Newport Beach City Manager Update: Community Program Grants, Fashion Island Thieves Arrested

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Grace Leung

 

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

On Tuesday, April 4 the City will begin accepting applications for our annual community programs grants and special events grants. I encourage qualifying community groups and event organizers to submit applications for consideration.

Grants are available in two main categories: 1) support for organizations that provide community programs available to Newport Beach residents, and 2) qualified event organizers seeking financial support for Newport Beach-based events.

  • Community Programs Grant: The City will provide a total of $60,000 in grants to qualifying organizations to enhance services or programs offered for Newport Beach residents.
  • Special Events Grant: These grants support two types of events: Community and Charitable Events and Signature Events. Community and Charitable Events must serve or benefit local organizations and causes, and/or provide recreational, cultural, and social benefits to Newport Beach residents. Signature Events are large-scale events based in Newport Beach between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024 that promote the City regionally, attract visitors, and provide measurable economic benefits.

Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee a grant award, as this is a competitive process. Applications will be evaluated based on eligibility guidelines, qualifications and requirements as outlined for the various grants.

For more information and the online application, please visit www.newportbeachca.gov  beginning Tuesday, April 4.

NBPD Arrests Suspected Fashion Island Thieves

Newport Beach Police Department detectives recently arrested a man suspected of stealing a large sum of money from a car parked at Fashion Island, among other crimes, along with a suspected accomplice.

In January, a victim reported to the Police Department that $18,000 in cash was stolen from his vehicle while it was parked at Fashion Island. The victim said he was travelling to Las Vegas and had withdrawn money from the bank just prior to shopping at Fashion Island. While shopping, his vehicle was broken into and the money was taken.

Video of the crime was located and showed an unknown suspect entering the man’s vehicle.

NBPD detectives investigating the case located a crime bulletin from a neighboring city involving a similar-looking suspect who used stolen credit cards to make fraudulent purchases. As the credit cards were originally stolen in Los Angeles County, NBPD detectives met with Los Angeles detectives and identified a suspect.

Further investigation on the suspect revealed him to be a well-known vehicle burglar, currently on criminal probation and out on bail with charges of multiple burglaries in Los Angeles County.

NBPD detectives obtained a search warrant and arrested the suspect on March 23. During a search of his vehicle, detectives found several credit cards that had been stolen during other vehicle burglaries in Newport Beach. Property stolen during a storage unit burglary in Los Angeles County was also in the vehicle.

During the course of the investigation, detectives found that the primary suspect worked with a second suspect during the burglaries at Fashion Island. Detectives tracked down the second suspect and arrested him.

This successful NBPD investigation resulted in the arrests of two prolific burglars who have victimized several Newport Beach community members.

Planning Commission to Review Fractional Homeownership Code Amendment April 20

On March 14 the City Council directed staff to update the City’s municipal code to expand the definition of timeshare to include fractional homeownership, which will prohibit them in all residential zones.

The proposed code amendment is scheduled for a public hearing at the Planning Commission on April 20. The amendment will then be presented for Council consideration on May 9, with final adoption scheduled for May 23. Following Council adoption, the code amendment will be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for its review and approval.

Gateway Park Improvements to Begin April 3

Work will begin April 3 on improvements to the two park areas on Newport Boulevard just south of the bridge onto the Peninsula.

These two grass areas are collectively known as Gateway Park and serve as the welcoming entrance to the Peninsula and Lido areas. The project will repair the planter walls, replace the landscaping, replace lighting, and refresh the signage.

Construction is expected to be completed by early summer. During construction, parking in the area may be reduced and pedestrian detours established for safety.

Online Solar Plan Check Streamlines Applications

Since the option to submit solar plan check applications electronically through our CiViC website went live on March 14, the application process has been streamlined for many applicants.  Applicants have been able to download their issued plans and permits directly through the online portal.

The CiViC site can be accessed at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/civic.

Teens Ages 13-16 Encouraged to Apply for Summer Leadership Program

The City of Newport Beach is offering a Teen Leader Program for teens ages 13-16. The program allows teens the opportunity to work side by side with Recreation Leaders in the City’s two youth summer camps, three ACTIVE Kids after school programs, and other City special events.

Teens can earn community service credits, get involved in the community, develop and enhance life and work skills, and gain valuable job experience.

For more information or to apply, visit https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/recreation-senior-services/youth-teen-programs.

Draft Community Grant Distribution Plan Available for Public Review

The City receives funding each year from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is distributed locally to non-profit programs that benefit those with low- and moderate-incomes.

In fiscal year 2023-24 the City expects to receive about $400,000 in CDBG funds. The draft Annual Action Plan outlines how the funds are proposed to be used in the community. The draft Annual Action Plan is now available for public review and comment, and will be presented for consideration by the City Council at a public hearing on April 25.

