city council district   v corona del mar & newport coast

Nancy Gardner 

council member  v  newport beach, california



newsletter:  march 2011




If this sounds like covert ops, it should. With increased surveillance at the border, traffickers are moving people and drugs by water now, and a program--headquartered in Newport HarborĖhas been created to deal with the problem. Itís a maritime unified command that brings together various agencies led by the Harbor Patrol and has quickly become a model for the nation. An immediate benefit has been a grant from Homeland Security to purchase a SAFE boat which is smaller, faster, and has a greater range than the boats previously used which were clumsily adapted for the work rather than created for it as this one is.

The Aerie project, which was rather controversial as it made its way through the city, has been redesigned to meet Coastal Commission concerns. There is one less unit, more traditional parking, and the units donít go as far down the bluff. With this new design, construction time will be six months shorter and there will be 30% less excavation, good news to the neighbors.

A major benefit of the process has been a more global approach, looking not just at the city hall site but all the city property on the west side of town, and some interesting ideas have emerged including moving the General Services function on Superior to the Utilities yard; taking the vacant General Services space and putting police headquarters there instead of rebuilding at the current site; also creating a significant community center at that site, including a gym; and repurposing part of Marina Park to accommodate lifeguard headquarters. Under this scenario, the West Newport Community Center and the current police headquarters site could be leased or sold, and the current city hall site would accommodate residential development and a smaller public function such as an amphitheater. Initial analysis shows significant savings as well as income opportunities.

Talk about the road to hell . . . As part of the development of Balboa Marina (between the old Reuben E. Lee site and Linda Isle) The Irvine Company agreed to provide four public docking spaces. Unfortunately, the request came along so late that the design was already in place and instead of being carefully integrated, the public spaces had to be tacked on. The result Ė a long, gated walkway leading to the berths Ė satisfied no one. TIC had trouble maintaining security for all the private boats docked in the marina, and nearby residents were exposed to more noise from late-night restaurant customers, now moving towards them and often taking a wrong turn in the narrow channel. Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller and TIC sat down and worked out a solution that moved the public berths, achieving better security for the marina, less noise for Linda Isle residents, and more convenient access for those using the public berths. End result: silk purses and lemonade!

I am very sympathetic to the idea of preserving Banning Ranch as open space and in the past have sat down with those most involved in the effort to discuss ways to proceed. However, I am in disagreement with holding Sunset Ridge Park hostage as part of their strategy. The park will provide much needed soccer and baseball fields for the youth of our community, and itís a shame that it is being held up by litigation because of a misconception that the park road paves the way for development of Banning Ranch. As I have said a number of times, what paves the way is not a road but the lack of funding to purchase the property.


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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:

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