city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

councilwoman  v  newport beach, california


april UPDATE





Kudos to Alan Monsour. The Costa Mesa City Council member took it upon himself to reach out to Newport Beach council members to improve relations between the two cities. Among his ideasĖcreating a sort of super-committee of the two cities which would coordinate the various airport groups. The two cities will be holding a joint council meeting, tentatively scheduled for April 10.

The first community outreach meeting was held by the owners of Banning Ranch. Attendance was made up of two groups: residents living adjacent to the property and proponents of keeping it all open space. The residentsí concerns were primarily about circulationĖif the property were to be developed, where would the access nodes be located and how would that affect their neighborhoods. I got the sense that most of them walked away feeling that the owners were trying to be sensitive to their concerns. The open space proponents were eloquent in their passion to preserve the area. They also seemed somewhat naive in their expectations, suggesting that the owners donate some or all of the property, for example. Two appraisals will be done, one by the owners, one by the city. Itís a difficult project to appraise since there arenít a lot of comps. It will be interesting to see the parameters given each of the appraisers since that will have a significant impact on their final figures.

When I was a kid, we had virtually no organized sports, especially for girls. Today, itís the rare child who isnít involved in at least one organized sport, and as a result, we have a growing need for sports fields. Sunset Ridge Park was designated as an active park in the General Plan, and a conceptual plan for the park was recently presented to the public in a series of meetings. The Newport Terrace residents who front on the property are dismayed, and itís understandable. Instead of open space with occasional visitors they will abut soccer and baseball fields that will see considerable use. Council has asked staff to explore a reconfiguration of the plan to see if a different layout would reduce the impact on the residents.


Because of erosion problems in the gully experts have warned that slopes could fail and houses tumble. The city has proposed seeking a grant for funds to install a series of gabions which would stabilize the area. However, the city doesnít own the property and would need easements from the homeowners on the gully: temporary easements for the installation of the gabions and permanent easements for occasional maintenance. These easements would not affect any building or structure, but at a recent meeting to discuss the proposal, there was concern from some homeowners about granting such easements. It will be interesting to see if their concerns can be assuaged, and if not, whether there is a plan B besides letting things take their course.

Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, eel grass comes and goes and why, nobody knows. Unfortunately for boat owners, a federal agency decided to step in, even if the knowledge wasnít there, and impose onerous conditions on anyone seeking to dredge a boat slip where there was eel grass. As a result, many boats are imperiled at low tide. The City recently hired a team of experts to look at the problem. Among their observations: the lack of dredging is counter-productive. Eel grass doesnít thrive in water thatís too shallow, so silting in of the harbor reduces habitat. It also means that the plants are more subject to damage by prop wash. Another observation: eel grass springs back rapidly after dredging. We are scheduling a meeting between the agency and our experts in the hopes that this information will persuade the agency to change its policy for Newport Harbor.







This is a two-way process, so please donít hesitate to contact me with your ideas and opinions.




Councilwoman Nancy Gardner



City of Newport Beach - 3300 Newport Blvd - Newport Beach, CA  92663

Phone:  949.644.3004    -    EMAIL:

Copyright  2008   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved

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