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Newport Beach


Letters to the Editor

Community desires a look at the eventual overall plan for Mariner’s Mile

Mariner’s Mile is an indispensable seaside center linking the Peninsula, Lido Island, Lido Marina Village, Mariner’s Mile, Balboa Island, and Corona del Mar villages and neighborhoods. Its significance and impact must not be undervalued. Scenic corridor views along Mariner’s Mile cannot be taken for granted. The full scope of all foreseeable development project proposals along Mariner’s Mile must meet Coastal Commission, community and environmental requirements before approval. Working together, let’s get it right – the City, the developers and the stakeholders.

The future of Mariner’s Mile will be determined within the framework of the interdependent actions of the developers, city staff, Planning Commission, City Council, Caltrans, business and property owners, local merchants and residents. Our community is stronger together, especially when stakeholders, developers and the City work together to support each other based upon a common consensus, understanding and purpose. Community stakeholders are asking the City to lay out all the Mariner’s Mile proposed and pending development projects together so we can study and understand how everything ties together.

The February 18 Planning Commission hearing should be postponed until the City’s Community Development Department holds a public outreach workshop meeting to inform and educate community stakeholders about 2510 W. Coast Hwy. (PA2019-249). This will allow stakeholders to provide their informed perspectives to the Planning Commission.

Will the City deliver transparency, good faith and public outreach?

Mariner’s Mile property owners, business owners and the abutting residential communities of Newport Heights/Cliff Haven, Bayshores and Lido Island desire to learn and be informed about the scope, design, benefits and impacts pertaining to this and all the foreseeable development projects along Mariner’s Mile. Community stakeholders have asked the City to explain land use controls, staff’s findings and answer stakeholders’ questions prior to the February 18th Planning Commission Hearing. The community is asking the City to lay out the project so we can study and understand how.

Respect, protect and preserve the residential, commercial and environmental qualities of our bayside town so everything proposed ties together. However, the City’s Community Development Department has denied residents’ request to outreach to community stakeholders in a public meeting to provide the details of their analysis and impending recommendation to the Planning Commission.

The February 2 community outreach Zoom meeting with the applicant team to discuss the proposed mixed-use development at 2510 W. Coast Hwy. (PA2019-249) was a positive step and provided the project’s scope and design. Yet too many stakeholders on the Zoom meeting were disappointed. They requested information pertaining to traffic and safety concerns regarding Avon and Tustin Avenues, and the property’s access when entering and leaving the premises on West Pacific Coast Highway. Also, insights into the nearby foreseeable development projects along Mariner’s Mile were not presented. This piecemeal approach to the rollout of the projects does not address substantial community concerns expressed during this Zoom meeting. Nor did the Zoom meeting present a vision for Mariner’s Mile.

In addition to 2510 W. Coast Hwy (PA2019-249), there are several proposed or pending nearby family-related development companies proposing projects. These include Newport Village and Back Bay Landing. The cumulative land use for all these developments represents over one-third of Mariner’s Mile and will forever determine the future destiny of this scenic corridor. Accordingly, all community stakeholders desire to learn and understand the full scope, size, significance, accumulated impacts and mitigation associated with all nearby foreseeable projects. This will also assure that the intent of the Greenlight Initiative and City’s General Plan vision, goals and objectives will be achieved and will hopefully prevent a long-lasting adverse impact.

Several unanswered questions that must be addressed for the 2510 W. Coast Hwy. (PA2019-249) project, as well as all nearby proposed and pending projects along Mariner’s Mile are below:

–How will the proposed and pending projects change the character and charm of Mariner’s Mile and Newport Beach?

–Are we at risk of losing our scenic corridor, the key element that connects Newport Beach’s iconic villages? Will it forever disallow the majority of residents and tourists to enjoy this scenic coastal location due to the desires of a few people who are invested in high-density development projects?

–What are the benefits and impacts on the Mariner’s Mile ecosystem, including quality of life, health, safety and traffic? What will be the cost to the residents in order to provide City services? How will police and fire be impacted?

–Are the variances and allowances given to the developer too high a consideration when comparing the full benefits and full impact of 2510 W. Coast Hwy (PA2019-249)? Is the 2510 W. Coast Hwy. (PA2019-249) project including three low-rent apartments too high a price to pay?

The Collation to Protect Mariner’s Mile (PMM) represents approximately 1,200 Newport Beach residents and stakeholders. We are involved with Mariner’s Mile and the protection of this 1.3-mile stretch along West Pacific Coast Highway. We envision transforming Mariner’s Mile into a thriving and sustainable coastal gateway destination in the City of Newport where residents and visitors can work, play, dine and shop in a relaxing and friendly environment. Our guiding principle is “Enhance Our Community’s Quality of Life and Do No Harm.”

PMM is pro-development and supports projects that are compatible with the abutting residential communities of Newport Heights/Cliff Haven, Bayshores and Lido Island. Lido Marina Village is an excellent example of what is possible.

James F Carlson, president 

Collation to Protect Mariner’s Mile

Newport Beach

Lost views and potential increases in police services a concern for Mariner’s Mile project(s)

The 2510 W. Coast Hwy. project is designed for 35 apartments (three of which will be designated for low-income at approximately $700.00 per month), at a height of 35 feet, which goes against the current height maximum allowed. According to the applicant, three low-income apartments will fabricate a reason to permanently obstruct public views from both John Wayne and Cliff Drive Parks. These public views will be lost forever, as well as have the potential to increase crime in Newport Heights.

