city council district 6 v corona del mar & newport coast
councilwoman v newport beach, california
It is a tradition to make predictions at this time of year. Since my experience reading entrails is slight, Iíll stick with some safe ones for 2008:
1. There will be a site selected for city hall
2. There will be a group home ordinance passed
3. Decisions will be made about Banning Ranch
#1: One way or the other, we will select a site for a new city hall this year. If Measure B passes, then come hell or high water (literally) it will be behind the main library. Traffic issues? Construction difficulties? Doesnít matter. It will be in the Cityís charter. I donít think itís the right site. Proponents point to the fact that we own the land so itís a good deal financially. Well, we own the land where our current city hall is, and thatís a much cheaper site to build on. As for the red herring of a tsunami, if weíre really worried about such a disaster, we should stop issuing building permits for any residence on the peninsula, many of which will be inundated long before water reaches the city hall site, and our vital records which are shipped off-site on a 24-hour basis. Another potential site, the 500 block in Newport Center, we would have to buy the land, but again, itís a much easier site to build on, fewer traffic issues, and we save the park which provides one of the iconic views as you come down MacArthurĖparticularly nice for those of us whose private view consists of our neighborís wall.
#2: We are very close to enacting an ordinance to alleviate an over-intensification of group homes in the city. Talk about a damned if you do, damned if you donít situation. Residents are threatening to sue us for not going far enough. Operators are threatening to sue us for going too far. As for help from other quarters, the Attorney General has just issued an opinion stating that the Department of Alcohol and Drug Prevention cannot not issue a license to a group home just because a city has way too many of them already. Thanks, Jerry.
#3: The General Plan specifies Banning Ranch as open space, and we will (this is a prediction, remember, not a guarantee) start the process with a feasibility study that provides some numbers in terms of land value and clean up costs and analyzes the possibility of finding funding sources to purchase the property. If funding sources can be identified, we will need to go after them aggressively because the owners, who have never made any bones about wanting to develop the property, are not going to sit idly while the City dithers. If the study suggests that funding is unavailable, then the City can look at the General Planís fallback optionĖmaintaining a minimum of 50% open space but allowing development. This presumes that the owners will finally step off the fence and acknowledge they want to be annexed to Newport Beach.
ALSO IN 2008
TIERED WATER RATES
The City is set to study the feasibility of some kind of tiered-rate system for our water supply as a method of encouraging conservation. We have made significant cuts in indoor water usage with devices like low-flush toilets, so future savings will come outdoors with smart irrigation systems, better plant choices and the elimination of wasteful activities like hosing off the driveway (Itís not going to grow!).
No, not Pacific Ocean Park (for those of you old enough to remember), and not a poor but popular substitute for rock and roll. POP stands for Problem-Oriented PolicingĖfocusing resources on a specific area to deal with a specific problem. As it applies to Big Corona, this means a police sweep every night when the beach closes, cameras to alert the police to after-hours visitors and stepped-up code enforcement to insure that cooking is limited to the fire rings and city-installed grills to alleviate the proliferation of hibachis and portable grills across the entire beach and parking lot.
Iím looking forward to the recommendations that will emerge from the Cityís parking study. Meanwhile, one thing that would help residential neighborhoods is for people to use their garages for cars instead of for storage. As someone said, it defies good sense to park a $50,000 car on the street so that you can store a couple of hundred dollars worth of goodies in the garage, and it means one less spot on the street. Another help will be to find better places for employees to park.
I hope you have all seen the new entry monuments. Much more reflective of the city than the old ones, and an excellent way to usher in the new year.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
> CdM Parking
> Palm Trees
> City Hall Location
FUTURE TOPIC SUGGESTIONS
This is a two-way process, so please donít hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions.
Councilwoman Nancy Gardner
QUALITY OF LIFE Advocate FOR NEWPORT BEACH
City of Newport Beach - 3300 Newport Blvd - Newport Beach, CA 92663
Phone: 949.644.3004 - EMAIL: email@example.com
Copyright 2008 v Nancy Gardner v All Rights Reserved