Airport News: The last of the three General Aviation Improvement Program leases was up for review at the October 20 JWA Airport Commission meeting, with approval by the Board of Supervisors on November 3. On the same schedule, the County approved commercial flight capacity allocations for 2021. With the Settlement Agreement’s Million Annual Passengers limit increasing from 10.8 to 11.8 on January 1 (a roughly 9% increase), JWA staff recommended increasing the number of approved seats by about 30%, apparently expecting the planes next year to be only about two-thirds full. The increase in approved seats/planes, if used, could lead to a large increase in overflights compared to what Newport Beach has experienced in prior “normal” years and a very large increase compared to the lower levels residents have experienced during the COVID-19 slowdown.
City Government News: In other news, at its July 14 meeting (held at the unusual time of 5:00 p.m.), the City Council voted unanimously (and with no discussion) to move the traditional 7:00 p.m. start time to 4:00 p.m. for all future City Council meetings. The meetings, including potentially the business portion, will start at that hour and run until they end, apparently with no scheduled break. In doing this, Newport Beach joins just two other cities out of the 34 in Orange County that conduct municipal business so early in the day. Those are Laguna Woods (Leisure World), whose City Council meets once a month at 2:00 p.m., and Irvine, that also starts at 4:00.
Also worth noting, after a brief re-opening, the the City Hall closed, again, starting on July 13, as the result of a COVID-19 outbreak among City staff. It re-opened to the public on October 5, but mostly closed, again, on December 3 (see announcement). Throughout this, the one exception has been the Community Room next to the City Council Chambers, which has been opened during public meetings held in the Chambers. This has provided the public a chance to observe and participate “live” in those meetings. However, many others are held entirely by Zoom.
Important Upcoming Dates
(see SPON Calendar for additional listings)
January 26 @ 4:00 p.m. – City Council Meeting (<– note new start time)
Civic Center – Council Chambers (100 Civic Center Drive)
- Agenda, when published, available here (usually by 4:00 pm on Thursday before meeting)
- Insider’s Guide : City Manager’s preview of agenda items
- 4:00 p.m. Study Session
- Review of restaurant parking and outdoor dining requirements and more general commercial parking needs
- 5:30 p.m. Regular Meeting
- Second reading of ordinance adopting new Marine Activities Permit regulations
- Resolution giving consultant access to tax records
- Contracts for window washing and hearing adjudication
- Acceptance of grants for small business support and emergency management
- Residences at 4400 Von Karman proposal (PA2020-061) to build 312 apartments in existing office parking lot at Koll Center (near airport) — first reading of ordinances
- General Plan Amendment, Variance, and Conditional Use Permit for automated car wash at Shell service station, 1600 Jamboree (PA2016-093)
- Consideration of new residential waste collection contract proposal from CR&R
- Approval of 2020 Residential Recycling Fee Study and setting March 23 for public
hearing on new Recycling Fee Rates
- Coronavirus update
January 27 @ 6:00 pm – Online Circulation Element Workshop (“A Vision for Newport Beach”)
(Public participation by Zoom only)
- Look for details here
- “Visioning and Community Dialogue” follow-up to December 15 and 16 workshops
January 30 @ 9:00 a.m. to noon – City Council Annual Planning Session
Civic Center – Council Chambers (100 Civic Center Drive)
- Look for agenda here
- Early each year, the Council holds a “retreat,” usually on a Saturday morning, at which it discusses and tentatively selects its goals for the rest of the calendar year.
SPON’s 2020 Annual Meeting (its 46th) had long been planned to be held in person at the Environmental Nature Center, as has been our custom for many years, with presentations and brunch. Unfortunately, that had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings. Instead, the business portion, only, was held by Zoom.
SPON’s 2019 Annual Meeting was a great success with nearly 100 participants joining us for our complimentary brunch and speakers program, which included Randall English (Newport Bay Conservancy), Newport Beach Council member Jeff Herdman and State Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (AD 74).
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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 about the appropriateness of the proposed Koll Center Residences project…
Planning Commissioner Erik Weigand takes issue with developer’s “pay to play” statement
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.
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