city council district 6 v corona del mar & newport coast
councilwoman v newport beach, california
CITY HALL IN THE PARK
Along with other council members I attended the presentations of the five firms competing to design the new city hall. For those softies who couldn’t sit through the full eight hours, there will be a Reader’s Digest version on the city’s television channel, and display boards at city hall, the central library and other locations. All of the firms promoted green buildings and all were cognizant that the project was to be as promoted – City Hall IN the park with well-developed plans for the park area. The City Hall Design Committee, made up of four architects and one landscape architect, will be reviewing the presentations in depth. It is the committee’s job to make a recommendation to the Council. It will be Council’s job to restrain from treating the five proposals like a menu from a Chinese restaurant and take two items from proposal one, three from proposal two, etc., and creating our own blind man’s elephant.
The City has hired Buss-Shelger Associates to do a preliminary appraisal of Banning Ranch. The plan is to get both high and low end estimates so that we have some idea of the kind of funds it might take to purchase the property and keep it as open space. Meanwhile, the owners have submitted their development plans, a draft scope of work is being prepared, and an EIR will be produced–perhaps an 18-month undertaking.
Friends of Begonia Park hired a biologist to look at the proposed building site. Although his findings were inconclusive, the Assistant City Attorney felt that there were enough questions raised to send the project back to the Planning Commission to determine if it needs an EIR.
We had a joint meeting with the Costa Mesa City Council to discuss ways the two cities can cooperate on airport issues. There was an informative report from L&B Associates that analyzed usage of the airport and identified several groups that might be persuaded to use another airport such as Ontario. There were also ideas to relieve traffic congestion around the airport although I suppose one way to discourage usage of JWA would be to make getting there so horrendous that any alternative would be preferable.
BOATS AT BIG
As feared, one of the boats anchored off Big Corona broke loose from its mooring and ended up in pieces on the beach, and there wasn’t even a storm or big surf. We have learned that the Public Trust Doctrine grants navigation rights to anyone in public waters, and these rights include anchoring. However, there is no constitutional right to unregulated long-term anchoring, so staff has been requested to come up with either an ordinance the city could enact or other enforcement methods. Meanwhile, flyers are being given to boaters telling them not to discharge waste or face $25,000 or a year in jail.
CITY WEB SITE
It is embarrassing to be someone so familiar with the city and have such a hard time finding the information I want on the city web site. Fortunately for people like me, we have hired a firm to do a complete redesign. The Media and Communications Committee was given examples of the firm’s work for other cities, and they were not only attractive but appeared very accessible. Meanwhile, if you are a city news junkie, you can sign up for e-alert to get automatic emails on subjects of your choice. Just go to the city web site and sign up. It’s easy–even for me.
FUTURE TOPIC SUGGESTIONS
This is a two-way process, so please don’t 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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