Councilman Scott Peotter likes to defend his support of high rise development by saying he supports “property rights.” I also support property rights. However, I believe most residents would define property rights as the ability to develop your property in accordance with the General Plan and your permitted zoning.
Mr. Peotter clearly has a different interpretation of “property rights,” as demonstrated by his strong support of the 25 story Museum House condo tower which he voted to approve in December 2016.
This site was donated specifically to OCMA for use as a museum and was zoned only for “public institutional” use. The property “right” associated with this parcel was for a low-rise, low impact building.
In order to develop the high-rise Museum House, multiple changes to the development rights were required, including height and density increases. In other words, Mr. Peotter wanted to grant an entirely new set of “rights” to the property that had never existed before. He appears to believe that developers should have the “right” to build to any use or height as long as they own the property. This would lead to development chaos in our city.
Mr. Peotter’s support for high-rise, high intensity development is well documented from his votes as a Newport Beach Planning Commissioner, his expressed support for increasing height limits on Lido and his support of height limit exceptions in Newport.
Our city is about to update the General Plan, which is effectively the blueprint for development in our city. The update is an opportunity to add development rights to properties across the city in a way that may not manifest itself for decades. As an example, the new apartments at the corner of Jamboree and San Joaquin Hills Road were added in the last General Plan update in 2006.
Team Newport tends to vote as a block and with the direction of Mr. Peotter, they have the votes to substantially increase the new developments that will be entitled in a new General Plan.
We need a councilman who reflects Newport Beach values and respects the wishes of the residents to preserve our quality of life. There are many other reasons to recall Mr. Peotter, but this is the reason we need to recall him now instead of waiting for the November 2018 election.