Latest News

Election 2020: To be become informed about candidates and issues in the City election see our candidate forums page. Four have been held so far, and that page provides links to videos of each.

Airport News: Selected parts of the proposals for the General Aviation Improvement Program at the County’s John Wayne Airport (expected to result in increased business jet traffic over Newport Beach) were posted for public review on July 9. They were reviewed by the County’s Airport Commission on August 5, with selections made by the Board of Supervisors on August 11. SPON joined with the Airport Working Group and the Southern California Pilots Association in a letter to the Supervisors requesting that any leases negotiated include assurances that a substantial part of the GAIP acreage be reserved for small (non-jet) planes, as the Supervisors agreed to on June 25, 2019. A similar letter has been sent by the City. All the Newport Beach parties hope additional restrictions will be written into the negotiated leases, but there is no guarantee they will.

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 is currently expected to re-open on October 5 (see announcement). The one exception has been the Community Room next to the City Council Chambers, which until recently has been opened during public meetings held elsewhere (such as in the Chambers or by teleconference). This provided the public a chance to observe and participate “live” in those meetings. It appears now that option will be available primarily for City Council and Planning Commission meetings, with many others held entirely by Zoom.

Important Upcoming Dates

(see SPON Calendar for additional listings)

October 19 @ 6:00 pm – Online Zoning Amendment Workshop
(Public participation by Zoom only)

  • Details here
    • This City workshop seeks input on a proposal to allow wine tasting operations in an area zoned for industrial use in West Newport Mesa, near the border with Costa Mesa.
    • This matter was previously before the City Council as Item 16 at their August 25, 2020, meeting and sent back to staff for more work.
    • To participate, register here.

October 20 @ 6:00 pm – Online Housing Workshop
(Public participation by Zoom only)

October 21 @ 4:00 pm – Balboa Village Advisory Committee
(Public participation by Zoom only) 

  • Look for agenda here
    • Topic: Discuss the current state of Balboa Village and the role of BVAC moving forward given it is to sunset at the end of 2020. Also, receive an overview of the Capital Improvement Program, as it relates to funding for projects in the Village.
    • To participate, register here.

October 21 @ 5:00 pm – John Wayne Airport Commission
JWA Eddie Martin Admin. Bldg. (3160 Airway Avenue, Costa Mesa)

  • Agenda here
    • The Commission is expected to make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors regarding the commercial air carrier capacity allocations of operations at John Wayne Airport for calendar year 2021.
      • Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the “Million Annual Passengers” limit will be increasing from the current 10.8 to 11.8 and the number of allowed “Average Daily Departures” of the noisier “Class A” aircraft will increase from the current 85 to 95.
      • Despite this, due to the COVID-19-related slow-down, and because JWA penalizes carriers if they don’t use their full request, it was expected the carriers would seek lower quotas than in 2020, but surprisingly they all appear to be seeking approval of capacity limits larger than the ones they didn’t fully use in 2020.
    • The Commission will also, as part of the General Aviation Improvement Program, be making a recommendation regarding a 30-year lease with Jay’s Aircraft Maintenance to operate the aircraft repair and storage area in the southwest portion of the airfield.
    • The Supervisors are expected to take action on both items on November 3.

October 21 @ 5:00 pm – SPON Board Meeting (telephonic)
Details available on request.

October 21 @ 6:00 pm – Housing Element Update Advisory Committee meeting 
City Council Chambers (100 Civic Center Drive)

(This meeting will be broadcast on NBTV and live streamed on the City website with an opportunity for those interested to phone in comments or to observe and comment from the Community Room adjacent to Council Chambers) 

  • Look for agenda here
  • This will be the fifth meeting of the Housing Element Update Advisory Committee tasked with finding, and recommending, by October, locations where 4,832 (now 4,834) new housing units could be built in Newport Beach between 2021 and 2029 in compliance with a state mandate.
  • The committee consists of nine citizen volunteers with expertise in real estate and land use (plus the Mayor), appointed by the City Council to oversee the Housing Action Plan portion of the larger General Plan Update.
  • Topics to include:
    • Presentation from Kennedy Commission on affordable housing
    • City appeal letter to SCAG regarding RHNA
    • Updates from subcommittees
    • Recap of October 20 virtual workshop
    • Receive and determine feasibility of housing sites identified by subcommittees in Airport Area and West Newport

Annual Meetings

SPON’s 2020 Annual Meeting (its 46th), which 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, is expected to be held by Zoom.  Please monitor SPON’s website and social media channels for updates.

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).

2019 Meeting Photos here for you to enjoy!

Contributions Always Welcome

We have much work to do, and contributions are always most welcome and helpful.

Please consider making your tax-deductible contribution now.

By Credit Card: 
Click on the DONATE button below

By Check:
Print and mail this Remit Form along with your check to SPON

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

 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 and other videos.

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.

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

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No information may be duplicated without permission.

PO Box 102 | Balboa Island, CA 92662
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