Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting on Nov. 24

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City Manager Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, November 24. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed at  https://newportbeachca.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/64236/72.

Study Session: The Council will hold a study session at 4 p.m. on the City’s residential refuse and recycling collection. Staff will provide an update on current and pending State mandates, along with potential operational changes to the commercial and residential refuse collection.

Regular Meeting: Begins at 6 p.m. The following are items of note:

On the Consent Calendar:

Petition certification and next steps for formation of Underground Utility Assessment District No.120. At least 60 percenty of residents within a 2-block area of Santa Ana Avenue have signed a petition to underground utilities. Next steps will be for the City to advance funds to prepare an Engineer’s Report and to circulate ballots for a property owner vote on the assessment.

An update on the City’s FY 2020-21 Community Programs Grants and Special Events Grants. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an update is provided on which events and community programs have taken place and received grant funds thus far.  Additionally, as requested by City Council, the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race (NOSA) and Orange County Coastkeeper organizations have provided additional information on their event/program in support of their requests. Staff’s recommendation is to award $10,000 to NOSA and $6,000 to OC Coastkeeper.

Public Hearings and Current Business:

Proposed amendments to Residential Design Standards will be considered by City Council. Generally, the proposed amendments would reduce bulk and mass associated with future residential development by clarifying the definition of gross floor area, regulating third floor decks, and expanding application of third floor and open volume standards to all single-unit and two-unit residential developments.

A partnership agreement with the City of Costa Mesa for the funding, development and shared use of a temporary homeless shelter facility now under construction in Costa Mesa and expected to be operational in March 2021. Under the agreement, Newport Beach would provide a one-time payment of $1.6 million for construction costs and furnishings, and $1 million a year in operating costs, with exclusive access to 20 beds of the total 70 beds at the shelter. The Costa Mesa City Council approved the agreement November 17.

Financial reports for the fiscal year-end 2019-20 and first quarter of fiscal year 2020-21. The City’s General Fund revenues ended the fiscal year 2019-20 better than estimated at $229.8 million, $10.9 million higher than the projected budget, and expenditures were $211.1 million, $3.9 million lower than the projected budget. First quarter FY 2020-21 results indicate positive data to date. With these positive results, the Council will consider staff recommendations to make an additional $5 million discretionary payment to CalPERS to aggressively pay down our unfunded liability, replenish the fleet equipment reserve fund with $500,000, and move $2.3 million to fully fund the General Fund contingency reserve at 25 percent of operations. With the continued unknowns regarding the fiscal impact of the global pandemic, staff is continuing to closely monitor revenues and expenditures.

Consideration of contract extension options as staff negotiates with CR&R, the City’s refuse collection service provider, to make the necessary changes to comply with State law regarding recycling.

City Council Meeting Information

The Newport Beach City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of most months (the exceptions are August and December). Typically, there is a Study Session that starts at 4 p.m. Study sessions are times for the Council to take a deeper look at a specific issue, or hear a presentation, that might eventually lead to a specific and more formal action. A closed session often follows the Study Session. Closed sessions are typically to address legal, personnel, and other matters where additional confidentiality is important.

The Regular (evening) Session typically starts at 7 p.m., and often has a specific listing of different items ready for formal votes. Items on the “Consent Calendar” are heard all at once, unless a Council member has removed (aka “pulled”) an item from the Consent Calendar for specific discussion and separate vote. If an item on the agenda is recommended to be “continued”, it means that the item won’t be heard nor voted on that evening, but will be pushed forward to another noticed meeting.

Public Comment is welcomed at both the Study Session and the Regular Session. The public can comment on any item on the agenda. If you want to comment on a Consent Calendar item that was not pulled from the Consent Calendar by a Council Member, you will want to do so at the time listed on the agenda – right before the Council votes on the entire Consent Calendar (it’s Roman Numeral XIII on the posted agenda). If an item is pulled, the Mayor will offer that members of the public can comment as that specific item is heard separately.

Additionally, there is a specific section of Public Comment for items not on the agenda, but on a subject of some relationship to the city government. If you cannot attend a meeting and/or want to communicate with the City Council directly, this e-mail gets to all of them: [email protected] The City Manager also get’s a copy of the email, because in almost all cases it’s something that the City Manager follows-up on.

The Council meets in the Council Chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive, off of Avocado between San Miguel and East Coast Highway. There is plenty of parking in the parking structure. You are always welcome to attend in person, but you can also watch on TV, Spectrum channel 30 and Cox channel 852 or stream it on your computer.

[Editor’s Note: The council chambers are closed to the public. The adjoining Community Room is open to the public for council meeting viewing. There is also a podium and microphone for public comment. COVID-19 mandates are in place.]

This Insider’s Guide is not an attempt to summarize every item on the Agenda – just the ones that seem of specific interest to the City Manager. You are encouraged to read the full agenda if you wish.

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