Author Archives: SPON-Karen

Back Bay Landing Project

Back Bay Landing & Balboa Marina Projects: Update by Seychelle Cannes August 2015:  The Back Bay Landing Project is proposed as a mixed-use waterfront development on seven acres at 300 East Coast Highway (PCH and Bayside Drive).  This site now functions as a parking lot and recreational vehicle storage area.  The Newport Beach City Council approved the project entitlement on February 11, 2014 for over 82,742 square feet of office, restaurant and dry-stack boat storage.  The approved footage for the project does NOT include the propose 49 individual residential units, a three-story parking lot (partially under-ground) nor a 65 foot viewing tower.  These additions are being requested by the developer through an amended Conditional Land Use Plan (CLUP).  This parcel is currently zoned for marine use only.  The architect for the Back Bay Landing project is the same architect that designed the Mariner’s Pointe retail and restaurant development located on West Coast Highway at Dover Drive.

For more information

The Balboa Marina is slated for a development project as well.

BalboaMarinaOnly one block away from the proposed Back Bay Landing Project, just west of Bayside Drive, is the expanded development proposed by the Irvine Company at the West Balboa Marina.  Located at 201 West Coast Highway, this project will expand the existing Balboa Marina by constructing a 19,400 square foot marine commercial building for a yacht brokerage office, public restrooms and a restaurant.  It is essentially at the site of the former Ruben E. Lee.

For more information: The Log – Boating & Fishing News

With higher density plans for Mariner’s Mile, traffic grid-lock is still in our future, despite the overwhelmingly opposition and defeat of Ballot Measure Y in November 2014.

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Article by Seychelle Cannes (2/2015): A mix-use waterfront development project on 7 acres at 300 East Coast Highway (PCH and Bayside Dr.) which changes the current parking lot and recreational vehicle storage area to more than 82,742 square feet of office, restaurant and dry-stack boat storage.

With higher density plans for Mariner’s Mile, traffic grid-lock is still in our future, despite the overwhelmingly opposition and defeat of the 2014 Ballot Measure Y.

Newport Beach City Council approved the project entitlement on February 11, 2014 for over 82,742 square feet of office, restaurant and dry-stack boat storage.  The total approved square feet of 82,742 for the project does not include the propose 49 single residential units, 3 story parking lot (partly under-ground) nor a 65 foot viewing tower that the developer is requesting through  an amended Conditional Land Use Plan (CLUP).  Presently the parcel is zoned for marine use only.  The architect for the Back Bay Landing project is the same architect that designed the Mariner’s Pointe retail and restaurant development located on West Coast Highway at Dover Drive. For more information, read this article about the December 2014 Coastal Commission Meeting, as well as the project write up on the Newport Beach City website.

Another development, adjacent to this project, is the expanded development proposed by The Irvine Company at the West Balboa Marina, located at 201 East Coast Highway (West Coast Highway and Bayside Dr.).   The project will expand on the existing Balboa Marina and construct a 19,400 square foot marine commercial building for a yacht brokerage office, public restrooms and a restaurant.   For more information on the Balboa Marina project, read the article here.

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Water Demands for Banning Ranch Development

The Newport Banning Ranch project’s application was recently certified, raising questions about omissions in the application, some of which directly affect water supply . . . Where is the water coming from?

A growing concern is the depletion of our groundwater around the country and the world. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, our global groundwater levels are now at historic lows.

. . . This raises the question of whether the water supply for the Newport Banning Ranch Project is consistent with the groundwater protections of the Coastal Act. Section 30231 of the Coastal Act requires preventing the depletion of groundwater. The Santa Ana basin has already been depleted by 60%. How much more are we going to take? How much more can we take before we risk a disaster like saltwater intrusion that could destroy the entire supply?

On May 12, the City voted to declare a Level Three Water Shortage, which comes with mandatory 25% water restrictions that could trigger fines and penalties.  How much more will we have to cut to accommodate a project like Newport Banning Ranch? And all the other projects that are going up?

The Newport Banning Ranch development is a massive project that’s going to take hundreds of millions of gallons of water every year. We’re in the throes of record drought with predictions of more to come. NASA estimates that it will take 11 trillion gallons of water just to recover what we’ve lost since 2011.  Read more . . .

Please join us as we work to ensure that our depleted groundwater sources are not being exploited, but instead are being protected and wisely used, as required by the Coastal Act.  Sign our letter to the Coastal Commission here.

