Latest News

Election 2020: To be become informed about candidates and issues in the City election see our candidate forums page.

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, starting on July 13, as the result of a COVID-19 outbreak among City staff, the City Hall closed, again and until further notice, to public visits (see announcement). The one exception is 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 only for City Council and Planning Commission meetings, with all others held entirely by Zoom.

Important Upcoming Dates

(see SPON Calendar for additional listings)

September 22 @ 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
    • Closed session (4:00 p.m.)
      • Discussion of sale (?) of former Westside Community Center site to Pacifica Christian High School.
      • Possible initiation of litigation on two undisclosed matters.
    • Regular meeting (5:00 p.m.)
      • Resolutions supporting the Newport Beach Fire Department and Proposition 20, and opposing Proposition 15
      • Agreement for ambulance transportation cost reimbursement
      • Contracts for Civic Center Park pathway replacement, median and roadside landscape maintenance,  fire rings security, on-call architectural services, and piers, sidewalks and public area steam pressure washing
      • Acceptance of $25,000 donation to library
      • Hearing on Draft Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) 2019-2020
      • Override of Airport Land Use Commission dis-approval, followed by City approval of the Newport Airport Village proposal for a future “planned community” adjacent to the airport along Campus, with up to 444 apartments  (PA2014-225)
      • Update of fees for issuing and renewing Short Term Lodging permits
      • Introduction of ordinance amending Oceanfront Boardwalk Safety Program
      • Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

September 24 @ 10:00 am – Zoning Administrator hearing
(Public participation by Zoom only, registration required)

September 24 @ 3:00 pm Finance Committee
Civic Center – Council Chambers (100 Civic Center Drive)
(Public participation by Zoom only, registration required)

  • See agenda for details
  • The City’s Finance Committee, which has influence over how money is saved and spent on the City’s plans and priorities, is scheduled to meet for the first time since June.
    • Investment policy and performance review.
    • It will presumably be discussing the impact of COVID-19.
    • Recommendation regarding issuance of bond to finance Fire Station 2 construction on Balboa Peninsula.
    • Update on internal audit plan
  • Curiously, a discussion of the impact of COVID-19 is not on the agenda.

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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