On November 29, the Newport Beach City Council approved the 25 story Museum House condo tower over the opposition voiced by several thousand residents.
Line in the Sand’s plans to run a referendum putting the Museum House to a citywide vote were well known, and the way the City Council vote was structured would dictate the form of the referendum petition.
Democratic institutions work best when there is respect for the process. Mr. Curry (aided by Mr. Petros) made an impassioned plea to his colleagues not to explicitly structure their vote requiring the referendum petition to include 3800 extraneous pages, but the Council ignored him.
Mr. Muldoon said that “transparency” was required and Mr. Peotter said that adding the extra pages was justified because “SPON had lied.”
My query to the Council to clarify what lies had been told was met with silence, so I will speculate that the “lie” was that SPON and Line in the Sand had pointed out that there would be traffic and water impacts from the Museum House whereas the City Council had concluded that such impacts would be insignificant.
The result of the Council’s vote was a phone book sized petition that took nine days and cost $46,506 to print. Their intent could not have been more chilling: squash Line in the Sand’s referendum before it could begin and clear the way for the construction of the Museum House. If you are looking for a word to describe this, “bully” would be a good one.
Out of the scrum of blockers, deceitful flyers and a 10-pound petition, Line in the Sand has emerged carrying the ball.
On Wednesday, Dec. 21, we delivered 13, 730 signatures to the City Clerk for verification, far in excess of the required 5,800 signatures and a clear measure of the outrage felt by residents for the totality of this process.
The Museum House will get the vote it has always deserved under Greenlight. The residents have seen an ugly side of city politics and the city as a whole has drawn a line in the sand against overdevelopment.
Working together, we can protect our quality of life in this beautiful slice of paradise.