Also of interest:

Press

Videos

St. James the Great

Sale of St. James the Great Episcopal Church to Legacy Partners Residential (June 2015)
St. James the Great Episcopal Church in Lido Village has been purchased and developers plan to build 22 high-end townhomes in place of the popular house of worship.

The congregation is working hard to save St. James the Great Episcopal Church.  For more information about this community church and the efforts of its congregation, please visit their website here.

The congregation believes St. James the Great is a relevant 21st century church that embraces technology, welcomes all people and attracts a weekly stream of visitors and new members with a unique preaching and teaching style, radical hospitality, educational programs, creative community events and outreach, dinners, culinary and wine tasting events, lifestyle events and most importantly, a rich church experience and a holistic approach to faith that is enriched with amazing music program, pastoral support and counseling.

Some groups are using their NextDoor Community Blogs to post information about St. James as a way of informing and engaging other residents on this issue.  Here is a sample of what was posted on the Dover Shores NextDoor Blog.  You may want to share it with your neighbors or copy and add it to your own community’s NextDoor Blog.

As you may have read in today’s Daily Pilot, St. James Church near Lido island has been sold to a developer and is slated to be torn down. In its place will be built 22 jammed together three story town homes of the kind that we see springing up everywhere. What a shame to lose that beautiful church that has been serving that neighborhood and all of Newport Beach for as long as most of us can remember. Many of us have wonderful memories of that place. Weddings, Church Suppers, and Memorial services. Let’s try to save it.if you would like to object to this development let your feelings be known. Write the Newport Beach City Council and ask them not to change the permitted use of that land (citycouncil@newportbeachca.gov ). Write the Daily Pilot ( john.canalis@latimes.com ) and share some of your memories with the readers and state your objection to the demolition.

Press articles and Letters to the Editor are also being published in all our local papers.  We’ll try to keep a current list here for your easy reference.

Daily Pilot

Newport Beach Independent 

OC Register

LA Times

 

St. James The Great Episcopal Church Photo Gallery

Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing in Newport Beach (June 2015)
The Newport Beach Housing Element
is a state-mandated element of the City’s General Plan; it covers the planning period for the years 2014-2021.

The Housing Element evaluates the City’s population, income and housing data and sets forth goals, policies and actions to facilitate future development and preservation of housing for all economic segments within the community.

Housing is considered affordable when a household pays 30% or less of its income (e.g., a family with an income of $75,000 should pay no more than $1,875 per month for housing.)

For more information on this important topic, please read the presentation here which was made to SPON at its June 2015 Board Meeting.

Newport Beach resident Carolyn Martin, who made this presentation, is a former Laguna Beach Planner and advocate for affordable housing.

For more information, please request by email here.

 

 

 

General Plan Amendments

General Plan Projects Update (5/23/2015):
Mission accomplished: Agenda Item 5 Continued!
Our efforts, letters and phone calls worked: the Planning Commission acknowledged at their May 21 meeting that it did not have enough information to approve the General Plan Land Use Element “correction” proposed by staff. More information has notably been requested from the County of Orange, and staff publicly stated that it would continue to confer with SPON on this matter going forward.  In sum, this was a success at every level. Good job!  We will of course be back in touch when we have new news.

General Plan Projects Update (5/2015):  The May 21 Planning Commission will review a staff report/recommendation to correct a General Plan Land Use “error” which will add 300,000 square feet of hotel entitlement space to Newport Coast.  Another example of “piecemeal planning”?  We are currently investigating this issue.

General Plan Projects Update (2/2015): During the City Council Annual Planning Session on January 31, an overview of on-the-books and new projects was presented.  It seems, from this presentation, that the projects outlined in Measure Y were just the tip of the iceberg and the City continues to persist in “piecemeal” planning.

The “short list” includes General Plan Amendments such as the Newport Center Beacon Bay Car Wash to be redeveloped as a seven-story 49-unit residential condominium project and reshuffling Irvine Company entitlements in Newport Center so that shuttered office buildings can be reopened.  The Irvine Company entitlements review will be discussed/voted on at the February 24 City Council Meeting (public notice here).

Municipal Code Amendments for the West Newport Area overlay would allow greater height limits for residential structures in the 57-acre overlay area.

In addition to this specific Municipal Code Amendment, we see an alarming trend toward increasing building height limits and encroachment on public view corridors throughout Newport Beach.