The draft Annual Action Plan can be viewed on the City’s website at https://www.newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/community-development/planning-division/cdbg-community-development-block-grant/cdbg-consolidated-plan-action-plans-and-performa.

Hard copies are available for review in the Community Development Department and City Clerk’s Office in City Hall at 100 Civic Center Dr., and at the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave.

Free Document Shredding, E-Waste Disposal and Compost Distribution April 22

Join us on April 22 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Newport Beach Corporation Yard, 592 Superior Ave., for an Earth Day event brought to you by the City of Newport Beach and CR&R.

The event will feature free document shredding, e-waste disposal, and a compost giveaway. Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes of documents for shredding and can receive up to five, 30-lb. bags of compost while supplies last. Please note that residency will be verified, so don’t forget to bring identification.

Our shredder can accommodate most materials including bank and financial statements, credit card statements or pre-approved credit card offers, old IRS tax forms, checks or bills, old credit cards and plastic/paper membership cards, junk mail, and documents bound with staples or paper clips. Please note that x-rays or larger plastic items such as binders cannot be accepted.

Acceptable items for e-waste disposal include computers, computer monitors, keyboards, televisions, flat panels, other monitors, printers, DVD players, cell phones, and other small electronic devices. Medical waste, batteries and other household hazardous waste will not be accepted.

For more information, please contact our Public Works Department at (949) 718-3055.

City to Replace Goldenrod Pedestrian Bridge Planters

During the next several weeks the City will replace the deteriorated planters on the Goldenrod Pedestrian Bridge. The project will also replace the existing plants, wooden arches, irrigation and lighting.

During construction the bridge will be closed and pedestrians will be directed to nearby detours. The project will begin April 3 as is expected to be completed by late May.

Serve Your Community! Apply Now for Vacant Seats on Boards, Commissions

The City of Newport Beach is currently accepting applications to fill the following unscheduled vacancy and upcoming scheduled vacancies (all terms are for four-years, expiring June 30, 2027, except for one unscheduled City Arts Commission seat expiring June 30, 2025):

  • Board of Library Trustees (two seats)
  • Building and Fire Board of Appeals (one seat)
  • City Arts Commission (two seats – one term is for four-years, expiring June 30, 2027; and one unscheduled term expiring June 30, 2025)
  • Civil Service Board (one seat)
  • Harbor Commission (one seat)
  • Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission (two seats)
  • Planning Commission (two seats)

All scheduled vacancies will become vacant when the existing terms expire on June 30, 2023, or until the seat is filled.

All applicants must be qualified electors of the City, none of whom shall hold any paid office or employment in City government (Section 702 of the City Charter).

The deadline for filing applications is noon on Wednesday, May 10 or until the vacancies are filled. The application and additional information about the Boards and Commissions can be found at http://www.newportbeachca.gov/vacancy or by calling (949) 644-3005.

The application and information about the Boards and Commissions can also be accessed through the City’s website at http://www.newportbeachca.gov/bcc.

City to Repaint Balboa Island Fire Station

Next week the City will begin repainting Fire Station No. 4 on Balboa Island. The work is expected to be completed by the end of April.

Access to the public restrooms at the Fire Station will be maintained during construction. This is the second of eight citywide locations that will be repainted in the coming months.

February Treasury Report Now Available

The February 2023 Treasury Report is available on the City’s website at:  www.newportbeachca.gov/treasury.

As of February, the City’s investment portfolio totaled $379.1 million when measured at amortized cost. The current market value of the City’s portfolio of $366.8 million incorporates price fluctuations due to the changing interest rate environment that are typically irrelevant, since the City typically holds its securities to maturity and receives the full principal value at that time.

The City’s Liquidity Portfolio is sized to meet the City’s cash flow needs over the next 12 months. Approximately $63.9 million or 17% of the portfolio was invested in liquid investments available for day-to-day operating expenses and the costs associated with ongoing construction projects. An additional $42.8 million or 11% of the overall portfolio was invested in a portfolio of securities with targeted short-term maturities, which earns a higher yield than the City’s more liquid investments.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

This week, the Be Well team:

  • Transported a person to a crisis stabilization unit for treatment.
  • Transported two people to the emergency room for medical care.
  • Transported one person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter for an intake appointment.
  • Provided mental health and wellness resources to residents during community outreach.
  • Transported six people to services, shelter intakes, and appointments.

Homelessness Update

This week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Sheltered an older adult in a motel to complete her housing paperwork.
  • Transported a client to the Social Security office to obtain a vital document for a housing opportunity. The client is matched to an Emergency Housing Voucher.
  • Continued to shelter people. Eighteen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the City’s homeless response: https://www.newportbeachca.gov/trending/community-issues/homelessness/monthly-homeless-count.

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