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City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Balboa Village Advisory Committee Meeting – The Balboa Village Advisory Committee (BVAC) will meet next Wednesday, July 17, at Marina Park. The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. The BVAC will hear updates on efforts to revamp wayfinding signage in and around the Village. 

Also at this meeting, the BVAC will review its progress with addressing the strategies identified in the City Council-approved Balboa Village Master Plan. Initially formed in September 2012, the BVAC was tasked with overseeing the vetting and implementation of the recommended strategies, including a trolley program and streetscape improvements.

The BVAC meets monthly on the third Wednesday of each month at Marina Park on an as-needed basis. For additional information, check the City’s webpage here.

Vivante Senior Housing Update – On Thursday, July 18, the Planning Commission will hear an application for Vivante Senior Housing. The project consists of 90 senior housing dwelling units and a 27-bed memory care facility located on the former Orange County Museum of Art and administrative office building sites at 850 and 856 San Clemente Drive. The project includes requests for a General Plan amendment, Planned Community Development Plan amendment, development agreement, major site development review, conditional use permit, lot merger and EIR addendum. The community is encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting, which will start at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The final Planning Commission agenda can be accessed by clicking here. The City’s project webpage also provides additional background information and project status updates. 

Uptown Newport Open – A temporary certificate of occupancy was issued for the South Building of Uptown phase 1 located at 4201 Jamboree Rd. Uptown is permitted to operate their business center and phase their tenants’ move-in dates. This phase has released 94 units of various types in five stories with limited access to amenities as the building is being completed. The use of the business center allows the developer to write contractual agreements with tenants and conduct tours of the various models. The remainder of the South Building will be released in two phases to allow safe occupancy for the residents while the finishes are being completed. 

Western Snowy Plover Plan Submitted – The Planning Division has submitted the Western Snowy Plover Management Plan for East Balboa Peninsula Beaches (Plan) to the California Coastal Commission for their review. The Western Snowy Plover (WSP) is a federally designated threatened species and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the beach area between B and G Streets as critical habitat for the WSP. The area also contains protected native dune habitat. 

The Plan includes provisions for habitat management and dune restoration that takes into account predator management, recreation management, municipal operations in and around the critical habitat, signage and public education. Finally, and most importantly, the Plan includes procedures for habitat monitoring and an adaptive management component that allows the Plan to be modified and adjusted to changing habitat and WSP population conditions observed through the monitoring. 

The Plan was prepared by biologists from Glen Lukos Associates. However, the preparation was truly a collaborative effort that included input by the many City departments that work in and around the critical habitat area. The preparation of the plan also included input from residents and other interested groups received at three public meetings and through written correspondence. 

Implementation of the Plan, which includes removal of the two fenced areas, requires approval of a Coastal Development Permit. City staff will now wait to hear from Coastal Commission staff regarding any suggested changes before advancing the Plan to a public hearing before the Coastal Commission. The Plan can be accessed on the City website at www.newportbeachca.gov/snowyplover.

East Ocean Front Encroachment Program – The California Coastal Commission unanimously denied the City’s request to establish a program where property owners along East Ocean Front in the Peninsula Point area could lease a 15-foot area in front of their properties from the City to have patios and landscaping. The significant funds that would have been raised would have supported public access improvements in the area as well as other program improvements for visitors to the area. The program was patterned after an identical and successful program the Commission authorized in 1992 for the West Newport area that led to public access improvements. The Commission cited concerns about impacts to the adjacent dune and Western Snowy Plover habitat, use of tidelands, sea level rise, and direct impact to public access by excluding the public from the specific area that would have been leased. They also determined the program would be antithetical to environmental justice principles, a new state-authorized consideration the Coastal Commission can apply to their decisions. What’s next? Within 60 days, the City will file a Coastal Development Permit to remove and restore the unpermitted improvements installed on the beach by homeowners. 

Natural Disasters – As Southern California is on heightened earthquake alert, the time is now to get you, your family, and neighborhood prepared for any unexpected emergency. The City of Newport Beach encourages all community members to sign up for emergency alerts, build a disaster supply kit and take the City’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.

–Sign up to receive City emergency alerts at www.alertoc.com.

–Build or purchase a disaster supply kit.

–Take the City’s Community Emergency Response Team training that teaches community members basic disaster preparedness skills, which can assist during an emergency. The next classes begin in September. For more information on the CERT program, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

–Attend the Disaster Preparedness Expo on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the City Hall Civic Center, hosted by the City.

–To learn more, go to the City’s website here. The City provides disaster preparedness and hands only CPR training to any requesting group in the city. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule your training. 

Movie in the Park – Movie in the Park season is in full swing with an exciting lineup of events over the remainder of the summer. The events feature crafts and games for kids, free popcorn and candy, and a popular movie for the family to enjoy on our gigantic inflatable movie screen at sundown. Bring a lawn chair and your favorite blanket for a movie under the stars.

–July 19 at Cliff Drive Park: Lego Movie 2

–August 23 at Grant Howald Park: Mary Poppins Returns

–September 20 at Bayview Park: Hotel Transylvania 3

2018-10 Playground Improvement Projects – The City recently renovated three playgrounds at Cliff Drive, Channel Place and Eastbluff Parks, just in time for summer fun. Cliff Drive received a new shade fabric. Channel Place and Eastbluff parks received new playground equipment. All the parks either received new rubber surfacing, sand or both. Ready, set, play! 

Streetlight Improvement Projects – The 2018-19 Streetlight Improvement project is almost complete. The project upgraded three circuits and converted lamp heads to more efficient LED lighting in a portion of the Eastbluff neighborhood, west of Eastbluff Drive and south of Vista Del Sol. At this time, the Public Works staff is reviewing proposals for the design of the 2019-20 Streetlight Improvement project. 

Facilities Painting – The City’s facilities painting project is moving along. The contractor has completed most of the locations including the Central Library, Community Youth Center, Lifeguard Headquarters and many Utilities facilities. They will be coming to the Civic Center Park and parking structure soon, so please keep an eye out for wet paint. 

Awarded $1.5M Grant from Federal WaterSMART Program – The Utilities Department is pleased to announce the Federal Bureau of Reclamation has tentatively awarded a $1.5 million grant for the City’s Advanced (Water) Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project. The project was deemed as one of the most qualified of applications for bringing about measurable municipal water and cost savings under the Bureau’s WaterSMART Program. The City’s AMI project will install new “smart meters” and provide customers direct access to water usage information and improved customer service. The 250-meter AMI Proof of Performance phase is currently underway and this grant award will offset the future project expected to begin next year. 

2019 Drinking Water Quality Report – The Utilities Department has prepared the annual drinking water quality report covering the 2018 calendar year. This annual report has been recently mailed to all Newport Beach water customers and is also found on the City’s website: www.newportbeachca.gov/home/showdocument?id=64294.

The City of Newport Beach Utilities Department vigilantly safeguards its water supply and as in years past, the water delivered to your home and business meets the quality standards required by federal and state regulatory agencies. For information about the report or water quality information in general, please contact the City Utilities Department at 949.644.3011.