City Contact:
Kim Brandt, Community Development Director
By Email

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Poseidon Desalination Project

Orange County Coastkeeper is committed in their efforts toward environmentally conscious water solutions that make our community sustainable.  Ray Heimstra, Program Director for Orange County Coastkeeper, spoke at the April 21 SPON Board Meeting and presented information which supports their water solutions and sustainability mission.  You can view Ray’s presentation here:

On May 14 @ 5:30 p.m., the Orange County Water District (OCWD) is conducting a Special Board of Directors Meeting on the Poseidon Desalination Plant. Visit the OCWD website for meeting information.  OC Coastkeeper urges you to join them and attend this meeting to learn more about the Poseidon Desalinaton Plant in Huntington Beach and OCWD’s position on the project.

A “Vote No” email template is available on the OC Coastkeeper website.  Click on this link, fill out the form, and the “Vote No” email will automatically be sent to the OCWD’s Board on your behalf.  

To learn more about  OC Coastkeeper or the Poseidon Project, visit OC Coastkeeper’s website or email Ray Heimstra, OC Coastkeeper’s Program Director.

CdM High School Stadium Project

Corona del Mar High School Field/Stadium Renovation: Article by Phil Milner (2/2015): The Newport Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) has funding for $7.4 million of capital improvements earmarked for an artificial turf field at the current football/track location, new track surface and increased seating for the current 600 to 1,000 total seating capacity.  Private funding (estimated at an additional $6.7 million) would cover additional field lighting, 375 additional seats, a public-address system, snack bar, restrooms, press box with elevator and possibly a team room.

The Newport Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) has funding for $7.4 million of capital improvements from the return tax dollars formerly committed to the Newport Beach and Costa Mesa redevelopment agencies.  Coach Sumner and other contributors offered to raise private money ($6.7 million) to fund additional amenities. This money was to be channeled through the Corona Del Mar Foundation to the School District.  The School Board voted unanimously December 9, 2104 to have their staff prepare a Scope of Work for the project as laid out with the requirement of an MOU from the CDM Foundation pledging the additional funds as needed.

To date, the MOU from the CDM Foundation has not come forward.  Additionally, the School Board has asked their Staff to take the field lights out of the privately funded add-ons and placed into the District funded portion of the project with an anticipated added cost of $.9 million.  A vote on the changed Scope of Work for the field/stadium renovations by the NMUSD was cast on February 10 with the School Board deciding (7-0) that the district should pick up the cost after it pays for new lighting at Costa Mesa High School fields.

Our community (Eastbluff and five other HOAs in close proximity to CdM HS) generally supports what was the original plan including an artificial multi-sport field, resurfaced track and added seating to a maximum of 1,000 seats (the number of seats that would accommodate graduation ceremonies at this location). We strongly oppose the field lighting, new public address system and added seats beyond 1,000.  We believe that the use of the field for noisy night time events will diminish our property values, create new traffic congestion and safety problems as well as diminish our quality of life and our ability to enjoy our homes.

For more information:
See write up on Newport Beach City website
See write up on NMUSD website

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Local Coastal Plan

 

Local Coastal Plan: Article by City of Newport Beach (2/2015): A proposal to govern land use, public access, and resource protection policies and regulations for all development within the coastal zone of Newport Beach.

The City of Newport Beach (City) is in the process of creating its first Local Coastal Program (LCP), a planning document that sets land use, public access, and resource protection policies and regulations for all development within the community’s coastal zone. A draft of the associated implementation plan is now available for public review here.

The Coastal Development Act of 1976 requires all California cities with land area within the coastal zone to have an LCP certified by the California Coastal Commission. The Act also requires a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for most development within the coastal zone. Currently, residents and business owners with projects within Newport Beach that require a CDP must apply to the Coastal Commission for permit approval. After certification, the majority of CDP applications can be reviewed and approved by the City rather than the Coastal Commission. For a property owner, this change will provide greater accessibility to staff assistance, faster permit processing, and lower permit costs.

LCP certification is a multi-step process with numerous opportunities for community participation. The City is hosting a series of community workshops to explain what a certified LCP would mean to those who own property, operate a business, or reside within the Newport Beach coastal zone and to receive community input on the draft implementation plan. In addition to the four community workshops planned, the draft plan will be reviewed by the Newport Beach Harbor Commission, Planning Commission and City Council during public meetings. It will also be reviewed and eventually certified by the Coastal Commission during a public meeting. Public comment on the draft plan will be welcomed at each meeting.

City Contact:
Patrick Alford, Planning Program Manager
By Email
(949) 644-3235

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