Residents may find themselves at more sidewalk sales and street fairs on Balboa Peninsula, Mariner’s Mile, and in West Newport this year after officials approved a promotional program this week to encourage special events in these areas of the city.
Newport Beach City Council approved the “Pardon Our Dust” local business promotion program 6-0 on Tuesday. Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield recused himself because he owns a business is in the selected area.
The POD program is meant to help the local businesses on Balboa Peninsula, along West Coast Highway in West Newport, and Mariner’s Mile by temporarily waiving application fees for special event permits.
“City Council recognizes that the community as a whole benefits from vibrant commercial corridors and districts,” the resolution reads.
Pardon Our Dust aims to aid the businesses that have been impacted by all the road closures due to the numerous construction projects that have and are occurring on the Peninsula and the sewer pipe replacement project along PCH that caused traffic to slow for an extended period of time and resulted in the businesses along that route having less customers, Recreation Supervisor Matt Dingwall explained on Wednesday.
Businesses that were impacted by the construction qualify for fee waivers if they apply during the program dates, April 13-Sept. 13. Events can occur anytime before the end of the year.
A waiver of the permit fee for the defined period is intended to encourage patrons to visit the retail outlets, Mayor Diane Dixon, whose district covers the peninsula, noted on Wednesday.
“The business owners along Newport Boulevard and Coast Highway have been patient throughout the street and sidewalk improvements, water and sanitation line replacement activity these past several months,” Dixon said. “The city wanted to provide some modest relief as a thank you for their patience by encouraging the retail outlets to market their services and products through a special event such as a street fair.”
Qualifying events will be sidewalk sales, parking lot sales, live entertainment, and other similar promotions. Other large events like 5k runs, marathons, large concerts, etc., would not qualify for the POD waiver program, Dingwall explained. Businesses will be limited to three qualifying events. Applications must be submitted four weeks in advance of the event.
The city anticipates receiving approximately 20 applications during the program period, which would result in a loss of $9,040 in application fee revenues.
Special event permit application fees range from $452 to $2,666, depending on the size, duration, and/or location of the event, according to the staff report. In 2015, the Recreation and Senior Services Department issued a total of four permits for commercial businesses in the program area, staff noted.
The city had not received any questions or requests for events on Wednesday, but do expect some businesses to take advantage of the program soon, Dingwall said.
“For the past several years, commercial businesses in Mariners’ Mile, West Newport and on the Balboa Peninsula have endured multiple public utility and construction improvement projects on West Coast Highway, Newport Boulevard, and Balboa Boulevard,” staff points out in the report.
Staff created a website for the program, as a resource for the businesses to quickly locate the permit application, contact information, and details.
Businesses that have event ideas can check with the city recreation department to see if a particular event qualifies for the program.
“(The POD program is) an effort to say thank you to the businesses that have been impacted by all of the construction activity,” notes city staff.
For more information, call (949) 644-3151 or visit newportbeachca.gov/pod.