Focus on the Goal!
Over this last weekend, the Museum House developer (Related California) and its affiliate (OCMA Urban Housing LLC) have employed a myriad of tactics to create confusion and false information about the referendum and signature-gathering process.
For those of you who intend to support the Referendum, please remember this: We must all stay focused on the goal of collecting the required number of validated signatures to qualify the Referendum for a vote. Line in the Sand PAC has just three weeks to do this, and these opposition tactics divert our time and attention from our goal.
Our LITS volunteers and supporters are razor-focused on the goal of collecting 8,000 signatures for validation by the Registrar of Voters before the end of December. We ask that you stay focused too.
For more information about the Referendum, including dates, times and locations where you can go to sign the petitions, please visit LineInTheSandPAC.com for details.
Council approves “Museum House” Tower — referendum begins
Important update: the start of signature gathering for the Museum House referendum has been delayed by a City Council action on November 29 adding thousands of pages of documentation to the paper petitions on which the signatures have to be affixed to legally request a citywide vote on the Council’s controversial decision– thereby significantly shortening the already very short time in which signatures have to be collected. Meanwhile forces aligned with developer have been engaging in a number of questionable practices intended to confuse and distract potential signers. Please be patient. The true paper petitions that need to be signed by the end of the year are not expected to be available from the printer until Wednesday, December 7, at the earliest.
Many thanks to all who signed the previous joint SPON/LITS online petition opposing Related Companies’ proposal for the Museum House Tower, a 100 unit, 25-story, 295 foot tall high density condo tower that would replace the current low-rise Orange County Museum of Art galleries at 850 San Clemente Drive in the northwestern part of the Newport Center / Fashion Island area. A recap of the petition results and comments as presented to the City Council at their special November 29th meeting can be viewed on the City’s website here.
Despite that outstanding effort, the City Council voted 6 to 1 (with Councilman Tony Petros opposed) to change the land use designation of the OCMA parcel from “Private Institutional” to “Multi-unit Residential – 100 units,” as well as a number of other actions allowing use of that new designation to begin construction of the “Museum House” Tower, contingent upon final approval at the Council’s December 13th meeting.
Pursuant to the terms of the Greenlight section of the City Charter, and coming on top of other recent additions to Newport Center, SPON firmly believes this November 29th change to the General Plan should have automatically gone to a citywide vote. However, the City Council disagrees, forcing residents to reclaim their right to vote by referendum. That arduous process requires residents to obtain the signatures of roughly 5,600 Newport Beach registered voters on legally correct paper petitions within the next 30 days.
SPON and the Line in the Sand Political Action Committee are in the process of initiating just such a referendum; and it is important to understand these are completely different from any paper or online petitions you may have signed before (as in the recap, above). If successful, the new petitions will force the Council to either repeal their approval of the land use change, or put it on hold until the voters can affirm or reject the approval at a future election.
To make this a success, everyone will have to help. Further information on what you can do will follow soon. But please visit LineInTheSandPAC.com for the most accurate and up-to-date details.
Thank you all again… the battle has begun!
Important Upcoming Dates
(see Calendar for further details)
December 7 California Coastal Commission Hearing
- Newport Beach Local Coastal Program Implementation Plan — final certification
December 9 California Coastal Commission Hearing
- Banning Ranch oil well consolidation
December 13 @ 5:00 pm City Council Meeting
Civic Center Council Chambers
- Final adoption of Museum House ordinances (as well as those for 191 Riverside and Lido House Hotel amendments)
- Installation of newly-elected Council members
Breaking news: AutoNation application withdrawn — hearing cancelled
At the Council’s October 25th meeting, City Manager Dave Kiff announced a plan to move the November 8 Council meeting to November 7 at the unusual hour of 6:00 p.m., because of the conflict with election night and because it was expected at least three important decisions would have to be made at that meeting:
- An appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of the AutoNation Porsche proposal.
- Approval of the Local Coastal Program Implementation Plan reviewed on October 25th.
- A 15 year extension of the expiring Irvine Company development agreement for Newport Coast.
However, on November 2nd he announced the AutoNation application had been withdrawn by the applicant, meaning the project is dead and there will be no hearings about it at all. And the notice of the Newport Coast development agreement matter indicates it will be continued to November 22nd. So it looks like the only matter of possible controversy on November 7 may be the first step of the two step process of approving insertion of the LCP-IP into the City Municipal Code. Stay tuned…
By way of background, the AutoNation Porsche proposal had been rejected by the Planning Commission on October 6 and neighborhoods in the areas most directly impacted (Cliff Haven, Kings Road, Newport Heights, and Bayshores) had banded together and circulated a petition similar to the one many of you signed for 150 Newport Center. Their position was that the AutoNation Porsche dealership was too big, did not fit into the maritime nautical vision for Mariners’ Mile and that potential negative impacts on long-established Newport neighborhoods need more analysis, including an environmental impact report (EIR). A link to their petition is available here.
150 Newport Center Update
Developers withdrew their application for the 150 Newport Center (car wash) condo conversion proposal in advance of the September 27 City Council meeting. Congratulations to all our friends who helped by signing the petition, attending and speaking at meetings, sharing your concerns with your own personal networks. A recap of the petition, signed by over 1,600 supporters, can be found here.
Second Matching Gift Matched! — contributions still welcome
SPON is fortunate to have recently received two Matching Gift Challenges for $10,000 each. A check for $300 received on October 31, 2016, has put us over the top for the second of these.
As a result, over $40,000 has been raised in just six and half months to help us research, advocate and communicate with you on the things that threaten the environmental and residential qualities of Newport Beach.
A very special thank you to the two generous Newport Beach families who each pledged $10,000 in matching gifts.
And a big thank you to each and every supporter who made the commitment to provide the financial support SPON needed to meet these important Matching Gift Challenges.
Naturally, additional contributions are still most welcome and helpful.
Please consider making your tax-deductible contribution now.
By Credit Card: Click on the DONATE button below
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 so should we.
Resident Allen Drucker ponders tradeoffs between water shortage and development
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 videos.
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.
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.
Topics covered in this newsletter include:
- Recent accomplishments
- New development projects that jeopardize the beauty and peace of our coastline
- New community outreach opportunities
- Important upcoming dates to save
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
SPON | PO Box 102 | Balboa Island, CA 92662
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