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.
- 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.
City of Newport Beach
- 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.
- none so far
- City’s case log of recent planning applications (not always accurate or up to date)