Gift Matched!  — contributions still welcome

SPON is fortunate to have recently received two Matching Gift Challenges for $10,000 each.  A check for $300 received on October 31, 2016, has put us over the top for the second of these.

As a result, over $40,000 has been raised in just six and half months to  help us research, advocate and communicate with you on the things that threaten the environmental and residential qualities of Newport Beach.

A very special thank you to the two generous Newport Beach families who each pledged $10,000 in matching gifts.

And a big thank you to each and every supporter who made the commitment to provide the financial support SPON needed to meet these important Matching Gift Challenges.

Naturally, additional contributions are still most welcome and helpful.

Please consider making your tax-deductible contribution now.

By Check:  Download Donation by Check Form here

By Credit Card:  Click on the DONATE button below


Food for Thought . . .

Watch this space for articles and commentary on topics or issues that we are following.

Former Council Member and SPON Co-Founder Jean Watt asks tough questions about Team Newport’s agenda . . . and so should we.

Resident Allen Drucker ponders tradeoffs between water shortage and development

Planning Commissioner Erik Weigand takes issue with developer’s “pay to play” statement

 Our Pledge

As environmental and residential quality-of-life advocates, we continuously monitor proposed development projects, and their resulting traffic impact, as they make their way to the Planning Commission, City Council and California Coastal Commission.  We keep you informed of projects that will jeopardize the residential and environmental qualities that we fought so hard to maintain, whether within our own city limits or projects initiated by neighboring cities that will impact Newport Beach.

We stay connected to our inclusive and growing network of supporters, neighbors and friends, using a variety of communication tools to do so.  Attend our member meetings, visit our website and subscribe to our E-Newsletters. Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter.  And visit our YouTube channel to view Planning Commission videos.

Looking Back | Planning Forward

We at SPON thank you for your past support both in time and/or treasure to continue working to maintain the high quality of life we enjoy in Newport Beach. SPON‘s concerns and input are considered by city staff, council members, and committees and commissions because of your backing.

The resounding defeat of Measure Y sent a clear message that perhaps was not well heard. The business-as-usual attitude continues, and changes to the general plan continue full speed. “Planned Communities” that are supposed to be ten acres are put on one acre without concern; height limits which were raised from 35 to 50 feet are quietly allowed to go higher; spot zoning is casually used to defeat the intent of the general plan.

The City of Newport Beach is not unique in this trend of spot development. Our neighbors in Costa Mesa are seeing exceptions popping up like mushrooms and are responding by pushing for their own “Greenlight” initiative. A more distant neighbor, Hollywood, is seeing community reaction to massive development exceptions to their general plan.

The influence SPON has with commissions and elected officials is directly related to the strength of our membership. Elected officials and commissioners take note . . . and listen . . . when the meeting room is full of our supporters. We have seen that time and again this year in city and state government meetings: Newport Coast Entitlement Rights “error”, Newport Center Villas (site of Beacon Bay Car Wash), Back Bay Landing (adjacent to Bayside Village Mobile Home Park), West Newport-Mesa height zoning amendment, Banning Ranch development, and more.

The year 2016 is going to present challenges and opportunities for the quality of life in our community. SPON will be there to meet those challenges and to capitalize on the opportunities.

We hope that you will continue supporting SPON with your time, your treasure, and your continued willingness to participate when called on.

Get Involved

If you are already a SPON member or supporter, thank you!  If you are not familiar with SPON and its ongoing work spanning more than 40 years, we encourage you to learn more about us.  Take a look at our Achievements, what we are About, and what we Treasure by clicking on the tabs above. And then click on the Support page to find out how you can help us protect and preserve the residential and environmental qualities of Newport Beach.

And don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook, Follow Us on Twitter, and visit our YouTube channel.

Newsletter – Winter/Spring 2016 Edition

Topics covered in this newsletter include:

  • Recent accomplishments
  • New development projects that jeopardize the beauty and peace of our coastline
  • New community outreach opportunities
  • Important upcoming dates to save

2016 Winter/Spring Newsletter here.


Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public education organization working to protect and preserve the residential and environmental qualities of
Newport Beach.

SPON | PO Box 102 | Balboa Island, CA  92662
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No information may be duplicated without permission.