One of the most important issues before Newport residents right now is that of the Revitalization Plan of Mariners’ Mile and the widening of Pacific Coast Highway along that area to six lanes.
The reason that this is such a hot topic is that this area which encompasses about 1.3 miles, is considered by most inhabitants of Newport Beach as the traditional center of the city with its nautical structures and proximity to beautiful Newport Bay.
As a result, this revitalization would not only greatly affect the “locals” who live in the Heights, Cliffhaven, Bayshores and Lido Isle areas, but all of Newport Beach as well.
This traditional area juxtaposed to the opulence of Fashion Island, Big Canyon, Irvine Terrace, Newport Coast and other similar environs makes for the dichotomy of the beautiful and traditional coastal town that those of us who live in Newport Beach have learned to love so well.
Are there areas of Mariner’s Mile that would benefit from a revitalization effort? Most decidedly so. But most importantly, any major changes to this area should only come with input from the homeowners and business owners who reside there, particularly those who will be directly affected.
At the Planning Commission Meeting on April 20, many of the residents and business owners spoke about how some of the plans envisioned by the city for this area would have a negative impact on them.
One gentleman expressed the desire of many residents in the area when he said that the best plan for Mariner’s Mile would be to convert the area to a ”village that is welcoming to and safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.”
Still another resident from Cliff Drive spoke of the importance of making the area safe for the large number of school children who pass through the adjacent residential streets which lack adequate signage and sidewalks.
One thing for sure that a majority of all residents in Newport Beach could agree upon is that it is THEIR input which should drive any Revitalization Plans, not just the whims of City Hall.