Call to Action:  Stop Termination of Dr. Charles Lester California Coastal Commission’s Executive Director

January 24, 2016: The California Coastal Commission has done a remarkable job in protecting the California coast for the public while balancing the needs and desires of those who wish to develop along the coast including here in our town. Without these checks and balances, our coastline could easily be slowly walled off from the public behind high-rise buildings and gated stairs.  Instead, the public has maintained their access to enjoy our spectacular coastline.

However, the California Coastal Commissioners are planning the termination of Dr. Charles Lester as the Commission’s Executive Director which jeopardizes the Commission’s historical development/public needs balance.

SPON has written to the Coastal Commission to support retaining Dr. Lester.  We encourage you to do the same.  Our letter is here.

Time is of the essence, so please consider acting now.  Simply click on this link to send a letter to Governor Brown in support of retaining Dr. Lester as Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission.

Also read LA Times article on this topic here.

Thank you.

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.

Our Pledge

We will continuously monitor proposed development projects and resulting traffic impacts which will inevitably come before the Planning Commission, City Council and California Coastal Commission.  And we plan to 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 will stay connected with our inclusive and growing network of supporters, neighbors and friends.  We will use a variety of communication tools to do so, including our website, email, Facebook, Twitter and member meetings.

Our Watch List

Visit our Watch List  for details on the following projects and issues that we are currently monitoring.  Know of an important project not on this list?  Contact us with the details and we will review it for publication here.

Newport Center Villas (Fashion Island Beacon Bay Car Wash Site (October 2015)
Banning Ranch Development – Where’s the Water Coming From?  (Updated August 2015)
Banning Ranch Conservancy – Habitat Destruction (Updated August 2015)
Back Bay Landing & Balboa Marina Projects (Updated August 2015)

Affordable Housing in Newport Beach (June 2015)
St. James the Great Episcopal Church Sale to High-End Townhome Developer (June 2015)

General Plan Projects – 300,000 sqft Hotel Entitlement (Updated May 23 2015)
Poseidon Desalination Project (April 2015)
General Plan Projects Update (February 2015)
Local Coastal Plan (February 2015)

Corona del Mar High School Field/Stadium Renovation (February 2015) 

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 and Follow Us on Twitter.


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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