In response to the SCAG directive, Newport Beach is considering selecting Banning Ranch as one of its choices for limited development. But building homes on this historically significant property with its delicate ecosystem can be a bit of a PR problem for City government, considering its delicate past history with Banning Ranch.
With Coastal Commission validation and a California Supreme Court Decision in its favor, you would think that Banning Ranch with its thousands of admirers, would be off the radar for such a prospect. But Newport Beach government seems to have a proclivity for controversial issues in the past decade.
On the other hand, giving the city the benefit of the doubt, perhaps this decision was made naively since Staff members and even some City Council members have not resided in Newport Beach for many years and do not understand the significance of this property to long term residents and nature enthusiasts throughout California.
Let’s hope that the city does its homework and removes Banning Ranch from any prospective list for development that does not come with blessings from the Conservancy.