Category Archives: News

Harbor Pointe Senior Living


Harbor Pointe Senior Living  . . .  as of December, 2018
Planning Commission recommends Council approval

Project Overview:  This is a proposal to build a 4-story, 121-bed convalescent and congregate care facility at the current site of the Kitayama Restaurant on South Bristol.

Why We Were Watching:  Under the city’s General Plan, a project of this sort is not allowed at  the requested location, and hence its approval requires a General Plan amendment.  Such changes to the voter-approved land use designations are always of concern, and in this case neighbors have expressed worries about the building’s compatibility with neighboring residential uses.

Upcoming

The City Council is expected to consider the Planning Commission’s recommendations regarding the application in early 2019.

Recent Events

December 6, 2018:  Planning Commission conducted a hearing on the project and at its conclusion recommended the City Council certify the EIR and approve the project (which will require them to approve changes to the General Plan and zoning).

September 28, 2018:  Public comments were due on the Environmental Impact Report, which was released for review on August 10.  The City’s responses to the comments have since been posted.

September 13, 2018:  A special Planning Commission meeting included the promised “study session” on the Harbor Pointe Senior Living proposal.  Many local residents appeared, most objecting to the project in their neighborhood.

September 6, 2018:  The Planning Commission was scheduled to review the updated project at a study session, but on August 30 it was announced the meeting on that date had been cancelled and will likely be held, instead, as a special meeting on September 13.

August 10, 2018:  Environmental Impact Report, posted for a 50-day public review.  To receive a written response from the City, comments on the EIR must be received by the close of business on September 28.

July 19, 2018:  In his oral report to the Planning Commission, the Community Development Director indicated a study session on this project would be heard by them at their August 9 meeting.  However, we understand that has been postponed to early September.

January 23, 2018:  As Item 4 on its consent calendar, the City Council approved an amendment to the EIR contract.

December 12, 2017:  A Cumulative Projects List of this date says the project is “being revisited and redesigned by applicant/developer” and that EIR preparation was “on hold as of June 8, 2017.”

October 13, 2017:  The case log indicates revised project plans were submitted on this date.

February 23, 2017:  Prior to release of the EIR, the Planning Commission heard about and discussed the proposal, without action, as Item 4 on its agenda.  The “study session” was well attended by Bayview and Santa Ana Heights neighbors, most quite critical of the project as currently proposed.  See the City video.

August 15, 2016:  A scoping meeting for the project’s Environmental Impact Report was held, with comments due by August 22.  Preparation of the EIR presumably started soon after.

News Coverage

Helpful Links

 

Newport Beach Tennis Club

Newport Beach Tennis Club (Eastbluff) . . . as of April 2017

Project Overview:  The Newport Beach Tennis Club (and swim facility) occupies 7.6 acres at 2601 Eastbluff Drive, adjacent to Ralphs in the Eastbluff Village Center.  Neighbors have heard rumors that the land owner has been approached by a developer interested in purchasing the property and turning it into residential condominiums

Why We Were Watching:  The rumored development is inconsistent with the property’s existing General Plan designation for Parks and Recreation use.  The current owner or potential buyer would therefore need to make a request to change that designation, and the City has no obligation to comply.  SPON views such requests to change the General Plan with great skepticism.

Recent Events:

  • February 14, 2017:  “Mayor Muldoon requested future agenda items on the zoning and future use of the Newport Beach Tennis Club and the roundabout at Bayside Drive” (see City Council Minutes, Item XII).
  • February 28, 2017: Council unanimously approves request for staff to prepare future agenda item providing a “Summary of the Existing General Plan Designation and Zoning for the Newport Beach Tennis Club” (see City Council Minutes, Item XIII).
  • April 11, 2017:  Although it was not on the agenda, under “City Council Announcements” at the April 11 meeting (Item XII), “Mayor Muldoon presented a proclamation to the Newport Beach Tennis Club commending its service to the community.”  Earlier that day, City Manager Dave Kiff sent the following message by email to those seeking information about the development proposal:

Dear Neighbors –

Via an email sent in late January 2017, I promised to keep you updated on activities regarding the Newport Beach Tennis Club.  Recently, an interested buyer of the underlying land and the property owner approached the City at a staff level (our planning staff) to determine what would be required to accommodate residential uses at the site.  Staff told them, as I told you previously, about the requirement for a change in the General Plan (via an Amendment) and the underlying zoning.

