Letter to the Editor: Where Do We Grow From Here?

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During the September 9 Speak Up Biennial City Council Candidate Forum, Tom Johnson, the moderator and Editor of Stu News, asked a “Yes” or “No” question during the “lightening round.” It was a question about The Museum House.

“Given that the City is required to provide 4,832 dwelling units in the housing element, would you now be in favor of the Museum House Project residential project in Newport Center?”

Obviously, suggesting that the Museum House represents high-density housing, however, the project was successfully defeated.

(According to Newport’s City Attorney Aaron Harp, “At this time there are no plans for a possible future project on the property site.” ~ 2018)

Approximately five minutes later in the forum came another question: “With the State mandate on dwelling unit numbers that are going to be required, do you support adding over five-story high-rises / residential high-rises in the Newport Center? All four candidates answered “Yes,” with explanations.

Noah Blom made it clear in his explanation, “We have some very specific areas of growth in our City and we have some very specific areas that we are not going to grow in our City. The villages are sacred and cherished and I think that we have an opportunity in Newport Center to find some really beautiful, well-proportioned development. I would love to see that we could mitigate the idea and keep focus on what our goal is—to beautify Newport.”

At the most recent Corona Del Mar Residents Association forum, hosted by moderators Riley Hayes and Alex Crawford, the question was asked again, “How can Newport Beach possibly accommodate almost 5,000 new dwellings?”

Noah Blom passionately replied, “The irony is that Newport can’t do it, so fighting is always my number one. I like to fight, I like to get excited, I like to really rebel rouse. The idea is that if we are not fighting for the town we believe in, if we are not pushing back against these ridiculous mandates, especially from Sacramento. Now is the time to stand up as a City and say NO. At the end of the day, our job is still to fight. It is to fight against Sacramento for the town and City that we believe in.”

“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” ~ Rocky Balboa

Peggy V. Palmer / Newport Beach

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