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: 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 (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)
November 23 @ 6:00 pm – Online Circulation Element Workshop
(Public participation by Zoom only)
- Details here
November 24 @ 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
- Update on City’s Residential Refuse and Recycling Collection Program
- Followed by closed session performance evaluations and compensation discussion regarding City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk
- 6:00 p.m. – Regular Session
- Termination of unused joint powers agreement regarding retiree medical payments
- Acceptance of grant funds from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s ABC-OTS Grant Program
- Approval of the 2019 Urban Areas Security Initiative Grant Program Transfer Agreement
- Certification of petition for Underground Assessment District No. 120 (Santa Ana Avenue and Cliff Drive Area)
- Initiation of Zoning Code amendment adding restaurants and fitness centers to area along Dover Drive just south of Westcliff
- Contracts for Corporation Yard re-roofing, concrete replacement program (FY 2020-21), parking permit management and citation processing services, phlebotomy services, and additional funding for Big Canyon Restoration Project – Phase 2A
- Update to Community Programs Grants and Special Events Grants
- Financial update on past fiscal year and first quarter of this one
- Possible resolution announcing intent to override the Airport Land Use Commission‘s November 19 finding that the Residences at 4400 Von Karman proposal (PA2020-061) is inconsistent with the Airport Environs Land Use Plan (removed from agenda because ALUC found the project to be “consistent” with the AELUP)
- Introduction of Residential Design Standards Zoning Code and Local Coastal Program amendments (PA2019-070)
- Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Costa Mesa toward the funding, development and shared use of its permanent bridge shelter facility
- Request for Council action on franchise extension options on residential solid waste collection and recycling franchise update to comply with state organics recycling mandates
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
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).
Contributions Always Welcome
We have much work to do, and contributions are always most welcome and helpful.
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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.
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.
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.
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