Mariners’ Mile

Project Overview: Mariners’ Mile has been identified as an area needing revitalization. With completion of the study evaluating roadway capacity requirements for West Coast Highway, the City will be evaluating existing land use policies and regulations, which may inhibit revitalization of the area.  The Mariners’ Mile Revitalization Master Plan is intended to identify potential refinements or barriers to revitalizing the area.

Why We’re Watching: The City contracted with PlaceWorks in May of 2016 to assist in these efforts.  Note that PlaceWorks is the same outside consultant that coordinated the meetings that led to 2014’s Measure Y.  PlaceWorks also prepared the environmental analysis for Uptown Newport and the soon-to-be-unveiled Museum House (as well as Measure Y). According to the City, the plan they develop will provide an implementation strategy to improve the area.

A good portion of Mariners’ Mile has just changed hands and will likely be the subject of many projects and proposals.  As residents, we expect these projects and proposals to adhere to our General Plan rules in order to avoid spot zoning exceptions which pave the way for excessive heights and density.  And as residents, we need to raise these concerns during the earliest phases of project planning.  The first opportunity to do so was at the event shown below.


March 28, 2017:  Mariners Mile is listed as one of several topics to be discussed at a “District 2 Town Hall” to be conducted by Councilman Brad Avery in the Mariners Branch Library community room from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

 April 20, 2017:  The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to hold a study session on the Master Plan on April 20, and a draft will presumably be posted for public review prior to that.  At a later meeting, tentatively scheduled for May 4, the Commission is expected to make a recommendation to the Council.

Recent Events:

Mariners’ Mile Revitalization Master Plan Community Meeting (January 2017)
The third public “workshop” was held at Marina Park on January 26, 2017, at 6:00 pm.  Although comments were entertained at the end, this was primarily a presentation by PlaceWorks, the outside firm preparing the new Master Plan.  A SPON-produced video of this third public meeting is available here.

AutoNation Proposal Withdrawn (November 7, 2016):  At its October 6 meeting, the Planning Commission recommended denial of a massive AutoNation Porsche dealership proposal, which which was not part of the revitalization planning and caught many nearby residents by surprise (see SPON video for August 18 Planning Commission meeting). Cut back into the bluff, it would have occupied the entire north side of PCH from the largely-vacant new Mariner’s Pointe building at Dover Drive to McDonald’s, with roof-top parking and elevator shafts towering 50 feet above the highway.  An appeal by AutoNation was expected to be heard by the City Council at a special Monday evening meeting on November 7, 2016.  However, impacted neighbors had been circulating a petition against the project and it was announced that AutoNation had withdrawn their application.

Mariners’ Mile Revitalization Master Plan Community Workshop (September 2016)
The second public workshop was held as a noticed Planning Commission study session on Monday, September 26 at 6:00 pm at Marina Park.  Attendance was good, despite it being a presidential election debate night.  A video recording of this second Community Workshop is available here.

Mariners’ Mile Revitalization Master Plan Community Workshop (July 2016)
The July 25 Community Workshop was literally standing-room only for the crowd that attended the event.  It obviously attracted many more people than the organizers had planned. Attendees were split into groups and asked to share ideas for the area. A video recording of this first Community Workshop is available here.

City staff has apparently been meeting with the developers and initially said it planned to submit a draft master plan to the Planning Commission in October and to the City Council by the end of the year. Sound like a rush job?

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