Newport Beach City Manager Update: Coastal Cleanup, Draft Housing Element

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Grace Leung

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

On September 18 I had the pleasure of attending Coastal Cleanup Day with 118 other volunteers, including residents and City staff, who gathered at Corona del Mar state beach.

The event was part of a statewide beach cleanup day sponsored by the California Coastal Commission, in alignment with International Coastal Cleanup Day.

CdM was one of seven cleanup sites in Newport Beach, hosted by organizations such as the Newport Bay Conservancy, Orange County Parks, California State Parks, American Legion Yacht Club, Newport Landing Whale Watching, and the Banning Ranch Conservancy.

Thank you to all those groups and community members who participated! At CdM alone, we collected about 235 pounds of trash.

The City of Newport Beach is developing a more organized, year-round effort to help align community volunteer groups with cleanup opportunities and needs, including beaches, bay areas, hiking trails and more. I will be releasing more information on the program in the coming months.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach

As of September 23, the total cumulative number of COVID- 19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,867, an increase of 35 cases from September 16. The total number of cases in Orange County as of September 23 was 294,871, an increase of 2,421 cases from September 16. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of September 9 was 279,753. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. The County’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is available at this link:  Those seeking vaccination options can visit the HCA page at this link:

Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) Review of the City’s Draft Housing Element Update and October 12 City Council Item to Overrule

City staff has been working alongside its consultants, the Housing Element Update Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, City Council and the community over the past two years to draft an update to the Housing Element in order to comply with the statutory adoption deadline.

As part of the process, the California Public Utilities Code requires the City to submit its draft Housing Element update to the Orange County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) for a review of consistency with the 2008 John Wayne Airport Environs Land Use Plan (AELUP).

On the afternoon of September 16, the ALUC held a public hearing. ALUC staff made a brief presentation and recommended that the ALUC find the City’s draft Housing Element Update inconsistent with the AELUP based on: 1) potential noise impacts with placing new housing sites in the 60-65 dBA and 65-70 dBA Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) contours; 2) potential safety impacts with placing new housing sites in the Safety Compatibility Zone 4; and 3) a general concern of land use incompatibility that is inconsistent with ALUC’s purpose and responsibility.

Although the ALUC acknowledged the City’s challenge in accommodating such a high Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation, the ALUC unanimously moved staff’s recommendation and found the draft inconsistent with the AELUP.

California Public Utilities Code includes provisions to review and possibly overrule ALUC’s determination through a two- thirds City Council vote.

City staff will be placing a draft resolution on the City Council’s agenda for consideration on the evening of October 12. If the resolution passes and is adopted, the City will issue a Notice of Intent to Override to the ALUC, as well as to the Caltrans Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics.

This letter will indicate the City’s intent to find the update consistent with the purposes of the State Aeronautics Act and to override any determination of the ALUC that the proposed update is inconsistent with the AELUP. The letter will include findings in support of the City’s intended action.

For more information, you can view the ALUC staff report here:

The October 12 City Council agenda will be posted here:

Homelessness Update

  • Two people experiencing homelessness near the Balboa Pier entered a motel while they await Emergency Housing Vouchers. One has been unsheltered for 8 years after losing an apartment; the other has lived in a vehicle for a year after losing her housing.
  • The Homeless Liaison Officer transported a man to the new Be Well OC campus. He has experienced homelessness around Newport Boulevard for two months. The man entered the Crisis Stabilization Unit at Be Well OC, then entered a medical detoxification program. He now resides in a residential rehabilitation program in Los Angeles. The Be Well OC campus provides mental and behavioral health treatment in a residential setting.
  • 17 people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • City Net, the City’s contract homeless services agency, ordered Social Security award letters for several clients matched to Emergency Housing Vouchers. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Nine people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers so far and are working with a housing navigator to locate apartments. The voucher program is being administered by the Orange County Housing Authority.
  • City Net transported a client to a mental health appointment.
  • City Net completed two housing assessments with people enrolled in their services.
  • Staff continues to provide food gift cards, support, and case management to a person sheltering in a motel while she awaits placement into permanent, supportive housing with an Emergency Housing Voucher.

To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, please visit our Good Giving Program web page:

Newport Beach 1st Battalion 1st Marines Foundation

The City of Newport Beach adopted the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Combat Unit based out of Camp Pendleton in 2003 to assist in emergency family needs and social programs.

The Newport Beach 1st Battalion 1st Marines Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to continue the efforts started by the City of Newport Beach through fundraising efforts. Their mission is to provide charitable assistance and relief for the 1/1 Battalion and their family members who are injured, ill, distressed or otherwise in need of assistance. Their secondary purpose is to provide the same type of assistance to all members of the United States Marines and their families, either active or retired.

The community’s involvement in expressing their gratitude for those that defend our Country’s ideals and interests has been profound and has allowed them to fully focus on their assigned mission.

Recently, the Foundation was called upon to provide assistance to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines in order to aid with the receipt and distribution of donations for the 2/1 Marines and families who were recently devastated by the August 26 terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Foundation is seeking the community’s assistance in this effort and would like to direct you to the website to learn more and make a donation towards the 2/1 Marines. Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Coastal Cleanup Day 2021

Coastal Cleanup Day, a statewide event led by the California Coastal Commission, was held on Saturday, September 18 in conjunction with International Coastal Cleanup Day featured across 90 countries.

The City of Newport Beach hosted a site at Corona del Mar State Beach, one of seven total sites within city limits. Other hosting organizations included Newport Bay Conservancy, Orange County Parks, California State Parks, American Legion Yacht Club, Newport Landing Whale Watching, and the Banning Ranch Conservancy.

At Corona del Mar State Beach, there were a total of 118 volunteers who participated including 10 City Employees and their families. Approximately 235 pounds of trash was collected, estimating that each participant collected about 2 pounds of trash.

Cigarette butts and food wrappers were amongst the most collected items followed by bottle caps, bottles, and straws. For a pristine stretch of beach, there was still enough to clean up, with small pieces of plastic and polystyrene foam being almost immeasurable. Events like Coastal Cleanup Day are a great way to inspire change, motivate people to use and waste less and to gather data to help support environmental policy.

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