Community Discuss Newport Island Park Renovations

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Assistant City Engineer Mike Sinacori talks about possible improvements for Newport Island Park during a community meeting Wednesday at the park, while longtime local Jim Miller (center) and other residents listen and pitch in with ideas and concerns.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©

More than a dozen residents attended a community meeting Wednesday about proposed renovation of Newport Island Park.

It’s a great turnout, Assistant City Engineer Mike Sinacori noted. It shows how much locals care about this park and the community, he added.

Renovation of the small, local park in West Newport was tabled at a Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission meeting last month until more research and community outreach is conducted, primarily centered around health concerns about whether to use sand or a rubber mat in the play area.

PB&R commissioners voted 7-0 on Feb. 5 to continue the rehabilitation of Newport Island Park until a future meeting.

At the PB&R meeting, longtime resident Jim Miller mentioned potential health concerns associated with the sand, where he, and a few other residents, claimed cat feces and urine have been found. Miller said he once shoveled up five scoops of cat feces.

On Wednesday, Miller said some residents were leaning toward sand, but it could go either way. As long as the community is informed and is able to provide their input, then it works out fine, he added.

“They said their peace and whatever happens, happens,” Miller said.

Wednesday’s discussion included questions about sand, rubber mat, swing styles, sidewalk, landscaping, and more.

The project includes two main design concepts, approximately $285,000 to $300,000, option one includes replacing the sand in the area with play equipment and option two includes replacing the sand with a rubberized resilient surface.

A revised plan will likely return to PB&R on the first Tuesday of April or May, then, if a project is approved, on to City Council in early summer and staff hopes to hit the ground running in fall.

Miller and city staff encouraged residents to attend the upcoming meetings to share their opinions.

For more information, call Public Works Department at (949) 644-3311 or visit newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/public-works/capital-improvement-program/newport-island-park

The city is considering several rehabilitation design concepts for Newport Island Park.
— Photo by Sara Hall ©
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