Changes in the General Plan are discretionary actions by the City Council – in other words, the Council can say yes or no to them.  In some cases, if enough residential is added or peak hour trips are added, a vote of the Newport Beach electorate is also required following any Council approval of a General Plan Amendment (GPA).

Please know that we have not been notified by either the property owner or the interested buyer of their intent to begin processing a GPA and other related zoning actions.  Should an application be filed, I will let you know as well as provide information regarding the proposed review schedule and at what time you may comment on the proposed project.  The process will include public review and comment opportunities on any draft environmental document, as well as public hearings before both the Planning Commission and City Council.

One additional FYI.  At tonight’s Council meeting, Mayor Kevin Muldoon (also the District #4 representative) intends to give the Tennis Club a proclamation for its service to the community.  No other action is planned for tonight’s meeting.

Sincerely,

Dave Kiff
City Manager
City of Newport Beach
949-644-3001

  • To date (April 22, 2017), SPON does not believe any formal application for land use change has been submitted to the CIty.  The requested discussion of the zoning status of the property was at one time listed as a tentative Study Session item for the Council’s May 9 meeting, but it is not known if that is still planned.

News Coverage

  • none so far

Helpful Links

  • City’s case log of recent planning applications (not always accurate or up to date)

Note:  title photo from Newport Beach Tennis Club website.

150 Newport Center

150 Newport Center . . . as of September 27, 2016
(formerly known as Newport Center Villas;  aka the Fashion Island car wash project)
.

Note: At least for the moment, this project is history: the application for it was WITHDRAWN moments before its planned hearing by the City Council on September 27.  One of the major financial investors is now suing the developers for fraud.

Project Overview: The 150 Newport Center Planned Community Development Plan (PCDP) as originally proposed was to be composed of 49 condominium homes totaling 163,260 square feet, in a seven-story, 75.5 foot high building. The unit mix was to include ten residential townhomes, 35 residential flats on Levels 3 through 6 and four penthouses on Level 7.  It was later reduced to a proposal for 35 units in 5 stories, and rather than regarding 150 Newport Center as a “planned community” of its own, it would be incorporated into the existing North Newport Center Planned Community District and be subject to its rules (although new rules would be invented for this parcel).

Why We Were Watching:  This project would have replace the one-story 8,500 square foot Beacon Bay Car Wash directly across from Muldoon’s in Fashion Island.  The structure height significantly deviates from the standard established for that area of Fashion Island.  And, the project introduces residents into a primarily commercial/retail neighborhood, which includes late-night operations which generate business-related noise and congestion.

Recent Events:
On June 23, 2016, while the Environmental Impact Report was available for public review, the Planning Commission held a preliminary Study Session on the project, at which many criticisms were voiced, both by the Commissioners and the public, which focused primarily on its lack of compatibility with the area.  (View SPON’s June 23 Planning Commission video here.)

On July 21, 2016, a slightly scaled down project began a three part hearing process before the Planning Commission, which was tasked with making a recommendation to the City Council.  The applicants offered a scaled down proposal for 45 units in a six-story, 65.5 foot tall building with fewer shared amenities.  City staff recommended the same number of units in a five-story, 55 foot tall building (in all cases, an extra 4 to 8 feet is allowed for rooftop appurtenances, such as elevator towers).

At that first formal hearing, the Commission expressed so much concern about the required planning amendments (view SPON’s July 21 Planning Commission video here) that the expected second hearing on August 4 was rescheduled to August 18 to give staff time to consider changes.

On August 18, the matter was heard starting rather late in the evening and the discussion was halted by a mandatory 11:30 pm adjournment time. The Commission primarily decided to ask staff to bring back a proposal in which, rather than creating a new “planned community” of its own, the 150 Newport Center parcel will be added to, and be governed by the same development standards as the existing planned community governing The Irvine Company’s commercial buildings in the interior of Block 100.

The discussion continued on September 1, at which meeting the Commission considered the EIR, the comments on the EIR, and details of the project and the development agreement (providing cash payments to the City as a “public benefit” to mitigate the impact and guarantee a right to the new development).  The hearing ended, at City staff’s instruction, in a “recommendation of denial” to the City Council (even though City policies are clear that a denial by the Planning Commission is supposed to go the Council only in the event of an appeal)

On September 26, the 150 Newport Center applicants asked for a continuance of the  Council hearing — purportedly so they could have more time to privately discuss their project with the Council members.  But on September 27, barely an hour before the hearing on the Planning Commission’s recommendation of denial was to start, it was announced they had withdrawn their application entirely.  According to City planning staff, this means they would have to start completely over again, with an entirely new application.

