The developer behind the 150 Newport Center project (formerly known as Newport Center Villas) project withdrew their application this week.
The move came right as Newport Beach City Council was scheduled to hear and vote on the 35-unit, five-story project at Newport Center and Anacapa drives, adjacent to Fashion Island, on Tuesday.
“What it means by withdrawal is that there is no longer an application on the property and that, if a future development proposal were to come forward, that there would have to be a new application submitted to the city and go through the appropriate entitlement process,” explained Community Development Director Kim Brandt.
People in the audience applauded at hearing about the withdrawal.
The project proposed demolishing an existing 8,500-square-foot car-wash, convenience market, and gas station to accommodate the residential development.
Before deciding to withdraw the application, the developer, Newport Center Anacapa Associates, LLC, requested (in a Sept. 21 letter to the city) that the project be continued to the Oct. 11 meeting to “give the city council more time to digest the myriad of information in the packet and allow us time to discuss the project with the individual members of council,” explained Ron Soderling, manager of Anacapa Associates.
The move comes after the Newport Beach Planning Commission voted 5-2 on Sept. 1 to recommend denial without prejudice of the scaled -down (from previous versions) project.
The project has already been redesigned three times, said Michael Lutton, Principal for the applicant.
Planning commissioners commented that there is too much intensity in the neighborhood and seemed to agree that an alternate project that would be more appropriate.
Opponents have argued that the project does not fit in with the community and that it is too dense. Project proponents have said that there is a need for this type of project in the area.