city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

councilwoman  v  newport beach, california






The view from the top of Begonia Park is designated as a public view in the new General Plan and as such protected. As I mentioned previously, there is a small lot at the corner that many people thought was part of the park but is actually someone’s lot. The owners have decided to build, and their first plans were quite obstructive in terms of the view. I’ve seen a second set of plans, and it looks as if the new proposal protects the view - good news to the many who frequent the park.

As most people have heard, the Port Theater is to be restored. As explained by the owner, it will be as much a community place as a movie house, available to the public for events. It will have lounge seating–sofas and chairs–instead of the former stadium seating, a kitchen to prepare food on site, an enlarged stage, and possibly a beer and wine license. The idea is that you could order food and have a glass of wine while you watch a movie or your daughter’s dance recital. For those of us who like to watch performances without a lot of ancillary chatter, this may be a challenge.

We are moving along on Option 1 for Banning Ranch–the purchase of the property as open space. The City has hired Dave Myerson to help us with both the appraisal and funding processes. Dave has twenty-five years of experience in the field, participating in the recent Tejon Ranch process as well as a conservancy involving an oil field in Baldwin Hills. Meanwhile, the owners continue to work on Option 2 which is development of the property with the stricture that at least half must remain open space.

While heading up the McFadden Square Centennial project, Bernie Svalstad found it difficult to research the city’s history because there is no central repository of documents. His new mission is to establish a history museum for the city. Council member Rosansky has suggested that the Corona del Mar library, to be remodeled when the fire station is rebuilt, might provide space for some sort of collection. I have thought that the current city hall site might be appropriate for something of that sort.

This is the property at the junction of Carnation and Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar, sitting on a coastal bluff above a rocky cove. There is an old apartment building on the site which the owner wants to replace with luxury condominiums. The first time the project was presented to Council we determined that it cascaded too far down the bluff and had to be moved up. The second version does a much better job of protecting the bluff, but enough questions were raised about the Mitigated Negative Declaration that we sent it back again. We will be taking another whack at it in September. My main concern at this point is the proposed marina with room for up to eight boats. Since around here nobody seems to have heard of Mies van der Rohe I assume they will be large vessels which could completely obscure views of the cove and bluffs which we have worked so hard to protect.

Buck Gully is a fire hazard. According to the Fire Marshal, it is the number one fire hazard in the city because a fire in the gully could easily spread beyond the houses on the rim and take out a large part of Corona del Mar. Some years ago a stringent fuel modification plan was proposed for the area, but residents persuaded the Council to let them meet a lower standard. After a presentation by the Fire Marshal on the current status, the Council has directed him to come back with a new ordinance with stricter standards in terms of the distance between trees and shrubs. This will be a painful process. One of the reasons people live on the canyon is because they enjoy their view of the lush vegetation, but the aesthetics of a few have to be balanced against the risk to the many.





This is a two-way process, so please don’t 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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