SPON and its supporters were very well represented, both with written comments and with speakers at the Planning Commission hearings.  We need to keep up this momentum to stop other proposed projects with a similar potential to negatively impact the character of Our Town!

Petition Recap

  • Our petition against the 150 Newport Center project closed with over 1,600 signatures gathered!
  • See recap here.

News Coverage

Helpful Links

Archives

 

Election Forums

Election Day is November 6, 2018 

It is up to us to elect City Council members who will represent residents.

While SPON cannot take positions on candidates, it does encourage everyone to become informed about the candidates’ positions on issues important to the quality of life in Newport Beach.

Note:  As of December 3, the Orange County Registrar of Voters has posted the Official Results and the even more official and detailed Statement of Votes for the November 6, 2018, election (see our Election Forums page).  The final precinct level results can be further visualized by hovering over the Registrar’s interactive maps (after selecting “Contest” in panel to left of map). For preliminary statewide totals, visit the California Secretary of State’s Semi-Official Election Results page.  As for Newport Beach, one new face, Joy Brenner, will be joining the Council, replacing outgoing member Scott Peotter.  The local Measure T requiring a public vote on future City financing by certificates of participation passed handily.

A variety of groups organized forums at which the public had a chance to learn about City candidates and ballot issues.  The following information is primarily based on that on the City Clerk’s 2018 Election page. All those listed were free and open to the public. See the Clerk’s page for additional information about the election time line, the Council candidates profiles and ballot statements, and the City ballot measure (on which SPON, also, takes no position).

Recordings of some of the forum events can be viewed online on the City’s NBTV streaming video site (see note at end of table regarding the City’s recording policy). Additional recordings can be found by following the SPON videos link at right or in the table below. In particular, SPON’s YouTube Election Forums playlist provides links to YouTube recordings by SPON and others from past years.  Speak Up Newport videos from 2014 of council candidates and ballot Measure Y are separately available on Vimeo.

In addition to the forum videos, written questions and answers with the Council candidates have been published (independently) by at least two newspapers:

Vote responsibly.  Vote informed.
2018 Election Forum Schedule

Event/Host Location           When 
Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
(NBTV video of this event here, also on YouTube)
Newport Beach Central Library
Friends Room
August 23, 2018
Doors open – 7:00 a.m.
Forum – 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
West Newport Beach Association
(NBTV video of this event here)
Marina Park
1600 W. Balboa Blvd
August 29, 2018
Doors open – 5:30 p.m.
Forum – 6:00 p.m.
Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club
1601 Bayside Drive
September 6, 2018
Doors open – 7:00 a.m.
Forum – 7:30 9:00 a.m.
Friends of OASIS OASIS Senior Center
801 Narcissus
Corona del Mar
September 7, 2018
10:30 a.m.
Speak Up Newport
(NBTV video of this event here)
Civic Center Community Room
100 Civic Center Drive
September 12, 2018
Reception – 5:30 p.m.
Forum – 6:00 p.m.
Newport Beach Women’s Democratic Club
CANCELLED
(except for NMUSD candidates)
OASIS Senior Center
801 Narcissus
Corona del Mar
September 18, 2018
6:00 p.m. (cancelled)
Feet to the Fire Candidates Forum
(NBTV video of this event here, also on YouTube)
Robert B Moore Theater
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Avenue
Costa Mesa 92626
September 21, 2018
Meet & greet – 6:00 p.m.
Forum – 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Balboa Island Improvement Association Balboa Island Fire Station
124 Marine Avenue
September 22, 2018
Forum – 9:00 a.m.
Corona del Mar Residents Association
(SPON video of this event here)
OASIS Senior Center
801 Narcissus
Corona del Mar
September 26, 2018
Reception – 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Forum – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Central Newport Beach Community Association Marina Park
1600 W. Balboa Blvd
October 3, 2018
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Note regarding City recording of election forums:  although the City has no clear policy on what third-party events it films and posts, it appears at least some of this year’s forums are being recorded by City contractors and may be available for viewing on the City website as well as broadcast on its public cable channel, Newport Beach TV.  In 2016, the City posted the Newport Chamber, West Newport, Speak Up and Feet to the Fire forums. In 2014, it posted none. Because there is no policy, it is also possible it might broadcast some without posting them (or vice versa). The West Newport moderators specifically said their forum was being recorded for broadcast in September and October.  The City’s policy on recording and broadcasting election forums was briefly debated as Item 3 at the Council’s September 27, 2016, meeting, and was supposed to come back for a decision, but never did.  The video of that meeting is, itself, interesting to watch.