On the City of Newport Beach website, they have what is referred to as a “heat map.” This map illustrates the “total calls” for service by the Newport Beach Police Department. The average call for service within a seven-day period is more than 1,000 calls. The “heat map” area is highly concentrated on the Peninsula and Mariner’s Mile along PCH. 

The City Staff report did not consider that apartments (and other high-density types) require more police services because they statistically have higher call volumes and crime rates, eventually increasing the need for more officers at the taxpayer’s expense. The applicant is “building out” more apartments than what is currently zoned for along Mariner’s Mile. In my opinion, the applicant and the City are clearly manipulating the system to allow for low-income units and obtaining a “density bonus,” while exceeding the current height limits. 

If the 2510 W. Coast Hwy. project is the precursor to the Newport Village Project, the residents of Newport Beach must take action, because Mariner’s Mile will soon turn into “Miami Mile” without the “walkability” factor or any amenities to service the actual project or the community. To further complicate this already disjointed project, no traffic study has ever been conducted, nor its impacts to the abutting communities. In fact, the proposed one-way entry and exit proposed for these apartments are via Avon Alley, making it extremely dangerous should an emergency occur there. In addition, Tustin and Ocean View streets are the only direct sources to get to that Avon Alley area, and they are virtually one-way streets as well. If a car is going down either street, another car going up the street has to pull over to give access to continue that vehicles’ drive down the street; and vice versa. Does that sound safe to you? In addition, any traffic coming out of the apartment complex will most likely make a right on Tustin Avenue to drive children to school, increasing the already high traffic on Tustin Avenue. 

In addition, the proposed limited parking in the apartment complex does NOT provide any guest parking. Thus, the only (free) guest parking available would be on Tustin or Ocean View, and all the closest parking is designated two-hour parking. Designated eight-hour parking on Tustin Avenue and Ocean View are already overrun with PCH restaurant employees.

The health, safety, welfare and livability of the community are of primary importance to the residents of Newport Beach. This focus offers the potential to have a powerful and positive impact. In addition, the City and residents of Newport Beach have stressed the importance of sustainability and “Living Within Our Resources.” 

The guiding principle must be to Enhance Our Community’s Quality of Life and Do No Harm. The 2510 W. Coast Hwy. project is detrimental to our surrounding neighbors and children of Bayshores, Lido Isle, Newport Heights and Cliff Haven.

The 2510 W. Coast Hwy. project hearing will be on February 18. Now is the time to let your voices be heard. Please protect our community!

Sue Leal 

Newport Beach (Tustin Avenue)

Concern that the Planning Commission has their mind made up on Mariner’s Mile

On January 21st, the Planning Commission was going to hear what is being referred to as the 2510 W. Coast Hwy. project, which consists of 35 apartments, (three low-income) and a luxury car showroom.

It was brought to our attention that City Staff was going to make a recommendation for approval without any public or community input. The applicant should have proceeded in good faith to explain his goals and objectives for the project. The City initially had issues posting this project on their website and Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so essentially this gave the public (three work days) to review and process the plans for the project.

Our concerns are simple:

1. City Staff appears to be a proponent of “pushing” this project through to the Planning Commission.

2. The project desecrates the public views from several public parks.

3. The community had little or no time to adequately study the project.

4. The applicant offered no community outreach or study session – which potentially could allow the residents to learn more about the project.

5. Newport has been gifted with the responsibility of the Local Coastal Program; however, this project clearly violates the LCP.

Only after receiving more than 60 letters from residents, did the PC postpone the 2510 W. Coast Hwy. meeting and ask the applicant to provide an outreach to the community, which (was) held via Zoom on February 2, 2021.

My point being, is...IF this is how the applicant and City Staff covertly move ahead with plans for Mariner’s Mile/Newport Village, they are both proceeding in bad faith.

Certainly three low-income apartments should not supersede the precious views from our public parks which have been cherished by all since the 1900s and should be protected for generations to come.

Solution, the City Council should consider altering policies that allow an individual or individual(s) to appeal a project without cost to the appellant; otherwise, the residents can forego the City Council and appeal straight to the California Coastal Commission at no cost to the appellant(s). This will keep the City from continuing to receive a “black eye” from the CCC and hopefully allow the developer to create a project that the community can eventually support.

The residents fought the Mariner’s Mile Revitalization Plan.

The residents fought AutoNation.

The residents fought Banning Ranch.

The residents fought the Museum House.

The residents fought the 215 Riverside Project (currently tied up with the CCC).

The residents were victorious in fighting the above projects.

In closing, the City’s guiding light is identified by the intent of the certified Local Coastal Program, “To ensure that any development in the coastal zone preserves and enhances coastal resources; protects and enhances coastal views.” This project clearly is in violation of the City’s LCP.

The residents again are prepared to fight but would rather work with the applicant and City Staff to develop a responsible and compatible project along Mariner’s Mile; however, we have been informed that the Planning Commission has already made up their minds to approve this project at the upcoming hearing on February 18, 2021.

Peggy V. Palmer 

Newport Beach

 

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