Letter to the Editor: Peotter’s Plan is Bad for Newport Beach

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As someone who served with Scott Peotter on the Newport Beach Planning Commission, an issue that greatly concerns me is Mr. Peotter’s initiative to update the City’s General Plan. 

The current City Council has limited municipal planning experience, thereby offering Mr. Peotter significant and undue influence in the General Plan update process.

If he is successful, this will have negative impacts on Newport Beach neighborhoods for decades to come.

Mr. Peotter has outlined a plan for “trip based” zoning. While this may sound appealing, what he really wants to do is go to a trip-based zone program. This is what was used in Irvine for the Irvine Business Center (IBC) developments that has produced street after street of dense, higher rise development. 

Take a drive along Jamboree in Irvine at 5 p.m. to see the Peotter Plan in action.  Mr. Peotter of course was an Irvine Planning Commissioner and was personally involved for years in approving development deals in that city. 

As with many issues, he wants to bring Irvine policies and development intensity to Newport Beach.

Mr. Peotter’s other idea is to institute “by right” development. This would give extraordinary development powers to the politically connected, and more importantly, would deny the public the opportunity to speak on major projects and influence the approvals by the Planning Commission and City Council.

As we saw with Museum House, Mr. Peotter is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prevent the public from exercising its rights to be heard on development.  He alone wrote an opinion piece defending his actions to subvert the petition process, and he refused to rescind the project approvals in spite of 14,000 resident signatures in opposition to this high-rise development.

Mr. Peotter is on record in support of raising the height limits on Lido, and he was a consistent affirmative vote on the Planning Commission for larger and denser development.

The recall is not simply a matter of removing him from office a few months before the 2018 election, it is the best opportunity for residents to prevent him from locking his high-rise vision into our General Plan for a generation. 

 Mike Toerge

Newport Beach

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