The Residences at Newport Place

Project Update – July 2016: Back to the Drawing Board
City Council unanimously rejects developer’s appeal to overturn Planning Commission decision at Council’s July 26, 2016 meeting. 
(Video here . . . Staff Report here)  

Project Overview: The originally proposed project was composed of 384 residential units and 5,677 square feet of retail space, replacing an existing small shopping center. View the project proposal here (large file; takes a minute to load).

Why We’re Watching: Among other things, the proposal includes a request for “adjustments to development standards pertaining to building height”.  In other words, the developers are seeking an exception to the current building height (an example of SPOT ZONING).  The developers are also seeking a WAIVER of a General Plan Policy that requires them to dedicate a minimum of ½ acre for a neighborhood park.  Apparently, they don’t have room for a park (again . . . another example of SPOT ZONING). Read the Planning Commission Staff Report for yourself.

Recent Events:

March 2016: The Residences at Newport Place, an Airport Area proposed project,  went before the Planning Commission for an initial review on March 3, 2016.  Subsequent meetings scheduled for May were temporarily tabled as a result of concerns from both the public and the Planning Commission.

June 2016: The applicant requested a continuance and the project finally came back to the Planning Commission for review at their June 9 meeting.  SPON submitted comments to the Planning Commission on three separate occasions before the project came back to Planning Commission on June 9 (see Helpful Links below).  The Commission was further concerned about a lack of responsiveness to the comments received in March.  In a 4-1 vote they denied the developer’s request to continue the hearings and rejected the project.

July 2016: The developer appealed the decision to City Council and the appeal hearing was set for the Council’s July 26, 2016, meeting (Public Notice).  The City Council unanimously rejected the appeal, forcing the developer to start over with a completely new application if they wish to continue.

Next Step:  Let’s keep the standing-room-only momentum going! City meetings are great opportunities for residents to come together in a show of solidarity and for getting their comments included in the public record.

Helpful Links

Planning Commission Mtg Videos

Project Update

Planning Commission Meeting Videos here!

After many months of public requests by SPON for the Newport Beach Planning Commission meetings to be video recorded and televised (as they are in most other cities), on February 23, 2016, the City Council voted 2 (Dixon, Petros) in favor to 4 (Selich, Muldoon, Duffield, Peotter) against televising.

In response, from March 3, 2016, though January 19, 2017, SPON, at its own expense, recorded and posted Planning Commission meeting videos for the public to view online.   Watch them on SPON’s YouTube Channel here or in the SPON Video Library.

The City finally relented by placing Item 12 on the Council’s January 24, 2017, consent calendar, directing staff to begin “filming” and making available the Planning Commission meetings and adopting Resolution No. 2017-10, amending then City Council Policy A-13 to remind the Commissioners to behave with decorum while being filmed.  The item was unanimously approved, without comment.

Starting February 9, 2017, the City finally took over responsibility for video recording and posting the meetings.  Those can be found in the City Planning Commission video archive.  The meetings are still not broadcast or streamed live, but in addition to being archived, the recordings are later shown on the City’s cable station, Newport Beach TV.

The following archives SPON’s effort to accomplish that —


Overview:  In response to numerous earlier requests from SPON, Mayor Dixon asked that the question of televising Planning Commission meetings be put on the February 23, 2016, Council agenda.

More than 70 community members either emailed the Council or showed up in person to support the idea of televising, live streaming and archiving videos of the meetings. No one wrote or spoke in opposition.

Council Action: Despite the clear and unanimous public sentiment, Council voted not to televise the meetings [Dixon and Petros voted in favor of televising; Selich, Muldoon, Duffield and Peotter voted to oppose televising; Curry was absent].  The Council members’ arguments for and against are well worth listening to.  Click here to view the Video; click on Agenda Item #16 to skip directly to this matter at 59:16 minutes.

The vote against televising the meetings is worrisome on several levels:

  1. The equipment and largely automated technology is already in place for City Council meetings and needs only to be turned on during the Commission meetings and manned.
  2. Staff indicated there was ample budget to cover the $3,600/year extra expense ($50 per hour).  Most meetings are under two hours so the actual cost will likely be closer to $2,500/year.
  3. Council arguments against televising meetings focused on these concerns:
    • that the public would stop coming to meetings
    • that commissioners might be inclined to grandstand more if televised
    • that access to videos would aid litigants against the city
    • and, ironically, that commissioners (and Council members) wouldn’t have the benefit of public comments delivered in person before voting
  4. The Planning Commission itself expressed displeasure both with the Council’s decision and with the fact that no one asked their views on the matter.  However an expected noticed public discussion of the matter by the Commission has not yet materialized.

