Letter to the Editor: The Future of Newport Beach

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The key concern which unites Newport Beach residents now is over-development.  Most of the other problems engender from this one main problem-traffic, pollution, safety issues, expansion of Pacific Coast Highway, code and General Plan noncompliance and lack of civility and trust between residents and City Council.  As a result, Newport Beach is losing its vibrant personality.

For those who live in West Newport, the number one over-development issue is the expansion of Pacific Coast Highway.  This has been a concern that dates back to the early 1970s by a group who were called the “Freeway Fighters” and included the father of one of our current Council members.

If expansion takes place, this area of Newport Beach, which is considered by most residents as the heart of our city, will lose that “small town” feeling, and safety issues for students crossing the Highway to reach the three schools in the Newport Heights area will become a major concern.

Already the lack of crosswalks and the dangerous speeds frequently maintained  by people passing through the Heights have led to unfortunate and even tragic accidents.

Over-development in other areas of Newport Beach have also impacted public views and tranquility. For instance, the development planned for Koll Center deviates from the character and guidelines for buildings in that area. Fortunately, concerned citizens have been able to stop plans for some of the other proposed structures and private homes whose sizes have violated code and General Plans.  But it has been a constant struggle for residents who want to maintain the character of Newport Beach which is being violated by unwise development.

We have a chance to change this lack of communication and transparency by electing Joy Brenner, Tim Stoaks and Roy Englebrecht to City Council. They will work to preserve the quality of the city that we all love.

 

Tim Stephens

Corona del Mar

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