city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

council member  v  newport beach, california



newsletter:  february 2011




Lots of interesting ideas and opinions. The general direction at this point is a combination of public use such as a community center and a residential component, but there are lots of questions: Should the emphasis be on generating maximum revenue from the site with a small public facility and more housing, or should this be the site of a major community center along the lines of Newport Coast with a smaller housing component? If the latter, should the existing West Newport Center on 15th Street be converted to housing to generate income? How does a community facility on the city hall site affect plans for Marina Park? Thereís also a proposed promenade through the various properties and potentially a canal. The promenade has gotten universal support, the canal a mix with some concerned about water quality issues and others feeling that blue space would be more productively used as green space. Itís an ongoing process so chime in.

When I was in high school, one of my friends whose father was an architect wouldnít let him go to the Port Theater because he felt it was seismically unsound. Well, if an earthquake hits, and Iím anywhere near there, Iím ducking into the Port. One reason it hasnít come along as quickly as many had hoped is that they have done major retrofitting with big steel beams and trusses, not an easy job in an existing building, but now most of that is completed, and they anticipate being open this year. As you may recall, the idea is to provide a more upscale movie experience that includes dining which counts me out. Iím crabby enough about the movie-going public with their cell phones and chatter. Add food service, and Iíd just as soon watch it on my TV. Meanwhile, the Island cinemas at Fashion Island are closed for remodeling, to the consternation of the Newport Beach Film Festival which this year will be the Newport-Costa Mesa-Irvine-and-other-sites-as-necessary Film Festival.

People going through trash cans present privacy issues as well as loss of revenue for the city when recyclables are removed. Apparently, the money can be pretty good because certain individuals bring in teams to cover an area which raises the potential, I would think, for criminal activity. The city has kicked it up to a misdemeanor to go through someone elseís trash in the hope of discouraging the activity. The police will respond if not on a more urgent matter, and during the day, Code Enforcement can also be contacted by phone at        644-3215.

Iím talking this up. A few years ago it was being discussed fairly seriouslyĖthe idea that the Army Corps of Engineers would come in and dredge the harbor (One) and then the city would take over all responsibility (Done). The reason I like it is itís something that might actually happen. ACE admits that it has a dredging responsibility, but it never has the funds, and given the current make up of Congress, it doesnít look like thatís going to change.   BUT . . . if we could go to the feds and show them that One and Done actually saves the federal government money over the course, we might make some headway. Obviously, there would be ongoing costs to the city, but we could put a plan together that would do regular small-scale dredging at a reasonable cost instead of every eighty years when the costs are so huge. As for eel grass, itís looking like the controlling agencies may accept the cityís plan. Right now, the individual is on the hook for mitigating any loss of eel grass, and the process is arduous, to say the least. Under our proposal, the city would guarantee to maintain a certain amount of eel grass in the bay, and as long as we met the standard, we could issue dredging permits to the individuals.

One of the issues that is going to be addressed in the near future is the size of boats in the harborĖshould there be a limit. One point of view says that if it can be parkedĖsorry, mooredĖthereís no problem. Others feel that large vessels make navigation difficult for other boats. Some also make a distinction between large private boats which make occasional voyages and are not used for cruises around the bay and commercial boats which may go out daily and thatís exactly where they goĖaround the bay. With a harbor that has kayakers, paddlers, sailors, anglers, racers and every degree of expertise from zero to the Olympics, itís a balancing act.

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




Council Member Nancy Gardner



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

Phone:  949.644.3004    |    EMAIL:

Copyright  2011   v  Nancy Gardner    v   All Rights Reserved