SPON’s Next Step: We are not giving up on this request.  While we work to gather more support in the community and on the Council, SPON, at its own expense, has retained a videographer who will videotape Planning Commission Meetings beginning March 3.  Videos will be posted to our website and/or You Tube for public viewing. Be sure to watch for our progress on this action on our website. 

YOUR Next Steps: 

    1. Check SPON’s YouTube Channel to view videos which we post after each Planning Commission Meeting
    2. Write to City Council members to let them know how important these videos are for government transparency
    3. Write letters to the editors of our local newspapers.  Be sure to include your name, city of residence and phone number (not for publication but allows editors to check with you if they have questions).

Daily Pilot Editor
Newport Beach Independent Editor
OC Register Editor

Press Coverage: 

Helpful Links

Video Library

Council Candidate Forums

As a 501(c)3 organization, SPON cannot, and does not, take a position on the merits of candidates for elective office. Providing information to the public is, however, part of SPON’s core mission, and as such — in the interest of an informed electorate — SPON provides links to videos of public election forums, present and past, at which competing candidates for the Newport Beach City Council have expressed their views on issues of interest to residents. To access our full playlist of YouTube videos click on the little horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner of the video below.  Links to additional election forum videos can be found by following the first link above.

Community Interest Videos

This is a collection of videos that may be of interest to members of the SPON community.  To access the full playlist, click on the little horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner of the video below.

Community interest videos recorded and broadcast by the City can be found linked to from their Newport Beach Television (“NBTV”) webpages.  Many of the NBTV videos can also be found on the YouTube page of Edward Olen.

SPON GPAC presentations

These videos archive presentations made at SPON’s GPAC workshops. For additional details, including copies of the PowerPoints, see the SPON General Plan Update page.  To access the full playlist, click on the little horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner of the video below.

City Workshops recorded by SPON

These are videos, recorded at SPON’s expense, of public workshops conducted by the City of Newport Beach.  To see the full list, click on the little horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner of the video below and scroll through the selections.

SPON-recorded Planning Commission Meeting Videos

From March 3, 2016, though January 19, 2017, SPON, at its own expense, recorded and posted the Newport Beach Planning Commission meetings for public review.
To see the full list, click on the little horizontal bars in the upper left-hand corner of the following video and then scroll through the selections.

Alternatively, to see the full playlist directly on SPON’s YouTube channel click on this link.

 City-recorded Planning Commission Meeting Videos

Effective February 9, 2017, the City of Newport Beach assumed responsibility for filming Planning Commission meetings, and maintains them from that date forward on the city’s website.

Videos filmed by the City are available here:

  1. Click on this link
  2. Then click on the Video folder
  3. Then click on a Year of interest
  4. Finally, click on the meeting date you wish to view

The City also records its City Council meetings, the videos of which can be similarly found here.

Newsletter 2016 Winter-Spring

Topics covered in this newsletter include:

  • Recent accomplishments
  • New development projects that jeopardizes the beauty and peace of our coastline
  • New community outreach opportunities
  • Important upcoming dates to save

A downloadable/printable version of this Newsletter is available here.


beehiveWe’ve been busy on many fronts since our last not-quite-quarterly newsletter. Despite the crushing defeat of Measure Y (almost 70% voted NO), attempts to add more density and traffic and change the character of Newport Beach have continued in different forms. But as always we’re on our toes and watching out for residents’ interests. [Links providing Measure Y background located below.]

Here’s what we’ve accomplished:

May 21: A big thanks to everyone who wrote to the Planning Commissioners to stop them from adding 300,000 sf of development capacity to Newport Coast after The Irvine Company said it had noticed a “scrivener’s error” in the voter-approved portion of the 2006 General Plan…nine years after the fact!  [Links at bottom of page.]

September 1: We met with Dave Kiff, Ed Selich, Diane Dixon and Community Development Director Kim Brandt to discuss the spot zoning and tweaks to the General Plan we’re seeing all around our town. We reiterated that it’s probably time for a comprehensive review of the City’s General Plan[Links at bottom of page.]

jam3October 7: The Coastal Commission delayed a decision on Banning Ranch after the developer pitched a plan to build 1,175 homes, a 75-room hotel and 20-bed hostel along with 75,000 sf of retail space on a 401-acre site rich in environmentally sensitive habitat and Native American archaeological sites. The next hearing will be May 11, 12 or 13 in Long Beach [exact date and venue TBD]. We are supporting all efforts to preserve this entire site as open space and stop a project that would mean big money for developers but only give residents ten years of noise, contaminated dust and traffic jams during construction and then an ongoing drain on our roads, water, public safety and other resources. Not to mention gridlock. [Links at bottom of page.]

