Monthly Archives: December 2017

Newport Village

Newport Village — as of May 2017
Application submitted for large project on Mariner’s Mile

Latest news:  The application is still “incomplete,” but the property owner erected “story poles” (poles between which strings representing edges of a planned building are hung and draped with flags) on May 21, to illustrate, for the benefit of Newport Heights neighbors, the size of part of the proposed construction.  The poles will reportedly be removed on May 24.

Project Overview: This is a proposal for a major “mixed use” development on the former “Ardell” properties (11.05 acres) along Mariner’s Mile (at the present Duffy Boats through A’maree’s sites and the boat sales/storage yard across PCH from them).  As presented, it would consist of 175 residential units, 240,650 square feet of office, retail and restaurant uses, and a new 75-boat marina.  All existing buildings and uses are to be demolished, and a new signalized intersection on Coast Highway would be created to serve the project.

Why We’re Watching:  In 2016-2017 the City spent considerable money on a “Mariner’s Mile Revitalization” planning effort, which was officially withdrawn pending a possible General Plan Update (which now also seems to be in an uncertain state).

Although the official purpose of the 2016-2017 effort was to solicit public input on the future of Mariner’s Mile, and develop a plan for future development consistent with that, many felt, at the time, that it’s purpose was geared more toward forcing a vision on the public to justify  this redevelopment project, now known as Newport Village. In that connection, many felt the the existing Mariner’s Mile Strategic Vision and Design Framework, adopted in 2000, stated the public’s vision better than anything coming out the the new workshops.

Given public reaction to the 2016-2017 Mariner’s Mile Revitalization workshops, as well as City staff’s endorsement in 2016 of the rejected AutoNation proposal for a large new auto dealership cutting into the bluffs along Mariner’s Mile, SPON will be keeping a close eye on “Newport Village” as further details of the project emerge.

Upcoming:

No City-sponsored meetings are currently scheduled, but an Environmental Impact Report will almost certainly be required. The Scoping Meeting for that will likely be the first “official” presentation of a definite proposal to the public.

The story poles erected on May 21, 2018, will reportedly be removed on May 24.

Recent Events:

May 21, 2018:  The property owner erected “story poles” (poles between which strings representing edges of a planned building are hung and draped with flags) on May 21, to illustrate, for the benefit of Newport Heights neighbors, the size of part of the proposed construction.

February 26, 2018:  As reported at the Community Development Department’s Open House/Forum, the application remains “incomplete.”

December 4, 2017Application submitted to City.

Trivia:  Perhaps unknown to the applicants, “Newport Village” has been in use since 1983 as the official name of the 33(?) acre planned community in Newport Center lying between Avocado and MacArthur — originally from PCH to San Miguel, but later extended to San Joaquin Hills Road.  That “other” Newport Village is home to the City Hall, Central Library, Civic Center Park, OCTA Transportation Center and the Corona del Mar Plaza Shopping Center (containing Bristol Farms Market and many other shops).

News Coverage

  • pending

Helpful Links

Newport Dunes Hotel

Newport Dunes Hotel . . . as of June 2018

Project Overview: The City has received a proposal to build “a 275-room, 201,498-square-foot hotel with amenities including a coffee shop, gift/sundry shop, business center, event function rooms, spa/fitness facilities, restaurant, pool, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts and picnic area” on the west side of the Newport Dunes Lagoon, in a 14.3 acre area currently used mostly for boat/RV storage and summer camps.

Why We’re Watching: The Newport Dunes is in theory a county park (per NBMC Sec. 11.08.055 it is officially named the “Harry Welch Memorial Park,” as dedicated in May 1958), but for many years it has been leased by the County to a private operator with an eye toward recreation-related commercial development. Conceptual entitlement for a project similar to what is currently being proposed at this site was granted as part of a settlement agreement decades ago. In 2000, the initial City approval of a former leaseholder’s plans to build a project significantly larger than what had been agreed to was one of the forces that propelled the slow-growth “Greenlight” City Charter amendment to success that Fall.

Subsequent to 2000, plans to build on the site appeared nearly dead, but were given new life in 2008 and again in 2016 when the county Board of Supervisors renegotiated the terms of the lease to accommodate interested hotel developers. On Sept. 29, 2016, an application was submitted to the City.

SPON is concerned not only about the impacts of this project, by itself, but also how they will combine with prior City approvals for significant development at the nearby Back Bay Landing and Balboa Marina sites — all of which will affect both the appearance of the area and the already busy intersection of Bayside Drive and PCH.

Conceptual rendering presented to OC Board of Supervisors in Jan. 26, 2016, agenda packet

Upcoming:

  • According to the “case log,” a request for proposals for an outside company to prepare the Environmental Impact Report was distributed on Feb. 1, 2018.
    • A request for the City Council to approve staff’s recommended contractor appeared briefly on a “tentative agenda,” but was withdrawn.
    • The Scoping Meeting, at which the public is invited to suggest issues needing evaluation in the EIR, normally follows shortly after award of the contract.

Recent Events:

January 26, 2016: As Item 34 on its agenda, the Orange County Board of Supervisors amends the lease to accommodate a new two-hotel proposal.

July 10, 2012: As Item 15, the Council agrees to amendments to the Settlement Agreement.

Earlier Timeline:

September 12, 2000: City Council hearing on project set as Item 17, but taken off calendar at applicant’s request.

June 27, 2000:  Testimony to City Council continues as Item 30, with Council deciding to continue hearing to September 12.  A new staff report consists of 718 pages of correspondence received since the June 13 meeting.

June 13, 2000:  As Item 28, City Council receives extensive testimony on application (staff report), including the Planning Commission Chair’s project summary in the minutes.

April 20, 2000:  After multiple study sessions and hearings, Newport Beach Planning Commission adopts Resolution 1519 recommending approval of 370 room hotel (Resolutions 1518 and 1520 recommend approval of EIR and Traffic Study).  Although scaled back from the original proposal for 600 rooms in over-height buildings, the Commission’s approval galvanized support for the slow-growth “Greenlight” initiative on the November 2000 ballot.

1983:  The City, the County of Orange, and Newport Dunes, Inc. ( predecessor to Waterfront Resort Properties, L.P. and Newport Dunes Marina L.L.C.) signed a settlement agreement to resolve jurisdictional and entitlement disputes relating to the development of the Newport Dunes.  Resolution 83-49minutes.  The Agreement was amended in 1984, 1987, 1988, 1990 and most recently 2012.

News Coverage

Helpful Links

  • City’s case log for Planning Application PA2016-175 (not always accurate or up to date)