October 8: We had an attorney write a letter on SPON’s behalf about a plan to tear down the Beacon Bay Car Wash in Newport Center and build a seven-story building with 49 luxury condos (“150 Newport Center Project”). The project, as submitted, requires

  • a General Plan amendment, a Zoning Code amendment, and
  • a waiver of the 10-acre minimum for a “Planned Community”, and
  • an increase in the height limit for the site from 35 to 87 feet!

Our letter was received before the project could breeze by the Planning Commission and go on for approval by the City Council with no Environmental Impact Report (EIR).  An EIR is being conducted now – stay tuned.  [Links at bottom of page.]

Museum House: In the meantime, a competing project being put forward aims to redevelop the OC Museum of Art site, on the other side of Fashion Island, with a 26-story, 100-unit condominium high rise. Yes, you read that right… [Links at bottom of page.]

These are just a few highlights of the actions SPON took in 2015. Many of our battles are of the longer-term variety and will stretch out into 2016 and beyond…


Keeping our coastline beautiful…and true to Newport Beach

nbcoastlineNearly half of Newport Beach is in the coastal zone, and today projects in that zone need permits both from the City and the California

Coastal Commission. If the Coastal Commission signs off on it, the Local Coastal Program Implementation Plan, approved by the Planning Commission in October and by the City Council in November, would transfer a good deal of control over development projects to City government.

Which is fine with us as long as the City’s actions are guided by its own coastal policies and the Coastal Act. Case in point: The City approved the Back Bay Landing Project in its original form, which included building a new bulkhead, multi-story water-edge homes and a 65-foot viewing tower. The Coastal Commission deferred a final decision on the bulkhead and homes in December BUT denied the tower, saying it would be “inconsistent with the character of the area and result in adverse visual impacts to public views of the bay and the cliffs of Upper Newport Bay”.  Don’t you wonder why our City Council didn’t make that statement?

developedcoastlineSuch considerations will be all-important now that a good portion of Mariner’s Mile has changed hands and will be the subject of a number of “revitalization” proposals.   We want to make sure that stretch of PCH doesn’t wind up with oversized lots and super-sized buildings on either side, making it feel like a concrete canyon.  In particular, current height restrictions will have to be respected and enforced. [Links at bottom of page.]


Asking for transparency

We’re still working to get the City to use the state-of-the-art technology in the Civic Center to live stream and archive Planning Commission meetings, during which City Council-appointed commissioners discuss and vote on development projects with the potential to impact and even transform our community. Thanks to everyone who wrote letters about this last year. We may have gotten through to officials: this item is now on the February 23 City Council agenda!  [Link at bottom of page.] 

And we encourage you to continue writing to City Council in support of this request.  City Council will hear this matter on February 23, so time is of the essence. (Email form here).


Reaching out

We’ve been trying a new community outreach model: A few of our members have graciously opened their homes for monthly informational luncheons so people can visit with like-minded residents, keep up with the City’s development pipeline (no simple task!) and find out what they can do to help.


Expanding our network of people who care

SPON is run entirely by volunteers and funded exclusively with members’ tax-deductible donations. Every bit helps. But to carry out our mission, we need people just as much as we need money. If you care about our residential and environmental qualities and have time or special skills you’d like to contribute, we’ll be thrilled to hear from you. We all love Newport Beach and we need to show it!   Tell us how you can help hereIf you can donate, form is here.


LITS


Save the Dates:

May 11, 12 or 13: Coastal Commission hearing on Banning Ranch in Long Beach.  Exact date and venue TBD.

May 21: SPON Annual Meeting at the Environmental Nature Center. Details here.

November 8: Election Day! Remember, we need a City Council that cares about residents, so don’t forget to ask questions and research candidates before you vote.


 

Newsletter Information Links

Measure Y

General Plan Land Use Element Correction: Newport Coast Development

General Plan (voter approved in 2006)

Banning Ranch

150 Newport Center Project (Beacon Bay Car Wash Site Redevelopment)

Museum House (OC Museum of Art Site High-Rise Condo Project)

Coastline Projects

Request for Planning Commission Meeting Videos

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

Questions for SPON:
Contact Us